Powerful plays Bananagrams
Thursday, February 4 2021
This evening Gretchen and Powerful (along with the dogs) drove out to Veggie Oasis, the hippie burrito place, to get dinner. They came back with not just conventional burritos, but also an Indian-style saag & rice dish and a "samosarito." Despite the supposed Indian and Mexican influences on this food, they all had a similar flavor profile, which was more hippie than any recognizable ethnicity. This profile leans heavily on cumin and could benefit from more salt. I think I liked the food from Veggie Oasis better last time; for some reason I wasn't really feeling it tonight.
After dinner, Gretchen proposed we play a rousing game of Bananagrams, which I agreed to. Gretchen tried to get Powerful to join us, and initially he seemed like he was retreating off to his lair. But then, unexpectedly, he came back up and sat down to join us, taking 21 tiles of his own. He'd never played Bananagrams before, but he had a lot of experience playing Scrabble in prison, and he was as good as we were. In some cases he was better; he knew a lot of the two-letter words that come in handy when one needs to dispose of bothersome tiles. All the playing of the New York Times Spelling Bee has better trained my mind to find words, though I feel like I'm slower at this sort thing than someone like Gretchen, and Bananagrams rewards the quick. A good strategy for Bananagrams is to play the longest words possible, which provides more uncongested attachment points for other words. It's tempting to just try to dump your letters into small words quickly, but that technique paints you into a corner and soon you're having to tear it all down anyway to unlock all the useful letters locked up in three-letter words.
I procrastinated or been distracted from a bunch of things during my workday, so this evening, well after my 150 mg dose of diphenhydramine had kicked in, I cranked through them. One was an explanation of timeline fragmentation of parcel edited across multiple tax years. Another was an deep-dive into how a split parcel was inexplicably being charged nearly $3000 in taxes more than the sum of the tax components. And finally there was the setting up of a Jenkins pipeline build. Despite the diphenhydramine, I remained alert and surprising on-task. This was probably partly due to the 120 mg of pseudoephedrine I'd taken at around 9:00am this morning. Also, given that this was my third day in a row of taking diphenhydramine, my body's response to it was fairly mild. At some point I started drinking kava tea, which, if anything, seemed to better-focus my mind. After hearing a live (and somewhat garbled) performance of Guided by Voices' "Things That I Will Keep," I was reminded of what a gorgeous song that is. So I dredged up all the songs on the album it's on (Do the Collapse) and listened to it over and over again as the the hours passed. Hearing "Things That I Will Keep" repeatedly in the still of a winter night made me feel nostalgic for a period in my life a couple decades ago when I must've done the same thing. I'd forgotten how great these post-classic Guided by Voices albums are. For example, there are only a couple bad songs on Do the Collapse: "Zoo Pie" and "Hold on Hope."
It was after 2:00am when I finally went to bed.
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