November 1, 2003

November the First

Well look at that it's November already.
And I only posted once in all of October.
My bad.

This will be my In-Between-Thanksgiving-and-Remembrance-Day entry.

Actually I have one thing to add to the Thanksgiving list, which I should do before I turn bitchy again and change my mind:

My cousins.

I have five first cousins, all older than I am.
So much so that when I was growing up, they were too far ahead of me to really be friends with; but I adored them.
I still remember times when Gail, the closest to me in age, would come over and visit; her sister, Joy, was too far away in age, and later in location, but we became close when her mother became ill and Joy would spend more time in Montreal.

Carol, the oldest female cousin, would spend weeks at our home when her parents were travelling and I looked at her as a kind of older sister - goddess figure. She was a teenager in the 1950s, and gloriously typical of that era or so it appeared to me. Later she became an elementary school teacher and then married, had babies, and moved to Calgary.

I wasn't as close with my male cousins; only one is still in Montreal and we aren't regularly in touch. My fault at least as much as his.

Then we come to Fred in Toronto.
Whom I suspect has been nosing around this journal for some time now.
(If I'm wrong, whoever has been visiting from an Ontario ISP and looking up family names in my site search, please tell me who you are!)
I had SUCH a crush on Fred (then known as Freddie).
He was drop dead gorgeous.
And quite a ladies man as well. I was too young to understand much but I get the idea he had quite an interesting life before settling down.

Except for the pair of sisters mentioned above (who live at extreme opposite ends of the U.S.) we are all only children.
(That must mean something but I have no idea what!)

For years I resented my cousins for coming into town and not letting me know they were here; the closeness we never much had as children continued, it seemed.
Gradually I came to realize it wasn't rejection so much as benign neglect.
I can relate to that (as can my plants, who thrive under that regime!)
And really I'm no better than they are at keeping in touch.
Which is why I'm so glad that Gail reads (I think she still does!) and that the others, if not regulars, at least know where to find me.
Including, I hope, Fred-in-Toronto.
Would you e-mail me already please???



In other news...

In September, on impulse, I signed up for an income tax course.
Just saw the ad in the paper and said, I can do that.

I've never prepared my own taxes - my parents and then husband always took care of it and being so woefully ignorant about an important part of life-planning makes me nervous.

We're about halfway though the course and it has been.. quite an education in several ways,
one of which being the actual course material.

It didn't help that I chose the once-a-week class instead of twice a week.
So every Saturday I'm there from 9 AM to 4 PM.
Even with breaks, that's over five hours of instruction.
On income tax.

The advantage of this schedule is, no fighting traffic, lots of parking right by the door.
The disadvantage is, my brain needs life support by 1 or 2 PM.

This is an actual academic course, with assignments, exams, a certificate at the end and a possibility of a tax preparer's seasonal job every spring.
You need 80% to be considered for an interview.
The textbooks are TWO HUGE FOLDERS (one for Federal, one for Provincial tax) packed with text, exercises, charts, and unfortunately errors.
Just to make it more challenging.
Then there are all the extra forms and slips and guides.
The exam (NEXT SATURDAY) is open-book but you need to be very familiar with the material in order to have a hope of finding the right reference for the problem at hand.
And they are tricky.
Then comes the computer phase of the course (which I'm hoping will be easier for me!)

It's way more work than I thought it would be... but fun when things I never understood start to make sense.
Slowly.
After the tenth reading.
And good to know I can still learn some new tricks!



Linque Du Jour:   Hinesight!
"strange things can happen when a middle aged woman finds technology"

Not the least of which is server angst!



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