Note: The pub quiz begins at 7 p.m. at Irish Pub every Monday.
Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
Stephen Wright tells a joke about how he starts dreaming at about 1 AM, whether he’s asleep or not. Typically I’m the opposite. A night owl, I typically work until 2 AM or so, often on writing projects of various sorts (poetry especially).
Last night, by contrast, after a day filled with early morning Mothers Day celebrations, a five-hour walk with my son Jukie and our English Bulldog (with many pit-stops), and then two hours of office hours for my journalism students (lasting until 11 pm), I was ready to collapse, and collapse I did, about two hours before my typical ill-advised bedtime. Like Stephen Wright with his dreams, though, my mind was getting ready to work at that hour, to solve problems and synthesize ideas. As far as I can remember, I spent most of the evening’s dreams organizing files and working on projects. This is why, as Wallace Stevens once said, “A pension pays us for all the work we do in our dreams.”
Although “work,” such late-night intellectual and creative labor is also a kind of meditation. The body and mind slow down in the half-light of laptop screens and gentle, shaded light bulbs. I think the opposite of meditation would be attending the midnight showing of The Avengers on opening night, as I did last week. Joining me at that film was a bevy of 20-something friends, the target audience for the film (along with the teenagers who will see it over and over again).
It’s important to spend time with people who are much older or younger than you, I think, to gain and to offer perspective. On that evening, I learned perspectives on the film from a large percentage of the audience, an experience that reminded me why my friends and I once sought out the loudest crowds when seeing films in Washington DC. If you are loud enough tonight, I will include an Avengers question (of sorts) for you.
Also tonight expect questions on shampoo, painkillers, Bulgaria, Colombia, unfair math problems, explosive devices, black sheep and white sheep, The Beatles, famous sports teams featuring no players I have ever heard of, Disney characters, food, China, hydrocarbons, The Simpsons, dancing, wine, cheese, Robert Graves jokes, fire, big cities, bears, songs that were a hit before your mother was born (most likely), popular colors, sequels and prequels, Irish culture, instructional technology, physics, Oscar-winning novelists, werewolves, and late Shakespeare.
My favorite former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts will be in town for a noon poetry reading and Q+A Thursday. Dana Gioia has written and edited many books, and has ten honorary degrees. When he’s not stopping by the John Natsoulas Gallery (Thursday at noon), he’s giving commencement addresses as Stanford University. Details for this week’s event can be found at the lovely website PoetryInDavis.com.
In anticipation of tonight’s Pub Quiz, teams are already posting dueling quotations on my Facebook page. Come feel the heat of competition and the warmth of friendship at tonight’s edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz.
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
1. Mottos and Slogans. What is the nighttime sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever so you can rest medicine?
2. Internet Culture. What online community showcasing various forms of user-made artwork is commonly abbreviated as dA?
3. Newspaper Headlines. In Francois Hollande, France will have its first Socialist president since the man who was the country's president from 1981 to 1995. Name him.
4. Presidential Politics. Barack Obama won the presidential election in Washington DC by a margin of 85.9 points. In what US state did Barack Obama beat John McCain by the largest spread, in this instance, by 45.3 points?
5. The City of Davis. What’s the name of the Davis museum found at the corner of 5th and C Streets?