See my Blog at http://jitsuyo.blogspot.com/
I currently hold the uncontested record for longest time spent as a 30 kyu (1989-1999). I taught myself how to play in 1989 with a cheap magnetic set after reading Shibumi by Trevanian. I played a game against my Jujitsu sensei after teaching her the rules. Needless to say the wonderful intricacies of the game did not become apparent.
After that, I dabbled here and there with it, never meeting another person who had ever heard of the game, until I picked up the Chung Kuo series by David Wingrove. Set in a 23rd Century Earth dominated by the Chinese, Go is an important plot device in the seven-book series. That sent me back to the bookstore, where I found Janice Kim's Learn to Play Go Series. That's when I got hooked.
The Internet was just taking off by now, and I gave NNGS a try. I had a horrible experience with the first person I played with and left it alone after that.
I was living in Sheboygan, Wisconsin by then. I started looking everywhere for Go Equipment. I drove to Green Bay, Milwaukee, even Chicago. I couldn't find anything. Finally I looked up Samarkand on the Internet. I placed the order and saw it was to be delivered from Samarkand's warehouse... in Sheboygan, Wisconsin... less than two miles from my house.
Finally, in 2004, Jim Kiraly started the Fort Wayne Go Club and I played my first game against a real, live person. Two months later I moved to Rochester, New York-- a week after the US Go Congress. I found my way to Empty Sky in October 2005.
Now that I have opponents to play against, I am interested in getting as strong as I can, and helping other players as well. By being strong, I don't mean a KGS rank. That doesn't tell you how strong you are-- it tells you how strong everyone else is compared to you. Your true strength as a player is measured by how you handle yourself on the board, and not just by how many points you make.
If you're looking for someone to beat to bring your rank up a notch, I'm probably an easy mark. But if you want someone that will play a tough game, congratulate you on your victory, then point out where you missed 10 more points,you'd probably like playing me.
The road to Shodan is a journey. Make the most of it.