Friday, May 30, 2008

A Few Things

1.) Wasn't Brandon great on Jeopardy?? Thanks to all that emailed, sent text messages, phone messages, commented on our blog etc. Larissa Kelly (the woman that came in 1st on Brandon's episode) finally lost on Tuesday so she actually had a pretty decent winning streak. I think if Brandon didn't happen to go up against someone who was getting her PhD in something as esoteric as 'What people thought of Mexican architecture in the 19th Century' and had a husband, mother AND sister who had already been on Jeopardy, Brandon might have come out on top. But there was no doubt that she was a talented girl. 2nd place, however, and the mere opportunity to be on the show pretty much proved that my husband is one talented cookie.

2.) I have ONE more paper and then I am no longer a graduate student. In a way, it is kind of sad and in another way, I'll be glad to have a life back.

3.) On Monday, I participated in the largest 10k in the country, the Bolder Boulder. I came in 21, 872nd place. There were bands and belly dancers and little kids everywhere. You gotta love infamous hippie communities like Boulder. It was the first time in a LONG time I ran 6 miles, but it went well--largely because I got to run with a fun friend (I'd post a picture, but I haven't gotten her permission yet!). We might have even done it in under an hour which for me is pretty good, especially for not training much.

4.) Our condo building finally opened the pool so if anyone wants to come over for a pool party, we're real good at Marco Polo.

Summer is in the air...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jeopardy FGRs

I hope that everyone was able to see/enjoyed last night's Jeopardy episode. Even though I didn't win, I can still say I enjoyed watching it. I was pleased that I didn't do anything dumb. I was thinking that it would be a good idea to post some frequently asked questions and their responses. But, in order to maximize my moment of geekness, I'm going to post them in a Jeopardy-friendly format. I will first post the frequently given response or "FGR" then I will respond in turn in the form of a question. I know this is an eye-roller, but I don't care.

R: This is how I got to be on Jeopardy.

Q: What is, out of curiosity, I took the national on-line test? As I remember, the test had about fifty questions from fifty different categories. I wasn't given a lot of time to answer the questions which seemed to be part of the test. It seemed to be testing breadth of knowledge and ability to move from one topic to another. After several months, I got an email inviting me to audition for the show. I was given the option of going to several cities. Denver was an option and so was Las Vegas, but I don't remember what else was on the list. I auditioned about a year ago here in Denver with 15-20 other people. The audition started with another fifty question test. I assume that this was to prove that you took the test and not a committee of you and your friends/family. After that, they did a bunch of introductions and let us all run through a mock round. They wanted to see if we could speak out loud and keep the game moving, etc... As the audition ended, we were told that if we passed the test our applications would stay on file for the next year and we might get a call.

R: This is what the taping was like.

Q: What is, I got to Sony Picture Studios in LA at 8:00 AM? No taping occurred for a couple of hours. There were several contestant liaisons who explained to us how everything was going to go. They also prepared us for the "Hometown Howdy" and our introduction with Alex Trebek. We all also had to get make-up put on. They tape five shows in one day. I was on the third show of the day so I got to watch two tapings from the audience seats. They didn't tell me that I would be on until after the second show had taped. I went back and had my make-up redone then went and signed on to the podium. I was pretty nervous through it all obviously. I think that I did a pretty good job managing the nerves though. After my taping, they gave me a Jeopardy bag and wished me a good day and that was it. I think we left the studio around 12:00-1:00 PM.

R: $2000 for a second-place finish, a photo with Alex Trebek, a Jeopardy bag and the experience of appearing on the show.

Q: What is what I won?

R: She was very good and obviously better than me. She was a really nice girl and I have no hard feelings at all. Since I didn't know the answer to final Jeopardy, the only way I could have won anyway was if I had banked more than double her total or through a betting fluke.

Q: What is how I feel about the girl who beat me?

R: Quite a few

Q: How many responses did you know but didn't get the opportunity to answer? Buzzer skills are obviously very important. I actually did it wrong a lot in the audition and had to be told to stop buzzing in early. It seems like it would be frustrating to know the answer and not buzz in first, but things happened so fast and I was focusing so hard that I didn't really have time to feel frustrated. When I actually did buzz in first, I really felt put on the spot and a couple of times had a hard time remembering what I was going to say.

R: Redo only my make-up.

Q: What is what the make-up lady did every time they stopped taping?

I think that's enough for now. Being on Jeopardy was an amazing experience for me; and I think that a lot of other people have had fun with it also. I'd be happy to answer any more questions anyone might have.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jeopardy Airs Today!

This is the day that we have long awaited...Brandon makes his amazing debut on Jeopardy!! In Denver, it airs at 6:00pm on the local ABC affiliate. I'm not sure what that means in other parts of the country, but hopefully you'll be able to figure it out.

Over the past several months, it has been really fun to have people try and get us to say how he did, ask us what the taping was like, how he studied, and if it was hard not to talk to Alex Trebek like Sean Connery does in all the SNL skits.

It has actually been really wonderful to see how a random opportunity to go on a game show has brought people out of the woodwork to give us their support, curiosity, and excitement. So thanks everyone!

And don't worry friends, if you miss it tonight, when you come see us in Denver, I'm sure we won't hesitate to watch it again with you (and again, and again...).

So remember...tonight at 6:00 pm!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our Brothers

As most of you know, 19 year old boys in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are asked to serve missions (girls go on missions as well, but it isn't an expectation like it is for boys). Missionaries don't choose where they go, are gone for two years, have very little money, are only allowed to communicate via a weekly letter, are not permitted to watch the news, see movies, or pay any attention to the outside world, and spend their time teaching others about our religion. Needless to say, missions are a big deal. 2 years!

Anyways, Brandon and I each have a brother on a mission right now. Brandon's brother, Jake, just left on a mission about three weeks ago. When he is finished learning Russian, he will head to Donetsk, Ukraine (and for the record, Jake did you pack a coat 'cause you are sure going to need it! I hear its real cold in the Ukraine. Heehehe-- everyone said that to him before he left). Here is Jake and Brandon the last time we hung out with him...
He and Brandon are mocking the way that girls pose (and note Brandon's A-mish beard which I do not miss). I chose this picture, though, because they are genuinely enjoying the moment and it resembles the fun times they have when together. If I do say so myself, Jake is a cool guy. He and Brandon have a similar sense of humor and love of sports (sometimes a deadly combo).

And my brother, Sam, has been serving a mission in Taiwan. What is exciting, however, is that Sam gets home...TOMORROW!! I am so excited. While I won't get to see him tomorrow, we'll see him next Wednesday. This is going to be an important event because not only will I get to give him a great big hug and ask him to speak Chinese for me, but I'll also get to introduce him to my husband. Can you believe that I still have a brother that Brandon has never met and that my own brother has never met my husband? Kind of weird, but fairly typical for Mormons in this type of situation.

This is Sam:
I actually didn't have any good pictures of Sam flying solo, so now the world wide web gets to see my dad (who is THE coolest). Actually, come to think of it, I have another one--
This one shows how goofy he is. I can't wait to see what he looks like now--of course he is still tall with dimples, but what's changed??? Guess we'll see on Wednesday!

So, we've been thinking a lot about our brothers lately. We pray for them daily, are proud of their choice to serve a mission, love to talk about them, and are anxious for them to get home.