Friday, April 29, 2005

Amuse Yourself, Folks...

Goofy Girl is on vacation today! Yeah! Yippee! Yee-ha! My goal is to completely purge my home office of all the crap that has accumulated over the past 12 years. Not a small task...but I'm up for it.

If I finish that, I will move to Goofy Junior's room, and purge it off the 6-9 months' sized clothing, since he is officially 2 now and looks like the Amazing Giant Boy in the old clothes.

So, in the meantime, amuse yourself with these wonderful examples of fashion-gone-horribly-wrong ads from the 70s.

Something Awful
(Make sure to scroll down a bit, really fast, if you are at work. There's an obnoxious ad at the top that might "offend" someone peeping over your shoulder. I clicked on it, cause I'm the curious sort...and it's for a video game. Marketing...who understands it?)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Public Service Announcement #1

Compliments of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook :

In the United States and other countries, turning your glass upside-down might indicate that you do not want anything to drink. In some pubs in Australia, however, finishing your drink, turning the glass upside-down, and placing it squarely on the bar may signal that you believe that you can win a fight with anyone present.

You might thank me some day for this information.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Tag! I'm it.

Cagey has tagged me for a Literary Quiz. Just so we are on the same page (dontcha love my hilarious pun? DONTCHA?), I tend towards pop fiction, rather than classical literature, so my answers will reflect that.

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be saved?
All of them. Except for Bill Clinton's book. That sucker was just too damn long. The book, I mean. (sheepish grin)

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Ranger, from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (see question #5-b) - he's a dark, mysterious bounty hunter who can make a woman's toes curl from across the room. And he smells good.

3. The last book you purchased?
"The Dark Tower VII" by Stephen King - still haven't had time to read this monster 800+ page book. One sitting would be ideal. Ya right.

4. What are you currently reading?
I'm listening to "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" by Aaron Ralston - this is the story of the young adventurer had his arm trapped by a boulder while hiking solo in the deserted canyonlands in Utah. He ended up cutting off his own arm to survive. Powerful stuff, especially since the audiobook is read by the Aaron himself.

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island?
(as others have done, I've cheated with some book series)
a. Stephen King's Dark Tower series - I would definitely be rescued before I was done reading this epic 7-book series...but I would continue reading all the way home.

b. Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series ("One for the Money", "Two for the Dough", etc.) - I would need some laughs while stuck on the island and these books make me laugh...out loud...enough to frequently wake Loving Husband.

c. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - whilst stuck on the island, it would be nice to think of magical forces that could allow me to levitate, make cheeseburgers appear out of thin air, etc. These books would allow me that pleasure. And if another person calls these "kid's books", I'll kick their ass. These are awesome books for anyone would loves a good tale.

d. Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch detective series - these are seedy, dark, detective mysteries that always keep you guessing until the end. Gotta keep that mind sharp while on the island.

e. A Dictionary - I love reading the dictionary! And I'd have a hell of a vocabulary by the time I got rescued.

Goofy Tax Update

And the Goofy household's taxes are (drumroll, please)...DONE! Finally! It seems I only needed an extra 10 days past the deadline. Such an efficient procrastinator I am. Chortle.

The ultimate irony? After procrastinating until the deadline, getting an extension, then taking 10 post-deadline days to complete the fun-with-numbers extravaganza....we are getting a refund.

It seems that Uncle Sam has the last laugh this year.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Me Speak Pretty

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Here's me:
Your Linguistic Profile:
70% General American English
20% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Dixie
0% Midwestern

Kinda boring, huh? Funny how I've lived in the Midwest my entire life, yet have no "sound" from there.

How do YOU speak??

Monday, April 18, 2005

My Son, Baby Einstein

Junior had his first FOUR-WORD SENTENCE! And it actually made sense! Proudly glowing, I am. It was:

Casey go potty outside.

(FYI - Casey is our dog, not me or a neighbor child or anything)

He's a genius, that son of mine.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Another Goofy Interview

This time It's Only Me has posed some very interesting questions for me. I'll do my best to make up some good answers!

  1. What is the thing you miss most about being a DINK (dual-income, no kids) family?
  2. I'd have to say I miss not having to think as much. Thoughts bounce around in my head all day, like: Who's picking up/dropping off Junior today? Do we have appropriate makings for dinner? Can I make it home by 6:30pm-ish somehow (our somewhat official dinner-time, driven by Junior's hunger DINK times we would eat dinner around 9:00pm a LOT). Will Junior be in a good enough mood to go out for dinner?

    A little bit of our freedom is gone, but it's really not missed much. Junior has brought many more experiences to our lives that we never would have had as DINKs. Definitely a good trade-off!

  3. What is the most extreme sport that you'd be willing to try?

  4. Hmmm...I have to confess that there's not much that I wouldn't try, unless it was vetoed by Mr. Goofy (and often is). I have always wanted to sky-dive (vetoed!), hang-glide (vetoed!), bungee-jump (not vetoed, but where would I do that in KC?), and someday...someday... I will own a motorcycle...or at least a Vespa if Mr. Goofy freaks too much about a real bike. Somewhere along the way I got the gene that makes you love going fast. This is evidenced by the number of speeding tickets I've managed to rack up over the years. Ah, there's another one! Drive a race car! VROOM!!

  5. What has Goofy Jr. done to earn mom's tears (of joy, frustration or otherwise)?

  6. Wow...good question! I'm not a big cryer, but I do sometimes tear up when something touches me in a good way. There are times when I get home from a horrible day at work and Junior comes to greet me with a "MOMMY!MOMMY!MOMMY!" cheer, followed by a big hug and kiss, and that is just the best feeling EVER!

  7. Is your screen name at all Disney related? If not, what's the background?

  8. Not Disney-related, although I am a pretty big fan of the Disney Goofy character, so maybe it was subliminal. The name stems from my unavoidable knack for thinking, saying or doing goofy things. When I do such things, I usually mutter "Idiot Girl!" to myself. But that name was already taken. Goofy Girl was the second choice. Mystery solved!

  9. White, dark or milk chocolate? And what does this say about you?

  10. Definitely dark chocolate. Preferably Christopher Elbow's chocolates. What this says about me is that I'm officially a Chocolate Snob. I eat chocolate pretty much every day, so I've gotten picky. Hershey bars are not my cup of tea. The baseline starts at Ghirardelli and goes up from there, although Russell Stover's will do in a pinch. White chocolate is technically not really chocolate at all, so I don't have anything to do with that stuff.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Carrot Monster?!

I think the entire free world has heard about this by now, but here it is again:

They are taking Cookie Monster's cookies away.
(story here)

Yep, you heard me right. In this insane age of Political Correctness (insert audible groan here), Cookie Monster's insatiable love of cookies is just not considered acceptable anymore.

There are too many obese, inactive kids. So who takes the blame? Not XBOX. Not MTV. Not trans-fats. Cookie Monster. That lovable, googly-eyed hunk of furry blue shag carpet has been deemed a threat. What a crock!

Let's think a moment about this for a minute. When we see Cookie Monster eating up piles of cookies, do we REALLY think that it's all he's going to eat for the day? And is CM REALLY such a role model that kids will try to emulate him? (I personally think he's probably a better role model than Britney, but I digress...)

I think Cookie Monster teaches a good lession: that, once in a while, we need to get crazy and give in to our primal urges, even if it's just to eat a bunch of cookies. Is this such a bad lesson? I think not. I think it teaches kids that you can't be perfect all the time. You have to let loose and live a little.

Sidenote: There's an idea for a great book here: "Zen and the Art of Cookie-Eating"? "How to Win Friends and Eat Cookies"? If you write it and get it published, you can just buy me some cookies as a thanks for the idea.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Goofy Girl Gets an Extension

No, not a hair extension, a tax extension. And it was a little too easy to do.

There was no begging, pleading, nor withdrawl of blood from turnips involved. There's a handy toll-free number (1-888-796-1074, if you're curious) that you call.

You punch in the basics, using your keypad, prompted by the friendly computerized voice:
-Expected tax liability for 2004
-Tax 2004 payments made

...and bingo! You've got a 4-month extension from Uncle Sam.
Chords from the George Michael song "Freedom" echo in the background...

The hardest part of the whole deal was determining "Expected tax liability". do I punch in "no fucking idea?" I mean, that's kinda the point of getting the extension, isn't it? If I KNEW how much my taxes were going to be, wouldn't I be DONE? So I punched in "zero" and moved on. Friendly Uncle Sam can penalize me later if I guessed wrong.

Now I need to fight the Procrastination Demons that seem to surround me and get the damn thing done.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Goofy Girl Gets Poked

You thought this post was about WHAT?!?! Get yer mind outta the gutter! Goofy Girl does have her limits.

The Poking: I had sclerotherapy done on my legs. Basically, they shoot salt-sugar water into your leg veins that are all spidery and nasty looking. This causes those veins to collapse and go away. And your legs look brand-new again. How do these things get invented?

Shoot salt-sugar water into my legs with tiny sharp needles? This sounded so bizarre, I thought, "I gotta try this!". Let's just say I won't be getting any tattoos anytime soon. I'm done with needles for a while.

Overall, it was okay though. Once I learned that digging your fingernails into the meaty part of your hand while being poked eased the pain, and I was able to relax and take my choke hold off the technician.

Why did I do this?
That's something I've been asking myself since I made the appointment. I suppose in the interests of beauty, although that's not really it entirely. I suppose I don't want my legs to give away my age. I LOVE to wear shorts, as soon as the snow melts, but over the years all the extended standing, extended sitting and other torture my legs have gone through is starting to show. Since I never have a tan to speak of, there's no way to hide those cute little spider veins that come with age...and heredity (Thanks Mom!).

So when my Pampered Chef lady (and so much more!) told me about her experience with scelerotherapy (which means "Poke Me With Tiny Needles" in Latin), I said, "sign me up!".

I'll have to endure the tiny mosquito-bite bumps and strange bruising that I'm seeing now, then instant only 6 weeks. I'm optimistically skeptical, if there is such a thing. Stay tuned for the Leg Update at 10:00.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Goofy Goes the the Gym...NOT!

It's been several weeks since I've visited the gym. Between having the Virus From Hell and also the Workload That Would Not Die, I just plain haven't had time. Never mind that my gym is about 5 minutes away from my office...quite literally across the street. I could probably walk if I had to. Like if I had a flat tire or something.

So today was the day! The return to the gym. They would meet me with banners and balloons and welcome me with a hearty "Hello. We missed you, Goofy!". Well, not quite. But the reception gal actually did make eye contact after swiping my membership card. It's the little things in life...

I went into the locker room and unzipped my bag. Shoes. Check! Pants. Check!Sports Bra. Check! Tank Top. Check! Socks? Uh... Socks?? SOCKS?!?!?!? No socks. Dammit!

I wore black dress socks today. I really did want to work out, but not bad enough to be seen wearing black socks with tennis shoes. If my workout pants were long, and covered my ankles, I might have done it. (They don't call me GOOFY Girl for nothin', ya know.) But, alas, I had brought capris. I don't want to be called DORKY Girl. I have my limits.

I searched and searched my tiny gym bag, hoping that socks would somehow materialize in a linty corner of the bag. No luck. No socks. No workout.

I had to pretend to be on the phone as I walked out of the gym, five minutes after I got there, just in case the gal decided to make eye contact again. And if you're curious...she didn't.

Goofy Girl is Scared

This is my horror-scope for today:

Your family members have a big surprise in store for you -- a very big surprise. Does that mean you should worry about what's coming or head for the hills? Certainly not. With an eclipse taking place in the heavens above you, there's really nothing to do but hold on tight and ride the ride -- which may actually be rather fun. Oh, and when this all goes down, pretend to be surprised.

Hmmm....what will it be? For some reason I'm scared. Change is good, right? RIGHT?! I don't want to "ride the ride"...I want to head for the hills. I don't need any more change in my life right now. Gulp.

And yes, I read my horoscope daily and for the record, I'm a Capricorn (the nasty old goat).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

What a Girl Wants

Well, if you're a Goofy Girl, that is...

1) Darth Tater: All the fun of Mr. Potato Head in the form of your favorite Star Wars villian. What could be better?

2) Swingline Red Stapler: If you don't know why, go rent the movie "Office Space" this weekend. You'll thank me later.

3) Krispy Kreme Glazed Raspberry-Filled Donuts: A dozen would hit the spot!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Proud Mama Goofy

So proud I am! So proud! Goofy Junior went to the library with me this evening and picked out his own books to check out. For the first time! He's come with me before and gone into the little playroom by the kids' section, but this time he was actually interested in the BOOKS instead of the TOYS. So proud am I! So proud. Did I mention "proud"?

I grew up at the library. I LOVED going to the library. McDonald's was a close second, but the library was KING. And once I got there, I was there for a while. I had to be dragged away. Still do actually. Ask Mr. Goofy...he won't even go with me anymore. He says I "take too long". He pops in and out of the library like it's QuickTrip. And I just don't know how he does that.

The library is a wonderful place of adventure and discovery. Shelves and shelves of books that can transport you to another place or allow you to discover new knowledge. And new books are added all the time! It's a never-ending nirvana! are you getting my subtle point that I like the library? Good.

So this makes me all the more proud that my son shares my love of books. On the way home, he had to have ALL of them with him in his carseat, and he looked at each one. Well, then he promptly fell asleep. But still...

He loves his new books and we read each one tonight before bedtime. After he declared, "My books!" and settled in for the night, I realized that I might be in for a little challenge when the time comes to RETURN the checked out books. I'll cross that bridge in about 3 weeks...proudly.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Goofy Taxes - Day One (Afternoon)

Okay, so I've got all my tax bits 'n pieces spread out all over the office now. And I realize that I don't have a 1040 packet. Of course I don't - I haven't done my own taxes in two years...the IRS figures I don't need a packet. What an environmentally-friendly policy...except that this year I DO need a packet.

Do I venture out to the nearest library and get one? Do I go online and print off the forms? Or...

I ponder advice from some friends that worked at H&R Block. They both suggested using Block's online tax program. I have resisted using this, or Turbo Tax, or any of the other 'automated' methods, because I don't like the Q&A interface. I'm used to starting at the 1040 form, then taking tangents off into each supporting form, then coming back. The Q&A interface makes me wonder what decisions the program is making for me behind-the-scenes. Can I change my answer, if I don't like the outcome? If I do it manually (paper 'n pencil), I know the answer is always "yes".

However, I decide to venture forth into the 20th century. Change is good. Right? RIGHT?!?!?

I spend 30 minutes trying to figure out if I am a 'returning client' (since I did my taxes at a Block office last year) or if I am a 'new client'. If I am 'returning', I am supposed to have a username and password. I don't. I find a cryptic note in my 2003 tax packet with a password, but no username. I try, in vain, to make this work. I guess frantically at what email address I may have given a whole year ago. I give up and click 'new user'.

This turns out to be okay, since I can tell the program who I am and have it import my info from last year. This is cool! Who wants to enter all their address, employment, etc. information. Yuk. I speed through these screens.

Just when I start to wonder if I should 'Save' (I've been a Microsoft user too long to go for more than 15 minutes without saving my work) Next button quits working. I'm on the Dependent screen and I clicked 'Yes'. Then 'Next'. No 'next' screen comes up...still the Dependent screen. Okay, I can't believe that Goofy Junior is here either, but c'mon. He's here to stay and I want a tax deduction for him, dammit. I "Save & Close" then sign back in. I'm back at the first screen. SHIT!

Maybe I need to think about an extension. They give you 3 months to procrastinate for free, ya know. Groan.


After prompting me to import my info again, it asks me whether I want to continue where I left off. Ah! No data lost. It lets me past the Dependent screen this time. Okay, time for that nap now...

Goofy Taxes - Day One

  1. Go into office to start taxes.

  2. Decide to check email first.

  3. Balance checkbook, because it's there in the office.

  4. Check email again (just in case something new has arrived)

  5. Check horoscope. "With your energy levels higher than they've been all week, even boring tasks will be oddly rewarding." Ya right.

  6. Clean desk to assure that I have lots of space for tax stuff.

  7. Achoo! Dust desk (Yikes! Lots of dust.)

  8. Thirsty...go downstairs to get iced tea.

  9. Return to office twenty minutes later.

  10. Crack open good ole J.K. Lasser's 2005 Tax Guide.

  11. Need a snack...return downstairs for strawberry shortcake (leftover from dinner).

  12. Start reading Lasser Tax Guide.

  13. Need tape flags to mark key sections...where are they?

  14. Look in work backpack for tape flags.

  15. Decide backpack needs cleaning out. Clean backpack.

  16. Never find tape flags.

  17. Go downstairs to put laundry in dryer.

  18. Husband calls. "Whatcha doin'?" "Very busy working", I easily lie.

  19. Back upstairs. Pen has disappeared. Where is it?

  20. Decide music is required. Back downstairs to turn stereo on.

  21. Back upstairs. Take some notes about forms I don't have that I need to get.

  22. Decide that this whole process is so ridiculous that I have to blog about it.

  23. And that brings me here.

I've got 13 more days, right? Maybe a nap will help...

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Taxing Situation

Yes, this post is about taxes. Yes, it's a lame pun. But you love it. You do. Don't you?

I have not looked at the Goofy household's taxes yet. Yes, I'm fully aware that it's April 1st. 14 days left.

About two months ago, I mustered up the energy to put all the tax-related documents in one big pile on my home office desk. I think there is a thin layer of dust on that pile now, 'cause I haven't touched it since.

I used to LOVE to do taxes. The more complicated, the better. Selling stock? Cool. Short-term or long-term? Self-employed. Neato. Let's find some good deductions for the Schedule C. There was one year where I had Schedules A through D, along with my 1040. I was so proud to have figured them all out as I added extra postage to mail the "book" that the Goofy tax return.

This changed a few years ago when a good friend got a job at H&R Block, doing taxes. She was allowed to do some tax returns for free, to keep her skills up (and I assume get her friends hooked on the Block system). She did this for two years, then this past fall, she quit.

Arg! I have to remember how to do taxes again. Now I am cursing the home-based business, the two partnerships, the stock sales, the 1099 issues. I refuse to have someone do them for me. I know how to do them myself, and it seems ridiculous to me to PAY someone to do something it...especially since my return at Block would have cost about $500, was I paying.

So wish me luck as I venture forth to into familiar, yet scary territory. Hopefully I will emerge with little or no mortal wounds.