Ask me: "When are you coming to WV?"

>> Friday, March 05, 2010

Michelle demands:

When are you coming to WV?

I'm not sure why I'm not much of a traveler. In the past, part of it has been financial. Public defenders are poor. It's not merely that we're underpaid state employees--you have to remind yourself that we're underpaid state employees who graduate from around seven years of school, the last three being years of law school (which tends to be pricey), usually with the appropriate student debts on our backs. Poor, pitiful us, you know? I was lucky to get into and graduate from the only law school I could afford to apply to, and so my debts from law school were more manageable than some people I know, but it hasn't been easy. And guess what the stopgap measure is when you're a poor lawyer needing suits or furniture or groceries? Hint, it's small, flat and plastic.

But then again, this situation--which, ironically, was recently alleviated by nearly being killed by a poor dumb kid--isn't unique to me, and I have co-workers who have gone off to Europe or the Caribbean or wherever. So it's not just poverty, especially now that finances seem to have improved for me a little.

Part of it, I have to confess, is I just like to stay at home. For me, a very good vacation is one where I spend a few days or a week living the life I wish I had, the one where I'm a writer guy who sleeps late and stays up until two or three in the a.m., who goes down to the corner coffee place to pen (or type, actually) lots of clever words. Intellectual me, who doesn't have to go to a 9-to-5 real job but can spend the day imagining things and trying to describe them to other people. If that were my real life, somehow, perhaps I'd feel more motivated to take vacations. Maybe.

I'd like, I think, to try to go somewhere this year or maybe next--I sort of need to see what the tax situation looks like, because I'm having a hard time figuring out whether the settlement from last year affects things and what the effect is (I think I'll probably go to a preparer for the first time in my life). The answer I've seen so far is a contingent one, which makes me unhappy, not because I might owe money (I'm prepared for that, actually) but because I don't like uncertainty. And that, maybe, is also a thing that keeps me at home when I have time off.

But what I'd really like to do would be some kind of train trip, maybe. The American Orient Express closed its ticket booth two years ago, but something like that is a fantasy of mine; it looks like there are some new owners trying to put together tours for 2011.

Which doesn't really answer the question, or maybe it does; I'm not really expecting to go anywhere right now, I'm afraid, though that's subject to change, and I'm not really the sort to make big trips, though I don't suppose West Virginia's exactly a "big trip"--hey, it is outside The Shire.


mattw Friday, March 5, 2010 at 2:00:00 PM EST  

Trains come to Chicago too you know. Just sayin'.

Random Michelle K Friday, March 5, 2010 at 2:52:00 PM EST  


We're not THAT far away!

And you can even sleep in the computer room.... with the cats... in the basement...


phinge = small plastic hinge

WendyB_09 Friday, March 5, 2010 at 6:50:00 PM EST  

Most insurance settlements are not taxable. Best to check with a pro to be sure what type of settlement it was and how your state handles it as well.

aullogin = Australian network login

Eric Friday, March 5, 2010 at 9:09:00 PM EST  

Thanks Wendy. Yeah, that's kind of the mixed signal I'm getting--that it's probably not taxable, except it might be, or it might depend on whether I claim any medical expenses as deductions (which I wasn't planning on doing unless it's something I really need to do to make everything else work right).

So I need to get an expert for once. :)

Nathan Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 8:50:00 AM EST  

I really want to ride on that train. Why do I always hear about this stuff after they stop working?

Eric Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 10:51:00 AM EST  

Hopefully they'll get some backing and get back into business. I first heard of them a number of years ago on some PBS show about unusual tourism or cooking, I forget which (part of the show featured the train's chef going around New Orleans looking for fresh stuff to serve the passengers, which was pretty badass).

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