baseball season : chess : getting a truck maybe : grandmothers : personal ads

Spring is invigorating. I love it.I love the smell in the air, the colors on the trees giving birth to eruptions of cognitions. My black coffee sits on the desk, “the groove lounge” DMX channel plays on the t.v., I’ve just finished eating a sandwich of pepper-jack cheese, turkey, chicken, roma tomatos and green leaf lettuce on large cracked whole wheat bread. Yum. My thoughts have been turning in a lot of different directions the last few days and I’ve not stopped long enough to record them anywhere.

I did spend two hours in a coffee shop yesterday, but I had a tournament style chess set I had bought and two books from the library on chess and I was replaying famous chess games on the board and laughing at the subtle strategy of one of the masters. Brilliant. Such thought is, for now, beyond me, but I am brushing up on my chess, going over the principles of the game, trying to make myself a better player. I have a friend in Houston who will play me in chess via email and he stomps me mercilessly. While at home visiting family I had the opportunity to play a few games of chess with my oldest nephew, Gaige. He was better than I thought and we split the games we each won. He is better than I thought and I am worse than I thought. One flaw he has is that if you can take his queen (which he is a bit reckless in using) he then loses the belief that he can win. I played a few games with him, nearly beating him and coaxing him to continue playing the game out to the end, to never give up (only to have him beat me, and not unrightly so either). I am very proud of him. Sitting in the coffee shop saturday for a brief spell before time to go to work I watched some games being played around me, remembered the book I had checked out from the library a while back which reviewed the strategies used in battles throughout history, and the small interest that I had in playing chess burst into flame and I went and bought a set. I’ve found a website with a java-script chess game Web Chess and the first game I played I was stomped easily. Two days later, after reading some books, my game was a bit better, though I still lost. One thing I am finding really helpful is that I can at any point hit the “BACK” button on the web browswer to go back to a specific move. If I make a mistake I can go back and try a different route of play. It is helping to “broaden” my game a bit, though I still have a very long way to go to be able to beat a 10 year-old consistently. (grin)

Pandora sits on the edge of the boundary between the living room and the balcony and watches a bee buzz around outside, her head bobbing and shaking with the flight pattern of the bee. She stops and turns back to look at me as if to say “Daddy… do you see that!”. I answer that I do.

Baseball season is here and I managed to get cable turned back on in time to watch the opening game between the Cubbies and the Mets. I can smell baseball in the air. I can almost hear the crack of the bat at the city park. The ballpark that the Emeralds (a farm team of the Padres, recently sold to them by the Cubs) plays in looks like the old ballparks seen in pictures before the building of Yankee Stadium. It is cozy, intimate, and has a great view of the south hills. There is nothing like it on a summer evening. Grab a beer, grab a dog, get a seat and start yelling out “hey batter batter”.

I was told of a 90 or 91 Nissan (or was it Toyota) truck with a solid engine in it and good shape for a good price. The price is in my range and I would have spent that much (or more) fixing the problems on my car. Or it was my car… I donated it to a local charity and got a slip back which I can use in conjunction with a printed Blue Book rating for its value for a tax write-off next year. It would be nice if this truck turns out to be what I hope it is. Remember, I don’t care so much about paint-job as I do about engine, transmission, and the wheels. I don’t mind riding the bus around town, but I want to go out into mountains. Times in the past I’d take my car up mountain roads, the engine groaning, and I’d have to watch the weather (hard to do when you are in a deep ravine) because in many cases if a small rain had come up I’d be stuck on the mountain. I have a bass fishing rod in one corner, fly fishing gear in another corner, and I keep smelling the air and thinking to myself, “yep, I should have a line in the water right now”.

My grandmother (on my dad’s side) was put into the hospital. She had a bypass surgery, a valve on her heart replaced (it was leaking 50% of her blood into her lungs) Saturday and while undergoing the surgery she had a minor stroke. The family is shook up and very concerned, my dad says that she is in the ICU and is hooked up from head to toe and is not good to look at, but you have to look past the hoses and wires and see the person behind all of that. I was choking up on the phone while he told me. I hope she gets better and can get back out into the woods. I don’t want her to die in a hospital.

My other grandmother (mom’s side) is in very poor shape. She is skin and bones, nothing to her at all, the eyes sunken so deep into her sockets as to give me a shudder. Hugging her I can only touch her with my arm and give no pressure as she might break. I will give a guess that she weighs 75lbs. She is being held hostage by one of her daughters. She is very lonely and sad. I went over to the cemetery where my grandfather is buried and I took a piece of paper and etched his name from the stone onto the paper. I brought it back to her and gave it to her, saying that I knew she didn’t get to go to the cemetery and so I brought him to her. My heart breaks to see her. I must have sat with her in that little room for three or more hours, just sitting there talking about nothing, lots of silence, smiles and sad looks.

My sister was cold toward me. She had an air about her of someone who is angry, bitter, and condescending. I could see a lot of my mom in her. It pains me to see this. I’ve sent an email telling her that I’d like to play my nephew in an online game of chess but I’ve gotten no reply.

I’ve sent out two emails to two different ads on Yahoo Personals. No replies yet. Is it my picture? I’ve not said much in the email, just a harmless “liked your ad” type response. But perhaps it is for the best, working 6 nights a week now (at least for a while) it is not like I have time for anything else. Terry Tempest Williams will be speaking at UO tomorrow AND to make a perfect night of it the Eugene Symphony is playing Mozart’s Requiem at 8pm. I cannot go because I need to be at work. Even if I get someone to cover my DJ shift, I am still required to be in the club for whatever comes up (money, security, dancer drama, product changes, etc…). I really would love to see both events though.

But I can’t complain much… this spring is starting out better than the last one, the prospects look good for the first time in two years, and perhaps this summer I’ll enjoy the state I’ve come to call my home a bit more than I’ve done. I know I’ve said it every year since I’ve come, but this year I WILL MAKE IT TO THE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL IN ASHLAND. I’ve got a friend that lives in Grants Pass and I’d love to actually meet her face to face over a cup of coffee.

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