Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, where's castlerook? Is he still alive?

Well, May has certainly not been a productive blogging month. Whether this is a result of my being unusually busy or the Mercury retrograde or some other factor is anyone's guess. But yes, I am alive and well, in case any of you had noticed my absence* and were getting all concerned or something.

*if not, that's okay too...

Anyway, over the past month I taught two Math Refresher Courses for incoming community college students which, combined with my other part-time employments (math tutor, choral director), made for a rather busy time. But I don't think I can attribute my lack of blogging (or, for that matter, creative activity in general) to not having the time--I haven't been that busy, just busy for someone without a full-time job. No, this is an effect I've noticed before: when I do a significant amount of teaching, my creative output plummets. Why? And, does this mean that I should simply avoid teaching, or does it meant that my challenge is to learn how to teach while still living creatively?

In other news, the weekend before last I broke out of my chess slump, winning a local tournament.* Then this past weekend I played in a larger, weekend-long event. Through four of five rounds I was two for two, which I was happy with--I was playing in the top (open) section and had faced tough opponents. But the final round, against a somewhat weaker player, I played what I can only describe as one of the worst chess games of my life.

*For the fourth and final round, I was in the unusual position of being the only person with three points, and playing the only person with two-and-a-half points. This meant that I only needed a draw to win clear first place. It's remarkable how much simpler chess can seem when you have white and only need a draw--I steered the game into simplifications from the very beginning, and a quick draw was the result.

I mean, it was bad. Embarassingly bad. My opponent played a move early on which I'm sure was a mistake, but the move I made to take advantage of this mistake overlooked a simple tactic and I was down a piece for two pawns. Just a few moves later, I actually hung a piece, plain and simple--no missed tactics, just somehow missed that his piece could take mine. I feel like I need to go to confession at Caissa's altar or something.

So, yeah, a really, really bad loss. But the weekend was good--my wife came along for this one, and we had a great time.

Okay, that's all for now. Reading through what I've written I can see that this entry sorely lacks any manner of cohesion. Then again, they don't call this blog mercurial musings for nothing.

(and yes, I did just refer to myself in the third person plural. it's been that kind of month)


  1. I'm guessing that when you're not busy, your creative energy gets kinda bottled up and you need to express it anywhere you can. That's normal, I think it's what drives many of us. But when you're busier, you have both less spare energy and less need to flare it off.

    Thanks for the update,

  2. Thanks vet. You're right, of course, about creativity and business, and I like the "bottled up" image. But I've also noticed that certain activities (teaching being one) seem to curtail my creative output much more than others, and I'm still trying to understand why this is.

  3. Ugh, I have been remiss as well! But you inspired me to get back on the horse, or the ball, or the wagon... whatever it is that I am getting back on.

    Are you auditioning for summerstage? I'm going to audition for Curtains. Would love to catch up with you about the busy developments this past month or so!