vicarz: (Default)
Is it bad that when I post I note I don't post anymore? It's just when I finally do, I'm stunned at how things have changed. I'm still crazy, in the sense that my emotions do not seem reasonably supported by circumstances, but they change my behavior far less than they used to, and I'm usually comfortable or just plan happy. I seem life functional so while I always like to improve, things seem good today.

Except for my perpetual state of first-world homelessness.

House update:
Contractor has gone radio silent, and with some nudging I issued an ultimatum/deadline which expired. I'm now waiting for the lawyer to contact me and start action. I had 6-8 people look at the job, but only 3 provided bids. I may not be able to afford both the bid-prices for the work and legal action.

The house issues are the constant source of relationship tension, that and how I get defensive when she is more driven than I am for action. I took the time to count how much money I lost in lost rent, but the emotional toll is immeasurable. I can't believe how incredibly I fucked this whole thing up.

Gym:
Nothing exciting. I've gone from plain 5-3-1 to the big but boring reps game. I'm likely about to reset as I'm plateauing on squats and DL. Sadly this is only about my old weights, but I've been pushing myself for a long time. I watch form videos and read articles more than I used to.

I also look at old people and read a bit more about aging. I might be able to lift longer, but it's possible I'll lose the ability at some point. Running or other cardio work is an option, and probably healthier in many ways, but right now this is fun and working for me.

Oddly lifting is not social. You do it alone - also like running. But I tried for years to be social with boxing, and it went nowhere. Some people parlay athleticism into friends, but I have not been able to do that. However, I seem to appear muscular, and am still confident, so I have an easier time in casual social engagements from near-altercations on public transportation, to the reaction when I'm nice or smiling at people. I used to wonder how much of my interactions were based on my hair - now my shoulders. Meh.

Meh

Mar. 31st, 2017 05:51 am
vicarz: (Year of me)
House:
have started preparing for litigation. For a brief period it looked like this guy was ripping me off, for undisclosed reasons and because the elec permit (with the date/year cut off) didn't appear to match our current permit number. Now, the known building permit expires 4/4. He claims he has to get re-issued original drawings from DCRA...but why? Nobody would lose the originals - he has all the inspection records and permits. He also barely responded to email/calls/texts since January (1) and hasn't done a lick of work.

Then we found the electrical permit and he said there were inspections scheduled. Then the inspections were cancelled, though an inspector did show up and hint strongly there were real problems and nobody would pass the inspection. That sadly would fit the contractor's story that an inspector had said they had to tear everything out (all the framing, plumbing rough-in, elec rough-in).

I've asked another contractor to bid and started looking at the statute of limitations on the contract (with the question, when does the alleged breach claim take place in a 3 year project that was supposed to take 120 days in May of 2014?) I still hope to avoid litigation but there are many indications this guy and/or company may not ... finish. At least I know switching contractors mid-stream is possible and not all that unheard of - it does not seem to mean there is a chance I would be banned from my house or have the drywall ripped out to re-inspect behind them.

DCRA is a morass. You try getting information from them. The contractor complaint that they give different results for the same inspections seems legitimate.

Besides all the rent I lost on 2 places, the ongoing stress of this mess has worn me down.

Gym:
I felt good about a 345 squat a short while ago, until I uploaded a video to check my form and noticed it was next to a 2-year-old video of me doing 315 for 3. Sure I had setbacks and the nerve nonsense never was sourced, fixed, or remedied...but over time I'm finally struggling back. I think I need to form check all my lifts.

I post politics in fb. Should I be more scared or ashamed of this country?

Haven't moved out of fb yet but my pay-deadline is up soon and I don't want to support this anymore. Obviously I don't write like I used to and the reports of jailed russian dissidents with the email releases and state hacking? Plus...
Well I still miss this place. I miss the community of my friends and the rare meeting someone outside my immediate circle. But this place posted listservs for me and myspace for others. Nostalgia is fine but what is lingering?
vicarz: (Year of me)
Deadline to move to dreamwidth?

I'm less depressed over politics. Good news, the right is so insane it's in the public eye now. The left might be pulling it's head out of it's collective ass - memes mock Stein's latest stupidity similar to dumpsterfire. My favorite quote was from the gym "They're coming out during the day now."

Gotta buy the girl a ring; been shopping. Ethics matter in shopping for crap fwiw

Gym:
My shoulder still bothers me but my weights have all recovered or are leaping up (bench is still off, but may be only 10%). I have been rolling and stretching, but still my ankles are too prone to move and my shoulder too unlikely to. I did start running but have not kept up...my gym location is a real issue, as is coordinating my schedule with the girl. I've started in on full relationship nag with the girl, as her need to take classes is a scheduling and logistical nightmare that impacts us both. Also, she literally has no gains. So I'm pimping strength and trying to stretch myself to more therapeutic workouts (i.e. face pulls), and trying to drag her with me. I think she'd be better at, and happier with, strength training than her "weights cardio." However she's a grown damn woman, smart, and better at her things than I am, so she might destroy me at some point. No mansplaining.

I'm revisiting form. With my side-pull injury crap, and after watching that yes, even with shoes on my ankles move, it's a good idea to reground myself. This weekend the gf is out of town so I can do crazy long workouts instead of cram it into an hour workout. Less huge lifts, more cardio/conditioning, and more support work would be good for me. I'm trying to drag the gf with me into "have a plan, one that doesn't require fees or scheduled appointments" type workouts. I can generally take my gear and go to any decent gym on the day in question and do my workout.

House:
The contractor has not shown up once since xmas, other than one time to tweak the heat. His stories and plan made sense, but I fear the reality is he hasn't paid the/an electrician which is holding up the permit. Girl went online into his finances and found his property has equity, but the water company has put liens on his property. Twice. I don't want to sue a guy to suck the value out of his house when he has a young child, but at some point if I don't - if he loses it, I don't want to be last in line.

I got Scott to paint and fix up the Arlington place, to be rented soon. With the condo paying a bunch of it, and trusting his schedule and work product, it made sense - having interacted with him as he found quirks along the way? Very happy and worth the premium price (plus Joe cheapo never bid/showed).

I just got a bill from DC as they called my work likely 60% or more complete, with increases the value of my home by about $90,000, pumping my taxes and mortgage to cover.

I love my house. I love my hood. Neither is perfect.
vicarz: (Golds)
Fuck it! Ok, so I am still in recovery mode, first from the nerve fuckery, 2nd from having the summerdethflu, and yesterday’s “where am I / can I do it” DL was to be 365 for 3. It felt fine, I did 5, 4, 4...and on the last one I felt this nerve pop in my left shoulder. Bad. No pain, but WOW nervy pop feel. That’s how my last nerve pop/pinch/deth started. I stopped immediately and was terrified I'd wind up with the weeks of pain that occurred last time I felt that strong nerve pop. However, as of today I seem fine.

I still can’t bench, and I’m wondering how long I’ll be able to DL. Who knows what I lose next. My spine-discs are failing, little spurs of age-deth are growing on my body like cancers, and...shit it's just a matter of time. I have years left, decades, but physical deth is definitely starting.

I need to get off my ass and make my new shirt idea (I haven’t made my own shirts in ages)
-"Olympic ( back-swing hip-thrust machine-assisted ) Bicep Curl Champion! "-
Front may say something like “Yaaaaaaay!” or “What’s a gain?” possibly “Noise is strength!”

But you know what? I hate running but I used to do it. I used to be proud of it. I liked having a washboard, and could run hung over - heck running cured hangovers. I can do suicides (sprints) and they make me want to throw up...but they’re awesome in the sense that they are hard. Running would be easier in many ways, with not much equipment needed, making it a far easier workout on the road. I haven't run lately, but if I lose weightlifting, I shouldn't act like running is deth. It may be my last stand against deth.

If I wind up with running, so be it. Acceptance. If it comes to that.

Plus - more pokemon!
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Ugh, I wrote a post at work about work, but can't post it from that location so... It'll get pasted later.

I have not been using the phone app. The iphone 5s is tiny and my eyemeats are too old to see the thing.

I'm spending a surprising amount of time walking around pokemon-ing. It's cutting into my diablo time. It's fun that I get to do it with the gf. I'm not embarrassed that I'm playing a child's game - I watched the cartoon in my late 20s or early 30s. But it's weird that I'm walking outside so much for...a game, when for health and the environment I've generally chosen to drive. It makes me question my priorities, competitiveness, and general silliness. Why do I play games so much? Why don't I read, stretch, socialize, or do important things more?

It's labor day weekend, my gf comes back today after a long trip and I'm looking forward to hibernating with her, the windows are open for the first time since HEAT and I'm sipping coffee before the rest of the world thinks about waking up. I feel good.

But old. ohmifuck I'm getting old. It happens in odd steps rather than a slow curve. Today's issue is with the gf out of town, I've let my goat face come in and my chin has obvious white hairs. I have white PUBIC hairs - many (as I shave, I rarely see them - so when I'm lazy and gross it's a shock to see what changed). I'm 48 and many of my friends have lost hair or had gray since 30 or even younger - but this is my experience. I have more hair on my neck - again I'm hairless compared to normal people, but this is me. Oddly the hair is disappearing from my legs, but ... it's growing on my ears. You can't see it/them yet, but it's becoming more obvious, common, and actual hair like than downy invisible fuzz. Hair grows in my nose - I had to force myself to admit that. It's beyond gross.

I. Can't. See. I've had good enough to 20/20 vision my whole life, and now it is literally a daily struggle to see. I see fine with reading glasses on, but to lug them around is a pain and it's a pain and embarrassing to unfold them to view something for 5 seconds. The meat of my eye has stopped growing, is getting stiff, and is drying up. I'm dying a little at a time, with each organ I never think about going through various degrees of depreciation at varying rates. I have some random spots of pigment on my face - age spots I think. I have freckles throughout my sleeve tan. My feet have some patches of dry, hard, skin. My gray hairs in front are spreading. The signs of death can be fought but are growing in degree and number.

Gym - I just saw the doctor and yes, I have the beginning of real age problems. I have literally shrunk because my spine is compressing - and traction won't do a thing about it. Some discs are better than others, and surgery is an option plus far easier than thought - but I'm nowhere near needing it. Still, my discs are showing degeneration normal due to age, and they do things like compress nerves. If I didn't work out I may not know, so it's good to get this lesson now. The doctor specifically said even if I wanted surgery, it's out-patient and low-risk, but he'd refuse because it's not worth it. It's odd to have to step out of my workout emphasis and admit whether I bench 155 or 235 is not important. But I walk away with no answer to my "How did I get injured, and how do I prevent it" question other than "time and death." He said I am able to work out with good form as much as I like.

The doc also said I was his easiest patient that day. The wall was covered with ads for pain-med-to-spine pumps, nerve blockers, and warnings about opioid abuse. I remember the pain from both times I popped a nerve, and it seems this is something that happens with age. I didn't notice a lot of the aging process due to the gym - not a bad thing. I feel pain all the time, but it's from or overridden by my soreness for strength training.

Socially my gym workout is a disaster. I feel part of a "team" when I work out alone, happy to help others but not making friends. In fact I'm far more happy alone than ever in my life, but I'm also far happier and comfortable with friends than I used to be too. Confidence has been a huge issue in my life, both as an unknown disabling condition and a great benefit. I'm better than the morons who bench press and hip-thrust-bicep-fake-curl and think women will fuck them for their arm meat, but still...why do I enjoy being strong for a little person?

I don't intend to change - I know I need to do more cardio, but I don't enjoy it and I always fall off the bandwagon. My gf is too good to really run with her, or that's my excuse. Feels real. But while my workout may be silly, it has me a) going to the gym 4 days a week, b) doing yoga-like stretching, c) discovering health issues, d) correcting my posture in my daily life, e) saving a fortune on antidepressants or therapy because I'm always hopped up on endorphins, f) learning more and practicing social skills with brief stranger encounters (which matters, but that's another post), and of course e) getting some cardio exercise, even if it's intermittent and moderate rather than the long painful burn of running.

House, briefly: I'm not moving in this labor day weekend. Although Jordan was "mostly done" last week...well I stopped by the place yesterday evening and he was there, and explained he only has ONE EMPLOYEE right now, but he just got paid on another job so he's more flush. He said he'll be there - he "hopes" Monday (he's flexible with his folks) but definitely Tuesday. They have to thread electric and do detail work. He noted one of his employees also has his own crew (a subcontractor with subcontractors). The remaining bill has dropped more, by around 10fuckingthousand.

It sounds silly but it's been near-ready to move in for ages. I'm looking forward to moving in. I am looking forward to not being spread between 3 places and driving all the time, worried about jams and rush hour. At least the house is...liveable now, almost. There is electricity, lights, floors you can walk on, water and toilets...it's not a shell. It's just not done. The a/c condensation pump is running off a switch in the front hallway...

Enough coffee-infused writing: back to playing diablo before I do squats at the gym, which is about 7 pokestops from here (because yellow has taken over all 5 gyms I can see from here, no gold for me today)
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I'm slow to schedule doctor appointments. Really busy with the gf, but my gym workouts are set back by continuing nerve damage and continuing tightness in the shoulders / armpits or whatever these joints are. PT and chiro didn't fix it so far as I can tell.

2 months and 2 weeks later and my house still isn't done - and progress is slowed to a crawl. I can tell he's been there, but only just barely. My girlfriend and I borderline argue about small possible tiny changes. After showing up this weekend and seeing the a/c still blasting while hotwired with the upstairs at 64 deg, and seeing no real progress, with some gf prodding, I said it's time to set up a meeting with all hands on deck. It's over 10k in penalties now - what the holy hell is his problem?

Thinking about firing him again, suing him too. It's an ugly prospect but it's almost August and I'm not in my house. The penalty should inspire performance but is not, and it's less money than I'm losing. Also, gf is about to kill me - it matters.
vicarz: (Abs)
Huh...benched a whopping 135 for 5 reps today, with the last 2 uneven. Still, that's 100 lbs less than my max and I couldn't do that 5 times. So, slowly I'm improving. My triceps feel weird still, but I wonder if that's good.

Asked a 70 year old man for a spot, a not-touch spot just in case I had problems. This led to a long conversation about how he used to be a 235 lb football player until his spine needed surgery. Dude was FURIOUS at being skinny at 70 in the gym. I wonder how lucky I am to discover my spine and muscle imbalances while I'm almost 50 fucking years young. I might be able to fix my spine. I hope to be a scary old fucker at 70.

Somebody flagged me as adult content. Ick, I'm click-I'm-18 material now. Huh.

I need to do a long post about machismo, image marketing, and a proposed strategy of publicizing the virtues of choice - of the benefits of choosing to be wealthy, and the benefits of choosing not to take on so much investment and responsibility. I'm serious, but need to develop the issue.

Bought an iphone so I'm being obnoxious on fb. And in general. The 13-year-old girl in me is never buried deep. Saddest discovery is the iphone 5s has better audio than this dinosaur laptop.

I've lost at least 10 lbs since I was injured.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I worked out in a YMCA again while on travel, and I noted they had a sign that said words to the effect that their mission is to create an environment consistent with practice of the xtian faith. That touched me. I’m not a fan of xtian or any faith, but I’m the first to admit that my lifestyle, goals, and ethics parallel many aspects of their faith (who doesn’t aspire to being good in the world around them?) They provide physical activity opportunities, from strength training to mushroom shaped waterfalls in the pool for the kids. Having something to do besides gaze into a screen might be next to godliness, or at least we all agree that it’s healthy.

Tues I DL’d 405 for the first time since my injury, 2 singles (and 1 fail). So that’s nice. Even today I’m sore in the lumbar, shoulders, and hamstrings - which means I didn’t do the lift entirely wrong (I think I used my lumbar / back too much). I’m showing some improvement in most areas, though my OP isn’t what it used to be, and my bench remains around the 50% mark. I should make an appointment to see the doc but I feel like I have no me time.

In amusing gym etiquette news, I walked by a guy who was leaving the Olympic rack/platform, who tried to tell me it was free but I was sort of tuned out as he talked to me. I kind of put together what he was saying later and took the rack. I saw him later, and made a point of (interrupting his headphones) thanking him for the invite/info and noting I didn’t mean to ignore him as I was zoned...he laughed and thanked me, noted it was no problem, and fist bumped.
...Only...I don’t know how to fist bump and did mine karate punch horizontal while his was vertical. Not sure he noticed or cared, but I don’t manhug, fist bump, or urban smack handshake often so it’s funny when someone reaches out to me that way...I totally white it up by shaking hands without the appropriate pop, or in this case, fist bump 90 deg off.

I still haven’t been running, but with less lifting and my gf’s later schedule and many activities, I’m eating so much less I’ve lost weight. I can see my abs at the right angle and light. The abs are nice but I prefer strength. Never know when you might need to take out a gunman in a crowd.

YMCA - this is where I can get along with people of faith - never mind the parallels in behaviors regardless of the motivation, it’s in the shared mission and even concept of good and evil. It’s good to help, to enable, to build. It’s bad to hurt, to block, and to destroy. When faith fuckers aren’t trying to prevent gay people from existing or demonizing sex, we have in common the making a world where the other can exist even if we don’t believe the same things. Well, I have that in common with their stated beliefs. Religion in public policy and the news is a well defined enemy of freedom(s).
vicarz: (Woodsy nipple)
The rebirth of an alchem picture page, hiking this past week, a book called "American Idle," and my rain of injuries has me nostalgic and rethinking exercise - in a good way I hope.

I can still hike; I still leap over rocks like a goat; I may not face the same back tension/pain I used to (meaning my struggle to correct apt / muscle imbalances, while not over, are indeed making progress woot woot). I saw unfit people aging; I saw children playing, and reflected on what is natural. One nice conclusion is: natural sucks. We're designed to survive adversity, and for every benefit, there are drawbacks. A bear can sleep all winter and get up full strength, while a man confined to bed for a month is unable to walk. Sadly exercise does not erase sedentary life, but exercise does not need to be competition.

Cute class physical perspective: back in the early days of the olympics the difference between what athletes did and the population was far less than today.

lj guilt hint - if you feel like writing, don't feel obligated to catch up with the week of posts you missed first.

I think I've identified a problem in my shoulder which might be the source of my nerve pinch, or a problem caused by it, but in any case I need to do more work. As for the weakness, it remains but seems to be slowly going away. It seems obvious I won't be healed in the 6-month window, but I'm grateful that I can still squat full strength or close to it, have a reasonable DL, and even the OP isn't too crazy far off. Even the bench has gone from 95 to 115, though...that's still annoying, as are the other problems like not being able to sleep on one side or prop myself up on my elbow.

My bigger idea is more hiking. It feels good, and having done it a few times this past week, I kinda miss it. The problem here is it takes 1.5-2 hours to get to a good place to mountain-in-shade hike, but I think I'm going to put more effort into making occasional trips, doing some run-walk outside, and doing some run-walk on treadmills. I am already more likely to stand at the desk than sit - one improvement.

I like strong better than skinny, but I also like the confident comfortable me more than the insecure me (though I still love the pictures of fairy princess me).
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
The gym and I have half parted ways. I guess I'm a spoiled little twat, because I really enjoyed "status" of being unusually strong. Sure, guys squat 4 and 500, but my 315 or more was unusual. My squat is the one lift I can still kind of do - just the other day a young guy approached me when he noticed we were wearing the same lifting shoes. I saw he had finished with only 155 or so on the bar, and that's about where I started my warmups...I knew no matter how happy and humble I was he'd see my big lifts later (not landsmashing, but doubles around 315). After I had done a few he commented on the "huge lifts." As always I poo poo'd them, and noted he was well on his way while I still remember being scared of my first few 225 lifts.

The nerve pinch isn't healed after hundreds of dollars in co-pays, thousands in insurance burden to society, and the related chiro and PT visits. My bench has gone from 235 doubles, to 95 for 5, currently around 125 for 5 (followed by 4, 3, 3, 3...). Most of the problem seems to be my left tricep isn't firing. I've been experimenting with tricep pulls/extensions, and they're stupidly weak. Face pulls, assisted pull-ups, traction - nothing is fixing this problem.

And I don't care much. Or I do. It's not clear - it seems a lot of my healthy program was based on enjoying being relevant or a minor player in the gym. Struggling with 95 lb benches while a small skinny guy beside me reps 135 is motivationally challenging.

I said I was going to pick up the cardio, but I have not applied this theory. I never feel like it and its feels so...droll. I should do it, but my motivation isn't there.

I do stand at my desk most of the day now - I have largely adjusted to the varidesk and in theory this will help with the spine shape, compaction, arthritis, and nerve pinch.

One last nervous area for me is the pinch...again. I can sort of deadlift, as someone most of my grip is ok, and I've done a few DLs at 365 and 385 (old fun was 435, or was it 445?). The oddball issue is the DL feels fine (though my form has faded - I'm back to using my back too much, a problem I'm re-fixing right fucking now tyvm) at heavy weights - but in the warmup stage I feel the same nerve twinge that started this slope of death. I've told the docs and nobody has a theory about why that is. The best I can figure is really pulling my shoulders back while I DL somehow engages or aggravates the nerve, while just keeping my back straight and letting the shoulders be more natural avoids the issue (hence why it disappears on heavy lifts). I have had no pain since the original not-injury.

Sad how much of my gym motivation was being impressive. Like the tween I joke I am, I need to be a special little snowflake everywhere I go, covered in sparkles so everyone blinks at my blinks.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
This is that curious hour where I've "slept in," per my usual internal clock, and she's not going to be up for hour(s). I wish she'd wake up because then we can get coffee (coffee out is today's plan). Also, I want to see her! It's funny as now I tiptoe around the house to keep from waking her, while if we were at her place by now the cat would walk on her face (without waking her). Last night was dinner and theatre with friends, but I was happy to retreat home with her instead of clubbing out (I didn't want to see a band play). We hit the H STreet/Atlas arcade, and she understood better how excited I was about the ones in Cincinnati and Raleigh.

So both Prince and Michael J died because they were in religious cults that don't let them get medical treatment leading to their use of strong pain medications? Makes me less sympathetic and likely to forgive the homophobia from Prince, even while I stand back and let my friends separate the art from the creator. I'd be happy if the person who made the music I found transformational was in similar spaces, or respectable ones, but my takeaway is the experience I had was mine. There are friends and authors I may owe pieces of my current self, but it'll be a rare musician.

Everyone has headphones on. I used to listen to music really loud in my house; I'm not sure my mother should have let me. Still, to me it had to be loud music and not headphones - the fact it was actually playing made it more real.

I'm in PT and it's curious - they literally put me in traction with a mechanical device pulling on my neck to spread my vertebre. I see posture fixing a big part of the therapy, so the fact I've been practicing with the standing desk is a very good, if too late, thing. I'm not convinced they haven't missed a pulled muscle or something in the shoulder but I'm doing all I can to keep active. I'm still making a strength out of it where I can, locking in more form and enjoying the not-death post workout feeling. Today I can feel yesterday's squats yelling at me.

And yesterday we ran into the contractor in my home, that's on Sat, and the kitchen cabinets, in boxes, were in the kitchen. He said they'd be installing them tomorrow. He said he was glad to be back in there, looking forward to finally getting me in...but it took me yelling and nearly firing him to make it happen so I'm not sure I understand his emotional statements. We went over various things that are in process or need doing - he encouraged us to perhaps live there before deciding if we needed ceiling fans, but also recommended a local / non-lowes-HD shop where we went after the gym and about lost our minds on all the choices. Big black square chandelier LED light? 1950s sci-fi ceiling fan? Birdcage chandelier? Got all that.

The idea that I'll be moving and living in DC, in that house, doesn't feel real.
vicarz: (DL)
A blurb before I go to not a real workout:
I got an MRI and went to the ortho, who disagreed that it showed symmetrical brain cancer, but noted I have the start of arthritis in my heck and this is normal for people my age. Another glimpse into not only am I going to die, but in a measurable time, and with predictable ranges of impediment and suffering. Then we get to the fact my alleged nerve pinch has stripped 1/3 to 2/3 of all my lifts except squat, and I may not recover, or if I do it may take months or years. He did find that besides some missing/decaying fluid around the spine, which he says is normal, I have a very restricted passage for nerves to the arms - which would explain the pinch. He prescribed PT for 4-6 weeks to see what that can do. Neck training or shoulder training I guess. After that he recommends if I'm still fucked I go to a (spinal specialist) who may do injections and if that doesn't work, surgery.

I've had a bunch of financial hits lately, I no longer live in the black, and suddenly chiro and PT copays, plus $400 for the MRI after insurance, and I'm losing thousands in a few months. Even at my income that hurts. I know others have it worse, but this glimpse still sucks.

I had surgery a little over a year ago so I could lift big weights for a long time. It seems that entire venture and expense may have been wasted. In fact everything I do, where my discipline helps me make measurable results, is stripped away. I did boxing, was borderline respectable, and my elbows gave out. I lifted, while I was not competition level, people would stare and say things in the gym. Now for the 2nd time that is taken away from me, possibly never to return.

And this is normal. I talked to a friend who just randomly lost vision in an eye. No prognosis or diagnosis - shit just happens. Wait, what? Since when did pieces of your body just fall off? What about science and medicine? Why isn't insurance paying for it? Rude fucking awakening.

Trying, trying to make positives. I can keep working out and really return to form. REALLY return to form, since it is all I have. I have been able to make my muscles sore even with lower weights, higher reps, and the support work is a larger part of my workout. Maybe if I can't do more I'll return to cardio and get my old washboard back (or get a real one that doesn't require being sick with a virus to take those sexah pictures).

House.
After 2 weeks it appears nothing is done. I have an email that is worth the paper it's printed on if the guy goes out of business and/or skips town. He could finish in 2 weeks, he could just take the financial hit on the money per week, but I'm scared and disappointed.

I might move in with Veronica - spending more time there, adding more things so I am able to go to work, gym, or play from there without so much planning. If I move in full-time I could work from "home" there, move things around in Arlington, and get the work done on the place for it to be rented out after I move out.

A piece of good news is the people who hit my car took responsibility, and Geico is saying they will cover the expenses of both the damage and a rental car 100%. I cancelled my claim with Travelers, though I can revive it if I have problems. Time will be lost, but other than that nothing else.

My computer stopped working which hurts - this laptop is past it's prime but functions. I now am the proud owner of a broken tv, slow laptop, broken computer, broken car, 2 broken homes...but I have steady income. I keep keep keep waiting to cash in on the rewards of all my hard work and sacrifice. Granted that may be hours of video game time while drinking - but ... even that keeps moving further away.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Tried the gym and I have serious problems. Even warming up, I started to jump up and down and it hurt my ribcage. I did light squats and my arm and fingers tingled. I tried light overhead press and it felt odd but went up...perhaps uneven. Then I tried pull-ups and went up at an angle, as my left arm didn't pull.

I can't jump up and down, and that's to say I can't run - or shouldn't run - as just bouncing makes my back feel like it's pulling on my nerves across my shoulder, back, and down my arm.

Just like last time I had nerve damage, the muscle isn't firing or working under control. I'm not sure who to check in with - GP? Ortho again? I can email the ortho and he'll probably respond. I could also just go light a couple weeks and see if I get better in a few weeks.

I'm not in immediate pain (that would be cute if I returned to extreme pain too) but I'm completely fucked.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I finished my prednisone today, and my arm hurt less today than yesterday. However I'm scared - I did push ups yesterday when it hurt, and I felt like it might be weak; worse, weak in that way where you try to move and the muscle doesn't get the message. That would fit the spasms I had.

Last time I had a nerve injury it cut my strength by half and took years to recover to where I am now. So, I will find out this week, but I may be facing losing the ability to lift weights (well). I'm sort of addicted to the strong tiny guy thing.

I mean there are other things I can do, and if I can't DL I hope I can still squat. Maybe I can do it all, maybe I'll be fucked up but only lose 6 mos.

If I'm seriously impaired I've decided to take up badminton (the computer thinks it isn't spelled bad mitten). I loved boxing but my elbows gave out, so I got into weight lifting. I may have a nerve injury that takes me away from lifting, so it's like whatever I do something goes wrong to take it away from me. I don't think I could ever care about badminton, so if it fits the trend, when I have a debilitating injury that takes my ability to play it away - I can just shrug it off.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Out of commission: I can't work out atm. It's an upcoming down week anyway, but I've had a nagging pain in my shoulder which slowly, without any known injuries or events, got worse. Well, now it's a steady dull pain buried deep in my shoulder that seems related to my neck. I can kill the pain with 400mg ibuprofen, but it's too bad to work out. Hopefully a week off will result in recovery.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Does it seem painfully obvious that I'm always doing something or tired? I used to write a lot at/from work but my job is simply too demanding - or I'm more conscientious of how much downtime I cash in on.

Gym, I go to it. My workouts are more geared towards the girlfriend's classes and schedule - she does classes, in 800 different places, and enjoys variety. I do what spreadsheet tell me do /tarzanvoice.
This is how fat I am http://vicar.livejournal.com/photo/album/5733/
Most of my washboard pics were taken after I was sick - I never ran around looking chiseled. I was impressed at how awful I could look in these, and how a couple vertebrae make me go from troll with moobs to meh.

Tomorrow I try to duplicate my 435, or was it 445, DL.

I visited the house with Kobi, and was surprised to find teeny tiny things done. A toilet is in the powder room, the sinks were installed. Stain and sealer is in the living room so it looks like the work trickles on. I'm still trying to set a meeting though, as the dates not met isn't forgotten over a couple tiny things and lacking an explanation of what went wrong. Granted, some of my anger is based on getting abused by corrupt DC employees, but it does all go back to him not meeting timelines by...a year.

On the other hand, he has also done a lot for free.

I'm exhausted...

Life is good but busy - just vacationed with Veronica over her birthday, then made social time with friends. Now my wild fantasies are about catching up on sleep.

Edit - I'm still stunned by the number of typos I leave in my posts. Did I used to read them more? Is my brain degrading over time? Was I always this sloppy?
vicarz: (Storms)
Part of the reason I'm not writing is I'm rabidly addicted to diablo again. Yay diablo. I'm writing in part because I'm home sick...3rd time this season, and I'm sick of diablo for at least 10 minutes.

I work out a lot - I should not be sick. I guess this is how I'm wired. Should I not pass my weak genes on? I had 2 colds this winter, neither of which effected my gf. She got sick and I thought I'd probably already had it...and now in the requisite incubation period, I'm sick. On the other hand, I intend to live a long time
(unless somebody crosses me, then I'll show him I'll go the whole way)
and it's far better to face these germs now than to get sick at 70.
(note to self - flu shot! I'm late!)

But for a gym post - this is boring. I'm happy with the gym and not lagging after setting my records. Part of the happy reason why I'm happy is that I'm still getting stronger. Slowly. But that's kind of how it's supposed to work - slowly, over time, with hard work, you get stronger. What I squatted 4 times a month ago I did 5 times this week, 3 times a month ago 4 times this week. 1 rep there, 10 lbs there, and I keep growing. Yay.

The only other gymmy thing I have going on is getting better at socializing. I've learned either to approach people that need major form tips, or how to give form tips to people that will not mind receiving them. One big lesson I learned is simply "hit and run." Don't chat all day - just give a main point, compliment the good stuff, and get the hell out of there. That minuses the creep factor a great deal.

Or maybe I just look like I want to help - like yesterday, when this skinny kid was squatting and his knees were collapsing so bad they practically knocked. I couldn't help "asking" if he wanted an unsolicited tip, despite the leavemealonephones. He was very receptive, and I noted his depth was great and his back looked good, but his knees...and he knew it, noting as I did when I was less experienced, that he's fine at lower weights...so I recommended both that he "spread the floor" (and explained what that is and feels like) and that he check form tips on utube videos. Perhaps it was the age difference. Perhaps it was the fact I was pressing what he was squatting. Perhaps he lacked the social skills to tell the creepy wannabe coach to go away. But he thanked me profusely and I told him to think nothing of it. This seems to be happening more.

I also, fwiw, sometimes ask super strong guys for pointers when I see them doing something I am not familiar with but that doesn't look idiotic.

I remember going to a gym outside B'more that had a bar. I'd like to own a gym with a bar - I would call the bar "Fuck it."
vicarz: (VD)
So this is day 3 of mostly stuck inside. This is great - kinda wish I could check my houses but V's place is a great one to be marooned in; they have a private bar-club. I'm on bed now while the cat has burrowed into the blankets like a mole. Mole-cat.

I plan to have a blizzard "party" weekend in June or July. Replicate this shelter in place drill only without the snow. Drink for no reason, eat at home food, tv, video games, and no gym.

This week was gym exciting. I secured my prior record squat of 345, multiple single times so it's very much...mine. I own the weight. For the first time I DL 435. I also got a couple singles, so theoretically I could do more, but this is a good measure of my one real 1 rep max. My OP was ok, 4 at 145, so that's probably still 155.

What was interesting was my inner battle on whether or not to then try to set a new bench record. I've done 235 multiple times, but always failed to cross 245. I preach how stupid bench press is, but understand my dream of bench 225 was what propelled me into olympic lifting in the first place. While I stopped caring much about bench, I do still reflect as I do reps with 225 on how this is...a former dream being normal today. Achieved and surpassed. So...it sounded fun to match one max, make a new PR, and then set another record. So I tried to bench 245. I got a stranger to spot and begged him not to touch the thing unless I got stuck. I think I was closer than I've ever been to making a weight and yet not making it. I usually get stuck at the bottom, or make it, but this time I crawled half way up and almost - all-most - had it, but failed. Failing is neat - it's a motivator. I don't feel bad, as it was going to be a record. I feel good, because it was so close I know that soon I will, in fact, make the weight. It was cocky to do it, but it also risked a motivational valley.

My real goal on the bench is to do 275. 275 looks good. I also know damn well when I do 275, 315 is around the corner. 315 looks really cool - not a lot of people can do it. To be my small self and getting 315? That'll be nice.

So now I'm in a motivation danger-land. Not as bad as if I made the bench, but danger. See, once you reach a goal, there can be a motivational challenge where...you wonder 'what now?' Or you've made the thing, the drive, that made you put in more effort. Now you...achieved the goal, so...do you rest? After losing 5-10-25 lbs, do you go back to eating cheesecake?

I'm not too worried because I'm competitive and have set goals multiple times since. I know that on bench 225, after a celebration, the goal was to bench 235 (because I'm too lazy to use the 2.5 lb weights). I made 225 once upon a time, and while I want to do 365 and then 405 on high-bar, this goal is long (pause) long after making a prior goal of 225.

I'm not sure what magic I did to keep moving the goalpost and how that keeps me working in the gym. I'd like to know so I can share that with others. But knowing there is a danger of motivational gaps is a good start.

Posted from bed after not working out because the entire city is closed for snow.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I'm happy - killing the urge to write.

Since coming home I've been indulging in a minor diablo 3 addiction. Not sure why I like putting this puzzle together over and over but I do. I had a great weekend with the gf, who is showing her patient side as I ramble and fail to plan things. She's more a schedule events type, I'm the laze around type and motivate after work is done. We made the time to lounge a lot, failed at some planning things mostly due to me, and as always ate and drank out a bunch.

I'm a bit tame about eating out as my last credit card bill was huge. A grand of it was for the vanity in the house, but the rest was not - holidays or not, that's got to stop. Food and booze can be had at home.

The house had a sad lack of progress and I met with the contractor and Scott about it yesterday. I have no set move-in date. The key is getting the heat on, which despite prior projections is not yet done. The kitchen cabinets haven't arrived from the manufacturer yet, but they are a usual 6 week turn-around time so they're about due (not sure why I heard they'd be in earlier). I know a lot more about my hvac systems now.

I'm a little proud I kept the gym up and diet reasonable on this past work trip. Sat I confirmed my squat max is 345, though unlike last time I was able to do that weight for 2 or 3 singles. I'm probably too satisfied with my slow progress and am trying to do DL on squat day and squats on DL day too, but not 8 sets of 3 or sets of 10. I OP 145 for 4 on the federal employee only holiday MiLK, but that still only counts as a max 155. Tomorrow we see if I get a new DL max and the outlook is bright.

I have tons to do at work but the time to do it. I'm still enjoying work, but pushing myself to apply for that much more lucrative FDIC job even if I don't really want it.

I'm a bit slack in the rest of my life and probably need to focus a bit more. Tax time...oh and DC sent me the notice of the refund they meant to pay me but still have not done. They say these last 2 months or so are delays due to the need to compute interest. So they not only haven't paid me because they can't do math and/or don't use free easily available online calculators, but have now all but billed me for the money they admit I didn't get.

As you see I'm lazy about writing but not feeling guilty. I definitely have been cashing in on mental vacation time.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I'm happy to report not much. I've been bad about reading...seeing the girl daily I think an emotional need I had is met, making me less interested in reporting and monitoring here. I feel less alone writing? I don't miss feeling alone. It hurts.

The gym is fun - I lost a lot of time being sick, but not really any gains. I just realized I'm coming up on a year since surgery (I may do a labral tear update in case any of those folks still follow, one posted a picture of her scars). I've passed all but one max and am pain free. Pain free - it's incredible.

My only stopping / lame issue is my overhead press. I got stuck at 155 somehow, so I've done a reset to lower weight to increase 5 lbs a month with the theory my body will get used to increases again instead of just hammering on volume at the same weight. My bench is a bit stuck too, but on both I'm spending more time developing my back and fixing form. I also use a very narrow grip due to enormous elbow pain, and I'm trying to return to a more normal grip or at least experiment to see how that impacts the lift.

Gains - it's a silly chorus strength people chant, but a good one. If you're not getting gains, stfu as you're not improving and all your knowledge is not producing measurable change. Lots of people debate various aspects of what makes you stronger, but if you're not able to apply your brilliance, you might as well be the old guy swinging his legs on the yogaballs. So me and gains - I'm making them slowly, which is fine. At the 1-year mark it's maybe time to look at my gains in light of setbacks, and consider goal setting. What do I want to do? How much time do I want to train and eat specific things? How much restriction on drinking is worth x gains? What is the benefit from strength x? How the hell do I work running or cadio ability into this mess, and do I really need to? What should my goals be?

Gym - been working out with the girl a lot as she's over her surgery and in recovery for real mode. We hit Ballston a lot as it's often convenient. Plus is parking and near everythingism, downside is dudes in there are huge and squatting 315 or deadlifting ... I've seen guys repping 600 in there. I do meet people there, 2 weeks a go a white haired fit dude who was repping 315 with pauses and perfect form, last week a 17 year old guy who was front-squatting 225. As you are in the same place you are likely to make friends seeing the same folks doing the same things. Fun.

I finally bought weightlifting shoes but don't feel any different.

House:
Needless to say I did not move in last weekend. I don't think I'll be moving this, not even partial. There aren't stairs though they've started putting them in, there isn't heat, a/c, or hot water. No sinks, though water runs in the tub (and possibly the shower). Master shower needs a glass wall. The fan was set to turn on with the light, so I reminded him ohhellno the fan must be operable without the light. No kitchen other than the floor, no living room floor, no powder room, no closet or doors under stairs...what is happening?

Every day you can see work but it's always small. I know he lost staff, but I show up and see painted doors and frames, cleaned bricks, all the materials moved into the basement...it looks like it is close to done but never really moves forward. I was going to move in September.

Moving is something I sort of dread too. Another reason to move in stages is security - I need the house to be safe for stuff before I move things there, though I'm considering just not having things worth stealing. My grandfather's rifle isn't worth $150, but is priceless to me and someone breaking into a home would likely steal a .22 bolt rifle however worthless it is as a weapon. I have to get net access, cable (and due to triple play I guess a phone line still, which I like) but I can't plan when I never have an accurate move date. Then I need a security system with video...but I don't know what to get, who to pay to monitor, and I'm not about to put something in there before I live there.

Work is going splendidly. That big CA hearing I did is my one heartburn - waiting for that decision and I care a lot.
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