Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taxes, Madeleina, The Catholic Mass

Whoa! Those are three pretty heavy things in a title, don't ya think??? You betcha (apologies to Sarah P for appropriating the phrase!!!)
But they're all in action today. The back taxes, well, I got to pay them and today I sent off $700 to start. Ick. Miserable, I am. Hate it, I do. Still, I now owe only $4450, and that's better than $5150. And I also filed the new taxes for 2010 and they ought to bring back some money. Chepa gets most of it because she needs most of it, but I ought to get a couple of grand and that will be nice.
So darn it, I looked at it every which way, but even the CPA I hired couldn't find a way for me to not owe the taxes. The issue is that we, Chepa and I, get child tax credit, and you can't get that if you have more than $3100 in a given year in royalties from things like a gas well. In my case, I had more than that because my mortgage company took nearly two years to release the money to me but the IRS doesn't split hairs. I had a check for over $3100 in 2009 so I owe the child tax credit back to them. Which is nearly $5 g's and a bit over that with penalties and interest.
I've given up being angry at the system and only hope they spend the money on care for the vets who are coming home from one, two, three, five tours of the middle East and need good psychiatric and physical help. If they spend it on those guys and gals, well, then I don't mind putting it into the pot. And I'm hoping they do.
Now Madeleina, well, she's getting grown up. She asks things that surprise me. She asks about how to raise children and how to apply eye makeup and how--even though she doesn't like boys yet--she should respond to a boy trying to kiss her. Not to slap him but how to kiss back. WAIT!!!! This is my little baby! What's going on here?????? And she asks about books and why people like caviar if that's just the same as eating 50 fish embryos per spoonful. And she asks about why some singers get famous while others, more worthy, get left on the scrap heap. She's asking about everything. And she's angry. She's angry at her mom for not being a regular mom and she's angry at me for still catering to Chepa instead of cutting her off completely. And she's angry at her brothers for living at mom's and not here at our house anymore.
She's a handful and all I know to give her is time, attention and love. And I probably fail miserably at those.
But look for a new video under the name madeleinag tomorrow. I have a feeling she's planning something awesome for St. Pats. Us being Irish--or me being Irish and her being half-Irish and all that. I think it's gonna be good cause I saw her collecting her green stuff for it. I'm not sure she has it all planned out yet but given her mood--which includes us dancing together wildly to Billy Idol's White Wedding at full volume today in Marco's room, after which she said she hoped that's not how I ever danced in public!!!!---I will bet she'll be in fine fettle tomorrow for the video.
And then when we were driving to Two Bucks, the liquor store where I buy my four minis of bourbon daily--two Jim Beam and two Wild Turkey--she asked me something about catholicism. She said: After the priest finishes reading the bible, what's left in a Catholic Mass.
And so, as a former alter boy, I thought for a minute. And I realized that the Mass, as celebrated by Catholicism, is just the preparation for and the reception, of the representation of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The priest comes out, blesses the congregation. The alter boys, in my day, responded for them in Latin, signifying, yes, we hope you are blessed as well, and so forth. And them there was the purification and then the feast on the host and then the thank you and that was it. Half-an-hour, tops, except on Sundays, when there was a homily--story--stuck in there.
I told her that thinking about it made me think of how we do ayahuasca in the jungle: We invite the right spirits, invite those who are not right to stay the heck out, thank the medicine, ask it to help us/heal us, then we drink it. And then we say thank you. Very very much like a basic catholic mass when I was an alter boy.
And I told Madeleina I wished someone had told me that was what a mass was like when I was a kid. I would have understood it much better.
And then she asked me about homily's. And I told her imagine three kids from a foreign country moved into the neighborhood and they were beat up by locals. The priest might find a passage about loving your enemy, read that, and then talk about why those new kids should have been greeted with love--even though they were outsiders--rather than beaten up. And he'd ask the congregation to consider that and to consider that their grandparents were outsiders when they arrived in the USA years ago and that it was better to greet them with a fresh pie than with fists. And if it was a good priest--and I dealt with all good priests in my years as an alter boy, which means good, giving people, nothing more--he'd tell the congregation to go out and tell everyone in the neighborhood to bring those new families food and pies and shower them with love so that the enemy would become a friend.
AND NOW I have to finish dinner--fresh dover sole of all things!!!!!--so I will leave it here. And I hope some priest somewhere is making the analogy in his homily this Sunday, that if we can all come together to want to help the people of Japan, then we can and should all come together to help heal ourselves here at home. Cause that would be a good homily.
And I love you all for reading this and putting up with me. Thanks. Peter G

1 comment:

Morgan said...


And a Big Green Irish Smilin' Eyes Wink, a Dance and a Well Raised Glass from the Up North Irish Crew to you and you and you and you!