alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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Snowbots and Taxes

The Gryphon was very kind to me this weekend, understanding that I needed some time to work on some things that were important to accomplish. So after playing his favorite online game, Eve, for a while he kept himself busy playing another computer game while I worked.

When we got up in the morning, he made us omelettes. Then I went to work on my estimated taxes.

Of course, it took longer than it would have if I'd been faithfully marking down my expenses and revenue every time they came in. But I hadn't been, so I had to sort through the stack of papers in my "In Box" and find them all, marking them down in the three-ring binder I use as a ledger.

From there, I had to go to the IRS site, to find the forms for figuring out my estimated taxes, as they never sent me the forms this year. Unfortunately, mostly due to wedding expenses, I hadn't been consistent about putting aside money for taxes, so The Gryphon had to help me out, although not as much as in previous years. I really expect this year to be different.

I had no sooner finished than it was time to call my brother's wife to interview her for my book, My Wedding, My Way: Real Women, Real Weddings, Real Budgets. That was a productive conversation: she had a lot of interesting things to say about how they planned their wedding and why they did it that way. We also chatted about other things, and I spoke to my brother for a while afterwards.

By that point, it was late in the afternoon, and I got depressed, watching the whole day slip away. The Gryphon encouraged me and gave me lots of hugs, then followed me up to my office, where I worked on a press release I'm sending out to 11 newspapers: four in Central Pennsylvania, one in Vermont, one in State College, and the rest in the Philadelphia area. The press release is about my book and about the fact that I'm seeking people to interview. I also added a link on my Web site to a high-resolution photo, suitable for print publication.

That took longer than I expected. The press release itself didn't take long, but then I had some printing problems and also had to look up addresses for all the newspapers. Finally, all the envelopes were ready to go.

It was almost 8 p.m., so The Gryphon and I just ate some leftovers from the night before, a dish from my new Rachael Ray cook book.

After dinner, I found a free Web statistics tracker, Go Stats, to use with my LiveJournal, since you can't use any Javascript. Then, I relaxed a bit by playing The Sims. Of course, my computer, which had been on since the day before, objected and crashed the game a couple times. Even after restarting, it was acting funny, like failing to load the backgrounds in one scene, so I just shut down.

Sunday, we had breakfast at home and then headed up, around 1 p.m., for The White Rabbit's house, since The Gryphon had promised to prepare my old computer for him to use. The computer was a Frankenstein special, a custom-built computer put together by The Invisible Man while he and I were dating, and several parts had been replaced and/or upgraded since then.

Generally speaking, the task wasn't too difficult. The Gryphon had to reinstal Windows, format the hard drives, and make sure that everything was functioning. He ran into a few minor difficulties along the way, but they were fairly quickly resolved. We weren't able to connect to the Internet, having left behind the driver for the modem, so The Gryphon called Microsoft to register the software.

The White Rabbit had nothing to do but comment on the progress and be silly, such as plugging in the Snowbot he received for Christmas. You plug it into a USB port, and it makes a repetitive robot noise while blue or red lights go back and forth across the slit that serves as its eyes. You can turn the sound off, fortunately. When things went wrong, we blamed it on the Snowbot, claiming that he was trying to take over.


When it was all done, The White Rabbit wrote a check to The Gryphon to cover the expense we'd had for the most recent repair: a new motherboard and a copy of Windows XP (before, the computer had run on Windows 2000).

The White Rabbit seemed pleased. Hopefully, the computer will serve him well. Provided the Snowbot behaves himself.

Then we hopped in The White Rabbit's car and drove to Mikado, a Japanese sushi buffet. But they weren't open until 5, and it was about 4, so we drove to Buca di Beppo instead. We ordered a small mixed green salad, which was a perfect size for the three of us. Along with that, we ordered a small lemon chicken; a small serving of Penne Campofiore, a pasta dish with lots of fresh vegetables; and a small serving of escarole.

We figured out the amount of food well: after we all ate our fill, we had some pasta and some escarole left over. The White Rabbit told us we could have it, since he doesn't like leftover pasta.

Overall, it was a nice, relaxing dinner. We got to talk about subjects other than computers and catch up a little bit.

From there, The White Rabbit took us back to his place, we collected our belongings, and I drove The Gryphon to his weekly meeting of PAGE (Philadelphia Area Gaming Enthusiasts).

I stopped at the grocery store at the way home and had just finished putting the groceries away and taking out the trash when I got a call from my sister. She took her first PRAXIS exams, for teacher certification in Pennsylvania. She's feeling optimistic but won't see results for several weeks.

Once I got off the phone, I backed up my computer files for the week, copied all of the bank statements I'll need to file with my receipts for my 2007 taxes, and then finally finished transcribing my interview with The Pastor for My Wedding, My Way.

She offered thoughts on what to look for in an officiant and how to work with an officiant, as well as sharing with me some of the creative weddings she'd been to, as well as some do's and don'ts for those planning a wedding.

So all in all, I managed to achieve some important things this weekend and also have a bit of fun.

Snowbots enjoy causing havoc.

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Tags: brother's wife, food, friends, gryphon, resolutions, sister, wedding book, white rabbit

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