Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).
But surely Fern was not calling me about her book…no, Fern was calling to ask if I would be a guest on her podcast, Mah Jongg Mondays. I was so honored to be asked! Fern has been doing these wonderful Mah Jongg-related podcasts for a while now with a new version airing each Monday. As Fern writes, “A podcast where we talk about all things mah jongg. Informative discussions and exciting guests help me create a fun and engaging podcast. Whether you are a new player or have been playing mah jongg for decades, this podcast has something for everyone. Bam! Crak! Dot! Let’s talk about mah jongg!”
So, I digress. As I said, Fern had called me and asked if I would like to be interviewed on her podcast. A date was set up for us to do the interview which would then be sent off to her producer for editing. Fern asked me to send her my bio and, at the same time, she sent me an outline of the interview. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciated her professionalism.
At exactly the time on the date we were scheduled for the interview, my phone rang and it was Fern. The interview followed the outline and there were no surprises. Fern is a skilled interviewer and I enjoyed the entire process. And so, I hope you will listen to and enjoy Fern interviewing me on this podcast called – what else?!! – Mah Jongg and Me
P.S. Take a look at these Flowers…don’t be fooled into thinking they are Winds! Even though they have NEWS on them they are definitely the Flowers from this set! I talk about these beautiful Pung Chow tiles on the podcast!
Believe it or not, it is time to place your order for your 2020 National Mah Jongg League card. Remember, the earlier you place your order, the sooner you will get your card when the mailings begin in late March/early April.
If you have followed my previous advice, you have saved your membership number (or look on the label of the NMJL newsletter that you recently received). Then, with membership number in hand, go to www.nationalmahjonggleague.org and click on the gray box that tells you to order your 2020 rule cards. It’s that easy! And, if you can’t find your membership number, not to worry! You can still buy your cards – it just is quicker and easier if you know your membership number. So, don’t delay – order your card right now!
We love our game of Mah Jongg but we also love our winnings. And now there is a way to give back some of those winnings to all of those who suffer from the devastating disease of Alzheimer’s. This is a national fundraiser and I am happy to say that Mah Jongg groups all over the country are holding events in June to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. But we need more…won’t you include your group?
Join the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day Fundraiser through playing MahJongg and Mah Jongg for Memories.
Players will be helping fund care, support, and research for the over 5.8 million people in the United States who are living with this disease and other dementias, and the nearly 16 million caregivers.
In the month of June, MahJongg groups across the country will be dedicating their regular play-days to the Alzheimer’s Association by making donations to the cause. Also, other players will be holding more elaborate and larger day-long fundraising events. Some will have lunch and silent auctions, while others will enjoy snacks and donate their day’s winnings. All, however, will combine the fun and challenge of MahJongg with the objective of ending Alzheimer’s, the all-consuming disease that threatens the mental ability of every MahJongg player.
For more information and how to register your club or team. Please contact
Lucy DeNardo, Senior Constituent Events Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.793.4862.
Here are a few examples of what is happening with some of the country’s Mah Jongg for Memories events – let me know what your group is doing so I can post information about it for all to see:
Every once in a while a terrific new Mah Jongg product comes along that we had not seen before. Well, it has happened again with this great idea from the team of Dora and Donna at Modern Mahjong – finally…dice that make sense to use for our beloved game! Check this out:Yes! These are Mah Jongg dice! And they can be yours simply by going to Dara and Donna’s website at www.mahjongdice.com OR emailing them at email@example.com. These wonderful dice come in several different styles and colors and are just a fabulous gift to give to your favorite Mah Jongg player (who might just be YOURSELF!). These special dice will elevate the beauty of your game, whether you play with a new set or an amazing vintage one.
How nice it is to support these two best friends who bring their entrepreneurial spirit to our Mah Jongg community!
No real food in this posting…just something to think about…
I’m thinking about East as the dealer. That’s the title she (or he!) has won by throwing the highest number on the dice. It’s true that she also has won an advantage by becoming East because she starts with 14 tiles when everyone else just has 13. But what else is her role? Although there is no official rule on this – and your table rules may dictate otherwise – I live by the rule that no one should be dealing out the tiles except for East because she is THE DEALER. I am of the school that I don’t want anyone else to touch the tiles until they are all dealt out. Interestingly enough, the wonderful Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments wrote about this in her Mah Jongg Madness March 2019 newsletter:
Q. In the old days, we thought nothing of exchanging a tile for a Joker from our friends’ racks. Now, every time you go to a game, someone tells you not to touch their tiles; don’t deal them for me; don’t exchange for my Joker; don’t touch my wall, don’t, don’t, don’t. Barbara CA
A. This isn’t something new…it’s been going on for a long time. Bingo players don’t want you to touch their cards or their daubers; domino players don’t want you to straighten their double 6’s; and you wouldn’t think of touching your poker buddies’ cards. It might have something to do with superstition….but there have also been some mistakes when players exchange for a Joker in exposures….like replacing a 1Bam for a Flower, or a West for a North. Please don’t take it personally.
When I teach Mah Jongg I tell the beginning students that no one should ever touch anyone else’s tiles or racks. When you want to exchange a tile for a Joker you extend the tile out to the player with the Joker and politely ask for her Joker. You do not take it off her rack yourself.
Why do I teach this way and why am I so adamant about this rule? As it was explained to me, all of this prevents any hint of cheating. I’m not sure that I think too much about that aspect because I would never play with anyone who is suspected of cheating. I think I am just superstitious about this! So, don’t touch my tiles and I won’t touch yours!