Jim Schutze has written a few stories about the old creeks running through East Dallas that we long ago buried and tried to forget. Here’s another in the series. It’s lyrical. It’s important. Give it your eyes.
We started on Tuesday with 64 players. Sixty-four players, united by a dream: to dominate the competition and to be declared the Best Words With Friends Player in Dallas. Today only four remain in the D Magazine tournament:
More to come next week before Wednesday evening’s semifinals and finals. It’s important to note again that the matches that remain will be played in a one-minute-per-turn format. The championship is there for the taking, for any of these competitors.
Congratulations to each of them for their performances so far. And thanks to all 64 of our players. We have some lovely parting gifts for you.
Fresh off his show at the Belmont Hotel last night, musician Rhett Miller handily beat Jeff Cheney, the mayor pro tem of Frisco in our tournament. The margin was 429 to 303. Cheney was quick with the excuses:
I was certainly hit by a train today. Rhett distracted me by having me download all his albums from iTunes. He may have a future in music. I knew the game was over when i had to play “bro” as the opening move.
But Rhett says it was a closer match than the score suggests:
I got lucky and started rolling. I never had a bad rack. Most of the S’s, both blanks at once, a TLS for the Q.Â
I had a T left in my rack when Jeff resigned. I guess that cost me a few points on my final score, but I got no beef with the guy. It’s no fun losing.Â
I must admit that I was inspired by a tweet from a Friscoite suggesting people follow me in order to gloat when I lost. I hope they don’t unfollow me now that I won.
Miller advances to our semifinals on Wednesday. Jump for the final board.
Don’t feel too bad for Lauren Lapeyre of the Ritz-Carlton. She was already down on the coast for some early weekend fun as she ran up against sports agent Trennis Jones in the D Magazine Words With Friends Tournament and suffered a 460 to 311 defeat. Here’s Trennis’ account of the match:
Lauren and I went back and forth with 40-50 point words for the 1st 6 plays or so…she had some great plays with “Pugh”, “Mowed”, and “Bulls”….I countered with “Zincs”, “Dobies”, and “Amirs”. Though I was lucky enough to win and advance, I was very jealous of her; as I was playing her from work and she was on the beach in South Padre.
Trennis has made our Finally Four and will compete in the semifinal showdown on Wednesday. Congratulations to him.
See the board after the jump.
In a not-at-all-surprising result, Chris Cree – local businessman and master Scrabble player – punched his golden ticket to the Finally Four of the D Magazine Words With Friends Tournament today with a 463 to 328 win over the exuberant Luis Ellis. Tuxedo-clad Jesus apparently wasn’t on Luis’ side today. Here’s Cree’s breakdown of the action:
Luis made very nice plays with PEON and BOLETI and is obviously another very good player. The match turned on WITCH and Luis not having the case S and then me getting both the X and Z and then a third bingo (TEARABLE). This could best be described as a “bagging”. I got both blanks and had reasonable balance toward the end when the bag was vowel heavy.
Our first semifinal, to be played live as a speed match on the evening of June 9, is set. Chris Cree will face off against Rich Goff.
Jump for the Cree-Ellis final board.
An alert FrontBurnervian has asked that draw attention to today’s front-page story about DISD’s improved TAKS scores. This is good news, indeed — although it must be noted that the test changed this year, and everyone statewide seems to have made similar dramatic improvement. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa was cautious to crow too loudly about the results, which I appreciate. What I didn’t appreciate was the way he said it:
“You always are skeptical when these numbers come back, especially the dramatic gains. That’s why you don’t want to celebrate too early. My first comment was, ‘All data is relative; I’ve got to compare it.’”
Yes, he’s right. All data ARE relative. Am I a bastard for pointing this out?
Danny Clancy’s campaign was apparently amused by Eric Celeste’s comparison of DA Craig Watkins and Kobe Bryant. Clancy’s spokesman, Brian Mayes, sends along this response:
“Craig Watkins’ performance as DA more closely resembles the career of Shawn Bradley — all hype, no game. But at least Shawn Bradley played. Craig Watkins has never even tried a case as our DA choosing instead to dismiss more than 5,500 criminal cases, putting many violent offenders back on our streets. Sounds like our Shawn Bradley-like DA is afraid to take it to the basket.”
I think I can speak for Zac Crain when I say we’ll all be stoked if, from now till November, the two sides continue to use basketball analogies to conduct their campaigns.
I remember running into Chace Crawford at the Black Friar once. I’m surprised we didn’t get baked together. Because he was arrested early today for possession of weed in the parking lot of a place called Ringo’s Pub in Plano. Gotta say the dude has a sexy mugshot. Rrrawr!
You’ve still got today, tomorrow, and Sunday left to cast one ballot a day, each day in our Best of Big D Readers’ Choice: Services Poll.
Tell us who’s the best pet groomer, the best painter, the best auto mechanic, and the best car wash, along with many other categories. Among the closest races going are the contests for the best hair salon, the best place for waxing, and the best lawn care company. A handful of votes could make the difference.
So hop to it.
Boy, the Dallas Regional Chamber got itself a real firebrand when it elected as its president Jim Oberwetter. In the June newsletter from the Chamber, he has written a letter that should stir things up at City Hall. It begins:
There once was a New York City mayor named George Washington Plunkitt who ran a political machine known as Tammany Hall. Tammany Hall was so powerful and corrupt that its excesses lead to political reform that swept the country free of such “machines” except in a few remaining cities.
In the 1920s, when Dallas was faced with similar problems, the citizens stepped forward with reforms to rid the city of public officials whose actions stood in the way of progress. Since that time, the city and its officials, for the most part, have remained true to those reforms.
Lately there has been some backsliding — not good for Dallas, its people or its businesses.
Oberwetter is talking about the no-bid contract that city staff wants to give State Rep. Helen Giddings. Jump to read Oberwetter’s entire letter.
We’re giving away a gorgeous pair of Dallas designer Rory Ashton’s earrings and a ring. Win them for you. Win them for your lady friend.
Those of us in magazineland whom Eric Celeste left in his wake when he sailed off for other career opportunities have watched closely how he has handled his new role as the communications director for the district attorney’s reelection campaign. Today’s paper brought us an indication that Eric just might make it after all. To wit, the following quote from him in response to Republican challenger Danny Clancy’s recent campaign mailer, which asks, “Isn’t it time for a DA who makes headlines for fighting crime, not political scandals?”:
“Saying the district attorney doesn’t fight crime is like saying Kobe Bryant doesn’t make baskets. The conviction rate is so perfect it doesn’t make headlines. If they want to make the campaign about fighting crime, we’re happy to go there.”
The sports reference, the bravado, the willingness to “go there” — these are the hallmarks of a man who is sure of his place in the world. You read a quote like that, and you know you’re dealing with a guy who probably owns an Ed Hardy t-shirt that says “Sinner” across the front. Good luck, Danny Clancy. You’re gonna need it.
OK, call off the D Magazine Words With Friends Tournament. We tried to fix this thing so that only our close friends and celebrities had a chance of winning. But here comes some “average joe” – Rich Goff, a promotions manager for television station WFAA – and he goes and spoils our fun. Goff beat D Magazine senior editor Zac Crain by a score of 395 to 383 to be the first to claim a spot in our Finally Four. I mean what’s the point of us carrying on, right?
Anyway, here’s what Goff has to say for himself:
This was a VERY tough game–one where you play your last tiles hoping your opponent has enough left on his rack to put you over the top. Zac played a great game–lead by more than 100 points early on. As anyone can tell you, though–luck plays a big role in this, and while Lady Luck wasn’t smiling on me in the beginning, she wasn’t smiling on Zac down the stretch. It seems I had nothing but vowels through the first third of the game, and he had nothing but consonants in the end. So yes, I give LUCK a lot of credit for this win, as it could’ve gone either way.
In all seriousness, congratulations to Rich, who will play in our live Words With Friends showdown the evening of June 9. You’ll hear more about that next week. Goff will want to spend between now and Wednesday practicing his speed game. Our semifinals and finals will be played in a one-minute-per-turn format.
Zac, what excuses can you offer us?
Today’s Dallas Morning News brings us the David Dillon obituary. It reads, in part, “He came to Dallas as an assistant professor of English at Southern Methodist University, but his freelance writing on architecture attracted the attention of editors at The News, and he joined the staff in 1981.” Presumably some of that freelance writing included the cover story Dillon wrote for D Magazine in May 1980, titled “Why Is Dallas Architecture So Bad?” It’s a great piece of writing that is still relevant 30 years after we published it. If you’ve got a few moments to spare this weekend, you ought to give it a read.