Terri Schiavo finally died. I hope she's found some peace, finally; I hope the political world can stop using her case in ways so despicable even their most ardent Christian evangelical supporters think they're slime; and I hope her parents, who, assuming they haven't been after the $1 million life insurance policy, have been out of their blinking skulls with grief for fifteen years, can accept their daughter left them a long time ago, and move on.

They gave Pope John Paul II the Last Rites, and though apparently he stabilized a bit after that, he's likely not long for this world. Though I've respected his consistency and integrity in being that very rare abortion opponent who also opposes the death penalty (not that the contradiction seems to bother too many people), I think he was a reactionary git who's sacrificed decades of human progress on the altar of dogma. I wonder how many teen pregnancies he's responsible for, or how much harm he's done by supporting people like that jackanape African cardinal who claims that condoms *cause* AIDS. Memo to Catholic Church: on a continent where in several places it's believed you can cure AIDS by having sex with a virgin (where "having sex" doesn't involve her consent and "virgin" is ages 6 months and up), YOU'RE NOT HELPING.

I'm not the Judge, and that's a good thing, but I sincerely hope that the Pope, me, and everyone else get what's coming to us.

Every time I pick up my new guitar, the four hundred dollars I spent on it seems like a steal. I bought a stand for it a few weeks ago, and it hangs in the corner, in easy reach, a beautiful work of art enriching my living room and making pretty music for me. It's a large-bodied guitar, and the guy at the music store told me the owner was a small woman, so she didn't play it much over the 25 years she owned it; he said it needed to be played a lot more before its sound would open up. Some folks believe that the vibrations of playing an instrument affect its wood grains, so an instrument that feels closed and tight to start with will relax and open up and ring out. Certainly feels like mine is doing that, so who am I to argue?

It's worth waiting to find the instrument that's really yours.

Some shifts and changes with my friends and friendships, divorces and impending marriages and just-getting-togethers and first-dates-in-three-years. Aikido continues; hopefully I'll be preparing for my 2nd kyu test in June, though I feel really open to the possibility that I could work on it for two months and still not be ready. I managed to surrender a bit a release a bunch of muscles a few days ago, so I'm back to being what passes for relaxed with me.

I'm just kind of here. My life, internal and external, is incredibly uncomplicated with the romantic relationships removed. I feel boring, in a way, because my life is aikido, my still-kicks-ass job with its mind-numbing-to-non-geeks technical detail, and just reading and playing guitar and watching TV and otherwise arbitrarily amusing myself. My decisions are all for me, but I don't feel there's anything I need to change. So I can be here as an engaged observer and friend to all the change I see and feel around me. Pretty cool.