I probably won't be writing for the next 4 days while I am in San Fran, just FYI. If you get bored and want to read something though, why not check out this
post which is my second one ever. Or this
post which was a deep, sappy moment. Or this
one which is the start of an on going series of posts about the little baby bird who lived outside my apartment which continues with this
post and then culminated with this
I will try to write if JG brings his laptop, but I am not bringing mine, so we shall see.
Yesterday afternoon I left work early to sign all of the closing papers for my new house. Wow. I signed my name about 100 times. No joke. But it was an interesting experience. Since my real estate agent, JM, is a family friend (practically my cousin), my father insisted my mother go with me, and JM is good friends with the title broker, DD, there was a sense of familiarity to the event. The offices were in a limestone encrusted Texas Ranch-style strip center. On one side was an insurance company and on the other an optometrist. I stepped into the offices and found myself in a simple ordinary office with beige walls and multispeck industrial carpeting. These ordinary surroundings did not stop the company from buying expensive ornate furniture, however. To my right was a beautiful antique credenza and to my left was a glass-topped coffee table surrounded by ornate wooden chairs with leather seats. The juxtaposition of the modern office with the antique furniture was quite interesting to me. I was then taken into a conference room with the same chairs and and another credenza. This is where the craziness began. No not really. There was no craziness. A little chatting as there were four women in the room, but mostly, I just signed and signed and signed. Finally, I finished one and a half hours later. It shouldn't have taken nearly that long, but like I said, there were four women in the room and we did some chatting. But in the end, this modern antique office is where I bought my house. It is where I handed over the biggest check I have ever produced. It was nerve wrecking but exciting. And now I am just a few short hours from officially being a home owner. I have a key, but that is on the down low, because the seller hasn't signed their half of the paperwork yet. JM gave me the key because, well, she has known me since I was a geeky 12 year old and she trusted me to not move in overnight! So hopefully, by noon I will get a call saying I am now the legal owner of a house in Carrollton, Texas!
In other news....Tonight is a new episode of Lost
and if you haven't seen it yet, give it a shot. It looks like they have finally gotten it settled into the 8/7 central Wednesday night slot. A perfect spot if I do say so myself. But it seems to be turning into a great show. I think it will drive me mad though knowing every week that as long as the show is doing well, they will be stuck there forever. I am sure there will be weeks when it looks like they might get rescued and then they don't and that, I am sure, will be irritating, but I guess it comes with the territory when you are talking about deserted island TV shows.
In even farther reaching news...There is a new law that should be going to into effect any day now. The crux of the law is that we (Texans, and 6 other states) will be able to take sales tax as a deduction
and it goes into effect retroactively for 2004. So basically, everything you buy that is taxed with sales tax you will be able to get your 8.25% (in Dallas) back. That is fabulous news for shoppers!
The way it works is you can either use a sliding scale that will come with your 1040 and get back an average of $310 or if you have all of your receipts and they add up to more than the scale estimate, you can get back whatever your receipts add to. You do have to do an itemized return to use this, however (although I am not sure if you need to itemize for the scale estimate). But in my book this is a great thing! I save all of my receipts and I am fairly certain they will add up to more than $310. Buying the appliances for my new house was close to $200 by itself.
The purpose of this law is to balance deductions for Texas and the 6 other states without state income taxes. In states with income tax, residents may deduct state income tax. As we have no state income tax, we cannot deduct it. Residents in states with state income tax are able to deduct more each year than states without state income tax. This bias is the reason for the new law. In states with both state income tax and state sales tax, taxpayers will be able to deduct the larger of the two amounts. Either sales tax or income tax.
All that has to happen now is Bush has to sign this into law. Do-ta-doo....We are waiting....