Friday, January 27, 2012

No blog: Blame it on Words with Friends

Blame it on Words with Friends.

I haven’t blogged since late November, and I suspect it’s mostly because of Words with Friends, the Scrabble-like on-line game where I keep multiple games going with Facebook friends. It’s addicting; it’s fun. It’s challenging, and I like to win.  And “Words” has helped me waste computer time, time when I could have been waxing prose-like at Instead, I am searching for the elusive TW (triple word) square connection that will turn my J, Q or Z into a 50, 60, 70 point word. YES!

I’m not alone. Alec Baldwin blamed it on Words with Friends when he got booted off an American Airlines flight in Los Angeles back in December when he didn’t turn off his cell phone as the plane waited in line to take off. He was just playing "a word game for smart people,” Baldwin said, as he defended himself on Saturday Night Live later that month.

A word game for smart people. I liked that. And, I really like this on-line version of my favorite board game. It’s not the same vibe, of course, as the real board game with those wooden tiles and the neat little wooden couches where you line the tiles up and move them around. Our family still gathers to play Scrabble – our game old and worn and still with score pads from sleepovers and game fests gone by. We still play the real game whenever we’re together and I can talk them into it.

I play Words with Friends with several former co-workers and with my eighth grade best friend from Fairfield who lives in Florida now. I’ve played with my husband’s cousin from Washington State, with my niece, my son, my son’s friends and with Kathy, my former co-worker and fellow downsized Weyerhaeuser corporate communications manager, who beats me every time (so far) and who taught me the secret of the S.

I don’t play other Facebook games, and I don’t have a smartphone to play other games there, only a dumb phone that just calls and texts. I don’t accept invites from Facebook friends to join them in playing Castleville or Farmville or Hidden Chronicles or Pioneer Trail. I don’t even respond to the requests. Sorry about that. I am too busy playing Words with Friends, seeking that DW or TW, hoping for a U to go with the Q. No U? U can always go with QAT or QI. I didn’t know what these words meant until I looked them up.

Qat: the leaves of a scrub that can be chewed for a stimulant effect.

Qi: A variant of chi – the force in Taoism and other Chinese thought, meaning inherent in all things. The unimpeded circulation of chi and a balance of its negative and positive forms in the body are held to be essential to good health in traditional Chinese medicine.

But it does not really matter if you know a word’s meaning in Words with Friends -- aside from a word nerd’s joy at knowing the meaning of words like qi, qat and taj (Taj: a tall conical cap worn by Muslims as a headdress of distinction). But, believe me, meanings known or not, Words with Frienders know and love their QATs and QIs and TAJs.

I like to think that Words with Friends is my only on-line computer game because I like words and I like spinning them together. I mean, I get a headache just looking at a Sudoku puzzle.

And, even though I enjoy the mind-targeting challenge of Words with Friends, I miss blogging and hope maybe some folks miss me doing it. So, I look forward to more frequent musings, and songs and pictures of the day, in 2012.

But, for right now, it’s “my turn” on three Words with Friends games over on Facebook.

So, I wish you great qi and plentiful qat.

Word out.

Picture of the Day:

My Aunt Norma Ruth Romine Young, seated, with my stepmother Emily Love Romine at family Christmas at our house. I want to send best wishes for a speedy recovery to sweet Aunt Norma, my daddy's sister, who is recovering from hip surgery. 

Song of the Day:

In recognition of this week's tornadoes in Alabama, for the song of the day, I quote the first two verses of Shelter from the Storm by wordsmith genius Bob Dylan. I wonder if he plays Words with Friends?

Shelter from the Storm
By Bob Dylan

’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured
I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”