Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Anglican Poetry Contest - Third Place Winner

The Third Place winner of Anglican Beach Party's 2009 Anglican Poetry Contest is Louie Crew. Two of his poems appear below.


Months ahead of time Mother begged you, “God,

warn me at least two weeks before I die

so I can eat whatever I want.” And by

the end, she ate like crazy. Did you nod?

I want my manna freeze-dried. I would store

it for a thousand instant crises. Why

won’t you stock it that way? Why not bend, try

something new? No one thunders anymore.

This pew’s too tight a fit. I squat, can’t kneel

straight, lest I bulge into the hymnal rack.

Expensive incense. Beeswax. A red stole.

The pipes sound far away. I float. I feel

your body in my throat. The wine bites back.

Blessed are the, blessed are the … the cold.

-- Louie Crew

To Canterbury in March

We beat Chaucerian pilgrims by two months,

traveling past sheep in snow, yet crisped in Jags

and Fords. Forsythian flashes, like bright flags

along the road, performed some yellow stunts

through our steamed glass. There, we had a hot lunch,

then stood beneath the weathered, nuded crags

where once had stood stone saints in glory. Nags

ushered dull husbands inside, where one bunch

of U.S.C.s, rapt by a Cockney guide,

saw Becket murdered fresh beneath the Queen

of Spades and pondered skimpy thighs and hide

medieval under a marble maxi. Lean

and watching, a tired English matron said,

“Well, one cathedral’s like another, dead.”

-- Louie Crew

Friday, March 12, 2010

The RxMuscle Masters Challenge Posedown.

This event took place inside the Arnold Expo in the Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center, on Friday, March 5. My worthy opponent, Mike, was the lone challenger out of a starting field of 6 or 7. As often happens, the rigors of contest preparation, diet, and injuries took their toll, and we were the only two competitors to make it to the stage.

Our Master of Ceremonies, the inimitable "Mr. G" is quite a showman. He could make a grass-growing contest seem like something worth hanging around to watch.

Here are a few still photos, and then the YouTube video, which tells the real story of the posedown.

I am in the light blue posing trunks, on the right. My weight for this was approximately 162 pounds.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Anglican Parish "Review" - Christ Church Anglican, Columbus, Ohio.

Let me tell you, I am ecstatic about having found this parish. Because of all that it is, my likelihood of spending future vacations in Columbus, Ohio has greatly increased!

My Sunday began at the really cool Bed-and-Breakfast place where I have been staying for the Arnold Classic bodybuilding Expo, with (what else?) ... BREAKFAST! Here is the dining room:

Had I known how easy the church was to find, I would have walked; it is only about 3/4 of a mile from the Bed-and-Breakfast, and it was a bright, sunny day in Columbus.

I arrived early, hoping to take some photographs of the church building. I was greeted by this sign, which included those favourite words of mine: "Traditional 1928 BCP" ... I knew that I was in the right spot!

The building was large and lovely:

The interior was simple, but lovely as well.

Inside, I was greeted warmly by three ladies who were discussing painting ... does it get any better than that?? I then met one of the three priests on staff, Rev. Wale Fafiade. I made my way to my "assigned pew" (i.e., the one exactly corresponding to where Cindy and I sit at St. Bartholomew's), and soon I heard a very excellent choir rehearsing in some distant room. This was going to be really good!

And, from the first notes of the opening Organ Prelude, to the last echo of the Postlude, the entire service left nothing to be desired. We said The Litany, something I don't get to do so often, which I loved. And we sung some gems, a few of them previously unknown to me, from The Hymnal 1940. At first, I feared attendance would be low, but many parishioners arrived just in the nick of time, before the Processional began, so the nave was well-populated by the start of The Litany.

The sermon was given by The Reverend Michael H Cochran, and he used for his text the Epistle for the Third Sunday in Lent (Ephesians 5:1-14). But Fr. Cochran also read us the first verse from the Revised Standard Version, which urges us to be imitators of God, and that was the great theme of his sermon.

The Offertory Anthem was wonderfully done by the small choir. I had a strong temptation to try to sing along, which I resisted!

Communion was in silent reverence, and afterward I remembered (on the 2nd verse) the bass part for "O Saving Victim", Hymn #209, which also pleased me.

The Recessional hymn was a favourite of Cindy's and mine: #61 (The Glory of These Forty Days), a most appropriate Hymn in Lent!

On the way out, I was pleased to meet the third priest on staff, the Reverend John Battison.

In all, a most wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. My great hope is to visit again, but with my wife and children joining me.

RxMuscle Masters @ Metro Gym in Columbus, Ohio.

One of the many cool things about attending the Arnold Sports Festival (and Arnold Classic bodybuilding Expo) is having the chance to meet up with other enthusiasts of Physical Culture, and sneak in a workout at some local hardcore gym.

Saturday, I worked out with some of the "Masters" (that means "old") guys from the RxMuscle forums, at Metro Gym (9 E. Long Street) in Columbus, Ohio.

Though a couple of us were still drained from competing the day before, it was a stellar workout. We fed off each other's enthusiasm, and had better lifts than we possibly could have by ourselves, alone in our respective gyms back home. It is an incredible thing to have communicated for many months with these men on the internet forum, and then to have them suddenly spring to life in front of you, in full 3-D, muscles pumping, with spirits high!

The building itself is a beautiful old high-ceilinged bank building, and that early 20th Century charm only added to the energy of the workout.

But enough babbling. Here are photos!

Not bad for a bunch of old guys!

This is me on the flat bench press.

Here I am spotting Rod, a powerlifter friend.

Can you tell it was shoulder day?

Ed and Mike compare quads. Respect!

Blasting arms!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sherri Gray at the 2010 Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Contest

Back in November, 2009, I interviewed bodybuilder Sherri Gray. Yesterday, I watched her compete in the 2010 Arnold Amateur bodybuilding contest in Columbus, Ohio. I also had the chance to meet with her after pre-judging, which was really cool.

She brought spectacular size and conditioning to this show.

Sherri ended up 2nd in a strong Middleweight class. Congratulations, Sherri!

2010 Ms. International

I'm in Columbus, Ohio for the Arnold Classic weekend. Several different bodybuilding contests, as well as a host of other sports events.

I attended the Ms. International (bodybuilding), Fitness International, and Figure International finals last night. Spectacular.

Here is a video from the Ms. International pre-judging. Congratulations to champ Iris Kyle - last night was the 5th time she has won this show.