The Wisdom of Zelda.
Contrary to what Fox News pushes, the country is getting safer, much safer, both because violent crime rates have dropped dramatically and because evidence-based programs within prisons have caused the recidivism rate to drop.
Elder Son, who speaks neither German nor Norwegian:
When I spoke in English to someone in Germany, they looked at me with a look as if someone had just asked them to recite the process to solve a quadratic equation with two variables. Oh, yeah, I learned something about that back in X grade…
When I spoke in English to someone in Norway, they looked at me the way you might look at someone in the car ahead of you when the light changes and they don’t immediately start to drive.
After the concert the two young men split up, ES back to Denmark, then on to Norway and Sweden before returning to the US; Younger Son to Berlin to meet up with friends. The second day of the concert YS biked there from Hamburg and back.
ES just called from somewhere in Norway. (Old
Fart Codger remark: the connection was as clear as if he were in the next town.) He is impressed with the beauty of the Norwegian scenery — mountains, fjords, and inland rivers that look like fjords.
Room at hostel: ~$40/night
These are the same two sons who did not speak a civil word to each other until they were both out of high school. As an only child, I was unfamiliar with the ways of siblings: is this typical?
Anyway, the two of them have been planning this trip for a year. This weekend they will attend the Wacken Open Air heavy metal festival near Hamburg, Germany. In preparation Elder Son’s girlfriend gave him an appropriate Christmas present last winter: a book about Swedish Death Metal. (“Swedish death metal”? Who knew?) Anyway, ES flew from Albuquerque to Salt Lake City to Copenhagen last weekend. Younger Son flew to Amsterdam a day or so later, whereupon his flight to Copenhagen was canceled and Scandinavian Airlines comped him a room at the VestingHotel, which he says is the cutest hotel he has stayed at in years.
Here, judge for yourself (if you have your sound on you can hear the *singing* lock on the door):
I just discovered that Younger Son is so far away that his shared location no longer shows up on my Google Maps ::sob:: Oh, well, he is in nearly constant touch with Messenger. And Elder Son posts often on Facebook, complete with photos.
[aside] Isn’t the Internet amazing sometimes? [/aside]
No, he didn’t, Kat™.
Yeah, okay, the email was actually from the Jeopardy Contestant Department.
Apparently I passed the online test I took a few weeks ago. In the case of the multiple times I have taken that test since
::counts on fingers::
2013, I have never passed it. The unwelcome thought occurred to me — more than once, actually — that I am past my prime and way too old for any kind of memory game. Getting that email yesterday made me think, Yep, the old girl’s still got what it takes.
Whatever the hell *it* is.
However, this will not be my first [Jeopardy!] rodeo. I first qualified in 1999 at a contestant search at the Mall of America. An Internet friend (Hi Katie Barefoot!) and I both took the test. I qualified, she didn’t. (Sorry, KB!) Also, that time both Katie and I, plus another gentleman I didn’t know, were contacted by a reporter from the St Paul Pioneer Press to talk about our preparation and our whole Jeopardy experience. Since 1999 was years pre-blog I have no link to an online recounting of that day. However, there was a nice writeup in the SPPP (which I probably have a copy of somewhere but which I am not going to look for), complete with a photo of me looking appropriately happy and clever. Several people here in my wee WI village saw the article and read that The Kat™ from Milltown, Wisconsin had qualified for Jeopardy. My first taste of
The second time was in 2005. That time, after being notified of having passed the online test, I chose to go to an audition in Chicago — they generally give the prospective contestant the choice of three cities — because Smokey’s brother and wife live south of that city. I visited them, and BIL Bob drove me to the audition at Navy Pier downtown. Everyone who came to the audition took another 50-question test, and those who passed were asked to play a short mock game of Jeopardy! and do a sort of mini-interview. I sat between a newly graduated Yalie and a young woman who were both way more interested in getting to know each other than they were in chatting with me. Go figger.
Fast forward to 2008. This time the audition was actually in Minneapolis, just a few blocks from where I was laboring over tax returns at the time. Now that I had a blog, I took photos and posted about it here: Everything you ever wanted to know about Jeopardy! One of co-contestants that day, Fred, actually was invited to be on the show and won three matches before being defeated by
some young upstart another contestant.
The last time I qualified was in 2011. One of the audition cities was New York, and Elder Son was in med school at Mt Sinai at the time, so NYC was the logical choice. Unfortunately, the audition date fell smack in the middle of our annual mountain vacation in Wyoming, But we figured it out, and I took a side trip to the Big Apple for the audition.
[digression] Aren’t blogs wonderful for helping one’s memory of when, where, how, etc., something happened? No way I could have remembered what years these events occurred. [/digression]
So, this will be my fifth Jeopardy audition. It’s still gonna be exciting and I will still be a little nervous. But it will be fun, not to mention a little break from the mounting pressure of the November election.
Now, the real reason for this post.
The only city option for this audition was Portland, Oregon. I have never spent any time in that state*, let alone that city, so I am pondering my travel arrangements.
The audition is the morning of Wednesday, August 8. Should I make it a wham-ban-thank-you-ma’am kind of trip, flying into Portland on Tuesday and returning to the Midwest Wednesday afternoon? Or should I make it a 3- or 4-day mini-vacation, flying out on earlier in the week and spending a few days in Portland? Any of you familiar with that city, or, even better, any of you live near there? Wanna have coffee/drinks/dinner with me?
Let me know your thoughts!
* The only time I have been in OR was in 1973 during the Arab oil embargo. My girlfriend and I were on an extended road trip, and we were low on gas as we neared Coos Bay. We pushed her car, a Ford Pinto, into a gas station there in an effort to look particularly desperate for fuel.
More stuff in bullet form: