lasagna Jeopardy party
Thursday, October 17 2013
I did a minor vaccuuming and cleanup jihad before Gretchen got off her shift at the bookstore in Woodstock. She returned with her co-worker Quintin, who does not have a car but lives close enough to the bookstore to walk to work. (If you haven't yet, read this fascinating story about him.) The plan was to eat a lasagna Gretchen had baked earlier, but first Gretchen had to give a poetry reading at the Hurley library. She and Quintin went to that, and Nancy was there as well. Maybe three other people were in the audience, though Gretchen managed somehow to sell three books. I'd offered to come along, but Gretchen had been certain that my attendance would not be required.
Quintin, Gretchen, and I ate our lasagna upstairs in front of the television; Quintin is as into Jeopardy as we are, though he keeps better track of the contestants than we do. He actually knows Neal Pollack, one of the recent contestants (a yoga instructor from Texas).
After watching the game, we tried out a little Jeopardy simulation game that Quintin had brought. It plugged into the back of the television and provided three buttons that we as players could push to ring in (this was a little awkward, since those three buttons were arranged in a triangle only about three inches to a side). Using cursor buttons, we selected a question from a category, the question was flashed on the screen, and we rung in if we thought we knew the answer. At that point, we had to select between multiple answers from a list. To do it any other way would have been too complicated, though in general the questions were worded so that unless we actually knew the answer, we tended to guess wrong. Both Quintin (who had only played the game once or twice) and I made the mistake of initially thinking we could guess the answers when we didn't actually know them, and this set us back. For awhile there I was actually $6000 in the red, but by the end I'd regained my stride. Gretchen still won, though Quintin and I weren't too far behind.
Afterwards, conversation inevitably returned to the subject of Harkness, the co-op dorm at Oberlin where all three of us have lived. Quintin lived there in the mid-90s, after the last of my post-student days, though he says that perennial weirdo "Erik Von Rippy" was still an occasional presence, doing things like organizing "night club," baking bread, playing in various bands, and presumably having overly-fraught relationships with various hippie chicks. From what I understand, Rippy still lives in Oberlin and may actually be married. (I first met Rippy back in 1986; he's ten years older than me and is, I later learned, the estranged son of astrophysicist Frank Drake, the man after whom the "Drake Equation" is named.)
The problem with people who lack cars is that they cannot simply drive home at the end of a dinner party. Happily for Ramona and Eleanor, they both got to ride along on when Gretchen returned Quintin to Woodstock.
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