So Over April

Spring has come to Maryland and apparently this is a good thing? I can’t speak for everybody else, but tbh I’m pretty over it because we’re right smack in the middle of The Pollening and everyone’s been sneezing their brains out. The good news is that cute Easter rings arrived in the bakery at work:

My mom said the bunny looks like an egg and dude she’s not wrong 😂😂😂 I’m not sure what I’m going to do with Mr. Bunny, but right now he’s down in the kitchen keeping the owl salt and pepper shakers company. In the meantime here’s more food pics, because apparently this is a food blog now #IAcceptFullResponsibility

Yesterday one of the senior designers wanted tacos for lunch, so she mobilized the rest of us and we dropped all our projects and piled into two cars and ran off to the nearest taco bar. I’d never been to this place, but I see it all the time because it’s fused to the convenience store attached to the gas station down the street from the office. I’m not really sure if it’s actually part of the gas station or not, but either way it’s apparently so popular that by the time we got there there were about a billion people milling around trying to buy tacos. Luckily we weren’t planning on staying anyway, so we got our food and scooted back to work before anyone noticed the entire design department was missing. And after the tacos there was cake, because it was somebody’s birthday and the universe is clearly trying to kill me.

I. REGRET. NOTHINNNNNNG.

In other news I was going to talk a little bit about my progress on The Count of Monte Cristo but it quickly spiraled out of control and ballooned into a huge long rant and I couldn’t figure out how to finish it and I am le tired so that will have to wait for another post x_____x (but seriously I have to finish Monte Cristo because I finally got my hands on The Ghost Bride and it’s by a new  author named Yangsze Choo who sounds literally like my twin and it looks divine and I want to read it nowwwwwww gaaaAAAHHH #bookwormproblems)

This is how fucking inconveniently OCD I am: I bought Choo’s second book before I bought Ghost Bride (meant to buy them both at once but it wasn’t meant to be), but I made the mistake of peeking into The Night Tiger a little bit farther than I should have and I saw a line that looked like a reference to Ghost Bride and now I have to read Ghost Bride before I read Night Tiger because SPOILERS.

And now it’s way later than I planned and I am still le tired, and it’s time for kitty-dragons to go to bed. Good night, world. We’ll rant together tomorrow.

P.S. I JUST THIS MOMENT SAW A GOODREADS REVIEW THAT SAYS GHOST BRIDE IS SPIRITED AWAY FOR ADULTS AND IF THAT’S TRUE I’M GOING TO CRY HUGE TEARS OF HAPPINESS NNNNNRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH MUST FINISH MONTE CRISTO T_____T

Kitty Paws

After five(ish) years with a 5S, I finally upgraded my phone!

Okay so technically that’s not accurate: I did upgrade somewhere around 2016, but literally only to swap my 16GB 5S for a 32GB 5S. (Seriously, that was the reason.) There’s a number of reasons I’ve been resisting everything past the fifth-gen iPhones, including (1) the missing headphone jack, (2) the missing home button, and (3) the sheer fucking size of every phone that wasn’t my dainty little 5S. Unfortunately that same little 5S decided to stab me in the back by killing its own battery (look, I said I was sorry about all the times I threw it), so I finally got fed up enough to trade it in.

The main problem that I didn’t really anticipate was that I have teeny-tiny kitty paws and this thing is the size of Jupiter wtf

SERIOUSLY I COULD BLUDGEON SOMEBODY WITH THIS GORRAM PHONE WHY ARE PHONES SO BIG NOW THEY’RE LITERALLY MINI TABLETS AND MY HANDS ARE NOT BIG ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT. The other problem was that I put off upgrading for so long that Apple wasn’t actively looking for my phone model so I only got like $28 for it ;____; I mean that’s better than nothing but considering I got my last two phones pretty much for free it was a bit of a blow. Next time I’ll know better!

Rocky start aside, I love this phone. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to the missing headphone jack and home button but I’ve caught myself trying to use XR-specific gestures on my iPad so apparently I’ve acclimated and I also finally get to use the Totoro PopSocket my friends gave me, which is now one of my favorite things ever ❤️ also I now have a phone that doesn’t scream and kill itself every time it gets down to 31% battery THIS IS SO NICE EVEN IF I DO HAVE TO PLAY TWO-HANDED TEMPLE RUN and of course the first thing I did with the shiny new camera was start photographing my food because #priorities 😀 😀 😀

Last Sunday my parents and I went to a new Thai restaurant for dinner, and it was fucking amazing. We had the curry puffs, wok-charred rice noodles with chicken, squid, and Chinese salted cabbage, spicy fried catfish with Thai eggplant, curry soup noodles with chicken drumsticks (like, literally chicken drumsticks in a big bowl with the soup poured over them), and Thai tea croissant pudding. The pudding was a little too soft for my taste, but everything else was pretty much perfect and I’m currently trying to figure out how I can kidnap all my friends introduce all my friends to this restaurant. If  this keeps up I’m going to be a roly-poly dragon but I don’t even care right now because NOODLESSSSSSSS ❤️❤️❤️

Aftermath

Or: It’s been a little over a week since we woke up to a Jennicorn-shaped hole in the wall, and I suddenly remembered I promised journal comics.

On Jennicorn’s last night, I decided it would be nice to stalk find her and say goodbye before I went home.

Fortunately everyone else on her floor had gone home, so there was nobody around to wonder why a dragon was scaling her cube. Unfortunately the cube was empty, so I said goodbye to her coat and then went off to my car.

Epilogue

There actually was a happy ending to this because (1) I decided this would make a good journal comic, (2) I realized I had no idea how to draw a cubicle, and (3) I’ve watched too many movies. Jennicorn turned out to be in a nearby conference room while I was saying goodbye to her coat, and she came out in time to catch me taking pictures of her cube because I’m ridiculous. Whatever works…

We Interrupt This Program

Things I was supposed to do this week:
  1. Ship two projects.
  2. Buy a baby shower gift.
  3. Try to get my ass up to Boston. (Don’t ask if I’ve started applying to the 50 bazillion jobs I bookmarked on Monday, cus I’ll never tell.)
  4. Draw two of the journal comics I promised when we first launched this site.
  5. Get started on a couple of freelance projects.
  6. Generally keep my shit together.
Things I wasn’t supposed to do but still did anyway:
  1. Get into a fist fight with InDesign.
  2. Lose my shit, rage across the Pacific, and rampage through Tokyo.
  3. Leave my music folder at school.

I usually have my violin lesson on Saturdays, but I’ll be at a baby shower this Saturday so my teacher let me come in on Wednesday. We had a good time and made fine progress reteaching me the Schindler’s List parts I learned a couple weeks ago which I 100% have practiced I swear and then when it was time to go I remembered to zip up my violin case properly but somehow managed to leave this smug little shit on the music stand AND IT IS LAUGHING AT ME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ (non v.g.)

I wasn’t planning on raging across the Pacific, but just as I was congratulating myself on leaving work 30 minutes early I remembered I needed to go pick up my folder. Which is not in itself a tragedy, but I’ve been feeling weird today because, I don’t know, it’s a Thursday? (Yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me either.) Whatever the reason, I spiraled hard during the drive and was on track to devolve into full-blown Order of the Phoenix Harry when I arrived at the school and got blasted with a huge dose of nature’s answer to mental health problems:

 

ASD;JKFGHKLVHHHHHH WHAT MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS I DON’T HAVE ANY MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS I MEAN LOOK AT THAT SWEET LITTLE FAAAAAAAAACE /dead

Then since I happened to be by a bakery (total coincidence), I bought three cookies, ate one in the car, and wondered vaguely why all my problems can’t solve themselves so politely.

At least tomorrow’s Friday?

Taxes, Tips, and Tantrums

I must’ve angered the tax gods because I’m still unable to cross this damned project off my list. What’s taking me so long? I always itemize my deductions, a task that will always and forever be tedious. Nonetheless, in the adult world, it’s important to itemize your deductions to see if itemizing or taking the standard deduction will benefit you. Feel free to check out Nerd Wallet’s blog on Itemized Deductions if you want to learn more.

Another added delay is due to my decision to use the TurboTax Live Self-Employed ($199.99 or $179.99 + 2% cash back through Ebates) option. Once you complete all the requested information and provide blood and your firstborn child, you will have the option of scheduling a live meeting with a CPA/EA to review your taxes before submitting, which is comforting for someone who is recently unemployed and has a small business and other complex tax situations.

I should note that this is my first time meeting with a CPA or EA via the web, so I’ll make sure to report back tomorrow. I can, however, vouch for the EA with TurboTax’s Max Audit Defense, who assisted the Mister and myself during a stressful tax review of our 2016 returns. Long story longer, during a 401k rollover, one of the two institutions we were working with inadvertently transposed some numbers, and we were staring at a pretty scary notice of:

Please remit XX dollars to Uncle Sam within the month, or we will slaughter you and your entire bloodline.

Thankfully, our superhero EA was more than empathetic each time I lost my shit on the phone.  He explained that he would (i) manage all correspondence with the IRS moving forward and that we should notify him if the IRS reached out; (ii) superhero EA would then review all documents and contact me with any additional needs and/or updates; (iii) after an eternity, the IRS would decide either (a) we don’t owe squat or (b) we owe a shit ton of $$$ + interest, which superhero EA would negotiate to the lowest amount possible. The end result? We didn’t owe a dime since I file/save pretty much EVERYTHING.

Looping back to the last delay, I received a Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit (thanks Maryland!). For Marylanders with student loans, each year you can apply for a tax credit to use towards your student loans. The only con is that those of you who e-file, like me, will need to mail in your MD taxes along with the Final Certificate of Approval that is mailed to you. How is this a con? Snail mail means state refunds will take a while to reach your pockets.

At any rate, the 64th Annual Taxing Games are upon us and I hope my tips will help others but please feel free to comment below with your own suggestions and/or experiences.

May the refunds be ever in your favour.

Unproductively Productive

Or productively unproductive…

Regardless of how one might perceive my productivity on the third day of my 30 Days of Projects campaign, I certainly worked a lot but did not accomplish what I intended to accomplish – my taxes. I wholeheartedly blame TurboTax as it didn’t auto-save the information I entered. It decided to time out when I ran downstairs to refill my sad and empty glass because GOD FORBID a human being get thirsty whilst entering her taxes.

Despite its flaws, I still love TurboTax and for those who love a bit of extra savings, if you use TurboTax via Ebates.com, you can get $20 off plus up to 7.5% back on Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed Editions.

Anyhoo, I’m 75% through this annual traumatic ordeal and hope to have a more productive update EOD 4/4/19.

Cheers.

When life hands you the wrong seminar, get a library card.

I had every intention of providing a thorough write-up on what I learned from a financial seminar I was to attend this evening; however, there was a mix-up with the events. Tonight’s seminar was on social security and medicare, not the savings and investment topics that initially caught my attention. Though these topics are important, by the time I reach the applicable age (whatever age that may be in the future), it’s likely that the laws and the programs themselves will have changed significantly, making Millennials like myself question whether we’ll even have access to those benefits – but I digress.

Consequently, I decided to tackle another project on my list: resolve my library card’s status – err, or lack thereof. And now that I have restored my MoCo library membership and gotten a bit of redemption as a self-proclaimed bookworm, I have also discovered some awesome services provided by MCPL:

  1. Free access to Lynda.com
  2.  Books for $1.00 thanks to the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, MD

Not only do I have a lovely new library card with all the incredible online educational tools, I’m the proud owner of 3 new books for the low, low price of $3.00 – all proof that when life hands you the wrong seminar, get a library card.

30 Days of Projects

April 1, 2019 is not only my first day of freedom from the corporate shackles but the commencement of finishing all of my unfinished projects. Inspired by a friend and former colleague, I aim to accomplish at least one project on each day of April. Today, I finally set up my new desk and reorganized my work space.

One down and only 29 more to go!