better than a swift kick to the head.

In honor of Gregory Peck's passing, the Stanford Theatre had a double feature, so I saw To Kill A Mockingbird and Roman Holiday, finally. Both good films, although I like To Kill A Mockingbird much better, and I think that would have been the case even if I hadn't been falling asleep during Roman Holiday (mental note: double features that start at 7:30pm run very, very late).

I've been having a lot of memories recently. Not bad ones, particularly: many happy recollections of going places and seeing and doing stuff, like Mexico and Europe, or just letting my mind wander the paths of what was good about high school and college. I've been thinking a bit about what happened at the bitter end of the last relationship (look up the origin of "bitter end", it's fun): at some point I just kind of hung on, because in my mind, whoever ended the relationship "lost", somehow. It would become their fault. And I felt (and was told repeatedly) that everything was already my fault, and I didn't want that added burden. It became a battle over the most petty things, because the big things--love, trust, affection, the ability to be comfortable--had already been swept away by events, and what remains is to show who cares more about the relationship, who can hold on for dear life the longest, even when that's not the best thing. It's very much like two people clinging to the Titanic as she founders, as they each desperately try to prove who loves the ship more.

Ship's lost, kids. Let go and swim for your lives.

I got pretty well used in that one, and hurt, and I threw hurt right back at it to defend myself. Pretty bad scene all around, and I'm a bit jumpy about relationships nowadays, as I'm fairly jumpy physically, having spent the first half of my life surrounded by people ready and willing to attack me with overwhelming physical force--one of many reasons I do aikido now. It helps on both sides.

I'm wearing contact lenses! For the first time in, God, at least four or five years. My glasses have turned out to be a hindrance in aikido, between getting hit periodically (hey, we're not doing flower arranging) and, more irritating, the fact that I sweat a lot now and the sweat gets all over the lenses and makes the frames slide down my nose. I stopped wearing contacts because my eyes dry out when I'm staring at a computer screen or sitting under fluorescent lights all day, none too practical when I was a full-time student, eventually in computer science, followed immediately by a career (of sorts) as a software engineer; but I'd forgotten the wonder of contacts, the completeness of the corrected vision all the way out to the periphery, the strange freedom of not having anything on my face. I got glasses at the end of third grade (when Mom finally discovered that I was bringing a pair of folding binoculars to class to look at the board; I assume it was only because I was known to be odd that no one at school thought this unusual), so glasses are a really integral part of how I envision and am familiar with my face. Today I felt again the first amazement of trying out contacts, the happiness of seeing my face, unadorned, sharply defined. The prescription is one or two prescriptions behind my glasses, but it's been several hours now and it turns out to be perfectly adequate for just about everything I do except computing, where things are bearably blurry. Certainly perfect for aikido.

I am, for the record, really cute. More so when I don't have my glasses on and I don't have to squint.

The Aiki Summer Retreat starts today, so I'll be off computers until at least Saturday evening, and scarcely reachable by cell phone, although I'll certainly check my messages and call you back.