(7) Fri Apr 01 2005 10:39 PST April Fool:
My dad turns 63 today. For his party tonight, we are getting him the standard gift: Coconut Joy ice cream from the creams. My family thinks it's unfair that I always get to give him his favorite gift. They probably don't know that, for a gallon of ice cream, I could get a tank of gas for the same price. It's pricey. I don't know how we'll get it to him next year, though.
I've decided that there must be an Irvine, TX. At least four people have come up to me this last week to ask if I am excited to move to Texas. I said I would be if I knew I was moving there. When I explain that I am moving to California, they tell me that I am moving to Texas. Who really knows, maybe I am moving to Orange County, Texas. Surprise!
Been reading Newsweek, which is mostly about Terri Schiavo. So apparently the Catholic church is anti-birth control, death penalty, and ending life. It seems that Catholics have a list of rules longer than my own religion's; so the difference between Mormons and Catholics seems to be that, while the former actually follow such rules, the latter don't take the Vatican seriously at all. Going back to Terri, I think less focus should be on Congress meddling in personal affairs and use her brain damage as a reminder to young girls just how dangerous eating disorders can be. Without revealing my own opinion on the issue, according to typical stereotypes, I suppose I would be classified as an athiest lefty.
VITA has come and gone, leaving me continually amazed at people's inability to mismanage money. For example, my brother-in-law wants my sister to go back to school (she quit last year after acquiring her associates). But it's not so she can get a degree; it's for the tax deduction. They got all of their taxes back, thanks to the LLC, but when I tried to explain to him that a 20% credit is hardly worth the tuition, he zoned out. Then there is the "let's take advantage of college students" mentality. So many people who sold satellites and pest control over the summer were shocked that they owe taxes, because their employer treated them as an independent contractor. So not only did they owe federal and state, but SE tax. In essence, the business owner screwed them at a flat 7.45%. Word to the wise: tell your employer you'll rat him out to the IRS if they treat you this way.
I'm glad to see the sun is finally out today, and the snow will hopefully be confined to the mountains until I no longer reside here. Today is a day of errands: payed the taxes, bought our shore excursions for our cruise (which kicks off in 30 thirty days), reinvested second quarter dividends, and mailed off graduation announcements (which kicks off in 21 days)!
In closing: I can say Susie's phone number with my eyes closed!
(2) Tue Apr 05 2005 19:04 PST Frustration:
Last Friday I cleaned the house, which for me constitutes a 2-3 hour commitment, even though our apartment is so small. I like to rearrange a lot. I suppose it's because it makes my life seem less dull. But our apartment is so small, I can't really change anything, which is starting to get on my nerves. I'm stuck with the same "look and feel" to this place until July. And I'm not even sure if it's fung shei or not.
On the upside, I got out of my evening class tonight and it was still light outside. And tomorrow's supposed to hit 70! It's about time.
I have a final tomorrow, and then I can wash the testing center right out of my hair.
I was proud of myself for "watching" all 10 hours of conference last weekend (note I didn't say listen). I'm not a visual person so it's usually difficult for me. We spent the weekend at Casa Chadwick, and it was a lot of fun to be there on a weekend when my dad felt well enough to do stuff with me. We went to priesthood together and to the Soup Kitchen as well. We saw Finding Neverland, which, despite its predictability, was really good. The scene where he dances with a bear and clowns creeped me out, but the rest was really neat.
We also spent a lot of time with Jodi and Franco, since they live 5 minutes from mom and dad, and will soon live with them again. I kept teasing them that we were sleeping in their room, as they will be moving back in May. We have all these inside jokes together now, and I'll miss that when we move. As a side note, I also got to witness them fight with my mom about all the money they owe her. I'll have to heavily weigh the pros and cons to lending children money.
(7) Fri Apr 08 2005 14:11 PST The Winds of Change:
Some winds are favorable; some are not.
Unfavorable: For some reason Provo city has changed their whole auto traffic infrastructure. Now all the left turn green arrows come after the thru traffic has gone, whereas it used to be before. It's taking a while to get used to it, and quite a lot of horn honking, I might add.
Favorable: Today I volunteered at the FBLA state competition, just like I do every year. It always brings back memories of when I competed. My co-judge today was a really neat guy. Normally I get stuck judging with these old ladies and we never see eye to eye. So this was a refreshing change. We agreed on first place after we heard her; we didn't really even need to hear the other kids. My thank you gift for judging this year were official FBLA socks!
I was also thinking about how much fun it is to be a kid. Life is full of validating experiences, ie piano competitions with free dinner afterward, competing in FBLA to go to Nationals, winning at Nationals, etc. No one claps when I vacuum, do the dishes, make dinner, get an A on a test, get a job, etc. I miss those days of yore.
All that being said, we are still waiting for the winds of spring to really kick in.
(7) Wed Apr 13 2005 15:39 PST Musings in A:
Hmm. Sometimes my religion makes me want to scream.
I got a call from our travel agent about our cruise, which sails in just 18 days!! We have been upgraded from a 4A (interior stateroom) to a 7A (balcony with an obstructed view)!! YAY! I wonder just how obstructed this view is, or if there is enough space on the balcony to catch some rays in privacy. No matter; I'm excited.
Over this past semester, I have noticed in talking with many of my colleagues a repeated theme: Married women know nothing about money matters. To prove this hypothesis, I have purposely brought up the subject in conversations lately, and the findings are bleak. My colleagues (90% male) all pay the bills, invest the funds, do the taxes, even though for many of them, the woman is the breadwinner at the present.
I don't get it. Susie is very involved in our finances. She knows how much money we have, where it is, how to properly fill out a check, pay off a credit card bill, etc. I just don't get it. One friend noted that it's easier to say no to his wife's wants if he's in charge. I refuse to concur. Susie knows our present circumstance and future plans, so she can say no to herself. Incidentally, I never say no to Susie, but probably say no to myself on a daily basis. It must just be one of those toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe things.
In closing, the tax man cometh Friday.
(1) Fri Apr 15 2005 10:23 PST Come One, Come All!:
Though we don't know where we are living yet in the OC, we are currently taking visitors at Casa Chadwick for the following event.
Susie and I are very excited about this. I have already convinced my Chinese friend (Zhen), who will be in LA for the summer, to come.
(7) Mon Apr 18 2005 14:18 PST Techno Geek:
I have officially entered the 21st century: I sold an item on half.com! It was a momentous occasion, including lowballing the price and highballing the competition. We'll see if I really get paid or not (I am still rather skeptical of the whole eBay scene myself). But an unneeded textbook on business law that cost as much as it did deserves to live out the remainder of its days in the likes of Detroit, MI. Yeah, right. It will probably see the world before the next edition comes out. Oh that I were a textbook.
It's wierd; I feel as though I should call the buyer and talk to her about the sale, ya know, give it a customer service angle. I am not used to the faceless sale yet. With that said, I don't think I would sell my personalty online.
Took my second to last test this morning, and got a 97! Only one more test covering the basics of liquidations, stock distributions and the oh-so-fun exceptions of 305(b) and 306, and voila, life moves on.
But "school" isn't over yet. I signed up for my first set of CPA review classes, which start in May. Because there are four parts to the exam, it will be at least a year before I can bid adieu to "school" and tests. Oh well, I guess that means I've got another year before I have to grow up, then.
We got a new bishop yesterday. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. I'll probably never know the new one, as we are moving in July. That is, we are moving if we can ever find a friggin place to move in to. And I thought apartment hunting in Provo was difficult.
Sumana: Let me know your innermost hopes and desires for your Utah experience, so I can tailor it to your needs.
(3) Tue Apr 19 2005 17:25 PST Woo-Hoo!:
No more classes, no more books
No more teacher's dirty looks!
It's over. Pinch me. It's over.
(4) Sun Apr 24 2005 21:18 PST One Moment in Time:
It was a very eventful weekend. I enjoy vacations, even if I didn't go anywhere. But it always leaves me wondering how time can go by so fast on such weekends as these and yet so slow during an 8-5 work shift, or during a certain classes at my now alma mater. Highlights of the weekend are as follows:
- Graudating with my undergrad and, to my surprise, Magna Cum Laude
- Graduating with my graduate degree and, to my even greater surprise, with Distinction
- Not losing my cap during the processional (a fear of mine)
- Introducing Sumana to cheese fries and the ultimate dipping sauce (a Utah original)
- Cohabitating with four other people in my tiny apartment
- Getting to wear a robe with a hood and "bat wings" as mom called them; it felt like I was graduating from Hogwarts!
- Helping Sumana buy boots for $3.50 at Deseret Industries; the experience was completely void of buyer's remorse
- Celebrating mom's 29th birthday!
- Eating at Macaroni Grill with every member of my wife's family; I think the restaurant will never be the same.
- Reading used children's books in Sam Weller's in SLC. As an aside, I am still sorry for the misunderstanding. I honestly could have stayed there another hour, taking a stroll down memory lane with my used Rhoad Dahl book.
- Introducing Sumana to TRAX
- Eating at Thai-Foon. I still can't decide what I liked best between the Mango Chicken, Evil Tofu Princess, and Wasabi potatos.
- Squishing too many girls into the backseat of my car.
- Getting caught in the rain
- Distracting Leonard and Sumana from working on vacation
- Playing the dot game with Ember
- Finding the Provo train station (and I've lived here how long now?)
- Bridal Veil Falls, sorta
- Deciding which kind of pet Sumana is most suited to adopt (ferel cats!)
- Studying comma etiquette
- Bargaining with the devil (meat for liquor)
- Learning mom doesn't REALLY have a degree
All in all, it was a weekend of making the impossible possible.
(1) Wed Apr 27 2005 11:11 PST The Laughter of God:
Watched "The Amazing Race" last night. All was in good form. Rob, who tries to play the game like "Survivor," tried to trick the old couple by asking them if they got on the earlier flight to Istanbul. There was no earlier flight; Rob was just messing with their heads.
Ha! There was an earlier flight, and thanks to him, all the teams moved in front of him except for Ron & Kelly (who I don't like anyway), because he broke his alliance with them.
Though I shouldn't care if they lose, it made me smile to see him get a taste of his own medicine. I guess if he wins the race or not is really irrelevant. According to Sumana, Susie, and Dante, a traitorous, diabolical mind like his is destined for the seventh layer of hell, which is rumored to be the "refried beans" layer anyway.
We leave for California this afternoon. I hope it is smooth sailing (literally) and we can find a place to live. I got my CPA exam CD's for two parts of the exam yesterday, so now I have something to do in the car. Hope I can muster the energy to study on vacation!
We're coming Tyler!
(2) Fri Apr 29 2005 17:55 PST Good Times:
We found a place to live! It all started by visiting Orange and Tustin. Both places, while very cheap, are run down and slightly scary. Orange especially. We would be in a four plex above two cohabitating mentally challenged individuals. We were told they were in a scary neighborhood. Well, the neighborhood was very very nice. It was the apartment itself that was scary. We opted out.
Next we went to South Coast Plaza so Susie could see my office. We ate there at a soup and bread bowl place. The last apartment complex before I gave up on life was the Avalon in Costa Mesa, two miles from the office, and about 10 miles from Uncle Justin's. Wow. They were cheap AND nice! We didn't think it was possible. We get a garage, and are 30 seconds from the 405 and the 55. We quickly signed, and are locked into an apartment. We both feel good of it.
Now we can relax tomorrow. So far we've gone to my nephew Justin's baseball game, played a bunch of games with Tyler, and studied for the CPA exam. I've done seven of the 50+ lectures on regulations alone. It's going to be a long year studying for this test.
I got a 4.00 on my last semester at BYU. With all my grades in, that means I am officially allowed to graduate now. My final GPA was a 3.91! Could have (and should have) been higher, but oh well. Right now I am watching the angels beat the twins with my nephew Chad. Two more days until our cruise!!!
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