Long weekend. Not in the extra days kind of way.
Finally eating. It's been a long weekend, with mass, and ritual practice, and making a yellow deacon thing with Sr. K, and lifting.

Friday I was unable to record my workout because I went straight over to the land of Issaquah, so that I could spend the evening with my darling. I'll mention some highlights, however:

Clean and Jerks. 55kg for 4 sets of 3. These went well. They were light, so they should have, but they felt fast and snappy and I feel like my technique is coming together in places. That means it's falling apart in others, but that's how progress goes. Jerks in particular are getting better technically. I think I could probably clean about 85kg now, though I won't know until April.

Overhead squats. 45kg for 4 sets of 5. I should do these every day. They went well and felt light, but they're always kind of hard, and I think they have lots of carryover to, well, everything. Progressing, though.

Russian deadlifts. 100kg for 4 sets of 5. Easy.

Jim Schmitz is an Asshole Presses. 16kg for 4 sets of 5. I hate these. They're improving, though.

Also did some pullups.

Had a good ritual practice Saturday, despite some strange pain things going on in my face. Then went to work on my diaconal tabard, with the help of Sr. K. I think it's going to be pretty awesome. Finally went over to O & S's for some dinner and good company. And two minutes of Latin coaching.

Today's workout was mercifully short. I wanted to do some extra weight, but Coach was smart and wouldn't let me because it's supposed to be a light week. I guess I'm learning. So I ended up overhead pressing 50kg for 5 sets of 5. These were really easy - nice and fast. Then deadlifted 130kg for 5 sets of 5. Once again, nice and fast. Even had some nice hip snap at the top. Hopefully I get start getting a little snap off the floor, too. Then Coach had me do Stir the Pot. Stupid core work.

Going up to 80% (from 65% this week) next week, which is exciting and fun.

Mass was good, though I had a hard time really losing myself in it. Part of that was likely just childrenating, which is kind of hard to get into. Also fatigue and hunger. Lots of good people, though, and quite a few new folks. That's always fun. Enough new people, in fact, that there wasn't a peep from the congregation the whole time, which was unfortunate, but instructive. They're there for a reason, apparently.

Also should mention that this morning before my workout I had a little bit of time to read some Homer. That's always really good for me in and emotionally and intellectually sustaining kind of way. I also feel like I'm at the top of my brain game when I do a lot of work with my languages. Doing maths puts the final edge on, but I never have time for that anymore.

Anyway, here's the little bit I worked on today (Iliad 9, 1 - 8):

Thus the Trojans had their watch - but terrible panic held the Achaians, chilly flight's companion, and the best men were thrown to unbearable woe. As when two winds - Boreas and Zephyr, gales from Thrace - come suddenly and stir up a river rich with fish, and at the same time a black wave towers up and heaps seaweed along the shore; thus was the heart torn in the hearts of the Achaians.

What I think is interesting here, aside from the nice visual of the Greek army's panic being like a storm stirring up fish and dumping seaweed on the shore, is the contrast with the image that comes with the image from the end of the last book. Here's Tennyson's translation:

As when in heaven the stars about the moon
Look beautiful, when all the winds are laid,
And every height comes out, and jutting peak
And valley, and the immeasurable heavens
Break open to their highest, and all the stars
Shine, and the shepherd gladdens in his heart:
So many a fire between the ships and stream
Of Xanthus blazed before the towers of Troy,
A thousand on the plainl and close by each
Sat fifty in the blaze of burning fire;
And eating hoary grain and pulse the steeds,
Fixt by their cars, waited the golden dawn.

So, yeah. That contrast, between the Trojans chilling out by their campfires and the Greeks feeling pretty fucked, is amazing. The division into books obscures it quite a bit. I may have to look and see what else I've missed in those transitions.

Now I'm cooking for the next couple of days. Lots of chicken and vegetables. I'm trying to transition to paleo, again. We'll see how it goes this time.

Also, I'm pretty wiped.

Learning the True Way of bench pressing. Also food and apparently I'm bad at math.
It occurred to me last night as I was falling asleep that the reason my squats felt so damn heavy is because they were. I think I read my sheet wrong and did the weights for the wrong week, so I squatted 115kg instead of 98kg. So, I suppose I had a meathead moment. Oh well - next week 120kg won't be too bad!

Did some light front squats today - 75kg for 4 sets of 5. They were light and fast and felt very routine, which they should. I'm looking forward to doing them heavier next week and CRUSHING THEM! I think all the front squats I've been doing are helping my back squats (the True Squats). When I've back squatted lately the lift is always pretty easy, even when the weight feels heavy on my back. This might just mean that I need to back squat some heavier weights, but in any case I hope the trend continues.

Romanian deadlifts were interesting. I haven't done these in about six months, so I expected to be awful at them. Things went alright, however. Coach had me a couple sets of 5 at 75kg, and then had me kick it up to 90kg for another 4 sets of 5. Didn't feel them in my glutes and hamstrings the way I thought I should. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Coach is teaching me his True Way of bench pressing. Right now it feels a little odd, but I think it'll end up being good. His method is about using the lats to bring the elbows into your 'back pockets,' creating a ton of tension throughout the entire upper torso. Making your body into a spring, pretty much. Did 4 sets of 3 at 70kg, which is pretty darn light for me, but it was good to really work the new technique. I'm shooting for 110kg at the meet in April, so hopefully I can get comfortable with this new method in the next couple weeks.

My lentil curry stuff is delicious. It has sweet potatoes in it. Also, I've been making this chicken dish for the last couple of nights that is really really good. I was trying to use up some food in the fridge and grabbing things that looked like the colors would go well together. I find this is actually a really good method of cooking sometimes, particularly if I'm in a headspace where I'm good at cooking. Here's a rough recipe.

Good Chicken Stuff
Chicken breast, cubed
Celery, chopped
1/4 Onion, chopped
Garlic, about 4 cloves, coarsely minced
1 tsp. Five spice
That good Vietnamese chili sauce, it looks like Sriracha in a jar. About 2 tbsp.
Butter, a lot
Sesame oil

1. Melt butter in a pan. Add sesame oil.
2. Brown chicken in the delicious sesame oil - butter combo.
3. Add celery and onion. Put the five spice and chili sauce on top.
4. Cook the veggies, tossing them in the pan like a boss.
5. Add garlic and cook a little bit more.
6. Eat this. Tell me how damn awesome I am.

Note: If it's not tasty you didn't use enough butter. This is always true.

Snatches and squats
Tonight's workout was good. The word of the day was snatches, and those are definitely improving, though they're still not very heavy (today was 40kg for 4 sets of 3). My speed is improving so I'm able to get a lot more under the bar. Ironically the speed is from focusing on slowing down the second pull. That should translate to some bigger numbers if I can just make it solid and consistent.

Squatted 115kg for 4 sets of 5. That felt way heavier than it should have. Coach says that the light weeks (this is supposed to be a 65% week) can feel the heaviest, so I'm not going to freak out too much. Just make sure I get about a million calories and plenty of sleep. Still, even if they felt heavy, these were good squats - they were deep, pretty vertical back, and reasonably fast. Still, it remains to be seen if I can do 150kg in April. I've done that before, but I haven't done anything over 120kg in 7 months and that has me a little worried.

The rest of the workout was clean pulls and jerks with kettlebells. The pulls felt good - it feels like I could probably clean 85kg or so if I just didn't think about it too much. The jerks were a little terrifying because of the bells wanting to go every which way, but they didn't go too badly.

I think I'm going to make some lentil curry and eat that for the next several days. I used to make that a lot back in College Attempt #1, and it was good and cheap. I'm trying to eat more plants and to expand my protein sources and to save some money, and this dish would accomplish all of those goals. We'll have to see if I remember how to make it.

Deaconating and deadlifting
Today is going to end up being a lot of day. After a delightful ( as always ) morning with my darling I went to the temple for ritual practice, cleaning candlesticks, and deaconing the Gnostic Mass. Deaconatin' was pretty good, though the voice in my head that tells me what to say next decided to play some tricks on me. Now I'm drinking some watered down coffee to prep for lifting. That's possibly a bad idea. With any luck I'll pull 150kg for 3 sets of 5. And some overhead presses, I suppose.


I've finished lifting with the help of caffeine, my favorite ( and only! ) PED. Started with overhead presses. Did 5 sets of 5 at 53kg ( 117 lbs ). I was initially a little skeptical as to whether I could complete all of those this late, but they turned out to be easy. Ditto on the deadlifts. They felt heavy in my hands, but not in my back or legs, and they turned out to be be pretty fast. The last set was the best, surprisingly. I think I managed to find a more neutral spine, instead of being over-arched, and that helped me engage my lumbar erectors.

Now to eat everything.

That's probably enough nerdery for tonight.


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