Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Variation on a Theme

I received an e-mail yesterday stating that -- contrary to being turned down for a job -- the job posting was "cancelled".  Oh well, at least I don't feel personally rejected.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Taxing Situation

It's not that I've been busy, but the computers are always in demand at the library, so I haven't had time to spend on non-essential tasks, like this blog.  Still, you, my loyal reader, deserve to hear from me, so I'll carve out some time for this update.

I managed to get all my taxes done, but it was a hassle this year.  I usually use a popular, brand-name tax software program.  (My dad used to use it, and if someone as good with numbers as he was consented to let the software do the work, who am I to disagree?)  My first problem was that the program needs to check for updates (and, as I learned, for the actual tax forms themselves), but as there's no internet access at my mom's house, I couldn't do this.  Still, I soldiered on and managed to enter all my federal tax data then figured out which forms I would need to fill out on paper.

Enter the second problem.  The IRS (to save money that Congress never grants them enough of) no longer leaves tax booklets at the library, only two or three forms.  I was, however, glad to pick up an entire NM tax booklet, which has both forms and instructions.  I looked up the federal forms online and printed them out at the library.  I looked up the Oklahoma tax website and printed out their booklet (for $6.00, at the $0.15 per page cost here at the library.)  I went home and started plugging in numbers.

Well, I put the numbers in what I thought were the right places, but I had to go back to the library to look up the instructions for a couple of items.  Then I had to go back because I was stuck farther down.  I went back again because I was stuck on one of the supplemental forms.  (No, at approximately 120 pages, I wasn't about to print the darn thing at $0.15 a page!)  When I finished muddling through, the software claimed I was to get a bigger refund than I could calculate -- and not just a few bucks, but a whopping 38% more, so it's not something I could afford to let the government keep.  (I also had to e-mail questions to both the NM and OK tax people, but that would add too much to this story.)

It just so happened that my friend Gimpy offered to let me use his computer and internet access, and, in return, I could take him to the federal and state tax offices in his town.  I did so, and I was able to get both our tax situations settled in one day -- not to mention some buddy time and visits to our favorite restaurants.

I e-filed my federal return.  Normally, I don't trust doing things online, but it said I would get my refund faster (essential, in my unemployed state), and I wouldn't have to mail my W-2 form separately.  I printed and mailed both of my state returns, though, as I would've been charged $25 per state to e-file them.  (Sheesh, that would be enough for groceries, you know?)  Now I'm just waiting for my first refund to come back, so I won't have to ask my mom to pay my mortgage and storage unit fees for another month.

Incidentally, the software knew what to do with the two state tax queries I had, so I didn't have to worry about them, either.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

I Like the Way He Thinks

One of the books I read recently was the second installment of Michael Palin's diaries.  Some things he said resonated with me.  For example, he wrote that he and his wife recognized that their children were different people with different personalities and preferences, and they decided to support their children, even if their choices weren't what they, as parents, had hoped.  I realized that my parents did so, too.  Of course, it's not as if I became a criminal or anything, but my parents supported me in all my choices.  It might be something I didn't realize until I saw someone else write it down.

Another thing Palin said is this.  All confirms my feelings that it's the differences between human beings themselves which account for all our economic, social and political injustices and not the other way around.  In short, there are plenty of shits in the world and unless we can find some wonder drug to cure them or neutralise them, I think we have to live with the fact that they will always cause trouble.  When I read that, it confirmed that my troubles with my past two jobs weren't due to the company but to the individuals at the local level.  (But is there a way to identify jerks during the interview process, so I know not to accept that position if offered?)

Finally, he mentioned on of his third trip to host Saturday Night LiveNancy L rings and after weeks of dithering I say yes to the Saturday Night Live date for January 21st.  I don't really want to do the show again, but it does make a good focal point for my mother's trip to America.  The time just happened to fall near the summer my family took my father's mother to England.  (About six months later, my grandmother died, though Palin's mother was still going strong.)  We had such a hassle getting my grandmother's passport because her birth certificate was burned in a church fire ages before, so we couldn't prove to the bureaucracy that she existed.  That's funny, the government was more than willing to collect her income taxes...