Monday, December 24, 2012

Bill White

In October, we lost a member of our CliqueClack family, Bill White. The above is a little collage of the holiday cards he did for CliqueClack from 2008 - 2012. 

He will be missed around the hallowed halls of the CC offices. Rest in peace, Bill.

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Auspicious Birthday

My birthday won't be the same from here on out ...

David Warren "Dave" Brubeck
(December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012)

........................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, December 3, 2012

Look Out Boys And Girls ...

These dudes are bad.

Bad clothes, bad hair, bad attitudes. 

From the secret files of The Kitsch Bitsch come ... 

The Unbelievables!

..................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

These Guys Are The Unbelievables ... ?!?


These guys - three non-descript men of questionable character - are the world reknown Unbelievables?

These guys formed a non-government affiliated, multi-jurisdictional, not-for-profit crime & injustice fighting organization?

You be the judge. Some of their exploits are now being declassified and subject to release to the public on their very own blog: The Unbelievables.

Prepare yourselves ...

..................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Truth About Devo, Part 2

Douglas Arthur It's the continuing Assault Of The Two-Headed Space Mules via Douglas Arthur. More talk between us about one of our favorite bands, Devo.

Part 2 of 2 ...

...................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Topical Phrases

"Hell to the yeah" 
"No to the shit" 
"Holy to the crap"  
"Big to the deal" 
"That's to the great" 
"For Pete's to the sake" 
"Bull to the shit" 
"No to the way" 
"Good to the job" 
"No to the thanks" 
"Del to the taco" 
"United to the states" 
"Abs to the lutely" 
"Van to the Halen" 
"Let's to the eat" 
"Monkey to the business" 
"American to the Idol" 
"Kan to the ban" 
"Out to the house" (Well now ... see? I might just use this one ... another in my excellent reasons why you shouldn't use the word "never" ...)
"French to the fries" 
"Head to the ache" 
"Freakin' to the naps"
.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury

1920 - 2012 

Over the years, I used to have breakfast with Ray at The Marriott in San Diego during Comic-Con. He will be missed.

Ray is credited with saying these things: 

"And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right... So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all." 

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them."

"I have three rules to live by. One, get your work done. If that doesn't work, shut up and drink your gin. And when all else fails, run like hell!"

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Farewell, Donald ...

"We had a band powerful enough
to turn goat piss into gasoline."

Donald "Duck" Dunn
November 24, 1941 - May 13, 2012

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Joy To The World!

Woot ... !!!

Daylight Saving Time is here ... !!!

Rockin' good times ... !!!

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, March 5, 2012

What's A Spoiler?

So ... I'm lost:

Can someone please tell me how posting a review of a television show the day
after the show has aired constitutes it as a "spoiler" ... ???

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thinking ...

"So ... what do you guys think? How many people in the world hate gum?"

- Rupe's Youngest Daughter

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Better Than Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked In A Pie

Why, It's Clark! On cats and hyperbole.

Who could ask for anything more? This is just one more reason I like this guy ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )
Photo pilfered from Clark's site. Deal with it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


"There's no such thing as a bad word ...

... just inappropriate times to use certain words."

Words can't help what they are. You have to respect the fact each and every word serves a purpose. You might not like the purpose a particular word serves, but it nevertheless does so because that's its job.

They're not paid to do it ... they're not forced to do it ... they're neither happy nor sad to do it ... they just do it.

It's what they do.
.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Best Bad Show Not On TV

Clark Brooks is always up to something.

And sometimes that "something" is blowing his (and others') cover.

But that's okay.

After all: Who said crime fighting needn't be fashionable?

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Post: Tara Shrodes

Operation Occupy Rupe's Blog

I bumped into Tara on-line on the American Idol site years ago along with a group of like-minded individuals where we waxed and waned about the show. For the last year and a half we've been co-writing a couple columns, CommercialClack and MusiClack on CliqueClack. Among other accolades, Tara was the recipient of a Michigan Emmy in 1991 for Best Talent in a Non-News category for her work on Club Connect, a national PBS show.

Ladies and Gentlemen?

May I present Tara Shrodes ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

I'm late to this game, mostly because of Real Life constantly creeping in and keeping me from sitting down to actually write about my thoughts and every day experiences, rather that just reacting to them willy nilly.

As I've been thinking about my contribution to my friend Michael's blog, I went over and over the many things I have rolling around my head each day that I could write about. A Mother with Alzheimer's disease? My part time job, where women talk to me everyday about the troubles and tribulations in their lives? The death of my cat, whom I considered my child? How much I hate it when I pull out of a parking space and no one is around, yet I almost crash into someone speeding behind me at the last moment? (Where do they come from anyway?) My fascination with Awards shows? My feelings about losing my radio job and the horrifying economy?

Yech. Why would you care about those things?

You read blogs and give up a valuable few minutes of your day to escape from your own stuff. We all have stuff.

So I'm not really going to go into anything in my personal life. But as you can tell from my mood, I need a good rant. And I'm hoping that sometimes, it's as cathartic to read one as it is to write one. 'Cause then, we're in a win/win situation. I've always liked those. Let's get started!

Recently, I got into a series of discussions with a friend of mine who happens to be of the male persuasion. We got to talking about the many differences between men and women; what each worries (or doesn't) about, how we communicate and deal with the complexities of being polar opposites.

Inevitably, we strayed to the topic of the manner in which men and women are portrayed in the media. Okay. I might have pushed it. After all it's one of my hotbed issues, and here's why ...

Thin! Way too thin! What's up with that? The average woman is a size fourteen, yet from the moment we become cognizant as people, women are constantly bombarded with the media telling us we're "not right." We're told we must look like this model or that one. We need bigger boobs. We need flat stomachs. We need big hair. We need perfect nails and faces free of (God forbid) a wrinkle or laugh line. We need liposuction or plastic surgery. We must entice and enthrall!

Our eyelashes are too short! Our thighs are too big. Our asses are massive.

And if you age?? Well, shame on you.

It's a kazillion dollar industry. Designed to make us women buy into feeling less and spending more.

And somehow? They have us believing.

That we should be a size zero. What??? A size zero weighs about ninety-seven pounds. Is that a good thing to encourage women to do? Is that healthy or smart? What is this obsession the media has about wanting women to be as small as possible and young forever? When I was teaching, I actually had my little girl students come up to me and tell me that weren't finishing their lunches because they were "fat." Grr! And where do you think they got this idea? Yep. From television and film and ads and billboards and peer pressure. It's become an expected and natural "norm."

Besides a very, very few actresses ... Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general shuns women over the age of thirty-five. And you hardly ever see a "fat" actress.Yet? Male actors with paunches and wrinkles and bald pates are everywhere. There's just not the same kind of pressure on men in society to look perfect. When a man gets old, he's "distinguished and handsome." When a guy is young, he's a stud and has his pick. (Of only beautiful and skinny girls, please.)

So after I said pretty much the above to my guy buddy, he pointed out that it's actually in part our fault as women that this is happening to us. His theory is that we should tell everyone we're ten years older than we are (for more compliments) and just stop paying attention to the lot of it. Walk away. Snip snap. Get over it. Easy peasy.

Sigh. So typical. But a part of me wondered ... wouldn't it be nice? It's impossible, considering the bombardment. But maybe, in this case a woman should be more like a man.

Maybe he's right.

But I'll never admit it.

And now? I'm going to eat an eighty calorie yogurt. Even though I want a package of cookies.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Guest Post: Brittany Frederick

Operation Occupy Rupe's Blog

Brittany Frederick is an entertainment and sports journalist as well as a fellow colleague. As you can see from her many gigs (below), she is way too busy, follows Dan Le Batard for a reason I have yet to determine and boasts an unhealthy interest in Adam Levine of Maroon 5. You can find her work not only at CliqueClack and CliqueClack Flicks but also Digital Airwaves | Starpulse | Examiner | Fanbolt | Bleacher Report | eSports and Yahoo!

Ladies and Gentlemen?

May I present Brittany Frederick ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

As a child, with my head stuck in the pages of comic books, I had a different taste in superheroes. My favorite was Christopher Chance, aka Human Target. He didn’t have any superpowers or even a costume, but he was really good at what he did. I admired that because it felt real to me. I wasn’t going to get a Batmobile or learn to fly, but it wasn’t a stretch to think that I could put in a lot of hard work (and some bruises) and save the day.

Obviously, I never became a superhero (although I did get to meet Christopher Chance himself when FOX launched a Human Target TV series starring Mark Valley). But I’ve realized something about myself recently: I’ve become a hero in my own way.

Sure, being an entertainment journalist is a far cry from stepping in front of a bullet; I know that first-hand, having been steps away from joining the Los Angeles Police Department a few years ago. Yet over the course of the last eleven years, I’ve been privileged to not only meet but learn from an amazing group of people, and then to turn around and reach out a helping hand to others.

I look at the people who’ve become part of my life and I can’t believe that I’m so lucky. It’s one thing to discover a new favorite TV series (that was Brotherhood), but another to count the man who created and wrote it (Blake Masters) as one of my friends, and have him invite me to call him up if I ever wanted to talk about the show. He’s not the only writer I’ve gotten a chance to learn from. Law & Order: UK scribes Emilia di Girolamo and Terry Cafolla are pals of mine who not only discussed the episodes with me as they aired, but sent me a copy of one of their scripts so I could study it. Aaron Sorkin wrote me a very sweet note that’s framed in my office. And Human Target creator Jon Steinberg emailed me personally to tell me how much he enjoyed my writing about his show.

One of my dearest friends is the truly talented actor Coby Bell of Burn Notice and The Game, who’s supported me just as much as I’ve been a fan of his. Coby and many other actors have given me a whole new appreciation for the craft. Law & Order: UK star Ben Daniels has given me plot ideas for my novels. Nikita star Shane West is someone I have a deep respect for, as he’s made me a better writer through our conversations about his work. Last year, I had coffee with my childhood favorite actor, Linden Ashby, and we email each other often. In October, I spent an hour picking the brain of my all-time favorite actor, Robert Patrick, because he invited me to. And I count as friends two more people I’d put on my all-time list: Suits stars Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams. Not only has it been eye-opening to watch them work, but both of them were happy to spend time with me and share their views. I’ll never forget the most recent conversation I had with Gabriel, where he was actually asking me about my writing. It was humbling, awesome, and lo and behold, talking it out with him ended up giving me more ideas. I still think I wouldn’t be a very good actor myself, but I’m a student of the craft thanks to all of the knowledge I’ve had the chance to glean.

When I decided last year to take up music, it was because I was inspired by the best – and I can say the people who inspired me are the same people who have helped me.
Grammy Award-winning musician Adam Levine is my hero, but he’s also become my mentor, because I’ve gotten to know him. There were so many talented performers that I met on The Voice, and I can reach out to any one of them when I need help. Tim Mahoney and Casey Desmond gave me advice and encouragement when I auditioned for the show’s second season. Beverly McClellan invited me out when she played my hometown of San Diego, and as we were sitting in the green room, told me how happy she was that I was there. Nakia had his publicist specifically call me up because he knew he wanted to work with me. Jeff Jenkins turned the tables on me and told me how much he enjoyed me interviewing him. Blake Shelton encouraged me not to give up on my aspirations. And that’s all before we get to Jesse Macht, who started out as “the brother of one of my favorite actors,” and has since become a good friend and an inspiration to me as a musician. When I pick up my guitar, I do so knowing that I’m surrounded by remarkable musicians. Some people dream of playing with world-famous bands; I dream about playing with Jesse or singing with Adam and know that it could actually happen someday.

I have the opportunity every day to become a better person because these people have welcomed me into their lives. It’s a mind-blowing thing to know that I have people I can turn to for nearly anything I’m doing – and not just any people, but people I consider to be the best at what they do, many of whom I was a fan of well before we ever met. I talk to some of them regularly and some of them not so regularly, but they’ve all taught me something, and I know they all support me.

And thanks to them, I’ve found my opportunity to save the day. I have the power (and the means) to help other artists, actors and writers – to tell their stories. I’ve had some of those same people use quotes from my articles in their press releases and on their websites. I’ve been called “sweet” and “genuine,” “heartfelt,” and someone’s hero. I’ve had more than one person tell me how they appreciate my help in bringing awareness to their work or the things about which they’re passionate. I’ve been somebody’s first call, and that always makes me smile. I’m in a position where I don’t have to concern myself with hits or headlines. Whenever I get an email or a phone call of thanks, or have someone tell me they discovered something they love because I said something about it, that’s what makes my day. It might not be earth-shattering, but I know for certain that I’ve made a difference in people’s lives. That’s how I’ve gotten to be a hero after all.

Sure, I wouldn’t mind having a Batcave or being able to move things with my mind. But I get up every day and know that I have the support of my hero and that many of the people whom I’ve admired are now the same ones that I call friends. Aspirations have been attained and others made that suddenly seem plausible. It might not be glamorous but I’m living a life that I could only have dreamed of, and I continue to learn and love every day. Not bad for a comic book geek from a small town.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA ... or Mayans?


Was that whole SOPA thing for real ... or was it more shenanigans from those Mayans ... ???

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rupe's Value Added Services Goes On Strike

The regularly scheduled programming for this site has been temporarily postponed as it blacks out in solidarity with thousands of other sites across the internet today, requesting all to contact Congress in an effort to kill the web censorship bill SOPA and PIPA.

Click on Mr. Burns above and get involved.

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dogwood's No More

Dogwood's, I was surprised to find last Saturday, is closing its doors for good.

I was shocked. I was just there a couple weeks ago to pick up some things. Everything seemed normal at the time ... vibrant ... busy. Customers were bustling in the aisles, inspecting fruit, loading up on spinach, comparing onions.

But the signs outside the store were definitive: "Closing Our Doors" is what they said glaringly on white banners with red letters. Time to go.

Dogwood's in Monrovia, CA was a community store selling produce, breads and specialty items. They had a deli specializing in interesting ethnic foods. Exotic breads were available. A salad bar. Baklava. Pickled this and marinated that. Sauces. Spices. Fresh roasted nuts. Cookies. Strange sodas.

All of it ... now gone. If I go there today, they're stripping the innards out of the place. Very sad.

The attraction of Dogwood's was the interesting and fantastic array of produce you could acquire. And for a song. Literally.

Brussel's sprouts available at Ralph's down the street for $1.99/lb. (more at times) were a mere 25¢/lb at Dogwood's. Caulifower? Not $1.99 a pound, 99¢ each ... and quite often twice the size of the ones purchased at the usual grocer's. Cherries for $1.50/lb, not $5.99/lb ... and Rainier cherries, too.

I used to love getting freshly roasted pumpkin seeds there. (I'm a pumpkin seed freak.) Pounds of spinach for creamed spinach. Squash at an insane price comparable no where else for miles and miles around.

There was an outside seating with a Hookah pipe for the gentlemen as the ladies shopped inside, complete with a "No Smoking" sign etched into the glass right beside it. (I never partook, but what a cool little distraction at a community market.)

I sought out the proprietor of the place, an amiable and smiling Persian fellow by the name Ali Baba. (No ... I'm not kidding.) He redesigned the place to his needs before he originally moved in, but found it too small for his ultimate needs. It was 5,000 square feet of building and he really needed twice that. He had sold it to some Asian investors and was in process of looking for another, larger location in Pasadena. I pumped his hand, told him a tale or two of my experiences in the place (all good) and that he and the store would be greatly missed when all was said and done. He thanked me and gave me leave to shoot some of the -photos you see here.

There wasn't much left in Dogwood's when I went in Sunday afternoon. I bought a couple bags of red pears (why in the world were there still red pears left ... ?!?), cranberries and Fuji apples.

The wind - so long fluttering in the sails of the store for years - had been taken out of Dogwood's ... and I'm going to miss it dearly.

................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Guest Post: Marie Watterlond

Operation Occupy Rupe's Blog

Marie (also known as "mehitabel") says:

"Blogging since 2006 on topics ranging from knitting and quilting to cats and grandkids and travel. Started the second blog a couple of years ago (too lazy to look it up) as part of the Project 365 challenge, which I'm once again embarking on. I spent my first 20 years in Mass. then came to California for a year to teach in L.A. That turned into *cough* quite a few more years here after I met and married Himself. I've had an eclectic working life--taught, sold real estate, got a law degree, worked for EarthLink, Vroman's, and the TC school district, as well as the quilt shop. Been teaching quiltmaking for over 20 years now. I love books, cats and dogs, traveling and learning new stuff. Working on reviving my French for a trip to France later this year, planning to go East to my grandson's HS graduation and my college reunion."

I've had the pleasure of not only meeting Marie, but rescuing her phone, too. You can see her shenanigans on her blog mehitabel's musings as well as her photography at Mehitabel 365.

Ladies and Gentlemen?

May I present Marie Watterlond ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Food. Comfort.

When you think of "comfort food" what comes to your mind? Oh, I know what the foodie media associates with comfort food--usually it's the rich, creamy, starchy, heavy stuff. Or maybe they expect you to feed your "soul" on boiled greens and fatty ribs. Perhaps it's pasta slathered in Alfredo sauce. The chocolate pudding your mom used to whip up.

Generally, we find "comfort" in familiar foods, the kind that we grew up on. But what if your mom was a terrible cook? Then what? My mother was. Terrible, I mean. Part of it was my dad and the things he'd eat or not eat. Part of it was the times I grew up in, and the place. New England in the 40's and 50's (soo last millenium!) was hard living. Fresh food was abundant in the summer, when we could grow tomatoes, green beans, onions, pick fruit and berries off trees and wild bushes, and we'd make the most of it, canning what we couldn't eat right away. That would take us through the winter pretty well. But gourmet? Or even palatable?

I grew up on plain food. Potatoes were peeled and boiled and served plain. Meat was pan-fried most of the time, and cooked to within an inch of recognizability. Then I got older and got out in the world a bit. What a revelation it was that a person could put ketchup on meat loaf! Casseroles--mac n' cheese, tuna-noodle with crumbled potato chips on top. Spaghetti with "real" sauce, not a jar of canned tomatoes and some boiled ground beef. Parmesan cheese!

As sometimes happens, I found myself a married lady with children, and by default I was the chief cook (as well as the bottle washer, but that's a story for another day). Determined not to saddle my growing family with the hideous food I'd grown up on, and blessed with an adventurous husband, I started reading cookbooks and following recipes. (About that husband. He told me before we were married that there were only two foods he wouldn't eat, plain white rice and boiled ham. It developed that there were one hell of a lot of foods he'd never tasted or even thought about eating.)

Turned out that I was a pretty decent cook, and living in SoCal where fresh food was available pretty much year-round really helped. I even was able to adapt a couple of old family favorites to something my kids would eat. Take what my mom called Chinese Dish. It's a shepherd's pie, folks, with ground beef, green peas, creamed corn and mashed potatoes layered together and then baked till it's hot through and has a nice crust on the top. Amazing what using frozen tiny peas and actually seasoning the ground beef can do for a dish!

Anyway, one point of this essay (I generally get to the point sooner or later, usually later if no one stops me) is to share what is probably one of my kids, and their kids and everyone I've ever been to a potluck with, favorite recipes. It's called Cranberry Pie, but it's really more of a cobbler or buckle or slump or grunt or...well, you get the idea. No crust, no rolling out, no fuss, no muss, not much bother. Mr. Rupe will vouch for its tastiness.

Cranberry Pie (recipe from a La Leche League cookbook, circa 1971)

Preheat oven to 325. Butter a 10" pie plate (or an 8.5" x 11" baking dish) and put in it:

2 c, fresh cranberries (I just use a bag from the market. Sometimes they are fresh, sometimes I've frozen them. Either way works.)
1/2 c or so of walnut pieces
Sprinkle this with 1/4 cup or so of sugar.

Melt (in the microwave works well) 1/2 cup of butter or margarine (that's 1 stick; I use the stick I used to butter the pan) with
1/4 cup of vegetable oil.

In mixer bowl, beat 2 eggs well. Add 1 c sugar and 1 c flour, then drizzle in the melted butter/oil mixture. Beat it thoroughly. Pour this mixture over the berries and nuts, bake it at 325 for an hour or until the center is set and the whole thing is nice and brown. If your berries were frozen, it may take an extra 5 to 10 minutes.

You can cut this like a pie. It's especially good warm--let it cool for half an hour or so before cutting into it. That's usually enough time to get to the potluck! You can top it with ice cream or whipped cream if you like, but it's not necessary. It also makes a great breakfast food the next day or two.

No calorie count given, and as with many foods that are meant to comfort the body and the soul, none are really needed. Take an extra walk around the block, or spend a few more minutes on the treadmill. It's worth it.

(P.S. I've had a piece of Marie's cranberry pie fresh baked. It was fantastic. - Ruprecht)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Post: Nyela

Operation Occupy Rupe's Blog

I'm pretty certain I "met" Nyela on-line during season 5 of American Idol along with a slew of other wiseacres who regularly blathered about the goings on of Taylor Hicks, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry and other contestants. She's caused me little relief from consternation and laughter over those years. But I forgive her.

For some reason known only to her, Nyela continues to be an acquaintance of mine and even comments frequently on my CliqueClack posts and at other other social sites.

Ladies and Gentlemen?

May I present Nyela ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

“Hey, whatta ya want from me? I did my best.”

Okay, I may be old, and I may be cranky, but this defense [?] of shoddy effort irks me to no end. I’ve heard this too many times from too many deadbeats, and I am looking for the perfect one-line response. Any suggestions? Here are some I have used:
  • I’d hate to see your worst. [Old standby.]
  • Are you spelling “best” m-e-s-s? [Worked better when people could spell.]
  • I’ll do my best not to laugh at that. [Immediately followed by maniacal laughter.]
Usually I just shake my head and walk away. Anyone willing to claim total failure as their best effort should be pitied. Or maybe they have never seen someone truly trying to do something their “best”.

Hattie McDaniel was one of the first black actors to earn a living at it. Condemned on one side for not knowing “her place” and the other for playing “Uncle Tom”, she had a simple response: “I did my best and let God do the rest.” Many a temporary celebrity today could learn from Hattie’s best.

I happen to know a young couple, Marc & Mandy, who are learning a lot right now about doing their best. [Marc tells their story in his own words at] As caregivers for their four month old daughter with the rare disease EB, they daily do their very best to change her neck-to-toe bandages without causing more damage to her already devastated skin. Fear that their best will not be good enough is a constant companion.

The next time someone lies to me about doing their best, I’ll think of Hattie, I’ll think of Quinn, and I’ll do my best to not slap that person. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll fail.

~ Nyela

Monday, January 2, 2012

Guest Post: William Tubb

Operation Occupy Rupe's Blog

I've known the esteemed Mr. Tubb for years on-line. Many of you will know him better as bronsont. He's the best of eggs.

On most Fridays you can hear him calling out his beloved lobster bisque for lunch, causing all within earshot jealousy we're not with him during this particular repast. We all drool a bit, grumble a lot and then go about our business ... albeit a bit sadder.

Regarding a bio, Mr. Tubb declined, instead stating only this about his post below: "Just tell 'em it was a dare & they should learn from this to never make a dare."

Ladies and Gentlemen?

May I present Mr. William Tubb ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Last week, by happenstance, I was made aware of Operation #OccupyRupe’sBlog. Naturally I immediately began making as many snarky comments as possible to our good buddy Rupe, offering my assistance, but in areas he could not possibly accept. Well we all know Rupe isn’t one to be trifled with, and he immediately called my bluff challenging me to present my offering or zip it!

I proposed a posting on the Bonus Depreciation available to taxpayers in tax year 2011. Now I ask you, who in their right mind would allow such to be included in their pride and joy of a Blog? The answer to that is simple … Rupe!

Being a hillbilly of the first order, fresh from the foothills of the Smokeys of Tennessee, and having consumed copious quantities of both Rolling Rock and moonshine, although seldom in the same glass at the same time, I am a very perceptive fellow. I felt the average reader of Rupe’s fine publication would give something less that rapt attention to a dissertation of Bonus Depreciation. What to do? What to do? What to do?

After several days studiously pondering the question, and several sessions of Rolling Rock/Moonshine consumption & fortification the answer came to me. The handling of Cancellation of Debt Income on the Federal Form 1040!

In today’s hard economic times, and in today’s horrendous housing market, I see several clients each year showing up at my desk with those pesky 1099-A and 1099-C documents in hand with the question, “Are these

things important?” The simple answer is, Hell Yes! The forms 1099-A and 1099-C notify the IRS that you, the taxpayer, had something happen in your life which, absent an explanation from you, the IRS assumes was a taxable event.

These events can be triggered by several things. You have all seen television commercials with the spokesperson offering to help you beat the terrible credit card company to their knees and get you relief from both the usurous interest charged and the principal debt on your credit cards. When the bank or credit card issuer agrees to forgive all or a portion of the debt you owe, BAM taxable event. You all know someone who is short selling or has lost their real estate to foreclosure, BAM taxable event. In essence what has happened is the lending institution paid you money, allowing you to pay off your debt, and that good friends is income.

Also ANYTIME that you have a foreclosure or repossession TWO separate and distinct things happen:

a. you may or may not have taxable cancellation of debt income
b. you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a “deemed sale” of the property involved and need to account for it being sold on the tax return. Either by schedule D or form 4797 whatever is appropriate for the type of property. Remember the term “deemed sale” as it is important.

Let us consider several situations:

1. Taxpayer gets a 1099-C only for something not involving repossession or foreclosure:

Assuming this is a non-business bad debt it must generally be included as income on line 21 (Other Income) of the taxpayers tax return unless you can exclude it using the insolvency option.

A. Go over your financial status if it appears you are insolvent; fill out an “insolvency worksheet”. You need accurate numbers NOT estimates and that includes any sums you have in retirement plans. (see the page about insolvency worksheets for more detail)

B. After completing the insolvency worksheet you now need to review it to ensure it is complete. You then need to fill in the “Statement of Income from Discharge of Debt” (this statement is included in my software

package, but I can’t honestly say if it is in popular individual packages like Turbo Tax or Tax Cut. I would suggest seeing a professional if you find yourself in this situation, the cost of doing it wrong could be much higher than the cost of a tax professional, but if you feel comfortable with the concept, see the page about that statement for more details)

C. Once you have it, you need use that data to fill in the form 982

D. You now also need to complete a “Federal Statement” that details what you did and what attributes were reduced and by how much

E. Any amounts not excluded must then be included in income on line #21 Other Income and added to your total income.

2. Taxpayer gets a 1099-C or combination of 1099-A and 1099-C for their personal residence.

This scenario assumes that ALL of the debt owed on this home was “qualified mortgage debt”. If not the issue is more complicated. If so this is the easiest of all scenarios to do a return for because it falls under the provisions of the “2007 Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act”.

I. If the home was not repossessed but the bank simply reduced the amount that the taxpayer owed to them to get the payments down.

A. Fill in form 982 line 10b with the amount of debt forgiven. The only attribute that needs to be reduced is the basis of the home (line 10b)

B. You now also need to complete a “Federal Statement” that details what you did and that the basis of the principal residence was reduced from X to Y. It would also be used to explain any combo of 1099-A and 1099-C if that occurred.

II. If the home was repossessed:

A. There are no attributes to be reduced since the taxpayer no longer owns the home as of the beginning of the next tax year

B. You need to account for either a 1099A or a 1099 C to show the sale. Usually this is done on a schedule D if there is a profit then you can add a line showing a section 121 exclusion (assuming they qualify). The section 121 exclusion is the $250,000 if single, or $500,000 if married filing jointly of profit on the sale of a primary residence which is tax free if the house has been owned by the taxpayer and used as a primary residence for at least 2 years of the 5 years before the sale. If you have a loss on the sale, it is a non-deductible personal loss. You cannot assume the IRS knows this is a personal home that is not taxable you must account for the sale somewhere on the return.

C. You will also need to complete a “Federal Statement” detailing what you did. It would also be used to explain any combo of the 1099-A and 1099-C if that occurred.

NOTE: Remember Qualified Mortgage Debt (QMD) is ONLY that debt that is incurred to Buy, Build or improve the home. For example;

a. Someone buys a home for 200,000 and has a 150,000 mortgage on it. That is all QMD.
b. When their Mortgage balance is down to 125,000 they refinance and now have a mortgage of 195,000 because they used the extra money for trips or whatever. Only 125,000 of that 195,000 is qualified mortgage debt,
c. When their Mortgage balance is 125,000 they hit the lottery and pay off the mortgage. Several years later their finances have eroded and they need cash so they refinance the home for 200,000. NONE of this amount is QMD.
d. When their mortgage balance is 125,000 they refinance the home for 200,000 to put an addition on. The addition cost 55,000. Their QMD is 180,000 other 20,000 of debt is not QMD.

3. Special case - Taxpayer gets a 1099-C or combination of 1099-A and 1099-C for their personal residence BUT they have non QMD debt that was forgiven.

The important thing to realize here is that any NON QMD amount is always taxed first. Any remaining amount can be disposed of using the “2007 Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act”. For example:

a. A taxpayer had a 300,000 mortgage on a home that was foreclosed on. The FMV of the home foreclosed on was given as 170,000. Of the 300,000 mortgage debt only 160,000 was QMD. This means the taxpayer has 130,000 of COD income. Because the non-QMD portion of their mortgage was 140,000 that means NONE of the COD income is excludable under the “2007 Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act”. You need to use insolvency to get them out of any COD income taxation.

b. Same case but the QMD portion was 220,000 and the non QMD 80,000. They still have 130,000 of COD income but in this case you can exclude 50,000 using “2007 Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act” and the

remainder using insolvency using two for 982’s –OR- you can elect to use insolvency only for the entire amount if that works out the same or better for the client

You would complete the return using the methods already outlined in #2 and/or #4.

4. Any other property that was foreclosed on or repossessed including rental real estate:

A. Go over your financial status if it appears you are insolvent, then fill in the “insolvency worksheet”. You need accurate numbers NOT estimates and that includes any sums you have in retirement plans. (see page on insolvency worksheets for more detail)

B. When you complete the insolvency worksheet you now need to review it to ensure it is complete. You then need to fill in the “Statement of Income from Discharge of Debt” (see page on that statement for more details)

C. Once you have that, you need to use that data to fill in the form 982

D. You also need to account for the “deemed” sale of the property on a schedule D or form 4797 whatever is appropriate.

E. You now also need to complete a “Federal Statement” that details what you did and what attributes were reduced and by how much. I would also mention how the “deemed sale” was accounted for on this statement.

5. Special Case – Foreclosure and COD income based on a rental property

You do not always have to try to exclude COD income. If a taxpayer has a rental property foreclosed on and he has lost a lot of money on it, it might be simpler to enter the COD income as rental income (and not even

try to get the taxable income exclusion) then sell the property as you would normally using the form 4797. The end result is often the same with less hassle and less cost. You can try it both ways there is often little or

no difference in the end result. And…yes you would need a “Federal Statement” to explain the 1099C disposition and tell how you entered it as income on the Sch E.

Insolvency Worksheet

The IRS allows taxpayers to exclude from income any amount of cancellation of debt income(COD) that exceeds their net worth just before the COD occurred.

Assuming that you are in this situation, you need an idea of just how much tax might be due. I will usually do the easy part of the return first saving this till last. I then enter the COD on line 21 or Sch C or Sch E

wherever it might properly go. This shows what will be owed IF you do not try to minimize this income.

To determine insolvency you need to fill out the insolvency worksheet that lists ALL of your assets and liabilities immediately before the date of the cancellation. You cannot do this quickly. You will need to do your homework and enter the data in an orderly manner and fill out the other forms when you have time. It is my experience that there are always questions and modifications to the original data. If the COD is a joint amount you do it for the couple, if it is for an individual you ONLY fill it out for that person . If an individual COD then any joint assets/liabilities are counted 100% for that person.

You will also need to know in most cases the adjusted basis of the assets:

- immediately after the insolvency AND
- at the beginning of the next tax year.

This data will be needed to calculate something called “the basis limitation” on the “Statement of income from discharge of debt” which is discussed in the next section.

Once completed and you have added up all of the numbers you will know whether or not you are insolvent. If so continue with the process.

Note: Just because you are insolvent does NOT mean that ALL of the cancellation of debt is forgiven as taxable income.

For example: If all of your assets total 105,000 and your liabilities total 200,000. Then you are insolvent by 95,000. If you had 150,000 of debt cancelled then only 95,000 of that would be excluded and they would have

(150,000-95,000) 55,000 of taxable cancellation of debt income.

Statement of Income from the Discharge of Debt

This is the important form that generates the information that feeds on to the form 982. If your software does not have this statement, again you should see a professional, but you could visit one and ask for a copy of a blank form for your personal use.

Part IV. Is the most difficult part. The IRS gives and the IRS takes away. The rules may allow you to cancel debt BUT they also require the taxpayer to surrender other potentially useful tax deductions or credits (they call them tax attributes) in return, up to the amount of the amount of debt cancelled.

Part IV is where you calculate these amounts. There is what is called an “ordering rule” that requires you to reduce them in a specific order. The order is as listed on that worksheet.

Assuming that you still have things to reduce by the time you get to line 18c. You will need to do additional calculations. MOST time you do need to do these calculations. The reason is that the IRS does limit the amount of property basis that needs to be reduced and these calculations determine that limitation. To properly complete this part you will need to calculate it using the following data:

Line 18a The ADJUSTED basis of assets other than money at the beginning of the year following the year of discharge.

Line 18b is calculated by taking the adjusted basis of all assets including money immediately after the debt was cancelled and subtracting the amount of debt remaining

Line 18c is the lower of line 18a or 18b assuming you were insolvent.

That is the amount that you will have to use to reduce the value of any of the remaining assets. BUT you are not done yet. There is ANOTHER “ordering rule” that specifies the order in which the value of those remaining assets are to be reduced. It is in pub 4681. If you have more than one item in a category that needs to have its basis reduced you need to reduce them pro-rata.

For example if you get to that point and have two rental properties remaining with and adjusted basis of 200,000 for property A and 150,000 for property B. Assuming that there was 100,000 worth of cancelled debt that remained to have attributes reduced on, you would do the following calculation:

Property A’s basis would be reduced by (200,000/350,000) X 100,000=57,140
Property B’s basis would be reduced by (150,000/350,000) X 100,000=42,860

I hope you have enjoyed this little epistle, and more I hope you realize if you or a friend happens to be in this situation you need professional assistance.

Now Rupe bet me that I could not better his post of 11/21/11. Please be so kind as to back track, read that fine work (please access this link), and let us know which one made your head hurt and eyes cross the most.