I've had two computers crap out on me in the past couple of weeks: my server's on-board ethernet died, and now my newer Thinkpad laptop won't boot. Easy enough to fix the server--I have a handful of network cards from someplace, and in any event they're all of ten dollars nowadays--but the Thinkpad needs a call to IBM Tech Support before the warranty runs out in May. Ugh.

I'm losing fat again, and my muscles are building up. This is sort of a random occurrence, I guess happening because I've been doing four days a week of aikido instead of three. It's sort of a funny thing to be happening at a time when I'm specifically training carefully to use less muscle in aikido. One of my higher-level friends noticed a difference Sunday, which was nice...I don't see that I have much choice, since so much of my body has been so tense that I really have to conserve energy.

The dream of buying a getaway place with friends is kind of on the rocks, though still kicking. Not a problem with the three of us, thankfully, but a collective frustration with how bloody much everything costs. Based on the past history of ludicrous prices and no eventual crash--I mean, really, we've been predicting a crash for how many decades now?--I'm starting to think that as the rules of the economy evolve, this may just be how much homes cost now, and that's how it's going to be. If the banks no longer care that your home costs 5-10 times your salary instead of 3, who's going to argue? The developers and real estate agents who profit from higher prices? More foreclosures and bankruptcies are just part of doing business nowadays. Most banks can turn around and sell the mortgage to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, anyway. Let them worry about it.

Still, there's a couple of places to check out, and only one of them looks scary in the photos.

How long has it been since I've had a really challenging job? I'm not sure I ever have. And I've never worked with solid, freaky people, either. Or gotten paid this well. Or not had to drive to work (not counting the four months I worked mostly from home for UCSB). I pretty much hit a grand slam here. I'm working on some stuff so complicated I can't listen to music while working on it. That rules.

I finally sent in my taxes today. They were done last week, but since I owe money to California, I was putting it off hoping the numbers would change. No such luck.

Thinking a lot about karma these past couple of months, looking at the patterns of my life, the various stuff I carry around with me, some of which is optional to deal with, other stuff not so much. It's a complex concept, hard to elaborate: karma isn't just some scorecard of stuff from our past lives. It's the weight of stuff that our ego holds onto, fears and regrets and wonderings, everything that keeps us from the present moment, everything we cling to. So there are the things that are usually innate, and I usually think of those as leftovers from past lives: sexuality, temperament, level of awareness. But we create karma in this life, too, clinging to all the things we've done and been through, both good and bad. Letting go of these things doesn't mean we don't have to process or deal with them, or that they go away; but if we don't cling, we can learn and put them in place and move on.

For about the five billionth time, I recognize that everything that goes awry in my life is not necessarily my fault. Maybe I'll remember it next time.