Tomorrow I wish to wake early and have a whole day well before 10 a.m. I love on Saturdays to do something active before the day has really begun, as I then have the illusion of having an entire weekend before my weekend has even started. Tonight I made a solemn pledge to get home by 5:30, so that we could beat the Friday night dinner crowds, which head to the restaurants like clockwork at 7 each weekend night. But several work-related calls at the last moment kept me from home until 6:45 p.m. Still, we had snapper at Brazos restaurant and found ourselves well pleased.
The North Texas Blitz Hegemony moved another hypothetical step forward when a kind fellow from the United States Chess Federation wrote to tell me I could have a special one year renewal on my tournament director status, which I held from 95 through 98, until I could direct one tournament and take some special examination. This will let me conduct "quick chess" tourneys, at 15 minutes a game. Sample exam question: what do you do when 3 people tie for the second place prize? My answer? Pray that the tournament had at least 3 participants, or risk serious paradigm shift. I am still waiting for my "official affiliate membership" in the World Blitz Chess Association, which I consider a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval (although in fact, it is not "approval" at all, per se) for any blitz chess organization. My initial quest for free tournament space ran dry, because our tiny Allen library advised me that their "free to the community" meeting room would essentially never be free for my purposes. That's no suprise, though--they really have only one place for storytime, and storytime should come first. The local park wants to charge a per hour fee for their little rooms. I may have to clean up my art room, buy a couple of those cheap tables like in church basements (well used, but preferably with no fried chicken residue), and run my tournaments out of my home.
I still haven't gotten my first Mail Poetry Call response, although I have had a number of kind people post the call here, there and yon, and a few folks say something will be forthcoming.
I did trade an amusing e mail with a well-known poet and magazine editor, who assured me that rather than encouraging all submissions, as I have done, he spends leap years paying people not to submit. Everyone wants to win a slam; nobody wants to read a poem.
I play a little blitz chess at the Internet Chess Club each day. Tonight I did not play very well--I drew a game in a won position because I was down to 21 seconds, and had to "trade down" the material until the game was drawn, and in the second game I took a reasonably good position and managed to fritter it away into an entirely lost endgame. But that's okay--I have lost before, and I will lose again. What are my ICC statistics (screen minimizes, BlitzIn ICC interface arises, types in the command "finger Gurdonark"? Let's see, since 1999, I've played 2,656 blitz chess games and lost 948 of them, but my blitz rating is only 1466 right now. That tells me I play a lot of weaker players, as the high winning percentage would ordinarily generate a higher rating.
I am so eager for Zebra Longwing season. Zebra longwings are these gorgeous butterflies indigenous mostly to Florida, but also, for some odd reason, to the Lake Ray Roberts area of north Texas.
They have beautiful coloration, and just looking at them makes me happy. I am reading an aquarium magazine. I like reading them, because they are so practical, but I dislike the notion of keeping fish species which only breed in nature, and of people who interfere with coral animals for a dumb old fish tank. In the past one hundred years, literally hundreds, if not thousands, of freshwater fish have proven to be dependably bred in captivity, so I don't see the necessity of collecting exotics from rarified remote regions. I may join the American Livebearer Association, but only if admission is extremely cheap. I just need a cheap yardsale fluorescent hood for my yard sale aquarium, and I am into guppies again!
I got a nice chess book from calaf's ebay auction, which I used to own in a mildly different edition but sold some time ago. It is by Laszlo Polgar, father of the Polgar sisters, who are all very strong chess players. I'll give it to my nephew, age 11, who is just coming into his own at the game.
This moment, when Friday night wanes, is the hardest part. Shall I go hiking? Shall I go fishing? Shall I work all weekend on that appeal brief? Shall we see a movie? Shall I read a book? What will I do when my partner hits retirement age a decade before I do? When will I install a printer on my computer?
At least I got my nervousness.org exchange done, after many weeks' delay. I merely need to mail it tomorrow. I am going to focus from now on upon exchanging merely poems and postcards. Scrapbooks are just so hard for me to finish. This one is pretty cool, at least in part, but it was really work. I am afraid that it doesn't look like work, though. It looks slapped together.
Work itself is startlingly busy, but I am happy. I seem to be getting things done. I want to do more, and sometimes I suspect I shall.
On the drive home I saw bluebonnets! They are what makes central Texas roadways so much fun, but a few come up north. We don't have as many of them in Collin County; fields of susans or Indian paintbrush are more common. I was born to live in an area festooned with wildflowers, and my goodness, that's exactly where I do live.
The theme song at my high school senior prom was "Maybe I'm Amazed". That was 1977. The song is awfully schmaltzy, but I still feel more than a bit amazed--all the time.