Saturday, April 27, 2013

Crushed by Uncle Sam

So, have you ever gotten a letter from, say, the IRS, and had it contain GOOD news?  You know, like, "Oh, gosh, we were just looking around and found this spare three grand laying about--enjoy!"  No?

Here, either.

We've been on a payment plan with the IRS, and we've been working to, pay period by pay period, up our withholding until we're projected to catch up by the end of the year, i.e., we'll be breaking even by December if we work our way down to Married with one.  It's a careful process because we're trying to get bills moved and things paid off so we don't suddenly get nailed with a huge chunk disappearing from the checks all at once.

Well, the IRS decided to do the job for us in one fell (or foul, as they say in Utah) swoop.  That's right, they knocked us down to SINGLE WITH ZERO EXEMPTIONS.

In a nutshell?  That's an extra six hundred a month or so.  It will sink us.

Our plan works because it takes into account hubby's step increase, due to hit in August.  That extra cash every month would go straight toward this year's tax obligation, which would break us even by the end of December.  And then we could set to married with three and have our taxes turn out just right next year.

If the IRS will work with us.  It's not like we owe a staggering amount--less, in fact, than the mythic ten grand everyone talks about.  But you know, we sure could use a break.  I know it's in our nature to notice when things go bad, to note it, but I really racked my brain last night for big, good happenings recently (as compared to bad), and . . . um.  I mean, you could say, "Hey, every day you wake up is a miracle," but that's like saying, "Hey, at least you have SKIN covering your flesh."  Sure, okay, that's good, but how about a free trip to Disneyland, huh?

How about explaining to my mother, who turns 80 this summer, why we won't be able to afford to come out this Christmas after all?  I really may never see her again.  It was my biggest fear when we moved, and it's coming true right before my eyes.


Running through the names of folks I can't find for the class reunion, I keep running into the whole Abe Vigoda thing.  You know, "Isn't he dead?"  I'm trying to be very, very careful because I want to be neither the person who "Abe Vigodas" a classmate (declares them dead when they're not) NOR the person who misses someone who should be included in any memorial we put together.  

Speaking of that, I had a sort of related experience not too long ago.  Back in 1983, when I was married to THAT guy, he had a friend named Kent.  Kent was a drunk, straight up, flat out.  Kent was also a cowboy.  And Mormon.  That he was also gay was a source of constant grief for him.  He was a very torn and angst-ridden man.  Kent had, at the time, a young (like under 18 young) boyfriend named Bryce.  Bryce was an adorable kid, very sweet, though not particularly bright.

These people dropped out of my world pretty abruptly in 1984, and I had seen/heard nothing about them for decades.  Until Facebook.  Out of curiosity, I went looking, and I found Bryce!  I contacted him, and he had, of course, ZERO memory of me.  I find that happens a lot.  Either I'm a lot more attentive than most people or I'm breathtakingly dull and not worthy of committing to memory.  Hoping for the former, fearing the latter.

Anyway, we got to talking, and I asked about Kent.  And WOW!  Bryce gave me this chilling tale about how Kent was dead--how he had driven his Jeep out into the middle of the Nevada desert one cold night in the late 1980s, for reasons unknown.  Miles and miles from the nearest real road or town, he had abandoned his Jeep and wandered off into the harsh land, never to be heard from again.  No one knew if he'd been forced out into the Nevada night and murdered, his body buried somewhere in that expanse, or if he'd been drunk, on drugs, or suicidally depressed.  All they knew was this--Kent's Jeep was found forlorn near Table Mountain, and Kent had ceased to be.

Oooh, creepy, no?  Chills!  Bryce told me how, to that very day, he still had haunted nightmares about poor Kent.  Told me his heart had been broken and he had always longed for another chance with poor, roasty-in-the-glaring-sun, vulture-picked, coyote-et Kent.

Yeah, it was a creepy tale, all right.  It was also utter bull.  Being who I am, I immediately began researching the story, hoping to learn more.   And I DID learn more.  I learned that Kent was absolutely alive and living in Henderson, Nevada.  

So what the hell, right?  I messaged Bryce and said, "Um--I found Kent.  He's alive and living in Nevada?"  His response?

"Oh, cool--I knew there was someone there by that name, but they never returned my calls.  Do you have an address or another number, maybe?"

Are you kidding me?  Not even the good sense to be ashamed of the wild tale he told.  Some people's kids, I swear.


Speaking of missing people, I've been searching for years for a couple of folks I really cared about when I was in my late teens.  They were wonderful to me, patient, kind, even though I really was a rather ditzy, dippy, dumb kid.  Their names were Randy M. Leonard and Christine McIntyre, and they were roommates who were just getting in on the cutting edge of "computers."  This was the early to mid-80s, and I remember thinking, "Computers?  Why?"  Well, the "why" was because they were a whole lot smarter than I was.  Anyway, I've never been able to find them, so if you know them (they were living in Utah back then), lemme know, would you?  Thanks!


The grass out front (and out back) is looking better than it ever has.  It's scary, I don't want to get too excited.  My crocosmia appear to be coming up in ONE section of the garden, but not the other.  Go figure.  Didn't get much mileage out of the tulips this year, but my little azaleas are doing great, and the lilac's thriving.  In all, I'm pretty happy with how the yard is coming together this year.  Was hoping to build towers of petunias (got the idea from watching a commercial, lol), but now I'm thinking the IRS is likely going to eat ALL disposable cash, so there may be no new flowers this year.

And, from last year, the half-missing Crocosmia:

And that's all.  No uglies this time, just enjoy the flowers!

Oh, and Abe Vigoda?  STILL alive.  

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