I do my breathing exercises, then I listen to some binaural beats to focus and calm my mind. Lastly, as the suggestion of a friend of mine, I journal for ten minutes, just to get the juices flowing and unlock the hyperverbal part of my brain.
Finally, the familiar theme plays, and we're off to the races: a few easy ones at the beginning ease away the jitters, and then I'm flying through the questions, guessing where I don't know for sure, and answering with assurance where I do.
I finish, and the house is quiet around me, and I feel strangely at peace, while the cat lays next to me, breathing slowly, her white fluffy belly rising and falling, her paws flexing gently in the air, entirely unconcerned with game shows, or trivia, or anything at all.
One year ago: A Near Miss
Two years ago: Thwarted
Three years ago: Estranged
Four years ago: Bodysurfing Meditation
Eight years ago: 6/1/09 - this happens every once in a while
Nine years ago: 6-1-08 There, but for the grace of God...