I put the two music CDs in the mail today to the low-budget duplicators, giving me enormous relief after months of procrastination. Riding this wave of euphoria, I headed for home at six o'clock, a bit earlier than usual. My wife had a meeting of her investment club tonight, so I had to fend for myself for dinner. I chose the Spring Creek barbecue's one half chicken, no sauce, with green beans and dill pickles for my fine gourmet experience.
Tonight I have been on the internet marketing my blitz chess club. I wrote to a number of individual players and to one club officer of a rural Texas chess club, all of whom I found through the 'net or through AOL profiles, trying to see who might be interested in playing in my tournaments. I also wrote to the local home schooling coordinating network, as I've read that homeschoolers tend to get excluded from scholastic chess team competitions, and I thought I'd offer a blitz chess alternative. I love the kind of kitschy marketing this e mail campaign involves, rather like writing an ebay ad. I notice that my natural bent to the grandiose leaves me using paragraphs like:"My goal is to have a low-infrastructure, little or no dues little club which runs low-cost, little or no prize tiny events in which entry fees, after room rental and rating fees, are donated to charity events. I have even had a service group approach me about help with a fund-raising project, so serendipitously, I have already selected a charity. I plan to make no profit, and to pay only gag prizes, and donate the modest entry fees to this charity".
I am suffering from a fatal disease--the incurable disease of enthusiasm. I found myself writing not one but three e mails to the folks at the charity, suggesting ways I'd like to help. It's not that I want the personal attention--it's that the whole idea appeals to me as workable. I am fascinated with making things outside my forte work. I'd like to count this as a sort of "experiment with truth". I am in need of "experiments with truth", because this is the kind of evening in which a perfectly fascinating episode of Crossing Jordan is interrupted with inconclusive news about a "barracks buster" or "bronc buster" or "belt buster" massive explosion, or some such. I'm not saying that war news is unimportant--far from it. But I prefer my interruptions to be less freqent and less devoid of true news.
I realized this morning that my club would have more marketability if I had more than my own one chess clock, as some players new to tournament chess but interested in blitz may not have the clock. I put in some bids on ebay for chess clocks, and wrote to some wholesalers trying to find a number of clocks inexpensively. On ebay, I seem to get outbid swiftly, while I'm not yet ready to shell out for enough clocks to get a true volume discount from a store. But it is kind of fun to e mail all over the world hunting for a good deal on a chess clock. I hope I win or find some cheap. I have this fantasy of finding really durable Rumanian ones, factory direct from Bucharest. But I'll just hope for an ebay win or two on used clocks instead.
Deep down, I fear that I am trying to grow my chess club inorganically. In other words, rather than finding like-minded individuals and then saying "hey, let's put on a show", I'm essentially saying "I have a show, could I cast you in it?". I suppose I "should have" waited until I had the cast assembled before I announced the play. But I find that so often it's not the will that's lacking, it's the way. I'm trying to create a way to play blitz chess in my area. I get bored of the "should haves" in life, anyway. The "should haves" rarely get me where I need to be, at least any "should have" other than those dealing with personal integrity. I will not fear; fear is, indeed, the mindkiller, although the expression is trite out of its context, and way too complicated within its context.
On the other hand, my evening spin at the Internet Chess Club involved being beaten in humiliatingly easy fashion by a only slightly higher rated opponent with the clever handle "love2mate", who, after each thrashing, asked for rematch after rematch. I guess s/he knew how to gain rating points off the guy who plays the "Small Center System". Only in the last game was my play interesting, and even in that game I could not hold onto material s/he sacrificed without getting my kingside obliterated. That Nietzsche guy apparently said something like "that which does not kill us makes us stronger", but after being knocked all over the cyberchessboard, I posit as an alternative that that which does not kill often makes us feel pretty much deadened anyway.
I'm pondering my upcoming post about how my life is patterned on the Richard Wincor chess book about weird chess called "Baroque Chess Openings", which, now that I think about it, should contain a follow-on post about the effects of the works of golden age sci fi authors, and in particular Robert A. Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars upon my absurd but self-amusing psyche. For that matter, I have not yet written my Barsoom post, although after asphalteden wrote his April 1 bizarro post about Dejah Thoris, I'd feel almost constrained. I suppose that Dejah Thoris was one of the first fictional women to fascinate me (other than that woman who ended up with Tan Hadron of Hastor, whose name escapes me), if I discount Julie Andrews during my post-toddler years from the definition of "fictional women". I don't know what I would have done without the science fiction section of the Arkadelphia Public Library and a chance buy in Hot Springs of "A Fighting Man of Mars".
This morning reminded me of such things,because asphalteden sent me some months ago a Doc Savage novel, which I had put off reading until now. It's such kitsch! I had no idea. After he first introduced me to Walter Tevis, I was prepared for something a bit more high-brow. But Doc Savage had eluded me all those years, and I had forgotten what an odd thing pulp could be. I remember reading those H. Rider Haggard books in my younger days. Pulp is the thing that makes oranges so tasty.
I am so eager to get my World Blitz Chess Association affiliation. I should have sent a money order instead of a personal check, so that it would come faster. I don't know why, but I have tournament organization on the brain. I also have work on the brain, and I feel very productive now. What a great weekend that was for us. Good friends, good exercise, quiet times.
Meanwhile, the chess books I sold on ebay did "sell", and now I'm waiting on payment. I even upgraded my paypal account to "premier" when somebody asked to pay by paypal credit card, even though it involves a small commission. I have a number of other chess books to sell--maybe I can turn them into chess clocks.
I used to worry about my mood, but now I worry about whether the Aradora chess clock is durable and cheap enough, and I think that's progress.