I stink at Scrabble. I understand the strategy, but I can’t really embrace the strategy. My mind reeled when I found out recently that Za, for example, is now part of the Scrabble dictionary. I would never put down Za. The only time I have ever heard the word Za is when Ellen’s young lover on Slings and Arrows tells her that the ‘za is getting cold.

But a year ago, I promised my readers “Za” — well, pizza — if they got me on this list. The bill has finally come due. For the next week, there will be an offer here for those who want to attend the party at Iggie’son Aug. 22 in Baltimore. This is key: The time to commit is this week, although we can extend the offer for a few days.

Homemade za

Q: Why do I have to buy a book to attend the party?

A: Because there’s limited space and there had to be some way to curtail attendance. Is $21.99 too much to pay for all the pizza you can eat? Also beer, wine and non-acoholic beverages and antipasti. Heck, you can re-sell the book on eBay if you must. 

Q: Why aren’t you having a local bookseller sell the book at the party?

A: Because the book doesn’t go on sale until Aug. 23. And because I wouldn’t want to choose among booksellers, given that I have close ties to several.

Q: I’ve already pre-ordered the book. Can I still come?

A: I’m saving ten spots for people who pre-ordered, but you have to e-mail proof of purchase. Let me know if you run into snags providing this. More spaces could be come available.

Q: Will there be a vegan-friendly pizza?

A: Yes. However, I will point your attention to my favorite line on the Iggie’s menu board: Pancetta is meat! (It always reminds me of this.) Apparently Baltimore has some easily confused vegetarians.

Q: I don’t live in the Baltimore area. Will you cover my travel costs?

A: Um, no. But i will point out that Baltimore-Washington International is a Southwest hub. There will be two attendees from Milwaukee, in fact.

Q: Why Iggie’s? Why not Joe Squared? Why not Matthews? Why not BOP? Why not . . .

A: Iggie’s has a good-size space and is pretty centrally located. I love all Baltimore pizza. I even loved the pizza at the old Alonso’s. (I don’t love the new Alonso’s, however, but that’s because I miss the old Alonso’s so much.)

Q: Dammit, Lippman, did you actually send me a private Facebook message about this?

A: Possibly. I am sending out individual e-mails to folks I know in the area, especially if we’ve e-mailed in the past.

Meanwhile, the following is truly free, no strings attached. If it leads you to watch the whole series, you’ll thank me for it.




10 thoughts on “Za!

  1. Laura, I have already thanked you privately for the glory that is “Sling and Arrows” (A series set on-stage and off-stage at a theatre company in Canada). Now I will thank you publicly so as to let everyone who hasn’t seen it yet to grab the three short seasons of it (on DVD or whatever new-fangled way you watch stuff) and plunk yourselves down and enjoy it all. Beautifully written and acted (and full of the best of the Bard), it was pretty much my own life for five years as I was the stage manager at a Shakespeare repertory theatre company that was almost as wonderfully crazy and frustrating and glorious and full of artists trying to find their place in the world. Thank you.

  2. Ooh. I hope I am invited. I would love to buy the book and and chow on some pizza. Would be delighted to drive up from Northern Virginia.

  3. My wife Amanda and I have been discussing this EXACT issue for almost a year now. When we rewatched Slings and Arrows last fall, I got no end of pleasure out of showing her the proper usage of “za.” So glad to know that Smalltimore now extends beyond geography and into state of mind regarding tv habits and Scrabble strategy!

  4. I love Scrabble and za is a frequent lifesaver when stuck with a z toward the end of the game!!
    I had really hoped to make it to B’more for the pizza party but I can’t make it happen this summer. *sigh* I will, however, be buying the book from my local independent bookseller in the Colorado mountains.

  5. Laura,
    I am a very big fan. My favorite being Hardly Knew Her. You know how to tell a tale. And I also am a big fan of pizza — specifically Joe Squared which is run by my sons Joe Edwardsen and Ben Edwardsen (and me) Please come down and join me for free pizza there. We would be honored beyond words.

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