Sunday, March 21, 2004

Taxes Suck

I'm not going into that whole "taxes are voluntary" thing... voluntary my ass!
I just hate doing them.
For three years we had a CPA do them. Owning a business, doing the personal stuff, and the complicated life we lead really makes doing them suck, so what a relief to find an honest to god CPA that would do them (for an outrageous fee).

In the past we'd do them ourselves. Our anniversary is on tax day (how sweet), so invariably we'd be in front of the computer, screaming and cursing at each other. We would stop for a moment to say "happy anniversary, I love you" then proceed with the cursing and screaming.

Every year we did our taxes, we'd have a catastrophic equipment problem.

One year our monitor just up and died. Poof, dead. That was before we hoarded all of our computer equipment, so we didn't have a spare laying around. Out at O'Dark gawd-awful to find a store that was not only open, but had a stupid monitor.

Another year our printer died. Once again, before the hoarding phase of our lives (now we have a zillion monitors and printers and everything else laying around), so out we went (once again) at O'dark gawd-awful to find a store that was open and had a printer.

Things always seemed to die at about the time that all stores close, the day BEFORE taxes were due. Ok, so we usually procrastinated, but still it got ridiculous.

What a relief it was to find a CPA. he did our taxes for three years. Glorious bliss. We pile up the paperwork and plop it on his desk and amazingly enough, everything was done by the due date. No stress, no screaming, no nothing, and we would go out to dinner on our anniversary.

Last year, our CPA apparently had a nervous breakdown that he neglected to tell us about when we dropped off our paperwork. As April 15th closed in on us, no amount of e-mailing, irate phone calls, frantic phone calls, or screaming would get him to respond to us. He came up with some lame "I got very sick" excuse when he finally called us. He promised to meet us at his office, but when we got there... no CPA. We called and he told us he left them with the receptionist. Nice... whatever.

We mailed them on the way home (since it was the due date), but noticed that he didn't do the paperwork for the MD personal property tax thing. Another irate call later and he said he filed for an extension and would do it when he got back from a business trip.

Three months later we get a nastygram from the State of MD asking where our personal property tax paperwork was. Excuse me?

Then there was the nastygram from the IRS that said we didn't file our special K-1 forms. EXCUSE ME????

600 phone calls later (that went from "hey, it's us... we seem to have a problem, call us" to "you fucking rat bastard, you better call or we'll get our lawyer to ream you a new..."

Never returned our calls, e-mails, etc. So I had to take care of it.

So this year I'm doing it on Turbo Tax. What a thrill. If I start having problems I'm taking it to H&R Block or someplace.

Hey Jerry, if you're out there, I hope your rotting in Hell!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Obesity: The New Smoking

I heard on the news the other day that obesity was quickly overtaking smoking as the #1 killer.

Good!

I'm a smoker, have been for a zillion years. I've smoked when I could smoke in buildings, in my office, in public places, and I've slowly been forced out, like a leper, to smoke in the cold, rain, snow, spat upon by ritious non-smokers who walk to their cars and spew noxious chemicals in the air.

Now that obesity is taking over as that nasty killer of people, I have to wonder... could these obese people be those poor ex-smokers who were shamed and guilted to quit and must now shove 14 cheeseburgers down their throat to get over the jones for a smoke?

Now that obesity is taking over as the scourge of health, will we see people being forced outside to eat? After all, the aroma of that cheeseburger could cause your co-workers to crave, thus spinning them horribly out of control on their way to the killer obesity. Will there be designated "eating" areas? Will cooking only be allowed in certain areas? Will lawsuits pop up because Burger King's "food emmisions" caused hundreds of people to get coronary disease?

What will the government do to save us from this horrible "disease". We've already been inundated by the "Atkins" commercials. It use to be low fat, low sugar and now it's low carb. Next it'll be "low everything" until we eat and eat and eat and still die of starvation. It's the end of "super-sizing" and "biggie size" and all those obnoxious terms for gourge yourself to death. I'm happy those are going. If I had wanted a barrel of fries I would have asked for it.

"Tofu barn, would you like to try our mini-size portion tofu burger with 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 carbs, and 0 taste?"

The next time someone at work cooks something smelly in the microwave, I'm going to accuse them of killing me with second hand aroma.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Change Is Good... Right?

Being xenophobic (hates change, fears strangers), we're going through some stressful times right now. Hubby (after 7 years) has been offered a position at another company. This is a good thing since the job will be 7 miles from the house, as opposed to 65 miles from the house. After 10 years of commuting this far (he was at another far away company before this job), he really has no concept of what having a life is all about except that it includes sitting in DC metro traffic rush hour traffic for 3 hours a day or more.

The problem is that they aren't going to buy out his college commitment with the other company (which sucks), they are going to give him more money, and along with the 3 grand worth of gas he won't have to buy, that means even more money a year for us to blow on expensive computer gadgets that we don't use and don't need. Or we could get more huskies, but that's another post.

It also means that we will be able to "commute" together, since he'll eventually start working on the exact same street that I work on. Spending more time together, having a real life and possibly (heaven forbid) being able to take a vacation together.

Same benefits (generally), not the astounding amount of money he asked for, but more than what he was getting. Sounds too good to be true, which is what is totally freaking me out.

Using some assets, we can swing paying off the college thing, still have some money in savings in case his first check gets held (as some companies do), and we'll be saving a buttload by not having the truck in for oil changes every month, not paying a mint for high taxed gas, and having a life. But what if the job sucks, or what if the company sucks, or what if, what if, AAAAAHHHH!

I have no idea why I'm totally freaking about this. We both use to commute to Virginia to work. We made the mistake of moving to Maryland, finding and buying a house, then finding jobs. Unfortunately the house was in Maryland, the jobs were in Virginia. Should have planned that one out a tad bit better I think now.

For 4 years we commuted together, and had no life. Working 9 to 5 with an hour and a half commute means getting up at the butt crack of dawn and getting home late every night. You tend not to want to drive anywhere during the weekends (because your butt takes the shape of the car seat during the week, and the last thing you want to do is drive anywhere), and you didn't want to leave the house because you never spend any time there except to eat and sleep.

One day, while hubby was traveling on business, I drove to work in particularly crappy traffic. As I crossed into DC, I thought: "did I turn the oven off?" This meant that I spent an hour in traffic, had to turn around and spend another hour driving home (only to find that I did turn the oven off) and another hour driving BACK to the office (late)... or else trust that the oven was off and then feel really stupid when I got home from work (late) to find that our house was a pile of ash. I couldn't stand it anymore and found a job much closer to home.

Amazingly enough, I had no clue how much time I had wasted in traffic those 4 years. I could actually go to the grocery store after work since it was still open. I could stop at the mall on the way home because it was still open. I could do all the laundry and housework after work and not use my weekends to do the huge pile of laundry and vacuum 5 layers of husky hair from the carpet that had accumulated over the week.

I had TIME and it was amazing the things I could do with it.

I did feel guilty that hubby was still making the daily trek to Virginia every day, this time alone. I encouraged him to try to find gainful employment closer, but he loved his job, liked the people he worked with, etc. Besides, he hates change worse than I do. So it was a complete shock when he casually announced that he had submitted his resume to this company.

Now the offer is here. Not the greatest, not the best, but it's a good offer. It means so much more freedom and time for him, and it's what I've been trying to get him to do for years and years... and I'm freaking out.

Change is good? The unknown is good?

Oh hell, if it doesn't work out, we'll just declare bankruptcy and move back to Goshen, IN. I have an idea to start a coffee shop and doggie play area. I want to call it "Starbarks", but we'll probably get sued.