Tag Archives: money

30 before 30: The Did-Do List

Last May (so over a year ago), I started a blog post about the “30 before 30” that I wanted to accomplish. I only wrote down about seven things though, because it was looking a lot like every other list I make. It was basically a combination of my short term to-do list, my long term to-do list, my New Year’s Resolutions (which frequently repeat themselves), and wishful thinking.

With 30 literally around the corner (“literally” if you think of a weekend as a corner), it’s a little too late to accomplish the seven things I put on that list. I suppose I can try. But is that just setting myself up for five days of disappointment as I fail to get things started and finished and written and lost?

My Facebook moms group has a tradition: a did-do list, rather than a to-do list. Most people have a to-do list that they are constantly working on. I have one in my phone that I just keep running. (Side note: it inexplicably syncs to my gmail twice a day, so if I search my email I have pages and pages of that changing to-do list. Kind of annoying.) (I guess I could put “unsync to-do list from gmail” onto my 30 before 30 list.) (But that seems like it misses the point of a 30 before 30 list.)

Hence, the did-do list. What did you do today? Today, I did three loads of laundry! Today, I took my kid to the zoo! Or even: today, I took a shower! Or on the least productive of days: Today, no one got hurt!

It sounds cheesy, but it’s actually a really awesome and positive reinforcement – focusing on what you DID instead of what you DIDN’T do. How often do you get to do that?

So I propose that, every day for the next week, I will share with you something I DID do before I turn 30.

Today’s Did Do:

At work today, I created a spreadsheet detailing the expenses vs income for the fundraising luncheon two days ago, which I’ve spent the last three months working on. After double checking that I wasn’t forgetting any expenses, I discovered that we raised over $11,000 MORE than the estimated gross income.

They didn’t expect this event to be a money-maker. The estimated gross income was absurdly low. But an $11,000 surplus is an $11,000 surplus, and who am I to be picky about why it’s there? That’s tangible evidence that I am a great employee. I’ll take it.

Make spreadsheet of expenses/income


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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Nonfiction, Work

Lost and Found

Inspired by a conversation at work today, I thought I would tell you 3 stories of things lost and found.


1. A Great Time at Great America

I was at Great America with some friends – I think this was in high school or maybe right afterwards. We were walking through the park when we saw a cell phone behind a chain link fence, under a roller coaster. We somehow fished it out, and I really wanted to be a hero, so I called “Mom” in the phone and explained the situation. The mom asked me to take the phone to the information booth at the front of the park, and she would call her son’s friend and tell him where to pick it up.

That wasn’t really enough to call myself a hero, so I didn’t take it to the info booth right away. And before we’d gotten around to it, the phone was ringing and I answered it. It was the kid calling from his friend’s phone, and he was happy that I’d found it, and we all agreed to meet up at the Drop Zone. We gave him the phone back and everyone was happy. What a great day! (In retrospect, yeah, the safe and appropriate thing to do would have been to take the phone to the information booth. But whatever, it all worked out.)

2. Milka: Does a Body Good

While in college at Davis, I was walking across campus when I spotted a wallet on the ground. It had very little info inside, but there was a student ID. When I got back to my room, I used the ID to look up the student’s Davis email address, and I sent her a message. She called me, very happy, and asked if I could possibly drop off her wallet the next day. It was a Friday, and I had no classes, but I said yes. Then she asked if I could drop it off before 10am, because she was leaving for a weekend in Tahoe with her friends. Ten sounded very early (I’m rolling my eyes at myself right now) but I said yes again, and she told me where her office was located.

She was a grad student in the German and Russian department, and I found her pretty easily. She was ecstatic, and offered me twenty bucks. I turned it down. Then she said, “Well, how about some chocolate? I bring this back from Germany, you can’t get it here,” and she gave me a Milka bar. It was plum and cinnamon, except it wasn’t even in English. It was delicious, and Drew and I have looked all over, and never found that flavor again. We still talk about “the best Milka bar.”

3. The Ungrateful Salad Eater

In New York, I worked as a cashier at a little lunch place that served primarily salads and sandwiches. One day, one of the guys who worked there found a purse that someone had left upstairs. I looked through the bag and found a paystub, and called the company and asked for the woman whose name was on it. When I told her that I had her purse, she responded very calmly. “Oh, okay.” Then I told her just to come pick it up whenever.

I noticed, when looking for her ID, that there were bunches of bills stuffed all over the place – it was super messy but there seemed to be a lot of money just haphazardly shoved in there. But I didn’t take any of it. Because morals. And then finally – FINALLY – this woman showed up, looking really bored, and just took the purse and kind of wandered away. No thank you. No gratitude. No relief. No offer of “reward.” And I sort of regretted not taking at least ten bucks for my trouble.


So there you have it.  Two stories have happy endings; the third is a lesson in doing the right thing even when no one cares what you do.

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Filed under Awesome, Drew, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

Change is inevitable

Among my habits that annoy Drew, “saving” is probably pretty high up there. I “save” all kind of things. I save up recycling rather than throwing it away, even though we don’t have a recycling dumpster at our new place. (C’mon… seriously? This is California!) I often have a box going for stuff (clothes, books, anything really) that I mean to take to Salvation Army or Goodwill…eventually.

And I have this irrational fondness for collecting coins for months in an old Nesquik container. Then one night, I dump them out on the carpet and watch TV and roll them into actual, exchangeable piles of money.

We had some rolled coins still sitting around from a few months ago, and then a bunch of new loose coins. So the other night, I flopped down on the carpet to roll the rest of them, and Drew sat down with me. I don’t know if he enjoys it at all, or if he just recognizes the value in turning this sort-of-forgotten money into bank-account money.

We ended up with $65 altogether – $10 in quarters, $10 in nickels, $10 in pennies (this is weird, right?), and $35 in dimes. That’s right. Those skinny little dimes, that I don’t always bother to pick up when they fall on the ground, added up to $35.

I took this Safeway bag full of money into the bank this morning, where shifty-eyed tellers immediately assessed my intentions and each tried to pass me off to the next person. The first guy said, “Tell you what we’re going to do, my coworker over there is going to help you because I have to…go do something.” (Seriously.) Then the girl he passed me off to said that her drawer wasn’t big enough for all of it, so I’d have to go over there. The third guy had been sneaking a look at a text message and so he didn’t have any excuse ready to go, and he wound up dealing with me.

But here’s what I want to know: is it so weird that I do this? I mean, it’s money. What am I supposed to do, go to a Coinstar and let them take almost 10% of it? That’s $6 saved right there.

And this is a bank. This is a branch of one of the biggest banks in America, and I’ve been a customer there for 10 years. So what if once a year I come in and make someone count rolls of change? It’s just counting. You learn that ish in elementary school.

To add insult to injury, the guy finished up our conversation by telling me how my name should be pronounced, which I’ve decided is one of the most annoying things that people persistently do. I don’t tell you that your name is spelled wrong, Kriss. So how about you give me my receipt for my $65, and let me get out of here.


Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Dollars, Memoir, My name