Friday, October 19, 2007

All apropos of nothing...

Today is Friday, but this is not a Friday Five. I need to write one of those, but I cannot decide... would you rather have a "brain lint" sort of post listing various things I took note of but did not write about this week, or would you rather I gush a bit about the adorable and charming Josh Ritter, who I saw at The Cedar in Minneapolis the other night? You'll get one or the other; it just won't be until later today.

Meanwhile, I just had to tell someone (in this case, "someone" being "the Internet at large, or at least my tiny corner of it") what I just saw outside my window. Yes, I have a window (a patio door, actually... and to think, my friends sometimes neglect to recognize the few benefits a small company provides...), and I like to keep my coworkers apprised of various goings-on that I notice from this vantage point twenty feet above street level. I'm not unlike Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, except, you know, not in a wheelchair and not witnessing any sort of murderous activity (yet). So really, I guess, not like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window at all. Whatever.

Anyway, I work in a fairly modest sort of small-town neighborhood, a Stars Hollow-esque burb outside the city where ridiculous and pretentious vehicles are at a minimum. And although a famous movie star used to live a mere seven blocks from here (with her almost-as-famous long-term boyfriend and their children), there isn't a lot of hoopla or big-name hob-nobbing immediately adjacent. So I have no idea who the presumably important (or at least superfluously wealthy) man was who just pulled up in a shiny, fancy, black-windowed car in front of the condo building next door. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in real life when I've seen a backseat passenger wait while the hired driver got out, walked around the car, and opened the door to let him or her out. On the few times I have seen it, it has not been on a random street like this; the driver has not been sporting a messy ponytail and black windbreaker; and the passenger-of-honor has not been a surprisingly average-looking guy in last decade's jeans. Either that's the most down-to-earth millionaire in the Twin Cities, or that guy is making weird use of a "driver for a day" contest he presumably won. That or the driver is really just the guy's best friend, who probably has a decidedly un-girly name like Watts and who he talked into driving him around just to help impress a girl he wants to date. It'll never work out, of course; the girl won't be right for him, and the guy will just end up giving his life savings in the form of jewelry to Watts instead of her. Incidentally, I may have seen Some Kind of Wonderful a few too many times over the years. Moving on.

In entirely unrelated and equally not-so-noteworthy news, I balanced my checkbook last night for the first time in seven months. SEVEN MONTHS. I know that will not be shocking to some of you, as I am apparently one of only ten people in the entire world who still feels the need to balance that little book of lined pages rather than just trusting the number that displays in my account balance online, but I am still an old-school girl at heart, and I simply cannot understand a life in which I keep no personal record of the nebulous numbers floating in and out of my account. I let this task lapse through a couple bank statements, though, for no good reason other than my usual laziness, and when I finally gathered my unaccounted-for statements to balance at some point last summer, the total came out so drastically off, I didn't even know where to begin remedying it. So last night I tried again, checking my math on every page of my register since my last "Bal. OK" notation, and I damn-near did a dance of joy in my living room when I got the number to come out correct in under an hour. As an added bonus, I found $400 that I inexplicably just dropped from my balance sometime in August. (Math is hard, yo. Or I am just exceedingly careless.) So... whee! Perhaps I will do something smart with that unexpected extra cash, like put it in savings where it belongs. Or perhaps I will do something ridiculous, like hire a windbreakered ponytail girl to drive me around for a day. Must think on this, I guess.

12 comments:

Jess said...

I used to balance my checkbook because I didn't trust the online balance either, but unfortunately, I was really, really bad at remembering to write things down and keep track of them, and thus my balance was never accurate. So instead I scrutinize the online statement to make sure there are no errors, at least not ones that don't go in our favor.

Also, I love brain lint.

3carnations said...

I'm one of those people that balances the checkbook. I wonder who the other 8 are? I have to balance it at work as well, so I figure if I can balance that, I can certainly balance ours, with the dozen or so checks we write in a month.

Buy something with the $400! It's found money. :) Of course I probably wouldn't...but I'm perfectly happy to splurge vicariously through you.

thirtybefore30 said...

I am also the small office watchdog. Unfortunately we're in a dead end cul-de-sac so things don't get much more exciting than, "Hey, the CUTE UPS guy is here today!".

I would be wracking my brain all day to try and figure out what exactly was going on. My bet is the down to earth millionaire who would really rather drive himself, but his company or wife demands the driver.

The Other Girl said...

I balance my checking account every month. Is that weird? I guess it's weird. It's never occurred to me not to do it. I also once balanced the account of a friend who was notoriously bad with money and who never wrote anything in her check register (this was before online banking). I told her to bring me every receipt and bank statement she could find, and three hours later, I determined that she had less than a dollar in her account. I then lent her money so she could live until her next paycheck, and she promptly offered to take me out for ice cream, her treat, since she now had cash. My head still kind of hurts to remember that.

-R- said...

I heard about that Josh Ritter concert on the Current, and I wondered whether you were going. Although I may have wondered that only because you told me you were going and then I forgot.

What famous person used to live in the town of your office? I must do some investigation.

I balance my checkbook too.

tim said...

Why don't you tell us a story about the car? Maybe they travel from burb to burb, coast to coast, perpetrating little scams. Are they wandering scouts, seeking out models for memetic clips to be produced by Wendell Whirtleman's Holistic Advertising Agency? Bored millionaire novelists, retired, traveling the country, anonymously inspiring potential nanowrimo participants?

stefanie said...

Jess--You love brain lint? But do you love Josh Ritter? If not, you should! :-)

3Cs--Actually, I have a feeling I'll be spending that $400 on my car. I'm not getting good vibes from the damn thing lately...

30before30--You're on watch for the cute UPS guy; I'm on watch for the parking enforcement guy. Yours sounds more fun.

TOG--Agh. My head kind of hurts just reading that.

R--Wow. So that makes four of us right here! Shouldn't be too hard to track the other ten down... (See your email re: the famous former almost-neighbor.) :-)

Tim--Memetic clips? Wendell Whirtleman? Sounds like YOU have a story in mind to tell here... (Are you doing NaNoWriMo? I was going to say I'm surprised you know about that, but then I remember you have writer-friends...) :-)

Melissa said...

I've been lax on my blog reading since August...catching up with yours :)

1. Fav line in this post: "Math is hard, yo." hehehhe....so awsome!!

2. You should definitely hire the windbreakered ponytailed driver with your excess cash...

L Sass said...

I balance my checkbook, too!!! I even write down how I spend my cash.

I know. My motto is, "Anything worth doing is worth doing obsessively."

stefanie said...

Melissa--One thing that's fun about blogging is using words in print that I never say out loud. Like "Yo." And "Whee." Unfortunately, as I typed that post in Word first and then moved it to Blogger, that sentence almost said "Math is hard, you." Damn AutoCorrect, trying to make me use real words...

L Sass--Wow; maybe there are more than ten of us after all! And that is an excellent motto, my friend.

Noelle said...

Oh man, balancing my checkbook is just another thing I need to do right now. That, and go back to work.

tim said...

heh...nope, no story here. I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, though it does sound interesting and was briefly considered.