Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Winners Blog Us! Linda Goertz

From Linda Goertz's Foster Powell Blog:

Do U Spel Gud? Mee 2
Posted by Linda Goertz February 20, 2007 07:07
Foster-Powell Index

Last night at Mississippi Pizza Pub there was a spelling bee, as there has been every Monday night for a couple of months -- and hopefully will continue for quite a while. Portland definitely has caught the spelling bee fever (another local bee is at Night Light Lounge, last Sunday of every month, but as their website indicates there's smoking there in the evenings, my lungs and I do not attend -- but if you don't mind that, please check it out and let us know what it's like)!
The rules at Mississippi are simple -- sign up by 6:30 or so and pay your $2 cover charge, and prepare to enjoy the fun at 7:00 (their lovely food and beverages can be an extra treat). The air is clear, the atmosphere convivial, and the competition is fierce. Everyone's having fun, including Pronouncer/Emcee Extraordinaire Kathleen Woods-Eliot -- but after the first round, be prepared for some knock-your-socks-off words.

I was there with two friends I initially met at the yearly Senior Spelling Bee in Aurora -- my friend Julie is one of the best spellers I've ever known, the winner of last year's Senior Bee, and an all-round fun person. Bill Long regaled the two of us during our pre-bee pizza time by firing practice words at us -- he's a consistent finalist in every bee I've seen him in. And me -- well, I enjoy spelling but really can't measure up to either of them, and as for "studying" -- oops, did I forget again??

So what happens? Remember what I said about luck? You could spell every word you hear but one -- but if that lone word happens to be the one that pops up when it's your turn, you're toast. Conversely -- as was the case with me -- you could be all at sea with half the words that are given to other contestants, but luck out when it gets to your turn -- either because you know the word or because your stab-in-the-dark guess turns out to be correct.

Bill and I made it to the final round and we both missed on "faena" (a bullfighting term; the pronunciation throws you off). Then he was given "tandoori" (a yummy Indian style of cooking). Mentally, I went t-a-n-d-o-r-i; he spelled it the same way and I was sure I was a goner, but -- Ding! went the bell. He had missed it! I gaped; then somewhere in the recesses of my brain I dragged up the double "o" and got that word. Then I was given the word "fajas," another word I'd never heard of -- and purely bluffing, I got it right and was officially the last speller standing.
As the week's winner, I got an incredibly cool T-shirt, a gift certificate, and the right to compete in the April 2 champions spell-off. I'll get creamed; it'll be fun. See you there?

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