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You’ve got to pick a pocket or two

April 18, 2011

So the taxes are done. It’s the one time of year when we can celebrate our lack of financial success, because we don’t owe the government nearly as much as expected, even the state government, which recently gave us a 60% tax hike. Also, although I always put it off to the last minute, I do rather enjoy my time with Turbotax. It appeals to my sense of organization.

Nevertheless, I’m glad it’s not more than once a year. It is tremendously time consuming for two self-employed persons. Our federal return alone is nearly 40 pages long. If you can deduct the costs associated with hiring a CPA, shouldn’t you be able to deduct the expense of your own time? If so, I’m pretty sure I’d be getting a refund.

I woke up this morning to this:

This was quite a shock, as it had been pouring down rain when I went to bed (so much so that I dreamed holes in the roof had left two giant puddles on my bedroom floor). I shook my fist at my backyard after I opened the curtains. Then I shoveled off the front porch and drove the grocery store for supplies (chocolate and booze). Yesterday we found a dead raccoon keeled over next to the stairs to the back porch. Yesterday I speculated that it had died in its sleep. Today I’m thinking it was a carefully planned suicide because he could not deal with yet another snowstorm.

After that, the day went better. My back is doing better. It still hurts, but now it’s the kind of hurt that’s treatable with Motrin, as opposed to the kind of hurt that’s demands heating pads, bolster pillows, and a copious amount of moaning. I spent a good two and a half hours working on “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and while still painfully slow, it is at least starting to sound like a piece, at least in places. I mailed the taxes. I went to School of Rock, where I ran into my friend L, who was there with her son, AJ’s friend O, who was taking his very first drum lesson. We talked about Lutheran Band Camp and the middle school band. AJ had come home from school today after testing out some instruments and picking the trombone. He had been all gung-ho for saxophone, but I’m guessing they encouraged him toward trombone because he has a good ear (trombone, because of the slide, can be challenging to tune in much the way fretless string instruments are). I’m kind of psyched about the trombone. Will I try it? Of course I will. Also, one of my nieces plays the trombone and I think she will like it that AJ will be playing it too.

Only half my students showed up today, so I only taught 4 lessons and had an hour and a half gap between my penultimate and ultimate lessons. This is where a big chunk of my practice time came from. I bought a couple of new guitar picks to replace the three I snapped last week while playing a little too enthusiastically. I bought some super thin ones especially for playing a piece capoed at the 6th fret, which makes the strings super taut and makes regular picks sound a little too scrapy. I’m dying to try them out, but I’m pretty sure Mr. Spy will be sad if I immediately hole myself up in my office with the guitar. Strangely, he likes it when I come out and talk to him once in a while.

In other news, I think I forgot to mention that I’ll be going to San Francisco in November. The proposal I wrote in 20 minutes at the library back in January? It got accepted in a year when the odds were seriously against it — my adviser was just telling me how he doesn’t submit to this conference anymore because it’s gotten so hard to get an acceptance. I’d be feeling really good and cocky about it, but now I have to write the paper. But on the plus side, it’s an excellent thing in a job search year to have a paper on the biggest meeting of the year. Plus–San Francisco!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. eleanorio permalink
    April 18, 2011 10:48 pm

    That’s what it looked like when I woke up, as well. Green things are trying to poke through the ground, nonetheless. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  2. April 18, 2011 10:49 pm

    The grass is preternaturally green. But the daffodils are looking very sad about the snow.

  3. April 19, 2011 2:01 am

    Congratulations on your proposal being accepted!!

  4. April 19, 2011 8:42 am

    I played the trombone so I could be in the high school marching band. Walker wanted to play the trumpet, but he turned out to have more of a trombone mouth, so he played the trombone, during his years in band. Which were brief, as he saw what all his sister had to do for the high school marching band and refused to join.

    In fact, I have a perfectly good used trombone here.

  5. April 19, 2011 8:57 am

    I may be in the market for a used trombone, if you’re looking to part with it. Band registration is on the 28th, so I want to wait and see what the band director says. AJ came home saying that he liked the trombone better than the sax because the trombone was lighter. I found this surprising and suspect they may have him on a small size.

  6. readersguide permalink
    April 19, 2011 1:58 pm

    Hey! San Francisco! You’re welcome to stay with us, should you choose to. But we have to at least meet for dinner — or coffee. Exciting!

  7. April 19, 2011 4:06 pm

    Violet, thanks! Chris, Definitely! I might take you up on that if the conference hotel rates are too exorbitant.

  8. April 20, 2011 7:24 am

    I am looking to part with the trombone. It is full-sized.

  9. Peti permalink
    April 22, 2011 10:32 pm

    I’m kind of glad AJ ended up with a brass instrument, as an ex-trumpet geek (a serious one, too). But hopefully the evaluators looked at his ability to form an embouchure and produce some kind of sound on the instrument rather than having a good ear alone. I’m sure they did. Music educators are one of my favorite types of people. Also, as far as brass instruments go, I will point out that the trumpet (and perhaps by extension, the trombone) is one of the cheapest instruments to play, with excellent professional models around $2,500.

    And if it comes down to saxophone versus trombone, trombone all the way! There are more orchestra jobs. Saxophonists are pretty much forced to do jazz if they want lots of gigs. Then again, I suppose none of this is likely to matter unless he gets bitten by the music bug.

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