Summertime Still

My Brother Had An Art Opening

After years of hearing it suggested, my brother showed his art in a group exhibit at Sip This. The opening saw lots of family and also lots of sales. Hooray! You can still see Summer Landscapes but for only a short time. You can buy one of the few that are left on the walls, or you can contact the photographer if you’re interested in any other landscape photography. He’s got winter stuff. Spring and fall stuff. City stuff. Country stuff. Lots of gritty stuff. I’m not an agent. Just a fan. A friggin happy proud sis and fan.

 

Sip This Had A Birthday Party

Going 8 years strong, Sip This is a local community heaven. Sure, I know, it’s a coffee house, but really, it’s the place that’s been the hub of all things art, commerce, social, supportive, and whatever other kind of gathering you can think of. Love them!

My Longest Friend Had A Birthday

It’s Virgo season! S decided to celebrate her birthday with trivia. We headed to Juke Bar in NYC. It’s the best bar. They are super accommodating if you want to reserve a table (no minimum or deposit needed). They let you bring in food. They offer interesting cocktails. As for the trivia, ooh, it was a tight race. Because there were seven of us, we split into two teams: Team It’s My Birthday and Team It’s Her Birthday. Team It’s Her Birthday (which I was on) was leading by a point for two rounds. Then came a round about sandwiches and another about HBO that included a theme song from First And Ten that starred Delta Burke (which S knew. of course) and then a bonus question about harmonicas. Also, Ryan Sutter is not a hockey player. What all this adds up to is Team It’s Her Birthday tied for third. Team It’s My Birthday came in second and won a round of shots. A good day for a birthday. A great day for longest friends.

 

I Took A Defensive Driving Course

AAA offers an online course complete with videos of car crashes. I learned that I should be using some sort of pedal extenders because I’m under 5’5″. Also, they want me to move my mirrors. We are all apparently not using our mirrors in the right position. You know how long it took me to get them where they should be? Now they want me to rethink the whole positioning? That’s, like, rethinking who I am at my core.

Fun Was Had From City To Suburb

Line dancing has been iffy because of the weather. One night after the rain, they had a squeegee guy come out onto the concrete and mop up the puddles so we could dance! Otherwise, it’s been canceled. Sigh.

 

A bunch of poetry readings have been fun. I read at the Gazebo and made crazy poet faces. Then I dedicated an entire album on my FB writer page to crazy poet faces over the years. In addition to Gazebo readings, mine and others, I headed to others from Sip This (how many times can I say that in this post?) to Industry.

In watching news, I started watching the newest season of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. I also started Veronica Mars with EA; we also saw Hobbes & Shaw, which was not a work of cinematic genius but was a work of pretty things to look at. Here, things means Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. I am not ashamed. I’m still binging The Mindy Project. I’m watching Big Brother and enjoying the captioning as well as the Long Island / New Jersey accents.

[Click the pic.twitter.com link to see captioning at its comedic best].

Because Liberating The Astronauts won the SFPA Elgin Award last year, I’m committed to reading as many nominated collections as I can and voting this year. I bought six that really struck a chord with me, and as of yesterday, I finished reading all six. Hooray! Also, I met my Goodreads challenge already. That’s barely a dent in my TBR pile, but it’s still a dent. I’m back to reading books from Book Expo now.

I did some write-ups based on interactions from Book Expo that appeared on Book Riot. More to come! Also a piece about Whitman–yes another one–is about to come out. This one is about the exhibit at The Morgan Library, which also had an exhibit about Maurice Sendak that I didn’t write about because big costumes scare me and that’s pretty much what the whole exhibit was about.

 

Another fun thing I saw in the city was Bat Out Of Hell, the musical based on Meatloaf’s music, with much thanks to my friend DB for getting us comped tickets. While most of the music was Meatloaf, there were other surprises that were simply outstanding. Some of the plot and scenes and dancing didn’t make sense to me, but I didn’t really care because it was so entertaining. Before the show, there was a huge half a head that needed to be inspected in Central Park.

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I finally got to see Long Island’s Best Wedding Band live! Sound Chaser played at an Italian feast nearby, so clearly they do weddings and more, and they were fabulous! Yeay! Also, my mom danced and some drunk dudes danced with her.

 Odds and Ends

I helped my brother build a shelf. The shelf fell apart. I’m writing a very strong letter because it couldn’t have been our fault. I used a power drill and everything.

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Some of the prettiest sunsets and sunrises came through my window.

 

 

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.

Tea steeping in a mug

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.