Scrabbling to Find Plans
With New Year's plans in flux until about 4pm, it was looking like Geneve and I were going to spend our evening either rushing around Toronto--going to dinner downtown followed by parties downtown, midtown, and uptown--or resorting to our default plans of dinner and a movie.
After a phone call to Martin, we decided to tag along with Martin, Jason and Candace to dinner at Rol San on Spadina. Tom and Ang, who were in from the bad London for the night, stopped by to say hello before heading to a different party.
After dinner, we cruised back to Martin's place to drink and play some Scrabble. Martin and Jason played as a team, were especially entertaining when deciding whether to challenge words like venty (which I slapped down). Jason, driven by the realities of the risk-reward situation at hand, would explain to Martin that challenging was not in their best interest because venty *could* be a word, and losing their turn would put them too far behind, and look-they-could-play-this-word-off-the-"v". Martin was fueled by outraged certainty that venty was not a real word; he would listen to Jason calmly explain his rationale for not challenging, and then explode with an insistent "but it's venty!"
In the end, there was no challenge on the word, which opened up Pandora's tile-filled box.
And so the game quickly devolved into evaluating the risk of challenging words like raika, faw, copse, arran, and qune versus letting them slide and relying on one's own talent and luck of the draw to put together high-scoring words. It was kind of like a low-stakes poker game for nerds. Good times.
I am a firm believer that New Year's celebrations are thoroughly overhyped, so the best way to have a good time is to set very low expectations and find something to do that has potential for a good time. Scrabble and champagne fits nicely at number two on my list of all-time best New Year's celebrations, right behind tubing down Blackcomb in 2000/2001.
So here's what I'm going to do: when I'm not traveling over New Year's, I'm going to have a house party. You are invited, but know it probably won't be very exciting--we'll play some Scrabble, drink some, munch on some hors d'ouevres from Jamie's Kitchen, and maybe flip to Dick Clark 10 seconds after the ball has dropped. There won't be any cover, but you'll be with good peeps, and I guarantee it will be a good time.