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2005-04-12 - 8:22 p.m.

...the clouds blew apart and the sun reappeared...

Those magnolia trees have burst open and become what the lady on the bus called "those big chunky flowers that smell like lemonade up close." It is indeed Spring - the signs are there. Strangers are speaking to each other on the bus. People look lighter of mind and heart. Tax returns are due.

And indeed, this is the first year in the past SEVEN years that I have had to file tax returns in the USA. AND, in fact, it is the first time ever that I have filed my tax returns all by myself. My mother is a tax goddess - she has made friends at the IRS hotline simply by calling regularly about obscure tax problems and sounding incredibly competent: "If you have any more questions you just call this number and ask for Bob - that's ME." Anyway, combining her extraordinary expertise with some ubiquitous tax software has made this year of all years completely simple. I have filed my taxes online, blatantly aware of how they are ripping me off with the online fees, but not caring one iota about that because they are DONE. (and I'm getting a helluvalotta money back). It's enough to make you feel cheerful, and I do.

Today's class was surprisingly friendly in spite of the fact that I was preparing them for their exam next Tuesday. I even had a reasonable encounter with the Irritator - she apologized for how confrontational our last meeting had been, and we went through the homework without much complaint or problem. I think Spring weather must be affecting all of us. Or, perhaps it is that after reading their last essays, I have discovered that some of them are actually developing as writers. In any case I had a strange feeling that progress had been made. Somewhere. Somehow.

I have been laying low on diaryland, partially because of being busy and partially because of feeling monthly blues. Finally today the skies seem to have parted. I feel more positive about the world. I've been having regular, extremely positive talks with my friend Joe, and I am wondering if this is also lifting my spirits. It's nice to know that there is someone out there apart from a wrong number who wants to say hi in the evening. He's been a tremendous boost to my spirit in that regard.

Anyway, I should get back to my work for the day. I do not have much time to work up my presentations for this week...oy.

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