Funky Friday: Week of June 3rd

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

What’s been up this week? More than enough.

Personal

  1. Happy: There’s a new member of my extended family. A healthy 7lb boy.
  2. Worried: The mom of the baby had a tough time delivering and is in ICU. Many moons ago she was my flower girl. Hopefully, mom and baby will get to go home soon.
  3. Stressed: My writing deadline is fast-approaching and I keep finding major issues in my manuscript! They’re all near the end of the story. My word count isn’t high enough either for the genre.
  4. Well: I’ve done some trials with yeast and dairy. So far I haven’t been reacting to them. One major change I made recently was to go completely gluten free.
  5. Tired: Been working so hard on my book it’s probably wearing me out, but it must get done!
  6. Excited: My new boss likes meetings way less than the previous one.
  7. Nervous: I haven’t met my new boss yet. That happens next week. I’ve worked with him a tiny bit but have little idea what he is like as a boss.
  8. Anxious: I put one of my tomato plants outside overnight. I had bad dreams of it being torn to shreds by the wind. There are a few battered leaves, but it mostly made out OK. The other isn’t big enough yet. I guess I’ve spent so much time nursing them over the past couple of months that I care what happens to them. Silly, right?

Ottawa

  1. Ready: Prose in the Park is tomorrow! Come to Parkdale Park between 11am and 6pm to meet Ottawa-area authors, listen to interesting discussions about a variety of topics (some writing specific), and buy some good reads. It’s free admission and the panels are free too. I’ll be around. It’s a small park, so I shouldn’t be too hard to locate. There’s a poetry night tonight for those who can make it as well at Origin Studio from 6:30-9:30pm.

World

  1. Sad: The gorilla thing made me upset. My first reaction, like many, was to ask why the parents didn’t keep a closer eye on their child particularly when he said he was going to go in and tried several times. But I’m not a parent. I do know how hard it can be to keep a toddler from running off with several adults watching. It only takes one very brief moment for them to get by. And they run fast despite their short legs. My next reaction was that they should have just knocked the gorilla out. Since then, I’ve read a lot about the issue. People who have extensive experience working with gorillas have stated a tranq wouldn’t have taken in time. The boy would have died because despite what it looked like to the untrained eye, the gorilla was not protecting the boy and it was not happy that the boy was in its cage. The public is to blame for this. Why? Because the only reason the boy could get into the cage in the first place is because any more stringent measures to keep people out will diminish the “natural” view of the animal by onlookers. In other words, we’d see more of the cage. People have stated they don’t want to see the cage. A lot of people say zoos shouldn’t exist at all. I’m not weighing in on that one. The few I’ve been to operate as rescues for animals people tried to have as pets, but couldn’t handle once they got bigger.
  2. Relieved: Precious art is being moved from the Louvre to get out of the flood zone. Hopefully, people are too?

Well, I’m off to get ready for work. Roller derby bout tonight. And Prose in the Park is tomorrow. Somehow I’ll manage to get this book done before Wednesday.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday: Busy, But Happy

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

The Weekend

Health

This weekend started off with me feeling pretty terrible. My parotid salivary glands were hurting and I felt generally unwell on Friday. Saturday was better. I got blood work done in the morning as the rheumatologist wants to recheck the numbers to see if they’ve changed at all.

Writing

While in the waiting room, I wrote furiously, which continued when I got home. I have a list of ideas to build upon. I did some baking. I took a cinnamon roll recipe and made it into GF cinnamon muffins.

Geocaching

Then I went geocaching. I found two on my own and met a nice old man by the third. It was lucky I did as my app wasn’t getting me close enough and I had lost my pencil during the hunt. I walked with him back to the caches I had already found and he told me of his caching adventures with his son. Apparently, there is a gondola in the Caribbean where you get a free drink for finding the cache. The bar is high up and the view is tremendous. The gondola owner owns the geocache. I think he said it was a multi. I’m up to 14 now, which is barely anything.

Guitar

I also watched some movies and played guitar. I played around with syncopation and palm muting. It was fun. I’m looking forward to my Squier Mini Strat in Torino Red. My acoustic has a bit of a buzz. It’s a vintage cheapie Brantwood K-100. It’s probably due for new strings. I strung it wrong when I first did it. Maybe I’ll get a set when the electric comes in. They’re probably about a year old now…

Martial Arts

Sunday my wonderful Sensei and Sempai helped curb some of my nerves by running me through a mock Taikai (tournament) in preparation for this upcoming weekend. My first attempt was horrible. Then it was the monthly B-Movie night where we watched an Easter-themed movie, Night of the Lepus.

The Week Ahead

Work

I have a challenging week ahead, which started with an early morning today. I normally begin work around 10 AM, but today I had to be there for 8 AM. I got there at 7:30 and the company I was to hand over our backups to couldn’t take them because their processes are a mess. We’ll see if it gets resolved tomorrow. They have messed things up more than once in the last couple of weeks, so I’m not holding my breath. I have another early day on Thursday. At least I’m mostly focusing on QA this week, which isn’t strenuous, but some parts of it are very tedious.

I have another early day on Thursday and many back-to-back meetings. At least I’m mostly focusing on QA this week, which isn’t strenuous, but some parts of it are very tedious.

Health

A month ago, I wouldn’t have been able to get up in time for sure. Seems like the B12 has probably straightened out. At least I’m not frequently dizzy, completely exhausted, or so moody.

Martial Arts

The weekend ushers in a trip to the GTA for an Iaido seminar and taikai. Lunches are taken care of in the fee, so that makes things a little easier. Plans for dinner are arranged with good friends and I’m looking forward to a weekend filled with swinging my sword around and being with others who love this thing like I do.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday: Time Change

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

This is a hard week for me to think positively. This “spring ahead” time change has been linked to heart attacks, car accidents, etc. Moreover, there is no reason to continue doing it in today’s world.

And it often screws me up for months. I’m not hungry at proper times. I can’t sleep at proper times. Lack of sleep makes me cranky. By cranky, I mean I’m likely to snap at people

But it does usher in the spring. Or the rainy weather that will melt the remaining snow and water the growing plants. Speaking of growing plants, my tomatoes have all sprouted and the peppers should by tomorrow or Wednesday. It’s time to plant scallions next. The rest I can direct sow a little later. I better add planters and soil to my todo list for later this month.

tomatoes

My tomatoes are sprouting!

Spring ultimately ushers in a time of new growth. I’m looking forward to this year’s bounty.

Oh it also inspires many to clean. I’m slowly plodding away at the papers and things strewn about my home. After I finish my taxes, that should get easier. I don’t really have a timeline for it to all be clean. I figure as long as I’m working on it steadily, it will happen. The world won’t end because I’m behind on my dishes.

Weekend Recap:

On Friday I arrived home with a new-to-me PC procured from work after they upgraded our machines. It’s up and running Kodi. I had to use the adapter for my monitor, which I rarely use anyway. I haven’t decided what to do with it. I have been doing more writing on the couch than in my writing nook, but I expect to get back there once I clean the place up a bit. I’m aiming to clean the living room first as that’s where I might want people to be someday. I’m enjoying such free channels as TV Ontario.

On Saturday my plans for karate and anything physical were shot. I awoke barely able to move my shoulder from a rotational perspective, which is used in many more functions than I knew until I felt pain moving. I still did what I could with one hand. I practiced footwork at home. Sometimes it’s good to separate the two anyway. I bet my karate club thinks they’ll never see me again as it’s been awhile (B12 deficiency followed by flu and now this shoulder pain). I also washed as much as I could reach of my balcony door and window. At least I could write without pain. I made progress on my short story Solarium that I’m writing for an upcoming anthology. The only trouble is that I was originally intending it to be a more optimistic piece, but it’s becoming darker. I guess I don’t believe utopia is humanly possible.

On Sunday I was too sore to be swinging a sword around, but mostly functional otherwise. I did a little more cleaning then acquired the snacks for B-Movie night. I was hosting at a friend’s place. The theme this month was super heroes. I chose Kung Fury and Scott Pilgrim vs The World as I hadn’t seen either. My friends were sad that I had never seen Scott Pilgrim, but happy to be helping me right that wrong. I’m sure the tasty “super food” snacks helped. I briefly debated bringing a superfood salad, but friend’s are not made with salad. Besides, chocolate brownies are a superfood, right?

Goals Check-in:

Solarium – I’m aiming to finish this short story this week.
Miyazaki – Watch at least one more of his films this week.
French – Continue working my way through duolingo. Try to finish reading a kid’s story.
Crafting – Finish and mount at least one of the “shelves” for my growing POP! dolls collection.
Ad Astra – Book my hotel room.
Karate – Write out the steps to Heian Nidan. Make it to class this week.
Iaido – Continue improving leg/butt/core strength.
Posture – Do the exercises from physio.
Guitar – Play a couple of times this week to work on building calluses more.

Seems like a busy week, but it’s really quite average for me.

Better get started though.

Ciao,
R~

 

Slightly Broken

Writing

I’m working away at The Blood Waitress Club in-between the coursework for the fiction writing course I’m taking. I’m enjoying the course, but not always the reading of other people’s work. It’s all first draft content and doesn’t always make sense. I’m enjoying the other readings though. I’m taking my homework along with me on my family visit for Thanksgiving this weekend.

With The Blood Waitress Club, I’m doing an editing experiment. I’m using The Hero’s Journey as a guide to organize the first draft into a story. This is helping reduce the pain of editing so far. I’m unsure if there are other guides like The Hero’s Journey out there, but I figure it’s worth a try to see if it helps me up my quality and reduce the pain in producing it.

Social

I’ve been rather busy of late. Last weekend was the Geek Market. The boyfriend and I had gone through much of the market when we decided to do the scavenger hunt. It was a new addition to the market and I enjoyed looking for clues. After all of that, we got three geocaches nearby. I now have 10. I’m hoping to get an earth cache this Sunday.

Also at the Geek Market were quite a few of my friends such as Heidi who owns Decypher, and fellow authors Benoit, Kris, and Patricia.

My boyfriend is keeping me quite busy with kisses. He’s also helping reduce my neck pain. He’s a massage therapist and an architecture student.

It’s strange. I’m not used to having a man who takes away my pain rather than causing me more. I’ll get used to it, I’m sure 😉

He got me a gift for our one month anniversary, which happens on Saturday, but I’ll be visiting the family for Thanksgiving. He also totally pampered me last night 🙂

The gift:
image

A beautiful fan and a pair of tofugu, or Japanese socks that separate the big toe from the rest of the toes. That fan is going to be great in the summer for the Japanese festival. It’s always on the hottest day of July or maybe it just feels that way because I’m in a black keikogi and hakama while demonstrating iaido.

I’ve taken to dropping the capitalization on the name of my martial art due to the prevalence of sans serif fonts. I’m tired of people thinking I practice something called “Laido” as that isn’t correct. It’s iaido and it’s pronounced “eee-eye-doh”, for the record.

Health

I’ve gotten the results of my neck MRI back and I’ve got two bulging discs and one protruding disc. No wonder my neck is upset. The X-ray showed my neck is straighter than it should be. I’m missing the natural backwards C-curve that should be in it. The treatment? At least six rounds of physiotherapy, which begin next week. As I’ve been to physio before for this, I’ve begun the exercises while I wait. Aside from the injury I’ve sustained, a bad habit of leaning forward to read screens is a way this happens to people. It ends up compressing the discs and pinching the spinal cord, from what I’ve read.

I may have to take some time off of iaido because I’m not allowed to do heavy lifting. Six weeks brings us to grading weekend. I’ll have to postpone grading until Guelph seminar in May unless some other opportunity comes up first, but I’m okay with that. Necks are kind of important after all.

It’s probably best I put a hold on dance class as well. Skipping and hopping around aren’t great for the injured spine.

So what will I do? Write, of course!

Also, I’m looking into NAET therapy to rid myself of food allergies. I think that’s worth postponing travel for, if it works.

I voted today. I know, and have known for a while now, who I’m voting for, so why wait ten more days? Plus now I don’t need to do anything but wait and see how it turns out.

I better get to packing.

Ciao,
R~

Research mode plus a mixed bag

What I’ve accomplished since last check-in:

  • Wrote 0 words, but figured out more characters for the final battle scene and expect words to come soon
  • Learned how to use a hydraulic jack
  • Uploaded my guitar assignment to SoundCloud
  • Caught up on Castle and I’m upset. I hope Kate’s going to be okay!
  • Watched some episodes of Homeland
  • Bought things to finish a couple of projects around the house
  • Completed the knit bag for my phone and change purse
  • Bought my tickets for Ottawa Comiccon 2015!
  • Ordered the last trade paperback for a series I’ve been unable to read as I have 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Today was a mixed bag. I almost got hit while backing out of my parking spot at home and then the same guy almost hit me again when he decided to drive backwards at full speed to ask directions! I arrived at the parking lot across from my work to find the city had removed a large amount of snow allowing people to cross the street and access the sidewalk from any point rather than having to climb a mountain of snow. That was nice! My wi-fi connection broke at work, but then was fixed properly. As I’ve had trouble with it on numerous occasions, it seems we figured out the root cause today and of course it was something simple. A checkbox was screwing things up. I get an email today informing me I have to have my 2015 objectives done by Friday. The email is dated February 4th, so I’m surprised I didn’t see it before now. Maybe I was busy doing work. My one project has a new direction that may let us do what we’re aiming to do for $300 instead of $12,600. My home network seems to be up and down for Internet connectivity, which is bad for catching up on TV, but good for my writing.

So, I used a hydraulic jack yesterday for the first time, which is a little surprising given that my dad is a retired expert mechanic. I needed to jack up my bed so I could put it on anti-slip rubber stoppers. I could have had a friend help probably, but the jack cost $15 and now I have a little jack for my car in case of emergency. Hydraulic jacks are weird. In order to raise something, the valve has to be tight to force the piston up. That’s fine. In order to lower it, you have to open the valve, which spits out oil. I now understand why every garage has so much oil on the floors. I used to think that oil changes were the cause, but nope. I’m surprised with all the innovation in the world that jacks spit oil out onto the floor in order to lower. It seems silly to me. Maybe I’m wrong and only cheap jacks work this way.

Maybe I should do less things. I’m having trouble figuring out titles and tags for blog posts.

Here’s the bag:

purse

Anyway, I’m off to make food, wash clothing, and research magical creatures.

Ciao,
R~

Coming Home

It’s that time of the year where I travel to visit my family as I’m not from Ottawa. I was born in North Bay, Ontario and I still have a lot of friends that live there. I always enjoy the trip home in the warmer months as the northern landscape is often breathtaking. I won’t see much of that beauty on this trip, but at least this year I have my snow tires on. Last year I felt extremely lucky to be alive by the time I reached my parent’s home. If the freezing rain hasn’t started, I’ll leave town soon, but I may have to postpone by a day.

Books and knitting are probably coming with me. Also ice skates, snow shoes, and winter wear. My parents don’t have the Internet, so keeping busy with a variety of activities is key to staying sane during the holidays. I don’t mind disconnecting though. I get out and see friends that I haven’t seen in several months. I often get to do a lot because parking is pretty much a non-issue there.

While this post is about my trip home, it’s also about my return to WordPress, which feels like coming home. I tried a new place out for a while (Wix), but ultimately felt like it’s not what I need for my author platform. It was too arduous to post to my blog. I also felt that the load time on the site was far too long considering I turned every animation off in order to streamline it. I wanted a more pleasant user experience on my site and I learned I could have it all on WordPress after consulting a web designer friend. Thanks again, Stephanie at AloeRoot Web Services!

What Wix did help me with was design prototyping and figuring out what I wanted and didn’t want in my webpage. That’s valuable in its own way.

My Christmas shopping was finally completed yesterday after some challenges with one brother’s list. He originally provided me with the list of things he already had, so that lead to some returns and shopping twice for him. I was fairly upset with him about it and told him never to provide me with what he already had because I don’t have time to run all over the place. It wasn’t my finest moment. In my defense, I had just finished fighting through lines at Walmart to end up in some pretty terrible construction traffic on the way to the Vanier Parkway – Coventry – Riverside intersection. If he had told me about 10-15 minutes prior, I would have still been in Walmart and known not to buy what I bought. It was also quite difficult to see what was going on in his messages through a smartphone screen rather than a computer monitor. Still, I’m trying to keep my emotions in check these days. I’m learning a lot about meditation, in part for one of my novels, but also because of the myriad of benefits linked to meditation. I’m also learning about Geocaching, which has been something I’ve been wanting to get into for a while now. The idea of trekking around in nature searching for hidden boxes with neat things in them sounds fun and gets me out of the house.

On the writing front, I’m around 50,500 words into “The Page & the Magician”. I’m currently researching about Nepal as my main character is trekking through Nepal to rescue a little girl and I need about 30,000-40,000 words to fit the genre, minimum. As far as “Scion” goes, there are things I decided about it that are secret. It’s on hold until I finish “The Page & the Magician” though as it needs quite a bit of help in the character development section.

With “The Page & the Magician”, I have a lot of spiritual concepts going on and I will need to lighten some of the text up when I get to editing. I decided that I’m not allowed to touch it until I finish the first draft as I’m trying to curb that bad habit of editing before a draft is done.

I’m still waiting for my NaNoWriMo winner’s t-shirt to arrive. That should be any day now.

I’m also waiting for the Writer’s Emergency Pack from the Kickstarter initiative I sponsored, but that isn’t expected until April 2015. I sponsored for the one where I get a pack and so does a youth.

I should be receiving a proper copy of “Sex Lives of Monsters” by Helen Marshall soon. I bought the book of poems on the last day of Can-Con and reached home to discover my copy was blank! Every page is empty. I wondered if it was a clever joke to say that monsters don’t have sex lives, but nope, it was just a mistake. Now I have a collector’s edition 😉

On the home front, I’m finally done most of my painting. I’m done all the walls except the TV wall, but I think I want to faux brick that one. I have some trim left to do, but there’s no rush on that with the walls done. At least trim can be done more quickly.

I’m off soon to get some groceries and pack for the trip north. If I have time, I’ll bake a couple of things tonight.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season celebrating in whatever way works for them. Stay safe and enjoy yourselves.

Ciao,
R~