Month: March 2010

Fear of Taxes

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Most recently, my 2-year-old’s favorite thing to say is, “Ewww.” She says it with a long drawn-out ending and a crinkled expression on her face. This is exactly my feeling this time of year as well. I’m not talking about springtime; I’m talking about tax time.

Lately, I will sit down at my computer desk and do anything but my taxes. Suddenly reading e-mail, browsing Facebook and updating my blog have become urgent. Anyone need research done? I’m on it. My husband briefly mentioned he would like an attic ladder one day. Now I know how much they cost, where to buy one and who offers free shipping. I even know the dimensions of our attic opening (impressive, I know). I’ve also begun changing pictures around in the house and I’m thinking of redecorating my bathroom. Anything to avoid preparing taxes. I absolutely dread them.

Although finances are not my strong point, for some reason this responsibility falls under my domain in our household. My husband pretends to loathe this task more than I do. I like to remind him I never quite understood finances, accounting, or economics of any kind – macro or micro. My concern in college was, “Which one is easier?” I just wanted an “A.” I thought I’d never use the information later in life. What did any of it have to do with journalism? Big mistake.

I vaguely remember hearing a lecture in economics about supply and demand. I relate this to my large family today. I would like more money to supply my family with what we need and I demand the government give it to me. That’s my idea of supply and demand. Our country is trillions of dollars in debt. My solution – why not just print more money? Sounds like an easy fix to me. This would be why I’m not the president of the Federal Reserve.

As with everything, I blame my parents. Lack of financial skills may have skipped their generation, but it hit mine hard. My sister and I are at a total loss. She still doesn’t understand how she could be out of money when she has blank checks left. I’m a little farther ahead of the game there, but not much.

Nonetheless, I seem to continuously complain about taxes even though we do have an accountant (thank God someone’s an expert in this field). He does the hard part. All I have to do is make sure our records are up-to-date and keep track of receipts. I just plug in a few numbers, pray I give him the correct information, and hand it off.

The reason I’m deathly afraid of taxes is because of this big entity called the IRS. Once upon a time, one would think they wouldn’t care about a poor, starving, college student living off a pitiful salary. Not so. My mother used to do my taxes back then and she made a small mistake (emphasis on small). Surprise, I was audited. I can attest, it never feels good to get mail from the IRS when the document mentions the word “audit.” Needless to say, I found out the IRS did care about me and I owed them $200 for a $50 mistake.

So, once again, I’m praying no mistakes are made as I fill out 1099s and 1098s with a shaking hand, or any other form that makes little sense to me. I will continue to send questions via e-mail to my accountant, when I’m not looking for deals on attic ladders, of course.

Courtesy of the Atchison Globe

Phil Baniewicz: New MHMA President

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This was an email sent out to all Benedictine College students, staff and alumni.  I’m very proud of Phil and wanted to share his latest accomplishment with everyone.


Benedictine College has announced that Phil Baniewicz, vice president of college relations, has accepted the position of president of Maur Hill-Mount Academy.  He will leave his position at the college at the end of March and will take on his new duties on April 1, 2010.  Baniewicz also served as the executive director of the Cloud L. Cray Center for Entrepreneurship and taught classes in the School of Business.  He joined the college in 2006.

“I look forward to taking the success we’ve enjoyed here at Benedictine College across town to Maur Hill-Mount Academy,” he said.  “I kind of look at MHMA as a little brother and I hope to increase the amount of interaction between the college and the high school.”

Baniewicz’ duties will likely be split among several individuals at the college.

“He brought some new and innovative things to the college, including the increased use of video, the Tuesday Fly-By and the video information monitors around campus,” said Stephen D. Minnis, president of Benedictine College.  “Our loss is certainly Maur Hill-Mount Academy’s gain.”

GPS Ginger

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Ginger makes me so mad! How dare she give me the silent treatment. Doesn’t she know that’s completely passive-aggressive behavior? True friends don’t abandon you when you need them most. They talk it out, find a solution. They work things out together.

This new friendship started a few months ago. We just clicked. It was like we’d known each other all our lives. I had high hopes for this friendship. Looking back now, maybe I was too naive. She was always the smart one. The leader. I would follow her advice. At times I was skeptical, but she was always right. She never once let me down, until recently.

She actually tried to kill me. (This is not EVEN an exaggeration.) Everything is different now. Our relationship has drastically changed because who does that to a friend? Luckily, I was unharmed and managed to walk away unscathed. Even so, I have not received a single apology from Ginger. She shows absolutely no remorse. I guess she’s simply too proud to admit her shortcomings. This is how it happened.

Recently, Ginger was giving me directions. I was in a pinch and completely lost in a part of town I’d never driven in. Of course, she knew where I was and how long it would take to get there. She’s so good at that sort of thing. She’s always saved me a lot of time. Due to her expertise, I admit I started to depend on her a lot lately. (Okay, it’s actually borderline co-dependence, but at least I’m not too proud to admit my shortcomings.)

Unfortunately, this time Ginger completely led me astray. She was the clueless one and yet I think she was mocking me. Her directions stunk! Repeatedly she told me to turn left onto one-way streets. What was she thinking? Who drives down streets headed the wrong direction? (Well, I’m not counting the three times when I first moved here, or the time I was completely lost in downtown Phoenix.) Who was she, trying to kill?

Next, my funeral flashed before my eyes. Ginger remained aloof to this, completely self-absorbed. I ran a red light after she demanded I turn left. She could have said, “Turn left after stopping at the red light.” Instead, she deliberately risked my life. Halfway through the intersection, sheer panic seized me when I realized what I’d done. There was absolutely no turning back and things were rapidly falling apart.

After I made it through the intersection (and breathed again), I was outraged at this so-called friend. I began to tell her I didn’t even know her anymore. Who was this monster.

Ignoring my fury, she rifled off new directions, practically rolling her eyes when she did it. She told me to stay in the right lane. What? I couldn’t even get in the right lane. The road forked. Crap! What now? I had to improvise quickly. I admit this has never served me well while driving. My sense of direction has nothing to do with north, south, east or west. It’s more like, “Left? Right? Ugh, I think that building looks familiar.”

After going around the block in a somewhat manic state of mind, I managed to get in the right lane. I thought, bring it on, sister! I’m on to you. But all I heard was silence. Dead silence. Are you kidding me? How childish.

Not leaving me a whole lot of choices, I quickly decided to apologize (for what I don’t know). I told “G” she was the smartest computer/human being I’d ever met. I told her she would always be my friend and that I needed her. Still silent.

A little miffed at this point, I started to tell her if she didn’t say something soon I was going to chuck her out the window. Suddenly she snapped out of it and told me what to do next. After arriving safely, she announced, “You have reached your destination.” We both sighed in relief. She blinked on and off, winking at me with a smug expression on her face. What a sick sense of humor, Ginger. I wonder if I still have her receipt?

Compliments of the Atchison Globe