December 27, 2011

Trivia Blog: Cat-astrophic Homecoming

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

A brief reenactment of my encounter with our cat last night after I arrived home from a four-day trip away for the holidays:

Me:  [Walks through front door]
Cat:  FOOD GUY!
Me:  Hey buddy.
Cat:  HI!!!
Me:  Whoa, calm down big guy.
Cat:  I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE HOME!
Me:  Did you miss me or something?
Cat:  I ATE ALL THE FOOD YOU LEFT OUT FOR ME AFTER ONE DAY!!
Me:  What's the matter? Hungry?
Cat:  I HAVE NO PROPER CONCEPT OF TIME, SO I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG YOU WERE GONE, NOR HOW TO RATION OUT FOOD OVER THE COURSE OF FOUR DAYS!!
Me:  You want some more water?
Cat:  HERE, I'LL CHEW ON YOUR SHOELACES FOR YOU!
Me:  Can you get the hell off my shoes, please?
Cat:  I KNOCKED ALL THE THINGS OFF YOUR SHELVES!
Me:  Seriously, get off my shoes.
Cat:  HERE, I'LL KNOCK THE MAIL YOU JUST PUT ON THE COFFEE TABLE ON THE GROUND, TOO!
Me:  Hey!!
Cat:  I'M JUST GONNA YELL FOR A WHILE, OKAY?!
Me:  I'm going to get some pizza, try not to knock anything else over while I'm gone.
Cat:  DON'T LEAVE!!!
Me:  I'll be back in a couple minutes.
Cat:  IF YOU LEAVE, YOU'LL NEVER COME BACK!!  OR YOU'LL COME BACK IN 5 MINUTES, I DONT KNOW!  AGAIN, I HAVE NO PROPER CONCEPT OF TIME!
Me:  Okay, bye buddy.
Cat:  I'LL PUT SOME CAT LITTER ON YOUR SUITCASE FOR YOU WHILE YOU'RE GONE!!

December 20, 2011

Trivia Blog: Phlegm Fatale

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

I miss breathing through my nose...

A shorter email from your loving Quizmaster this week, most likely, as I'm still recovering from a cold that has been ravaging the delicate temple that is my body for the last week or so.  I don't want to say for sure that one of you filthy people infected me like the monkey from Outbreak last week; all I know is that I left another fine Gael Pub Trivia Night feeling like a million bucks, and I woke up the next morning feeling like those pennies you find under your car seat, the ones covered in McDonald's fry grease and dirt and hooker spit.  Or whatever it is you people keep in your cars.

But while it's been a week of misery and marathon Big Bang Theory viewing from my couch, it's also been a week of reflection.  Here, a few of my cold medicine-induced observations during a week of being sick:
    • When you're still awake at 3:55 in the morning because you can't keep from coughing every 7 seconds, you find yourself amazed that despite the gargantuan leaps we've made in terms of video production over the last decade or so, commercials for phone sex lines remain stuck somewhere in the early 1990s.  I appreciate the fact that these girls are sitting by the phone in their skimpy lingerie just waiting for me to call, but maybe they should take a break to update their hairstyles or learn how to use iMovie or something.
    • For some reason, cats love to sneeze directly in your face when you're sick.
    • Hall and Oates should look to make a comeback by launching a cough drop/breakfast food product called Halls and Oates-meal.
    • When you're completely stuffed up, everything smells and tastes like what that mole on Drew Brees' face probably smells and tastes like.
    • There's nothing that's equally as soothing and unsettling to use as Vicks VapoRub.  It's like smearing a creepy uncle on your chest, but in the end he somehow proves to be an effective nasal decongestant.
    • Waking up and discovering that you've left a cough drop plastered to the inside of your mouth from the night before is a surprisingly mortifying/degrading experience.  It's like the cold medicine equivalent of the Walk of Shame.
    • Even sick people shouldn't be forced to watch the Giants' pass defense.
    • When you decide to finally go ahead and be that guy who wears sweatpants, a stained hoodie, and slippers to Duane Reade, it's unsettling to realize just how okay you are with the whole process in the end.
    • No matter how many extra Blu-ray behind-the-scenes special features you watch along with them, the Star Wars prequels still just... suck.

December 13, 2011

Trivia Blog: Your Own Personal Tesus

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

A short play...

(Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow sits at his locker, studying his playbook and the Bible simultaneously. Suddenly, a loud BOOM shatters the silence and a bright, white light floods the locker room. A voice, accompanied by a choir of angels, erupts.)

God:  TIMOTHY!!!
Tebow:  (drops books)  By Urban Meyer's buzzcut!! ... Lord, is that you?
God:  Yes, my son.  And I bring with me somber tidings.  Thou art guilty of a great sin, Timothy.
Tebow:  Poor QB rating?
God:  No!! ... Well, yes.  But no, thy sin is of a more biblical nature.  Thou art aware of the First and Second Commandments, I assume?
Tebow:  Uh... First is "I am the Lord your God, thou shalt not have other gods before me," and Second is "Thou shalt not worship any false idols."  But Lord, I am your servant.  How have I offended you?
God:  By becoming more god than man, Timothy!  (sits down next to Tebow)  Look, kid, we appreciate the PR boost.  We do.  Our numbers have been great since thou started winning football games.  Not Inquisition-type numbers, but really solid gains nonetheless, especially in the Mountain states.  But does thou hear what they're calling thou?  "The Mile-High Messiah"?  "Heaven's Heisman Winner"? "Yah-winner"?
Tebow:  I've heard the nicknames, Lord, and while I'm flattered, I'm not trying to be anything more than a good football player and a good Christian.
God:  And again, for the most part, thou art doing a great job, in both departments.  But maybe try and be a bit more proactive in toning down their worshipping of thou, huh?.  I mean, me damnit, they're calling thou "Tesus."  It's really bumming out J.C.
Tebow:  (shocked)  I've made Jesus sad??
God:  Well, he's sensitive.  He had to go through some pretty heavy stuff to be the Messiah; thou've seen the Mel Gibson movie.  All thou had to do was beat the Dolphins.
Tebow:  (hangs head)  I can't believe I disappointed Jesus...
God:   Ah, he'll get over it.  He tends to lean toward forgiveness in terms of overcoming crises.  It's just hard on him.  He got fasting, persecution, and crucifixion.  Thou got national championships, a Heisman, and big arms.  And thy girlfriend's not too bad, either.  Well done there, my son.
Tebow:  Thanks, Lord.
God:  Up top. (high fives Tebow)  Look, I've got to run.  I'm supposed to appear as a character witness at some Catholic priests' trial.  But again, love the work thou are doing, super proud of thou, keep filling those pews and those donation boxes, but, thou know, ex-nay on the essiah-May, comprende?
Tebow:  I will, Lord.  Thank you for the divine counsel.
God:  Word.  God out. (disappears)

The End.

December 6, 2011

Trivia Blog: Gym-iny Dickheads

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Maybe I’ll just forget gyms and start training, montage-style, like Rocky did in Rocky IV

As you can probably tell from the muscles bulging from beneath my blazers and ironic t-shirts each and every Trivia Night at the Gael Pub, I’m a man who fancies the occasional trip to the gym.  While living in New York provides all kinds of daily chances for exercise (walking everywhere you go, carrying heavy Trader Joes bags full of groceries up to your 6th floor walkup, sprinting away from oncoming, Pepe le Pew-esque bums who have neither pants nor shame, etc.), it’s nice to get out and work up a sweat every now and again to combat the weekly onslaught of bar trips and brunches.  (Damn you, mimosas.  Damn you to the most delicious circle of hell.)

The problem, however, is that gyms seem to attract a certain level of d-bag, asshole, or disgusting slob that you normally wouldn’t have to encounter in other realms of civilized society.  For these people, for some reason, slapping on a pair of mesh shorts gives them license to forget all that their mothers taught them about how to act around other human beings, and it becomes a sweaty pain in the collective, toned ass of those of us who follow proper gym etiquette.  I dream, sometimes, of the day when I’ll never have to worry for the future of our species over the course of a 60-minute workout.  To that end, I’d like to announce the upcoming publication (pending, you know, a book contract) of my new book, 500 Rules for Not Being a Complete Tool at the Gym: Don’t Work Up the Anger of Your Fellow Man While Working Up a Sweat.  Below, a few excerpts from what’s sure to be a NY Times bestseller…

Rule #74 - You might think it’s okay to leave a sweaty mural of sorts on the seat of the machine that you just finished using.  I’ll even freely admit it’s pretty impressive that if you squint at it in the right light, it sort of resembles Jesus’ face.  But ringworm isn’t fun for anybody, and the only time it’s ever acceptable to plant myself into a moist chair is at some sort of water park.  Or if I’m reenacting a key scene from Flashdance.  Those towels that are provided to you at the front desk are for more than just fanning yourself.  Think of this as a crime scene that you’ve just created, and before exiting, try to confound the CSI team/Dexter by wiping your DNA away clean, okay?

Rule #173 - Staring at the ladies using the leg machines is not cool.  Neither is staring at the fellas when their business slips out of their bike shorts during spinning class.

Rule #289 - That neon-green headband with the matching sweatbands?  No.  Just… no.

Rule #290 - Also no: That “No Fat Chicks” t-shirt.

Rule #352 - Think about the sounds that Arnold Schwarzenegger made when he was thrust into the outdoor atmosphere of Mars in Total Recall.  Think also of the noises/facial expressions that Sly Stallone made while struggling during an arm wrestling match in Over the Top.  Also think about what it sounds like when you accidentally drop a piece of silverware in a garbage disposal.  Now look at/listen to yourself while lifting weights.  Do any of those things resemble you?  Yes?  Stop.  You giant douche.  Please stop.

Rule #415 - It’s accepted that many of you will walk around the locker room sans clothing, letting your bits and pieces swing free like socks on a clothesline (or stockings, depending on your age).  But, as a great episode of Seinfeld taught us, there are so many things that people should never have to witness you doing whilst hanging dong.  Think of your time spent nude in the locker room the same way you view time with your in-laws: lasting only as long as it has to go on and devoid of eye contact as much as possible.

Rule #415b - As an addendum to Rule #415, the following activities (amongst others) are prohibited while naked in the locker room: post-workout stretching, in particular toe touches, deep knee bends, and jumping jacks; long, gesture-heavy storytelling; being Jerry Sandusky; reenacting scenes from the movie Gladiator; manscaping; “innocent” games of grab-ass; hula-hooping; soldering/welding (for your benefit more than ours); the application of oils, creams, and other shiny substances; charades.

November 29, 2011

Trivia Blog: Thankgs-gorging

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

“I discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch.” – Homer Simpson, when asked how he won the Most Weight Gained Award at his high school reunion

Folks, I apologize now if there are any typos in this week’s Trivia email.  I managed to shove enough food into myself during Thanksgiving dinner this year that I pretty sure I have gravy-swollen fingers.  I might need some sort of special fat-person typing stick to get through this.

Why do we do this??  Why do we take a holiday that’s ostensibly about the celebration of what we have and of our fellow man and of the union between different cultures and somehow turn it into a bingefest?  Because we’re America, damnit, and that’s what we do best.  We’re the country that not only produces staggeringly high national levels of diabetes, but 200-pound third-graders as well.  (Of course he’s from Ohio.)  We will take ANY already ridiculously fattening sweet treat and deep-fry it at state fairs to make it even more artery assaulting.  Overeating is our right and our hobby.  It’s American, and it’s beautiful.  Just thinking about it gives me a lump in my throat.  That, or I still have some sort of turkey leg/mashed potato amalgam lodged in my esophagus.

Reflecting on my impressive gastrointestinal accomplishment got me thinking…  Why stop at Thanksgiving?  Why risk the bursting of our stomach linings on only one Fall holiday a year?  This is the country that gave the world the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the Double Big Gulp, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, and both Rex and Rob Ryan.  We can make this a calendar-spanning practice with a little bit of ingenuity.  For instance…

Christmas - Sure, there’s usually a big family feast that goes along with Jesus’ birthday, but why not also bring in the joyful element of surprise that comes with Christmas gift giving?  Don’t just put food on the table, wrap it up and give it as presents!  Along with a new Kindle, give your loved ones a nice cornish game hen in that gift bag.  Then, sing that “Bring us some figgy pudding” portion of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” over and over while they’re forced to eat whatever they open; no stopping ’til they’re finished.

Easter - If Jesus can rise from the dead after three days, then your appetite can rise again after that first Easter ham has died for your sins.  Only for the next ham, we take the Cadbury approach and dip it in a delectable chocolate shell.

Arbor Day - You might not think there’s even a remote chance to incorporate overeating here, but then, you might be a small-minded, unambitious fool.  For every tree we plant on Arbor Day, we eat a tree made out of Slim Jims and cotton candy.  Plant a bush, eat some bacon.  Grow some flowers, gorge on Funyuns.  But don’t bother eating those healthy fruits or veggies that come from actual fauna; they’ll just take up precious stomach room that could be saved for mounds of semi-dried ranch dressing formed to look like pine trees.

Halloween - You think having all of that candy given to our kids in one night is already enough of an opportunity for overeating?  Wrong.  Kids have to walk from house to house in order to get those Fun Size Snickers; they’re burning way too many calories to have the candy really make an impact.  So here’s my proposal:  Between-House Trick or Treating.  You know how in marathons, people give the runners cups of water on the side of the road so they can hydrate while not stopping?  We do that, but with cups of melted chocolate and Sour Patch Kids.  That way, our little porkers-in-training don’t miss a chance to sugar up their bloodstream while doing something healthy like putting one foot in front of the other.

Thanksgiving - Oh yes, there’s room for more here, too.  Two words: Thanksgiving Eve.  With the rise and constant improvement of growth hormones used to turn normal poultry into freakishly large, uber-meat-yielding poultry, there’s no excuse not to be able to have two turkeys for every Thanksgiving.  Going back to the marathon analogy, you know how runners like to carb up the night before a big race?  Well why not carb up the night before a big day of overeating?  Think of how many more rolls you could fit in your face hole if you properly prepare the night before.  If you can dream it, you can do it!

November 22, 2011

Trivia Blog: Your Cheatin' (Fan) Heart

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

“We’re number 32! We’re number 32…?”

The concept of sports fandom in and of itself is kind of ridiculous.  We attach ourselves, as the old saying goes, to what’s essentially laundry; laundry that’s periodically inhabited by new human beings from year to year but still always and inextricably makes up OUR team.  We speak as if we had anything to do with what happened on the field/ice/court/pitch/Real World-Road Rules Challenge course, saying, “I can’t believe we lost that game,” and, “We kicked the shit out of your team!”, even though the only involvement we had was drinking a lot of beer and eating something the vendor described to us as “Nachos.”  And yet, despite how a group of millionaires performed on a particular day, we allow our not-really-but-sort-of attachment to dictate how we feel for that day (or longer).  Because we’re fans.  We love our teams.  We root and pray and plead for them to win.

Except when we don’t.

What is one supposed to do when one finds oneself on that sad brink of rooting for a team whose season is clearly over well shy of the actual end of the season?  Do you still pour your heart and soul into their every game, just enjoying each one as a detached, self-contained entity that has no bearing on a larger season?  Or do you say screw it and embrace the suck, pine for a shiny #1 draft pick, and actively root against your team?

I’ve found myself dealing with this rollercoaster situation with my Miami Dolphins this NFL season.  Not that I had much hope for them to begin with, but it quickly became apparent in the first few weeks of the season that my Fins were probably not destined to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and tell cameramen that they were going to Disneyland and all that shit.  So, as any rational fan of a team that hasn’t had a franchise quarterback in 13 years would do, I placed the 2011-12 Miami Dolphins season in a metaphorical basket and left it in front of an also-metaphorical orphanage, and set my sights on our impending acquisition of Stanford’s Andrew Luck, a quarterback who not only gives Mel Kiper a solid erection, but looked to be the answer to all that was ailing my Fins.  I’ve been in this situation before, when in 2002 I pulled for my dearly beloved Cavs to choke down the stretch of the NBA season, which eventually resulted in us landing Lebron James, the hometown boy who would surely lead us to greatness again.  And look how well that turned out.  Wait…

But even as I finally accepted rooting against my Fins as they pulled off a spectacular collapse against the almighty Jesus Tim Tebow, the Gods of Sports Karma bit me in the ass for my heresy by allowing the Fins to start a three-game winning streek two weeks later.  The dream was over.  I was left with little in the way of good choices.  Either I could pull for Peyton Manning to miraculously come back and lead his winless Indianapolis Colts to some meaningless late-season wins and re-secure the Fins’ #1 spot in the draft, or I could go all in, pull for the Fins to win out the season, and pray that a 9-7 record is good enough for a wild card playoff spot.  I feel like a spouse who was caught cheating and is now sleeping on the living couch of fandom, trying to earn back my Fins’ love and trust.  Tough times.  (At least Michigan is probably going to beat Ohio State this year.  Go Blue.)

November 15, 2011

Trivia Blog: The A-hole Train

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Dear Loud, Non-discreet Talkers on the Subway:

I appreciate the fact that you’ve managed to overcome your shyness and fear of public speaking. I do.  Truly, afflictions such as these severely hamper the lives, careers, and macking abilities of thousands of people around the world every day.  However, maybe take it down a notch or two when we all have to share a confined metal prison on rails for 20 or 30 minutes a day, huh?

I’m sure you’ve at least heard (during those brief periods of time when you manage to shut your goddamned mouth for a few seconds) of the term “indoor voice.” You know, it’s that thing where you speak as if you’re not standing on an active airport runway or in some sort of barnyard situation with animals braying and carrying on louder than you.  A level of volume that doesn’t cause the ears of the person sitting next to you to bleed.  Pretend that the person you’re talking to is in fact sitting right next to you, and not standing on the other side of some wide, expansive canyon or ravine.  That way, the things you tell this person can remain between just the two of you, and not everyone else on the A train.

Because really, the issue isn’t just your obnoxious volume, it’s the awful things you’re saying.  I could go the rest of the day and be just fine not knowing about your shockingly revealing doctor’s office visit, how poor your current lover’s oral sex skills are, or what colorful racial epithets you’ve managed to pull from the dark recesses of your brain to describe someone you’re not fond of.  And yet, here I am, here we all are, knowing this and so much more about your terrible, terrible existence.

None of us enjoy riding on the subway.  Much like something you just described out loud regarding that recent trip to the doctor, it’s smelly, it’s undependable, and it’s full of people that you’d rather not spend too much time with on the surface.  But you’re making it worse.

When I’m on the subway, especially if I’m on the way to one of our fine Trivia Nights, I just want to be alone with my thoughts, read a book, and prepare myself for whatever it is I have to do that night.  With all your blathering and cackling, I can hardly find enough room in my thoughts to come up with an excuse not to give money to the kid selling candy for his basketball team.  So please, do us all a favor and realize that much like subway preachers or anyone from Fox News, no one wants to hear what you have to say.

Love,
Quizmaster Ryan

November 8, 2011

Trivia Blog: Let's Get It Marath-On

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

“That boy sho is a runnin’ fool…”

There’s something wonderfully hypocritical yet satisfying about getting drunk while watching others do physically exhausting activities.  It’s something that we, not only as sports fans but as ‘mericans, have mastered over the decades.  Set apart the normal fan experiences of sitting in a bar or in the stands watching a football game, though, is the strange outlier that is Marathon Day.  Oh, how I’ve grown to love Marathon Day…

Not that we ever really need that solid of an excuse for early imbibing as New Yorkers, but Marathon Day has got to be one of the oddest “this thing is happening so let’s start drinking early and often to commemorate it” days in this city.  Really, all you need to qualify as a Marathon Day Drinker is a passing interest in one of the many thousands of people who trained for months on end.  For my friends and I, that was our buddy Eric.  He provided the subject of our rooting, and we provided the willingness to drink our faces off while vicariously accomplishing a monumental task through him.  Because try as we may, none of us could pull off a 26.2-mile run in that kind of time.  I used to be a cross country runner myself, but I could never do that kind of distance.  At this point in my life, I can hardly run to Gristedes and back to pick up extra cheese dip during one of The Walking Dead‘s commercial breaks without my knees turning into Patrick Ewing’s knees, yet alone run through five boroughs of torture.  Things like Marathon Day serve as stark reminders that my glory days as a runner are long behind me.

Another reminder came the next night, when a coed social sports volleyball match left me feeling like i had run a marathon.  I was talked into joining a NYSSC outdoor volleyball league this Fall mainly because of being friends with everyone else on the team.  I also thought that volleyball was going to be like that awesome scene in Top Gun, only without Goose’s mustache, the montage music, and the strong homoerotic themes running throughout.  And while it is a lot of fun, last night was one of our few competitive games (the other teams just can’t hold a candle to Rough Sets), and I woke up this morning sore in places that only those who have bedded me or changed a diaper of mine are aware of.

Is that what it is to get older?  Suddenly and without warning having it be difficult to do things that you could do without effort or care or preparatory stretching just a year before?  To watch runners go by one day and feel like you know their pain because of too much setting and spiking the next?  At only 28 years old, I’m not ready to go on the DL after a simple game of volleyball.  This is why I’m glad you all love Trivia Night so much; apart from the occasional elbow strain from lifting too heavy a pitcher or a neck injury caused by falling off your chair in amazement at my awesome questions, it’s a relatively safe, non-strenuous activity.  And like with Marathon Day, I can sit back, have a few drinks, and watch you guys do the actual work.  And also get paid to do so.

November 1, 2011

Trivia Blog: Sleepless in Apartment 3B

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

The pipes, the pipes are clan-ging…

My favorite trivia-goers, I apologize in advance if I happen to pass out tonight, mid-question, and fall into one of your pitchers or plates of delicious, delicious nachos.  I’m currently riding a five-day stretch of getting close to no sleep due to the steam pipes in our building having some sort of seizure or conniption fit that can only occur between 2:00 and 7:00 in the morning.  It’s awesome.  Forget the whales or the rain forest or kids with some sort of lung disease, someone organize a fundraiser to help exorcise the asshole demon living in my building’s steam pipes that gets off on depriving fine people like myself of much-needed sleep.

I’ve felt, at times over the last few days, like some sort of tortured war vet.  I have the far-away stare, the painful flashbacks to being jolted awake by constant banging sounds, the crying in the corner while hugging my knees…  Whenever I mention the phenomenon to other people who’ve suffered the same sort of pain, this look of familiar pity and understanding passes over their face, a single tear rolls down their cheek, and we hug, brothers in arms.  Where’s OUR movie, Oliver Stone??

This is how it usually goes down…

2:09 am – The first of the banging starts, waking us up.
2:40 am – The banging continues; earplugs go in.
3:23 am – Somehow I’m still awake, plotting the death of my super.
4:02 am – I’m jarred out of sleep by a particularly loud bang.  Cry.
4:51 am – I can see time.
5:27 am – I’m jarred out of sleep once more.  Cry again.
5:59 am – I start to think that there should be MORE Alvin and the Chipmunks live-action movies.
6:30 am – Sweet, sweet sleep.
7:00 am – Alarm.  Cry.

Why do we accept this as New Yorkers?  Why do we just assume that on top of obscenely high rent payments, dealing with things like clanging steam pipes or roaches or happening upon hobos receiving blowjobs in our entryways (happened to me in the East Village) is just part of living here?  Thankfully, there are things like 3-1-1 and ways to screw over a shitty landlord by legally not paying rent; we were allowed to keep 5 months worth of rent because our last landlord had so many violations (don’t EVER rent a property from Ray Bari, btw).  But still, it makes me long for the days of $525/mo., 2-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,250-square-foot apartments in Ohio.  Almost.

October 31, 2011

It's Not a Cos-tumor

“I got a rock…”

I love Halloween.  I love everything about it.  I love that it turns grown-ass folks like us into costumed kids again, only we swap out getting candy and razor-filled apples for binge drinking and the most hilarious/pathetic post-party walks of shame ever.

I love that it---along with the changing of the leaves, the World Series, and pre-campaign political scandals---ushers in my favorite season of the year.  (Gingers don’t sunburn in the Fall.)  I love that it brings back AMC’s Fearfest and the hours upon hours of slutty coeds being chased by creepy loners that comes with it.  I love moving one step closer to adult onset diabetes by gorging myself on fun-sized candy bars.  (I don’t really need that right foot anyways.)

But most of all, I love putting together costume masterpieces that instill awe and shame in fellow party-goers who just grab some last-minute, generic crap off the rack at Ricky’s.  This year’s Zombie Jesus, for example, was a massive success.


“But Ryan,” you say.  “I am but a simple soul.  I lack the depth of imagination and ingenuity of a knowledgeable visionary such as yourself.  Please, show mercy and drop a few popcorn chicken-sized giblets of inspiration from the nugget of creative wonder that is your brain.”

If you insist.  Here are a few last-minute costume ideas to try out for this year’s Halloween festivities (or next year's if it's too late):

A New Spin on "Sexy [Blank]"


Halloween has long been a time when ladies are able to unleash their inner floozie (or “hoo-er,” for my Jersey readers).  Not that most of us complain, but it doesn’t show much imagination to break out the “Sexy Cop” or “Sexy Nurse” or “Sexy Kitten” costumes.  We’ve seen it all before.  This year, if you want to show off what your gym membership has wrought while still showcasing your originality, try upping the difficulty level with a decidedly un-sexy profession.  Bust out an assless lab coat and go as “Sexy Marine Biologist” or “Sexy Cancer Researcher.”  Show off the sultry side of sanitation as “Sexy Trash Collector” or “Sexy Porta-Potty Cleaner.”  Put the “pole” back in “politics” as “Sexy James Carville.”  …  Okay, that last one might be impossible for anybody to pull off, actually.

The Ghost of Lopez Tonight


Ghosts have been a Halloween costume staple for centuries.  Cut two holes in a sheet, make some moaning sounds, and voilá… you’re either a ghost or some weird Mormon sex ritual.  It’s an easy go-to.  But this year, update it a bit by going as the roaming spirit of the canceled late-night talk show featuring America’s favorite (?) Latino comedian.  Just dress up like George Lopez, slap on some spooky ghost makeup, and wander around telling lame jokes about how Mexicans hate Taco Bell that no one will laugh at.  For extra effect, have a friend dressed as Conan O’Brien chase you around the party with a knife murdering your career.


The 2011-12 NBA Season


Just stand in the corner in a Knicks jersey looking sad.  This can also double as a Stephon Marbury costume.

Zombie Bob Ross


Everyone’s favorite late painter of happy little trees, risen from the grave.  Zombies are everywhere these days anyways (hence my Zombie Jesus costume idea), and we all miss Bob Ross (admit it, you do), so it’s a perfect combination.  Get an afro wig, a zombie makeup kit, and a blood-smeared paint pallet, and you’re all set.  If you can stand to lug a prop around, you can even have an easel that you mindlessly dab at that somehow still produces a perfect scene of a mountain waterfall.  Bonus points if you mutter, “Paaaaaaiiiiints…” over the course of the night.

A-Rod’s Clutch Hitting


1. Dress up in a Yankees uniform (purple chapstick/lip gloss optional).
2. Have a friend throw a ball at you in a pressure situation.
3. Miss.  Every time.

October 18, 2011

Trivia Blog: Are You Ready for Some Footb- Hold On, My Asthma's Acting Up...

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Oddly enough, both groups prefer face painting, costumes, and hero worship…

I was able to experience a wonderful contrast of cultures over the course of the last two days.  On Sunday, I went with some friends in town from Ohio to the NYC Comic Con, and followed that up by going out to the Meadowlands last night for the Jets-Dolphins Monday Night Football game.  To say that these are two diametrically opposed groups is like saying that the Israelis and Palestinians are two diametrically opposed groups.  At the former, I was able to immerse myself in the warm embrace of geek culture.  A place where people can fully express and celebrate the things they love.  A place where you can turn a corner and run into Casey Jones and April O’Neil from the Ninja Turtles, or a creepy old man Zangief from Street Fighter, or a full-on Quidditch tournament.  A sexy Freddie Krueger?  Why not?  And do you have a picture with Fake Mr. T?  I pity the fool who don’t have a picture with Fake Mr. T.  See, I never had to deal with anything like it, but for a lot of these people, comic cons provide a sense of relief at being able to be who they are without being picked on or bullied like they were (or are) over the course of their lives.  It’s this amazing, pure expression of joy that you can’t find anywhere else.

Unless, of course, your source of joy is getting shitfaced on NJ Transit tallboys and going to football games.  If you’re like me, of course, and happen to root for the lowly Dolphins, it might lose a bit of its luster.  Hasn’t been a fun season for me.  And yet, there’s something great about football that lets us throw off any semblance of being responsible, respectable members of society in favor of being as loud and obnoxious as possible in support of our teams.  But sometimes it’s easy to be too loud and obnoxious.  I love sports and I especially love football–and I’m biased against Jets fans, obviously, so don’t think I mean this just about them–but for some reason, NFL fans seem to represent so many of our worst sports fans.  Like the guy last night who continually yelled, “Dolphins SUUUUUUCK!” every 5 minutes before half-throwing up on himself.  Or the random guys who go to games just to get drunk and fight visiting fans.  I’ll never understand that.  And honestly, given how much sports-only fans outwardly love their teams, it’s funny to me that they so easily dismiss members of geek culture.  They’re so similar in so many ways, and yet, historically, the former group always seems to be the one that has oppressed the latter group.  All because the one thing that they love above all others is different from what the other people love.

I guess I wanted to write about all of this to, in a roundabout way, graze over something that always comes to mind during our little weekly trivia gatherings, and that’s the ever-dissolving idea of being a well-rounded person or a holder of many diverse interests.  The rise of the Internet and the propagation of niche culture has grown in such a way this past decade or so that people who just want to dabble in a bunch of aspects of pop culture are looked at as posers or “not devoted enough.”  It’s especially prevalent in geek culture, where people who once used to find common ground in really loving and delving into the specifics of things like movies, books, comics, TV, etc., now ostracize each other for not knowing and obsessing over every aspect of that culture.  “Wait, you watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad but you’ve NEVER seen Justified?  What the hell?  How have you not yet consumed the totality of television?”  That old adage, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” doesn’t seem to hold much water anymore.

So I can definitely say that I find solace in our Trivia Nights.  I try to spread out the categories from week to week and always have a nice range, so that in order to win, you have to know as much as possible about as many things as possible.  I want Trivia Night to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge in all its forms.  Just because you’re awesome at our many movie categories doesn’t mean you then get to slack on topics about books or science or music.  I guess the short version of what I’m saying is that you guys are our last, best hope.  Or, you’re just really good at knowing the different between Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman.

October 4, 2011

Trivia Blog: Funemployed

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

You can’t spell “unemployed" without "money."”  “Yodel,” either.

Wonderful Gael Pub triviagoers, I apologize for the late email today, and it’s going to be a short one, but your loving Quizmaster has been enjoying the bliss of not having to go to work all day today.  My last day at my old job was yesterday, and I get to have a relaxing, no-pants-required week at home until I start my fantastic, shiny new job next week.  My day has been filled with blasting through my overstuffed DVR, forming a perfect me-shaped groove into my couch, and proving that yes, indeed, you can have a sandwich every meal of the day.  Take that, Michelle Obama.

After finishing up the latest episode of Breaking Bad and finding myself weighing the pros and cons of a career in meth manufacturing/mustache growing, I even found myself gazing into the sad abyss of early afternoon network TV.  And like I’ve said before, from what I’m seeing of the commercials aimed at them during daytime television, old people are a mess.  Their bones are crumbling to dust, their cholesterol is through the roof, their hearts are trying to crawl out of their throats, and they’re just incapable of having one good goddamned erection, or at least not without first sitting out in the backyard, bathing in separate tubs whilst watching the sun set.  No wonder they want us off their lawns so badly.  That’s the bathtub staging area.

September 27, 2011

Trivia Blog: Umbrell-assholes

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

There’s a reason The Penguin carried an umbrella, and not a gun.

Now that Summer has transitioned into Fall, I’m a mostly happy and serene man.  Gone are the days when the harsh rays of the sun would cook my delicate, marshmallow-y Irish skin to a fine crisp before I could walk from 83rd Street to 82nd Street.  No more will I be forced to have my olfactory senses attacked by the stench of week-old trash rotting in the heat.  The leaves are changing color, giving us all a wonderful sight to behold while we ignore the fact that the trees are basically just dying before our very eyes.  Football is back, and with it the excuses of Jets fans who assure us that, “Mark Sanchez might not be a typical great NFL quarterback, but he’s one hell of a game manager,” or at least until he throws his next game-ending, 4th-quarter interception.

But with the Fall also comes our ever-present New York City Fall rainy season, a torrent of unpredictable, annoying showers that help to wash the crap off of our sidewalks, but also wash out one of my most hated groups in the city, for which the word “crap” is far too good:

The Over-Umbrellaers.

(It’s a word.  Shut up.)

You know the Over-Umbrellaers; the people who plow along the street during a rainstorm, holding giant golf umbrellas over their head like parasols in an Amy Winehouse-sized cocktail.  (Too soon?)  They blatantly ignore the established social rule of what a proper umbrella-size-to-number-of-people-under-it ratio is, knocking the rest of us aside like so many fleshy raindrops.  I get that you don’t want to confine yourself to one of those weird, hook-handled umbrellas that we’ve all bought 19 of because they always end up breaking–the culmination of a ponzi scheme of Madoff-esque proportions (too soon?)–but you should still expect to suffer along with the rest of us.

If it rains, and you have to walk outside in it, you’re probably going to get a bit wet.  It’s something we accept as New Yorkers, along with exponentially increasing subway fares, guilt-inducing calorie cards on our restaurant menus, and sometimes having no choice but to turn a corner and see a homeless man’s junk swinging free in the wind.  It’s naive and, frankly, a bit entitled to just assume that you should be the one who stays dry while the rest of us are mentally calculating how many extra hours we’d have to take on or corners we’d have to work in order to afford a car payment.  But we never finish that calculation because the pointed end of one of these uber-brellas stabs us in the cornea while its owner is still a good 5 feet off.

Capital punishment is too good for these people.  They should be beaten about the face with their monstrous rain-blockers and paraded through the wetness bearing a sign that reads, “I am inconsiderate, and the dampness of my clothing reflects the very emptiness of my soul.”  You want my support for a fourth term, Bloomberg?  Make that happen.  That, and bring more Chik-fil-A’s to New York.  Mmmm, waffle fries…

September 20, 2011

Trivia Blog: Nice Shoes, Butthead

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Laces?  Where we’re going, we don’t need laces.

By now, most of you have heard that Nike has plans underway to create Marty McFly Jr.’s iconic power-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future 2 (although theirs won’t have the power laces; lame).  Nike, apparently, is banking on the fact that consumers’ unchained nostalgia will trump the small voice in one’s head that normally holds sway when considering paying $3,500 for shoes that don’t fly or cure cancer or give its wearer toe orgasms.  (No idea what toe orgasms are, exactly, but they sound like something that Rex Ryan would go nuts for.)

I, for one, am all about this.  Not the price tag, that’s ridiculous, but I think that science has taken far too long to realize that they have a duty to make today’s technology reflect the prophecies of BTTF2′s fictional, futuristic world of 2015.  Because so far, science isn’t exactly delivering on what that soothsayer of a film promised.  As a wee ginger lad, I dreamed of a future full of flying cars, auto-drying clothes, and hoverboards.  Well where the fuck is my hoverboard, science?  Where the fuck is my hoverboard?

But the biggest miss, for a Shark Week devotee such as myself, is obviously the film’s depiction of the release of Jaws 19.  How dare they tease me with such a prolific series run and stop at a paltry four installments?  Jaws is a classic and Jaws 2 is completely underrated, and who cares if Jaws 3-D was a horrible mess despite the stalwart presence of Louis Gossett, Jr., and Jaws 4 was kind of a flop despite the presence of Michael Caine’s accent?  We still have time to crank out 15 more by the end of 2015; the storyline possibilities are endless.

In Jaws 7, the shark could find a way to fashion himself a pair of legs and stalk the Brody family after they move to Des Moines.  In Jaws 11, the shark could learn to come to grips with his father issues and reunite with his dad by film’s end.  In Jaws 14, the shark could begin a star-crossed love affair with a girl from a lower class, which his parents would oppose but he goes through with anyway because “Shut up, Dad! You’re not the boss of me!” (callback).  In Jaws 16, the shark could be a barracuda, because no one would see that coming.  And it could all culminate in Jaws 19, when the shark teams up with the Avengers and fights all the apes in San Francisco to stop them from telling the life stories of black, Southern maids in the 60s.  Oscar gold, I tells ya.

September 13, 2011

Trivia Blog: Ballsy Biking

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

When we talk about “New York’s finest,” no one ever mentions the delivery guys…

I’m a man who likes to try and stay in shape, if at all possible.  I have a philosophy in life that a man can be two of the following three things and still be accepted by polite society: 1. Bald, 2. Pale, and 3. Fat.  At this point in my life, as you can clearly see from the giant head in our fancy Gael Pub Trivia Night graphic above (“It looks like an orange on a toothpick!”), I’ve accepted that I fall nicely into categories 1 and 2.

Which is fine.  People like the bald, pale guy who’s more or less slim (see: Steve Jobs, Phil Collins, Prince William, many English majors).  Just like people like the bald, fat guy with a nice tan (see: latter-years Marlon Brando; old, retired Jews in Florida); and just like people like the pale, fat guy with a nice head of hair (see: Louie Anderson, Chris Farley, John Kruk, affable IT guys); I still happen to be in a likable section of that particular Venn diagram.  What I can’t abide, though, is being the pale, bald, fat guy.  People are just uneasy with that guy, especially at the beach.

To that end, I recently purchased a bike for the first time in about 15 years.  After seeing the multitude of delivery guys fearlessly winding their ways through our thoroughly dangerous streets, I decided that the risk was worth the chance to take advantage of my Upper West Side proximity to Central Park and the trails on the Hudson River.  As long as I didn’t go full Cyclist Nazi (you know the guys I’m talking about, with their Lance Armstrong outfits and general lack of caring if they happen to plow over a 4-year-old girl whilst navigating the roadways in Central Park), it seemed like the perfect way to get a bit of extra exercise in the city.

But good god, is it a test.  Those delivery guys are heroes along the likes of Batman and Spider-Man.  Biking through New York should be listed as an extreme sport right up there with bungee jumping, skydiving, and hiring Casey Anthony as your babysitter.  Between the cars that don’t really look out for you, the walkers in the parks who seem to view you as nothing more than obstacles in their personal game of Frogger, and the evil, evil cabbies, you’re lucky to make it home alive.  This must be how the people who ventured West on the Oregon Trail felt (as far as my understanding of the computer game I played in 3rd grade goes).  I had thought that it would be nice to bike across Central Park on Tuesdays on my way to the Gael Pub, but now I fear a scenario that ends with one of our lovely bartenders, Jenna or Kylie, having to turn on the mic and announce, “Quizmaster Ryan won’t be able to make it in to host tonight, as he has a bus stuck on his face.”

August 30, 2011

Trivia Blog: Blow Me, Irene

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Thank god I live on the 4th floor…

Now that Irene’s much ballyhooed path has finished strolling through New York City and we’ve been able to pump all 0.6 inches of water out of the Gael Pub, I think we’re ready to offer up another night of trivia goodness for you fine folks.  Has this been the most overhyped week of weather ever?  First we get Great Quake ’11, the earthquake that half of the city didn’t even feel, while the other half had to suffer through only the pain of feeling like a jackass for running out into the street screaming like an extra in a bad 70s disaster movie.  (I, sadly, was not so lucky.)  Then, mere days later, we’re told to expect a Day After Tomorrow-like level of meteorological doom, and instead are treated to mother nature’s version of setting up the sprinkler in the backyard because your deadbeat dad decided to spend the money in the swimming pool fund on his crippling video poker/peach schnapps addiction.

(Quick Serious Note:  I’m speaking strictly as a Manhattanite in this here email, so I mean no disrespect to the places where Irene actually caused significant damage.  As a native Ohioan who’s had to witness what a tornado can do to an unready populace, I have nothing but empathy for those people who lost homes or loved ones during the storm. End of Quick Serious Note.)

My issue with how the Weekend of Irene went down isn’t with Bloomberg and his (probably overcompensating from the blizzard) preparations, or even how people in the city responded to these warnings.  After all, it’s better to over-prepare than to wind up standing on the roof of your apartment building, trying to catch pigeons using a stick and the drawstring from your gym shorts to fill the gaping hole in your stomach normally filled by brunch.  Although, some people maybe went a bit too Y2K with the whole thing, as evidenced by this line I saw that went out the Trader Joes, down the street,  and around the corner.  Just because you’re a potential storm refugee doesn’t mean you can’t buy organic at the same time, I suppose.

No, my main source of disgust came from how the media tried to validate their riDICulously over-sensationalized pre-storm coverage and predictions of blown-out high-rise windows and flying tree limbs/thin people that would surely come to plague Manhattan when the storm hit.  All day on Sunday, all I heard on the news was, “Now just imagine if the storm surge had been only a few feet higher,” and, “These trees are still standing, but if the winds had topped 75 miles per hour like we thought…,” and, “My god, I’m a joke.  I’ve given up on my dream of being the next Al Roker.  My wife is drunk all day and I think she’s banging her yoga instructor and all I have in my life is this haircut.”  Okay, I made the last one up.  But you can’t go from saying we were going to be blown to Canada (great porno, by the way) to making it out like you were still sort of right.  That’s like taking a girl home from the bar, being struck by the terrors of premature ejaculation, and then telling her how amazing you could have been if you were in your normal zone while she’s shoving you out the door.  Next time, let’s just stock up on crackers and booze and ride the storm out, eh?

August 23, 2011

Trivia Blog: 5K-iss My Ass

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

I’ve got a new business idea.

So you know how you’re out on a Saturday or Sunday morning, trying to enjoy your 4th or 5th straight cocktail, because it’s brunch and, hey, it’s not sad or indicative of any deeper problems to be drunk before noon if it’s at brunch, and you see a runner stroll by, glistening in the morning sun with hard-earned sweat and proudly displaying their “Run for (Blank)” numbered ID tag on their shirt?  You know that feeling of shame that bubbles up and ruins a bite of what, prior to spotting this braggy fun-runner, had been an absolutely delicious lobster eggs benedict?  You know that quick bit of math you do in your head, when you realize that while you were blearily watching Meet the Press in your underwear, Usain Bolt over here was already on mile two?  I want to put an end to all that.

Because honestly, where do these people get off?  It’s not part of the agreement to keep wearing the little tag after you finish the race.  You paid your entry fee.  You ran your race.  You supported the cure. So quit being a jerk and take the damned number off.  No one’s forcing you.  The last time people were forced to wear numbers in public, a bunch of other people had to go to war with Germany.  (Too soon?)

So here’s my business idea:  A company that makes fabrications of those runner ID number tags, ready to be printed off immediately from the comfort of your couch, or ordered ahead of time for even greater authenticity.  Before you head out to brunch, throw on some shorts and strap on one of our numbered tags.  Stroll into brunch with your head held high.  Revolutionize the way you approach day drinking.  Now, you’re not just an accepted member of Those Who Brunch; you’re a hero among brunchers.  For an extra $15, we’ll even ship you a medal of some sort, and one of those shiny blankets the marathon runners wear post-race, all draped in warmth and satisfaction like some kind of festive superhero.

August 16, 2011

Trivia Blog: Back, to the Couch

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

The things I do for trivia…

I might have to keep this week’s email brief, or however brief as I’m capable of.  I’m currently couch-ridden, recovering from an all too common bad back.  The words “herniated disc” might sound funny, or like something that hippies do while playing ultimate frisbee, but for me, they’re an all too real source of pain and misery.  So here I am, lying on my couch, surrounded by all manner of technology, laptops and remotes and various snacks, yet unable to really move.  I’m like Denzel Washington in that Bone Collector movie, but, you know, not black.

You discover odd things while stuck watching daytime TV.  For one, if the commercials aimed at them are any indication, old people are nothing but walking, fleshy sacs of illnesses and ailments, all of which can be cured by drugs that have names straight out of science fiction but do terrible, terrible things to your body.  (What in god’s name is “spontaneous rectal discomfort,” and what does it have to do with arthritis medicine??)  Also, apparently Bob Barker has been sent to pasture, because some sort of mutant, half-weight clone of Drew Carey is now hosting The Price Is Right.  For now, my DVR will keep me company, or maybe there’s a Golden Girls marathon on later or something.  Whatever it takes, I will be there tonight to fulfill my hostful duties.

August 9, 2011

Trivia Blog: Planet of the Apeshit

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Damn you, negligent movie fact-checkers.  Damn you all to hell.

This past weekend, Rise of the Planet of the Apes–apart from proving wrong those of us who staunchly believed that one movie title could not contain two instances of “of the”–topped the box office, using its advanced motor skills and opposable thumbs to pry apart the wallets of the theater-going masses to the tune of a $54 million opening.  Smurf on that, NPH.

The fact aside that Americans flocked to see a movie where multitasking titan James Franco seems to be out-acted by a CGI chimp, what bothers me most about this movie is the same thing that’s been bugging me since I first saw the trailer.  A few days before seeing the preview for the first time, during my quizmasterly research I discovered the fact that there are only about 400,000 great apes on the planet today.  That’s essentially the population of Cleveland. 

And while I don’t doubt the tenacity and battlefield prowess of the citizens of Lake Erie’s finest resort town (I once watched a drunken Browns fan swipe a pair of crutches from a Steelers fan with a broken leg and hurl them a good 45 yards into the stands below), I feel like if that number of apes decided to wage war on the rest of us, ehh… we could probably take ‘em.  Unless they were wearing pants or doing other hilarious monkey things.