I am fast becoming the queen of Scrabble. Tonight I beat Tom and Charles. It bothered Charles to lose. Oh, he was smiling and gracious, but he was taking a half an hour for each turn. In fact, he came in last because he took a shot in the dark with “da” running one way, “divvy” the other. I challenged him. “Da? Excuse me?”

“I’ll bet anything there’s a “da” in Webster’s,” he says. He gets up to get the dictionary. There is no “da” and he has to skip his turn; otherwise, he would have come in second.

Tom had nothing but vowels.

In fact, I have had a seven-day winning streak playing Scrabble with Tom. These are the “Q” words that do not require a “U”: qintar, qiyas, qaid, qat, qibla. My computer doesn’t recognize any of them, but they are all in Webster’s Dictionary and are Arabic in origin.

Charles was unable to play his “q,” and that’s a minus 10 points. Obviously, he knew not “qat.”

I like word games. I bought Bookworm and have had games that went beyond a million points.

Boggle, however, confounds me.. We played with friends who said, “Let’s not count words with less than 5 letters. I couldn’t see any 5 letter words. I couldn’t see any 3 letter words! Playing Boggle is like spelling: You either know how or you don’t.

There are games I won’t play anymore. I’m never playing Monopoly again, because there is always one lucky person, in my family it’s my sister, Janie, who always wins. There doesn’t seem to be any chance in the game. She’s the banker too. She buys everything and then she always has a lump of $500 bills in her lap. My brother-in-law, Bob, always wins at Monopoly. I’d like to see Janie and Bob play Monopoly together. I’d pay real money to watch that game.

I despise war strategy games like Diplomacy, where you go off with someone to a corner and negotiate power and then they boycott you or disappoint you in other ways. And there’s no time to talk about Tom Cruise’s tightening hold Of Katie Holmes and that he’s forcing her to have another baby.

You should be able to talk to each other while playing a game. I still like “Sorry” and “Parcheesi” where you can count and block your opponents and still mention that you just finished reading “The Brothers Karamazov,” and are thinking of framing a picture of Dostoevsky and hanging it above your desk.

Nor will I ever play checkers or chess again. Never win at those games. Never.

I still like Hearts and Golf (a card game) and Donkey after a big family dinner. You know, with the spoons on the table? Do you know how to play Donkey?

My favorite new game is Chronology where you have to place historical dates in the right sequence. Do you play games? Alone or on the computer? Or together with friends and family? If you were recommending one game to buy this year, what would it be?

It was a gorgeous day here today. I bought African violets, purple and light blue. They make me so happy.