The place where I live

here was a meme floating around recently about taking photos of where you weblog. Where I weblog is where I write and where I live, other than when running around on errands, traveling, or hiking.

My office is in my bedroom, and on the second floor of a townhouse in a nice multi-dwelling complex in St. Louis. My desk is really a long table, and it contains my printer, answering machine, phone, Windows laptop, several computer disks, slide light box, slide scanner, Ben Franklin table lamp, binoculars (for looking at the birds), and various mugs holding pens and other things. Behind the desk is a double window, the left side’s blinds always closed, the right always open so that I can look out at the people walking about or playing, or watch the birds in the tree across the way. Our street is a good street for window watching–with kids playing, young men tossing a football to each other, and neighbors saying, “Hi”, as they walk their dogs.

I can see all the seasons from my window, and all aspects of the day: sunrise, sunset, bright midday light, and dark night. Just in case I forget.

The surface of my desk is covered with odds and ends, though I have the best intentions of keeping it uncluttered. Everything is usually dusty, too, because I like to live the window open a crack, unless it’s too hot or cold. The table is too low so I’ve raised my laptop by using two Photoshop manuals placed side by side with a small checkbox size gap between. On top of them are the double volume set of Tale of the Genji, which I’m using primarily because they’re the perfect height, and they match. On top of those is a B & H catalog, and then my laptop. The arrangement works well, and even preserves a gap for my checkbook and passport.

The left side of my desk is a large bookshelf, that’s filled with all the books I have, cartons of the books I’ve written on top waiting to be given out. There’s a brass floor lamp between–I have a lot of lamps in my room. Behind me there are two tables pushed into the corner holding my TV and stereo system, wireless router, cable box, more lamps, film waiting to be developed, and all the books from the library. I’ll watch a movie at night sometimes while I work at my computer.

Along the walls are some photos and three framed posters: one of Albert Einstein, and two of Pre-Raphaelite paintings–The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse and Ophelia by Millais–I hand carried in a tube when I returned from my only trip to London.

On the other side of the desk is a large Rubbermaid cooler, which I use for my papers; on top are two beautiful hand-made baskets my sister-in-law made me, back when I still had a brother, and my brother still had a sister. I use these baskets to hold bills to be paid, slides I’m working on, travel maps, and anything else that’s too loose for my tabletop.

Next to my chair is the end of my bed, and there I set up my TiBook, and any photos or books I’m working on. I try to make the bed in the morning, before I start setting things up for the day, but sometimes when I wake, I want to write now, and the most I’ll do is pull the cover back. It sounds unworkable, but it’s not. Not really.

My cat has a corner of my desk by the window for sleeping, but it’s filled now with blank CDs I’m burning, as I offload photos from both computers. The CDs are multi-colored, bright blue and green, red, orange, and purple, adding a bit of color to the rather muted surroudings. The floor underneath my feet is filled with so many cords, I have to move carefully, or I’ll get tangled up in them and fall.

I try to keep things straight, but the place where I live is a mess.

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