Inferior Imitator

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

I was right about the vacation. I think I could have used one more day, but I feel much better. Enough to get me through to Christmas, I think.

My Thanksgiving was pretty traditional and I'm thinking I'm getting used to having so many people gone. Part of it is that I'm becoming more antisocial and can only take so much "people time" at once. I have a fantastic family and I love them very much, but sometimes things get too boisterous for me.

The day after Thanksgiving was quite the flashback. We put up Christmas lights and then took old Greenie to pick out a Christmas tree and sang Christmas carols all the way there and back. We forgot how the second verse of Little Drummer Boy started out, so there was much discussion there. I also screwed up the second verse to Away in the Manger, which is really weird because I had that song memorized by the time I was two. Bedtime ritual was a story and a song, and Away in the Manger was a staple. It was quite the shock when I first figured out it was a Christmas song. The only thing missing was Em, but if she'd been there we wouldn't have been able to take Greenie, since we had to perform some acrobatics to get the four of us squeezed in as it was. We were just waiting for a cop to pull us over.

Saturday there was a lunch at Grandma's for my cousin Sonia and her family who were back visiting from Pennsylvania (the ones Lew and I went to visit last spring). Sonia got a new job at a mental health facility, and was entertaining us with stories about her patients, and I think it was Cassie that made the obvious joke about "we always knew you would end up in an institution". Then it was off to Malea's fifth birthday party - for the rest of her life, she is going to hear about the phase she went through where she pretended to be a cat.

Sunday I got my house cleaned, so I'll be able to put up my own Christmas decorations this weekend.

So all in all, it sounds like a pretty busy vacation, but it was just the right balance of busy and relaxing. Lew and I finished off the second season of Angel, and we played a lot of Yoshi Cookie. I wish Dad hadn't been working so much, but at least he took Thanksgiving off this year.

And, I only ate three pieces of pie the entire weekend. Go self-control!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I couldn't stand worrying about it anymore, so I gave up and went to the dentist. I felt a little odd choosing her on the basis of her website, but it turns out my impression of her website was my impression of her in person: warm, friendly and someone I will enjoy working with. Reluctance to drive the 45 miles to see Dr. Bob was preventing me from getting good dental care. And after eleven years in Iowa City, I should find myself a dentist. I can't bring myself to replace Dr. Davis, though.

She looked at my teeth, and my hole is just wear and not a cavity. It's in one of my six-year molars, and looking at the way my teeth fit together, she thinks I ground my teeth between six and twelve, when my 12-year molars came in and reduced the pressure. I don't remember grinding my teeth, and I don't know if I do it now, but there is wear on certain parts of my teeth where they come together. I'm supposed to pay attention and see if I still do it, though I don't know how to tell if I grind my teeth when I'm sleeping. Wear my mouth guard to bed?

At any rate, since it doesn't really hurt, she said there's no real pressure to get it fixed now and I can wait until January when my new fantastic dental insurance kicks in. They only started offering basic coverage last year, I guess; when I did the math on the normal coverage, I didn't think it was worth it and didn't notice when this new deal came up. This one will pay up to $500 of dental work for less than $10/month. I'll exchange $120 for $500 any day.

Now I just need to decide between silver and white, which is basically a decision between practicality and vanity. The silver lasts longer and is cheaper, and the white doesn't show up as much. Figures. I never get a cavity my whole life, and here I am with a hole in my tooth.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Relief! I got a letter in the mail about a month ago from the city clerk, saying something along the line of "Per a review of public records, we believe that you may be using your property as a rental." Well, duh. So I wrote back, saying I'd had a rental inspection three years ago and I had the certificate if they needed it. The response was "must be a communication error".

So then I had a rental inspection scheduled, which was this afternoon. I was a little panicked, since the last time I had an inspection, it cost me almost $5,000. But when she showed up, she looked at the outlets, the fire extinguisher and the fire alarm. No problems! Awesome. Just have to renew the permit, and that'll be that. Yay!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I remembered today was the 12th, so I'm doing Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 this month. You are getting your money's worth today, I'm telling you.

I'm obsessively checking my teeth. I found a hole in one of my molars yesterday, and I'm completely torn about what to do about it. I admit, I haven't seen a dentist in over two years, just because I've been too lazy to find one and I've always had good teeth. I had just resolved to sign up for dental insurance and get it over with when I discovered this, and my insurance doesn't go into effect until January! Then, when I'm looking in the mirror this morning, there is ANOTHER hole in the opposite tooth, completely mirroring the hole in the first tooth! WTF!

Weather on the 8's has been a daily obsession for the last two months. If it's warmer than 35, I ride the bike to work. Looks like a biking day!

These are the horse pills I've been taking to see if they do anything to combat my heat intolerance. They smell bad and they make my mouth dry, but I haven't gotten sick yet (spoiler!). I'm on the high-deductible/HSA plan, and when the phamacist told me how much a month's worth cost, I almost hoped they wouldn't work, so I didn't have to pay that every month. No wonder there's a health care crisis. They want an arm and a leg for allergy medication and charge me to take them off.

I had actually given up on riding any more this season, as last week was in the twenties and thirties, so I had removed the inner liner of my helmet for washing. This is me getting completely frustrated trying to figure out how to snap it back in. You'd think it wouldn't be that difficult, but noooo....

This is where I park when I ride. This town is scooter-crazy, so if it's warm, this area will fill up pretty quickly. That's my baby in the foreground!

At work: breakfast. Bob Harper told me that Quaker's Weight Control oatmeal was good for you. It has the higher-protein-fewer-carbs thing I was going for in breakfast, so I tried it. It does keep me fuller longer, but it's way too sweet, so I have to cut each package with regular oatmeal to tone it down.

Directly from breakfast to lunch. I'd been craving Chinese and I had been too lazy to go to the grocery store yesterday for something to cook, so I went to China Star. You can't beat all that food for seven bucks. I ate the eggrolls (spoiler!) and a little bit of the Mongolian Beef (I love all those onions!), so there will be enough left over for tomorrow.

A quick trip down the block to the library to return the book I just finished, The Nine, by Jeffrey Toobin. There are still quite a few holds on it, and I like to be courteous and get the ones people are waiting for back as soon as possible. It was a pretty good book, though it covered most of the Supreme Court history that I knew already. Too recent. I think I enjoyed Blackmun's biography more.

I took this picture after practice, but it fits the narrative better to put it before, so ignore the timestamp and think 6:10. Time for Tae Kwon Do. Mondays are sparring days, so I have to bring all my gear with me. I balanced this thing on the back of my bike, it was quite the feat.

This is the Fieldhouse, the University of Iowa's rec center and where I work out with the university club. If you've ever watched Coach, you've seen this building before since this is where they filmed the exteriors.

This doubles as my "Grateful" pic, because this was taken right after I blew chunks. Ken suggested I take a picture of said chunks, so be grateful I didn't (hee! I crack me up). You'd think cabbage wouldn't be that bad coming back up. You get a picture of Deb watching the sparring matches instead. So far, my head isn't splitting, so if the allergy meds aren't helping the nausea, they're at least relieving me of some pain. Although I'm thinking my regular over-the-counter stuff could do the same thing if I took them as often as I'm taking the Allegra-D, and save me some money.

And last of all, this is where I'll be spending the rest of the evening watching Heroes and knitting. This is my little (Em close your eyes) nest, where I keep all my supplies in baskets under the table, as well as various snacky foods (can you find the Nilla Wafers?). I'm already well on my way re-knitting the project I frogged yesterday.

And that was my day today, hope you enjoyed it, or at least didn't puke!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I've hit a snag in my first knitting project. I'm not sure I'm experienced enough to fix it, which is why I had reservations about trying clothing first thing. I got to the point where I could try it on, and I'm displeased with the armholes. (And I didn't know my back was so flabby!)

I think I would be okay with the drape if it didn't bunch around armholes so much. If I open it up more in that area, I think that would fix the stretching problem in the back as well. I am somewhat concerned about the vast difference between the length in the front and the length in the back. I could try binding off another stitch at the outset and working more decrease rows. That wouldn't be too difficult, but I'm not sure if it would solve all three problems. I guess I won't know until I try it. I'll worry about the armholes first, then the length. Can't say I'm not learning something!

Friday, November 09, 2007

It seems like everyone I know is having a baby. Or has a baby. I want a baby. I want to be a mom. I want to try my hand at helping a little person learn how to navigate life.

I'm reading the TWOP forums on All My Children, and the posters there are lambasting the show for trying to make people think Greenlee is a sympathetic character, but I'm right there with her. Yes, it was a bad idea to try and run off with Kendall's baby, but the rest of it...I understand. I understand wanting to give up everything else you've ever worked for for the chance to be a mother.

So as I'm standing at the hand dryer in the bathroom of the Gym-Nest last night, comtemplating artificial insemination, I realize that I can't do single motherhood. I can't let someone else raise my kid. As much as I want it, I need to do it right, or I don't want to do it at all. Doesn't stop the biological clock from ticking, though.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I think I'm in a bad mood. Maybe that's too strong of a word. What I really need is a summer vacation. I miss that whole reset time where by the time you're done relaxing you're just ready to go back to work/school. I suppose I'll just have to settle for taking an actual vacation.

Speaking of which, I was researching flights to Alaska for next summer, and already I can't find one for less than $730. Last time, it was only around $600. I have one more option to look into, since we now have direct flights from Cedar Rapids to Las Vegas but they don't show up on normal flight sites - you have to go through the airport but they run only about $80-90. And Las Vegas to Anchorage is not horribly expensive. I would just have to figure out how to work it all out myself.

I think I'm going to have some chili and veg out in front of the TV, to simulate vacation. I might even have some of that squash I tried to burn. I left it to steam for a little longer than I should have, and almost ruined my pot. My house still vaguely smells like burnt squash.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The good news is that my blood work came back as normal as normal can be. Nothing even borderline unusual. The bad news is we still don't know what's wrong with me. I have prescriptions for both an allergy medication and a migraine medication, and I'm going to experiment one at a time to see if either one helps.

This does not help me choose my insurance plan.