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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


1. A couple of weeks ago I started receiving mysterious letters from the IRS. Now, while I'm scrupulous about my clients' tax deadlines, I will admit that last year I filed my return late. I owed money and I was feeling a little unhappy about paying it, so I procrastinated preparing my own return. However, I did file with a nice fat check for the IRS, which they promptly cashed.

About seven letters later, I finally called the IRS to find out what the heck was going on. After two hours on the phone it became clear that whoever was responsible for data transfer at the IRS clearing house in Fresno took the data from my 2005 return and transmitted it as data on my 2006 return (which kept getting rejected when I tried to efile it--now I know why). So now I "owe" increased penalty and interest on the return that I already filed (although I'm going to fight that one, because, after all, they did cash my check), and I have to refile my 2005 return and amend my 2006 return. And I was very calm and collected while talking to the stupid IRS phone rep who couldn't understand line numbers, until he suggested that next year I might want to get some help from a professional tax preparer, at which point I laughed hysterically and said, "I am a professional tax preparer who happened to send in her return lamentably late. The data transfer mistake rests solely with the IRS, and you might want to check the "Occupation" line of the return on your screen before you insult someone for your mistake. And while I understand that you didn't, personally make the first mistake, only you can take credit for the ignorance of the second one!" And while he fumbled around, trying to decide what to say next, I hung up on him.

Three hours later, I have finished my scathing letter to the IRS (which they will most certainly disregard, but which also makes me feel vindicated), amended and finished the paperwork for the stupid re-submissions. Ick!

2. Three weeks ago I planted my garden (thank you all for your wonderful suggestions). This morning it looked gorgeous and smelled wonderful. We planted various flowers, herbs, and tomatoes. I planned to take pictures this afternoon when I had finished working on the tax fiasco. I am posting them here:

Unfortunately, while I was doing the paperwork, a freak storm blew through. Nickel-sized hail, heavy flash flooding, and wind stripped my plants clean. One lone tomato clings to a leafless vine. So much for my garden. Wish I had some "before" pictures. It really was beautiful.

3. My father-in-law is staying with us for a couple of weeks. He has a "treat" that he enjoys daily: Ritz crackers crushed up in coffee with sugar and cream. It looks and smells completely nauseating. He insists on showing it to me each time he makes it. I smile and pretend it doesn't bother me, and hope I don't puke when the smell reaches me.

On the bright side, this morning I ran forever while I watched the sun rise. It felt wonderful.


  1. A Pox on the IRS.

    I can't wait to see your garden!!!

  2. Oh, I'm so sorry about your garden. (I dreamed last night that huge rabbits swarmed in and devoured mine, and I was really mad when I woke up.)