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Friday, April 12, 2002

Oh, how I rely on my deadlines. If income taxes weren't due Monday, I'd still be putting off figuring them out. The only reason I did them today instead of over the weekend is that I assumed the post office would be easier to get to on a Saturday than on the actual tax day. I remember a couple of times in past years driving with David on April 15 through the lines of vehicles outside the post office. Such mayhem, all because of people who put off unpleasant tasks until the last minute. Like me.

I cleared the afternoon calendar to get all the forms filled out and make all the calculations. If I didn't finish in time, I planned on working through the game tonight, and taking it up again tomorrow morning, just to get it done. Since California thinks of itself as a nation-state with its own special rules, the state tax form is even more complicated than the federal form. I knew I was in for a day of misery, my eyes watering over columns of figures.

It took me less than half an hour. That's the good news, plus having the rest of the day free to do other things. The bad news is that in spite of all the money withheld from my weekly paychecks, I still have to pay more. It's about the same as last year, a little over $300 divided between the federal and state governments. It seems to me that's probably the same $300 the feds sent me last August, as an incentive to keep the economy moving. Giveth, taketh away. Caesar needs a little more rendering, I guess.

As an old-fashioned, shaggy-haired (still, thanks to lucky genes from an unknown ancestor) liberal, I don't mind paying taxes. I give money away to people that deserve it far less than the struggling welfare mothers and disabled veterans helped out by our government.

On the other hand, I don't exactly trust the people in Washington and Sacramento at this moment in history to prioritize the expense of my money as I would choose to have it spent. But at least these people (most of them, anyway) were elected by a fair, democratic vote and can be presumed to have the best interests of the people who voted for them almost as deeply embedded in their hearts as those of the people who paid for those votes.

I gave considerably less in political contributions than, say, Enron or Arthur Andersen. But I also voted for the woman who represents me in Congress, and I have a strong belief that my concerns matter more to her than do the disagreeable affairs of those moribund enterprises. As long as people like Lynn Woolsey can still be elected in this country, I'll continue to hold onto my faith.

bird feeder

The bird feeder now hangs off the edge of the back porch.

I love spring. Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year, right behind summer and fall. I love spring, but I hate what it does to my head. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day here, but by the time I had a chance to get outside, my head was so heavy that I had to carry it around with both hands.

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Latest recommendation:

Jessie, Blueberry Hill, April 11, In which I parody myself

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Occupational Therapy
"Cows are funny creatures."

Two years ago: Nature's Soothing Sounds
"Tink-tink-tink, all night long."

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I find sometimes it's easy to be myself,
Sometimes I find it's better to be somebody else.