stardust holiday
chronicles of the chronically (and voluntarily) bedridden

More goals than the World Cup

29 May 2006
I've been working on my GOALS list for the study. I don't imagine it's a requirement, per se, that you have a goal for your time in bed. However, if someone was going to be lying on their back for 12 weeks and they had nothing to do, they would probably last about 6 hours. So I'm filling up my plate.

I've had this idea for a book that I want to write, but I could never really get focused on it while having to worry about work and bills and all the other things I do with my time. Hopefully, being unable to walk and having a computer in front of me will be the ideal circumstance for getting it done.

I've been playing Scrabble competitively for a little while now. While my vocabulary is decent, there are thousands of words that nobody has ever used in conversation, but are valid, and sometimes necessary, in Scrabble. Allow me to be a nerd for just a minute here:

In Scrabble, you have seven tiles on your rack at all times. To use all seven of these tiles to make one word is to BINGO. When you bingo, you get 50 bonus points added onto the score for the word itself. Somewhere along the line, someone with a ridiculous amount of time on his or her hands figured out a list of bingo stems. A stem is six letters that, when put with another letter, will make a seven-letter word. Obviously, if you have DFGUWXZ, you're not going to bingo. But, if you have the letters AEINRT on your rack, chances are good that the seventh letter will allow you to bingo. This is the RETINA stem. For example:


So, once you memorize those stems (there are 100 of them altogether), you can manage your rack (play off the tiles that aren't in the stem, keep the ones that are) and ideally bingo every few turns.

My goal is to memorize the top 50 stems and the words they make. The 7-letter words that come from these stems are known as TYPE I. The 7-letter words that have high-probability letters in them (A,E,N, etc...) but do NOT come from these stems are known as TYPE II. It is also my goal to memorize all 1,586 of these as well.

I've been asking friends and strangers for book recommendations, and I have put together a list of 30 that I think I would like to read. With all this time on my hands, I hope to be able to make up for all the reading I had to put off due to other things I had going on in my life. 30 books, or 2.5 books a week, seems reasonable. Highlights of the list include:

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
I read Tropic of Cancer years ago and loved it, and I bought Capricorn soon after. I've started it several times but never stuck with it.

A People's History of the United States... by Howard Zinn
I bought the abridged Audiobooks version a few months ago for a drive to Columbus and back. Even with Matt Damon reading it, even with hugh chunks extracted, it was very interesting and made me wish I had paid closer attention in history class. For those unfamiliar with this book, it's a historical text that focuses on the "underdogs" in history, for lack of a better term. African-Americans, women, Native Americans, prisoners, anti-war protesters, etc. Anyway, it's a pretty lengthy read, but I think I can learn a lot from it.

I definitely want to have a few more goals before I go to bed. Aside from the goals I'm writing down (I have to submit a list to Ricki), I plan on growing a great beard, planning a vacation, keeping several different journals, and playing lots of Scrabble.

More testing this week... photos to come.
12:39 :: :: permalink
  • I hope you've read or have on your list "Word Freaks" by Stefan Fatsis. A must read for every scrabble nerd!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02:23  
  • Hello! I just wanted to let ya know that I really love this blog. It'll be interesting to see how your experience is different/similar to Erin's. I got the site bookmarked and am looking forward to your next post!

    By Blogger Cindy, at 10:48  
  • Don't forget to count your toes.

    By Blogger Simon, at 06:32  
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