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What I've been up to since returning from Japan:
  • going to chado okeiko (training) at Washin-an roughly twice a week, which is twice as often as any other student. I'm not qualified to teach, but I'm not in a hurry to be. Last summer I had the privilege of making tea for the now-deceased Senator and President pro tempore Daniel Inouye.
  • not speaking Japanese any more skillfully than before I went to Japan. This surprises many people when I tell them, but I don't find it surprising that I'd learn better by taking language classes than by living in an environment where I'm using Japanese a little but not studying it.
  • picking up too many new hobbies, including kumihimo, sport kite flying, rock climbing... and just to make an existing hobby more expensive and complicated, photography, for which I've just bought my first DSLR camera. I have enough hobbies for five people at this point. Oh, did I mention I'd like to try learning how to play Go, speak Polish, and make Calder-style hanging mobiles? Or that I've signed up for a month of weekly aerial skills classes?
  • establishing a complicated, non-standard, and sometimes agonizing love life
  • doing pretty much the same thing at work as before I left for a year, minus the stuff I didn't like, so yay
  • developing more feminist (and, I hope, intersectional) sensibilities. Helped out a bit with AdaCamp DC, started donating to The Ada Initiative, started a local feminist geek group (which hasn't taken off yet), bought a ticket to this year's WisCon, joined a sort of working group for hackerspaces equality.
  • snuggling with my insatiably-snuggly kitties
  • learning about Burning Man and planning to attend a regional burn this month. Feeling pessimistic about my chances of getting to buy a ticket to the playa, though.
  • winding up back on the board of directors at HacDC, where I've been coordinating Lightning Talks and where I'm trying to put together a workshop in which participants make an LED cuff like the one designed by Syuzi Pakhchyan in her book Fashioning Technology
  • going to Delaware beaches—twice in one summer! This is highly unusual. I'm still not a fan of intense solar radiation or rough surf. Lying in the shade with a book, flying a kite, and pedaling on nearby roads are acceptable beach-side activities for me.
  • also twice: visiting the not-exactly-next-door Longwood Gardens, with which I quickly fell in love
  • attending Artomatic, HOPE9, World Maker Faire NYC, and 29C3, and in all cases sensing that I'd get far more fulfillment from undertaking the kinds of projects that would make me more than just an attendee there

This entry was originally posted at http://bokunenjin.dreamwidth.org/32508.html.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
What do you mean by aerial skills and does it involve trapeze or silks or whatever you call that metal loop of discomfort?

I am almost jealous of your exciting life.

It is impractical for people here to go to Burning Man because the amount of stuff you have to drag in and out is more fit for carpooling than plane travel. But the local Burners do seem to like their local events. Water for one week is a considerable amount of water.

I don't know any Ruby, and I have not signed up for this yet, but I am considering it.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
What do you mean by aerial skills and does it involve trapeze or silks or whatever you call that metal loop of discomfort?

From what I understand, it's sort of nontraditional aerialism, using invented aerial apparatuses that include static and suspended steel sculptures.

It is impractical for people here to go to Burning Man because the amount of stuff you have to drag in and out is more fit for carpooling than plane travel.

Heh, Burning Man is impractical on many levels, but one of the easier ways for east coasters to get stuff to and from Burning Man—for those who don't have the time to drive out there themselves—is DC Container (or NYC Container).
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
Getting to make tea for the Senator must have been fantastic! I kind of envy you your practice there, but not in the "willing to put in all the effort to go do that myself" way.

I keep trying to motivate myself for Japanese... I'm going in March, you'd think that would be motivation enough! I've tried a little kumihimo, but mostly to make sword fittings. My work is not good enough for my sword. [rueful grin] If you want to learn to play Go, I've just started and would be happy to play with you.

Glad to hear it about your job! That's awesome.
Feb. 5th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
Where in Japan will you be going? I'm guessing you won't have a lot of spare time there, but I can't resist offering recommendations.
Feb. 9th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
Definitely to Tokyo (Ayase, Adachi-ku) -- that's where the martial arts seminar I'm going to attend is. Probably to Katori Jingu in Chiba Prefecture. My proposed travel dates are 3/19 - 3/25, but there's some flex in there... basically, I can stay as long as I can afford. The airfare is less than I was expecting, but I think the hotels are likely to be more. I miiiiight get the very beginning of cherry blossom season, if weather permits. I would love recommendations!
Feb. 7th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC)
which regional burn?
Feb. 7th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
Frostburn - are you familiar with it?
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
Not yet. I just googled it. I was down in DFW over MLK weekend and almost went to FreezerBurnTX. Instead, I'll be going back for Burning Flipside in May.
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
While I was in DFW, I was taught to spin fire.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )