Safety First!

The story of another sword practitioner online upset and angered me. Their “most qualified” dojo person in swords came back to their dojo with a shinken (a sharp katana) and pressed the tip of the blade near the person’s genitals.

Let me explain a couple of things. We practice with wooden swords until our teacher approves us for our first grading, which is a brown belt rank. To take that test, we must use an iaito (a dull katana – or more specifically one that cannot be sharpened as it is made with an alluminum alloy). We train with iaito from brown belt until we are challenging for our 5th level black. Many years of practice happen in between each level of black.

One of the big deal things is never place your sharp sword in a way that is likely to hurt yourself or another. Safety is important. Hell, we practice pretending our non-sharp sword IS sharp to be sure that when we are ready for a sharp one, we won’t be assholes!

This is akin to pointing a loaded gun at someone. One flinch in the wrong way and that man could’ve have been neutered or worse! There is a large artery not far from the genital area. It could have went seriously bad and what if emergency services couldn’t make it in time?

So if you are ever training in sword and your “teacher” pulls that kind of crap, get a new one pronto. Safety is paramount in sword training.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: First draft submitted.
  • Digi60 Script: First draft submitted.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words*
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,165/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*I wasn’t sure I’d have room for this, but I do, so why not? If it’s accepted, I’ll make a bit of cash. It’s due in June.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%*
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 20%
  • Entrance: 65%
  • Recycling: 70%

*Handsaw acquired, but I may push this to after Easter at this point as it’s heavy, I’m slightly injured, and I want to be able to watch it in case it has issues.

French

  • Online: 5/30 hours*
  • Class: 9/30 hours

*Need to put in 4 hours to catch up.

Finances

  • EI: Complete.
  • Job: 1 application(s)*
  • Taxes: Complete.
  • Car Loan: 95.2% paid off.
  • CC1 Debt: 23.6% paid off.
  • CC2 Debt: 88.7% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*I have a bunch on my radar and am planning to revise my resumes this week.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 3/7
  • HIIT: 2/3

All in all, I’m generally pleased with my progress this week. I haven’t gotten everything done, but I’m improving each week.

R~

Make-It Monday – Holding Back

bitmoji_goals

This week’s theme is holding back.

I suppose there are some things I need to hold back on in order to make it to the finish line. My last class is on April 26th.

I need to bite my tongue. There are so many things I would like to say to someone, because they have some things extremely wrong, but sometimes we must never speak to someone again. And sometimes there are people one spends months trying to work with only to be repeatedly disrespected at every juncture.

I hate drama and b.s.

Otherwise, I’m trying to get as much done as possible while dealing with fire testing in my building. I’ve been cleaning. A lot.

Oh, I had a wonderful coffee date recently! It was so comfortable and the conversation was great. I’m looking forward to seeing him again 🙂

Here is what I have left to do to graduate and their [due dates]:

  1. Complete my portfolio. [Thursday]
  2. Fix up this website. Yes, some tweaks will be made. You’ll see my poetry tabs and some others moved to a new Portfolio tab. [Thursday]
  3. A quiz. [Thursday]
  4. A presentation about a web series. [Thursday]
  5. The second draft of my feature film. [Saturday]
  6. Revise my one act play. [23rd]
  7. A pitch document for a TV show. This is mostly done. [24th]
  8. Update my career plan. [26th]
  9. Supposedly an exam, though that one hasn’t talked about it. [26th]

And ever since we had the workshop on writing for games, all I want to do is play videogames.

I think I know what I’ll be doing on the 27th…

If you don’t hear from me much this week, it’s because I’m drowning in the above homework or perhaps I’ve had so much caffeine to survive that I can’t sit still long enough to drop a line.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Beginner’s Mind

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Image created using Bitmoji

One of the concepts we bandy about at martial arts is The Beginner’s Mind. Basically, the idea is to approach something as if you are a white belt and know nothing.

I use it often. At school or while in some other learning environment like a seminar, even if I have learned much of the content before, I clear my mind and pretend I know very little. By doing this, I can listen and absorb things because I don’t dismiss anything. Now, I don’t completely ignore what I’ve learned before. I use that previous knowledge to help me fill in a gap. For example, we were discussing how to get a play script sold and the way the teacher was explaining things seemed a bit convoluted to me. That’s when I used what I knew from film and TV classes to figure out that while in TV and film you need to find a willing producer, with plays, you need to be the producer. To be a producer in TV and film, you need to go to film school. Not so for plays.

I also use this technique when going out on a date because I’d rather assume I know nothing about someone than that I know everything. I may not remember everything discussed, but I’ll know far more than I would otherwise.

It’s helpful with a new martial art because while you’ll know some aspects due to the body only having a limited amount of ways that it can move, the devil can be in the details. Coming to jodo after karate was difficult before I knew about beginner’s mind because I spent so much time in karate trying to square up my stances only to find I need to have an angled stance in jodo. Iaido is more square, but not low, wide, and deep like karate. I actually had to stop doing jodo altogether for awhile because I couldn’t leave my learning from karate behind to allow myself to take on something new.

Beginner’s mind is something I also use to connect with people who are in a different lifestyle or stage of life than I am. It lets me avoid assuming things about people in my classes like their ability to be successful is really only limited by their will to persevere and has nothing at all to do with their age or current level of writing ability.

Now, I only recently came to this last bit about those younger than me. I have been rather stupid lately in regards to things like the Tide Pod epidemic. I’m sorry for that and I’m going to continue to try and be a better person.

One of the things that has made me realize that was the recent trip to Toronto to pitch our projects. At the home of Orphan Black, the woman we met with had us each say a bit about ourselves. I really enjoyed learning more about my younger classmates as many of them have had such a variety of life experiences. Many have traveled more than I have. Many have lived through things like the loss of a parent. I thankfully have not had that experience though I’ve lost many people in my life. The point is that age is mostly just a number. I do think there is a balance between assuming someone younger is inferior in any way and in giving them free reign to change national policies, but that’s not to say they have nothing valuable to contribute to a discussion. It’s more that they don’t know what they don’t know yet.

I haven’t been able to do this yet with music, but maybe someday. Language learning is another area this may help with, but I’m not there with that either.

I feel that The Beginner’s Mind fits quite well with entropy as one must basically blow up all they know and rearrange the pieces to either expand what was already known or to capture what one knew little about previously.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Respect

Respect is something that’s in short supply today.  There are a lot of students on the bus who get pissed off that they may have to let someone sit beside them. They’ll refuse to move their bags, sit in the aisle seat and refuse to move over, and other such childish behaviour. 
Some of the bathrooms at school are even more visual representations of this.  Used toilet paper and feminine hygiene products can be found on the ground rather than in garbage bins or toilets. It’s disgusting. 

Two people may be enjoying a conversation and a third will come along and interrupt their discussion rather than let them finish. It’s as if they’ve never been taught any manners.

These behaviours are like monkey shit. Cow manure may represent other bad things like the death of an old friend or a relationship being put on hold because while also shitty, good things can grow from them. Nothing good grows in monkey shit. Disease and infection is all that comes from it. 

Don’t be like monkey shit. 

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – 8 Pieces of Wisdom from My Teenage Self

thoughtfulWhile cleaning up my home including my drives, I stumbled onto some words I wrote in 1999. I called them “Self Guidelines”. Maybe they’ll be helpful to someone today.

  1. Help others if it’s in my power AND they want me to.
  2. Don’t let a guy come between my best friend and I.
  3. Don’t do something that will put someone else in a bad position even if they deserve it.
  4. Approach situations and people with an open mind.
  5. Find the good in others.
  6. Keep emotions in check.
  7. Don’t force others to feel the way you do. Respect that they may feel differently.
  8. Be open and honest with the people you love.

I lost my way for a little while, but I found my way back.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – An Opinion on Opinions

thoughtfulSometimes there really is absolutely no need to state your opinion on something. If someone posts an ad about a country home for sale that states they are willing to sever more acres, it is not time for you to chime in and say that the term sounds weird. No, it’s time for you to educate yourself on common real estate terminology rather than suggest subdivide would sound less ‘harsh’. Sever is a LEGAL TERM. This is not something subject to your “feelings” about wording.

It’s a term used in a lot of things. Severance pay. Severing assets. Severing land.

If the only thing that comes to your mind is severing limbs, then you are the one with the problem rather than the rest of the world.

The knowledge of much of the world is at your fingertips. I don’t give a crap what you *think* something is when it takes two seconds to confirm you’re talking out of your rear end.

And for heaven’s sake, it’s a real estate ad. If you’re not interested in buying the house, then keep scrolling. If you honestly can’t find something better to do with your time, GET A LIFE. Seriously. There are a billion more fun and productive things to do with your time. Life is short and one day you’ll wake up wondering why you wasted so much of it on crap that was meaningless.

These are the same people that are amazed at how much I accomplish on a regular basis. It’s not rocket science. I don’t waste time as much as you do. I set goals, make plans, and limit my time on things that are a waste. You won’t catch me regretting lost time.

Have the courage to fully live your life rather than piss on others who are living theirs.

I’m off for a weekend of relaxation and partying at a cottage with a friend to celebrate our birthdays, which are a few days apart! Well, and a few years, but not everything needs to be technical either.

When I get back I’ll work on my goals and relationships with humans that I care about instead of trolling people like a beta male.

Sorry for the rant.

Posts have been prescheduled for the next few days. I hope you enjoy them.

Salut,
R~

Symphonic Saturday – Canada Day

Today is Canada’s 150th birthday, but that means a lot of different things to different people, so I can’t think of one music genre or song that fits. As a friend said, Canada is a cultural mosaic.

To me, being Canadian means recognizing the awful things we’ve done and are doing like how the railroad was built, the continued mistreatment of our First Nations people, our involvement in The Somalia Affair, turning away Jewish people in WWII, the internment of our Japanese citizens during WWII, and our involvement in supplying materials for the bombs detonated in Nagasaki and Hiroshimi. There’s probably more listed in a book called Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific by John Price.

All of that means everyone who lives here can have immensely complex feelings about this holiday.

For the First Nations people, many may protest or want little to do with this day. It means 150 years since strangers came and took nearly everything from them.

For the Chinese, it may bring up memories of lives lost building a cross-country railroad system that so many still use today.

For many from all over the world, it means a safe place from the atrocities in their home countries.

Some of us don’t even know why we ended up here instead of the country of our ancestry. The Scot in me wants to listen to Oh Canada on bagpipes.

But we’re all on this piece of the globe trying to live together despite differences and some truly awful things in our recent past.

And for the most part, things are pretty good here. A few weeks back, I spent time in the park near my house at an event where people from all different racial backgrounds and lifestyles came together to sing and dance to hip-hop. It was the first time I had ever felt like the oddball being one of the few white people who live in my neighbourhood, but I enjoyed the day. Missing Linx was there. One of their members happens to be one of Ottawa’s newest Poet Laureates, which isn’t a distinction that is easily achieved. You can learn more about JustJamal ThePoet here.

And Canada has a lot of wonderful things too!

We’ve had amazing people like Terry Fox.

The world owes our First Nations people for maple syrup.

A Canadian invented basketball.

Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a Canadian soldier’s pet bear.

John McCrae was another Canadian who created a famous poem.

Superman was created by Canadian-American man names Joe Shuster.

Canada helped free slaves.

And how about the green spaces, fresh lakes, Tim Hortons, hockey, ringuette, bacon, Alberta beef, and real beer?

Being a Canadian is mostly awesome, but don’t forget how we got here and respect how others choose to spend this day. That’s about the most Canadian thing you can do.

I’ll likely spend part of it in deep mourning for my Nexus 5, which has decided to stop functioning. According to the Internet, repair is estimated at $200. I have some money on my tab, so a new phone would be about the same including a case for it. There are a couple of problems. I really can’t afford a phone right now. I have a trip next weekend to a place I’ve never been with no GPS. Guess I’ll be busting out an old school map. Truthfully, my phone has been acting odd. Difficulties charging properly and calls only ringing once before hanging up making them impossible to answer most of the time. Maybe I can collect on a debt owed to me and have it work out.

Salut,
R~