Stupid, stupid tax issues. This is our first year of filing with two incomes, complicated by my working initially as a contractor for two months* and it looks like neither of our companies withheld enough. Blargh.

But we had a good weekend! We had the wonderful surprise of Dancin’ Cicada Jen coming to San Francisco with her lovely Mum, and I got to see them at FBCD in the City on Saturday** and then also down our way for most of Sunday. They took the train down and, after stopping by a farmer’s market for picnic supplies, we spent the day at Calero County Park so that Jen could get her wildflower fix. It was quite windy, but warm and very scenic. Hiking with a botanist is a lot of fun, if not very efficient. I forget all the flowers we found, but I did discover that geraniums come in really small versions. And we saw wild turkeys, turkey vultures, ravens, blue-gray gnatcatchers, mockingbirds, and lots of swallows and red-winged blackbirds. And we heard a wren, but it was shy.

In movie news, we finally saw Grindhouse and Stranger than Fiction. Grindhouse was hard to watch (I failed in many places and had to keep my eyes closed, and even still I have images in my brain that I’d rather weren’t there). Stranger than Fiction was as good as everyone says it is.***

Oh, and to continue the “commenting on 300” theme, here is 300 in Fifteen Minutes. If you like this sort of thing, I’m sure you already know about the whole Movies in Fifteen Minutes by the talented Cleolinda (and if not, you should).

* So I had to create a whole small business, of which I am the sole owner and employee, to support being a contractor… the IRS does not distinguish between being a single-person business and being self-employed. This apparently meant some taxes were calculated in a whole different way. It was very odd and stressful.

** Tony Bennet may have left his heart in San Francisco, I managed it with my credit card. Luckily it’s in the mail back to me. I think this is the first time I’ve ever done anything that silly… of course, up until a few months ago I could also say the same thing about driving away from a gas station without replacing the gas cap. Approaching senility? Brain cells killed by heat, chemicals, or exhaust fumes? The first symptoms of some brain-destroying disease? It’s a hypochondriacal wonderland!

*** Though I found some of Will Farrel/Harold Crick’s interaction with Dustin Hoffman/Jules Hilbert to be sort of odd… Hilbert’s quick acceptance of Crick’s situation seemed weird (“little did he know?” why was that so pivotal?), and I still don’t understand why Crick never mentioned that it was an English accent he was hearing.

More busyness… a parental visit that was wonderful but which left me pretty tired. I think my folks have more energy than I do. We hit all the things I could think of off the top of my head that I’d seen before and enjoyed* and I know we missed a lot too.** They’ll just have to come back.

I’ll see if I can find some entertaining pictures of the past few days, but until then I figure a blow by blow account wouldn’t be of too much interest. Here are some entertaining links instead (I know, a cop out. I’m tired. How tired, you ask? So tired that when R:tAG brought Guitar Hero 2 for the XBox home last night, I went to bed instead of playing it. That tired.)

Social Offsets РMan, I love Mr. Sjöberg
Otters holding hands – so insanely cute my teeth hurt. Watch it ‘til the end
Top 100 April Fool’s Day Jokes - a bit late with this, sorry. I didn’t really celebrate April 1 at all. My dad did tell my Mom first thing Sunday that the US had invaded Iran… since we’d just been talking about how the West Coast is always behind on the news, she nearly had a heart attack. Fortunately he couldn’t keep a straight face.
Got Problems? Blame Californians
Beautiful Photos
Vermeer’s Camera - I should have been a big art geek. This is really really cool.
Someone else’s opinion of 300 - Just because the topic seems to generate comments. :)
Paper Plants - to add to my "things to do" list, like it wasn't long enough already
Steampunk Star Wars
Martial Arts Dance - Wu Shu with some T’ai Chi at the end. Beautiful.

* Peet’s Coffee, the Winchester Mystery House, Santana Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, downtown San Francisco, Chinatown (found a good dim sum place), North Beach, Pier 39, Los Gatos, downtown San Jose (unhappily, I’d forgotten that the Tech Museum and the Museum of Art are closed on Mondays), Whole Foods, the Rosicrucian Museum, and La Fondue and several episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Most involved lots of walking, most also included shopping.

** The 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, the Asian Art Museum, Japantown, Golden Gate Park and the wonders therein, the Zoo, Berkeley (especially Chez Panisse), the Napa and Sonoma valleys, and too many others to count.


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