Mood = Crafty

I’m feeling quite crafty lately. I painted some things. I’ve got the motivation to frame a puzzle that has been kicking around for quite some time. Of course, the motivation came after carrying a free piece of hotel art home. I’m not interested in the art inside, but the frame, glass, and matting are all expensive things. I read that I can paint matting, so I’ll be doing that to better match the puzzle. I’m pretty sore after carrying it for so long, but it’s going to be worth it. I just have to figure out how to take the backing off. Perhaps a hair dryer and if not, my heat gun?

I also dyed a coat I wasn’t wearing. It started as beige and now it looks like denim. I guess I didn’t stir it enough. I still like it far better than before. I’ve never been a beige Barbie type. I have a sweater I want to dye too, but I’ll need to get more dye for it.

I’ve also been playing around with my keyboard. I got a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal and have been checking which sounds distort well. Because I’m a geek, I went though and put a large chunk of the keyboard sounds and their matching numbers into a spreadsheet, so I can find them again easily.

FINANCES

  • R. Card: 63%
  • S. Card: 49.9%
  • Student Loan: 7.76%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

  • OYO: Not started.

FRENCH

  • Charlie et la Chocolaterie: 9/30

HOME

I still have a ton of work to do around here, but I think just getting some small things done like dying that coat are giving me the morale to do more.

  • Bathroom: Not Started
  • Paper: 81 pieces

MUSIC

I’m super close on Let It Be. We talked about the speed that it should be played at. She said if I put 60 beats in a 2/2 instead of 4/4 I should have the right speed for the way it’s written in my book.

My teacher is pretty happy with how I’m progressing on Downtown Abbey. I can mostly play page one with both hands without the sustain pedal. So I need to focus on page two. Once I can play the whole thing with both hands together, I am to add the pedal. I expect after that I’ll be told to memorize it too because it’s a lot easier to add feeling and dynamics when you aren’t worried about the page. There’s a part of it that I commented to her that I thought was there to help train the ability to improvise. It looks fancy, but she said it’s actually just one chord. There’s another part with a rolled chord that is cool too.

Oh, I also got some velcro strips to attach my keyboard to its stand. No more smashing on the ground crap.

  • Memorize: Let It Be
  • Learn: Downtown Abbey
  • Learn: Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Practice: C Scale

WRITING

I keep getting more ideas. Some even blow my own mind. But it’s hard to get them out of my head! I can get the idea written down, but it’s much harder to figure out where it belongs in the story.

I think I’m going to keep track of what I did in a week using the Project Targets feature in Scrivener because it looks like I only went up 20 words, but I did more work than that. This is one of the reasons I’m not fond of editing. I removed things, rewrote pieces, and wrote some new content, but because I started by lowering my word count, it seems like I didn’t do anything if I go by the numbers alone!

  • The Spark: 72,333/80,000

R~

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Jello Mind

The human mind is an amazing thing. It’s pretty much jello, yet we can do so much with it.

I’ve been having issues with my phone. Since the last update, it constantly thinks it’s moist despite not having met with any water. As such, it only lets me charge it if I turn it off. This is problematic as I’ve been using it for my alarm clock.

Well, on Tuesday night I went to sleep anyway figuring that I didn’t have to worry as one of my neighbours always showers around midnight and always wakes me up. Instead of that happening, I had a dream whereby my pregnant colleague went into labour early. After her water broke, she passed out. Somehow, her husband was suddenly there. I asked him what to do with her phone. He sent me on a quest to find her friend Dawn. I had difficulty along the way as her phone locked me out before I could contact Dawn. Then the bus left me stranded and I don’t know how, but I let my bosses know I was stranded. I then tried to get our newbie to help me with locating this Dawn person.

The previous day, in reality, I was doing a task involving a contact list. I got on the wrong bus as it should never have stopped at my stop. There were also the worries about my phone not waking me up. And I think her friend was named Dawn because my subconscious woke me up in the wee hours of the morning to turn my phone on.

See how amazing my brain was.

Of course, there are other times I can’t remember the word shoe, but at least it came through when I really needed it to.

In the morning, I dug out my old iPod alarm clock, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the alarm now unless there’s a power outage. Except that I forgot to turn the alarm on. It should wake me up tomorrow.

FINANCES

  • R. Card: 63%
  • S. Card: 49.9%
  • Student Loan: 7.76%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

  • OYO: Not started.

FRENCH

  • Charlie et la Chocolaterie: 9/30

HOME

I kind of took a week off from dealing with the paper. I’m slowly getting back to it though. I’m also thinking about my Halloween costume a lot.

  • Bathroom: Not Started
  • Paper: 80 pieces

MUSIC

I think I’m really close on Let It Be.

I discovered a problem with my piano set up. My keyboard isn’t attached to its stand. It crashed to the floor. There might be a way I can attach it? I guess I’ll be asking about it when I go for my next lesson.

  • Memorize: Let It Be
  • Learn: Downtown Abbey
  • Learn: Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Practice: C Scale

WRITING

I wish I could just think what I want and have it write it in the correct place in my book.

  • The Spark: 72,276/80,000

R~

I’m Back!

I join a lot of groups on Facebook for a short time. I like different viewpoints. Two things determine whether I will stick around longer. One is whether or not the people are friendly and open-minded. The other is whether or not the topics discussed are broad. In some groups, they fall into a pattern of discussing two sides of one issue over and over and over. I don’t have time for that nonsense. They are usually topics like whether or not God exists, which can’t be answered by anyone definitively yet and might never be. Or they’re a hot button topic like abortion, which I don’t enjoy repeatedly discussing.

I guess I also feel like I have a relatively short time on this planet and I could spend it rehashing the same things over and again, or I could learn about a wide variety of things and get busy making memories with loved ones. If others enjoy doing the same thing every day, all the power to them. I just end up feeling like I’m stuck in a time loop and not progressing on my goals.

Dreams only come true if you work on them.

My current read, Origin Story by David Christian, is a fascinating one. I’ve hit the point of the book where it talks about Laniakea.

Science is fucking awesome!

And life is too.

I feel more alive than I have in a very long time. Also more like the me I knew before the crappy things became too much of my life. More like a grown up version of the goth girl I was in high school before some people tried to change who I am. It may have taken awhile, but their plan failed. The sad thing is that most of my friends in Ottawa have never fully seen part of me because I was lost for a bit. And by a bit, I mean nearly 20 years.

Don’t let people change you. New knowledge and continuous self improvement are worthwhile ways to change yourself, but other people don’t know what they’re doing in their own lives most of the time, so just do you. Also, there are a lot more people out there, unfortunately, who would rather see people fail because they think life is a competition with others, when it’s really a competition with the self.

HOME

  • Bathroom: Not Started
  • Paper: 79 pieces

FINANCES

No change here yet.

  • R. Card: 59.6%
  • S. Card: 38.5%
  • Student Loan: 7.76%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

Body wise, I’m a little frustrated right now. It’s hard to lose weight when you can’t be as mobile. It’s probably time I busted out my OYO Portable Gym and try the 10 week challenge. It’s 3 days at about 15 minutes each. I might not make it through 4 repetitions, but at least I can feel like I’m doing something. I read that as long as I keep my heel on the floor and don’t smash my toe again, I should be able to do some things like rowing, elliptical, and cycling. I’m not sure what to do about the warm up, but maybe in a chair, I will be okay.

I’m not sure when I’ll start this, but perhaps on Friday. Then I’ll be almost done by the time NaNoWriMo starts. Yep, it’s almost time to think about that. Halloween first though.

FRENCH

  • Charlie et la Chocolaterie: 9/30

MUSIC

I moved my piano so that I can just swivel around from my desk to it. My current musical idol, Viktoriya Yermolyeva, has a similar thing going on. You can find her channel here. It’s more comfortable like this. I can play for an hour easily when my bum isn’t sore.

I leave piano lessons so energized! I can’t wait for the next one πŸ™‚

  • Memorize: Let It Be – Super close on memorization. I ended up trying it on almost every sound type in my keyboard as I was exploring sounds that may be good to distort πŸ˜€
  • Learn: Downtown Abbey – Getting better.
  • Learn: Smells Like Teen Spirit – Piano power chords will be helpful to know.
  • Practice: C Scale – Getting better.

WRITING

Okay, the book had to be renamed as Josy no longer has anything to do with being a Page, because that was just unworkable. I’ve made her a kind of regular office worker as I think that is quite relate-able. I don’t plan on talking about her job a lot anyway. Well, not her first position anyway πŸ˜‰

  • The Spark: 72,259/80,000

R~

Energy Fluctuations

Sorry for missing the midweek post. I’ve been exhausted this week between the toe and such.

I noticed something. When I’m stressed and tired, it’s hard to get anything done no matter how much I try and push. Even a short blog post.

On Saturday, I came home from my piano lesson energized and it was amazing how much I could do in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, I had groceries put away, lunch made, and a drink poured for myself. All despite my likely broken toe, which was sore after doing groceries.

I have made a new schedule for myself. It was born out of struggling to try and do everything each day, which hasn’t worked at all. You’d think I’d just know that by now, but I stubbornly struggle for a bit instead. Anyway, I wasn’t getting enough writing or piano in and every time I worked on one, I felt guilty I wasn’t doing the other. I’ve now booked an hour 3 days a week for each. The 7th day is martial arts. I know I might not be able to get through a whole hour yet with piano, but soon it’ll work out. And 3 hours a week writing is better than virtually none. I think with time booked, I may be able to focus better before long and get back to productivity.

HOME

  • Bathroom: The plumber was supposed to come on Thursday and never showed. I’ve tried multiple times with this dude, so I’m moving on. I’ll be going back to my original plan of demoing as much as possible before having one come in.
  • Paper: 79 pieces

FINANCES

I’ve reached out to my financial adviser for the next stage of planning. It’s a long weekend though, so I won’t hear anything for a bit.

  • R. Card: 59.6%
  • S. Card: 38.5%
  • Student Loan: 7.76%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

I’m just going to focus on martial arts for now, but it might be hard with a likely broken toe. I can do a lot standing in one spot for jodo, I think. I know I can sit and practice cuts for iaido.

FRENCH

I’m just going to get back to Charlie et la Chocolaterie for a bit.

MUSIC

I’m close on memorization of Let It Be, but I didn’t make it in time for my lesson. I also didn’t get too far with Downtown Abbey as it’s pretty hard! My teacher showed me a trick for it. It’s basically layering things. If the rhythm is complicated, you can play just a chord on one hand with some rhythm on the other then eventually put it all together as written.

I was worried because I knew I hadn’t made the goal post, but my teacher was happy I practiced. I guess a lot of the kids don’t because they aren’t paying for the lessons themselves. They may even be in it just because a parent wants them to.

My C scale is coming along. It’s still hard to get both hands to move together separately in different ways. She has me switch after the third finger RH, but I get to there when the LH is on the same finger, but in the opposite direction because they are mirrored. And mirrored stuff has always screwed with my mind in martial arts or dancing.

I think someday when I can play pretty good, I’ll invest in a distortion pedal. It’s one of the cool reasons to have an electronic keyboard instead of a regular piano.

WRITING

Expanding is mostly going okay. I have whole sections to rewrite because some things changed when I moved the story to the U.S. I had this whole section that I didn’t know what to do with. It was mostly useless, so I put it in a notes area and just removed it.

The Page & The Magician: 72,058/80,000*

*It was higher, but editing out a whole scene does that.

R~

Limping Along

The tacos didn’t work out. My shells were expired and I could taste it. It was disappointing, but the rest of my week went well. I won a small amount of cash at work. I was going to put it aside for my recliner fund, but I think I’m going to just set the money aside for paying off R Card as I sat down and figured out how much interest is costing me. I should be able to pay off S Card next pay.

Alas, the recliner will have to wait, but I have no shortage of cleaning left. It’ll be sweeter when there is less to do, right?

I ended up moving my living room around again, though I mainly swapped my TV and desk. It hadn’t been a comfortable space in recent months, so I put it somewhat back to how it was previously only I now have my desk by the window. It might be cold in winter, but I can really write anywhere, so I’m not worried. My desk was too much a focal point in my living space and the seating for people other than me was messed up. Not that I’ve had anyone over yet, but I could see it not working.

I have plans to hang photos from my curtain rod. I’m not sure how it will go because usually there is a wall behind when people do that. I’ll likely have to have different curtains or blinds, but the current ones were only ever temporary anyway. And those are from the dollar store, so not a loss really there. I like the neutral colour, so I’ll aim for something similar in that regard. I have hung my calendar and it is favouring one side more than the other. It’s also getting glare from the light behind me, but I’m thinking about moving the light as it’s putting glare on my screen too.

I got slowed down a bit on the cleaning because of dust allergy. I couldn’t find my usual non-drowsy anti-histamine, so it was off to bed early for me on Friday. That’s okay though. I could use the sleep. The 5:30 A.M. mornings catch up to me by the end of the week.

I also slowed down a lot on Saturday after I kicked a free weight. I didn’t mean to. I was just walking and it happened to be there. My middle toe is quite bruised and obscenities poured freely from my mouth. It might be broken. It’s colourful and was sore enough to wake me up several times in the night. Anyway, I don’t recommend it in case anyone was thinking of trying it. I saw the doctor today and he said ice, buddy taping, and an x-ray, though even if it is broken, there’s not really anything else they can do for toes. He also wants me to come see him about other stuff, so maybe I accidentally found a family doctor?

After that, I mostly played video games after the toe injury as I accidentally woke up my Xbox while reconnecting cabling. Right now, I’m working my way through Lego Batman for XBOX 360.

HOME

  • Bathroom: I decided that if I don’t hear anything by the end of the month, I’m getting my own plumber. A colleague “has a guy”, so enough with this. I want my home back together. I need to tear the vanity out and as it spans the length of the room, it’s going to require quite a bit of repair. Right now, all I need is shutoffs and that will take an experienced plumber very little time at all. Then I can have them come back when I’m ready to have the new sink connected. Both are pretty quick jobs.
  • Paper: 54 pieces

FINANCES

  • R. Card: 59.6%
  • S. Card: 38.5%
  • Student Loan: 7.76%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

I’m just going to focus on martial arts for now, but it might be hard with a likely broken toe. I can do a lot standing in one spot for jodo, I think. I know I can sit and practice cuts for iaido. Who knows? Maybe this will be helpful.

FRENCH

French might not be on pause too much longer as the fall session is approaching.

MUSIC

I don’t really know how to measure progress on much of this. With writing, there is the word count. Cleaning, I’ve got a paper count now. Finances are clear too.

  • Memorize: Let It Be – Chunk 1*
  • Learn: Downtown Abbey
  • Choose a song to learn next: I think I’m going to go with About a Girl by Nirvana.

*I don’t really know how to do this. Just play a lot? Play a lot and remember the note letters?

WRITING

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been coming up with ideas for expanding it further. And so far, it’s helping.

  • The Page & The Magician: 72,427/80,000

R~

Content Yet Frustrated

I feel freer than I have in a long time. I think it’s going to impact my writing soon in a positive way. I haven’t written a lot of words down, but I have done a lot of planning and come up with ideas to increase my word count. These are:

  1. Read a sentence and figure out if it could be expanded into a full paragraph on one topic as it’s likely I can describe more.
  2. Repeat the extra important stuff like Danielle Steel does.
  3. Maybe add some scenes where the bad guys are doing stuff, but the readers can’t tell who it is.
  4. Random facts about the locations.
  5. Bring back a character from earlier on to make more use of them.

I think these will help me increase my word count to an acceptable level.

In other news, I’ve finished my reading goal for this year. Not that I’m done reading for the year, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something and each accomplishment, even small, builds the momentum to achieve more.

But for now, I just want to get the rest of the items needed to make tacos.

HOME

  • Bathroom: The plumber did the work in the unit below mine, but not my shutoffs. Also, I can’t get a response as to when I will get to have mine done. I’m frustrated. It’s a quick job. And it’s stopping me from fixing up my bathroom. I have flooring, a new sink and vanity, and plans for paint & shelving that I can’t get to. Also, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to cut the vanity at all before the shutoffs are in place. So it’s on hold with no idea when it’ll happen.
  • Paper: 42 pieces*
  • Recliner: 64%

*This is really working for me. Some days I get through twenty items or so! It’s really making a difference and it’s not overwhelming.

FINANCES

  • R. Card: 73.22%
  • S. Card: 23.5%
  • OSAP Loan: 6.86%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

I contacted a gym about a winter program they have to ask about the pricing, but haven’t heard back. Maybe I’ll have to call them or stop in. I just want a general price range to figure out if I can swing it. Literally. It is part golf lessons with access to the salt water pool. I have difficulty with the chlorine levels in most pools, so I am really looking forward to this possibility. Also, I’d like to improve my golf game.

  • Gazelle: 0% saved

FRENCH

French might not be on pause too much longer as the fall session is approaching. I’m just worried it will be too much while trying to train someone at work, keeping up on my regular workload, and training to replace someone in the winter.

MUSIC

I don’t really know how to measure progress on this. With writing, there is the word count. Cleaning, I’ve got a paper count now. Finances are clear too.

  • Memorize: Let It Be – Chunk 1
  • Learn: Downtown Abbey
  • Choose a song to learn next: I think I’m going to go with About a Girl by Nirvana.

WRITING

As I mentioned above, I’ve been coming up with ideas for expanding it further.

  • The Page & The Magician: 72,254/80,000

So some things like my writing are nearing progress and other things like my reno are stalled. My lack of patience is why I practice the martial art I do. Perhaps I’ll talk about that in the next post.

R~

Why Read?

It was a pretty low-key weekend. I suppose that’s better than a Loki one…

I grilled some tasty meals on my indoor smokeless grill and I mainly did some chores, a lot of reading, piano, and martial arts. I suppose that doesn’t sound low-key, but for me it was.

It’s about time I had a weekend like that. My schedule gets really hectic sometimes and I really need to pare down to the essentials.

That’s what the current read, Essentialism by Greg McKeown is all about. I was already doing a number of the things he talks about, but I’ve learned a few new tricks from it. There are only a handful of chapters left before I finish it. Then I’ll be one book away from meeting my Goodreads target for this year.

My target is 8 books for the year because for the past couple of years, life has been too busy. I may get more read this year, but I didn’t want to put pressure on myself knowing I had so much else on the go. So far, I’ve read:

  1. The Crimes of Grindelwald by JK Rowling
  2. Wings by Danielle Steel
  3. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  4. Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  5. Percy Jackson: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
  6. A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto

I really hope the new train works properly soon. I’m fairly sure I’ll be able to read more on it because it looks pretty smooth compared to a bus. Reading makes a long commute way better. Actually, it makes life and me better too. I can improve my empathy and reduce bigotry by reading fiction or real stories about people who have lives that are different than mine. I can learn how to deal with a problem or learn a new skill by reading self help or technical books. I can improve as a writer by reading a wide variety of genres because I can have an awesome time enjoying a story while passively taking in grammar, spelling, structure, description, conflict, suspense, and more.

I lost myself once and hardly read during that period. I went from reading multiple books a day (albeit those were Nancy Drews in my youth) to hardly reading anything over nearly a decade. It was Harry Potter that first brought me back to it. I never read them when they began because I was predominantly reading Stephen King and Anne Rice when I was in high school. I started reading them after Chamber of Secrets came out at Blockbuster.

After that, I read the Twilight series, which was a nice read to get back into it. They were actually quite addictive. I think after that I got into the House of Night books, Vampire Academy, etc.

It’s only in recent years that I’ve really taken to non-fiction books. Anyway, I want reading to be a big part of my life going forward, so with that in mind my goals have been tweaked some.

HOME

The cleaner my home gets, the more I have time for the things I love like music and reading.

After much deliberation, I’m going to get a recliner instead of a chaise as they are about half the price. I was going to get a storage chaise, but that really just encourages me to keep more stuff instead of getting rid of it. A recliner will let me read, write, and watch Netflix hopefully comfortably. It won’t be primarily used for writing, but sometimes one just wants the option to write anywhere. I’m also debating about one more vertical bookshelf. I know what I just said about the storage space, but I have a number of books yet with no shelf to live on. Some I have kicking around my bedroom because I know I want to keep them, but they can’t fit on my shelves. I want everything to be in a proper place or be gone from my space.

  • Paper: 11 pieces
  • Bathroom: Waiting to hear which day the plumber will be coming.
  • Recliner: 64%

FINANCES

  • R. Card: 73.22%
  • S. Card: 23.5%
  • OSAP Loan: 6.86%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

I was so zonked after doing jodo and iaido on Sunday. My heels were quite sore by the end. Thankfully, I’m not too sore today. There is a little tightness in my right shoulder, but it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

We had newbies and they are so cute! I always appreciate when new people start. I never know if they’ll stick with it or not, but it makes me go back and work on fundamentals. I quickly learn where I’ve been slacking. It also reminds me of when I was a beginner and couldn’t remember which side of the wooden sword was my edge and moving the thing around looked really easy yet I couldn’t do it right.

  • Gazelle: 0% saved

FRENCH

I’m going to put French on pause for the moment. Not that it’s not important, but I need to get a few other things handled first.

MUSIC

My teacher was happy with my progress. I like her a lot. She teaches me some other things as needed like intervals. I didn’t fully get everything she said about them, but she said they’re really good to know for piano and for singing, so I’m sure I’ll be learning more about them.

My next lesson is in two weeks. I have to:

  • Memorize Let It Be
  • Learn Downtown Abbey
  • Choose a song from my big book of easy songs to learn next

WRITING

I have made a tiny amount of progress here, but I’m worried. I’m on chapter eight of twenty-six* and I still need almost eight thousand words! I have a plan I formulated while hopped up on way more caffeine than I normally ingest. Hopefully, it will work out!

  • The Page & The Magician: 72,254/80,000

*It’s a good thing I made sure to edit this post before putting it up πŸ˜‰

R~