Tuesday, March 28, 2006
(At the very bottom of this page is a very small update on this very convoluted entry.)
This is going to be a big jumble of poorly-connected threads.
(Isn't it nice when someone tells you upfront that they are giving you something poorply-written to read?)
(I know I could have corrected that easily enough, but there will be few enough jokes here, so be thankful for what you get.)
What is Alex Trebek doing here? Read on and find out!
(Wow, what a cliffhanger.)
Yeah, Weight Loss Wednesday, but it's actually Tuesday. I know I won't have time tomorrow, so bear with me.
I find myself with no desire to exercise. I am still laying off of the bread and milk, but the weight loss has leveled off.
I took a short walk on Sunday (not the two miles I had planned; more like 3/4 of a mile) and that's been about it. I have one excuse. Work has been piling up and I find myself extremely tired from it, both mentally and physically.
I did buy some healthy sorts of snacks this past weekend, but no matter how healthy something is, if you eat enough of it you probably gain weight. And what the hell is the use of eating celery and hummus if you don't lose weight?
I've twice set my alarm for an hour before my usual wake-up time, in order to go for a nice long walk, but have just not had the resolve to actually get out and do it.
Lifting weights in my office, as I supposed I might be doing? I'm lucky I can walk out of my office under my own power some of these nights. I have never been more exhausted in my life. What worries me most is that I'm not sure if the exhaustion is from the work or because I'm so horribly (relatively) out of shape. They're probably feeding off of each other.
I don't know. Is this what happens when you get older? Is the reason we tend to gain weight or lose muscle because of this lack of get up and go? Or am I just a lazy good-for-nothing slugabed, doomed to huff and puff around the bases this season, stretching doubles into singles, should I ever get a hit?
Man, I am having some serious self-esteem issues. I have so little desire for anything other than reading, sleeping, or watching TV. I don't much feel like writing - especially if I'm going to spend the time doing nothing but kvetching - and I haven't had the time for much of it lately, anyway.
So, I hear you asking with bated breath, what is Alex Trebek's picture doing at the head of this piece? Well, I'll tell you.
I've got one possible ego boost happening. If you watch Jeopardy, you've seen them advertising an on-line qualifier. I registered for it and will be taking the test tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm. If I pass it, I get a chance for a regional qualifier in Boston later on. I really need to pass this, because the last time I tried to qualify for Jeopardy - as a matter of fact, it was the only time I've tried to qualify for Jeopardy - I should have made it, but I blew it.
Usually, in order to be picked for a regional qualifier, you go to the website and enter your name into a lottery of sorts. They only have so many spots and they usually get way more applications for those spots than they have room for. I had registered a number of times before, but had never been lucky enough to be chosen. This last time, I got a call telling me that I was invited.
I was stoked! I really am quite good at the game; better than anyone I'm acquainted with. I know that if I get onto the show, I won't embarrass myself. I may not win, but I won't self-destruct in front of a national audience. I have some holes in my game, but I also have specialized knowledge of some fairly arcane trivia. I think I might have a better than average shot at winning a game or two.
I know that the pressure won't get to me for two very good reasons:
1) Unlike the great majority of human beings, I actually like speaking in public. My job is largely made up of spoken performance. I don't fear a microphone.
2) I was on a game show once before and I did OK. I didn't win, but it was because of a lack of knowledge concerning one particular category, not because of overall dumbness or stage fright. The name of the show was Think Twice and it was a production of PBS. Yes, a PBS game show. I actually found a picture of it on-line (fortunately for you, not one with me in it) and it is below.
I have a tape of that show, but I can't bear to watch it. I don't like watching myself on film. I never look how I think I look in my mind.
The show ran for thirteen weeks, so you probably never heard of it. Most people didn't hear of it; that's why it ran only thirteen weeks. It aired about ten years ago.
The premise, and thus the title, was that every part of the show either took two answers or had to be completed by two people in tandem. I had a partner and she was alright. She was assigned to me on the date of taping.
I'll give you an example of what happened on the show. The host (whose name I can't remember, but he was a comedian who had written a book called "Snaps", if that helps) would ask a question like "What two federal holidays occur during the month of January?", and then the first person to ring in would say, perhaps, "Martin Luther King Day". Then, it would be up to that person's partner to supply the second half of the answer, New Years Day. If the partner could not supply the answer, the other team had a chance to steal the points by answering it.
Now, that was pretty straightforward and fun, and I think if the show had ONLY done that, it might have been a success. However, for some ungodly reason, the producers decided to have three different types of rounds in the show, and the other two rounds were much harder for the audience to grasp. I won't go into them here. Suffice to say that my team led throughout the show, until the final question on the final round, which concerned country music.
I knew dick about country music. I still don't know much. However, I now know who Kitty Wells was. I had never heard of her before then.
(MY WIFE was in the studio audience. When they announced the category as country music, she turned to her friend, with a crestfallen look, and said, "Jim doesn't know anything about country music", and she was right.)
So, we finished second. I received a whole bunch of neat gift certificates, most of which we used to do our Christmas shopping that year.
Getting back to the other show...
I took the Jeopardy test (this was about two years ago now, I think) and it was hard but not overwhelming. They give you 50 questions and you need (if memory serves) 38 correct to qualify for the "personality" interview. That's where they make sure you aren't a psycho, have a face that won't traumatize little children, and will be able to talk in more than a mumble when Alex Trebek asks you to tell him why you were married on February 29th.
By my best estimate, I had either 37 or 38 correct. They don't tell you your score, by the way. They just tell you whether you passed or failed. I failed, but I'm almost positive I missed it by one damned answer. And it was a fairly easy answer, at that. I thought about this particular question afterwards and I realize that I probably out-thought myself on it. I thought the obvious answer was too obvious, you know? So I put down something else that sounded reasonable, but looking back I'm sure the obvious answer was right.
I get a chance at possible redemption tonight. If I don't pass the test this time, I am going to be extremely bummed. I might have to drown my sorrows in eclairs and milkshakes. And that will lend itself to an even more bummed-out Jim next Wednesday (or Tuesday, as the case may be.)
I'll let you know how I did. Wish me luck.