I don't really have too much to say that Mike, Dru, and Brian haven't already laid out. Needless to say, the whole affair was suitably epic from start to finish... plenty of stories, all laid out in bullet points below, to which I have little to add.
But I will say this: I have fallen desperately in love with New York City. There's nothing I can say here that would impart to you, if you've never been there, the scale and diversity and pervasive weirdness of the place. I don't care that it was founded by the vile Dutch... NYC is the Great American Melting pot brought to a rapid boil... everything right and wrong about America stacked 80 stories high, with stakes in the endeavor up for grabs to anyone willing to take part. Oppressive institutions and limitless opportunity abound, and while they may not actually have an inch physical space left in the place, there's room for you and me there.
Sometime on Wednesday night, absolutely floating after a solid showing at the Jeopardy audition, I chugged a pitcher of Irish Car Bomb in a bar somewhere in the East Village (thanks again, BriBri). This is not as hard as one might think, and it earns you a spot on the wall of fame at Cheapshots Bar, plus a healthy round of drunken applause. Needing a few minutes to recover, I dragged Dru outside to smoke and gawk some more at the hip, frantic madness of the Village.
"So, did I mention again that I nailed that audition?"
"Yeah, homie... I'm really excited for you."
I lit a smoke, cocked my head to the side, and let out a pitcher's worth of belch.
"Dru, I really hope that this pans out. I mean, I know it's a dumb pipe dream, but the money they have up for grabs could solve a lot of problems... fund a lot of other dumb pipe dreams."
"Dan, if there's anyone who could make some crazy shit like this happen, it's you. I mean, we've come this far."
"Yeah..." I looked around, feeling that massive drink starting to come on and still just stunned that, Holy Freaking God, we're actually in New York City. "So I think I want to move here, man. I have no idea how I'd do it, short of... uh... winning a bunch of money on Jeopardy"
Dru nodded his approval, obviously as impressed with the place as I was. Then we started throwing out all kinds of fun bullshit plans, playing with about a half-mil worth of game show winnings I'll likely never see, gathering everyone up and settling ourselves into that enormous urban playground. We finished our cigarettes and stumbled back inside, and I, having gone from zero to drunk in the lifespan of a Camel Light, thought to myself... "Goddamn... that was a pitcher of Guinness"
The rest of the night is something of a blur.
You know... it's fun to dream.