Inferior Imitator

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

Monday, February 28, 2005

I had a day off yesterday. It was nice. I slept in until nine, went to church, picked up my Girl Scout cookies (oh good, I did order two boxes of the Peanut Butter), did the books, came home...oh wait this part's interesting.

I cooked. I came home about two, pretty hungry. My grocery shopping has been sporadic at best, and I only buy things that don't seem to go with anything else. I'm looking in the fridge, freezer, and cupboards for something that will go together. I look in the cupboards and see a box of spaghetti and think, "Hmmm. Spaghetti. I could do something with that." But I wasn't really in the mood for traditional spaghetti, especially since all my bread was at work and I couldn't make garlic bread.

A white sauce. A white sauce sounds good. Oooh, garlic white sauce. Hey, here's some frozen spinach. That would go nice with a white sauce over spaghetti. It was good. I also did up a couple chicken breasts. I'm out of propane for the grill and didn't feel like dragging out the George, so I fried it in butter and Italian dressing. That was really good. The whole ensemble was really good, and I'm pretty pleased with myself one, for actually cooking, and two, for cooking something really good out of what seemed like nothing.

So I cooked and watched television for the rest of the day. I am now caught up to February 11th. Can I say how much I'm not impressed with this season of Alias so far? Keep in mind that I just watched the one where Sydney got bit, so if there's more interesting stuff down the line you can tell me. But don't spoil me. Oh, and channel 9 is preempting this week's for Iowa State basketball again (gag me with a spoon), so make sure you find out when it's actually showing.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

My godson Calvin turns five next month. He has been begging his mother (my cousin Cassie) to have a party with all his classmates, and she's given in. Cassie called me yesterday to ask if I would help, and if I had any suggestions. She said that Calvin's aunt Courtney suggested a carnival, that way if kids were coming or going they could join in easily. I shot that down right away. "No. Way. Waaay too much work and it's much harder to corral groups of kids than one big group. You definitely want big group activities, that way you don't have kids wanting to do what the other kids are doing and can't because there's not enough room. I'd also say plan on no more than three games."

"Really? Only three? What are they going to do for two hours?"

"Sweetie, by the time you corral the group for a game, explain it, play it, and move on to the next, you won't have time for more than that. I'd also play games first, get them tired out. Then they'll be ready to sit down for cake. While they're still eating, start opening presents while you have their attention. Then afterwards, you can let them run around for free time while their parents are picking them up."

"Wow, you sound like you know what you're talking about."

"I do, don't I? I wonder why that is."

It wasn't until I was hanging up my laundry in the basement eight hours later that I realized I teach Tae Kwon Do to this age group once a week. Doh!

Whoever it was that mentioned this was a symptom of senility, this has been going on for years. It's just me.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Unsolved Mysteries

On February 20, 2005, 27-year-old Amanda visited her parents, where she was given a piece of mail that had arrived there for her some time before. Her name and her parents' address was typed neatly on the front and there was no return address. Inside was an advertisement torn from the September 2004 issue of Executive Focus, an advertisement for magazine called The Organized Executive. Attached was a yellow post-it, handwritten:


Try this
Its really good!"

And signed simply, "J"

Not immediately knowing who "J" was, she looked at the cancellation stamp for a clue. It was posted on September 4, 2004 from Santa Ana, California. The mystery deepened. She knew a few people from Califonia, none of which she knew by "J" or who might have had her parents' address. Who sent the letter?

If you have any information about this case, contact the blog adminstrator in the comments below. Thousands of Unsolved Mysteries have been solved by viewers like you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

My office is on the second floor of a commercial building, and there is a pet supply store on the first floor right below us. They do animal rescue as well, so there are various cats and dogs in the store for people to adopt. In our lease, we have veto power over what goes in below us. For example, we would never want a restaurant below us, because the risk of fire is too great for our sensitive documents.

When this pet store went in, our only stipulation was that they keep the noise to a minimum. The owner agreed, saying whenever the dogs started to annoy us, to give her a call. This morning, the dogs had been barking for twenty minutes or so, and that was enough for us. I went up to the temp receptionist to ask her to call down and ask them to quiet the dogs down.

She gave me a little sympathy noise: "Awww" like I was asking her to ask them to beat them or something. I gave her a Look. "You gotta be kidding me" was the gist of it. "How do the quiet the dogs?" she asked. "I don't know, but they told us to call them." The '...and I don't care' was implied. I'm not heartless, but I also can't work with incessant barking.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ever run out of gas a block from the gas station?


Actually, I ran out of gas about four blocks from the gas station and coasted to a stop a block from the gas station. I've been running around with the light on for about three days now, so I guess that'll teach me. Or now I know how far I can get with the gas light on. I ran out of gas just past the law school, which is why I got as far as I did. The law school is at the top of a hill, and I coasted around the corner, through the intersection of Riverside and Burlington (fortunately the light was green - that light's never green), across the bridge and to a stop right on the railroad tracks.


A 4X4 Ford Ranger is a lot heavier than it looks. A passing motorist helped me push it off the tracks and that's when the University cops showed up. The two ladies were *very* nice. Especially since in the process of pushing the truck, I locked my keys in the car.


Instead of calling a tow truck as is procedure, one stayed with my truck and the other took me back home to get my extra set of keys and a gas can, which fortunately had enough gas in it to get me started and to the gas station. I'm so glad they didn't call a tow truck. As it was, I was ten minutes late getting to Bettendorf.

Have I ever mentioned how many times I've locked my keys in my car? Too many to count, really, so many that I am a fanatic about making sure I have my keys before I lock the truck. It would take running out of gas in the middle of a street to make me do it again.

Monday, February 14, 2005

There's nothing like walking in the door to the smell of food cooking. This morning I threw round steak, potatoes, and onion soup mix in the crock pot, and right now I am enjoying an excellent stew.

What is up with these kids today? I wanted to give out Valentines this year, and I thought since I was teaching at the Nest tonight, I would give them to the kids. I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle valentines and spent the first half of the Kill Bill marathon Saturday night addressing and sticking fun size candy bars to the one side. (I went to bed about fifteen minuted into Volume 2. I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.) I think about two kids in each of three classes said 'thank you' when I handed them out. Ingrates.

My mommy is again my valentine this year. She's so thoughtful! I wish I could remember to be that thoughtful.

And it seems I can't log into the work site, so I guess I go read Harry Potter. I'm almost done with this blasted book and I can go read something nice and boring!

Friday, February 11, 2005

You know how I usually read before bed to relax? I'm re-reading Order of the Phoenix and it just riles me up. That Umbridge woman just puts my stomach into knots! Then I turn off the light and try to sleep and I'm just so upset I don't fall asleep very quickly. I also have a hard time putting it down. I haven't read it since I first got it and read it all in one go, so I can't remember half of what happened. Which is kinda nice, because it's like reading it again for the first time. Sometimes it's nice having a poor memory.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I have a co-worker who feels obligated to tell me what I'm eating. I pull out a sandwich: "Good ol' peanut butter and jelly, huh?" I come in the breakroom with a bag: "Pancheros." I pull a bowl out of the microwave: "Soup today?" I don't know why this bothers me so much. I like the woman, but I have been known to put off eating until she leaves the breakroom so she doesn't comment on my food. Amazing the kind of things that drive you nuts, huh?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

So Pierre Pierce has been arrested again. He was kicked off the basketball team last week, to which I said, "It's about time." Iowa basketball has become everything I hate about professional sports. And I'm chalking it mostly up to Steve Alford. I've heard too many stories from too many reliable sources not to believe at least some of them true. The man believes he is above everyone else and thinks he should be handed everything on a silver platter. Pierce has only taken his cue.

Not to excuse what he's done. I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for a rapist on a scholarship. Excuse me, accused-rapist-pled-guilty-to-a-lesser-charge on a scholarship. Now that Pierce is gone, I can't help but feel we've only removed the blemish. The seeds go much deeper, and until Alford goes, we're on the same downward spiral.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The heel of my very favorite pair of boots has been rattling. Every time I move: rattle, rattle. I feel like I'm carring a maraca. I finally got around to investigating, and it turns out I've worn a hole in the heel and broke off some part or another of the heel underneath. I've fished out the broken pieces, but now I'm hit with a dilemma. How am I going to replace these boots?

These were my very first pair of shoes taller than my ankle (not counting high-top tennis shoes from the 80's). I bought them right before Christmas of 2001. It was right after I had started working, and having money was new and exciting. Not that having money still isn't exciting, but it was new. I was Christmas shopping in Waterloo because I was stuck there auditing a concrete company, and I saw these boots and I splurged on myself and paid $65 for a pair of boots. I was so pleased. I've worn them at least three times a week during each of the winters since.

I'm one of those people who have a hard time finding boots that fit because I actually have calves and not pencils above my ankles. I did find a pair of brown ones at Dillard's a couple of years ago that fit wonderfully. To this date, those boots are my shopping coup, because they were marked down from $140 to $26. I still get a little thrill. Anyway, I am not looking forward to trying on dozens of boots that are too small for my calves, and I can't order them from catalogues for obvious reasons. *Sigh* You'd think with all the fat people in America, retailers would start stocking boots for them.

Not that I'm fat, but you know what I mean.

Monday, February 07, 2005

So...about those childhood insecurities.

There may or may not have been a Super Bowl party at Josh's house last night. Todd mentioned last Wednesday that there might be, but no one invited me or let me know what was going on, so I didn't go. I watched the commercials at home and finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire during the game.

I feel very much alone right now, and it is a very familiar feeling.

Note: comments are turned off because I don't want to discuss it

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I've been dreaming for several months now about having to go back to school. Last night I found out that the paper that had been assigned at the beginning of the semester and forgot to write down was due today. It was a critical analysis of a short story that was full of words I had to look up in the (old-fashioned) dictionary. I had to kick people out of my dorm room so I could pull an all-nighter.

Let's see what has to say. "To dream that you are in school, signifies feelings of inadequacy and childhood insecurities that have never been resolved. It may relate to anxieties about performance and abilities."

Okay, that was obvious.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Don't read this post, unless you have hours to spare. Especially if you're Emily. Jenn pointed me to a doll-making site, and I just spent half an hour creating an Amanda doll.

This is why I shouldn't be stalking people while I'm working!

The last week of January always sucks, but this one sucked in particular. After working 70.3 hours by 3:00 Saturday, I was done. I went and saw Phantom of the Opera with my cousin, went home and crashed. Sunday I felt like crap. I had brought stuff home to work on, but I ended up going back to bed after going to church and not doing much else. So I didn't make my charge hour budget last month after all. And when I got yelled at first thing Monday morning for not getting the front page of the tax website done before the deadline, it was the last straw. I sat in my office and cried.

I ended up discussing the situation with my mentor and wrote a letter to the offender, and I felt much better after doing so. I look forward to February 1st almost as much as March 15th and April 15th. The work is spread out all over the month instead of crammed in at the very end. It's much less stressful that way.