Pink Phizz

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Me and the I.R.S.

So today I made my third call this month to the I.R.S. Even though I had gotten the "all clear" message from the first two, I received my Form-1099-DIV in the mail today and got a bit freaked out over it. The second call to the I.R.S. had given me the information that if I earned more than $3200. (£1810.77) this past year, I would have to file and possibly pay taxes. So on receiving Form-1099, I added all the appropriate boxes up and still didn't come up with the $3200. Whew!

However, I felt like I was still doing something wrong, so I made that call again - kinda feeling like a moth to a flame. Nope, I'm still in the "all clear" zone. I was informed, though, that if my earnings from said stock, whether I roll them over (in which case I do) or not, do go over that amount, I will have to file a tax return and perhaps pay taxes. I informed the gentleman that if I ever went over that amount then I would gladly file because that would mean that my stocks/bonds soared for that year.

So, basically, I do not have to file at all this year.

However, there are two things that I have learned after making these calls:

1) It definitely does not pay for me to work here in the U.K. unless I am willing to earn well under $3200. (£1,810.77) on a yearly basis, because then I would wind up paying U.S. taxes as well as U.K. taxes.

2) I've been nagging Krip to also put my name on our savings account. Until today that is. I suddenly yelled, "hold all the presses!" I've decided that it doesn't pay for me to be listed on our savings account guessed it. If my name is on the savings account, we would have to pay taxes in the U.S. of A. also since savings can be considered earnings, and the savings and my earnings from my rolled-over stocks/bonds would definitely put me over the $3200. mark.

Are you confused yet? Think what I have to go through. Every. Single. Year. Now, if we ever decide to return to the U.S. to live, which means Krip to immigrate, then it will be a whole nother kettle of fish with the I.R.S.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday's musings.

Well, as you can tell, we didn't win the £100,000,000. jackpot; however, it's so comforting to know that no one won the big pot either. Having the pot going for approximately £125,000,000. next week is, in some ways, rather an obscene amount, don't you think? Oh well, Friday's only four days away, and who knows we may hold that winning ticket [chuckling here while I write this].

I walked more than five miles today; back and forth to the gym, taking Barney to and through the woods, and back and forth to the post office. I'm tired of walking. I'm tired today, period. I woke up with a scratchy throat, bad omen.

While cleaning the house today, I had some idiotic show on that had an American contestant. She sounded just like a presenter on a show here in the UK called "The House Doctor." Obviously, by her accent, this woman hails from Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan. God, was her voice irritating! Oh well, we all can't have that lovely southern drawl that I possess [smirk].

I was reading up on the driving test here in the UK. For my American friends, did you know that you have to use your "emergency brake" for everything including an emergency? I guess, on the test whether you have an automatic or a manual (stickshift), you have to use the emergency brake for braking at a traffic light, waiting at roundabouts, and even if you are going to turn around in the street ~ anotherwords apparently for what, five seconds on upwards. The more I read about this test, the less and less I'm inspired to take up driving here. Oh well, until we invest in an automatic, there is no chance that I will chance it. And this is a weird statement from someone who has driven manual all my driving life.

Anyway, what's the other thing I was going to mention. Oh yeah, it's nice sometimes to be the "only American in the village." At least when I go to the post office, I don't even have to tell them where I want to mail a letter/package to. The post mistress automatically asks. That's rather comforting in a strange sort of way.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Do you feel lucky tonight.

Well kids, do you know what tonight is? It's the night. The Euro-Million Lotto Rollover Night. The night where someone, somewhere may win £100,000,000.00 or $178,569,000.000 or 145,795,973.00 (Euros).

And that, kids, is a hell of a lot of money.

So who's it gonna be?

We've plunked our money down and bought a ticket along with how many others? The odds are way against us winning, right? About a million to one - give or take a couple of thousand; however, just think, it only takes one set of numbers to win.

One. Ticket. Just one.

I almost dread the thought of winning a sum like that.


And...if we don't win; the U.K. Lotto is tomorrow night. It's for £5,000,000.00. I could definitely live with that amount.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What you will never see on the nightly news.

Army Staff Sgt. John Newland helps an Afghan boy try on new boots in Zanto Kalay, Afghanistan, on Jan. 11, 2006. U.S. Army soldiers are bringing medical assistance, donated winter jackets, sweaters, blankets, and food to the people of Zanto Kalay during a medical outreach program. Newland is attached to the Army's 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion.
DoD photo by Sgt. Andre' Reynolds, U.S. Army.

U.S. Army Cpl. Reginald Shronce with Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st. Infantry Regiment, 172nd. Styker Brigade, Combat Team, throws soccer balls to Iraqi children during a foot patrol in Mosul Iraq, Jan. 18, 2006.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John M. Foster

Two teachers watch as Polish Army soldiers with the CIMIC group (Civilian Military Cooperation) unload supplies and toys to give to an elementary school in Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq on January 19, 2005.
U.S. Army photo by PFC Timothy Villareal

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

So how was your day yesterday.

Yesterday was Monday, 23 January, 2006. Right? And I'm sure by now everyone knows that yesterday was the one day some nutcase actually earmarked to be the most depressing day of the year due to it being the end of the "holiday season," bills just now coming in, winter setting in, that type of thing. Yada yada yada...blah, blah, blah.

However, although I walked to the gym on one of the coldest days of the year, if not the coldest morning this year, I didn't get depressed; I froze my ass off walking both ways, but I never managed to get depressed. And even though I took Barney in the woods yesterday and he had in his little pee-brain that yesterday would be the day to stop and sniff or water every single hint of vegetation on our walk; depressed wouldn't be the word I would have used to describe myself; really, really annoyed maybe because I was freezing my ass off again, but not depressed.

And even though we had to keep the heat on all day long, knowing full well that our heating bill would be going through the roof; I still never managed to feel any sort of depression because, well, it's one thing to freeze one's ass outside, but I'd be damn if I was going to do it inside as well.

And! Even while watching the weather last night and hearing that parts of Kent actually had sun and knowing that we didn't, couldn't put me in a depressive mood. I just figured that if we were lucky it might spread our way sooner rather than later. And even with Krip being able to manuver Abe to do the right jumps and such on our PS game, where I couldn't get past go, just wound up getting my temperature to rise rather than plunging me into a downward spiral of a funk.

So, although, yesterday was earmarked for the one day that one could get depressed and actually get away with it because some nutcase announced that 23 January 2006, was to be the most depressing day of the year, really all day long I just couldn't bring myself to be depressed.

That was until last night just before I fell asleep. At 11:55 p.m., on the 23 January 2006, I finally realized I had something to be depressed about.

That's when it slowly dawned on me that someone, somewhere out there; and by the way, most probably with our tax money, was actually getting paid to come up with such a stupid idea. And the actual thought that I, although smart enough to have been able to come up with such a stupid idea, did not have the wherewithall nor the imagination to think of the idea of having the 23rd of January 2006 be considered the most depressing day of the year.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

What's that yellow thing up in the sky.

It's Saturday, the sun is actually shining; God know's for the first time in I don't know how long. So Krip and I are going off for the day. Normal blogging will resume most likely Monday. Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A toast to greatness.

On President Reagan's 25th Anniversary of his first term in office, I want to tell you what this man meant to me. I was in the U.S. Navy under Carter. For me, having to see Carter's photo on a wall in practically every building that I walked into became a job in itself. I, along with so many others, got out of the service while Carter was in, because Carter was in.

Then along came Ronald Reagan. He was the first President I had ever voted for. And vote for him, I did. Something about him made me realize that as long as he was at the helm; my family, my country, and I would be all right. As his term in office progressed, I began to admire this man more and more. President Reagan stood up to anyone and everyone. He didn't pull any punches. Reagan in my estimation is the American President. He is America.

In his First Inaugural Address, Tuesday, January 20, 1981, President Ronald W. Reagan said:

'Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.'

He was talking about Communism; however, that part of his speech could be said in today's world. President Reagan, to me, was a man of vision. A man who truly loved his country and her people. A man who had faith in America and knew that we were capable of doing great things, have continued to do great things, and will continue to do great things.

'...and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.'

This man, President Ronald Wilson Reagan is my hero. He will always be my hero. And to this, I say, "God bless you and thank you, Mr. President."

UPDATE: There are many out there that are toasting Reagan on the 25th Anniversary of his First Ingauration. First and foremost, Mike from Mike's America is hosting the party, so around of cheers need to go to him for coming up with the idea and including us. So far here are many who have contributed to the celebrations: Sparks from the Anvil, The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth, Grizzly Mama, American Crusader, Razor Sharp Claws. As Friday, the 20th slowly come around, stay tuned for more party-goers at Mike's house.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The 20th of January. Mark it on your calendar.

On the 20th of January 2006, we (that's Mike and all the rest of us) will celebrate the beginning of the Reagan Presidency ~ one of the greatest, and in my most humbled opinion, the greatest President in the short history of my beloved country. And because of this, next week, I cordially invite one and all to share your thoughts on this great man.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Half-baked reality.

So last night, we are perusing the tv schedule, trying to find something to watch. What a bunch of worthless nonsense on the television. I am so tired of the cheap-ass, so-called reality television shows. For an example last night we were presented with:

Celebrity Big Brother, a show with a bunch of players that not only would not make the A, B, or C list of any party, but they probably couldn't be trusted to park the cars.

What Not to Wear Holiday Special, a show about two snippy twits; one anorexic, and the other needing to be beside me on that treadmill, showing other women what clothes suit them best and managing to crush any self-esteem the poor women may have before they volunteered to be ripped apart by these two harpies.

Celebrity Fitness Videos: Not Fit for TV?, pretty self-explanatory. I'm sure that the celebrities that made the videos are thanking the media gods for promoting them. They are probably thinking finally one or two will get sold.

This is a sample of the shows that were on last night.

It was a long wait until the last two episodes of Lost came on at ten o'clock. That's the last two episodes of the first season of Lost. So if any of you from the States or here in the UK who have pirated tapes and are in the process of watching the second season's Lost...DO NOT WRITE ME TO TELL ME WHAT IS GOIN' ON! I just went over to here, and supposedly the second season of Lost will be starting in the Spring, we don't have that long to wait. Wondering why Poland gets the new season in January! Poland!! Now I just have to refrain from peeking at the spoilers.

Did I mention that the second season of Desperate Housewives is starting next Wednesday night? Life is grand.

It's the weather's fault.

Okay, so I feel like I'm copping out just a bit. I decided not to walk down to the gym today, seeing as it is foggy, wet, and just plain cold. So, I've opted out to go with Krip this afternoon when he gets off work. I don't feel too guilty because being Thursday, I'll be doing my cardio stuff anyway. However, tomorrow morning I will have absolutely no excuse not to haul my sorry-ass outta bed and get down there. Hmmm, but that's another day.

Got on the scales for really the first time today in a very long time. Not too bad. Knew I have been putting on the pounds-stones-kilograms a bit lately, the feel of my jeans told me that...duh! However, not as bad as I thought. That helps. It's nice to know that your goal isn't quite as daunting as one might think when getting started - even if it's only a matter of a few less pounds-stones-kilograms then at first thought.

God, enough of this already. I'm even starting to bore myself, and I'm the author of this inane rubbish.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Oh. My. God. My. Feet (and legs). Hurt. Like. Hell.

Last night, Krip and I decided to go to the gym after he got off work. So off we went at 5 p.m. That was one big cock-up in my most humbled opinion. Didn't get back home until around seven, and only managed six out of the 13 machines I was suppose to do. It wasn't due to lack of enthusiasm on my part...oh, no! Couldn't get on them. Felt like we had to have a reservation just to get on a bloody machine.

So this morning, I decided 'to hell with it' and went ahead and walked to the gym. So I wound up walking 2.77 miles (4.45 kilometers) round trip just to get on the treadmill and walk for an hour and 2.52 miles (4.06 kilometers).

Anotherwords, my little feet suffered two hours worth of walking for a total of 5.32 miles (8.56 kilometers). That's why they hurt like hell today.

However, I did burn 473 calories. So I got something outta it all.

Tomorrow, I walk there and back to work my little buns off on the exercise machines.


Something tells me it won't just be my legs and feet achin' tomorrow.


Monday, January 09, 2006

"Can you come around for some drinks?"

Last week, we got invited to come around to Krip's Dad's home for a little party on Sunday, which was yesterday. We were suppose to be there around 3 p.m. We weren't there. We were at the gym.
[See post below you for that experience.]

Anyway, as I was saying, as Krip's Dad was once a widower, he remarried some time ago to a woman we all like to call Mrs. Bucket (as in Keeping Up Appearances), that's pronounced Mrs. Bouquet, just so you'll know because she is quite a snob and likes to put on airs, while having nothing to put on airs about. Anyway, it's fun to watch.

So, while we weren't there at three; I mean, who gives a "cocktail" party at three o'clock on a Sunday afternoon?

Uh, Mrs. Bucket does.

We did arrive around 4:30 p.m., promising ourselves that we would be outta that house within an hour. Unbeknownst to me, Krip told Mrs. Bucket that we were going out with some close friends of ours for dinner - uh, he lied. So, getting me aside Mrs. Bucket asked me what plans we had for later, and I said smoothly, "Oh, we have another engagement. Dinner with such and such." - uh, I lied. What I am so proud of myself for was the fact that devious minds think alike. Little did either one of us know what the other was going to say, and yet we actually came up with the same, exact alibi.

Cool, right?

We were outta there within 45 minutes; 15 minutes under schedule. No harm, no foul.

However, we did keep the answering machine on all night....just in case of you know who, Mrs. Bucket, uh calling for some odd reason.

Jumping on that treadmill.

A couple of months ago we signed up to a brand new gym called Roko and now that it's all completed and the first rush of people have already arrived to work their little buns off, Krip and I decided to mosey down yesterday to test out the machines, etc.

Well, the gym is wonderful. All nice and computerized. Now I'm not saying that I'm computer slow; however, I did find it all a bit daunting to say the least. I have 13 machines that I am suppose to work out on. I did only nine of them because I found myself spending much of my time trying to figure out where each was located and how to figure out how to key in my personal info at each machine. For instance, you are suppose to put in the amount of weight you want to lift at each place, get your seat adjusted and such. Then you are suppose to extend and retract and set each of those postitions on the keyboard so that the next time, when you use it, it will be all computed for you. Sounds easy, right?


While you are extending to your max or retracting to you minimum, how in the hell are you suppose to be able to press the "OKAY" key at the same time? I felt a little bit like Lucille Ball in some of her routines, trying to balance the weights with one hand and quickly pressing the OKAY pad with the other. God only knows what I have set up most of machines to do for me.

So today when Krip and I go down there, I am taking a print out copy of the machines I'm suppose to be using with me and marking off which machine I have used so that I don't have to constantly run back and check which one I haven't gone to if the one I am suppose to go to is busy. We are also going to go in the evening...ugh. I hate going in the evenings.

Also, as an American we are used to weighing ourselves using pounds and ounces. Over here in England, they tend to use stones. That's 14 pounds to a stone. I've had no trouble computing that little tidbit. Now that the UK is tripping over themselves to align themselves with the EU, a lot of the scales are not using stones anymore, but kilograms. So now this little American has to convert my pounds to stones and now to kilograms. The only upside to all this is that one pound = 0.453 592 37 kilogram, so that being said, say one might be around 115 pounds, or eight stone three pounds, or 52.163 122 55 kilograms.

Bloody 'ell, I feel lighter already. Heh.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Flying thing-a-migs.

About two months ago, I noticed that some of my houseplants were outgrowing their pots. If they had been kids, I would have said that their jeans were way to short and tight for them. Anyway, I decided it was time to transplant them. We went down to our nearest garden center and got some new pots for them. I really took my time in selecting exactly which pot would be best for each of the plants who were in dire need of a larger size pot.

What I should have done was made sure I had brand new potting soil.

Instead, I used the potting soil that we have had out in the garden. I knew that there were some worms in it, so I just made sure that the spoonfuls I was putting into each pot was minus any worm, or anything that even looked like it could be such a creature. Well, since then we have been invaded by some sort of flying thing-a-migs. They kinda look like a gnats, but not quite. They don't bite. They're just annoying as hell. They're not even partial to any particular plant, seems to prefer any and all of them. Doesn't matter whether the plant is wet or dry. These flying thing-a-migs don't appear to live very long, because I find their dead littered all around the plants. However, they are annoying because they are here, there, everywhere.

So, I bet you are wondering why I mentioned the worms or being mindful of not adding any worms to the soil, right? Well, besides these flying thing-a-migs that obviously came out of the soil that we used from a bag in our garden, instead of biting the bullet and purchasing some spanking new soil, I found out the other day after putting all my houseplants in the bathtub and giving them a nice tropical type of shower, that one of these houseplants of mine left me a present. A nice plump worm was sitting, well not really sitting, but lying in my bathtube. And thinking it was a stick or something, I went to pick it up.

Gasp! Oh. My. God.

I damn near had a heart-attack when I picked - what I thought was a stick - up. It wasn't no stick. No sirree. It was about a four inches long (ah, that's 10 centimeters to any and all you Euro-types who don't measure in feet and inches anymore). What a gawd-awful feeling, squishy and all. It even makes me feel yucky just writing about it.

Honestly, I have no ending to this monologue. I would just love to get rid of these damn flying thing-a-migs, and have some assurance that there are no more worms just waiting to show themselves. Maybe we should get some new potting soil, and do some replanting.

"Hey Krip...what we doin' tomorrow?"

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Santa brought Barney, the mutt, two brand new toys for Christmas. He is slowly, but surely tearing them to pieces to go along with all the other beat up toys in his basket.
Stupid dog.

Speaking about the mutt. You aught to see some of my beloved plants out in our garden. Now I realize that alot of their look at playing being dead could be due to it being winter; however, the fact that the bloody dog has taken to peeing on them on a regular basis is not helping the situation any.
Stupid dog.


Last night, since there wasn't a damn thing on television, at least until 10 p.m. when I wanted to watch Lost, Krip and I decided to do something else. We could have been very adult about it and watched one of the movies we have We could have sat down and did some reading; ah, no. What we actually did was play that stupid PSII game again. Of course it took us five minutes more than it should have to get started because after sitting there and staring at a blank screen, it slowly dawned on us the reason why that stupid game wasn't coming on was because we forgot to plug in the PSII plug-ins.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Music for the soul.

For Christmas, Krip gave me the CD of IL DIVO. These four gorgeous men creating the most beautiful music, well for me, is just breathtaking. I have fallen in love...with their music.

Awesome. Truly awesome.


So last night, while eating dinner, we decided to watch this program about couples who want to move and can't decide whether to stay in their own country or in this case, Scotland and/or move to another country, and in this case, Germany. Now they are an English couple who ran a B&B in Scotland, and decided that they wanted a bigger challenge in running the same type of business. So they had to choose between those two countries. Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with moving away; however, moving to a foreign country to run a business when you have only visited it a few times and you don't even know the language, nor the legalities (as in buying a business) is rather more than a challenge. At any rate, this couple chose to do so. They bought this old B&B in a village that was way underprice and hadn't been doing any business in over two years. That would have rang warning bells as loud as Big Ben or the Liberty Bell in my mind and would have made me run away the other way as far and fast as possible. But not this couple, they didn't even flinch. However, they did think the place was nice.


That's what this story is really about...nice. This couple, whom Krip called Mr. and Mrs. Dweeb, saw three business establishments in Scotland and three in Germany. For one solid hour, while watching this program, the viewers heard this couple say, sometimes simutaniously, nice 79 times. I know this because I counted each and every time.

Nice...79 an hour.

Oh brother.

Done and dusted.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. My young'un boarded the plane and flew back over that large pond called the Atlantic Ocean yesterday, going back to school today. While my daughter was here, we took her to see a pantomime called Aladdin; went ice-skating, well Krip and my angel went, I took the piccys..hey! someone's got to do it!; went tobogganing, now that was a blast and a half; and we all saw the movie Narnia, see the review on Krip's blog about it. [To find his review, go a few posts down, it's below the one about Why don't turds freeze?]

So last night, since I was in rather a blue mood and there was shit on the boob-tube, Krip and I decided to play one of the Playstation games that my young'un was playing while here. It took the two of us over an hour to get past the first challenge; something that took my daughter exactly five minutes for f*ckssake...what's up with these brain waves of ours? They can't seem to make it down to our fingers in time to do the deed before we get blown up. It didn't help that the two of us were laughing our asses off I suppose.

What can I say. Last night after our worldwind adventures with my youngest daughter, our bodies and minds were completely tuckered out like two old deflated balloons, found us in bed at eight o'clock and sleeping like the dead. Until midnight when my young'un called to tell us she made it okay. I'm so glad that she did. Haven't a clue what we talked about. Think I asked her, much to her annoyance I'm sure, the same thing over and over again. Looks like the old brainwaves got stuck there too.

Hmm, it''s just too quiet in this house today.