Clothes Make the Mojo

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What happened??? When I got up at 8:10 I thought I had enough time for a decent breakfast. I meant to just rush in and out of the Wal-Mart, but the front bathrooms were closed so I had to find the ones far in the back. Then, while washing my face, an earbud fell out and into the faucet, so I had to dry it off with the warm air dryer. Then, while paying for my juice, the cashier could not get my Wal-Mart card to work, and after several minutes I had to stop her and pay with cash. Then I headed into downtown to find a warm breakfast, but all the restaurants appeared closed!!!

What am I missing here? No local breakfast restaurants in Wis Dells??? I finally ran out of time and had to go for the "perfect" oatmeal and multigrain roll from Starbucks. Let me be clear--the oatmeal is actually decent, and so is the roll (at stores where they can heat it), but it's really only a convenience breakfast, for when I'm in a hurry. A hot breakfast trumps Starbucks any day.

Don't know what happened against Marty Marcus. His easy bingos certainly didn't help, but neither did my missing HO(I)CK to scoire better and leave EER. I'm getting really sick of missing fives. And I'm failing to understand why I keep losing despite the fact that my bingo knowledge has increased dramatically since I won Stamford several years ago. I didn't even know 5000 7s back then, compared to now that I've gone through 15,000 plus nearly 10,000 eights. Can anybody explain this???

Besides being irritated over my first-round loss, I also suffered from an inability to think during the early paert of my game against Vincent Van Dover. I struggled with ACDEEHU and ACDEISV while Vincent quickly played Q(U)EER and HEP. I sensed a definite problem with time trouble, and I finally abandoned my search for a bingo or double-double through the R. Several turns later I realized I had missed VA(R)ICES. Fortunately, despite the miss, my racks began to get easier, and I took the momentum while Vincent struggled. When he finally played the phony yAMULKE*, he was down to a little over a minute on his clock with 14 tiles still in the bag. I suspected the phony, but I was just 14 points down and decided I could let the word go and win in an endgame.

Annotated Game

Yikes!!! Almost lost to #17 Michael David because of the front hook to SPIC. I still don't know what the best study method is for actually seeing hooks on the board.

I was stung by the Puffer Fish for a second time, dammit. Not sure how. Did I play that poorly?

Annotated Game

Bah! Hungry thought I was, two losses deprived me of any motivation to search for food. I settled for the first thing I saw, Carvelli's. The prices were ridiculous. Then I noticed something interesting, a separate menu that read "Locals Lunch Appreciation Menu" with much lower prices. I wonder if they try to keep that menu away from the tourists.

Anyway, the pasta, sans meatballs (still trying to eat less meat), was decent, but waaaaay too slippery. As soon as I started up my car I dumped a good portion of the sauce onto my t-shirt. That sucked. Fortunately, it didn't soak in right away, and I was able to wipe most of it off. I just smelled like spaghetti sauce for the rest of the day is all.

Double-double TENSING/(QADI)S to open was a gimme against Andy Bohnsack. EMAN(A)TOR, though--I'm proud of that one. Learned it in a painful loss to Geoff Thevenot, and solidified it during my anagramming of eights.

I suffered my cruelest loss of the tournament, and in recent memory, against Lisa Odom. After having outdrawn her in our two NAST games, it was appropriate that she opened with DECRIAL. ZaNIEST a few turns later was, perhaps, a bit much. But it was extreme cruelty for my only bingo, (A)PTERIAL*, to empty the bag just as Lisa was underlapping DENIALS to go out. What had I drawn? ABIORS plus the other blank!!!

Annotated Game

Destroyed by Joey Mallick. No surprise there. Just wish I hadn't embarrassed myself by trying FARMoST* for extra points instead of FoRMATS. It wasn't even the best play, because MAFTiRS in a different spot scored better.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In and out of the Wal-Mart more quickly, but, as usual, not without irritation (Wal-Mart really does suck). As always, I told the cashier I did not need a plastic bag. Most just nod politely, or give me a puzzled look, but this one said I'd have trouble getting leaving without a bag. She put the package of socks in the offending piece of plastic anyway, and I had to firmly insist she remove it. I said "I don't use plastic bags. They're bad for the enviroment. They kill birds and stuff like that. You don't want to kill birds, do you?" She replied, "No.", but I could tell from her expression that she couldn't have cared less about dead birds. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should decide not to have a child. Well, that fact, plus a series of logical inferences that I'll leave up to the reader to fill in. If you're smart enough to play Scrabble, you should be smart enough to figure out why children = bad.

I'd done some necessary shopping the previous night, and I wasted no time in changing into new socks, new briefs, and a brand new pair of running shoes. It was my hope that the new clothes would bring a change of luck, and my expectations were exceeded. Despite screwing up my first turn against Melissa Routzahn and giving up an S unnecessarily (unsure of CALVE or CLAVE), I drew into the 48-point JAUPE(D) and then another S for INO(S)ITES. Then the phony (B)ECOMB* following by phony REGIF(T)ED*, and finally RESEEI(N)G. Clearly it was the new clothing that accounted for my improved fortunes.

If Steve Hartsman had brought his videogame-playing with him for luck, the strategy sure wasn't working for him. He was doing rather poorly, at least until he met me. All of a sudden his luck changed, and he bingoed early with RELATI(N)G and several turns later with UNDREST while I was fumbling with difficult racks. Then Steve made a critical mistake. He played the word MO(J)O, and according to the supernatural rules of Scrabble, he lost his. My mojo was then able to reassert itself. It oozed out from within the fibers of my new shoes, my socks, and my briefs, swirled up my legs and around my loins, up my torso and down my arms into the tile bag. Next thing Steve knew, I got down SINUaTE for the lead. I scored modestly but steadily during the end game, while Steve burned a couple of turns for 6 points apiece, and I managed a 20-point win.

Meanwhile, in the bathroom, my horizons were expanded. I was feeling bloated but had a hard time getting that gas out. The uncomfortable pressure in my stomach increased until, all of a sudden, I let out a long and much-needed burp. The sound my throat made was one I had never heard before, and I was intrigued. It was almost robotic. Had I recorded it, I'm sure I could have sold it to the producers of Transformers 2 as a sound effect.

Got off to a good start against Lisa with sNOOTED, plus the challenge, and that lead encouraged me to try TURF(I)NGS*. Lisa wasn't having it, and losing that turn caused me to chicken out on FE(L)TINGS a couple of turns later. Lisa got WHIR(L)IeR along that same line, and it was only a fortuitous four-tile underlap of NESTLER for 90 points that kept me significantly ahead. Had the scores been closer, and the endgame gone a little different, that lost turn might have turned out even more costly. Stupid -INGS words. I hate that list.

My briefs continued to ooze mojo well into my game against Robinsky. I pulled ahead with B(I)oGENIC and kept scoring well, but all was not rosy. As long as BIOGENIC was on the board, I had to worry about whether it takes an S, and that uncertainty caused me to focus on blocking that hook instead of making a really strong play. I've no idea what to do about that, short of learning which words take eses and which don't? There are just so many words, though--it's maddening.

The S hook factored into that game a second time when I tried to hook EYING. I was sure that EYEING takes an S (but it doesn't), so I lost a turn trying (EYING)S for 46. That lost turn meant that when Rob eventually bingoed with ANtISEX for 98, he took a small lead. The only thing that saved me was drawing better tiles in the endgame.

Annotated Game

Hooooly shit!!! Despite being double-blanked by Mike Weepie and his AIRWA(V)Es and TRIUNEs, I managed to come back in the game with DURIANS and a couple of plays that I'm proud of despite what Quackle says, AMPLY and ENHA(L)O. It then came down to endgame, and I managed rto find one of the two winning plays.

Annotated Game

Five in a row definitely improved my weekend, and I was glad to get back over 1700, but I was still disappointed by the tournament's outcome. I've grown used to having the highest spread of those within my win group, but for some reason I was not posting heavy spreads in Wis Dells. I ended up in fifth place, behind three other players with 8-2 records. I didn't really care about the money--it was an issue of pride. I mean, how does Eric Ufferman post a 675 spread, some 500 points ahead of me???

I saved my appetite for Madison, where I hoped to find a neat little local restaurant. I've always heard good things about Madison, and I like the vibe of State Street. Now that I finally had time to kill, I was able to walk down State and notice that there was more culinary variety than I would have expected. I spotted several Lao-Thai and Mediterranean restaurants, and I decided to try an East African place called Buraka. One interesting thing about the menu was that the spicy dishes were denoted with a little jalapeno pepper. I usually shy away from spicy, but I decided to take a chance on the black beans and rice. They weren't bad. Same can't be said for a special type of bread called something like "jirana", "jirina", or perhaps "jinira". Maybe even "jinari". Regardless, its texture was nothing like any bread I'd ever seen, and the taste... not for me. At least it was only 75 cents extra.


#1 - Marcus    
5.1 DR(I)B  
1.9 C(H)EW FItC(H)EW
0 oVErFIT  
0 TAX (L)UXATE/U(S)/X(U)/A(M)/T(I)/E(N) (not best but would have been nice)
1.7 QU(I)NATE  
0.3 (A)GUE  
0 LOO(T)E(R)  
14.9 DOES ODA (leaving EIST, but Marty will certainly block)
0 AB  
5 IT(S)  
0 (R)ANT  
#2 - Van Dover    
1.5 HUE  
50.7 VI(E)D  
0 ZE(P)S  
14.5 FIX  
0 BI(N)T  
5.9 MEND  
6.2 TREAD  
9.3 RAJA JAVA!!! (okay, I truly suck)
7.7 OI  
9.5 VI(A)  
2.1 T(y)RING  
0 A(I)  
#3 - David    
1.4 LIANE  
0 WILL  
2.9 Z(E)ST  
26.9 UMM OMEN(T)UMS (saw but no idea)
3.8 (BA)YOU  
8.4 VID  
2.3 (S)AUCING  
19.4 EX XE(N)IC (BULLSHIT--there's only 1 I in the bag, and I have the Q. I'm not giving up my I!!!)
8.3 SPIC setting up Q--forget front hook
0* Q(I) must not empty bag
0 GEY  
#4 - Ufferman    
0 FEH  
1.2 DIG  
0 QIS  
0 UNAU  
0 NOOK(Y)  
7.6 FAD  
22.4 (F)OB O(M)
6 (EX)ES  
0 (L)ItAI  
#5 - Bohnsack    
3.2 FU(C)K  
0* LOOIE  
4.7 (YA)R thought (ACETAL) no take S
8.5 (S)ON  
0 W(R)IST  
3 (Q)I don't want to empty bag!!!
#6 - Odom    
2 HENT  
0 (C)LUNG  
4.4 VI(Z)OR  
0 JO  
0 E(H)  
0* P(E)W  
#7 - Mallick    
1.8 JAR  
6.2 TAENIA this rack fried my brain
5.8 -IIIUV (S?)  
42.1 lose turn (FARMoST*)  
8 Q(I)  
0 LIT(A)I  
1.1 BIN(T) miss A(VOUCH) hook
5.3 VAN ditto
4.3 (E)FTS  
40.1 challenge (K)EEPINGs  
--- DISC  
--- ----  
#8 - Routzahn    
7.1 CALVES CLAVE (unsure),CALVE (unsure)
0 JAUPE(D)  
2.9 (P)IU  
0 (B)ECOMB*  
0* EX  
0* Q(U)ANT  
6.7 OY  
0 DAUTIe  
4 (M)O(O)  
#9 - Hartsman    
9.1 DEB(A)TED  
0 WAV(Y)  
0 JUTE  
5.9 GECKO  
3 SIX  
6.5 B(U)G  
0* VE(E)  
0* NIL  
0* OH  
6 OLIO  
0 (G)EN  
#10 - Slankard    
7.2 NUCHA  
4.1 PAVI(N)  
0 (A)VO  
0 Q(I)  
3.0 sNOOTED  
0 MUD  
40 lose turn (TURF(I)NGS*)  
30.1 FIG FE(L)TINGS (chickened out)
0.2 LAX  
4.6 COB  
5.7 J(UTES)  
0 SITE  
#11 - Robinsky    
6.8 WIN(Y)  
0 B(I)oGENIC  
0 VIEW  
0 Q(I)  
23.1 lose turn ((EYING)S*)  
0 JETS  
0* HILLO  
4.8 VOID unsure of (ALULA)R--could have cost me game
0 RUT  
0* RIOT  
0 CAR(D)S  
0 (A)A  
#12 - Weepie    
0 A(B)OVE  
8.2 SIZE/(HALF)S*  
3 VOWE(R)  
6.5 Y(U)K saving A(VOWER) hook for a much-needed bingo
3.3 LO(W)E  
4.6 AMPLY I like my play best!
9.5 ENHA(L)O Ditto--Quackle is on crack this time.
0 TOES  
3 EMETI(C)  
0 IT  

1 - L - 3.0 (39.6)
2 - W - 7.8 (109.5)
3 - W - 5.6 (73.4)
4 - L - 5.5 (71.2)
5 - W - 5.5 (66.3)
6 - L - 5.6 (66.7)
7 - L - 10.1
8 - W - 2.9 (37.5)
9 - W - 7.2 (108.6)
10 - W - 6.3 (94.9)
11 - W - 3.5 (52.4)
12 - w - 3.2 (38.1)

Avg: 5.5

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