Inferior Imitator

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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Where has this month gone? I've been meaning to post all week, but I just got too busy. Busy taking it a little easy, actually. I thought I was going to have to go to Cedar Rapids Tuesday for a meeting, but they postponed it because of yet another snowstorm. So all the hours I had piled up in preparation for that meant that I only had to work 8.5 hours a day this week, so I've been sleeping in and not stressing out so much, which is a nice respite at this point in the season. Six weeks to go!

We finally got around to having our holiday party last weekend. We had this gal come in from The Traveling Vineyard to do a wine tasting with us. It's kind of like Tupperware or Mary Kay, she comes in and does a presentation, then makes her money by selling wine afterwards. It was fun and educational. She talked about how to taste the wine and what to look for, and the different regions of grapes around the world and things like that. I ordered four bottles of wine. I'm not generally a wine drinker, but once in a while I do, so I splurged.

But I won't be drinking it for a while. After three weeks on this diet, I've lost four pounds. I wish I'd taken some measurements, because I can really tell a difference in the shape of my hips and legs, so that's exciting. Now is the real test though, because I've been able to get to this point on my own before. I need to get to TKD more than once a week, I think that will help.

The 29th of February never feels like a real day to me. I don't know if it's the nature of leap day or because Billy killed himself twelve years ago today. Maybe I'll have to open that bottle of wine after all. Billy would have appreciated that.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Last night I pulled into the wrong driveway when I got home. I was so confused! There was a taxi in front of me, my neighbors waiting for the taxi, someone behind me, and I panicked.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lately, the news has been full of stories about the truly horrible things that happen to people when they're drinking. Last week, it was a young man who killed someone. This was a man my mom knows well, and one you'd never expect to do something like this. The only fact pattern that fits with what happened is that he was so drunk, he didn't know where he was, and after breaking into what he thought was his friend's apartment, startled the resident and attacked him, thinking him an intruder.

The latest is a young man who was found passed out outside in the early morning hours. If you know anything about the midwest in February, you know it's cold, but there have been cold advisories out due to the the -30 windchill at night. The kid has lost fingers and toes. One of my co-workers knows someone who knows the kid, and the untold story is that he lost more than fingers and toes, because he had pulled down his pants to take a piss, and that's when he passed out.

Now I can't say I've never gone out drinking to excess. I understand the appeal; I remember the appeal. I just wish there was a way to give kids the benefit of experience without exposing them to so much of the risks. The first time I lost memory of a portion of the night before, it scared me so much I figured out quickly what my limit was and I stuck to it. I realize now how very lucky I was that nothing bad happened to me. I'm older, and wiser, and I have absolutely no desire to drink more than two beers in one sitting. But I'm not sure I would have learned that if I hadn't experienced it.

I don't know what the answer is, but I know the popular "solutions" won't solve the problem. Alternative activities, limiting bar access to 21 and over, awareness campaigns...none of it will work unless the individual drinker decides for themselves to stick to their limits. In the meantime, I can only read the newspaper and grieve for lives forever ruined because they haven't learned when to stop.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There was a meeting last night for University Heights residents held by yet another developer who wants to build on the lot at the end of the street. This one wants to put 33 high-end single-story condos up. To give him credit, he really does want to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood, pricing them out of the range of student housing (how he's going to sell them is another question altogether - there are lots of houses in that price range languishing in the IC market) and building several different designs inspired by houses already in the neigborhood.

The bad news is three-fold: 1) he wants to connect Olive and Leamer Cts., so that instead of two dead-end streets, we're going to be a U, 2) they haven't done a traffic study to determine the effect of traffic on the streets and 3) he anticipates the project taking 3-4 years. I don't want to live in a frickin' construction zone for 3-4 years! Ridiculous!

They basically have to get approval from IC Planning and Zoning (if you remember, the odd thing about this Iowa City property is that the only access is through University Heights) and he can start. Doug has done some reasearch, and if a certain percentage of people who live within 400 feet of the project object, the Committee needs a super-majority to pass it, so that's our first step.

I wish everyone in UH could just chip in $50,000 and buy the property ourselves.

Friday, February 08, 2008

There's a psychological component to the inability of people to lose weight. I haven't ever really tried, because if I don't truly try, I still think I can. Does that make sense? I haven't failed, because I haven't tried.

There's been a confluence of events that have made me ready to try. One, I went to a ribbon cutting for a new franchise in Iowa City, a distribution center for Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating. They do fresh meal preparation in healthy and calorie-controlled servings, and meal-preparation is a huge challenge for me at this time of year. Calorie-control has always been an issue for me, and because I haven't really tried to count calories, I have used that as an excuse for not losing weight, even though I exercise regularly. I can justify the expense (which is less than on the website because of the distribution center) because of the value of my free time during tax season.

Two, I want to test for my first degree black belt in May now that I have my heat issues under control. (Post about that upcoming.) So I'm motivated to make it to every class between now and then, and less tempted to skip, like I usually do when I'm working 10-12 hours a day.

And three and least important (because you have to lose weight because you want to, and not because someone else wants you to), work is holding it's own Biggest Loser Challenge for tax season, with cash prizes for the top three losers. You report your weight loss percentage every week, like they do on the show (but you weigh in at home and report on the honor system). They'll provide some free snacks and meals and fitness and recipe ideas along the way, so it's kind of a fun little program.

I would like to lose about 15 pounds, which would put me at about 8.5% of total lost body weight percentage, and which is completely reasonable for a 3 month period, since the challenge ends on April 15th. Except that it's that "last 10 pounds" which is so notoriously difficult.

I'm ready to try, and I'm scared to death. If I fail, I know I'll have tried my hardest and still failed, and the hope I've been holding onto by not trying is dashed. But if I succeed, and I can keep it off, I'll be so much happier with myself. Even though my body image issues are much, much better than than they used to be, there's still a part of me that's the fat kid, and I'd like to leave her behind with my twenties.

Wish me calorie deficits.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

We haven't had this much snow in ages. Saturday we had maybe three inches, and Sunday another eight, but it rained on top of it, so it worked down to maybe three again. But today, I don't know how much fell, but it is everywhere. It's like those pictures Em sends us from Alaska. The plows were even getting stuck, and they were putting snow wherever there was room. There was a ridge three feet tall in the middle of the roadways, because the sides were full.

I was dreading coming home, but Doug, bless his heart, had done my driveway and sidewalks for me. I about cried in thankfulness. (My tenant wasn't so lucky, but he was home all day, so I don't feel all that sorry for him.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Accounting is not usually very amusing, so we take our humor where we can get it. Today's comes courtesy of a client who has a new girlfriend: