Inferior Imitator

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I walked by the $5.99 DVD bin at Best Buy. I found Ernest Goes to Camp. I squealed. In the middle of Best Buy. Ernest was one of my cousin Jacob's favorite impressions, and I cannot think of Ernest without thinking of Jacob. I sorely want to throw out quotes right and left, but it's been so long since I've seen it, I can't remember any! As soon as I watch it, it will come back to me, though. It's one of those I've seen so many times, I hear it in my head when I watch it. Kinda like How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The very beginning of that show was cut off on the tape Uncle Michael taped off cable for us, so when I watch the whole thing now, the beginning is unfamiliar, and I know the exact moment the tape started. Uncle Michael taped a lot of stuff off satellite cable for us, maybe about six tapes worth, mostly cartoons. Charlie Brown, Bugs Bunny, The Raggedy Ann and Andy Movie. That's another movie I can't wait to come out on DVD.

"Candy hearts and paper flowers will always keep me close to you..."

Monday, August 30, 2004

In Which I Discuss Sparring

Tonight was my first night sparring since the spring, and I was very excited. I spent a good deal of the weekend watching Olympic coverage of Tae Kwon Do, and I was enraptured. I have the desire to be good at sparring, but I'm not sure I ever will be. I am much better at forms: there is a set pattern, and I can work on them over and over until my muscles know the moves. With sparring, it's very much an act/react situation. It takes split-second thinking, and I have not developed that capability. Maybe because I don't practice sparring enough, maybe because it's not one of my strengths.

At any rate, I was inspired. I got some ideas and some guidance, of which is sorely lacking in our club in sparring. Being all ready to spar, I of course had to wait until like five matches in. Then I was paired up with an orange belt, so I had to go easy on him, and then got paired up with a black belt, so I got all intimidated. Then I was paired up with Tacia, and I feel like I just went to town on her. She says I didn’t hurt her, and she did score a few points on me, so I’ll just take her word and not feel too bad. But now my knee hurts, and Ms. Spinner taught the non-sparrers, so I’m not sure I got the best end of the deal. At least it wasn’t Chelsea for once.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

I have a love/hate relationship with rain. It's been gloomy, wet, and miserable all week. But on the other hand, not having to go out into it, lounging in bed, reading, being warm and cozy inside while it's wet and miserable outside is one of the best feelings ever. I'm contemplating another pot of coffee (some of the good stuff I inherited from Emily's move) and putting on a marathon of something. I haven't decided exactly what, though. I'm debating between Alias Season 2, Firefly, and then Emily just reminded me I have Darkwing Duck on VHS tapes that I haven't watched in years. Quality choices, all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I feel especially cute today.

For the first time in years, I am wearing a skirt that falls above my knees. Having always been a bit self-conscious about my knees, I am surprisingly comfortable. I inherited my knees from my mother, who inherited them from her mother. I actually recieved an apology once from Mom for passing on her knee genes to me. I am not positive exactly what it is about my knees that I don't like, but I generally like to cover them up. I went through a very long period, in fact, where I never wore shorts in public. That is quite the feat, if you know anything about Iowa summers.

My mom made this particular skirt for me many years ago. It is plaid and has a school-girl look to it, though it is not pleated. Combined with my new bangs and hair up in a ponytail, I definitely exude the school-girl look. Which is slightly appropriate for the first week of school. The only thing that mars my cuteness is my prickly legs. Hair is not really noticable, except to me, but I do not care, which is new to me, too. I am usually quite self-conscious about that, too. Hmmm. Wonder how this came about?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

There has been a small, ugly dog running around our neighborhood for two days now. He likes to bark at my neighbor's back door, probably because he smells Sasha. Their back door is right next to my bedroom window. So at 5 in the morning, I woke up to a chorus of yippy barks. I ended up having to go outside and chase him off so he would be quiet.

I don't know who thought to give this dog this haircut, but he is almost completely shaven except for his head and a puff at the end of its tail. He looks like an eighties reject punk rocker. All he needs is a metal spike collar and leg bands to complete the look. Poor dog. I feel sorry for the ones who have stupid haircuts or are dressed up in silly outfits. They can't help what their owners do to them. Sometimes I think they know how ridiculous they look and are embarassed about it.

He doesn't have any tags, so I'm going to call animal control, and get him out of this cold rainy weather. Hopefully they can find his owner.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Do you remember me saying something about running before Tae Kwon Do started, so I wouldn't die the first day of class? Yeah, that didn't happen. A summer of Snickers and sedentariness and other things that are not so good for me contributed to my death about halfway through class tonight. Not really, I've been worse, but only because I was careful about not overdoing it. I learn. I really do.

But I'm glad to be doing it again, because I was starting to feel flabby. I have definitely gained some weight around my middle, and pants that had been starting to feel loose started to fit again. Which I suppose is better than actually growing out of my pants. That just gave me an odd mental picture. I will be in shape, and I will test for my brown belt by the end of the semester. I might think about the mid-semester testing, but I haven't even started learning Pal Gwe 6. I like time with my forms.

In other news, the students are back. Ugh. They're like locusts, swarming around, taking all the parking spots. I'm becoming more and more of a townie every year. I shake my fist at them: "Damn kids! Think you own the place!" At least the parents are gone. That first weekend before school starts, everywhere you turn, there's a stupid driver: "There's no stop sign there - go! This is a one-way, dumbass! If you don't go now, we'll be sitting here forever!" I try to stay home on move-in weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I've been such a Suzy homemaker latey. Today I pickled banana peppers. Dad sent a bagful home with me Saturday, and I love banana peppers on my sandwiches. It just adds a little kick. So I looked up a recipe, and away I went. I was so excited when the jar popped, indicating a seal. So in two to three months, I'll have pickled banana peppers. My aunt Judy is a pickler. Her pickles are to die for. She'll be so proud of me!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Even I can be a culinary master. My mouth is so happy right now, and it's all my own doing. I made up a recipe as I went along, Here's what I did:

I took jumbo pasta shells (I only ended up using half the box - what do you do with cooked pasta you don't use?) and filled them with a mixture of shredded imitation crab, spinach, feta cheese and diced fresh tomatoes (from Ericka's garden!). I layered a 9X13 pan with a white sauce seasoned with parsley flakes and a bit of salt, shredded mozzerlla cheese, the shells, provolone cheese, more white sauce, another diced tomato, and the rest of the shredded mozzeralla cheese. Then into the oven at 350 degrees for half an hour covered in foil, then uncover and bake until the cheese is browned.

I'm topping it off with a Blue Moon and fresh cantaloupe. Mmmm. Adding the tomato was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Here I am! I'm here! At home! On the internet! I'm so excited!

It was not without problems, of course. The woman I talked to at Mediacom completely misinterpreted every single one of my thousand questions. Sarah is still without internet, but thanks to Uncle Tim, has a bootlegged cable outlet. Shhhh! I'll have to call tomorrow and find out if we can still work this out. So as promised, my first order of business was downloading AIM. My screen name is MmeAlbertine. My Buffy Guide name with the 'd' was taken! WTF?!? Who would do that? The darn name is so unique, I end up being able to use it a lot. It has to be someone from the WD. *glares*

Max is packing up Mike's stuff to take out to him. I can see it all over the driveway. It's upsetting me more than I'd like to admit.

Okay, so the promised Very Special Post. I mentioned a couple months back how much I used to enjoy writing. As I was organizing my stuff, I found my Trapper Keeper with some of my old stuff in it. This is the very first story I wrote (and kept, I guess), probably circa 10 years old. Reproduced exactly as written. I hope you enjoy it.

Brian the Sailor

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who wanted to be a sailor. Every day he would dream about sailing across the sea. His name was Brian. When he was fifteen, he bought himself a boat. Brian named his boat the Maryanne. He went sailing every day, but he didn’t go far. One day he kissed his mother goodbye and he set off across the sea.

Two days later, Brian ran into a storm. A bad one, too! The Maryanne was tossed about. Brian was almost tossed overboard. That night, the storm ceased. All was peaceful once more.

About a week later a great sea monster attacked the Maryanne! It tore off one of the masts and left. Brian and the Maryanne were stranded for days. Finally, Brian fixed Maryanne and they set off. Sometime soon they sighted land. They landed in England. Brian asked directions to a café. At the café, he met a girl named Susan. They soon became good friends. The time came when Brian had to leave England. Brian and Susan hated to leave each other. So Susan decided to come with Brian on his adventures. He agreed. So the set off on the Maryanne.

They decided to go to Africa and then they would go to India. When they landed in Africa, all they saw was jungle. But, after careful looking, they saw natives hidden all over. Suddenly, the natives took them captive. They led Brian and Susan to a hut and placed guards at the entrance! They carefully devised a plan to get away. The guards fell asleep. Brian and Susan made a run for it. The natives chased them. They got onto the Maryanne and safely sailed away.

“On to India!” cried Susan. On the way, they came into a city of Whirlpools. Brian carefully steered around them. When they thought they were out of the whirlpool city, Susan looked up and there was a whirlpool! “Whirlpool at one o’clock!” she shouted. The Maryanne missed it by two yards.

Later, they landed in India. They spent a couple of hours in the Taj Mahal, and Brian bought a necklace for his mother. Then a few days later, they sailed towards the Pacific Ocean. They sailed carefully through the Philipines because they heard there unfriendly natives living there. “Whew” thought Susan when they were safely past the last island.

The sail across the Pacific Ocean was peaceful. When they were getting close to the United States, the current took them up towards Alaska. So they decided of they were going that way, they might as well go there.

In Alaska, they met Eskimos and even saw a few penguins. They also got chased by a polar bear, but they sailed off just in time. They were safe! But that’s what they though! The bear jumped in the water and started to swim after them. When it got too warm for the bear, he turned back.

What a happy reunion Brian and his mother had! He asked if Susan could stay with them. His mother said “no” but when Brian showed her the necklace he bought in India, she changed her mind. Brian married Susan and everyone lived happily ever after. Except for the natives in Africa.


Monday, August 16, 2004

I, like most people, have an inordinate amount of Stuff. They say that as you move into bigger spaces, you accumulate more Stuff to fill that space. This is true. As the daughter of a notorious Pack Rat, I have to struggle not to keep Stuff. I, unfortunately, have a room in which I am able to keep Stuff. The spare bedroom, which is only so by the graciousness (or 'I need to store this!) of Leah, is where my Stuff usually ends up. I am in the process of cleaning and organizing this room, so I have room to put a desk for my new computer. (Internet Thursday! My first order of business will be downloading AIM, but my second will be a Very Special Post. Stay tuned.)

I am not quite sure how to arrange the room, but my head will figure it out. After all, I did come up with the ingenious arragement for Lew's bedroom that avoided using the loft and having to carry that 800-pound bed somewhere else. I got quite a bit done yesterday, though I got started on my financial records and they're still all over my living room floor. I've been unsatisfied with my current filing system for quite some time, but when I saw Mike's, I was downright jealous.

It's also amazing at how caught up you can get reminicsing about the things you kept to remind you of them. Newspaper clippings, awards, seashells, ticket stubs, brochures... My memory isn't so hot, but these things help the memories back to the surface. I even found my paper dolls. I remember spending hours with those dolls, changing their clothes, acting out scenes. Remembering that far back made me feel peaceful, if just for a moment, like I was a child again, with none of the cares or pains of today.

I'm getting better at not keeping Stuff, only keeping the things I need or the things that hold memories. If I lost them, I wouldn't miss them, because I wouldn't remember them, but at the same time, I would lose something. Something intangible. As time goes by, it's easier to figure out which items hold real sentimental value and which can be gotten rid of without fuss. Even clothes hold this problem for me. I went through a lot of boxes yesterday. "Why am I keeping this?" "This is so out-of-stlye. Will it come back in?" "I'm never going to wear this again, it's too short." "I had my senior pictures taken in this outfit. I'm not ready to get rid of it yet." "Hey, this is cool." I'm actually wearing my bar pants today. You know, those black polyester pants that were so ubiquitous a few years back? They still fit. All right! [/Quagmire]

Sunday, August 15, 2004

I am never drinking alcohol in the sun ever again. I'm becoming more and more of a pansy with this heat exhaustion thing. Friday I was a hole watcher for the Chamber Golf Outing. You know, to be a witness in case someone actually made a hole-in-one for the car. I got to sit on the golf course in a lawn chair, on a gorgeous 70 degree day. 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. I drank one screwdriver with my other 60-some ounces of water, and I got heat exhaustion. Maybe if I had worn a hat...I don't know. I ate lunch and barely made it home before it came back up again. I slept the rest of the day and into Saturday morning.

I first got heat exhaustion in high school when I worked for Econofoods. They were doing that grill thing outside that grocery stores around here do in the summer, with brats and hotdogs and pop and such, and I was scheduled for an 8-hour shift. One of those 90 degree days with high humidity over a hot grill. Yeah. No wonder I ended up with heat exhaustion, and I've been susceptible ever since.

And it sucks. I can't spend any long periods of time in the sun without getting sick. I have to drink gallons of water, cover my head, and not exert myself too much. I feel like I'm betraying my farm girl heritage by being such a wimp, though I know it's not anything I can help. I should have sued Econofoods while they were still in business.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

“Don’t let the world mess up your soul. Try to be the girl you once were.”

To continue my philosophical train of thought...

When I look at the person I am now versus the person I used to be, I wonder what has changed for the better and what has changed for the worse. There I things I miss about how I used to be, and things I don’t. And there are things I think I should regret and I feel slightly guilty that I don’t anymore. I know regret to be a useless emotion. Guilt has its uses, but regret does not. The past cannot be changed. I often wish there were things I had said or done or hadn’t said or done. Sometimes, too often, I think, I lay awake at night playing the ‘what if’ game. What if I could go back and do it again, knowing what I do now? What would I change? What would I leave the same? Who would I be? I wouldn’t be the same. That I know.

I wonder if that’s what it really means to grow up. Knowing that the experiences you’ve had and the people you’ve known have shaped you, for better or worse, and accepting that. Being content with who you are, but always working toward being someone better.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Sometimes it just astounds me that there are so many people in the world and they are all different. Most of the time I live my life in an isolated circle. There are people out there with different values, different priorities, and different ways of looking at the world. I know they exist, but not on a personal level. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have lived someone else’s life. To have had different types of experiences shape my life and the way I approach the world. To have different tolerances and emotions and thought processes.

It makes me feel very insignificant when I remember this. I am the king of my world. I am the person I think about the most: what I am feeling, what I am thinking, what I am doing. But when I remember that I am just one person in a world of 6 billion people, and they all think they are the kings of their own worlds, I feel very small and very lost. It’s kind of like how some people feel when they look at the stars. It all depends on the scale on which you measure things. Most of the time, my scale is small. My scale is me and my world. But sometimes my scale gets bigger and my mind just doesn’t know what to think about that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I recognized him. I had never met him before, but I recognized him. I thought I had seen him in countless others. I knew in that moment that I had been wrong, so wrong, and hadn’t been wise enough to know that I had been wrong. The knowledge was so strong, I marveled at how I could not have known that I was wrong. It was there, seemingly for anyone to see, but at the same time, only I saw it. My soul knew this was the one my mind and my heart had been waiting for. All the nights I lay awake, my mind imagining and my heart longing for this one person. Finally I knew the person I had danced with when I was alone. Finally, I knew the face I had smiled into, and the arms that had held me. Finally, I knew the voice that had promised his devotion.

I let him go. It was the easiest thing in the world, and yet the hardest thing I had ever done. This one, this soul that I knew so thoroughly and so deeply, needed to be somewhere else. Knowing with such certainty that his place was not with me made it easy, and yet knowing his place was not with me made something inside me die.

If I was not meant to be with the one I knew, how could I mean to be anything but alone?

Monday, August 09, 2004

On the way home from Ames with Mom last night, a song came on the radio.

"If you got a problem, don't care what it is
If you need a hand, I can assure you this
I can help, I got two strong arms
I can help

It would sure do me good to do you good
Let me help

It's a fact that people get lonely, ain't nothing new
But a woman like you baby should never have the blues
Let me help, I got two for me
Let me help

When I go to sleep at night you're always a part of my dream
Holding me tight and telling me everything I wanna hear
Don't forget me baby, all you gotta do is call
You know how I feel about you, if I can do anything at all
Let me help, if your child needs a daddy, I can help

It would sure do me good to do you good
Let me help"

Mom said that Dad gave her that record when they were dating. “I thought it was sweet.” And I saw that. I could see how that would touch her, Dad’s own way of saying, “I want to take care of you.” It’s not necessarily an easy thing to see, Dad’s love, not unless you knew what you were looking for or had been trained to look for it.

I started reading The Mists of Avalon this weekend. A lot of the plotline so far has centered around Igraine’s destiny with Uther Pendragon as the parents of King Arthur. She learns that their souls have been bound throughout eternity, through countless lives reincarnated, thus when she meets him for the “first” time, she knows she has known him forever.

As I read, I knew that if I had read this two months ago, it would not have resonated so much within me. Although I do not believe in reincarnation, it is a simple explanation for the complex reasons how we can know someone without ever having met them before. It took me years to learn how to recognize my father’s love. Mom knew it.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

I'm having a serious case of buyer's remorse. All that money I spent yesterday with Chelsea...I don't feel like it was good money spent. I don't mind spending money, as long as it's on something durable and practical and something I've thought on and gotten used to for a while. I'm taking some things back. I'm not like Leah, I can't buy stuff and take it back, it gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. I spent entirely too much money at Victoria's Secret, a couple of useless shirts at Dillard's (though I looked so cute in them, especially with my new bangs), an entirely too expensive polo at Scheel's, although I think I'm keeping that one, a pair of tennis shoes, which, admittedly, I need and the purchase of which will probably get me running again here pretty soon so I don't die when TKD starts up again.

And I just purchased a computer. That was painful. I've been thinking about it for a long time, and I really do think it was a good purchase, but I am feeling cash poor with all the money I sunk into the house and not exactly sure about the timing. I definitely would not have done it had I not gotten the raise. But buying a computer feels like buying a new car. They depreciate in value so fast, it's ridiculous. So anyway, I'll have a computer and internet at home within a couple weeks, which hopefully will make me more productive at work. Because, really, I do spend entirely too much time at my desk at work. If I don't spend my lunchbreaks surfing, I think it will help my focus immensely.

In short, feeling poor, taking stuff back, just don't know what, and moving into the twentieth century. Twenty-first, here I come!

Friday, August 06, 2004

I got my hair cut! A lot! I have bangs! I haven't had bangs since I was a freshman in college. And I cut off about six inches. There was a lot of hair on the floor. The 'do reminds me a lot of how mom used to have her hair at one time, so it's a little disconcerting, but I like it a lot. I knew Leah would be very upset if I posted this information without a picture, so I'm over at Chelsea's, and we had a photo shoot with her webcam. Why didn't anyone tell me I could look really stupid sometimes? Wait, don't answer that, especially if you are a sibling....

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I need a vacation. I have one scheduled for August or September, and I really should put in for the time, before I get too scheduled up. I would actually like to go somewhere, too, but money is now an issue. I’ll probably end up staying at home again, working on projects.

It would have been nice to go visit Leah or Emily, but I think I’m limited to driving distance. September would have been the perfect time, if a certain someone still wanted anything to do with me, to go visit him. He probably would have had a hard time getting time off so soon, but still… It would have been nice.

Maybe I should just do a mini-vacation by myself. Take a long weekend and drive somewhere. I’m not big on doing that kind of thing by myself, but maybe it could be another one of my stretch my comfort level things. I could do that. I could do the things I want to do, when I want to do them, and take as long or as short a time as I want to do them. No having to agree or compromise. Hmmm. I might think about that.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Some days I don’t miss you at all. Today was not one of those days. Yesterday I could think about you with happiness; today your memory only makes me sad. Yesterday I was glad I had not heard from you; today I feel abandoned. Yesterday I was over you; today it feels like you just left. Yesterday I was getting on with my life; today it only looks empty without you. I hope tomorrow feels like yesterday.