Wednesday, June 9, 2004

"i got the tax return blues", an old Canadian ditty

I've spent today dealing with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, which to my imagination seems like a big machine used especially for frittering away the very tax dollars it exists to extract from our pocketbooks. It may just be me, but how many different forms and schedules and 'agents' and phone lines do you need to take my money, and how many hoops must I jump for the privilege of mailing you some forms with numbers written in, at my own postage expense, might I add? All so that 6-8 weeks later I can get a cheque in the mail with some money on it that I earned more than a year previous? I know that some people with their own businesses or more complicated tax returns to fill than I (with say, foriegn investments or RRSPs) have more complaints than I, but it still seems ludicrous that I need to devote an entire afternoon (a large percentage of which is spent on the phone hearing "all agents are still busy, please continue to hold" or online figuring out which cryptically-numbered form I need to download and print) to communicating with a bureau that is so overstaffed it ought to be just begging to take my call and information so it can promptly process my request to have back some measly 300$ I--as already stated--have done the work for quite some time ago!

Anyway. If T1 General doesn't kill me, nothing will.

It is a sunny afternoon and earlier in this day I took a walk --the first real excursion into the outdoors since landing on Canadian soil-- to the waterfall on Beinn Breagh, where I sat in mostly-uninterrupted silence (you always have to account for mosquitos) watching water bubble and tumble down through rocks and moss on its way to the Bras d'Or lake. I sat here thinking, "The air is smelling so springlike and familiar and lovely, dammit, I am happy to be home. And what's more, I'm happy to be going to university in the fall, and I think I have what it takes to pursue a career in psychiatric medicine, and if I discover that's not what I want, I have the chutzpah to go after what it is I really do want." As some Australians might say, I was feeling mighty 'up myself'.

Luckily, this self-assuredness and happiness hasn't gone away, and short of a unforeseen chemical imbalance, I don't think it will. I shouldn't have such hubris, however, so I'll just say: I'm happy and feeling grand right now, human propensity to change moods nonwithstanding. Leah's Constant Disclaimer.

And hey: here are some interesting places to explore, should your mouse finger be feeling itchy and your brain desirious of some new reading material. MuseLetter is Richard Heinberg's brainchild and has lots of interesting things to do with culture and the current society and most especially focusses on our dependence on oil. Eyeshot is a "lighthouse for online writing since 1999". And Identity Theory is always a favorite.

There is still so much light left out there, I think I might get off the electronic emissions box and go see what I can see. I have some interesting-looking books that I took out from the library yesterday, and if I can stand the mozzies (perpetually worse than you think they were the year before, and strangely able to find any bare patch of skin, no matter how well disguised) I'll be out there where I can smell summer.

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