My World is Shrinking

Lately, I’m realizing Ottawa is much smaller than I thought. It began on my birthday when I found the access to the Rideau Canal, which has been close to my workplace all this time. Buildings I’ve known the addresses of for over a year, but never seen are around the corner from my dojo. The sempai, or senior student, at my dojo works in the same building as me. My friend’s dojo is around the corner from the park where Prose in the Park was held a couple of years ago, which is also a short walk from the bus station I frequented during school. All of these things I’ve only discovered this month and many were on the weekend that just passed!

Speaking of the weekend, mine was packed. Friday was spent making a Fukuro Shinai. It took about 4 hours and I still have to finish the handle wrapping. It has been the hardest part to make look nice. My fingernails were a bit sore on Saturday. Some of my fingers still hurt. Leather-working is pretty hard!

Otherwise, this weekend I battled my air conditioner as another heat wave struck Ottawa. For some reason, the exhaust tube keeps coming off and spewing hot air back into my condo instead of out of it. I’m hoping Gorilla tape will settle the matter.

Saturday brought my first piano lesson with my new teacher. She was really nice and I felt pretty comfortable with her right away. I think it’s a good fit. Because I’m only doing lessons biweekly and she has vacation during what would be our second class, I actually won’t have another until mid-August. That gives me plenty of time to perfect the piece and scale she assigned me. I really like the contemporary book we’re working with too.

WRITING

I haven’t made any progress since Wednesday as I’ve been too busy on the weekend. I’ll be back at it in force soon though.

  • The Page & The Magician: 71,969/80,000

FINANCES

Nothing new here though I think my car might be paid off by now, so yay?

  • OSAP Loan: 3.17%
  • Savings: TBD*

*My adviser and I will meet again in the fall to get things rolling here.

FITNESS

  • Gym: 0/3*
  • Iaido: I was nervous for the demo, but I got a bit of practice time before we went up that helped to calm the nerves. It went really well and there were a few interested people, so maybe we’ll have a couple of new students.

*This will probably be in September.

HOME

  • General: I’ve got another box of stuff ready to go. I hope to be done cleaning sometime in this millennia.
  • Bathroom: Nothing much yet, but I have started some little things like a basket for the things I use everyday. I plan to get a couple more like it to put on eventual corner shelves. One will be for my hair dryer and flat iron.

FRENCH

No news here.

  • Read: 9/30
  • Class: I’ve reached out about assessment at work. After that, I can find out about training.

MUSIC

  • Piano: I started classes and I really like this teacher. She has me working on Let it Be by The Beatles. Also on my homework list is the C Major scale.

R~

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Warrior Wednesday – Pans

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

1. Music

Pan Flute: This music always makes me think of martial arts films. Maybe I’m just weird because it also makes me think of Chinese buffets like The Mandarin. There are probably a few with that same name, but I went to a huge one in Ontario years ago and it’s that specific one. It can be quite relaxing.

2. Film

Jackie Chan: Of course Jackie Chan has used a pan as a weapon in his films. I’ve seen him use bamboo chutes, ladders, and many other household items, so I wasn’t surprised by this.

3. Legendary Martial Artist

Pan Qingfu: Grandmaster Pan was the man with the iron fist. He attained legendary status by age 30 having become proficient in over 20 styles of kung fu and studied with 15 masters of Chinese fighting arts. Pan Qingfu was one of China’s most respected martial artists. He was adept at knocking his opponents out and it is believed he never displayed his full power. He last trained students in Ontario, Canada before his passing.

4. Martial Art

Pankration: An ancient Greek submission style martial art with very few rules. More than a sport, it was practiced by many Greek and Spartan soldiers. It was said to be a combination of boxing and wrestling. Sounds a bit like the first MMA to me. It was also put to use in their mythology. There’s a documentary on it.

5. Tournament

Panamerican Internationals: An international sport karate tournament that is world renowned. This year it’s happening in November in Miami, Florida.

R~

Symphonic Saturday – 11 Ways to Enjoy Music

music1There are many ways to enjoy music whether you have any talent or not.

  1. You can watch a musical or concert on TV. Whether it’s on Netflix or live, they can be a really fun way to change things up.
  2. You can be part of a musical. Okay, this might not be an option for everyone. I was fortunate that my high school was part of a school board where they ran a summer theatre program that performed musicals and I got to be part of Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, and the North American debut of Children of Eden.
  3. Attend a rock concert or music festival. This can be a lot of fun. Sometimes there are people who over celebrate though as alcohol is often widely available. Also, sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, so you might want some rain gear.
  4. Go to an orchestra performance. There are a wide range of orchestra options, so don’t think you just have the super fancy $100 and up ticket option only. Many smaller orchestras charge around $20 for their tickets. One of my favourites is Divertimento.
  5. Learn to play an instrument. Okay, this can be tough and pricey depending on how you go about it, but it doesn’t have to be for any reason other than having fun.
  6. Join a band. If you have mad skillz already, then why not join a band?
  7. Hold jam nights. Occasionally, my friends and I will pull out instruments and just screw around with them. None of us are spectacular, but it’s so much fun to play around with them anyway.
  8. Pop some music on while you clean. The time will go by quickly and you can take dance breaks while no one’s watching 😉
  9. You could try your hand at writing song lyrics.
  10. You could compose some music.
  11. If you’re feeling really brave or you’ve had enough liquid courage, you could do some karaoke.

Bonus: You can read rock fiction, which is a fiction style based on rock music.

R~

Symphonic Saturday – Jung on Music

music1Rather than spending a large amount of time writing my own piece, I thought I’d share this one I stumbled onto about Carl Jung and Margaret Tilly.

It’s also Cinco de Mayo today, so whatever you do, remember to avoid drinking and driving. It may also be Revenge of the Fifth if you celebrated Star Wars Day yesterday. If you just continued partying, you’ll get your hangover this evening or tomorrow.

And it’s the season opener of the newly formed Ottawa Valley Roller Derby tonight at 5:30 PM at Brewer Arena! I’m excited about this as I no longer have to choose which games to go see 🙂

Enjoy yourself and be safe.

R~

Symphonic Saturday – Cold Music

music1So I got distracted by friends and Poutine Fest yesterday. Sorry! In my defense, there was a gluten free truck!

There is an organ in Moscow. It’s debatable how musical it is, but this video is pretty cool.

But this is the one I was actually looking for. Here’s another.

There is an entire festival in Norway on ice music.

The tones that ice instruments make are different than cold instruments. They’re also different than almost anything else. To me, they sound almost otherworldly.

But I can’t imagine that it is comfortable to play most of them with the need for the instrument to stay cold and your hands needing to be warm.

They’re beautiful though and I could see there being a certain level of honour involved in playing them.

R~

Frisky Fraturday – Entropy, Sex, and Music

music1So… I forgot to post yesterday. Sorry for that. I haven’t been sleeping well, or eating well, and there’s tons of homework to get done in these last two weeks. There has been some extra stress in my life recently that I’m not going to get into. Suffice it to say someone wasn’t who I thought they were. And someone else was exactly who I feared they were.

I also have the extra stress of rapidly house cleaning before Monday because they’re doing fire inspections. Why they can’t wait until May, so people don’t have to put their tax papers away only to dig them out again to finish their taxes, I don’t know.

But as my home gets cleaner and as I get an assignment done, I feel a little better.

Entropy and sex. Well, I could go down the rabbit hole of ejaculate breaking apart into individual sperms only to come together again in an egg and create life. That could be seen as entropy, I suppose.

I think it works better as a dating analogy though. Sometimes something busts apart and it can feel like everything is awful, but then it puts you in the position to meet someone that gets you. Someone you actually feel comfortable talking to. And maybe something new and good will be created from it.

Entropy and music? Hmmm, well, we largely learned songs in pieces, put them together, and broke them apart again at troublesome points to get better. I wish I could say I was diligent at learning songs that way today, but playing is more of a soulful stress-relieving thing rather than a thing I see myself doing for a living. It also helps me through writer’s block. Writing songs though? Yeah, I plan to do that.

But I realized tonight that half the songs my last guitar teacher gave us are not my kind of music and I think that’s why I rarely play more than about five of the ones in my book. I should remedy that soon. I love hearing others play things like House of the Rising Sun, but I don’t enjoy trying to play it. Give me some Evanescence, Of Monsters and Men, Blink 182, and maybe some Nine Inch Nails or Manson and I’ll probably be more excited about it.

Anyway, off for food, more cleaning, maybe more homework or work for a client. I have some new plans for my feature film, so I may put some TV on for research purposes.

R~