Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Holy Week

Updated to say sorry, to anyone using a reader, for all the edits to this post... :-)

Do you know how hard it is to find a face cream that doesn't promise to do all sorts of other age-defying tricks, doesn't contain sunscreen (to which I know I am alergic) and doesn't contain mineral oil, which actually sucks the moisture out of your skin? Frankly, I don't care how old I look if I could just get rid of the itchiness, redness and swelling around my eyes. I've determined that it all started with basic dry skin, brought on by the dry air of winter and a fair dose of stress. It became an itchy mess when I began putting various age-defying potions on it to take away the dryness, and then became worse when I tried to cover up the redness with make-up, and it didn't get better with the aid of benadryl, cortisone cream or Gold Bond powder. I'm a mess as it is, getting only a few hours of sleep a night. We really don't need to accentuate it with the red splotches and puffy, flaky eyelids. Seriously. But I think I've finally found a moisturizer that will do only that, moisturize (Oil of Olay cold cream for sensitive skin) and finally the itching and splotching and puffiness are going away. Finally. I still look extremely fatigued, but it's getting better. Thanks for asking.

The rest of my Holy Week as gone thus such...

Yesterday was the highlight of my week, the day that Maxine came to get her taxes done. I love Maxine because for all of her 80 years, she looks about 95 years old but acts like a sarcastic 45 year old. She and I were both wearing colorful Spring outfits from Coldwater Creek (from last year's "collection"), so we lavished each other with compliments on our respective wonderful tastes. She doesn't smoke or drink, otherwise, I'd say she's a lot like the Maxine in the comic strip. Maxine is the only person whose taxes I do while she waits (there was one other this year, but he was an exception). That's because it takes everything out of her to come in for the drop off and it takes just an hour or so to get it done. Otherwise it would take about 3 weeks to turn it around given the back-up in our office right now, and who knows how many hours would be spent just picking it up and putting it down. This act of "kindness" on my part required that I use the dreaded new tax software. So this year it took an hour and a half. When all was completed, Maxine pulled out of her briefcase a gift for me...Fortune, a Beanie Baby, born 3/17/07 "because I work with people's fortunes, not because it will bring me good luck." In return, I unloaded a bunch of "free" paper clips and binder clips into her briefcase. She has a thing for paper clips and rubber bands, you know. I can't tell you how many times she thanked me for the paper clips. She was thrilled! Then she told me that she just loved watching me work. I asked why? First she asked if I had something wrong with my pinkie finger. I said, not that I know of, why? And she said that the whole time I worked, my pinkie finger kept jutting out, like this...

She said that arthritis has made her pinkie finger start doing this and she wondered if I had pain that made mine act up like this. No, I've never had any pain, but now she has me all sorts of conscientious. Sheesh. Thanks for the beanie baby.

So that was the highlight.

The rest of the week included having to give a last minute, very unprepared presentation about the current state of income taxes to the local estate planning society (a group of attorneys, accountants and insurance/financial advisors). Our scheduled speaker fell through at the last minute...just for comparison, last month's speaker was a nationally respected expert on retirement plan tax law. Of course, I had to stand up in front of them with all the slotchy, puffiness going on. And with the NCAA games in progress, I kept getting interupted by the "master of ceremonies" to let me know that everyone would really like to get going so as not to miss any more of the games than they already had. As president of this group, I was the one who conned him into being the M.C. of what we would call our Member Spotlight Night, so he amused himself and the rest of the group by harassing me...I don't work well under this kind of pressure...I kept losing track of what I was talking about and gave the most disjointed presentation ever. I would hate to see a playback of it, I'm not sure I said a single coherent or relevant thing. I also forgot to pass out my handout, which might have at least given them a takeaway that was better than the speech itself.

The next night, I was so productive at the office that I kept on going until about 1:00 am. I left the office and drove about 2 miles (out of the 35 total miles to my home) and my coolant level warning light came on, just about the time I hit the stretch of highway that goes through the "bad part" of town. I pulled over to the side of the highway and the light went off. Encouraged, I started up again, and the light came back on. I took the nearest exit and pulled into a lighted motel parking lot to read my car owner's manual to see what might be the cause and what would happen if I kept driving. There was not an open gas station in hollaring range, but I do possess a AAA card. Based on what I read, I figured I could keep going slowly, pulling over every mile or so to let it cool down, until I reached a truck stop where I could get some coolant (even though the manual said not to EVER, under any circumstances, use non-VW coolant which you can only get from a dealer). But when I checked the coolant level, it was fine, so I didn't add any coolant but I didn't know what else could be wrong. I waited awhile to let the engine cool, I filled up with gas, I read some more of my manual and saw that it could be the radiator fan belt fuse, or the belt itself. I looked at the fuses and none of them looked out of sorts, although I did not pluck each one out to verify. I might add that doing all of this while dressed in a baby blue suit and high heels, trying not to draw the attention of others was a daunting task in itself. Others out at this late hour, in this part of town, are not the sort you necessarily want helping you. I decided to risk blowing up the engine and continue the drive home, inch by inch, stopping until the light went out and then resuming for a bit more. I finally arrived home about 2:30 am. The next morning, I figured I could drive the other car, but when I went to get in, I noticed the left rear tire was almost flat! I summoned my husband and his air compressor to the rescue. Finally, I was back on the road to the office, arriving about 10:00 to start another day.

And that's the day when I received yet ANOTHER notice that the IRS is going to audit yet another client of mine. I've had more audits this year than in my entire 25-26 year career combined! The IRS is very actively auditing "flow-through" entities out there (S-corporations, partnerships, LLCs), just so you know. Getting that notice is never fun. Even if you've nothing to hide, it's still a big hassle!

The rest of the week was fairly routine but busy. I am very excited about celebrating Easter with my family and relaxing for a few hours.

May you and your families all enjoy a most blessed Easter!

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At 6:49 PM, March 24, 2008, Blogger Rach said...

Maxine sounds cool. Glad the tyre is all done :).

At 7:26 PM, March 25, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Maxine IS cool. That's the only reason I do her taxes while she waits. Well, that, and the beanie babies. ;-)

At 10:01 PM, March 26, 2008, Blogger Eric said...

I take a break from blogging (writing AND reading) for a while, and what happens during the time I'm gone? Do I return to find that you've ditched the rat race and are now living the good life somewhere beyond the reach of government agencies identified by initials? Do I find that you're now working at something you love, on your own terms? Do I find that you're commuting by walking from one room to another (or from one deck to another)?


Sometimes, it's good to know that some things never change.



At 5:43 PM, March 27, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Thanks for the reminder, Eric. ;-)


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