Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew


tales and opinions of the wandering Jew


I finally have some photos to share…

The trip out West, June’s Scrabble meet-up, and my weekend with Y-Love.

Sadly, I don’t have many photos from my trip as I couldn’t find my battery charger for most of the trip, and drained the battery early on.


Filed under: friends, music, photos, scrabble, travels

Labour Day Weekend

vierge_en_trop‘s description of Saturday night, after dinner and sangria, was quite brilliant:

And just so you know, last night involved wandering among droves of scary and scantily clad student-types on St Laurent (eep!), looking for a 24 hour cafe where my motley crew and I could play a game of midnight Scrabble. I wasn’t scared for a minute, as we were led by our favorite queer jewish fruit dehydrating specialist on his spectacular low-ride cruiser while he sang Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.

Filed under: friends, good eats, random, scrabble

On Scrabble, and more

I’m sitting in the library at school, killing time…

Just sold one of my textbooks to a student taking the course this summer; she gave me more than twice what the stupid bookstore buy-back was offering. (Though still less than 50% of the original price I paid.)

Copied from Word Freak, by Stefan Fatsis, pages 332-3.

Danny also is an Orthodox Jew, and it’s the Sabbath, so he has to modify the normal Scrabble conventions to play. There has been debate among Orthodox Jews over whether playing Scrabble is permissible at all on Shabbat, when, according to the Torah, work is forbidden, as are writing, measuring, and touch that may result in forbidden labor. When he studied at an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva, Sam Orbaum, a newspaper columnist who runs the Jerusalem Scrabble club, asked different rabbis for their interpretations of playing on the Sabbath. “The responses I got were incredibly hairsplitting, because they were basically theoretical, but that’s the nature of Talmudic interpretation,” he says.
Generally, playing Scrabble is considered an intellectual pursuit, and therefore Sabbath-acceptable. How you play is the issue. One school of thought holds that using a deluxe board is permissible because the tiles are separated by ridges. That separation means the practice of forming words is not like writing, and it also means the letters aren’t contiguous, so the game can be disassembled without breaking anything (breaking and separating are prohibited on the Sabbath). But an opposite interpretation holds that the letters on a deluxe board are fixed in place, so it is like writing; a flat board, on the other hand, offers no permanence to what is being set down, and is therefore permissible. Orbuam, who is nonreligious now and plays with a clean conscience on the Sabbath, was told that mixing the tiles isn’t allowed, but that one could play if they were laid upside down on the table rather than placed in the bag. I once saw an Orthodox player use an assistant to draw tiles and hit the clock for him.
Danny plays with a deluxe board and without an assistant. But he uses a wind-up chess clock – electronic devices can’t be used on the Sabbath – and even that, Danny says, is questionable because a clock is considered by some to involve measuring. After the game, Danny asks his opponent to pick up the tiles, so he doesn’t do any breaking up, and to fill out the score sheets. Also to avoid writing, Danny keeps score and tracks tiles by using washers and nuts. On a sheet listing the numbers 1 to 600 and the tile frequency, Danny places nuts on the number indicating his score and washers on his opponent’s score and on the tiles played.

It’s interesting how, despite much social life, I’ve had plans every night this week. Mostly going for long walks around town, but last night was the meet-up, tonight I’m painting a loft (instead of partaking in Yom Ha’atzmaut), and tomorrow is shul (any locals wanna join me?) then some Sex and The City watching.

I want to get out of Montreal. I’m so incredibly bored, and I’m hating that I’m still unemployed. Of course travelling requires money, which requires employment. Drat. Otherwise, I’d love to visit NY, Boston, Vancouver, Seattle, Philly, and Boca. Well, maybe not Boca Raton in the summer, but it’s still on my list due to me missing certain people.

Right, so that above Scrabble stuff was inspired by my second reading of Word Freak. I figure since I’m unemployed, I might as well start studying to be the SCrabble champ I’ve dreamed of being… I picked up a copy of the OSPD yesterday, and I plan on reading through it, before re-attacking the 2-plus-1 list, and the other lists I’ve compiled. I also plan on going out to Hampstead Wednesday nights to play with the Montreal Scrabble Club, including former North American and World Champion, Joel Wapnick. Oh yeah, live the dream…

Filed under: judaism, school, scrabble, travels