Manual labor

It’s that time again…not even 0500, and I’m wide awake. So what’s a girl to do? Well, if you’re me, you end up cruising Pinterest for interesting or helpful images and tutorials. My latest pin obsession? Images from medieval fencing manuals.

Yep, I’m taking it upon myself to try to learn more by…osmosis? I’m not sure what I hope to gain at this point from the diagrams, because I don’t really know how to read them properly–yet. Sure, I can see the drawing and say “Okay, so that guy is standing like so,” but when it comes to the diagrams of movements and such I’m at a loss. Lots of lines and circles all over the place. Or sometimes not even that; just static images that I guess were helpful in ye olde times for teaching fencing and rapier fighting.

I’ll learn how to read them eventually–that’s going to be part of my training as I progress in the rapier arts–but for now, they’re kind of just interesting drawings that I’m saving for the heck of saving. The Spanish Circle is especially mind-boggling, but I’m pinning it anyway.

My hope is that, once I learn how to read the manuals and translate the images into movements, I can start gaining ground in my fighting. Fencing is the first and only sport I’ve ever been remotely good at, and I don’t want to let my teacher down. Yep, I’ve finally chosen a fencing teacher who can give me good one-on-one guidance in my path. I know I’m years from any special awards or recognition as far as period fencing goes, but better to start studying now. Imagine: me, the always-did-her-homework-in-the-five-minutes-between-classes learner, actually studying stuff.

It may take me a while, but I’m going to kick this rapier training in the butt!

En garde!

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Big plans, but nothing much planned

It’s another full weekend as I head off to “war” tomorrow, but I have surprisingly little to do. There’s a guard shift and marshaling, but other than that my schedule is pretty much wide open. I might take a look at some of the other activities available at the event. Usually I stick to my comfort zone and hang out with the rapier crowd, maybe go shopping if there are vendors. This time, though, I may not want to stand around the battlefield all weekend, and I doubt I’ll do any shopping. So I might actually get a chance to check out some arts and crafts that might interest me.

Not having a period craft that I want to focus on seems weird to me. I normally jump head first into crafts, but nothing I’ve seen so far really grabs me in the way that modern crafts do. Illumination: I just don’t have enough confidence in my drawing/painting skills. Maybe the painting… maybe… but not the drawing. Beadwork? Meh. Weaving? That’s my husband’s gig, and he’s plenty good at it. Sewing? Yeah, I love to sew, but period clothing can be tough. Viking clothes are easy enough, but the later period stuff is more complex. I’m not sure I want to focus on that.
Embroidery interests me somewhat, but I’m wondering how much of a time-suck that will be… Not to mention the potential for arthritis flare-ups in my hands. Of course, any craft has that potential. I’m just not 100% committed to embroidery yet. But who knows? Maybe this weekend there will be a class that gets me hooked.

Beatdown

I’m done. Done. Totally, completely, 1000% done.

Except I’m not. I have more to do, farther to go, deeper to dig. In other words, I’m shit out of luck.

Ok, let me back up a bit.

I’ve been covering for a co-worker who had surgery a week ago, and even though I learned how to do that position a little over a year ago, my training was quick and dirty. Basically, the only backup person for that position quit and I had to step up and dive in. Speed training.

Incomplete speed training.

Yeah. There are huge chunks of aspects of the position that are missing from my knowledge/experience base. Some of the things never came up during that speed training, and despite me pointing this out multiple times it has never been rectified. I literally am the only other person “trained” in this position, and as the past week has demonstrated I am not truly prepared.

I didn’t realize how much stress I was under this past week until this morning. My worsening insomnia, which I had been attributing to just me being me, has most likely been due to this sudden change in work duties. This afternoon, the buildup of stress and strain and pressure came to a head in the form of a massive anxiety attack. During the work day. Full-blown crying-my-eyes-out find-a-place-to-hide-from-reality anxiety attack.

It has been a long, long time since I’ve had an attack that bad while at work. I have to admit, I’m more than a bit ashamed of it. I thought I was past this kind of thing.

Guess not.

Now, work life isn’t my only stressor right now. I have other things going on that are probably not helping matters. Could I cut back on one or more of the non-work activities? Sure. I could. Will I? Probably not too much. Some of my private life things demand a certain degree of responsibility, and some of them involve dear friends who I do not want to disappoint or let down. So I’m going to plow through my off hours just like I’m plowing through the work stress. Will that mean more breakdowns? Probably… but hopefully I can keep any impending meltdowns to times when I can get away and hide my shame.
I’m not sure what I’ll do to destress aside from the date night that my wonderful husband has planned for tomorrow. Work will calm down eventually. I’ll get my personal life sorted to the point where I can function.

I just wish I could fast forward to this stress leveling off.

Soon, though, right? Please?

Can’t beat the heat

It’s mid-June. In Arizona. I’m about to head on a road trip in a sweltering car for three hours to a town that’s about ten to twenty degrees higher than our little mountain town.

WTF is my problem???

Guess I’m just a masochist or something. The conference/event/thing I’m going to is semi-mandatory for me (& not for pay), but I think it’ll be fun despite the weather. Meeting new people, learning new things, all that jazz. Plus I’ll have friends there, and my husband, so I won’t be all by myself. So that’s cool.

We’ll see how far I can take this peopling thing. I’ve been more socially active the past few months that in, like, the past decade. Not sure that’s really much of an exaggeration, either. Quite possibly literally a decade. And ​for a socially-awkward introvert, it should be interesting to see how I adapt. So far so good.
Right now we have friends in the car with us. I’m about to post this and then get social.

And melt… because the car temp gauge thing says 100 degrees.

Procrastination can be fun…and so, so boring

Procrastinating: a long-standing tradition of doing things other than the thing you need to do in order to avoid doing that necessary thing. One example is what I’m doing right now.

I have a certification at work that needs to be renewed every three years, with X amount of continuing education credits to be obtained over the course of those three years. Me? I’m sitting at 4 years 11 months, and I’m just cracking open the textbooks (or website, as it were) to get this done.

For a while I had an excuse; I had somehow locked myself out of the free CE website my job gives me access to. I’d forgotten my user name or password or both and couldn’t log in. So no site, no CEs. Of course, there are always paid CEs that can be obtained through the credentialing organization, but those have two pitfalls: 1) They cost money, and 2) the email address for the organization is apparently considered a “promotion” by my email server and thus any emails with offers of new classes/CE opportunities do not go to my inbox. No inbox notifications turns into an out-of-sight-out-of-mind situation. I’m human, after all; I forget.

It doesn’t help that my whole life I’ve been a crammer, not a planner. I don’t “study.” I read the material five minutes before the test and wing it. If it hasn’t sunk in during class, then I failed at listening. Most of the time it sinks in. This though? This requires doing the actual “homework” to achieve the desired goal of X number of CE credits. I can’t just show up to the tests and skip the “classes” (like I did for both semesters of college Spanish that I took). The tests are included in the reading material–and they’re based off of this reading material. I can’t just skim. I have to read it. Good Gods, this stuff is boring.

Okay, so it’s a bit interesting. If I didn’t find the medical field at least somewhat interesting I wouldn’t be working in it. And I do enjoy learning new things. I guess it’s just the read-and-regurgitate method of learning that’s making things drag. Not that video learning would be much better…that just gives me more chance to space out, and I have to rewind over and over to catch the things I zoned on.

So what have I been doing the past 4 years 11 months to procrastinate? Well, I’ve written two books; made several cosplays; hung out with friends; watched countless hours of TV; gone on vacations; etc, etc, etc. I’ve basically been living life with nary more than a background thought of these recert CEs. So lame (of me…the CEs are valid and necessary).

Now that I’ve regained access to the recert site, I should have plenty of time to get all of my CEs done. I just have to cram.

It’s the last 5 minutes before the test. Better get cracking.

Molasses

Learning can be a real pain–and a frustrating challenge.

I’ve been training in this new position at work long enough that I’m improving in one area but still stalled in another.

The prep work is killing me, time-wise. I’m so s-l-o-w that I know I’m driving my trainer crazy. I’m baffled as to why I’m not getting any faster, because I was doing this part of the position before I actually started on the “real” work of it. It’s bugging me and it makes me feel bad. Like I’m failing at simple set-up.

I know, I know, everyone learns at a different pace, but this part of the job is pretty much rote. Lather, rinse, repeat. Or something along those lines.

Another problem is my RA. The spine is not happy with the new movements and such that I’m doing. I’m hoping it’s just because I’m not acclimated to the new position and that, like the other positions I do at work, my back will adjust with time.

It’s not the pain that’s slowing my prep time down, though, not really. It’s preventing me from doing a full day of this job, which will pose a serious problem if the RA doesn’t settle the fuck down. I can’t only do half days of this. I need to be able to cover a whole day if necessary.

Beyond frustrated at this point. Now that I’ve finally worked up the nerve to do this type of work, my back is telling me I can’t do it. I’ll be really disappointed if my spine doesn’t adjust–and so will my coworkers. 😦

Ventilation

Okay, I gotta get this out.

When giving a critique to someone, it’s recommended that said critique is constructive. Talking down to the person you’re critiquing is no way to go, nor is touting your few college credits in creative writing and editing, nor is bragging about being a “published author.” I’m a published author, too. Granted, it’s self-published, but I’m published, damnit, and I’ve sold books (counting when my book was on a free promotion, I’ve sold hundreds of books as a no-name, no-creative-writing-credit nobody). Five-star reviewed, baby! Should I shove that in your face when critiquing your work? No.

I must admit, though, it made filtering through the egotistical critiques and finding the substantial ones easier. Now I just have to rewrite and resubmit to the critique group, based on the criticism that is actually pertinent and not petulant.

Frustrating doesn’t even begin to cover it. Infuriating is better.

Was I ever this snotty when giving critique? I fear I have been, in which case this critique has helped me to become a better critic in the future. I’ll take into consideration that it’s a human being I’m critiquing, not a machine.

Will I be more harsh in my upcoming critiques of her works? No. Retaliation is no way for an adult to act.

I’ll take the high road. Point out only mistakes, and leave good comments here and there to soften the blow.

Bitch better be glad I’m not vengeful.

Oh, and in case she reads this: I did RESEARCH the gender neutral pronouns I used. Do some of your own research before you go tearing into someone’s work. Ignorance is not becoming on you.