Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Month That Was - March 2010

The Month That Was - March 2010: Slow death by paper. I have been swamped this month doing my taxes (fairly straightforward), my incapacitated father's taxes (wearyingly complicated), and refinancing my condo (tiresome and trying). Taxes are, of course, inscrutable. They don't bother me because I don't cheat, I have a certain stoicism towards paperwork, and I accept that the correctness of a return or the possibility of getting audited cannot be known -- it is not a deterministic matter. If I get one of those notices about a problem, it's not scary; it only means I have some level of annoyance in my future to get things sorted out.

Refinancing is an astounding exercise in lowest-common-denominator bureaucracy. I think I signed two separate documents explaining that the mortgage company had to inform me if they were doing anything illegal and three informing me of my civil right not to be discriminated against on whatever basis. I'm surprised they didn't make me wear a bike helmet. This is why I pay taxes, so there will be laws forcing mortgage lenders to treat me like an infant. Ho-hum: life in the twenty-first century.

As a result I made little progress on Misspent Youth. That must change immediately. I am at the moment involved coming up with a long-ish description of the book. Part of the prep work for publishing is coming up with various length descriptions for assorted purposes. At a minimum you need a back cover blurb, a short description - say, 20-25 words -- when space only allows for a line or two, and a longer description - say 150 to 200 words for when you have more space. For non-fiction you probably want a multi-page abstract for some sort. I have also found suitable graphics to demonstrate the feel I want for the cover design, which makes it much easier to describe to a graphic artist. Anyway, all this has come in fits and starts this month because of the paperwork pox.

Posts are a little thin this month. Sorry 'bout that. I did manage to get a trip in this month, just barely. I met up with the crew down in San Juan for Miss Anna's 18th birthday, Puerto Rico being a place she would be able to drink legally at that age. The trip spilled into the first days of April (which is I am so late in posting this month) so the report will have to wait until next month.

One last thing: At the moment you can only see about the last 20 posts on this page, whereas you used to be able to see 200. This is a new pain-in-the-ass blogger policy about how much content can be on the front page in an effort to save bandwidth. It is especially annoying to me since I go to great effort to post only text -- no pictures on the front page so that it will load fast. That's what I get for trying to be a good citizen. I'll get archive links up when I get a couple fo hours to re-aquaint myself with the system. Sheesh.

[Movies] All kinds of Funny
[Books] Book Look: The Razor's Edge, by Somerset Maugham
[Rambles, Health and Fitness] A Diet So Easy a Caveman Could Do It
[TV] Toob Notes