jumping through those hoops

  • How Stuff Works: The Cellphone
  • When rats play The Prison’s Dillemma.

    I’m filing taxes for the very first time this year, (ten years of them, all at once), calling government phone numbers, getting shuffled between departments. The basic instructions: use your T4 slips to fill out your tax forms. Me, I don’t really have any. My employers over the years have been mostly been either shady, strange, or unreliable. I have a red box high up on a shelf in which I keep all my employment forms, and let me tell you, there are mighty few of them. After years and years, it’s barely half full. Thankfully the government has a contingency plan for such situations, a phone number to call that lets you request your slips directly from them. Easy, right? Not for a first timer.

    Because I’ve never filed before, I don’t exist in their computers. Because I don’t exist in their computers, I was told I have to mail a physical letter to the tax office requesting my forms. Quaint. After writing my letter on some nice stationary and putting it in a matching envelope, all proper and sealed, I tried to call the tax office to double-check the address only to discover that the phone number was disconnected. Less quaint. Calling the help-line again, I stumbled upon the fact that rather than mailing my request, I can make an appointment to request them in person. “Much quicker,” they said, and then tried to connect me to the appointments line. All the numbers lead to Ontario offices, however, closed at five central time, and so she collected my information and told me they would call me back tomorrow. The upshot is, after three hours juggling information, writing letters, and waiting on hold to various pleasant sounding people who weren’t quite sure what to do with me, the tax office is going to call me tomorrow afternoon so I can make an appointment in two weeks time to request some forms that will take another two weeks to arrive.

    Bureaucracy at its finest. I’m not even at the complicated part yet.

  • Hey Seattle! Mutaytor’s playing the Neumos on Sunday. It’s going to be a fine good time. Be there!

  • Alice in Wonderland on the iPad
  • The Kids Are Alright, a refreshing review of the iPad.

    Spent an extra day in Seattle yesterday just cleaning, scrubbing the apartment from ceiling to floor, collecting enough cat-hair out of corners to make an eccentric fur coat. My entire body hurt by the end of it. Given Tony’s propensity to neglect his surroundings, even the laundry was a trial, six heavy loads of sheets, towels, blankets, and various miscellany carried wet up two flights of stairs, left hanging to dry in the windows and on doors, the better to save quarters from the dryer.

    My place, thankfully, isn’t half as bad, but even so, I can’t imagine what could inspire me to put that much concentrated effort into my own place in Vancouver. I tend to let dishes sit a few days, clutter tends to obscure my shelves, and my carpet only appears whole and intact for sporadic patches of time, generally short. Cleaning my room takes about a week, as I tidy in small doses, multitasking my way through various chores until I’ve crossed enough off the to-do list that I can take a break without guilt.

    In this case, it was the imminent possibility of fourteen (splendid) houseguests descending all at once, as my friends, the Mutaytor, only found out last minute that Neumos, their Sunday night venue in Seattle, isn’t going to cover a hotel. They found alternate crash space, thankfully, as I suspected they might, but as excellent excuses go for a hard day of spring cleaning, I can’t think of anything better, except maybe a suprise visit from the Queen.