It’s National Scrabble Day!

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

I knew I was really scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel when I typed the following into my search favorite search engine just now: “April 13 is national…”

And boy did my computer come up with some interesting answers. But as soon as I saw the first one, I knew exactly what to write about. Today is National Scrabble Day!

I’m serious. If you don’t believe me, just type the same phrase into your own search engine and see what happens. You can also read all about the unofficial holiday here.

The Best Board Game Of All Time

In Brief Legal Writing Services typewriter  illustration
Vintage typewriter key. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

I must admit, I am much happier about this than I should be. But for one thing, I was getting sick and tired of writing about serious stuff. I also had no idea what on earth to write about today. And anyhow, I absolutely love Scrabble. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best board game of all time. Or one of them, anyway.

By way of full disclosure, I’m old enough to remember playing board games as a child. That’s right. Not video games. Board games. I got my first one when I was five. I think it was Candy Land, but I’m not too sure.

I don’t know exactly how old I was when I started playing Scrabble, either. But chances are my mom taught me how to play — probably after Christmas or Easter dinner.  And we’ve had some pretty intense games since then. What can I say? I’m an extremely competitive person.

Having said that, I also play fair. So on one rare occasion, I was beating Mom quite handily — or at least I thought I was. At any rate, I made a strategic decision to take it easy on her, and it backfired. At the last-minute, she used her two remaining tiles to spell some stupid word like “ox” or “ax” and found a place to put it in order to get a whole bunch of bonus points. With that, she won. And I learned a valuable lesson. I’ve never “thrown a game” since.

Getting Schooled By The Master

Ironically, my favorite memory of playing Scrabble also involved a game that I lost. That time my grandmother beat me fair and square.

On a beautiful Australian afternoon, we set up the game board on the picnic table in my grandparents’ back yard. As my mother, grandfather and a few more relatives watched, my grandmother, who was in her 80s at the time, calmly proceeded to outwit and outplay me. If I remember correctly, she spanked me fairly soundly.

But it was hardly surprising. Grandma was brilliant.

As a farmer’s wife in drought-prone Australia, she raised five kids — including my mom — in some trying circumstances. In addition to running her household with all of the aplomb befitting a banker’s daughter, she was also active in her community.

In her free time, she enjoyed helping my grandfather with his crossword puzzles. She loved to travel and took the opportunity to do it whenever she could. Her adventurous spirit took her across the world on several occasions. She came to the United States for both my high school graduation and  my wedding.

In 2009, she and Grandpa celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. But her health was failing by then. She died just one week of their 73rd wedding anniversary in July 2012.

Her memory lives on.

Come take a look at the ‘big picture’

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

I rarely mix business and pleasure.  Or should I say, I try not to mix the two. So — even though this blog can sometimes be a bit snarky — there are certain things that are out-of-bounds. Forbidden topics include religion, politics (especially anything having to do with Donald Trump) and, well, blatant self-promotion. I will talk about Eli, but I won’t plug my book here. Nor will I discuss any other extracurricular activities.

Of course, having said all of that, there are exceptions to every rule.

So for the next couple of days, I’m taking a break from writing about murder, mayhem, animals, the nanny state, fantasy sports and our judicial system. Instead I’ll focus on a couple of things that might help you get to know me a little better. And who knows, you may even find them interesting.

An official invitation

First of all, I’d like to invite any of you who live in the New York City area to the opening reception for a group photography exhibition in a couple of weeks. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 3, at the Art and Sound Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut.

You are cordially invited to a group photography exhibition featuring photos by Alexandra Bogdanovic, founder and owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services
Invitation to opening reception for a gallery event including photos by In Brief Legal Services Owner/Founder Alexandra Bogdanovic.

Located on the Greenwich side of Mill Street near the Byram River bridge, the gallery is actually just a short walk from the Port Chester train station — so all you have to do is jump on the train if you don’t want to drive. Plus the owner, curator and exhibitors are really cool, so you will definitely have a good time. And just as importantly — okay maybe even more importantly — you’ll get to see some of my work.

Yes, when I’m not working on research, writing or editing projects here at In Brief Legal Writing Services, I am an amateur photographer — among other things.

Picture this

To begin with, I was born in Bronxville, N.Y., and raised in Greenwich, so I am definitely a child of the New York City suburbs. Even so, I’ve always identified with the City, and think of myself as an (unofficial) New Yorker.

Now I channel my passion for the single greatest city on the face of the planet through my photography. I see something new every single time I go there, even if I go to the same places over and over again. The time of day, time of year and the weather all make a huge difference in the types of pictures I can get. It’s always challenging and it’s always fun. I never get bored.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Out of all the places I go in New York City, Times Square is probably my favorite place to shoot. I think I’m drawn to it because I love big, bold, graphic images — but my interest in photography isn’t limited to urban settings. I also love beach and nature photography, automotive photography and travel photography. In addition to the Big Apple, I’ve shot in Barcelona, Belgrade, Munich,  Virginia the Hamptons, Greenwich, Rye, N.Y., and rural Australia. Last year I documented a train trip up and down the east coast, from New York City to Orlando, Florida.

My work has been shown at the Rye Nature Center in 2003, and at the Byram Library in Greenwich last year.

At any rate, it’s kind of ironic that I love photography so much, since it’s something I really started doing as part of my job back when I was a reporter at papers with limited resources. But on the other hand, it’s an interest and passion I share with my mother. It’s also a fantastic creative outlet. When I am behind the camera, I can relax, forget all about any stress or drama I’ve got going on at work or in my personal life and focus on the task at hand.