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Reconsidering Tax Day – The New York Times

April 15 has, to put it mildly, a terrible reputation. Tax Day (don’t panic – you have until Tuesday to file) is an almost universally dreaded occasion for financial self-examination, an obligatory rite of adulthood whose rank in the boogeyman taxonomy includes root canals and DMV visits. It sneaks in with the rest of Spring Break, spoiling an otherwise festive season.

Tax Day needs a new PR rep. I’m not putting myself forward for the role – I got a phone call from my accountant that started, “Are you seated?” – but I have some ideas to change brands.

When tax day approaches, I print out my credit card statement from the previous year. Recently, as I started to review my spending year, I began to marvel at the document, the organized way in which my very disorganized activities can be organized into some kind of order: here are the restaurant meals that you paid for (the lobster rolls we ate out, dinner in DC with my friend from college). Here’s what you bought (so much to lessen reliance on retail behemoths). Here’s how much you’ve spent on travel (was this trip a year ago?), gas, charitable donations.

I found myself reading this statement of expenses with interest. It’s an emotionless album of debits to anyone else, but, like a logbook, it stirred up a torrent of sensations in me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that reading my bank documents was a pleasure, but it was nice to look back on the year, to take stock. What I spent corresponded in my memory to what I did and saw, where I went and with whom I went.

There is no other time when we go month by month, reviewing the year. In the last days of December, perhaps, but, at least for me, it’s more of a general flashback than a detailed inventory. We are quarter past 2023, a logical time to take a break. Why not make Tax Day a little less unpleasant by taking the opportunity to take a personal look back at the past year?

We deplore the years that pass too quickly, our inability to account for them. By looking carefully at the days and their details, we can at least try to understand how we spend our time.

🕹️ “Dredge” (Out now): In this indie game, available on all major platforms, you play as someone in a mysterious archipelago who must pilot a boat to fish the waters. Soon, between encounters with the often creepy inhabitants of the island towns, you begin to extract strange creatures and artifacts from the depths. With gorgeous art and evocative sound design, “Dredge” is quite cold and subtly terrifying.

📚 “The Bet” (Tuesday): New Yorker writer David Grann is highly regarded for his deeply researched narrative nonfiction, including “The Lost City of Z” and “Killers of the Flower Moon.” His latest book is about British sailors who were shipwrecked on a miserable island off the coast of Patagonia in the 1700s, then turned on each other in a bitter fight for survival.

Yewande Komolafe is a revered tofu whisperer to connoisseurs, and her recipe for Crispy Tofu with Cashews and Snow Peas is one of her most beloved. After searing in a hot skillet, the tofu is coated in a velvety coconut sauce seasoned with ginger, garlic and molasses, which adds depth. Lightly charred sugar snap peas add color to the dish, along with a light crunch highlighted by a garnish of chopped cashews. If snow peas aren’t available, feel free to substitute broccoli, green beans, or asparagus. As the lead note promises, “if it’s fresh and green, it’ll do just fine.”

When it comes to cleaning outdoor spaces for spring, nothing is quite as satisfying as using a pressure washer to, say, get rid of years of mildew on patio furniture. I have a small farm, so my needs are extreme: to blow cow manure off the wheels of the tractor and to water the sheep trough. But pressure washers are great for all sorts of outdoor tasks, like rinsing the car or restoring the grill to its former glory. The best models Wirecutter experts have tested are often electric, and some are even small enough to carry with one hand. I can’t imagine this time of year without one. —Doug Mahoney

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA Playoffs: Both teams are looking for their first playoff victory in five years. Keep an eye out for the matchup between Knicks guard Jalen Brunson and Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell. In their last game, the pair combined for 90 points with 13 three-pointers. Once underdog, Brunson had by far the best year of his career, scoring 24 points per game and leading New York to its most regular-season wins in a decade. Mitchell, whom the Knicks sought but failed to acquire in the offseason, proved himself a superstar once again this season, scoring 40 or more points in 13 games and earning his fourth straight All-Star nomination. Game 1 is tonight at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.


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