Thursday, June 24, 2010

Various Things

Thing that is good, but also makes me feel kind of stupid: The tax refund check turns out to be legit. Apparently I neglected to claim a big old tax credit on my form. I guess I'm so used to not qualifying for anything that I just skipped right over it. But that totally explains why I appeared to suddenly owe so damned much in taxes. I was convinced there was something wrong with my W4 and I just hadn't yet figured out what.

"Thing that befuddles me" question of the day: Why do they put "about the author" blurbs in the back of autobiographies?

Things I want: All eleven Doctors! Also, a TARDIS.

Thing that is making me happy: Netflix sent me season three of Burn Notice. I can still eat up episodes of Burn Notice like M&Ms. (Although hopefully not like Jordan almonds.)

Hopeful thing: I smell rain! Sweet, cooling rain! *gazes hopefully up at the skies*


  1. I use Turbo Tax for my taxes, and it told me I qualified for this credit (or rebate, whichever) that I, too, hadn't heard about. Mind you, the software also has a problem defining "permanent residence" for someone that lived and worked in two states for equal amounts of the year, so I live in fear that I will be audited and wonder if I should go to an accountant next year.

  2. re: "About the Author" -- because some people will flip there before, or without, reading the book first. Because it's a standard template choice that likely got included by production as a matter of course. Because I'm just pedantically stepping all over your Steven Wright observational humor there. :)

  3. Captain C: I really ought to start putting more effort into my taxes. I tend to just fill out the simplest form I can possibly get away with and do it as quickly as I possibly can. I've probably missed out on (smaller) credits and deductions I could have qualified for, too.

    Fred: I thought you might chime in on that topic. :)

    Now, that second answer, I can easily believe. "Because that's just the way it's done" is the answer to so very many things in life. But who's going to pick up an autobiography and flip to the back to read about the author? Seriously, does anybody actually think, "Hey, here's an autobiography of someone I've never heard of! Maybe I'll look for the "about the author" to find out who who he is!"? :)

    And I've never been compared to Steven Wright before. That's kind of cool. :)

  4. Maybe they saw an endorsement on the cover and thought, "I like that person. I wonder who this person is." Maybe they vaguely remember seeing it reviewed somewhere, or by someone, but they need a reminder of why they should care. Could be lots of other, equally implausible reasons. But if it means just one additional sale, the publisher will do it.

  5. Putting it on the cover/dust jacket seems much more likely to be helpful. :)

  6. Maybe the author insisted.

  7. If you don't itemize, you could be missing out on the homeowner's credit for your property taxes.

    If I don't recognize the name on the cover of the autobiography, I'm hardly likely to pick up the book to find out who s/he is, unless it's a really awesome cover or clever title (and how many of those have you seen? Well, okay, David Brenner's Soft Pretzels with Mustard was a good title, but maybe only for those of us from the Philadelphia area).