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Is it sick if you know you’re doing it?

stoaty's desktop funhouse

Meet my desk toys! They sit on my monitor stand, inches from my busy fingers, waiting to entertain me.

The toothpicks and the picture tacks work in similar ways: I can shove them under the edge of the monitor only so far, and then they stick. Then they can be shuffled and arranged in various ways. Sometimes, neatly in rows. Sometimes fanned out from an imaginary centerpoint. Sometimes — as pictured — quite randomly. I’m flexible like that. Not like some people and their tight-ass OCD; mine is a loose, free-wheelin’ sort of obsessing compulsion.

The foam ring came out of a package of CD’s. It fits over the knuckle of my little fingers — either one of them — but not the next biggest finger. Amazing! Naturally, I have to test this astonishing property frequently to make sure it still applies.

The push pin is for raking across my data CD’s to ruin them before I throw them away. No stealing my data, you wicked imaginary dumpster data bandits! The paperclip is for sticking in the little hole in the CD burner and rescuing CD’s that have become trapped. One of my CD burners is occasionally naughty like that. When not thus employed, it is bent just so and stuck under the edge of the monitor, much like the toothpicks and the picture tacks.

Stickstickstick; sticky stickity stickstick. Things that stick and unstick are so gratifying!

The twist ties…don’t do anything. But I save them all in that spot. Because, hey! You never know when you might need a twist tie. In that spot.

The piece of artwork turned up recently. It’s a 35mm slide (remember them?) of a fish on a platter with big red lips and white teeth. It’s the second drawing I ever did on a computer, some time long about 1985. The first drawing I ever did was an elegant, understated graphical treatment of a fountain pen. I remember it distinctly. Does that turn up? No. All I got is this stupid toothy fish. Some legacy!

Look, I watch progress bars for a living. A bunch of my day is spent waiting for programs to compile or CD’s to burn or images to render; awkward, fiddly little chunks of time that aren’t quite enough to do some other productive thing but a tad too long to do nothing at all. Perfect for arranging toothpicks and slipping foam rings over your finger bones.

It’s a caged animal thing. Back and forth, back and forth.

But, you know, I can’t actually see myself moving these objects and setting them up in the new office. That seems a bit eccentric, even for me. I’ve put out hand several times with the intention of throwing them away. I haven’t quite made it yet.

Can you see why moving is a bit of a chore?

October 10, 2007 — 12:41 pm
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