helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I can't decide whether to be sad for the death of the artist and choreographer who created Thriller in the 1980s, or to be happy that the tortured freak he had become is at rest.
helen99: The sentience... Where is it?? (Intelligent Lifeforms)
So I did taxes last night. And by "last night," I mean the whole night. I got maybe 5 minutes of sleep at around 6:30 and then got up. I had intended to spend several nights on it and actually give myself some time to gather all the pieces of paper I needed and put them together. Nope. Once I get started on something like that, it's not over till it's over. It was a Project.

I thought I'd gathered together all requisite paperwork, but I was missing two 1040-INT forms, two property tax statements, and the purchase price of a sold security. So I spent hours looking for them. I found all but one INT form which would have shown a negligible amount of interest. Locating the rest of them took going through all the year's papers and actually reading them to see what they were. I did locate them finally, sometime during the hours when many people are born or die. (OOoo. Sundance Kid by Kent is a great song! So's "The Golden Age" by Beck).

Anyway, after going through the statements and organizing them into chronologically consecutive notebooks, I was able to trace back the history of when the sold security first appeared on the statements, and then looked up on the net how much it cost around that month so I could subtract from the sale price to calculate the loss. I somehow still showed a cap gain though. Hence I downloaded the Instructions so I could see what I might have missed in the calculations. Nothing that I could see - still muddling through it. It would not have made an appreciable difference in the refund, so finally I just declared it "done" and e-filed. Edit - I heard from the bank (I couldn't resist inquiring about the "missing" 1040-INT). They said that account isn't interest-bearing. That would be why I couldn't find the 1040-INT form. D'oh.

So here I am at work. And by "Work" I mean listening to a band called "Rock Kills Kid" on Pandora which played right after a great one called "I am over it" by the Dandy Warhols which was quickly followed by New Order playing Slow Jam (etc.). I've created an eclectic Indie station that has so far been consistently good.

I'm reviewing the "Instructions" for the form 1040 to figure out if I did this thing correctly (the checker says I did - so at least I was internally consistent if nothing else). By "Instructions", I mean a 90-page document that purports to tell you how to fill out the "Simplified" tax return (HAHAHA!) I went through all of the possible rebates, deductions, and exemptions and found I qualified for very few of them. Even the Rebate eluded me, since I already received the Stimulus. We're still getting a good refund after State taxes, filing fees, and Turbotax (no, we couldn't free-file). It was pretty bizarre going down the wondrous list of things I thought I could qualify for but didn't. It was like, "There's this GREAT thing you can take advantage of, and by "You," I mean someone else." I'm officially wealthy.

Wealth doesn't buy everything though. As some may have noticed, it's April. One may recall how I feel about April, but if not, here's a review:

Dear April: My name is Inigo99 Montoya. You killed my father. And my mother. And my brother in law. And my youth. And, you most certainly killed last night. Prepare to die.

So ok. I really love April. The trees are just getting their first tiny leaves and flowers are blooming. Everything is being reborn. <----Sleep dep talking, really

Never Win by Fischerspooner and Mary Please by the Brian Jonestown Massacre are wonderful songs - remind me of springtime...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I've noticed that an organism who is past reproductive age usually begins the process of deterioration and death. The fact that this organism may yet have something to contribute does not seem to matter. All that matters is the fact that it is consuming resources that could be used by a breeder. Said breeder is more important for the continuation of the species.

I'd like to see this work differently. A species could live on if it didn't reproduce that often, so long as it was physically long-lived. Someone has to convince nature that it doesn't have to operate on the principle of planned obsolescence. To hell with spiritual immortality. I want the choice of extreme longevity here on earth, not some ephemeral promise geared to keep people obedient to some implicate order that exists by agreement only. I think people would be a lot more careful how they walked the earth if they knew they had to walk it for the next 1000 years or so, not to mention the fact that they might actually accomplish something of value once they got tired of their infantile squabbles.

This is not to say that I would choose to stick around forever - but I would like to have that choice.

Bees

Nov. 28th, 2008 07:23 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Our bees had clustered and were doing fine .. until this week. Rialian found them all dead yesterday evening, many in mid-activity, most in the cluster. It's possible they swarmed a couple of times (there were several empty queen cells visible, although those could have been killed off by the reigning queen). There were also new bees just emerging from the cells. If the cold had waited another week or so, they may have had the numbers necessary to generate enough heat. This was disappointing - I'd kind of hoped that this particular hive would overwinter. Rialian collected the wax and honey and spent most of the night boiling down the wax and extracting the honey. The bees hadn't even touched the syrup he'd given them - there was still plenty of honey for them. We got a large chunk of wax and several large combs full of honey. Not what we were hoping for this year, though. We'd planned to let them keep that for the winter. We'll start over next year, probably at the new place, maybe look into better sheltering. When we looked at the hive, we saw that they had patched up all possible rain entrances with wax, and some of the bars were patched together. There was a lot of burr comb on the edges, but the interior combs were straight and separate - very easy to lift out. They had done a wonderful job. Unfortunately the cold snap came about a week too soon.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I remember when there was a big flap about I Used to Love Her by Guns n Roses.

Then today I heard Knoxville Girl by the Louvin Brothers, about which there never was the slightest flap.

And then of course there is the Finnish band Värttinä, who wrote a song about a woman who ate her children, and another song with the following lyrics: "I throw off sparks, I tear from my tongue words as twisted as tree-roots. I poke the fire of hatred with my words, I hurl hate back at you. My mood blackens, blacker than the mind of any mortal. My loathing drips blood, my pain slashes, curses, drenches with pus."

Um, All-rightee then. So anyway.

It's funny that people singled out GNR's "I used to love her," when in fact much folk music worldwide (for example, music from Finland and Tennessee) goes where that song never dared to go.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I suppose I should have suspected something when he never sent the pics he promised... Still -- I attributed that to being busy or an "out of sight out of mind" kind of thing. Easy to do with an ex-coworker whose only connection with you is that they sold you a car...

On Thursday I received notification of a certified letter that I was to pick up at the post office. The following day, we went to the post office to get it. It was an official looking letter from a towing company in Baltimore. The letter said that they had my car. After the first "wtf", we realized that the car they meant was Smurf.

The person I sold Smurf to never even registered the car, so I was the last registered owner, hence the letter. We called the towing place and asked what shape Smurf was in.

Totaled. It had been left to rot on some lot for the past whatever time it's been -- I'd have to check back in my LJ to see exactly when I sold it to him. He claimed to have repainted it, but now I don't believe him. I think he just said that to appease the weird person who called him 2 or 3 times to see how a worthless heap she sold him a while ago was doing. I told him to return it if he didn't want it anymore, but since he had let it rot, I suppose he decided not to go that route. As for me, the lot fees from December would cost more than I'd get for the parts, and I have no place to store an unregistered heap, so I told them to scrap it.

So it ends.

I am inordinately sad over the demise of a car. I suppose it's because it was my mom's car before she sold it to me. It occurs to me that its life ended around the same time hers did. They found it about a month ago, but it looked to have been dead for longer than that. Probably since April.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Vampira (not to be confused with Elvira), a.k.a. Maila Nurmi, died in her sleep today. Born 21 December 1921 in Petsamo, Finland, she appeared in Plan 9 From Outer Space, and was a close friend of James Dean. In later years, she lived in Hollywood as something of a recluse, without a telephone or car.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I first met you (or more accurately, your books) around 1963 when I was meg's age. You were one year younger than my mom. You should look her up now - you had a lot in common and she loved you too, as I did.

My favorite recent quote from you (after you saw the movie they made of your book and an interviewer asked if it met your expectations) was, "Oh yes! I expected it to be bad, and it was!"

You were quite smashing when you were young, you know. And you stayed beautiful all your life.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Was listening to "The Beekeeper" by Tori Amos this morning, and found this to be appropriate to the last several months. Her mother's failing health and the prospect of losing her inspired this song.

The Beekeper by Tori Amos )
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This article obviously doesn't say who the victim was (my mom), or who the driver was (my uncle). My uncle and everyone else in the accident are ok.

Edit: For the record, she always went by her middle name Christy, not "Bertha". Bertha (which appears in all the records and reports) is actually a bad translation of the Greek name Panagiota (meaning All Holy), which was shortened to Pota, which became Bertha. My uncle Lou's real name is Leonidas, of all things. How cool is that. He should have just left his name as it was. I guess the idea back then was to avoid getting singled out in school for being different.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I went to Borders to use a birthday gift card from my brother. After staring at rows of useless books, I ordered a copy of Wild Fermentation so we can have a lending copy but retain one for everyday use. Then I walked toward the music section, hoping they'd have something there that I'd like. On the way to the music section, I passed through the audio books and noticed a copy of "The Fallen". This is a story about a detective who falls out a window, and from then on he has synesthesia. His particular form of synesthesia allows him to see people's emotions as form and color, which is useful to a detective if the emotions don't match the words. I figured this theme had been done before (Steven King?), but thought to myself, "Mom would probably like this - maybe I should pick it up for her". And then the next thought was, "that will lo longer be necessary".

I quickly left the store. Just as well. It was time to head back, and there was nothing there.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
If anyone is going to school at VA Tech or has friends at VA Tech or may have been anywhere near Virginia Tech when this happened, please let me know you're OK.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070416/ap_on_re_us/virginia_tech_shooting
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Thanks to everyone for well wishes. In for a minute to eat, then back out to pick up groceries and go over to my brother's house to help him take care of the next couple of days.

Phone call

Apr. 12th, 2007 08:14 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
my mom was in an accident. broken pelvis. cracked ribs. admitted critical. cardiac arrest. didn't make it. I am shocked/sick now.

September 24 1917 to April 12 2007. Died when she was in good health (still doing exercises every day), never had to experience the disability and loss of freedom that many people in their 90s do. So I rationalize. I stop rationalizing now - there is no rational now.

Mom, was it time now?

Did you want to go yet? you were doing great..

I guess if there is an afterlife you can see Dad now.

I guess.

If there is.

Mom?

Can you hear me?

Mom???

Good night sweet saint who loved me all my life and who never said an unkind word to anyone.

I loved you. I love you. I'm glad I saw you last Sunday.

I guess the birthday party's off, huh. Just like it was when dad died on april 8.

4 days apart.

Just like you, twins that you were.

I miss you

Already

shock

goodnight
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Molly Ivins, a populist Texan journalist who lampooned a lot of people who truly needed it, dies at 62

People around my age are dropping like flies. I think I'll drink more water and cut the coffee a little.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
1/11 has been declared Kallisti day. Other people surely called it something else. Disagreements no doubt ensued. Eris stood by, and rolled a golden apple to someone.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
When I adopted Sassua almost a year ago, I had intended it to be a temporary fostering until she could be transferred to a permanent home. The original plan had been to give her to a friend who had expressed interest. However, that never happened because I wanted to do the ingrown claw surgery first. The ingrown claw surgery got put off until very recently, though, and meanwhile that person found a stray kitten and took her in. Then I tried to give her to [livejournal.com profile] aekiy, but as he doesn't know where he's going to be staying or what finances will actually be like once he leaves here, he didn't feel right about taking on that responsibility right now. So... Here I was with this cat. I love her, but I already have four cats (who don't necessarily get along with her very well), and I also kept getting the feeling she didn't actually belong to me exactly. Of course I wouldn't dump her or give her to someone I didn't know. Meanwhile she planted herself on the top step leading to the upstairs where [livejournal.com profile] rialian lives. We'd thought she just found that area comfortable and safe to sleep, and we were actually a little annoyed at having to step over her enormous girth every time we tried to go up and down the stairs (it made it kind of dangerous). But it turned out she had something else altogether in mind.

Meanwhile, about a week ago, [livejournal.com profile] rialian's cat Sageti passed on (he said it was ok to mention it at this point - some may know this already). It was rather sudden and unexpected - he seemed healthy enough, and his fur was glossy and he hadn't lost any weight. This past year he had seemed to slow down a little, but nothing notceable or alarming (and he was 12 years old, so we thought it was 'normal' for his age). But one day, he was just ... gone. It was very much like Sageti, actually. He had lived his life very quietly and in the background, content to follow [livejournal.com profile] rialian from room to room while he was upstairs, and to sleep while people were out or downstairs. The second floor of the house was his territory, as he really didn't like the other cats (except Oosie, who is aerodynamic and not confinable to any one part of the house). At night, he would jump up on the bed and purr, and during the day he would sleep in a cool spot by the chair. We found him by the chair - apparently he had passed in his sleep.

A week after he passed on, Sassua arose from her perch at the top of the stairs. Someone had momentarily opened the stairway gate that we had installed to guard Sageti's territory. Like a large white mist, she slipped in unnoticed and quietly took over the upstairs. She has mostly been upstairs ever since, only coming down to say hello once in a while. My cats are not displeased...

Thus have I finally found a home for Sassua, [livejournal.com profile] rialian's new cat...

Luna dies

Jan. 21st, 2006 09:48 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)

RIP little Luna..
She was 13 months old.
This was the one who was sprung from her cage by accident when Sithreal broke into the room where the mice are. She survived seven (7) cats on her way upstairs and hid out in [livejournal.com profile] rialian's pants. She was almost done in by the Great Goddess Ossana but was found by someone when they went upstairs for a moment. Then (to her relief or chagrin? I guess I'll never know) she was returned to the safety (and relative boredom) of her 10-gallon tank...

Wellp, she was the most vibrantly colored and sweetest tempered mouse I ever had. Sometimes I thought she wasn't a mouse at all...

She's survived by her "sister" Ramona, the transgendered mouse. If she was a she. She never did have any babies though "she" lived with Ramona all her life.

April 2010

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