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.


  1. Zena said...

    I've been dealing with taxes myself the last few days - GST to be specific. I had been procrastinating because to do the job right involved posting all transactions to my accounting program. (Last time I used this thing was before I left the country so I forgot most of what I knew how to do.)

    So finally go everything posted, all is good and tidy. Calculate GST, write cheque, mail. Ten minutes later, discover an additional receipt, which buggers up my calculations. Crap! The good news is that my remittance isn't much affected - it went from about $40 to about $60.

    But then there's the part of me that wonders when I'll get audited as my remittanceis obviously small. And there's no place on the form to write, "Most of the work I did wasn't taxable because it's for First Nations! Honest!!"  

  2. Terry said...

    Ok, I laughed when I read what you wrote about going on a hike with a botanist... So true. :)

    Stranger than Fiction was... stranger... than... (Must resist) most movies. :)

    But I really enjoyed it, strangely enough. Maybe I was just in the right mood for it.  

  3. cenobyte said...

    I thought Hilbert explained quite well why "little did he know" was so pivotal. In the way that English professors explain things really well. I suspect that Crick didn't mention it was an English accent because he was more concerned about the fact that it had just told him he was going to die.

    Then again, maybe he just didn't think it was important. He's an IRS man, after all, not Immigration & NaturaliZation.  

  4. Terry said...

    "At this point Harold meets Professor Hilbert, who at first thinks Harold is crazy and dismisses him. Harold pleads with him and repeats the line, saying the voice told him 'Little did he know…' Professor Hilbert stops him right there and says he has written papers and given lectures on 'little did he know,' and that it's a very important literary term. It is a "third person omniscent" term, which means there is one all-knowing narrator. He says he'll help Harold."

    I understood that. It's like if someone comes up saying "My computer beeps funny", I'll dismiss them as a loon. But if they say "Yes, I was writing data, and suddenly got an error saying it can't write", I'm going to respond by asking if their drive is full.

    Harold came in as a raving loon, but suddenly he starts using narrative terms and structure that Hilbert recognizes... And that's why he helps.

    If that makes any sense.  

  5. Amy said...

    WRT the accent, what puzzled me was that the professor *explained* that he was trying to narrow things down from the clues, and it seemed really odd that Harold left out one of the *two* easy descriptions of the voice in the multiple times he spoke with the prof (he said "female"... I just cannot picture not saying "British" immediately afterwards, if I were trying to be helpful).

    And WRT the third person omniscient, yes, it's not that I didn't hear the movie. It's that Harold didn't actually experience anything unknown following the fateful phrase.

    That's what I was getting at... the prof didn't believe any of the *other* things that Harold was telling him about the narrator being right, until he hears that the narrator used the phrase "little did he know" ONCE and didn't even follow it with anything Harold didn't already know (it was a future prediction)!

    And "little did he know" is not *THE* third person omniscient term, it's just *A* third person omniscient term. The impression I got was that if Harold had said "And then the narration said 'He didn't realize that he was going to die tomorrow!'" the prof would have kicked Harold out. I just don't understand the magic of that exact phrase.

    "It's like if someone comes up saying "My computer beeps funny", I'll dismiss them as a loon. But if they say "Yes, I was writing data, and suddenly got an error saying it can't write", I'm going to respond by asking if their drive is full."

    No, it's not like that. *Harold* didn't use the term "third person omniscient" and therefore establish himself as a knowledgeable expert. This was more like someone saying "My computer beeps funny" and an expert saying "This is clearly evidence that the government has hacked your system and is using it in a covert search for extra terrestrial intelligence!"  

  6. Drang said...

    What I really loved about that reply/clarification is that I could actually hear your voice in my head when I read "This is clearly evidence that the government has hacked your system and is using it in a covert search for extra terrestrial intelligence!"

    Sigh. Miss ya. I was describing to someone the other day your preference for dictionaries to be prescriptive rather than descriptive, and while I'm not sure everyone in my little audience got it, those that did enjoyed it.  


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