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Some say moving is one of the most stressful periods in a person's life. Probably not when you're just moving a block or two, which is what I did last month -- though in New York City, everything is intensified by a factor of five. It took only two weeks to get my first piece of direct mail at my new address: an offer for Internet access from EarthLink.com.

That's pretty amazing, considering the short time my change of address was registered with the U.S. Postal Service. Maybe postal workers are getting faster in delivering Standard-A mail, especially from EarthLink's Pasadena, CA, office across the country. Was it by chance that the company NCOA'd an old list with my name on it at just the right moment, or is there some new, new movers list out there that can get mail delivered that quickly? Alas, I didn't take EarthLink up on its offer, and company officials haven't returned my calls.

The second mailing to my new address was a generic credit card solicitation from Citibank a few days later, but that's understandable because I have an account with Citibank. I have yet to receive any catalogs or mailings besides bills (amazing how those catch up with you) from companies I have done business with recently. This week, I received a new homeowner's guide from This Old House magazine, offering assorted tips on refinishing floors, fixing up a kitchen, and adding a brick pathway to one's garden (obviously, they don't know about Manhattan's housing situation). Included were bind-ins from Ourhouse.com, Ace Hardware, Conseco Bank and others, but only one offered a coupon for discounts on its products.

Another mailing I received this week surprised me, since we had just featured the company on the cover of DM News two weeks ago: Visualize catalog, which must have purchased my name from a new movers list in hopes that artwork is one of the first things needed in a new home. Actually, I needed nails to hang my old pictures. So far, in the five weeks after my move, I've only received these four mailings, but you can bet the trickle is about to become a flood.

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