Make It Monday – Struggling to Find Routine

bitmoji_goalsI’m struggling to get used to the new semester.

Here’s my class schedule:

Monday 9-12
Tuesday 12-3
Wednesday 2-5
Thursday 10-6
Friday TBD

Yes, I realize there aren’t a lot of in-class hours compared to some programs, but almost all of our serious work is to be done on our own time. It looks light, but it’s anything but.

To get there on time, I need to leave about 2 hours earlier. That means on Mondays I need to get up early to shower and eat something. Now, I know what this sounds like. Yes, for an office job, that’s normal. The thing is that much of my work is done at home in the wee hours, because that’s when creative people generally thrive. I’m not a morning person. I didn’t feel awake until class was over today and I was on the bus ride home.

But it IS only the second week of classes and our first Monday. I know Mondays will get better. For three Mondays in March, we’ll be having class at night instead as we attend rehearsals and watch actors practice our plays or monologues. And there’s one holiday Monday for Family Day. That means that there are 9 rough Mondays including today, so 8 rough ones left.

I think the thing is that I really have to mould my own routine this semester because every day is very different while last semester’s Mondays and Wednesdays were the same and Tuesdays and Thursdays were only different by 30 minutes. Ultimately, this is good for me even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. This is what life is likely to be like if I end up doing freelance writing instead of being employed at a specific place.

Goals

I’m having a bad week for martial arts, but I hosted B-Movie club on the weekend and had things to do for that. Tomorrow, I may not make it as I am taking Naloxone training and we’re getting a ton of snow right now, which may or may not become a problem for bus timings and such.

Otherwise on the fitness front, I’m also a little behind, but the Christmas tree was in my way to start doing things. Now that it has been put away, I’m intending to get started. My plan is to do some yoga tonight. Why? It has so many benefits including strength, flexibility, and all that comes with meditation. I figure it may be a gentle way to continue improving my posture too. It’s also supposed to be good for core and may help rid me of this bit of extra tummy.

As far as cleaning goes, I finally put away my Christmas tree, I have cleaned up my writing nook enough to use it, and I’m gathering things to sell. As usual, I’m behind on dishes, but I’m not going to stress out about those. With the goal I have in mind, someday I shouldn’t have much more than dishes and laundry to clean.

I’m not doing as much practical music as I want, but I’m listening to a lot. I might not have time to get serious about it right now as it’s taking me a long time to read this script. If I’m playing a couple times a week, that might be more reasonable.

I haven’t worked more on my novel since last week yet. I’ve started an assignment for one of my classes as we have to read and analyze a screenplay then watch the movie and compare them. I know that will take some time, so I spent time selecting my film and started reading the script while taking some notes that cover the things the presentation needs to cover. I feel like there is so much great stuff to learn, it’s hard to focus on anything in particular right now, so I’m making my list of deadlines to help me prioritize.

So I’m making mostly baby steps.

And that’s how the river of life is flowing today.
R~

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Symphonic Saturday – Musical Adventures

music1I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I got into my homework and then it was off to a game night with some dojo friends.

At least, it was supposed to be a game night. We did a little informal game, but then as we became plied with drink, we soon found ourselves trying to play a smörgåsbord of instruments including a 5 string banjo, a keyboard, and a fife.

The fife is played rather flute-like only it has simple holes like a tin whistle and it is extremely hard to get a sound to come out of it. I have a newfound respect for anyone who played flute in my high school music classes. I almost got a sound out of it, but it’s one of the harder things I’ve tried and it’s so different than every other wind instrument I’ve used, that it has temporarily bested me. Or maybe permanently. We’ll see. I don’t like to completely remove an option from the table, but it was a little too frustrating when I could start collecting tin whistles or get a chanter for bagpipes or use the recorder I already own.

I tried the banjo too and it felt so foreign because the strings are all so different from the guitar. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I sort of tried to play a chord, but everything I tried sounded bad to me. I get my dad’s someday, so I can learn to play that later. Maybe I should get him to teach me a few things on it when I’m there next. And the mandolin too.

I’m hoping we do it again. I could bring my trumpet if I can get my chops back in decent shape. I have a Trumcor stealth mute that would make it not overly loud for anyone’s neighbours. I could also bring a ukulele and/or my guitar, and a practice pad for drumming with sticks.

Oh, now all I want to do is play all the instruments I own. Perhaps I’ll just put out the trumpet as it has been a while for that one.

Then I need to make some preparation for B-Movie club tomorrow.

And that’s how it flows today.
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Insecurity

thoughtfulIt’s strange listening to others sometimes.

There can be so much pettiness that it makes me wonder if there is hope for a beautiful future on this planet.

We received our marks from first semester.

For the first time in my life, I’m an A student. I’ve not done anything mystical to get there. I just did my homework, handed it in on time, tried my best to follow instructions, participated in discussions, and usually accepted feedback without question unless it was important to question it. My note taking is just okay. Sometimes it’s dismal even. I pay attention in class. If I’m running late, I always make sure they’re aware. I’m behind in all my readings, but I’m still reading the books at least.

There has been the odd person that has grumbled to me about people they don’t think deserve to stay in the program. Sometimes it’s a general nameless grumble and other times it’s specific.

I don’t think this is a positive mindset nor professional behaviour. It’s okay to admit when you don’t have synergy with someone and would rather not work with them, but it’s shitty to claim you belong and they don’t.

Especially if you’ve never seen their work, yours is garbage, and you’re a terrible group partner.

I find it’s insecure people who spend their time complaining about someone else instead of putting the work in that will improve their skills.

Every day we make choices. If you spend more time gaming and reading junk than you do on your craft, maybe this isn’t for you.

Regardless, until you’ve been in the industry for many years and have earned a place by showing you can do good work and many other things we don’t yet know, maybe let the teachers decide who deserves to be in the program and who doesn’t.

I see an A like a brown belt. To the average person, it looks like I’m close to mastery. To most martial artists, it’s the beginning of a long road that may eventually become mastery. At least, I hope it will. In the martial arts I practice, there are 9 black belt levels. In one art, I’m at level 2. In the other, I’m basically at brown belt level. With both, I know there’s a ton more to learn.

Which can only happen if I choose to be willing to learn. It’s up to me to decide whether or not to take each assignment seriously. I decide whether or not I show up every day ready to listen and work hard.

I’m sorry if any of this seems harsh. I’m running on little sleep and half my lunch fell on the ground earlier, so perhaps I’m still grumpy from that. Or maybe I’m just tired of hearing bullshit from people who display the behaviour they claim to hate.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
– Mahatma Ghandi

If Ghandi doesn’t work for you, maybe someone more modern who gives a similar message with more direction is better for you.

And that’s how it flows today.
R~

Warrior Wednesday – Progress with Standing Oku Iai

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

I wasn’t feeling like going to practice last night at all. It’s winter. Home has comfy pants and Netflix. Outside has cold air that hurts my face.

I’m really glad I sucked it up and went. Practice was great last night! I’m not sure Sempai would agree as he had to keep getting us back on task, but we worked on Standing Oku Iai kata while having fun conversations of the type I’m used to in school with the comedy group.

Some things finally clicked for whatever reason. I knew some of it was advice I had heard before, but I guess my mind couldn’t apply it or see the scenarios clearly before. Specifically, Shinobu (shh-no-boo) and Sodome (sew-doh-may) are feeling better. I think part of it was having so many higher ranked people there to watch.

For Shinobu, I finally get what I’ve been doing wrong. I was close before, but it was like having a word on the tip of your tongue yet feeling the word is one you haven’t learned yet. For some reason, it wasn’t clicking where my opponent’s sword tip would be and therefore I couldn’t get where their body would be. Of course, their tip will be where I tapped with my blade! I feel like such an idiot on that one.

For Sodome, I was having trouble putting my hip into things. We do the stairs scenario at my dojo. I had been told how to do it before, but I couldn’t understand it really. This will sound very strange, but it’s almost a hanmi (han-mee – kind of sideways) stance and we bring the end of sword handle to the side of our right butt cheek. Basically. Usually when we get our hips into things, it’s more of a forward facing stance and more like a pelvic thrust. Since we’re going down stairs, it’s very strange to act out on flat ground.

Maybe soon I’ll remember all the kata names in that set and how to do them without help.

My bicep is sore today. It shouldn’t be. I tensed too much last night and my sword wasn’t making noise most of the time because I was using the wrong muscles. One step forward and two steps back.

And that’s how it flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Review of Okja

TuesdayWhen I saw comments about Okja being a film that seems like the brainchild of Spielberg and Miyazaki together, I knew I had to watch it. I also knew that a film that sounds that fantastic would be a great pick for my first film of 2018.

Initially I wondered if it was going to be a modern take on Charlotte’s Web. It did have some basic elements of the children’s story, but add a bunch of blood, violence, poop comedy, and action scenes.

From the plot to the beauty of the scenery, it felt like a live action Hayao Miyazaki film throughout much of the story. Near the beginning, I was hooked.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance was quirky and I thoroughly enjoyed him. I also enjoyed Steven Yeun’s character.

I almost loved the film. It seemed fresh and I was ready to sing its praises.

In fact, I loved it right up until it turned into obvious vegan propaganda and showed business people as one dimensional heartless monsters. There are so many business people doing great things in this world such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, and Mark Zuckerberg. You can read about more of them at The Giving Pledge.

It had everything going for it until it decided to beat me over the head with its message.

Ultimately, I’m disappointed by it.

A final note, Okja should not be watched by children nor anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

R~

Make It Monday – Preparations

bitmoji_goalsAs semester two begins tomorrow, I’ve been spending a lot of time this weekend preparing for it by catching up on chores, planning food, and getting some rest.

Here was my Friday:

  • fixed my blue ray player
  • did a bit of novel editing (more on this below)
  • moved a bathroom cabinet, sink, mirrored medicine cabinet out of my car
  • shoveled some of the snow out of my parking spot
  • put away some of my Christmas decorations
  • submitted a thing related to placement plus updated my placement log
  • got in touch with my next placement person
  • got a little tipsy (work hard, play hard :))
  • watched 3 movies (Blade Runner Final Cut, Deliver Us From Evil, and Big Hero 6)
  • put together my second semester schedule
  • removed the old mirror from my bathroom
  • watched some Black List

Saturday was:

  • many loads of laundry
  • baked chicken wings
  • watched 2 movies (The Meyerowitz Stories and Vampire Academy)
  • watch more Black List?
  • did more editing
  • played some guitar and transposed one song from trumpet to guitar

Sunday:

  • beat Lego Marvel Superheros
  • cleaned the entranceway
  • did more editing

Today (so far):

  • mailed a letter
  • got my hair trimmed
  • did some groceries
  • watched this video to mourn the loss of Dolores from The Cranberries 😥

Cleaning

Now, why did I move all that stuff out of my car all in one day?

We were expecting rain that would flash freeze then snow was to follow it. I wanted to get it out sooner, but every time I turned around there was bad weather. It was mild that day despite a light drizzle, so it was time to get it done. It hasn’t helped overall with getting my place clean as I now have a sink hanging out in my little dining room, but that’s life.

I start placement soon too and I intend to drive there, so I thought it would be nice if my car wasn’t full of furniture.

I’m not sure what got into me on Friday, but I’m losing the steam I had that day. My big plan for tonight is to fold the clothes I washed the other day and maybe put away some other things that need to be put away.

Writing

I’ve mostly taken a break this weekend from writing other than my blog. I did do a little on the editing on my novel though. It took me about half a day to find a better word than I initially chose because it’s quite a specific thing and all the words normally suggested just didn’t quite fit. I also fixed some other parts that seemed overly wordy and jargon filled. I’m annoyed it took me that long, but the smallest amount of progress is better than none at all.

School

Second semester starts tomorrow. So this week is about getting used to a new schedule, new rooms, and I also begin my work placement at a local production company, which I’m super excited about!

Fitness

I’m starting to exercise a little more as of this week. First, I need to clear the area for it, so I’ll be working on that some tonight.

Music

I haven’t been playing every day yet, but I know I will. Especially as I get my place cleaner, I’ll have less other things to do.

And that’s how it flows today.
R~

Symphonic Saturday – Transposing for Fun

music1I started this day listening to the latest play list, Static, from Fringe Music Fix. I enjoyed it though I found there’s a large electronic component these days with drum machines and whatnot instead of a drummer with a kit. I prefer the real sound.

I’ve been checking blues out recently and I’m not sure it’s blues guitar I want to learn. I think it’s jazz that I want to play actually. That shouldn’t be that surprising given my fondness for the trumpet. I’m listening to some Andy Brown on YouTube today and that’s more the sound I want to learn.

I have a jazz book for trumpet and I could easily use for guitar by dropping the pitch by one step. I say easily, but it’s actually not. I have to transpose it and the fun comes when you have sharps and the like. It’s almost like math in a different language. I’m not sure I’m doing it correctly, but I think I have a circle of fifths somewhere around here to help me out. I guess I’m starting that goal of an hour of music theory per week early.

It was actually pretty strenuous on my mind, which is a good thing. I’m doing this while my clothes are in the wash. Changing them over to the dryer will give me that brief break before I come back and test the song out.

And that’s how the day flows.
R~