ick ick ICKY

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So I’m doing laundry. It’s what I do on Sundays. (Yes, it is magical). I heard a loose coin inside my washing machine so I went to fish it out while bracing one hand on the agitator. The top part of the agitator came off (the fabric softener part) and ACK it was covered in gunk on the bottom. And when I looked inside the agitator? Lots more gunk. EEEK.

Gene’s first reaction: Woohoo! Front loading washer! (I don’t know why he got so excited, I don’t think he’s done more than 2 loads of laundry since we’ve lived here).

Okay, Gene’s reaction was the same as mine. Fortunately it turns out that I’m not willing to drop that kinda cash just because of gunk (even with Best Buy gift cards and 2 $5 off coupons and 10% off coupon as well), so I Googled it. The Internet recommends pouring hot water into the fabric softener spout. They also recommend 1/2 c. of white vinegar. I’ll try the hot water remedy first later this week and then the vinegar if that doesn’t do much good. I already scraped out (ick!) as much of the gunk as I could so the remedy only needs to fix the part of the agitator that was further down than my hand or plastic knife could go.

On the bright side, if I can avoid buying a new one, I can avoid the inevitable Elaine & Gene disagreement about which model to buy. Consumer Reports had two quick picks – an LG and a Frigidaire. The LG was $200 more than the Frigidaire, but had a bigger capacity by half of a cubic foot but the wash cycle was also about 30 minutes longer. Bah. The way this works is that generally I want the cheaper option and Gene wants the more expensive. I am so relieved that I talked him down! 🙂 If we can just put this off another few years I would be so pleased.


Have onesie, will travel…

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Guess who I get to meet in February?

If you guessed Gene’s best friend’s little boy, you guessed right! YES. Their Christmas present to us was to get us up to MD to visit and meet the baaaaaaby. (This is what two boxes full o’ Gymboree goodies get you – plus I just ordered a personalized embroidered Xmas stocking that I’m going to go ahead and bring with. The question is, do I give up the stuff I ordered with Illicit Gymbucks – it’s the wrong size – or call it a day? Hard to judge but I prefer to hoard the stuff in case of nuclear war or similar).

(So far as Gene and I working on Plan B – no news).



Dubya-Twos

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Hooray! My employer’s W-2 forms are in the mail, in the FedEx, or otherwise distributed. All 4000+ of them. YESSSS.

That said, here are some of the annoying things about this time of year:

1) They are called W-2s, NOT W-4, not tax returns. Duuuuuubbbbbya-Twwwwwoooooos.

2) If you are a 30 year old man, do not make your mother call me about your address change.

3) Did I tell you I have already spoken to a woman whose husband (an ex employee) has an address change for his W-2 but cannot call because he is in jail?

4) Yes, you have to call every employer you had in 2007 with your address change. No, I will not call them for you. No, I am not a W-2 clearing house for the Southeast. (Seriously – every year someone asks if I also do W-2s for Sonic Drive In, Dominos Pizza, etc).

5) So yeah, your W-2 should have been sent with your paycheck to the restaurant you work at. It didn’t. Terribly sorry. 4000+ W-2s, one (1) me. Seriously – if you bitch at me, next year I’ll just mail all the W-2s out instead of kindly FedExing 2000 of them.

6) If I tell you your W-2 is being mailed out, don’t ask “So when should I have it?” Did you call the fucking Post Office? No. All I can tell you is, call me if you don’t have it by Valentine’s Day.

Yeagggh, and that’s the hard sell again this year. Let’s say you call and say, “Elaine, I want to know where my W-2 was mailed to” and it turns out the address is old. I get it – you’re an itinerant with 7 different addresses and 18 different jobs in ’07. My answer is, “Give me your new address and when the original is returned, we’ll forward it. If we don’t get your original back by Valentine’s Day, we’ll send out a reference copy.” (A reference copy is a copy of our copy of your W-2, which is from a file I don’t even print off until the first week of February).

Plenty of people HATE this answer. Some get sassy about calling the IRS and tattling. Here is the IRS’s response (from their website):

If you do not receive the missing or corrected form by February 15th from your employer/payer, you may call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for assistance. You must provide your name, address (including zip code), phone number, Social Security Number, dates of employment, your employer/payer’s name, address (including zip code), and phone number. The IRS will contact the employer/payer for you and request the missing form. IRS will also send you a Form 4852 (PDF), Substitute for Form W-2 or Form 1099-R.

What does that mean? That means that the IRS will not give a crap – not in the slightest! – until February 15. The days between now and the 15th are called the “Whiny Crybaby Cooling Off Period.” Basically, I SENT IT OUT. My duty? DONE.

All the IRS cares about is that the W-2s are distributed or postmarked by 1/31.  I keep a list of all my address changes – including the 100+ former employees who called me as recently as Friday AM with address changes – and if a W-2 comes back, I send it back out if I have a new address. If I don’t receive the original back in the mail, they get the copy mailed out by 2/14.

Finally, a word to my itinerants: For the love of Pete, PLEASE get your mail forwarded. Don’t you like getting mail??



Saw Juno today

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You’ll never guess what movie Gene and I saw today.

Oh, wait, you read the title of this post… So yeah, we saw it and loooved it. Accidentally (or maybe intentionally), the captions were on the entire time, so I got to read the movie while I watched it. I love to do that. It was a really good story told in a not treacly “Solsbury Hill” playing in the trailer kinda way. ***1/2 stars. (The soundtrack was always there, which seems kind of amateur filmmaker to me).

And we also saw Cloverfield. Holy crap was I ever pleased when it ended. It was 90 minutes long and STILL could have used some editing.


On being white trash…

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So I’m trying to plan Valentine’s Day dinner for Gene and I, so I hit the Cheesecake City Daily News’s website to check out reviews. That led me to the websites for several of the city’s nicest restaurants. Blah blah blah cheese menu, blah blah blah yellowfin tuna, blah blah blah BLAH. Nothing interesting (this may be because I’m not a fancy food fan and it’s not like there’s a revolutionary grilled cheese out there).

Can we just go to the BBQ restaurant a mile from the house?

(Actually, I think we’re going to the tapas place across the street from the BBQ place. It sounds fancy, but they have the yummiest White Castle type cheeseburgers).


Do you know what’s delicious?

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If you answered “Those french fried onion thingies”, you are SO right.

Yum. I needed some for a recipe and purchased the bigger size can tomake sure I’d have enough. Had PLENTY. Enough to finish off the can before dinner even came out of the oven. Those things are awesome. Recipe was simple – 1 1/2 cups of the yummy french fried onions crushed (in a ziploc), 1 egg (beaten), 4 chicken breasts (boneless skinless). Cover chicken in egg, coat with onions, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Just obnoxiously yummy.

(But I still refuse to try the disgusting looking green bean casserole so popular at pot lucks and family meals!)


you know what?

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Work sucks. I hate the first quarter  third half of the year. All 4000+ W2 forms need to be printed, folded and stuffed. Ideally by Friday. And New Boss is about to have kittens about it all.

Good News: The company that provides support for our crappy payroll software yanked out $100,000 in allocated tips. (Remember when I said that the shittiest payroll of all time is still haunting me? This is one of the two ways)

Bad News: Now it’s time to add in $25,000 in real allocated tips. Boo, hiss.

Gene is still out of town.

And, I’d rather go play Bingo on Yahoo. So, night!


Ack, I’m sick!

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I have a case of the Mondays!

No really. I had an awesome weekend and now I have to ruin it by going back to work? Ugh, where all the salaried people are going to bitch at me because their vacation time is effed up changed. (Yeah, thanks Old Boss – she made some sort of unilateral decision to change all 200-ish salaried employee vacation banks and now a lot of these people think that it’s something I did. I don’t care how much vacation time YOU have, just how much I have!).

The weekend was great. I did whatever *I* wanted to do. I didn’t even make it out of my PJs until after noon yesterday. I played a ton of bingo on Yahoo. I watched a terrrrrrrible chick flick. I ate barbeque for dinner and chased it with a HUGE Dr. Pepper and a caramel apple from the mall. Yum. I bought a lampshade to make my trip to the mall feel virtuous (and make our living room not so ghetto) but I have also picked up a TON of Xmas stuff (stockings and to/from tags mostly) in case Cheesecake City hosts Xmas 2008. I love clearance sales!

I love the lovely weekends.

Ooh, just realized I get to do it all over again this weekend! I get my hair done on Saturday and the dogs go to the vet’s office and the rest of the time is mine all mine. Muahahahaha.