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Showing posts from 2021

October Fun

After doing some cleaning in my office on Thursday, I spent the bulk of the night immersing myself in music. I took out my guitar and was terrible, but that's OK. I also took out my trumpet, which I haven't done in a long time. I want to get back to it. I also sang along to some songs like Black Velvet and Creep. It was the best evening I've had in awhile! It probably sounds random, but I've switched to the ukulele path on Fender Play for a bit. Who knows, perhaps I'll prefer it to guitar? I'm almost mid way already. I might have ordered an electric tenor one that is due to arrive this week... My finances are improving. I was approved for a line of credit, so I'm able to get rid of one credit card or reduce the amount down to keep it as an emergency for necessities. As soon as the line of credit is active, I should be able to move my balance from my main credit card to it at a much lower interest rate. And we're still in an interest free status on studen

Spinning in Place?

I've been dizzy for a bit while I taper off of my antidepressant. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, I've been slowly getting some things done around the condo. Small things like rearranging items that actually help quite a lot. I went through the bins in my bedroom closet and was able to move most of them into my craft area for later. This let me put things in my closet free up space in the hall closet for my large toolbox. And now my guitars are in a better place in my living room. I thought those bins were mostly full of paper and all but one is full of fabrics. I guess my paper clutter situation may not be as bad as I thought! Though I've been making progress, I feel stuck in some places. I've spent the whole summer trying to get tubes for my bicycle. They're a special size and so far, no one can track them down. I ordered some from one store that had communication issues with their supplier. More than once. Finally, I just asked for a refund because a frie

Canucksgiving Update

I meant to post on Wednesday, but I've been fighting with my ear again. I was supposed to go visit my family, but the dizziness and low-grade fever plus ear discomfort made it too hard to drive safely for anything more than short trips like picking up antibiotics. So a video chat was had instead and I added some things, like whole cranberry sauce to a Swiss Chalet meal to put together a chicken dinner for myself. That's life sometimes. As I mentioned, I finally conquered Chapter 5 and I'm now working on Chapter 6. I've chatted with a number of friends on part of the content for this novel because it goes beyond my own knowledge and experience areas. It's all well and good to write what one knows, but I don't stick to that to the letter. Expanding my own knowledge to make the story better is something that I want for my novels. Now I have a long list of things to learn about to narrow down what fits with what is in my mind for a technical aspect of Sparks. I don&

When September Ends...

... I get excited because October is my favourite month of the year. I'm a goth and have been since the 90s.  I'm struggling with one of my costume items. It looked so good on the site. Hopefully, I can get it to look good on me too. My first attempt didn't go well. I'll keep at it. My main writing update is that I made it through Chapter 5 and I'm really happy with it. And now I'm stuck on Chapter 6. This book has a futuristic view mixed with magic and some things are quite challenging to invent or reinvent, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the process despite occasionally wanting to rip my hair out. Every tweak has ripple effects across the rest of the story, so it's important to take my time.  A new round is already here and I need to set some goals. For the bulk of the final round of 2021, my plan is my current novel, but November is NaNoWriMo and I haven't decided if I will participate or not. I've set myself up with a schedule. For 3 days each w

ROW80 2021 Round 3 End

Do you ever feel like you're exactly where you're meant to be? It's quite rare for me, but that was Friday. After retrieving my skates from Farrhaven, I spent the night catching up on punk bands. It felt like what I really needed. When I don't suck so much at guitar, I'd like to be in a punk band. I can't do power chords yet, so it'll be a minute... I also played around with learning GIMP. I've been wanting to have skills in this area for a long time, and I'm working toward that. This is the part of the sandwich when I say it was martial arts I've left behind indefinitely. Though I enjoyed swinging my sword the other day, I need time away to focus on the things I'm more passionate about. Thankfully, the community has been accepting of this and that's a weight off my shoulders. I was worried I would lose some friends over it as silly as that may sound. Saturday brought sleeping in, more punk catch up, and working on Sparks. I really need t

Sliding into Autumn

I've made a decent amount of progress this weekend. I've noticed that whenever I make use of my planner, I tend to do better on my goals. Part of the problem has been that it would get misplaced during the reno, so it was hard to set shorter term goals. I tend to use Trello for my long-term overarching goals.  I also made a change with my chores. I have a schedule, but I was initially trying to get everything done in a whole room and that wasn't working. Instead, I'm keeping the schedule, but my goal is to do whatever I can in 30 minutes or so. I'm seeing a lot more progress on my declutter this way and it's less stressful. Now it doesn't feel like I have a mountain to climb. And it's motivating me like nothing else has lately in regards to getting caught up around my home. For awhile, I thought about going back to school for a Master's degree, but I've realized that the last decade has been too full for me. I've had little time to relax and

Early September Adventures

On Wednesday, I got to visit my young buddy and show him a few things in Minecraft. It was so good to see him, his sister, and my close friends in person. Their pug was also quite happy to see me too. I have a Minecraft book to lend him if his friends don't first. He reads now and I love that so much. His little sister reminds me of him at her age as she has trouble sitting still. He's much more patient now and his vocabulary is much more developed. She's a dear too. It was wonderful to have a bit of normalcy and to be able to hug my friends! I spoke with my boss this week as the role I assumed has been too stressful in the wrong way for me, so some changes will be coming eventually. Sometimes one has to admit when something just isn't right for them. On Friday, I went to a vaccinated-only house party with one of my friend groups and had an excellent time. Not only did I get to spend time with dear friends, but I got to try a 70s Gibson Marauder! The night wasn't wi

Labour Day Weekend 2021

My weekend was a bit of a rollercoaster. I had a blast watching my friend perform on Friday night at SAW Gallery. Her band, Chautauqua, is fantastic. A small group of us followed the concert up with drinks at Avant Garde, which was great because we couldn't socialize much during the concert.  I felt a little rough the next day, so I took it easy. At one point, I felt like writing, but I couldn't find my notes for the part of the project I'm on right now. Frustrated, I spent time cleaning in my office and eventually remembered where they were. Unfortunately, I was not as far ahead as I thought I was. My notes were more of a list of guidelines and I still have to figure out how to rewrite the section they apply to. At least I know where they are now and I can plug away at it. On Sunday, I did some errands, laundry, and relaxed with TV and video games. Actually, I got a lot of gaming in all weekend and it's been good for my morale. I've been feeling burned out lately.

September Begins

September always feels like a time of new beginning to me. Perhaps that's due to 22 years of academics? Or maybe it's because the weather cools some and my mind feels clearer at this time of year. It certainly helps me that my seasonal allergies also begin to wane. Also waning, or supposed to be waning, are the number of items that have been in my queue at work. And the bulk of my bathroom reno has also been wrapped up. Whatever the reason, this September is beginning with a return to my writing. One that brings fresh eyes and the learnings of another summer season. In my 40th year, I feel like I know myself more than I ever had previously and there is still much about the world and my place in it to discover. I'm quite excited about it all! My main goals going forward are: 1. Sparks This is rather like, "Finish the thing." I have a plan to follow. I also have a different ending in mind. 2. Guitar After performing some much needed maintenance, my major goal is to

August Updates

August 8th: Well, I made a lot of progress on my bathroom reno, but I also hurt myself. After several days of working on it, I'm done installing and caulking the trim. I believe it was the contortionist maneuvering I had to do near the toilet that has done my oblique in near my back. At least it's only part of the oblique muscle? That being said, the main things left are painting the trim, and some other caulking. Those items can mostly be done regardless if I save the trim painting behind the toilet for later.  August 15th: So, I meant to post that last week, but I was in quite a lot of pain. Though I haven't fully recovered, I'm doing much better. I acted background in a movie for a fight scene and was able to throw myself to the ground without hurting myself. Mostly. I did come away with a bruise on my calf from my own shoe: I'm extremely tired after 4.5 hours in a park during ragweed season, but it was so nice being able to see friends and hug them!

Mid-Week Accomplishments - July 18th to July 24th

There has not been a lot of writing, but about a third of my to-do list for this week is already done. That's not bad considering work is keeping me so busy. When you're feeling like you're not getting anywhere, I highly recommend doing up a list and you might surprise yourself. When I updated my Trello board (it had been awhile), I realized I have done a lot more in recent weeks than I thought I had. It was quite motivating to see! 1. I've set up a space for my spiritual practice. 2. There has been the tiniest bit of progress on my plank wall. 3. The garbage has been taken out. 4. I'm actively working on my paper declutter. 5. I've finished watching the storyline episodes of the X-Files. Season 11 was not my favourite, though I enjoyed the ending of the series. 6. I've taken items out of my unit that I don't need. 7. The baby goat picture has been hung on the wall. 8. I have ordered my meds refill. I hate the phone and I'm often running late on this

Forks and Spoons

So last week I had one of those big birthdays where one starts a new decade. I spent the tail end of the previous one figuring out many things about myself and my needs. This included my spirituality, my politics, and my sexual orientation. Because I had time to think about things in a lot of depth, I think the next decade will be good for me or at least better than the previous ones have been.      I also anticipate my 40s to be better because I care less about many things that I should've stopped caring about long ago. A more solid view of what is actually important has replaced those old cares. But some days, I have no idea if anything will improve.  On fitness , I got out for an hour long walk on Friday after work. I was hungry, tired, sweaty, and a little mosquito bitten after, but I felt great. This is something I clearly need to do more often. I had felt like skating would be too much of a mountain to climb that day and it was fairly warm, so the walk was what I opted for in

Goals for ROW80 2021 Round 3

Three months worth of goals are below. Bathroom (1-5 in early July) Yes, the bathroom will still be a thing in my life for awhile longer, but I'm close to finishing the bulk of it. Those items that are making the rest of my home a mess. Well, not all of them. The tub surround for Phase two is hanging out in my living room behind my couch and it's quite an annoying thing to have this large cardboard box there, but it is less in the way than it was in my entrance way, so I'm calling it a temporary win and maybe I'll cover it with a blanket to pretend it's not a giant box behind my couch. 1. Finish plank wall 2. Install trim 3. Get and install corner shelves 4. Move furniture in 5. Celebrate the completion of Phase 1 6. Phase 2? (Depends on plumber) Education I'm currently enrolled in a course to help improve my ability to research as an author as I feel like this is one of my weaker skills at this moment in my writing career. I want to learn the methods that help

No Sense is (Non)sense

No in French is non and it got me wondering about the word nonsense for a moment, but not enough to deep dive on it. It's probably because Latin anyway. Have you ever had one of those days where you want to say everything and you also want to say nothing? Maybe you have a secret. It could be about something private, or a deal that isn't solidified, or it could even be that saying it out loud might make you look disturbed or like an asshole. I have days like this and I think some of it is the imposter syndrome monster nagging me because not having published any of my novels yet makes me feel like I'm not a real writer. By the time I publish Sparks, I wonder if anyone will even want to read it.  It has been through a lot over the years. Point of view changes, setting changes, time changes, and sensitivity changes are among those.  Because I aim to eventually have ties to my other novels, I've had a lot of thinking to do that I didn't initially plan to have to do. Writ

Strange Dreams and Updates

Strange Dreams I had several nights a couple weeks back where I flowed in and out of dream sequences. Dream 1 I was fighting with my mother about whether or not we should try and protect the dog from mosquitos. I kept arguing they can get infections that disfigure them and she kept arguing that it was just a dog. The dog wasn't their dog. It was a friend's dog, Snowy. Dream 2 I was moving into a shared house with friends and one was being really jerky about what I was allowed to bring and not. Someone brought some of my things for me and they included garbage like old pizza boxes. I was adamant that my books were coming. My friend brought all kinds of stuffed animals that weren't mine like Pikachu and was taking up space in my room with them. Dream 3 I was at the store with friends and we came upon a box of fabric softener sheets that had my name on them. It had to do with a return from Amazon that somehow ended up at the grocery store. I hatched a plan to get them for free

My First Twitch Stream

So, I had my first stream tonight. It was plagued with technical issues, but I kept going. I figured out some things like how to put my game on the screen thanks to a pointer from my friend, DJLittleFever. That also let me put my face on the screen.  The audio issues remain. I had a issue where the sound would endlessly loop if I tried to add in-game sound, so I need to work on that. But I did it! It's a bit weird talking to myself, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. I played Minecraft and mostly toured my various builds. I'll have to plan something more time consuming in the future. I have ideas for that, I just need to figure out where to do them. Check out my progress here:  https://trello.com/b/RM8yD3eq/rae-roy-general

Clearing the Way

As we approached the weekend, I was feeling a bit glum. The heat had me wanting to do nothing but sleep. Our humidity levels had it up passed 30 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) and I was sure I wouldn't be able to achieve any of my goals for this long weekend. Specifically finishing the painting in my bathroom and getting the sink in place. This weekend is also the traditional annual May Seminar for my martial art and there was no way I'd be able to participate with the heat. I was also wanting to catch up on my dishes, but who wants to run a dishwasher in the heat? So I decided to take a brief detour and install my air conditioner. That took some time and energy, which was a delay, but a worthwhile one because I no longer felt wiped out by the heat. I also had a tub surround to pick up, but it would be hard to find a place to put it without getting my sink in place. I made it. Mostly. The painting is done (4 coats later - lime green is awful to cover) and the sink is i

Inching Closer

I made progress on my bathroom, but can't check some things off my list because they are only half done. One of these things is the paint. I've done two coats, but the lime green is still bleeding through, so I think it may be a couple more.  And my door is on, but first I forgot to inset the hinges, and then it was still a bit too wide. It has been shaved down quite a bit by a friend, but the hinges aren't as solid as they could be because it is screwed into a hollow steel frame. I have rivets coming to hopefully remedy that. Right now, we are having a lot of warm days in Ottawa, and the tiny room is a bit hot to be in for too long at a time. We're supposed to get a break in the heat this weekend. I'm aiming to finish the painting then and the sink as well. I have a plumber coming soon to fix the leaky tap, but at least the door has turned the volume down on that.  I've made changes to my desk area that leaves me with more desk space: I feel like once I get pas

My Overly Ambitious Joints

It's actually a bit difficult to follow up a post about finally being able to poop in my own home! I almost wrote about the new Covid restrictions in Ontario, but the most concerning items were rescinded and the rest is a mess. Where my brother is, they can't buy a plunger at the dollar store, but they can at a hardware store. They also can't buy diapers at the dollar store, but baby wipes are allowed. In personal health news, apparently I have hyper mobility. There are some things that come with that and I didn't know I was different. My skin is stretchy. I bruise more easily. As I suspected, my tendons and ligaments are weaker than they should be. I've long known something was off with my tendons when practicing iaido. The good news is that this may be why I have chronic pain. My joints were given ultrasounds and they show no signs of inflammation. Since my joints can bend more than they should be able to, they hurt my weak tendons. Now, nothing currently can be d

I Can Poop In My Own Home!

It took about six months to get here, but yesterday I got my toilet set back up after the mold debacle was finally resolved.  What did I do in the interim? I had to use a bathroom on another floor. What about emergencies, you ask? You didn't, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Zorbi makes special bags for this and you can get them on Amazon. The bathroom reno isn't done, but I can shower and poop, so it's a hell of a lot better. With all I've had to endure with this project, I get fucking annoyed when I see someone in my building not wearing a mask. Particularly when they have one hanging from their car mirror for work. I had to pack, unpack, repack, and unpack my shower stuff regularly. I had to remember a towel. I didn't one time, but luckily had a tiny towel for my hair with me that time.  I didn't have the option to just stay inside my unit and avoid fucking maskholes who refuse to wear masks during a fucking pandemic. Anyway, I feel less stressed now and

A Web Appearance

Last Saturday, I participated in a talk about martial arts, music, and other arts in general including writing. It is part of the Practice Time with Ms. Rhona web series that Rhona-Mae of Musespeak Studio in Calgary, Alberta does regularly on YouTube. The episode will premiere one week from today, on March 26th at 7:00 PM Mountain Time or 9:00 PM Eastern Time . I was really nervous before the chat as it has been awhile since I got out there and did anything like this, but I ended up having an enjoyable time and I think we all had excellent ideas to bring to the table that added depth to the discussion. I hope you tune in on the 26th. Follow Musespeak Studio to find out more! If you want to know how I'm doing on my goals, please click here .

Getting Lucky

  No, not like that. Last Friday, I scalded my hand with pho broth. I did something I've never done with a burn before. I went to the Internet and learned about cool compresses. I quickly slapped one of those on. A friend said not to do it longer than 20 minutes per advice from a nurse he knows. This was the best thing I've ever done for a burn. The stinging was far less than usual. The next day, there was barely redness or stinging and I could work around the house as long as I was a bit gentle and didn't get too warm. I was able to start my office paint job. But I've been tired, so it's not done yet. I did clean my desk up when my monitor stand came though. Having a clean desk has helped my mood. Fast forward a week and... My bathroom wall has been fixed! Well, the side I don't own. There's work ahead, but I can at least wash myself in my own home now! And an area that we thought would surely have mold, didn't. Finally a lucky turn on this

A Minimalist Decision

I've been struggling for months with my dishwasher. It just doesn't want to clean glasses. It cleans other things OK most of the time, but not glasses. As a result, I've had to hand-wash glasses and I decided to severely reduce my dishes. My current set is faded and was bought more than 7 years ago at this point. I stopped enjoying them quite awhile ago, so it's time to move on. I'm going down to one dinner bowl plate that any kind of meal can be eaten in. I went with a beautiful turquoise one. I also ordered an ornate teal goblet that can be for any liquid, so I only have one glass to clean. I ordered a teapot and teacup with saucer as well. The teapot is white and teal. The teacup looks rather like the turquoise blue mountain pottery. I've always preferred tea to coffee, so I felt it was a worthwhile investment. I've received my set of stacking measuring cups & new measuring spoons that also come with a spoon rest and one serving bowl all in the same c

How I've Spent My Time Recently

Outside of work, I've been drooling over all the smaller guitars that are available now. Years ago, there weren't a lot of options. There was mostly the guitar I have, which is a Squier Mini in red. Now there are Ibanez, Epiphone, Gretsch, Martin, Yamaha, Jackson, Pyle, and so many more guitars. I'm finding it hard to convince myself not to buy them all. Especially since the price point on smaller guitars is much lower than most. I'm just starting power chords now. I'm now learning new stuff and feeling challenged in this course, which is good because I'm only on Level 2. The one thing that has been bothering me about my guitar is that the pick-guard is a different white than the rest, so I took on a fun little project to change it:  When I'm not playing it or drooling over guitars and gear like pedals, I'm working on my renos, playing games (Minecraft and Cyberpunk 2077), or watching a stream of something. Occasionally, I'm getting some writing in.

Slumps

Image by Ulrike Mai For quite awhile, I was stuck in nearly every area of my life. I couldn't even think up ways to get unstuck. And I was sleeping terribly, so perhaps there is a connection there. Recently, I became unstuck. I don't know how or why, but lately I see a problem and can think up a work around in seconds. I may not have the energy to execute it, but at least I am getting the ideas for when I do have the energy. Maybe it's because I started a gratitude journal or because I'm beginning to see the light at the end of my renovation tunnel. It could be the hope I've felt since the inauguration happened. Who knows, maybe it's coffee. Speaking of renovations, there has been some slight progress on the bathroom front. They took measurements and will hopefully have materials soon. I don't know when, but hopefully soon. I had a look at the floor I was originally going to get and it wasn't available anymore. The one that was just like it had a pattern

My Coffee Problem

I finally discovered the delights of coffee. It took me almost 40 years on this planet before I realized what I wasn't liking about it. My mouth is a little drier than some and because of that my taste buds can be extra sensitive to some flavours like bitter. This includes hoppy gluten free beers, grapefruit, and most coffee I tried before. That bitter taste was akin to ear wax. As such, I couldn't understand why anyone liked it. I really wanted to like coffee. Some of my reasons were social and there's the obvious mental benefits, but it's also supposed to be good for liver health. Besides, I've been told writers are supposed to like coffee. So I got into researching my coffee problem one day and I discovered that the more roasted a bean is, the harsher the flavour. Enter blonde or light roasts and my coffee problem has been solved! I guess blonde coffees are more fun for me ;) If you want to check out my goals progress, please go here .

Dreams as Writing Inspiration

I've been having a lot of dreams lately where I'm wearing whatever I went to bed wearing. This isn't so bad depending on what the dream is about and what I was wearing. Well, it was quite mild in Ottawa last week and I was feeling over-heated and too constrained, so I stripped down to just a t-shirt. That night, I dreamed I was on a beach trying to find sea glass and trying not to bend over and show off my assets. It felt quite awkward and embarrassing! The strangest thing is that I usually don't see myself in my dreams. I'm usually seeing things from a first-person perspective. This one was in a third-person point of view and that made it extra odd for me. Anyway, as someone who is occasionally an experiential writer, a similar situation may find its way into a story at some point... Has a dream you had ever helped you create something in reality? Note: There will be some changes around here like a return to content that isn't just goal updates. What is making

MY PLANS FOR 2021

BLOGGING I noticed I used to blog a lot more in previous years. I'm going to try to get back to it. Goal: Blog once weekly. Progress: 1/1 DRAWING I plan to work through as many of the Training for Comics worksheets as possible during the time I have allotted to drawing on the weekends. Goal: 2 hrs/weekend Progress: Not started. FRENCH So I was really enjoying French, but the system booted me out after the free trial week and isn't recognizing me as a premium user. I have contacted support about this and am waiting to have the issue fixed. They have reset my password, but it didn't fix my issue. It can't see my subscription. Goal: 30 minutes/day Progress: 4/30 days GUITAR With French temporarily on hold, I signed up for Fender Play to work on my guitar skills. It was 50% off, so I figured it is worth a try. Music has always been important to me and I'm enjoying doing a couple lessons each day. Goal: 2 lessons/day Progress: 5/36 I didn't start this until Thursday

Checking In - Mid-January 2021

For this first check-in, I can say I'm making some progress on many of my goals. The first thing I had to do was put together a schedule. Then I had to tweak it because I was having dinner too late to fuel French and exercise. Then I figured out that French was too late in the day. I'm still tweaking things. C'est la vie! DRAWING This is something I'm going to do on the weekends. I bought access to a drawing course last year and I'm going to continue with that for awhile. It is lower priority than my other goals, but it's something I enjoy. I haven't started it yet as there is too much home reno work in progress, but hopefully I'll be able to soon. FRENCH It took me a bit to figure out where to go with this goal because so much hasn't really worked for me. After reading some reviews, I subscribed to Pimsleur Premium. I feel like I've spoken more than in two days than in some whole courses I've taken. The first level is supposed to get me to a

Sad

I had a post planned for today, but my heart hurts. I knew that the transition in the South wouldn't be smooth, but I didn't expect the events that transpired today. A couple of years ago, I worked an election as a vote tabulator. It felt completely safe. It felt like I was doing something good. Never in my wildest dreams did I think someone, let alone a group of people would burst in and shoot up the place. I'm so very sorry to the good hearted people in the US who have to live with these wayward souls and find a way to heal the country.

Recap and 2021 Goals - ROW80 2021 Round One

I'm doing things a little different this year. With ROW80, we usually plan goals in 80 day increments. Perhaps it is because last year was so incredibly hectic and unpredictable, I have decided to focus on one month at a time. My January goals are to develop the following: - A DRAWING plan - A FRENCH plan - A HOME plan - A MARTIAL ARTS plan - A MUSIC plan - A SKATING plan (complete) - A WRITING plan Now, I don't think I really did a summary of last year yet, but I'm not sure I have a lot that I completed. I did get a lot of momentum going that I will carry into this year. As I don't do resolutions, but rather choose a word for the year's focus, last year I had chosen THRIVE. I believe I managed to do fairly well despite many things not working out. I enjoyed parts of my drawing course and will be continuing to learn and improve those skills this year. French had to be abandoned while I fulfilled two job roles and had so much going on at home. I'm looking forward