Monday, March 18, 2013

a taxing effort

it's the least wonderful time of the year.

on an annual basis, i find myself really disliking the fact that i'm a 1099 employee at one of my jobs. however, while my inner voice is fussing at me for not putting my foot down and either insisting on being converted to a regular employee (as everyone else is this year) or finding something else to do with my time, the competing voice of my biological clock is pointing out that i could easily have a little deduction by this time next year, thus lessening my tax burden.

by the time i finish figuring out my taxes this year, i may be giving some serious thought to that latter point. (i'm already pretty much set on the former....once i raise enough moolah to pay this year's tax bill. you know- once i'm finally able to figure it out.)

i've been at this for an hour so far and, aside from my semi-neat* piles of paper, this is as far as i've gotten:

as you can see, where there should be a form, there is a mostly blank screen. when i click on "file", in the upper left hand corner, the program taunts me by showing me the theoretical option to "create new return", which is greyed out. in fact, the only option i can actually select on that tab is "exit". awesome. (i think i know what you're going to suggest and, believe me, i have already restarted my computer twice, with no such luck.)

since i have already had to have a lengthy discussion with my computer regarding its dvd-rom drive's refusal to acknowledge the h&r block cd's existence**, followed by three attempts at installation***, i'm beginning to wish i'd bothered to pick up the paper forms.

.....not that i can actually file on paper, mind you. my tax situation gives "complex" a whole new meaning.**** i could, however, roll up the forms into a nice little tube and then beat the crap out of my recalcitrant computer with them.

my inner wesley snipes is now drowning out those other voices, insisting that this is a sign i don't have to do my taxes this year.

i'm not listening to it yet, though i am considering picking up a short term gig as one of those dancing statues of liberty, in the hopes that my employer will figure out my taxes for me for a lot less grief and money. (plus, all that dancing around should leave me with some pretty gorgeous gams. sounds like a "win-win" to me!)

*my furry assistant, setzer, has been "helping" to "organize" my carefully sorted piles.

**i told it i once knew a texas instruments machine back in the mid-80s with more functionality than it was exhibiting. strangely enough, it decided to start reading my cd after that. 

***it kept aborting the installation, insisting it was installing something else. THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE TO INSTALL!!!!!

****four jobs last year, multiple bank accounts, stocks, and some other income- all leading to my making too much for most tax breaks/deductions and too little for the rest. argh.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

taking five while i think of five things i'd take....

have you had a look at the sunday paper yet? if not, i'll save you some page flipping. just go ahead and read this article. 

i'm working on my list as we speak. what's yours?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


sometimes, the posts just write themselves. 

actually, they don't. if they did, this blog would be a lot more active....and possibly wittier. 

at any rate, i'm inspired to write this evening- for multiple reasons. 

reason numero uno: i've gotten a lot of strange calls at work lately.

reason numero dos: i really need to be working on paperwork for job #3, but i'm kind of burnt out, and i think the best way to handle said burnout is to do something creative (and i don't have any floss in my backpack with which to crank out a friendship bracelet or five.)

i can't remember whether i told you this before or not, and frankly i'm too lazy to look at the moment, but i'm now working third shift at job #1 (formerly job #4) five nights a week. generally, the calls are nothing to write home about, but occasionally i get one that leaves me either chuckling, scratching my head or suppressing the urge to inquire as to whether or not the caller had enjoyed any chemical substances before picking up the phone. 

i'm not talking about calls that are actually for mental health providers/facilities, either. 

i'm talking about calls for hibachi restaurants.

       ~caller wanted to know if the restaurant was open. while this is not normally an unusual question, i think that calls made at 4am are the exception to the rule. 

       ~caller wanted to know if the restaurant served shrimp....and if they 2 am. (to be fair, she told me she was inquiring because she was drunk and wanted shrimp. i commended her on having the sense not to get behind the wheel in her current state.)

       ~caller just a couple of weeks ago rattled off an address. at first, i thought this was another delivery order, which led to the thought that maybe there was a niche for a late-night hibachi take-out. however, when i asked the caller to repeat himself, it became clear that he was actually trying to get a taxi to come pick him up. (i think i should get some credit for suppressing the urge to tell him someone would be there in half an hour.)

i'm talking about calls for lawyers.

       i have one repeat offender here. i'm not sure if she has the hots for her lawyer or if they're childhood friends or what the deal is, but periodically she'll call in the wee hours of the morning to leave him messages. the first time, she hadn't heard from him in a while and had a toaster over she wanted to bestow upon him. the next time, she hadn't heard from him in a while and wanted him to come over for a holiday meal. last night, she hadn't heard from him in a while and wondered why he wasn't around when he needed 4:30 in the morning. she also wanted me to mention in the message that she needed him to come over to see "what kind of mess (she'd) gotten (herself) into". 

do lawyers make house calls? why do i get the sneaking suspicion that she's planning on meeting him at the door in an outfit not appropriate for polite society? 

again, these folks are not calling in for mental help, though i sometimes have to wonder about their judgement. that of the woman last night who wanted me to get ahold of the emergency drycleaning/restoration company before 5am because she was going to be moving later in the day and wanted her stuff. 

.....and on the other line (seriously, i put her on hold to tackle this other "emergency"), i had a woman who was demanding to speak with someone at a property management company because of this unusual situation, which she deemed "an emergency":

she and her baby daddy washed clothes at the laundromat and may have accidentally left behind a bank card and their child's medicaid card, which was vitally important, as the child was supposed to have surgery at 9:30 in the morning. 

when i suggested she call the laundromat, she said the name kept changing and she wasn't sure how to find it online. then, she said the only number she could find was the one she called. when i mentioned the possibility of swinging by the laundromat when they opened in an hour or two, she reacted as if i were speaking in tongues.*

in both cases, rather than fully following our protocols for emergency calls, i made a call, left a message, and informed the callers i'd done so and that they should hear back soon. 

there is a lesson to be learned from that last call: always check your pockets when doing laundry.**

...and if you find the number of your lawyer, doctor, local tree trimmer, water department, catering company, apartment complex maintenance line, trucking company or hibachi restaurant scribbled on a scrap of paper, you might just find me. 

*granted, the many, many cups of green tea i drink during my shift begin wearing off around 4:30 am, but i assure you that i am still pretty high-functioning at that hour. 

**i always do. i haven't found melted chapstick or extra clean gum in my dryer in years.