Saturday, March 28, 2009

A rant about taxes... but probably not what you're expecting.

Maybe it's just because so much of my time lately has been spent doing taxes, but the commercials I've seen for Associated Tax Relief, or Taxmasters, really make me angry!

These people (sure, I know they're actors, but that's beside the point) go on camera, smiling about how they "owed the IRS over $135,000, and Associated Tax Relief saved us over $99,000!"

People... if you owe the IRS, you should pay the IRS! The rest of us do! No, not fun to pay taxes, but do you drive on the roads? Do you appreciate the fact that there are police and fire departments that will help you when you need it? Do you use city water? Because you aren't paying your taxes, I'm paying extra so you can use all of those services! I definitely understand the desire to minimize taxes, but once it's determined what you owe, I kind of expect you to pay it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Ark Necessary

I'm 16 days and about $50 in!
(click the picture for more info)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

101 Things

In case you care about this kind of thing (and absolutely no offense taken if you don't - promise!)...

Before the "25 Things" phenomenon on facebook came the "101 Things" trend on blogs. Given that you're reading a blog, and not facebook... here's a list more than 4 times as long as the one you would find on facebook. Hang on, here we go!
  1. At the age of 21, I was served with papers saying I was being sued.
  2. I waited over 4 years to actually go to court for it. I literally shook the whole 50 minutes or so I was on the stand testifying.
  3. The case was thrown out a few hours after I testified - in essence, we won.
  4. I buy celery almost every time I grocery show, sure that this will be the time I eat it all.
  5. I throw it out 9 times out of 10.
  6. I question myself nearly everyday.
  7. I'm fairly sure I'm allergic to shrimp, considering I very nearly threw up on the way to the bathroom at Kiku's in Sheboygan mere seconds after eating it.
  8. I think I could have married the guy I dated senior year of high school. Until the military took him away from me.
  9. I have what some would say is an unhealthy obsession with the news.
  10. Ok, really just with all NBC affiliated news.
  11. I rarely send greeting cards with pre-printed messages in them. If it's an important enough occasion for a card, it's important enough for a personal message.
  12. I hate socks.
  13. I'm a big University of Wisconsin Badger fan.
  14. But my favorite piece of Wisconsin clothing is not red... It's my 5 year old, purple, Wisconsin t-shirt.
  15. I brush my teeth in the shower.
  16. I hate texting.
  17. But when I do, I try to use correct grammar. Commas, periods, apostrophes. All of that.
  18. I enjoy doing taxes.
  19. Punctuality is huge for me. I would rather wait 15 minutes for someone/thing, than make someone else wait 5.
  20. But I wouldn't rather wait because someone else is late. If I'm early, that's fine. If you're late, that's not.
  21. And that doesn't apply to getting to work. I can almost never make it at 8:00. 8:15 is no problem, but 8:00 doesn't work for me.
  22. My blog started as a dare from AD, to see if I could blog as much as JB. I've met JB once, and am fairly certain he doesn't blog anymore.
  23. I love hugs. But none of those weak, one arm type hugs. If you're going to do it, do it right.
  24. I thoroughly enjoy playing with spreadsheets. At work, at home, doesn't matter.
  25. You can call me a geek. I call myself one nearly everyday.
  26. Despite being about 5'11", I wear heels almost everyday. Flats are just no fun.
  27. Unless they are flipflops. Those are definitely fun.
  28. 34" would be the perfect inseam length on pants. But almost no one makes those... 33" or 35" sure, but very few 34".
  29. I once got in a major fight with a roommate over a cardboard box.
  30. I could watch almost anything on Bravo, TLC, or HGTV.
  31. Except "Little People, Big World," or "Jon and Kate Plus 8." Just can't get into those shows.
  32. I must have live plants in my house.
  33. I cry at Hallmark and Disney World commercials.
  34. I was on a high school basketball team that went 0-20.
  35. I got a concussion playing high school golf. I was hit in the head with a ball, on the fly, from 130 yards away.
  36. (This won't mean much if you don't golf...) I golfed two whole high school varsity golf seasons without hitting a driver off the tee.
  37. I hate the sound of windshield wipers on a dry windshield.
  38. I sneeze everyday at about 10:00 in the morning. At least 3 sneezes, sometimes up to 6.
  39. I can't drink a margarita that has salt on the rim.
  40. Every place I have lived (with the exception of dorms and apartments in college) has been within a quarter mile of an interstate.
  41. I like the sound of traffic at night.
  42. I was born despising both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. It's in my blood.
  43. I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies.
  44. Of The Wizard of Oz. My mom thought it was scary, and never showed it to me as a child.
  45. It wasn't until I was in college that I really even became aware of the movie. But then it became obvious that it was strange that I hadn't seen it.
  46. I have a strange fear of someone coming into my bedroom through the window in the middle of the night.
  47. This started when I had a second story bedroom, with a window that faced a fairly busy street - one with traffic throughout the night. My parents tried hard to convince me that no one would bring a ladder into our front yard with that big of a chance of being seen. It didn't really help.
  48. I hate mashed potatoes.
  49. My life would be a bit more relaxed if I could nap for a half hour everyday.
  50. I'm a INFJ per the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator.
  51. I've sprained my right ankle so many times that I can almost turn it completely sideways without it hurting at all anymore.
  52. That comes in handy when wearing heels in Wisconsin winters.
  53. I love Chinese food. Americanized Chinese food.
  54. I had a dachshund named Roustabout.
  55. My parents had him put to sleep while I was taking a nap one day (I was about 4 years old.) I still bring it up when I want to take a shot at them.
  56. I took my drivers test in a "new" Volkswagen Beetle, 3 months after it first came out. I thought that was my key to passing, even if I didn't really pass.
  57. I cheer for the underdog in nearly every game that doesn't feature the Badgers, Packers, or Brewers.
  58. My favorite pair of flipflops cost me $2.50 at Old Navy 3 and a half years ago. They're still going strong!
  59. I love talk radio.
  60. I genuinely like giving gifts more than receiving them.
  61. Except homemade gifts. Those are great to receive!
  62. Very rarely do I make my bed in the morning.
  63. But I often make it just before getting into it at night.
  64. I attempt the crossword puzzle in the newspaper everyday. I'm patiently waiting for the day I finish one.
  65. I would love to learn how to play the guitar.
  66. It is virtually impossible for me to fall asleep with wet hair.
  67. I can drink white wine, but not red.
  68. Megan the wine girl on my favorite radio show says that's because my palate isn't mature enough yet.
  69. I worked with Megan's husband Dave as a recreation leader at a park for three summers.
  70. During one of those summers, Dave and I helped the kids make homemade root beer, complete with dry ice. We then had the brilliant idea to throw the extra dry ice in the toilet. It smoked for hours. And we ended up staying at the park hours after rec was normally done waiting for the dry ice to disappear.
  71. I really don't like peanut butter and jelly.
  72. Coming up with 101 things is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
  73. I have a picture (painting/print/whatever - not a photograph) of a pig jumping off the end of a pier into water. Absolutely everyone that comes to my place, stops, looks at it, and asks some kind of question. But it makes people smile too.
  74. Nearly every pair of shoes I have comes from Payless. Out of necessity, not frugality. I wear a size 12. No one else sells 12s.
  75. I love me a good fire on a cold night. Just like the one I'm sitting next to as I write this.
  76. The smell of lily of the valley is one of my favorites. It reminds me of the summer days when my mom would cut a few stems, and leave them right next to my bed to fall asleep smelling.
  77. I love that my family uses the same jokes over and over with each other, but still laugh every time. And always follows it up with the line "It's the first time I've heard that one... Today!"
  78. I really want to give up facebook, but can't quite make myself do it yet.
  79. I'm a sucker for a good parade.
  80. The saying "It is what it is," drives me crazy.
  81. Ordering a "tall" coffee at Starbucks drives me crazy too. It's a small, people.
  82. Ever since living in Sheboygan (and having Chili's be the default, out-to-eat restaurant of choice), I can't go there without ordering bottomless chips and salsa. If you haven't had them, do it. They're fabulous.
  83. I wish I was a better cook.
  84. I use the word "perfect" far too often.
  85. I love stale popcorn.
  86. I follow about 15 or so blogs, most of them of people I don't know personally.
  87. Before I was born, my mom painted one whole wall of my room with a huge frog (we're talking 5 feet tall by 5 feet wide), with a rainbow over it. Not exactly sure where the idea came from, but I loved it! I'm a little surprised it didn't scare me.
  88. I used to think I was given my middle name because of the children's librarian at the public library near our house. It took me awhile to realize that my parents probably didn't know the children's librarian until after I was born, and already named.
  89. I often think of my 19 year old brother (7 years younger than me) as my older brother, and often treat him that way. He's one of my best friends.
  90. I will probably always have a soft spot in my heart for Sheboygan. A few of the friends I made there are people that feel like home.
  91. I think the series' Law & Order and CSI have gone too far with their series within a series concept. Enough already.
  92. We had the world's best backyard for slip-n-sliding at the first house I lived in. We're talking a double hill, that was long enough to set up two slip-n-slides end to end. Our house was the place to be on a hot summer day.
  93. At the next house we lived in, we got a pool in the backyard. Another good place to be on a summer afternoon.
  94. My favorite vegetable is broccoli.
  95. My favorite pasta is rotini.
  96. One of my favorite things at my grandma's house was her picture hallway. She had taped hundreds of pictures up on the wall in her hallway, of everyone important in her life. Mostly candid shots with great stories to go with them.
  97. She recently took them all down, and it made me kind of sad.
  98. I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar (with Ted Neely himself!). I was absolutely sure I was being tricked into going somewhere else, and actually got a little suspicious of AD. The whole day was one of the strangest/funniest I've had in a long time. But I'm pretty sure no one else would find the story nearly as entertaining as I do...
  99. I'm a closet Neil Diamond fan. And while I'm admitting it, James Taylor too.
  100. The most overused phrase among people I'm immediately related to is, "What'd you have to give for that?"
  101. For this blog post, about 2 and a half months of effort! This was what I had in mind when I mentioned something about having some kind of special post for the new year on December 30. Was it worth the wait?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Vampire Slayin'

"Wooden stake to the heart, and a little onion! That's all I need!"

Sure Matt. Garlic. Onion. Same thing.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Solid colors are predictable.

I've heard my mom describe me as "our safe, predictable" kid. And I've always translated that in my head as "our too responsible, no fun" kid. And to be honest, I have always kind of resented it.

I'm realizing now how right she is.

I like normal.

I like safe.

I like predictable.

And lately, I feel like I've been swimming in a pool of uncertainty, which is not something I deal well with. I like to know what's coming tomorrow. I like to know where I stand with the people in my life. I like to know that the people I love are safe and happy. And it feels like I don't know a lot of those things right now.

So, yes mom, you are right. I may not be as much fun as spontaneity is sometimes, but I think you pretty much know what you're going to get with me.

Another description of me... from my roommate sophomore year of college, describing me to someone else on our floor. She said, "My roommate is the one who always wears solid colors." Just another indicator of the consistency I crave.

Update: A couple "current event" type comments about my desire for normalcy.... 1) I've made myself turn off MSNBC lately because the anxiety all the economic news of late causes isn't treating me well. 2) I would not do well on the Bachelor (not only because of this, but plenty of other reasons as well!). Jason is a dog, a low down dirty dog.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Best. Parking Ticket. Ever.

Matt and I got surprise, free tickets to the Badger game today (Thanks P & V/K!). We parked in our dad's secret, "Permit Only" parking lot, and no we don't have a permit. After a big win for the Badgers, we came back to the car to find this.

That's one ticket I'll gladly take!