saturday night ruminations

Well, the inevitable has happened. I'm currently watching searching for watching Searching For Bobby Fischer, because when I get obsessed about something, I have to find the movie that most closely corresponds to said obsession. I can still remember that time I became obsessed with wood chippers, and couldn't stop watching the movie Fargo. Anyway, there isn't a lot to said about Searching For Bobby Fischer - it's an OK movie, incredibly heavy handed when it comes to its themes, but there are a lot of great actors, and the story remains interesting throughout. Also - how many great movies about chess are there? I've also been watching some master level tournament play. To watch players be able to play up to twenty moves of a match out of pure memory of game theory is astonishing. Over the past week or so I've been racking my brain just trying to remember a few, five or six move openings, and to watch the grandmasters be able to play almost whole games based on theory, is dazzling. There is an almost infinite combination of moves that can take place in a game of chess, it's what makes the game so timeless, there is no solving it. Even the most powerful computers are still unable to play a perfect game. When you watch some of the great games, as you can on Youtube, you can see that there are certain combinations of moves played that can be called no less than genius. The combinations are so complex that it takes an hour of analysis for me to understand what was going on over the course of five or six moves.

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I know all of this talk about chess is starting to get mundane, so I'll try to keep to a minimum from now on. You may have noticed that I haven't been talking a lot about my Couch to 5K routine, that's because I haven't had a lot new to report. I've hit a bit of a plateau at the two mile mark, and I'm hoping that once the snow melts, I will be able to get out on the road and off of the treadmills. Oh, the torture machine that is the treadmill. My knees have taken an absolute beating this winter. It's getting to the point where I have to ice them after every run. I was just not made to run on a treadmill, I have to be out on the pavement, like my caveman ancestors - only those guys were running barefoot, and only ran on grass surfaces. Pfft - hipsters.

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I started reading Kevin Barry's story collection, Dark Lies The Island today. This was one of the books from last year that was highly praised by a lot of the people on internet whose opinions I trust. The first story is a quiet tale of a young man who is trying to muster the courage to kiss a girl. It's written beautifully, and doesn't over stay it's welcome. There's something really incredible about a well written short story, they have a way of sticking with me more than most of the novels I read. Sometimes I want to read something that doesn't waste any time with getting to the compelling content. There are a lot of thick, tome like, literary novels coming out this year, and while I think there are a lot of things to love about bigger, more challenging literary works, it helps to have a palette cleanser like a good short story collection handy.