Friday, January 05, 2007

Another Year
Without a Valium Salt Lick

I called the feed store over there in St. Francisville -- like I do about this time every year -- and I got the same answer I always get:

"No ma'am, nobody's making a Valium salt lick yet."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, ma'am. I checked all the supply catalogs. Nothing."

I usually get a hankering for a Valium salt lick at about the same time each year that I have to collect up all the papers and put them in a box and bring them to Peter The Tax Guy (please see my January 1 post for more on this).

There are only two ways to safely approach the treacherous north face of Paper Mountain in January -- the highly caffienated way, or the highly sedated way.

Disclaimer: Just in case anybody from the DEA is reading this -- the concept of a Valium salt lick is a JOKE. Okay? Overworked, middle-aged women fantasize about Valium in the exact same way that middle-aged men fantasize about Angelina Jolie, which means, pretty much all the time. And, like your fantasy of Angelina Jolie, I have to live with the fact that a Valium salt lick just ain't gonna happen. But that doesn't mean a girl can't dream.

So back to the tax thing. I need to keep my resolution about this, and I also need to knit, and I plan to do both today. I will need a break from the tax, and because I don't have a Valium salt lick, I will have to settle for knitting and strong tea to settle me down when I take a break from sorting out That Which Can Be Deducted, from That Which Cannot.

I am one of those people who should simply not be put in charge of managing large quantities of individual pieces of paper which need to be sorted into various categories. At least, I should not be held responsible for sorting individual pieces of paper into various categories that other people can understand.

I keep telling people this -- do not give me paper to manage -- but they just refuse to listen.

I mean, I am technically capable of doing it, and all that, but this does not mean I like it. I have done it in the past, over and over, for grants and tax and jobs and everything, but it is hurtsome. I have done it well enough to suffer grant-management scrutiny and have every cent accounted for, right down to receipts for an individual roll of Scotch tape and a bottle of White-Out. But this sort of paper management requires my most earnest efforts, a great deal of concentration and antacids, and copious amounts of caffeine.

If I cannot be sedated for this activity, you can bet your sweet heiney regions that I am going to be wired for it.

Compounding my taxoid difficulties this year is the fact that our house is still throbbing with boxes from my office, which also contain paper in staggering amounts. So I live in constant fear that someone besides myself, in search of something they think they need, will open and strew about the contents of a box that does not contain anything they need, thus intermingling Paper Which Has Been Managed with Paper Which Has Not.

Ya know, most Americans are whiney-heineys about the simple fact that we have to pay tax so we can have things like paved streets and schools and police officers and all those things we whine about not having enough of, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy because the majority of us are always voting not to pay more tax so we can have enough of this stuff, and then we whine some more when (surprise!) we don't have as much of it as we want.

I am not one of those people. It's not the actual payment of tax that bothers me -- it's the fact that I have to do all this freaking homework so I can pay it.

And I also like to get something back. If possible. So this year I am doing mileage, what with all that commuting to New Orleans. And I will take advantage of the deduction for putting folks up at our house after Katrina. I'm looking up what else is legal to deduct, too.

Is yarn deductible? Does anyone know? Does it fall under "medical" for mental therapy? Or can I claim it under that thing where you can get a deduction if you insulate your house?

If I name my stash -- let's call it, "Roxanne" -- can I claim it as a dependent?

I do wish the medical-bills pile was smaller -- no one wants to get deductions through sick family members.

Back to the grind. Back to knitting content tomorrow.



At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And sadly, the medical issues must be really huge in order to be deductible!


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