Monday, June 7, 2010

Cha Ching

'End of the fiscal year' is a flat phrase that gives no indication of the sweating and sifting that we are doing down here on my end of the accounting totem pole. The worky stuff is in full flower this week and I am excusing myself from posting anything pretty or confessional or intriguing for a while. There, that ought to get me writing again.

I will take a moment to recommend King of Heists. Nod is on a true crime kick and handed it to me when he was done. It's a quick read biography of the man who was the architect (and not coincidentally that was his first career) for the largest bank robberies in New York City and elsewhere in the 1870s. A mostly well written book about a truly fascinating time in American history. It reminded me of Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale with the discussion of the underworld and the teeming filthy conditions of the tenements of NY at that time. Contrasted with the whopping wealth of the thin upper crust. All maintained by the openly corrupt city government (thank you, Boss). It's a bit of a stretch but this time period is also close to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1881) which I have been contemplating courtesy of the cheesy goodness of the film Tombstone. Well, really just Val Kilmer's wonderful performance and his truly unique phrasing of Doc Holliday's lines. It was all happening at once, the end of the civil war, western land grab, gold rush, all that jazz. Lots of stepping on others to grab yours. I had never understood the sarcasm of Mark Twain's phrase "The Gilded Age". I just thought 'gilded' meant 'fancy' but of course he meant that the flash and pretty were only skin deep.

Nod's taking his bus driver license exam tomorrow morning. Wish him luck! He may be piloting a city bus this summer. It's his interim part-time employment idea while working out what course of education he will pursue: Master of Social Work or appliance repair. Quite a contrast, no? I am uncertain how to feel about these choices.

5 comments:

The Subtle Rudder said...

Oh, end of the fiscal year. It sucks in non-profits, it sucks in high-tech, it sucks in basically every business I've been a part of and I'm not even involved with the numbers side of things (in fact, would not be ALLOWED to be part of the money side of anything). So yeah, good luck this week. The best part is that it will end.

I love the term "the gilded age," because I think we just came through another one. Although gilding is so archaic; what's its modern equivalent? Would it be "the blinged-out age" or "the granite-counters-and-cherry-cabinets age"? Or maybe it's something closer to the original: The glitzed-out age.

I have nothing to add to your confusion about nod's choices. I am struggling with my own right now, and although I can't always find the good in being single, I remember how hard it can be when your honey's vacillating between two not-great options.

Bee said...

We had a minor crisis today, involving getting our U.S. tax returns signed and faxed back to Houston in time. There is a reason that death and taxes are always united in sentences, and it's not just the inevitability of them.

My mother has a friend who is a high school principal and she got her husband a job as a school bus driver. Sometimes any job is a good job. I hope Nod passes! It will give him some time to ponder this fork in the career road. (I'm doing the same at the moment.)

Lucy said...

Could he not do both? I rather like the idea of a social worker who'll then turn to and fix the household appliances...

Don't let the tax returns grind you down.

Nimble said...

Thanks for the comments, all! Lucy I love that combo career idea -- he could even counsel his bus riders, don't you think? Some of them could probably use it.

Bee, I hope your tax filing flurry is over and done with. Do you work with a CPA who specializes in US/UK stuff? Or are you extra amazing and do your own stuff?

TSR, yes gilding is pretty quaint which is why I never questioned the phrase. The author of the bank heists book also compared our recent financial environment to that period of history.

Bee said...

Are you kidding? We have a tax attorney. We had an unexpected (and very pleasant) surprise on the tax front. Apparently, the big loss we took on the Houston house this past fiscal year can retroactively be deducted from a previous year (when we paid BIG taxes). !!