Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And If That Wasn't Enough.. investments lost a total of $4,300 today in the stock market dive.

I'm still well ahead and have made a very healthy profit in the last year and a half. But this is disheartening.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Payroll Can Bite Me

I am so angry right now I could spit.

As is my yearly custom, I compiled all my statements, added up my donations, and prepared a tax packet for the folks at H&R Block well ahead of the April deadline. And today, I paid them a visit to crunch the numbers.

My company still has me listed as married.

A year and a half ago, I filed all the required paperwork to notify them of my change in status. Apparently, it went into a black hole. They never changed my status, and never changed my deductions.

I now owe the IRS $4085.

Plus a $131 fine because my employer didn't withhold enough.

I am so angry right now I can't even see straight. I did everything I was supposed to do, and someone on the other end completely dropped the ball. And as a result, I owe four thousand dollars in taxes, plus a fine out of my own hard-earned money. I am livid.

Someone is going to hear about this on Monday.

Yes, I can cover the tax amount with my well-timed bonus, but I want my $131 back ! It wasn't my fault someone at Payroll ignored me.

I'm going to be on the rampage Monday morning. Payroll, watch out.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thank You, Deb

I didn't have to play last night.

After sending an email to my team, notifying them of my plight, one of my female teammates that had previously said she would not be there rearranged her schedule so she could take my place.

I am eternally grateful.

She could have continued with her plans, but instead, found alternate arrangements at the last minute. I am so thankful for her dedication. It made a huge difference.

During the game, it was 55F and very windy. Although I was wrapped in three layers and my beanie hat, and sitting in the wind-blocked dugout, I was still cold and coughing. Nothing a hot cup of coffee couldn't cure, but there is no doubt I would be deathly ill today if I'd played.

Yes, we lost in the semi-finals. But the cold beer and hot pizza after the game, and the knowledge that we all were still in one piece, made up for it all.

We will never play softball outside in the winter again. Ever.

It's not worth our health.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Choices.. Choices..

I'm sick again.

This time with the flu, conveniently appearing right after a morning of CERT volunteer work in the rain just over a week ago. And as always, the illness has caused a secondary infection in my sinuses and in my bronchial tubes.

I've lost track of how many times I've had bronchitis this year. 4 ? 5 ? It all just seems to meld together.

The antibiotics I've always used aren't working anymore. Now, I have to take something stronger. All because my fragile lungs cannot handle invasion of any type of bug.

Of course my doctor yelled at me; one, for continuing to play softball in the cold, and two, for doing the volunteer work when it was raining. I deserved that. I knew it might make me sick, and I did it anyway. I deserved every bit of the tongue-lashing I got.

But now I have a problem.

Tonight's softball game is the playoffs. The semi-final and championship. And I'm sick.

A third of my team is out, and I can't find a sub for myself. I've asked everyone on my list.

If I don't find a sub, I have a choice.

Play, or my team forfeits the championships.

WTF is a girl to do ?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Warm and Moist

As is our biweekly custom, Jeff, Rakesh, Rick and I went to lunch at one of our favorite spots, on a day we were almost certain we would not be summoned for an ERT call. This particular restaurant, Hobee's, features a most delicious low-fat coffee cake. I habitually have one with my omelet, sharing with the rest of the group.

This day, as it was Valentine's Day, I was wearing a reddish blouse and a nice necklace. As we were chatting up our usual banter, I lifted a forkful of the awesome coffee cake towards my mouth.

And watched, as it fell right down my blouse.


Maybe nobody noticed. I might be able to escape to the restroom. Rick and Jeff were absorbed in their story, but Rakesh saw the whole thing. His laughter, the placement of my fork, and my beet-red face, gave away to the others what had happened.

Slowly, agonizingly slowly, I looked down my blouse.

It was in there alright. Stuck in the opening of my V-Day push-up bra.


In front of all of these guys, whom I am proud to call my friends, I meticulously picked out the offending piece of cake, and put it on an empty plate.

Their laughter was so loud and raucous, it was gaining attention from the entire section of the restaurant. I hope none of the other patrons figured out what had happened.

It took several minutes for my face to return to a normal color.

Later, at work, Rakesh stopped by my desk to rib me about the events at lunch. He asked,

"How's that coffee cake doing ?"

"Warm. And moist."

"Good. Danny will enjoy it later on I'm sure."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Last Minute

I admit it. I completely forgot, in the hustle and stress and craziness that was this past Friday, to call and order Danny's Valentine's Day present. Sure, I got him a little gift and a card, but the big thing was supposed to be ordered and on its way by now.

T-minus two days, and I had yet to make the call. Of cousre they were closed on the weekend.

This morning, finally, I picked up the phone.

Sure, I could have requested that it be sent via two-day shipping. But this particular item is heavy, and as such, would have cost an extra $30 to expedite. While agonizing over this decision, the kind gentleman on the other end of the phone said,

"Hey, we're guys. We don't care about it being on Valentine's Day that much."

How right he was. Danny won't care if the big gift was one day late. He has something to open on the day, and besides, it's the thought that counts. Heck, even I, as the woman, would understand. I was supposed to play softball that day anyway, and we were both fine with it. The league cancelled the games, but still. It's just one day.

So I ordered it. Scheduled arrival is February 15th.

Although I am kicking myself for being a forgetful putz, I am ok with this.

I hope he is, too.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pot, Meet Kettle

Danny's sick too.

Between the two of us, we're coughing, hacking, nose-blowing Kleenex hogs. One could not see the end table for all the snot rags we placed there during a one-hour episode of Law & Order last night.

Even while sick, Danny is reluctant to miss his regular, three-times-weekly visits to the gym. It's an addiction, he says. He feels irritable and disappointed if he has to skip a workout. I understand that completely, as I feel the same way about my softball and karate. One missed opportunity renders me cranky and full of guilt. I know how he feels.

Yesterday, a few hours after texting me that he was feeling like utter crap, he went to the gym.

I wanted to kick his butt. Working out while sick is a terrible strain on your body. You need to rest and allow yourself to heal. That is what I've always said to people around me. But I know perfectly well that I don't follow my own advice.

This past weekend, I went to my karate class on Saturday, and then to my belt promotion test on Sunday. I felt like a truck had run over me both mornings. I had no strength, and very little energy; barely able to get out of bed with the effects of this sinus infection. But I ignored my bodily ailments, sucked it up, and went anyway. Yes, I made it through both classes, but barely.

So, when Danny told me he went to the gym yesterday, what, really, could I say to him ?

Absolutely nothing.

We both love our exercise, and would not even consider giving it up unless we're on our deathbeds. I can't, in good conscience, give him heck for doing the very same thing that I had just done on the weekend.

Call us crazy. Call us addicted. But nobody can ever call us lazy.

Now, it's time to pop some more Sudafed.

I need to be snot-free for karate tonight.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I feel like crap.

My weekly ritual of playing softball on Wednesday nights in the freezing cold and whipping wind has taken its toll. I'm sick, yet again, as a direct result of a chilly, blustery night outside.

What was the league thinking ? Undoubtedly they wanted to make more money during the winter season, when nobody really wants to play. So they extended the "fall" season, which used to end in December, to February.

Sure, they got their business. Sure, they got their money. But it's killing us.

This is the third time I've fallen sick the day after a particularly cold game. My teammates are constantly pulling muscles and getting hurt. And almost every week, one or more of them tell me they cannot make it, necessitating a scramble to find subs.

We can't do this again. I can't do this again.

The league simply won't get our money for the entire fall/winter if they choose to stick with this stupid "extended" schedule. Their loss. It's not worth our health.

I hope I won't have to go to the ER with another asthma attack this time around.

When I visited the doctor today, for my umpteenth antibiotic prescription this year, she wagged her finger at me with a stern look on her face. "No more softball in the cold," she said. My asthma is being triggered by the close-to-freezing temperatures. My immune system is compromised. If I keep this up, I'll never truly recover.

Of course I'll still play the last two weeks of our playoffs. But after that, I'm done.

This week's game shows rain in the forecast.

I hope it pours. I need a week off.
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