Tax Nerdery

Guess who is now the proud member of a Florida LLC and has a new tax ID number from the IRS…

 

That’s right, MEEEE!

 

Future tea shop, here I come!

 

Who knew that tax info could be so exciting??

Tax!!

(I’m only sort of kidding.  To be fair, I didn’t stand a chance to not be a weirdo, since not one but BOTH my parents have/had careers as accountants.)

Looking Forward

I kinda kept you hanging over the weekend.  I’m sure you were super jittery with anticipation for almost 3 days, wondering what in the heck my Plan D is.  Wait no more, my friends.

 

Drumroll, please.

 

Ok, just kidding.  Honestly, my Plan D is a modified Plan C with a more realistic time frame.  I am still planning on staying in South Florida.  I am still planning on opening my own tea shop locally.  However, due to the fact that no one is showering me with oodles of money because of my brilliant tea shop idea (weird, right?), I’ve adapted my goals.

Goal #1: Create a website selling delicious, high-quality, looseleaf teas cleverly packaged in cute gift containers in time for the holiday shopping season.

Goal #2: Start selling my tea locally as well, probably at farmers markets (or green markets, as they’re called in these parts).  Get my name out there.  This would also be a good idea for holiday shopping.

Goal #3: Start a brick-and-mortar tea shop in 2015, hopefully in time for the tourist season.  Approximately 1 year from now.

 

Ta dah!

 

I obviously have a TON of work to do, buuuuuut (and it’s a big but!*) I think it’s all doable.  I have already come up with a GENIUS name for my company (shhh… I can’t tell you yet.  Gotta register for a trademark!).  I’ve purchased the dot com and created a Facebook page, Twitter account, and email address.  I also have to officially organize a company.  I’ve decided an LLC is the way to go for moi.  I’ve gotta figure out the specifics of that, though, because I’m pretty sure I need a physical address for my LLC (no P.O. boxes allowed) to register with the state of Florida.  But I’m also pretty sure my residence is not actually zoned for conducting business.  So, can I apply for a variance?  I’m not sure.  Yay bureaucracy!  So confusing…

In terms of Goal #3: my future brick-and-mortar tea shop, I’ve got a neighborhood I’m keeping my eye on.**  I think it’s set to gentrify in the next few years.  If I can get in on the front end of that redevelopment, I imagine I’ll be sitting pretty in my awesome tea shop with hopefully reasonable rent.

I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Thank you to Mr. I.,  my 9th grade geometry teacher for that gem of a pun.

** There, I did it again!  Those darn prepositions at the end of sentences!  What was I thinking??

Looking Back

As you’ve probably noticed by now, it’s September.  September.  It used to be the 7th month of the year for the Romans (septem = seven in Latin) but for us, it’s the 9th month of the year.  Wow.  For those of you who are following along at home, that means I’ve been in Florida 8+ months, depending on where you start counting.  I’ve been working at a local tea shop for 7+ months.  Wow again.  2014 is flying by!  At least for me.

To recap for any new blog followers (or for those of you who are fuzzy on the deets since it’s been awhile since I posted), my original plan was to drive with my dog from my house in LA to visit my parents in Florida for Christmas.  And then drive us back to LA.  That plan got scrapped on a whim when I got an opportunity to work at a tea shop in South Florida and learn the biz firsthand.  That would give me a leg up when I started my own tea business back in LA.  Now we were onto Plan B: work and learn the tea biz in Florida for 6(ish) months.  So I flew to LA, packed up my house, put everything in storage, and jetted back to South Florida.

Over time, Plan B gradually evolved into Plan C: stay in Florida permanently and open up my own tea shop here.  Close enough to my family, but far enough to not compete with my current boss.  I would do my 6 months at her shop and manage the place while she and her family took a European vacation.  During those 6 months, I would come up with a plan, establish myself in South Florida, and start my own business shortly thereafter.

Well, guess what.  My boss came back from her European adventures over a month ago, and I’m still working at her shop.  The good news is I love my job.  I still love tea!  I love helping customers!  I’m looking forward to doing it in my own place!!  The bad news is I’m not earning enough to provide the capital for starting up my own tea shop.  Let alone to move out of my dad’s house and get an apartment.  I really thought I’d have it all figured out by now.  So much for Plan C.

Le sigh…

So.  I guess we’re caught up now.  The other good news is that I’ve got a Plan D I’m excited about.*  Stay tuned and I’ll share it with you next week.

In the meantime, have a great weekend!!

 

 

 

 

*Sorry I ended a sentence with a preposition.  Bad grammar nerd!

 

 

 

Hard Life

Today, I was driving my (slightly beat-up from years of parallel parking in LA with neighbors who apparently don’t know where their car ends) car home from work, and I got passed by a Maserati with the license plate frame, “I’d rather be flying my Cessna.”

 

Wow.  Sir, your life sounds so hard.

 

 

Womp womp.

 

 

Not Just Your Ordinary Ballet Class

As you may have guessed from the lack of blog posts this last month, not a lot of excitement has happened around these parts.  Till recently.  Today in ballet class we had a few new faces.  New faces attached to gorgeous bodies that could do magical things.

Apparently, earlier this month, somewhere between 6 and 8 dancers with the National Ballet of Cuba defected while in Puerto Rico for a performance.  (The exact number depends on which news article you read.  All are dated between June 9th and 11th.  I could not find any more-recent articles that confirmed the number.  You can read about it here.)  At least 6 of them ended up in Miami, and 2 of those were in my ballet class today.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I can only imagine what they must have been through in the past month or so.  Leaving behind everything they knew, friends and family, in hopes of more artistic opportunities outside of Cuba.  Wow.

Regardless of how they may (or may not) have been feeling, they danced quite beautifully.  They both had a style that was bigger, bolder, and dare I say, a little less controlled than the rest of us who were used to precise, exact ballet positions.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the structure of a ballet class, it builds in intensity.  Any ballet class around the world begins with pliés (knee bends), and the movements gradually get bigger, until the end of class, which culminates in grand allegro, or as we say in English, big jumps.  Here, is where our guest artists really excelled.  I think they flew.

 

One of my favorite bloggers traveled to Cuba earlier this year, and he got to observe ballet class/rehearsal there.  He has quite a poetic way with words, and he perfectly captures the amazement I felt today.  Give him a read!

Cubans Are Magical

Gods and Goddesses

 

 

Make Way for Ducklings! And Turtles…

Remember that old joke, “Why’d the chicken cross the road?  To get to the other side”?

Well, riddle me this: Why did the turtle cross the road?

No seriously, I’m curious.

 

I was leaving the neighborhood the other day and had to stop for an unexpected turtle crossing.  Had to make sure this little fella made it across safely.

Turtle Crossing

 

And then literally, the following day, I was driving home from work, and a family of ducks was crossing the street at the exact same place!  I wish I had snapped a photo of this one as well.

A neighbor driving in the opposite direction had already pulled over to shoo them across the road, so they stayed safe, too.  Whew!

Ah, spring time in Florida…

 

 

Whirlwind

In the past forever since I last posted, I’ve had some new developments.  First, I broke up with my boyfriend.  It was all very not dramatic.  I just realized we weren’t quite right for each other, and when I brought it up for conversation, he agreed.  So.  There’s that.

And then, a couple weeks later, I started dating someone new.  I didn’t necessarily mean to jump from one relationship into another, but it just happened.  I don’t know what it is with these Florida boys.  :-)

New Boyfriend is pretty awesome.  He’s smart (dabbles in 5 languages), super cute, incredibly sweet to me, and so interesting just to sit around and have engaging conversations.  *Swoon*  You’ll have to excuse me that I’m having trouble finding time to blog.

A couple days ago, we borrowed a bike from his neighbor, and we rode down to the beach around sunset.  Please enjoy the view… of our feet, lol.

 

Feet on Beach

 

 

 

On Prejudices 2

Ahem.

So, yesterday I wrote about Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s disgustingly racist comments and the NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s response (if you missed it, catch up here).

I embraced the view that the first step in combatting racism (or any type of prejudice, really) is to connect on a real level with somebody different than you, to really listen to their story.  My theory is that if you understand them, you won’t judge them so harshly.  You might–gasp!–develop empathy for their struggles and cheer on their victories.  Crazy, right?

Ok, technically I still embrace that view.  But as they say, “Charity begins at home…”

 

(Bear with me here… I’m gonna go off on a tangent and then bring it all home again.)

 

There are a lot of crazy drivers here in South Florida.  It helps that Easter and Passover are over, so all the snowbirds have flocked back north to less sweaty climates.  And shipped their cars back with them.

Bye bye, snowbirds!

Bye bye, snowbirds!

 

But there are still a lot of doofuses left who drive 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane, or who signal .02 seconds before swerving in front of you and cutting you off (Harumph!).  And then there are the nitwits who recklessly weave in and out of traffic going 20 mph over the speed limit.

I realized that whenever reckless nitwits race around me, I got a lot angrier at them if they were driving a fancy, expensive car, like a flashy $55,000 BMW.  What a jerkface! I’d think really loudly in my head.  He’s so pushy and rude and entitled and thinks that everyone around him should get out of his way!  (Ok, I didn’t really think “jerkface.”  The word in my head wasn’t a very nice one, though.)

But if the reckless nitwit was driving a battered early 90s sedan, I’d think something along the lines of, Ugh! how rude!  Ok, maybe his wife’s about to give birth.  Or maybe he just has to pee really, really bad or he’ll explode.  Oh no, now I have to pee!

Why did I assume the expensive car guy was a jerk, but give the crappy car guy a break?

I think I have to reexamine some prejudiced beliefs a little closer to home…

Obviously, rich people aren’t necessarily jerks.  Poor guys aren’t necessarily saints.  But I think I should give everybody the benefit of the doubt instead of getting angry.  (Maybe ALL their wives are giving birth?  Maybe ALL their bladders are super full?)  That way I’ll be unbiased.  And at the very least, it’ll keep my blood pressure at a reasonable level.

 

<<The author of this post gets down off her high horse…>>

:-)

 

On Prejudices

If you’ve tuned in to any news outlets in the past couple days, you might know that the Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling was recorded making extremely racist comments, and now NBA commissioner Adam Silver is fining him $2.5 million and banning him from the NBA for life (see story here).  Pretty much everyone on the planet is understandably outraged at Sterling’s views.

First and foremost, I would like to express my opinion that Sterling’s remarks are NOT okay.  Racism is bad.  Yes, Sterling should face some consequences.  Absolutely.

But I want to know how punishing Sterling like that is gonna change anything.

(I also feel badly that the Clippers as a team [players and staff] have to suffer public condemnation and lose sponsors because their owner is a big fat jerkface.)

But fining and banning said big fat jerkface doesn’t make racism go away.  I sincerely doubt it changes his (or anyone else’s) views about people with different skin colors.

I don’t have the answers.  What I do have is the hope that this situation starts dialogues in lots of places across America.  I hope that people everywhere reexamine their own views.  Yes, we’ve come a long way from segregation and “separate but equal.”  I hope that people realize that we still have a ways to go.

Because the only way prejudice is going to diminish is if we open people’s minds.  Just because someone is a different color, or gender, or sexual orientation, or religion (etc!) than you, it doesn’t make them any better (or worse).  Maybe, just maybe, if you have a real heart-to-heart conversation with people different than you, you can learn something wonderful.  Everybody’s human.  Everybody’s got a story to share.  Just take a moment to listen.

 

And if you have another moment, I’d like to direct you to a really thought-provoking editorial on Time.com by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  He’s got quite the writing prowess to go with his crazy athletic skills.