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Year 2014 - Peak of Cornhole Passion
Year 2015 - The Year of Cornhole & Decline, Start of chess
Year 2016 - Dad Died, Rock Bottom, but Jenna and chess


YEAR 2015 SUMMARY - THE YEAR OF DECLINE

So this year came off of 2014 which was my peak year for cornhole. I rated it a 9 out of 10, but Year 2015 was the beginning of the end. It didn't take long. Perhaps foreshadowing the chain of events to follow was when Mike & Christine started dating in January. I think this set the stage for my eventually departure. Mike was one of my best friends; Christine was my cornhole partner and rival. Pressure built up until an eventual break in October in Denver. After that, things were never the same and with an injured oblique muscle to blame, I began pulling away from cornhole, and them, very hard, while dealing with my own depression and anxiety which seemed to make it impossible... But the cutbacks began in June, right before Worlds, my last Worlds where I won the crown the 2nd time (and Caleb won juniors!).. and in August I skipped more events, and of course I pulled away more and more in 2016 (though it was difficult and I relapsed in August 2016 a bit)

My health became very shaky over the year as well. Perhaps all the drinking? The spicy atomic wings? My emotional stability fell apart as violent outbursts occured more and more. Tension built between Christine and I, all the while, achieving incredible results in cornhole.. the best yet, and yet I was a mess, and it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as it used to be. I was burned out, but kept going anyway... the results were almost bad, bc it made me feel like.. how could I quit when I'm at the top of my game? In some ways, I'm glad I got the achievement "team of the year" with Christine before giving it up. That might be my best accomplishment (3rd in KOC is a close 2nd)... or is it Queen of cornhole twice in a row??? I did win my 2nd crown in this year.

My tummy started hurting in June.... I mentioned constipation. This becomes a really big problem as you know.

Chess entered my life rather inconspicuously in June of this year started with Chess with Friends on my phone. I joined chess.com in September and attended my first USCF rated tourney at the end of November, during a very dark time for me actually. November was basically ruined because of what happened in Denver at the end of October. I felt absolutely traumatized after that; I never felt the same way about Christine or Mike after.... perhaps that's what led to my first "retirement" which was in March 2016 I think? although the first time didn't stick.

All in all, this was the year of decline. My passion for cornhole died this year. My emotional stability eroded... and my drinking/drug problem finally started catching up with me. My interest in chess was no doubt fueled by the fact that deep down I wanted to quit cornhole, but could not.
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-3 good things about right now
-3 good things about tomorrow
-3 people you are glad are in your life
-3 good things about the world
-3 good things about Ohio
-3 things you would LOVE to do in your lifetime
-what would be the first step for each thing??
-For one of those fantasies, what are 3 characteristics about it?? imagine...

-3 things you love about yourself
-3 things you like about your job
-3 things you like about your family
-3 things you like about your best friend or sig. other
-3 good things that happened recently
-3 good things that happened this year
-3 good things that happened in your life!!
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It has been awhile since I wrote an entry. I think when I am happier I don't feel like writing as much. Actually, I know that to be true and I know that I have been happier lately. :) At the current moment, I feel two very positive emotions... EXCITEMENT and RELIEF.

Excitement... because I am taking small but concrete steps towards my dreams. Cleaning out the garage seems like such a small thing, but it IS a step towards selling my house, maybe moving out of Cleveland? Working on my resume seems like a basic thing, but its the same. It positions me better. And then my trip to Philly is next week!!! I only work Mon & Tue and then I have a free day, an amazing trip on the books!! Filled with chess, and fun things with Caleb.. exploration.. and getting to see Philadelphia in person.. see if the city is in fact calling to me. I will know when I'm there, if I belong... if this is right.

Relief... because I have rest days before and after the trip.. I had both days off this weekend... and then looking ahead... I saw something I have been longing for for years!! Weekend after weekend, of nothing planned!!! omg it feels so good! It means, I can rest and leave it open.. just pursue my goals. With that much time I could make TREMENDOUS progress! And secondly, I could fill that time with all kinds of things.. different things.. I will actually have time to make new friends, or rebuild old friendships (Ericka, Kris, Chrissie)... be there for my mom.. see my neice, nephew and sister! God, so many things. I just feel incredibly relieved to have so many weekends simply open like that. Will i fill some with chess tourneys or other things? Probably.. but i don't have to! It can just be open for now and I do think i like that the best. :)

Also, 1 last cornhole commitment.. well 3 i guess technically.. 2 league nights where I wll be a sub... and then the UC at the end of August. At this point, I doubt I will be attending but ya never know. I do have to say that while I have been pulling away from cornhole, there was a part of me that grieved so heavily about it... and missed it! And wanted to go back sometimes even. But finally I have reached a point... where I don't miss it anymore. I don't want it. I'm just completely immersed in looking forward... my goals, my dreams, and chess.... I think this is finally the end. I think I'm through the worse of it.. But it's also a beginning... and despite what is going on with my dad.. I really do feel the best is about to come :)
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Wednesday (6/29) - DAY OFF!
-I have all day to get ready and make plans and prepare for the trip! :)

Thursday (6/30) - leave 10am? Get there 7pm, do something that night!
-8AM get up, shower, pack, get ready!
-10AM pick up Caleb!! (Caleb gets in 10:13 AM)
-Stop at my house to show Caleb my garden?
-11AM leave
-7PM arrive in Philly!!! check in to hotel
-8PM get dinner!! short walk?? play chess at coffee shop??? (where at??)

Friday (7/1) - go to event! shopping?? Informational interviews this day??) visit CDC and land bank?
-shopping!
-walk a neighborhood!
-ride the subway!!
-check out the chess event!!
-Terminal market!!
-see a movie?

Saturday (7/2)
-9AM chess lecture!!
-check out the event!
-paddleboats??? 12pm to 8pm
-walk a neighborhood?
-ride the boat in the river???


Sunday (7/3)
-9AM chess lecture!!
-115pm - Westfield, NJ G/45 Quads!! $20! (info below)
-11AM - take train there?? 2 hr ride!
- NYC after???!!



Monday (7/4) - fireworks to finish off our stay!! at 1030pm! Party on the parkway during the day
-1PM Party on the parkway?
-1030PM Fireworks!!

Tuesday (7/5) - great breakfast and drive home 10am? home by 8pm

Wednday (7/6) - go back to work, rest night after, Calebs return flight is 12:05pm!




2.) boat ride
3.) Attend 4th of July event!!
4.) Vegan restaurant
5.) cheesesteak of course!!
6.) walk in 3 neighborhoods???
7.) canoeing or paddleboats??
8.) go to NYC!!!
9.) ride the subway!!
10.) Visit a CDC possibly?
11.) rated chess event! (scheduled!!)
12.) chess at a coffee shop (scheduled!)
13.) chess lectures (scheduled)!!
14.) cornhole (if we can find it)



JULY 3 Westfield G/45 Quads
3-RR. G/40 d5. Westfield Y, 220 Clark St., Westfield, NJ 07090. EF: $25, $20 members. Prizes: $60 to first in each section. Register: 1:15-1:45 p.m. Rounds: 2:00, 3:45, 5:30 p.m. Information: email John Moldovan westfieldchessclub@gmail.com, Bill Cohen: 732-548-8432 or 848-219-1358, www.westfieldchessclub.com and westfieldchessclub.blogspot.com
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As I sit, nervous but calm, sane but erratic, I can't help but to ponder these past few hours, days, weeks months... years even. I have dreams. I work hard. I play hard. I fight until I'm tired. Things are so clear and yet I'm so confused. Darkness and the light. It plays with me like a toy.

I can be anything. I can be brilliant and great. Tremendous. And I can be nothing. Useless and unnerving. And I'm often both; maybe not simultaneously. This hindered existence of mine.. I ask why? Why do I deserve this? But the answer to that question is almost always that it's completely irrelevant. We search for meaning in everything, but the only meaning comes from within... or from hindsight. Or from deleting facts and magnifying others. I don't know why this world exists, but I suppose I'm glad it does. Even though I'm not entirely sure I belong here.

Is this why I find micro-chasms of culture and environment to immerse myself in? Because I can't exist in these great environments? And then when I leave the bubble and I'm exposed to the elements once again, I am reminded of this fact. And I must find another quickly. Scurry into a hole like a rabbit. Before I'm crushed and unable to move.

Some say I'm evil. Arrogant... selfish. I don't think they are wrong. Some say I have a big heart and they see the empathy I feel. They are not wrong either. The truth is; I run the gambit. I am everything. I am nothing. I am hindered. Spend enough time fighting your own demons; your own twisted ideas of the world and you grow strong and weak at the same time, but also different. You grow into something no one understands. You don't quite understand yourself. But you carry on. You fake it when you have to. You find common ground; even though there is very little.

I do believe I am loved, and hated. I do believe this because I love and hate myself. And on this day, I look to the future. I see brighter days. And worse.. But I'm willing to reach out. I can be vulnerable. I can be wrecked. I always fight my way out. And is there any reason to think I can't make it there? The place I'm trying to go? I'm hindered but I'm not dead.. Not yet. Fuck my demons, and my angels too simply for knowing me too intimately. I want to remain a mystery; even to myself. I say I want to be okay, but what I really want is something extraordinary...
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So I guess i haven't written since i was in the middle of those depressive episodes last week. Yeah, what was that? It was so awful, but I'm doing better i think. :) So far since Sunday i've been having good days and feeling good!! Today was probably the worst of it and it was manageable and stuff. :)

Yesterday I went and met up with Kris and got Thai food. Rode my bike there and then went to Nature's Bin after and got more ingredients for high fiber soup and stuff... pretty cool. :) One bad thing is I've taken 3 vikeys since Saturday...lol no doubt that's part of why i'm feeling better.. but how did Jessica Jones put it? Sobriety blows..lol So maybe I'm backsliding a little, but i don't care as long as it doesn't wreck me. I do have a packed weekend but i'm excited for it!!! Going to throw tomorrow night in a blind draw.. see Weiser.. maybe play womens with Christine.. then Saturday is the big Parma chess tourney! So glad I'm going. Don't really care how I do. I really am enjoying the process of learning chess.. sometimes i feel like i'm doing well and understanding the game better! And then sometimes i make moves that i can't believe how bad they are..haha Its ok though. I did lose all 3 games on Tuesday for the first time but everyone in the pool was like 1400-1600 and I was 1189 so yeah... I'm supposed to lose all 3 and it shouldn't hurt my rating.

I'm kinda tired right now even though i took a vikey.. I hope i wake up.. i want to enjoy this night but get tired around 11pm or so :) hehe I do feel pretty good though and then Sunday i have a full day to enjoy again!!

Oh and one of the best things is that Bobby didn't blow me off like I thought. That did really hurt my feelings and make me feel so insecure.. but no! He just didn't get my texts!! And now he's texting me often. :) I really want to be friends with him and get to hang out and stuff... so I'm very.. relieved.. So i guess things are going in a good direction right now. Don't feel so trapped. I'm hopeful. :)
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Wow, I'm learning a lot about fiber and I think this will help me eat a healthier, high fiber diet (well, obviously right?? lol)

Source:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948

So here are some main food categories that have high fiber:
-Beans & Legumes
-Fiber cereals (grains)
-Vegetables
-Whole grain pastas, rice, breads
-Fruits

So a goal I have is to make a very simple soup very high in fiber...

SOUP IDEAS:
(1-2 veggies, beans, grains, can of tomatoes?) - that should do it!

So for example:
carrots, celery, chickpeas, barley, can of tomatoes, veggie stock?

Wow, I learned what fiber the things i eat have:
-Amy's vegetable lentil soup = 16g/can!
-Fiber cereal = 28g in 1 cup!!
-Chickpeas = 34g in 1 cup!!
-Lentils = 15g in 1 cup
-Black beans = 15g in 1 cup

Hmm I just learned that boiling chickpeas takes them from 34g in 1 cup to 12g....
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Honestly, I have no idea what's going on. I'm crashing and crashing and crashing over and over again. Every day is a struggle. I get these stretches of relief where I feel so great. And I have so much I want to do. I'm so motivated and so ready to enjoy life TO THE FULLEST. I'm ready to get well, pursue my dreams, which i have. And yet... what is this that keeps knocking me down? I'm just so... confused. What is happening? Why is this happening? Why can no one help me? These are the questions I think every day. And then the fear comes in. What if this never stops? What if I lose my job? What if I quit my job? What if I push people away?

I cry now writing this because I'm so incredibly frustrated by this. If this was some new thing I think I could handle it better, but when I think about it when did this start??? I blamed it on a lack of passion for cornhole for awhile. But there is more to it. There is my tummy isssue.. which i have no idea what it is.. I really don't. I know that i was having issues on a more minor level for a very long time and it got worse? I guess? Why do I have days like today where I feel just awful like i can't move or do anything at all?? Should I drink when I feel like and see if it helps?

I keep looking behind me now too and its obvious why. I'm not moving forward.. between my dad and my own health and depression issues; i can't make any progress... so I see something like the Virginia Beach major and just wish i was there having fun and miss it. The thing is.. i wanted so long to be done with it.. but mostly because i was tired.. mostly bc i couldn't make it to the work the next day. But now I see i can't seem to do that anyway! Even when i'm not doing anything. So what the fuck is that??

Yeah, is this the Benzos? There are similarities but i'm not depressed. I'm really not. I'm so excited about soooo many things and i'm dreaming and i have goals and i want to work hard at them! I'm so motivated and ready and i keep getting slapped down by this. Maybe I should just drug myself every day. I dunno... maybe i would be better off. In the worlds of Jessica Jones "Sobriety blows" . She's fucking right. The thing with me is that i don't think sobriety can work for me. Even when i was completely sober i was mostly depressed and anxious. I do believe that's just my natural state. When i started drinking i noticed it actually helped me with so many things.. with being social, building relationships, not as tired and built friendships better.. played cornhole better.. must i drink or be on drugs to be my best self? I'm serious.. must i treat my permanent symptoms or personality faults to be my best self? I'm leaning towards.. probably

But that as it is.. i think i gotta take a break and just try to clean myself up and see what happens.. I'm i think 5 days into tryiing to fix this tummy issue with the Miralax... where will i be in two weeks.. will this next week be better than this one? Also, i'm off vikeys.. haven't taken one for 10 days maybe??? is that part of my problem? not drinking as well?

Basically, i'm confused.. i'm sad.. i'm being held back... i'm losing everything I had..and I know what i want.. but i can't make progress so its just losing...

I guess patience and persistance are going to be the key here. Keep trying.... be kind to yourself.. its okay that this is happening.. its temporary.. and those dreams aren't going anywhere.. plenty of time to go for them... more good days are coming too.. i'm not out of them or anything.

And my bday party tomorrow.. yeah, i dunno.. i might cancel.. supposed to go out with Bobby too. I should.. i can drink and be social and have some fun i suppose. I do want to skip my parents house though... i mean i'm still up at 4am.... maybe i'll just be late.. let myself sleep in... i'm so sick of being forced to do things with my time.. I do have Sunday and Monday off though! so thats pretty cool... and i didn't want to play cornhole and that turned out to be the best day i've had in a long time... and the next day was weird but good also.. I dunno.. i'm so confused.. i just don't get anything at all.. i don't know whats happening at all. And i don't know what comes next... hopefully something fucking good.
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CF6 (1550) v. Stacia (1251) 1-0
April 5th, 2016
(Opening)

Game Summary:
CF6 crushed me bad. I had a slight advantage out of the opening. Then CF6 trapped my bishop and I never recovered. Later I left my rook hanging. After that CF6 used its material advantage to checkmate me; harrassing my king with 2 rooks and a bishop. There was no hope; but I also lost on time.

1.) Opening
2.) Middle Game
12. e5? was my first blunder, leaving my d pawn hanging and as soon as the Queen moves I have to defend a mating attack and I lose my central pawn. Better was an aggressive knight move attack the bishop which didn't have a good place to go.... whoops!

3.) End Game

Highlights:
-Top 3 moves that caused huge change in advantage

What Can I Learn From this Game?
(wait for analysis before answering)
1.) Watch for trapped pieces!
2.) Play a little faster in the opening to help give more time in critical moments in middle game; this means accepting that my opening won't be perfect, just make it solid.

Are there any follow up tasks recommended?
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CHESS PROGRESS/COMPLETION:
4/19 - attended Parma, played 1400-1600 pool and lost all 3, good experience though (4 hrs)

I didn't fully finish this time so I think i'll carry those mini-goals to this versian as well.

NOTES- Apr5th -
Okay, so I got killed last night at Parma. I was in a higher pool but ugh.. it motivated to want to get better!! I think I should play a lot of games v. 1550 and maybe on chess.com - tactics helps - end game study helps and a big thing for me is running out of time. Need to move faster in the opening maybe? Play solid and defensively? Adding another in person day of chess in the week will be a next step (not ready for that yet) .. also, i wonder what sipping wine during chess would do.. need to try this!!


CHESS MINI GOALS IV - MARCH30TH - 0% complete
------------------------------------------------------


***play a game where every move i put it through the engine! and then see if i'm right. and see why they play what they play.


Goal #1: Play the CF6 (1550) 5 different times! 80% complete

**Goal is to get used to my board, and get used to playing tough games
3/31 - wow CF6 destroyed me!! English opening? I missed a d5, then he played it and it cramped me all up.. very early checkmate. :(
3/31 - Queens Gambit Accepted.. chased the pawn with Queen and later bishop.. chased the Queen all over.. did two forks winning material! won!!! :) 1-1
4/03 - Played again and lost - was up slightly in opening, then my bishop was trapped, left a rook hanging...
4/14 - Played as black, Benko Gambit and won!!! YES!!! 2-2


Goal #2: 200 more practice tactics! (8 days) - 50% complete
4/3 - did 25 tactics.. hit a new high 1222!! ended at 1217!
4/9 - did 25 tactics - did really well!! got to 1260 at some point?? 2/8 curious to see if this helps in my games
4/11 - did 25 tactics.. was tired though and fell back to 1220?
4/12 - did 25 tactics - still at 1220 .. i'm at 4/8 now.. tummy issues making chess hard
4/14 - 25 tactics again.. at like 1215? 5/8
4/17 - 25 tactics again.. made some progress.. got to 1220?? 6/8
4/18 - 25 tactics... made some progress i think? 7/8

Goal #3: Scotch - 3 studies & try it 3 times! chess with friends, vs computer? - 33% complete
3/30 - 1st study 23 minutes (intro complete).. looked at mainline and early variations that come out of it
3/31 - played with Johnny Hall on turn based -
***i'm going to abandon this goal.. don't really care about the e4 scotch right now.. I'd rather study the Benoni and Benko Gambit

Goal #4: See if I can build a database of games in my chess engine, 10 games total to start v. most notable oppoanants
Goal#4b: Get new chess clock for my bday, what to do with old one?

Goal #5: Silman's End Game Study (3-4 studies, 2 hours max) 50% complete

****STUDY MY END GAME VS USER ON CHESS.COM - END GAME!!! put thorugh engine
3/30 - Studied Ch. 2 Opposition, also Knight v. Queen practice (2 studies) 1 hr














OTHER GOALS, NEED TO PRIORITIZE - categorize these?

NEW


EXPERIENCE
-Saduleto study - (next step of QG) - 4 main variations
-play games on chess.com!
-play CF on my board!
Play a different computer?
-Find someone similar in skill to meet up with and play! (Mitchell, Roy? Zach?)
-enter my first blitz tourney! find one and play!!
-Show up to Parma as much as you can to gain experience
-attend a Thursday in Brecksville! or maybe Lakewood?
-try chess on 1 glass of wine!! see how it goes??


TACTICS/END GAME
-Study my end game book
-Complete 100 tactis, see if I improve.. keep doing until i reach (1300)

ANALYSIS/LEARNING FROM GAMES
-Bill said to analyze games, THEN use the engine to see what i missed
-analyze my 3rd game in the engine, still new at this

ENGINE/DATABASE/IMPROVE EQUIPMENT
-put Stockfish in my engine
-create database of games
-archive my games based on opponants
-create database of games with summaries!!
-find out good ones to buy aside from Scid?
-make list of openings that happen in my games at Parma!
-get Droidfish for my phone and use it
-get a new chess clock
-get a new carrying case
-study games v Zach (that i lost)

REVIEW
-go through my notebook and review stuff!


COMMUNITY/STATS
-make a map of everywhere they play in Ohio and Pennsylvania
-go to Brecksville or Lakewood on a Thursday?
-learn about top players in US and what states are hottest?? also, upcoming events?
-analyze my games with Weiser, Caleb, Zach.. total stats??


OPENINGS
-Scotch
-Dutch
-Italian Game
-Queens Gambit further
-what mainlines to I have memorized, make a list!
-put some mainlines in the engine to see how good they are?
-Study the Sicilian: Alapin variation.. Ahmed used it.. really great against the Sicilian too
-study the Lasker Trap, the Catalan Trap and the Elephant Trap
-study the Najdorf Sicilian!
-try oout the London system!
-study Kelley's Catalan video detailed... two traps to learn! know the variations deeply.. memorize the video!!
-3 studies on Sicilian Bowdler attack
-try memorizing the QGA video as well
-learn the Albin Countergambit traps (Lasker Trap)
-learn the trap played on Josh in the championship







CHESS MINI GOALS 3 - MAR20TH - 73% complete - analysis!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Goal #1: Analyze entire game in Scid! (2 hrs max) 100% complete
3/21 - spent 1 hr 23 min on this!! Probably worth two sessions, learned a lot! I missed a tactic and a bad blunder too; also learned the end was a perpetual check and that my bishop sacrifice was sound.
3/25 - analyzed a whole new game for over an hour!!

So i learned how to analyze games in the chess engine now! Still need to see if i can increase the engine, and build a database

Goal #2: 100 Practice tactics- Max out to 25 4 days!! 100%completed
*will my rating go up? This is great to practice, don't move til you see it!
3/21 - 25 tactics! up to 1190
3/22 - 13 tactics! was up t0 1199 now 1189!! doh
3/23 - 25 tactics! fell down to 1150 roughly? its ok.. tired
3/24 - 25 more tactics!! back up to 1170??
3/27 - 25 more tactics! up to 1198.. almost reached my highest ever!
**recommend i keep doing this.. make it a goal again


Goal #3: 2 games on Chess.com, 2 games on board v. Chess Free 1550!! 100% complete
3/23 - played CF6 (1550 and won!! Catalan opening.. lost a piece early, got it back and then some.. 1550 made some bad mistakes but i capitalized on them.
3/25 - played again, he killed me! 1-1 against 1550 this time...
3/25 - played two games and won both!! went up to 1344!! wow!

** playing games is very good for me i think.. play lots

Goal #5: Meet up with someone and play in person :) - 33% complete
3/24 - Bobby invited me to hang and I said yeah :)
3/25 - made plans with Bobby and texted Mitchell
3/37 - hung out with Bobby.. counts for something.. let's say 33%



CHESS MINI-GOALS III added Feb 26th - COMPLETE

Goal #1: Buy a Chess Engine and use it!! (100% complete)
-got scid, started using pgn's and used engine first time

Goal#2: Play 10 Live Games on chess.com - 100% complete
-got comfortable playing more games, did pretty well, rating is 1325, highest yet!!

Goal #3: 3 more End Game Studies out of Silman's!! - 100% complete
-completed Chapter 2 and did my first study in Ch. 3 learned a new idea, distant opposition or something. :)



CHESS GOALS II - Feb/March 2016

Goal#1 - STUDY END GAME! 3 more studies from Ch. 2 of Silman's - 100% complete
-completed Ch. 2, only scored like a 70% or so, should do it again

Goal#2 - PLAY MORE GAMES ON MY BOARD.. 3 more games vs CF (1 against 1450 elo)
-went 1/3, got experience on my board, learned i need to play faster, played 1550 1st time

Goal#3 - DEEPER QUEENS GAMBIT EARLY VAR.
-discovered the Catalan opening out of this :)
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Roxanne,

So I'm writing you because I think I may need your help. I've been kicking around the idea of coming back to therapy for awhile now, but I guess I didn't for the simple reason that I felt too busy already, and did not want to add another obligation to my schedule. I did drop a lot of obligations since then, however, so I suppose I do have the time and I must admit, I need your help.

I'm writing now, at 10am on a Tuesday, because I got up to go to work this morning and I was only a block away when I burst into tears. I pulled over on a side street and cried my eyes out, texted a couple friends, and then decided to turn around and go home. There were warning signs this morning. I was trying to push through but I suppose I failed. My coffee didn't work which I thought was weird; and I felt really overwhelmed when I thought about the two meetings i had at work. Both were simple and not stressful meetings; so looking back its strange that I would have been overwhelmed by them... so I guess that was a clue my anxiety was spiking. I should have taken my anxiety meds, but I don't take them in the morning generally. I don't like to. They make me sleepy for work. But I guess at least I would have made it work? Maybe?

My bursting into tears and losing it was triggered too; it was not random. A little dog was crossing the street in front of me. I had to slow not to hit it. It didn't seem to know i was coming (or care). When I looked at the little black dog closer; she reminded me of baby bear, Kayla, my mom's dog. I have a deep love for that little fuzzball as strange as that might sound. In moments of distress or high anxiety; I have often thought of baby bear to get me through it. She is the sweetest little dog you could imagine. Just full of love and so sweet. I have done this for probably ten years; thought of baby bear when I would be at the dentist; or getting a surgery; when I needed my mind off of the present... and on something else until the bad thing; the stressful thing was over; baby bear was my one happy thought. But now she's dying....

And my dad is dying... and my dad is probably the one person that loves her more than me... They are both dying.. and this puts my mom in jeapordy. My dad has stage 3 lung cancer; giving maybe a little more than a year to live; maybe less. On top of that; the cancer had caused blood clots which caused a stroke, maybe three weeks ago or so? He still cannot speak. He can understand and sort of say yes or no. He can write single words but often jumbles up the letters into nonsense. He cannot really walk or even take care of himself. His eating is getting better; but he still needs help. This is my father's fate????? Fuck.

So anyway, all this is to say that moment when I saw that little black dog... it put me in a bad place rather instantly although i think i was vulnerable to that.

But that's not even why I need your help. Fuck, I can handle real life issues. What I can't handle are the imaginary ones. The ones that allude me. Truth is, before my dad had his stroke, I was in a bad place.... playing lots of cornhole, which was fun for awhile, but i lost my passion for the game awhile ago. You won't believe this; but I actually became the two time women's world champion.. i only mention this because, as silly as that might be, it does make it harder to leave the game... i think i stayed longer than I should have really. I wasn't enjoying it really and it was causing me to drink way more than I would like. It was turning me into something I didn't want to be... All this is to say I was already in a depression before the family crisis... and I did sit down and figure out a plan... I was quite excited by it too. YOu might even say; just having the plan was pulling me out of the depression; although it turns out it was much too slow to keep me from relapsing (like today). I had one particularly bad depressive episode when i was drunk and suicidal at the same time (I don't recommend that).. Anyway, I don't want to talk about it; its just relevent that is happened.. because that caused me to leave cornhole entirely... which led to me cutting back my drinking quite a bit.. 75% maybe?

So the first part of my plan was just that... leave cornhole... get healthy... take a break and rest... get well!! And then, I wanted to position myself to sell my house; live more simply; get a new job (I'm so sick of my current one.. its stale as fuck and yet high pressure.. so that's not working for me) and honestly get the fuck out of this town. I used to dream to moving to Philadelphia back in my 20's. There was never a right time to actually do it. And to be honest, I kind of hate the fact that I never got out of Cleveland... about to be 37 now and I never left Cleveland???? I'm not the type of person to just be comfortable but i guess that's what i've done in this area of my life.. I've stayed in the same town with the same job and i'm tired for both... so I want to finally.. do what i've dreamed of. Move to Philly, maybe NYC? Get a job out there.. start over. It sounds so lovely. I have a huge list of things I would love to work on there and I have a growing interest in chess; which I think would be a great link into a community of people there. It could work. I'd be living my dream...

But now I feel trapped all over again. My family needs me.. my dad and mom need me... my sister needs me.. my sister just had a baby (i'm thrilled to have a 3 year old nephew and a 2 month old neice!) So once again.... I find there is something holding me back. I've been dealing with this ok i think.. not thinking about my plan too much and just taking things day by day.. but every so often... I collapse again like today. And I keep collapsing. And I keep missing work.. and I keep disappointing people, including myself... and I keep trying to use drugs or alcohol to make me okay.. which works! for a time... but is that what i want to be doing? No, it's not. I don't mind using it to pull me out of one bad day.. but i refuse to do it every day. And today it wasn't a viable option if i do want to draw that line; which really , i have to right?? Adding "full blown drug addict" to my list of issues doesn't seem like a step in the right direction...

So instead I have these depressive episodes.. It's funny, I'm not happy.. far from it, but I do have happy days, happy moments... and I do have times where I'm too busy to notice I'm not happy... but the truth is, it's not enough... I feel trapped, I feel like my plan is in jeapordy. I'm scared to change and I'm scared to stay the same. I guess I'm just scared, and alone, and well... I guess that brings me here to you. I need some kind of help right? some kind of guidance? Do I say fuck my family and move to Philly? Could i handle the guilt if i did that? Do i take small steps in that direction and then just see what i want to do from there? I can't stay the same... bc its not working. So I've got to do something... And I've managed to push away the suicidal thoughts for now. Today was the 2nd time they were actually reaching some sort of intensity in the last couple months. The first time was way worse, but i had been drinking.. this time, I was completely sober. I don't think its the last time... so shouldn't i do something before they beat me into submission? I don't want to die; i really don't. I just want.. to not be trapped and to find some kind of fucking happiness. A fraction of it would be fine.. (I don't think i'm capable of real happiness)... i don't need the perfect life; i just need something better than this.. something with excitement in it.. something i can be proud of.. a new chapter. Because this one is done and i feel like i'm just lingering now.. like a ghost that has failed to move on. How do I get to the next adventure? How do I not collapse on myself in the meantime?

I guess these are questions I need help with.

Part of me isn't surprised by any of this by the way. I have suffered from depression and anxiety the majority of my life. It usually comes in phases... and i'm about due to be honest. So here it is.. like fucking clockwork. I like to think that makes me more equipped for it; but when I'm in one of my episodes it sure as fuck doesn't feel like it. I feel as helpless as ever; but maybe the difference is now... figuring out preventative measures for the next one. Be ready for it. Have some sort of plan.. get back on my feet and figure out how to stay there for once....

Thank you for reading this. When we used to work together you taught me valuble skills I have carried with me until this very day. I'm sure I forgot a lot of good stuff too though. But it does mean I believe you can help me and I guess that's someplace to start right? With a glimmer of hope? A glimmer that this can be just another phase??? and that I will climb out of this hole? I keep climbing up and falling back to the bottom.. maybe you can help me to actually get out of it. God I hope so.. because truth is, I've probably been back down here for more than a year, and I guess that's the point where it starts to get too frustrating to handle. I lose my calm and my logic and just start lashing out like an animal. But I know i'm better than that. It doesn't have to be this way....

--Stacia
eris_discordia: (Default)
Okay, so this just a quick 15 minute entry on why I'm leaving cornhole. It seems like there are so many reasons. Let's see if I can pour it all out and then summarize and maybe even identify the most important of them.

Wow, I came up with 16 reasons!!! I'll try to organize them now and simplify them. A lot of these reasons are relate or sub tasks for others... try to create an outline

Need to make a list of my best accomplishments as well and my best times and moments!!


REASONS FOR LEAVING: (full versian)


-LACK OF PASSION
-not as fun as it used to be
-Cornhole doesn't have anything else for me, i'm a learner but what is left to learn?
-Don't have any goals that excite me.. win Queen third time? Dont' really care.. win a major in singles?
-Really didn't like the ACO's current format.. more and farther majors; rankings don't mean anything anymore; still no payouts

HEALTH REASONS
-Depression/anxiety increasing over last year due to forcing myself to play when i don't want to?
-Dont want to drink so much anymore
-Not enough time to exercise like I would like
-Violent outbursts; need to get out before something really bad happens


-CHRISTINE AND MIKE
-Christine and Mike not being good friends anymore
-No one else to travel with except Christine and Mike and don't really like hanging with them.. no other top players that I really like in Cleveland except Weiser??


TIRED OF NOT HAVING TIME FOR OTHER THINGS!
-Too many commitments and traveling
-Feeling like there are so many other things i want to do and I never have time
-Want to pursue some bigger dreams (new job, move to Philly maybe?? become chess master!!) Cornhole would hold me back
-NEED TO BE THERE FOR MY FAMILY


IT'S OKAY TO LEAVE, THERE ARE BENEFITS
-If I quit now things will be okay, I leave at the top of my game with big accomplishments behind me -
-I still have the OPTION to attend things for fun.. not forced to play or stay good even.
-Yes I was making money but I also spent A LOT on entry fees, travel, drinking and my time




-----------------------

REASONS FOR LEAVING: (full versian, original)
passion for the game is gone/not as fun anymore
Christine and Mike not being good friends anymore
Too many commitments and traveling
I want/need to take a rest and get healthy again
Tired of drinking so much

The violence; the latest of which was two really bad experiences.. related to feeling forced to play commitments and lack of passion and irritation with Christine and Mike
Feeling like there are so many other things i want to do and I never have time
Need to be there for my family (decided to leave before my dad got sick though)
Want to pursue some bigger dreams (new job, move to Philly maybe?? become chess master!!) Cornhole would hold me back

Cornhole doesn't have anything else for me, i'm a learner but what is left to learn?
Don't have any goals that excite me.. win Queen third time? Dont' really care.. win a major in singles? Dont' really care enough and not sure I could do it
Really didn't like the ACO's current format.. more and farther majors; rankings don't mean anything anymore; still no payouts
No one else to travel with except Christine and Mike and don't really like hanging with them.. no other top players that I really like in Cleveland except Weiser??

If I quit now, I leave at the top of my game with big accomplishments behind me
I still have the OPTION to attend things for fun.. not forced to play or stay good even.
Yes, I made money but i spent lots of money on travel and drinking and with my time spent as well.
Depression/anxeity issues getting worse over the last year; need to change something
eris_discordia: (Default)
Stacia (1175P21) v. Roy (1255)
Parma Chess Club, March 8th, 2016
Queen's Gambit Refused: Baltic Defense

Game Summary:

Basically, in this opening Roy bring out his dark square bishop early. I should play cxd5 in this situation for a nice advantage! Still, I played well early, trapping his bishop and winning a piece early in the game. Later, I noticed I couldn't really play for my e4 pawn break (my usual plan), but all my pieces were pointed at the Queenside, so I went for an attack there doubling up my rooks on the A file. This proved very effective. Roy had a Kingside attack and pinned my g pawn to my King, but ran out of options for the attack.

There was an exchange when he ran out of attacking moves where no material was lost but my attack advanced. I then won a knight and a rook; now I was up loads of material. I never should have lost! Roy did something very smart though, he found an escape route for his king once I was dominating the 8th rank. It stopped my attack!

In the end he picked up his Kingside attack. I tried to counter with a desperate rook sacrifice which was probably a blunder. Then his threats became pretty rough. I played g3 to avoid a checkmate on g2, however, this weakened my dark squares and trapped my King. Once I got under 3 minutes I stopped notating and tried to hold on, but he picked off my queen and rook and I resigned.

So I outplayed him basically; adjusted my plan beautifully and lost due to Roy's great escape plan and his ability to have such a strong attack with just a bishop and a Queen. Then ultimately time pressure killed me. I believe it has every game with him.. something to keep in mind; but at the same time it should become less of an issue as I continue improving.


FEN:
R7/6k1/2Q1p2p/3p4/3Pb1q1/4P1P1/3B1P1P/6K1 w -

PGN:

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Bf5 3.e3 e6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.a3 Ba5 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O Nc6 10.Qc2 Qe7 11.b4 Bxb4 12.axb4 Nxb4 13.Qb2 Nd7 14.c5 a5 15.Bd2 Ra7 16.Ra3 Nc6 17.Rfa1 Qf6 18.Nb5 Qg6 19.Bf1 Bxf3 20.Nxa7 Nxa7 21.Rxa5 Nc6 22.Ra8 Ncb8 23.Qxb7 h6 24.c6 Nxc6 25.Qxc6 Nf6 26.Rxf8 Kh7 27.Raa8 Qg5 28.Rxf7 Bh5 29.Rxc7 Ne4 30.Bd3 Bf3 31.Bxe4 Bxe4 32.g3 Qg4 33.Rxg7 Kxg7
eris_discordia: (Default)
NEW CHESS MINI-GOALS II ADDED FEB26TH - 100% complete

Goal #1: Buy a Chess Engine and use it!! (100% complete)
**research what engine to get, buy one and install!! Use it to analyze and write a summary on a real game you played v. a rival at Parma (Jeffry and Roy?)
3/2 - figured out i need scid and downloaded it, next learn how to use it
3/14 - (1 hour) - imported my first game (chess.com game v. Weiser) and tried to put in my game with Roy.. having some trouble.. can't really understand the analysis well... I'll need to study it closer and figure out how to make the PGN better too. I wrote the summary!
3/19 - (30 min) Spent 30 minutes and got the basic info right so far!! To finish this I think try for the goal of having a PGN file with comments emailed to Caleb.. and organized... using the engine will be next mini goal since i need to get comfy with SCID in order to use the engine
3/20 - (1 hr more!) used the engine for the first time and created a pgn with comments and variations! emailed to Caleb as well :) learned why a move was bad too! used the book percentages in scid as well yay!

Goal#2: Play 10 Live Games on chess.com - 100% complete
**need to play more actual games, especially with 30 minute time limit.. too much turn based lately and taking out my board and recording it is good.. but i need more games for now
**What is my rating now? What is it after?
2/28 - played 2 games.. even though i felt nervous i won both!! got +5 and +10!!! both games white was very aggressive against me as black.. i head off an attack and then counterattacked very strongly to win! 1st one they resigned easily.. 2nd one i checkmated!! :) .. they were a 1360!
2/28 - played a 3rd against a 1340?? and won!! They chased the pawn with the bishop.. i did well! played a great end game.
3/12 - played 2 games.. played a 1448!!! barely lost.. played well!! Then played a 1270 and won! got over 1300 again!
3/14 - played 2 more games.. playing pretty well!! went 1-1.. only 3 games left to meet the goal. my rating is staying at 1300!
3/15 - played 1 game before Parma.. won i think?
3/19 - played a game and won.. hit a new high rating of 1316!! Need just one more game!
3/19 - played 1 more game and beat a 1348!!! now i'm 1325!! :) GOAL COMPLETE!
The point of this goal was to play more games and feel comfortable again.. I think it really really helped :)

Goal #3: 3 more End Game Studies out of Silman's!! - 100% complete
**3 more studies
**Finish the chapter 1000-1200 minimum!! if score bad on test... go through the chapter again (at least the things I missed)
2/25 - studied king/pawn v lone king end game.. opposition and the higher drawing chances with rook pawns.. next the tests for 1000-1199!!
2/26 - took the final chapter tests for Part II.. got a 75%!! need to redo it!!
2/26 - did a study in 1200-1399.. learned about distant opposition!







Next goals:
-get Droidfish for my phone and use it
-analyze 1 entire game in scid
-ask 3 players what engine they use.. and what scid is?? consider buying one? what one does Kevin use on thechesswebsite???
-practice tactics!!
-play the computer on my board.. the 1550!! get my butt kicked!
-enter my first blitz tourney! find one and play!!
-attend a Thursday in Brecksville! or maybe Lakewood?
-meet Zach or Mitchell for chess?? need a chess buddy to meet up with?
-Study the Sicilian: Alapin variation.. Ahmed used it.. really great against the Sicilian too
-make a map of everywhere they play in Ohio and Pennsylvania
-find and attend a blitz tourney!
-study the Lasker Trap, the Catalan Trap and the Elephant Trap
-study the Najdorf Sicilian!
-try oout the London system!
-study games with Roy!! prepare something?
-go to Brecksville or Lakewood on a Thursday?
-study games v Zach (that i lost)
-study this Catalan opening played by two top level players!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvVXVDUoD24

-last 10 parma games, what openings were played?
-learn about top players in US and what states are hottest?? also, upcoming events?
-start archiving my games somewhere online maybe??
-study games from Parma.. create summary per game!! opening, run through a chess engine, highlights of game, how it ended.. what can i learn from it?
-learn how to make PNG's or whatever? and add notes?
-improve my blitz rating (maybe blitz will help me play faster... i'm too slow)
-study Kelley's Catalan video detailed... two traps to learn! know the variations deeply.. memorize the video!!
-3 studies on Sicilian Bowdler attack
-try memorizing the QGA video as well
-get a new timer with time delay
-playing too much turn based!! no new turn based games!! don't make your move until you have to.. play tactics instead, and chess lessons.. and even practice openings or end games from the end game book
-learn the Albin Countergambit traps (Lasker Trap)
-learn the trap played on Josh in the championship


NEW CHESS GOALS - Feb/March 2016! (Feb19th) - 100% completed on Feb25th!
-only 1 more chess game to go.. this time v. the 1550 CF6

Goal#1 - STUDY END GAME! 3 more studies from Ch. 2 of Silman's - 100% complete
2/19/16 Fri - did two studies!!! 1) Bishop v Queen (Queen always wins!) and I played it out against the computer twice.. 2) Knight v Queen - (Q always wins again, but watch out for forks!!) played against computer once. So I'm 2/3 done already hehe!
2/20/16 Sat - did 1 more study! practiced Knight v. Queen 3 times... lost 2 of them... yikes! But that's 3 studies so this is complete!

Goal#2 - PLAY MORE GAMES ON MY BOARD.. 3 more games vs CF (1 against 1450 elo) 66%
2/19 - played v. 1300 on my board and won! went to end game.. may have run out of time though hard to say..
2/21 - played v. 1300 on my board and won again! used Catalin opening.. tactics worked! did have a blunder though.. other than that it was a massacre
2/25 - played the 1550 and it was a very weird aggressive opening.. was actually ahead!! but what really happened is i lost badly on time.... then i played it out and he back ranked me..ugh.


Goal#3 - DEEPER QUEENS GAMBIT EARLY VAR. - 2/3 studies - 100%
2/21 Sun - studied it deeply and memorized what I learned! about 45 minutes or more so that counts as two studies.. need to watch videos and i have some new ideas now.. especially the Catalan! ;)
2/21 - studied again
eris_discordia: (Default)
Okay, so I've had a pretty cornhole dominated life the last few years no doubt. It's January 2016 now and when did I start? I think September 2011 or so?? That sounds right. And I really, REALLY enjoyed it. I loved cornhole the first time I played it with my family. It was challenging and fun! I got into it right away and wanted to get better. It wasn't long and I joined a league with Chrissie. It was something new and fun and exciting. All things I treasure. It was competitive!! It has a learning curve.. there were rankings and winners and losers. It was a great find.. I knew I'd be throwing bags for a long time.

Then I found NEO Cornhole (now Cleveland Cornhole) and it was like a whole new world opened up. It was so exciting to learn there were actually cornhole "pros" and that some of them played right there. I watched in amazement as some of the best players in Cleveland battled it out. I had never seen airmails and pushes before. I studied and learned. I asked the pros to play games with me and give me tips. I wanted to get better! There was so much to learn and practice. and my desire for the game only grew. It was an exciting new world and I wanted to learn more about it and perhaps even be a part of it.

Just a year later I discovered that I was a part of it.. very much so. Everyone in the league knew me pretty much. I was making friends. I was getting more comfortable with them even though I was scared they would never accept me when I first joined. My neighbor and I actually one the bottom and middle divisions. Over time, I graduated to the top division and although I tried entering pro circuit events like the ACO regionals and the money tourneys. I would often go 0-2. But that was okay. I just made it a goal to win 1 game.. then 2... then finish top half.

I think we all know the story from here. I went on to become the best female player in Cleveland and even one of the top players in general. I think I made it to #3 in our local voted on rankings which is pretty freaking good. There was a time when the top 3 were undoubtedly Gary, Jeff and Adam and it seemed impossible to ever break that line. Well, I guess getting 3rd at worlds and getting team of the year with Christine broke me through over Gary as he faded a bit. It was exciting but none of this happened by accident. I am grateful for how good cornhole has been to me. It's been an exciting ride. I never thought I would be traveling the country, even as far as Georgia, Denver, Texas, Virginia Beach.. etc to throw bags in a hole and compete with the best in the world and have a chance at maybe even winning? or coming close?

I also never dreamed I would someday be on those ACO videos i used to watch. Never dreamed I would meet and talk to Derrick King, one of my heroes as adventured through the cornhole world. It did happen though, and it happened awhile ago. And maybe.. just maybe, it has run its course.

I still enjoy the game and I'm still good at it even. I can still win events and place well nationally on a good day. I can suck it up too no doubt, but that's always been true and its just part of the game in my opinion. There was something else too.. some of the friendships. Playing Worlds with Weiser was a dream come true for me at Turfway. We played so well together and we've won some cash together at other events as well. Eventually, Weiser wanted to focus on being tournament director and couldn't really commit to playing due to family commitments anyway. So I took Mike (Mokey) on as a partner for a time. I turned down better players to play with him in ACO. Why? I remember why. Because he was such a good friend to me. We talked every day. We texted every day. I remember he would be upset if we almost didn't text each other for one day. I know he probably wanted more than friendship with me. I guess that's something I've gotten used to over the years... disappointing people when I can't give them the more that they want.. or even need.

And that usually collapses over time and sure enough it did. Mike did end up with Christine, my rival.. but also my new partner. I remember her and I getting along well too in the old days. She didn't have an ego like she does now. I remember she wanted to make me proud of her. She wanted to make sure to do well so she could keep me as a partner and at the same time I believed in her and encouraged her. I saw her passion.. and she told me I was her inspiration (as well as her break up giving her more time to play seriously..lol) We dreamed about being the only fierce all female team in the ACO. Looking back, I think we definitely acheived that. Now that people know us and have seen us enough, I don't think its quite as magical as it was. We're just another team now.. but a damn good one.

A sad part of it though is the relationship between us. Maybe its me and maybe its her.. and maybe its her dating Mike and being part of the reason that friendship btw him and I died. Maybe its alcohol. Maybe its egos conflicting with each other.. or maybe its that delicate balance of being partners, friends and total rivals at the same time. That rivalry did drive us to get better. I have no doubt that that is what drove us to practice non-stop.. every day if thats what it took.. play everything.. ANY event Weiser could dream up and more! We were there. And I know why. I wanted to get better. I wanted to stay better. I knew she was getting better and I had to stay on my game or she would pass me up. It was a powerful motivator. and it was the same for her. She had a clear goal... to beat me. To take that crown I won. And its not that I wanted to stop her from taking the crown neccessarily.. but I couldn't let her consistantly just get better than me.. Everything I had accomplished was on the line. It felt like what I had done was special somehow. If Christine did all the same, or even more.. then that would undermine everything I had done. I couldn't allow that to happen. So i fought. Perhaps more than I should have. I gave it everything I had to stay on my game...and improve upon it.

Sadly, that fire is a distant memory. I feel glimpses of it from time to time, but I almost instantly feel overwhelmed because I know what it requires to get better at this level. It requires more than I ever gave and I can't even keep that up anymore.. and haven't for some time. I am overwhelmed.. I am tired. And my wins.. when I do win.. they just don't feel all that special or amazing anymore. I love to be the underdog.. the unknown one.. and come in with a fire and challenge even the best players.. scare the crap out of them.. or lose to them knowing I will come back for them again. Now I am in that spot. People know me and they are after me. They are improving faster and they have more passion. I am no longer the passionate one.

It's probably true that if my passion was relit somehow (unlikely) that I could improve even more.. or perhaps accomplish a lot more even at my current skill level. There would be enjoyment but not like it was. Even if I won KOC itself, I don't think it would matter so much to me anymore. and I'm not sure it ever did. It's funny but i was never after that crown. I don't look to the be the best. That's not how I operate. I look to improve. I look for progress. I want to be a better versian of what I was yesterday. I want to accomplish something new.. if being the best is the next step, that's a hard one for me because I almost don't want that. Maybe that's hard to understand for people. But I don't really care about the fame of it.. the recognition. I've always played for myself. I play to learn.. to improve.. to enjoy .. and for personal accomplishment.

And now what do I play for? Sadly, I play mostly for obligation at this point. I sitll have fun yes.. drinking makes anything fun. But before and after the events I don't really care. Life was better when I had things to look forward to. I almost dread some events.. or at least how tired I will be the best day after drinking two bottles of wine (awful). So as someone who loves to drag out painful decisions, I don't want to admit that its over and that its time to move on, but it probably is. Remember those things I mentioned earlier in this entry? How I was so excited and I wanted to learn? and a whole new exciting world opened up? Well once you spend years within that world its not exactly exctiting anymore.. its still pretty cool.. but its not new. and I don't watch good players with amazement anymore. I wish I did. Now I watch and I shrug... yeah, i could probably do that too i think to myself. It's just not inspiring like it was. and I'm not even the best... just decent.

Funny, I didn't mean to write a history of cornhole over these last 4-5 years but I suppose that's what I did. It's tough to admit when things have changed but even if cornhole just disappeared, life doesn't end there. Of course I'd miss things about it, but we already know I found my next thing. chess is everything cornhole was at the beginning. It's exciting and new.. challenging. and I have lots of improvement I could make rapidly. I sure do love that... not that I want to jump in right away though... cuz I don't. I think I could use a break. Its been tiring.. having my time dominated by one hobbie so intensely for so long.. not being able to even grab dinner with a friend or see a movie. Struggling at work bc I drank so much and stayed out so late the night before. I don't need that anymore. I just need a break.

So I don't know exactly what the future brings but I am going to ask the question... if I were to step back from cornhole...what would that look like? I should remember.. its not like i have to forever. I can always come back. If the fire came back... i could embrace it again. I could fight hard and improve all over again.. if i wanted to. Maybe even years from now if it was something i wanted. Maybe i would hit a wall in chess and decide i'd rather throw bags again simply bc i'm good at it? Then again, I think all the new talent would be hot and knock me right out of it again.. i can't be a new player ever again. I left my mark.. which is good.. but not so good if i'm looking to start over. It woudln't be the same.

So here's what I'm thinking. There is one first step I can take and that is to skip league next session. No doubt this will scare some people.. including me, but I can do that. The commitment of playing every single Monday is a bit much for me and it makes it hard to play chess tourneys Tuesdays, which I do enjoy I won't lie. I like to have the option. So what if I finish the season and then take a break, what would that look like? Looks like March 14th is the final day for winter session. Wow.. that is about 6-7 weeks.. a long time, but I guess that gives me time to get used to the idea. Is there anything else i can do in the meantime? I think 1-2 times a week will be fine and if Mondays are one.. then I only want one other day... then I can practice if I really want to (I might really need it)..

It does look like there is one big event every weekend... Jan 31st - team tourney... then a weekend off.. i'll take it... then UC Major! then ACO regional... then blind draw (that's optional).. then UC regional (optional)

I guess I'm kind of thinking if I were going to slow down spring is the time right? If I am going to worlds and playing in those big events i think it might be a good idea to slow down in spring... let myself yearn for cornhole a little.. I might fall out of practice but I have to believe i can get it back too. When April 1st comes around.. I could start playing again.. or later even.. getting ready for a major or even Worlds. Maybe it won't feel like such an obligation. But I do have the issue of so many big events in the summer. ACL, UC and ACO??? I know for a fact I don't want to spend all my vacation days on stuff like that. and I'm not sure i have the energy to work it out etiher.. so I do have time to figure those things out. Maybe I attend 2 out of 3? Maybe I attend... 1? Maybe I say screw it, although letting down Christine isn't something I want to do.. although I'd be free to skip singles and womens so there are options. I'll let that sit for now. No need for a concrete decision. Stick to the plan....its simply really.

Play 1-2 times a week .. that's fine! don't feel obligated to play more.
And skip Spring session.
AND no other new obligations. if really juice money tourneys come up then fine.. hmm I think i did agree to the Cabin fever tourney.. whooops lol... yeah, gotta stop doing that.

Next entry: Should be... what would I do with my time if I had no cornhole at all? I think that's a great question bc I do feel like there are so many things. Simply, I think it would be

1.) hang with Ericka
2.) have Caleb visit
3.) maybe a trip to Austria?
4.) get back in shape.. bike trips, running, spin class??? etc
5.) work on my appearance and clothing.. professional and personal
6.) work on my personal goals!!
7.) get more into chess
8.) play video games
9.) eat out.. try restaurants!!
10.) do rock climbing maybe
11.) see my niece and nephew and sister more?
12.) rest more
13.) do better at work? figure out how to like my job again? build relationships?? experiment wiht it.
14.) enter the dating world.. maybe even make new friends.. could be exciting.
15.) gardening agian
16.) cooking again!
17.) maybe go vegetarian again even???
18.) rowing? join something new??

So there you go.. that's off the top of my head even. :) I'll try do some of those things this spring even.
eris_discordia: (Default)
I'm giving myself five minutes to write an entry. I guess mostly I want to write about how I'm burned out from work, and pulled a muscle recently...

It was weird.. after the Bags for Babies tournament, I cried my eyes out. Why did I do that? Was I just drunk or something? Turned out that I only drank like 5.5 glasses of wine. Usually on a full day I do much worse than that. I know its dangerous to think about what makes you upset. The reason being, if its a chemical reaction, or hormones, then it just is what it is and you look for ways to justify that (and a lot of times there is no real reason.. I've learned the hard way)... But let me indulge if you will...

I think I was crying because I used to love cornhole so much and now I don't. I used to care about it SOOOO much... so that's one reason. Another is that I did badly. I kinda felt like crying after Christine and I lost 3 games in a row!! We have never performed so badly. And I believe I also cried because of the things I said to Braden.. but also because I let him run me over without even a fight. I lost to Adam but at least I played fairly well.. first half of the game I played pretty awesome. But I couldn't withstand it when he started not missing. And lastly, I def cried because of the pain nagging me all day long.. and wondering.. what does it mean?

In the past few weeks (or even months) I have slowly been stepping back from cornhole.. but now the choice has been taken away. That could be good and bad... good because I don't have to feel guilty for missing. I simply don't have a choice... but bad because now even if I want to play I can't (its good to have options)

So I don't know how long it will take for this to heal or where this is going to take me.. but whatever path I was on??? It may be accelerating...
eris_discordia: (Default)
Sicilian Defense Classical Variation
6. Bg5 - Richter-Rauzer Variation (14,295)
6. e6, 7. Qd2 Traditional (10,581)
7. a6 8. O-O-O Neo Modern, Early Deviations (7,000)
8. Bd7 (3,700)
9. f4
9. b5 10. Bxf6 gxf6
11. Kb1 Qb6
12. Nxc6 (225) Bxc6
12. Nce2 (93)

11. Nxc6
9. Be7
9. h6 (571)
9. f3
8. h6 (2,500)


7. Be7 8. O-O-O O-O Classical (3,000)
9. f4 (1,276)


9. Nb3 (600) Qb6 10. f3
10. Rd8 (290)
10. a6 (178)

6. Bc4 - Sozin, not Scheveningen (7,533)
6. Be2 - Classical (4,332)

Anxiety?

Nov. 20th, 2015 10:53 am
eris_discordia: (Default)
So I ended up taking the full day off yesterday as a sick day. I still couldn't seem to enjoy it though. I did play Zelda and play chess but my anxiety was still high. I even took an anxiety test online and sure enough I scored like a 60 out of 100. It seems like I better take some action and get this back under control. When I think about it I do pretty much always feel stressed out. The only times I actually feel good are when I'm not sober.. like drinking, on vicodin, or on lots of Clonazepam. I took a full pill (.5 mg) of Clonazepam last night thinking it would help me, but I actually ended up sleeping 14 hours straight!! wtf Guess I needed the sleep. But didn't I do this just last week too? I guess I should look. *hang on*

The two strongest symptoms I have I think is my constant tummy issues and also muscle weakness. I've been feeling muscle weakness in my left hand a lot, probably for weeks. When I finally googled it, its very much related to anxiety. So that tells me that my anxiety really is high and is probably the cause of most of my problems. The funny thing is, this is probably connected to me cutting back on drugs and alcohol. lol Something I thought would be good, and is good.. but I cut back like 10 weeks ago now. So the anxiety I'm feeling is not from withdrawal.. this is just my natural anxiety and it needs to be treated, so I guess I should go ahead and up my meds and maybe have a drink a day to help treat this. I have to wonder.... had I went out and played cornhole would my night have been different? Absolutely, yes it would have been. Even if I drank a little at my house I would have been better so I'll do that today, and I'll exercise and I'll work out a plan to help get out of this funk. I suppose I should work this weekend too. If I can work off one of the days its not ideal but its something. But I'll prob drink and be on Clonazepam while I do it..lol!!

The last thing is that not having good Vicodin is killing me. I don't always need it, but lately I do. It's the only thing that always makes me feel better and I don't have it right now. So I'm flying without a safety net basically. If I had it, I would probably could have went to work and used it in the afternoon or I would at least be looking forward to Sunday. But that's okay.. I do have other ways to feel better.. namely

1.) wine
2.) Clonazepam
3.) exercise
4.) coffee (not working lately)

So will I figure this out? I dunno, but I'm adding this to my resp list bc it obviously needs to be dealt with.
eris_discordia: (Default)
Well I got back from the trip to Columbus this weekend. I've been thinking a lot lately about how my fire for cornhole seems to be gone. I just don't really care. I don't care about practicing or getting better or even winning things. I didn't get nervous before the Scoonie tourney and I just didn't care that much when we lost. Normally it would make me a little upset but I was kind of glad not to play anymore. I did have fun playing Keith after so I guess I was somewhat into it.

I'm nervous about where this will lead me though. I'm clearly drifting away lately and I've instead been way more into chess. I think a chess tourney sounds better than a cornhole tourney! I mean, I've enjoyed a lot of benefits from being good at cornhole and I know that on this path I will get passed up probably by Christine but maybe many others as well. Then again, I don't need to engage myself to cornhole every day forever. Maybe its best to not worry about it and just do what I want. Its possible the fire could come back. The things I've always liked about cornhole are still there; aside from the closeness I felt with Christine and Mike. But Weiser and others are still involved; esp Caleb. It would help if he was closer, but he isn't.

Chess is starting to become relaly interesting though. Who knows if that will keep up though. I could attend my first tourney or hit a wall and not be able to improve and then it might not be as interesting. But for now I really like it! I wish I could play all the time. :)

So I guess we'll see what happens. But I can say that I'm not interested in traveling as much anymore. And chasing points seems pointless. I guess I'll just take this one day at a time and figure it out from there. Bc right now if I had the choice I would just strongly prefer to distance myself a bit and do some other things. If I lose tourneys I really don't care.. but would I miss the money? the people? the competition? I have no idea. Hopefully yes, bc right now its not looking good for my cornhole future.
eris_discordia: (Default)
Yeah, so its a Tuesday at like 430pm and I'm about to leave work. I was in a tremendously good mood all day! I don't think its coincidence at all that I took most of this weekend off and got a good bike ride in Sunday even and I'm feeling pretty rested and just good. :)

So last night was the last week of league play for cornhole at Flyers. Collin and I had a really good shot at first and screwed up. Lost to Mike first game... not much I could do there. Collin got ate up my Mike and Mokey was getting lots of lucky breaks.. bags kicking left just enough to get in the hole even though he pretty much missed. The other games we lost were def my fault though. Lost to Craig Becker? Lost to Toohey and Jeff twice I think? Yeah, not good, but we had a good run and truth is if I had shown up week 1 we would have took first place. That was the week Collin went 2-4 with a sub.

There was an argument with Christine last night. I kind of went off on her. She had that coming if you ask me so I don't feel very bad about it. She has to learn she can't just constantly fuck with me. So that was whatever. That's also a lesson on fireball.. maybe I shouldn't do that at league. lol But anyway, I'm okay with second place truthfully.. still finished ahead of Mike's team and Christine's team!! Matt and Beau too! And I had COLLIN ;) and Collin and I are consistantly throwing well together.

Next session I'll have Ronnie so we'll see what we can do.

Another cool thing going on is that I actually pulled out my guitar on Sunday and OMG it was like instant.. I remembered how much I love writing and recording music! It felt easy. Well, it was kind of hard, but it just felt like it was all still there waiting to come out again. I hope that I find time to do more musically. It's been a few years and yes I needed to take that break and do other stuff but it would be nice to get that back in my life a little. I hope to work on my new song a little more tonight even. Taking this weekend off of cornhole was so huge for me. I got a lot done and I feel like my list shrank considerably and now things that I've been wanting to get to for so long are moving up to the top where I can actually do them. Had my house cleaned by Rhonda for the first time too and wow, that helped tremendously.. just a GREAT idea.. I doubt I'll ever do meaningless cleaning again. lol

And after work today I need to return some clothes which is important.. IT will save me over $100 and then I can go spend that at Kohls or something. We'll see.

Wow, I said all of this in just eight minutes?

One last topic and I'll go. Let's see... oh, a little worried about running out of vacation time. It's only mid-August so that's... 4 months i'll have to survive!! Now I do have scheduled days for tourneys and majors and stuff but no days left to just use for fun or for sick time, so I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with that. I guess i'll have to figure it out. Maybe I can work long on weekdays to get extra weekend time or maybe I can get some time off unpaid. or borrow from next year. I think borrowing from next year now would be crazy. The other things to do is skip more cornhole events. I think I might actually. Its hard to do but its just so good for me. I think Mike G here at work said it best... ONCE A MONTH I should take a weekend off and have Saturday and Sunday off in a row... i think i'll put that in my resp priority list right now!! See this journaling thing is really good for me. :) yay

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