A guy is going to buy my old 1995 Saturn station wagon. I rear-ended a pickup truck in October or so, drove around with one headlight for a while, and finally bought a 2001 Saturn sedan, almost on impulse, from the Enterprise Car Sales down the street. I had an optimistic desire for $1500 for the old car; the buyer does auto body work, named each of the parts that would need to be replaced, and confirmed my longtime firm suspicion that the damage estimate itself would be at least $1500, and that's without doing any painting. He also agreed that it's in fine mechanical shape. So he's giving me $400 for it, which...well, it's a hell of a depreciation, but I got 70,000 hard miles out of that car, and now I want it out of my driveway so I can move on to other things. Without some serious lying, or a really stupid buyer, I don't think I'd get more for it, so this is the clean-karma way to get a little cash instead of junking it completely.

I solicited some third-party advice and had a couple of different people tell me that my latest piece of jewelry is not, in fact, ugly. My feeling had been that I don't particularly like it, but other people might, so I didn't really know if it was ugly or not and it was mostly just a technical exercise in wire wrapping.

Aaaaah. I remember high school.

Art? Or porn? (Mostly worksafe, just some underwear.)

And, finally, some movement on the "Chris is trying to learn blacksmithing" project. I sent in my membership for the California Blacksmithing Association, and reached one of the listed instructors, down in Santa Cruz. He says he can't take any more long-term students, but if I call him after May 15th I can come over for a few hours and he'll show me some beginning stuff, basic techniques and toolmaking, how to set up my own (cheap) forge, so I can see how I like the reality of doing it and if I run my own forge I can practice on my own; and he'll show me where to get an anvil and stuff. Apparently everything I've read is about higher-level stuff than I need, and you can actually have a working forge rig for a couple hundred dollars. Of course, it'd be a coke forge, which probably doesn't violate our local zoning laws (our zoning allows anything short of an aluminum smelting plant), but could bug our many neighbors--we have nine apartment porches overlooking our driveway--with smell or noise. But he has a coke forge, so when I visit I'll find out.

Building a forge could be an interesting project in itself, since the whole mess should be able to roll in and out of my garage, and the anvil needs to be secured to a tree stump or something, but steady on the ground, not on wheels.

So life is a little slow, and I have a lot of free time. Typically, in the past, when I've reached this stage, I've emotionally opened myself up to disruption in the form of some woman or other, and I have a short train wreck spate of dating that ends badly weeks or months (well, years in the last instance) later. But my last relationship wasn't like that: it was clean, honest, real, ended fine, and we're still good friends. So I've finally broken that years-long pattern of stupid relationships; I know what I need and am willing to give in a relationship; I know who I am and where my absolute boundaries are, and I will not compromise them for the sake of affection or anything else. I am happy and content now in a way I've rarely experienced in the past, and, of course, I'm now more or less run out of people to date.

Strangely enough, that's the right thing.