August 17th, 2004


My sucky tax skillz are pastede on

After having put it off as long as we possibly could, phoenixalpha and I sat down with TurboTax on the Web to do her 2003 taxes. This was a major headache since most of her income last year came from an annuity her late grandmother left for her, which my ever-thoughtful ex-wife didn't provide to us until 11:30 PM on April 15. This set off a panicked search for other W-2 and 1099 forms which had been carelessly tossed into paper piles in the belief that since phoenixalpha's income from the Army Reserve and various savings & investments had been so minimal, she wouldn't have to file. Big mistake. In the end I wound up having to take an advance on my next paycheck so I could loan her the money to pay TurboTax and the IRS; Governator Jr. is going to have to wait for his piece of the action.
In retrospect I should have been more the stern accountant and less the indulgent father. While she did put away some of her money, a lot of it was pissed away on boys and various shiny objects of no lasting value, and I didn't lean on her hard enough about saving more of it Just In Case. The whole business has left me with a painful burning sensation where I need it the least and a healthy helping of guilt.
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Signs of the end times

I didn't get a chance to talk to Greg Ketter this past weekend at Diversicon, but I did wind up in an impromptu discussion with Lisa Freitag, Rick Gellman, phoenixalpha and a couple of other fans about Minicon 40 and its prospects under the new management. It turns out Greg & Lisa are actively looking for room parties (Lisa related with disgust how the House of Toast was turned away from an earlier Minicon, after the then-Exec dismissed them as "not SF enough") and a new anime/video chairman since their original a/v chair wandered off to Tomah in the throes of an Internet romance. phoenixalpha and I volunteered to host an AD room party and do the anime/video room, subject to ATC Board approval of course. Actually, if the Board doesn't approve, I'll probably still go ahead and do it, but it'll cost Minicon more money since I'll have to rent a projector.

After we had filled out the membership forms and handed them to Lisa with a check (the pre-reg rate is a very reasonable $35, $50 for walk-ups) phoenixalpha turned to me and said. "Do you realize you just signed up to go to Minicon? As staff?" I could only nod blearily, blame sleep deprivation and curse my innate good nature. Questioned the next day about it by a disbelieving Ron Searby, I raised my hands to heaven and declaimed, "Anime rooms at Minicon! Run by anime fans! IT'S A SIGN OF THE END TIMES!"

Yes, I'm in a better mood than I was before lunch. Food, coffee, a crack bar and deciding to leave two hours early will do a lot to boost one's morale.