Thursday, December 28, 2006

Scrabble report

To start my new hobby (see post below), I just (1) e-mailed the director of my local Scrabble club to ask for advice, and (2) spent a couple of hours playing a computer Scrabble game. Among the words the computer suggests are my best plays after I play much lamer words:
  • fixt (past tense of "fix")
  • jivey (jazzy; lively)
  • pice (a former coin of India & Pakistan)
  • weel (well)
  • odea (theater or concert hall)
  • vinier (more covered in vines)
  • coelome (coelom-a type of body cavity)
  • umiaqs (umiak-like a kayak)
  • jo (a sweetheart)
  • mazedly (the adverb form of "maze"--to daze, perplex, or stupefy)
  • inarm (to encircle with the arms)
I am mazed. Clearly I have much to learn.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I have always wanted a hobby. I envy people who cannot wait to get off work and do . . . whatever it is that people do when they're not working, watching movies, reading, chatting, or watching tv.

An incomplete list of hobbies I have tried and discarded:
  • knitting (I got bored with my projects before I finished them)
  • sailing (I have no gross motor skills, and I fear open water)
  • running (I broke my foot)
  • candlemaking (messy)
  • photography (I never wanted to bother carrying my giant camera around, plus I kept forgetting how to load the film)
  • cooking (I got tired of spending $30 and two hours to make something I could get for $6 at the Thai place on the corner)
The one hobby I do enjoy is backpacking, but it's hard to make it a daily or even weekly thing because it requires (1) a couple of free days, (2) a hiking partner who has the same couple of free days, and (3) decent weather.

Anyway, now I'm considering a hobby I half-heartedly thought about getting into a couple of years ago: competitive Scrabble. Yesterday I reread Stefan Fatsis's excellent book Word Freak, which is all about the colorful characters who populate the highest ranks of the competitive Scrabble scene. I love their weirdness and their dedication. I love the massive levels of concern over the composition of the official list of legal words. I love that it's a small enough world that I already know many of the major players and have favorites. I love that it requires no motor skills.

My city appears to have two Scrabble clubs, each meeting weekly. I'm going to go as soon as I memorize the legal 2-letter words. I don' t plan to abandon gainful employment so I can spend my time memorizing word lists, but I think I could become a decent intermediate player.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I just got a mass e-mail with the subject line "sex acts." Normally, I would have assumed it was just one of the fifty spam e-mails my school's spam filter lets into my inbox every day. But the "From" line named someone who frequently sends official school e-mails, so I opened it. I learned that members of the university cleaning staff have been complaining about something: the fact that they keep coming upon people having sex in the law school. When discovered, these couples do not even stop what they are doing; they just continue and assume the cleaning staff will return later.

So, yuck. Can people not take a break from studying long enough to go home for this? And have I been studying on tables where people have been doing it?

Anyway, if anyone in my readership is one of the culprits here, STOP HAVING SEX IN THE LAW SCHOOL. It's gross.

For more stories of inappropriate public behavior (and other stuff), check out True Porn Clerk Stories, a pretty wonderful online diary of a clerk who works in a video store with a porn section. I wasted hours reading it yesterday. Not appropriate for children or work.

Saturday, December 02, 2006