Inferior Imitator

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas was odd this year. Mostly because I missed my sister, but also because there were a lot of traditions that we missed because Dad had to work from 6 to 6 on Christmas Day. I got everything done Thursday and was home by eight. My brother and I spent Friday watching Season 3 of Buffy (finished by the end of the weekend - yay!). We opened presents Christmas Eve when Dad got home, so didn't get to go to Grandma's for oyster stew and chili. However, they didn't do that anyway, so Mom invited the rest of the family over to Pastor's instead. Yeah, I know. Opening presents went really quick, since there were only four of us.

Woke up the next morning around ten and did stockings and opened the presents Santa left for us. I retried the Black Forest cake for supper, which turned out really well. I hadn't whipped the eggs well enough on the other. We whipped them for almost 10 minutes on the standing mixer, and I only did 15 by hand. I'm getting Mom's old standing mixer (she got a new one a while back), so hopefully that will no longer be a problem. We had our traditional crab legs and twice baked potatoes and corn casserole with my dessert.

So watched movies and Buffy and slept and hung out. Very relaxing, dislike being back at work very much.

Loot list:

  • porcelin Strawberry Shortcake doll - she's so pretty! She's in the old style, none of that new doll stuff, and about a foot tall. I like her lots.
  • sheets
  • Best Recipe cookbook
  • throw blanket - made by mommy!
  • skirt/top/poncho outfit
  • long underwear
  • tons of socks - thermal, dress, and fuzzy
  • Dodgeball
  • Return of the King extended edition
  • season two of South Park (Lew forgot to give it to me one year, so he thought he'd catch up)
  • Disney's Robin Hood
  • Hardcover copy of The Hero and the Crown
  • Cake, Pressure Chief
  • heating pad
  • candle
  • South Park the movie
  • 13 Going on 30
  • salt and pepper shakers

There is probably a couple more things that I can't remember. If I remember, I'll edit them in. It was a good weekend, though. I am really sore today, because I finally went to my chiro yesterday, and I was really out. Especially my neck.

I'm planning on hitting the after-Christmas sales tonight. Hopefully there's some Christmas cards left.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Ack! So much to do, so little time! I was going to try to go back to Wilton tonight, but I'm not sure that's happening. Actually, it might. I was thinking that I might have to do some laundry before I left, but my parents have a washer and dryer. Actually, they have two washers and three dryers, but I'm sure not all of them work anymore. It was nice. For a while they had an honest to goodness laundromat in the basement.

But I have to shower - I couldn't get my ass out of bed to do it this morning because of Shauna's birthday party last night. I haven't showered since Tuesday morning. I'm so lazy. And none of you can smell me over the internet, so don't be telling me I stink. I don't. And I have witnesses.

And Dad called me yesterday afternoon to have me go look for a couple of presents for Mom that he couldn't find at Wal-Mart, which is pretty much the only retail outlet within 30 miles of home, so it's up to me. I finished my Christmas shopping three weeks ago for precisely this reason. I was at the mall Tuesday night to get my hair done, and it was bad enough. I don't wanna go to the mall! Wahhh! And, I have to go to B&N and FYE, which are on complete opposite sides of the mall. I just have to keep telling myself, "I need the excercise, I need the excercise."

I also made fudge the other night to take over to my neighbors, so I have to wrap that up and take it over. And I know if Max is there, he'll invite me in for a beer or something, and that will take a while. I think I'm gonna try, though. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my brother.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I have so much to blog about, but I can't get connected to the internet at home. I think I've run into a virus or something, so I'm gonna have to do a little detecting to figure out what's going on.

Let's see...dinner party. My crisis was the cake. I was going to try a Black Forest Cake, but it fell, and I didn't have time to try it again. I fell back on a tried and true caramel chocolate cake, so that worked out okay. Everything else went smoothly. Although if I ever do this again, I'm getting a firm number of people and no one can back out unless they get a replacement. I might accept death as an excuse, but that's it. I did get to use my dishes for the very first time ever. I bought them when I was in high school and had all this disposable income, but never have had the chance to use them. They occupied the space under Emily's bed for years...I think they were one of the banes of her existence.

I went home Saturday, since family Christmas was on Sunday afternoon, and I knew that it would be appreciated by Mom since Lew decided not to come home until Wednesday, and Emily...well, Em isn't coming home at all. I helped decorate the Christmas tree (lost my balance and fell onto the gliding rocker and got myself a pretty bruise) and Mom and I watched my new copy of 13 Going On 30. Sunday was also quite fun, I played with Calvin and Malea most of the time. My kids are so adorable! Malea is so good with colors for being only two, and we were rolling around crying with laughter at her kick-up-her-heels antics. I did have a little incident with Calvin. We were playing and he threw something at me. I said, "I'm not playing with you anymore." "Why not?" "I don't want to play with someone who throws things at me." He went and hid under the table for a while, I think he felt bad. But I did support him when I told him to figure out a solution for sharing marbles with Malea and he did and then Malea wanted more than her share.

Went to see Blade Trinity with the gang last night, which was a great movie. Wesley Snipes is such a badass. [grin]

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I got my contacts back in the mail on Tuesday! They said it would be Friday at the earliest, but I got them Tuesday! Yay for sight! They were a bit cloudy after I put them in, so I called the Vision Center to ask if the lab said anything about them. They said that they noticed that the thickness was off. Usually hard contacts have a depth of 10, but mine were 9 something. The doctor looked in my file, and I've had this particular pair of contacts for almost 10 years! Wow. Turns out, 10 years of wear and cleaning wear away 1/10th of your contacts. Interesting little fact. I gave them a more thorough cleaning last night, so they aren't as cloudy today, but I think it's about time for a new pair of lenses.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I had my first appointment with my very own client today. I usually just work on other people's clients, but today I started with my very own. Sure, they just called into the office, I didn't actually hand them my card and said, "Give me a call," but they are still my very own. I feel giddy.

It feels good to be starting to build my own client base. As you move up in the organization, you're supposed to do that, and I probably should have more than one client by now, but I have been handing out cards like a mad woman lately. Most promising is that I gave a whole stack to Aunt Judy. The accountant that they refer clients to is retiring, so they're looking for someone. That someone might be me! Referrals! Clients! I am becoming a pillar of the community! Or maybe not quite.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I am told I did well at Testing. I was so focused, I didn't pay enough attention to anyone else to pay them a compliment. Apologies. I did break both my boards on the first try, though my poor hand hurt afterwards. I was so exhausted afterwards, I about fell asleep on Chelsea's shoulder. I slept a lot this weekend.

I am also blind. I sent my contacts home with Mom Friday night, to get them in to the Vision Center to send them to the lab for cleaning and polishing. I probably won't get them back until Friday. I am alternating between my glasses and my last contact prescription. My glasses have better vision correction, but wearing them too long gives me a headache. But I've been getting used to them, so I've been able to wear them longer. But I still can't see very well with either one. It's amazing how much I take my eyesight for granted. I've often thought if I lived in an earlier time period, my eyesight would not be corrected so well, and life like this would be normal for me.

I miss my contacts.

I'm planning what's turning out to be a dinner party for the gang on Friday night. I spent an hour yesterday afternoon reading cookbooks and trying to decide a menu. I am rather excited to drag out my nice dishes and drink wine and have a sit down dinner. I'm also eager to try out this Black Forest Cake recipe that I found in my new cookbook. Except that I have to be in Cedar Rapids all day Friday, and don't know if I'll have enough time for everything. I'll work it out.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Last night was Testing at the Gym-Nest. I led the session for the white-orange belts. It was a lot simpler than I thought it would be, as there's only so much time for warm-up, testing, questions and announcements in the span of 45 minutes. Only two of the white belts were ready to test out of about seven. The girls were ready to test, the boys weren't. But they're five and six year olds, so I think you're supposed to expect that at that age. We give out the belts next Thursday. That's always my favorite part.

I test for my brown belt tonight. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I Want Stuff!

I tend to not buy anything between Thanksgiving and Christmas (I give up presents for Advent). I put things on my wishlist, and hope I'll get it at the end of my deprivation period. Then I go on a shopping spree after I get my Christmas bills paid off, to buy the things I really wanted and didn't get.

About now, I'm looking at my list and thinking, "I really *want* some of these things. Can I buy them now? But what if someone already got it for me? But what if they didn't and I'll have to wait until January or February?"

Commercialism has got a hold of me. I've gotten the urge to read the Harry Potter books again, so maybe that can occupy my buying-lust until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My eyes are really bad. My prescription is -11 diopters, which translates into 20/1800. Which, to emphasize, what I see at 20 feet is what normal people see at 1800 feet. 1800 feet is a third of a mile. Or half a kilometer. My eyes are really bad.

I wear hard contact lenses, because neither soft contacts nor glasses will hold my prescription. It's great in part, because I've been wearing this particular pair of contacts for over three years. But after a while, they can get protien deposits, and you can barely see a thing.

That happened to me yesterday. My right contact got all cloudy, and I couldn't see through it all day. It was driving me nuts. I tried cleaning it well last night, but no dice. So I bought an enzyme cleaner at Osco this morning and soaked my lenses all morning. I wore my glasses, which are really cute, but give me a headache. I probably should have grabbed my spare pair of lenses, which are a prescription ago, but being fuzzy is better than having headaches.

The enzyme thing worked okay, but I'll have to send my lenses in for cleaning and polishing soon. Which means that I'll have to wear my old lenses for at least a week.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I recently moved my toothpaste from the top shelf to the bottom shelf of my medicine cabinet. I'd say about a week ago. I have yet to reach for the tube without first reaching for the top shelf before realizing it does not live there anymore. I am a creature of habit.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I ran into a friend of mine from high school at the Piano Lounge. I have not seen Jason in several years, not since he moved to LA to go to acting school. I thought he was a particularly talented actor. He played Bottom in our senior year production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and of all the productions I've seen afterward, I believe his to be the best performance of the role (including Kevin Kline). Jason and I were co-editors of the yearbook, but weren't particularly close. Then of course, I wasn't particularly close to anyone in high school, so Jason was a good a friend as any.

Jason was the first person I knew personally who is gay. He came out of the closet after we got to Iowa City, and of course, the rumors flew back in Wilton. I was naïve when I was a freshman in college. I've often mentioned questioning my beliefs, and this was the one thing I can point to that started that process. Jason was still the same person I planned pages and rehearsed Shakespeare with, but now he was going to hell. I no longer accept that, in part because my friend is gay.

But Jason is back from LA, for now, and I have his phone number, so hopefully we can get together some time. It was so funny. I caught his gaze from across the bar, and it took a moment before I registered recognition. My jaw dropped, and I went over and got a huge bear hug. He told me he'd been trying to get my attention for like, half an hour. Me and my tunnel vision. We exchanged the obligatory life story since we'd seen one another, and what we knew about other friends. He said, "Huh. I expected you to be married with like, twenty kids by now." It took me a couple beats to decide how to answer that. I finally settled on, "Yeah, me too." He nodded. "Yeah, hardly anyone gets the life they expected to live. Look at me."

That struck me, as MC Mike had said the exact same thing to me not a week before: "Hardly anyone seems to get the life they imagined." It's times like these, when the same message seems to get pounded into my brain over and over, that make me wonder if God is trying to tell me something.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I love Christmas. I love the traditions, I love giving presents, I love the food, I love the carols, I love the decorations, and I love the spirit.

I started the season off by going to the grand re-opening of the Englert Theater. My neighbor came by Thursday night, said she and her husband had to go out of town suddenly, and they weren't going to be able to go, and asked if I could use them. Of course! I took Todd (check him out in the background of the second picture! - I got blocked by a head) and we had an enjoyable night watching A Christmas Carol. The actor playing Scrooge did a wonderful job.

I spent today putting up decorations and my tree, and wrapping the presents I've bought so far. I forgot to buy tinsel at the after-Christmas sales last year, so I'll have to pick some up tomorrow. One of my favorite tasks every year is to unwrap each ornament. Each one brings a memory of the year that I bought it, and the ones from my childhood are especially rich with memories.

This year will be kinda sad, with Emily gone. Dad has to work from 6 am to 6 pm on Christmas Day, so those traditions will not be perfomed, either. Which may be a good thing. If we do something different, not having Emily there might not be so painful.

Friday, December 03, 2004

It's amazing how much a good night's sleep will improve your disposition. That and it goes a long ways to preventing falling asleep on your computer. I hate hotels, I hate traveling, and I hate being away from home. I don't want to sound like a hermit, but I think I'm close. I love being at home. I do get the itch to go out and do something, but I am always eager to get back home again.

In related news, the world is conspiring against me to continually remind me that I do not have someone to share my life with.