Frankieleeee's Blog

Whatever boils over over here!

Flinty it wasn’t! January 8, 2011.

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Eighteen hardy souls ventured out on Michigan snow paths and ice ponds to bang heads 12-14 inches above Scrabble (copyright til you die) boards (especially engineered to pamper faces felled by the sheer weight of the words they support). Flint, Michigan. The Courtyard by Marriott.

Mark Garrod, Janet Gray, Cheryl Melvin and somebody's eye and nose.

Not an easy place to find; not an easy place to leave if you’ve dedicated 2 1/2 decades of your life becoming addicted to a game which, much like other forms of gambling, virtually guarantees loss, heartache and plummeting self-esteem bastioned up very occasionally by victory, victory which the snickering gods of the tilebags hand out knowing the victors do not know that for each victory there shall surely follow 27.231 humiliating defeats.

L-R Carolyn Easter, Mark Sienkowski, Heather Steffy and (mostly hand and arm of) Pat Hardwick.

In any event, we Scrabble (copyright til you die) addicts gathered in a small room and pumped out seven games in two divisions.

Recuperate! Recuperate! L-R: (sweatshirt of) Mark Garrod, Jeff Fiszbein, Steven Grob, (director) Miki Sutherland, Carolyn Easter, Cheryl Melvin, Mark Sienkowski and unknown sweatshirt.

Mark Garrod, wearing his Michigan State sweatshirt and sporting a new near-beard, beat hell out of opponents in the top division (5-2) to take home the money and a grin that will surely last for a while.

Mark Garrod, hero of the heroes, cursed now with "proving" he is a hero again. And again. And again.

Steve Knapp, lately transplanted to Northville MI from the cereal capital of the world, came in 2nd, also with a 5-2.

Steve Knapp almost successfully hid from the camera, but there he is on the extreme right, face kinda hidden, but that's him alright looking at game plans with Mark Garrod. On the left of the picture are Steve Grob and Jeff Fiszbein.

The evil triumvirate. Successful after decades of planning the sweep they savored on Saturday. CB, fle & Elaine.

Over in my own group 2, I was the third-rated player and finished third to the tune of 40 bucks! Of course, I gave away one and lost another (to Mike Stafford) by one point, should have won it all! Should have. 5-2.

Mike Stafford, of Columbus OH, my nemesis for the day: we tied then I lost by one in a recount.

Elaine Glowniak whipped the crowd into blind obedience much like a lion trainer keeping her surly charges in line until Connie Breitbeil (CB) discovered and exploited weaknesses in the 7th and final game, defeating Elaine by more than a hundred points, but Elaine would not be deprived and survived (6-1)  to win a caboodle of cash and 1st prize bragging rights for another moment or two.

Elaine Glowniak cheerleading for everybody now that she's sewed up top place in the littler joint.

The win over Elaine gave CB the number 2 place. She also had 5-2 with a cume of 400 plus.

CB not unhappy to hear her name called to come down for 2nd place check in 2nd division in Flint, Michigan.

Mike Stafford used the tournament to practice his dexterity with the clock, stopping his clock at exactly minus 1:00 in our game, enough to give him, in a recount, a one-point win. He hit the final clock showing EXACTLY plus 1:00 in his game with Pat Hardwick (which he lost by 10 points).

Pat Hardwick sat next to me all day with nary a peep of anger.

Miki Sutherland has become one of my favorite directors. Not only is she meticulous and fun, she provides a helluva picnic lunch at her tournaments of which yesterday was one! Janet Gray, Kathy Washburn, Elaine, CB & I joined Miki for an hour or so of sandwiches and socializing. Elaine introduced us to a new smoked tofu and an incredible liquid sourdough-like drink (you have to save some of it to give birth to the next batch).


Miki Sutherland, director and provender provider.

The toughest part of my day was reporting myself for overdrawing AFTER I’d made a 40-something point play. (I played three and discovered I still had 5 tiles on my rack). Lost my points. Lost my turn. Lost the game. Michael Bassett was not sufficiently consoling to make it go away (as if I would have – hee hee). A few games later, I was playing newcomer Mark Sienkowski who had a similar situation. Played VAC. Still had 5 on his rack. I was not sporting enough to make it all go away.


Cross-tables demonstrates more starkly than words, the truth of my philosophical meanderings.

As always the few moments between games were filled with catching up on the latest gossip. Divorces. Illnesses. Aggravations. Who’s backing WGPO and who’s solidly behind NASPA. I do like them thar tournaments.

Elaine showing her new board, a gift from Cheryl Melvin to replace Elaine's board which was "lost" at a tournament last year.

Today’s should be interesting. The usual Sunday “open” with 8 or so of us hardy souls in the mix.


Written by frankieleeee

January 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

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