Sunday, December 23, 2007

18 months later, the stars are once again aligned!

Was it the group's united Christmas gift to Dan or did Dan simply think it was time to return the trophy back to where it feels most comfortable (Dan's pillow)? All conspiracy theories aside, Dan ended a drought that dated back to pre Bears' Super Bowl season training camp!

The championship table was Cindy (from the table of Mike, Sue and Andy), Mark (Lisa, Steve H., Debbie), 92 point Jan (Dawn,Steve, K.,John) and Dan (Toni, Terri, Beth). Dan held off the furious competition put forth by Cindy and Mark (winners of the previous 4 months) to take home the trophy, giving Jan the queen on the last hand to put her over the top.

This was also our annual Christmas extravaganza dinner and white elephant gift exchange. What would be the "highlight"? Would everyone actually take their gifts home? One of the highlights was a painting (given by Mary) of a topless young lady by an unknown artist. Speculation was that it might have been a younger, more innocent Mary......painted by a hormone-raged Mike? Hmmmm! This painting was the center of additional attention and humor as it was hung above the couch, unnoticed by our hosts, for quite some time. By the way, nice tree topper in the dining room!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tainted as it was, Mark breaks through for the men

Despite the late arrivals of Beth, Steve and Sue (rumor has it there was skinny dipping involved!), we had 13 players all here to see if Cindy could run the streak to 4 in a row. However, Cindy appeared to be more set on getting Jan out the game as quick as possible and lost track of the fact that Dan and Mark were advancing to the championship table while she saw her streak come to halt. It was a nice streak Cindy, good job!

We had another marathon opening game... this time at a table of three!!?!!? The lovebirds and Andy trudged their way to a somewhat controversial ending. Who was letting who shoot and why was the queen being given to the high guy? Steve H. ended up being the last one standing. John rounded out the championship table. The all male group ensured the women's 4 month hold on the trophy was ending.

Mark started out quick in the championship round, shooting on the 1st 2 hands. Doesn't anyone know how to pass a low heart? (Dan and Steve!!). It was the consensus feeling at the table that Mark would not even attempt to win since he would not want to suffer the embarrassment of coming to the championship round through the back door and then end up taking home a tainted trophy. Apparently he has no shame and the 52 point deficit was too much to overcome and Mark walked away with his overall 8th trophy. Congratulations Mark!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The trifecta for Cindy - 3 in a row!!

Although no one submitted an entry for September, that does not take away from the fact that Cindy won for the 2nd consecutive month in September. Impressive, yes? How about a 3rd consecutive win in October? A feat only duplicated once prior in the club's lengthy history....I wonder who did that? With the 3 consecutive victories under her belt and 2 months left to play, can she win the unprecedented 4th in a row or possibly get a 5th in a row to tie for the most wins in a year?

The only thing that marred the evening (other than the Illini loss) was the excruciatingly long first round game between Terri, Steve K., Toni and Cindy that took an HOUR and FORTY minutes!!!! Was this a tactic used by Cindy to lull her competition to sleep? Looks like the suggestion of a 1 hour time limit made once upon a time by a wise man may need to be reconsidered.

Do you believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny even though you have never seen them? Rumor has it a certain little construction project may be in the club's near future. No skinny dipping allowed!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Year end drought ends - Victory for Cindy

A beautiful day at the lake was enjoyed by the Lisle Hearts club as we had 4 full tables battling for the right to take home the trophy. Despite the crazy driving accusations, the unfrosted chocolate eclair cake and the recent flooded lake, everyone appeared to have a good time as we shared food, drink and cards. Although Steve got to spend his birthday with the club (with a beautiful "pool" birthday cake decorated by Kelsey), there was no victory to be had by the birthday boy.

Cindy overcame the distraction of the late arriving crowd (what time does this 11:00 party begin?) to dominant the final table of Toni (hey, I shoot the moon, I deserve to be here), Beth and Mike. Cindy ended her year long victory drought (7/2006) and moved into sole possession of 5th place in total victories. Congratulations Cindy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ok ladies, a little good natured ribbing regarding the men's winning streak (8 months if you had forgotten) and you took it to the extreme (surprise, surprise!). A simple victory would have been fine but no, you had to have 75% of the players in the final game to increase your odds of total domination.

The opening round saw 2 tables of 3 (Beth, Debbie and Lisa at 1 and Cindy, Steve and Andy at the other) and 1 table of 4 which had Dan, Toni, Terri and John. The championship table consisted of Beth, Lisa (the "taint" entry), Terri and Andy who would battle it out for the trophy. Despite having only 1 entry the men were confident that the talents of the 2 time 2007 winner gave them more than enough weapons to continue the men's streak (easy girls, we kept our clothes on!). Club founder (and creator of the new "humiliation due to hearts" necklace) Beth, could no longer handle all the male bravado and took it as a personal challenge to win back the trophy....which she did. As she lovingly stroked the golden beauty in her arms it was rumored she mumbled under her breath "if I came every month there never would have been any streak in the first place."

Congratulations Beth on what could be the beginning of a streak of another flavor. See everyone at the lake.

ps John was recipient of the necklace of shame.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Tainted my @&#!!! A victory is a victory!"

The great Samual Clemmons, better known as Mark Twain, once told the tale of how a young lad somehow duped a group of friends into whitewashing the fence while he sat back, relaxed and watched as they did his job. The eleven unsuspecting souls who showed up for a friendly game of hearts left Cindy's house feeling as if they were victimized by a Tom Sawyer-like trick as the "victor" for the evening couldn't even win his opening game. He did, somehow, take home the trophy. Sit back and relive the tale of a tainted victory.

Cindy was a proud championship entry from the table of Dan, Debbie and Steve K. as was Steve H. (table of John, Sue and Andy) and Lisa (table of Terri, Toni and Mark). This is where it gets interesting and ironic (interestonic ?). Mark, the proud owner of the phrase: "It would be a tainted victory if you got to the championship round with a 2nd place finish in the qualifying round", had no issue with this when the shoe was on the other foot (his!!). He didn't even hang his head in shame as he played his way to victory over the 3 deserving (?) opponents who had actually won their first games.

I have always been a believer that the goal of the first round is merely to get a seat at the championship table and Mark did this. He also won with the impressive "shoot the moon" on the last hand to squeak out a 2 point victory. Congratulations Mark on your 2nd victory of the year and your new nickname......Mark Taint.
P.S. Has anyone noticed that it has been a men's victory parade for the last 8 months? October 2006 was the last trophy taking for the fairer sex. How long can the streak continue?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

May 12, 2007 - the 1st double-winner of the year

The excitement level from our last meeting had died down but word must have spread that these games were the place to be as 15 people showed up at Beth's place. We were glad that Mary showed up but disappointed when she had to leave without playing (this may have been her ploy to get a mention in this blog.....Mary?). Debbie felt she could rest on laurels from her previous victory and did not feel she needed to prove anything else regarding her heart's skill as she too elected not to play.

The 13 that actually played were Dan, Sue, Jan and Steve at one table, Toni, Lisa, Andy and Cindy at another and the dreaded 5 player table had John, Beth, Steve, Terri and Mark. The winners advancing to round 2 were Dan, Terri, Andy and the best of the rest Lisa.

Lisa and Andy feverishly gathered in points at the beginning and after the 1st 4 hands they were at 42 and 45 points respectively while Terri and Dan laid low with 8 and 9. The momentum soon began to change as Andy was determined to become the 1st repeat winner of 2007 (can he match the most wins in a year at 5?...we will have to see). While Dan and Lisa faded off from seriously challenging (Lisa's mind was still on her "dividing the meat" activity she had done earlier in the day), Terri and Andy were tied at 58 ten hands into the game. Thirty nine points on the next two hands for Terri put the game away for Andy.

There was a rumor circulating that Terri was going to file a protest trying to argue that she should be able to lead a heart despite the fact that she still had a SPADE in her hand. After a few minutes of fingers to the chest and hands flaying wildly in the air, the game continued and Andy was crowned the champ of May 2007.

Next Meeting: Cindy's on June 9th.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

April 14th, 2007 - Innocence lost

Eleven players enthusiastically showed up to see the long awaited unveiling of the new bathroom that we have heard about for what seems like years. There was a buzz within the group speculating who would be the first to christen the cold, pearly-white ceramic throne. The owners were obviously quite proud and I believe I heard the comment: "It's so powerful it can suck white off rice!"

Once excitement of the new crapper had settled down, Mark took 1st place from the table of Andy, Lisa and Dan. Steve H. took Mary and Toni to school at the table of three and the other Steve beat Sue, Beth and Teri. Beth represented the best of the rest and rounded out the championship table of Mark, Steve k., and Steve H.

Although Mark had the early lead, a poorly timed hand of 20 put Steve H. in the lead for good and elevated him out of the V.V. club (Victory virgin). Many members have been in this club for years and Steve H. has now experienced the sweet taste of victory in less than a year. Realizing that her man had taken home the trophy, Teri jumped to her feet and declared he didn't need to drive home, a little trophy polishing party maybe? Congratulations Steve H.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 17, 2007 - St. Patrick's Day Hearts

John and Dawn hosted 12 of us for a little St. Patrick's Day card playing. Dan, John, Sue and Lisa were at table 1; Steve, Cindy, Dawn and Andy were at table 2 while Beth, Debbie, Mark and Toni rounded out table 3.

The championship table included 1st round winners Dan, Mark and Steve as well as Cindy, occupying the 65th team in the NCAA tournament-like position of having "achieved" the honor of being the lowest scoring member of the 1st round losers. Come'on, wouldn't you rather have a chance or winning a couple NIT games then suffering a 1st round blow-out in the BIG dance?

Inspired (or possibly confused) by the basketball games on the big screen, Cindy was gobbling up the points like a woman possessed and after 6 rounds had a commanding lead with 75 points. Mark, being the gentleman that he is, discreetly pointed out that the object was to get the LEAST number of points. It was too late, however, as Mark was a man on a mission after he had seen Debbie's photo (not that photo!) on the web earlier in the evening and knew it would be a special evening if he could bring home the trophy. After all, this was the same house that Debbie had achieved her greatest heart's achievement with her shocking victory so many moons ago (calendar months, not "shoot the moons"). Nice job Mark with your 6th victory.

Next meeting: April 14th at Toni and Andy's estate

Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 24, 2007 - a cold and stormy night

Three full tables were hosted by Dan and Lisa despite the severe weather brewing outside. Apparently, the monthly braggin' rights that go with a Hearts' victory is more important than some folks let on!! Dan, John, Mary and Andy were at table 1. Steve, Terri, Beth and Mark were at table 2 and Debbie, Lisa, Toni and Cindy were at table 3. The respective winners were: Andy, Steve and Debbie. Yes, that's the same Steve and Debbie that were at the winners' table last month also. Now, for a Hearts club first: Dan and Toni each had 54 points for the lowest 2nd place score and the right to play for the trophy (although getting to the table as a 2nd place finisher would "taint" any potential victory, right Mark?). After much debate over how to decide who would advance (arm wrestling and rock/paper/scissors were ruled out), Dan got the honor (or shame?) of playing for the trophy.

Andy, determined to get back to the winners' circle for the first time since August 2006, took charge early and after 10 hands, led with 19 points (the other scores were 79, 84, and 78). With the big lead, it appeared Andy let his guard down. Did his thoughts turn to how taking the trophy home would be the best gift he could ever give his main gal? Maybe, as a shoot-the-moon by Dan and a 25 point bloodbath by Andy on the next 2 hands made his insurmountable lead shrink to 8 points!! Despite the little scare (later Andy confided it would just impress Toni that much more!), Andy sucked it up and proved he was a deserving champ tonight. Good job, Andy!

Heard at Hearts:

"We should play Whirlyball."
"How about LaserQuest?"
"We should go on a Hearts cruise."
"This is the worst storm ever!"
"My victory wasn't on the website!"

"Comments" are encouraged (click on "comments" below)

Next Meeting: St. Patrick's Day at John's

Saturday, February 17, 2007

January 2007

To start off the 2007 Friends and Neighbors Hearts Club season (does the name imply that if you are a neighbor, you can't possibly be a friend?), we had three full tables hosted by Cindy. "Players" included Cindy, Mark & Debbie, Dan & Lisa, Steve & Sue, Toni, Mike, Terri & Steve and John.
The winners table was occupied by Terri and Steve (how cute!), a reluctant Debbie and a determined John. After a hard fought battle, John took home the trophy (his 1st since October 2005). Congratulations John.
Next meeting: February 24th at Dan & Lisa's.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

2006 Winners

Jan: Cindy (2)
Feb: Mark (4)
Mar: Dan (8)
Apr: Beth (2)
May: Dan (9)
Jun: Beth (3)
Jul: Cindy (3)
Aug: Andy (3)
Sep: Beth (4)
Oct: Terri (2)
Nov: Mark (5)
Dec: Mike (1)

Multiple wins for 2006: Beth (3), Cindy (2), Dan (2), Mark (2),

2005 Winners

Jan: Toni (1)
Feb: Andy (1)
Mar: Mark(2)
Apr: Dan (3)
May: Andy(2)
Jun:Lisa (1)
Jul: Dan (4)
Aug: Dan (5)
Sep: Dan (6)
Oct: John (2)
Nov: Dan (7)
Dec: Mark (3)
Multiple wins for 2005: Dan (5), Mark (2) Andy (2)

Saturday, February 3, 2007

2004 winners

Jun: Cindy (1)
Jul: Beth (1)
Aug: John (1)
Sep: Dan (1)
Oct: Mark (1)
Nov: Dan (2)
Dec: Terri (1)

Multiple wins for 2004: Dan (2)