Rude drivers


Written on Thursday, January 26, 2006 by Jessica

A local realtor with a personalized plate -- Roxie B -- was stupid enough to pull out in front of me today. This can be none other than Roxie Beach.

Not only did she pull out in front of me -- I had to slow from sixty to thirty in a moment -- she hit her brakes in retaliation when she felt I was following her too closely. Insult to injury. By tailing her for a moment, I was simply letting her know of my displeasure. We could have left it at that, but she had to hit her brakes.

I now know exactly who I'll never deal with in real estate. Come on, Roxie... If you're going to be a marginally prominent business person with a vanity plate, you can't afford to be rude on the road.

Good Dilbert today


Written on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 by Jessica

More on my too-tight diamond shoes


Written on Monday, January 23, 2006 by Jessica

Well, wouldn't you know it? All my numbers are off! Okay, so I'll cough up the truth. I estimated our taxes based on an unemployment statement. (Bob was laid off for two weeks in December.) The unemployment statement included the year's total income from each of the three companies Bob worked for, so I plugged those numbers into our tax software. I didn't realize that at least one of the companies included Bob's pension and annuity contributions as part of his wages. In other words, they reported much high earnings than he actually had, resulting in all the whining last week. As it turns out, we didn't exceed the maximum income for deducting IRA contributions, so we'll be able to avoid the underpayment penalty altogether, and our tax burden is much lighter than previously thought. (Maybe we were even bumped down to a lower tax bracket??) Gee, I'm so glad I whined like a baby...

South Park: great entertainment for kids


Written on Thursday, January 19, 2006 by Jessica

I wrote to CNN Headline News today:

I was dismayed when I heard Isaac Hayes described as the voice of Chef on "kids' show" South Park. South Park is not a kids' show! It's a raunchy, profane, satirical cartoon for adults that fully deserves its TV-MA rating.
Kids' show??

In other news, I refrained from sending an e-mail to eSmartTax to tell them they misspelled "preparation" in the subject line of their latest e-mail to me.



Written on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by Jessica

I grabbed what I thought was a plain bagel this afternoon. I toasted it and spread on strawberry cream cheese. Then I took a bite. It's garlic! If I'd buttered it, it'd be fine (well, sorta fine), but garlic with strawberry cream cheese. Uck!

Dress code


Written on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by Jessica

The new employee handbook says we are not to expose any part of our anatomy that is not necessary for work. Damn. No more cleavage.

"Oh, no! My wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight."


Written on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by Jessica

Damn government. We have to pay in nearly $2700. We were both withholding at the zero-exemption level, yet we have to pay in a small fortune. Gee, I guess we should have selected that box on our W-2s that said, "Married, but withholding at the higher single rate."

To make matters worse, we're subject to a $150 underpayment penalty. I really hate the fact that the underpayment penalty exists. I'm not purposely underpaying my taxes! We just seem to make more and more money every year, and so even though I withhold more every year, it's never enough.

In the past, I've managed to reduce or avoid the underpayment penalty by maxing out our traditional IRA contributions, which reduced our tax burden. Well, not this year. We made too much money to be eligible to deduct our traditional IRA contributions. This totally pisses me off. The money would have been better off in my 401(k), but I didn't know it at the time. (The only reason I opened those stupid IRAs to begin with was b/c my 401(k) plan sucked so bad. Now we have a much better 401(k), but I need to make contributions into the IRAs to get them above $5000 so I can get rid of the annual maintenance fees.)

The only other way I can reduce my taxable income, and thus reduce the underpayment penalty, is to itemize deductions and somehow come up with more than $10,000 worth. Gee, we don't have a crushing mortgage debt, so we're not paying anything in interest. To go along with our tiny mortgage, we have a tiny house for which we pay almost no real estate taxes. Charitable giving? What can I say? We don't give enough to get us anywhere near $10,000. How the hell am I supposed to find $10,000 worth of itemized deductions?

The Credit Card Prank


Written on Friday, January 13, 2006 by Jessica

I love the Credit Card Prank. It cracks me up.

The miners' families


Written on Thursday, January 05, 2006 by Jessica

I cried yesterday morning when I saw what happened to the miners' families. [In case CNN pulls the article, I'm referring to the Sago mining disaster.]