Jeopardy played an important part in our coming of age possibly even more than Dawson's Creek. Correct answers in the final round often resulted in smug self-satisfaction that could last for hours. Family bouts of Trivial Pursuit were also popular. But live trivia nights in a town of 2,406 (last time we went home, the population had shrunk to 2,365) just didn't happen much. That's not so 'round these parts, where you can demonstrate your capacity for retaining useless information almost any night of the week. Trivia Riot at the Brick, Brainville at Stu's Midtown Tavern (which moved from 75th Street Brewery in September) and Smackdown at the Bottleneck have been joined by Trivia Clash at the Record Bar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207). It happens at 8 p.m. every Thursday, and original Trivia Riot host Pat Hopewell presides. The truly competitive can even check Hopewell's blog www.triviaclash.blogspot.com for category titles at 5 p.m. the day of the event, allowing three hours of cram time. Five bucks gets you in.
Friday, October 7
Artist Jeannie Hulen examines mass consumption, reproduction and the side effects of both in our society. If you can get past the materials she uses which seem to us a little obvious there are actually some interesting ideas going on here. Check out the opening reception for her exhibit, Bi Products, tonight from 6 to 9 at Zone Gallery (1830 Locust, 816-471-3618).
Saturday, October 8
Our family didn't come over on the Mayflower, donate enough money to get a university building named after it or do anything to guarantee a spot in the Jewel Ball. But let's face it: We're too old to be debutantes. We still like a good party, though especially one that requires us to buy something new. The invitation to the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art's The Hot Spot requests that attendees wear polka-dot-inspired cocktail attire. And we do love polka dots. We also love a party with signature cocktails, such as a Hot-tini and a Spot-tini. Now, about that $150 ticket price.... Call 816-753-5784 or see www.kempergala.org for more information.
Sunday, October 9
For being non-Irish, we pass pretty well. We're fair and freckled, our mom has red hair, and we went through an intense U2 phase back in the mid-'80s. We even have a cousin with a giant shamrock tattoo on his biceps of course, he's a former football player and weighs around 250 pounds, so no one questions his love of the Irish. Anyway, our weekend will have to include at least one day at the Weston Irish Fest, which started Friday and ends today at O'Malley's Pub and Courtyard (500 Welt Street in Weston; take Interstate 29 to Exit 20). Today's performers include hometown Celtic rockers the Elders, Cleveland's Brigid's Cross and, at 4:40 p.m., the O'Riada Academy of Irish Dance. After stuffing ourselves silly with corned beef and Irish stew (and, OK, maybe some lager, stout and ale), we're hitting the merch area. Because nothing says "I'm not really Irish" like a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" T-shirt, right? Just ask our cousin. Festival hours today are noon to 10 p.m., and admission is $10. See www.westonirish.com for more information.
Monday, October 10
Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria has been dubbed "an intellectual heartthrob" by Jon Stewart (our favorite intellectual heartthrob), "the Backstreet Boy of public broadcasting" by the Village Voice and perhaps most significantly "hot" by the Pitch's own Night Ranger. His rag might be a little bit fluffy, but he still distinguishes himself from a lot of the country's journalists by insisting that America pay attention to foreign affairs "you know, the other 95 percent of humanity," as he puts it. And how could you not be wowed by someone who edits a magazine, writes a weekly column, hosts a television show and just finished a book, all while acting as the country's go-to guy for Muslim explanation? Stand in shock and awe at 7 tonight at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street), where he presents a free lecture titled "The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad." Reservations are required; call 816-235-6222.
Tuesday, October 11
Back in our day, when we walked to school five miles each way, uphill, in the snow (you know the rest), we had a bedtime. This may be a thing of the past, based on how many of the under-12 set we see out and about in the evening at the library, the bookstore, the grocery store or Target. Shouldn't you be in bed? Kids and tweens with a social calendar more booked than ours will have to pencil in time tonight for Mine! The Kansas City International Childish Film Festival at 8. This film screening isn't just for kids, though some of the movies were made by kids. So, wee ones, add that to your to-do list: Make movie. We're sure with all the time you're not spending on sleep, you'll be able to whip up something. Save $2 from your allowance to gain entry at the Westport Coffee House (4010 Pennsylvania, 816-756-3222).
Wednesday, October 12
Much like Festivus, Halloween sneaks up on us every year. Midsummer, we're plotting the perfect costume, and then it slips our mind. Now we have 19 days to come up with something brilliant, and we're starting to worry. So we're hitting tonight's performance of The Conference of the Birds at Mabee Theater at Benedictine College (1020 North Second Street, way up in Atchison, 913-360-7579) for some ideas. The play itself piqued our interest it's based on a book of 12th-century Persian poetry but the student-designed makeup has us all aflutter. Why? It involves airbrushing feathers onto the actors' bodies. Think the makeup artists are available the night of October 31? The play runs at 8 p.m. nightly through October 15; there's a 2 p.m. matinee on October 16.