Table Trivia Night

Physical features of Ireland.

I am not Irish.  Not one bit.  But I have always been drawn to Irish things – books, music, movies, and authors.  Last Labor Day weekend I talked my brother and sis-in-law into going to the Irish Fest downtown Rochester and we had a great time!  We ate some Irish stew and drank some Irish whiskey and danced during an Irish caili!

When I saw the Irish Style Table Trivia Night advertised this week, I knew that I wanted to go.  I talked Kristine into going with me and then we decided we would just go and watch for a while and leave after about an hour.  Well, that didn’t fly with the people in charge and we were cajoled into paying our $10 to start a table of four.  They put us with two random guys (Dan and Don) and the fun commenced.

There were about ten tables of four and five rounds of trivia to be played. The first round of ten questions was movie trivia – I thought I’d stand a chance at doing pretty well at this!  But it was very difficult.  He would name a year and three character names and we would have to figure out who the actor was that played that character and what movie those three actors were in together.  For example (and probably remembered wrongly), 1993 movie starring Jason Bourne, Forrest Gump and someone else (who turned out to be Vin Diesel).  We got this one right after I wondered aloud/quietly if there was a war movie with them in it – and it was Saving Private Ryan.  Yay us!  We ended up getting 5 points for this first round – a disappointing start compared to everyone else (except the team that got 0!).

Round two was Arts & Literature and we did better at that round.  I knew immediately that Frank McCourt wrote “Angela’s Ashes,” otherwise we worked together to come up with those answers.  Round three was kind of a “gimme” – it was pictures and we had to identify either the movie or actor or famous person.  We got them all right.

Round four was the Cheese Round.  All questions relating to Ireland.  Very difficult!  But we ended up in a tie so we had to have a very very difficult tie-breaking round to see who would get all the cheeses!  (It is like 14 wheels of cheese and four pounds of Irish butter!)  We barely won that round, answering 4 correctly, when the other team answered 3!  Yay us!

Round Five was the “money” round, so we finally figured out that all the questions or answers had to do with money.  By this time we were getting pretty competitive because we were close to winning it all and when you’re close you want the whole thing, right?  If we had been in the middle we wouldn’t have been as intense.  We did great at this round and ended up winning 1st prize!

First prize was a bunch of things – a basket from Diamond Joe’s Casino, round trip tickets on Rochester Direct (to MSP), a fancy pen, and a weekend in Door County for two.  It was hard to split that up, for sure, so we ended up rolling the dice in the Diamond Joe’s basket and high number won the Door County stay – Kristine rolled a 4 and Dan rolled a 2!  Yay us!

What a fun night.

Oh, and Don is a psychiatrist at the Federal Medical Center and said they are looking for a social worker!  I gave him my card and hope he emails me, because I don’t see the job posted on the Federal jobs site!  But wouldn’t it be the luckiest night ever if a job came out of it???

I’m still on a little trivia high… wow!

Off to read!

What I’ve been Up to!

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (left) and Amy Poehler...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been nearly a week since I last posted!  Wow.  I’ve looked at the “new post” page over the week and haven’t had too much to say.  I had an enjoyable four days and three nights babysitting in St. Paul and had some good quality reading time while there.  I finished a few books so I’ll catch you up on what I’ve read.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I listened to this on audio (a MUST if you’re going to read the book) and I even took time to look at the PDF and watch the SNL clip included on the last CD.  Tina Fey is a brilliant comedian that is fun to listen to and reminisce with.  I enjoyed her perspective on women in comedy, specifically women on SNL (and Second City).  She not only talks about the changes that she saw during her reign at both institutions, but also tells really funny stories about her life.  I drove around smiling the entire time I listened and even laughed out loud a few times.

A great listen!

I first read Faith Sullivan’s “Cape Ann” book ages ago and when I came across this one in the library I quickly picked it up.  It was a sweet and easy read about three women – Bess (18), her aunt Harriet (40 something) and great-aunt Kate (59).  They live together in a small Minnesotan community and the story takes place in 1952.  The story is told from all three women’s perspectives and conveys a lot of emotion in few pages.

A sweet story.

I’m still plugging through with the Anna Karenina readalong and last week even finished my pages on time and was the first one to post on the blog!  I’m not sure that will happen by morning, but you never know!  The segments we read each week average around 80 pages and are very do-able.  I found last week’s segment very thought-provoking and it has led to several conversations throughout the week.

I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up the book I had on hold

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

and then grabbed an audiobook The UncouplingThe Uncoupling.

I refused to be lured into the stacks to find more books to add to my ever-growing TBR pile by my bed.  I have several books that I want to read, either my own or on loan from friends, and I have to make some headway in Anna Karenina, read my November O Magazine, and read “The Book Thief” for book club in a few weeks.  I was successful in leaving the library without books, but I did grab three DVDs!  Ah, the library lure.  Good stuff.

Well, off to read!


Sense of Adventure & Sense of Direction

Sense of Direction: Change of Pace

Once again, I lapsed on posting daily.  It’s been a fun three weeks posting with these five Senses, but I think I am going to pause and only post when I have grand things to say. 🙂  I will keep the Senses as topics but won’t be as rigid about the days I post or the topic I post on.  But one last time…

Sense of Adventure: Online Dating Sites

Those who know me well, know that I dabble in online dating sites every now and then.  I go in spurts and typically don’t tell people about the whole process, but I’ll inform a few close friends before I ever meet anyone in person (for safety’s sake).  I’m pretty private about it all on the whole, but willing to talk about it if asked. I can’t believe I am posting about it here (for the ten people who read my blog!)!  I think that people who have never had to rely on personal ads of any sort have little understanding of it, and it feels sort of awkward telling them about it.  It is a weird little world, online.  🙂

It's a wild, wild world...

It’s an interesting process, perusing the personals.  I follow gut instincts in whether or not to reach out to someone.  I don’t post pictures (I see too many people I either know or recognize, and as I said, I’m kinda private about it!) and I usually don’t tweak my ad once its written.  As I said above, I go in spurts.  I will not look at all for months at a time and then I’ll hit it hard for a while.  I’m not sure what the pattern is but having more time seems to lead to more perusing, that’s for sure.

The latest Rochester Magazine features Single in the City folks – seven or so young singles talking about themselves and the Rochester dating scene.  I can’t imagine being that public with my singledom,  I never have.  But I also know that I have people who are always thinking about me and looking for that guy who will make my eyes light up. Being single is something that I look upon as an adventure.  My life is filled with great people and adventures, but having a partner to go forward in life with is still something I’m looking for!

Have you ever been on this adventure?

Off to read!


Sense of Humor: Things that make me laugh


Lots of things make me laugh, and I tend to seek out lightness, goodness, and comedy.  I made a list of all of the TV shows that I want to watch in a week (being cableless makes you purposeful!) and I think only one show is not a comedy – Parenthood – but it is a light and good show usually causing chuckles and tears each week.  Everything else I watch is smile-worthy.  The one show that I can’t watch online that I miss watching is BBCAmerica’s Graham Norton.  He’s a hoot, that’s all I can say!

My current obsession favorite is Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  I think his comedy is brilliant, he is a good interviewer and he has creative sketches.  If I watch his show while I’m exercising, a smile never leaves my face.  If I watch his show while doing almost anything, a smile never leaves my face.  He’s good stuff.

A funny website I found out about this week is drinkify – you type in the music you’re listening to and it gives you beverage recommendations.  I put in two bands and it gave me the same drink (pinot noir), so I’ll have to try a different genre of music and see if that changes!  Pretty funny little site, at any rate.

What makes you laugh?

Off to read!

Sense of Self: I am…

a procrastinator.

and a thinker.

Sometimes it may look like I’m getting little done, but my brain is quietly mulling things over, planning, putting ideas and words together. Problem-solving.

I am not as much of a procrastinator as I used to be, but it still happens occasionally.

It’s part of who I am!

Off to read!

Sense of Connection: Readalongs

WalkingAs you know, I’m participating in the Anna Karenina readalong, hosted by Wallace.  It’s fun to read at the same pace as a group of people and to have discussions along the way.  Especially with the size of this book!

The Walkie Talkie Book Club was founded on readalongs, really.  My friend, Beth, and I used to walk daily (almost) and then we started reading the same book and discussing it on our daily walks.  It just adds something to discuss something happening in the moment, rather than at book club every five weeks.

It’s a nice way to connect – with a good book and with good friends and with good readers.

Off to read!

Sense of Direction: Clear Purpose

Juice Shaving Soap
Shaving soap may change my life. Image by savor_soaps via Flickr

I didn’t get my Friday post written until today.  Fridays are always such busy days!  And Thursday was a busy day as well, with Cosmo Girls in the evening! Cosmo Girls was a great amount of fun, with almost all of us in attendance, and an amazing woman teaching us about natural soaps and skin care!  We got to make our own sugar scrub and got a bar of shaving soap.  Amazing!  It think it may change my life! Ha!  But she was an amazing woman with an amazing story.

She was diagnosed with leukemia 16 years ago and given a 17% chance of surviving five years (long story short) and to deal with the reactions her skin was having to her treatments, she was given a bar of pure soap which gave her comfort.  She decided to make her own soap and her friends encouraged her to pursue it as a business.  She waited until her cancer was in remission and she outlived their expectations and then she went for it.  That was ten years ago and today her business is booming.

What an inspirational story of someone who is passionate about what she is doing.  With a clear purpose and personal fulfillment in her business.  It’s so fun to learn from amazing women!

Sense of Adventure: What would you attempt to do if…

I’ve seen this on paperweights and wall hangings and t-shirts.  It’s an important question and one that I ask myself.  But what is failure?

  • Getting rejected or turned down? I think I’ve gotten pretty good at rolling with that, and it’s no longer what stops me from trying something.
  • Not doing something perfectly? I’ve always been something of a perfectionist, so sometimes it is easier to not try than to do it imperfectly. But I’m getting better at that, too.
  • Financially failing? I have lived well, but living within my means has never been easy.  And failing financially is a big fear that I have.  Stability and constancy has always been important. Knowing my income and where it was coming from.  But do I feel like a failure now, that I have nothing stable going on?  Not really… maybe it’s different when it’s through no fault.  Or maybe losing a home to a natural disaster gives you even more perspective about what is really important – relationships and not things.
  • I think losing relationships would be the most devastating form of failure to endure. But I wouldn’t attempt to do anything that would impair relationships, so it shouldn’t take away from a sense of adventure.

So if I knew I could not fail, what I would I attempt? I’ll keep thinking on that, and hope that you do, too!

Off to read!






Books: a two-fer

Vaclav and Lena: A Novel

Vaclav and Lena: A Novel

I listened to this story on audio and I really think that it added to the experience. There were two narrators (although mostly one) and there were accents (done well) and there was a lot of emotions put into the reading.

Two children, best friends at 9 years old, living in Brooklyn with Russian parents, and then the separation. And the mystery. Years and years. And then they meet again.

Good story. 🙂

The Wisdom of My Grandmothers by Adriana Trigiani
The Wisdom of My Grandmothers
by Adriana Trigiani

4 of 5 stars
Read from October 29 to November 01, 2011
I’ve loved Adriana’s books for years. I won a copy of this book and then listened to Book Club Girl’s blog radio interview with Adriana tonight.

Adriana was blessed with strong grandmothers who lived into her 30s. They were born in 1895 and 1907 and both were hard-working career women who found the love of their lives. It is easy to see the influence these women had on the fictional characters you find in Trigiani’s novels.

I especially loved the passage where she says, “Looking back, now, I realize that you only ever need one person who lights up that way when you enter a room. One person is all it takes to give a kid confidence.” Yes.

Good stuff.