Tuesday, December 27, 2005

people say she's bad, but they don't see the way she is with me

I'm not dead. I'm just a little .... underinspired. Is that a word?

I've sort of crawled into a corner ever since my accident. Yes, I was uninjured, but I haven't done anything remotely social or extracurricular since then. Hockey games don't count. When I go to (or even watch on TV) hockey games, I'm actually "working" for my non-paying job. That, coupled with the onset of Festivus, which always puts me in a strange mood, has meant that I haven't had a whole lot to say.

One thing that I have been doing with regularity is playing real life Scrabble. Every Wednesday, my friend Kevin and I get together at a neighborhood watering hole for a few games and a few libations. Alcohol and Scrabble are a terrible mix, and there are way too many distractions (ie girls), which would suggest that it's a terrible idea to play there, but we've had some really good games. I may have mentioned this before, but Kevin is a much better player than I am. Out of every 100 games we play, he beats me badly (more than 100 points) 15 times, beats me "soundly" 50-100 points) maybe 20 times, beats min a "close" (25-49 points) 35 times, beats me in a "tight" (less than 25 points) 15 times, and I'll beat him in close games 15 times. He insists that we're more evenly matched, but he only says that to make me feel better.

Here's where I get to brag.

In one of our recent games, I had my highest single word play I've ever had in over-the-table games. By "single word", I mean that only one word was scored. No hooks, no overlays. Just the one word.
Through a Q that already existed on the board at A 12 (four spots up from the bottom, on the left edge, on the double letter score space), I was able to play from A 8 and get a triple-triple on


wherein the blank is an I. The word itself would be 16 points straight up, but since I hit two triple word score spaces, I get to multiply it by nine. That's 144. I also get to add 50 for the bingo (using all seven of my tiles in a single play). So for that single word, I got 194 points. I once got 212 for a single word (QUEUEING), but that was in an on-line game.

For the record, the highest single word score possible would be 392 points for


provided, of course that the play was made from one of only four possible places: 1 H, 15 H, A 8, O 8. Pops and buzzes, I know. If you're curious about it, nobody has ever made that play in official tournament play, and it is a noun (plural). A cazique is a tropical bird, which can alternately be spelled CACIQUE.

Anyway, like I said, a bar seems like it would be a bad place to play for sooooo many reasons, but it's actually gone well. In addition, the bartender loves the fact that we're there and actually wishes that more people would follow our lead. Also, over the weeks, we've got some little groupies. Sounds funny, but it's true.

There's a big tournament coming up in Charlotte at the end of January, but I won't be able to go because of a very important hockey obligation I have that weekend. And speaking of hockey obligations, I plan on traveling to our nation's capitol on Saturday January 21 for a Hurricanes road game against the Capitals. I've made good friends with the couple who sit next to me at the games, and we're trying to organize a big group to go up there. If any of you dc-ites are interested in going to the game and/or hanging out, please let me know. As far as I know, our plan will be to drive up there that morning, go to the game, spend the night, and head back sometime Sunday.

On another note, I got everything resolved on the insurance settlement for my car. They gave me significantly more than I was expecting. They even gave me a lot more than what I was hoping for. That should help me to breathe a little easier.

Right before, or maybe right after the new year, I'll post a list of goals/wishes/resolutions for the new year. One of them is to write in this blog more frequently.

Now playing:

The Shins Chutes Too Narrow

Monday, December 12, 2005

first gear, it's alright....

This whole ordeal with the car wreck has been a pain in the ass, but I've got a few parts of it resolved.

One, the insurance company from the other driver automatically assumed liability and automatically assumed total loss, so they're going to (eventually) write me a check for what they think my car was worth. I figured as much, but it was still nice to know it for a fact. No word yet on how much I'll get or when I'll get it.

But the thing that's way more exciting than that is that I bought a new (to me) car on Friday. Nothing fancy. An '02 Civic. I love it, though. I wanted to get that chapter of this story closed as quickly as possible, so I decided against waiting around for the insurance check. I put some money out of my own pocket, and I'll use the insurance check as a big payment/restock of my bank account.

One slightly funny thing about my car buying experience. I pretty much knew that I wanted a Honda. I loved the one I had a while back, and I wanted to get something that would last a long time, would be reliable, and cheap, and with inexpensive maintenance. Honda or Toyota is the way to go there, and like I say, I loved that Accord I used to drive. So I took my first large chunk of free time and looked at their used lot. The date was Wednesday December 7. Pearl Harbor Day. A lot of old-timers would gasp at the thought of setting foot on a "Jap car" lot on Pearl Harbor Day, but I needed a car, and I don't take patriotism that far.

I found two that I liked that were essentially the same. Just different transmissions. Although the automatic transmission one had fewer miles, the straight drive has a cd player, and I found the color of it to be more appealing. When I went back on Friday, the automatic was gone, so it made my choice a little easier. So that's the one I went with.

That Pontiac I had been driving was really advanced for its year. Although it was a '94 model, it had keyless entry, power everything, the seats were computer controlled and adjustable in like 8 different ways, photosensitive headlights, etc. etc. etc. I'll have to get used to not having those luxurious things. But I do have a cup holder!

Friday, December 02, 2005

I don't have a title for this


I was just involved in an automobile accident.

I'm totally fine. My car, on the other hand, will never see the light of day again.

I was headed west on a boulevarded street. Minding my own business. A car in the eastbound lane was attempting to turn left. We both have green lights, but she did not have the arrow. She turned anyway, and before I could react, the airbag was in my face. Front end totally crushed, all the lights and plastic bits smashed to a million pieces. Windshield shattered. Driver's door panel slightly crushed. I don't know if any of you have ever been in an airbag-deployment accident, but the smell is horrible. Thank goodness they worked, though. That's all I have to say. I was only going about 30mph, but I'm sure I would have been injured without them. That's the good thing. I'm not hurt, and neither was the other driver. It's a pretty cut and dry issue of who's at fault, so I'm not really worried about that.

Here's the misfortunate bit. It's the weekend, and I don't use one of those 24-hour insurance companies. I'll have to wait until Monday morning to file a claim. I'll also have to wait until Monday morning to get a copy of the accident report. I'm not totally sure whether my insurance policy allows for a rental in this situation, but I could actually function without a car for a little while. I can walk to and fro work. I don't have any hockey games to go to for two weeks, so I don't have to worry about that either.

I guess I'll have to get a new(er) car, and that sucks because I've never had a car payment in my life. I guess that means I have to start getting serious about finding a different job.

Dang. I was really hoping I could make it my whole life without totaling a car.