I've had it since junior year I think, when my ex was working at an office supply store. He had this knack for marking down software and buying it for himself, or downloading it, using the shrink wrap machine at work and returning it for a refund. He also had a habit of stealing things outright. We had more Staedler compasses and Exacto knives than we should have known to do with (they both make great bong cleaners in a pinch). And so one night he came home with this black leather orgnaizer, complete with all the accessories that you would normally buy separately. Now I had all these clear plastic pockets to house all three of the credit cards I'd managed to qualify for, a calendar and an address book. I was giddy, and it was sweet to know that I preferred black.

I actually kept true to that calendar only for birthday reminders and during the time I was student teaching for my certification. Aside from that, it was basically a big wallet I took with me everywhere I went, and in college, everywhere you go requires a backpack anyway. There's always that Catch-22 with being even slightly organized in this fashion; once you've put all important things in one spot, the more you will lose all at once if you misplace that spot. My ex was horribly forgetful and messy, but he eventually found most anything he needed, while I relied on this little book.

The snap that holds it closed used to be covered with black leather too, but has now worn through to the brass. The calendar is long gone, so it's much thinner from the side. The address book, while having tabs for sections of the alphabet, holds only one filled page of the numbers that have been worth keeping. Now in credit debt and making payments on time each month to Consumer Credit Counseling instead of late charges to Discover, Visa, and MasterCard (I will be working on a node titled 17 year old freshmen should not be given a Visa, even if the Skittles are free), the cards in my organizer are the ones you get that you seldom need but should have handy: HMO, Sam's Club, library card, phone card, etc. Now you'll usually see my monthly bills sticking out of its edges, reminding me that I am now someone who actually pays her bills, and on time, and the whole thing instead of half.

It still retains some character for me, however. On the inside covers, I have two homemade stickers. One is of the Devil with an ear of corn sticking out of his red trousers that my old Satanic vegetarian roommate from California gave me. The other is a stick figure face of a girl that reads GIRL SCOUT GONE BAD: KILL HIGH FASHION that some street punk gave me in Grand Rapids during one of my visits there to see the boy. On the outside, I have two, more durable, stickers of Andre the Giant has a Posse. I did have this one MXPX sticker I picked up at Cornerstone earlier this month but it seems to not be worth its glue; it couldn't hold on to this organizer nearly as good as I have.

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