Monday, December 31, 2012

Cleaning the bathroom today. That's also a place where I store papers, and stashed on the back of the toilet was my renter's insurance renewal form from Liberty Mutual for the fall of 2009--all eight pages of it, including notices about flood coverage and insurance scoring--for which I paid $120. (Hey, at least I've lived in this place since 2009; it's much worse when I find clutter that predates 2007 and I realize that I actually went through the trouble of moving it from my old place to my new place.) Half of them are either in the recycling bin and half are being reused (the ones without print on the back).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The paperwork that one accumulates just trying to get through life is staggering. And the institutions and organizations that I have to deal with for monetary purposes are the most prolific on the paper front.

I was only briefly a customer at Washington Mutual in 2004, but I'm still finding paperwork from those days: an identity theft service enrollment agreement, some accidental death membership agreement and an employer automatic payroll deduction authorization form. I didn't sign any of these things, but I kept them around just in case.

And there are those pesky little receipts that I save for taxes. One from Duane Reade from January 10, 2004, for something Fuji. Maybe film...I think I still used film in those days; another from Barnes & Noble for a card and a journal (business expenses or birthday presents?); a Europa Cafe receipt for a salad and a Snapple from 5/28/08; a get-six-months-of-issues-for-just-$2 offer from Borders that expired on 1/31/10. When did Borders go out of business?

There's a Dunkin' Donuts receipt from the store on Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn from 9/22/09 @4:24; a bubble envelope from Duane Reade from 1/18/04; a couple of receipts from the Columbus Circle Whole Foods from 2/20/04 and 3/15/04, probably post-librettists workshop get-togethers; and a post-office receipt from 2/21 for six items (must have been a lot of RT books to send out that day).

I'm not sure what I did on 2/20/04, but I'm guessing it was something with Jim. I have a receipt from the Playwright Tavern on Eighth Avenue for a Brooklyn Lager (that would be me) and a Tetleys (I can't imagine anyone else I know besides Jim ordering that).

And in August of 2004, I actually invested in a copy of Theatrical Index for $14. That was right around the time I started writing for David at Time Out.

Do good gift givers remember what they give someone on any given occasion? I found a barely legible receipt from Barnes & Noble, paid for with my Barnes & Noble Mastercard (can't make out the year), for a book called Pennsylvania Off the Beaten Path. I must have given that to Connie and/or Ed as a gift, right? Either before or after they bought the house in Shohola. I don't remember doing it, but I can't imagine any other reason I'd have a receipt for it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I'm throwing away today:

a postcard advertising a 2006 fringe festival show, Every Nigger Is a Star, written and performed by Mario Burrell of Rent

a smaller pink RSVP postcard for a November 1991 IRTS event about Talk Shows ($45 per person)

an equally small RSVP postcard for a September 1992 IRTS event with FCC chairman Alfred C. Sikes ($50 per person)

a clipping from Assemblywoman Adele Cohen's newsletter. She's photographed with Hillary Clinton and some other official types who were joining forces to keep New York City's only active military base, the Fort Hamilton Army Base, open.

a 9/8/98 receipt from the Trader Joe's in Scarsdale for 14 items (I was able to buy more at a time when I lived in the suburbs and had a car)

an April 1992 mailing from IRTS Under-30's for a program called "Selling in the Cable Arena"; free and only $10 for nonmembers.

a green RSVP card for an IRTS luncheon, "Public Television: Dawn of a New Era or Twilight?," June 18, 1992, for $45, at 12:30, and a flier advertising the panel: Dr. William F. Baker, Les Brown and Dick Hubert.

a green one-page IRTS Under-30s invitation to the Museum of the Moving Image on Saturday Nov. 23rd (it only cost $5 at the time!) with plans to meet for dinner afterward. Wish I had gone!

a blue one-page notice from the IRTS Sports Division (yes, I was a member of that too) for "The Sports Radio Listener! Who Are They? Where Are They? How Do We Know?" on Thurs., Dec. 5, 1991. Tickets only $10 to $20.

a white one-page flyer advertising and IRTS Newsmaker Luncheon on Tues., Nov., 26, 1991, at the Waldorf-Astoria, featuring such notables of the day as Deborah Norville, Maury Povich, Montel Williams and Jenny Jones. Those were the days...

four stapled note pages of notes that I took while I watched "Side Effects"

a doubled-sided missive from Diana M. Gurieva, president of Planned Parenthood of New York City, from Oct. 18, 1989, about President Bush and federal Medicaid Funds for Abortion a receipt from Marseille dated 10/30/2010 at one in the afternoon. The bill, with tip, came to $65.05. I do hope Brian joined my mom and me for that brunch.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Twenty years after I graduated from college, I think it's time to re-purpose the cylinder mailer that my diploma came in, with an Oct. 5, 1993 postmark and sent me in Allentown, PA. I'm using it to send out a small Mad Men promotional poster that I picked up at Comic Con a couple of years ago.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kitchen Clutter

It's just getting too hard for me to locate important papers (like last year's unfiled tax documents!). So this week I am determined at least to get my financial affairs in order. I'm starting in an unusual place, the kitchen. How many important papers could actually accumulate amid pots and pans and cans and bags of food? You'd be surprised.

The kitchen is the first room one enters from my front door, and it's often the place where I open my mail and store the items that I think I should keep but don't want to deal with at the moment.

And so I never deal with them. That's why I came upon a card from Fresh Direct for a free delivery and $10 off an order (both expired last spring), and lots of Valpak coupons for local restaurants and car services, some of which expired more than a year ago. There's a coffee-stained offer from Dell for savings on an extended warranty, which expire 6/29/08; one from Bay Ridge Sushi that expired 11/15/08; and a 15 percent off coupon for drapes and linens from J.C. Penney.