Today, I’m tired. The guy who drove the carpool today was worried the car he was trying to park next to was over the line. It wasn’t. I know, great story. But it did instantly trigger a great song in my mind.
The other day, Words with Friends ate two of my games. At the time I didn’t realize the problem was almost certainly a bug introduced when the addicting mobile Scrabble-esque app became available as a facebook game, so I tried to fix the problem on my own. I deleted Words with Friends and reinstalled it, but what I found on my app store search disturbed me.
There are literally several apps dedicated to helping people cheat at Words with Friends. Friends? Really? Look, if you want to win at Words with Friends, I’ll tell you how. If you want to lose friends, there are more entertaining ways to do that than buying an app and screwing them over in a word game.
So here are some surefire ways to win at Words with Friends without losing at life.
A. Stop caring if you win. Seriously. No one else cares if you win. Maybe your opponent does, but that’s it. Vegas isn’t taking bets on your performance. No one is drafting you to their fantasy Words with Friends league. It’s nice to win, sure, but the point of wasting all your time playing games is to have fun. If you really care about accomplishing something, it really shouldn’t involve virtual letter tiles. If you have fun, you’re already a winner.
B. Don’t cheat. Set aside any talk about integrity and treating your friends with kindness. You should avoid cheating because it’s just too much work. If you are trying so hard that you actually need a program to tell you what words you can play, you’re no longer playing a game. You’re doing a job you aren’t even getting paid for. Shit, if you’re going to work, you might as well do your actual job. Does it really need to come to that? There are probably some apps that do all the work for you, in which case you’ve become too lazy even to play a game. That’s way too lazy.
Okay, let’s get to the actual game strategies, shall we?
C. Avoid playing one word at a time. There are times when bonus squares will change your strategy, but most of the time you can increase your scoring power by playing new words both horizontally and vertically. In some cases you may be able to play four, five, or even more words in one turn by playing your new word parallel to existing tiles. This is a great way to rack up points even when you don’t have high-scoring letters of your own.
There are things about the morning that I like, even if I’m not a morning person.
Uniqueness. Every day has it’s own vibe, and morning has a very distinct mood that sets it apart from the rest of the day. Sometimes that mood is cranky to the utmost, but morning owns it.
The quiet. It’s not like the quiet of the night. Night’s quiet is like the silence of settled dust after an explosion. Morning’s quiet is those first few seconds of a song before the instruments start . . . maybe someone in the band will say something (“Seven A”), but it’s anticipation instead of relief.
UPDATE: I showed this picture to Addison. He stared at it. I told him about the line from the movie. He looked puzzled. I pointed out the “Hello My Name Is” stickers. Nothing. Then I said, in my best Inigo Montoya voice, “HELLO!” He literally rolled on the floor laughing. Struggling to breathe.
But it got really fun (and dangerous; seriously, the laughter sounded painful) when we started adding alternate endings.
“Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You stole my Pop-Tart. Prepare to die.”
“Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You smell like onions. Prepare to die.”
“Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. . . . I think you dropped this. Prepare to die.”
It was a lot of fun. I highly recommend Replace “You killed my father,” any time you need a laugh.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be a Monday morning minute. Every morning has minutes even if they come with a little less alliteration. So here’s a not-too-deep thought.
Not everything that irritates us signifies a problem with the irritant. Naturally, when something perturbs us we tend to assume that we have been wronged. But sometimes the irritation comes from a problem within ourselves.
I guess what I’m saying is, it’s short-sighted to equate a sense of annoyance with righteous indignation. Sometimes our hearts are allergic to what is good. Or we’re just wrong. And that’s annoying.
I meet a lot of my music at the theater. Sometimes I don’t even bother seeing the movie. And there was an era in the ’90s when soundtracks were the only reason I’d even care about a film. So this is a nod to those flicks outdone by their tunes. Not all are bad movies. But they’re among my favorite albums of all time.
10. So I Married an Axe Murderer
I always liked this movie. Loved, maybe. It’s full of quotable hilarity (It’s like an orange on a toothpick.) Ironically, one of its only weaknesses is the incessant recurrence of “There She Goes” throughout its entirety. But as fine as the movie is, and as annoying as that song becomes by the time it’s over, I love the soundtrack more. But since the movie’s so good, it comes in at number 10. (Let’s be honest, this one’s just here as an argument starter; I could have just as easily listed Tommy Boy.
Soundtrack highlight: “Brother,” Toad the Wet Sprocket
9. Dead Man Walking
Another great movie. And great in an entirely different way. But the soundtrack is complete, a work of art.
Soundtrack highlight: “In Your Mind,” Johnny Cash
Singles wasn’t terrible, but it pales in comparison to the Seattlecentric mix of greatness assembled by Cameron Crowe. And really, Crowe deserves a list devoted entirely to him. And that’s no slight against his skills as a filmmaker, he’s just got supreme taste in music.
Soundtrack highlight: “Breath,” Pearl Jam
7. Pump Up the Volume
Christian Slater delivered a disturbingly fun performance as the same character he played in every movie from Heathers on, but he didn’t have a prayer of living up to the music his character cued up throughout this flick.
Soundtrack highlight: “Wave of Mutilation,” Pixies
6. Natural Born Killers
Oh, Oliver Stone. I remember this movie. I can’t dream of a scenario when I’d ever watch it again. I could do with another spin of that album, though.
Soundtrack highlight: “Sweet Jane,” Cowboy Junkies
Cameron Crowe, again. I debated leaving this one off and substituting Hope Floats somewhere in here, but that movie was so not good, I didn’t see the point in including it’s just-okay soundtrack. This one, however, was inspired by Patty Griffin. In the end, the decision was a no-brainer.
Soundtrack highlight: “Jesus Was a Cross Maker,” Rachael Yamagata
4. Marie Antoinette
Sofia Coppola is probably a great director. One of these days I’ll actually watch one of her films. It would be easier if I could stop listening to this music.
Soundtrack highlight: “Natural’s Not in It,” Gang of Four
Take away the soundtrack and what have you got? Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon would be the hardest game ever. John Lithgow would be a beet farmer in Pennsylvania. Sarah Jessica Parker never would have been sexy in the city, nor would she have married Ferris. And what’s-her-name who played the lead female role would have a shelf full of Oscars.
Soundtrack highlight: “Footloose,” Kenny Loggins
2. Dirty Dancing
This movie is not good, people. It’s not. But it did bring dancing back with music that made it easy.
Soundtrack highlight: “Hungry Eyes,” Eric Carmen
1. Reality Bites
Never has a movie made it easier for critics to be honest with their one-liners. I mean, really. It’s too bad, because the music is so fantastic. And the cast is all kinds of awesome . . . look at those three! Just don’t watch the movie. Ouch.
Soundtrack highlight: “Stay,” Lisa Loeb
In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a virus designed to stimulate the regrowth of brain cells is stunningly effective in apes but is eventually neutralized by the human immune system. This requires a more aggressive strain, the negative effects of which are neutralized by the more robust immune system of chimps . . . while the positive effects turn them into geniuses. That’s quite the diplomatic immunity.
I usually have at least 10 tabs open on Google Chrome. They’re all very important.
I eat ice cream more frequently than I shower. No joke.
e.e. cummings is good at poetry. That said, I expect some of his poems could easily be mistaken for spam comments.
I don’t know who’d win in a fight between Bono and Oprah, but I’d pay good money to find out.
It seems it would take an awful lot of money to pay Bono and Oprah to fight each other.
Maybe the hardest thing about faith is trusting other people’s as genuine. Yet faith in other people has been quite possibly the strongest apology for God I’ve ever known.
I use adverbs entirely too frequently.
Cubs baseball has been fun to watch lately. I suppose that’s enough.
It’s hard to believe there is as much money in the world as this country owes. Is there, really?
We could all still learn a lot from Punky Brewster.
My wife and I were watching when Tony Hawk landed the first 900 in competition. My son now says Tony Hawk is his favorite person in the world. So I told him that story this weekend. He thought it was pretty cool.
Admit it, Encino Man affected you more profoundly than did Citizen Kane.
Are these thoughts random or arbitrary? I should look that up.