Inferior Imitator

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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Josh and Chelsea invited me over last night to play with their new Wii(iii!). It's a good thing I'm so busy, or I'd be making myself a pest this summer, wanting to come over and play.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It seems I'm having a difficult time staying caught up. It doesn't help that every time I get some spare time, I wind up with a headache or feeling like crap or don't have the energy to work on my list. I had a two-day headache, starting Monday afternoon as I planted my flower garden. It felt like heat exhaustion, but it didn't go away with sleep, like heat exhaustion does, and yesterday was murder. I am getting this project done by tomorrow's deadline, though, so it was worth coming into work anyway. I guess.

Because of the short deadline on the project, I had to postpone my day out with Calvin. We were going to do it yesterday, and then this thing wasn't finished, so I had to work instead. Fortunately, Cassie hadn't told Calvin we were going yet, since the last time, he was pestering her for two weeks beforehand, asking if today was the day he could go. So we rescheduled for Friday, without Calvin being disappointed. We're going to Adventureland, since he's now tall enough to go on most of the roller coasters. If he wants to. It's a couple hour drive, so I picked up The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on CD, so we can listen on the way there and back. I was supposed to accompany Calvin on a field trip to see it as a play, but got canceled due to weather. I didn't even realize the connection until I told Cassie what I'd picked out!

I'm thinking about giving Calvin a certain amount of money for souvenirs. I want to use it to help teach him about choosing what he wants to spend his money on, instead of just buying him what he wants.

It's a good thing Thursdays usually go by fast!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Well, crap.

The Nelsons are moving to Virginia. While I'm happy for them in that they both will be much happier in their new jobs, I'm losing a good friend and teacher. Randal has taught me more about Tae Kwon Do and about teaching Tae Kwon Do than I've learned from anyone else. The club, and the Nest, will not be the same without him. It's their house that we go to weekly to watch Ultimate Fighter, and we can always count on Randal for his share of UFC PPV.

I hate it when friends move away. And it seems to happen to me too often. Maybe it's living in a college town, but it seems that once I form a connection with someone, they end up moving to pursue a better opportunity. I suppose I need to figure out how to make friends with people who have closer ties to this community.

This one was a real kick to the gut. I worry about the day Josh and Chelsea decide to leave. That will be even worse.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pie helped. I was really suprised to see that there was actually a bonfire, since it was so windy yesterday. But we set up next to the corn crib, and that helped block the wind enough to keep our food from blowing away. That's my dad sitting 15 feet from everyone else. He had been trying to call me all day to tell me to look in my garage for my birthday present, but I'd forgotten my phone at home.

We went inside for pie. Mmmm, strawberry pie. Calvin asked me if I wanted to play a game with him, so we went to find a game from the cupboard, and he pulls off the chess board. This is about the third time Calvin has wanted to play chess with me. I've tried to teach him about how the pieces move, and he's got quite a bit of that part down actually. We started working on thinking ahead, but then he got bored and wanted to play Sorry with the other kids.

I chose this particular picture, so you can see the fridge (plus I looked fat in all the others). I've been giving Mom a hard time for years, because there was only one picture of me on the fridge, and tons of everyone else's kids. I was putting the condiments away, when I noticed a dorky picture of me in the middle. Then I took a closer look: "Hey, they're all dorky pictures of me!" (Like there's any other kind.) We had a good laugh out of that.

And when I got back home and looked in the garage? There was one of those adjustable ladders tucked into the rafters, you know the ones you can use on stairs and such? Awesome. Dad had bought one when he came up to check on the water in my basement, and it's been sitting there for three weeks and I never noticed it. I can't wait to try it out.

One last touch: I cut my peonies and put them by my bed last night. I smelled peonies all night.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It doesn't feel like my birthday. Not yet, anyway. I've received some much-appreciated well wishes, and I treated myself to sushi for lunch, but it doesn't feel like my birthday. Maybe I missed the anticipation. Maybe I've already done too much planning for my 30th birthday, so 29 doesn't seem as special. Maybe I just need to get to the bonfire and strawberry pie. Yes, that's it. I need pie.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eek! This is going to be so much fun! My cousin Sonia, who I just went to visit, is in Iowa City for a day, interviewing for a job at UIHC (University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics). Sonia, her sister Rachael, my other cousin Cassie and I are going downtown tonight for a girls' night out. I am so EXCITED! We all used to be so close, and we haven't all gotten together like this as adults, ever. Excited doesn't begin to cover it. I'm not going to get any work done this afternoon!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm starved. I hit that upper range of where my weight seems to be, and I was feeling fat, so it was time to start buckling down again. I'm running again (I will finally finish re-watching the second season of VM - speaking of which, I hate programmers. They always cancel my favorite shows), and trying not to snack so much. The latter is killing me. I'm trying to eat more of the food types that take longer to digest, but the transition back to healthy eating habits is rough. Willpower. Willpower.

I am almost to the level in my credit card ScoreCard Rewards where I can get a wireless headset for my television. Since I can't hear the dialogue on my TV over the treadmill and have to rely on captions, this excites me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I spent an insane amount of time last night voting for Blake. I want to see him and Melinda in the finale together. Melinda and Jordin are too similar in singing styles to have just them left. The finale wouldn't be as enjoyable if Blake weren't there, in my opinion.

Help, I've been sucked in!

Monday, May 14, 2007

You know, I don't really feel like I've slowed down at all. I'm so behind on posting even, that I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. I completely forgot about the May 12 of 12 :( so I guess I don't have to worry about that, but still. So I'll just start posting again, and try and fill in the background as topics pop up, okay? Okay.

After I got back from visiting Wilton for Mother's Day, I got a call from my tenant. She's compiled a list of things that have gone wrong with the apartment, and is just now getting around to calling me with them, because she's just now done with classes. Great, thanks. I was stressing out, trying to get my syllabus done, and I've got to come up and look at things she's broken. I ended up calling the appliance guy to come out to look at the stove - she lets things boil over and they clog the contacts for the stove so the gas won't light, and I can't figure out how to clean it. I'm definitely charging her for it if it really is that the stove just needs to be cleaned. I gave her some BioClean to try and declog the bathtub drain, and I'm going to stop by Menards on my way home to pick up a new toilet seat. I'm hoping Doug will be around so I can borrow a deep-well socket wrench, because the one currently on there is so old it still has metal fittings, and I'm not looking to buy a socket wrench set. We'll see how this goes.

I just have to keep telling myself that the rent is worth the hassle of being a landlord. Also on my list of things to do is finding a new tenant for August. I really, really hate this part. I'm just not the best at taking the gauge of people in such a short amount of time. I mean, how can you tell if someone's going to be quiet, aside from telling them that's what you're looking for?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Vacations are so short. I only took a few pictures, so the pictoral part is pretty incomplete. I'm still getting used to carrying it around so I can whip it out when I need it.

I made my chiro appointment for 9:15 a.m. so I could go, then get right on the interstate. I stopped to get gas, and called Mom as I was leaving. My phone died. Oh, crap, I don't want to go on a road trip without a phone, but I don't want to go all the way back home and wait around for my phone to charge. Ah, ha! My wireless company has a store right around the block, I'll just buy a car charger and be on my way. Yeah, that didn't work. It's either my phone or the cigarette lighter in my truck, but neither charger we tried worked. But the rep was nice enough to let me use the AC adapter in the store, so I called Mom with the news of my basement problems, phone problems, and left with a couple bars, enough to get me through. Mom was worried enough about my basement to send Dad over with the Shop Vac and some reinforcements. (He ended up cleaning a gutter and covering a couple window wells, and next-door neighbor Doug checked on it a couple times while I was away, so that's the last you'll hear about my basement.)

Listened to the first half of Son of a Witch on the way, and got to Lew's apartment about 5:30, just as he was getting home. What timing! We went to his favorite brewery for supper, and we tried their beer sampler and I had the barbecue ribs. Yum!

I started out driving, and Lew took over half way, while we listened to Messenger. Awesome book - it was in the same vein as The Giver. It was only three hours, though, so I wished I'd picked up another one for us to listen to.

When we got there, it was a pretty laid back evening: we got sleeping arrangements down, and I took a shower while Lew started working on fixing Sonia's motorcycle.

Is this really his idea of a vacation? Then Steve made us homemade pizza, and we watched Mythbusters. Ninja myths! I totally think they should have put some more distance between the arrow and the robot hand, and it could have caught it, no problem.

I shared a room with three-year-old Nora, who immediately took a shining to my bed.

She is so cute! She reminds me of a Cabbage Patch doll. She had been having poopy problems. Steve took her to the emergency room sometime last week, because she couldn't poop and was in some pain. She went before they were seen, though, but she tore herself a little bit, and it still hurt her to go. Poor kid! Imagine being afraid to poop! It was embarrassing for Sonia and Steve though, when they were in a restaurant, and an older gentleman came up to complement them on how well behaved their kids were, and Nora said, "I had a big poop and it hurt!"

I was woken up by Nora screaming from a bad dream. Not a pleasant way to be woken up, but I made room for her next to me, and she was comforted pretty quickly. I put my glasses on, so she had to put her sunglasses on, too. Mom had sent her some pink ones with flowers on them, I don't know, at least a year ago, and she still wears the heck out of them. What a girly girl.

Sonia had a bunch of work she had to get done that weekend, so she stayed home while, Steve, Ben, Nora, Lew and I went to the Science Center. It was really cool, plus they had a real submarine there you could walk through. Most of my experience with submarines comes from submarine movies, which I hate, because inevitably, someone has to shut the hatch from the other side and they drown, and I get claustrophobia just thinking about it. The real submarine didn't help any.

They also had a Sports Center, which was also awesome. They had a trampoline, a climbing wall, virtual volleyball, a virtual driving range, virtual snowboarding, and a pool table.

We both tried the trick shots, but both of us just missed.

Then Steve cooked pasta for us and a few of their friends while Lew and I wrestled with the kids. My jeans didn't make it through; my favorite pair of jeans now have holes in the knees. Now I'm stylin', I suppose. We played cards over cheesecake after dinner.

We wavered about going to church, but ended up taking a walk around the lake instead. They live in a park, so there were plenty of trails and sights. Very lovely. My stomach was bothering me, though, so an afternoon nap was definitely in order. We had a bonfire that evening with hot dogs and potato salad and smores, and played baseball until it got dark. Then Sonia and Lew and I talked while Steve put the kids to bed.

Back to Indy, with a little play time first.
It was a pretty uneventful drive, but I was tired by the time we got back. We wanted to go see Grindhouse with some of Lew's friends, but I guess the internet didn't keep up with the theater, and the movie had stopped playing last week. So we met up with the girl Lew's been seeing, and went to play miniature golf. It was fun, and I got to get to know Jessie a little more that I would have. I rather like her, I think. I'm not sure yet. I think Lew's still wavering about whether he wants to do a long-distance relationship while he's finishing school, so I suppose I don't exactly have to form an opinion yet.

I was so tired on the trip back, I had to stop on the east side of Peoria to take a nap. Sheesh. I got to the parents' house about one, so I raided the fridge and took a nap while I waited for Mom to get home and Dad to wake up. We spent the afternoon together, and I got supper out of the deal, too. Lew had to call us to tell us his desk had caught on fire while he was on vacation. Some electrical problem, and he didn't lose any of his work, but he lost a couple hours trying to get himself re-situated. It was funny, though. On my way back to Iowa City, I was treated to a beautiful sunset.

The picture doesn't do it justice, of course, especially through my bug-spattered windshield. But it was a wonderful welcome home. I tend to get a little claustrophobic in the mountains, and seeing this across the fields of home made it just that much more special.

I only had three hours of space left on my TiVo, so I pretty much just lazed around and watched TV. It was a great recovery to a great week. Except for the whole basement thing. What crap timing that was.