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.

Comic: Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Does Whatever a Spi... Oh Wait, He's Dead






Right? But I guess this wouldn't make for a very good movie.  Still better than Spider-Man 3, though.

August 2, 2011

Trivia Blog: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Trivia Night

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)...

Some people have Lent.  Some have Hanukkah.  Others have Kwanzaa or Toyotathon.  For me, it’s Shark Week.  This, my friends, is my holy week.

Was there a time Before Shark Week (BSW)?  If so, I don’t want to know of it.  All I do know is that in the 24 years After Shark Week (ASW), I have always been able to rely on 7 days of reprieve from the summer heat, during which I’m blessed with hours of glorious underwater footage, bad puns from gravelly voiced narrators, and horrific tales of attacks supplemented by really terribly acted reenactment videos.  Lent may have Cadbury Eggs and Peeps, but Shark Week has Air Jaws.

There is nothing in my life that terrifies and fascinates me to such high degrees, as I’ve documented in the past.  I don’t fear sharks, but god damnit I respect them.  I’ll stick to pools and hot tubs and the occasional slip and slide, and they can have the oceans.  If I ever do enter the ocean again in ASW time, I imagine it will look something like this.

What does this have to do with Trivia?  Nothing.  But it’s still awesome.

...

Finally, lots of people have sent me the link to the story of Alex Trebek allegedly chasing a burglar from his hotel room in his underwear, in an apparent refutation of my usual anti-Trebekian sign-offs in these here emails.  To you, I say, do not be fooled by the pro-Trebek media’s conjured story.  Until I see all the evidence, I still can’t be sure that this “burglar” wasn’t simply returning to her hotel room when suddenly, out of the shadows, leaped a pantsless Canadian game show host, hepped up on goofballs and out for blood.  He’s not to be trusted, not while he gets all his answers from those cards.  But I digress.

Sincerely,

Quizmaster Ryan