we have black squirrels here.

I'm pretty happy with the contact lenses so far, though I had some odd psychological issues yesterday: because I can't do anything useful without my glasses, having my glasses off has, for the past twenty years, meant (a) I just got up, (b) I'm about to fall asleep, or (c) there was a naked girl in the room somewhere. I can't even take a nap with them on. It's very Pavlovian, but my signals are a little crossed with contacts, so I spent most of yesterday afternoon at my friend's birthday party in a zombie state where I really wanted to sleep (and did for a little bit), but I didn't *need* sleep, and the world wasn't blurry and that meant I was awake...very odd.

That friend's two-year old daughter needed a nap when I got there. Know how I know? She was sitting playing by herself with a toy giraffe and a toy truck, some intricate scenario out of her imagination...and the giraffe did something to make her cry. She held it up and looked at it and started crying, I believe with "No!" in there somewhere. Uh huh.

I'm headed eastward this week. After the traveling Charlie Foxtrot of my trip in June, my plan had been to not go cross-country for the rest of the year; but the pride of my college experience, the Skidmore Dynamics, decided the groups ten-year anniversary deserved a concert and a party, and who am I to disagree? On top of that one of my family is having a birthday ending in 0, so I'd halfway planned on going out for that anyway.

As I get ready to go (which involves saying "Huh, I guess I'm leaving soon" until the night before when I pack my bag), I'm really wanting an mp3 player to bring with me, just for my own sanity, though of course inflicting my music on everyone else is always fun. When I was visiting for Christmas, playing a brilliant album that had eaten my brain, my mother came in and after a few minutes of doing stuff in the kitchen, asked "Is the CD player broken?"; which is to say that if you're not used to it, some of what I listen to can be a bit repetitive.

As I listen to this CD of Irish drinking songs, I remember some weeks ago, wandering around the Sunset in San Francisco with a girl who also does aikido. As we walked along, two guys stumbled out the door of the Irish pub across the street. Out on the sidewalk they got into fighting position and started swinging at each other. I started to cross the street towards them (the girl came too, bless her heart: she lacks fear). One of them landed a couple of solid shots and his target went down, and he threw a couple more punches at the losert, crouched and sort of holding himself up by holding on to a car's bumper. Just as I asked if everything was okay, the winner helped the loser up, and some woman who had been standing there says, with an Irish accent, "Guys, knock it off, they're gonna call the cops!". She said everything was fine, they all smiled and went back into the pub.

I really need to visit Ireland sometime.