Somehow I became an adult. At least, that’s what the calendar tells me. Born in 1985, so I’m 31. That’s firmly in adult territory. I’ve been an adult for years, somehow. I don’t think I’ve ever viewed myself as an adult, and that includes right now. Me, an adult? Preposterous.
Next you’ll try to tell me Michael Cera is an adult.
Nonetheless, most people treat me as an adult, especially kids. I work with children as a karate instructor, and there is a clear demaractation, a dividing line between what I can do and what kids can do. If I play tag with them, for instance, they instantly react different than with other kids. “No fair!” I’ll hear over and over again. “You’re too big!”
And it’s true. I’m twice their size … and really, that’s the only difference between us. I’m just a really big kid. Continue reading →
As we grow as chess players, our style evolves. This happens naturally as our positional judgement deepens. We gain a better understanding of when and how to attack, of where it makes sense and where we are just using wishful thinking.
For most of my chess development, I’ve been an aggressive player. I started with 1.e4 and 2.Qh5 in more games than I care to admit. The King’s Gambit played a large role in my opening repertoire. My entire chess strategy was 1. Develop pieces, and 2. Throw pieces at the enemy King. Crude, but if your opponent makes one mistake you win in 18 moves, so that’s pretty nice.
Along the way, though, I gained a much stronger positional grasp of the game, and this greatly curtailed my attacking tendencies. When I did attack, they were usually because the position demanded it, not because I felt like it. Here are some examples of my game maturing over the years. Continue reading →
Do you remember being a kid? You thought completely differently, mostly because people treat you differently. Actually, maybe it’s the other way around. People treated you differently, so you thought differently. If an adult and a child spend any length of time together, sooner or later the adult will say something like, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Just look at that question for a minute. Look at what it is saying, and what it is not saying. It is opening up an entire universe of possibilities. There is no wrong answer. The child can say literally anything and the adult will go with it. About 80% of the time the child will say something completely ridiculous, such as being a professional athlete of some sorts. Statistically, there is almost no chance of making that dream a reality, but we don’t tell the child that. We usually just smile and nod, and perhaps say something like “you will have to work hard to do that.”
Look what Michael Phelps did with a little hard work! And talent … opportunity … resources … proper training … ungodly genetics …demon magic…
Sunday night, as we finished cleaning up our living room, the cats came back. Two mostly white cats, a mother and her son, stood on our deck. They looked too adorable to ignore, so I went outside and pet them for a bit. They liked this. I gave them some food. They really liked this. The little kitten seemed less spooked by my presence than two days ago.
In my head, I ran through a fantasy timeline. The mother likely visited every nearby house, searching for food and shelter, but returned to us because we were the best. Awww. We had to keep them! My mom, who pretends to hate cats but secretly loves them, said we could invite the mother in. As for the kitten? “We’ll see.”