Paper Chase

(Claire Kirkconnell was the actress who played Rita Harriman in the HBO series version of “The Paper Chase” in the 1980’s. I wanted to be her so bad when I was 15. Maybe I should be thinking about law school after all instead of pouring my mental energy into learning more science. Does anyone out there think this is a good idea? I mean, I wouldn’t need to take any preparatory coursework to apply, and I am good at the things real lawyers really do, as opposed to the things most aspiring lawyers actually want to do. On the other hand, what about my quest for life skills that will support me in the Zombie Apocalypse?)

Establishing a payment plan with the IRS has not gotten easier since the last time I had to do it, back in 2007 or so. I suppose I should just give up on trying to do it online and just mail in the paper form that says “I would like to establish a payment plan, please.” But according to the website, the IRS seems to really want people like me to request payment through one of its automated services. If only their phone service would stop hanging up on me and their online system for establishing payment plans would quit crapping out! As a Public Service Announcement, Muppet Labs Financial has asked me to let you know: it’s always easier to pay the fine for over-withholding on your federal taxes than it is to pay back Uncle Sam for under-withholding.

The automated systems at NoVA, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to siphon my cash away. So I did sign up for the second semester of Biology. It appears that the final exam date may be during a business trip I already have scheduled, but said business trip involves a visit to Casa Bonita as well as the continued payment of my salary. So I’m sure the professor (the same one I have this semester) will understand. It looks like I will be getting a B for this semester if I do not significantly mess up on the final.

In other paper-related news, Podrostok is trying to enlist in the Army after high school. This is quite a surprise. I am nervous for him but I am also thrilled at the prospect of him having a plan that could significantly broaden his career prospects and earn him some decent money and benefits at the same time. The recruiter came by this weekend to get our signatures on the papers authorizing Uncle Sam to take him away overnight next week and conduct his pre-induction physical. He was somewhat taken back that I did not also sign the portions for the form transferring custody of my minor child to the U.S. Army for the purpose of his immediate enlistment, but he recovered. (Every Army veteran I’ve talked to has been totally enthusiastic about Tim signing up but has also said “SIGN NOTHING UNLESS YOU HAVE READ IT VERY, VERY CAREFULLY. BEWARE OF FINE PRINT.” Even people who don’t normally talk in upper case.)

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