Late this afternoon, bardcat and I went for a walk upon the Trinity Trail.
The trail went from over-stayed Spring flowers to Summer grassland in the interval since my last visit there. Soon the grasses will turn brown, and then the late Summer and Autumn flowers will begin to appear, and then the world will change, and November will bring huge spirals of departing heron flocks, heading off to the Texas coast. We walked and talked of poetry, of people who have very fixed ideas about which creative expressions are valuable and which are not, and about the coming elections. It was a good walk, rich and full and yet over in 90 minutes. When we arrived twenty minutes' drive away back in my home town of Allen, it turned out we had missed heavy rains which did not reach onto Trinity Trail.
This evening I created and recorded a folk song using my autoharp, my mountain dulcimer, and my voice, for entry into an upcoming songfight called "So Weird". I figured that "so weird" is right up my alley. For my last entry, "Ottoman", I found myself so unhappy with my vocals and melody that I added tons of comic samples to try to make it more of a parody. Oddly, the reviews to that song are kind to the vocals and melody, but deathly against the samples. This time I played it entirely straight--lyrics, instruments, a minimum of studio fx, and "protest song" lyrics. I used a Shure microphone this time, and I can hear the difference from my MXL microphone.
I do not often record without the shelter of a synthesizer, a sampler, or backing drones. We'll see how this one works out. It's a bit unrestrained, and earnest, and direct. I like it, I believe, and that is what matters to me tonight. I thought it was fun to play a dulcimer solo AND an autoharp solo.
We enjoyed seeing my sister's family. Tonight I am getting my laundry done. I am also getting resolved to start to do something about how unruly my hobby room has become. I feel about it like that tag in the Bible where the 13th apostle talks about doing those things he would not do. I have been doing them for years now--I get stuff and it gets disorganized and I want a sleek, simple hobby room. I want to break the packrat habit.
I held a draw against a Venezulan correspondence International Master on ICCF this weekend. This means that in my third tournament, I have 1 win (a time default), 3 draws, and 1 loss. I have one game remaining in that tournament, in which I am behind.
In the first two tournaments, I have no wins and no draws thus far. I am apt to win one game in the first tournament, having already lost 5, and I am losing in 2 of 4 of my remaining games in the second tournament, while the other games are still too close to call. My third tournament is thus a marked improvement, if not a triumph at all.
It's all useful come-uppance for me. In the first two tournaments I played unorthodox openings with very small centers. I did not play them well. In the third tournament, I played conventional openings, and only in one game have I been completely bested thus far. I started my fourth tournament, with a lesson having been learned.
My moral today: being different may not necessarily be bad, but it is not always good.