This week my father found his third diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. I want to meet up with my parents there, and scan the plowed field for diamonds, as well as dig down to the vein of amethyst, hunting crystal. But tonight was Halloween, which largely passed us by.
I worked later tonight than I originally meant to do, because a quite long client call interrupted what was otherwise an "end of day" reverie, making my arrival at home rather late for trick or treaters. My wife, rather unusually, also worked later than usual, so I found the house empty. I ran to the store to get some Almond Joys and Mounds to pass out, because I hate that feeling that I do not participate in community rituals like Halloween. I also love the sight of toddlers as fairy princesses and pirates. But when I got home, my wife and I realized that we were too hungry to wait for stray trick or treating stragglers, so we headed off to eat. I was quite grumpy about missing out on Halloween, of all things.
I am not good when I do not eat my meals at a regular time. I am not quite "low blood sugar", but I have a kind of "I'm melting, I'm melting" reaction if I do not get meals at regular times.
So we headed to the Persian place down the street, where our favorite waitperson was dressed as a schoolgirl is uniform skirt, knee socks and a big school tie, and came over to give us a hug, while the other woman who works there (but seemed to be off duty) had graceful plastic butterfly wings.
Our waitperson, an elegantly attractive/cool and yet so young chatty/bright Malay/Indian college girl, definitely not blonde, recounted with horror a tale of sadly mistaken imagery. She complimented on little toddler on her "forest fairy" attire. The little girl's mother thanked her, and told the little toddler, "and look, she's Britney Spears!".
We chatted a bit about what it would be to be 21 and nearly done with an engineering degree and getting ready for a wedding and looking forward to having kids--all those places we see from the other side of the prism of the kaleidoscope. Youth is not really wasted on the young, but it is lent out, and must be returned by the due date, or there are fines.
As we explained to our friend, we have no kids, so we are free to pontificate with expertise on other peoples'. I realized that this woman was born when I was in law school, and yet she seems a contemporary to me, albeit a young, learning one.
Lately, I find myself giving advice to people more freely than usual, which tells me I must feel insecure. Only today I was thinking that I have the life I wanted so badly--and now it is time to enjoy it. I don't live much in regrets, but I do live in keen awareness that it is blessings, and not sheep, that I must count.
I went today quite early to Plano Centre, and reserved the
room for my chess tournament. It's so nice! The Sales Director was really helpful. It will hold 32 players, in a pleasant, do-able surrounding. I decided to try out my "no prizes, proceeds to charity" credo. This is the advertising copy I e mailed off to Chess Life magazine:
January 24 Plano Kazoo Quad (QC) 3 Double RR (6 games, quad), G/10, Plano Centre, 2000 East Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, Texas 75074. Prizes: kazoos EF: $ 15 (by 1/10), $ 18 at site. Reg: 8-9 a.m., Rounds start at 9. Side Event: WBCA blitz tournament (afternoon). Charity Policy: Proceeds excess of expenses, if any, will be donated to charity. Sponsor: North Texas Blitz Hegemony. [www.livejournal.com/users/northtexasbli
The "G/10" jargon means that at the beginning of each game, each player's clock will be set at ten minutes to the hour. Then, each player must make all his or her moves within that ten minutes. Using this approach, the entire tournament will take something like 2 hours to run. I'll run another tournament in the afternoon. Faithful readers of this weblog will know that the name North Texas Blitz Hegemony was chosen by readers of this weblog, over other, more prosaic names such as "Allen Blitz Chess Club" and less prosaic names such as "Leafy Dragon Blitz Chess Club".
I also sent my ad to "Texas Knights", the state-wide chess magazine, for which I apparently get a free 1/4 page ad merely for being an affiliate club. I tried to advertise my afternoon event, a five minutes per game "blitz" chess tournament, but the e mail to the World Blitz Chess Association bounced back to me as undeliverable. I must pull out my recent copy of "Blitz Chess" magazine and see if it
showed a new e mail address. As the WBCA is a kitchen table affair run by a small staff centered around brilliant US grandmaster and 6 time US champion Walter Browne, these minor inconveniences are all part of the fun.
I got an e mail from Southfork Ranch, where they filmed much of the TV show Dallas, which is not that far from the Trinity Trail, where I go hiking. They have really cool conference rooms, too--maybe I should host a Southfork Open. I would have to charge a material entry fee, and have real prizes to make it interesting to folks, but it might be fun.
October nights remind me of the Gurdon High School marching band, whose director was the late Miss Wanda Brown, a chess player enamoured of the works of the band Chicago. That band dressed in purple and gold, had a cool high-steppin' drum major, who looked rather like a roadrunner as he glided, and they all played a mean "25 or 6 to 4", not to mention a fully workable "Saturday in the Park".
I am supposed to spend my late night hours doing Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, but I do not know if I have the desire to do so. But now that I type that, I think I'll do it anyway. The inexpensive room rentals make me wonder if I should not be running Mandatory Continuing Legal Education seminars of my own, at reasonable rates teaching useful things to help lawyers help "the little guy". This is another thing I can plan while not writing a novel next month.
I sure hope I win that fish tank hood and stand. I will take the rare step of watching eBay like a hawk on Sunday.
I am so glad my Dad found a diamond. It's as if the universe has an order, and it is animal, vegetable and mineral.