Mixed Feelings Abound

It’s Holy Week for anyone of the Christian faith. Such an awful time for Notre Dame to suffer through flames, not that any time would be acceptable, but it’s extra sad this week. I was happy to learn that much of the art and the organ can be saved. It was simultaneously heart warming and heart breaking to see people gather together to pray through song.

I once owned the Puzz-3D of Notre Dame. I hope one day I can visit the real thing. Notre Dame is an international treasure that millions of people enjoy each year. I hope no more accidents befall it while it undergoes restoration.

I made a bigger mess of my home temporarily. How? I got my TARVA dresser from IKEA. I managed to get the bulk of it finished. Anyway, this is helping clean my place up. Though I’m taking my time on my drawer fronts as I’m making them look like bookshelves for fun. I am not writing the names of books though or I’ll never be done. Besides, what if I put a book on there and later on I decide I no longer like it? The drawers are bigger than I thought, which was a pleasant surprise. This proper dresser thing has put a smile on my face despite all the hard work, of which my body feels the effects.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: First draft submitted.
  • Digi60 Script: Project cancelled*
  • 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

*While it’s a little disappointing, it’s not as if I don’t have a pile of other things on the go, so it’s partly a blessing.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 66%
  • Entrance: 65%
  • Recycling: ?

My dresser has already helped a ton! It has come with a bunch of cardboard, however, which means my recycling progress has been basically undone.

French

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

*Need to put in 4 hours to catch up. I’m aiming to get some done on the weekend.

Finances

  • Job: Researching for an upcoming job fair.
  • Taxes: Waiting for my return.
  • 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.

Fitness

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

*I’ve been doing so much hammering, painting, screw-driving, and lifting with the dresser that I think I’m staying fit regardless. I’ve also been walking up and down the stairs and halls all day catching up on laundry.

It’s early, but I think I’m off to sleep as I’ve worked hard for the last three days and I’m utterly spent.

R~

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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~

Slow and Steady

I’ve been thinking about something my Sensei said, “Slow is smooth; smooth is fast.”

Smooth is akin to quality. There is no point rushing through a writing project just to complete it. Unless there is a firm deadline and you gotta deliver, of course. But if you have the option, take the time to make it as good as you can with your current skill level.

I’m taking my time a lot more lately on some of my goals. In between, I’m actually making time for rest and relaxation. Actual relaxation where I’m not writing while watching TV for example. I feel like I haven’t gotten proper sleep in months, so I’m catching up there too while I can.

My decluttering efforts are happening slowly, but I think it’s for the best. I’m aiming to get to a place where I can come home and not see piles of work everywhere. I don’t know what it’s like to have little to do once the work day is over, but I want to have calmer weeks. Then I can spend some of it writing and some of it just enjoying something like an album.

I’m not in a hurry to get some things done like removing the tarp from my living room floor because my tax return is going to allow me to pay off a good chunk of debt and afford to get a dresser from IKEA. I’m planning to get an untreated pine one, which I have plans to paint and the living room is really the only place for me to do that. Yes, another project, but this one will help me with my decluttering efforts. For years now, I’ve been using plastic craft towers as dressers because that was what was in my budget range at the time. At the same time, I didn’t know what I wanted either.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: 12/15-20 minutes*
  • Digi60 Script: 0/3 minutes
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,035/80,000
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*Since 15-20 is actually the maximum length rather than the minimum, I can declare this done as soon as I ensure some location details are good. Yay for figuring that one out!

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 10%
  • Entrance: 65%*
  • Recycling: 33%

*Not originally part of my goals for this week, but the condo folks were breaking into the neighbour’s place for failing to give them a key after asking for one for years now. They needed to finish installing new windows in all the units. He’ll have to ask them for the key to his unit now. I’ve seen him once in six years despite working from home on many occasions. Anyway, I didn’t want to open the door to my condo right now for them all to see into mine because between renos, decluttering, and taxes, it’s not at its best.

French

  • Online: 2.5/30 hours*
  • Class: 6/30 hours
  • Extra: 0

*I’m really sucking on French this week. Better pull up my socks!

Finances

  • EI: 5 days since application
  • Job: 0 applications
  • Taxes: 100%!*

*Tech support was able to help me and my taxes have been sent. I am waiting on a code as they want me to update some personal info.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 1/2
  • Walking: 1/7
  • HIIT: 1/3

I could be better in some areas, but I think it’s not too shabby so far this week.

R~

Curses and Stuff

I think we all have a writing curse. Mine is writing under target. I don’t know why that is. I sometimes wonder if I would do better just writing without a specific target in mind. Perhaps if I aimed for more than the goal, I would hit it dead on? Anyway, it afflicted me last week and I’m hoping to overcome it this coming week.

What’s your writing curse? If you’re not a writer, is there something you do that often involves a similar challenge you regularly face?

At home, I am wondering how I have so much stuff! I remember moving in here a few years ago with very little. I pretty much had a bed and a TV. Maybe life is really about managing your stuff. There is likely a Goldilocks zone for it. Having the right stuff when you need it seems important. Having more than you need is just setting yourself up for more things to maintain when you could be spending your time on more enjoying activities. We’re not all Marie Kondo after all. I’m occasionally watching her TV show to see if I pick up any tips. It’s worth a try…

On the French front, I recently stumbled on an old journal entry from when I was taking Level 3 at the same place. In it, I talked about wanting it to be over and that I didn’t feel up to it anymore after my Aunt Estelle passed away. I’m in such a different place now. I feel like I’m taking it more seriously than in the past. I’m doing my homework and I’m doing extras like watching Call My Agent! and listening to bilingual radio. I even recently started remembering words I’ve already learned, but couldn’t previously like about. My teacher is so different this time too. He really gets us moving our mouths and practicing all the different sounds of the language. I think each word I learn or remember makes me feel more confident too.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: 11/15-20 minutes*
  • Digi60 Script: 0/3 minutes*
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,035/80,000
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes*

*Scripts are measured in time, not word count. Generally, 1 minute = 1 page.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 0%

French

  • Online: 2.5/30 hours
  • Class: 6/30 hours

Finances

  • EI: Application sent.
  • Job: 3 applications
  • Taxes: 0%

Fitness

  • Iaido: 1/2
  • Walking: 1/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

Well that about does it for this post.

R~

ROW80: R2 Check – 2019-Apr-3

On Monday, I got my door. I was stressing so much about how to bring it home. That’s part of the reason I didn’t buy it until this week. It turns out, I was fretting over nothing because it fit inside my hatchback. Getting it home turned out to be the easy part.

Moving it from the car into my unit was an adventure. I got it out of the car easily enough, but it was heavier than my dolly and the wind made everything a pain in the butt. Did you know ratcheting tie downs aren’t put together already when you buy them? Well, maybe some are, but the ones I got were not. So, well I was trying to attach the tie down to itself, the dolly fell and the door bounced, narrowly missing some dog poop. I’m just under five foot tall and the door is around six-and-a-half feet tall. The wind fought me as I reconfigured my dolly and eventually got the door on it once again.

The door is pine, so one side is marred now. That will be the side facing into the bathroom. I was thankful that someone helped me get through our building doors. It wasn’t bad once in my unit, though it did try to fall again.

I drilled the holes for the rollers. I cut the metal track to size and painted it. I began painting the panels on the side facing into the bathroom as I am using those for some art.

On Tuesday, I got the stain for the door and began staining it. I had to return one stain because my whitewash is latex. I got a new latex stain tinted the colour of weathered wood. I put the grey coat on last night, but one spot dried too fast, so I’m not sure what to do with it. Perhaps leave it and put extra whitewash on it? I’m also thinking the outline of the panels on the back needs to be a different colour. Perhaps grey to match? I’ll be painting the insides of the panels as if it’s art hanging on the door.

It’s my first time staining anything and I read pine can be weird to stain because it absorbs it differently than other woods. I’m hoping the white will cover some of the problem areas well. This is the same thing that happens to me with any kind of drawing or painting art. This middle stage where it just looks like hell and can’t possibly be turned into something good. I suppose writing is like that too…

Goals Update

French

I started out strong after class one and got a solid hour of the online work in. I’ve been watching French TV shows and listening to bilingual radio. My door has got me a little off track for more hours this week, but I knew this week would be me settling into my new schedule. My door shouldn’t be much longer and then my other home tasks can be done at a more leasurely pace. I need to do 3 hours minimum online each week. I’ll get it done. I want to be getting more than that in on the regular though. That way it will get done without causing me stress and I can learn more in Level One than is necessary, which pushes me closer to bilingual.

Writing

I’ve done a paltry amount of writing this week, but as I said earlier, it will be happening very soon. When my door is done, I’ll feel a lot better.

Finances

I need to get a couple more documents together for my taxes. I hope I can remember my school login. Then it’s gathering hydro bills. I’m not in a huge rush in case I have to pay. I’d rather pay closer to the end of the month if that’s the case. I shouldn’t have to, but one never knows.

Martial Arts

With my door, I’ve been too sore to go. I’ll get back there soon. I’m aiming for next week on that.

Home

Other than my door, I’m still way behind on laundry and such. It won’t last though. I’m committed to conquering my home. I’m loving my new Ryobi ONE+ drill. Because of gift cards, I haven’t spent that much on my door adventure, which is nice.

Job

I have some leads in this area that I’m working on. I’m not rushing as I have a couple of things I’d like to get done around here like this door and I found it too hard to be working somewhere with a two-hour daily commute and doing renos as a single person while building a writing career. Anyway, I’ll be following up with one such lead later today to see if it’s a fit or not.

Well, I guess that does it for today.
R~

Endings

At the beginning of the week, I was looking forward to getting to this period where I have a bit of time to catch my breath. When Friday arrived, it was a mix of happy and sad. I’m going to miss my coworkers very much. That was the best place I’ve worked at in Ottawa. Unfortunately, mat leave contracts are not easily extended. Hopefully there will be room for me in the future!

Some things I won’t miss like the loss of time commuting everyday and depending on the bus. I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep and getting some things done around my place. The weather is also getting nicer, so I’m looking forward to that too.

But I have no shortage of things to do in the meantime. Row 80 is kicking off a new round and I have a revised goals list to go with it.

Goals Update

French

Class began on Saturday despite snow, freezing rain, and rain.

My teacher is an African hailing from the Congo. So far, he teaches in a bit of a scatterbrained way, but he gave us a list of all the French sound families and I think that is going to help a lot. I’ll be retyping it as it’s a grainy xerox and I want to have a copy in a safe place. Other than the scatterbrained part, there was a lot of useful information I’ve never had in all the times I have taken French.

I was initially really angry that I was bumped back to Level 1 after taking time off to do graduate studies, but I think this is going to be a good thing. I also decided that it doesn’t matter where I am in the “official” lessons as I can work ahead. Indeed, I’m currently ahead in my French speaking for this level, but there are a lot of little things I don’t know, like when to use liaisons and not. Clearing up those things might be enough to help me be more confident.

I’m planning on watching French movies and TV as well to help me develop my ear as that is a piece that I’ve been struggling with.

Writing

I have a number of things on my list. Here is the general order:

  1. Short for the horror project.
  2. Short for Digi60.
  3. Revise and rename Puppy Chow to send out.
  4. Increase the word count on The Page & The Magician to send out.

And in no particular order:

  • A non-fiction book [research and outline]
  • Finish Shads a.k.a. The Mockumentary [first draft]
  • Finish The Blood Waitress Club [first draft]
  • A podcast [research and outline]
  • Finish Scion [first draft]
  • I might also try to enter a short story into an anthology that has a June deadline.
  • Also, there are songs I haven’t written yet.

Home

I now have time to actually deal with my bathroom door. I’m wondering how much it will cost to have it delivered, though maybe I can strap it to the roof of my car if it’s not raining. I’m going to need to stain it and that may be fun to figure out in my little condo. I’m going to go with a whitewash stain, so it’ll look older than it is since it’s to be a sliding barn door style door.

Having more time for the decluttering effort won’t be bad. I want to get rid of anything I don’t need.

I’m working on a quilt of my old theatre tees. I stopped wearing them long ago, but didn’t want to get rid of them. I also didn’t want to wear them because I knew I wanted to do something with them.

And of course there’s no shortage of dishes and laundry to catch up on around here.

I want a proper dresser at some point. I feel this will help a lot, but it’s also not my top priority. I think getting my living room, kitchen, and bathroom fixed up is more important right now. Most people don’t need to enter my bedroom. I can’t close any of the other spaces off from visitors since it’s a fairly open concept floor plan.

Also, I need to start cutting apart my bathroom vanity as I will be replacing it. I plan to do it in stages because there currently isn’t a shut off valve on my bathroom sink. The counter spans the length of the room and really doesn’t belong in such a small room. It also has an out-dated design. I figure if I take half of it out, I’ll at least have a better temporary space for its replacement cabinet than my tiny hallway. I feel like I’m living in Tetris some days.

Finances

I will be spending a little time getting these done. I need my paper from school and from that bit of time when I did Uber Eats and then I think I can file.

My car is supposed to be paid off sometime in May. This will help me a lot.

Job

I’ll also be applying for jobs of course. If I can’t work where I was, I really want to aim for somewhere closer to home. It’ll be easier to accept a lower paying position once my car payments are done also.

Anyway, lots to do.
R~

Head Stuff

I’m not feeling so hot tonight. Actually, that’s part of it. The weather has been changing drastically over the past few days. It’s now that time of year where it’s quite cold in the morning, but easy to be over-dressed by the evening. It’s both a blessing and a nuisance. Happy first day of Spring!

I have a headache and it’s probably due to the combination of not sleeping well last night, being startled awake at 3:15 AM for a fire alarm that was on just long enough to get us out into the hallway before it being turned off, the caffeine I needed for this morning’s meeting that turned into me presenting on the spot, the stress that comes with it being 7 work days until the end of my contract, and just being generally worn down.

Ah well, I got a bit of cleaning done despite the headache. I also got some spaghetti sauce cooking in my instant pot. I tweaked the recipe some to be closer to what I remember of my brother’s recipe. I’m also not cooking the pasta inside this time because it was a little overcooked before and clumpy. Maybe I have a hunger headache too? If so, that will be fixed soon.

Update: Food and wine have taken care of the headache. Perhaps Netflix as well. The sauce is still a work in progress. It is a little too watery.

Goals Update

French

  • French starts the day after my contract ends. I think I have everything I need for it. I have a duotang, writing implements, dictionary, and bescherelle. I’ve also been using Memrise.

Writing

  • I’m plugging away at my projects a bit each day. I will have extra time soon on these. My top two projects right now are my fantasy romance novel and what I will call a horror short. I need to increase my novel’s word count to submit it. A troubled stranger gave me some ideas in exchange for my ear. I hope he figured out his situation.

Iaido

  • I am sucking here, but I’m also focused on…

Job

  • I haven’t lined up my next position yet. I’m a little worried, but it might be for the best. I’ll let you all know what the next adventure is. In the interim, I have taxes, cleaning, French, writing, and some relaxation to keep me busy while I’m applying for jobs.

Home

  • I also have a few things other than cleaning that I’m hoping to get done soon. I did make a little progress on the cleaning tonight, which makes me happy. Or maybe that’s the wine 😉

R~