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Does Anyone Ever Read….

January 17, 2011

The information provided on the back of tax forms? 

I particularly like the following statements…

“The time needed to complete and file this form will vary depending on indiviudal circumstances.”  Yes, totally depends on whether or not I’ve finished my fifth martini.

“Generally, tax returns and return information are confidential as required by section 6103. However, section 6103 allows or requires the IRS to disclose or give the information shown on your tax return to others as described in the Code. For example, we may disclose your tax information to the Department of Justice for civil and criminal litigation, and to cities, states, the District of Columbia, and US commonwealths and possessions to administer their tax laws. We may also disclose this information to other countries under a tax treaty, to federal and state agencies to enforce federal non-tax criminal laws, or to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism.”    Umm, you forgot my dentist, my trash collector, my neighbor and my ex-spouse.

You are not required to provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number.”   OMB – Office of Merciless Bludgeoning

“Time required learn about the law or the form…. 1 hr, 23 min.”    A gross overstatement! It took me 30 seconds.

and my favorites….

“If you have comments concerning the accuracy of these time estimates or suggestions…. ”  Oh yeah, do I have suggestions!

“…. we would be happy to hear from you.”   No. Trust me. You would NOT be happy to hear from me.


How I Feel After Filling Out Tax Forms


Cleaning House

October 15, 2010

I remember, years ago, a very special day in the week known as cleaning day. Often it was Saturday, since that was my day off from ‘work’.  I would tear into cleaning like it really meant something to me. At the end of the day, I would sit back and ‘enjoy’ my sparkling clean house. At some point, I realized that I was spending the better part of a weekend inside my house, often when the weather was quite beautiful outside, and even if it wasn’t, there were certainly much better ways I could spend a Saturday. It was then I decided that I would clean my house on Thursday evening, right after dinner, before my favorite television show came on. This worked for a while.

Then I had children and it became very important to have a really clean house. The thought of my babies crawling around in dust and dirt spurred me into a cleaning frenzy. I pulled out furniture, swept inside closets, dusted the tops of the cabinets, cleaned windows. It was very exhausting and even though it only stayed clean for about four hours, I actually enjoyed the process.

I still enjoy having a clean house, but it really seems pointless. The only thing crawling around on the floors (and the walls) are the wolf spiders that have made their way indoors as the outdoor temperatures have cooled. My approach to cleaning has taken on a sort of hit and miss approach. If I see something that I absolutely cannot tolerate, like a seven-day-old pizza box sitting in the middle of the room, I pick it up and shove it behind the trash can.  But the dust? I can dust my entire house and it will be dusty in the room I started in before I finish dusting the last room in the house.

What bothers me more than anything is clutter. Accumulated stuff leaves me scratching my head just how to approach the entire mess. Ms. Niecy would not be pleased if she saw the museum I live in. But it is really difficult sometimes to decide what to do with it all. I stood this morning in my kitchen fondly holding the following items and wondering what I should do with them:

  • Paint brushes I was going to use to apply a border stencil to my wall over fifteen years ago
  • Little pots of paint I intended to use to apply said stencil
  • My kids’ braces that were removed from their teeth over ten years ago
  • A rock (not sure where it came from or how it ended up behind my mixer)
  • A large assortment of pens and pencils
  • Five hundred tea bags of various flavors

Okay, there probably weren’t really five hundred tea bags, but there were truly close to a hundred.

I put the tea bags in airtight containers I bought several weeks ago for the purpose of holding all the tea bags.

I tossed everything else in the trash. Ms. Niecy would be proud. 🙂

I know. I really should have held onto those braces…

Dieting/Detox Blahs…

October 14, 2010

I started a diet on Monday. Not so much a diet to lose weight, but to hopefully start to feel better. You know, have more energy, feel less bloated, have fewer headaches, sleep better, and so on and so on…

Today is not a fun day. Have had a foggy, dull headache all morning. And I am craving chocolate like crazy!

Just a few more days and it will get better.

I hope.


My Dog Eating his favorite Veggie…

October 13, 2010

Quick! Kill the Itsy-Bitsy Spider!

October 11, 2010










I love watching people. They provide an endless source of entertainment.

I’m at a soccer game and a family sits in front of me. The game hasn’t started so I am enthralled with the activities of this family. They sit, but soon play musical chairs as they try to sit in the proper order with Dad in the middle, Mom on the left and the two little girls on the right.

One of the girls, about three, looks up and smiles at me. I smile back. Her sister sits next to her and they begin playing ‘Itsy-Bitsy Spider’ complete with perfect-pitched singing and hand motions. How cute.

Mom and Dad being the overprotective beings that they are, make sure they call the girls closer to them every time they slip more than two feet from their side.

The wind picks up a little and I notice some webs containing a true itsy-bitsy spider being wafted out toward the family from the edge of the bleachers. Awww. How cute.

The undulating web catches the Mom’s eye. ‘What is that?!’ She pokes the Dad and points at the near-invisible web floating in the air mere inches from her daughter’s face.

The Dad stands and scrutinizes the web as the Mom announces with incredible insight and excessive fear, ‘I think it’s a spider!’

Run Itsy-bitsy spider!

Too late! With the stealth-like skill of a trained Ninja the Dad reaches out his pasty white, fleshy hand, grasps the web, totes the strand with the tiny spider down the bleacher stairs to the walkway and proceeds to smash the poor, near-microscopic creature into oblivion.

He returns to his family’s side, quite satisfied that he has snatched them from the jaws of certain death.

‘That was disgusting,’ said Mom.


What’s wrong with our healthcare system…

August 27, 2010

Well, for one, the utter ridiculous regulation that requires you to fill out the same paperwork every single year.  I haven’t moved. My past medical history and the past medical history of my family going all the way back to Adam and Eve hasn’t changed. After all, it is medical ‘history’. 

Even more ridiculous are the questions asking me to provide the dates of last key medical procedures. Date of last mammo. Date of last pap. ‘Hello!! You performed these procedures! Do I really have to keep your medical records for you? Let me introduce you to this really cool automated device called a computer. And as an added bonus if you purchase in the next thirty seconds, we’ll throw in this cool organizational program called a database.’

I didn’t even bother filling it out. I wrote on the line asking for the date of last exam ‘you tell me’.  I completed none of the family history. They don’t look at it anyhow. Yep. We’re all healthy now. No problems now. No past problems. Perfectly healthy.

I filled out three pages of ‘detailed’ medical history in 30 seconds. Meanwhile, the poor woman next to me was frantically calling all her relatives in an effort to provide the most accurate, detailed information possible. When I was called back, she was still working on it, carefully writing every detail on the tiny lines. Judging by the sweat accumulating on her brow and her reddening face, I’d say her blood pressure was skyrocketing. ‘Better add that to the list, honey.’

Why couldn’t they give you the paperwork you originally filled out, ask you to look it over and provide information on any changes. It would save a lot of time and effort. It would save a lot of paper. Aren’t we supposed to be environmentally aware? Better yet, why don’t they have a computer at the desk where you check in. You could log in, look up your information and note any changes.

Wow. What a concept. Surely someone has already developed this program.  

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Going for a walk

August 23, 2010
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I was walking with my dogs this morning.  They ran ahead of me. I heard something rustling behind me and turned expecting to see a cat…..

Don’t forget to walk the chicken!!

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Bad Teeth!

August 20, 2010

If I had all the money that has been spent on my teeth over the years I could buy a really nice car. I know I don’t have the worst teeth in the world, but I do try to take care of them. I brush twice a day, floss occasionally and try to see the dentist for regular cleanings.

Okay. I lied on the part about regular cleanings. I actually haven’t done that in a few years. So today I go to the dentist and find out I need work done to the equivalent of a nice oversees vacation.

At times I think it would perhaps be easier if I just had all those pesky teeth removed and got dentures.  Or not.

But I do imagine cleaning them would be easier.

Which brings me to fancy toothpastes and toothbrushes.

Why do they keep improving and reformulating and still we have to go to the dentist and pay a lot of money to fix things the fancy toothbrushes and toothpastes should have prevented.

I think I’m paying too much for toothpaste and toothbrushes that don’t live up to their claims. I want the toothpaste/toothbrush combination that guarantees I will never have to go to the dentist again. Is that too much to ask?

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Stranger Than Fiction…

March 2, 2010

This month’s blogging theme is Strange(r). Of course, the phrase Stranger Than Fiction pops into my head. This was a movie starring Will Ferrell and Maggie Gillenhaal about an IRS auditor who hears a narration of his life. As a writer, I do not find this all that strange.

 I often feel like I am a character in one of my own stories. I find myself ‘observing’ the things around me as I go through my daily routine on autopilot. I often wonder with great curiousity what might happen next. I often create elaborate stories about even the most mundane things, like computers conspiring to drive me crazy. Usually, nothing very exciting happens, however, beyond the usual madness of a cat jumping on my desk and sending all my stuff crashing to the floor. But every so often, something unexpected happens and I find myself thinking, ‘Wow, she didn’t see that coming.’

 The unusual and unexpected event usually happens about five minutes after I sit down at my desk to work. It usually involves a phone call in which I am either put on forever hold or end up in one of those automated systems where I am forced to speak to a computer-generated female who patronizes me for not pronouncing my requests in perfect English. In utter frustration, I punch the zero key a couple hundred times and finally get a living, breathing person in India who can’t understand me either, but anything is better than talking to a computer. I’d much rather talk to my cats.

 Strange Fact: Some moths don’t eat anything as adults because they have no mouth. They have to live their entire adult life on the energy they stored as caterpillars. Imagine that the next time you sit down to your third, fourth or fifth meal or snack of the day.

 Cleanse update: I completed the Raw Cleanse routine yesterday. I will post more about my experience with this tomorrow. I drank a lot of coffee yesterday, but had no wine in the evening and felt like I slept a lot better. I want to start cutting back on the coffee today


March 1, 2010

I’ve decided to get healthy. I’ve even publicly declared it in an on-line forum, yet I continue to do things that I believe are undermining my health. I love coffee. But I don’t think it loves me. I gave it up for two weeks in February, along with my nightly glass (or two) of wine. Once the initial headaches were over, I actually felt a lot better. I felt more relaxed, focused, and better able to cope with my extremely busy and demanding schedule.

Then along came a ‘bad night’. I don’t recall exactly what kept me up until two or three in the morning. Most likely I had fallen asleep and then was awaken by something. Sometimes it’s just like that. You get the Big Eye as my Grannie used to say. I should have stayed in bad, but that is almost never possible. When I stumbled downstairs, I reached for the pot and the two-week no-coffee health kick was over.

It started out as just 1/2 cup, then a whole cup, now I am back up to 3 or more cups a day. Then the anxiety starts. I can’t cope with the mountain of ‘things’ I imagine that I need to get ‘done’ every day. It really isn’t as bad as I imagine it, but I find I cannot focus for very long on any one task.

So this month, starting today, I am going to ‘try’ to get healthy. Are you with me? haha! I am going to start with a cleanse. I’ve done this before and it ain’t pretty. Your morning usually starts with a very exciting trip to the bathroom as your body tries to purge itself of the ‘toxins’ being flushed from your system.

I’ve chosen the Raw Cleanse product by Garden of Life because it is only seven days and all-natural. I think this month my blog will be devoted to my experiences with cleansing, going off coffee, exercising and well, getting healthy! If you have any experience with the Raw Cleanse product, I’d love to hear about it!