Inferior Imitator

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

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Last night was the annual Tae Kwon Do banquet. You know, now that I'm not lusting after anyone in the club, it's not as fun as it used to be. I miss having a crush. Not anyone in particular, just the fun of flirting and trying to figure out the responses you get back. The silly little "I hope he's going to be there" and "will he notice me?" and "what will I say?" and just those little things that make life a little more interesting.

Plus, there's nothing like finding someone else to fixate on to divest of you any last remaining vestiges of anything you felt for someone who obviously didn't care about you enough to call once in nine months.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Yeah, that whole running in the morning thing didn't work out for me. But check out this crazy dream I had that woke me up at 4:30 in the morning so that when my alarm went off at twenty to six I reset it for my normal time. This thing was *vivid*.

I was on a weekend trip for some sort of reunion or party or some such. Think WD party with people I've known throughout my life. It was at a hotel, and we were wrapping up to leave. I run into Griebs in the lobby with my luggage, who I had not seen the entire weekend and I was really surprised to see him. As the shuttle for the airport pulls up, I realize I left my purse somewhere. Suddenly, a girlfriend and I (can't remember who it was) was in the airport lounge having drinks when this black guy slides into the booth with us and starts chatting. We're having a nice normal conversation when he pulls out a gun (a cartoon-y one: a handgun with a super-long barrel) and hijacks the plane. He loads all the passengers onto the plane, and I'm in the first class area. Then the plane starts moving, but never takes off. We glide along streets and roads and fields, followed by emergency vehicles. Think OJ Simpson, but with a plane. Then Jason comes up from passenger seating and gives the hijacker a passionate kiss, and all of a sudden I know there's some complicated history between the two of them. Then I woke up.

As for the running...Sheesh! I'm going to have to take my truck and drive my route to figure out how far I ran. For those of you who know Iowa City: I took off down Koser to George and ran to Benton. I hung a right to Sunset and ran almost all the way to Hwy 1, and turned a block before and ran all the way back to Benton on Wyld Green. I turn east, intending to turn somewhere so I could hit Melrose Ct, but lost track of where I was. I didn't figure it out until I saw McDonald's up ahead of me. Since none of those roads go through, I turned up Hwy 6 to Myrtle. I took a little extra time between rounds 9 and 10, because there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to run up Myrtle hill. I'm wondering if I repeated a round somewhere, because I did all that and still got home with 15 seconds left to spare. My quads are toast.

And I'm starved. Would it be anti-climatic if I ordered a pizza?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Back to the old grind seems like such a cliche, but I suppose it's the truth. I can't say it was hard to go back to work today, but it certainly wasn't something I was looking forward to. I remember after summer vacations, I couldn't wait to go back to school. I think I would have been a big proponent of year-round schools, where you get three weeks off at a time. Three weeks is just long enough to get rested and bored and ready to do something again, I think. I should look up when I get more vacation days. After five years, maybe?

Went straight into audit season, though this first one I'm just doing fieldwork. No planning, no wrap-up, and it's just me and Deb, so I get all the easy sections. But then next week I'll have to start planning another one, so that won't be so rosy. Easing back into it is nice, though.

Oh, and I'm writing this down here, so I'll be held to it: I'm going to try and run in the mornings this week to see how it goes. I'm not sure I can do it, because getting my ass up in the morning is tough business, but I'm going to try. My alarm is going off at twenty to six tomorrow. Wait, I should see what time the sun comes up. I can't run in the dark, because I won't be able to see my watch. I'm going to freeze my buns off as it it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I should have cleaned up my spare room months ago. I'm not done yet...I haven't done my books yet, because I haven't put together the bookcase yet. I found one last night at Target with Mom and Grandma that I actually liked, plus it only cost me $30. I love Target. Grandma wanted to buy a confirmation present for Nicole at Lemstone, so Mom brought her up - we went for an early supper at Olive Garden and bought confirmation presents and wandered the mall. It was fun - a night out with the girls. I said that to Grandma, and she was so flattered.

Anyway, the point of my post is that I was going through an overflowing tub of Stuff, when I found a clipping that I had kept from several years ago. I don't remember where I found it, but it was a phone number for opting out of pre-approved credit card offers. It was kind of like the Do Not Call list, but for junk mail. I signed up, and for two years, I did not receive those stupid offers. In the last year, I've started getting more and more of them, so I suppose the limit had expired, but I couldn't find the phone number. So I found it, and called it and found out they now have a permanent option. Sign me up for that stuff, baby!

They also have a website: Opt-Out Prescreen Read it all carefully, but I've used it, and it works.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I've gotten so much done in the past three days, I'm blowing off today as a freebee. I'm going to go get my hair done (I feel like a shag monster), and wander the mall a bit. Maybe read in Barnes N' Noble. I do still have to clean my bedroom and the spare room, which is a very daunting task. The spare room looks like I never moved in. It doesn't help that we're in that spot in the change of seasons where I'm wearing both my summer and my winter clothes. It would also help greatly if I would decide on a bookcase so I can get my books organized. They don't fit into my little one anymore, so I've got them piled around and in milk crates. That's high on my list of goals this week: I'm so sick of looking at that room.

I also started that running program that Jenn pointed out to me this morning. Didn't go too bad. I was going a little slower around the sixth or seventh round, but then I got my second wind, and then planned my route so rounds 11 and 12 were running down Melrose back to my house, so I had to put on a good show for the traffic. I get embarrassed if I'm plodding along in front of people.

I moved my hastas on Sunday from the front of the house to the north side, and they look pretty good. I just have to decide what to do with the flower beds now. I want to do something so that I don't have to plant the whole thing with annuals, so I need to figure out what perennials I want to put in there. I am also making plans for what I want to put in in the fall, since a lot of those flowers that I like best (irises, peonies) go in in the fall. I'm also thinking about what to do with the backyard, because I want some kind of deck or patio to hang out on. Maybe something near the back of the yard, with a stone or brick patio and an arbor for the blackberry bushes. Probably not this year, but within a couple, hopefully.

Other than that, been getting a lot of rest and reading and doing little chores that needed to be done, but never can quite get off my ass to do them. It's kinda like summer vacation!

Friday, April 15, 2005

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
The extensions are filed, the clients quit calling
“The deadline is near!”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It’s the hap-happiest season of all!
With returns out the door and tax files off the floor
No more clients to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all!

There’ll be beers to be drinking
Pool balls to be sinking
And smoking cigars in the bar
There’ll be free food for stuffing
And tales of the huffing,
Most horrible clients by far

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be much happy laughter
Relaxing thereafter
So be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I am in charge of extensions this year, which means I'm basically sitting around waiting for people to bring me the ones they have prepared for me to log and send, or doing them myself, logging, and sending. Right now, there are none for me to do or log. It's nice. I'm sitting here, doing nothing. I take that back. I'm working on this game. I'm stuck on Level 6. Stupid addicting games.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Daily Show has completely warped my sense of humor. There are practical jokes floating all over the office today: Tim taped down the (flippy thing on the phone that the receiver sits on that activates the phone line - you know what I'm talking about, right? Does this thing have a name?) on Jeanette's phone so that when she lifted the receiver and pressed the button for her caller, she wasn't connected. "Hello? Hello?" She accidentally hung up on him. Hee! Good trick. I'll have to remember that one.

She teamed up with Barb to get back at him. They filled a paper cup full of paper punches and put it upside down on his chair so that when he lifts it up, there will be paper punches everywhere.

Do you know what made me laugh hardest today? The report, "Fidel Castro called President Bush's attendance at Pope John Paul II's funeral hypocritical." The irony had me rolling on the floor.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

This is the next to last day of WSUI's semi-annual fund drive. Thank God. I am getting tired of hearing pleas for funds. I sent in my money, dammit, now quit asking me for more! They should have a special station for everyone who's given already - here's your receipt, and here's the special code for the non-fund drive programming. If I wasn't so addicted to NPR, I'd turn it off.

I have senioritis for tax season. I think I need to coin a new phrase. How about April-itis? There's gotta be some sort of shorthand for I-can't-stand-to-look-at-this-tax-return-anymore-so-I-spend-an-inordinate-amount-of-time-on-the-WD-and-cursing-all-my-stalkees-except-Min-for-not-updating-their-blogs-often-enough. It's about now that I have to go wander the halls and annoy people in order to get my second wind. Yesterday I emptied the dishwasher.

I should take a page from Amanda's book and go raid the liquor supply. I like my job. There's beer in the fridge.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

President Bush is pissing me off with his latest assertions about Social Security. Read Bush Questions Social Security Trust Fund for background. His latest photo op in front of a filing cabinet in West Virginia that "houses" the Social Security Trust Fund is designed to mislead the American people. "Imagine," he says "The retirement security for future generations is sitting in a filing cabinet."

Which it's not, really. What's really in the cabinet are papers representing U.S. Treasury bonds. So those IOUs that Bush is claiming are so questionable are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. If those bonds are defaulted on, we got a shit-load of bigger problems than unfunded Social the destruction of the world economy for starters.

It is much more likely that SS benefits would be reduced or payroll taxes increased before the government defaults on its debt. To imply the government would default is irresponsible and deceitful. This is exactly why I voted against George Bush. This government does not care if it presents its case in a misleading manner if it ends up getting its agenda passed.

The Libertarian in me rejoices at the thought of private accounts, since it's a step in the right direction. But my absolute anger at being misled again is coloring my position. Social Security is at its core insurance, not an investment. It is insurance against individual financial catastrophe, poor investment decisions, and the inability to save. I'm not sure the benefits of ownership outweigh the benefits of the security Social Security provides.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

When I was in my pre-teens, I was a big fan of David Copperfield. Every once in a while, he'd have a TV special, and I'd never miss it. I loved magic. One of my favorite parts of Adventureland was taking a hour from the heat of the summer and watching the magic show in the saloon. Once on a vacation, might have been a stop in Baraboo, WI, Emily and I got to go up on stage for a magic show, and it was one of the highlights of the year. One year, I got a magic kit for Christmas, and I spent hours learning card tricks and rope tricks and my favorite, the disappearing ball routine. But I was more interested in watching than doing. I'd let myself believe in the magic.

But David Copperfield was the best of them all. How could one possibly make a train disappear in front of all those people? I watched them lock him in that safe. How could he get out before the building exploded? I even kinda remember when he walked through the Great Wall of China. Amazing.

But as all children do, I started losing my illusions. (Yeah, that was a pun, I'm sorry.) Magic just doesn't hold the beauty and amazement it did when I was a child. So when I got the email yesterday notifying me that David Copperfield will be performing at the Adler Theater in the Quad Cities next month, I was a little torn. If I go, will I be disappointed? If I don't, will I just be another one of those cynical adults who has lost the magic in their life?

Monday, April 04, 2005

I like Daylight Saving Time. I like it so much, in fact, that I wish it was DST all year 'round. This switching back and forth thing is crap. They did a study, and while it doesn't take any time at all for people to get used to the change in the fall, when we get an extra hour, it takes people up to five days to get used to losing an hour. It's like jet lag, except you don't get to go anywhere.

There was an unexpected benefit today to losing an hour. I got to eat lunch an hour earlier today. My tummy liked that. It makes me think that maybe I need to adjust my eating habits. I eat breakfast around seven. By 9:30, I'm hungry again, so I usually have an English muffin or a piece of toast or something. By 11:00, I'm starving. So maybe I should actually start eating lunch earlier. Then I'd probably eat supper around fourish, which would give me a couple of hours to digest before TKD. And then I'm not hungry after TKD, and if I do eat, it's very light, like yogurt or cottage cheese or an apple. So I would be getting three meals in. I may try this.

Anyway, I had the usual problem waking up this morning. I commented this on Min's journal, but it's too clever of me not to repeat. My alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. as usual, and my body said, "WTF? It's 5 am!" and went back to sleep.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sin City: Wow. Todd is going to let me borrow the originals, because the movie blew me away. I loved the feel of it - it really was like I was watching a graphic novel unfold. The black and white, with color tones for emphasis, the changes in camera angles that made you feel like you knew when you moved from one pane on the page to the next. It was fascinating the way the violence translated to the screen. At times, it seemed excessive, but then I realized how it must have looked on the page, and it was exactly right.

I never knew Elijah Wood could be so creepy.

They did a really good job cohesing the stories. Yes, it did feel Pulp Fiction-y in that way, but I think beginning and ending with Bruce Willis' Hartigan was a great decision. It's kinda weird to say it, but he and Jessica Alba had great chemistry. And may I say how much I've now got a thing for Clive Owen? It may be because he reminded me a lot of Bruce Campbell in this, who I've had a celebrity crush on since he was Brisco County Jr. waay back at the beginning of the '90s, and before I knew anything about Evil Dead.

This was a review, not me drooling over Bruce Campbell. Where was I? Oh, yes. Bruce Willis. Bruce was able to scowl as much as he wanted to and not look ridiculous. Because this had all the cliches, all the hokiness, and all the textbook contrivances without making it ridiculous. There were some laughs out of the audience, but it fit too well to make fun it.

Definitely worth seeing again.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Two weeks!

I am going to rave about Lost today. I was listening to a program this week about Michael Eisner, and it said that he didn't like the show, so he tried to shoot it down. If he wasn't on my shit list before, that put the nail in the coffin. I adore this show.

After a long hiatus (which I have to admit, I was appreciative of, since Survivor was reprogrammed to the same slot for a couple weeks for March Madness), this last episode was worth the wait. After learning last time about a connection between Hurley's numbers and the island, we are treated to more "revelations" through Locke's dream. I have to admit, Locke is one of my favorite characters, and that may be bias, because I adore Terry O'Quinn, but his story seems to be holding me more than the others. Except maybe Hurley. I had been ranting about wanting some background on Hurley since November, and the last episode exceeded all my wildest expectations.

This show walks that fine balance between keeping me interested and making me frustrated. They only just reveal so much at a time, and there's so much more that I want to know. What's in the box? Where did the numbers come from? Why did Ethan kidnap Claire? What in the world is up with Locke? I can't even venture a guess as to what's going to happen next. Looking back on the season, it doesn't seem like we've gotten much plot development, but there has been so much going on, the show still feels full. It makes me wonder how much we'll get to learn this season and on how much they'll leave us hanging. There will definitely be a huge cliffhanger at the end of the season. They can't not. I'm going to spend the entire summer much like after Angel Season 3's end.