The 500-Day Interregnum
Dr. Andy returns to one of his weekly activities. If you are local, you can also participate.
I always send out these newsletters on Mondays (hence the name Eager Mondays), but soon I will be sending them out on Tuesdays. As a poet, I recognize the metaphorical meaning of Monday, hoping for the both of us that we are eager to start the next week of our lives, no matter what day of the week it is.
For a long time, I would host a Pub Quiz every week as a Quizmaster in the most authentic Irish bar in Yolo County. De Vere’s Irish Pub in Davis opened up in the fall of 2012 and has provided a classy and exuberant home for the Pub Quizzes that I’ve hosted every week since October of that year. The March 2020 suspension of the Pub Quiz came quickly, as the sudden halt did for everything else in our lives.
I myself have both enjoyed the lockdown changes in my life, and endured them. Since that day 500 days ago, I’ve walked almost 3000 miles, most of that with my disabled son, Jukie. I’ve also talked to my youngest son Truman about his screenplay ideas and about his crossword puzzles, watched a bunch of Hitchcock movies rented from our local comic book store, Bizarro World, and even played some games of Dungeons and Dragons in person (with my kids) and online (with university colleagues). As someone who meditates regularly, I elected to play a monk.
During those 500 days, I have written many poems, more weekly essays like this one, even more emails, and even more comments on student articles submitted to my remotely-taught UC Davis journalism classes. During those 500, days I have eaten probably more than 200 burritos, and zero Dr. Andy Salads (a secret-menu favorite) at my favorite pub. With the exception of an occasional glass of wine with my wife Kate, I’ve also largely stopped drinking alcohol. This has helped me lose a few pounds, but my friends working at the pub have also lost out. Regrettably, I’ve tipped de Vere’s staff about $4000 less over the last 500 days than I had over the previous 500 days.
Although during those 500 days I’ve spent almost zero hours waiting in line or in traffic, I’ve made up for it by spending more than 350 hours in Zoom meetings. During those 500 days I’ve read or listened to more than 75 books, and consumed probably all or part of more than 500 podcasts. During those 500 days, I’ve hosted about the same number of poetry readings that I typically do (25 a year), and attended almost as many as I usually do, most of those from my phone while walking with Jukie. Thanks to radio station KDVS airing reruns of Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour, I’ve hosted zero new radio shows over the last 500 days, while having hosted more than 1000 radio shows over the previous 20 years.
Now the microphone calls me. I’ve enjoyed being differently busy over the last 500 days, but coming this Tuesday night at 7 at de Vere’s Irish Pub in Davis, I will be returning to a bit of normalcy. On Tuesday, July 27th, I will be returning to in-person hosting of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz. If you live nearby, maybe you will join me.
So, please bring your vaccinated self to the Pub tomorrow, and subscribe to the Pub Quiz if you can’t join us in person. It’ll be fun to see if, after 500 days, the quiet and contemplative version of Dr. Andy can still remember the script.
P.S. Here are four questions from a March, 2019 Pub Quiz:
Famous Ships. What was the name of Ernest Shackleton's ship which became stuck in Antarctic ice in 1915?
Pioneers in the mass production of tires. In what year was the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founded? Was it 1880, 1900, 1920, or 1940?
Science. A Tarantula Hawk is which of the following: A bird, a military jet, or a wasp?
Unusual Words. What monosyllabic G verb means “to obtain something, especially money, illicitly”?
P.P.S. With the Delta variant sickening more and more people in Yolo County, locals still need your support. Please support the Yolo Food Bank.