Friday, March 7, 2008

I Can't Put My Finger On It...

Maybe because it's more than just one "it", but I don;t really want to go to Italy this year. I feel like it's a combination of several things...

(1) I will only have 6 days of vacation time to spare and I will be vacation-day-poor at the end of the trip
(2) It's a total of 14 hours flying time and I am not someone who enjoys flying. 6 hour flights already push my limits.
(3) The cost will be high. High. The dollar has taken the biggest dump in 30+ years. This trip will cost 4 thousand, easy. And that's if we don't do any shopping. And we won't really be doing any because, again, thank you Mr Bush, the dollar is in the shitter.
(4) The dogs will need to be boarded. This one could end up being a real pain because of Rusty. He has started up licking the back foot now - he is back to phone-ing home with his satellite dish because he can't be trusted. So, it will be tough to find a boarder that will put up with that cone thing. Might have to appeal to the rescue to see if she'll take him for the week... ugh.
(5) the lack of extra vacation means no jet-lag recovery time. I will be back to work all jet-lagged and tired. That ought to be fun.

So, yeah, I'm not gung-ho. I should be, I mean, how many people even get to go to Italy, and then on top of it, not have to pay for lodging, etc. I should be grateful. But I just don't feel like going :(

Taxes!

Ok, so the trip was worth it and the fees were lower than I expected... which was weird, because I could have sworn we paid close to $400 in 2004. But it was $285, so I was a happy camper. And we got back more than expected, so at least it'll pay for some of the upcoming costs we have (property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, Italy trip). It won't cover all of it, but it'll cover a sizable chunk, Too bad I won't be able to save any.

The Mortgage Crisis.

What a f**king mess. I can see the banks are all freaking out like little girls at a Miley Cyrus concert. But not in the good way. More like they get to the concert and it's Barry Manilow and they freak out.

We got a letter from Wells Fargo about our home insurance. They stated the balance of our loan (duh, I have been paying it for almost a year now), and then stated what the insurance was covering for rebuilding costs in the event of a total loss (it's about 190K less than the loan balance), and then suggested we call our insurance company to make sure the rebuilding costs are in-line with current costs.

Seriously? We all know that the cost to buy an existing house in Southern California is way more than it would actually cost to build it from scratch (not counting land). Even with the loss in home value - you still can re-build our house for less than the market value. Not to mention the reality that building materials and construction/labor costs have dropped considerably from lack of demand. So, I am thinking that last year's estimate is still good, if not better since last year, we weren't in a complete real estate melt down.

What a mess. I hope we get out of this sooner rather than later. November cannot come soon enough.

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