I love when things fall into place, when the answer is something you already knew, when fate hands you a freebie.

Example #1: The Hard Question

So trivia. Again. There are normal questions for most of the game, but “half-time” is this really annoying kind of question that we always mess up. Usually the answer is the name of a celebrity – actor, actress, musician, director, etc – and clues as to the person’s identity are revealed one at a time. The clues move from obscure to obvious, usually starting with “This actor was born in Scarsdale, New York on March 15th, 1933” and ending with “This actor was most recently in this movie that came out yesterday and you’d be an idiot not to know it by now.” The sooner you turn in your answer, the more points you get.

We usually get 2 points, or 4 if we are having a phenomenally good game.

Those are the two lowest possible scores.

Or we just get it wrong.

Anyway, so last night, the first question was “This actor was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune, New Jersey. Following graduation in 1962, he took a job as a cosmetician at his sister’s beauty salon. A year later, he enrolled at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts so he could learn more about cosmetology. While at the academy, he fell in love with acting and decided to further pursue an acting career”

(I can repeat this question because they lift the stuff directly from imdb)

(And we didn’t know the answer at this point. Duh.)

Clue #2: In 1968, this actor landed his first part in a movie when he appeared as a thug in Dreams of Glass, but became discouraged with the film industry and decided to focus on stage productions. He starred in Off-Broadway stage productions until 1975 when he returned to film to take his break-out role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Hold up.

Lance has been contributing to the trivia team by memorizing Oscar winning movies, which led him to actually want to watch a number of these movies. I added what ones I could find to the Netflix queue awhile ago and we’ve been trying to watch them in 20 minute chunks while we eat dinner. So far, we’ve only made it through Rain Main, but the night before last, we started One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And of course, I had to open imdb and see if there were any breakout stars in this 1975 Oscar-winning film.

Why yes, that is Danny Devito!

We got an unprecedented 8 points.

(But we still got spanked.)


Example #2: Shameless

I have a new favorite television show.

It has a snappy theme song.

I wonder who it’s by?

I wonder why that band name sounds familiar?

OH! They are a Michigan band, and a few years ago they did a summer tour around Michigan performing at LIBRARIES including my MOTHER’S library!

How cool!

Example #3: Perpendicular Vehicular Homicide

This is a story that happened last summer, but I don’t think it’s one that I shared here.

If you recall, last summer we were in the market for a new car, whether or not I was aware of this fact.

Our old car wasn’t dead by any means. Sure, when the odometer rolled over 200,000 miles I started to feel nervous (which is code for “completely and offensively anxious”), but other than some manageable repairs, nothing was terribly broken about the car’s insides.

It was the car’s outsides that were the problem.

Last fall, Lance got into a bit of a fender bender (which is code for “a completely terrifying spin-out on the turnpike in which I almost died of anxiety”). The car obviously was in need of some body work after this, but we were/are not in the financial position to have extensive body work done on a car… much less a car that already has 200,000 miles on it.

If we lived in Michigan, or perhaps any other more personal freedom lovin’ state than Massachusetts, we would probably still be driving that heap of nonsense, blending in nicely with the other degenerate, winter-worn vehicles of the Motor City State.

However, after successfully avoiding the whole “transfer plates” and “change residency” and “get a new driver’s license” bit for an entire school year, Lance had a run-in with the local cops who police the small town where he works 40+ hours a week. They pulled him over for no real reason and told him that they’d seen him around and he really needed to change his plates otherwise they’d write him a ticket for 200 dollars.

HOWEVER! They won’t give you new plates if your car doesn’t pass state inspection.

And a car with a crushed in back corner and a trunk that doesn’t always want to close will certainly not pass state inspection.

So, with our budget that can’t afford to repair a car, or even pay for new plates and registration and such…. we needed to buy a car before Lance had to start driving back to work in the fall.


But there wasn’t much time to spend thinking about the new car problem last summer, being as we launched quickly from school/work to a fairly significant road trip in said car.

First stop?

(Other than under an overpass in the Bronx with a blown-out tire and a Walmart in New Jersey getting said tire replaced)

A motel in Bethesda, Maryland.

We parked our car in the lot of the Day’s Inn and took to the Metro for our personal transportation needs. One day, we stopped by the car to get something out of the trunk before making our way back to our room, and a guy started hollering at us from the hotel’s front desk.

“Is that your car?” he said, summoning us over to his little front-desk-hut. “They left their insurance information. They hit your car. They’re staying in room 215.”

We had parked in an odd spot in a small lot, so it didn’t really surprise me that someone would have bumped up against us trying to turn around or back up, but I was surprised that while I was getting things out of the trunk, I’d missed this:


So we talked to the dude and his wife who backed into us with their bulldozer minivan, called their insurance company and our insurance company, etc. The whole process took a month or so, to get someone out from their insurance company to come take a look at the car and give us an estimate. But the car was still 100% driveable, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Until they finally made their final repair estimate….

and cut us a check for almost 2,000 dollars.

A month later, we were the proud owners of a brand new (code for “really old but with way less miles”) Saturn station wagon, paid for in cash, because our car had the good fortune to get hit in the parking lot while we were out walking around Washington, D.C.

Life can work out sometimes.


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