Tuesday, April 26, 2005

And so it came to pass...

Jeopardy made me do it, folks. To wit: many years ago Jeopardy was my single and solitary tv attraction, the only show I watched with regularity. It was 1987 when I started watching, 5th grade. My earliest memory was Bob Verini winning the Tournament of Champions (I don't remember exactly who he played).

I had just started playing academic team (or "quiz bowl", for all you non-Kentuckians) and was developing a love and drive for competition based on random facts. On and on the years went, on into high school, where I spent my glory years at South Laurel. Fittingly, my academic zenith was reached right at the end, when I placed second in the state Social Studies written assessment my senior year. Still the proudest moment of my career, and as far as I know, unequaled in South Laurel history before or since.

Jeopardy was my companion all of those years. I used it to augment my knowledge base. Although pop culture, a sizeable chunk of Jeopardy categories, was absent in our games, there was plenty of overlap. Some of this overlap even involved Jeopardy contestants.

The years of 1993 - 1994 were glory years for Kentucky academics in another way in the form of back-to-back Jeopardy Teen Tournament champions.. 1993 saw Fraser Woodforde of Paul L. Dunbar High School in Lexington defeating all comers. In 1994 it was Matt Morris of DuPont Manual in Louisville. I had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with both of them in a competition setting, but that is a story for another day.

So how is all of this connected to my starting up this blog? Recently Jeopardy started the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. They summoned up 144 of the best players in the history of the show to come back and battle it out for all-time supremacy. I saw many of the players I remembered from years past...including Messrs. Woodforde and Morris. This started some introspection on my part.

I've always had the desire to tap the creative side of my psyche. I've often envisioned myself a musician. I find myself analyzing the music that I enjoy, dissecting it to see just what it is that I like about it. If I could synthesize these ideas into music of my own, nothing could stop me. It's getting these tenuous ideas from my brain out into the real world that eludes me. I don't play any instruments well enough to compose for them. Film? In a similar way I have found myself analyzing my favorite movies and what makes them great in my mind. But the technical and logistical requirements of conceiving and filming such an endeavor are beyond my capabilities.

So we come to writing. In a sort of anticlimactic turn, this blog is born. I am setting out to put my thoughts to the proverbial paper on a day-to-day basis. Something creative, yes. Something substantial. Let's see what we get...

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