The renewal for my car registration showed up today. California's so efficient... when you get a parking ticket, it gets reported to the state. If you don't pay it, the fine and penalty just get tacked onto your registration. Of course, that ticket was waived--it was the first time I got ticketed at Palomar for not displaying my parking pass, and they'll write off one if you show you had it, and just forgot to hang it on the mirror. Apparently, someone forgot to pull the ticket out of the system. This I actually have to pursue, just so it doesn't linger and turn into a Problem and disappear out of the Palomar College Police's computers over the years, should I get the job, not renew my plates here ($206, duh!) right now, and move back.
I pulled a boatload of stuff out of the closet in the spare bedroom that I can eBay off. Sure, I could take, say, old 28.8k faxmodems out to Ramona and shoot them, but they're perfectly functional, and perhaps someone has a use for them. There's a couple of items I'm just tossing, but it looks like mostly, I'll need to hang onto what's there.
I skipped Comic Con today... I had only planned to see the writing panel Wil Wheaton was on today. But Kyle wanted me to take some digital photos of the camp to use on the basketball web site, and this would be the only day I had left to do it between Comic Con and Las Vegas.
I'm discovering interesting things about the karate school I've joined. Or rather, an appreciation for something they did right back home. Back home, they were very good at running through new material slowly, especially with the lower ranks, using a lot of repetition so people would get used to it and learn it well. The brown and purple belt associate instructors were as good as the black belts about this. Here, the sub-black belts run through things a little quicker than I think they should.
We worked on some combat combinations tonight, for the first time for a couple of us. They were fairly simple, a block and a strike with the hands and appropriate foot movement on the floor. We were partnered up to practice it, but barely had time to get one combination down before we were moved to the next one, and then were told to mix them up. I got through the first three sets okay off old knowledge, but the fourth had even me struggling to get the rhythm down. (It was a grabbing block followed by a chopping strike to the head, not a common Shotokan technique.) My partner was in much worse shape. He kept confusing one technique with another, which distracted him enough he was unable to pay attention to footwork or balance (leaning forward all the time.) I honestly don't think you can learn something well, as a newer student, when it's breezed through so fast you can never get comfortable with it. I may have to say something on the side to the staff.
Next, armed with what we'd just not-quite learned, we were tossed into a few rounds of free sparring. That was completely unexpected, as we were told white belts would not start that until very shortly before their yellow belt tests. There was barely enough school equipment to cover the four of us without. And it was a double exercise for me--I have to continually remind myself that there are things I'm not supposed to know yet, partly because some very basic things are done slightly differently between Kenpo and Shotokan, but mostly because it puts me out of sync with my peers. In the case of sparring, it's the latter. Sparring, I have to keep from getting too caught up in it so I don't forget not to kick anybody. ("No sparring yet" meant "No protective gear yet", which also includes "no cup".)
It turned out okay (I kept my feet to myself,) and actually dangerously fun. My partner started to come out of his shell a bit--he's a high school kid who, so far, has been kind of quiet and tentative--he plays (roller) hockey, so he has an aggressive side to draw out, which opened him up. While we were just practicing, I kept reassuring him not to worry if he hit me, concentrate on getting the motion right, what the headgear doesn't deflect I can handle. You didn't have to tell him that even once they cut us loose. :-) Quite the contrary, they kept having to remind us to slow down and ease up. I partly blame the instructors for that, though... they're the ones that turned on the CD player. Some fairly fast-tempo metal, I was too distracted to identify the band. Music always sets my focus, pace, and mood. Something hard and fast-tempoed is not what I should listen to when I want to stay calm and aware of things around me.
Regardless of minor issues, these classes have been a lot of fun. The people all around have been terrific. It'll be a pity I'll have to leave them too if/when I get this job, but you know, that's life.