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therapeutic thump

i like your moxie, sassafras!

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Taxes, Movies, Theater, Fics
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Hi, everybody!

I'm being such a crankypants today, all because I told myself I would get my taxes done this weekend (yay long weekends!) and because I was unemployed, my 401K got transferred, and now my tax software assumes that I earned that retirement money as regular income and is saying that I owe about $50,000 in taxes this year. Grrrr. I have no desire to keep fighting with the program, but I also don't have a regular tax-preparer or accountant, so I'm a little stuck. Any ideas?

Though I have been pretty productive lately, so I shouldn't be too cranky. I finally put up all of my Supernatural stories at AO3 - well, all of the completed fics that actually have titles. And I finally organized most of my Sherlock fics into a series, which is good because I'm currently working on the last long story in the series (haven't decided yet if there will be short one-offs in the future). It's called Elastic Heart because the stories all have to do with John Watson and his capacity to keep cramming people into his heart long after you'd think all the room had run out. God, I love him.

And I wrote three short pieces recently - one each for What's Your Number? (Martin Freeman being adorable), Sports Night (Dan/Dana forever!), and White Collar (for a birthday, and I'm now qualified for remix_redux in three fandoms). So that felt good.

Plus things are going well with sherlock_remix, and there's the possibility of a bonus round. We'll see what happens.

I finally got around to watching a couple of the big movies that I'd missed. Though Star Trek (2009) is filled with beautiful people like John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, and Zoe Saldana, and has bonus Simon Pegg adorableness, all I could think about was how grossly unappealing I found Chris Pine. To be fair, I found him equally gross in Bottle Shock, and the fact that I absolutely hated the scene with middle-school Jim Kirk certainly didn't help, but WOW. His face kept dragging me out of the movie. I should say that I have no knowledge of any ST canon, so all I can say is that I thought it was fairly clever.

I had a similarly lukewarm reaction to X-Men: First Class. Again, I don't know the canon at all, except that I saw the first Hugh Jackman movie when it first came out. And I'd never seen Michael Fassbender in anything. I thought he did a very good job with all of the action scenes, particularly in the beginning when he's on his solo quest - I totally bought that he was that single-minded. But either he dialed it down too much or the second half didn't give him enough to do, because I wasn't thrilled with his more emotional stuff. James McAvoy was, as ever, adorable, and while I really like the ideas the original story raises about minority groups and progress, I thought the movie got a little clunky and was pretty bad with respect to sexual politics.

The only big action movie I've seen recently that I really enjoyed was Captain America, but I'll hold off on saying much about that for now, because I'd like to rewatch it and perhaps write a little fic in the fandom. What I will say is that CA does a good job making its main character into a real character, not just the center of a movie.

I've seen three shows in the past few weeks, and have promised reviews on them. (sgt_psycho, the WH one is for you!) And I'm booked to see Porgy & Bess, Total Bent, and Venus in Fur soon. Plus I'll be booking One Man, Two Guvnors for sure, and maybe Bebe Neuwirth's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Other Desert Cities, and an encore of Anything Goes.

Seminar: As I said before, the acting in this was top-notch. Alan Rickman was, predictably, fantastic, but the rest of the cast kept up with him. Where this one falls down is the story - there are two young men and two young women taking AR's private seminar on fiction writing - and I don't think one of them grew as a character from beginning to end. Both the women end up sleeping with AR and this is presented as a shrewd move for career advancement; the men do not have this option, so how lucky that one is skilled in soulless writing of the type that Hollywood prizes and the other is a secret genius whose words can move even jaded old AR. But they are all (and this includes AR, too, actually) in the same place that they were at the start of the play.

War Horse: I feel like a jerk for saying this, but I thought WH was a dud. The puppetry was incredibly beautiful and surprisingly effective (when the horses first come on, three puppeteers per horse, I was sure that I'd be distracted by them the whole time, but after about twenty minutes, I just stopped seeing them) - that much is undeniable. (Here, have a photo I took with my phone in the lobby theater.)

But the story (just like the book) doesn't justify all the thought and care that went into the puppetry; the first act dragged because it's saintly boy caught between a practical mother and a useless drunk of a father. It's easy to see why Albert (the boy) falls for Joey (the horse), who's spirited and funny and gorgeous, but not why Joey wants anything to do with Albert. It's all overwrought and not very well acted and I was bored. The second half, with Joey on his own dealing with war, was much better, but still bogged down by some terrible acting and directing choices. I don't know, actually, if the people who put together the show ever had a clear understanding of their audience, because the play felt terribly fractured.

A Man of No Importance: I liked this one far more than I'd expected. It's a musical based on the film (which I'd never seen but knew the gist of) and though the lyrics were a little too predictable and the music never really moved me, the actors and musicians did a fine job and made the most of everything they had. It also moved along quickly without seeming at all rushed; kudos to everyone involved.

So that's all for me - what are you guys up to?

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I really enjoyed was Captain America, but I'll hold off on saying much about that for now, because I'd like to rewatch it and perhaps write a little fic in the fandom.

*waits impatiently*

Almost definitely it will happen for your birthday, unless some other magical fandom that we both fall in love with happens in the meantime. But right now all I want to write is Joooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhn Watson.

(Though, if you prompted me, there's no telling what my traitorous brain might come up with.)

I'm only familiar with TurboTax, so I'm pretty useless if you're using some other kind of software. TT has an option where you can go into the actual tax forms and make any changes that you need to, so if you need to reduce your income number by the amount that was in the 401K, that's the place to do it.

Thank you so much for the help, but it turns out that I really do owe all the money, because not only did my 401K get transferred but was also converted to a Roth IRA, which asks you to pay taxes on retirement money as it's earned so that it can be withdrawn tax-free once you hit retirement age. Still, yikes!

(I use TaxAct, which I like a lot more than Turbo Tax, if you're looking for a recommendation.)

Some places give free help with taxes, including a lot of H&R Block locals. Some are age-restricted (for the elderly), but more and more seem to be open to anyone who doesn't have to file a bunch of extra forms. You might see if you can get some help from one of those places.

Aside from that, I can only echo what baileytc said about TurboTax; it's all I know, too.

Thanks for jumping in and trying to save me from my own idiocy, but apparently I really do owe the money (see above) and TaxAct wasn't just trying to induce a heart attack.

lol--I have exactly the opposite reaction--Chris Pine's face pulls me out of the movie because I find it so damn attractive. It's James McAvoy who hits my boyishness squick so hard I can barely watch him.

Agree with you, though, about Captain America, and look forward to any fic you might write about it!

McAvoy is indeed very boyish, but it helps that (aside from Penelope), I've never bought him as a romantic lead - it's as if a little boy is playing dress-up and is so cute that you want to pinch his cheeks, not kiss him senseless.

I just . . . don't get Chris Pine. (Actually, as soon as I posted this, I remembered all of my flisties who have "Captain Fine" icons and prepared for a shitstorm, but you've been wonderfully restrained! I wonder if it's pushing my luck to admit I found Fassbender unappealing too, though more in a "meh" than a "yuck" way.)

I still need to rewatch CA, but I definitely do plan to fic in it, if only for musesfool's birthday!

I can't really imagine harassing someone for not finding someone attractive. It seems safe to say that human biodiversity it maintained by a certain amount of difference of opinion *g*

As for Fassbender, I can't say I'm proud of how attractive I find his particular brand of Aryan cruelty. I actually admire people who don't find it hot.

And that's why we're friends! I do love having sane people around!

As for Fassbender, I can't say I'm proud of how attractive I find his particular brand of Aryan cruelty. I actually admire people who don't find it hot. I know exactly what you mean - I can't think of who it was, but I remember finding somebody attractive and thinking at the same time that it was SO INAPPROPRIATE for me to do so, for those kinds of historical reasons. But I can't take any credit here - he simply left me cold and not at all squirmy.

Is it really 11 stories already? Congratulations!

yes, and apparently I've read every one of them...

Edited at 2012-02-23 12:23 am (UTC)

Thank you! I was surprised by the number too, but it's hard to argue with AO3. I am working on the last story in the series, but I abruptly got tackled by four ideas for BBC-canon-compliant fics that could take place immediately after series 2, and now I think I'm writing them (all woven into one long story) at the same time as the twelfth story in my fanon series. My brain is already fatigued!

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