Back in the Saddle

It’s been something of a week. Since Halloween, I’ve made it to bed before 5 once (and that was 3.30.) There was the Halloween party, the pub crawl, the Matrix showing…

…but I get ahead of myself. Monday was the quiz, for the first time in a long time. Keef rang* and suggested we give it a go, and it turned out quite well. True, we didn’t win. But the pair of us did place second, with a 47. (Winners: 47½.) Keef found it amusing that while I knew “the local (i.e., correct) name for the Italian cities Venice and Florence” immediately, I didn’t get beyond “New Jersey” for “Which state is immediately to the north and which is immediately to the south of New York state on the Atlantic seaboard?”

What can I say? I’m a man of the world, not Connecticut.

Tuesday: another day, another quiz. This one was insufferable, with a quizmaster named “Pommy Andy.” I’ll veer off here from complaining about Andy’s tendency to, say, belch into the microphone, and instead note the Australians’ strange embrace of “POM.” One source claims the original term came from the convicts who were the first Europeans to settle here. Supposedly they were branded Prisoners Of Mother England. Snopes doubts this. Whatever the term’s origin, it is now widely applied to Brits, for which they are less than grateful.

The Wednesday following the quiz was shaping up to be a rather laid-back one, until someone pointed out that the 6am LA time (1400 GMT) worldwide premiere of Matrix meant a 1am AEDT showing in Sydney. I’d long planned to see the picture, filmed in Australia (and ending with credits thanking Sydney and the NSW Film Office) here at the world’s largest IMAX. But as a cursory comparison of and will show you, it’s not playing here. Damnit. (George at IMAX: “It’s just too expensive to run.” I guess Bugs in 3D is the bigger moneymaker.)

After the movie, Gotham felt like roaming around Sydney until the trains started running again (at 5.33), so I obliged for as long as I could. After all, I won’t be seeing him again until I get back on 29 Nov. But more on that later.

* …Simon, who rang me and then waited for Keef to ring him back. Hands up if you think Keef needs a mobile.

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