Thoughts @ Large: 73

•  Say you have a couple of years of extraordinary medical expenses, enough to surpass the 7.5% income threshold that lets you deduct some of them on your U.S. income tax return.  Then the next year or two, your medical expenses are still high, but not quite high enough to meet the deductibility threshold.  As a taxpayer, you can’t help but feel a bit disentitled at that point, even though you should be thinking, thank goodness I didn’t have as many medical expenses.

•  Lest you feel too sorry for yourself, consider: our friends in Great Britain can’t deduct any medical expenses from their income tax returns.  Because they have none to deduct.

•  Although this seems to come naturally to every dog-walker on the planet, I shouldn’t have to befriend your dog in order to make friends with you.  (That goes double for your cats.)  We’re human beings.  We evolved larynxes and language.  We shouldn’t have to rely on voiceless four-legged intermediaries to help us strike up conversations.

•  My spouse thinks our country needs a Robert Kennedy and that Biden is “too ho-hum.”  While I wouldn’t argue, I say we liberals can’t afford to eat our own at this point.  Biden did exactly what we needed him to do, which was to get Trump out of office.  That alone will satisfy me for a lifetime.  I cried with joy watching Trump’s plane take off for Florida.

•  I enjoy the satirist-commenter Bill Maher.  I like his observations and the way he crafts his jokes, even if his tone often misses my mark.  (Too many sex/scatological references — I don’t do that world.)  Thing is, whenever I mention Bill Maher, I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer about not agreeing with everything he says.  Probably because he once hosted a show called “Politically Incorrect” and is known to depart from the liberal line.  Nonetheless, Maher did an excellent piece the other night on how U.S. citizens’ lives are really improved — not by mobs wearing Guy Fawkes masks and wielding spray paint but by dedicated people who spend thousands of hours working on and within the system.  This totally-unexpected display of patriotism on his show almost brought me to tears.

•  My spouse bought us a ticket for the $730 million Powerball Lottery, but it was won by someone in Maryland.  That’s OK.  Swearing in two new Democratic U.S. Senators from Georgia and having a Democratic voting majority in the Senate feels like I already won.

•  When this song by Daft Punk (remember it? remember them?) was played on the radio way back when, I thought sure (and I’m not alone) that its title was “Mexican Monkey” and wondered what the hell that was all about.

•  It’s February.  Can you believe it?  A year ago at this time, Trump was being impeached.  No one was wearing masks.  The nation was divided.  Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, signaling an early Spring.  450,000 U.S. citizens had not died yet.

•  Headwear as signifiers of good, evil and authority.  Compare and contrast:

People with headgear, representing good, evil and other attributes

•  Not to embarrass my spouse (I would not dare do that, with Valentine’s Day coming up and all) but I appreciate her more every day.  We have been getting along better than ever,  even in these confined quarters.  For my part, I have been trying to be more aware of when I’m being a pill so I can stop being so.  For her part, as far as I know, she hasn’t had to be anything other than who she always is and d0 what she always does.  What hasn’t killed us has made us lovers.

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8 Responses to Thoughts @ Large: 73

  1. Susan Maclean says:

    I had to click on the song link…then click again to listen for the “Mexican Monkey” but never heard anything except “we’re up all night to get lucky”. It did remind me of the time my eldest was 6 or 7 and singing “the hot dog” song…..

  2. Rob says:

    Good stuff! Always worth some thought.

  3. Eric says:

    Wait . . . it’s February?

  4. Gavin says:

    I, too, would have cried for joy watching Trump’s plane take off– but Florida is not far enough away for my comfort.

    And cheers to co-habitational (if that’s a word) bliss!

  5. Rick says:

    I agree with you about Bill Maher. He kind of in my opinion ruins his message in someways with all the sex stuff.
    We saw him in person a few years ago and his jokes are pretty much the same as the TV show but when he made a joke that included abusing children no one laughed. That kind of stuff is not funny to us parents but I guess he thought it would be since he has no kids.
    Also my second Pfizer vaccine is due in three days. Yay!

  6. Guy ENGLISH says:

    Lest you get at all mislead – wouldn’t want you to think there’s NO private medicine in the UK. There is, for people with more money, who don’t want to wait for elective surgery or who want private rooms with flowers. Right now, many private hospitals have been taken over by the National Health Services (NHS) to provide extra capacity, enabling Covid and non Covid patients to be kept separate. Health insurance to pay for private treatment is available, and is not deductible.
    And there are fixed charges for prescription drugs waived for over 60s and low income patients. This all started in 1948 and needs constant defence against cruising vultures.

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