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champagne & taxes [Apr. 2nd, 2008|07:34 pm]
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[captain's log |tiredtired]
[latest sounds |jenniferever]


while mulling over my tax forms with glazed eyes and blank faces, she turned to me, and sighed at the sight of me in my grandmother's summer robe and winnie-the-pooh pajama pants. 

'i wish you felt better honey.'
'so do i.'
'are you depressed?'

the light dawns.

'when people are depressed they want to sleep all the time. maybe you're depressed.'
'i just want to be able to get a job i can stand and make some money again.'
'well maybe you're not supposed to be working right now. maybe you're supposed to write the next anna karenina.'
'i've been trying mom, it's been hard.'
'i know honey, it's not easy. i'm clueless at anything creative.'
we scribbled some more stuff on the tax forms, and then she paused again.
'daddy and i just want you to be happy.'
'i know, that's part of what makes it so hard.'
'well, the summer after chicago and before san francisco, was the worst of my life. i went home.  my parents were so mean.  i was penniless in san francisco, but i wasn't ever going back home.  at least, i'm just glad you're here, and you can stand us. this is perhaps the last time we'll get time like this before i drop dead.  let's make the most of it.'
we worked on some more forms.  i would have said something in reply but i would have started crying.
'there's got to be something.  you're so good with people. i still think a career counselor might know something.'
'the only thing i can do is travel, and meet people. that's what i'm best at.  at SX i was in my element, i ran into all my friends from everywhere,  well, nearly everyone, and made friends too.  talia and others were baffled i kept running into people from everywhere. i guess most people aren't like that.  but all the 'people' oriented jobs for companies that make money-they spend most of their time at desks, politely responding to emails. they're not out and about doing the things that i've done or want to do.'
'well maybe we should call up dad's old career counselor.  they know things we don't know.  maybe you could be an international courier, get paid to fly to london to deliver important documents or something, i always thought that'd be a cool job.'
'i want to write mom, i am a writer.  it's just been hard.  everything has been hard lately.  the only thing i do well is meet people, stay friends with them, and travel as if i live there.  you can't seem to get paid for that.'
we stared at some forms we didn't understand. mom looked at my long face and said 'CHAMPAGNE! let's open up some champagne!'
'we have some?'
'sure, but let's do the cheap stuff, the local junk.'
we started laughing, i got up to get the glasses and thought of dad, who was already working 2 hours longer than his normal schedule.
'dad will come home, fired from work, and we'll be laughing with champagne flutes in our hands, giggling over the tax forms.'
mom cracked up and got the bottle.
'it's not cold.'
'put it on the freezer, we'll set the timer. i'll put on some duke ellington.'

so mom and i, with a few minor interruptions (my best friend peter called) managed to do what we could with my ridiculous tax stuff. not living in the country for 6 months of the year, being unemployed for over 1/3 of it, and only employed by a foreign employer for half of it, makes it very confusing indeed.  we are hopeful.....we did it correctly. 

dad came home and i saw him in the hallway on my way to help mom again with taxes.
'hi honey,' he said in his sagging, weary, overworked voice.
'hey dad.'
we hugged and kissed.
'they're killing me down there.'
'i know daddy.'

i joined mom to do taxes and then dad reappeared, hovering over the packaging for his new Mac which was delivered the other day (our current mac desktop has major overheating issues and is on its 3rd motherboard).  'you want some champagne daddy?'

he got his dopey smile he gets when something mildly good is coming.
'you want to open it?'
'sure, i'll open it.'

so while mom stirred 3 different steaming pots on the stove and i downloaded more tax forms and reloaded my previously taped Arsenal v. Liverpool match, dad popped the 'cheap' local champagne (still $11 a bottle, more than i'm used to paying for it!) and we all had some.

dad drank his without toasting. mom clinked my glass and said 'to new horizons.'

i have the best parents ever.  i've always known it, and appreciated it, and in some strange way it's made it harder to be home. i OWE them more, not just financially but just as a daughter.  i feel i owe them success, happiness, etc.  and so far, i haven't accomplished much in either area.  i have been happy for periods, successful for periods of my life, but right now, everything is, frustratingly, on hiatus.  everyone says i'll 'figure it out,' but i'm not so sure. 

in other news: no word from green shirt but i'm going to SF this weekend-to meet up with Noisepop people (no jobs currently avail but still nice to meet them) and to interview with a hostel in lower Nob Hill about their front desk position.  somewhat tempted to ring and say i'm in town and see if he picks up the ball (he doesn't text-otherwise i'd do that).  the aussie has been texting/emailing/etc. with consistent, frequent regularity.  it's starting to get very painful, hence the current google search of 'international courier,' to which i 'discovered' flights from L.A. to hong kong for $250....mother might be on to something......