A Day of Good News

Me & PoupouneI just received an e-mail message from Poupoune: She PASSED her final Bar exam WITH FLYING COLOURS and will be called to the New Brunswick Bar in about five weeks! Effin’ great, eh?

Meanwhile, the Taxman took pity on me and took a much smaller bite than I thought he would. Adopting Junior last June probably helped a little. Anyway, I sent the Taxman his money and that’s out of the way for another year.


Good on Joe!

It took former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark some guts to go on record with this statement. There’s indeed been a campaign to soften Stephen Harper’s image, but I’m certainly not convinced. But what scares me is that some other Canadians might. Even though Prime Minister Paul Martin leans far too much to the right for my liking, I, as someone who’s francophone and gay, would rather have him as PM over Harper. Too bad the NDP’s Jack Layton doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell for the job, although I hope he’s successful in getting across that his party is the only alternative to the right (Conservatives) and right-leaning (Liberals), thus vastly increasing the number of progressive voices in the House of Commons.

But coming back to Joe: True, he had nothing to lose by saying what he did about Harper, for he’s already chosen to quit politics rather than participate in the merger of his former Progressive Conservatives with the former Canadian Alliance. He’s just being consistent. Mind you, it’s also true that Joe never liked Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (who the hell did?), so the latter’s endorsement of Harper in Moncton this weekend now stands as just another point on which the two disagree.

What’s the Point of Momma’s Advice?

I think pretty much every mother in the world tell their children that they should always wear clean underwear when they go on a trip “just in case you’re in an accident.”

I don’t understand the logic of that. I mean, aren’t the odds good that if you’re in an accident, one of the first things that’ll happen is that you’re going to shit yourself? And if that compounding mishap does occur, I doubt very much there’ll be a forensic test to determine whether or not you had clean underwear before the accident.

I just don’t get it.

I Hate Taxes …Kinda

I know, I know. Saying “I hate taxes” in April is not exactly an original thought. (The filing deadline in Canada is April 30, although I would have the choice to wait until June 15 given the nature of my business, an option I availed myself of last year but would rather not this year.) But truth be told, I’m one of those who don’t really mind paying taxes when I know that my appendix could burst in 5 minutes and I wouldn’t have to consider bankruptcy once I’d get out of the hospital. And that’s not the only service at my disposal as a result of the taxes I pay, so that makes me feel that I do get something out of it.

No, what I really hate is compiling the numbers. Thank god I have an accountant in the family who can plug those numbers into a computer and, 20 minutes later, he’s done and hasn’t even broken a sweat. It’s just that because I’m self-employed, I have to figure out my total household income and expenses so that said accountant can determine which portions are admissible as business expenses. Most are pretty easy to figure out; some are a bit trickier. But one thing I’ve always insisted upon is “no monkey business,” which fortunately Accountant wouldn’t risk for the sake of his reputation.

One particular part of all this number crunching is downright depressing, though — at least in this round. It’s my gross income. Very aptly named, I must say, for my income from last year was indeed gross. It’s the first time since I started my business that it’s down slightly. Not by much, mind you, but it’s always nicer to see even a tiny increase. But last year was odd in many ways. Several projects stalled and only came to fruition this year. So that should mean that 2003’s return should be better. I’m already considerably ahead for the same date last year, and that’s not counting a massive outstanding receivable which is limbo right now.

In fact, Mr. Name Withheld and I are still talking. To use his own words, we seem to be on the same page on this matter. We have yet to talk about real numbers and nitty-gritty logistics, but the enthusiasm coming from both sides is very promising. And if his numbers agree with mine and his projections are right, then we both could be feeling pretty good by this time next year. Very good, in fact! Of course we’ll have to pay in a lot more to our respective Feds. But for me, at least, that would almost give me reason to feel proud.

Mind you, I am feeling proud already, even though I slipped a little in 2003. And that’s because I know that the income I have to declare did not come for a “real job” or paycheque. *I* generated that income, god damnit! I *created* my own job, all on my own! About that, I assure you, I already feel pretty good. And if I soon start contracting out some maintenance work to Preacher’s-Wife-No-More, then I’ll feel I have a much bigger impact on the local economy …which will make me prouder still.

Illusions & Delusions

Indiana Jones is the kind of person who can be infuriating for one thing over which he has no control. Due to his bike accident nearly two years ago, he hasn’t been able to keep up with his regular exercise regimen. Yet despite eating more candy and drinking more Pepsi than TWO persons should, he still has muscles in places I don’t have and, during a routine check last Thursday, it was found he has a mere 12.5 percent body fat. Imagine the muscles and body fat this small-framed guy would have if he ate properly and could exercise as he used to!

On Wednesday night, he hopped on the scale at my place and, to our mutual surprise, reported that he weighed 155 pounds. However, on Thursday he was weighed at the hospital just before undergoing an MRI test to look deeper into that accident-related shoulder injury of his, and it was found that he weighs only 145 pounds. So the conclusion we’re reaching is that my scale could be indicating as much as 10 pounds too many.

On the evening I stepped on the scale of my close friend who lost 100 pounds in six months, I came in at 199 pounds, fully dressed. That was consistent with my own scale, give or take a pound or two. This morning, after two weeks of watching my carb intake, I weighed about 188 pounds of my scale at home, leading me to conclude I’ve already lost — easily — 4 to 5 pounds. Given that I don’t have that much to lose, that’s tremendous progress and I’m very pleased, as this places me some 13 pounds from my target. Moreover, I can see and feel the difference: While I still have that spare tire above the belt, it has definitely shifted so that the pressure against my sternum has been greatly reduced. Indeed, I can already sit more comfortably for long periods.

However, what Indiana Jones’ “discovery” could be bringing to light is that both my friend’s and my own scale are considerably off. It’s quite possible that I weigh closer to 180 pounds, while my friend may be 6 to 10 pounds lighter than we all think. So for my friend and I, at least, this could mean that we are considerably closer than we thought to our respective goals, and that if we continue to rely on our “ungenerous” scales, we will be much further ahead than we thought when we reach our goal.