Seinclones

Seinclones 2018 (23)My brother took me to my first Brooklyn Cyclones game and it was Seinfeld night, so my brother wins Best Sibling Of The Year.

Also, we drove from Long Island to Coney Island on the Belt Parkway in 40-something minutes. I know, guys, I know. We won the Traveling The Belt Parkway Award, too.

Also, we got there so early that the gates weren’t open yet and there were lines. We got a Keith Hernandez Cyclones alarm clock. Across the face is Keith Hernandez’s face with Nice Game Pretty Boy written under it. They were already selling on Ebay before the game started.

When we got to our seats, we listened to the episodes of Seinfeld they were playing over the loud speakers. We laughed out loud a lot. Also laughable–the team was called the Seinclones for the evening.

The festivities included some of the usual games like the hot dog race (Relish won) and throwing a bean bag through the hole in a cardboard sign that said Dime. These I know are usual games because this is the kind of thing that happens at a lot of minor league games. I wish all baseball games were like this.

In addition, we witnessed some of the greatest Seinfeld-themed games like The .5K Inagural Mr. Bellavaqua Run. The games had the greatest names and I can’t remember them all, but the rest included: Mr. Pitt’s eating Snickers with a knife and fork contest; eating eclairs out of garbage pails; throwing golf balls into an inflatable whale’s blow hole; flip cup with Ovaltine; running the bases on a toy horse while scarfing down beefarino.

Before each contest, they showed a clip that inspired them. Also, Bania and Jean Paul Jean Paul were there. They threw out ceremonial pitches. Jean Paul Jean Paul set off the .5K run. Bania set off the Ovaltine contest. They both sang during the 7th Inning Stretch.

After the game was over, one more contest unfolded. It’s the one I would  have been in had I known how to enter and now I know for next year so I have to go again. It’s the Elaine Dancing Contest. About 8 women walked out onto the field and let their little kicks go.

Three of them were wearing the early-Elaine attire of long flowery frocks and glasses. One of those women also had the Elaine-bag and Elaine-hair. Her get up was impressive. I did make a comment to my brother, though, that Elaine wore a black outfit when she danced. Sure enough, she came on the screen in the outfit I described as they played the clip. Still, the flowery frocks were amusing.

The woman who went from head to toe Elaine also danced the Elaine dance with sheer abandon. Several of them did, throwing their heads back and kicking and flicking around. The woman with the Elaine-everything won. When the emcee handed her the trophy, she didn’t take it. Instead, she shoved him–Get Out!

As far as baseball games go, I’d say this is surely my top experience by far. Next year, I wear black and offer some little kicks of my own.

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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: Book Launch and Big Wins (Dec2017)

Liberating The Astronauts came out in March. Because of launch technical issues (i.e. every place I contacted about setting up a launch fell through), it officially launched at Sip This in December. Since it was a Poets In Nassau event, and I don’t like featuring for the group I founded, I set it up as a community writing event complete with trivia, prizes, writing prompts, an open mic, and then my own featured reading. It was a fun night.

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Some sort of poetry dance

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Dd. Spungin, host

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Obligatory writer photo

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Oprah Imitation

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Peter V. Dugan, Nassau County Poet Laureate

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Friend

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I literally can’t stop teaching.

Eddie’s sister and our nieces visited for a whirlwind tour of NYC. They’d never been to the city before, so it was fun seeing their faces as we walked through crowds and crowds. The worst crowd was the fifteen minute one-block walk across from Saks. Otherwise, it was pretty and quite warm. Not only did we see the Rock Center tree, but we saw the tree at Bryant Park and one in St. Patrick’s. We saw the Macy’s store windows and the Saks windows and light show. Next time, maybe we’ll see the Rockettes.
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Then I won something. As usual, it was from an odd place. This time, a Capn Crunch box. When they said I’d won a cornhole game, I figured it was a cute little table game. Fast forward to a 60 pound box outside the front door. It is now stored under our bed because we have no place else to put it.
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The rest of December was all holiday cheer. I bought these mini cookies from Southpaw Sweets that got devoured on Christmas Eve.
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Additionally, these two mugs I got as presents sum up everything about who I am.
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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.

Tea steeping in a mug

Name That Trivia

Back in 2015, music and movie trivia ended up going pretty okay. We didn’t win, of course, but we also didn’t come in last.  No, coming in last was reserved for October Trivia, which was easily researchable, but I am of a lazy people and didn’t even look up the reason we make Jack-o-lanterns.

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Tea in a Back To The Future Mug — it’s pretty amazing.

This time around, music trivia from the 1970s to today unfolded in May at Sip This with my brother as my main team member (vinyl genius) and Eddie as a team member who would probably show up if he could get there in time. My expertise? I mean, come on. We know by know: I put the team together. Things were looking up!

This trivia was a little different. The host Stephanie reminded us that we were there for FUN, and we’d start with a written portion. Then we’d do out loud answers. Then we’d do more writing. Oooh, interesting. The total number of points we could earn was 146. Even more interesting!

The first written portion was finish a lyric for one point and then name the artist for one point. The first one was about something Fahrenheit and I was like, We are totally losing. My brother didn’t know it either. BUT the second one, we totally  knew. And then the next and the next. For some of them, we simply filled in answers using the formula, If it says baby, it must be country, so Toby Keith! OR if it says gown, it must be rap, so Lil’ Wayne! (That particular answer was Lorde). There was one answer we wrote next to which I drew an arrow and indicated: This is incorrect. Here on Team 4, we’re realists.

Still, we knew a bunch, and most of them we answered by pointing at the paper, whisper-exclaiming, I know that song!, and then humming through a bunch of wrong tunes until finding the right one. There’s nothing like singing the lyrics to a U-2 song to the melody of a Katy Perry jam.

Fact: my brother, the walking record store, did NOT know that Ricky Martin had been in Menudo. I did. Suddenly, I had more of a hand in this thing that simply putting the team together. Yes, there was a Ricky Martin question.

Also, I impressed myself by remembering the lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Thank goodness for lyrics like “mom’s spaghetti.”

After a few very generous minutes more than we were supposed to have, they collected our papers. We  moved onto the out loud part, which consisted of Host Stephanie reading to us song lyrics, and us having to write down the song and artist.

Now its’ time for Stop What You’re Doing & Try This At Home. Find a friend, and have that friend read you a random song lyric with no inflection. Then figure out the song. You can ask your friend to repeat it.

Guaranteed, you will do one of the following:

  • Squint your eyes, scrunch up your face, and think really hard.
  • Cover your hands over your face and repeat, I know this.
  • Squeeze your head.
  • Hit the table or chair or couch or whatever furniture is near until your fingers go numb.
  • Sing the lyrics to as many different tunes as possible.

The best part is when you rack your brain so hard only to find out the answer is some song you’ve never even heard of. No, you don’t know every song. Plus, repeating rarely helps.

That’s how I got through each decade when I had to think of an answer. For the most part, though, my brother was grabbing the dry erase board and marker and scratching out the answers. The 70s went really well, and I knew some answers, but only after he’d begun writing them down. Except for “Brass In Pocket” by The Pretenders. That one was all me.

Fact: That song that a lot of people refer to as Teenage Wasteland is actually called “Baba O’Riley.” My brother wrote it down, and I was like, You put that on my mix tape when I first went to college. He was like, wasn’t it good for studying?

Eddie showed up. Team 4 was now complete! He sat and was like, You guys look like you’re doing pretty good. I was like, Don’t jinx it, man!

Then the 80s came, and we were like, this is where it all falls apart. It didn’t fall apart. We knew stuff. Then the 90s came, and we were like, this is where it all falls apart. It didn’t fall apart. We knew stuff. The stuff we didn’t know we answered with guesses like The Smashing Pumpkins 1979. There was also a Madonna song that I thought was that Heart song about walking into a car and planting a tree. Apparently, I’m the only person who remembers that song. Another song that not many people remember? “Pretty Fly For A White Guy,” which I got from the lyric about getting a tattoo of the wrong number.

I couldn’t remember it was The Offspring who sang it, so my brother guessed Chumbawumba, which is the greatest wrong guess in the world in any situation. The next time you don’t know something, answer Chumbawumba.

Eddie knew The Red Hot Chili Peppers because he has “Under The Bridge” on his iPod, which is one of the songs I always ask him to skip. Ha! Every time we heard something that stumped us, I turned to Eddie and pushed him, saying, You know this one!

When the 2000s rolled around, things went a bit downhill for everyone with Host Stephanie reading us lyrics with a sing-song tone to give us hints and then asking, has anyone written down even a guess? Again, very generous. Twice, we wrote simply Adele because as Eddie and my brother indicated, she sings songs in the 2000s. Later on, one of the answers actually was Adele, “Rolling In The Deep,” so, truth. This portion got cut a bit short because it was getting somewhat painful, probably more-so for Host Stephanie who had to look at a sea of blank faces and hopeful wrong answers.

We switched to the final written portion: Name That Tune! Remember that show? I can name that tune in however many notes! This was a little different. Instead of bidding, we got to listen to 10 seconds.

Host Stephanie played the first bit. After two seconds, my brother grabbed the pen and paper. “Starman” by David Bowie. He was like, if the rest of them are like that, we’re going to do fine. One of the songs was “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt, which is my least favorite song in the world. At this point, Eddie decided to sing each song in what he thinks is a whisper, which really is a normal talking voice that everyone could hear. I kept shushing him, and he kept not-whisper-singing. The three of us struggled mostly with one towards the end that I wound up writing Rihanna (Not Umbrella), Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and then Rihanna again at Eddie’s guarantee that it was her. We couldn’t come up with the song title (“Disturbia,” and I didn’t get a point for writing Not Umbrella). Also, I knew “Riptide” but couldn’t come up with the artist, Vance Joy.

Then it was time to calculate the points. It was  now out of around 120 points since the last out loud portion was cut a little short. There were six teams. We didn’t come in last.

The final two teams had a difference of about 20 points, the second place earning somewhere in the 60 point range and the first place earning 82.

Team 4 got 82 points. Hey, we were Team 4.

WE WON TRIVIA!!!!!

I didn’t over-react or anything. I simply jammed my hands in the air and raised them up and down a few times. After having clapped the whole time for every right answer we got, I think everyone kind of knew I would be thrilled about this. Host Stephanie pointed out that the day had finally come for me, and yes, yes it had. Whoo-hooooo!

She gave us a prize bag, indicating it was difficult to figure out exactly what the prize should be. Like, for Harry Potter Trivia, you can get a bunch of Harry Potter mugs and figurines. For music, she was like, I can’t get a Metallica t-shirt, right? Right! Instead, we got this: a gift certificate to Ticketmaster and a gift certificate to Sip This.

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This prize is perfect for music trivia. I told my brother that the Ticketmaster portion was his. I took the Sip This gift certificate for me and Eddie. Fair is fair. I put the team together, and Eddie and I both contributed, but my brother carried the team. Teamwork!

After taking our picture with all of our prizes and my newly designed winner dry erase board, Host Stephanie was like, You can still keep coming, though. It’s as if she was reading my mind. I was thinking, this is my final trivia because a gal’s gotta go out on top!

However, the goal has never actually been to win. The goal has always been to not come in last. After that happened, the goal was to not come in last again. We’ve surpassed that goal. But now, ooooh! New goal: maintain a winning streak! It’s settled. We’re going back.

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(Can we please do the exact same music trivia again?)

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.