Meeting Ken Jennings.
I know I update this blog about once every six months at this point, but it’s because I usually have nothing interesting happen in my life that’s blog-worthy. Wednesday changed all that.
I heard Ken Jennings was coming into town at Powell’s Books to talk about his new book, Because I Said So!, which talks about myths and legends that you might’ve heard from your parents. For those not quite in the loop, Jennings was the guy who went on Jeopardy! back in 2004 and won over $2,500,000 thanks to the show’s then-new rule of staying a returning champion until you were defeated. Since then, he’s wrote a book about the experience — Brainiac — as well as a trivia almanac and a book about maps titled Maphead, so he’s been keeping busy with telling his trivia knowledge to the masses. One of these days I need to pick up Brainiac just so I can do a compare-and-contrast with another book written by another former Jeopardy! contestant: Prisoner of Trebekistan by Bob Harris. Never finished Trebekistan, but it’s still a great read.
So, the event was mostly Jennings repeating stuff from the book and interjecting with a good amount of humor. I follow the guy on Twitter, so I’m used to some of his jokey, sometimes groan-worthy humor, but there were plenty of laughs here and there. After that, there was a book signing in which I snagged a copy and got him to sign it. As well as a picture.
Normally I usually don’t do photo-ops with famous people, especially since a picture in 2009 with a games journalist-turned-game designer looked painfully uncomfortable from his point of view. But I really couldn’t pass this one up, since it’s Ken freakin’ Jennings. Afterwards I hopped on a train and went home — it was pretty late, and I’m usually not out and about at night.
I don’t really give myself time to read books, but I’ll likely read Because I Said So! in the near future and maybe write about it. We shall see.