Traffic for 2005 March

<M <Y
Y> M>

[Comments] (4) Just for the record: The testing center. Have you ever seen the people with their open book/open note tests? If so, you may have seen me. Yes, I am one of those. I have spent over 6 hours in that beloved building this past week. And after every test it's the same: two or three people sitting around me will lean over as I am packing up to leave and say "It sure must be nice not to memorize anything and have it all be open book."

For the record, it's not true. We don't memorize it because the tax and regulatory laws change all the time. So it's more valuable for us to know where to look it up. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

For starters, picking a place to sit is problematic. I need at least two desks, which can be hard if I go to the testing center at the wrong time. Open book means two volumes of code, a textbook, calculator, and piles and piles of notes. And all of it is supposed to fit on one of those small desks? No way Jose.

Then there's the problem of difficulty level. If it's open note, then the test is not going to be mere regurgitation. It will require going well beyond the book, including gasp application of principles learned (something many people can't quite comprehend). So next time you see them, sigh for them and don't say anything.

As an aside, the kid next to me was obviously saying a prayer when he sat down. I must be rather cynical as I prepare to leave this university; I gave up on that practice long ago.

On a completely new tangent, I was thawing chicken for dinner last night. I was going to bread the chicken with bread crumbs (hence the term breading) but instead used coconut. The chicken wasn't very flavorful, but once I melted raspberry preserves to drizzle on top of it and added mango chutney on the side, it was a unique dining experience, as Susie said.

On the food topic, I called my grandma to ask if we could visit her tomorrow afternoon. I said I had a test in the morning, so I couldn't make it before three. She said that was fine, but was put out nonetheless that it was "too late for lunch, and too early for dinner." I promised her we could stay and take her to dinner, and she seemed ok with that. I can't wait until I am a grandma and spoil grandkids. Oh wait....

[Comments] (1) Death and Taxes: Susie and I are currently finalizing our IRA papers. Now Susie's all freaking out about contingent beneficiaries if we both die. My mom is cosigned on my credit union CD and money market, which is where all of our money is anyway.

But a good question has arisen. We now have a $3,000 IRA and another couple thousand dollars of petty cash in our Wells Fargo account. Since we really own nothing of value, we don't have a will. So if we were to die together (Susie's dream), then who gets that money, and how? And if a train leaves Wellington going fifty miles per hour at two o' clock...

Farmer's Daughter: My mom was at Grandma's house when we got there. We went out to Cedar Valley to the old ranchhouse where the Mexicans lived in the summer. The abandoned house has a cellar full of beer cans and shotgun shells, and the interior has paintgun spots all over it. My grandma remembers making sandwiches out there for the workers, and said she slept out there one night, and that was enough. To keep the mice out of bed, the beds were propped up on cans that the mice couldn't climb. We also went to the ranchhouse and surveyed the wheat coming in.

We passed Eagle Mountain on the way out. Whatever possessed people to live out there is beyond me. You might as well be commuting from Mexico as from there, though the air sure is clear out there. We could see the smog covering Provo from there, and I dreaded coming home.

Grandma took us to IHOP for dinner, and she also went there for breakfast with my cousin and her husband. She likes their chocolate malts, so there you have it. It was neat to learn more about my history today.

[Comments] (2) Good News/Bad News: I'm up to my ears in tax returns. And they extended the VITA lab two more weeks until the end of March. The IRS should give me some sort of tax amnesty clause for this "act of charity." Though a lady of Tuesday said "God bless you" to me after she was done e-filing. I hope God will bless me on my Section 318 attribution test this weekend.

On another tangent, my niece told me on Sunday she can't wait until we move. That made me sad, until she explained that she wants to come visit me at Disneyland. We're getting annual passes for our first year out there, so come one, come all, and take advantage of our hospitality of free parking and 15% off Disney stuff with our passes.

On yet another tangent, the pretzel jell-o was a flop.

[Comments] (4) March Madness: A whole week of nice weather is now gone. It's so cold outside. March in Utah is such a tease.

Last weekend I taught my five year-old niece Ember her multiplication tables. Today my sister-in-law said that she does them every day now. Thus begins the makings of a good accountant.

I got a 99 on my individual tax test; it would have been 100, but I didn't know that a back-hoe was five year property, and I classified it as seven year property. Yeah, like I memorized the 70+ depreciation class tables. Oh well; I at least feel more confident in doing VITA with that grade.

Last night was fun. All of Susie's cousins came over for dinner. Susie made brocoli chicken casserole, and I made spinach salad. Dinner conversation included but was not limited to the followinng topics:

Let the good times roll.

[Comments] (5) The Curse of the Leprechaun: Ever since Green Day, life has been full of interesting surprises. For example, I woke up this morning to snow. I thought today was the first day of spring. What a cruel prank.

The Dreamweaver has also been visiting me a lot lately; last Thursday night I had a dream that I was walking Gretel on a Santa Barbara-esque type of ferry pier. Then a policeman stopped me to inform me that I couldn't go to the end of the pier, as Susie had been shot and killed down there. Apparently Leonard did it, because he said Susie was better off dead than with me. I sat down and cried while Gretel licked my face; when I awoke, and reached over in bed and pinched Susie's bum, just to make sure she was there. It was sad.

Last night we went to the adult session of Stake Conference, as we were informed that there would be root beer floats afterward. Well, there wasn't. I'd say the ward should get together and egg the kid's house in charge of the whole thing, but since only about 5 couples from our ward even went to the meeting, it wouldn't be quite the rumble. Flaky people drive me crazy. If you say you'll do something, do it. Who raised these people anyway?

The one shining ray of hope in all of this came as I left the testing center yesterday morning, having frequented the building twice this week. I only have one test left in that building. Period. Wow. Break out the champagne!

[Comments] (3) Legally Blonde: Last night in Business Law, the topic of discussion was employment law. Basically, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, otherwise known as Title VII, gives protected class status to seven groups of individuals, including race, color, age, disability, gender, religion, and national origin. As a white male, I am not a protected class, per se. But that's not the most disturbing part. As a blonde, I am discriminated against all the time; where's the protected class in that?

Each day we also have a classmate share an ethical thought. Yesterday's quote was astute and hit me pretty hard: "Is it ethical to do the right thing for the wrong reason?" For example, all of my VITA hours aren't necessarily for the betterment of society, but to further my skill base. So is it unethical to do service (as there is normally an alterior motive to simply serving others)?

And another question: Why do pessimists refuse to accept what they are and always say they are simply realists?

[Comments] (6) The Bottom of the Ninth: Today I filled out an exit survey from the Marriott School, and next Tuesday I have my check-out meeting with one of my professors, Dr. Gardner (otherwise known as "The Silver Fox"). The end is here, and it is finally my turn to vent a few frustrations to a facutly member. For example, I get to pick my worst three classes in the program and say why I think they are a complete waste of time. I am excited; I only had three I didn't like, so the system works well. Incidentally, none of them were accounting classes, but were generic required business classes.

Easter was great. Friday we watched the rain turn to snow as we went up the highway from Heber to Park City. I was nervous that the condo would be cold, but the heat was actually on and running. The only bummer was the dirty hole on the patio where the hot tub used to be. There was also a note on the table that simply said "No hot water." Thank goodness it was only a trick. The Easter beagle visited Susie early and gave her The Incredibles and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.

Jodi and Franco joined us for the night in Park City. Saturday morning the sun came out and, thanks to all the new snow, shone throughout the condo at six am, waking us all up earlier than expected. Now I know how a deer in headlights feels.

Easter Sunday was spent at mom and dad's. We had an egg hunt with the kids. My mom has a rule that everyone who doesn't have kids is still a kid, so Susie and I and Jodi and Franco all participated in the egg hunt as well. As I did most of the hiding, however, it wasn't quite as exciting. But I still had fun. We watched our new Charlie Brown movie with the kids. For some reason, all the kids think that Peppermint Patty is a boy. I don't get it. Sure, Marcy calls her "Sir" all the time, and she does have a deeper voice than the other girls, but why do they think she's a boy? She totally has a crush on Charlie Brown, anyway, but they may be too young to see it. I don't remember thinking Peppermint Patty was a boy as a kid; course, I don't recall being a four year-old either.

Back to the grind today. Went grocery shopping, which I've decided is hard work. For some reason it takes me like an hour to buy twenty things, and takes quite the willpower not to buy so many goodies. But today was successful; instead of half-off Easter candy, I bought kiwis and strawberries.


© 2003-2015 John Chadwick.