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2007-04-15 - 9:16 a.m.

...Sunday morning...

This morning marks another in a series of mornings when I wake up early thinking of work and am driven from my bed before 7am. Sigh.

This morning, there was one less worry, however, because I am fairly happy with the project idea that I came up with for my new masters student on Friday.

I reread yesterday's entry on advice to myself when I was nineteen, while at the same time reading articles about the passing of Kurt Vonnegut. Not surprisingly I came across the famous 1997 'w3ar sunscreen' column by Mary Schm1ch. The column was widely - but falsely - attributed to Vonnegut.

I wasn't thinking about this column at all when I wrote my entry. But either we fogeys all think the same way about advice to youth, or I was so greatly influenced by the sunscreen message that I have internalized it for ten years. huh.


Yesterday was harrowing. K and I had an appointment with the McDonalds of tax consultants, and had, not surprisingly, a McDonalds style tax consulting experience. You get what you pay for...

Needless to say, the experience with our Canadian taxes (complicated by assets and income in multiple countries, a new marriage, half-year residency, and apparently-forbidden investments in a Canadian retirement fund...)has not given us much confidence that they will be able to competently complete our US taxes (add the same complications, plus the lack of tax number for the husband, a need to file two extensions, and establishing foreign residencies, and providing proof of fiance visa that was never used..).

We have an appointment to go back to them at the beginning of May to straighten out our US situation. In the meantime we will be searching for a different accountant who is less frazzled, pays closer attention, and who speaks more comprehensible English. I try to be patient with foreigners' accents, but it was truly a difficulty understanding what this guy was trying to say to us. This added another layer of complexity to an already complicated situation.

But it seems that we will have our Canadian taxes straightened out by the end of the week. We learned that we are not entitled by law to have opened our own Canadian retirement accounts because we did not earn any money in 2005. This would have been useful information for our bank to provide us when we opened the account back in November. So we spent yesterday afternoon recharacterizing the funds so that we don't have to pay a $1200 fine for something we didn't know. Task completed.

We also learned that our lovely Nova Scotian bank neglected to send us a year-end tax statement. So we called them up to get the statement, but the rather unpleasant telephone operator said it was 'not possible' for them to send us a copy. We have to go downtown to our 'branch' and produce two forms of ID to get them to print the damned thing out for us. No wonder banking costs are so high in this country. At this point these forms should just be downloadable, for heaven's sake.

By the end of the day K and I were getting very good at bickering at each other - a nice strategy for externalizing personal stress. But no matter - he spent 15 minutes at the store shopping and a half-hour weather-proofing some shelves for the back porch. I took my aggressions out through planting. And we were fine again. But when we put up the new shelves, we will clearly have more room for more plants...I guess I'll have to get working again...


Today was the day of the Sun Run (thanks for the note, e-blue!). Alas, we didn't go. But we have planned to go out to the track and run our own 2.5k run (free of $60 entry fees) in just a few minutes. Maybe we will write numbers on our backs just for the sake of it..

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