Today the mail brought me intense moments of quiet excitement. The electronic mail conveyed enthusiastic notes from two folks from the organization for which I hope to do some modest fund-raising. I love it when my exuberant weirdness, expressed in my chatty e mail style, is not off-putting. They seem to be quite happy to let me try out my charity chess idea, which gratifies me. It should only be good, at best, for car wash money for their group, but I still think it'll be fun to try.
The snail mail brought me the documentation for the mail art show "Fear", sponsored by "the Monsters under Your Bed" at Orangeville, Illinois High School. The documentation is a simple black and white photocopy of each of the pieces done. I liked seeing my submission again, which addresses the theme of "fear" with something that has been much on my mind lately, "undetected cancer cells". The other participants did some amazing work. I believe I will put together a mailer about my Mail Poetry Call to all who submitted to the Fear call. I have received only two entries so far to my Mail Poetry Call, although much time remains before the August 1, 2003 deadline. I'll do more internet promotion this weekend for the call as well.
I also received in the snail mail my club materials from the World Blitz Chess Association for my North Texas Blitz Hegemony club. I'm really excited about this, because the package was full of great stuff. They sent me tons more of the magazine, Blitz Chess, than my membership fee might have entitled me to have. The instructions were simple and easy, and the fees to run tournaments are quite small. I had a few questions, which I wrote in an e mail to Walter Browne, the former 6 time US chess champion who runs WBCA. For some reason, the e mail kept saying it wasn't mailing when in fact it was mailing. I hate that sort of multiple mailing, but it's okay--I've appeared silly before. I found my old WBCA rating in one of the old magazines. It was 1726, which is only 7 points lower than my over the board slow rating. Of course, my Internet Chess Club 5-minute rating achieved new lows last night when I was defeated soundly by all and sundry. Note to self--play chess when not tired. Second, revised note to self--it's only blitz chess anyway, just have fun, win or lose.
Because I am consistently getting outbid on ebay in my quest for new clocks, I focused on finding inexpensive clocks on the 'net. I found one wholesale place that offers clocks at only 20 dollars each (roughly half what they usually cost) if I buy 10. This intrigues me, because this would allow me to supply the clocks for a tournament.
I am a big believer, though, that hobbies should be run with as little expense as possible, lest one overwhelm oneself with material possessions and dent one's budget needlessly. I have boxes of books, which have some value. So I decided to convert books into funds. I have already received payment for 2 chess books. Now I am ebay auctioning 2 more chess books, as well as some things I really love. One is my 6 volumes of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City novels. I really enjoy these, but I'm tired of letting things sit on a bookshelf, unused, or worse yet in a box in the garage, when they should be read and enjoyed. So I put all 6 in one auction. Similarly, Art Spiegelman's Maus II deserves better than dormancy at Casa Gurdonark. Off to auction it goes, in search of someone who will love it. I am attached to the notion that hobbies should not inexpensive and fun. This new chess club may be the ticket to taking my fun to others. I will keep ebaying books until I can get the following:
a. a United States Chess Federation membership to go with the WBCA membership;
b. 10 chess clocks, if the proceeds will allow;
c. a fluorescent aquarium hood for my 10 dollars in yard sale fish tanks; and
d. a 15 dollar cheap drug store digicam, on sale (3rd note to self--just figure out how to hook up the one Greg gave you, and you'll save this expense).
It's not really about the money. I could find the x dollars to achieve a through d if need be. But I'm so weary of being so burdened with possessions.
I have gotten far too supple with the "book here, book there, knick knack here" way of doing things. I want to sell off, refocus, and move towards what matters right now to me in life, at least as far as I can see with my odd mix of myopia, a need for bifocals, and general self-oblivious tactlessness.