Double Click Dailies
The Journals and Reviews of Marz and Peach Zeenie

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

The Taxman

I am reminded of the old Beatle song "The Taxman" upon writing this entry. I don't know all the words, but basically it all boils down to 'He's going to get you, and there ain't no way out of it." My absence from this site for the week, was primarily due to spending all my precious free time on piles of documentation, and gathering personal records for the Internal Revenue Service. Don't you just love that name? If I had not been so thoroughly frustrated this week, I think I might laugh.

Whoever is the author of that famous phrase; "Nothing is sure but death and Taxes" was a very wise man. I cannot think of anything so determinedly more permanent or final than the word Tax. Now maybe you have not had any hassles or problems and have just skated along, blessedly with most of your paycheck intact and very happy about the adjusted 'outcome'. I am one of those that is not a happy camper. I cannot get into a long story here, but it was not Income Tax Evasion. It was just a 'simple' matter of being left with an unfair proportion of the tax bill from my dearly 'expatriated' ex. I could not keep up with my Quarterlies because of that, and got behind for three years. I even set up a payment plan with the IRS right away. I file on time and when I got back up on my feet, I also stayed current with the Quarterlies. You have no idea how outrageous the penalties and interest are. Someone told me they can sometimes be more than $25 a day.

I had heard about an Offer in Compromise. Unfortunately the "Kindlier and more Gentle" IRS is a 'Stupider' IRS. You cannot get the same answer from anyone , no matter which department you reach. I appplied in September of 2000. In April of the following year they asked for more info. By the end of 2001 I was wondering what took so long. I was informed that the person that was working on my case was no longer there. Who was it assigned to ? I asked, expecting to get a logical answer. She told me that no one else had been assigned. I was surprised. You mean it has just been sitting on someone's desk?! 'Uh, yes I guess so', was her response. Being the "don't give up the ship" person that I am, I got the ball rolling again. In August of 2002, I received an official IRS letter in the mail. It very casually informed me that the forms I had submitted were obsolete and they were enclosing new ones to be resubmitted. ##**^^**$#####!!!***!!!!!(I cannot print my real reaction on this public Blog)

The story goes on and on. You just wouldn't even believe the rest of it If I told you anyway. I have now gone online and also called some numbers of 'Tax Relief' promo letters I have gotton in the mail. Each company says what the other one told me is a pack of lies and there is no way if I approach it from that angle, the IRS will even give me a break. Others ("the best specialists in the country", they say) let me know of all their great references and how they have helped 98%!(can you imagine that!) of the people that come to them for Tax advice. The difference in fees is astounding....even from attorneys...ranging from $250 to $2800. The guy who offered to do it for $250 says his company has been in business for over 8 years and the other companies overacharge for nothing because there really isn't any 'representation' at all. Just a bunch of forms being taken care of and mailed in to the IRS. Then what do I need you for ? I asked him.

I really don't believe there is anything you can do about lowering your taxes unless you have a maven for a CPA or Tax Accountant. From the first time I ever voted , and from the very first 'adult', after college paycheck I ever recieved, I never saw any major differences in my Tax burden. No lmatter who is in the White House, there doesn't seem to be any changes in my check. If you are self-employed, it is even worse because you are paying double Social Security; since you are both the 'employer' and the 'employee'. With all my expenses, I am no millionaire. (But it is so nice not to have a boss!) The only big tax break California ever saw was the passing of Prop. 13 which lowered property taxes substantially for all homeowners. But the IRS ? Forget it! You pay less in your dreams.

My Canadian cousin is tired of my whining. He told me I should come up to Canada to live and work and find out what real heavy duty taxes are! He seems to think Americans are spoiled as far as complaining about taxes in comparison with the rest of the world. I suppose he's right. But I keep thinking of those guys at the Boston Tea Party and all the fun they had.............and if we are spoiled we do so like to quote the Constitution and stick with our hoplessly romantic ideas of paying less to our dear Uncle Sam. Hmm.............. I suppose maybe us Americans should have more respect for our elders, even when do get our bottoms spanked once in a while. After all we are spoiled!

Supporter of the Tax Free America
(not to be confused with Range Free Chickens)

posted by Peach | Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Monday, November 11, 2002

Attack of the Marabunta

I went to the pantry this morning to get out three of my favorite boxes of cereal, ( I like to mix them up). I set them down on the sink. Immediately 5 million crawly black 'anties' speedily spread out in all directions. When I moved the boxes from the site, I was horrified. They were all over the place and scampering fast away from the impact. Luigi heard me scream from the other room. I sputtered out all kinds of expletives and squirmed when I found one crawling up my arm. I commited much homocide this morning with a damp sponge. Those little monsters do not drown that easily . You can submerge them so they are covered in water, and then when you stop the faucet, those buggers are still moving around at the speed of light. If humans had that kind of indestructiveness just think what we could accomplish!

I told the Manager of my apartment building , and he told me I was the only one with an ant problem. Figures. He said he could'spray'. But I am not too convinced about the procedure as I have two cats and it is right inside the pantry.

I suppose I should be fortunate that I do not live in Venezuela. I am told that the Marabunta down there can overtake and kill a man if he is lying down. I will have to remind myself that when I go into the Rain Forest, that snakes and scorpions are not the only thing that I must fear. Luigi grew up in Caracas and I really wanted to hike up to Angel Falls with him when we go down to visit his parents. I am not so sure now........thinking about that little ant this morning making it's way up my forearm......... Considering that the Marabunta is a giant compared to our homegown ants here in California.

Next Episode:The Revenge of the Ant Killer


posted by Peach | Monday, November 11, 2002

Thursday, November 07, 2002

A Bloggers's Dream

A much aniticipated United Airlines Flight # 279 from Orlando to LAX, arriving 2:57 pm today. This will fit in later.

I had a very stange dream last night. I was pal-ing around with a male buddy of mine. I do not remember the whole dream, but a few things are very vivid in my mind. On day I was over at his place(apparently). I was sitting around in my pajamas reading a paper, while he was in the shower getting ready for something. His girlfriend pops over. She was an elegant 'Beverly Hills Chick', dressed very nicely. She greeted me courteously and wanted to know who I was. I must have told her that we were just friends, and started immediately chatting about all the beautiful dresses they were showing in ads in the paper and complaining that I couldn't afford them.(Now don't jump too any conclusions yet. I hang out sometimes in my P.J.'s all day at my desk at home when I don't have an appointment).

Now that is not the end of the dream. When I woke up this morning the first thing that entered my mind was that this guy was a fellow Blogger! And then I pondered on the dream a little longer and realized the woman was also a Blogger. Then I remembered the rest of the dream. I was somewhere in a store, looking to buy a Wedding vase. The Woman next to me(who I believed at first to be someone's mother) told me that I could have gotton the over $100 price tag vase in Palm Springs for $39.95. I said to her isn't that always the case, being able to get it somewhere else cheaper. A man was also standing there. (apparently her son). He was someone I knew.(Not the first man described above), He was realitively short, about my height(5' 71/2"), Jewish, and wearing a sport jacket. He put out his hand and offered me a crumpled up $100 bill and some other $5 and $10 dollar bills as well. At first I refused . Oh no. You must take this money. he said, putting the bills in my hand. I finally accepted the money to pay for the vase. I hugged him feeling warm and very attached to him. The only other thing I remember is the woman(His Mom I thought) giving me a ride somewhere. This is also a visual I can remember well. We were driving up to this corner , being surrounded by empty fields. It reminded me of the place the bus dropped Cary Grant off in the movie "North by Northwest"( the scene with the crop duster plane chasing him).

This is where it gets interesting. I realized all of these people are Bloggers I have been visiting on a very regular basis lately. The first guy and the woman I figured out first. The first Man is from the South, very sweet and dear, down to earth, writes essays,rides his bike,travels and wants to find a woman to love and have kids. The Beverly Hills woman is also easy to figure out. At first I thought my dream was about setting up these two people, wanting to be a matchmaker .........but they are so totally at opposing ends of the personality spectrum,and from very different lifestyles that I doubt they would hit it off. (She wants a Jewish guy with means.) The Jewish man in the dream at first I could not figure out. But due to the action in the dream, I remembered. I won a contest on someone's Blog and he sent me $50 to my paypal account as my prize. I was just trying to be a little outrageous on his Blog. (once in a while to get away from my goodie2-shoes self image). The descriptions don't always fit in dreams. The blogger who gave me the money ,I think, is neither short nor Jewish. And then the last solving of the puzzle came together. The 'mother' in the dream really is a mother but too young to have a son that old. But she is a very sweet person who helps people, and came to my aid yesterday in answer to a desperate e-mail.

What is a little puzzling is that 2 men are missing in this dream(unless I forgot part of it). The first man I can understand because I have just very recently started up again to visit his Blog as he was on hiatus for three months. The other man I have been visiting (his Blog) on a daily basis . It is very possible, as in all dreams, that characters in the dream may represent more than one person. The times I was pal-ing around with this character at different turns could have been one or the other. (Who was the one in the shower?) Before you go making cracks about the shower and my Pajamas-------Remember this is a lonely, frustrated, deprived, very affectionate woman whose significant other has been out of town for over a week, and whose obsession with Bloggers over the last week , is reminiscent of lonelyhearts and snoops.

When my honey comes home this afternoon I am going to jump him!!

Lonely Peach

posted by Peach | Thursday, November 07, 2002

Monday, November 04, 2002

Lead Me not Into Temptation.......

Though I walk through the Valley of Addiction I will fear no evil.....Thy Rod and Staff, they comfort me...Thou leadest me to the clear waters of the 12-step Program......

Help!!! I have become an Addicted Blogger. I am serious about this. It is not my Blog that is becoming the problem. It is other Blogs. I have been spending a lot of time reading other people's Blogs and leaving Comments.(especially RWT). It is becoming a hazzard and I am desperate. It is interfering with my work. I do not use a Computer for work. My home and office are the same place. In order to earn $$ I have to get away from the computer, off my but, and out the door! Today I was late for an appointment(not business related) and it was because I had totally lost track of time. ' Miss holier than Thou' thought she wasn't addicted to anything and believed the BS she was propagating in her head. I don't even watch Soap Operas! Where have the mental controls gone?

I cannot afford to do this least not the way I have been doing it. I have decided to quit the surfing for the next business week. But I will continue to try to keep up with my Blog to stay current, so please don't let my addiction stop you from coming by. Next week I am going to have to set up a schedule, namely setting my alarm for about 1 1/2 hours earlier so I can Blog Hop and still hope to have enough time to work. I have tried doing this at night and it doesn't work either, because I have to work at night sometimes too, which means I start blogging at Midnight and get to bed too late.

If I sneak around your Blog I guess you are going to have to slap my hand! If any of you have an suggestions, please let me know! I'm not sure if any of you have a weird schedule like me, where you are working partly during the day and the evening. The only person I know who is busier than me is Rachel...and she keeps up a daily Blog!! I still don't know how she does it.

You know now that I have said it , I fear the commitment. It is so hard to quit Cold Turkey, even for a week! Puhleese give me some advice!
I feel like running over to your Blog right now...........stop, stop, stop.....s--t! I havent been over to Troy or Joanie or Ele. Rants, or Moxie or ...........The problem is the list is getting too long.......

Your Faithful Friend,

posted by Peach | Monday, November 04, 2002

Saturday, November 02, 2002

No Fear

I just finished watching that DVD I bought at Costco a couple of months ago. (See Archive August 18--Week-end Strategies) It is a documentary about Surfing Champion Sunny Garcia. I really love watching Surf movies. It holds some kind of nostalgic,vicarious, and athletic adventure for me. I was surrounded by surfers in High School. I lived near the Beach. I went to the Beach on Fall and Spring look alike summer afternoons and most of my summer vacation. I dated Surfers. I had Surfer friends. Much of California's sandy shores is a Surf kingdom......uniquely its own culture not shared with any other State except for Hawaii.

Sunny Garcia is 30 years old now. He started surfing in his native Hawaii when he was about 12. After a while school became an obstacle to his daily ride on the waves. So sometimes he just didn't show up. Today he says he does not regret his lack of interest in school. He has won 5 Triple Crowns and may not retire as he alluded to in the documentary.I don't see it. The Rap and rock music background, played second fiddle to the acrobatics on the water. I just watched stunned and awed(haven't seen a Surf movie in a long time) by the reality defying stunts that Sunny and the other surfers pulled off. You could have told me he walked on water and I would have believed it. The swift movement of his surboard , manuvered by Sunny in the water, whipped in and out, and up and over and back again in one unbroken, awesome action. His arms, out to the sides,or stretched out in front, his knees 1/2 bent and his weight leaning forward, guided his board up a 30 foot wave and with one swift easy turn whipped that sucker back down again in a blick of an eye with the foam wake spitting out in the air from the back of his board. I watched, I watched, I sat, I ate my Hit Cookie, motionless, my eyes not daring to move from the screen lest I miss something. No one was around to talk to me or make comments. (the T.V. Remote King is out of town). I just sort of marinated on the couch and wondered why I had never tried to surf myself.

A year after I had started flying I was sitting in First Class after a Breakfast Service to Honolulu. The other two Fight Attendants were talking . One Redhead named Catherine, told me she had gone to Pali High. I wanted to know if she knew an old boyfriend from my second year in college. His name was Pete and he graduated from Pali. Really sad about him, isn't it? What's sad? I wanted to know. She asked me if I hadn't heard about the accident in Hawaii. I told her I did not. Apparently he had drowned in a surfing accident . I was stunned and a little shaken. I thought that I might see him again some day. It is a long story, but I was not that nice to him the last time we spoke. After I started flying and had left home, he had called my Dad and got my new phone number. He came out to see me. I can still remember the way he looked. He was tall and looked like Liam Neeson. (Maybe that's why I like Neeson). We walked along the beach and discussed old times.........the'dimple' story that made me laugh; the day his car rolled back down a hill ,driverless, and him running after it until it crashed into another car at the bottom of the hill, with such impact that the windshield got destroyed. We laughed remembering driving home that night with no windshield and the cold air blowing in our faces . I see him standing there with his jacket and hair wipping around in the late afternoon wind and the spray from the darkened waves behind him. He was so nice. That was the last time I saw him. I sometimes think that the story was not true, or because they did not find his body that he really was still alive. Many times I think that I will run into him and we'll sit and chat and talk about what it would be like to be 19 again. I really do believe that I will. After that I never thought about trying to surf again. I'm a bit old now to try, even if I wanted too. Most of those guys start at 12 and are ready to retire at 30.

I'm glad I grew up out here. Only California natives really know what the culture is . That's true of wherever you are from. We become 'enculturated' by the traditions and the geography and the people we grow up with that is indigenous to that region. It's as though we all live in a different country even thought we are only separated by State Lines. I grew up with no snow for Christmas and no seasons. But I had the Beach and the Mountains.....and thank God I learned to Ski. I sat there watching that surf movie, with a little regret and a little sadness. But I do know there were other athletic adventures that I pursued. And even though I haven't been skiing in a coon's age, I can still feel that cold wind in my face, racing down a mountain with my speed loving soul taking in all that white snow beauty and the California Sierra Nevadas . That is one sport I think everyone should try . When you are 'whooshing' down the mountain at that pace in the clear ,frosty, air with only two skinny 'boards' under your feet, its' an exhiliration that is hard to describe.

As far as my 'culture' on this end of the country is concerned, I know the Surf Culture has affected the rest of the country as well. That's where the word 'dude' got so popularized as well as (something or someone) Rules! And also some phrases like"hang ten" and "Shoot the curl". Some commercial surfing gear has spread out into our everyday wear gear as well. Companies like "No Fear", "Billlabong", and "G-Shock" who make clothes and paraphanalia for surfers and who also sponsor the Surf Championships are well known all over the world now for their brand names.

I could have kept watching that film, and I might have, given the fact that all DVD's now come with extra options to watch that could keep you up all night. But I wanted to get something off on my Blog and go to sleep at a decent hour.

Surfers Rule!

posted by Peach | Saturday, November 02, 2002
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