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BALANCING ACT

4 January 2002

stack1.jpg (15592 bytes)My life is piles. Stacks. Towers.

Despite my best intentions, I can't seem to escape the fact that I'm a stacker (used to be a slacker, but now I'm just a stacker).

I obviously know nothing about engineering. I put wide things on top of narrow things. Slippery things under large things that will slip off. I have no place to put all the new CDs I've been making, so they get piled on top and under other things and the most exercise I get in a day is picking up CDs off the floor, where they've dropped. Best is when I stack a box of floppy disks on top of an already-teetering pile and then frantically try to grab the box as it tips over, spilling all the disks onto the floor.

I often think that you could make a whole sit-com if you just set up a camera here in my office and watched me try to balance all of my piles throughout the day.

I also create ingenious barricades.

As I look to my left right now, I see that a Christmas card and the (as yet unopened) disk to my XP upgrade are sitting at a rakish angle on top of the remote for the VCR and all are held in place by the desk calendar, which is sitting open inside the drawer, resting up against the top of the desk. God help me if I have to add a date on the calendar because the whole thing will topple like a house of cards. (Oh yeah--the coffee mug is also helping to hold it all in place. If I decide to take a sip, I'm still in trouble).

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I just don't know why I can't take the extra few minutes to put things in better position. I suppose the main problem is that there is no place to put things. Every shelf is full, every drawer is full, there's no place to put another rack for CDs. I don't know that I'd actually USE an efficient office efficiently, but this office is by no stretch of the imagination "efficient."

This observation is prompted by a report on The Today Show by some guys who were helping folks organize their closets and office pace. Well, I look around me and the task just seems overwhelming. The best I can accomplish is "better" and better is only temporary. Without a rack on which to put CDs, they are going to continue to stack up on top of the scanner and fall on the floor at regular intervals.

Without a place to put another floppy disk holder, I"m going to continue to stack disks on top of full boxes and spend my time doing a slapstick maneuver trying to catch them before they fall off the desk.

I need someone to come in here and be ruthless. Make me throw away all this stuff that I haven't looked at in years. Decades.

Even that probably wouldn't work. I have, as I've mentioned in this journal more than once, taken a day to take everything out of the office and then put it all back, organized.

It doesn't take long for it to revert to type.

stack3.jpg (16359 bytes)This particular stack shows a stack of CDs sitting on a CD in a jewel case, topped by a book that was delivered yesterday, topped by the dish that my toast was on for breakfast this morning. The stack is tipped at a rakish angle because the CD stack is not resting flatly on the CD jewel case.

If I don't take the plate out to the kitchen, I will be one dish short very soon.

My dream is an office with shelf space. Lots of shelf space. And starting over with all of this crap magically disappearing so I don't have to actually throw it away myself. But knowing me, without a keeper, I'd somehow manage to get it all back to looking like this again eventually anyway.

Al's question in the Journal egroup this morning was "what's the most embarrassing thing you've ever admitted in your journal." I think this is probably it. Letting you see glimpses of the chaos that is my life.

Well, to look on the bright side--if I didn't have things to pick up off the floor constantly, I probably wouldn't get any exercise at all!


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