Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
~ Albert Einstein
Breakfast: Special K
berries with toast
The Elegant Gathering
TODAY ON TV
West Wing marathon
WELCOME TO MY DESK
1 June 2004
My friend Joan suggested I join a writing exercise group, which gives you an idea to explore in writing each day. My first assignment is to spend 10 minutes discussing my desk, so here goes.
I am sitting at a rickety cheap unpainted wooden desk which is only large enough to hold my computer, the mousepad, the telephone and the transcription unit. Despite that, Ive managed to load it up with lots of extraneous stuff. The desk was originally given to me by Gilbert for Mothers Day one year. Im not sure why he wanted to give me a Mothers Day gift, but he did. He hated his own mother. Maybe I was a substitute mother figure.
Anyway, I brought the thing home and Walt assembled it. Gilbert was always sorry I didnt paint it. Later, I was too, but by then it was too late. I was too impatient to start using it. It has a shelf to the right on which I have a stack of 3 plastic shelves. The top one holds a photo of Paul and one of my favorite photos of David, taken with Tom. The shelf also holds one speaker to my comuter and a clock from Australia, set to Australia time.
The plastic shelves underneath hold an assortment of junk, incluing pay checks stubs, Weight Watchers records, a journal my godmother kept on her honeymoon (I dont even know what year that was, but the early part of the 20th century), some photos. I can see a teaspoon (souvenir type) from here. Also a stack of legal sized yellow pads.
My computer monitor sits on a shelf that Walt built for me so that the monitor rests at eye level and I can slip the tablet for my Waccom pen under it. The caller ID machine also rests, somewhat precariously, on that shelf, as does the transcription unit I use when Im interviewing people and, from time to time, unfinished tapes to be transcribed when Ive had to transcribe another one first.
Pasted to the monitor are various important phone numbers and a big "We all deserve the freedom to marry" sticker. Sitting on top of the monitor is a beany baby cardinal (bird) which I bought in Ohio when we went to watch the shows Jeri was doing in summer stock, and a jeweled gecko which Peggy sent me years ago, before I ever met her.
Attached to the sides of the monitor by little clips are some business cards--the new hobby shop I just discovered, Marta's massage business, the choreographer I interviewed at the university a month or so ago, Curves (gotta throw that one away), Olivia's business card, and one from Tom's friend Lance. There is also my Golden One telephone teller information, a horoscope card I bought in Australia, receipts for some refunds I sent in awhile ago (until I actually get the refund), and a photo of Peggy which just makes me smile when I look at it because I remember how we were laughing when she took it.
To the right of the computer keyboard, under the shelf, sits the dictation unit, in front of which is the princess style telephone, and a pile of assorted papers, as well as my "cant live without" back scratcher.
The mousepad is to my left, since Im left handed. Its a motheaten, quite dirty (much used) mousepad, with Mickey Mouse on it. Paul gave it to me for my birthday or something else one year, so I don't really want to replace it. He was always the last of the big time spenders.
Also to my left is another desk, placed at a 90 degree angle to the first desk. This was once a lovely Swedish modern desk, which Ive managed to cover with so much crap that you cant tell what it looks like any more. It came from Gilberts house, one of the things I "inherited" (by virtue of buying the contents of the house) after his death.
Since my own computer desk has no drawers, this desk is perfect because it puts a whole bank of drawers to my left (I leave the top drawer open and reste my left elbow on it, a habit I picked up when I needed the support after my accident). On top of the desk is the computer tower and also one of my two printers, this one the Epson Stylus Photo 925 printer, which I use 99% of the time for printing photos. Behind the tower is my scanner.
On top of the computer tower is a fan which keeps the air circulating when it gets hot, the box which connects me to the internet, and my Palm Pilot, always recharging.
There is a cardboard "magazine holder" where I keep the reference materials that I use most of all--a book of quotations, my invaluable rhyming dictionary, the printer manuals I still have to consult when I go to change the ink cartridge, and a marvelous book called "Words that Sell," which every person who writes publicity material--or reviews--should have. When you realize youve used "wonderful" or "strong" or "terrific" too many times, you can find other words that work just as well. Its kind of a specifically oriented type of thesaurus, but not nearly as exhaustive as Roget's.
Where do I go from there? Oh lord, so much stuff...so little time.
There is the never-ending stack of envelops rom the psychiatrist, awaiting attention. To show how much reverence I give them is the dishtowl, the toast plate and the coffee cup all balanced precariously on top of the stack.
Underneath it all--somewhere--is my Sierra Club calendar, which I really dont need to see often, since there is so little on it. Just need to check and make sure Im not missing some show Im supposed to review.
There is also a mixed stack of blank and recorded CDs, a stack of unread Prevention magazines, cards Ive received, cards I'm going to send some day, my checkbook, my camera, the digital card reader, and the remote control for the little TV that sits across the room to my left and keeps me company while Im working.
I have now typed for the requisite 10 minutes (a good thing I type fast!) and fortunately dont have to embarrass myself any further by describing all the junk that is the sum and substance of my life in this little room!
(and just think....this description of my desk comes AFTER my clean sweep! Just think of what it was like before! I do periodically straighten this up, but I spend so much time here and do so much multi-tasking, everything from eating to working and everything in between, that I've found it impossible to keep it neat for more than a day, if that!)