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2008-04-06 - 5:59 p.m.

...Taxes, Drywall, and baby's first upper respiratory infection..

Well, we are the house of plague. Susi got it first, and I fell shortly thereafter. I suppose that's some kind of landmark that should go in one of those baby calendar / journal things that record "Baby's First Spit Up" or whatever. We've just gone through Baby's First Upper Respiratory Infection. I blame it on Sadie - the cute little strawberry blonde kid at "Baby Time" at the library - she was sitting right next to Susi and at 12 mos still didn't quite grasp the idea of covering her mouth when she coughed. Go figure. Oh well. It could also have come from Liam at the Public Weigh-In - his mother had also reported sniffles. Good god, I think we saw a thousand germ-infested babies last week and it could have been anyone of them. Well, we are working our way up the ladder of immunity, folks, and at least this event was quite minor - at least for Susi. Mom, on the other hand, feels like death.

I've been sitting in the same place on the sofa for the past three days, mostly with a whimpery infant sprawled on top of me. And when she's away, it's just been whimpery ol' me, working on my taxes. And when I'm not working on taxes, I'm staring at my bookshelf, letting all of my compulsive tendencies run WILD. When I'm stuck here unable to move, I mentally reorganize my books to pass the time. It's, well, sad, really. Finally, when I have a free moment (and the part of my brain that was pondering how the books should be reorganized hasn't been SUCKED out through my breast), I get up and move the books around.

As a result, I've put together a new pile of books that I'm going to donate to the library. I've decided that really, I'm never going to read that fascinating treatise on salt. Or that book called the geography of wine. Wait. Maybe I'll go find that one and bring it back. But the thing is, I'm trying to make room, so if I haven't read it in 8 years, the chances are that I'm not gonna. So, goodbye, fascinating treatise on Salt. If I need you, I'll just use my library card.

I finished processing my taxes. Actually, I processed my taxes about 10 different times. Several times I was just trying to figure out how the freakin' software worked. Then I was going through the inevitable frustrating situation of figuring out how to apply my weirdo situation to tax software designed for normal people. NOT FUN. And then I had to RE-calculate because I somehow used the wrong exchange rate. And then re-calculate again because I forgot some $500+ of earned income. And then I had to try the multiple different scenarios that might apply to a US citizen living in Canada.

The first time I did the calculation, I owed $1000.

The second time, I owed $2650.

The third time, I owed $24,000 - meh, we're guessin' that this was a calculation error.

But as you might imagine it made me quite happy with my last iteration where I owed only $850.

The scientist in me suggests that I MIGHT wish to redo it one or two more times just to see if I can duplicate ANY of these numbers. Nope. I'm stickin' with the last iteration ;-). (Well, actually, I'm calling the tax consultant who helped me through last year's mess involving three countries, and I'm going to ask him to check my homework for any massive errors - luckily this means we'll qualify for the one-hour consultant fee rather than the whole kit-n-kaboodle loose-the-shirt-off-my-back fee that I paid last year. Not that he wasn't worth it. No sirree. But why pay boatloads when you can settle for oogabs?, I always say.)

This has been a little bit rambling. You don't say? Must be the cold, and the fact that I've been staring at the same bookshelf for three days with a whimpering infant on my chest. But I'm not complaining.

I've spoken with three people from New York this weekend, which was lovely, sort of. But then I realized that all of them have called me up to complain about their lives. Which makes me wonder. Does everyone in New York complain? Do you have to be a complainer to live there? Or, does the City just give you something to complain about all the time? Actually, I think now that it's a combination of the two things. New Yorkers are prone to complain in the first place, and the City tends to be swamped with things that you could potentially complain about. A match made in heaven - or in this case, New York. I also realized once again how glad I am that I left my job there. I like to complain, too. But you know, even more than that, I like working in a department with people who like each other.

Speaking of which, I discovered that four of my students are eligible for department funding this fall. This resulted in a small cry of joy from my little congested heart.

My parents are in Australia, by the way. They left last Thursday. They'll be there for over a month. I want to be my parents when I retire. Yowza. They just hop all over the place, and I think that's just way cool.

Oh, wait, let's get back to the topic of complaining. Because I forgot to mention the latest and greatest from our landlords. They have decided that they ARE going to open up the roof, floor, and kitchen ceiling, and redo the dry wall. They want to know when a good time is. I want to say, how about NEVER? Never works for me.

Sanding, dust, and dry wall with a newborn/infant - unavoidably in the places where she (and we) sleep, play, and eat. I suggested that we send an email requesting a meeting with the landlords to discuss this. They offered us compensation - less then 1/3 of a month's rent. This was to cover our previous inconvenience. I imagine that we will be affected for significantly longer than one third of a month when they finally patch this all up. And so I'm back to looking at the housing market....

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