Spring Cleaning: My Cell Contacts

A writer purges the lost, obsolete and forgotten members of her cell phone directory.

My cell phone contacts list is a cringe-inducing time portal.

I never delete anyone, mostly out of some deranged fear that someone whose number I have will become the next Lady Gaga and I’ll definitely want to call them.

In the spirit of spring cleaning, I decided to look through all my numbers for the very first time. It took 36 minutes and 11 seconds.

Here’s a complete list of everyone I chose to purge:

  • Andie??
  • A woman who works at my alma mater and who calls me about alumni stuff.
  • Ex-boyfriend from summer before college who sucks.
  • A girl I was friends with in middle school.
  • A girl I was never really friends with in high school.
  • A girl from my college comedy troupe who fell off the face of the Earth.
  • An amazing pizza place by my old apartment in Boston that I was actually sad to delete from my phone.
  • A guy I hung out with for one day two summers ago who was visiting my friend in the city and she got busy and passed him off to me.
  • A guy I met on OKCupid who looked like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer, but acted like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 10 Things I Hate About You.
  • An old co-worker.
  • An old boss.
  • An old employee who was flakey.
  • A really cool kid who I hung out with in college and everyone thought was uncomfortable with being gay.
  • A Boston comic.
  • A New York comic.
  • I think this person is a comic but I can’t remember.
  • A comic I deleted from Facebook because he’s a misogynist (yet somehow I still had his number).
  • A female NYU student I hooked up with at a queer 1950s party and then never called.
  • A friend from Israel Birthright.
  • My friend’s boyfriend.
  • A female friend of my ex-boyfriend.
  • An old co-worker who randomly decided to hate me, for which I never got an explanation.
  • Brooke??
  • “Pierre French Dude from Franklin Park bar”
  • A girl I had class with once.
  • A girl who trained me at my old job.
  • A girl who dated my ex.
  • This rich girl I knew in college.
  • A rich douchebag I knew in high school who got fat.
  • Some graphic designer.
  • Camp friend who Internet-stalks me.
  • Really good friend from childhood and high school who I wish I was still in touch with, but probably wouldn’t even know how to talk to now. Kind of pains me to delete this one.
  • A high school friend who hooked up with both my friend and my sister.
  • A guy I hooked up with at a hotel party.
  • A girl I met on OKCupid.
  • Jillian??
  • My old editor.
  • An old professor who I’d probably just contact on Facebook if I wanted to talk.
  • My old boss who had a lot of health problems. Hope he’s okay.
  • High school friend who joined the Israeli army.
  • A random email address.
  • A guy I took an improv class with.
  • Childhood friend who I lost touch with and who got married. Tried to get back in touch, but I honestly think it would be too hard to see him.
  • A photographer I worked with.
  • A source for a story who lives in LA.
  • A source for a story who lives in NYC.
  • A source for a story who hates me now, and I deserve it.
  • Alex M??
  • Nicole??
  • Meghan??
  • Guy from college I thought was cute, but who never noticed me.
  • Friend from freshman year who transferred.
  • Friend from improv class.
  • Comedy friend who came out as a lesbian and then disappeared.
  • Editor of a lesbian blog I was going to write for.
  • Semi-famous musician, friend of ex-boyfriend.
  • Older guy I was hooking up with three years ago, with whom I should not have been hooking up.
  • My old wireless password from two apartments ago.
  • The cab driver who took me home from my job every day three years ago, who was awesome. (I might keep this one.)
  • Three cab companies in Boston.
  • Two taxi companies in NY.
  • LAX Transportation.
  • A realtor.
  • A college drug dealer.
  • Duane Reade.
  • A friend from a high school abroad program.
  • A friend from summer camp who lost his mind, dropped out of the Ivy League and moved to the South to make music.
  • A rapper I was going to interview.
  • Sean??
  • The Sun-Sentinel News Room
  • Shauna??
  • An electronic DJ.
  • Simeon??
  • Very sweet, young Indian guy who sublet my apartment.
  • Guy I lost my virginity to.
  • First girl crush, who is engaged to a dude now.
  • A tattoo parlor in Brooklyn.
  • A dermatologist.
  • Torey??
  • A Canadian guy I went to college with.
  • A gay guy I went to college with.
  • Vinny??
  • My childhood best friend’s home.
  • My childhood best friend’s dad.
  • Whitney??
  • An old roommate who had OCD.
  • An old co-worker at an internship.
  • My grandfather, who passed away a year ago.
  • \n

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Andrew St. Clair

We're giving away $500 to put this challenge into action! Participate in the 'Clean Up Your Act' challenge on GOOD Maker here.


Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.