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Showing posts from November, 2016

Merry Monday - Nerves

What happens when you let your nerves get the best of you? 

My weekend didn't go the way I had hoped. I choked like a Maple Leaf during the playoffs and failed my grading. Considering that I felt like I did my worst example of iaido, I agree that I shouldn't have passed. That doesn't mean I'm not upset. I'm pretty damn sad about it.

What happened?

Leading up to grading I:

I caught my big toe on a computer cable, which tripped me and hurt my toe.
Weeks of fighting with acne as if I'm a damn teenager.
I dropped a plate into my sink, which broke itself and a bowl.
I cut my finger with a steak knife.
I got very little sleep the day before travelling.
I had car troubles.
I forgot to put my chicken bacon in the fridge at my friend's place, so breakfast was different than planned.
I got lost in the building more than once. I should've read the signs better.

Pre-Grading Seminar

On nearly every kata they gave us corrections and I felt overwhelmed.
I was super tense.

Grading

Whi…

Fortifying Friday - Calluses

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I first started learning guitar in grade 12. We had a course we could take and get credit for as part of our high school diploma. My then boyfriend was also taking it and class was slightly uncomfortable once we broke up, but I enjoyed it regardless. I had a blast performing with the class. I was supposed to sing too, but singing performances and I are like that Buffy episode "Nightmares" where Willow ends up singing with Pavarotti and can't utter a word only weird screechy noises... Yeah. Put me in a car with friends and I'm fine. Shower? You betcha. In a musical or band performing in front of people. Nope. Unless I'm just one of the choir and not alone. I did make it through an O' Canada performance with only two other people one time in high school, though. All our strongest choir members were at another performance and the fo…

Thoughtful Thursday - Renos

I thought I already posted this, but apparently not. I started a kitchen reno. Just a little bit at a time. It was instigated by my peel and stick floor starting to let go.

My cabinets are solid wood, so with a little ingenuity I can make them look nice. I think I'll do what these people did to give them dimension: http://www.beautifulmatters.com/2013/02/diy-inexpensive-cabinet-updates/

I need to fix the drawer bottoms and one piece of the drawers. The very back and bottoms are not wood, so guess where the moisture has collected over the years. I literally needed one piece of wood to fix the top three drawers and I can probably leave the very bottom one. For bottoms? I was going with plexiglass because it's waterproof and I had enough for 2 of the 3 until one didn't work out and when I looked at the price of plexiglass, I said holy crap! So onto thin wood bottoms instead.

Then I'll paint them a dark chocolate on the bottom doors I think, or maybe the top too. I was thinki…

Merry Monday - Crunch Week

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I'm heading into crunch week, which started with my first time teaching martial arts and continues with my library writing group, my French oral exam, the last iaido practice before grading, anime club*, a bunch of laundry/ironing/packing, travel, grading, and then my French written exam. And all I feel like doing is relaxing.

*I might not make anime club given the rest of the week.

Iaido

I taught my first martial arts class yesterday. It went OK. It was a good thing I had the book to refer to. I found it helpful when they had questions or specific things to fix. It's really hard to practice at the same time as teaching. I can't focus on both at once, otherwise I do both crappy. Since the other classes were cancelled, I got extra practice time in with the other student that is grading next weekend. We have one more class before the big day. Hopef…

Fortifying Friday - A Tiny Bit of Breathing Room

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French

If you asked me last week, I would have said it was doubtful I would finish my online French hours in time. I finished my last two hours tonight! The oral exam is this Monday. The written exam is next Monday.

Iaido

Now I can focus on grading Nidan for iaido. I need to reduce how long it's taking me to do etiquette. It needs to be crisper too. And I need to run through my kata several times, perhaps by picking out numbers from a hat. I don't know what kata they are going to give me. I'm worried I'll forget the numbers and then do the wrong ones and fail.

Writing

I can finally work on The Blood Waitress Club. This story now features witch/vampire/insect demons that play roller derby. I'm collecting ideas for who they may play against. Some of my research includes rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I'm looking for different kin…

Thoughtful Thursday - Restless

I'm feeling restless lately. I've been so busy with French and iaido that I've had very little time to work on my writing. I just want to get the words into the page. And my place is a mess, but that's not unusual for November.

Animé club has been keeping me sane. 

Other things are bothering me too, but I'd rather not go into them.

I think it'll be better once I've finished the online portion of my French class. There are about 5 hours left to do. Then, I can just focus on iaido and writing.

I also need to see Fantastic Beasts, but that won't be for a few days yet. 

Well, back to it.

Ciao,

R~

Merry Monday - Busy Times

I had a pretty full weekend. On Friday, I got some errands done. On Saturday, I cut a pumpkin with a sword and threw some axes and spears at a target. On, Sunday, I woke up thinking it was Monday and became very happy when it dawned on me that I had another day off!

Kitchen Reno

Well, I'm still trying to just fix my drawers. I thought it would be easy. I'm just changing out the bottoms and the backs for real wood that will be sturdier and not shed bits of itself into the drawers below. My plan was initially just the bottoms, but then I noticed the backs were particle board and had some water damage. So, I was going to use fiberglass for the bottoms. They'd last forever and have no water issues. Well, fiberglass sheets are hugely expensive, so I scrapped that part of the plan. I tried a thinner acrylic and it was too flimsy and broke easy. Now I'm doing wood, but it's slightly too thick, so I have to scrape the edges a little with my hand planer. 

Wood, as I learned, d…

Thoughtful Thursday - What Next?

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Like many others, it was hard to function yesterday. I'm still upset, but I've had more sleep and I've read a lot. I've also seen a lot on social media, some of which includes things that have yet to be corroborated or have been debunked by sites like Snopes, but I digress.

There will be many challenges ahead. You must have courage to face them. When things seem hopeless, I find what is in my realm of control and do something about those things. This is what keeps me going.

Yesterday, I felt awful. We don't know yet the full consequences and won't for some time. What do we know?

We still have to eat, do laundry, and care for loved ones. We still have jobs and bills. The sun still rises.

Your goals may be harder to achieve in some ways. I find breaking goals down into smaller pieces helps me. As an example, my martial arts grading is happening at the end of this month. There are t…

WTF Wednesday - Deeply Afraid and Deeply Saddened.

Approximately five hours ago, I cried myself to sleep out of fear for what the future holds.

Early this morning, I learned the difference between a Canadian and an American. I know. #notallAmericans

Four years is enough time to do irreparable damage to the world.
I can only hope that many of his election promises won't be met. I can only hope that somehow, Canada can lend a cup of sugar without being dragged into a war.

To my American friends, I hope no harm comes to you or your loved ones. 

R~

Fortifying Friday - Tired

I'm tired of so many things of late. My phone gets updates that purport they will be improvements, yet swype is now not working properly. Amazingly, the Facebook app is working just fine. Usually it breaks with every update. But lately Facebook makes me sick. It is filled with people who lash out at others for having a different viewpoint than they do. One point lately has been on palm oil. Don't buy the candy that has that in it. There's never a thought that that candy bar might be one of the only options for someone with food sensitivities and a necessary gluten free diet. Also never a thought to those products perhaps being the only ones affordable for someone.

I'm tired of people who spend their days attacking people online in some sort of perceived social advocacy effort while they could instead be organizing with others to get real change to happen through parliamentary process. I feel like too many have chosen educating others on social issues as their method of …

Thoughtful Thursday - November Madness

Well, like every November, there seems to be too much going on.

After spending my days writing copy, I spend my evenings either studying French or writing a novel. One might think this would burn me out, but while writing copy can be draining, writing a novel feeds my soul.

I am a little worried though. It has been a long time since I have had to write an exam, especially a French one. There seems to be a lot of hours left to complete in the online portion. I'm worried I won't make it. At least the course is cheap if I have to repeat, but I'd rather not.

I need to fix my kitchen drawers, which are in pieces in my living/dining room, so I can make room to practice iaido. Any extra time I can spend will be helpful to prepare for grading. I've started some ankle strengthening exercises to reduce my wobbliness. I aim to get the drawers done over the weekend, so I can get on the rest. That, of course, dips into my French time and my writing time.

C'est la vie.

Ciao,
R~

NaNoWriMo 2016

It wasn't until the screen asked me what novel I was going to work on that I decided it would be The Blood Waitress Club. It is a tale of roller derby and demons. It used to be vampires, but no one wants to read about vampires these days. There will be an assortment including vampires instead.
Right now, all the odds are stacked against me to succeed at my 50,000 word conquest. I suppose I can count my blog posts technically, but that doesn't help me complete the novel. This month, outside of work, I need to log 25 hours of online French learning, 9 more hours of classroom learning plus a final exam. I also have to prepare for Nidan grading, so I can't miss any time to write more. 

Whatever. As long as I add to the current word count, I'm going to call it success even if I don't reach 50,000.

Good luck fellow NaNoWriMo participants. I'm off to buy a book for this project.

Ciao,

R~