Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Time Flies When You're Emotionally Pingponging

Bad news: Turns out I don't get paid on Friday. I get paid on the 30th, which is next week. Which means that instead of having fun, I have to have a relatively cautious long Memorial Day weekend. ((Sighing noise.)) When will it end? (Answer: The 30th. Actually, probably the day after the 30th because my direct deposit probably hasn't kicked in and I'll have to deposit the payment and wait a day.)

Good news: In my first move toward having a regular social life (of sorts), I went tonight to the famous Honors Scrabble Club of New York, hosted by the famous "G.I." Joel Sherman (of Word Freak fame). It starts at 6:45 a mere twenty blocks from my work, and it was an easy lope.

Bad news: It's been two years since I've played Scrabble, and I got my ass handed to me two times out of three. (Both beat me by over 100 points, although I bet the third guy by 80.) Also, they generally play four games. By three games it was 10:00 and I knew I had to leave if I was going to get back uptown in time enough to go to sleep and get to work tomorrow. But at 10:00 the trains start running slower and---long story short---I didn't get home until midnight. Good thing I left when I did.

Good news: I'd heard about this, but tonight confirmed it. Since the last time I played, there's been a new dictionary released, and so the Official Scrabble Word List has expanded to reflect it...and we now have a two-letter Q word (QI; the chinese term for energy, and also spelled KI by the way) and a two-letter Z word (ZA; short for pizza). QI and ZA! Just think of it! It's really altered the gameplay. You can be a little bolder and not worry about, say, getting Q-stuck at game's end. (With nine Is, there's usually something you can hook it on.) Also, it's a helluva lot easier to simply drop either letter on a triple letter score and get tons of points. All we need now is a two-letter C word and a two-letter V word and the grids at the end will flow together a lot more prettily.

More good news: I've been thinking about it on the various trains, and I now have 77 ideas for office poems scrawled on my little notepad. And I've even written several of them. I'm looking forward to sharing them.

Bad news: It's really late and I have to get to bed. Maybe later. After all, I have a long weekend ahead and I'll probably spend much of it close to home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know Chinese was allowed in Scrabble. Remind me never to play with you!

5/26/2006 4:48 PM  
Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

If that's an actual comment and not a joke (it's a common misunderstanding of the rules), QI isn't really a Chinese word. QI is the English spelling of a Chinese word. (It would be unspellable in Scrabble in the original language.) That makes it English by definition, which is why it's not in the "Foreign Words" section many dictionaries have. And that's why the Scrabble Official Word List also includes such words as QOPH (Hebrew letter), QAT (Arabic shrub), and KA (Egyptian term for the soul, in their traditional mythology).

While I'm at it, let me also point out that you're allowed to use slang if the dictionary doesn't mark it as slang. Which dictionaries rarely do these days. So the Official Word List also include TELLY (for television), ABS (for abdominal muscles) and NERTZ (for "hang it all!" or whatever your favorite inoffensive epithet might be).

And if you haven't read Stephen Fatsis's Word Freak, why not start now? I guarantee you'll find it fun.

5/26/2006 6:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home