122. how to make Randall happy

1. Make sure he eats breakfast.
I think breakfast is one of the most easily accessible sources of joy in my life. Unfortunately, it gets trumped by another even more easily accessible source of joy called sleep. Thus, when confronted with the choice of sleeping in or making breakfast, I choose sleep.

2. Show him, don’t tell him, he’s loved.
I’ve got lots of people who will tell me they love me. I appreciate and believe every one of them…well, most of them, but I won’t go there. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Morpheus, no one can be told what love is. You have to experience it for yourself. So how do you show Randall you love him? Well, as far as I can tell, my love language is girlfriend. Now I know most of you can’t speak to me in that language so you’ll have to find some other way. Good luck.

3. Play him chess. Play well, but let him win…but don’t let him know you let him win.
I bring up this last one because I’ve been in a generally lame mood this week. Even this morning, there was this Pigpen-style cloud surrounding me. So this morning, I bought myself breakfast from I Love Country Cafe in Kahala Mall and while I was waiting for it to cool down, I fired up the iBook and played me a game of Yahoo Chess. I ended up playing someone who was ranked somewhere in the mid-1300s (I have no idea why these 1300+ players hang out in the Beginner rooms, maybe they’re the type who liked to bully nerds in high school). Now the average chess-playing chess player is ranked somewhere around 1200. At the time I had a rating somewhere in the mid 1100s which makes me somewhat of an embarrassment, which is why I usually play in the “Beginner” area, where I don’t feel so out-gunned.

Anyway, I’m playing Mr. 1300 and he’s busting some ninja chess techniques I’ve never seen before. He took control of the center pretty quick and was sending a pawn storm up my queen-side where I had castled (me likes castling queen-side). Anyway, I’m not exactly sure how I pulled it off, but I made a couple bold stabs, took some risks, sent up a pawn storm of my own up his king-side, traded off some pieces to poke holes in his defenses and before I knew it, I had nabbed his queen and got to a point where all he had was his king, some pawns and his rook. I still had my queen and my rook and after trading rooks, he resigned.

I couldn’t believe it! Because I had beaten someone ranked in the 1300s, my rating got kicked up to the low 1200s, which means I don’t look like a complete loser anymore – just an average loser. On top of that, my bad mood all but disappeared. It’s hard to describe what a rush a victory like that feels like. And I know it’s kind of pathetic to know that my mood can be altered by something as small as a chess game, but I’ll take happy however it comes to me.

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