February 27th, 2006

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Tax Torture

Just completed one of my least favorite annual activities -- organizing and typing up all my income & expense information so that Caleb can do my taxes. I swear, I think it's a lot harder for me to do this prep work than it is for Caleb to fill out and figure my tax forms, as he enjoys doing it and it all seems "simple" and "obvious" and "fun" to him... whereas to me, all this nitpicking crap with receipts, expense categories, etc., is rather maddening. This is despite the fact that I'm pretty organized, with all my receipts, cashed checks, etc. neatly in folders, clipped together by month, all the accounts electronic, emails saved, etc. But at least I've done it now! Only took 5-6 hours :(

Before I started doing freelance seriously in like 1999, my taxes were quite straightforward. I remember in like 1998 I did my federal taxes using TeleFile, where you call up and enter your taxes entirely using the telephone, no paperwork, and your refund goes straight into your bank account. I just didn't have any deductions or fancy stuff to worry about! (About the most complicated things ever got was for the year 1996, when I had 5 jobs and had to pay taxes to Massachusetts, NY State, NYC, Georgia, and Federal. It was especially awful as I moved several times and my W-2s got lost. At one point I had to call Time Warner HR and beg them for a copy of my W-2.) I miss those days. These days my federal taxes are like 10 pages long, with all these various Schedules for business expenses, business use of home, self-employment tax, etc. I can work out what it means after it's done, but I've no clue how Caleb does it.
black

RIP Octavia Butler

I just saw this posted and almost couldn't believe it, but then I checked :(

Author Octavia E. Butler dead at 58

Over the past few years, as I've read through her books, Butler has become one of my all-time favorite writers and an inspiration to me. I absolutely love her science fiction, with its dark, cynical edge and breaking of conventions. I still have several of her novels left to read, including one in my book pile, which will now be my next read. I will be sure to read the rest. Damn, the world has lost a great writer -- and a winner of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant.

They say the deaths of famous people "comes in threes," but a threesome with Don Knotts and Octavia Butler is rather odd. Who will be next?
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On the phone again...

Just did another one of those phone interviews for the study Caleb's work is doing. This one was an hour and a half! The first one was 45 minutes, second one was an hour, and now this! I think the fact we kept going off on tangents talking about examples of stuff, nothing to do with the study area, was what caused the interview to be so long. All I know is, I want lunch now, along with something nice for my throat!
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Facing the Phone Fear

I just finished calling 20 people, leaving them a reminder about an advisory meeting coming up as part of the plan I'm involved with for Caleb's company. Feel like somebody coming up for air or maybe leaving hell, as for me, calling is just about the most stressful thing I can do. I get more scared calling a number than I do walking around a dark alley at 3 a.m. Seriously! My adrenalyn is going, I'm sweating, and generallyb feel like I just did aerobics or was chased by a large, angry dog. I did call everybody though! Phew! Now I'm going to have lunch.
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