Destreza: On the meaning of Oplosophia

So in my vast stretches of spare time (ha), one of the things I do when I’m not actually trying to stab willing practice partners with rapiers is read primary sources. Under various advisements, I’ve chosen to take a look at Oplosophia e verdadeira destreza das armas by Diogo Gomes de Figueireido. You may have noticed that it’s in Portuguese, and that I have not mentioned speaking or reading Portuguese (I am, however, fluent in Spanish and have worked as an editor in that language). Yeah. Apparently I like a challenge. Anyway, one of the first things I wanted to sort out was what the heck oplosophia meant. So I went poking around the interwebs, and all that came up for me was either references to the book itself, or mentions of the term being a hapax legomenon — a word that only appears once in any given context within a language. So … Read on!

Some (not so) brief thoughts on the Sock Puppet of Self Doubt

Below is an episode of Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project, where Adam talks about overcoming self doubt — he describes a week in which he questioned whether he should be doing builds at all, after a particularly rough build, and talks about how he got himself out of that funk. The relevant bit starts at 4:30 and goes on for about 15 minutes. It’s important to know that someone with as much experience as Adam Savage gets impostor syndrome about the thing that he does best. It’s a thing. We all get it. And it hammered him for a whole week. It happens in different phases of creation, too. His initial trigger was feeling like he just couldn’t get a series of precise machinings right, that he kept screwing up in the workshop. That’s impostor syndrome that strikes during the creative process. You hit a hard part, you come up … Read on!

And I’d been on a decent roll, too

I’ve talked a bunch about time management, but these days I know it’s as much a neurological issue as it is a quirk. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, which is a really nice change of pace, but that the things I want to say are important enough to me to want to spend a reasonable amount of time to get them written with full attention and now you can see this temporal ouroboros starting to turn, can’t you? I found the parenting article that I wanted to edge into self-care; I hit my 40th birthday and received so much love an esteem from friends and family all over the world I trip over myself to say thank you in a way that I feel is commensurate to the wonder that came my way; I ran out of my prescription and went a few days without it … Read on!

Preparation

I was thinking, yesterday, of preparation. It’s not something I have a really good grasp of outside of very formal or important situations, mainly because I seem to think that people, on the whole, don’t have to do much preparation to get smaller things done in their lives. Like get dressed in the morning. I know I stress less if I don’t have to make choices when my mind’s not up to speed, which is the majority of a morning. I can if the scope is limited (find error in text, fix error in text) but not if the scope is open (I literally have twelve different top combinations I can put on for work this morning OH GOD NO). I’ve done that sort of thing before — prepping wardrobe at an hour where my brain’s warmed up and okay with picking things out — though I often fall out … Read on!

Back on the keyboard

Aw, man, good morning. Things on my mind: I have some kind of back of the hand tendonitis. Haven’t done much research on it to see what I can do about it aside from ice and anti-inflammatories, but I know what causes it and no, I’m not going to back off the fencing. Not yet, anyway. Also — need better forearm protection than the junior shinguards that I picked up. Maybe adult-sized shinguards? Eh. I want to get back into translating primary documents. I was working on bits and pieces of Destreza texts, but I’ve lost the plot for a while now. I used to do it, in fact, in the mornings when I would wake up at 5:30 but didn’t need to be at work until 8:30, which meant I had more time at home to putter. I like having the extra time, but I am absolutely NOT waking … Read on!

A half hour is not enough, confirmed

Due to temporary shifts in my schedule over the next couple of days, I had to move my personal training session to today at 5:30 AM so as not to miss it completely this week. Today. At 5:30. I have conclusively proven despite the itty bitty dataset that I absolutely cannot function completely without a full hour to let the brain spool up. I am now writing this at noon-ish after having come back, eaten a bit of breakfast, and taken a 3 hour nap (though I do want to say I was in bed before 10 so I stood a reasonable chance of getting enough sleep for a 5 AM wake-up). This means that I am now more or less properly awake, have been working on modifying a gambeson so it properly fits me (this is a rant for another time), and the Sock Puppet is well awake and … Read on!

An hour is not enough

I don’t ramp up fast unless there’s fear for my life involved. By this I mean that if I need to be properly awake by a certain hour so I’m not the equivalent of drunk behind the wheel due to sleepiness, I need to be awake for about an hour. Unless the house is like on fire or something. Or so I thought. This experiment is showing me that I need at least a half hour to spool up into a consciousness functional enough to sit a computer and type things, which means if I’m giving myself an hour between waking and putting my butt in a car seat, I get maybe half an hour to get other things done. That’s just not enough. I do harp on about time. I suspect this time-buffer between waking and being truly awake can shorten significantly if I get more than 5 hours … Read on!

Half an hour goes by really fast

I have never had a good grasp of the passage of time. I used to think that it was just a thing, you know, no one ever really does have a good grasp of the passage of time, but revelations about my neurology show that it’s actually more acute for me than I thought. Or imagined. The Sock Puppet is awake this morning. Didn’t take long to spool up. I am not a morning person. I appreciate mornings in a mechanical sense; I can, with effort, shake my mind to some relative plateau of awareness, and I like the quiet and the dim gray light. But morning s are not a natural state for me. Part of it, I suppose, is the wheeling and churning of my head which I thought everyone dealt with — I thought it was just a natural part of being human. Again, this particular wheel-spinning … Read on!

Waking up is hard to do

I remember when I lived in New York how much I loved and dreaded winter because it meant waking up and going home in the dark. Now that I live much closer to the equator, it’s not as much of an issue. Except now my start time is 0730, which means I have to wake up at 0530 to have any semblance of consciousness by the time I put my butt in a driver’s seat. I forgot just how hard it is to wake up without the sun. It’s not even that cold right now, though it finally feels like autumn, which is a blessed relief because I’m no fan of stewing overnight in my own sweat. But when the weather’s too cold, waking up is as close to pain as not getting actually hit in the toe with a hammer will allow. I’m also disoriented from the short week, … Read on!

An experiment

Less of an experiment, really, and more of a thing to try to see how I go. I have a nice blog with a nice site and it sits sort of empty and to add to that I’ve got issues with sitting down at my desk to actually compose something to post. Because I sit here and think how presumptuous I’ve got to be to believe that my perspective on anything is interesting. It’s ridiculous when you look at it in black and white. At any rate, the culprit behind thinking who wants to read what I write is the Sock Puppet of Self Doubt (I’ve talked about him before). And with a fairly new work schedule that requires me to be up at stupid o’clock, I’m up and running before it is. It’s a narrow band of time, but it’s long enough for me to get something written. So you … Read on!