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trivia night at the BalMar

Back in January, my friend Dawn arranged to have a bunch of her friends go with her to trivia night at the BalMar, a bar in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle (right at the intersection of Ballard Ave and Market Street, as its name indicates). One of her friends, Celeste, hosts the trivia event every other week on Tuesdays, which is why Dawn arranged a party for this particular night and location. I enjoyed the evening a lot, and the opportunity to make some new friends, so I decided to go again two weeks later, when Celeste was hosting again. A couple of the people I'd met the first time were there again, so I had some teammates available, and again I had a good time. I knew however that the same people wouldn't necessarily be there every time, so the real test was the third time I went, when sure enough no one I'd met before was there. Celeste however didn't leave me hanging; when she heard I didn't have a team, she graciously went over to a couple of the regulars and asked if they minded if I joined them. Six months later, I'm a regular too, and though I still don't have a regular team of my own, I'm happy to join up with whomever's available. One time I even deliberately played all on my own, just to see how well I'd do; I came in last out of four teams, but still had a pretty respectable score. 

Generally speaking, I do very well at trivia. As I explained before, one of my geek specialties, perhaps my primary one, is simply encyclopedic general knowledge, knowing lots of obscure details about lots of different (non-geek) subjects. This tends to get me branded as being pretty smart, but I don't think of it that way. To me, being smart is less about knowing or memorizing lots of facts, it's about being able to use that knowledge advantageously. I suppose that technically, being able to recall lots of little facts in a game of trivia is using knowledge advantageously and so makes me smart, but merely reciting knowledge is, well, trivial. At best, it's book smart, academic rather than practical. And although I'm a strong player, I always need the support of others, because there are always gaps in my knowledge that other people can fill.

Obviously, since I'm a regular, I'm still enjoying the evening a lot, both for the socializing and for the fun of the trivia competition. Unfortunately, overall attendance hasn't been great over the past six months, and there's some question about how long this particular trivia night will continue. This is why I put down "talk someone else into attending trivia" on my list for this month. I haven't actually followed through on that goal; but I'm telling you now that it's a lot of fun, Celeste and Lucian are both good hosts, there are cash prizes for the top three teams, and don't worry about whether or not you're good at trivia, it's a fun evening just for socializing. And now it's time for me to head over there.

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The List: June 2011

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