The Michigan Death Spiral, Part Two

Sunday, September 13, 2008

Finally got up around 8:30 wishing I had used the night before to catch up on sleep instead of spending hours performing a series of experiments at Deja Vu.

I got a bit of a scare against Karen Smith when she played the early SATINE bingo and managed to keep the lead for a few turns. Then I got down Es(T)RAGON, won the challenged, and cruised to a big win.

My next opponent was not Jason Brooks. I'm serious--he wasn't. But for the duration of the game I thought I was playing Jason Brooks. I also thought his middle initial is L, and I kept thinking of The Family Guy. Oh, and there was some decent Scrabbling in there--double-double MeME(T)ICS put me up far enough to stay a couple of bingos away from not-Jason for the duration. After the game, when I found out who not-Jason really was, I was disappointed that I had not tried any phonies.

I really needed to beat Ron, but I chickened out on GRAV(E)LED, and then he went on to draw 9 power tiles. After he finally bingoed, wEEPiES(T), I still had a chance. Tie the game with VAGI/(Q)I for 27 and then score big with the J. I really needed him not to have the J. But he had it.

Annotated Game

With that loss, I really needed to win the rest of my games, but after Jeff Clark came out strong with BUSSInG, I took much too long to bingo. Part of the reason was poor leave choices, according to Quackle. The other part was just sheer stupidity. From a rack of ACFGOR? and an (In) to play through, I see FACtOR(ED) for 39 over on the left side of the board, and I see COFARm(In)G*, but I cannot see FACtOR(In)G. With that level of blindness, what is the point of continuing to play Scrabble??? Anyway,I finally got down C(O)VERAGe, but Jeff managed to stay with me throughout and won by 6. No matter what happened, I was looking at another loss, possibly at a sub-1600 rating.

I made one of my few decent plays of the entire tournament against Connie Breitbeil. Knowing full well that ME(TA)LIC* was egregiously phony, I struggled to remember whether MELODI(C)A was a good anagram of the phony CAMELOID* (which I thought was good). I finally decided to try it, and I let her phony go at great risk. Had I been wrong, she would have taken the lead if she hit one of the two TWS spaces her C opened. But I was right, and I got the extra turn to boot.

Frank Lee got ridiculously lucky yet again, opening with STUDIOS followed by ZONA for 44. The ease with which he managed to score was constrasted by the plays that I would have needed to win. Finding OBsI(D)IAN instead of lIBA(T)ION. S(C)REAKY. (CURVE)Y. INCUSE. Of course, I probably would have won had I just thought to tack on my S to VIT(AL) to both score a bunch of extra points and block a hot spot. I can't really say anything about missing that play than that I was stupid.

I couldn't get out of the room fast enough, and the last thing I needed was to walk outside and find that the rain had abated not a whit. Nor did I need to find that a mosquito had invaded my car, my most holiest of places. I felt a sudden urge to smash it into its insectan afterlife, but the memory of the windshield I had broken just a few weeks earlier was still fresh in my mind.

I suppose the rain was not all bad. Having to focus on seeing the road distracted me from despair. Well, partly. I still had images of slitting my throat, of opening up my skull and eating my own brain, of stabbing out my eyes, of exploding against the grill of an oncoming truck. You know, the usual post-disaster thoughts.

On the other hand, the rain was slowing down my trip and delaying the moment at which I could lay down my head to sleep and, if the gods were merciful, never wake up. Rebecca, who had done rather well in her tournament, was not offering a sympathetic ear. Nor was she supportive of my desire to sleep forever. I couldn't understand it. If she really cared about me, wouldn't want me to ease my pain and my shame in the most sublime of ways, the forever sleep? Why would she want me to have to suffer through even one day of the sub-humanity that comes with a sub-1700 rating?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I finally saw the extent of the damage to my rating. It's a good thing I was at work, or I might have screamed. As it was, I looked around for a sharp object with which I could gouge out my eyes, but the company had just recently moved into the space and the cubicles were pretty clean.


#1 - Lee    
0 BOTA  
1 JAY  
0.1* (J)IVED  
5.1 NARK (HAZE)R hook,(HAZE)L hook
7.7 NELL*  
4.1 EERIE  
3.7* GOWN  
6.1 ETHIONs/(NELL)s* (LYING)s hook
3.3 P(AG)ED no attempt at bingo rack b/c don't know (LYING)s hook
3.6 R(O)T  
9 SCUM (LYING)s hook
0 (N)ISI  
#2 - Smith    
1.9 ZANY  
3.2 (S)MELT  
2.4 DIV(IN)ED  
0 TOG  
1.1 Es(T)RAGON  
1 B(O)OM  
6.2 FA(R)O  
0 VIER  
0 XU  
22.7 (E)ARL weak block of nonexistent bingo
3 PI(L)EI  
#3 - Garrod    
0 DEE  
0.1 WINZE  
6.2 (T)YIN  
0 MeME(T)ICS  
0 QI  
20.1 H(A)UL(S) FUEL (how did I miss it???)
2.1 DEF  
2.2 VO(l)E  
0* OX(O)  
12 LIEN  
0 LAT  
#4 - Hoekstra    
0 WOAD  
4.5 TITI  
66 VALE GRAV(E)LED (unsure),GAV(E)LED (unsure)
6.8 CURD CURF (only 99% sure)
3.8 SLUG  
0 BARF  
0 D(R)AG  
0 TO  
0 VAGI  
0 TOME  
#5 - Clark    
0 QI  
10.6 DEAN  
21.3 LEV(Y) VETChL(In)G
10.3 TEL(L)Yunsure)  
0 C(O)VERAGe  
0 TWO  
0 OAF  
0.8 (E)H  
6.4 AID have to play I b/c 3 left in bag
0 TIS  
0 RUIN  
#6 - Breitbeil    
9.9 GO(A)  
9.5 RA(I)NIESt  
0 XI  
6.2 FON  
2.8 COB  
3.1 B(L)IP  
2.4 DEL(I)  
3.1 D(OM)  
0 QATS  
5.9 E)ON  
0 WREN  
32 V(A)R  
0 (A)G  
0 G(AR)  
0 T(YE)  
0 (B)E  
0 (HOP)S  
#7 - Lee    
29.9 lIBA(T)ION OB(S)
0 W(I)TTED  
16.9 GA(M)EY S(C)REAKY (saw but no idea),KERYG(MA),G(Al)YAK,(CURVE)Y (unsure)
6.4 (E)X  
3.7 S(I)NKER not interested in bingo leave
0 RAJ  
2.1 VIT(AL) VIT(AL)S (huge mistake!!!)
0.8 (X)ENIC INCUSE (unsure)
32 lose turn ((XENIC)S*) UNSET (wins)


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