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 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!

 

 

 

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…>>

🙂

 

K-9 Cognition

Yesterday, it was raining across South Florida.  For most of the day.  Which isn’t so bad when you can curl up inside and read a good book or watch a fun movie.  But when you have a dog who needs a walked, it’s not that awesome.

Akela.  Dog who likes walks.

Akela = likes walks.

 

For the first of Akela’s two rainy walks, I called her to the door, leashed her up, and we proceded to the garage, where I put on my rain gear: rubber boots, giant poncho with hood, and baseball cap to keep the rain out of my eyes.  And then we walked and did all the usual peeing/sniffing/etc stuff.

For the second walk, I decided it was too big of a hassle to put on my rain gear and hang on the leash at the same time, so I put everything on beforehand and then called her to the door to be leashed.

And you know what?  Akela was sorta scared and reluctant to come close.  It was still me, with my same smell and same voice, but in rain gear.  She did eventually come to me after a timid pause, but it surprised me that she thought I was some foreign creature for a bit.

Which is one reason of, like, a zillion, why I’m looking forward to reading this book:

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

 

I’m not sure if it’ll answer all my questions, but maybe I’ll have a new understanding of what it’s like to be furry with four paws, an obsession with squirrels, and a killer sense of smell.

 

And, if this NY Times article is to be believed, our canine companions may be sort of geniuses.

 

I’m not sure about Akela, though.  Hers is a more subtle genius.  Even though she does know sit/stay/come/catch/hi five/etc, her best achievements are in the arts of napping, shedding, and having a seemingly bottomless pit for a stomach.

🙂

 

 

Stereotyping

Speaking of customers who cause me stress, I’ve noticed that there’s a certain “type” of customer that I see a few times a week who is not my favorite: the pushy old white guy.

I think they’re mostly vacationers and/or snowbird retirees visiting Florida for the winter.  It’s never a businessman in a suit or sportcoat; the pushy old white guy is always dressed casually.

It’s the man who comes up to the counter and says, “Yeah, gimme a _____” while I’m still helping the customer in front of him.  When I tell him that I’ll be right with him as soon as I can, he doesn’t even have the grace to apologize or act embarrassed.  He just is impatient.

When I can give him my full attention, he usually orders without really making eye contact.

Oh, and he never tips.  Meanie.  😦

 

It’s nice to know that other businesses have to deal with this type of customer as well.  Recently, while trying to get my tire fixed (I apparently drove over a nail… sigh…), I was waiting for service at a tire shop when this pushy old guy zoomed past me with his walker.  The mechanic behind the counter started trying to help him first, but I waved and said I was actually next.  Nicely, of course.  Score one for patient, polite people.  Take that, pushy old guys of the world!

 

 

Artsy Fartsy, or Awesome Things Day 4

For the last day in my series of posts about fun things to do in South Florida (to balance out all the times I make fun of it), I’d like to highlight the really great local arts scene.

Seriously, there are about 5 art festivals every weekend in various places across the state.  Don’t believe me?  Look here.  I’ve been to several festivals already, including one on my first date with my boyfriend.  Plus, I’ve hit up a couple art galleries and a giant art show at a convention center.

There are also numerous theater companies.  This weekend, I’m driving up to Vero Beach to see a friend of mine from college (who now lives in New York) in South Pacific.  I’m so excited!  If I wanted to, I could also go see Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, In the Heights, or other shows this weekend.

The dance culture is pretty great, too.  (And we all know that dance is quite near and dear to my heart!)  In the next few days, I could go watch a bhangra (type of Indian dance) performance by Ranjana Warier, take (free!) salsa lessons, learn to tango (also free!), enjoy a ballet called Doctor Ouch!, see a modern dance performance by Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, and much, much more.

Oh, and speaking of dance, I would just like to let y’all know that yesterday, I took my first ballet class after a 6 year hiatus, and it was wonderful.  I found a really great studio with drop-in classes for adults!  Yay!!  I’m completely useless and rather sore, but it was all worth it.  I’m going to keep it up!

🙂

On that note, I am going to take some time to recover from my ballet adventure.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  See you Monday!!

Awesome Florida Activities #3

Today’s theme of awesome Florida activities is watersports!!!

I am SO looking forward to enjoying all the fun stuff that revolves around the ocean!  The water is warm, and pretty, and clean, and oh-so-inviting.  On the to-do list:

1. Stand up paddleboarding

1a. Stand up paddleboard yoga!

Hey, that's me!!

Hey, that’s me!!  In Orange County, CA, though.  Will have to try in SoFla, too!

 

 

 

2. Kayaking

Ok, technically this is me canoeing.  Shhhh...

Ok, technically this is me canoeing. Shhhh…

 

2a. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard eco-tour

 

 

3. Parasailing (Best if you go up with a buddy!  I think it’s more fun when you share the awesome view.)

 

 

4. Jet skiing

 

 

5. Scuba diving or snorkeling

 

 

Oh boy, I can’t wait!  Now I just need to work on my base tan so I don’t blind everybody at the beach!!  🙂