Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Eight years ago today, I came home from work to find my mother crying. She told me my friend Billy had killed himself.

I was not always the carefree, light-hearted, ready-for-fun girl you know today. I was quite the serious, shy, quiet child. Billy started to change that. I met Billy in band. I had been the only bassoon for a year and a half, and I liked my "only-one" status. When I heard at the end of sophomore year that there was an eighth-grader who was coming up next year, who played the bassoon, I was a little jealous. I wasn't going to be the only one anymore. But once I met Billy, I completely forgot all that. He was sweet, hilarious and we were close friends. We would constantly whisper in band, and Mr. Wyatt was always yelling at us to be quiet or pay attention. It was a joke to us. We would hang out on the stairs after lunch with Chris and Rob and the others and just talk and laugh. I taught him how to drive stick shift on my little Rabbit and he gave me my first cigarette. Billy taught me that having fun was taking risks and doing new things. I didn't have to be a 'good girl' all the time. I asked him to junior prom that year, but somehow Tina had gotten to him first. I never got another chance.

Billy moved to Tennessee, and I think he was incredibly lonely. All I ever heard from him was how much he wanted to come back. That's why, I think. He never left a note, so I'll never know for sure. I know the true meaning of lonely, so it doesn't take a huge stretch of the imagination to understand, but it was hard to forgive him. He brought so much joy to so many people, he was just the kind of person who made you want to confide in him, and he was wise beyond his years in every way but one.

I miss you, Billy...

Saturday, February 28, 2004

The AC power cord for my NES arrived yesterday. You don't *know* how excited I am. We never had a game system when we were kids (dad said it would ruin the TV [rolleyes]), but Lew finally bought one with his own money. Of course, he had his own TV and VCR and DVD player and stereo. That kid was not nearly as deprived as Emily and I were. So when I got to go to Cassie's or Crystal's, I'd want to play Nintendo or Atari, respectively. We never played long enough for me to get very good, so this is like a new start. I will finally get to play as much as I want, as long as I want. I will finally beat Super Mario Brothers! And other games! There are other games! I want to get Zelda, and, and, other games! I'll have to get some recommendations. Brian would be a good guys can weigh in, too, if you want.

I have a Nintendo, I have a Nintendo...

Friday, February 27, 2004

In a less thought-provoking post, my toilet over-flowed again this morning. Fortunately, I caught it making overflowing actions (I am attuned to my toilet's peculiarities), and flushed clean water to test, and the clean water over-flowed. I'm getting a plumber in this time. I am so sick of having to watch the toilet every time I flush to make sure it doesn't do that. I'm calling my landlord in ten minutes.

I knew it! The plumber said it wasn't clogged, it's "limed up." From the hardness of Iowa City water. He said he could either replace the toilet (or whatever part is "limed up" - I was too busy being vindicated to pay close attention), or do some acid wash thing. I'm pretty sure I know what my landlord will do - my toilet's going Eighties, baby!

Thursday, February 26, 2004

On the radio this morning there was a call-in show (I think it's "First Light" so named because it's earlier than the butt-crack of dawn), where the topic was "Gay Marriage: State or Federal issue?" I've been thinking about the gay marriage issue off and on ever since that one really big debate thread on the WD last year (actually, I think there were two, but I got so sick of the first one I stayed out of the second one). I did a lot of research into what the Bible says, and a lot of soul-searching into reconciling my personal beliefs and political beliefs and religious beliefs. I still haven't come to a conclusion, because really, I have yet to hear a good argument against it. I realized this morning that all the people who called in against gay marriage had really stupid arguments. And still, a part of me identifies with the so-called Christian right, because I was raised that way. But since moving to Iowa City and joining the WD, I've been exposed to other ways of thinking and the people who think that way, and sometimes they just make a whole lot more sense to me.

My religious beliefs are conservative: I believe the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. This breaks my heart, because it causes emotional and other hardships for so many people (one person in particular, but I think that is another post). Things would just be so much easier if it wasn't.

My political beliefs lean Libertarian: I believe government should stay out of people's lives if at all possible. This also involves a huge overhaul of the tax code, which would put me out of a job, but that's a conundrum for another day. I also believe the government has no business legislating morality or letting religious views oppress the civil rights of citizens. I am leaning toward the belief that in this case, the majority is oppressing the minority.

Which leads me into the one good argument I've heard: "This is what I believe in, and I can't stand by and let it happen." People should be able to express what they believe and they have a right to live in a country that embodies those beliefs, and they have a right to work making the country embody what they believe. It's the balance of majority rule and minority rights at stake, and it's a difficult one.

So my personal beliefs are being influenced by two seemingly conflicting points of view. Which leads me to the conclusion: the way it is isn't fair. My 'D' personality just kinda gravitates back that way. It's not fair. Which is, I suppose, about as good a reason as any.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The downside of everyone using Haloscan for comments is that it remembers your name. Wait, there is a point, just hold on. Depending on whose blog I'm reading, I have to sign a different name. My RL friends don't know me as MdmeAlbertine, but if I sign 'Amanda' on my WD friends' blogs, they'll get me confused with CosmicAvatar. I don't go around cursing and saying horrible things on people's blogs (usually), so I don't think the other Amanda would mind too much, but, you know. What brought this up is that I just left two comments on Tina's blog, and signed them two different ways. Don't even get me started on LiveJournal and Blurty, where I actually have to remember to manually sign and often don't. [doh]

Pointless rambling, really.

Last night I met the girls for supper and margaritas at Diamond Dave's for Mardi Gras. I didn't go out afterwards, because I need sleep, but it was fun. I think I'm doing a much better job this year not letting work take over my life. It still takes priority and I spend most of my time here, but I have done a much better job arranging work so I can still do life. Which mostly consists of TKD, but there could be worse things, right? And the excercise does me good, I can tell. Except when Chelsea is hurting me. Then it's not so fun. [wink]

And FYI - the THC CD I was talking about last night - ended up going on eBay for $52!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I'm listening to one of my local AM stations, and a bunch of local pastors are discussing Mel Gibson's The Passion. I am very torn on wanting to see this. I anticipate being very moved. I don't believe that I will be able to keep from being struck by the depth and reality of what Christ did for me. On the other hand, I don't know if I can sit and watch a man being tortured for two hours. And who do I drag with me if I do?

And I slept horribly last night. I was half-awake most of the night, so I remember most of my dreams. Emily and I were sharing a room again (including a bed - I don't envy Matt if you're really that awful of a bed-mate), and then there was one where I was living in this old house and crawling through several floors of attics and then through the eaves to get out to the roof. I stuck my hand in something that might have been mouse poop, then an old man showed up and showed me a secret dumb waiter-like elevator that would have allowed me to bypass crawling through all the attics. Anyway, this morning I have a killer headache from not getting good sleep.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I like buying my fake gas station cappucinos from guys instead of girls. The old lady who rang me up this morning charged me 83 cents. I always seem to get the (cheaper) coffee refill price from guys.

Must be my wily charms. [grin]

Saturday, February 21, 2004

How about the light green instead of the light blue? It makes the green background more palatable, I think. I still don't think I like the off-white header, but I think that will stay for a while. I like the maroon lettering (for more reasons than one!), and the light color shows it off better. Constructive criticism would be appreciated. :P

Edit: Okay, I changed the maroon, but only of the heading. I like the green theme. Slowly but surely!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Stolen from Rich:

Choose a band and answer only in song TITLES
--Band: The Cranberries

Are you female or male: "Woman Without Pride"
Describe yourself: "Dreaming My Dreams"
How do some people feel about you: "Sweetest Thing"
How do you feel about yourself: "I Will Always"
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: "Empty"
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: "Just My Imagination"
Describe where you want to be: "Every Morning"
Describe what you want to be: "Never Grow Old"
Describe how you live: "Free to Decide"
Describe how you love: "Saving Grace"
Share a few words of wisdom: "This is the Day"

It's the little things I appreciate:
  • Not feeling groggy when I wake up, even if it's at 6:00 in the morning
  • Finding a new, awesome outfit in your existing wardrobe
  • Fake gas-station cappuccinos
  • Warm breakfast
  • Being inside with a warm sweater on a rainy day
  • There are actual icons on my computer today, instead of the generic, all-alike ones
  • Someone brought in donuts!

I hope the rest of the day goes as well. [grin]

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Grrrr...the forums are down. I haven't been postly lately, but I like to lurk on my lunch break. Maybe I'll mess around with my templates instead. Ever since Leah started her blog and used the same template, I've been wanting to change it so we're not the same. Individuality and all that. [wink] Look for changes soon!

Edit: We'll see how I like this for a while...

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

You know what's really annoying? Medicine packaging. I happen to be working on my third cold this year, and I ran over to Osco to get some cold medicine. Is it just me, or is it getting more difficult to actually get through the packaging? I had to take to the scissors to get the Dayquil packets open. And usually, when you're sick, you're not at full strength, so opening these things is even more difficult. I wonder how many people say, "Aw, f*** it, I'll just suffer through it. It'll be easier than getting this stupid package open"?

Last night was way fun. I skipped TKD, since I'm a gimp (I called the doctor yesterday, and he said to wait a couple more days to come in. It was probably excellent advice, because my leg has been feeling much better. I can walk almost normally, and only once in a while are there stabs of pain), and went with Mom, Emily, and Lori to go pick out tuxes for the wedding. Emily picked out charcoal/silver tuxes, with navy blue vests and ties. The dads are going to wear silver vests and ties. They look so good. Excellent choices. I can't wait to see the guys in them.

Then we went to Dillard's to look to see if we could find Mom a mother's dress. She's been looking for ages, and was starting to get worried. I've been telling her to come to the IC Dillard's because they have a great selection, and the Best. Sales. Ever. I was vindicated when I found her a rose dress with gold shimmer for...brace yourself: FORTY dollars. A hundred and sixty dollar dress for FORTY dollars. Usually, I pick out the expensive ones...yesterday I did good. The dress looked soooo nice on her.

Speaking of dresses, Kristen showed me a picture of her dress Sunday. It has to be one of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen. No wonder she fell in love with it. I want it. Kristen, do you know if the picture is online somewhere?

Edit: Yup, I'm pretty sure this is the one, although Kristen's picture was of the ivory, and the details were a lot clearer.

Monday, February 16, 2004

So I had a "date" for Valentine's. [wink] As I mentioned, Josh and I went to see Angels in America. The first part. I especially enjoyed the performances of the actors who played Roy and Harper. I think they really captured the internal conflicts of each of the characters, and I didn't see that as much with the others. Josh mentioned that he had always meant to read the second part, but hasn't really gotten around to it because he's really fine with where the characters ended in the first part, and I tend to agree him. They're all suspended in interesting places, and each of the characters have gone through an emotional arc that is, in a way, completed. There's a good possibility I'll change my mind if I ever get around to reading/seeing the second part, but as it is...actually, now I'm really interested in seeing the rest of the HBO miniseries. I only got to see a little bit when I was stuck in Des Moines the last time, and I was kind of lost, because I didn't see the beginning. Maybe when it comes out on DVD. One of the things I enjoy the most about plays is how they change every time you see them, because each of the actors will bring something different to the role.

And I missed Leah a lot again Saturday, too. Last year, she went with Josh to the play, and she called me during intermission. I wanted to call her so bad! Even if my phone handled international calls, it would have been like, five in the morning, so I suppose she wouldn't have appreciated it too much. And I ran into Sarah and Annie, and did some Hancher reminiscing, so of course the subject of Leah came up. Don't you love that you're a subject now? Hee! She sent Valentine's candy, too, and I got a Kilkenny (Killian's) coaster she stole from a bar. Thank you!

We played Trivial Pursuit last night. I love Trivial Pursuit and no one in my family likes to play with me. I don't know why! I'm really not that good...but Kristen, Tacia and I did win. By a nose. And no cheating this time!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Awww! I got Valentines! From my tae kwon do kids! Three of them! I about melted. I can't believe they pay me for this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Not because less work (well, partly yes, of course) but because there will be so much to do! Josh and I (and whoever else wants to come) are going to see Angels in America at UI Mainstage, then his annual Valentine's bash, and Sunday is Todd's birthday. Not sure what we'll be doing, but we'll be doing something. So excited!

Your Spike quote: by norwegianne
Hope for the future:
Spike says:You can't see the stars, love. That's the ceiling. Also it's day.
Created with quill18's MemeGen 2.0!

I've named them all the same name, and there's terrible confusion!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Cheetos have real cheese in them.

See? You really do learn something new every day.

Monday, February 09, 2004

I had my first phone call from a WDer this weekend. I've been PMing Mike (MonteCristo) for a couple months now, and he suggested a phone call. It was really cool, but it was also really weird. Mike is one of the many people on the WD who is dating someone else from the board, and actually talking to him, I got to thinking about the nature of internet 'relationships'. In my year and a half posting, I've gotten pretty good at reading the visual clues people put into their writing and the use of icons (and have even found it necessary to use here, it's hard for me to express something here without them, so I use the markup, even if you can't see the icon itself). When Mike's voice was not like I had imagined it to be, I realized how little those visual clues really mean. I also realized how much I'm different posting on the board than I am in person. One, being able to go back and read what I wrote and make changes before 'saying' it is invaluable. People I interact with in RL know that I am sometimes very good at putting my foot in my mouth, and it's a lot harder to do that posting. I can put a lot more thought into something before I say it. Two, somehow it's still got to get into my head that the people on the boards are actual people attached to real bodies. I've seen pictures; I know what people look like. But putting all that together into actual people hasn't happened for me yet. Maybe it won't until/if I actually meet them/talk to them. I hope I'm making sense to someone. In short, Mike feels more like a real person now that I've actually talked to him.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

The idea has crossed my mind to cut my hair. Right now, it's down to the bottom of my shoulder blades, and it's becoming a bit hard to manage. Maybe back to shoulder-length or a little longer. I'm kind of curious as to what it's going to do, because in the time since it's gotten so long, it's gotten curly. My hair used to be stick-straight, couldn't find a wave to save my life. Now, there's even ringlets. There's also Emily's wedding to think about, as I don't know if she had any specific ideas in mind for hair styles. I'll have to consult with her first, which will at least help me make up my mind, even if she doesn't. But, knowing me, it will be at least another month before I make up my mind and actually make an appointment. I've been contemplating highlights for at least a year now (professionally, Emily did it for me in May last year, haven't done it since). Stupid white hairs are getting more prolific. Every time I bring it up, Dad says, "You know, they say great-grandma Nellie went white overnight in her twenties." Thanks, Dad. That makes me feel so much better.

Friday, February 06, 2004

I have stumbled across the Best. Food. Combination. Ever. I have just finished my second week of Nilla Wafers and bananas for breakfast. I don't know what it is, since mixing textures usually freaks me out, and this is definitely mixing textures. Actually, I think I do know what it is. It is just like eating banana creme pie. Mmmm...pie.

In other news, we just got dumped with another 7-8 inches of snow. I shoveled when I got home last night after teaching, and that was about six inches, and there was another two on the ground when I woke up this morning. This is like the most snow we've had in years. There are actual piles of snow around my yard from my driveway. That I made. I'm debating whether I'm even going to bother with the two inches tonight, since I'm finally getting to the chiro today. I'm going to see someone new, in Iowa City, because getting to Muscatine to see Dr. Jeff is just getting to be too much of a hassle. Tacia has been the second or third person to recommend this doctor to me, so I'm going to try her. As long as I feel better. I hate being out. I just can't understand how people can never see a chiro. I would be absolutely miserable. Leah told me there are none in Germany. That makes me glad I never went there to study abroad. Yessiree.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

[spoiler=Angel 5.12 You're Welcome-highlight to view]I'm in mourning. Is that sad? They killed Cordelia last night. My favorite character in the Buffyverse. And she's gone. She's been 'gone' for a while now, but now there's no hope of her coming back. They ruined her character, starting with the Angel romance, and then the possession, then the coma, and then...then they killed her. I am so upset.[/spoiler]

Last night, Ken asked if I was going to stay to work on my form, and I told him that it was the 100th episode of Angel, and I had to get home. He said, "You know, there is such a thing as VCRs." "They don't take out ads," I replied. There was a discussion about TiVo and my cheapness, and then he said something along the line of, "There's internet forums, I'm sure one of those people would be willing to tape it and send you the tape." [rotflmao] "Ken, I am one of those people!" Tell him, guys! [grin]

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

My firm has a contract with a local bank's trust department to do all their trust returns. It makes me wonder: what's it like to be a trust baby? To have all that money from birth without having to earn it? I get to see the things these trusts pay out, like $40,000 of college tuition, credit card bills, utilities, rent, fencing lessons, summer trips to Europe. I'm not even sure if I'm jealous, I just wonder what it's like. My dad was a farmer for most of the time I was growing up (he had to take on another job after my brother was born, because farming just wasn't pulling in enough money to support five). I don't remember being poor, but I remember not being able to have the things other girls had, like Esprit bags and Guess? jeans. I didn't even get an allowance. And right now, I'm in much better shape financially than my parents were even 15 years ago. 'Course, I don't have a family to support, either. But I still have a certain mindset that I generally don't spend money on unneccessary things or buy extravagant things. I spent $90 on a pair of shoes once, and the only reason I could justify it to myself was that they had incredible foot support and are probably going to last me twenty years.

I want to enjoy my money, because I have worked hard for where I am: I got straight-A's in school while working part-time and doing extra-curricular activities, and I put myself through college through scholarships and working at times three part-time jobs. I got a lot of help from my parents, of course, lending me money when I needed it, and providing me a car. But as much as I owe them, I did do a lot of it on my own, and I thank them for that, as well. They did a wonderful job raising me, helping me learn to be independent. I don't know how I got to be so blessed, having them for parents.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Yeah. So my nice day off yesterday was completely ruined by the horrible night's sleep I got last night. (The guys reading my blog just might want to skip to the next paragraph.) By the time I left Josh's last night, I'm sure I was white. I was up all last night with the cramps from hell. I have never had them that bad before. They were almost as bad as kidney stones - enough that it made me puke, and hot wings are really gross coming back up. So today, I have burst blood vessels around my eyes because of the puking and am really tired. I do believe I will skip TKD tonight and go to bed, because I just don't think my body is recovered enough, especially if we're sparring. Fortunately, I think I have enough Aleve in me to approximate morphine, so I'm doing pretty good.

So anyway, last night: Super Bowl. I was very disappointed in the commercials. I like clever ideas. No clever ideas. Just a lot of bathroom humor. I admit, I did laugh really hard at the horse fart, but I expect more from Super Bowl commercials. At least the game was close. I like a good defensive battle. Chelsea never showed up, Tacia was only there for the second half, and Kristen had to work until 10, so it was mostly just me and the guys. No Leah phonage because her internet was down and we didn't settle on a time. :( I suppose with none of the girls there, it wasn't the best day to call anyway. Maybe for the Mardi Gras party. It was fun, up until about half-way through Survivor: All-Stars (when the aforementioned problem started manifesting), which I was more excited about than anything. I was very pleased to see Rupert again, but he's toning himself down a little this time around and I liked him all pirate-y. Did I say how much I'm looking forward to this season? I'm such a geek. :)