Hola darlings, and Happy New Year to everyone - in about 6 hours. This year, of course, New Year's Eve will be celebrated differently than normal because of the pandemic, but we can take heart in knowing that although it seems like it will be forever, a year from now things will be getting back to whatever becomes the "new normal" and we will probably once again be gathering together to celebrate in our homes, going out to restaurants for nice dinners, going out to our neighborhood bars to just hang out with our neighbors in our jeans and sweatshirts, going out to the hot spots where young people go, etc. etc.
But tonight, it's celebrating by myself with a fire in the fireplace, extra candles lit, cold pink wine in a crystal glass, semi-sweet (dark) chocolates YUM, and later some fresh popped popcorn - no butter. The Christmas tree is all aglow, the small trees flanking my front door outside are all lit, as is the wreath, and as chaotic and uncertain as the last 12 months have been, I am at peace with the world - well, at least for tonight.
First off, Katherine Neville, author of some of my favorite novels ever (reading The Eight changed my life - literally), published her "Twelve Days of Christmas" Newsletter yesterday. I won't go into details here, this is intended to be a short (for me) post. As always, however, Neville brings her years' worth of research on esoteric and historical subjects and insight to bring us a thought provoking Newsletter.
Twelve Days of Christmas Newsletter, December 30, 2020, by Katherine Neville
I couldn't help but remember a particular episode from the original Star Trek series on television back in the 1960s when I was still a teenager. The episode was "Bread and Circuses," shown in 1968. One of the lines that I've remembered but can't quote exactly was, I think, uttered by Lieutenant Uhura, who noted that the new religion that was rapidly spreading across the empire on the planet in question wasn't about the "Birth of the Sun," it was about the "Birth of the Son." Lots of interesting commentary for your reading pleasure on the original episode at:
IMBD User Reviews
Star Trek (the original series), "Bread and Circuses" Episode (1968)
Chess in our lives - it's amazing, wonderful, magical, powerful, life-changing.
She's a Chess Champion Who Can Barely See
by Dana Mackenzie, December 24, 2020
The New York Times
5 Ways Chess Can Make You a Better Law Student and Lawyer
by Mark Kende, Professor of Law, Drake University, December 27, 2020
Yahoo News/from The Conversation
Not everybody is cut out to be an attorney and counselor at law. The best ones have particular characteristics that are often shared with the best chessplayers in the world, and this is no accident.
- You need to have a thirst for learning
- You need to have tenacity or, as my mom called it - bullheadedness or stubborness (a trait that runs in my family, sometimes not to our benefit, alas!)
- When others shrug and give up, you're just getting started
- You need to be willing to study and work hard to learn your craft
- You need to be able to handle loss, and handle it with dignity. You may hate it, but you have to be able to handle it and learn from it, analyze it, what went wrong, how did it go wrong, was there something you could have done to avoid the result you didn't want
- You need to accept that you will never be finished learning how to be better at your craft, keeping up with developments in your craft, and studying as needed to keep up with never ending new-developments
- You need to have stamina
- You need to know when to call it quits