The little bit we can talk about

A few months ago I mentioned that Jon and I were meeting with a lawyer about what we should do with the severed head we’d stored in our trunk. He said he legally couldn’t tell us what to do with it, but that whatever we decided would be fine, it’s his job to keep our secret. Dude is worth EVERY PENNY.

We met with our lawyer for several reasons, disposal of dead bodies one among many. If there’s one thing we’ve learned throughout this process it’s that things involving the legal system take time, are still taking time. There are still things I can’t talk about yet, but I can point out that Jon and I have formed a company, Armstrong Media, LLC, which is now featured along with the copyright notice at the bottom of this page. We did this for complicated reasons, but the only one that made any sense to me was that forming this company would prevent the IRS from breaking into our house and forcibly removing limbs of my body.

By doing this we can have taxes and Social Security and Medicare taken out on a regular basis instead of at one time in one very hurtful and potentially deadly lump sum. This is a mechanism to counteract our fondness for procrastination which reared its ugly head yesterday as we sat in our accountant’s office going over last year’s income and the taxes now due. You mean I owe how much? And I have how long until I have to pay it? When they come to cut off my leg please tell them to wrap the wound in a bandage because our insurance won’t cover that type of injury. Or any injury whatsoever.

Our accountant is a lovely man who keeps referring to me as Laura Armstrong. He would catch himself and apologize, but there was no need because I’m used to that by now. I’ve been called Melissa and Sarah and Hannah my whole life, and there is no reasonable explanation for this. Last week I was checking my referrer logs when I found a guy who had written a huge post about how he had found this site and why he liked my posts about Mormonism, and he called me Sarah B. Armstrong at least five separate times. “To find out more about her,” he said, “click on the picture at the top of the page where it says, ‘My name is Sarah B. Armstrong. This is my website.’” Frankly, one of my very favorite writers on the Internet is Sarah B., so in my own little fucked-up dream world I get to be her for at least one whole blog post.

After meeting with the accountant we headed to the bank where we opened a business account with the help of a lovely woman who turned out to be the mother of a two-year-old. Except her two-year-old appears to be a Magazine Cover Baby, one that remains in a permanent state of bliss, so when she asked me if I’d tell her my website address I had severe reservations. Our baby is the one you see on the inside of the magazine in an editorial called “50 Reasons You Shouldn’t Have Any More Children,” so I didn’t know if she’d be appalled by the fact that on various occasions I have threatened to donate the kid to charity. Tax write-off!

Interestingly, toward the end of the 1,000 line account application form we had to answer a litany of questions about the nature of our business as required by the Patriot Act. Really weird questions, like is any Senior Principal of our company the leader of a foreign political party? And, will we be accepting payments shipped from outside the country? Like on a boat? And will we be issuing stored-value gift cards? Huh? The questions went on and on, and finally I threw up my hands and said I DON’T KNOW, BUT I DID LEAVE MY BAGGAGE UNATTENDED.

I did ask what the problem was with stored-value gift cards. How exactly does that represent terrorist activity? Because if it does every member of my family should be arrested on my birthday. Jon pointed out that gift cards make it easy to buy things without a paper trail, and that would make sense if you could use gift cards to buy ammunition. I imagine Billy Joe opening presents on Christmas morning: “WANDA LOUISE! You done got me a gift card to the gun store!” Which makes me wonder, can you buy bullets with your $25 gift certificate at Wal-Mart? And if you can do you have any idea how awesome it is to be American?

  • brandy

    OMG. Last week I lost my wallet with all my I.D (never carry your birth certificate AND your SIN card!) and several gift cards…now I know that it obviously wasnt just dropped by me but rather I was pick pocketed by a terrorist who wants to disquise themselves in H&M clothing and Starbucks coffee.

  • dk Mom

    Congrats on the new business venture.

    Walmart gift certificates go up to $2500 in value and you can purchase just about anything you want on them, including ammo and gas.

  • dk Mom

    Congrats on the new business venture.

    Walmart gift certificates go up to $2500 in value and you can purchase just about anything you want on them, including ammo and gas.

  • ieatcrayonz

    Chuck started his own magazine, didn’t he?

  • http://www.runnersusan.com Runner Susan

    Yeah, good point Karen. So Heather, what do you consider yourself now? Do you think there is a difference between a work-at-home mom and a SHAM?

  • http://bigdlittledmistatruffyandme.blogspot.com/ Karen Rani

    Oh and CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Kaymadmom

    Karen, LLC= Ladies Love Chuck. I thought that was obvious.

  • http://www.flippyodegard.com FlippyO

    I read “Billy Joe” as Billy Joel, and then I thought, “Isn’t it enough that he uses his car as a weapon?” So, uh, never mind.

  • Mary

    Re: being called a different name. My parents always switched up my name, Mary, with my little sister’s name, Amy. She is adopted and is an entirely different race, so we always like to joke that they were confused because we look so much alike.

    But then I noticed that people outside of my family circle would say “Amy” when they meant to say my name. Perhaps I just look like an Amy.

  • http://bigdlittledmistatruffyandme.blogspot.com/ Karen Rani

    So are you still a SAHM (shit-ass-ho motherfucker) and if so, what does LLC stand for in Heather-terms? :)

    I emailed you today, and I do need an answer because I don’t want your new empire to come crashing down on Troll Baby, should you decide that every time “Dooce” is mentioned elsewhere, that you will be owed royalties, of which I can only pay with baby-fine hair and crusted sippy cups. No rush on your answer though.

  • http://www.hopefulloser.com hopefulloser

    That’s awesome! Congratulations and good luck on your new venture. I’m excited to see how far you guys take it. You’re a role model for us all.

  • zitsmom

    Keep EVERY receipt. My new accountant told me that EVERYTHING in my office is deductible. I am always amazed in April when I get out the calculator to add up all the puny little receipts..they come to a good chunk of change! Also you need to “hire” Leta for some of the office tasks. I pay my kids with meals to my favorite restaurants which are also tax deductible…gotta love America. :)

  • http://lifeisgoodatthebeach.blogspot.com/ BeachMama

    Congrats on starting the “official” business! It is amazing what is included in a business from home and what you can write off come tax time. Best wishes and yep, you better get that head out of the trunk before the warm weather stays.

  • Molicious

    Agreed. It is awesome to be in America. Bullets from Walmart and all.

  • Hanniebanannie

    My name is Hannah and until it became a TOTALLY popular kids name people always called me Heather.

    Congrats on surviving the paperwork madness.

  • http://www.poopandboogies.com William

    Get down with LLC (yea you know me).

    Congrats on the business. I can’t wait to hear more about it.

  • Parasol Wench

    I think #19 is onto something. My name is Rachel and I’ve been called Heather all my life by people who don’t quite remember me. They’ll even have enough confidence in the ID to say things like “Hi Heather, how are you?” rather than just leaving a name out of it altogether.

    Now, if Sarah also has a two-year-old who has screamed so much from birth that she frequently fantasizes about leaving the tyke on the steps of a convent, then we’ll be a real triumvirate. I spent my son’s shrill infancy reminding him that in our state, we could drop him off at a fire station, no questions asked.

  • http://rs536-2000.diaryland.com RS

    As a Roberta, I get called Rebecca, Alberta, Rolanda…I draw the line at Bertha.

    You all were made for basic cable–I hope the media empire includes internet, cable and book rights.

  • http://kimbanelson.blogspot.com/ dancingnancy

    I suggest you get that head out of your trunk quick – my friend left a package of raw beef in her car for several hot days, and they never really got the smell out….I can only imagine what “human head” smells like…..
    Congrats on the LLC! My husband started his own business last year, and let me tell you – when you can write off your rent / mortgage, utilities, mileage, gas, lunches off…..let’s just say it’s a beautiful thing.
    I forecast more “business trips” in the future……..

  • Colonel Flapjack

    You most certainly can purchase ammunition with a gift card. In fact, in Texas there is no age requirement for purchasing ammunition, only for the firearm itself.

    Neat, huh?

  • http://www.jujubeejenny.typepad.com Jujubee Jenny

    I noticed the text at the bottom of the page and thought, “Hmmn…brilliant idea.” Apparently I didn’t even know how brilliant. Way to stick it the man!

  • http://www.lifeorsomethingjustlikeit.blogspot.com KaraMia

    I’m the youngest of five kids all starting with a letter “K”. As a child this worked well for me because it took my dad awhile to get to my name, especially if he was really angry and would spit out the same name a few times…..ah…the memories

  • http://www.baggermania.com/babyblog lisa

    Is this your way of saying that you’re starting a Dooce gift card program? Redeemable for vodka and Tivo subscriptions?

  • http://www.voicesinmymind.com hardtoimagine

    Congrats and good luck with the new LLC! Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  • lisa

    Is this your way of saying that you’re starting a Dooce gift card program? Redeemable for vodka and Tivo subscriptions?

  • http://pickleness.blogspot.com Stepha1202

    I get the name thing, too. Except everyone thinks I’m a Jennifer. I think that when the name is long people just start making up names because it gets tough to remember all of those letters and sounds. That’s why we went with Hugo for our son. Nice and short. The only people who forget it are my grandparents, but they’re old and sometimes think he is a girl anyway.

  • kawaface

    i predict a tv show! or something.

  • Stacey Biddle

    Congrats Amostrong Media, LLC! Smart move. I SO need a Dooce Gift card.

    Here’s the part where I hope you are reading this before this posts…feel free to *not* post it:

    I had hoped to comment on the sleeping routines post a few days back, but I missed out. I just wanted you to know that because of you and getupgrrl (please come back my bloggy friend)I have changed the way I feel about myself as a parent and the way I view other parents. The letter she wrote you (in response to some email she got from one of your “concerned” readers)has honestly changed me in some of the most profound ways. When she said something to the effect of, “Be afraid of mothers who claim to love mothering but hate actual mothers” I cried. Really Heather, there is no right answer to all this parenting stuff. You have to do what is right for you and your family. I do not understand the line of thinking that says you have to put your wants and needs last. Its all about balance. Okay, enough babbling! Thank you for putting yourself out there for moms like me who tend to feel so isolated in the midst of mommy wars. You rock.

  • http://vaguelyurban.typepad.com Vaguely Urban

    I love that they specify “stored value” gift cards. What other kind is there? Evaporating value? That would be so sucky.

    Congratulations on the new corporate identity! Remember, it has the added benefit of shielding you from personal liability, which will come in handy for future ice cream carton shenangigans, etc.

  • BaddMinton

    Ahhhhhhhhhh! Congratulations, Heather! I usually refrain from gushing my love for Dooce because I don’t want to clutter your comments, but I now have to tell you that you are my hero! You inspired me to start blogging, and I’m thrilled that things are going so well for you. You’re forging an exciting path for a lot of us, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • http://thepeevery.com Peeved Michelle

    I hope I don’t get arrested; it will completely ruin my evil plans. I have in my possession six stored value gift cards and you bet your ass I am building a we@pon of m@ass de$truct1on with items I can buy at Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Target and the Olive Garden.

  • http://conley.wpblogs.com/ Darren Conley

    As a Darren, I am constantly being called either “Darryl” (which, I suppose, is because there are more Darryls than Darrens in the world), or “Dan” (which comes from saying my name too quickly and reducing it from 2 to 1 syllable).

    If this occurs in the middle of some sort of official information-giving exercise (i.e. opening an account) then I usually correct them. If it happens after I introduce myself to someone whom I’ll likely never speak to again, I just accept it as my alias for the day and continue the conversation.

    And don’t even get me started about spelling.

  • Urs

    patriot act? operation freedom? HA!
    first bush lies and says that 9/11 was tied to iraq.
    then he lies and says iraq has WMD
    then he approves spying on us citizens
    then he leakes the identity of our own goverment agent

    HOW DOES HE HAVE THE AUDACITY TO USE TERMS SUCH AS ‘PATRIOT’ AND ‘FREEDOM’ when he’s the most un-American person ever?!?!?

  • http://www.mymixedcompany.com Lynnlaw

    You have so much respect for your little girl and want nothing more than for her to be who she is. I love that it is perfectly fine that you don’t have a “Magazine Cover Baby”. I am constantly amazed by how realistic you are and I am sure some people mistake it for a smirk or some cynicism, but I enjoy it all the way and think that your Leta will grow up with such an amazing sense of self because of it.

  • http://maxgus.blogspot.com napangel

    Good luck, Armstrong Media, LLC!!

  • http://tiggerlane.blogspot.com Tiggerlane

    CONGRATS to you both! Nothing like finally being incorporated to make you feel like you’ve made it thru an important rite of passage. Kinda like owning your first car.

    I set up an S-corporation four years ago, and my one huge piece of advice is this: Don’t let the CPA and the attorney handle everything without having a complete understanding of it all yourselves. You and Jon are very smart, and I’m sure you’ve got good folks, but if it ever comes down to an audit, YOU will have to be able to justify everything. I have a great CPA and attorney, so no horror stories. Just make sure you double-check their work a bit. And don’t be afraid to question what they do – b/c they get paid to be our advisors!

    Thanks for reminding me about that severed-head loophole, too.

  • http://mommyspeak.blogspot.com/ mama speak

    My vote is for Chuck as president and Leta as VP. =) Do they get paychecks?

    The woman at the bank was delusional; I’ll bet the pix of the kid came with the frame. LOL

    Congrats on your new tax status!

  • http://madchatthew.blogspot.com Madchatthew

    You are succefully on your way to being a mob boss…hehehe…heads/bodies in the trunk, creating a company to hide money…way to go…

    I hope I don’t end up in your trunk for figuring out the secret…lol

    Grats

  • Kate

    Mmm yea, definitely a book.

  • http://www.yourownwords.blogspot.com susan @ yow

    Congratulations on all the big business goings-ons! Funny post. Thanks for the mid-afternoon laugh.

  • http://theboldsoul.com The Bold Soul

    Oh no. Every time I read a blog post lately where someone is talking about filing their taxes it only reminds me that I DREADING doing mine. I’m self-employed too (no LLC), file my own taxes (thank God for Turbo-Tax) and it’s just a nightmare for me with the lump sum stuff. It makes me pray, every year, that I’m operating at a loss instead of at a profit. How sad…

  • http://www.jbjones.blogspot.com Mrs Ca

    Sounds like interesting things are afoot.

  • jascha

    i agree with urs. stupid patriot act is a little overboard.

    and you’d better get that head out of your trunk soon, it’s going to start rotting.

  • m@

    If there’s anything that scares me about starting a not-for-profit in the near future, it’s gonna be the lawyer/accountant thing. It’s not like I have anything to hide, per se…but just being around those folks sometimes is enough to subconsciously convince you that you DID do something wrong.

    I’d fail an interrogation.

  • http://hilary.lookingatstars.com hilary

    i think the stored-value gift card thing has to do with tax implications of having stored value… tax repercussions if you have sold something in one year that will not be redeemed until years later… congrats on the new company.

  • http://eyesaverted.blogspot.com/ Wicked H

    A toast to the Armstrong Media Empire!

    Clink!

  • http://www.justsayjes.com jes

    I noticed a while ago (maybe last week?) the Armstrong Media, LLC and promptly went to the Utah Secretary of State website to see if your company was formed in Utah, or in California.

    For some reason, I was CERTAIN you wouldn’t form in Utah, and now I’m not really sure why.

    I’m also not really sure why I cared.

  • ieatcrayonz

    Fanfreakingtastic! I hope you roll in the dough with your new company and perhaps end up with a pizza or maybe a nice pastry to boot.

    So I’m guessing you didn’t give the bank associate your website address? I think we all might have heard her jaw drop on the floor from shock and shouting to the rooftops, “Hundreds of comments in a day, who is this SUPER MOM? I have been in the presence of a true legend!”

    Or maybe she popped a Vicodin and returned to her perfect little magazine cover baby world.

  • blondeinthemidwest

    Dude, eh-hem, I mean Dooce, you CRACK ME UP!!! I spit Coke Zero all over my monitor just now…thanks for the laughs!! Congrats on the LLC…as a CPA I can tell you that you have made a wise move friend!

  • Caitorade

    are you making Leta president? because that way all the blame is on her (and who isn’t proud when their two year old becomes president of a media company?) ;)