Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Receipts are Like a Time Machine

What, you say? What do receipts have in common with traveling through the 4th dimension? They remind you of times past. Having done some work on my downstairs office (got a new desk!) and finished the arrangement of my various computers, I'm tapping in the business receipts for this last year while keeping an eye on the stock market. I'm usually a lot better at keeping the receipts up to date, but not this go around. That being said, I'm determined that I'll have the business finances ready for the husband to input into the taxes BEFORE the end of the year. Yeah, I'm dreamin' but at least I'll not be doing them on April 12th or so.

But back to the premise: receipts are like a time machine. I pick up one from the Palamino in Calgary. No, this isn't a strip club, but an awesome restaurant that had some of the most incredible ribs I've ever eaten. Jean Marie Ward and I savored their offerings the night I arrived. Just reading the receipt brings back that moment. Ditto with my three trips to Denver's Corner Bakery for their Berry Almond Swiss Oatmeal. I remember sitting in the back of the restaurant, enjoying my breakfast (any breakfast that costs $6.79 is a blessing) and trying to hack into their website using my iPhone. Finally figured it out. All the while folks from World Fantasy came and went as I enjoyed my moments of solitude.

Receipts from The Rialto Cafe resurrect my conversations with Tony Ruggiero & his lady, Mary. Great couple to hang with. Smart, witty and fun. The receipt helps me remember those times.

Then there's the bill from The Mosser in San Francisco. After my roomie departed, I moved across the street from the Marriott ($225/noc) to The Mosser ($109). It's a boutique hotel built after the great earthquake. Very nifty and clean place. I knew there wasn't a toilet in the room, which was fine by me. I did have a sink and a bed and that's about it. Whenever I travel to Europe I always ask if there is a desk in the room so I can do my writing thing. I failed to do so with this hotel. No desk. A tiny nightstand. The room, tops, was about 10 x 12. I was in the middle of heavy duty, gotta get this stuff done sort of editing and no desk. I talked to the nice people downstairs -- no desks in any of the rooms and they didn't have a library. I was free, however, to use the lobby if I wanted. I passed on that.

I improvised (see above). Necessity is a mother so I pulled out the ironing board, set it up and did my thing.To the left is the door. The seat in front of the ironing board is a stool with a pillow on it. It is butted up against the edge of the bed. Yeah, this room was small. But it worked. On Day #2 I decamped to nearby sandwich shop that had wi-fi and great food. Spent most of the day there eating, editing and using their facilities as needed. Authors write no matter the situation. It's just what he have to do.

So you as seen, receipts help me reconstruct those moments from earlier this year and savor them once again. Who says doing the finances is boring? For me, it's a vacation.

No comments: