On the Wednesday after the tournament Mark (Hamilton) and I drove through Orlando to the Vietnamese part of Colonial Drive and I saw a neon sign “Express Jewery Repair” in a shop window. Priceless! We ate dinner at Little Saigon then headed back to our room and met up with Mark Przybyszewski where we chitchate till late.
So I had a disastrous tournament. Yet I had a fabulous Tuesday, going 5-2. That was the same number of games I had won in the three previous days combined (not counting the bye). My friend Kendrick Lo, who goes to our Club #422 in Mississauga, Ontario, won Division 5 then took me, Mark H. and Fraser Simpson out to a late dinner afterward. During dinner he said the nicest thing I had heard the whole time in Orlando: he thanked me for “coaching” him and giving him pointers on how to play this game. I have known Kendrick for years yet only recently has he been bitten by the Scrabble bug. He is rising to the top of Division #2 in our own Club and his tournament victory shows that he is a rising star. Congratulations Kendrick!
My lacklustre 11-17 record had naething really interesting to report. Just one 500+ game, but I did manage to play a nine, PRETRA(IN)s and I got a triple-triple VITrI(N)ES down for 149, which was challenged. I won three challenges against Robert Linn. I have no idea what was going on in that game. Someone remind me: did I win it? And Seth Lipkin thoroughly whipped my ass with his 602-373 game. We had a lengthy pause in the middle of that game as Seth had to hunt around for a new tile bag. The one we were using sprouted a hole and that led to tile spillage. Thank-you very much for your kind words about that game at the NSA site. My only repeat opponent, Alyssa Faria, was a delight to play. In the very last game, I rejoiced as I plucked some premium tiles out of the bag, yet that joy turned sour when my cup of abundant riches overfloweth. I had picked baith blanks and two esses. Oh help. What can you do? I needed these tiles, just not all four at the same time. I managed to lay down pRAISeS on the TWS line, hooking two words with the esses.
I met many friends from bloggerland, such as Jason Keller, Joe Bihlmeyer, and Frank Tangredi. Neither Frank nor I was sure if we had played each other and a quick check on cross-tables.com shows that our Orlando game was our first game ever. It was a riot playing CatchPhrase on Monday night with a full table of Rack Of Lambda members. I managed to squeeze in some Speed games (anything longer than a three-minute game is so baby) with Jesse Matthews and Cesar Del Solar.
Now I will read my friends’ blog posts and add more to my own as I slowly recall events that may have been temporarily erased from my memory due to extreme Scrabble trauma.