Monday, March 16, 2009

Taxes, Weekly Food Adventures and Straightened Priorites

I somehow managed to have a wonderful weekend (both restful and productive), even though we spent most of it.....doing our taxes...?  Am I a closet bookkeeper?  I doubt it, although last year my tax prep dude at H&R Block did praise me on my record keeping.  As a self-employed teaching artist/contract worker, my taxes are really complicated.  So I need some form of tax prep help every year to untangle my web of 1099s, W-2s, painting sales, expense write-offs, and estimated quarterly payments.  This is my first year using Turbo Tax, and I highly recommend it.  I hate to say it, but it's far more user friendly than any of the H&R Block preparers who've helped me in the past.  And cheaper to boot (since we don't own property).  
We also had a little dinner party with two friends on Saturday.  I didn't want to experiment on them too much, and the whole thing was kind of spur-of-the-moment, so I made my standby "Chicken Divine" Casserole from this cookbook.   And a beet salad with goat cheese.  After dinner we all made chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  Nothing terribly sexy, in terms of presentation, but it sure was tasty.  And I was, after all, feeding two bachelors (who could maybe use a little simple home cooking) and my own husband (who thinks that a corn tortilla with cheese and a handful of chocolate chips is an adequate meal).  

While I'm on the subject of food, I also whipped up this garlic nightmare on Friday night:  
I concocted this atrocity by taking some poorly calculated liberties with a recipe for Spinach Sauce.  It appears that doubling the garlic is only a good idea when you're going to cook it.  Charley did claim that it was "better than the Death Chops," referring to an undercooked pork chop incident that occurred a couple of weeks ago.  But we also decided that for learning purposes, it's a good idea to take things too far.  That way, at least you've thoroughly explored your limits.  Even if you happen to pulverize some of those limits in the process.

Two of my studio neighbors and I have formed a little artist support group.  Our focus is on career advancement, rather than the actual work itself.  Even though we've only had two meetings so far, I have been finding our talks invaluable.  During our last meeting we decided that we each needed to get our priorities in order.  We are all trying to work on too many projects at once.  Personally, I've been chipping slowly and unsteadily away at several different ideas simultaneously: opening an Etsy shop, sending portfolios out to galleries, dreaming of getting into some illustration work.  So I've decided to devote the next few weeks to building my illustration portfolio and sending it out to some art directors in publishing.  Having only one focus (not counting all of my teaching, of course) is ridiculously liberating.  Seriously, I'm going to get up from my desk and do a little jig right now.


Cat B said...

Well, as one of the lucky members of this support group I will say that I'm dancing too! Amazing how much gets done when we just focus on one thing at a time! Are artists prone to multi-tasking??

Laughed heartily at the kitchen nightmares! You are, after all, newly married and this sort of thing is to be expected from time to time. I prepared a 'banana meatloaf' with some pride early in my first marriage which the dear chap wouldn't touch. I actually thought it was quite tasty which did prove that we weren't all that well suited, in fact. Mind you, I have not made it again for anyone!

Kaetlyn Wilcox said...

It really is amazing how helpful our group has been. I feel like my paralysis has ben cured!

Banana Meatloaf! It might sound better if I didn't have such a passionate loathing for bananas!