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Pay attention, this time [Manarelle]


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Since getting my Master's last August, I have found a solid routine. I lift weights three days a week, do cardio/PT three days a week, and do 10 minutes of Kenpo Karate practice in the morning. My food intake is reasonably consistent and balanced, and I can see slow but steady changes in my body.

 

Naturally, I'm going to throw a wrench in all that.

 

Setup:

I've stayed in touch with my school, and one of the electives I wanted to take is being offered this summer, so I enrolled in it, just for funsies. While it's not quite as serious, being not for a degree, the final grade will still be on my transcript, so I can't just blow it off. Keeping in mind that one graduate class is considered equivalent to part-time work, my free time (and possibly energy) will be heavily affected.

 

Problem:

I have a tendency to get caught up in "what will be" and "what I want to be" and forget to pay attention to "what is," inevitably resulting in feelings of disappointment that reality doesn't match my dreams. Worse, it usually takes a while of growing, vague frustration before I recognize what's happening and work to fix it. That time has decreased lately,  but the last one still took me 2-3 weeks to realize and correct. Since I've chosen to burden myself with another class (which I'll be paying for myself, so don't want to arbitrarily drop it), I expect my opportunities to reflect on my internal state will be limited; on the other hand, I don't want to spend 10 weeks being grumpy and growly at those around me for reasons that are entirely my fault.

 

Challenge:

Pay attention. To right now. To  my mental state. To my expectations. To reality. To my reactions to reality. Stressful doesn't have to mean stressed out. I've got this, and I can do it, calmly

 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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Hiya! What is the topic of the course? And when does it start?
I returned to school for an intensive course a few years ago, it was both fun and hard (ha homework! :nightmare::lol:)

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Hello again, silks lady. It is Studies in Terrorism; exciting, no? It start the first week of June and goes through mid-August. I do not regret signing up for it, but the staying calm and in the present has arisen a few times lately, and I figured it would be good to focus on it. 

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Ha ha, yes I'm not so surprised considering your past readings :P Assuming it's not a programme based on the Anarchist Cookbook :D, how will it be articulated? are there different topics like politics / socio-economics / psychology / history / national vs international terrorism, this sort of things? or a specific angle? Is it a purely academic programme? Just curious :P
I read an interesting book last year on the topic of French ISIS jihadists coming back to France. It's in French, it may not have been publicized much outside the "francophonie". I might be able to share it with you if it's of interest / if you can't order it from where you are.

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Lol, yes, it is a class on tracking, not on becoming a terrorist. I have no idea how it will be presented, I'm just hoping no groupwork (fingers crossed). The prof's bio shows extensive research and reporting to the UN on terrorist groups, so we shall see what comes of it. Thank you for the book suggestion, I will track that down. Definitely appreciate the breadth of literature that comes available when one is multi-lingual. 

 

Unrelated: apparently the way to get myself started on a project is to take it off of challenges. Mjolnir v2 has been on my list o' things to do for the past two challenges with nothing done. Today, having cleared the things that needed done before I could start....

 

IMG_20180527_160921.jpg IMG_20180527_181010_01.jpg

 

It needs hollowed out more - I couldn't quite close the bricks around the pvc, but it's a really promising start. Since I had the dremel out, I also sanded down the repairs I made to the existing Kenpo practice knives, and shaped parts for four more before my hands started hurting. Felt good to just putter, with no pressure. (I'm sure there's a lesson in there...)

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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On 28.5.2018 at 12:19 AM, Manarelle said:

IMG_20180527_160921.jpg IMG_20180527_181010_01.jpg

 

Shouldn't there be some sort of barb or cross bar inside the head such that the handle doesn't come off as easily? I don't think you'll fling it around like Thor, but... just to be sure?

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8 hours ago, Akura said:

 

Shouldn't there be some sort of barb or cross bar inside the head such that the handle doesn't come off as easily? I don't think you'll fling it around like Thor, but... just to be sure?

 

That's a really good point, actually. I tried breaking the handle off of the previous version I made to absolutely no avail, so I didn't even think about this one being different and possibly less sturdy. Thank you for pointing that out, I will rectify it. 

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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On 5/26/2018 at 8:53 AM, Manarelle said:

 

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Nice challenge!  Good luck focusing on the moment.  Keeping your mind on the here and now can be difficult, but it is necessary for concentrating on the task at hand.

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Yesterday was slightly odd in that four people struck up a conversation with me at the gym. Usually, I go in, do my thing, and leave, being rather an introvert. One called out my NF shirt (represent), two gave encouragement when I was struggling on final reps, and one asked how I got grip strength up to do hanging leg lifts (which I had just tried for the first time that day. Abs are ow today). Over a year of working on and off on getting a pullup. Persistence pays off, sometimes in ways we never even realize. 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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Mana! Following. Your challenge feels a lot like mine. Hope the class goes well; it sounds really interesting. 

 

On 5/27/2018 at 3:19 PM, Manarelle said:

Felt good to just putter, with no pressure. (I'm sure there's a lesson in there...)

I'm sure I can't imagine what lesson there might be. ;)  (Seriously, though, I wish I were more of a putterer sometimes, but I just loooooove having goals and deadlines so much.)

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On 5/30/2018 at 1:09 PM, Manarelle said:

Yesterday was slightly odd in that four people struck up a conversation with me at the gym. Usually, I go in, do my thing, and leave, being rather an introvert. One called out my NF shirt (represent), two gave encouragement when I was struggling on final reps, and one asked how I got grip strength up to do hanging leg lifts (which I had just tried for the first time that day. Abs are ow today). Over a year of working on and off on getting a pullup. Persistence pays off, sometimes in ways we never even realize. 

 

I've just been wondering how this works, I'm not sure if hanging leg lifts are working for me because my hands get way more sore than my abs...but I guess it's not that surprising that the answer is just more practice.

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15 hours ago, lauragee said:

 

I've just been wondering how this works, I'm not sure if hanging leg lifts are working for me because my hands get way more sore than my abs...but I guess it's not that surprising that the answer is just more practice.

 

Get your toes to the bar and tell me your abs aren't sore before your hands. ;-)

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Week 1: They finally opened up the course, so I spent Saturday doing week 1 stuff (not due til next Saturday). I am done, and waiting for them to open the next week. I know at some point, I'll hit a "I don't want to do this" moment; I like to be ahead so when I hit that, I can take a few days off. That said, I slept terribly last night. I don't think it's from school (combination too hot, neighbors making noise, and brain randomly singing songs at me instead of going to sleep), but I'm keep an eye on if it becomes a trend.

 

In other news:

IMG_20180603_110036.jpg IMG_20180603_110649.jpg IMG_20180603_110533.jpg IMG_20180603_115436.jpg

 

Mjolnir v2 is drying. The crossbrace (thank you, @Akura) is a knife blade, stolen from my stash of thrift store knives to make kenpo practice knives with. The toothpicks were very useful as guides, to make sure I was consistent with hollowing out and then gluing together without things sliding around. I used hot glue and rubber cement to glue it together and, if it holds, will probably try DAP quick filler and extra eva foam to fill in the center gap, then sand it into its final shape. Here's hoping.

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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2 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Mjolnir v2 is drying. The crossbrace (thank you, @Akura) is a knife blade, stolen from my stash of thrift store knives to make kenpo practice knives with. The toothpicks were very useful as guides, to make sure I was consistent with hollowing out and then gluing together without things sliding around. I used hot glue and rubber cement to glue it together and, if it holds, will probably try DAP quick filler and extra eva foam to fill in the center gap, then sand it into its final shape. Here's hoping.

Yesss! This looks awesome.  

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20 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Week 1: They finally opened up the course, so I spent Saturday doing week 1 stuff (not due til next Saturday). I am done, and waiting for them to open the next week. I know at some point, I'll hit a "I don't want to do this" moment; I like to be ahead so when I hit that, I can take a few days off.


Is it an on-line course? That's good then, you can manage things on your own time. Also classes with people can be cool too, for motivation, if the class/teaching is good.

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On 6/3/2018 at 4:47 PM, DoubleTrouble said:

Cool! Are those yoga blocks?

 

They are yoga blocks. Solid, almost exactly the right shape, and cheap. 

 

11 hours ago, @mu said:

Is it an on-line course? That's good then, you can manage things on your own time. Also classes with people can be cool too, for motivation, if the class/teaching is good.

 

Thankfully, it is an online course, and I deeply appreciate being able to do things on my own time. In-person classes can be good, but schedule conflicts are way too common when doing work and school. 

 

Took advantage of the nice weather today to try plasti-dip (spray) on a kenpo knife. Only had time to do one layer, but I think it will turn out very well, and help hide the seams on both the knives and Mjolnir. Which appears to have dried solidly. I didn't go nuts, but I did purposefully throw it at the ground and then beat the table with it for a bit. I'm quite excited to keep moving forward. The plasti-dip is more matte once it dries, but still looks pretty bad-@ss.

 

Plasti-Dip.jpg

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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On 6/6/2018 at 7:39 AM, DoubleTrouble said:

What's that you used to even out the gap?

 

Extra bits of eva foam cut from floor mats and DAP Quick Filler, which was amazingly easy to work with and had almost no odor. I'm hoping to be able to sand it down this weekend, then start with the decorating (although I'm sure it won't go that smoothly). 

 

This has been a good week for mindfulness. A coworker pointed out I was getting snippy, and I was able to cut off some rising expectations before they overwhelmed me. 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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2 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Extra bits of eva foam cut from floor mats and DAP Quick Filler, which was amazingly easy to work with and had almost no odor. I'm hoping to be able to sand it down this weekend, then start with the decorating (although I'm sure it won't go that smoothly). 

I really want to make some kind of sanding/go smoothly pun, but I stayed up too late for my brain to work.  

 

2 hours ago, Manarelle said:

This has been a good week for mindfulness. A coworker pointed out I was getting snippy, and I was able to cut off some rising expectations before they overwhelmed me. 

That's awesome!  I'm glad you were able to notice it and make adjustments.

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Week 2: MIndfulness is going well. Had a good weekend staying up on classwork, although the weather and chores meant I didn't get anything done on thermoplastics. On the other hand, for the first time in my life, I got my chin above the chin-up bar - twice. I'm not starting from a full hang, due to the height of my door frames and the bar, but I try to do a pure lift without jumping off. Previous best was nose to bar, so I'm pretty happy about that. Naturally, this coming week I have a minor surgery scheduled that I'm supposed to take a week off of working out for, but I've done it once: I'll do it again. 

 

No fun pictures of cosplay; the backyard garden (and front shade plot is doing nicely though, and with very minimal work. 

IMG_20180607_190703.jpg IMG_20180607_190450.jpg

 

IMG_20180607_190407.jpg IMG_20180607_190414.jpg

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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