Sunday, January 2, 2011

happy new year!

Happy New Year everyone! My resolutions are to
1. get more exercise (this is every year)
2. stop wasting so much time on the internet
3. not get stressed out about little things
4. blog more

I just got back from the US Chess School in LA. It was pretty fun-- I "chaperoned" Justus Williams and Will Fisher (I didn't really do anything other than walk with them to get food a couple times and check them into their hotel room.), and they are fun people. It was good to be forced to do chess again, but honestly, really concentrating felt a little pointless. (--just for me, where I'm at with chess. the kids enjoyed it immensely). I used the video function on my camera for the first time, which was good. Question to everyone: should I be filming the games from behind white's head? Is it annoying to see it sideways? any other complaints or things I should change?
 All my photos are up here.

I'm learning some new openings to teach the kids-- the Semi-Slav and the c3 Sicilian. Nice to learn new things-- it struck me that it's been a while.

I'm reading a great book: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. (He won a Pulitzer for his earlier book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was sort of the opposite of this one-- about how societies, especially Eurasian societies with better technology, succeed) Collapse profiles different civilizations, like Easter Island, or Norse Greenland, and looks at why they died out. In Diamond's eyes, there are five factors to consider in understanding any environmental collapse: the damage people inflict on the environment, climate change (Ice Ages, the cooling effects of volcano eruptions, global warming), hostile neighbors, decreased support by friendly neighbors, and how well a society is able to respond to changes and problems: some combination of societal values and efficacy of government. It's amazing to read about the dying days of a culture, when they turn to cannibalism (a big insult on Easter Island towards the end: "The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth").

I need your help with a good USATE team name. I'm playing with Laura Ross, Abby Marshall, and Alanna Katz.

Galvin and I are thinking of starting a chess tutoring business, in which our high school aged alumni get some training in teaching and then give private lessons to local kids for $20/hour.The student teachers we are working with are rated 1800-2100, are reliable, good with kids, and have a structured teaching program (designed by me). If any parents out there are interested, email me (


Anonymous said...

who cares
Get a real f-ing life already

Anonymous said...

Team name suggestions:

Collapse: How our opponents choose to fail

The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth

City Funds!

How do you pronounce "Eyjafjallajökull"?

We're not witches, either!

Paul the Octopus says You Lose

Deepwater Horizon Blood Spillers

Get a real f-ing life already

TSA Nekkid Scanners

Wikileaks exposed your classified cable

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Diamond ignores the elephant in the room (well, he dismissed it entirely in the Intro to his 'award-winning' polemic) - genetic differences between racial groups. Or in other words, it's not because of Matzo balls that Ashkenazis dominate the intellectual fields, and Africans do not. But some things are not allowed to be discussed. So social 'science' has to work around dangerous facts.

Also, you have like 2.3% body fat, what is your goal with exercise?

Finally, team name suggestions:

Veal Mark (an anagram of your initials)

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous directly above,
this sounds something one my fellow Russian Jewish emigres would say...we are usually good chess players because Russia put alot of support into Chess...but no class, no social skills and uncultured- and it is a shame.
-also I admit they are a bit stupid and racist too...

Anonymous said...

Get a real f-ing life already

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, Stop hiding behind Anonymous and Diamond's "polemic". admit these are your truly racist and stupid thoughts-go ahead admit it to yourself and claim them as your own.

Philip Sells said...

That idea of 'Veal Mark' is very interesting, but cryptic. I like cryptic. I was going to suggest the, by comparison, extraordinarily dull 'The Four Fighting Femmes from Far-Flung Fields'.

On the other hand, that one about the TSA does suggest a couple of possible skits you could do before round four....

Anonymous said...

Veal Mark or Vicary-ously Ignorant and Foolish

Anonymous said...

If your only point in coming here is to abuse the blog author, kindly fuck off.

gurdonark said...

It's completely useless for this purpose, but it's fun to run anyone's name through the anagram generator.

My favorite 'Elizabeth Vicary" anagram is:

Crab Vitalize Hey

which sounds simultaneously like a bad translation of a holistic health cure from a foreign land and like a Ramones song.

Anonymous said...

You thought someone was abusing the blog author...Oh, have you now seen the light.