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  • The emigrant's destiny: The foreign country has not become home, but home has become foreign.

    --Alfred Polger (d. 1955), Der Emigrant und die Heimat

    Emigranten-Schicksal: Die Fremde ist nicht Heimat geworden. Aber die Heimat Fremde.

    Between 2007 and 2009, I lived in Los Angeles after living in Paris for many years. My Paris blog (before and after my Los Angeles sojourn) is Rue Rude.

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    « The movie star's assistant | Main | Diversity vs diversity »

    01 May 2008

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    Hi Sedulia,

    Here are some suggestions:

    If you visit Experian's website (they're one of the big credit-reporting agencies), they explain on the following page how your information gets to companies offering credit cards.

    http://www.experian.com/preapproved_credit/index.html

    If you click through on the links in the "Opting Out" section, you'll learn how not only to stop the credit card and insurance offers, but also to work through the Direct Marketing Association to reduce your "junk" mail.

    I've been pretty aggressive with this myself, permanently opting out of credit card/insurance offers (I get NONE now) and the other mail has decreased a bit. You'll still get catalogs and such from companies you've purchased from (and sometimes their partner companies), but you can really get a lot of stuff stopped from your mailbox by just following these couple of steps.

    I know, it's miserably frustrating to see all the waste... Unfortunately, from my understanding, it's proliferated so much because the US Postal Service offers bulk rates for huge mailers -- which helps their revenues and (probably) subsidizes the cost of the less-standardized, traditional, hand-addressed mail that is more error-prone and work-intensive for them.

    Good luck!

    (P.S. As an Angeleno who read you via the Paris Blog to recapture the magic of my long-ago study-abroad year in France, thanks for keeping up the blogging now that you're stateside. It's always very enjoyable to see your opinions and perspectives as the ex-pat in her own homeland. And nice to see the type of posts that, sadly, no longer seem to regularly populate the Paris Blog these days.)

    Thanks mikey, I've been feeling very boring lately

    You're not boring in the slightest. Mikey has summarized nicely my pleasure in reading a blog about an ex-pat who has come home. I enjoy your opinions, writing style, and selection of topics.

    One of my weird "hobbies" is to fax the order forms in those catalogs to the catalog company, with "Please delete from your lists" written in marker across the form. I pretty much only get the catalogs I want now.

    Mikey is right: if you Opt-Out, it will dramatically reduce the amount of junk mail you get. We have done it, and it works wonders. Two useful links:
    http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opt-out

    The same goes with getting rid of marketing calls: you can contact the Do Not Call Registry, www.donotcall.gov.

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    Today's quotation

    • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

        –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

      À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

    Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

    • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.