I think it was a good day. I managed to entirely avoid any issues of work or finances or anything else. I went to Chinatown to get pork buns and get a biography of O-sensei (the honorific meaning "holy shit you're a really awesome teacher and you could kick my ass", applied to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido) from the Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library. That took a couple of hours, then I only had to lie around or do some computer things for another couple of hours before heading into Berkeley. My glasses haven't been straightened since I got them two years ago, and in particular they've been hit twice the past two weeks and bent out of shape, so I stopped by the optician to get that taken care of. I could try to do it myself, but they can heat the metal so it won't fatigue so much, and they're better at it generally--hell, the glasses cost enough money, they damn well better adjust them for me.

Woom is happening tomorrow, which means getting up and moving things around and running errands and helping to make the whole thing happen. We have to move a couple hundred cubic feet of soft, fluffy things into the space, lay down carpet foam, set up lights and sound. It's a nice party, expressly chill, no dance space, just a place for people to hang out and talk and listen, sober or not. I don't know how late I can stay up if I'm sober: my sleep schedule these days is not conducive to all-nighters.

I swear my food intake has doubled since August or early September. I can't go more than a few hours without eating. And I'm still losing weight. Must. Have. More. Calories.

Kayla-sensei was sick tonight, so Barbara taught class. She's one of the black belts, really sweet and patient and sharp, and the source of a lot of good laughing. Class was a little disjointed, because she wasn't expecting to teach; and Sensei told her to go over the 6th kyu stuff (I think the rest of the dojo will be glad when we have all passed our 6th kyu tests and classes can started getting a little more advanced--I know I'm looking forward to it), but Barbara studied a slightly different form of aikido--Aikikai, which I think is a bit more aggressive than Iwama, the style I'm in, which seems to be a bit more chill. So we were all working together to explore the differences between how Barbara learned it years and years ago and how Sensei's been teaching it to us now.

There's a deaf woman who's joined the dojo, and it's a learning experience. She can talk fine, which makes me think she lost her hearing as an adult, but she's completely deaf. Ostensibly she lip-reads, but I'm careful to enunciate with my lips when talking to her, and the only thing I've ever seen her lip-read is "thank you", and we generally end up writing things down. Makes me very, very glad to have my hearing and my sight--I've become very conscious of how useful the verbal component of aikido practice is.

After class I went to the House of Toast to harass Quincy and then Justine, who is kind of shy but really nice and smart and fun to talk to. It's nice to be reaching out to people and finding new friends...I don't think I've done that in a very long time.

I'm currently enamored of the Patti Griffin song "Rain", from the album 1000 Kisses. It's another of the prettiest songs I've ever heard (right next to "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos, "Wonderland" by John Mayer, and "Bogoroditse Devo" from Rachmaninoff's Vespers).

    The winds came,
    Blowing strong from Hawaii.
    The rain refreshes my soul,
    and now
    I don't have to go to the car wash.
    The Universe is kind sometimes.