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Monday, April 13, 2015

Tax week, and other issues of modern life

U.S. taxes due on Wednesday.  Never a joyful event, except mine are in and I like some of what my money buys for the greater good.  Schools!  Infrastructure!  Stuff to help families!  Research!  I'm pretty sure there is some for puppies and rainbows, but none for unicorns.

Y'all can comment respectfully on political news if you want.  There is a lot of that, and all I want to say is GO, LIZ!  And I'm passing the popcorn, because it looks like there will be quite the show during the never-freakin-ending primary season; at least in some sectors.

Wildlife report:  cat on my desk, wanting my sandwich.

What's up with you?


68 comments:

kathy a. said...

Well, I'll just go ahead with -- my daughter is seriously unhappy about having to do her taxes. And probably she should have eaten something, even if it was just ice cream.

Elizabeth Miller said...

I had a terrific time canvassing today. Lots of women in my neighborhood are Ready for Hilary, and I am too. They're looking forward to voting for slatesful of women.

kathy a. said...

Go, LIZ!!!!!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Go go go, Liz! And go, everyone doing their taxes! *sets up a cheering section*

AW: We did our taxes during the break last week, and it turns out that (partially due to a controversial tax cut that I oppose, but I'm not exactly refusing the extra money) we're getting back a lot this year. Like, enough that we're further along in saving for a down payment, and definitely should be able to buy a house within a year.

esperanza said...

Go, Liz, go!

Our taxes: done by professionals. Double clergy taxes are icky complicated. We value our marriage more than doing our own taxes. It is worth the money.

W: Albatross #1 is scheduled for presentation on Wednesday. I am uncharacteristically nervous.

AW: Going this weekend to do work I enjoy with people I enjoy working with.

W: Mr E's staff situation just keeps getting ickier. Diva Employee #1/Church Member threatening to leave altogether if Diva Employee #2 is not fired immediately. Diva Employee #2 is not helping himself by not showing up for work. Sheesh. It's a mess. Mr. E has spent more time on staff issues in this church than anything else in the past year. Needless to say, it is not--how do you say--fulfilling.

kathy a. said...

Good news, QWP! Daughter was just frustrated with a filing online glitch.

But, she's a good egg. The MIL of one of her best friends died unexpectedly yesterday, and she got a comforting package off to her friend and friend's husband.

kathy a. said...

Oy, Esperanza. I mean, OY. So, when is Mr. E supposed to hear about a possible transfer? (That was hanging out there recently, no?)

kathy a. said...

Also, you'll do great on the albatross! And YAY on the weekend!

esperanza said...

Possible transfer still hanging out there, in theory. They have posted a list of transfers. In my estimation, there are two possible churches where people are retiring. Neither one has been posted as filled yet, and I'd say he's a likely candidate for either of those places. So until I see that those positions are filled, I'm not totally at ease. I hate moving with a fiery (which is an oddly spelled word, no?) passion, but this staff crap is getting ridiculous.

Your daughter's egg must have come from your nest, kathy a. Sending a comfort package is definitely something she learned from you.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ugh, online filling glitches, Kathy. I hope it gets sorted out quickly. My brother spent yesterday fighting with the tax site, because it wouldn't let him log in, and required information in order to log in, which he needed to log onto the site in order to get.

W: it's a tale as old as time, but there's little that makes me feel more disheartened than my (normally a good eater!) toddler outright rejecting a nice meal I made. One she normally likes! And I made it REALLY nicely today! She ended up back in her high chair, because she ran away from the table.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Esperanza: I can't imagine how complicated it is for the two of you to file taxes. And I simultaneously don't want you guys to have to move (especially since you have all those supports in place for Sweet), but see the benefits of getting away from that mess at the church.

esperanza said...

QWP, it's actually less complicated now that I am not really employed, but when we both had full time jobs with benefits...ick.

And you have articulated my feelings about possibly moving very precisely.

kathy a. said...

Well, printing the EZ form and filling it out and mailing it also works.

I do not actually wish moving on anyone, unless they really want to. May some miracle or another happen.

kathy a. said...

Here is a story about breakfast sandwiches.

And here is one about a relative who is practically perfect in every way. She had recently returned from a vacation in Canada, and effused about this wonderful breakfast sandwich -- an english muffin, canadian bacon, cheese, and a poached egg! And another relative and I almost died laughing. We had to explain that she had just discovered the 3gg McM00fin.

Elizabeth Miller said...

QWP, my son is 13 and pretty much had your daughter's reaction to dinner tonight. I think it's the temperature change

Elizabeth Miller said...

Taxes got started today, but ms is insisting that we do them together and also insisted he had something that was more important to do today. I was not really in the mood to be insistent back, but I did tell him how annoyed I was, because I blocked out a decent chunk of time and had all the documents ready

Sue said...

Go Liz!!!!!

We're just waiting on our tax returns as hubby wanted to get it done early this year. Probably had something to do with all the money I'm spending on travel. Scotland, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto - all before the second week of June. Yikes!

Sorry about Mr E's horrible work situation. Ugh. Have a good time on the work weekend!

kathy, sorry to hear about your daughter's friend's loss. So nice of her to send a parcel.

The Canadian bacon must make some kind of difference??? Lol!!!

W: I have to get ALL THE THINGS done before I leave on Sunday for Scotland. So many things....my head is spinning with lists.

AW: SCOTLAND!!!

kathy a. said...

Sending packing and list mojo, Sue!

liz said...

SCOTLAND!!!

Speaking of travel, the chair of the group I'll be a member of if I pull this all off said it's absolutely fine if I am totally out of town the first week in January.

So YAY! We can go to Puerto Rico with my parents and my sister's family again!

I get to have my cake and eat it too!!!


esperanza said...

Scotland!! Yay!! Puerto Rico!! Yay!!

W: I may have whined about this before, but it is even more annoying that it's happening again. Chair of Albatross #1 sends out an email, reminding us of meeting on Wednesday. Lunch will be provided, but you have to say you want it. So he tells us to "reply all" to the email to let the one person in charge of lunch know that we want it. Is it just me, or is this annoying? I do not need 25 emails telling me that people want lunch, unless I am the person in charge of ordering it. Which I am not. Grumble, grumble.

kathy a. said...

Reply all to whether one wants lunch? That's nuts.

esperanza said...

Thank you. I refused to comply, and just sent an email to the individual whose responsibility is lunch ordering. I am such a rebel.

liz said...

Ugh. Also, it's just much easier to order lunch for 25 than to remember who said yes to lunch, or to have someone think they said yes when they didn't, or whatever.

JUST ORDER THE LUNCH FOR EVERYBODY.

kathy a. said...

Seriously. For meetings at my old work, they order a platter of assorted sandwiches, some fruit or salad, drinks and cookies -- and that seems to work out just fine.

(Please tell me they aren't asking so they can charge albatross attendees for their food....)

liz said...

My husband is still procrastinating. I'm getting so fireplacing frustrated, I can't even form a coherent thought about it.

GAH. I was all set to do the taxes by myself yesterday, then with him this morning (OH! THERE IS THIS THING I MUST DO RIGHT THIS MINUTE! SHINY!). It's now 1:00 PM.

kathy a. said...

Liz, why don't you do a "draft" and have him "review" it? Everybody gets what they need.

Also, I'm quietly cluesticking him.

esperanza said...

Um. Yes, they are asking that we pay for our lunch. Pennies are scarce; not that they couldn't afford to buy our lunch, but it wouldn't look good.

Liz, see above re: marriage and taxes. We would be in precisely the same boat, with me wanting to get them done already and him putting it off. Sorry.

liz said...

Well, now he's pissed at me, because I said I had everything, and in fact I didn't have one computer file, because...it's on his machine and not on the shared server.

The perils of assuming that because EVERY OTHER THING is exactly where it should be, including an almost-identical file, that that one would be too.

liz said...

Things are better now. He admitted he didn't put anything where they should have been, and that it's not my fault that the stuff that was there wasn't what we thought it was.

I apologized for being horrible to him about it.

kathy a. said...

I have a fat expando file to keep any potentially tax-related stuff for the year. My husband pays regular household bills, and he keeps those and some other files. Then he gives me HIS tax-related things; then I do this chart for the accountant. We always, 100% of years, somehow miss something. But at least it's a system. ;)

Sue said...

Agreed - just order lunch for the group. Seriously, why complicate lunch?

Good luck with the tax woes everyone.

W: My dad's wife called my sister to gripe This is the sister who always gets these calls and will one day be sainted for dealing with all the nonsense. Both dad and Batsh*t Woman are 85 years old. While they both drive in the city where they live, they are NOT good on highways. The trip here for the summer is three long days of driving.

Last year my sister flew down and drove back with them. This year she said NO WAY.

Well, BSW says she can't possibly fit all her summer clothes in two large suitcases, so she's trying to talk my sister into repeating last year's Torture Road Trip.

REally? She's here for 6 weeks at a COTTAGE. How many clothes does she need???

Also, she informed my sis that she is going to throw out all of dad's photographs unless our sister who lives closer to them comes to pick them up soon.

What the Ever-Loving Fireplace???!!! Sainted Sister told her in no uncertain terms, she is NOT driving them here - they are flying. And our other sister is picking up the photos this weekend.

Unfireplacing believable.


kathy a. said...

Huh. Well, that was some kind of friendly call... [not.]

Is nearby sister able to just go pick up the photos? Sorting can happen later. We did lose a lot of family photos when step-mom decided she didn't need them around.

Good on the saintly sister for holding her ground. Stepford Woman can check an extra bag, if it comes to that.

esperanza said...

Oh Sue, good grief, on all counts. They're flying.

esperanza said...

AW: it turns out that exercising gives me more energy (Mini has been telling me this for months)

W: I'm naturally lazy, though

kathy a. said...

One of my husband's paternal cousins just sent a very sweet note, remembering his mom (who died a little over a year ago), and sending along a memento they found. It is an ashtray from the restaurant that his mom's parents ran in the 40's-60's! I know, ashtray... But the cousin's mom has very fond memories.

And this will mean so much. The grandparents with the restaurant escaped the Armenian genocide as teenagers, losing many in their families. April 24 is the 100 year commemoration of the start, and we plan to go to events in the town of his birth.

Serendipity, no?

kathy a. said...

I don't even know how long ago my husband last saw his cousin -- at least 35 years. We saw her mom once, maybe 15 years ago when she came out to visit husband's mom, and we have exchanged some cards.

Am in favor of cousins staying in touch. The paternal side of husband's family mostly fell off the map after the divorce; so this connection is good.

Sue said...

Just heard from the sis who lives near dad and bsw. She is able to go pick up the pictures. Thank goodness for retirement, she has lots of free time.


kathy that's so nice. Those family mementos mean so much because they represent a part of the family story. It's so great that this connection is happening so close to the anniversary.

esperanza, I hear you. I feel so good after I've exercised and I'm sure I will workout the next day so I'll feel good all the time. Then the next day comes and I'm all "meh" - sigh.

esperanza said...

Sue, I'm very glad to know it isn't just me, then.

kathy a. said...

When I get a fair amount of exercise, I mostly feel like a truck hit me. Which I'm told means I need more. But advil is a good precaution.

Sue, hope that photo-rescue sister is fully prepared to have an alternate engagement when BSW designates her the alternate summer chauffeur. (Posse has her back!)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I also feel like I've been hit by a truck, after a moderate amount of exercise. (Okay, not entirely true: I feel good after swimming or light yoga. Low impact is key.)

I'm rounding up the posse to go visit BSW.

Kathy, it's lovely that your husband's cousin sent him that memento, especially since it lines up so well with the anniversary. I hope they can maintain contact after this.

AW/W: I stopped chickening out, and booked us for ALL the medical appointments I've been avoiding. First up: optometrist. I ended up confessing over the phone, to the receptionist, "No, that last visit in 2004, which you have on record, was my last appointment. I lived on the west coast for several years, and our insurance was terrible." I'm going to have to have that conversation with the dentist's office tomorrow. (And I won't be able to get my dental records for that one, because my old dentist retired!)

kathy a. said...

Oh, QWP! I hate visits, too. Records of retiring doctors/dentists are often stored someplace. But it won't make a lot of difference -- they'll do the exam and x-rays, and that's enough to go on. But uck. xoxo

esperanza said...

Go, QWP!

I should make it clear that when I say "exercise," I mean walking 3 miles in about 45 minutes. So it's nothing that I'm going to brag about, but it does make a difference.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Okay, the call to the dentist is deferred for a few days, because Mr. Q can't find the insurance cards for his dental plan, and will have to contact the school board for a new one. (Apparently they went with a different provider for dental than for the extended health plan. I didn't know that was a thing.)

So! I don't have to face the dentist yet. Just the optometrist, my GP for a full physical (with blood work), the chiropractor, E's pediatrician, and her ophthalmologist. I think that's all of them.

Sue said...

Thankfully, we're all on the same page re: summer chauffeur services. Even BSW's daughter has vetoed any possibility of their driving. The danger, of course, is that they will get it in their minds to go anyway and just take off in the car without telling anyone. Not Dad's style, but definitely hers.

QWP, good for you for getting the appointment ball rolling. Not pleasant, but definitely important. Think how good it will feel to have it all done!

esperanza said...

QWP, completely different dental insurance carrier from medical is common here. The more red tape and hair-pulling-out the better, right?

I'm off to the Albatross #1 presentation. Best outcome: I will be done with Albatross #1 after today. Not counting on it.

kathy a. said...

Sue, hoping that they mysteriously develop car trouble, should that particular idea come up with BSW. ;)

Fingers crossed, Esperanza.

W: I've just needed to explain something very stressy things to somebody I don't know well. AW: And the person is sympathetic, but W: telling the stressy things is stressy also, no?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Esperanza, telling stressy things is always stressy for me. I understand. But I'm glad that the person was sympathetic.

AW: first appointment out of the way! Only mild razzing about the decade between appointments! Almost no change in my eyes since then, to the point that I'll be able to use these old glasses as back-up!

AW: I made the appointment for our lemon of a Gee Em car to get all its recall repairs. And it turns out that I can take it to any dealer, instead of having it to take it to the dodgy dealership where my in-laws originally bought this car. Success!

esperanza said...

QWP, every time I go to the eye dr, they tell me there wasn't enough change to warrant getting new glasses. I always get them anyway, because they are starting to fall apart. And I am always amazed at how much better I see with the "not very different" prescription. And having a backup pair is always good!

Albatross presentation is done. Major victory on the part that was most important to us, major modification on the part that was less important to us. So I'm calling it good. And I can lay it aside for a few weeks, I think, in order to focus on Albatross #2.

kathy a. said...

Woot, Esperanza! And how was the lunch? ~snerk~

QWP -- score on going to any dealer.

I really need to get in for my eye exam. Don't really know how long it's been, but it's time for new ones. Thanks for the nudge.

esperanza said...

Lunch was...adequate. A sandwich platter, chips, watermelon, cookies, drinks. Definitely not something they needed an accurate count for. What. Ever. AND they made us keep working through lunch, which is a personal pet peeve. When I am in charge: we take a break and enjoy a meal like human beings.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

All of this fuss over people opting into lunch, for a sandwich platter? And boo for having to work through lunch. (But hooray for this Albatross being finished, especially with a victory!)

esperanza said...

Oh, and the $30,000 budget shortfall for first quarter of 2015 might have accounted for why they were so insistent that we had to pay for lunch ourselves. Yikes.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh dear! That's never good.

Old Skool: I bit my tongue during supper, and now my tongue feels like it doesn't fit in my mouth. It makes talking awkward.

liz said...

Update: MS and I have both forgiven each other our trespasses. I screwed up, too, and so we are back on an even and non-defensive footing with each other.

Sue said...

Sorry kathy about the stressy talking about stressy things. :(

I'm glad Albatross #1 is out of the way esperanza. Yay! And no, working through lunch is not good. We occasionally do the same if we're well behind the order of the day, but not often. Really, if the business is paused for half an hour, will there be any casualties? No. On the other hand, there could be a few if working lunches become the norm.

Yay QWP - one appt done!

Speaking of cars.... this morning the car felt really clunky and loud. I was concerned for a brief moment and then realized (again) that driving on pavement with snow tires is noisy business. It's the same every year. My tire switch is booked for May 4th. Duh.

kathy a. said...

Huh. That's a bit of a shortfall.

I like taking a break in the serious proceedings and chatting like normal people during the lunch interlude. I'm a big fan of food breaking down barriers.

QWP, hope the tongue is better.

Sue, you might be a contender for mullet!

kathy a. said...

Well. I am going to start some talk therapy, which I have not done formally for myself before. So there is kind of a buffet of angst in the lineup. Feel like I need an issues list (with sub-parts) and a family tree, because that's how we approach things in my work. But the therapist will think I'm a freak, no?

People always, always get stuck on this one piece of info, assuming I must be troubled by a part of it that IS NOT the troubling part, to me.

And I swear that absolutely everybody has trouble sorting out the family persons.

liz said...

Your therapist will think you are being proactive.

kathy a. said...

Proactive is a much kinder spin. xoxo

Sue said...

Yup, proactive. Definitely.

AW: Found a dress for my niece's wedding next month. It is not black. (Yay me!)

W: I'm up one size from a year ago. I don't actually mind, I feel rather voluptuous and lovely.

AW: Niece's family (not so much her, but that sister and the rest of her clan) are unapologetically fat-phobic. While I am far from "fat" they will notice and discuss amongst themselves the matter of my weight gain. That still triggers those "Not good enough" feelings in me. Dang.

kathy a. said...

Seriously, if that is how they want to spend their time on niece's wedding day, they have some real issues. You're fabulous, dahlink!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

And we'll round up the posse and give them a sounds kicking, if they waste any time at the wedding on such nonsense.

(By the way: thanks for the reminder to change the tires, Sue! We are also driving on pavement on winter tires.)

Kathy, I agree that the proactive approach to talk therapy is a good one, and that your therapist will appreciate it. (Sometimes, I find that the process of figuring out how to tell a therapist about what's going on -- and then talking it out, of course -- made the biggest difference of all.)

AW: finally weather that is warm, without the crazy wind we've been having. Light posts blew over and landed on cars! And the wind is the worst where we live, because we're on the edge of town, with only newly-planted trees, and so it's just bald prairie. Yesterday, with all that wind, I had to haul away the biggest tumbleweed, just to get to my car! But today was perfect, and we tried to spend as much of the day outside as possible.

Miranda said...

Hello Lovelies. I've been thinking of you. I wanted to share some good news because it will put in DC several times next year! I earned a competitive leadership development program slot. And my former boss, who has said on multiple occassions that I would never go far if I took my present job two years ago, actually called to sincerely congratulate me. Is it bad that my second thought (after seeing all the continuing ed points I will earn) is "Maybe Liz will have time to meet up?"

Off to go read about everyone's adventures and figure out where the cluesticks need to be applied.

kathy a. said...

Go, Miranda! That's wonderful! Hope you and Liz have a chance to connect.

Pixies, Awards aren't happening this week, although everybody deserves some. May you have safe travels, finish albatrossi, find some smiles, eat something wonderful, and may the Posse be with you!

Thanks, as always, for your wisdom and support. xoxo

Feel free to keep whining.

liz said...

WOOT! PIXIE MEET UP!!! Miranda, you are ON! And mazel tov!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Thank you for hosting again, Kathy!

Huzzah for Miranda! And a pixie meet up between you and Liz!!

Sue said...

Way to go Miranda!!!! Pixie meet up - WooHoo!!

kathy a. said...

Sue, I expect you are flying RIGHT NOW to SCOTLAND, and hope you have a great trip!

My husband just told me a story about his bike ride, and there was a cow, and bike people going the other way all stopped to look at the cos, and he said he just slapped somebody on the butt so they would move along. But the first way he told the story, it sure sounded like he slapped one of the stupid bike persons who was watching the cow. Which, you know, sounded really weird. With some clarification -- USE YOUR WORDS, ALL OF THEM -- it turns out the cow was in the road, not a pasture by the road, and he slapped the cow's butt. It is still kind of a weird story, but not AS weird.