Inferior Imitator

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

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Big Thing That’s Going On

Back at the beginning of August, the Iowa City office was informed that national firm (hereby after referred to as CG) was no longer going to have an Iowa City office. We are now affectionately calling it “being fired”. It’s not just happening to us, CG is closing all one partner offices, but that didn’t make it less of a shock.

There’s a possibility I could have had a job up in the Cedar Rapids office, but they didn’t offer, and I didn’t ask. I’ve spent seven years building a reputation and visibility in Iowa City – if I went to Cedar Rapids, I would have had to start all over again. Fortunately, I’m going with another option. The three senior employees of Iowa City are purchasing the Iowa City practice from CG, and I, along with all the rest of the office, are following them to the newly formed company.

One of the things I liked best about working here was the people I worked with, so I’m glad they’re taking this on and giving me the option. I’ll still be working with all the same people, with pretty much the same clients. We won’t be doing audits anymore, but I’ve been trying to get out of auditing for three years now, so that won’t be too much of a sacrifice, though I’ll miss my audit clients. As soon as the Children’s Museum found out I wouldn’t be working on their audit anymore, she asked if I’d be interested in serving on their board, so maybe I won’t have to miss all of them.

So for the past six weeks, we have been preparing. Notifying clients, wrapping things up, negotiations, starting a new company. Well, I’ve been mostly wrapping things up, other people have been doing the rest. October 1st is the day we officially begin as a new company. CHG, for short.

Even though I’m in the same office with the same people doing the same work, I’m still switching jobs, with most of the implications. Dealing with COBRA and rolling over my 401(k) and signing up for new health insurance and all that. My brief financial crisis a couple weeks ago involved paid time off. Only in an accounting firm would they make you pay back time off that you’d taken and not yet earned. Due to a misunderstanding on when vacation time was earned, I thought I was going to have to pay back $1400 of vacation time I took to go to Alaska and I panicked. I’m lucky enough not to be living paycheck to paycheck, but that’s an awful lot of money to give up over vacation I took in good faith that I would be around to earn it. I was wrong about owing that much, and I’ll be breaking evenish. Poor Jeannette is in worse shape, though. She’s within two months of being fully vested in her 401(k), so she’s losing 30% of her employer contributions.

We’re pretty excited about going out on our own. We won’t have the support of the firm behind us, but they won’t be looking over our shoulder anymore, either. Plus, one of the partners is still planning on retiring in 3-5 years, and I’ll have the option of buying him out if I want to. There was no way I was going to have that option that soon with CG, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go that route with them. The idea of a bigger share of a smaller firm is a lot more attractive. In the meantime, I’ll still have the option of more responsibility sooner with CHG. I was feeling pretty stagnant, career and personal growth-wise with CG, so this really is a blessing. I have a feeling I’ll be much less frustrated with my role at CHG, since I’ll have more of a say in shaping it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I went to my first live MMA event at the Riverside Casino. There were seven amateur fights and four professional; as with any card, there were some good fights and some not so good fights, but it was all pretty awesome nonetheless. We had pretty good seats five rows back, but once fights went to the ground, it was hit or miss whether you could see anything at all.

This is a pretty good triangle:

And this guy had him in a ground and pound:

I got to meet Big John McCarthy:

And Jens Pulver:

Frickin' awesome!


Friday, September 12, 2008

I lied on Twitter last month. Well, I did remember, but I didn't remember long enough. I remembered 12 of 12 this month.

Friday morning weigh-in. Back up to 156 pounds, still stagnant. I am really hoping this is due to putting on muscle, and the improving definition in my upper arms and quads seems to support this theory. I suspect it may also have something to do with monthly water-retention, but I'm sure you all wanted to know that. :)

All my stuff that has to squeeze into my backpack. Work clothes, lunch,'s less of a chore now that I don't have to carry two pairs of shoes around. And yes, that's a recliner in my kitchen. I'm thinking about replacing the kitchen table with a table and bar stools so the recliner isn't so squished. I really like having it in the kitchen.

And the reason why everything has to fit on my back. My pride and joy, and less than practical mode of transportation when it's raining. Which, come to find out, it was supposed to do all day, and I thought it was supposed to stop around nine. Whoops.

This is my gym. Class today was 45 seconds each of kettlebell swings, lunges, bent over rows and sprints, with 30 second rest between for five rounds. I've had two different people comment this week on how much my endurance and agility have improved in the past couple of months since I started working out here. Yay for Crossfit!

Some of you may remember how I spent a boatload of money to outfit my gym locker. Well, this is what $125 of organizational and personal care products looks like.

And this was the last piece of the puzzle to managing my problem with getting sick after workouts. This is Advocare's Rehydrate electrolyte replacement drink. I drink one before and after a workout, and my headaches and nausea are history. I can't tell you how glad I am to finally be able to manage this problem.

This is about where I spent several hours thinking I was $1400 in the hole, so I wasn't thinking much about taking pictures. There was lunch, a ribbon cutting, trading the bike for the truck, a trip to the library and a swing by the Den for cheap pop. There were some Playboy bunnies signing autographs there, but no pictures of them, either. Hey, $1400 is a lot of money, and I'm a straight woman. I didn't think about taking pictures.

The next disc of Doctor Who was ready to pick up from the library. I finally caved to peer pressure and started watching. This is the third disc of season one, and I've so far managed to remain unspoiled, for the most part. Let's please keep it that way.

I'm finishing singing a song before I head into the grocery store after work. I'm still madly in love with Aimee Mann and her latest album is so easy to sing, if I can get the words down and my lower register is cooperating.

If I'm bringing beer next week, I'm bringing something local. This is good Amish beer, brewed down the road in Amana at the Millstream Brewery. I didn't see any Oktoberfest yet, which is my favorite, but there's a white ale named after John's Grocery that I haven't tried yet in there, as well as a chocolate stout.

On the way home. Street vendors are putting up tents across the street from Kinnick stadium. It's the big interstate rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State tomorrow, which is the biggest tailgating game of the season. It's supposed to keep raining tomorrow, though, so that's going to suck.

Even my front door is in the spirit. And yes, I see that the gold sign and the red door make Iowa State colors. I did consider covering my door in black trash bags for the day. I still may. :)

And I'm skipping tae kwon do tonight because I'm completely wiped out. I've been going practically non-stop since Tuesday, and I need a couple hours of R&R so I don't drop dead in the middle of the weekend. I'm going to watch TV and work on the baby blanket I'm making for next-door neighbors Doug and Amy's baby, due in December.

Go Hawks!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Four months I have to wait. Four months!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I don't think anything could be more depressing than attending the funeral of a 20-year-old. When someone is old, they had a long life or if they were sick, at least they're not suffering anymore. But my cousin's son was only 20 when he was killed Saturday in a motorcycle accident.

I don't think I've ever seen so many people at a funeral. Nic was obviously so loved and admired, it seemed like everyone who ever knew him was there. The visitation was five hours long - I don't know how his parents got through it. And poor Josh, he was a wreck by the time the memorial service ended.

I felt a little like an imposter there; while Nic was family, I didn't know him hardly at all. The pain in the church was palpable, though. I couldn't help but share it.