When I was little I decided that everything has a cause. We might not be able to figure out what it is; we might not know for many years; the cause might be "God sneezed", and that's fine, but nothing just happens. To say that everything has a cause is not to say it has a reason; it's just a sort of axiom of looking at the world that says that we can investigate the universe and be assured of some success. Not only that, but we should: we must not stop until we hit the wall of the unknowable. And then we should look for a way around it.

This belief has matured well.

I'd forgotten my body could get this sore. On Saturday I went to Doran Sensei's seminar in Monterey, which was a ton of fun. I ended up staying over in Monterey and training at the dojo there, which was nice, but we did thirty minutes of techniques on our knees, and my legs haven't been happy recently. The three margaritas the night before didn't help; it's a bit arbitrary whether I'll be a moody drinker or not, but last weekend I was. And that's okay. Nice to hang around Monterey again, though I had to accept a flood of memories: the last time I spent any time there was in 2001, when the crew of Scirocco waited out a gale for a few days. I'm a little amazed that at this point most of what I casually remember from that trip are good memories. I think we have a survival instinct that lets the bad memories fade faster.

(It turns out this is in fact mostly the case. A very angry girl I dated in college is a brilliant neuropsychology researcher. She disliked kids--probably puppies and ice cream too, I don't remember--and literally considered it one of nature's evil tricks that during childbirth, women's bodies secrete a lot of a very powerful hormone which alters their memory of the experience, so they remember it as less painful, and they're willing to do it again. Neat, huh?)

I found someone to train me for my next test. Good choice, I think, since he's also large, and has spent some years working through the issues of not using his strength to do aikido. Remember I'm a muscled 15 stone: the little 120-pound women have to do aikido properly or it won't work, whereas we larger folk have the option of forcibly moving our training partners. I assume I've been doing that, since my biceps are strained as though I helped someone move, or was in a wrestling match.

My co-worker, before he dropped his responsibilities on me a couple months ago, had told me this was a high-stress job. It took a few weeks, but now the flood of real and alleged bugs has started in earnest, and I'm starting to see his point. My day of working from home each week has become very important. And there's so much cranky energy going around the office, with releases coming up, and the usual critical bugs in production--typically there's only five of us who have to deal with those--everyone, including me, is on a little bit of a short fuse. But we're grown-ups and professionals, so it's a forgiving bunch as far as the crankiness goes. And I do love it: it takes some doing to find me good challenges, and I'm being pushed here, in realms and levels I don't think I'd really considered before. The scope and scale of the things I need to do boggle my mind, and that's just how I like it.