11 July 2006

Messy Desk Contest

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting with quite the frequency that I was, oh, say, a month ago.

One reason – the main one – is that I’ve been so busy at work that by the time I get home in the evening, I can’t muster up enough energy for a decent post. Lord knows I want to, but when I put fingers to keyboard, nothing much appears. I’m just too wiped out.

Another reason is that my Outrage Meter is stuck way over in the red. If I were a radiator, I’d have exploded by now. This is not a good condition for writing reasoned and considered commentary on much of anything, let alone the current state of the world and the interesting times we find ourselves living in.

So, I’ve been sitting on the side of the road, steam billowing from under the hood as I watch other excellent bloggers whiz by at full speed. I know they’re all doing a fine job of keeping up on things outrageous while I cool my jets for a while.

However, because I'm a writer, I'm compelled to write. Something. Anything. I have to or my brain will will burst.

So, as I sat here contemplating the blank page, I thought, how about I invite my Wren-friends to compete in a Messy Desk Contest? I’m almost sure I’ll win, but it’s only fair to give everyone else a chance. The prize is my ripply copy of the Hammond World Atlas, Superior Edition, MCMLXXXI.

Here’s what on my desk, right now (along with a thick layer of dust):

1.) An empty Stella Artois Premium Lager Beer bottle. This is, the label tells me, Belgium’s Original Beer since 1366. The fledgling wandered in with the bottle
about a week ago. It was half-full then – she’d opened it, started it and couldn’t finish it. So I did the duty. It was good. A bit thick and yeasty for my taste but I’m no expert. Mostly, beer makes me sleepy. I prefer Corona or Harp.

2.) A kitchen timer shaped like a tomato.

3.) A magnifying glass. Since I passed 45, it seems to come in handy now and then. Dammit.

4.) A “Windjammer in Bremerhaven, 16-19 August 1990” coffee mug, picked up as a souvenir during that event in that year in that city in Germany. It’s jammed with pens (some of which actually work), mechanical pencils, a pair of scissors and a fat nail file for those dratted chipped-nail moments. There’s a laughing pig made of some sort of ceramic, a gift from a favorite aunt, hanging by his arm off the side of the mug, too. Looking at them both makes me nostalgic while I grin.

5.) Two luxurious live beta fish in two separate bowls. We play.

6.) A terrarium with a 10-inch, live rubber boa inside. The fledgling, who loves
snakes, caught the little fella last year and feeds it tiny baby mice occasionally while I hide my eyes.

7.) A black Russian lacquerware box shaped like an apple.

8.) A small bottle of organic lavender hydrosol, given to me by a friend who swears it will cool me down during hot flashes. I’ve tried it, but it just turns to
steam. Imagine spritzing a red-hot, glowing iron ingot with a gentle mist to
cool it down. Still, the stuff smells nice.

9.) A bookshelf with a bunch of music CDs; the “Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Western Region”; “HTML4 for Dummies; the Pocket Oxford Irish/English Dictionary”; “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis
Stevenson; “Soul of a Citizen” by Paul Rogat Loeb; Strunk and White’s “The
Elements of Style”; and “The Oxford Book of the Sea”.

10.) Two earrings; a dead wristwatch; a stack of magazines I keep meaning to read, and a paper maché Easter egg from Germany. Oh, and “Edith Hamilton’s Mythology”, 1999 Warner Books paperback edition, spine-cracked and very dog-eared.

Your turn.

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