The Tax Poem

I didn’t write this.  I don’t know who did.  It was shared with me in an email by my friend Leo Martinez.  Most people don’t stop to think about all the taxes we pay.  I know I didn’t.

*THE TAX POEM*

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts
Anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid.

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge T ax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Are we missing any here?

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the
most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the hell happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

Discuss…

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Product Review ~ Blueberry Muffin Frosted Mini-Wheats

This product review has moved to it’s own blog! Find more at: http://lauralovesbest.com

I haven’t seen them advertised, but then I’m not a BIG tv watcher. I dvr a lot of shows and zip through the commercials, so maybe I’ve missed it. But, as I went shopping on Saturday and strolled down the cereal aisle, there it was! Blueberry Muffin Frosted Mini-Wheats! Now I love blueberries, and blueberry muffins, so I had to try it!

Later that night I had to open up the box and try a few as a snack! Yes! They definitely have that blueberry muffin taste! They made a great crunchy snack. Now I’m eating them with milk. It just adds a creamy milk flavor to the blueberry muffin-ness of them. It slightly dilutes the flavor, but not in a bad way. They soften up in milk but still hold their shape. We all have heard how important fiber is to our diet, how it can lower cholesterol, well Mini-Wheats have plenty of fiber, that’s for sure!

If you are a blueberry fan, you’re going to love Blueberry Muffin Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal. I do! Great for a little snack, great for breakfast! Yummy in your tummy!

Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi. I’ve had the pleasure of waiting on him and his wife and they were frequent visitors to the restaurant where I worked. By the time I waited on them he was in a wheelchair, and I never heard him speak. He was still an impressive man.

His wife, Margrit, was adorable! So friendly and charming and gracious! She reminded me a lot of Carol Channing with her wide smile and silver bob.

When the Mondavi’s came in for dinner Robert was wheeled in by a younger man and woman, who left after he was comfortable. Margrit took care of ordering and would attentively feed Robert and give him sips of champagne and wine.

A funny thing was they would usually bring their little white dog in it’s carrier. Dog’s aren’t allowed in restaurants unless they are seeing eye dogs, but what could we say? They are the Mondavi’s. Our Napa Valley royalty! Generally the darling little dog was good and quiet, but occasionally it would bark! All of the staff’s eyes would get big as we hoped that none of the guests complained. Sometimes Margrit would let the dog out and feed it under the table. One night as they were leaving and the younger couple had come to take them home, the man was pushing the wheelchair and the woman was holding the door and the little dog started running around through the center of the restaurant! Finally we shooed it out the door and the Mondavi’s were wisked away in their limosine.

We had a large event where the Mondavi’s were guests. I had to talk with the organizer and let him know that Robert was in a wheelchair as they had made no provisions for that and were unaware. They were under the impression that he was going to be giving a speech as well. I had to let them know that was doubtful unless his condition had changed since last I saw him. Margrit Mondavi had sat at Bouchon Bakery hand painting touches on all the menus as souvenirs for all the guests. They were such a lovely elegant touch. I am pleased to say I snagged one of the leftover menus at the end of the night!

Robert Mondavi died peacefully Friday morning, May 16, 2008 at his family home in Yountville, California at the age of 94. We were getting ready to celebrate his 95 birthday in June at Copia with a big event that included many of the world’s top chefs. The hope was that this event would continue in his memory. And what a memory he left.

Cheers to your memory, Robert Mondavi!

73 Things You Might Not Know About Me…

1. I can dance.
2. I can dance and teach Polynesian dancing. Yes, that means Hawaiian hula, modern and ancient (kahiko), Maori, Tahitian, and a bit of Samoan.
3. I was president of a non-profit organization for 5 years. Ka Ohana O Na Huapala(the family of friends with much love), a non-profit Polynesian cultural group.
4. I love cats, and other animals too, but cats the most.
5. I used to manage a store called Nautilus Tropical Fish and Gifts.
6. I know a lot about taking care of aquariums and the names of most fish.
7. I was beaten up and robbed while working there.
8. I owned my own business for 20 years. I was a Mary Kay Cosmetics Consultant and I had up to seven consultants on my team.
9. I went to Dallas, Texas and Annaheim, California on Mary Kay business trips.
10. I’ve used Mary Kay Cosmetics religiously since I was 19 years old. (Thank you Trudy Ball, now my consultant!)
11. Pink is my favorite color.
12. I collect odd things in pink. I have a pink tool kit and extension cord. I have a large collection of pink depression glass.
13. I know the names of most flowers. I used to be really interested in gardening and read a lot of books. I like planting flowers, gardening.
14. I like to cook and bake.
15. I have over 50 cookbooks. I used to collect them.
16. I used to bake bread from scratch regularly when I was a teenager.
17. When other people wanted to grow up and be doctors and lawyers, I wanted to grow up to be a mom.
18. I took ECE (Early Childhood Education) classes at Fairfield High School to prepare myself to be a mom.
19. I LOVE being a Mom. I believe that I’m not going to be president of the United States, but that the most important thing I’m going to do is be a good parent.
20. I took square dancing lessons as a child.
21. I took bowling lessons as a child.
22. I took swimming lessons as a child.
23. I took ice skating lessons as a child.
24. I took piano lessons as a child.
25. I’m not really good at any of the things I took lessons in as a child.
26. I had a secret code way of writing messages with one of my best friends, Kathy White, in high school. I still remember most of it.
27. I was facinated with witchcraft in junior high school/freshman year of high school.
28. I used to have a palomino pony named Comanche when I was a child and lived up in Issaquah, Washington.
29. We had a creek, May Creek, that ran through our property and I saw salmon spawn.
30. I lived on the side of Tiger Mountain and used to play in the woods.
31. I know how to fish, but I don’t like to eat fish with fins. Yuk!
32. I do like shellfish! Crab, clams, lobster, shrimp, I’m not sure about oysters…I’ve had them smoked and they were good. I’m scared to try them raw.
33. I like to sing. I was in choir through most of grade school and in Acapella in High School. I know the words to a lot of songs.
34. I took knitting lessons at Michael’s Craft Store in Santa Rosa, but I really haven’t practiced. I can crochet a great baby blanket though!
35. I love time travel romance novels. My favorite is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
36. I love to read. As a teenager I would read romance novels all night until the sun came up and I had to get ready for school.
37. The guy I was in love with during high school, and sometimes dated, was killed in a car crash during my junior year.
38. I like to take pictures. I’m starting to enjoy photography more and more.
39. I love flowers, I love the colors and the smell.
40. I work for the school district with special ed children, mainly autistic children.
41. A few nights a week I work at a fine dining restaurant, thought right now I’m between jobs.
42. I have two intelligent amazing children, girl -19, and boy – 22, they both still live with me.
43. I had a huge wedding, 500 people, a band, my polynesian group performed, I was married to their father for 13 years, actually maybe it was 15 by the time the divorce was final, but those don’t really count.
44. I am a serial entrepreneur. I have 4 websites planned!
45. My first website is thesmartmomsnetwork.com. I’m on my third developer…
46. In Feb. 2007 I founded and am Senior Partner of RW Investments. I run it non-profit. It is an investment club for women.
47. I’m 4 classes away from getting my AA in Liberal Studies.
48. I graduated from the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA) in 2005.
49. I used to work at Chevy’s Fresh Mex in Fairfield, Villa Romano in Napa, and Julia’s Kitchen in Copia in Napa.
50. My parents live two blocks from me and don’t drive anymore, so I am their chauffeur, and I don’t mind at all! They did it for me, now it’s my turn.
51. I write poetry.
52. I have family on my dad’s side in Washington State, and family on my mom’s side in Tennessee. No other family besides my parents and kids and I here in California.
53. My Dad was in communications with the Air Force for 22 years, he retired when I was five. Then he worked for Boeing making airplanes in Washington, then ended up retiring from the Fairfield Post Office as a mail carrier. My Mom taught kindergarten, worked as a cashier in restaurants, worked in a post office in Alaska, had a business called The Happy Hangers with her friend Cathy Miller where they did wallpapering, then had Mary and Gerry’s Yesteryear Antiques with her friend Mary Miller(not related to Cathy). She retired after working in the office at the mobile home park we live in.
54. When I was married we had two houses, the second one was huge, two story, four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a huge backyard that we put a barked in play area for the kids with a swingset and fort and playhouse, and a huge fenced in oval doughboy pool. We lost that back to the bank, my ex talked me into declaring bankrupcy right before he asked for a divorce. Now I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath mobile home. Just for now. I’ll have a nice cozy house with a fireplace again soon, just wait and see! When all my sites are done on the internet…I’ll be the next big thing!
55. My son started taking college classes in eighth grade. He took Intro to Programming, CIS 1, and Into to Networking. I took all of these classes with him. He also took Fencing, which I didn’t take with him. He was in Acadeca, Academic Decathalon his senior year at Fairfield High School. He went to Europe for three weeks and visited Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. He attended the San Francisco Academy of Arts University for one year, and was going to major in Computers, New Media. He wasn’t sure if this was really his life’s passion, so he dropped out to re-evaluate. He’s worked at Hot Topic, H & M, and currently at Barnes and Nobles. He loves to read.
56. My daughter was in Honors and AP classes. She was on the Yearbook Staff as Asst. Editor and formed a Knitting Club. She is attending the local community college completing her general ed. She graduated from the Hex Makeup School with her certificate in Makeup Artistry. She has worked for her father re-stocking at the commisary and currently is working at PVE (Paradise Valley Estates) in food service and freelancing as a makeup artist.
57. I took 3 semesters of Ballroom Dancing.
58. I have no fear of public speaking. None. A stage? A mic? A camera? I’m READY!
59. I’ve never colored my hair.
60. I pull out the gray hairs that show! I may have to start coloring it soon.
61. I have very long natural fingernails, but rarely paint them.
62. For some reason I have scissors in almost every room of my house. I just recently realized I do this!
63. When I was four or five I got lost at the California State Fair.
64. I started talking very early as a child, at 9 months old. Even before I could walk. By the time I was 12 months old I was talking in complete sentences and singing songs.
65. I did some modeling. I modeled shoes for Darlington’s. I modeled for a couple of friends who were photographers. One had an old fashioned photo booth and he used my pics for his display.
66. When I was in high school I volunteered at the S.P.C.A. Sometimes I was there by myself. Sometimes I had to supervise the bad kids who were sent there to do community service. That was a little scary. That’s why I quit.
67. I was in a pageant. I didn’t win but I was a fair hostess for the Solano County Fair.
68. While I was a fair hostess I got to ride in a helicopter!
69. I’ve been on TV! It was a local channel that filmed the school board meeting. The principal at my children’s school asked me to teach some children a Hawaiian song for multicultural week. I had to get up in front of the school board and introduce the children and explain what the song/dance was about. It was fun!
70. Chocolate is my favorite food, especially dark chocolate. Next favorite is Chicken Kiev.
71. I love to exfoliate! Buff, scrub, pumice, loofah…i adore it all!
72. I had viral menengitis when I was three and lived in Goose Bay Labrador. I almost died.
73. I was adopted. (see other post)

Chez Panisse

Yesterday, my friend Angela invited me to come visit her. She lives in Albany, next to Berkeley. I drove over and we decided to go out to lunch to this place that I can’t remember the name of, but she said it was across the street from Chez Panisse. So, I said, “What about just going to Chez Panisse?”. Angela said, “Well, I checked on that online and it said that you need to make reservations about a month in advance”. Angela is getting a degree at UC Berkeley (that I don’t remember the name of but it has something to do with food and wine). Angela also just finished reading “Alice Waters and Chez Panisse” by Thomas McNamee. (I can’t figure out how to underline the title here in WordPress – forgive me, I do know better). In any case I knew Angela would love to eat there between her major and just finishing the book, so we drove downtown Berkeley and found a parking spot and put 10 quarters in the meter. Berkeley is so cool and quirky. There were people picnicking in the grass in the meridian of the street. Lots of them! With cars driving by on both sides of them, like they were in a park! Most of them were eating pizza from a nearby place. I was dying for Alexandra’s digital camera! I had asked Angela to bring hers, but the battery was dead, so no luck there either.

We decided to try Chez Panisse before going over to the other restaurant, and they took us right in! We went upstairs to the cafe, which I am told is a bit less formal and pricey than the restaurant.

We were seating in a very tight spot, very close to another table, but we didn’t mind, everyone was very friendly. They first ask if you would care for still or sparkling water and they bring it the table in a pretty etched glass decanter. It says Chez Panisse on one side, and Still on the other. There was a wonderful flavorful brown bread that was served with some very yellow butter. Angela said that the guy that started Acme Bakery nearby had worked at Chez Panisse and Alice Waters had helped him get started, so we imagined that the bread was probably from Acme Bakery. That was where our bread from Julia’s Kitchen had been from, too. The busser girl told us the butter was from grass fed cows and that it was yellower because it had more carotene. Wow. I guess I didn’t even know what color butter was supposed to be. I’ve grown up on the pale butter made from grain fed cows. It’s kind of a shame.

We ordered a bottle of rose wine that was rather inexpensive and Angela said she had read it was one of Alice Waters’ favorites. It was perfect! Our server was apparently in training because another server came over to open our wine while instructing her. Later I saw her trying to open the wine for another table. I wanted to help. (I could have taught her much better…)

We shared an appetiser. (I’m on a budget) It was a salad with fried goat cheese. Angela once again said that she had read that it was one of the classic dishes at the restaurant. Next we share an entree. There was a boneless chicken that they said was pressed as it was cooked to make it crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It was wonderful! As were the herbed peas. I’ve never had better peas. Honestly. And then there were some homemade potato chips as well. So good! Lastly, dessert. I had a peach and raspberry tart with vanilla bean ice cream and Angela had the fresh fruit, queen anne cherries and a plumcot. We were both in heaven! Truly a meal to remember!

In between all of this, I forgot to mention that since I knew I was going to be near Chez Panisse I thought I would bring along a resume and drop it off, since I am on the market at the moment. After we were seated for a few minutes I handed our server my resume and asked her if she could please give it to her manager. A few minutes later she brought it back to me and said it would probably be better to wait until I was leaving and give it to a manager myself, that way they might have time to sit down with and talk with me. Then, once again, a few minutes later a woman comes up to our table and says, “Hi, I’m Renee, did you want me to look over your resume?” I gave it to her of course and we continued our lunch. When we finished I checked to see if she was available, but the said she was in a meeting and had my number and would call me. Honestly, that is probably for the best, I don’t know what kind of interview I would have given after drinking half a bottle of wine!

Angela and I stopped and she got a couple of cheeses and some bread and salami and a lovely cold bottle of prosecco and we went back to her place, where her son Elijah and boyfriend Jesse were, and watched a French foreign film I had rented from Netflix, called Avenue Montaigne. Not Amelie, but very cute. We had the best French themed day!

Chez Panisse didn’t call today. Maybe tomorrow.

P.S. I LOVE blog comments!