Rush lunch hour

    I want to thank you guys for the satisfying conversation we had the other day about the potential change to this blog. It really makes evident the power of e-mail, since I sent the post to all the people in my Google+ “Hangouts invitees” circle! Don’t forget about the poll, at right.
    So last week I said I couldn’t wait to tell you about lunch this taping day. Something bad happened before lunch, and I couldn’t wait to get even. I’ve been composing the blog post in my head since it happened, and unfortunately it was a distraction during the finals that day. But I’ve decided to just leave that out after all because it wouldn’t do anyone any good, and I doubt the guilty people would see it anyway. I am still glad to tell you this part: Adam Sandler walked by in the Sony commissary and I spotted him myself. I had lunch there with Cliff Galiher, Pam Mueller, Ken Basin, Mark May, Jerome Vered and Brad Rutter. The wait for service and for our food was so unbelievably long, we were still wolfing food down when we had to get up and go. Luckily, Ken could stay and pay our bill since he wasn’t going to the taping, and we knew we could settle things with him that night at O’Brien’s – he was hosting the quiz. Here’s a pic from that. Recognize Stefan Goodreau, Jerome, Brad, Hans von Walter and Bill MacDonald?

     And here’s one from a pub quiz I went to the night before:

Hans, Mark, me, Warren Usui and Cliff

     I had pleasure of sitting by Mark in the studio audience, for the first time. Ben Ingram‘s mom sat with Ben’s girlfriend’s relative a few rows in front of me on the other side of the aisle. The relative had met neither Ben nor his mom.

Arthur Chu
Julia Collins
Ben Ingram

     I was relieved that Julia’s voice was back to normal and clear as a bell now. Weren’t you?
     Look at how tight it was already when Arthur found the first Daily Double in, where else, Books & Arthurs.
Ben 2600 (3 right)
Arthur 2400 (4 right)
Julia 2000 (3 right)
     Arthur wagered everything on this clue: “Chapter 1 of this 1889 novel begins, ”Camelot–Camelot…I don’t seem to remember hearing of it before.”” Arthur got it!
     At the first break:
Ben 4600 (2 right)
Arthur 4000 (One right and one wrong)
Julia 2000
     At the end of the round:
Ben 6400 (7 right and one wrong)
Arthur 8400 (7 right)
Julia 2400 (One right, but not for lack of trying to ring in, it appeared!)
     Mr. Trebek made a big deal of the fact that Theodore Bikel was in the studio audience. I’m pretty good with celebrities but I had to have Mark spell that for me! I hadn’t heard of him! I asked Mark if, say, my mom would’ve heard of him, and he seemed sure she would. (And if I remember correctly, she did know him.) I wrote down that Bikel was in The Defiant Ones, not that I couldn’t have looked that up later!
     I’m not sure when this happened (it’s not in my notes), but remember the green t-shirts that Julia’s fans were wearing? I felt sure that she didn’t approve based on the look on her face, but she said from behind the podium that the shirts were her gift to them!
     Julia found the first Daily Double of Double Jeopardy in the fun Initials to Roman Numerals to Numbers II.
Ben 6400
Arthur 11200 (3 right)
Julia 4400 (2 right)
     Julia folded her arms to consider her wager, finally saying she’s making it a true Daily Double This was the clue: “For the judge best known for the 1994 O.J. Simpson case.” She got it!
     Julia found the next Daily Double too, in Paint by Years.
Ben 7200 (One right)
Arthur 14800 (2 right)
Julia 10800 (2 right and one wrong)
     This time she put a hand on her hip and wagered on this clue, mercifully not a video: “1577: Shortly after his arrival in Spain, this foreign-born man paints his ‘Assumption of the Virgin.'” She got it!
     All right, so check out these scores at the end of the round:
Ben 12800 (3 right)
Arthur 25600 (11 right. Wow.)
Julia 18200 (3 right)
     I wonder what Ben’s mom was thinking at this point!
     The Final Jeopardy category was 20th Century Presidential Elections. This was the clue: “In this year, there were no pres’s or VPs running, but 3 of the 4 men on the 2 major party ballots would become president.” So much to think about! Ben got it right!!! He doubled his score! I told Andy, the crowd went nuts, but it didn’t really seem like it watching today! Julia was wrong and lost 11800. Arthur was wrong too and lost 10000.
     Since we didn’t see it today, look for me waving in the background tomorrow when the camera shows the audience. I’ll be at the top of the screen (back row), my bare arm at full stretch waving slowly. (I could see it in the screen on the J! stage.) Andy said he’ll try to capture it.
     Since Andy’s covering tomorrow’s final, I’m posting some
pictures from the after-party today. I have a few more but they might be considered spoilers. By the way I’ll be in Chicago this weekend and am expecting to see Julia, Sandie Baker, Colby Burnett and Kara Spak, who I’ve never met.
     Shout-out to John Pearson for good-naturedly embarrassing the heck out of me by calling Brad Rutter over and telling him I wanted him to take our picture. I hope Brad didn’t fall for it, but he did take the picture!

One year ago: I can get used to this
Two years ago: Three contestants in search of an author
Three years ago: You must remember this…
Four years ago: Jeopardy goes green and gives it, too