October 17th, 2014

Good Omens

"What movie opens with the line 'This is the end'? The answer is 'Apocalypse Now.' "

I'm legitimately a little bummed about this: Geek Trivia is ending.

To paraphrase David Bowie: five years. That's all we got. But I'm being maudlin and a little whiny by putting it that way because really, five years was a good amount of time for it; Geek Trivia was well-supported from the start and has stayed well-supported. It evolved and grew, outgrowing the bar (Vendetta) where it started and quickly filling up an entire movie theater (McMenamin's Kennedy School) for the bulk of its run. It changed early on from rotating hosts (including at least one insane night hosted by the pirates of PDX Yar) to the solid, smartassed hosting by Cort Webber and Bobby Roberts: they wrote the questions, and could rile up the crowd like a wrestling audience. Many contests involved screaming, when we'd resolve a dispute over an answer by going to Mob Rule: whether the crowd shouted "YAY!" or "NAY!" the loudest would determine whether a not-100%-correct-but-almost-correct answer ("do we have to give The Emperor's full name Sheev Palpatine* or just Palpatine?") could be accepted. Ties were settled early on by guessing what film a piece of music was from, but after moving to a theater and having a projection screen to work with, they changed to tiebreaking by playing fighting games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. THIS WAS GLORIOUS.

Also glorious? The time I won at the Geek Trivia Battle Royale and got to go to San Diego ComicCon.

Geek Trivia has been an amazing, intense time. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it's made me dunk (the most recent time I played, I pretended to dribble up to the front and dunked some money into Cort and Bobby's tip jar), it's made me yell like Sam Neill in Event Horizon. Now it's time for Cort and Bobby to stay busy with, well, everything else they're busy with. But in that five years, they made something awesome.

Thanks to Cort Webber, Bobby Roberts, event creator and sponsor Things From Another World, and often hundreds of geeks getting loud every other week.

* I made up that example. And yes, James Luceno's novel Star Wars: Tarkin establishes that the Emperor's first name is Sheev. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeev. Makes me think that Luceno is a fan of The Wire. I know that Lucas is...
TNG Darmok

On Call: some phone experience

In an effort to Not Be That Jerk, I didn't answer my cell phone when it vibrated and (quietly) rang in the library. I waited. I let the caller go to voice mail. I packed up my stuff and walked outside, and stood in a not-too-drippy place (it's drizzling in Portland) to check the message.

All to listen to a voice mail. All to Not Be That Jerk who picks up in a public place surrounded by people and goes "Yeah?"

I'm not used to having a cell phone. I've briefly borrowed phones here and there, mainly for work when I was at the construction company, and didn't have one I was actually using until last July. It's a hand-me-down Tracfone my parents used to use, reloaded via gift cards. It's pretty basic: my dad said "You can try to go online with it, but you'd probably end up throwing it away." As in "throwing it into a river or something out of frustration." A man's gotta know his phone's limitations.

But it definitely works as a phone. Also, I'm amused that my not-usually-too-technically-inclined mother is currently the person who texts me the most, but I'm digressing. (Weird, that I've been online for decades and on Twitter for five years and only since last summer have I ever texted, but I'm digressing further.) Anyway, I'd better get used to this, and be aware of how I can use my cell phone in non-jerk ways. Even when it might be so, so convenient to answer within earshot of many people, none of whom want to hear my side of a conversation.