This week, as I reflected on the fact that we’re staring down year three of the pandemic, I snapped and decided we need a garage gym. I’d been thinking about it pre-pandemic but Kirk talked me down since there’s a gym in our neighborhood. I have no idea when I’ll actually feel comfortable in a gym again but I really miss lifting heavy weights. So on Friday evening I took to craigstlist in search of some deals and, surprisingly, found one right away. I’m now the proud owner of a bar, set of plates, and a weight stand that I paid $560 for. I was surprised that all the weights were new in boxes when I went to pick them up. I had assumed they were used. I don’t know what kind of business is selling new weights on the cheap from a middle-aged man’s minivan, but okay. I’m happy to benefit. It will probably be a little while before we’re really set up for all manner of lifting. We cleaned and organized the garage yesterday, but we’re not ready to buy a squat rack or anything yet. I’m thinking I’ll buy a mat for the floor so I can at least get some deadlifts in, then we can go from there.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
I finished two books this week: Payback’s a Witch and Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity. Payback’s a Witch was a lot of fun. It’s a lesbian witch romance, which is basically catnip for me. It did have kind of a weird tone, vacillating between fancy-formal witchy speech while also using colloquialisms like “dead-ass.” However, that didn’t make me enjoy it any less. As for this week’s non-fiction pick, I saw “PAGANS” in the title and was like, yeah, fuck me up with some pagans. I was a few chapters in before I realized the truth, that it was really a history of Christianity book. It was still good, and I did learn about how the concept of paganism only exists to define an opposition to Christianity (of course). Ancient peoples didn’t think of themselves as religious or pagan or anything. They just lived and paid their respects to the gods. The emergence of Christianity changed that.
Meanwhile, on the internet:
- Are you free, or are you just meeting expectations via Ijeoma Oluo: Beyond the Book. A lovely essay on plus-size clothing and the expectations society has of fat women. From the article: “When we dress how we want and signal that we want to move through the world as we want, we signal that we feel we are deserving of an autonomy that the rest of the world feels that we haven’t earned. And that threatens the idea that autonomy is something to be earned at all.”
- What if we just stopped being so available? via The Atlantic. On norms around how fast we expect a response and no longer being “Sorry for my delay.” This is the kind of stuff I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and why I’ve started writing letters this year.
TV and Music
I watched Encanto and I thought it was cute. Luisa is goals, obviously. We also watched Star Trek: Insurrections. I found it surprisingly funny. Star Trek is often unintentionally funny but not as often funny on purpose and I thought this one had a lot of comical moments built in. Now I’m only one movie away from having seen all the Star Treks, and I’m proud of this achievement.
I bought this ergonomic mouse for my work computer and I love it. I love it so much that I think I need to buy another one for my personal computer. It hadn’t occurred to me that a mouse could be so much more comfortable, but it is.
Making Things and Doing stuff
There are some things I’ve made and stuff I’ve done.
I noticed this week that I’m finally starting to internalize some of the steps I’ve been learning in tap dance, like the time step. Tap is turning out to be one of those things that takes a while to settle into my brain, but once I get it, I totally have it. Tap class, more than my other dance classes, has also been kicking my ass. I was so sore from it this week. Which probably shouldn’t be surprising since it’s basically a whole hour of bouncing up and down.
I made a few new recipes last Sunday: the black bean potlicker soup from Grist, southwestern corn spoonbread from The Baking Bible, and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and meringue topping from 100 Cookies. I forgot to take nice photos before we ate so you get this weird ones instead. Everything was really good. Kirk is not a big cornbread fan but he liked the spoonbread because it’s full of tasty stuff and not too bread-some. The cake came out great but I really struggle with using a piping bag. The recipe directed me to pipe meringue kisses all over the cake and I tried but I just ended up with meringue everywhere. Maybe one day I will learn these secrets.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves.