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.

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