bunt sign

Monday, January 7, 2002

Let's call today a modified limited success. On the one hand, I finally got a haircut that should correct all the deficiencies of the last one. On the other hand, it makes my face look huge. Who knew how much pallid skin all that unruly hair was covering?

The good news is that on this first day back at school and work for most people here, I didn't have to wait. In fact, when I walked in, the two stylists on duty were sitting in their chairs chatting. I hated to interrupt, but it reminded me of the barber shop days, when I'd walk in and my dad would be sitting in the barber chair reading the newspaper. If it had been me, I'd have spun the chair around and pumped it up and down when nobody was around. I never asked him if he did that, though.

The streets were deserted and the mall was a ghost town this morning when I was there. The people at the hair salon were in shock, after weeks of an overflowing waiting room. The manager was calling other stylists telling them not to come in today. It worked out well for me, because I was in and out of there without missing much work. I left an awful pile of hair (mostly white, sob!) on their floor, too.

This was the first day in weeks that (a) the traffic wasn't jammed to the point of gridlock with the cars of the clueless, and (2) the rain wasn't pelting down on all these boxtop drivers, increasing the level of anxiety and uncertainty. I've always said that if you can't drive, you should probably stay home. And that goes double if you got your license by saving up cereal boxtops.

It was great! I didn't have to wait anywhere except the bank, and they're always slow. (Which, come to think of it, must embarrass the management, since the bank is named for a famous stagecoach firm once known throughout the West for its timely deliveries.)

And the post office, I had to wait there as well, but not that long considering it was the post office. And there, it's not usually the clerks that are slow, although sometimes they seem to get slower as the line gets longer. There's just something about the place that makes all the customers forget how to fill out a simple form without taking it to the window first. The clerks are enablers: "It's okay, you don't have to go through the line again (just because the distinguished gentleman with the very large face is ready and waiting and fully prepared)."

karma camellia

The first camellia of the year.

The bad news is that my job got more difficult today. It'll take more of my time to do the payroll taxes, because I got word that the company now must make semiweekly deposits. (That's an actual government category; I'm officially a "semiweekly depositor.") What I was doing monthly I now have to do at least once or maybe twice a week. It's all based on the taxes we paid in a previous year, and we've just now gone over the minimum, so we no longer qualify for monthly deposits. (Oh how I long for the glorious days when I was a monthly depositor. Like, yesterday.)

This adds a whole new level of paperwork. I have to keep track of what tax is paid and what tax is due, and which tax form it covers, and which tax period it relates to, and when they simplify the tax code, may I please testify? Thank you.

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