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  • James Neal

An Interesting Change of Heart


Today is a special day! I have arrived at the point where I should be going south. My game plan is to slowly make my way to Arizona before swinging around to my first chess tournament since the big move. Not many Californians know of my arrival but it might be scary to see a strong Midwesterner. However, if I have not yet returned to form, there goes the surprise.


I spoke to my mother yesterday night. How the time changes, I remember presenting her with


my dream of traveling the country inside my car. I threw her this idea when I was a senior in high school; she about lost it. I remember my mother getting angry with me about pursuing such an idea. She went so far as to call my father to get him to talk me out of it. I ultimately abandoned the idea and it was probably for the best since I was not prepared to be an adult at the time.


My mother seemed happy when advising me about the trip. Her advice to me was to do me and not to look to others to validate my place in the world. As the saying goes, "You do You.”


Everyone writes their own story.

Don't look to others for the pen, its in your hand.


She told me to pack some blankets in case my car were to breakdown in the cold of night. Crazy! She's planning for the worst case scenario… She seemed excited for my adventure which is a complete 180 from her response ~15 years ago. She acknowledges me as an efficient adult…

My goal today is to get vaccinated before heading south. My mother gladly provided me her firsthand account of what it was like losing her sense smell and taste. She said to me it was something I could only experience not imagine… A fun thing to say to someone already paranoid about vaccinating...


Either ways, I know, and she probable knows too, this sacrifice is mandatory to my trip. So much for becoming a Super Spreader, I have never been super at anything in my life...


My trip from home will take at least 3 weeks. I hope I can survive a road trip for that length of time. I attempted this in Iowa, traveling from Iowa City to Rochester, but failed due to my inability sleep. I made several adjustments since then, maybe something works this time around.

I will still keep in regular contact with my mother but Loki will be the one to miss me the most. He loves those tummy rubs.



I took another look at the competition in California and saw a strong fellow named Alexander Costello. Here is one of his most recent games. You can checkout my breakdown in the analysis below.



Packing and Vaxxing then I'm on my way!


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