NRUFBSA: Scrabble Night In Canada!

My letters:

N1 R1 U1 F4 B3 S1 A1

On the board there’s one E to work with, and it sits directly next to a triple word score. Holy cow.

F4A1R1E1S1 : 24 points.
B3R1A1N1E1S1 : 24 points.
S1A1B3R1E1 : 21 points.
F4E1A1R1S1 :24 points.

There must be something better I can play.

There are a variety of reasons why I love scrabble. First and foremost, you can play it in a pub and pretend you’re getting smarter while drinking beer. Second, you can actually get smarter while you play by learning how not to spell words when you get challenged on your spelling (unfortunately losing both the challenge and your turn). Third, due to the types of people who play Scrabble, it is the type of competitive game that rarely ends in violence. Fourth, there are such things as Scrabble Marathons.

When I went to my first Scrabble marathon, it was in a little pub on Bloor Street with a bunch of friends. These guys were the organizers. As far as I could tell, the tournament involved a lot of chair shifting. When one table of players finished a game, its players stood, dispersed, and moved to other open tables. The games took place over a panoply of finger foods and drinks, which likewise seemed to rotate around the room at random. Although a few participants stared only at their letters, the rest of the crowd was pretty relaxed and the room was filled with light conversation. Topics included such tips as the best two letter words to use to stump your opponents. (These included a number of highly dubious “words” like BA: the eternal soul, from Egyptian mythology).

The reason I bring up such marathons is that U of T is having their own Campus Scrabble Night this month, hosted by Frontier College, an organization that promotes literacy across the country. The marathon’s happening on Thursday, February 26, from 6:30 to 9:00, in University College’s Junior Common Room, aka Diablos Café.

The idea with the Campus Scrabble Night is that you sign your team of four players up beforehand, by getting in touch with Renée Pang ( Each player donates $5 ($20 per team) and collects pledges to help raise money for local literacy programs.

Like me, you might not feel all that comfortable going around collecting money from family, friends or strangers (for the very keen), even if for a good cause. Or you might work on Thursday nights and thus are feeling a little mopey that you won’t be able to make it to one of this year’s better events. Do not fret: there are other Scrabble nights around, and there are lots of other Scrabble groups. For example:

These guys are impressive because they have their own website, The Toronto Scrabble Club. But you either have to live way up north in the city or be willing to travel miles (Bathurst and Sheppard) to play.

This group, on the other hand, which also has its own website (a lot more fun to play with- note the sugar cubes), also hosts [free] scrabbles tournaments, among an assortment of other games, at the Drake Hotel on Queen West. While the Drake can sometimes be a little irritatingly trendy, the games nonetheless do look really good, like Games You Play Standing Up: aka group charades.

When I take a minute think about it, it entails a lot of hard work to not want to try this out.


My Only Hope: One day Someone will Realize my Mediocrity is Actually a Super Human Feat

UTormail: Inbox

Email # 339 of 340

Date :Tues, 10 Feb 2009 00:09:10 -0600 [010/02/09 01:09:10 EST]

From: Heather

To: Phil

Subject: AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Phil,

Ya, you’re right, I really haven’t gotten back to you in a while. This is for several reasons. They are as follows:

a.) My correspondence skills suck

b.) I know your girlfriend and you are planning a super special Valentines Day good time. Because I’m cranky, stressed, single, and moving a few days after said day, I shan’t be doing anything of the sort this year! I know if I reply to you, I’ll get all the sweet details on your love. You’re my buddie, and I luv ya, but frankly I can only deal with this sort of message if it comes with cinnamon hearts. As you have not figured out how to attach comforting candy with your e-mails, my response time has been sloppy

c.) It takes me ages to log into my utormail account. AGES. I often feel this is a sign from God to give up on e-mail and write my essays instead.


ok…so….how do I explain? I’m feeling another anxiety attack coming on, but I know if I put things in perspective it aint so bad… that’s what people say…so I’ll try…maybe after I get it all out everything will look tiny!
The dealie as it is follows as such: I have two essays to do. They both must be brilliant, but frankly I just can’t find it in my soul to care enough about Tristram Shandy, Locke’s theory of how people think and communication to make this thing earth shattering.

THERE IS NO TIME to write it and be calm enough to make it decent because the only real day I have to write is Wed. and I need to still read over some of the book to pick out quotes and organize myself.


Thursday I work 9-5 and have class 6-9 Thursday is DEAD to me. I can accomplish nothing on that day. My panic goes up…I’m calculating all this…it’s unjust. It’s all unjust. Plus there are two hart house literary review submissions that no one knew about until TODAY! MUST READ MORE UNDERGRAD POETRY!

Friday I have two meetings, then more work, there’s a chance I can do things between them at school, but if I go home that night, I’ll probably have to make dinner or something because my mom is away this week.
Which reminds me, I have to clean the bathroom, hang up my ironing, dust and vacuum…
and did I mention I have writers block? I have to come up with ideas for writers for my section in the paper, and come up with possible Toike Oike ideas for Friday (actually….maybe I’ll just do nothing…I’ve pretty much done nothing all year. Am I even part of the Toike  any more? Probably not.)… and write for this blog dealie…and I have nothing. NOTHING.

Except for Crap.

Yay for another piece of writing I’m going to churn out and yet never be able to refer to on my resume or submit as a writing sample in the future because of the CRAPTACULARITY OF IT’S CONTENT!
Right…and that other essay…Project Ryan…Russians…Intelligence services…I have to get books! I need to do research! It has to be good…
And I need to find time to get cardboard boxes to put my stuff in when I move out, which is next week, meaning reading week will not (I repeat will NOT) be a time of rest.
I’m starting to feel dizzy and panicky.
Reading week will fly by and I will accomplish nothing worth noting.
I am average
I am bland
I create nothing that is original intelligent or insightful
It’s also really hot in this office and I’m wearing a sweater…I feel like having a higher body temperature helps make my feelings of panic more intense.


p.s-oh! oh! and I’m MAD because I could have had a chance to go on Vinyl from the Crypt tonight at CIUT, but I CAN’T because I have to work 6-9:30 tonight after working 9-5 today at the office.


P.P.S- If there is a moral in any of this, I’m not sure what it is, except that the only cure for stress is having the time to do things. This leads into the almighty paradox: paying for school and completing tasks for school–both are full time jobs. The only comfort comes from me hoping that someday someone will realize that my mediocre job at both is actually a super human feat.

p.p.s- Don’t write me back quickly…it just makes me feel bad about having to write back to you again. But don’t not write back either. I don’t want to feel cut off from the social world