The One With The Win

This is a story of triumph. A story of perseverance and victory. Might I say, a story of pure bliss. And friendship, of course.

Not too long ago, S, R, and I visited the Friends apartments when they popped up on Mercer. We got our fill of wah-pah and pivoting. This was a moment between trivia jaunts.

We’ve been to Friends Trivia before. S has been to more than I have. Together, we tried our hand at Big Daddy’s trivia night. We also gave it a go at Sip This. Once there was one at a bar somewhere. We have placed, but we have not won. S carries the team. I have my expertise in Mockolate, one episode in a vast nine years of a series. I know my place–moral support.

When the chance at Friends trivia rolled around again, it was iffy because of schedules. The day before, we were like, okay let’s go. I grabbed tix online. Tickets came with a drink, so I could get my green tea on while trivia-ing.

I then thrust myself into study mode. I’ve developed a surefire way to look like a psychopath whenever trivia comes up about something I’m not very in-the-know about. I go online and write down things that could possibly be answers to other things. Which is everything.

The last time I did something like this, it was for Harry Potter Trivia at Sip This with SD. I chose to focus on important numbers. This strategy did not lead to victory. However, it did lead to me being the only person who knew Ginny Weasley’s jersey number. I told SD, just write down X because that number seems to come up a lot. And I? Was right! Heck if I know it now because this kind of cramming leads to remembering things only the night of.

So I wrote down things about each friend–relationships, how many episodes have their names in the title, nicknames, travel, apartment numbers, allergies, catchphrases. Looking back over the notes, some of it is illegible. I legit have no idea what I wrote. It could be Friends facts. It could be a recipe for stew. I do know the recipe for Rachel’s trifle. Or at least I did. During the trivia.

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Copious copious notes

Jam-packed with newfound knowledge and having watched two random episodes from Season 1, S and I met up at Ground Central, grabbed our drinks, and grabbed our seats. There would be five rounds. We would be the Chanberries. We were set.

Round 1’s first question was Who are all six friends?

I proudly wrote all six friends’ names without the help of S. Who’s carrying whom????

S looked at what I wrote and said, Stop it! You wrote Ross twice and forgot Monica.

Again, I know my place in this. I crossed out the second Ross and wrote Monica.

The rest of Round 1 I knew pretty well, too. This was encouraging.

Then came the between the rounds nerve-wracking activity of the lightning round. If your team scored the lowest in a round, one of the two of you had to answer three questions in 30 seconds to stay in the game. You weren’t allowed to pass, either. S and I were like, well we don’t want to do that, so we have to not lose a round. Anyone who had to do a lightning round lost and was out of trivia, which made me kinda sad because then they couldn’t keep enjoying the game. I like games! I want people to have fun!

Round 2 went okay, too. I knew some of the answers and others I had no clue. S knew everything. Everything! And then Round 3 and Round 4, too. By Round 5, I was like, this is going super well. She was like, you wrote down Yemen. Yes, yes, I had, and that was an answer. See? The studying of random things helps.  Other things I helped with : Gladys is the name of Phoebe’s artwork; Amy and Jill are Rachel’s sisters. There were no questions about Mockolate.

The last round came upon us. We were the high scorers, so we were automatically in the last round. The other two teams did a lightning round that was even more intense because it involved two teams and more time and back and forth questioning.

The final round involved Perfection. Remember that game with the shapes and the timer and the board that pops up and throws all the shapes out of their slots when the time is up? Yeah, so you had to do that game while answering trivia questions about Friends Thanksgiving episodes. And since S is the expert, she was the one who had to do this. S doesn’t like to be the center of attention, so this was an interesting turn of circumstances.

Oh. Wait. Perfection? Isn’t that what Chandler says to Jill Goodacre when they’re locked in the ATM when she offers him gum? That would be perfection. Right? Am I right? Hand on…. “Gum would be perfection.” I JUST LOOKED IT UP AND I AM RIGHT.

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge that I looked something up. A rare occasion.

But back to the trivia! S got every question right, including the question about what goes in Rachel’s Trifle–which I knew because that was in my notes–and she got some pieces into the game board. At one point, I did interject the very helpful advice, That piece doesn’t fit there, as she spent a good amount of time trying to place an octagon into a hexagon. I had a better angle on it. She had better trivia knowledge.

The next team went, and they got a whole lot of pieces in. However, they got fewer trivia questions right. Their last question was What dish was Chandler in charge of? S and I snapped a glance at each other right away.

The answer to that? Cranberries. Or, shall we say, Chanberries?

Which was our team name.

And The Chanberries won trivia!

After years of coming in second, S has won trivia. I told her she can never go to Friends Trivia again ever. Because, you know, winning.

We talked to the host afterwards about playing Perfection (the above clip never came up because I just realized it now, but I wonder if it was a subconscious choice). She said she wanted it to be an intense challenge. We were like, mission accomplished. Then S said to me she thought they should advertise it as Extreme Friends Trivia. Ha! Not a bad idea. It was the most intense trivia I’ve been to. This kind of makes sense because the guy over at GC is probably the most intense person I’ve ever met. So Extreme Trivia it is, at least in our minds, and we won it. Yeay!

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Longest Friends

Thanks, S.

The One With The Pop Up Without A Ball Pit

S, R, and I visited Central Perk and the apartments nearby all in one place when we visited the Friends pop-up. No germy ballpit here! Instead, replicas of the Friends’s version of NYC.

Each friend had a dedicated section. Ross’s pivoting couch and comic book. Rachel and Monica’s purple door. Joey’s piled on clothes. Phoebe’s artwork. Chandler and Joey’s apartment. There was a wall dedicated to all the pets. And also, Central Perk.

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You could buy coffee at the end, but some of the coffee was sold out. Which never happened on Friends. But it doesn’t matter. Friendship is the point, right?

S, thank you for being a friend.

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Office Space wrecking the printer

Wreck It, Raus (and Rau Adjacent)

I was feeling kind of down, so S and my brother decided to pick me up. Enter The Wrecking Club (literally). First we grabbed dinner at Southern Hospitality during which we looked up the history of Justin Timberlake’s involvement and differentiated between Justin Timberlake who’s from Tennessee and Justin Bieber who’s from Canada. Also, I had an Elvis spotting.

Elvis with boxing gloves

We walked over to The Wrecking Club. We saw this and I realized I was pretty much home.

Office Space wrecking the printer

We signed waivers. We got a safety spiel. We geared up. We ordered from the menu:

  1. a Walrus Bucket (vases, bowls, bigger breaking stuff–we don’t know why it’s named after a walrus)
  2. a bucket of plates

Then my brother added, And an office phone!

I was like, what?

He was like, Yeah a phone.

I was like, Really? What do you have against phones?

He was like, I just want to see what it’s like to break one.

Fair enough. We were in the right place for that.

And so, for the next half hour, we threw stuff against a wall. We threw stuff on the floor. We beat stuff up with crowbars and bats. This sounds very violent, but really, it was hysterically funny.

Afterwards, we took in some public art. Which means it’s FREE! And it’s for everyone! Check out the Loop!

A great way to turn a frown upside down!

Retropost: Yoga-ing, Trivia-ing, and One Amazing Sunset (Nov2017)

Fact: You do not have to do yoga to teach yoga. My hips won’t really ever be the same after the labral tears introduced themselves, and my knee is still forever a little wonky. Still, I’m almost back to normal. The activity that makes all the aches act up the most is yoga. Good thing I got my certification, right? Actually, right, because while teaching yoga, I don’t have to practice all the way through, and I certainly don’t have to push to the edge. So teaching yoga worked out. I taught a community donation class on Saturdays for the month, and the proceeds went to the Wounded Warrior Project. It felt so good teaching again.

In addition to getting back to yoga, I also got back to the reading circuit. I read at the end of the month in Northport. Fact: Driving to Northport from the south shore on a Friday night is equivalent to driving to California from the East Coast. I might be exaggerating, but only a tad.

CMR Caffe Portofino Oct 2017

On the most exciting note of all, tv trivia at Sip This saw my usual one team split into two teams because we had more than four people. So we split guys versus girls. And, yes, that’s right, the girls won. Because in addition to putting together the team, we knew stuff. Like, a lot of stuff! Three cheers for the gals!
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At some point, I saw this, and it is everything.

Remember Zumba and Personal Space?

I texted my mom, “I’m going to Zumba with S.” She answered, “Personal space!” She’s never done Zumba, yet she knows of the woes of sweaty strangers touching. It’s pretty much why I haven’t been able to bring myself to go back to Zumba; also, it’s now $5 instead of $4, which seems to be a big leap. Anyway, I’ve thought about going to the Tuesday night class with a different instructor, but there’s not guarantee that instructor won’t be touchy or maybe even more touchy.

S’s Zumba class is taught by a non-touchy instructor, so I headed out, excited. Not exciting was the two hour traffic jam on the Belt which lead me to having to quickly parallel park. I am not a parallel parker, so doing it quickly is not even a notion usually. However, three tries and I was in! Then I was rushing to the class where S met me. As I filled out the “It’s okay if I die from this I won’t sue you” paperwork, S filled up her water bottle and informed me that we’d missed only the warmup. I was like, “My walk from the car was my warmup.” She was like, “Mine too.”

We wound up on the side of the room S doesn’t really like, but there was space there. Personal space. Sweet lovely personal space. Even in a crowded room, I basked in the no-touching zone.

And then we were in it. Jumping, sliding, dipping, shaking. For the past three weeks, I’ve done none of this kind of thing. I wanted to change up my workout completely, so I bought the PiYO workout (and did not pay that ridiculous price of over $70 for it). Those workouts are little to no impact from 18 to 36 minutes. After the shorter routines, I go on the elliptical. There has been no dancing or aerobics. Jumping back into Zumba made me realize how much I miss the dancing aerobics. (So much so that the next day after PiYO, I did a Just Dance workout).

I caught onto most of the choreography by watching the instructor and then by watching S.  Whatever I couldn’t catch onto, I made up. That’s allowed as long as you don’t screw up the people around you, and since I had all this personal space, I wasn’t screwing anyone up. Plus, a lot of people in the class were about a beat behind, so making it your own seemed to be a common occurrence.

Sweating profusely, I asked S what time the class ended. We had about a half hour left. However, that half hour went really quickly.  After a few more salsas and stretches, we were done. S flushed pink and I, of course, dripped.

We got iced teas! Oooh, a nice post-Zumba refresher!

So now I’m thinking I should try the local five-dollar-Zumba one more time. I can do it at home, for sure, but sometimes, getting out into a class makes it even better.

 

Petting Penguins

Things I’m big on: free stuff, going to new places. Things I’m not to big on: animals. However, in, like, sixth grade, I made a penguin out of clay. It got smashed along with several other clay animals, and we were allowed to make them over. The smasher, to my knowledge, was never found. Since then, I’ve had a penguin affinity. Although I’m not big on animals, penguins are okay.

That brings us to the weekend of a lot of stuff.

Stuff 1: Travel Marketplace. Hosted by AAA at Hofstra, it’s two floors of free pens, bags, candy, chocolate, note pads, key chains, and stickers. This year, I also got a chip bag clip, and I spun a wheel to win a luggage tag. The best part, aside from learning that Hershey Park has a zoo–yeah, that’s right, a zoo–and aside from learning that you should get the hopper pass in case it rains if you go to Universal Studios, is that we got Moonpies from the good folks over at the Tennessee table.

Also, Eddie and I learned that we still don’t look all that old. We got to a table where two people who looked like they could be our children asked if we’d heard of their tours. I said I’d heard of the name. They were like, we specialize in trips for people in their twenties, and they went to go on but our laughing brought that to a short halt. We called over our two friends who are still in their twenties (And who could also pass for our children) to hear the rest of their pitch.

If you want to go to Scotland, there’s a tour company that offers two versions of a Game of Thrones tour. While I would very much like to see Scotland as a country unattached to a television show, I would also very much like to wear a cloak and shoot an arrow at something.

We booked no trips but did manage to work up an appetite despite the Moonpies and Hershey kisses, so we went to Sonic.

Stuff #2: Sonic. There’s a new Sonic near the mall by us and you have to wait on a very long line no matter if you’re taking out or sitting in a stall in your car and I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo which seemed like it would be the healthiest choice–still gross but healthier than anything else–and I took one bite and then threw the rest out. I think I have an aversion to fast food these days. Clearly, I’m not against junk (see “Moonpies” above), but Sonic food really isn’t great. It’s the drinks that makes them Sonic. Everyone else enjoyed their shakes and chili cheese fries. My unsweetened iced tea tasted delightful.

Stuff #3: The Long Island Aquarium. It’s been in existence for 17 years and this was my first time visiting. The one in Coney Island is closer, I think, and really, I’m not an aquarium kind of gal. Fish. Great.

My mind changed a bit when I saw the thingies–stingrays? is that what they are?–coming up out of the water to eat what people were feeding them. For $3, you, too, can feed them. It was fascinating but also a bit disturbing. The faces of these things are really weird.

We went outside to see the sea lion show. Outside was about 2 degrees. We lasted about eleven minutes when I leaned into Eddie and said, I need to go inside like right now. When we got inside, our friends had followed. Pretty much no one wanted to freeze to see a sea lion jump.

We saw sharks, an octopus, a lot of fish of all different kinds, and turtles. We also saw monkeys. I don’t know why they are at the aquarium.

Then we went to pet some penguins. A small group of us were brought to a room near the penguin exhibit, which was closed because it was too cold for even the penguins to be outside, and we sat in a circle while two penguins toddled around us. They nipped at boots and scarves. They crapped and then walked through it a bunch of times. The pecked at doors and windows. They followed around the keeper whenever she walked from one side of the room to the other.

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The keeper picked one up and let us pet the penguin. Then later on, we pet the other penguin. Then we got to take pictures with the penguins.

One of these two people who had arrived late sat looking as if he were going to be sick, and then kept clearing the steam from the windows so people outside could see in. Then he asked someone to take a video instead of a picture. I thought to myself, why in the heck do you need a video of sitting on a bench? Then he didn’t sit. He knelt down and proposed. The people outside knew it was going to happen, so they weren’t trying to see the penguins, really. They’d been trying to watch for the proposal.

The girl said Yes. I’d been holding my breath because it seemed she was going to say No, and I was fighting off tears of potential embarrassment for this guy. Phew.

Stuff#4: Witnessing proposals and penguins can work up an appetite so we went to and Irish-type pub called Diggers Ales & Eats. It was good. Okay, I got a salad, but still, it was a delicious salad.

Sign for Diggers Soup of the day Whiskey

Stuff #5: Eddie’s mentioned a few times this pretzel place that supposedly has the best pretzels on Long Island, Knot Of This World (get it?). From the pub, we went to Huntington to find them. Funny thing: every weekend in March is up for a St. Patrick’s Day parade even if it’s not St. Patrick’s Day. So we found ourselves at the winding-down of Huntington’s Irish celebration. Having just come from an Irish pub, we fit in, of course, except that we were not drunk or wearing green. We parked up a hill and walk in the freezing cold all the way down the main street. We found the pretzel place that had its door open so that the guy outside could yell in to bring out more pretzels to the table he had set up on the sidewalk. Why, sir, must the door stay open?

Aside from remaining frozen indoors, we delighted in very large pretzels. I want to go back with someone who has a palate for exotic tastes so I can split a flavored pretzel, like one with spinach and cheese or one with cinnamon or one with Nutella. These may not seem exotic, but to Eddie, they are because they do not fall into the main food group he likes, Bland. We split a regular pretzel. It was warm and delicious.

Five Stuffs is a lot for one weekend. We did stuff. We stuffed our faces. And I did this final stuff that probably made my weekend. Because it’s the little things.

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We Are All Friends

When a show is on air for about ten years and then in syndication for about the same amount of time, you get to know it pretty well even if you don’t watch it much or stopped watching. And you might even know more than you know about all those seasons you thought you didn’t watch. Here, “you” means “me” and the show is Friends.

Basically, I knew that Monica’s midnight mystery man was Ross, and Ross was like, You were the girl under the pile of coats? And Monica was like, I was the pile of coats!

I don’t know what else happens in that episode or what season that’s from, but that’s the way my Friends knowledge works. In addition to this wealth of knowledge, I put the team together because that’s my job. Putting the team together.

S and B have better Friends knowledge. They know names of girlfriends and boyfriends and bosses. And we all found out that Rachel has a lot of parties thrown for her. We found all this out at Friends trivia at Sip This.

After every question, S kept a tally of which teams were doing better than other teams because that would mean we were doing better or worse than other teams. We weren’t in first, though. Then came the written portion. I’m really good at the written portion in that I can write things down. We filled out all the answers for which actors played which not-main characters and handed that in confidently. That’s when the tally no longer could be kept. Who knew what other teams wrote? Though from the looks of it, everyone probably got everything right. I would have preferred a Who Said This Quote. Take note for next time, Trivia People. Ooh, or just do a night of Quote Trivia. That could be either really easy or near impossible, both of which give me a good chance of winning and coming in last all at once.

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One of many correct answers

We also found out that everyone at Friends trivia knows a lot about Friends. Like everything there is to know. Or almost everything. The winning team scored like 104 out of 105 points, and the second place team scored like 103. We came in 4th place with 94 points. See? Everyone knew almost everything. Thanks, TBS. This is all your fault. But in a good way.