good(ish) samaritan

Upon arriving home from my March Madness trip to SoCal (southern California for those of you who live outside of Ahnold’s jurisdiction), I found a puffy package in my mailbox. I ripped it open, hopeful that it was my long lost (okay, fine, only five days, but it seemed like forever) wallet. Except that it felt kind of skinny – and it was. No money inside. Not that I expected it. When I resigned myself to the fact that my wallet was not in any of the four thousand pockets of my purse/laptop bag/suitcase, I proclaimed, “I don’t care if they take all the money, I just want to get my license back so I don’t have to stand in line at the DMV.”

So why was I so bummed to find a cashless wallet? Perhaps because when I looked at the return address, there was none! It said “Sender Not Identified, General Delivery, San Francisco.” Question is: why didn’t the mysterious good(ish) samaritan not want to be identified?

1) Good(ish) Samaritan Daniel found the wallet without cash in it and didn’t want to be accused of taking his own reward (my mother’s theory).

b) Good(ish) Samaritan Daniel is wildly famous and didn’t want to draw attention to his celebrity status to avoid appearing in the latest issue of US Weekly as a hero.

iii) Good(ish) Samaritan Daniel took his reward in advance.

For those of you who guessed iii, 3, or c - you are right! Well, I don't KNOW that you are right, but I am 99.99999 (repeating) percent sure that this is the correct option. Even considering the statistical variance of .000001 percent, you are still right. A+++++ right. And here I am - missing my cash, but still in possession of my newly renewed license, all my cancelled credit cards, my blood donor card, my library card and the receipt from my grocery store allowing me to get a 10 cent discount per gallon on my next gasoline purchase. Good news is that Daniel will not be donating pints of blood under the auspices of yours truly, I will not have exorbitant library tabs run up in my name and my next gas purchase will likely be below four bucks a gallon (if I go today - if I wait until tomorrow it might be $5.39/gallon). Other good news is that I no longer have a lingering concern that I will have to do something amazing to pay back the good karma that I received for getting my wallet back – I am confident that Daniel voided the karma exchange by taking all the cash out of my wallet.

The moral of this story is (it is a simple one): don’t lose your wallet.


You have GOT to be kidding me

This hasn’t happened to me in… well, ever, as far as I can remember. I lost my wallet. Really, truly, back of a taxicab (as far as I can recollect) lost my wallet. I AM a chronic misplacer… If I had a parrot in college, it surely would have been squawking the phrase, “has anyone seen my ID card?” And I am always wandering around the house collecting items (keys, cell phone) before walking out the door. But I can’t EVER remember actually losing my wallet.

And based on my last post, you might be wondering if I am out of town… well, yes, yes I am. Today is my last day (supposedly) on my project in San Francisco, and I am flying out of Sacramento tonight for 2 fabulous days of March Madness (more on that in a later post - yes, as the writer's strike came to an end and finally we will have good TV again, you will have new blog posts to read from yours truly).

To retrace my steps (which I have done a hundred times): I had an early meeting this morning (6:30am to be exact) at the office. I got up early, thought I had enough time to get ready, pack, get out of the hotel and walk to the office (about a 15 minute walk). Of course I miscalculated, AND when I got outside I realized it is still dark at 6:20am. Damn you, daylight savings time, damn you (except at night when it is still light out, then you are fine, daylight savings time). So I got a cab.

I know I had my wallet out in the cab, because I got my money out to pay the driver. And then, when I went to get my wallet around 9:20am (I mistimed everything this morning and 2 meetings later, still hadn’t had breakfast), it was not there. I went through all my bags over and over… searched the floor, searched the offices I had been in… nothing. I started to panic… I called the hotel, went out and looked on the street in front of my office building (right… like a wallet would have just laid untouched on a city sidewalk for 3.5 hours), called the taxi company (which I think was the taxi I took, but I can’t say for sure)… seriously? Is this happening to me?

Then I called Scout and 1) asked him to get my shiny new passport from home so that I could board the plane tonight and 2) asked him if I should start canceling my cards. Which I had to make a list of, and I am not sure it is complete. Do you know what cards you have in your wallet?

Dialed the first 800 number and spent 3 minutes trying to get through the “please enter your account number” prompts. Finally got through after endlessly pretending I was calling from a rotary phone by ignoring the menu selections, explained to the girl that I was reporting a lost card and then... she asked me for my account number. I held back the rage and said again, “I LOST my card, so I don’t HAVE it to give the number to you.” 37 security questions later, card is cancelled. One down, three to go. Second verse, worse than the first… joint card w/ Scout yielded a crazy customer service rep who was practically yelling at me. I hung up on her, called Scout and told him he had to call in to those crazy peeps because I couldn’t deal with them. Subsequent craziness so on and so forth with the other cards…

At home for lunch, Scout noticed a message on our home phone. It was Daniel – he said he found my wallet. But he didn’t leave his phone number (and I think we are the only people in the world who don’t have caller ID on our home phone). Of course he didn't leave his number. Why would he? It's not like people with missing wallets need them. So I told Scout to leave a new message on our answering machine: “You have reached Scout and nro – if this is Daniel and you found nro’s wallet, please call her cell phone at 867-5309.” I guess it is good that he found it, but it would have been exponentially more helpful if he left a contact number. Is that asking too much? I guess I should be happy that someone was responsible and respectable enough to attempt contacting me at all. But I will reserve final judgement until I have my wallet in my possession.

Hopefully I will get my wallet back – any bets on whether my cash will be there or not?

rules of the rails

How do you reenter a party after a lengthy absence? Do you just slip into the room and hope that among the craziness, nobody noticed you were missing? I was going to just slip into the room, but after getting an email from a faithful reader asking if “nothing random was going on in my world” lately, I thought you might all wonder where I have been (and if not, you can either continue reading just to indulge my self-flattery or traipse off to the never ending fun of youtube).

[editor's note: As I was posting this, I just got another email wondering where I have been and if I am okay. Nice to know I am loved.]

Busy, busy, busy in my random world lately. Much that I would have loved to write about, but as those thoughts were floating around in my head, they never quite made it to (virtual) paper. I have been traveling to San Francisco these past few weeks. It is about a 2 hour drive in the middle of the night with nobody else on the road, 3 hours if you try to go during the working man shift. Since I can’t even stay up to watch the 10 o’clock news, I go during normal people awake hours. The train has been a savior – takes a little longer, but I don’t have to pay attention or deal with traffic. And I’m saving the environment! Maybe – not sure how fuel efficient the trains are, but the little paper slips they put my tickets in have shiny advertisements that lead me to believe I am backing Al Gore. Never mind all the paper wasted in printing those shiny ads…

After figuring out how to park my car, use that squirrelly parking self pay machine (well, after Officer Fong added 2 parking tickets to his quota for the month courtesy of yours truly), get my train tickets, know where and what time my stop is at, how to transfer, where the bathrooms are, where the snack car is, which seats are best, how to make sure that nobody sits next to me… what? You thought I just
hopped on the train and went? This blog isn’t called nothing random overlooked for no reason. I consider all things mundane and irrelevant to others – powered by the tiny hamster wheels spinning in my head. After all that, I am now able to do the trip on autopilot, and have collected my thoughts on the activities of my fellow environment saving passengers.

Following are the rules of the rails...

Please enjoy:

  • Sleeping (please try not to snore or drool)
  • Gazing out the window as we cruise through the vast farmland, rolling green hills (before they turn brown for the summer) or along the beautiful and no longer oil filled bay
  • Reading the paper – I have always thought that reading the paper is such a grown up activity, so if adulthood is measured by newspaper reading, I am probably about 5 years old. They look fun, but trying to open and flip and fold those humongous sheets of paper, having to locate the last 2 sentences to the article on the front page among the personals just seems like a lot of work. And I don’t like getting the ink on my hands. Okay, okay, AND I like just clicking around on the internet to read the news. Truly a member of the digital age here.
  • Talking quietly on your cell phone. I said QUIETLY. I don’t care what you are having for dinner, how long your mother in law is visiting for, what your stock portfolio did in today’s market.
  • Work on your laptop – although I will not be working, because I can only work in an office. Personal policy.
  • Surf the internet – don’t mind my lustful gaze at your aircard, for I am sure that I could accomplish much internet reading during my travels.

Please DO NOT:

  • Clip your nails – although I have no issues permanently damaging my hearing by blasting my (not)iPod, there is not a setting powerful enough to drown out the clipping sound of clipping nails. And I know you are not picking up all your fingernail remnants, buddy. Yeah, you. Leave the clippers at home – just pretend you are flying and they are not allowed on board.
  • Board the train without showering in the past 24 hours. When the doors shut, we are all sharing the same air. Your BO is just too much to handle. Plus, it might be undoing all the environment saving, as you are contaminating the air.
  • Talk LOUDLY on your phone (see item 5 above).
  • Sit next to me. Even if you have neutral body odor.

Um, they just announced a derailment yesterday in the area we are passing through right now. Perhaps I should read the news more often. Happy rails to you!