Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2014

I didn't drop off the face of the Earth.

I've been having adventures lately, so I haven't been writing about proverbs or anything. Sorry if you were looking for them.

This weekend I visited a friend in Peterborough, Ontario. Peterborough is a lovely city with an unfortunate lack of jobs and a coinciding high incidence of drug usage. There are around 11 methadone clinics there. The province opens more clinics rather than bringing in companies that can give jobs. The social workers are busy, but not paid well. It would be wonderful if this issue could be fixed. The surrounding area is full of gorgeous lakes, fertile farm lands, and lush greenery. The people there are friendly and there is a strong sense of community despite the drug problem.

I had a lovely time with my friend and his family. They truly care about the planet and try to reuse anything they find rather seeing it go to waste. I think that's awesome. They also have a bee colony that pollinates their own vegetable garden! Unfortunately, the bee colony co…

Kenshokan Visit - July 26, 2014

I visited a friend in Peterborough, Ontario this weekend. Peterborough is a lovely city with an unfortunate lack of employment. It's located in the Land of Lakes or Kawarthas in Ontario.

From 9 am to Noon, we practiced Iaido. This is double the length of my usual practice time, so I am a bit sore today. Apparently, part of my soreness is likely related to having an incorrect, a.k.a. "Death Grip" on the tsuka (handle). My friend showed me how to fix it and it's similar to how one grips a steering wheel on a car. This should make my muscles less fatigued, stop my right hand from sliding, and improve my cutting technique.

I did a lot of work on Juppon-me Shihogiri. I need to ensure I am hitting low enough on the hand strike while keeping my heel on the ground, that my heels have the correct placement for the stab (my right heel is the issue), step with the left foot to make the first cut, stop pausing so much in between each movement as it's supposed to flow, and I th…

Lend your money and...

Today's proverb is, "Lend your money and lose your friend."

That could be true if your friend is only your friend because of superficial things.

Today I want to talk about one of my friends. She is a wonderful woman I have known since high school. She's highly intelligent and once upon a time was in medical school. She started having seizures. Brain tumour. Things didn't work out with her husband. That's not shocking as many relationships come upon too much strain when illness occurs and brain tumours can cause one to say nasty things they may not mean. After a time, they removed the tumour, but told her the seizures wouldn't stop completely, just lessen. A life of seizures was ahead of her. She met someone new and became pregnant. He turned abusive when she decided she wanted to keep the baby as it would likely be her only chance at motherhood. The pregnancy was challenging with the seizures and she had to take medications to stop them. She tried repeatedl…

Iaido Demo for the 2014 Japanese Festival

The 2014 Japanese Festival was held in Marion Dewar Plaza (a.k.a. The Rink of Dreams in front of City Hall).

I arrived at 11:30 and got into my gi and hakama. Next up was some sunscreen.

My dojo, Tateyama Kendo and Iaido Club, and several others were there to show what we do.

As I was taking my sword out to get ready, the part (kuri-gata) that connects the cord (sageo) to the saya (scabbard), came loose! I ended up borrowing one that was longer and annoying to work with as I had to constantly have a firm grasp on the sword guard (tsuba) with my left hand or my sword would easily fall out of the saya.

I didn't know what to say when someone suggested my sword might be faker than a theater sword. My sword isn't ornamental... It's a real sword, just unsharpened. The way it is made, it can't be sharpened. That doesn't make it fake. It's made for practicing, not to look pretty in a theater or on TV. They don't use live blades either and my sword is from Tozando in Ja…

Punctuality is the...

Today's proverb is, "Punctuality is the politeness of princes."

I'm horrible at being on time lately, but I guess I'm not royalty so...

Apparently this proverb literally comes from a king. King Louis XVIII to be exact.

http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199539536.001.0001/acref-9780199539536-e-1782

I believe this is speaking to class distinction. If you're late, you can't possibly be royalty. In the modern day, isn't being a rockstar, movie star, etc like being royalty? Aren't they often late? How often does a headlining act start on time?

I know a lot of people that aren't princes, princesses, kings, or queens and they are good people who are punctual.

I think I can safely say that it's a good thing this proverb is no longer widely used.

Ciao,
R~

A slice off a...

Today's proverb is, "A slice off a cut of loaf isn't missed."

This proverb goes back to the late 16th century.

According to Encyclopedia.com, this means that if something is already damaged, further damage to it may not be noticeable. I suppose that depends what the initial damage looks like versus the new damage. If a car goes from having a scratch to having a bumper torn off, well that's pretty noticeable. Does that mean it's unreasonable for someone to be upset if their car only has a scratch since it could be worse? Some people may view a scratch to be as damaging as a ripped off bumper. The same can be said for bumps and bruises. Also, some people are more sensitive to unkind words than others.

Is this saying that if I already have a cut on my face, someone can put a second there and it won't be a problem? I don't like some of what this proverb suggests.

In my teenage years, this was highly applicable to borrowing alcohol from the parent's li…

Musō Jikiden Eishin-Ryū Iaido

The style of Iaido I practice is called Musō Jikiden Eishin-Ryū Iaido, hereinafter referred to as MJER Iai. MJER Iai is a globally practised school of Iaido. Some refer to it simply as Eishin-Ryū, but Eishin-Ryū refers to a specific set of kata that is only a piece of the whole picture.

Within MJER Iai, there are several kata sets as follows:

Zenkenren Iai (ZKR) a.k.a. Setei Iai
Omori Ryū
Eishin Ryū
Oku Iai, Seated Set
Oku Iai, Standing Set
Farewell

Along with the kata sets, partner drills, where the application of the katas to a controlled sparring situation, are practised.

I enjoy the partner drills. At my dojo, we do them on the first Sunday of each month. The partner drills are where one can get a feel for how one might combine techniques from other arts with Iaido for those times where you are too close to draw your sword or simply to maintain control over your opponent.

Because I am petite, sometimes I have to do techniques different when it comes to partner practise. While doing kata, we…

You can take a horse...

Today's proverb, "You can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Thus why I decided I didn't want to be a social worker. Also, I felt I was too young to truly understand what people were going through.

You can't make anyone do anything that they don't want to. If you convince them into something, they wanted it a little bit. As true as that is, it's not respectful to be constantly pushing people to do things they don't want to, however, sometimes people need a push to discover something about themselves. Pushing people can often result in them undergoing personal growth as they may be too scared to face a challenge alone.

It should be said that it is a wonderful thing to help someone else on their path for personal growth, but that doesn't mean they will respond positively at first. For example, if your friend's partner is cheating on them and you provide him/her with evidence, s/he may not believe you and may decide to hate yo…

A guilty conscience...

Today's proverb is, "A guilty conscience needs no accuser."

The idea is that if you feel guilty, you'll want to confess your bad behaviour and work towards being forgiven. This may be true in a lot of cases, but not every person feels comfortable talking about things. What if they are ashamed by what they did and are the type of person that would rather pretend it didn't happen and just aim to do better next time? Not every person realizes that in covering up mistakes rather than owning up to them starts them off on the foot that will cause them to be more likely to repeat the mistake in the future.

Also, in telling people you messed up, you often find someone who will make you be accountable for your actions. In not telling someone, you have the freedom to decide in the moment that you don't feel up to doing better.

I don't think I have to point out which path leads to one becoming a better person.

The choice is yours.

Ciao,
R~

It is not work that...

Today's proverb is, "It is not work that kills, but worry."

Basically, hard work is good for you. Worrying about things that you can't do anything about is bad for you.

I am an over-thinker. I mull things about in my head all the time, but I've learned to try and focus on things that I do have the power to change. There are more things in your control than you may realize, so before you stress yourself out think, "What can I do about this?". Make an action plan with steps to achieve that will get you closer to whatever your goal is.

If I write at least 200 words per day over the next couple of months, I should be able to finish my novel by year's end. This post is around 150 words, so if I write a couple of paragraphs every day my book will be done by December. Awesome.

Ciao,
R~

There is an exception...

Today's proverb is, "There is an exception to every rule." Yep.

Grammar rules: 'I' before 'E' except after 'C'

I wonder why it's necessary that we change the order of I and E in certain rules. I've never had trouble remembering to do it, but why do we? The sound of the word is not changed by the reversal of the two letters.

We often only realize there must be an exception to a rule when we can't apply it to a situation.

So would the exception to this rule of there being an exception to every rule mean that there are no exceptions to any rules?

Can we apply this to people? Do we only notice the flaws in others when they don't behave in a way we expect them to?

Unfortunately, with people, I think it's rather common to assume that a flaw or quirk may be a larger portion of their whole self than what is true in actuality.

If there is more than one exception to a rule, is there a point to having a rule?

That's all I've got.

What is given...

Today's proverb is, "What is given to a neighbour is not lost."

I don't know my neighbours. Do you?

According to this article, many people are too busy to bother socializing with our neighbours and only talk to them to ask favours of them. One of my neighbours believes there is a thief on my floor, so I wouldn't even want to ask a neighbour to accept a parcel or water plants for me.

I think part of it is the fast-paced culture we live in that affords us little time for recreation. How many people today simply want to get home from work and watch Netflix or hang out on a deck/patio with people they know they like?

Some, like me, may be legitimately busy between multiple activities. I don't want to draw attention to my busy schedule given the thief. I don't know there is a thief for sure, but I don't really want to find out whether or not it's true. The neighbour that told me that is a generally negative person with a sad outlook on life. That said,…

Don't change...

Today's proverb is, "Don't change horses in mid stream."

I personally don't feel this applies to all areas of life. Sticking with something for the sake of seeing it through can be good and character building, but it can also have drastically damaging and disastrous consequences. Should someone stay in an abusive marriage simply because they made a commitment? They intended to be with the person forever, but the person is no longer who they married and staying with them is killing them spiritually, mentally, and physically.

There are limits to this proverb. Everyone needs to have "deal breakers". You have to be able to draw a line at what you will not accept in behaviour from another person in your life, be it a friend, a lover, or a relative. Be careful how crazy you get with the line or you may end up with no one, but have a line. Boundaries are important and only you can define them for yourself.

This proverb applies to some things like essays in sec…

Do not throw...

Today's proverb is, "Do not throw pearls to swine."

I see the validity of this in general but, as a martial artist it conflicts with the value of putting your best self forward. I'd much rather try to help the swine become better human beings.

That being said, sometimes we have to reduce the amount of swine in our lives because negativity causes stress which leads to damage to our health. Sometimes one must put themselves first.

I think this proverb is trying to say not to give something to someone who does not have the capacity to appreciate it. They may not be ready for the love and beauty you have to offer and will end up hurting you. Some people need time to grow personally before they can see the love and beauty you hold within truly can be given freely without ulterior motives.

I know it was hard for me to understand when a friend was there for me during my divorce and wanted nothing in return beyond seeing me happy. Without that person, I may never have taken …

If wishes were horses...

Yesterday, I bought a proverb calendar. I thought it might be interesting and inspiring for story writing. I realize half the year is over and that it seems silly to buy a 2014 calendar now, but sometimes I'm silly.

Today's proverb is, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

In other words, instead of spending life wishing something was better, come up with an action plan to make it better. You are in control of your own happiness.

For some people, that might be scary, but not all things require huge amounts of effort or commitment, at least at the start.

Take a journey, for example. What does a journey begin with? One step.

A novel? One word.

Of course, before you know it, another word happens. Then another. Suddenly you have a sentence, a paragraph, a scene, a chapter, another chapter, more chapters, a first draft, etc.

I'm at the more chapters stage with my first novel and all the while climbing closer to a first draft. It's a jumble of hair-pulling e…

Officially a Member

I'm officially a member of the Ottawa Independent Writers now. My first event as a member happened to be the last official meeting until September. On Thursday, June 26th I went to hear readings by other indie authors.

The first man that read usually has some difficulty communicating, but it was as though he was animatedly channeling his characters and they had no trouble communicating. His work in progress sounds interesting.

Another man presented his book. It is about his journey recuperating from a stroke. After authoring a plethora of academic papers, Frank had a stroke and woke up with only 20 words to hear the medical professionals telling his wife he would likely be a vegetable and never walk again. Frank can walk. And he had a little help, but he wrote a book about his journey called, "The Stroke That Changed My Life."

Mike Young read from Kirk's Landing. I bought a copy of his book.

A lady read a book she wrote from two perspectives; one is of a cat and the …