Friday, December 30, 2005

Back from our trip to Boston Braintree, with a brief foray into Boston. It was fine. Kirsti and I cleaned up at the yankee swap, netting a handheld Sudoku thingy and a CD-boombox. Saw The Producers, which wasn't on my list 'til I heard Will Ferrell played the playwright. If you see it, be sure to sit through the credits. Also watched the original King Kong on TCM, which backed up my previous post as well as Chris's comment. Taught Mille Bornes to the inlaws, and have discovered that if I want Kirsti to cheerfully play board/cardgames with me, I need to take her out of state. Had lunch with Mark in the city, and attempted to see a movie, but no dice. Oh, a new highlight: JP Licks in Brookline has a chocolate/cinnamon/cayenne pepper ice cream approximating my beloved Chocolate Coyote at Sebastian Joe's in MN. I think SJ's is a darker chocolate, but I'm not sure.

I'm not sure how I managed to miss the Jeff Reardon story until I got home, given the inlaws get two newspapers and have a full cable package. I know that New England is vaguely aware of the existence of the other 44 states, but Reard the Beard did spend some time with the Red Sox, too...

Monday, December 19, 2005

King Kong could have easily been 40 minutes shorter. Too much backstory for the red shirts. Too much gravitas stapled on to something that should be a straightahead actioner. Peter Jackson is responsible for one of my favorite movies of all time, but since then has churned out three bloated spectacles I enjoyed but never need to see again. Let's hope he got it all out of his system during this romp through the candy store, and exercises some restraint for The Lovely Bones. My estimation of the 1933 Kong has only increased. They can do anything and everything onscreen in 2005. They couldn't in 1933, so the accomplishment means so much more. There's still more soul in that clay-and-fur model than in Andy Serkis's pinky.

The new one's worth seeing, don't get me wrong. Just show up late.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I haven't had too much to say about curling this season. I just wrapped up two leagues, playing #2 in both. In my men's league we struggled early on, and it was getting pretty frustrating. Our vice worked with our rookie lead before a few games and we ended up winning our last three to finish at a respectable 4-4.

In my mixed league, I'm not sure how it happened, but we ended up going 4-0 in our division and will now play for the club's mixed championship in February. We will most certainly get clobbered in that game, as the other division is sorting out a circle of death between a few state playdown teams. But anything could happen, and we're guaranteed a pin at this point. It's pretty cool; my mixed teams have never been that competitive. I'm especially happy for our skip, who's doing this with his daughter, who plays with a disability. He's a low-key guy, but you can tell he's in the clouds about this.
Here are the remaining answers:

Tiger genus: Panthera. The quizmaster sends out category titles to his email list. We thought Tora! Tora! Tora! would be about Pearl Harbor, but it was actually all about tigers.

dreidel letters: nun, hey, gimmel, shin. I remembered gimmel, perhaps because it was the most unusual of the four. Then we went with the Hebrew letters we could remember: aleph and qoph, the latter being one of the ways to get rid of your Q in Scrabble if you lack a U.

Oh, and in Diner, there is a minor character -- I don't know if he's ever referred to by name -- who hangs around in the diner quoting Sweet Smell of Success. If Levinson's goal was to make people seek out that earlier movie, well, misison accomplished, at least in my case.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

As some of you know, you can use AIM to help answer "Ask the Audience" lifelines as WWTBAMillionaire tapes. Yesterday they were apparently taping Movie Week, and my suspicion that I was rejected because I'd cost them too much money is closer to being confirmed. Among the questions (paraphrased):

Ralphie's decoder ring decodes an ad for what product in A CHRISTMAS STORY? ($2000)
A character in DINER compulsively quotes what film? ($100K)

I'll have to watch when they actually air. For now I can take solace in ekeing out another pub quiz victory, this time as "Scott Beowulf." We trailed after the first category, came back to tie going into the final round, then won by two points on a rather serendipitous event.

A sampling, including what was probably the eventual gamewinner:

What genus are tigers in?

Name three of the four letters on a dreidel.

On The Simpsons, Jeff Albertson is known by what other name? Comic Book Guy (James) - We figured it was either him, Bumblebee Man, or the ersatz Seymour Skinner. My teammates went with CBG, and I deferred to them considering Blake had just carried us through a "Homer or Peter Griffin?" round. Still, it's funnier if the Bee's real name is Jeff Albertson.

What is the capital of Bermuda? Hamilton (Brian) - This was just odd. The Globe is trying to be a soccer bar, with Fox SoccerNet on most of the TVs in the back room, even if there's nothing going on. So were wracking our brains, thinking it was something British/patrician sounding, and a rugby match starts up on some of the screens -- played in Hamilton, Bermuda. I think only one other team and the quizmaster spotted it. This was one of the last questions, and I think it was the one that clinched it for us.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Nothing like this has ever happened at our pub quizzes.

As the comment below points out, Jason Patric is trivia.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Am I the only one not the least bit interested in Narnia? I read a few of the books as a kid and thought they were okay, but they weren't a childhood staple. And I thought the His Dark Materials trilogy pretty much trounced Lewis's series.

How many millions of children were intrigued by "Turkish delight" only to later find out now nasty it was?

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Didn't do the pub quiz last night. Instead we watched In Cold Blood, which I wanted to catch before seeing Capote. It was very good, though not as chilling as I'd been led to believe. I was surprised the homoeroticism and language was turned up as much as it was -- the b/w tends to throw you and you think it's older than 1967.

Trashmasters was this weekend. Team was 4th, I was #2 scorer, but was more disappointed to miss the K-Tel Hell finals for the first time ever. Prizes were LPs given out in a botched Yankee-swap format, but we stuck Cooch with the goods, as he was the only one traveling with a large case. Trashmasters seems to have backslid in punctuality, which is unfortunate. Interesting to see what'll happen if plans to make it a one-day event go through.