Third: Jess and I went to this Finland Steam Baths place in Quincy, yesterday, and I have to highly recommend it. I really want to build a steam room into my house "when I'm grown up". It's extraordinarily relaxing.
So, I've been more-or-less Scrabble obsessed for the last month or so. Jess's mom got me two scrabble books for Christmas, including the excellent Word Freaks, by Stefan Fatsis - a book about the mostly insane world of high-level competitive scrabble. I was inspired . . . and then I found The Internet Scrabble Club. Whoa. A server where you play for free, and can find a game against stiff competition at any hour of any day. Where people I was reading about in Fatsis' book play - you can, if you're not playing, just sit and observe them volley 7-letter bingos back and forth, "MADWORT", "FISTULA", "TEGULAR", finishing with final scores like 509-472. It's awe-inspiring. There are other sites, too, with word study lists ("for beginners" this one says) and strategy guides. There are freeware programs available to help you study. These things didn't exist five years ago. It's awesome.
So, anyway, having compiled a 44-26 record and a 1092 rating, online, I decided to enter a tournament being run by the Cambridge Scrabble Club (NSA local #531). I was pretty psyched.
The tournament was today.
I got my ass handed to me.
I played in the fourth division (out of five) and went 0-4, with a total point differential of about -140. I topped out at 328 in the four games. I was beaten - twice - by the elderly Marjorie Bash, who's been playing Club Scrabble for over 35 years.
It was AWESOME. I've never known anyone, aside from my dad, who can beat me consistently. And here, I've been studying and studying, improving my game . . . and all of these people can beat the crap out of me. What a challenge! Ah, I love this fucking game.
Enough with blogging. It's only 11:30. Time to get at least one more game in online. posted by Miles 10:37 PM