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