So, I spent about an hour on the phone with the IRS today. Not because I was on hold or transfered around meaninglessly. No, quite the contrary. I experienced small hold times and spent a lot of time working with the people I was speaking with in order to better understand how I should fill out my return considering I started a small business this year and would like my expenses back. Say what you want about the IRS, but my experience was of several polite, specialized people who did their job well, gave me full names and employee ID numbers in case I had problems, and looked for the best ways for me to get the most out of my refund.

On similar news, I voted today. Nothing fills me with more pride than voting. I have, in my wallet, a small piece of paper that was attached to my first voter registration card. It has a perforated edge where it was stuck to the card itself and has on it, in letters that look like they were printed on a machine from 1989, the following words, “Do what half the world only dreams about: Vote.” I think of those words often and remember what a great gift it is to live someplace where I have a say in my government. Yes, it’s small. Yes, it can be circumvented. Yes, there’s the chance that my little vote means nothing in the grand scheme of things. But I’m doing something that billions of people around the globe simply can’t. In some places they die for the privilege. All I have to do is drive around the corner on the right day. That means something.

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