Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, March 12, 2007

Failure of the Day: Digestion, Money, Sociopath: Discuss

We saw Zodiac this weekend and enjoyed every minute of it. It occurs to me that watching a sociopath do some fine, fine work maybe should not be so much fun, but serial killers are the pet rocks of our generation: we love them so long as they entail no actual interaction other than passive appreciation. The movie is also a fantastic re-creation of my bay area childhood, omitting none of commercial jingles, old-timey vending machines, and sense of hovering doom that I recall so well.

When we got home, I read an interview with the Zodiac book author, and he said he still meets with the lead detective on the case all the time at the Copper Penny, a stunningly terrible diner in my old neighborhood. Chris used to badger me to go there—he likes Old Man bars and restaurants—but I ate there once, and seriously, life’s too short. But there’ll be no getting out of it now: The chance to see the world’s foremost authorities on the Zodiac reminiscing about old times over runny key lime pie is too tantalizing, for him or me.

We also did our taxes this weekend and discovered that we are a good bit stupider than we had ever even dreamed. I’m telling you, this whole “being an adult” thing is exhausting. Honestly, sometimes it is a full-time job just keeping my own digestive system on track and more or less reliable—and I am also supposed to somehow intuit that being married doesn’t entail having my deductions taken out at the Married level? And if the Married level of deduction always screws you over, why is that little box there on the W4, just begging you to check it?

So, we’ll pay. We have no property or children to deduct and an AGI at the 28% bracket—and we’re democrats. Which is not to say that Chris’s flash of brilliance that if we put money in our 401ks, it is like having it deducted except we still get to keep it will go unacted-upon. But my god, why doesn’t anyone just tell you these things? Does it have to be a secret? It’s almost as bad as how hard it is to figure out that fiber doesn’t work without proper hydration.