Posted tagged ‘Trivia’

“The brain may die, but my compulsion for useless trivia lives on.”

September 17, 2016

3 days and counting!

The perfect weather continues. It is as if Mother Nature is apologizing for all that heat in August. The days are warm and the nights cool, even cold. If I were given the power to control the weather, I would first make it rain then I would create days just like today.

All over my table are sticky notes. Some are related to my trip like a list of passwords and a  list of things to pack I might not remember like the travel toilet paper, an essential in Ghana, another is new TV programs I want to DVR while I’m gone. The list of stuff I need at Stop and Shop keeps getting bigger. Today I added a small notepad and AA batteries.

Yesterday I set a new record at Agway. I bought everything the cats and Gracie need while I’m gone. I spent $223.00. A brass band accompanied me to the car. The band major twirled his baton as I filled the trunk. Most of the stuff is still there. Leandro, one-half of my cleaning couple, is coming today with his mother Lu, my pet and house sitter. Lee is always quite happy to bring the heavy stuff into the house. I, however, had to drag the heavy dry dog food, a can of dog food, three cans of cat food and a bag of treats into the house this morning. My back is moaning quite loudly.

The street is quiet this morning for a Saturday. I wonder where all the kids are.

Learning new things is fun for me. I have this weird memory which holds on to facts and information seldom needed. That makes me good at trivia. Once I was quite able to remember Ernie the Keebler Elf and Thimble Theater, where  Popeye first appeared. My team accepted Ernie but not Popeye. I forget which character they chose, but they were wrong. Coming up with Popeye is what I mean by a weird memory.

My sister is getting tired of me talking about Ghana. She doesn’t get it, how important the country is to me. I have all these memories rushing to the front from the back drawers of my memory cabinet. I’m almost gushing.

Well, according to my list, I have much to do. I need to be off and loping, not running-I am passed that.

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

August 31, 2013

Despite my lethargy, I got everything done yesterday. I even took Gracie to the dump then brought her home so I could do my other errands without having to leave her in the hot car. The dump was unusually quiet. Sometimes I miss the old days with squawking seagulls circling the piles of trash. It wasn’t pretty, but it was interesting and loud.

I remember learning to tie a bow so I could tie my shoes. My mother was sitting in the chair by the picture window close to the door, and I was leaning on the chair’s arm beside her. She had a huge ribbon tied around a stuffed animal’s neck. I think it was a teddy bear. She tied the bow slowly, one step at a time, explaining as she went, and I watched. She tied it a few times then had me try. My fingers seem to have minds of their own. They didn’t go where I expected. They fluttered about as I held and tied the ribbon which knotted. My mother then guided my fingers as we tied the bow together. She did that a couple of times. I tried to fly solo again, and this time I did. I made a bow. It was loose and ugly, but it was still a bow. When I tied my shoes, the bow never lasted too long. I had yet to master the tightness of a good bow, but I did over time. My bows became useful and even pretty. I’d tie them with a flourish.

Being a kid meant learning new things all the time. I’d see a bug or a bird and want to know its name. Zippers gave me a bit of trouble. I knew what to do, but it wasn’t always easy to get the two bottoms to meet exactly right. Besides, zippers were in the wrong spot. They were below eye sight so it was often hit or miss.

I remember my first row-boat and rowing in circles. I just couldn’t coordinate the oars. My dad showed me what to do. He also taught me to swim. He was a great swimmer.

The red encyclopedias in our living room, the ones from the supermarket, got a lot of use. I would randomly pick a volume and read it. It was my way of learning new stuff. Every Christmas as a gift  I got that year’s Information Please Almanac. I loved filling my head with generally useless facts. Little did I realize back then their the value. Now those facts are called trivia, and I get to compete on Thursday nights in the winter.

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”

May 10, 2013

I just got back from my monthly breakfast with friends, all who are, like me, retired. I wasn’t sure whether it was 9 or 9:30 so I went for 9. I was early so I sat in the car and watched the world round me. Fog came rolling down the street from the ocean. It also hovered over the marsh behind the houses across the street. An old man shuffled out of the breakfast spot to his car which had taken up two spaces: the front end had one and the back end the other. He opened his trunk, looked in and then closed it again. I guess all was well in his trunk. He got in his car and left which freed up two spaces. People went in and out of the small post office. In front of me was a grove of beautiful red trees. I listened to the radio while I waited and then when one of my friends came, we went inside.

The morning is spectacular. Fluffy clouds dot the deep blue sky, and it is time to change to sandals, time to put away my winter shoes. Yesterday it rained a bit, and I heard a long and loud clap of thunder, as loud as any I’ve heard in a while. I expected a downpour, but it never came; instead, it merely sprinkled for a while.

Last night was trivia, and we reigned supreme. Many of the answers worked in our favor, we who are a bit older. One bonus was name the mother in each sitcom. I figured Donna Stone of the Donna Reed Show was not going to be answered by the younger teams. Even the music was easy. Usually the questions ask for groups totally unknown to me. Last night the first question was what duo was originally named Caesar and Cleo. I hopped right on that one. The next music question was whose first hit was A Tisket A Tasket in 1938. East enough-I play it here some Easters. At the end, before the final question, we were tied for second, a spot we were in most of the evening. The category was states and we bet 25, the maximum. The question was name the state admitted to the union in 1863 which first wanted to be called Kanawha. It was another answer I knew right away but I had to convince a couple of my teammates: one of whom wanted Arkansas and the other California. They had no reason, just hunches. When I explained why, they went with my answer. That put us over the top and we won! It made me glad that some of my memory drawers are filled with answers which are generally useless except for trivia contests. They are the drawers with cobwebs and a few mice.

Nothing on tap for the weekend. Rain is expected so maybe I’ll clean out that cabinet I’ve been eyeing for a while. But then again, maybe I won’t. It sounds a bit too much like actual work to me. I think I’m allergic!

“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.”

February 15, 2013

Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you have one of those moments that just makes every part of you smile. Last night was trivia night. I arrived early to get a table for all of us, ordered a drink and just sat and looked around. It was Cape Cod I was seeing, the old Cape when in winter most places shut their doors and the summer people are long gone. At the Chatham Squire the walls are wood paneling like the old small summer cabins were, but there were even more remnants of the Cape I knew when I was young. Lots of guys had beards with lots of grey and the guys wore sweatshirts with hoods, not hoodies, but sweatshirts with hoods, and dark wool watch caps and you knew many were fishermen. Women wore heavy sweaters or sweatshirts and little make-up. Conversations were loud. It was like everyone knew everyone else. Music was playing, and I was about as content as I’ve been in a while. My team was running late, but I knew they’d make it in time. I was in the mood for seafood and had the fried clams. At the end of the evening, we didn’t win; in fact, we were awful, but we didn’t care. We went for the fun of it, for the companionship and for the laughs. It was a perfect evening.

Today is a beautiful day. It is supposed to hit 45˚. I know the ice is already melted, but it will freeze again tonight, and I’ll slip on it again tomorrow. Snow is a possibility for the weekend with snow showers Saturday and heavier snow on Sunday. I’m pretty sick of it. Snow is a kid’s thing. Adults look and first think about how beautiful it is. The falling snow quiets the world and leaves a pristine landscape like the front of a Christmas card then the snow stops then comes the shoveling, the cold hands, wet feet and misery. Meanwhile, kids throw snowballs and sled down hills. School is out for the day. Snow is wonderful.

I, however, have both feet in the adult camp right now. I’m still living with the misery of that last storm, and I’ll be hard-pressed to think how beautiful when it starts to snow again on Sunday. It’s going to take a while before I leave the outside light on so I can watch the snow fall the way I used to a few short weeks ago.

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.”

February 5, 2013

Snow is lightly falling and has been all morning, but I doubt it will amount to much. When I went to get the papers, I almost fell as I didn’t see the ice hidden under the new snow. The ice is from the snow of a couple of nights ago which melted during the day yesterday but froze when the temperature dropped in the darkness of the late afternoon. How I didn’t fall is a mystery. I am a faller, a tripper, a down on my butt person so saving myself  is new to me, a miracle of sorts.

I’m feeling so much better that it was a busy day for me yesterday. I filled the feeders, watered plants, put laundry away, swept the kitchen floor, took down the wreaths and took off all their ornaments to save for next year and even made my bed.

We had a mouse yesterday, the first in a few days. When I went to bed, it was in the trap so Gracie and I did a midnight run. It was cold, really cold, but I decided not to leave the mouse in the trap all night. I know the mouse has to be let free over a mile away so its loses its homing instinct so Gracie and I drove to our usual spot. When I opened the trap, that mouse took off like a shot. Some mice have to be shaken a few times before I can get them out of the trap, but not this one. It was out and running. I left it at a spot where a few of the other mice have been freed. I have this vision, like Mole’s little home in The Wind in the Willows, where the other mice invite the new one into their homes where the fire is warming, the chair comfy and the bread and cheese is on the table. I know. I know. My imagination has gone amok!

I always wonder how I know some things. I probably read or heard them and my mind just put them away in my memory drawers for later use. At trivia one night the question was which cartoon character was introduced in the comic strip Thimble Theater in 1929. I said Popeye. Not one person on my team accepted my answer. They discussed it among themselves without any consideration that I might be right though I did offer Popeye one more time, but it was as if I had said nothing. They agreed on some other answer and turned it in. The correct answer was Popeye. They blamed me for the wrong answer saying I should have been more insistent.

In the crossword puzzle today the clue was ______Novo. I , of course, filled in Porto. That was easy. It is a city in Benin which used to be Dahomey when I lived in Africa. That’s one of the weird facts for which I know the origin. Thimble Theater still escapes me.

“Life isn’t all beer and skittles, but beer and skittles, or something better of the same sort, must form a good part of every Englishman’s education.”

March 15, 2012

This morning I stood outside admiring my flowers. Several crocus (I know it has a first declension Latin masculine ending so it is really croci) are blooming. Most are purple and yellow. Any day now my daffodils will open and so will a few flowers outside the fence. I always want a party when the first flowers bloom. It seems a celebratory time needing funny hats, horn blowing and colorful mismatched clothing.

The sun is bright, but it is only 43°. After the Cape finally reached 60°, my expectations have risen. The weatherman says a warm spell is on the way, and Boston will be in the high 70’s so we’ll be in the 60’s again. I’ve got to remember my sunscreen.

I cleaned another cabinet and the bookcase in the kitchen. The bookcase is filled with special cookbooks I collect, those with recipes inspired by novels, and neat stuff like Davy Crockett bowls and a glass, a Hopalong Cassidy milk bottle, an old A&W mug and lots of other stuff including tacky souvenirs from places I’ve never been. I took everything knickknackty off the bookcase and washed or polished everything. Now I wear sunglasses to protect me from the glare in the kitchen. I have a couple of other cabinets I still need to tackle but not today. It’s my day off the mundane.

Tonight is trivia night, and the whole team will be there. It’s dinner out, a few drinks and several  futile attempts to rack my brain for answers I should know but have totally forgotten. It is sometimes a humbling night.

Sorry was our favorite family game but second to that was Go to the Head of the Class. I have my family’s original Go to the Class Game from around 1955 I think. My mother gave it to me for my school-themed bathroom. One of these nights I’m going to pull it out so my friends and I can play. The questions are age-related so adults can play. My parents used to play with us. They got to be Mommy and Daddy, two of the cardboard pieces. I think my brother was Cowboy Joe and I was Sis. The originators (Milton Bradley) weren’t too  imaginative with the names. The board is filled with desks and you keep moving to the top row, the head of the class. It was one of our favorite games.

I remember endless games of Slapjack and War. The problem with Slapjack was the first person to slap the Jack got slapped by everyone else trying to snag the card, and the backs of  our hands stayed red most of the game. We’d actually play War until its conclusion. I can’t imagine that.

Well, I’m done. I have some prep for tonight’s trivia. I have to check out a map of the world. I’m okay with most parts, but I’m really bad with which countries abut each other in Asia and parts of the Middle East.  I want to be ready for all the geography questions tonight.

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest”

March 25, 2011

Today is beautifully sunny but still chilly. We’ll have the low 40’s for the next four or five days and the low 30’s and even the high 20’s at night. My birds have found the filled feeders, and I watched the chickadees for a while from my window here in the den.

I have come to the conclusion that I am not Wonder Woman. I drove my car on Tuesday from Falmouth, filled the bird feeders yesterday and last night went to our usual trivia night. I wouldn’t have minded the aching back when I left the Squire after the game but we were awful. We consoled each other by the fact we had won three weeks in a row, and this horrendous loss was our kind way of giving a new team the chance to shine. At least dinner was delicious. I started with hummus and then had a fish dinner.

Last night I woke up several times trying to find a way to be comfortable given my back pain. I had to keep pushing Fern off my hip. I hate it when she sleeps there but most times I’m too asleep to notice but not last night. Gracie ended up right beside me with her head on my shoulder. She barely moved every time I woke up. I slept late but it was an uneasy sleep.

My dance card is empty until Sunday with breakfast at the diner and dinner at my friends’ house where we’ll watch The Amazing Race together. Until then, I intend to remove my Wonder Woman bracelets, my lasso of truth and my tiara. They just don’t seem to match my sweatshirt and flannel pants though I do like those red boots.

Lois Lane was one of my heroes when I was kid. She sniffed out stories and was willing to risk everything for her by-line; of course, she knew Superman was never far away. I remember those suits and hats she always wore. Lois had the wardrobe of a businesswoman of the 50’s, and there were very few of those. Her hats were always ugly or at least I thought so. In my guest room I have a small collection of women’s hats from the 50’s and three of them could have been worn by Lois. Two of them have feathers standing straight up. My favorite is a black one with a red feather.

Well, it’s time to get off this chair and get comfy. I do love pampering myself.

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