The following is an actual email I sent to our dear Diane von Austinburg earlier. I’m using it here because I am too lazy to make up new stuff for this blog and because I firmly believe in the value of recycling. Also I want it on the record how grateful I am for Diane being so patient with my correspondence which is both erratic and rambling.
I’m trying to hack my way down through a stack of paperwork I have allowed to languish since some time before Christmas. Some of it is taxes (even more complicated than usual because of the New Orleans house,) some of it is bills (one which appears to be something related to New Orleans. Oy.) and the rest, who knows, paraphernalia (a word which just took me much too long looking up to spell correctly.) Naturally, Saki insists on inserting himself in the middle of it all.
My method of dealing with all this is for every two envelopes I open and resolve, I get to go do something more amusing, but briefly. That’s a lie, my real method of dealing with it is to ignore it, which is how I wound up with a stack three inches tall. And an incredibly annoying cat. Please regard each paragraph of this email as my treat for handling some ridiculous demand.
(editor’s note: the following is a kind of stream of more-or-less consciousness that comments on the bills and such as I deal with them.)
This just in, the flood insurance people in NOLA want me to renew my policy there on a property I sold months ago. I’d ignore it, but something tells me that would only produce more trouble down the line.
I had my credit card number hacked last month (which I found out about because of subscriptions to several porn sites that were really dreadful, even by my admittedly low standards, which popped up on my statement.) I cancelled that card, but since I used it for several recurring charges like cable and cell phone, I’ve been straightening out overdue bills all month. When I contacted the credit card people about the charges and to cancel the card, I found myself in the middle of a lengthy chat with a nice young man about which porn charges I was disputing and which ones were OK. “No, no, Hotmormonboyz is fine, it’s Tittybabes that’s got to go.”
Every year, my tax guy asks how much California sales tax I didn’t pay on internet purchases. The answer “Not that much” appears to be insufficient.
I now have a credit card, an atm card, and a debit card from my bank, which seems excessive. I think I’ll give one to Saki.
A cheery note from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission assures me “The current flow factor of 77% will be adjusted to 80% to reflect a 25% reduction in your irrigation usage effective July 1, 2015 and will remain in effect until the water emergency shortage is lifted.” To which I can only reply “Thank the merciful god of whatever.” The office trash can is now three quarters full. That’s 75%.
A sweet little bank near here that was foolish enough to give me a home equity line of credit, just sent me four blank checks (I already have a boxful of them) like some odd banking Xmas card. I could call and ask why, but I think I’ll just give them to Saki.
They also sent me a debit card. It’s like being in an correspondece based stripper club with banks flinging cards at me instead of crumpled up singles.
The San Francisco Chronicle wants to renew my subscription, to which I say “Good luck.” The Chron was never a great paper, but in the last few years has devolved into not much more than tweets filed by interns.
More than half of university students responding to a NY Times survey did not know how to fill out a check. But I can now see the bottom of the pile.
Hoo hoo, we have now reached the last envelope! Unfortunately, it’s the one from my tax guy which I know from experience includes a bunch of checklists and impertinent questions and BOLDFACE DEADLINES, probably long since past. I take a deep breath and plunge in. Appropriately, iTunes is playing “Me and the Devil” by Gil Scott Heron. Do you know it? It’s a great song.
OMYGOD, I’m finished and it turns out this thing isn’t due until March 15. I am early, bitches. Unprecedented.
Oh man, tax guy has moved. He used to be in this totally cool building erected right after the earthquake. Not that I visited that often.
And that concludes our taxes for 2015, plus all sorts of other annoying bits. And I didn’t kill Saki
I gotta go, I have to go watch some Mormon boys be nasty. Thank you for your patience,