So I did stuff. Big-city stuff. I got on the Metro and ran some errands. I went up to the Bethesda Library to see Joelle Charbonneau talk about her new YA novel, INDEPENDENT STUDY, and I was impressed by the turnout, which seemed tied to Bethesda's extremely cool Teen Reads program.
From there I went to Mazza Gallerie, where I saw Saving Mr. Banks, a terrific movie that bothered me for reasons I'll probably discuss in a future blog post. (Separately, this week I plan to visit a hairdresser and ask for the same haircut Emma Thompson wore to last night's Golden Globes.)
But after that, I went to Politics & Prose, one of the world's most wonderful bookstores, for its monthly trivia event. The friend I was hoping to meet there didn't show, but some friendly strangers let me join their team.
We did not win, partly because I did not know these five things:
- The Dickin Medal has been awarded since 1943 to an animal that displays conspicuous gallantry and devotion of duty while serving a branch of the British armed forces. (It was last awarded in 2012 to Theo, a springer spaniel who held the record for most operational finds of explosive devices in Afghanistan. Theo died of a seizure after a firefight that killed his handler, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker.)
- The world's strongest beer is called Sink the Bismarck, a name it shares with the 1960 film starring Kenneth More.
- The next year to begin on a Wednesday will be 2025. (To my shame, someone on my team knew this, but I thought I knew better. This is my single biggest failing as both a trivia team member and a human being. I'm working on it.)
- The country between Honduras and Costa Rica is Nicaragua. (I really, really need to take a geography class.)
- The constellation that used to house the sun during the winter solstice is Capricorn, which was also the symbol of the Babylonian god Ea. (I'll do astronomy after I finish with geography. One planet at a time.)