"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Can it get any more taxing?

Three weeks to April 15 and the motherboard on my office computer dies on Friday. Saturday morning was spent purchasing a new computer and all day Sunday transferring data and software for full day of appointments on Monday.

In between, there was a trip to hospital emergency room for yet another (third) elderly parent in past six weeks.

Thank goodness the forecast includes no more dark clouds for the next few days.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Christmas sweaters, Easter sweaters, they're all the same

Just in time for the holidays. My daughter spotted this on a recent road trip in California, and immediately thought of me. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rambling randomness

I've never understood why casseroles are so popular in the United States.  This one contains ground beef, green beans, tator tots, cheese and the requisite can of soup.  This is an exception to the proverbial "rose by any other name."  If you called this slop, no one would eat it.  Call it a casserole and it's a family favorite.  Fortunately not my family.  Perhaps I'm a snob, but I'd much prefer a hamburger steak, steamed green beans, and a baked potato with a small wedge of cheese (forget the soup) than this concoction. It would be a much more appetizing presentation and would not require much additional labor.
Quote seen on Facebook Sunday:  "Tomorrow is the beginning of the second US Civil War."  People are not at all pleased with the health care bill.  Even if there is no second civil war, I think some politicians who voted yes will be in the unemployment lines after the next election.
I don't condone the N-word, but in the 1960's Rep. John Lewis was a protester angry at people in power, so why is he intolerant of protesters who are angry at  him now that he's the one with the power ?
I"m now watching Season 2 of "Damages." I think I enjoy this series so much because most of the evil, conniving people are baby boomers: Glen Close, William Hurt, Ted Danson, Michael Nouri and Marcia Gay Harden. Ok, I'm really watching it because of William Hurt, the star of all my early adulthood fantasies.

Unfortunately, he's put on some weight and hasn't aged well, but I still think he's a great actor, especially when portraying a brooding, soft spoken intellectual.
By the way, Happy 60th Birthday, Bill (March 20, 1950).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


2081: based on Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron".  Tammy Bruce's cinematic debut.  Reviews have been good.

I haven't seen it yet, but hopefully very soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

8 down and 4 to go

My new year actually starts January 15.  That's generally the first day tax practioners can begin efiling. From that date until March 15 is always a whirlwind of paper shuffling, computations, crying, laughing and empathizing with clients' lives.

And if you think April 15 is the only deadline, you'd be wrong. Within those first eight weeks is the deadline for W-2 and 1099 forms, the deadline  for sending those reports to the IRS & Social Security, March 1 for farm tax returns, and March 15 for corporations, partnerships, and trusts. Add to the mix every Tom, Dick, and Harry that knows he's getting a refund and wants it yesterday and it results in the busiest eight weeks each and every year.  I'm not complaining; if I didn't truly enjoy it, I would quit in a heartbeat, but I love my work and my clients (well, most of them.)

The eight week period has been a bit more challenging this year. Approximately 4 out of 5 tax returns in the first few weeks had reportable unemployment compensation.  Clients were depressed, emotionally drained, and scared of the prospect of no income when the unemployment runs out. Some had marriages that were in deep trouble.  They appreciated an empathetic ear and additional appointment time to share their sorrows. (No extra charge for the wet shoulder).

Then in January, my mother had a medical emergency that landed her in the hospital for a few days.  That brought some sleepless nights and extra work to make sure my father had what he needed while she was gone.

By the time she got back home, my husband came down with influenza, which was an especially strong respiratory virus infecting most people in the area, including many of my tax clients. With a little pampering, he was over the worst of it in about 10 days, and I did my best handwashing to avoid getting it myself. I could not afford to get sick at this time of the year and deal with parental issues on top of it.

Unfortunately, my 98 year old father-in-law came down with it and pneumonia and more.  He was succumbing quickly and also required hospitalization where he lay in isolation and the prognosis was bleak for a week.  Then he turned the corner and started getting better. After a two day nursing home stay, with oxygen and day help arranged, he is now home recouperating, but 24 hour care is required for a while. So husband is spending evenings and sleeping there for now and I'm hauling meals across town.

Fortunately the pace of work slows to a manageable level for the next couple of weeks, until another major landslide after April 1 when all the proscrastinators start rolling in.

This is simply an apology and a warning.  I'm sorry I haven't been posting as often as I should, resorting to lame memes at times, but as you can see, life got in the way.  The warning - if I disappear again between April 1 and April 15, don't worry. I'll be back in full force soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday Stealing: Judd's Merged Meme

From Sunday Stealing again:

1. What were doing 10 years ago? Wondering what it would be like to be 60

2. Five snacks that you enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world: Coca-Cola, brownies, chocolate truffles, coconut cream pie, New York cheesecake

3. Five things you would do if you were a billionaire:  hire security, hunker down in a hotel room, quit cutting my hair and nails, sit around naked, and develop OCD.

4. Three of your habits:   sleep, eat, eliminate

5. Five jobs that you've have had: insurance broker, real estate broker, real estate appraiser, tax preparer, accountant, all at the same time

6. Five places that you've lived: Mom and Dad's, dorm room,  apartment, newly constructed house, Victorian house

7. Five things that you did yesterday: slept, ate, eliminated, worked, showered

8. Five people you would want to get to know more about:  More than five - all the people in my blogroll I haven't met in person yet.

9. Abortion: for or against it? for it - until the fetus is old enough to live on its own outside the womb (approx. 26  weeks), but why would any woman wait that long if they don't want the pregnancy

10. Do you think the world would fail with a female president?  I didn't know there was such thing as a world president, male or female

11. Do you believe in the death penalty?  Can you be 100% certain the person is guilty?

12. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?  All drugs should be legalized; then we wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on a domestic "war" and prices would fall substantially for those who are stupid enough to want to buy recreational drugs.

13. Are you for or against premarital sex?  How old are you?

14. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?  I believe this is not a sex issue, but a single versus married issue. I advocate eliminating all marital benefits, then single and married people would be treated legally equal and this would not be an issue.

15. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?  I advocate eliminating all public welfare for residents and non-residents and then this too would not be an issue.  Let anyone come who wishes to work and live here. We are a nation built by immigrants.

16. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen? There should be no age limit.

17. Should the war in Iraq be called off? Bring home the troops and send those who voted for it in their place and see how they like it.

18. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree? One should be able to make any and all decisions regarding one's own body. It's none of the government's or anyone's business. People should be able to committ suicide in a humane, painless way with assistance if requested.

19. Do you believe in spanking your children? No, they are bigger than I.

20. Do you worry that others will judge you from reading some of your answers?  What, me worry? I'm not planning to run for any public office

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bring me a dream

I always wanted to be the one who sang the low "Bum, Bum, Bum, Bum" at the end of every line.

This song is such an ear-worm that no one could possibly  meet up with Mr. Sandman and dream, unless one wishes to dance a quick-step with him.

Meryl was robbed.

Now Sandra Bullock is being called "America's Sweetheart." 

It used to be attributed to Julia Roberts.

Personally I don't understand all the gushing about either one of them.  Yes, they are both pretty and have nice smiles and bubbly personalities, but Academy Award winning actresses?  Neither is Oscar worthy in my opinion. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Because you're all so interested

I said a weird fact about me was where I put my thumbs when my hands are at rest.  I told you wrong.  I don't know what I was thinking.  My thumbs hide between my second and third fingers, not first and second.  Here's proof of it.  I still think it's weird.

Why small town living is so much fun

Hat tip to White Rabbit for finding this gem. See how the commercial was made in the second video.

Aren't you locals ready for a road trip to Corydon, IN?

Sunday Stealing: Another Meme About Me

Courtesy of  Sunday Stealing
1. Are you currently in a serious relationship?
 No.  My marriage is one big comedy act. It's more fun that way.

2. What was your dream growing up?
to be a performer of musical comedy

3. What talent do you wish you had?
great singing voice

4. If I bought you a drink, what would it be?
Cosmopolitan martini made with raspberry vodka and fresh lime.

5. What was the last book you read?
Simple Genius - David Baldacci

6. What zodiac sign are you?
I'm a baby boomer - Aquarius, of course

7. Any tattoos and/or piercings? Explain where.
Ears.  But you didn't ask about my lip plates.

8. Worst habit?
I drink too much Coke.
9. What is your favorite sport?
If you mean a sport I play, none. I'm a klutz.
10. Do you have a pessimistic or optimistic attitude?
I'm a realist.
11. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
gun to my head

12. Tell me one weird fact about you.
When my hands are relaxed, my thumbs rest between my first two fingers

13. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
Clowns are cute but the guy under the makeup is scary.

14. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
I'd be five inches taller so I could reach things easier.

15. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
I'd be your conscience sending you on a guilt trip.

16. Ever been arrested? 

17. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Invest it.

18. What's your favorite place to hang out at?
Home because I don't get to spend enough time there.

19. Do you believe in ghosts?
Just the friendly ones
20. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
attend auctions
21. Do you swear a lot?
Not much, but sometimes I imagine punching people.

22. Biggest pet peeve?

23. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
24. Do you believe/appreciate romance?
I am person of passion so yes, I most definitely do appreciate romance.

25. Do you believe in God?
I don't believe in fairy tales.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A bit of advice to nursing home staff

Not every 98 year old suffers from dementia. This one still does the daily Cryptoquote, even with pneumonia., so please don't be condescending and treat him like a child by greeting him with "What's your favorite color?"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Moral Decision - you decide

One day you lose your wallet.  Several hours later a Good Samaritan calls and said he found your wallet.  You get it back with everything in tact including all the money.

Later that day you're attending a party with approximately 60-75 other guests.  You discover a wadded $20 bill on the floor.

Would you keep it since you don't know to whom the money belongs or would you too be a Good Samaritan and try to find the owner?

I know how the real story ended.

I also know what I would have done, but what about you?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Audacity of Clergy

An elderly relative of mine has been in the hospital and after missing church two Sundays in a row, the minister stopped by my home and inquired about the relative.  I explained that he is in the hospital, in isolation, due to his on-going compromised immune system that is currently battling three illnesses at once, including influenza and pneumonia. I explained that visitors were not allowed, that the patient could not reach the phone if called, and even I had not been in the room to visit.  A card would be much appreciated if the minister wished to express any get well wishes.  The minister said she would be at the hospital the next day and she would drop off a card at the nurses station.  Again, I reinterated that the doctors, patient, and family all did not want any visitors in the room, exposing the patient to additional germs that he cannot fight.

And so the "messenger of God", with higher authority than doctors, hospital, patient, and family, ignores all requests and barges right into the patient's room, personally hands him a card, and asks if it's ok to put him on the church prayer list. Apparently God is not understanding or courteous of others. Or perhaps the messenger simply wished to hasten the end of the patient's life so she could get paid for a funeral. The economy is bad, you know.

A number of years ago, a friend was in the hospital for the birth of a child.  She was surprised by the unannounced, uninvited visit by a priest, who walked right into her room with a NO VISITORS sign on the door while she was topless, hooked up to a breast pump.  Fortunately, my friend wasn't as kind as my elderly relative was to his minister, and she yelled some obscenities to that priest that I'm sure could be heard beyond the heavens.

Even when punched, these preachers don't seem to get the message that they are the ones who are to blame.