What Profiteth a Man If He Increaseth Not His Rating?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Awoke at 6:46 and immediately called Woody. I supposed, in a way, it's kind of like I woke up alongside him, though separated by the aether. Now that Woody has been made famous by my documentary, I'm sure many women will wish they could wake up next to him. By contrast, the more women see my movie, the smaller my chances of ever finding another girlfriend again.

We sped to three different Starbucks, along with a stop at the amusingly named Soprano's Deli & Bagels. By the time we left Northport, we had about 30 minutes to drive some 20 miles. Fortunately, those particular Long Island roads, despite not being freeways, moved very, very quickly. Almost too quickly, because a group of about five cars blew past a Suffolk County Police car at about 70 MPH. I was sure somebody would be busted, but he let us all go. Whew!

Dropped Woody off at 9:27 and found parking a couple of minutes later. Easier to find parking at this Port Jefferson Village Center than in Bayside. Plenty of time, plenty of time. Ginger hardly looked frazzled, almost peaceful even. Well, maybe I wouldn't go that far.

Drew well against Richard Ferrera, and it appeared that he was drawing poorly, which was good for me, because, after a few good plays, including S(N)ARFiNG, I started to screw up. First, failing to see that I opened up a triple column with PRAY, and then playing EXE(R)* by mistake (but getting away with it). I did not suffer the indignity of having to pay for my mistakes, and I went on to win in a rout. Despite this, Rich bought a DVD. Good man, that Rich.

Holy cow!!! Woody almost beat me! Came down to the endgame, seeing that he could not block an out play, BORKED/(WOO)D, and hoping he would not see it and somehow find a way to score enough to stay ahead.

Towards the end of hour game I noticed a man hovering over our board. Later he asked about BORKED, and I explained the origin of the word (or how I understood it, at least). Discovered the man was not a Scrabble husband, but rather on the board that ran the Village Center. Turned out Ginger had actually been invited to hold the tournament there, and the board waived the fee for the room. I immediately started hoping for a hefty payout.

Arthur had a pretty lousy time of it, and our game was no exception. Though he struck first with BOONIES, I found SE(N)IlELY for 90, then SERIATE for 73, then TAXIED for 63, and then it was just a question of how much spread I could accumulate.

It was touch-and-go for a while against Ann Raymond, her SPOiLED matched my CANOERS. I doubted myself when I played JU(RE)L for 40, leaving AAAL, but it was the right play. As was AA from my next rack, though I would have preferred more turnover. But I managed to draw the blank on my next turn, for a 95-point SErIFED (better than the phony FrISEED* I was considering), and that sealed the game.

Almost lost to Marie Puma due to a bad, bad decision to gamble that she would not know un uncommon hook to PUNK. Let's not underestimate these intermediate players again, okay?

My hopes of getting back to 1700 disappeared in a matter of just a few turns, as Glenn Filzer opened with OVERTLY, slapped a 38-point AX on the CHIRU that I had so experlty hooked to his bingo, and then went on to score with JAPER(Y) and a whopping 91 for RETSINA. Even when his rack kind of fizzled, he still scored 18 with (T)IKI, and immediately followed with thORIUM. A couple of turns later I could have hooked RODENTS, but mystifyingly I miscounted the number of squares and determined that my bingo would not fit. I bingoed next turn, and then again two turns later, and ended up losing by 83 (actually 81), so it's hard not to wonder if I could have won that game had I bingoed a turn earlier and been able to bingo twice more, or to draw the Z for 40+ points.

Later it would occur to me that Glenn's vicious savaging was revenge for my having spilled orange juice on his bag. At least it wasn't puke, like he first thought.

Later still, on drive back towards the City, I would be listening to a podcast of Talk of the Nation about political cartoons killed by the editor. One, from the Clinton era, depicted a Democratic donkey being sexually assaulted by a Republican elephant. Reminded me of the Filzer game.

An extremely unusual situation came up in my game against Marjorie. Going into a a fairly close endgame, I played for points instead of closing up the S bingo line, and this inadvertently blocked her line for DIPTERA, so she decided to try DIPTERA(S)*. The word screamed phony, phony, PHONY in an extremely loud voice, but I couldn't get my confidence level to 100%. I had to challenge to win, but the problem was that if I lost the challenge, Marjorie was likely to win by the the 92 she needed to take first place from me. So I decided to let her have the word so I could guarantee I'd win the money. Had I beaten Glen and looked at the possibility of 7-0, I probably would have made a different decision, but I knew that 6-1 wasn't going to get me back over 1700, so what did it matter if I was at 1690+ or 1670+? Sucked either way. So I let her have the bingo, won the tournament, and felt a bit relieved that I had at least not given up against Glen and kept fighting. Had I not played to win until the end, I might not have been able to stay ahead of Marjorie in spread. On the other hand, had that been the case, I would have had no choice but to challenge DIPTERA(S)*!!! Geez...

After the game, a reasonably attractive sandy-haired blonde of indeterminate age (could have been 20s or 30s), but with a great smile, asked me about the Starbucks thing. I answered a few questions, but I was in a moderately disappointed mood and didn't really feel like talking. Later, though, I decided that she was just too attractive to ignore, and I had to try and chat her up.

I had no excuse to talk to the sisters, unfortunately. The younger one was definitely attractive enough, and, as with sisters in general, there was the added fantasy of getting them both together, every man's dream. But it appeared to be their first tournament, and I did not expect to ever see them again, so why bother?

As usual, Ginger's awards ceremony involved voting for the best word in a certain category, this time "June". Towards the back of the room, an elderly player of indeterminate sex (at least until I saw her go into the bathroom), registered her vote in a most foul and flatulent manner. Old people sure do have a tendency of doing that, don't they?

The lack of excitement at my pitiful 5-2 record was evident on my face as I went up to pick up my $75 first-place bonanza. As I walked back with my check, I heard several comments along the lines of "don't look so excited." I resisted the strong urge to make a repetetive jerking motion with my hand. I did not want to look like a grump in front of the atttractive young ladies. I may not know beans about women, but I can't imagine they find grumpy old men appealing.

At least the tournament had been nary a detour, so with the $20 profit plus a sold DVD, I made out okay. Thank heavens for all those who have bought DVDs, and shame shame for those who have not. Support the cause!!!

As I was leaving the blonde commented that she was going to watch my DVD, which she had won as a special prize. Oh, well, I thought--any chance I might have had with her would disappear the moment she witness my full craziness captured on video.

I dropped Woody off at the train station, and from there the route to Southhold had me make a left on a street called Hallock. I was pretty sure that that was the closest I was ever going to get to riding on a Hallock of any kind.

A couple of days later, when I finished simming, I would learn I had given up less equity that in recent tournaments. Why??? Why, in a weak field, was I playing better (according to the sim), when I could have used those skillz in Philadelphia and Farmington? What... is... up... wit... dat???


2.1 VETO VEG (leave EOOT???)
5.4 GOPHER  
0 S(N)ARFiNG  
9.4 PRAY  
0 EXE(R)*  
0 RAFT  
0* HOLD  
4 (C)OO  
5.7 Z(E)AL  
41.3 VU(M) UVUlIT(I)S
0 JA(D)E  
3.3 ROU(E)N  
0* (G)IEN  
0 Q(AID)  
10.5 ACTINS (WOO)L (gives up too many points!)
2.8 (RE)L(I)T -BKLTT (shoulda exchanged to draw (JADE)D)
4.7 T(UP) (don't want reveal BORKED too soon)
0 (A)E  
7 BORKED missed spots Woody opened
5.1 GOTTEN G(E)EZ (prefer turnover avoid double TT)
0 SE(N)IlELY  
6.3 LI  
0* FOCI  
14.7 (l)OWER  
6.9 US rack confused the heck out of me
9.5 M(O)D  
2.3 AA  
0 FA  
14 (P)U(G)  
0 EAU  
14.3 ZA(S) VARU(S),RHU(S)
0 HURT  
3.3 VIRAGO  
0 JU(RE)L  
0 AA  
7.2 OILY  
2.5 AHEM  
16.4 FIDS  
0 VI(E)  
0 TOT  
0 (YAr)N  
0 COZ  
2.4 D(E)FT  
0 (O)XO  
0 Q(U)EER  
0 F(A)ITH  
2.3 ALIEN(ED)  
0 CE(E)  
20.1 PUNK  
0 AEON  
2.7 CHIRU HUIC (better leave AIR)
2.3 OBIT  
3.7 NONA  
0* YOU  
4.3* VAS  
21.8 R(I)D RODENTS/(thORIUM)S (inexplicably thought it didn't fit)
0 WO  
0 (G)AED  
0 DATE  
0 WOKE  
2.7 YUCA  
0 YON  
5.7 VISE  
9 (V)IA  
13.4 ABORT  
--- IGG  

1 - w - 2.7 (34.6)
2 - w - 5.6 (78.7)
3 - w - 7.4 (110.8)
4 - w - 3.0 (44.7)
5 - w - 8.2 (106.2)
6 - L - 4.4 (52.2)
7 - L - 10.5

Avg: 6.0

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