feel the endless hum.

It's long past my bedtime, though my brain is all wired up. I've resorted to the usual techniques of taking a couple of kava kava capsules and meditating. I'm still settling down, but I discovered in the process of meditating that I have been very busy and moving very fast these past few weeks, and not stopping to breathe as I should. Curiously I'm still in touch with my body, but I wonder if this is related to my sudden ability to train four or five days a week for a month: to do that, I need to inhabit my body and keep in touch with everything, keep it all relaxed and healing--but that itself can become an escape from stillness. Being human is silly.

I fixed my aikido, give or take. Last week I was frustrated and wound up, trying to get ready for my test in June and not being able to get the feel of things. My uke (person training me who will take falls on the test) went out of town, and I realized I was feeling burned out and I wasn't having fun. So I said to myself, "screw the test, I want aikido to be fun again". I took two days off, came back and didn't worry about technique. It mostly worked: I've had a hard time doing the techniques demonstrated in class, but when those don't work, I do something else, and that's an important part of composure and bearing and keeping your mind free and flexible to adapt to changing situations--in real-life physical conflict, a person attacking you will be unpredictable, and/or he may have friends with him that you didn't see the first time. That kind of relaxation allows aikido to happen, lets it start to be more than the bare mechanics of what your hands and feet are doing. So I have some of that back, as long as I laugh and have fun and don't really care about the test.

I have a date of sorts on Sunday. Technically we're just meeting up to eat tapas and watch flamenco (turns out she loves flamenco, so that works out pretty well), but it's probably a date. Whether this is a wise idea given my previous decision that me and dating need a break from each other, I'm not at all sure; maybe my practice this time around is to not go crashing into a relationship. But, I sense she's a good and special kind of person, the sort worth getting to know under any friendly circumstances.

Our purpose, at my job, is what we call "conservation of net slack". This is tied to the three great virtues of the programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris. We're not martyrs; the money's the same (probably even if it isn't), we'd much rather get paid for working 7 hours a day than for 12. Prior to my arrival, though, there was the misconception that one could simply work less and increase net slack, by cutting corners and doing things the "easiest" way. I have to put "easiest" in quotes because in reality that way is usually a naive judgement that doesn't take into account the fact that you're building things that are not thought-out, and sometime after today, you will face not only the additional effort of maintaining your crappy hastily-built thing, but also the effort of doing it over again when the crappy design finally fails. In our case we had some outright crises which cost some people a lot of sleep (though the company is old enough now that the people suffering from the crappy design are often not the people who created it). At any rate, badly-thought-out designs inevitably decrease net slack over time. So it's been fascinating to watch the ripple effect throughout the company and people realize: you can *invest* in net slack. A little bit of extra work right at the beginning will very quickly pay off in additional slack.

Ah, here comes the sleep.