Thursday, April 20, 2006

Through the Nose

What a month.

Before I left for work this morning, I saw a picture headlining the Toledo Blade featuring a Toledo gas station charging $3.06 per gallon of gas. Knowing I would need gas at some point today, I was less than thrilled. Fortunately, before leaving Bowling Green, I was able to fill my car for "only" $2.78 per gallon. The rest of the gas stations I passed weren't over $3 yet, but I still managed to save at least a couple of bucks by getting it early.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my car had to go into the shop, and that if the repair charge was more than $500 I was going to have to think seriously about just trading it in. Apparently sensing my limit, the bill came to just under $500. Of course it did. I paid it, thinking it would be my last major repair expense, and that it would buy me enough time to shop for something new. The following week, though, Brandi's car came down with problems. Brandi's in grad school right now and not making much money, so the $400 bill for those repairs fell to me as well. I didn't really have much of a choice. With both of us on such different schedules, we both have to have a car. Her car is in generally better health than mine, so if one of them is going to get traded in, it needs to be mine first. Now that we've both had fairly major repairs done, hopefully this really will give us the time we need to find something new. It'll probably have to wait until this summer, sometime after the wedding, but we should definitely have that much time.

Being April, it's also tax season. I'd like to send a big "screw you" out to the federal government and the city of Bowling Green. I also had to pay extra to the Bowling Green city school district, but I really don't mind giving money to the schools. Also, I somehow managed to get at least a small refund from the state of Ohio. I'm really irritated about having to pay more federal taxes, though. I've always gotten a refund before, and I have no idea how someone who makes as little money as I do has to pay more. Apparently, I'm not having quite enough gouged out of my paycheck each week, which is something I suppose I'll need to discuss with my HR department.

And if that weren't quite enough, my city tax return was returned to me in the mail yesterday. The envelope somehow got mangled while the post office was sorting it, and it conveniently ripped the upper-right corner, including the stamp, clean off. So I got it back with "damaged in post office handling" stamped on it and a sticker that said "returned for postage." Lovely. So, here's a thought: since you know you damaged it, how about delivering it anyway? There was definitely a stamp on it when I put it in the mailbox. And it's not like it has to go clear across the country or anything; it's being delivered right here in Bowling Green. Now I have to inconvenience Brandi by having her drop it off at the tax office, since they're never open at any time when I can get there, and I also have to hope they decide not to penalize me for filing late. I'm leaving everything in the original envelope, so they can see what happened--there's no postmark, since there's no stamp, but I'll just have to hope the mangled envelope and the note from the post office will be enough for them.

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