Just a warning - this whole post is going to be exceedinly random. Just a train of thoughts all being typed up.

I recently really started to miss teaching. I don't really know why, but one day last week on the way into work, I really missed the feeling I got when teaching karate classes back home. My only guess is that since my heaviest excercise was karate for years and years and years, and tied very close to that was teaching karate classes, there's a mental tie between the physical act of working out and the mental feeling of teaching - of passing on information - and more importantly - the feeling you have when you see one of your students learning, and happy about it. That's a really amazing feeling - one that I'm missing a lot now. How strange is that?

It makes me so happy to see Matt enjoying his new kitten - Innocent XIII. The weekend he came up here, Matt, Mike and I spent practically the whole weekend in the upstairs just playing with him - probably the cutest thing in the world. It's absolutely amazing to just sit and watch him run around, in a totally new place - full of energy, passion and curiosity. What's truly amazing is the childlike innocence (no pun intended) of this little animal. He would run around, perfectly content to crawl around and stumble up every little stack of things, learning from each mistake. But more beautiful was how he acted around us people - none of us could resist picking him up and playing with him, and occasionally having to spray him with water if he was doing something bad. But the amazing part is that regardless of what would happen, he would continue to happily explore, sit and sleep on all of us - he would never let the little frustrations he got of us holding him (occasionally) or spraying him do anything at all to him. Happily he would go along his way, finding joy, finding happiness in every little thing he stumbled upon, and letting each of the bumps he came across melt right off, while still learning from them. Really beautiful to watch.

Apparently software engineer is the best job in the nation - hooray for me, I suppose :)

The figure drawing class from last week was one of the more bizarre ones I've been to. I went into it pretty excited, because throughout the day I had really been in a mood to draw, even though (or possibly because of) I was operating on little sleep that day. But for some bizarre reason, when I sat down in front of the blank newsprint, conte pencil in hand, totally ready to go, I couldn't. I don't know why, I just couldn't. I tried to draw what I saw from the model gesturing different poses each minute, but all that came out was bizarre lines and shapes that only vaguely resembled the human form - and of those that did, they were more lifeless and emotionless than I had ever seen. I tried softer strokes, abstract strokes, even harsh definition of the form in front of me - but nothing worked - nothing captured anything I saw from my eyes or in my head. Never, NEVER have I wanted to draw so badly and just couldn't. I finally ended up leaving after a mere hour - out of frustration or confusion, I'm unsure. But I stopped nonetheless.

Can you possibly believe that my hair is 33 inches long? How crazy is that?

So one of the fascinating things about my job is the team size. Only a little over 20 at the moment. Last week we had a meeting discussing a fairly serious topic that affected the game on a fairly base level. Turned out to be a long meeting, but about halfway through it, I realized what I was really experiencing around me - I didn't have a bunch of people arguing about their job, or the project they're working on, or have management come down and make demands, or have bitterness arise from differences in opinions. Instead I looked around and saw a room full of people who were all passionate about what they were here for, and could discuss the problems and concerns everyone had in a manner that would allow a happy conclusion to be met. It was astonishing to watch and experience. Not like a bunch of coworkers, but like a difficult discussion between family or close friends - with the goal of solving. It was amazing how being there, and hearing some of the words out of their mouths drew direct parallels to the struggles we go through. So much so to a literal extent, even. And even then, as time passed on, I found those reminders again and again. From out drinking wine and listening to the past and present pains of the company, to talking in depth with a friend by moonlight about problems gone and resolved and fears now gone. Astonishing how different and diverse we all are, and yet how similar our struggles become. Perhaps that's how we get through them. Not only by ourselves, but also through each others resolutions. Past, present and future.

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