Inferior Imitator

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

Sunday, July 31, 2005

My grandma is dying. I went to see her this afternoon, and it's probably the last time. She's in renal failure, and they're pretty much just making her comfortable.

I don't remember my grandma as anything but old. She was almost seventy when I was born, and always been frail, but there was always warmth in her eyes that let you know there was a kind, generous woman in there. We always got speariment gum at grandma's house, and the scent of speariment always reminds me of her.

She's in a coma now, and her breathing is slow and rattles as she exhales. She was to turn 95 this year, and it seems to lift a little of the sadness that she was able to live so long so well.

Friday, July 29, 2005

I'm already having nightmares about ruining the finish on my floors. That and about my brother and I breaking out in a horrible fungal rash all over our faces right before we were supposed to leave for the airport, and I couldn't call the doctor because I couldn't figure out how to work my phone, but we won't talk about that, because it makes me want to puke just thinking about it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I love the feeling of accomplishment. The sore wrists, the lack of rest, handing over several hundred dollars...all worth it for the end result. Remember last year when I ripped up my carpet? I spent the last week or so redoing my hardwood floors. Mom helped, a lot. If she hadn't come to help, I would have been screwed. I did the upstairs apartment as well as my living room; I can now deduct half the cost!

I started Friday night, moving furniture and things into the spare room and my bedroom. Mom showed up Saturday morning about nine, and I said, "I thought you wouldn't be here until later (since I wasn't supposed to pick up the floor sander until two)." She said, "Yeah, me too, but I kept thinking of things we needed to do."

We ended up cleaning the floors first, especially downstairs, because of all the paint splatter. That really helped cut down on the sanding, so I'm glad she thought of it. We also treated a few spots on the floor with wood bleach, since they were dark from water damage or something of the sort.

I picked up the floor sander that afternoon, and spent all day sanding. In the heat. Without air. We couldn't turn on the air, since the dust would clog it up, and last weekend had a heat index of at least 110 degrees (that's like 46 to my non-American readers). I ended up with some of the worst heat exhaustion I've ever had. I even have a new rating system: that one was a two-puker. I spent the night at Chelsea and Tacia's, and I was not sociable at all. But I was very grateful for the place to stay, since the bedrooms and bathroom were taped off to dust.

I felt much better Sunday (not even much of a heat hangover), and I finished with the floor sander. I did all the upstairs first, since that machine weighed about 300 pounds. Aero Rental provided all the sandpaper, which was pretty convienent. There were three grades: course, medium, and fine, and let me tell you, the grades for a floor sander are much coarser than anything you'll find in those little foot square sheets. Them buggers were coarse. I think I did at least six passes with the coarsest, it needed less passes the finer it got, but it was still a lot of sanding. We did end up having to do quite a bit of sanding with the hand sanders. Although the sander I used got a lot closer to the walls than a drum sander, there was still a ring around the wall (hee!), and parts where the boards were just a wee bit lower than the ones around it, and the floor sander didn't get to it. Being on my hands and knees for that long hurt like the dickens. My wrists are still aching.

After cleaning up all the dust off the walls and the floor and the ceiling and all the nooks and crannies, swiffering and wiping up the floor with tack cloth (twice), I was ready to start putting on the finish. I got the first coat on the upstairs floor Sunday night, and by then I was beat and it was dark. Fortunately, I was applying the finish with a sponge-mop type deal that attached to a broom handle, so I was no longer on my hands and knees. The applying took several days, though, since it took about 45 minutes to do a room and 2-3 hours to dry, and I've been doing that in the evenings. There was one night I painted myself into my room. I can swing into the bathroom from my room without stepping on the hallway floor, so I was able to take a shower and go to bed while I waited for the floor to dry. "I'm quick and spry, clever and sly."

I finally got a good deal of my furniture put back. I rearranged the living room a bit: the television is on the other side of the room, which I like much better, traffic-wise, since you no longer have to climb over/around a chair to get from the front door to the rest of the house. And I was able to shove a lot of the wiring for the TV/cable/internet/VCR/DVD under and behind the television console instead of hiding in a corner behind my trunk. I can see the appeal of wireless systems.

And the floors look absolutely bee-yoo-ti-ful. You can't even tell where the finish in the bedrooms ends and where the hallway I just did begins. I feel like such a grown-up!

And to think, all this started because I fell in love with an area rug.

Monday, July 18, 2005

And tell me, "Baby, baby, I love you
It's nonstop memories of you
It's like a video of you playing
It's all loops of seven-hour kisses
Cut with a couple near-misses
Back to the scene of the actor saying:
'Tell me, baby, baby – why do I feel so bad?'"

~Aimee Mann, Video

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Happy Birthday to my Neminy!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wow. Just wow. I wouldn't have believed it if you told me. That Half-Blood Prince is really something.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

What a wonderful wedding. Of course, when it's two of your closest friends who are so totally perfect for each other, it can't help but be wonderful.

Tacia and I made the drive down to St. Louis on Thursday, which only ended up being four hours instead of five, so I was very pleased about that. We checked in about two, and since the rehearsal wasn't supposed to be until 4:30, thought we had time for a swim. Wrong! Turns out we were supposed to meet to leave at 3:15. We found out at 3:05, and I still hadn't taken a shower yet. Fifteen minutes later, I had showered, dressed, and was out the door. We even ended up beating everyone there. Take that!

Friday we decorated the community center for the reception, and then went into St. Louis for a little sight-seeing. We took the Budweiser tour, and got our free beer. There was a lot of beer consumed on this trip, let me tell you. I felt like I was on a bender. Then we headed for Ted Drewes' for ice cream, and by that time, everyone was pretty much wiped, so we headed back to the motel for naps, and played cards the rest of the evening.

The wedding was held in the Jewel Box, in Forest Park. Us girls got ready at Kristen's grandpa's house, since he lives only about 10 minutes from the Jewel Box. That may not have been the best idea, because a couple blocks from his house, we were stopped cold by a funeral procession. A cop had been killed in the line of duty, and we were treated to half an hour of motorcade. Now, I'm all for honoring the people who have served us, but this was ridiculous. Around 2:00 (ceremony: 2:30), I had to get out of the car, walk up to the guy directing traffic and ask, "Is this going to take much longer? The wedding ceremony starts in half an hour, and we have the bride." We ended up getting to the "church" on time, and they have a story to tell on their 50th wedding anniversary.

The reception was awesome. Todd and Kristen pretty much picked out all the music themselves, and they did a great job. There was great food, much dancing, and a great time had by all. Mollie (another bridesmaid) and I commented on the lack of single guys at the reception, but I suppose you can't have it all.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I'm starting to think I'm cursed. Me and camping don't seem to get along. I enjoy it. But it doesn't seem to like me. More precisely, the weather seems to gang up on me when I camp. Granted, it wasn't so bad this time, it was only rain. It didn't start until after midnight, and let up just enough in the morning for us to pack up the campsite and leave.

But Todd and Kristen's bachelor/bachelorette party was fun. Swimming in the lake, grilling over a fire, sleeping in tents, and copious amounts of beer, plus drinking games. Always a good time. Also, a five-gallon bucket of cheese puffs. That is some good eatin' right there.

I put myself in charge of breakfast. Several years ago, I was taught this trick where you can cook bacon and eggs over a fire in a paper lunch bag. The grease from the bacon is supposedly supposed to keep the bag from catching on fire. That didn't keep the bag from catching on fire when the fire got stoked and I had my back turned. Whoops. Oh well, it was salvageable. I don't know what it is in the combination, but mmm, mmm.

Wedding weekend starts on Thursday. This is going to be so much fun!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Last night I went to Riverside Theatre's production of The Taming of the Shrew. Every year, they perform two Shakespeare plays (this year they did Moliere instead of a second Shakespeare) in the Festival stage in City Park, which is modeled after the Globe Theatre.

I have to admit, I've only read the first half of the play. I started reading it, and got distracted by something else and the book went back on the shelf and I never finished it. Shakespeare always loses something in the reading. Unfortunately, this play just completely made me cringe. I *know* things were different for women not so many years ago. But it's so easy to take it for granted. If a man ever treated me like that, he would be out on his ass.

The big drama, though, was in the parking lot after the play. I missed the incident that started the whole thing, but the gist of the tirade from the woman was this: "There are ten of you guys and three of us chicks. What do you expect we're gonna think? You think you can pull that shit and get away with it?" I think one of the guys did something she interpreted as sexual harassment, something that really threatened her, because she was shaking afterward. As I drove by, I gave her a word of encouragement, because it took real guts to call someone out on something like that.

Neither treatment can be defined as respect. A man controlling a woman...that's not respect. A man objectifying a woman...that isn't either. It shouldn't have to be one or the other. I can take care of myself like a man, but there's no way in hell I want to be treated like one. I want to be treated like my own person, with my own opinions and my own desires and my own dreams. Everyone should be respected like that.

There a lot of men and women who know how to do that. But it only takes a few fuckwits and a few victims to make the rest of us uncomfortable and questioning and ending up shaking in the parking lot after standing up for ourselves.