Death, Taxes, and the Swashbuckling Adventurer.
So, did my taxes today. Trying to get things squared away with the man so that I can apply for financial aid once again. My fans will recall that I was planning on being at UND at this point chasing the dream of the solar dirigible like a drug crazed Icarus. Well, UND sent me the estimates and I'm not willing to plunge myself gleefully into the chasm of debt they offered. Of course, the 2007 FAFSA application had the unfortunate disadvantage of recording my residual Wal-Mart income. $16,000 annual or something like that. The year of slave wage leading up to my September emancipation.
Well, this year was not what one would call a bumper year for Jeremiah Liend, financially speaking. After crunching the numbers it turns out my adjusted annual income was -$2,180. That's right folks. I didn't even make a real number last year. Thank God for receipts is all I've got to say. Before I managed to itemize myself out of the hole I actually may have had to pay taxes on my grand total of $1,500 of income [gleaned from freelance body delivery and teaching teens to stage fight]. Who knew that hundreds in food and gas receipts could save my life? So long story short I'm getting $3 back from the federal government and $1 from the state of Minnesota. Someone's getting a happy meal, and his initials are JT.
I like to believe that, what with having to pay someone to review my forms and all, I'm costing the Man more than I'm really worth. Which is both heartening and terribly, terribly depressing. To be fair I'm not actually draining anything from the system. I've ardently refused to apply for unemployment. I tried to get state health insurance once, but as I had no real evidence that I was poor I was denied. I did appreciate the bureaucratic poetry. I've had my fluids rejected. These are the sorts of confidence bursting life experiences they don't address when you're in school. I need to talk to middle school students about esteem issues or something. Sort of a financial "scared straight".
"Pay attention and get good grades or one day you're going to find yourself 28 years old without two pennies to rub together and nothing but a long line of production photos to prove you even exists! Fuck plays! You can't make a living in the arts! I know living with your parents seems cool now, but just wait until you're twisted off cheap brown liquor and have to explain why you smell like cannabis to your weeping mother! Learn your algebra you ignorant fuckers! Forget art and take an auto class!"
I can only pray at this point the government will agree it is in their best interest to continue my education. That the sinister brain trust that's been controlling my future from smoky ill-lit offices will finally sign the check in hopes that I'll stop making art and build a better mouse trap or something. Little do they realize I'm just going to learn how to crack the grant nut and continue making ninja based theater until I'm too old to sword fight effectively. Ha ha. Happy tax season everyone!