Inferior Imitator

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

Thursday, June 30, 2005

My sister just called me and gave me a phone number. She said that if I don't call her by Saturday, I'm supposed to call that number, tell Ralph that he needs to open the store, and then call the authorities because she went camping in bear country and she's been eaten by a bear.

I told her she only needs to outrun Smith.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I have an exciting new obsession: comic books.

It started with Sin City. Damn, that Frank Miller tells a good story. If you remember, one of the things I liked best about the movie was that I could see the comic unfolding on the screen. Todd lent me a boat-load of comics to read: Sin City, Daredevil, Batman...

I'm hooked. I've started buying. I get my first Serenity comic when it's released the first week of July. I'm also browsing eBay and Daydreams, the comic store around the corner from my office. I'm not positive what I want to start collecting, but I figure I should start with what I like, and I know I like Buffy and Angel (plus the aforementioned Serenity). Except with Buffy and Angel, there are photo and art covers, and I don't like the photo so much as art, and the lots on eBay are more often than not a mixture of both. The difficulties!

I don't have the money for this. What am I thinking?

Monday, June 27, 2005

My parents have been married for 30 years today, and are still very much in love.

We should all be so lucky.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I think I just had a timing problem with the advertising. I'm in the middle of a glut of apartment showings, and the creepy lady didn't return her application, so I'm in the clear there. I just finished a showing with a major cutie. Too bad it's bad business practice to date your tenants...but then I've had bad experience with dating neighbors too, so maybe there's something to that.

I cut my hair off again. I didn't mean for it to get so short; I'm hoping I'll still be able to put it up for the wedding. It now looks a lot like Veronica Mars' except I have bangs. And I'm a brunette. I didn't like it the way my stylist did it, so I was afraid I'd hate it, but once I got home and attacked it with my ceramic hair iron, I love it.

What else...oh, Ken, that wonderful man, burned the Firefly theme off his DVDs to a CD for me, so I can listen to it on my iShuffle. And! the easter egg with Adam Baldwin singing the Ballad of Jayne! The visuals add so much (that hat!), but hi-larious. I can't wait for September 30th. Why oh why did they have to cancel that show?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

We had a good childhood.

Emily made a list of some of her favorite childhood memories for Father's Day, and that's pretty much the conclusion:

We had a good childhood.

How many kids get to do the things we did? How many made maple syrup, terrorized the pasture with a go cart, taught calves how to drink milk from a bucket, swung on the Biggest Swing Set Ever, swam in a cattle trough under a playhouse, saw the country from the backseat of a Ford Taurus, rode the fender of a tractor, and spent hours playing in the back timber?

Three of us did.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Last night I stopped at Menards on the way home to buy a dehumidifier. My basement is damp, and after Mom mentioned it, I agreed it would be a good idea to get all that damp out of the house. I didn't realized the things were so expensive! I wanted to get the cheap one, but after reading up on it, they say that you need at least a 45-pint for a damp basement, which set me back $150. I'm investing in my house, I'm investing in my house...

Dehumidifiers are pretty heavy, too. I mean, it wasn't too bad, but not something I would want to hold while I was waiting in line, so I set in on the floor. The checker (who looked amazingly like Mena Suvari) asked me if I wanted carry out service, and I replied, "Nah. I can get it." As I was paying, she tried to move it, and she said, "This is pretty heavy. Are you sure you don't want carry out?" I said, "I'm sure. I carried it up here." And she said, "Wow. You're a pretty tough girl."

I was kinda proud. I'm not built like a girl. Well, I'm built like a girl, but I'm built like a farm girl. My hips are large and load-bearing, like a Baltic woman. Sorry, couldn't help it. [grin] I've pretty much accepted that I'll never be skinny, but I can take pride in my muscles. It helps me be independent.

Anyway, I got the thing home and plugged it in. The read out said that it was almost 70% humidity down there. Sheesh! I checked it out this morning, and we're down to 60%, which feels much better, but I'll keep running it down to 40%. It's very satisfying to dump out the water.

I had another vivid dream last night. More like nightmare, since it woke me up. I dreamt I woke up in the predawn hours and went to the bathroom. I looked out the window, and my neighbors' side door was wide open. They had been/were being robbed! I went to get my cell phone, and tried several times to call 911, and I saw the burglars outside my kitchen window, and they were just kids, but I tried to memorize their faces so I could give a description. Then I realized my cell phone didn't have 911 service. I went downstairs to check the dehumidifier. The read-out was giving me a message from Butterfly from the WD: "There you are! We were all worried about you! There's stuff all over the news about a terrorist attack there!" I went up the stairs and outside and there were all kinds of people outside in my neighborhood, and they told me that the news was reporting that amphibious vehicles had landed at the mouth of the river, and terrorists were heading upstream to bomb the water treatment plant. For some reason, the water treatment plant had a radioactive core, and if the terrorists bombed it, we would all die from radiation poisoning. I went back inside to watch the news coverage on television, but I got distracted by an episode of All My Children. Then I woke up.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hodgepodge Day

I had a really weird dream last night. I have these elastic headbands that I use to hold my bangs back from my face when I wash it. I dreamt that these headbands turned evil and when people put them on, they would slip down around their necks and choke them to death.

I love new clothes. I broke my promise to myself not to buy anything this month, because I found a cute green camisole and shrug deal at Target with a brown skirt. I look cute. And the best part is, I have a green bra to wear under the cami, so I match.

I watched 30 Days last night on FX. It was really good. I thought it very appropo, considering my last entry. The guy from SuperSize me and his fiance tried to live on minimum wage for 30 days. It was incredible how hard they worked with so little to show for it. Alex walked to and from work every day to save $2.50. Definitely makes me appreciate what I have.

Part of my duties for work includes being involved in a community activity. I joined the Chamber Ambassdors, and our main duty is to show up at businesses that are having ribbon cuttings. There's more to it than that, like organizing the Chamber golf outing and being the face of the Chamber at community business functions, but that's mostly it. At each one of these things, someone volunteers to speak. Today was the first time I volunteered. It's like speech class when you were a teenager. Everyone said I did a really good job, though, so it wasn't like that time I gave a speech on cancer and pronounced 'benign' wrong through the whole thing. How was I supposed to know the 'g' was silent?

My grandma is so funny. I was calling up all my relatives last night to invite them to lunch for my parents' 30th anniversary, and Grandma didn't answer the phone. Her message went something like this:

"Hello, you have reached Hazel. I can't answer the phone, but please leave a message..........(background noise).........(radio)...........(more noise).........Oh, shoot! BEEP"

I about laughed up a lung.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sheesh. I think this applicant is stalking me. This woman called Sunday to inquire about the apartment, and we set up a viewing for this evening. She has since called me three times. Each time I'm thinking, you can ask this at the showing. Why are you calling me?

Plus, she gave her contact number as the Shelter House. I'm thinking possible collection issues. Good thing I run credit checks. There's no way I can float a late payer for too long. Which makes me very nervous, because if I don't get a renter in there or if the renter doesn't have good credit, my credit is at risk.

It makes me question the wisdom of my financing structure. Of course, I could always cut back some of my expenses. I used to live on less than $1000 a month, including rent, when I was in college. Not exactly the lifestyle you want to have in your late twenties, but I could do it. There are tons of people out there that are so much worse off than I am. But it doesn't mean that I can't do everything I can not to become one of them.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

It's funny how your life seems boring when you're looking forward to something. I did all kinds of fun stuff this weekend. Friday afternoon the office went to pick out new furniture: I sat in office chair after office chair, and I picked out two for them to drop off so I can try them out. Then FAC (Friday afternoon coffee) at the Java House with Chelsea. Saturday I spent with my mom at Menards and Lowe's, since she was looking for cushions for her porch furniture, and I just like wandering home improvement places and dreaming.

I don't think I'll be able to afford new windows this year like I'd hoped. The ones that I like cost $350 a window, plus I have some odd-sized windows that will need to be specially made. *Sigh* I wonder what it would be like to build your own house. All those options...I don't know how anyone could decide, especially if you had the money to be able to do what you wanted.

I wish there was something going on at work to keep me occupied. It's been a constant struggle looking for things to do - it would have been so much better if I could have taken a two week vacation this month instead of August, but then Lew couldn't have come with, and I wouldn't have been able to get my act together in time anyway. Besides, I'd much rather miss out on August weather than June weather, although it has felt like August lately. I think this week is supposed to be better.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I really need to stop eating things that I know are just not...good anymore. I'm not picky about the expiration date on my food. I know some people that will throw away milk on it's expiration date, no matter if it's still okay or not. I will drink it until it doesn't pass the smell test. And even then, even if it doesn't smell quite "right" I'll still pour it on my cereal until it tastes bad.

I tried the same thing with butter today. I'm big on the English muffins for my mid-morning snack, and I keep a small Tupperware bowl of butter in my desk drawer for that purpose. Butter keeps for a long time a room temperature, but obviously not that long. This morning when I toasted my muffin, I scraped out the mold (just because there's mold on the outside doesn't necessarily mean the inside's gone bad), and spread the rest on my muffin.

Gross. I managed two bites before I had to throw the ruined muffin in the trash. Bad butter is really bad. What can I say? I am my father's daughter.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I have a confession to make. I find this even more embarrassing than the fact that I had to file an extension for my taxes, although that was a direct result of this. I have an incredible filing system (though no filing cabinet yet - I keep it all on a shelf in the closet). I keep all my receipts and my bills. I have a Quickbooks file for my personal finances. In short, I am an obsessive record-keeper.

I have not done any of it for over a year.

I don't know what happened. There's a pile of stuff. Statements, receipts, bills... all paid but unrecorded. In a pile that's verging on a foot tall. How did I let it get this bad? Money comes in, money goes out, and I have no control over any of it.

I miss it. I miss running a balance sheet and slowly seeing my loans go down and my savings go up. Most of all, I miss knowing what my state of finances are at any given time.

It took me 10 hours this weekend to get it all done. The best part is, I'm now ready to start gathering the information I need to do my taxes and get my money back from the government. Plus, the satisfaction of being back in complete control.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

It's official! Tickets are bought. Lew and I will be visiting Emily in Alaska August 6-15. I'm so excited! This will be my first real vacation since I started working. Real as in actually going somewhere for fun. Not to discount Kristen and Todd's wedding in St. Louis, but I get to fly! I've flown twice before, once to Germany and once to Minneapolis for my internship. I don't remember if Lew's flown before, at any rate, I got window seats not over the wing so we can look out the window. It was so cool looking out the window on my flight to Minneapolis, because since it was such a short flight, much of it was spent at a lower altitude. It was so cool seeing the checkerboard pattern of the roads and fields. I'm going to visit my sister!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I love the internet. I find out all kinds of cool stuff. Like the fact that Joss Whedon is releasing a three issue Serenity comic to bridge the six months between when Firefly ended and Serenity begins. I've just been starting to get into comic books - Todd's been lending me reading material - and this is an excellent way to start my own collection. Each issue is going to have three covers. When they do that, do you need to buy three? Is it better to get these through the mail or support my local comic book shop? I'll have to get Todd to mentor me. Ken's going to absolutely die at the Kaylee cover.

Plus, a good way to get my Firefly fix before the movie comes out in September.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Do any of the girls out there remember Sunfire Romances? While I was at home this weekend, I found one on the bookshelf. I think I read these books when I was in my pre-teens. They're all historical romances, aimed at young girls. They're very PG-13, and usually involved a self-absorbed young girl who grows up and finds love in difficult times. The one I found was called Caroline, about a girl who dresses up as a boy so she can follow her brothers to California along the Oregon Trail. They were all very formulatic, but I liked them so much. I don't believe the library had all thirty-two, and I find myself interested in reading them again. There were so many books that I read over and over again, and I wish I could remember the titles or authors so I could track them down again. Maybe one of these days I'll have to go back to the library in Wilton and see if they still have them. I almost remember where they were on the shelf, although I'm sure they've probably been moved by now.