Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

The Moops!

Yesterday, during a six-hour orgy of lounging around, I managed to play the new Trivial Pursuit “The Last 20 Years” edition. Three observations, and then no more mention of the game, especially not any overblown production about how our team won the game decisively. Because we didn’t. We won, but not decisively.

1) There are six questions on each card, and a few thousand cards that come with the game. In order to hear the same question twice, you have to not only draw the same card again, you need to land on the color you landed on the last time you heard the card. My friends Herbie and Jane, who own the game, have played it four times since they first received it, and yesterday, they heard no fewer than a half dozen of the same questions [1]. To both credit and suspicion, they would mention when they had already heard the answer, and we would draw another card. Credit, because they didn’t answer a question they could have gotten away with answering–they didn’t want to win that way–but suspicion because of the potential for abuse. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I could simply claim “I’ve heard this before” and hope for an easier question. In hindsight, we should have asked for the answer anyway, before giving them another question. But hell, we trust them.

2) We noted two mistakes in the trivia questions we answered yesterday, and we had one-and-a-half moments of being stunned at how updated the questions were. The two mistakes were one that referred to Trent Lott as the Majority Whip of the Senate Jim Jeffords crossed the aisle–and then asked who succeeded him. The “correct” answer was Tom Daschle, but we weren’t sure how to answer it, since we couldn’t know if the error was in naming Trent Lott the Whip–since he was Majority Leader, or in naming the Whip as Trent Lott–since that was Tom DeLay. [2] The second mistake, and one that very nearly cost us our third attempt to close out the game, asked us which video-game system had its own hard drive and broadband access. The correct answer is the Xbox. The card said it was the GameCube, which has neither its own hard drive or broadband access.

The one-and-a-half moments of update stunning were based on actual astonishment and a case of jumping to a conclusion too soon. One of the questions asked about which literary character Nicole Kidman plays in The Hours, which, since it’s still in limited release, struck us as incredibly timely, although we could understand how the question could have been compiled so early. The half-moment involved the above Trent Lott question…we heard the phrase “Who replaced Trent Lott as Majority…” and about fell over. [3]

3) This is the best question I’ve ever had, in all my years playing the game: What punk pioneer once asked to have backstage “seven dwarfs dressed up as the dwarfs from that movie about all the dwarfs”? [4]

Received my official rejection notice from ABC on Tuesday. Oh, well. No laughter, no surprises.

As part of a belated Secret Santa exchange, yesterday I received four jars of Magic Sand. Magic Sand is a substance that looks and feels like ordinary sand, and comes in a few different colors, but has an amazing hydrophobic property. It rejects water. If you drop it in a glass of water, it immediately creates a clear shell around it that keeps the water away. When you pour the water away, the sand remains at the bottom of the glass, bone dry. I’m honestly not sure what this stuff is used for, or why it was developed in the first place, but then again, I’m no chemist. The best thing I could think of in terms of a practical application was that it could be used to create water-based pit traps, since a thin layer of Magic Sand floats on the surface of water, looking to the naked eye like nothing more than ordinary earth.

I’m stuck on this strange two-day-on cycle right now, which began with Christmas Eve and won’t let up until the end of next week. Essentially, since Christmas Eve, I haven’t had more than two days of work in a row, which is, I suppose, what happens when you get two consecutive Wednesdays off. I’ll be in California until next Wednesday evening, which means that yet again, I’ll be at work for two days and then there’s the weekend. My first full week of work starts January 13th. [5] The real problem is that it turns all of my workdays into Monday and Friday. I’m on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde employment plan. [6]

On a related note, boos and hisses to any company that had employees working on New Year’s Day before 2 pm. An extra special boo and hiss to Taco Bell, which had employees working regular hours on New Year’s Eve–that is, until one in the morning. [7]

Gray today. Need to pack and get things in order.

[1] Herbie and I have a strange history of bucking odds like this when we play games together. To date, Herbie is the only man I’ve ever met who has (a) won a game of “war” and (b) won this game in less than ten minutes. And he’s done so twice.

[2] By the way, who was the Majority Whip under Daschle?

[3] I’ll say that I’m rather liking Bill Frist much, much more than Trent Lott. Even though I disagree with most of his politics, I like the fact that he’s a doctor who also happens to be one of the most powerful men in the country. I distrust most politicians, but the ones I trust the least are career politicians, men who seem to have done nothing in their lives but jump from one administrative position to another. To be fair, maybe I should have trusted Reagan a little less, but then again, I was the ages four-to-eleven when he ran the country.

[4] Iggy Pop. Of course it was Iggy Pop. The incorrect guesses being made were for Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious, although when you think about it, the only punk pioneer who might really make this request would be Iggy, or possibly one of the Replacements.

[5] This is also Donna’s first full week at her new job. Huh.

[6] I can’t imagine what dental would be like for this plan.

[7] And if we weren’t obnoxiously hungry at 8 pm on New Year’s Eve, we might have avoided patronizing the restaurant entirely, in protest. Or simply because we should know better than to eat at Taco Bell.

Current Music: MP3 list, Randy Newman, “If I Didn’t Have You”

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2003 by in Games, Music, Politics, Science, Work.
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