Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tell Me All Your Thoughts On God

Our book club read the Shack by William Young. I was a little apprehensive before the discussion, because I wasn’t crazy about the book, although I know some people are. But as always, it was a great conversation with the ladies, not only hearing their different perspectives on the book, as well as an amazing conversation about our different perspectives on God, Spirituality and Religion.
One of the questions we discussed was whether we liked Young’s vision/description of God. My answer was that honestly, I prefer my own 4 year old child’s impressions of God.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs, by Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars.” It’s a song full of great imagery of childhood and adult/child interaction. When I first heard it I was reminded of summer evenings with my grandma, playing the counting cars game. But it also made me wish for a child of my own to whom I could say, “tell me all your thoughts of God.”

So I’m loving my little boy’s thoughts, like, “I think God’s house is really, really big, bigger than the whole world. And the whole world is inside it. And it’s invisible.” I wonder how to respond to his complaints that “God didn’t say anything back to me,” or “God didn’t give me what I wanted.” (what did he want? Oh, just a pet bird.) Or “God knows how to get to the restaurant, because God knows just about everything.”

It makes me laugh, it makes me think back to when I longed to have a little one to have these conversations with, and it takes me back to my own childhood, the carefree games, the incomprehensible adults, a memory of fresh air. It’s one of the most wonderful things about parenthood, that vision back into the past with new eyes, like rewatching a movie with a twist ending like “The Sixth Sense” or “Fight Club” and saying “aha”, as everything becomes clear with new meaning.

Monday, April 25, 2011

T'witter or not t'witter?

See that cute little "follow me on twitter" button I've just added to my blog?  No?  You don't see it?  Over there, on the right.  Yeah, that's it down a little more.  A little more, a little more.  Oops too far. there you go. 

It only took me about 1.35 hours to get that itty bitty little thing on this blog, I honestly did not think I was that technically challenged.  Maybe there was a glitch.  Yeah, that's it, a glitch.

Anyway, if you are more tech savvy than me, and are already on Twitter, why don't you go ahead and follow me? I promise it will be painless.  I don't even have an i-phone so I can only tweet from the safety of my own home.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Detonation

1 am Sunday April 17th. Back home from the My Chemical Romance concert and happy to say, I have no regrets. Not the tickets I overpaid for on Stubhub, not ditching work early on the last Saturday before tax day, not the 2 hour drive or the $4/gallon gas, not my crazy 6 ponytailed hairdo, not the fact that the majority of the audience was half my age, and not the fact that I had to drag my reluctant husband along to a show he probably hated.

To be fair, he didn’t actually say he hated it; it was something more like “I don’t think that’s my scene.”

Well, I can say, without any hesitation, that it was definitely my scene. Since I’ve been anticipating this concert for two months now, I was prepared for, well, anything, and trying not to let my expectations get too high. Outside the Orbit Room, shivering in the rain/sleet/damnyoumichigan/wind, I was pleased to see the crowd a good mixture of ages and genders, much to my relief, as I was fearing a onslaught of fangirlyness that thankfully never materialized.

Once inside the Orbit Room, I was thrilled at the smaller size of the venue and eager to get in with the crowd in front of the stage, ok, not first row, because I wasn’t willing to wait in the rain/sleet/damnyoumichigan/snow, for several hours, but still, close enough to ensure I could clearly see the faces of the performers. One small regret, I’ll have to confess is that I did let my husband convince (trick) me into believing I’d get a better view in the balcony, so for about 1 ½ songs, I was just a little too far from the action, and sound, but I soon realized my mistake and went back to the main floor.

I won’t go on about the opening act the Architects, I wasn’t there to see them, and didn’t find them too compelling, but before too long at all, the boys of MCR were there, Na Na Na Na Na-ing it for the crowd. And from then on, it was just one non-stop rocking party of great people singing and dancing along with their favorite band. Most of the time, my eyes were fixed on the stage, at Gerard singing, Mikey headbanging and Frank and Ray thrashing on the guitars, but occasionally I’d look around at all these people singing along, boys and girls just rocking out.

I did have a little wariness before, because you know music never sounds the same live as it does recorded, and I was just hoping that I wouldn’t be disappointed, especially as I’d pretty much been listening to their CDs non-stop for the past month. Whatever little concerns I might have had about how they’d sound were quickly blasted out of my head, because this band sounds best loud, and live and rough. I didn’t even need to think about what my ears were hearing, because it was as if they just injected that music directly into my body like an adrenaline shot to the heart. And it was pitch perfect.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m a recent, but instantly obsessed fan of this band. I wish I could explain it; I love practically every song on every one of their albums, I’m fascinated with the story of how they started; mesmerized by the lead singer Gerard Way; impressed with the friendship between the band members and their genuine niceness. And okay, if you’re wondering do I have a bit of a crush on Gerard, I’d have to say. . .oh, nooooo. It’s way beyond that. And darling husband, don’t worry, it’s not that I want the guy, or even want to do things TO him or with him. Oh, no, no, no. I actually want to BE him. Yes indeed. I’m that crazy. If I could have just a fraction of the geeky cool talent of Gerard Way, I’d be a happy happy girl.

I was hoping for some weirdness from the guys, or at least from Gerard, but there wasn’t much more than a few of his faces, and that moment when he carefully tied the Michigan flag someone gave him onto the mike stand and it just slipped right down the moment he let go! Haha.

I have to give a shout out to thank the slam-dancing, mohawked, overgrown teenage boys who cleared out a pretty good area in front of me with their wildness. I think they did scare the living shit out of some of the younger girls, but I held my ground and took full advantage of my five-feet ten inches to push my way up into their zone where I was able to get an even better closer view, as the show closed with Cancer, and Bulletproof Heart. What better ending than there in the mosh pit, bodies with feet flailing going right over my head, and MCR, loud and clear right to the last note.

No regrets, except that it’s over, and they didn’t play EVERY SINGLE SONG from every album. Haha, love you guys, you did great, and I’ll be back if you will!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I was sharing with a client today about how I got into the tax preparation business. I’ve told this story to a lot of people at my desk—

I always did my own taxes, from the time I first started working. At age 18, I read the IRS instructions and dutifully reported my income and withholding and got my first tax refund. At age 19, I discovered in the pages of some fascinating IRS pub that my scholarship could be taxable if I did not spend the entire amount on tuition, fees, books, and required course materials. That semester, I took a skiing class for my phys ed requirement, so I could “use up” my scholarship money on ski equipment (best decision ever!)

The main reason I always did my own taxes, is because that’s what my dad did. Every year, he’d get out that old plug-in calculator, which seemed so high-tech to us kids back in the 70’s. He’d sit at the kitchen table with his papers, and work away at this every April. And for years, I just figured this is what everyone did. I did my part, devoting at least an entire Saturday once a year to delving back into those obscure IRS instructions, trying to figure out if there was any way for me to get a few more bucks back.

I didn’t realize until much later, until I decided to make a part-time career of tax preparation as a kind of antidote to “stay-at-home-mom-itis”, that my dad was not typical. I’ve always known my dad to be the ultimate do-it-yourselfer, but I’ve just taken it for granted. I’ve already paid tribute in this blog to my dad, for passing on to me some of his “time wasting” abilities, so now it’s time to recognize my “DIY” heritage.

Thanks to my dad, I have always believed that any achievement is within the grasp of an average person. And although I haven’t taken “do-it-yourself-ishness” to quite the extremes he does, (yes, I can pay someone to repair an appliance without feeling that blood is being drained from my jugular, and no, I don’t feel compelled to build my own house or barn), I still can appreciate the sense of confidence his example has instilled in me.

I’ve managed my own finances, arranged my own travel, never worried about getting lost, always believed every challenge I faced was surmountable, and every problem has a solution. That anything you need to learn can be found in a book somewhere.  I may not act on it all the time, (even dad is the master of the unfinished project), but deep down, I believe that if I had to, I could do just about anything.

(Well, except maybe eye surgery, because I can’t look at something poking an eye without getting extremely squeamish. But just about anything else.)

Thank You Dad. I have now read more IRS code than a sane human ever should—at least I’m getting paid for it now.