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Thursday, January 22, 2004 

Well, I've gone and done it. I popped my tax prep cherry! Last night I had my first client. It went really well, though I was incredibly nervous. I'm surprised I was able to get the words out of my mouth as well as I did. The interviewing itself went fairly smoothly. I felt confident enough with asking the necessary questions as I went through the program. But I was shaking inside from nervousness. When I was working on case studies I was typing in information rather quickly. But, last night I was going so slooooow because I was afraid of screwing something up. Fortunately for me she was easy. All she had was a W-2. No second job, no interest, no Jury Duty pay. Easy-peasy. But, that's just how I wanted it for my first return.

Afterwards I was trying to estimate what my own refund would be. I don't have my W-2's and 1099's yet, but I did have my paycheck stubs form the end of the year. I plugged in the numbers into this program we have, and it was saying I owed! So, I entered in a fake tax return, in practice mode, with my info. After doing that, it was saying I owed the Feds over $1100!! Obviously I wasn't happy. I can afford to pay that (that's why I've been putting $100/month in a rainy day fund), but I was planning on a refund to use towards a down payment on a new car. Owing $1100 would put a damper on that. It would leave me with a much smaller down payment. However, after sleeping on it (actually, tossing and turning on it), I realize I may have made a mistake in calculating. This morning I ran and grabbed my pay stubs, and noticed that I had used nearly $6000 of pretax money for stuff like my 401k, Commuter Checks, Cafeteria Plan, etc. When I took the deductions out of my gross pay, and recalculated the tax I saw something much better. If what I came up with this morning is correct, I'll be getting a refund -- albeit, only a $400 refund. But hey, $400 in my pocket is WAY better than $1100 out of my pocket. In the meantime, I'm sending a new W-4 to my employer to have them start withholding more money from my checks so next year I'll get a nicer refund. At least some good came out of my needless worrying of myself -- I managed to learn a few things, or at least internalize a few things I had sort of learned before.

Progress on the multidirectional scarf is coming along nicely. I decided to make it just slightly thinner than my mom's scarf was. I liked the width of my mom's scarf, but remember thinking at the time that it would also be nice with just a few stitches less. Plus, that would allow me to make it slightly longer (without having to buy more yarn), and the sections would get done faster. The colors are working up differently than I had expected. At first I wasn't sure if I liked it, but now I think it's looking good. The colors remind me of peacock feathers. It's made up of greens (a light green, bright green, and a slightly darker/normal green), blues (a slightly darker blue, and a bright blue), and a little bit of a goldish tan color here and there. It sort of reminds me of a grassy field in spring. Very pretty.

This picture was taken using my camera at work (a Kodak 3.1 megapixel DX4330), not my new camera. It looks a little blurrier than what I would have gotten with the G5, but you get the idea. I took a few shots, and this was the best of the bunch. I can't attest to color accuracy since my monitor at work shows everything a little too dark, but I think it should be fairly close. (BTW, ignore all the crap on my desk!)

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  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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