Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
As someone who has been performing in front of audiences for a couple decades, I don’t usually get embarrassed or flustered when speaking before large crowds. In addition to running our Pub Quiz, I’ve been teaching before large and small audiences for the last 22 years, hosting a radio show with many Central Valley listeners, and perhaps even more via the web and iTunes, and hosting and featuring at poetry events in California and Japan. My largest in-person speaking opportunity was a poetry talk and reading that I gave in a public school before 1,000 schoolchildren. Perhaps more daunting was a talk before 200 senior faculty at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, where I made an unfortunate off-the-cuff allusion to wise words from Harry S Truman, a hero of mine who is not a hero, I expect, to many Japanese people.
This past weekend, though, I actually did become momentarily flummoxed, and hot under the collar, while performing an original poem on stage at the Pamela Trokanski Performing Arts Center here in Davis. Just as I was about to read my poem a second time, this time interpreted by a member of Trokanski’s troupe, my delightfully uninhibited 11 year-old son Jukie had finally decided that he could sit in his seat no longer, and thought instead that he should join the dancer on stage to help interpret my poem. I wondered if I should keep reading, or interrupt myself to shoo Jukie off stage. He eventually left of his own accord, stomping up the cheap seats, where he could watch the show without everyone watching him. Here’s how my friend the poet Katy Brown put it on a post on my Facebook wall:
Andy, Jukie was the best part of the dance/poetry event today! I was so stunned and deeply moved by how he "got it" — the relating to and dancing with another dancer — the expressive use of your arms and posing — the just-letting-go that dance requires . . . my regret is that I didn't get up and help him take off his Crocs so he could dance on the hardwood floor. He was wonderful — the best part of improv! Thank you for bringing him. I'll always remember his natural grace and spontaneity.
What’s more, the highly-esteemed Davis Enterprise columnist Bob Dunning was in the audience to see his daughter, the beautiful dancer and Bikram Yoga owner Erin Dunning. Usually I encourage Jukie to act up and out when members of the local press corps are not there to record him. We’ll see if the new City Council candidate (and de Vere’s Pub Quiz fan) Lucas Frerichs ("Fr-air-icks") will keep Bob’s Tuesday afternoon column occupied this week.
On tonight’s Pub Quiz, you’d be wise to expect questions on The Grammys, and on Whitney Houston. Look also for questions about beverages, Afghanistan, apples, Massachusetts, short poems and long poems, Prometheus, South Africa, mountain lions, bears, condors and other monsters, wards, trees, NATO, pilfering, late night talk show hosts, European countries, birth dates, pets, Eddie Murphy, basketball, ghosts, Disney, hum-vees, Irish culture, pests, borders, festivals, the changing book industry, candidates for the Presidency of the United States, actual presidents thereof, football, basketball, love and chocolates.
Welcome to new readers of this weekly blog who are finding it at Davis Patch, the local online newspaper edited by Justin Cox.
See you tonight at 7 or before at de Vere’s Irish Pub in Davis.
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
3. Newspaper Headlines. We found out today from CNN the size of the trust fund that stands ready to support Mitt Romney's five sons – Matt, Tagg, Craig, Ben and Josh. Is that trust fund $10 million, $100 million, $1 billion, or $10 billion?
4. Four for Four. Which of the following foods, if any, are mentioned specifically in the 2001 blockbuster film Shrek? Broccoli, Onions, Parfait, Veal.
5. Actors and Actresses. What actor appeared in the following films in the early 1980s? Nine to Five, On Golden Pond, Tootsie, Wargames.
6. The American Man. With a half-inch margin of error, what is the average height of a Caucasian American man as reported by the CDC’s "National Health Statistics Reports, Number 10, (October 22, 2008)"?
7. Pop Culture – Music. What two-letter word starts the first two lines of the repeated refrain of the new song “Young Wild & Free” by Wiz Khalifa?
P.S. Looking for more culture in your life? Check out Jessica Kristie and Nora Bergamino as the featured performers at this coming Thursday’s Poetry Night reading at the John Natsoulas Gallery. See PoetryinDavis.com for more details.