I Believe I Can Fly
Friday, December 17, 2004
Blank Hand assasinated
determined not to play, 1550 after shelton, 1583, protect rrating, updates from carol, bumped, rau, justyificate, rideshare, don';t wan t2 drive, fly, figure i''d spend money on massgae, jodi, enough sbux
rest area closed, found parking lot, cursed thew2ir bones of their ancestors
drive up I-275, smooth, fiounde $20 in backpack, took as omen
cute librarian girl
heather not with matt, i bout to go into suave mode but have to move car
I got down two bingos, RESOUnD and PINASTER, to his ANOINTER, and I think I was seeing a lot more of the bingos I'd been studying recently on the board, but I just couldn't offset the points Frank Lee scored with three eses plus JKXZ and a blank. 18/18
Meanwhile, someone was running around showing off her skivvies until another player kindly grabbed her and tucked her unmentionables back into her pants.
2 players now with hats, frank spawining imitator
better tiles knapp, fall out of bag, caro puts back i
Betters tiles still against Cheryl Cadieux, though it was looking bad when she was stumbling across a couple of 40+ plays and then RETAXINg for 82. Had I not found FOISTING through her I, I would have been sunk.
When I stepped out for
lunch late breakfast I said "Uh-oh" because it was snowing ! In Michigan! In December! My whole rationale for making the trip was that I could knock off a bunch of new Starbucks, and the snow would imperil my plans to reach Chicago in four hours to visit three new stores on Saturday night so I could turn right around in the morning and head back to Maryland.
Aw, hell, I let Frank get away with BLINS*. Crap!!! That, and not being sure about SCUTTER, which meant taking fewer points for my bingo, and I start to think I could have won that game.
cHAT HEATHER, distracted by baby, bad sign
Meanwhile, one of the players had brough a seriously hot girlfriend in tow. I'd say she almost rivaled the trophy Scrabble girlfriend from Stamford, and that she made up for this "poor" guy's -663 spread after three games.
A preponderance of power tiles, the most of the tournament, helped me beat Connie Breitbeil in an unremarkable game. But winning that third game gave me a sense of relief, because as much as I was hoping to win enough games for 1600, I had also feared tanking and ruining my rating for January's tournaments. With three games under my belt, I was sure I could win one more and keep my rating about even (maybe lose ten points). Of course, being the #1 seed, I was facing opponents in order of strength, so the afternoon looked to be tougher, and going 0-3 was not inconceivable, as much as I shuddered to think about it.
Against first-time opponent Mike Stafford I made the mistake of playing a downbeat song, the recently iTuned "Worn Me Down" by Rachel Yamagata. The song set the tone for the game, as I started to be worn down from Mike's opening play, VAC. My response, TIVY, was okay, but the board quickly became tighter than an expression from A Perfect World, and I could see that whoever managed to get the first bingo or big play would probably control the game and win. Well, Mike stumbled across BESTIAL, and then when he hung WELL under a triple line, I knew he probably had both the remaining eses and that the game was probably unwinnable. Still, I got a break--a 66-point QUIZ countering his 54-point GROSZ. But that last S was still looming, and sure enough SHORE for 42 was about to come down until Mike saw a better play, SHORTING to pull pretty much beyond reach. Only drawing both blanks for bingos could have saved me from a 121-point deficit. I drew one, for the 80-point SCANTIEr, but then I pulled AAIIOON, and that was the game.
On the bright side, I was seeing (high-probability) eights like a motherfucker as I played, and I remained hopeful that, JKB had suggested, learning the eights would allow me to dominate the sub-expert players.
My third time against Elaine Glowniak resulted in the trickiest dispute I'd been involved in to date. The game started off wacky when we both drew Es, then As, and then she drew a U and I was sure I'd get to start... but drew an X. I was starting to pull away when Elaine decided to exchange. She called out "five" but dumped all her tiles on the table, this I'm sure of. What I was unsure of was whether she had hit her clock, because as soon as I noticed the discrepancy I stopped it and called the director. Elaine thought she hadn't hit her clock, and I was sure, and Carol seemed to be struggling to make a decision. Finally, Elaine lost her patience and went ahead and... holy crap! I can't be sure I remember this correctly, but I think
I asked Dan Stock, and he confirmed that that is indeed what she had done, though whether it was intentional or not I can't say. Could have been the pressure of the situation. I myself, when in an odd exchange situation, once dumped all my tiles before I drew new ones. Joel Sherman said "tough".
hot-ass spanable, innocent look, but
608 leaving Farmingtondf