Cash Money Y'all

Friday, October 9, 2009

With two days to kill, you'd think I wouldn't have been in any kind of rush to reach Rhinebeck in time... but only if you don't know me very well. Reviewing my Boston-area photographs, I was mortified to discover just how horrendous some of my early photos were, and I spent most of Thursday and Friday shooting Starbucks. Rain delayed my departure from the area, and when I finally reached the Mass. Pike and cleared the traffic, I found myself calculating how much sleep I'd be able to get.

My plan from the beginning had been to visit the new Starbucks in West Haven, CT, on Friday evening and continue on into New York. Because of my delays, I would have to push that visit until Saturday morning, and that would not leave me much spare time to reach the tournament. If I visited the store after the tournament, I'd only drive an extra 20 miles, so what I decided to do was to stop at the first rest area in Connecticut, before Hartford, and make my decision in the morning when I got up. That was I'd be sure to get to the tournament on time.

I never got to sleep though, because a man and his son walked over to my car and motioned for my attention. The man asked if I spoke Spanish, and he proceeded to ask me if I knew the address of the rest area so I he could tell his brother who was coming to pick him up. After some back and forth, he finally gave me the phone, and I explained to the brother how to get to the rest area. I hoped man and son would go back to there car so I could finish changing and go to sleep, but they just stood there. The parking spaces down the rest area were too well lit and saw too much traffic, so I just got back on the interstate and drove about 50 miles to the next rest area, some 20 miles from the new West Haven store.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Around 6:00 AM I woke up and felt itches around different parts of my body. Sure, random itches are normal, but maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was approaching my record for days without a shower. I don't mind saying how long it had been, but then it occurs to me that it might be fun to hold a contest.

The prize, you ask, to be awarded to the first person to send in the correct answer, is nothing less than the plastic bag of dirty socks and underwear that I've accumulated during my trip. If you're still reading, you're probably thinking--worst prize ever! But that's because you're not thinking outside the box. See, the value of some gifts, handguns for example, is not in what it can do for you, but what it can do to others. Imagine your hated boss, that guy who makes your life miserably. Now imagine his Christmas party, as he opens up gift after gift, DVDs and ties and such... and suddenly, out of nowhere--a blast of funk that causes guests standing nearby to pass out. All you have to do is divert suspicion from yourself, stifle your laughter, and you've got yourself some sweet revenge.

For days, with knowledge that the Rhinebeck field would be weak, I was supremely confident and expecting to show up and pop off like a mobster boss. Thus you can imagine my surprise when, despite halfway decent tiles (but two exchanges), two bingos, and a won challenge, Adam Townsend actually took a 15-point lead late in the game with an 80-point (R)EVOLTEd (how revolting). I had just bingoed myself, RATLINS, and with just 14 tiles in the bag, had Adam and I pulled different tiles out of the bag, I could easily have lost that game despite excellent play. Ugh.

Annotated Game

Secoond game, Mike Lally, and just like the previous game, he bingoed on turn twelve and took the lead. I had TARNISH on my rack, and if I had not been able to hook it, it would have been a close endgame, and possibly a loss. Again, despite excellent play. Ugh. Not a good sign of the day to come.

My iffy tiles continued into my game against Sue Gable, although any complaining I do is suspect given that my opening play was FERAL instead of FLARE or FARLE. That mistake allowed Sue EXI(T) for 41, and that play started a run of scoring that put me so far behind that I needed a bingo that never came.

Ugh. Missed an out bingo. I wouldn't have won, which is why I didn't look harder, but I still should have found it. Stupid.

Annotated Game

I guess Kevin McCarthy was due a win against me, but I would rather that win had come when I was running away with the tournament, not when I was already doing poorly.

And again, as in the previous game, I started off with an early mistake. Actually two. But particularly egregious was missing (P)ERV. That's how you know I truly am getting old, going senile, and losing my libido. Back in my younger and hornier days, I never would have missed a word like PERV.

Annotated Game

As inconceivable as it might seem that I would not win first place in that field, with two losses after having played the weakest part of the field, I had to consider that I might not walk away with a lot of cash. Thus was I doubly grateful when I discovered that the clubhouse's bathroom had a shower! I was soon fresh-smelling and huggable once more (but where my huggy hotties at, yo???), and I saved myself 30-50 bucks.

Actually, there were a couple of huggable hotties in the house, but you had to be a bit forward thinking to see them. Forward, as in 5-10 years in the future, on account of how Cornelia had some kind of youth Scrabble event going on at the same time. I have to admit some of those kids were really annoying with all their loud-talking and running around, although it was amusing to see Corny shouting at them to get down from this fence or that tree or rock or whatever. Still, the pool of attractive young women in Scrabble is so limited that any program that brings potential hotties into the sport has to be encouraged. I mean, if prospective basketball stars can be scouted as early as middle school, then why shouldn't the same apply to an even rarer and more prized specimen, the attractive and talented Scrabble female? Just sayin'

Anyway, I was further able to save money on account of a pretty decent lunch. Sure, it was no angel hair with the lobster sauche, but I was still particularly pleased that the kitchen had an oven with which I could heat up my bread before building my sandwich. Just one of my idiosyncracies, I suppose, and lord knows I could use more idiosyncracies. While some will say happiness is a warm gun, I prefer to think that happiness is warm bread.

Verna Berg up first after lunch, and I finally had a killer game. I had not seen one all morning, nor during my entire Cambridge tournament. Those tiles were so good that my mind was able to drift away from the game itself and to more bizarre topics. For example, if Verna were a Transylvanian vampire, wouldn't her name naturally be Vlerna? I guess my vampire name could be Wlinter, with the W pronounced like a V. What's your vampire name?

My good tiles were short-lived, and it was back to disaster. I didn't think so at first, when I opened with rELINKE(D) against Joan Kelly, but I was so, so wrong. She ended up drawing seven power tiles and overpowering me. Most annoying, the fact that I challenged off her 24-point BE(R)N* play, played UVEAS in the same spot, and that gave her both 38 for the X and 22 for the Q. That is undeniably lucky, as is her drawing into AEINRST with a line open, which I could not effectively block.

Annotated Game

Wow, how could Joan have missed INTERA(BANG)S!!! She must really suck.

Had some good tiles for a second game, and combined with whatever clunk Stan had on his rack, plus two won challenges, plus a phony, I managed to post a 260-point spread to make my final round task much easier. With my 400+ spread, all I had to do was beat David Lewis to win the even and make that cash money, y'all.

During the game I'd been keeping an eye at the Sue Gable/Mike Lally's game next to me, hoping she would win and keep him at 4 wins. I was also hoping Joan Kelly would savage David Lewis just as equally as she savaged me. But no, she let David off easy, and that meant I definitely had to win that game if I wanted to drive away with that cash money. Fortunately, I caught a few good breaks, starting with a counterbingo to David's opening CADA(V)ErS, and then a late (T)URTLING to counter David's ENS(I)LING, which could have won him the game.

Annotated Game

Given my employment situation, the $125 prize more than overshadowed the knowledge that I would likely dip a bit below 1800, at least until I swept the floor with the Port Jefferson crowd. I took my hard-earned winnings down to Queens, intending to visit Los Arrieros, my usual post-Bayside tournament dinner spot. After nearly three hours of driving, however, and with the knowledge that Roosevelt Avenue was bound to be jam-packed with cars, I changed my plans immediately upon spotting a Dominican restaurant on Junction Boulvard. When a parking space opened up before my eyes, I felt I had gotten lucky. But a few minutes later, when inspected the menu and saw pig feet, well I felt I'd just died and gone to heaven. If you know one thing, and one thing alone, about Winter, know that Winter loves him some pig feet. I couldn't think of a better way to spend part of my prize money.

Opponents' Bingos

My Bingos

Missed Bingo Turns


#1 - W - Townsend    
3.8 BAN  
2.8 ROAN  
2.2 -AAIOU  
5.2 MEZE miss (PROTEID)E hook
0.1 YOGIS  
3.6 -QHX (CRS?)  
0 OF  
0 HEX  
0 (A)NY  
0 BOIL  
4 ASEA  
#2 - W - Lally    
0 ALL  
1.1 Q(I)  
0 W(E)PT  
0 GNOME(S)  
2 F(E)DS  
0 JO(WED)  
0 HILL  
0 AG  
5.9 TARNISH O5 more defensive
#3 - L - Gable    
1.1 AVES  
1.3 Q(I)  
2 (C)ANOE  
2.8 UVEA  
0 BUSK  
4.4 TI(E)D  
6.4 JO  
0 WAI(V)E  
5.2 OI  
7.4 PI(G)  
0.3* O(K)A  
0 NOs  
#4 - L - McCarthy    
11.5 SOX  
0 HUN  
5.8 VI(C)AR (P)ERV
2.6 JE(A)N  
5.3 WH(I)D  
4 GU(YO)T  
1.7 FAME  
6.1 (A)IRY (A)YIN (such a stupid miss)
0 EEL  
4.7 NUKIN(G)  
0* GIVI(N)G  
0 B(U)D  
#5 - W - Berg    
1.6 EE(L)  
10.4 (S)HIV RAVI(S)H
0 M(E)DLAR  
0 BR(A)NT  
0 BEL(O)W  
0 FEZ  
9.6 Y(O)  
19.3 lose turn (CONUTES*)  
0 (A)CUTE  
#6 - L - Kelly    
2.8 rELINKE(D)  
0 OVA(T)E  
3.3 CO(LI)C  
0 MEOU  
0 (M)OON  
0.9 W(e)RE  
0 V(IGIA  
2.8 UVEAS  
10 WO  
0 BLATT*  
19.9 OP  
30.2 had to challenge (T)ERTIANS  
0 DUD  
0 TITS  
#7 - W - Williams    
7.7 B(E)NNI  
1.4 SW(E)PT  
3.2 FO(L)D  
0 VI(G)IA  
0 (A)RVO  
0 (Z)ONE  
4.3 X(I)  
0 DOG  
4.4 R(AN)  
#8 - W - Lewis    
3.8 NOME  
4.3 ODE  
0.1 J(A)WED  
0 WACK  
13.9 F(I)Z  
0 IVY  
0 M(O)LT  

1 - W - 2.4 (33)
2 - W - 3.6 (53.3)
3 - L - 7.9 (110.9)
4 - W - 3.0 (41.7)
5 - L - 6.4 (96.4)
6 - L - 4.9 (73)
7 - W - 4.1 (61.1)
8 - W - 2.0 (22.1)

Avg: 4.3

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