Friday, December 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
One Thing Your Life Doesn't Need: Tax returns older than seven years
The rule of thumb is that there’s no reason to keep tax returns that are older than seven years. Once you hit that magic anniversary, your entire office or family can have a shredding party and commemorate how little money you used to have. The seven-year mark is one that is suggested by the IRS and most state governments, for questions about your earnings or if there is an audit.
Whether or not you actually have a party on your seven-year anniversary, the mark should be recognized as a clear signal: if one of the largest bureaucracies of government isn't interested in it, you needn't hang on to it. Extend the time frame to a decade if you like or if you’re a hopeless romantic for that return you completed with pencils and calculator in only 15 hours way back in 2001.
The seven-year rule can be applied to many of your dreams. Dream all you want, but letting go of that old flame or high school sweetheart could do wonders for your peace of mind. If you haven’t spoken in seven years, forget about it. She has moved on. So should you. After seven years, have you made progress in realizing your dream? If there has been no progress whatsoever, give it up. Spend time on a new dream. Out of the shattered rubble of unfulfilled dreams a beautiful new one can emerge. Failure can be celebrated. It certainly wasn’t your goal, but learning from situations and dreams that didn’t pan is a great silver lining. Some of the best entrepreneurs and inventors didn’t succeed on their first try. Edison's famous efforts to find a workable filament for the incandescent light bulb reportedly required more than a thousand attempts.
The seven-year mark is just a good and convenient rule of thumb; it’s certainly not gospel. It may only take you a year to realize that a relationship is going nowhere. It may take ten years to discover that your business should shut its doors. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself whether or not something is working and what should be eliminated from your life to free you for better and nobler pursuits. Your life doesn’t need stagnant dreams that have produced no value or benefit for seven years.
Getting rid of the many kinds of "tax returns" after seven years takes a bit of faith. The temptation to keep hanging on is very great, and your heart will dare you to hold out hope. But you need to be ruthless. If you keep hanging on, you’ll never have the open hand you need to grasp the next thing. Hold these memories and feelings delicately in the palm of your hand. Don’t grip them tightly. You’ll find out that you can hold much more with an open palm than a closed fist. Let circumstance take away that which you don’t need and give you what you desperately want. Be willing to say goodbye to opportunities that are older than seven years and watch for all the new opportunities you will be able to greet with a hello.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Alicia King, author of Sorry For Your Loss: What People Who Are Grieving Wish You Knew, was quoted in an unusual article on “Clever Resting Places” that was distributed by Creators Syndicate in their Fall 2010 Golden Years Supplement.
Only the second major independent syndicate founded since the 1930s, Creators Syndicate distributes a variety of features, including advice, lifestyle and opinion columns, as well as comics and editorial cartoons. Founded in 1987, the service represents more than 200 of the most talented writers and artists in the world, including Robert Novak, , Bill O'Reilly, , BC, Wizard of Id, and . Our talent has won countless awards, including Pulitzer prizes, Reuben awards, and many others.
Paginated preview available for download: http://www.creators.com/special-sections.html
CLEVER RESTING PLACES
Ways to live on long after cremation
Why spend eternity in the ground when you could be shot into space, turned into a diamond or swim with the fishes as part of a manmade reef?
With cremation on the rise, companies are offering a surprisingly offbeat array of options for memorializing loved ones, from pressing remains into vinyl records to packing ashes into professional-grade fireworks.
"It's the baby boomer generation putting their individual stamp on end-of-life celebrations, just as they've done with weddings and childbirth," says Gail Rubin, author of "A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die." "Increasingly, the hobbies, interests, passions and causes embraced by the deceased are reflected in how they dispose of their cremated remains. After making unique statements throughout life, baby boomers are making their idiosyncrasies known in death."
For example, Fredric Baur, the inventor of the Pringles potato chip can, asked that his ashes be buried in his iconic creation. editor had his ashes mixed into ink used in a reprint of his "" comic book. The man credited with turning the Frisbee into a pop culture phenomenon asked to have his ashes mixed into a batch of plastic for the flying discs. The company obliged, and the Edward Headrick discs are now hot collectors' items.
These unique tributes are a form of immortality, a way for the deceased to "live on" in creative expressions that reflect their lives.
"How we plan our final rest is one of the most personal decisions we will make," says Alicia King, author of "Sorry For Your Loss: What People Who Are Grieving Wish You Knew." "Most business spelled out in a will be resolved in a relatively short time, but our big finish can be the one thing that defines us to future generations. You might not find the details of your patriotic great-great-grandfather's life all that fascinating, but if he had his ashes shot from a cannon on the ? Now that's an ending that will stand the test of time."
Some of the more unusual options:
*Hitch a Ride to the Moon
Hitch a ride into outer space on a commercial or scientific satellite. Credited with sending "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's remains into the final frontier, Celestis has been launching ashes into orbit for more than 10 years, and the pioneer in memorial spaceflight will offer lunar and deep space burials soon. For $2,500, Celestis will launch a "symbolic portion of cremated remains" into Earth's orbit, where they will remain for 10 to 240 years before vaporizing upon re-entry into the atmosphere. A trip to the moon is a bit pricier; for $9,995, you can book passage to the lunar surface as early as 2012.
*Swim With the Fishes
Transform your remains into an underwater ecosystem. For $2,500 and up, Eternal Reefs will mix your ashes into environmentally safe concrete and cast an artificial reef formation. The structures -- each weighing up to 4,500 pounds -- are engineered to entice sea life and strengthen natural reef formations. Over the past 12 years, the company has placed more than 1,000 memorial reefs off the coasts of Florida and the eastern United States.
*Go Out With a Bang
Companies such as Heavens Above Fireworks pack cremated remains into professional-grade pyrotechnics to send loved ones out with a bang, literally. Fourth of July-style memorial services start at about $1,600, but do-it-yourselfers can purchase self-firing rockets repacked with ashes for at-home displays. Individual rockets cost about $120 each.
*Be Pressed Into Diamonds
LifeGem creates custom gemstones from cremated remains. Molecularly identical to natural diamonds, LifeGems are made by subjecting the carbon atoms in ashes to intense heat and pressure. It's the same way makes diamonds -- without the wait. What takes millions of years underground takes just a few months in the lab. A full carat will set you back about $20,000, but smaller gems are available starting at $2,500.
*Spin a Tune on Vinyl
British company And Vinyly will press cremated remains into an old-school vinyl record for a lasting audio homage. Include a personal message; read your last will and testament; preserve your original musical compositions; or offer a moment of silence. Prerecorded tracks and original commissioned compositions are also available. For an additional fee, a professional artist will paint a portrait of the deceased as cover art. Packages start at about $4,700.
It's not your typical urn. The "Lifetime Hourglass Keepsake Urn" collection from Urns transforms cremated remains into a functional timepiece that "becomes a family heirloom that can be passed down for generations," according to the company's website. Ashes from two loved ones can be combined in one urn so you and your spouse can spend eternity together, reminding those on earth of the fleeting nature of time. Prices start at $240.
COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Yesterday was the signing/book giveaway at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. It was a gorgeous day, and the plaza was packed. I had a chance to look around and buy some books before my signing, and was glad to see so many people there.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Susan Boyle Chooses Her Own Funeral Song
Although only 49, Scottish singer Susan Boyle has revealed the song she would like to have played at her funeral one day. "It would have to be 'Nellie the Elephant'. She packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus. You've got to leave them laughing. Funerals don't have to be sad. Peter Sellers made them smile with 'In the Mood' ' so I could do it with 'Nellie the Elephant'."
Boyle went on to say she would like to make the congregation laugh at her funeral when she passes away and thinks the children's novelty track would be the perfect choice to make mourners smile. Boyle shot to fame last year when her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent became an internet sensation. She later went on to win the competition and release a number one CD, I Dreamed a Dream.
More and more celebrities are reportedly planning aspects of their own funerals, or even the entire ceremony. Actress Brittany Murphy’s husband Simon Monjack died in May 2010, just five months after her unexpected death. He pre-arranged his burial site to be next to his late wife at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles. Music at the service included a recording of Monjack playing piano while Murphy sang.
Reality star Jade Goody began planning her funeral as her cancer worsened. She died in 2009, at the age of 27.
It’s not just for the famous. Many funeral planners report an increase in this type of personal planning. Some clients choose the music they would like played, while others pre-arrange everything about the service from the flowers to the casket to the family’s thank you notes to be sent out afterward.
This growing trend is reflected in the many online sites designed to help people plan their own funerals. It doesn’t have to be morbid. Many of these sites cater to baby boomers who have a sense of humor about the process, and want to keep it light. This is apparent by their slogans. www.mywonderfullife.com reminds us, “You only get one chance to make a last impression”, and at www.myfunkyfuneral.com, they claim to “put the fun back in funeral”.
Author of Sorry For Your Loss: What People Who Are Grieving Wish You Knew
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The following just in from Holly Gleason, a social critic, songwriter, pop commentator and music critic whose work has appeared in ROLLING STONE, THE LA TIMES, CREEM, PLAYBOY, THE OXFORD AMERICAN, NO DEPRESSION, HARP, PASTE, THE NY TIMES, HUFFINGTON POST and INTERVIEW, to name a few.
-- Holly Gleason
The Yummy List
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I got a song idea while in the shower yesterday and ran downstairs in a towel to grab my guitar. As I hit the final landing, I saw the UPS guy walk up to my porch. (We have window panels that run the length of the front door on both sides.) I immediately turned and ran back up, but it was too late. There was eye contact. Now, you should know I had a huge towel wrapped around me, but still. Awkward. What are the chances musical inspiration would strike right as Mr. What-Can-Brown-Do-For-You arrived?
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
I can't describe all the feelings it brought up, seeing this actually happen, but I'm happy to say I neither cried, fainted, nor hugged poor Steven. I called Dan from the parking garage, though. You know, my husband? The man who lives in the emotional-medium? He rarely expresses or demonstrates anything "very". He is my even-tempered opposite, which made his excitement on the phone all the sweeter.
Wednesday may have been my birthday, but yesterday was "my" day.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Earl Lanterman wasn't my real grandfather. He was my husband's mother's dad. The first time I met him though, 26 years ago, he and his wife Rose told me to call them Grandma and Grandpa. "Everyone else does", Rose said.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I reached another milestone in the book process yesterday. I have been wanting to tour the Lotz House for awhile now, so I told myself I could go once I finished this part. It's a Civil War era house that was under fire in the Battle of Franklin.
There are also several battle scars including the charred, rounded indention in the wood flooring where a cannonball flew through the roof, a second story bedroom, and then landed on the first floor and rolled. In addition, the home has an impressive solid black walnut wraparound handrail that starts on the ground floor and wraps all the way around to the second floor.