Death and Taxes, Picture O' The Day

A Question of the Macabre Kind

I was out with some friends the other day and I learned more about a really sad situation that happened last year when the son of one of the teacher’s at my music school committed suicide.

The suicide itself was bad enough.  But I was utterly shocked and stunned when I found out the rest of the story.

The gentleman who committed suicide had set things in motion so that his Mom would be the first one to find out what he had done and to discover his suicide note.  She flew to a different state to visit him at Christmas.  At the airport he had arranged to have a limousine pick her up from the airport and take her to his apartment.  She even said she thought this was a nice treat he had arranged for her.

At his apartment he left a note on the door for her to go in whereby she discovered his completely empty apartment with his suicide note and his legal documents on the bed.  He even described where he had left his body in case the police hadn’t found it yet.

On a visit?  At the holidays?  With a limousine?  And a note with the placement of your body?  So disturbing and sad.  So very, very horrific and horrifying.  Not just because of the end of a life, but because of the manner in which it was done.

I’m told that this person thought of his Mom as his best friend.  But still.  It’s NEVER, NEVER okay to do this to your parents.

And this is where my conversation with The Guru probably got a bit weird and macabre.  My brain refused to accept the information I had just heard and I had to explore it and poke about in every dark, lurid cranny and crevice before I could let it go.

Me: So, if you did ever decide to commit suicide who would you call in?

Him: That’s a really bizarre question.

Me:  I know.  I’m sorry.  I know that you would never do that.  But still, who would it be?  It couldn’t be your Mom.  She’d have a heart attack.  Your Dad wouldn’t do much better.  (He’s an only child).  It can’t be me because I’d call you back from the grave and strangle you for it.

Him:  This conversation is way too strange for me.

Me:  It’d have to be your uncle.  He’s a cop; he’s probably dealt with worse in his time.

Having settled on who he should call in for this situation, I started to contemplate who I would call in for the same situation.  I know.  I know.  Really, really morbid.  Like I said, I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about it even though I knew my thoughts were going in this scary, grisly direction.

Eventually, I decided it would have to be one of my friends or possibly my uncle who is a retired fireman as I felt he wouldn’t be completely scarred for life.

So, there you have it.  A spooky, dreadful question perhaps, but who would you call in if this was your situation?  Edgar Allen Poe?  Edward Gorey?  Great-aunt Matilda?

“The Suicide,” illustrated by Edward Gorey (1925-2000), date unknown.

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Death and Taxes, Friends, The Family That...

Too Much Bad News

You all know the old saying.  When there’s bad news there’s a lot of bad news.

Oh.  That’s not the saying?

Well, it’s close, eh?

My friend’s Dad is in the hospital in intensive care again.  He’s been progressively improving since October when he had a spot that could have turned into an aneurism.  He was in rehab, but is now back in the hospital in bad shape.  I hate to see my friend so unhappy!  This is too much stress.  Stress not good.  Stress does NOT make anyone a happy camper.

Another acquaintance’s husband passed away last week.  While, I can’t say that I was ever on the best terms with her, and sometimes even wanted to strangle her for her weird passive-agressive nature, I worked with her for a number of years and know that she was really devoted to her husband.  It’s a blow that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  Friend.  Enemy.  Or frenemy.

Last, but certainly not least, my husband’s cousin had a stroke.  I found this out while we were waiting for his Dad to go into surgery for his knee.  Only 26.  Just married.  Just graduated and started working as a nurse maybe a year ago.  Tragedy.  Shock and dismay.  A massive bleed.  Deep in her brain.  First thing I think?  It’s almost better that she doesn’t wake up.  I think this, but knowing that some people already see me as a cold-hearted witch try to refrain from saying it out loud.  I just know that I wouldn’t want to live out the rest of my days unable to move, talk or really do anything.

Quality. Of. Life.  That’s all I’m saying.

These and some other things are the reason I’m saying – enough is enough already.  No.  More.  Bad.  News.

Alright, universe?

please

and thank you

with whipped cream

and cherries on top

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About Me, Death and Taxes, I'm Ready for My Close-Up, NaBloPoMo 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Too Tired

I’m feeling a bit tired and overwhelmed right now.  Almost went off to bed without writing a post because I just took an allergy pill and they make me so tired I can’t think straight. Especially, the good ones with the D that you have to actually get from behind the prescription counter. That’s right, the ones that make you feel like a criminal when you buy them.

And, heaven forbid you should try to buy more than one box of them.

Why do I need allergy pills you may ask?  Why, thank you for asking.  Today, was put the Christmas tree away and get the boxes up into the attic day.  For some reason, it was also hubby decides to clean out the shed day.  He did 95% of the work, but I did assist in getting all the junk to the curb after he had gone through and pared things down.  I’m so proud!

However, due to all the moving around of things and bringing dusty things like the Christmas bins into the house I am completely unable to breathe without pills.

Also, I’m happy to announce that my blog has its first stalker.  Someone I know in real life that is pure trouble.  Mr. B. you know I’m talking about you.  I’m on the fence about whether to be flattered or scared.  I’m leaning toward flattered, so, thanks Mr. B!  Keep reading and sharing.

Last, but not least, trying to slog my way through my certifications for tax prep season.  Not really feeling it right now and yet I’ve forced myself and managed to finish 80% of it so far.

Also, just got an email from a guy I’m hoping to work with on a fun acting project.  There’s a chance I will be working with a well-known local B-actor.  Pretty groovy stuff.  I’m hoping it all pans out.

That’s all she wrote.

#SOCsunday

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post at All Things Fadra.
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Death and Taxes

The Tax Man Cometh

Tax season has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now.  Besides being a harbinger of sheer exhaustion, tax season can at times try one’s patience.  I’m in charge of a site that employs volunteer tax preparers.  I get paid to run the site, but the rest of the preparers

Bless them!  Some because they are retired and want to have something to do.  Others because they are students and need the hours for school.  I’ve been doing this now for six years and each year I simultaneously love tax season and loathe it.

Things to love:

1 – Helping people out by providing a necessary service.  It’s cool to help people with something that for the vast majority seems to be worse than grabbing a live rattle snake.

2 – Working with a great crew of volunteers.  On the whole, my volunteers are fabulous.  Fun, interesting and wonderful people who make the time spent working fly by.

3 – Getting to meet new people.  I love this one!  Anyone that knows me, knows I like to gab.  Since the husband cringes when I strike up a conversation with the check out person or random other shopper this gives me a perfect cover story for having conversations with strangers.

Things to loathe:

1 – Unruly or ungrateful tax payers.  Hey!  It’s a FREE service.  If you don’t like it pop on down to a paid preparer and shell out some serious money for the same privilege.

2 – Money, money, money….money.  MONEY!  Sorry, I don’t have a magic wand that gets you thousands more in refund.  You made $300 and you’re getting back $3000.  Really?!  <—hyperbole

3 – Screaming, running, crying kids.  It’s a tax appointment not a babysitters’ convention.  Must you bring your children to this?

4 – What do you mean my spouse needs to be here?  You’re married.  You’re filing a return together.  Don’t you think your spouse deserves to know what your joint tax return says?

5 – You mean I need my social security card, W-2, check for direct deposit, etc, etc, etc, etc?  *thunks head on desk*  I’m not Miss Cleo.  I don’t have access to your personal information via the psychic network.  If I need to know something, please bring some information with you.  I’ll do the best I can to help, but I can only use what you bring me.

That’s all from the trenches for now.  Stay tuned for more!

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Death and Taxes

Children and Taxes

RANT ON

I went to a meeting this morning for the Prosperity Campaign.  I work at a volunteer tax site and have for over five years, and we are gearing up for our free tax preparation season.  In the midst of this meeting as we were talking about changes to the Earned Income Credit I was struck by a major depression.  I could rake in almost $6,000 should I suddenly discover that I have 3 children!  I’m missing out on a serious wealth building scheme!

I’m saying this in a bit of jest – and yes, I know, three children would cost me a lot more than what I would get back on a tax refund – but as someone with no children, each year I rebel against the idea that someone could deserve a larger tax break than me simply for the fact that they made a personal / family choice to have children.  Why should this choice affect their taxes?  Or my taxes for that matter?

I really like volunteering for the campaign and doing free taxes for our customers.  Many of them truly have NO idea how to do them properly and are really grateful for the service.

Yet, every year I struggle internally with so many aspects of the crazy, broken IRS code.  For example, did you know that the IRS sent out over $300 billion (BILLION!) in tax refunds last year?  The maths astound me; red flags go up and I think to myself, “There is a major issue with this system”!  Why spend all the time and effort to collect the money only to refund such a chunk?  Must we keep IRS workers in jobs?

NOTE TO SELF: Do some research on the total amount collected by the IRS for taxes before completely flipping over the numbers.

That is all for now.

RANT OFF.

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