Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A pajama kind of day

I only have a week and a half of summer break left.  Today I was a total vegetable.  Well, not totally.  I finished reading a book.  I played Words with Friends, checked class reunion discussions on Facebook, watched t.v., and sat on the couch.  In other words, it was a completely lazy day.  I even refused to do something about supper.  I gave Josh my card and he has gone to pick up food from Whataburger.  I’m trying to decide if I’m going to go help weed a school library tomorrow afternoon.  I’ve been invited to go tubing on Thursday.  I’ll probably go do that since I’ve never done it.  I might go to the public library tomorrow to return my books.  I think I’ll try to enjoy myself the next few days before I start working on school stuff.  After all it is summer vacation and I earn the time off during the school year.  Well, I think I’ll get back to doing nothing. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back from Nationals

Yesterday started off well; I won my first game, but then proceeded to lose the next two.  I didn’t just lose – I lost by a bunch of points in both games.  But in the end I won almost half my games with a 15-16 record.  I was seeded 81st and ended up in 61st place out of 95.  My rating increased from a 647 to 755, so I’m pleased overall.  I realize that my vocabulary is still woefully short.  So if Matt and I go to Nationals in Buffalo, NY next year, I’ll need to start studying much more in advance. 

It was a nice trip anyway.  I was surprised that I wasn’t as mentally exhausted as I thought I would be.  The problem, however, is that I’m now on Vegas time.  I slept in until almost noon today.  I think that I’m going to take it easy for a few days.  I still have a lot of things to get done this summer before I go back to work in a few weeks.  I have a presentation to plan and need to get started on it soon.  I also have some class reunion stuff to work on. 

But for now, I’m watching the Monk marathon on tv.  I’m already thinking about taking a nap.  I’m meeting Matt for dinner at 5:30 and then we have Scrabble tonight. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nationals Day 4

It's been a long day.  It's almost midnight here in Vegas which means it's more like 2:00 a.m. in Texas.  I had a pretty good game day today.  I won more than I lost today with a record of 4-3 and I'm dead even with both 14 wins and losses overall.  Most of the games were very well played and for the most part, the ones I lost were good games.  The last game kind of sucked because my opponent simply outdrew me.  She got both blanks and almost all of the power tiles.  I got two esses and that's it.  She beat me by 80 points or so.  I did get some great satisfaction challenging one of her plays off the board though.  She tried to play "sealions" which is invalid as it is two words "sea lions."  Her play should have been "anisole" in a different spot on the board, but she obviously didn't know that.  I realized later that I missed an out bingo in that game and I might have won if I played it.  Oh well, such is life. 

Tonight we saw Penn & Teller.  It's the third time I've seen them.  We went with another couple of Scrabble friends and had a nice time.  Matt really seemed to enjoy it.  I got a picture of him standing next to Penn.  It's kind of ironic because the first time I saw the show, I got a picture of my ex-husband (who I was married to at the time) with Penn as well. 

Tomorrow we have three games and then the awards.  If I won all three of my games I could be eligible for a prize, but I doubt that will happen.  I would be ecstatic to win at least 2 of the 3 tomorrow, but will settle for one.  I've already won more than I was projected to win and my overall rating has increased so I'm pretty happy with how things have turned out.  Well, I need to get some sleep as it will be a very long day tomorrow. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nationals Day Three

Well there's good and bad news about today's events.  Good news:  I won more games than I lost today.  I had a record of 4-3.  Bad news, in two games that I lost, they were both over 140 points each.  So when I lose, I REALLY lose.  I've discovered that if I play first, then I win.  If I play second, I lose.  I've discovered that some of my studying has paid off - I'm playing several words that I didn't know before that I've learned.  I also know that I need more word knowledge.  I haven't decided how much of an effort I'm going to make at studying, but I think I can hold my own to some degree now - at least in the bottom division. 

Matt had a better day today.  I guess his lucky penny that I got him came through for him.  He won some good games and feels ok about the ones he lost because he played well.  I was a bit moody at lunch today because it was right after my first big loss for the day.  Matt and I walked down to the Stratosphere for dinner and it was a lengthy walk.  I ordered a drink called "Pain in the Ass"  (sorry for my more conservative readers) which was actually quite yummy.  I had a nice buzz going and then I had to walk FOREVER back to the hotel. 

Matt wanted to attend the Town Hall meeting about Scrabble information for the year regarding rule changes, membership, and other stuff.  I'm sure most everyone is interested/concerned about the fact that Hasbro is no longer financially supporting competive Scrabble.  I stayed for about 30 minutes before I was totally bored and I came back to the room.  I'll be calling it a night shortly as I took a sleeping pill  My hours are still mixed up with the time change.  I still wake around 6:30 which is 4:30 Vegas time. 

Tomorrow is another full day of seven rounds.   We might go see Penn and Teller tomorrow night.  We'll try to get tickets at lunch tomorrow.  We leave out on Wednesday.  (Hey Jan - message me on facebook and let me know when you're getting into Vegas - we might at least be in the airport at the same time and we can say a quick hello/good-bye.)  Well, I think I'm going to watch a little tv until I'm too tired. 

Nationals Day Two

I won three and lost four games again today.  My overall record is six and eight, but I'm ok with that.  I had an amazing play in one of my games that I'm really proud of.  I was behind by over 100 points and I didn't think I had any hope of playing a bingo to catch up.  I figured I needed to score as many points as could, however, so the loss wouldn't be too great.  I played the word "hic" keeping another "c" in my rack so that I could play "chic" with another word in the out play.  I thought I was doomed when the other player put down the word "kata" on the board parallel to the spot I wanted to use.  It worked out better for me, however, as I was able to play the word "pluckier" in the final play of the game which netted me 91 points.  After getting the points for the tiles left on my opponent's rack I ended up winning by 17 points. 

Before the tournament began this morning, Matt and I went to church.  Luckily there is a cathedral just a couple of blocks over and they had a service starting at 8:00.  We had to leave right after communion but we made it just in time for announcements.

Matt was in a really bad mood after today's rounds.  He lost six games in a row, winning only his first game today.  He needed some alone time so I left for about 45 minutes and went shopping.  I brought him back some beer and a lucky keychain in hopes that he'll have more luck.  He is discouraged because he has been studying really hard and other people are winning in spite of making stupid plays and challenges. 

After I got back, we headed to Freemont street with a Scrabble friend he calls "Dr. Bob" who is an actual medical doctor.  We watched the light show on the Freemont street canopy and then had a buffet dinner down there.  At least Matt was in a better mood by the end of the evening.  I hope he has a better day tomorrow.  I would be happy to keep the same streak I've had.   Of course I'd like to win more than I lose, but I'll take what I can get.  I have to win my expected number of games (11.6) in order for my rating to increase.  We'll see how it goes. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scrabble Nationals Day One

Well it started off pretty well - I went up and down - ending up winning three out of seven games today.  I opened with a bingo in my first game against the fourth highest ranked player in my division.  I tanked in the last game where my opponent (ranked 9th) outdrew me and beat me by over 200 points. Overall it wasn't terrible.  I just hate that when I lose, I lost by large margins except for one game. 

In case you're interested, there is an article about the San Antonio Scrabble players going to nationals including Matt and me.  Yes, my real name is in the article so I hope none of my remaining three or four readers are stalkers that want to find me and beat me at Scrabble or do something worse. 

I'm glad that the first day is over.  It wasn't as exhausting as I thought it would be, but I was ready for the last game to end since it sucked so bad.  Matt and I are going to the bar to have a drink (or two) and then maybe do some of the social activities going on this evening. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Made it to Vegas

Matt and I made it to Vegas yesterday.  We got to the airport early enough to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants that recently opened within the terminal.  Security still takes forever, but we had plenty of time.  The only negative was the fact that we didn't get drinks on the plane.  I ordered a bloody mary, but turbulence kept the staff from being able to serve anything and it was a 2+ hour flight.  We took a shuttle from the airport to our hotel which cost about half the price of a cab.  It wasn't too bad because we were the first stop.  Once we got here, however, registration at the hotel took about 45 minutes because there were a lot of people in line.  Turns out they are having a cat show here along with Scrabble nationals.  I wondered why a guy had a cat on the shuttle bus.  We settled into our room and then we headed out to find food.  We walked down to the fashion show mall and ate burgers at Johnny Rockets.  It was kind of expensive but very filling.  After that we got but passes and headed to downtown so that Matt could see the Freemont Street Experience where they have a cool light show on an arced ceiling that is 90 feet high and 4 blocks long.  We got back around midnight Texas time (10:00 Vegas time).  We were so exhausted from all the walking we just crashed.  Now we're up early Vegas time.  We register for the tournament at 10:00 a.m. and it's only 8:00 here.  We'll go have some breakfast shortly, then register.  After that, we're going to hop on the bus and head down the strip for sight-seeing.  Matt has not been to Vegas since 1987 and it has changed considerably since then.  Well, I'm going to go get dressed and get ready for another long day of walking. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just a few more days

Matt and I are gearing up for our big trip to Vegas in a few days.  We head out on Thursday afternoon.  Registration is on Friday and we start playing on Saturday.  I’ve been trying to get some studying done and I’m making progress but it feels like it is slow going.  I don’t know if I’m just not as focused as I need to be or if it is just more difficult for things to stick these days.  I’ve always thought that I was good at memorizing things but the words seem more difficult to retain – even with some of my creative mnemonic devices. 

I worked all of last week and today helping with summer testing for the district.  It will be a nice boost to my August paycheck, but I wish I had the money to take with me to Vegas.  Tomorrow I need to do laundry and start packing.  I’ve been able to do a little bit of reading here and there.  I finished a couple of books so far and have another one started.  I’ll probably do some reading in Vegas during down time. 

I went to the local library on Saturday to study and I think it helped some.  I think I’ll go back for a few hours tomorrow.  It’s nice to get away from the distractions of being home. 

You’d think that having the summer off I’d blog more – the problem is that there’s just not much going on around here.  I spend most of my days studying, goofing off online (playing this new addicting word game on facebook), watching t.v. and reading.  Not a bad way to spend a summer.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Shopping & Crafting

I decided to get out of the house today.  Yesterday I didn’t even change out of my pajamas all day.  I can’t find my Scrabble dictionary so I went to Barnes & Noble to pick another one up.  After that I went to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s to get some craft items to make some new Scrabble racks to take with me to Vegas.  I also picked up more beads for rosaries.  Tonight I’m going to work on some crafts and continue reading my Scrabble dictionary and studying some of my word lists. 

I finally finished reading Word Freak.  While it was interesting to read about the world of competitive Scrabble, it took a while to get through it.  I just know that I’m not destined to become an expert player.  I have several other books that I can start reading but I need to save some to take with me to Vegas. 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Scrabble Nightmares

Well, the Scrabble nightmares have started.  The other night I dreamed that I was at the national tournament and it was round two but I couldn’t find postings as to where and who I was supposed to play.  Someone told me that I was supposed to play them and so we sat down at a table but didn’t have a clock.  (Each player has 25 minutes of playing time.)  We finally got a clock but we couldn’t get set at 25 minutes.  It was stuck on 30 minutes.  I didn’t know what to do at that point and then I woke up.  Then last night I was dreaming about words.  I couldn’t remember the bingo stems for TISANE plus the letter T (Instate & Satinet).  I’ve made lots of study cards but haven’t really focused as much as I should.  It’s fairly overwhelming.  I’m probably trying to focus on too much – but that’s par for me – cramming at the last minute.  Maybe I should set some smaller daily goals - like focusing on a certain number of words or certain lists each day. 

I need to play more but my problem is that I get frustrated playing Matt.  We only have practice on Thursdays.  I guess I can just keep playing on my phone, but it’s not the same.  Well, I guess I’ll just do my best on all fronts and she how things go in Vegas.  I just hope I don’t play too badly and have a miserable time there.