One year later

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bomtr
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Re: One year later

Post by bomtr »

Sorry to extend the hijack content of the thread, but John Denver ran out of gas in the tank the experimental was using. Both the fuel indicator gauge and the fuel selector switch were bizarrely located and in difficult positions; Denver was unable to switch tanks in time. For the sake of completism; again, a thousand pardons.

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jfrumkin
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Re: One year later

Post by jfrumkin »

Bunkie wrote:We had been strangers only minutes before eyeing each other as potential competitors. To go from there to a feeling of family in such a short time is like nothing else. The best description I can think of is that it's a highly compressed peak experience.
I find it very hard to accurately describe the depth of my affection for my fellow contestants, for exactly this reason. And it's funny, I had two tape days. The first, I ended up with two Facebook friends (one of whom I've seen since) and the only person I saw after the taping didn't make eye contact with me when we passed at the hotel. The second, we all bonded (read: drank) in the hotel bar for hours upon hours, we all interact constantly on Facebook, we've had mini-reunions here or there (and I hang out with the one who lives closest on a semi-regular basis). Weird luck of the draw, I guess? I've always wondered why the atmosphere would be so different from week to week.

Anyways, another great post, Bunkie. You'd think they cast smart people or something.
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Rex Kramer
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Re: One year later

Post by Rex Kramer »

Bunkie, I really enjoyed reading your post. Very resonant.
Bunkie wrote:If the truth needs to be told, it is this: being a former contestant incurs a kind of loneliness. After all, only another contestant can know what you've gone through.
True, but at the same time, the pursuit of Jeopardy! has also introduced me to more like-minded friends than I deserve.

Rex

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Dr. J
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Re: One year later

Post by Dr. J »

jfrumkin wrote:
Bunkie wrote:We had been strangers only minutes before eyeing each other as potential competitors. To go from there to a feeling of family in such a short time is like nothing else. The best description I can think of is that it's a highly compressed peak experience.
I find it very hard to accurately describe the depth of my affection for my fellow contestants, for exactly this reason. And it's funny, I had two tape days. The first, I ended up with two Facebook friends (one of whom I've seen since) and the only person I saw after the taping didn't make eye contact with me when we passed at the hotel. The second, we all bonded (read: drank) in the hotel bar for hours upon hours, we all interact constantly on Facebook, we've had mini-reunions here or there (and I hang out with the one who lives closest on a semi-regular basis). Weird luck of the draw, I guess? I've always wondered why the atmosphere would be so different from week to week.

Anyways, another great post, Bunkie. You'd think they cast smart people or something.
This is so true; it's such a crazy experience that you really latch on to those who went through it with you. At the ToC, Paul Nelson, who had just beaten me in game #1, was my seat buddy, coaching me through the rest of the day as I nearly went crazy with anxiety waiting to see if my wildcard bid would hold up. He was so gracious and supportive, and I will never forget him for it! It's a weird and wonderful experience, and if I weren't worried about being on again, I might not be watching games anymore, either. I filmed a year ago, and have been reflecting back on the year that has been, too...

Opal
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Re: One year later

Post by Opal »

Bunkie wrote: I decided that there was more I wanted to do, so I took up learning to fly, another life-long dream. I'm making plans to start building my own airplane. I'm grateful to the producers for selecting me, it was a transformative experience.
When I was a kid, we had an airplane in our garage. My Dad was building it. He never got to fly it because it took way too much of his time, but he sold it to someone who finished it, then flew in it later.

iowabelle
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Re: One year later

Post by iowabelle »

BADuBois wrote:And yes, it goes by *so* fast... I was fortunate that I was taped in the fifth show of the day, so I could see how other players did, and I could compare how I would do... but to be on stage and to hear Johnny Gilbert read out my name, it was like jumping out of an airplane... so fast, so very very fast... and I didn't want to freeze or crash and burn... and I was so stunned and thrilled when I became a champion. Of course, when I came back, I had my proverbial butt handed to me (Damn that Barbra Streisand...) but yet, it was an experience I'll never, ever forget, and I met so many wonderful people, the crew and the fellow contestants, that thinking about it still brings a smile to my face.
I have to agree with this. I was probably "blessed" to be called up in game 4, which allowed my stomach to calm down. I was pretty sure I'd either throw up or pass out, I got so nervous. After game 3 the survivors went to eat lunch, which probably helped settle me down.

iowabelle
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Re: One year later

Post by iowabelle »

Bunkie wrote:I view the game differently now. In the past, I always believed that I would be a champion and I damned near became one as the correct FJ answer came to me just a second too late and none of us got the right answer. That haunted me for a few weeks. I didn't get much sleep in the two or three days following as I couldn't get it out of my head, replaying it over and over. I'm happy that, despite a silly mistake I made on one question which got a good laugh, I didn't make a fool out of myself. I watched a former champion leave in tears after being defeated, I watched a contestant incorrectly answer a daily double in his field of expertise (although, to be fair, the question was actually only tangentially related to his work) and lose it all. I watched smart people freeze, make dumb wagers and flame out. Prior to actually being there, I felt that I would certainly do better than such contestants. Now I know better. The game can be brutal and what you see on TV is not necessarily a reflection of the knowledge or intelligence of the contestants.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who obsessed about it. I couldn't even remember my second Final Jeopardy! question. I was telling my "significant non-other" about it and the experience and he says, "You're even obsessing about making the wrong choice at lunch!" (I remember thinking I didn't want too many carbs, so I ate fish and beans, leaving the potatoes and most of the beans... but my fellow competitor Nishant had a lovely plate of something nutritious I really wished I'd picked instead. My big thing was NOT eating too much and getting sleepy.)

I had the same experience of thinking, wow, those are GREAT categories, and then not getting those categories, except for Shakespeare and geology. I KNEW movies were going to hurt me, although I did try to learn my Oscar winnters (Nishant must have been THE KING of movies.)

I can't watch the show as much b/c I'm working now, but sometimes my lunch hour coincides with the re-run or the new show... for a couple weeks I was physically ill whenever I'd hear the Jeopardy! theme music.

But I've worked through it enough that I hosted a viewing party at church, and could laugh when none of us competitors could come up with Cuba as an answer. I can even recognize the humor in the blank look on my face when I threw away two Double Jeopardy! questions.

So it's all good now, but I do regret not being able to come back for the ToC. I'm thinking about starting the trivia circuit in the bars in town just so I have something to do with my mind.

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Case
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Re: One year later

Post by Case »

iowabelle wrote: I'm thinking about starting the trivia circuit in the bars in town just so I have something to do with my mind.

That thought has crossed my mind, too. Just to go somewhere to do answers and questions, or questions and answers.

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Dr. J
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Re: One year later

Post by Dr. J »

Case wrote:
iowabelle wrote: I'm thinking about starting the trivia circuit in the bars in town just so I have something to do with my mind.

That thought has crossed my mind, too. Just to go somewhere to do answers and questions, or questions and answers.
My husband and I got recruited by a local team, and have been winning gift cards all over town :)

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jfrumkin
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Re: One year later

Post by jfrumkin »

Dr. J wrote:
Case wrote:
iowabelle wrote: I'm thinking about starting the trivia circuit in the bars in town just so I have something to do with my mind.

That thought has crossed my mind, too. Just to go somewhere to do answers and questions, or questions and answers.
My husband and I got recruited by a local team, and have been winning gift cards all over town :)
When I can, I go play on a team that includes the person who dethroned me. It's a pretty good team.

I bought the Wii game but have only played it twice against other people. You'd think they be honored to play (and lose) the game against a real life champ, but instead they just think I'm a d***. I barely even trash-talked!
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TigerFan
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Re: One year later

Post by TigerFan »

Personally, these are really great posts. I'll never be Jeopardy! material, but it's great to hear all the stories and recollections.

John Boy
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Re: One year later

Post by John Boy »

opusthepenguin wrote:
bpmod wrote: Beat me to it. John Denver died because he was a much better singer than he was a pilot.
He couldn't have been that bad! :lol:
Now THAT's rude!

(also hysterically funny...I like that in a guy). Thanks.

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Bunkie
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Re: One year later

Post by Bunkie »

About a week after the taping, my wife and I were discussing cosmology (one of our favorite subjects) and she asked me if I thought a lot about the many worlds theory.

"You mean like the alternate universe where the FJ answer came to me three seconds earlier and where I was a Jeopardy champion? That universe? No, I never think about that."

I couldn't help but laugh seeing about how she had to live with me obsessing over the experience almost constantly for the prior week and was tired of hearing about it. Luckily she was a good sport about the sarcasm. The point is that the experience can also try the patience of even the most devoted significant other. They go through a lot as well and don't get to experience all the fun. For example, while contestants get treated to a nice lunch, guests are left to fend for themselves with a 20 minute window in an unfamiliar place. My wife ended up making due with a prepackaged sandwich from a convenience store. I made a point of treating her to a nice dinner to thank her for her forbearance.

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Case
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Re: One year later

Post by Case »

Bunkie wrote:The point is that the experience can also try the patience of even the most devoted significant other. They go through a lot as well and don't get to experience all the fun. For example, while contestants get treated to a nice lunch, guests are left to fend for themselves with a 20 minute window in an unfamiliar place. My wife ended up making due with a prepackaged sandwich from a convenience store. I made a point of treating her to a nice dinner to thank her for her forbearance.
My husband didn't even get to make the trip out to California; he had to stay home with our three-year-old son and all our dogs, cat, birds, etc. My parents, sister, aunt and uncle in the audience went to that same convenience store. They downplayed it, but were kind of relieved they didn't have to repeat that "lunch" on Wednesday. Apparently the pickings were pretty slim, and there was a lot of construction or something. I don't remember any of that on the minibus ride to or from the show. Wait. Did the bus take us back to the hotel at the end of the day? :?:

I went to Trader Joe's today, and Mom said to me on the way out, "I love their bags; I use them to recycle papers." I nodded and responded, "I love their bags, too; I use them to carry my extra outfits to game shows." My sister fell over laughing when she heard that. I felt like SUCH a country bumpkin showing up at the studio with a paper bag containing my clothes! All these other people had garment bags, rolling suitcases, duffels, whatever. I had a freakin' paper bag. At least it wasn't a kerchief hanging from the end of a stick! :lol: Maggie laughed and said that at least I had the good sense to shop at Trader Joe's.

CoachP
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Re: One year later

Post by CoachP »

Bunkie wrote:The point is that the experience can also try the patience of even the most devoted significant other. They go through a lot as well and don't get to experience all the fun.
Totally agree-in my case, my hubby couldn't attend due to work and taking care of our son, who was too young to attend the taping. Then my dear guy had to go through my highs of winning (and keeping it a secret for about 4 months) and lows of losing. To make it worse on him, he's auditioned once (before I did), and hasn't gotten another one (yet, I add hopefully).

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Magna
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Re: One year later

Post by Magna »

Case wrote: All these other people had garment bags, rolling suitcases, duffels, whatever. I had a freakin' paper bag. At least it wasn't a kerchief hanging from the end of a stick! :lol: Maggie laughed and said that at least I had the good sense to shop at Trader Joe's.
I'll bet you weren't the first! Nor will you probably be the last. :)

ahirbhairav

Re: One year later

Post by ahirbhairav »

Bunkie wrote:About a week after the taping, my wife and I were discussing cosmology (one of our favorite subjects) and she asked me if I thought a lot about the many worlds theory.
Ahem. That's the multiverse theory, not the many worlds theory. We already have many worlds in our world. We don't have many universes, or so we think...

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BADuBois
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Re: One year later

Post by BADuBois »

Magna wrote:
Case wrote: All these other people had garment bags, rolling suitcases, duffels, whatever. I had a freakin' paper bag. At least it wasn't a kerchief hanging from the end of a stick! :lol: Maggie laughed and said that at least I had the good sense to shop at Trader Joe's.
I'll bet you weren't the first! Nor will you probably be the last. :)
No names will be mentioned, but on my second trip into the studios, one of the contestants on the shuttle bus had his clothes in a white plastic trash bag supplied by the hotel...

Fun reading these posts... so many similar memories. And you'd think that by winning a game, I would have been in a fantastic mood for the months leading up to my broadcast, but like a true grumpy New Englander, I kept on obsessing on my second game, wondering what I could have done to win.

Ah, "Jeopardy!", you are indeed a grasping mistress... or something like that. :D
Award-winning author of "My Short, Happy Life in 'Jeopardy!'"
http://tinyurl.com/btax4xp

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bengland
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Re: One year later

Post by bengland »

The first thing I noticed about KJ was that he had brought WAY more clothes than the rest of us.

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Dr. J
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Re: One year later

Post by Dr. J »

Case wrote:My husband didn't even get to make the trip out to California; he had to stay home with our three-year-old son and all our dogs, cat, birds, etc. My parents, sister, aunt and uncle in the audience went to that same convenience store. They downplayed it, but were kind of relieved they didn't have to repeat that "lunch" on Wednesday. Apparently the pickings were pretty slim, and there was a lot of construction or something. I don't remember any of that on the minibus ride to or from the show. Wait. Did the bus take us back to the hotel at the end of the day? :?:
Can you believe that J! doesn't have some sort of better options for relatives looking for lunch? My husband had peanut butter crackers from the Shell station across the street, and says that his mouth was so dry from nerves that he couldn't even choke them down!

As for the bus, this also cracked me up -- Corinna says to me after taping, "do you have a ride?" Now why would I have a ride when y'all shuttled me to the studio this morning?!?
"No, I don't." "Well, we can call you a cab." "Ok, thanks." Said cab arrives, and I realize that J! is not paying for it, I am. Luckily, my husband had enough cash to cover the cab ride back to the hotel! C'mon, Harry Friedman, spring for some family sandwiches and a shuttle BACK to the hotel!!

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