Oddly, suddenly having a lot of free time seems to mean not having much time at all; I spend so much time running around, not chained to my computer by this or that project, that I just really haven't had a chance to blog, or even read much.
I started taking Aikido at the Aikido Institute
. The Dojo was amazingly gracious, throwing in a ghi with the generously low starting fee. It was the most physical thing aside from partying I've done in a long while, and it aroused a bit of the Bharat Natyam Dancer in me. A similar insistence on bended knees and a wide stance grounding you to the Earth, for instance. After not dancing for so long, it was odd to feel old habits immediately rearing their head, woken up quickly by the format of the class. In dance we want the eyes to follow the hand, but during one exercise, the instructor, Peter, specifically said to keep the eyes focused on the walls. There were times when I really wanted to bend my foot up in a folding motion, the sort of excessively graceful gesture that adds flourish to Bharat Natyam, and which would be superfluous and distracting in Aikido. Yet trying to really feel motion is common to both, an attempt I found both difficult and welcome.
I visited Google and I won't say anything except that there is an awful lot of food there, and the people were very nice and very smart (of course). Also, they really do
like primary colors. I also ran around Silicon Valley a bit with my oldest buddy, John Osborne
, reminiscing about the past and plotting grand schemes for the future. I also had lunch with my friend Jan Liphardt
, who is the Berkeley Physics Department's newest professor--Go Bears!! With characteristic speed he's already begun moving into his labspace in Birge Hall. I also learned how to play poker. It's an interesting game (set of games), though I'm glad I don't gamble, since I could see how people can get caught up in it. I'll have to investigate it some more, and maybe finally read Poker Nation
If you're dying to actually read something outside of my fabulous life, check out this AP article
by Lisa J. Adams, on a Mexican woman who reportedly gave herself a C-section, resulting in the survival of both her and child, about four years ago. (Courtesy of Scott.) You could also pay a visit to the charmingly grateful and gracious Ultracasual
, or check out Alexandra's experiments with photographic serendipity