Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Speed Scrabble

Life is returning to normal, or as normal as it ever gets around here. Back to work full time (full time-ish; I work 6 hrs/day and then hang with the little clowncars after school/daycamp), as of yesterday. And my Mother in Law is out of the hospital, in a wheelchair, with a large cast on her leg. She got a "Fall Risk" bracelet at the hospital too! We're gonna wear em to parties together.

Lotsa family in town last week for a family reunion, my mom's sister's branch of the tree. Cousins I grew up with. Then watched their kids grow up. And now my own kids get folded into the mix, threaded into the tapestry, insert your own metaphor here, as so many apply. The same stories get told over and over again, the same lame jokes, the same memories. My girls are hearing them all for the first time, though certainly not the last. A fine week. I ignored all doctor's orders about taking it easy and played whiffle ball, swam, ate too much. But whaddaya gonna do?

Learned a new game. Speed Scrabble. You don't use the board. Just dump all the tiles in the middle of the table, letters down, everyone chooses seven. Yell "Go!" and you try to make a crossword out of all seven letters. First one who does yells "Pull!" and everyone grabs two more letters. Once alll the letters are gone, first person who uses all of theirs wins. Fast-paced, and allows for multiple winners.

Of course, my 15 year old niece handed us all our butts on a platter, and won 3 outta 4 games.

Saw District Nine last night. Pretty good. Coulda been better, if only because the premise is so rich with possibilities. It ultimately succumbs to the belief that the only way to whip things up into a climax is to blow up a bunch of crap.

Much better is the 6 minute short it was based on. Economical story-telling, no Hollywood bloat. My advice: save eight bucks, skip the movie, watch this instead.


Eric said...

Very cool. I didn't have much of an urge to see it, but whenever I stumble across a trailer--and now this short-- I'm taken in. Then after a few minutes it fades. Ah, the internet.

Eric said...

Very cool. I didn't have much of an urge to see it, but whenever I stumble across a trailer--and now this short-- I'm taken in. Then after a few minutes it fades. Ah, the internet.

Sabra Smith said...

Thanks -- you saved me some cash! (Plus this was just fascinating to see as a sort of "film school" lesson, especially having read that the movie had no script -- you see how he developed the ideas)

meno said...

Thanks for the advice. I took it.

Hilary said...

That offshoot of Scrabble sounds like fun for a small group. I'll have to remember that. Glad your reunion was enjoyable. :)

Irrelephant said...

But you know they had to have the action element to get the lesson across. Spoonful of sugar and all that. I left the movie with a head full of questions, spinning around. I really enjoyed it.

willwood said...

I saw on ESPN that your girls were the crowd favorite and voted the best swimmers at the shindig.
I also heard by the grapevine that you once lost a hard fought battle of scrabble once while on a trip to texas.

Clowncar said...

Sucks me in too, Eric. It's a wonderful premise, and for the first half hour or so it's a wonderful film, as they explore it. But they don't really deliver on it by film's end.

Sabra, I found your time machine! The short is so good, and more fully realized, than the movie. Weird. Like a short story being better than the novel based on it.

Meno. Please send me half the money you saved.

Hilary, glad someone mentioned speed scrabble! It's way fun. I guess using 2 scrabble boards worth of tiles is even more fun.

Irr, don't get me wrong, it's a really great idea, and they deliver on it so well for the first half or so. I just thought it was lazy film-making to default to action mode for the finale. But I'm a cranky old man. Every review of the film I've read agrees with you.

Will, you crushed my childhood hopes and dreams by spelling "horsefly" the last time we played. And on a double word score, no less. I weep.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Darlin', we are so playing speed scrabble on our next camping trip!

Clowncar said...

You bring a board, we'll bring a board, we'll have a double tile scrabble-thon. I will kick your butt (I got beat several times by my 15 year old niece and thus feel a need to blow off some testosterone).

Peter said...

Although I really enjoyed District 9, more importantly, Speed Scrabble!

I'm such a big fan that I wrote an online version: Speed Scrabble Online.

I hope you'll try it out - means you don't have to wait for the next camping trip to kick Nancy's butt! Let's see you put your money where your mouth is ;-)