Whew!

Okay, Apprentice update.  Brian McKnight was fired in last week’s episode.  Long story short, he was absent from the entire task the week before and during the task had clearly lost his drive to win the competition even though he was the project manager and stood to gain additional money for his chosen charity.  I do not understand these celebs who will not undergo slight deprivation to help a charity they claim to believe in!  They, unlike the candiates on the regular Apprentice show, at least get to be absent for all or part of a task with very little in the way of repercussion from Mr. Trump.  And quite frankly, they could afford to fly their spouse/significant other in for visits, so their actual “deprivation” is slight at best.  It will be interesting to see who gets the boot this week as the candidates were given their next task shortly after Mr. Trump fired Brian.  Mr. Trump also brought back Piers Morgan, the first Celebrity Apprentice, to keep an eye on four of the players.

Life update:  I survived tax season thanks in no small part to DH.  He quickly realized when he got home on Tuesday that my sanity was in danger. 

Backtrack a bit:  I had been trying to use the Turbo Tax CD ROM that we received in the mail to do our taxes.  We (meaning I) have used Turbo Tax ever since DH started his electrical business 10 (yes ten) years ago and have never had a problem with it.  Until This Year!  The CD ROM was  incorrect or corrupted because first of all, it had filled out a form that added the special deduction/exemption for people over 72 years of age.  Now, pardon me, I am not a vain individual but I really don’t think I look a day over 65 (lol).  The other mistake that I caught was in our itemized deductions.  The program deducted federal tax withheld on the line item for deducting state taxes paid and withheld.  That’s a big No-No and the IRS will audit your tax returns with a vengance for making that obvious a  “mistake”.  All this happened after 12 hours of work. 

So, I abandoned the malfunctioning program and went to the IRS website to download the necessary forms, schedules and whatnot to do the taxes myself in handwritten form.  This endeavor, I began on Tuesday and when DH got home, I had figured out that the amount of money we supposedly owed was astronomically higher than what the Turbo Tax program had said.  Now even allowing for the errors that I caught and even a few I might have missed, we should not have had a tax bill that high.  And I hadn’t even begun our State tax return which is always a higher bill than the Federal tax return. 

So, once again, I was in tears and teetering on the brink of a complete and total breakdown.  DH looked at me and asked if I wanted to stop at Walmart to get a different tax program to use.  I began thinking about how long it had taken me to get the information organized and input in a program I was familiar with (on April 14th no less) and quite frankly couldn’t even open my mouth to comment-just stared back at him with the “deer in the headlights” look of utter terror.  He then said we should just bite the bullet and have someone else do the taxes since we only had one day left to get them finished.

Bless his frugal heart!  My sanity was worth more to him than the money.  We went to Walmart, they have an H&R Block kiosk inside, found out that Yes we could still get our taxes done there and to come back in 30 minutes as they were no longer taking appointments-just walk ins.  We went home so I could pick up the tax info we needed and print last year’s return because you always need that and I hadn’t bothered to print it when I was working on the taxes myself.  DH and DS went to their Cub Scout meeting and I went back to the tax preparer.  Together, we got most of the information input that night-the poor guy worked almost an hour past his quitting time to sort through the mess.  The tax preparer also said that he would come in early the next day to call our broker and get them to send him the proper form to replace the incomplete summary that they had sent us and would call us when he finished.  We were able to pick up the completed returns at 4:00 pm yesterday and since the post office closes at 5:00 pm, made it with less than 30 minutes to spare.  Thank God that’s done for another year and we didn’t have the huge tax bill that I had come up with.  We’ll (I’ll) probably do the taxes myself next year, but I’ll need to get a new program and learn it well before April.  After the frustration of this year, we are not going back to Turbo Tax.

In related life news, now that we’ve paid the tax bill, the mini van has broken down and needs a new transmission.  This means the inevitable discussion of whether to just chuck it all and get a new/different used vehicle or fix what we have and the fact that I now have to drive the car.  I am not fond of driving the car because I like big, safe vehicles and the car is small and sporty-looking.  I’m a mom, my ego doesn’t have a need for small and sporty looking.  I want to survive any potential crash and I want my passengers to survive as well.  So during the above conversation last night, I stated that we should just fix the transmission and yes, the steering column issue as well (whatever that was) and keep the vehicle for another year so we could save for something we really wanted and not have to find something else quick.  The last time we had to buy another vehicle quick, I ended up with the ugliest Honda station wagon they could have possibly made.  I don’t need sleek & sporty, but the vehicle doesn’t need to be horrendously ugly either.  I have my “mom” image to protect.

Rockem Sockem Robots Game -  Mattel - Toys"R"Us
Why do some days just feel like this?

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