Thursday, January 05, 2006

Martin Landau does not = Walter Matthau!

Seems I'm still having that mixup problem. Martin Landau is not the same as Walter Matthau, no matter how much they sound the same. Damn Germans. No wonder I couldn't find anything under Martin Landau for "Grumpy Old Men." It's a good thing I didn't mix that up and do a search on "Dirty Old Men." Inconsequentially I did make that sort of mistake the other day with the Beatles...I wanted the lyrics for "Golden Slumbers" but acidentally typed "Golden Showers." Into Yahoo!. Yikes. Don't do that.

Scores increasing...

Last night I had a record game--well over $30,000. Strangely enough, some of the random things I have been studying on http://www.wikipedia.org have been coming up, such as a question on Reverend Spooner...which I had just studied last week.

Maybe I'm just bitter, but a lot of the questions I'm missing seem ridiculously pretentious. Who follows modern playwrights, anyway? How can a person possibly keep up with all of the fiction written in the past century, and who determines which ones are important? I think Danielle Steele is trash. I guess I have to get over that if I'm ever going to do well. That, or I have to find the "trigger" for her work.

Trigger clues are what got me my high score last night. For instance, there was some obscure question about some guy from an abbey in Europe. The beginning of the question, however, said something about rescuing people in the alps. Therefore, it had to be St. Bernard. These things can get you through so many questions. But then you get things like "The third husband of Elizabeth Taylor, this man ate a cheese sandwich for lunch on January 4th, 1952." And the annoying part is that there are actually contestants who know who is married to whom and all that nonsense. Ugh.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Still slow...

Results from the 12/24 show (repeat):
19,800
Final Jeopardy: correct

Under 20,000...that's just not gonna cut it.

The good:
"Insecurity Council"
"Security Council"
"'O' What a Place"
"20th Century British History"

The bad:
"Oral Exam"
"Pulitzer Prize Bios"

The ugly:
"Actors Playing Actors"
"Infield of Dreams"

Clearly I still have an issue with pop culture, yet I always study history. Ugh...how is that ever going to stick?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Status

Here's today's progress summary:

I've discovered I'm really good at:
  • Categories where the first letter is given, such as "Men at 'C'"
  • World War II history
  • Foreign language categories
  • Composers

I'm really bad at:

  • Actors and Actresses
  • Pre-80s music
  • South America
  • Tennis players

Phew. So at least I know some strengths and weaknesses. The challenge is to make myself study things I couldn't care less about, such as tennis players. It's an okay sport, but I simply don't care about it enough to watch it or keep up with anyone. Or actors...what is there to do, watch every movie ever made? Memorize filmographies? Buy SceneIt? I'm good at things I'm interested in...which could be a problem.

One thing I have realized through studying for Jeopardy is that I really can't place a name with a face (or a face with a name). I'm particularly bad at movies and television--especially from before I was born. Seeing how I was born around the same time Dallas was on air, I've missed out on a lot. Here are some of the people I have confused (in order of least to most embarassing):

Neil Simon, Neil Young, and Neil Diamond (but not Lou Diamond Phillips ;)

Jack Nicholson and John Malkovich (they're both very strange male actors, what can I say)

Jessica Lange and Jessica Tandy (That's sort of a big difference).

Laurence Olivier and Lawrence of Arabia (what?)

At least last night I was able to pull out Michael Caine from the old inventory. I wouldn't have even known that if my fiancé hadn't mentioned him when we were watching the Cider House Rules one day. Knowing actors' names, faces, and roles is very important, so it's something I will be focusing on.

Why do I want to do this?

I've always been a geek, and from a pretty early age, I've made this apparent through my love of Jeopardy! (From now on, I'm not using that annoying !). I've just always been into quiz shows. I adored the spelling bees. Once I got into middle school, I joined Whiz Quiz. We won first place in 6th, and something else in 7th (I don't remember anymore...) In the 8th grade, I made it to the Texas State Geography Bee. I lost after a couple of rounds (I didn't think to study) but never lost enthusiasm for quiz games.

It was never easy for me to catch Jeopardy on TV. In Texas, it came on in the afternoon, while I was still in school. In college, I was either in class or had other things to do than watch TV. And then, once I moved up to CT, where it comes on just before Prime Time, I was at the gym. I purposefully got a gym membership at a place that has TVs on the equipment so that I wouldn't miss Jeopardy. Ultimately, though, TiVo is what makes the difference. I TiVo every single episode and then watch them methodically, noting which things I know and which I don't. I also try to add up my score (not including any wagering). I am 100% a Geek for doing this, but I'm hoping it will pay off. My #1 goal is a down payment for a house. Where I live, this will require at least 3 to 4 good wins. So we'll see...

Introduction

I am the Jeopardy Geek. My goal, at least for the next few years of my life, is to a) get on Jeopardy and b) become the winningest female contestant. Something to know about me is that once I've mentioned a goal out loud (or in public), I have to achieve it. (Same thing with dares...so please don't dare me to do anything). So, for the past year, I've been TiVo-ing Jeopardy and studying the things I don't know--which is a lot, despite having gotten a pretty well rounded education. This blog will sum up my experience trying to get on Jeopardy and hopefully winning lots and lots of money. And if you're trying for the same goal, maybe this will help you. But hopefully not too much. I don't want you to beat me.

- The Jeopardy Geek