Back at the desk

Suzi’s upstairs, reading.

Having just gotten her 10 p.m. feeding — I also have a notice to take nighttime medication set for that time, so when she hears it go off, she knows it’s time to eat — Sasha is sitting in her chair in the living room a few feet away.

As the wind gusts outside the window, I open my iPad and sit at my desk to type.

I haven’t had a reason to use the desk for six months, so I’ve mostly been throwing papers on it. However, I needed to pull some documents off the pile for a meeting, so I figured I’d at least put it in something resembling a neat pile.

British GQ

At the very bottom of the pile is the British GQ with Phoebe Waller-Bridge on the cover. I would have read the interview online, but it required a subscription, and by the time I was in a bookstore again, the next month’s edition had come out.

I found it pretty much by accident. We were at a bookstore in Portland, Maine, last summer, and while Suzi was waiting to pay for her books, I saw it while staring aimlessly at the magazine rack.

I’ve long since read the interview, so the magazine could have gone into recycling ages ago, but I’ve always been a bit of a pack rat. Marie Kondo would just shake her head at the sight of me.

I also spotted “Open Admissions” by Ned Bachus at the same bookstore. It was really good, unlike the book I’m currently reading, “The New Koreans: The Story of a Nation” by Michael Breen.

It’s not terrible, but it is taking forever to get rolling. Maybe it’ll get better once he’s done telling the entire history of Korea.

However, I’ll finish it, no matter what. I think the last book I started and didn’t finish was “Moby Dick,” or maybe “Watership Down.” Either way, it was a gift from my aunt 30 years or so ago, and despite her best efforts to get me to read a classic book, neither did anything for me, and I abandoned them.

Pictures on desk

Except for when I was using my laptop, the desk used to be empty, but now there’s a lot less room between all my paperwork, items from my old work desk and other odds and ends.

There are a couple sets of business cards, my copy of “The Fact Checker’s Bible,” boxes of paper clips (Did you know the French word for paper clip is “trombone”? I did not.), a couple of Amazon gift cards and a doodad that says “I work hard so my cat can have a better life.”

Suzi put that there. It’s a little past 10:30. She’s sleeping now.

And in the middle are the three pictures of Suzi and me. Other than my “Trust me … I’m a reporter” mug from the Newseum (RIP) and my Yankees mouse pad, they were the only personal items on my desk at work.

The picture on the left is self-explanatory. The one on the right is from portraits we had done as Christmas gifts for my grandparents right after we got engaged, which would mean they’re from 2001. We liked that picture so much, we used it as the photo in our engagement announcement.

I think the one in the middle is from my friend Joe’s wedding. The only other possibility is Mix’s wedding, and I think I’m wearing a different shirt.

If it was Joe’s wedding, they got married in November 2000, and Suzi and I started dating that September, so it may be one of the first photos of us together.

That was also the wedding where Mix tried to sing karaoke, but there was a glitch with the audio where he couldn’t sing right away. Someone yelled at him that he had never sounded better.

It may or may not have been me.

Everyone’s happy to see a Christmas tree, right?

Quick … think of the classic annoying interview question.

If you didn’t say “What’s your biggest weakness?” you probably said “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”

I thought I had come up with an answer — I’d want to be a Christmas tree.

Think about it. Everyone’s happy to see a Christmas tree, right? Then Suzi pointed out that it was great to be a Christmas tree until you were stuffed back in a box, or, worse yet, turned brown, lost your needles and were eventually tossed aside, your usefulness gone.

And this was in no way a metaphor for anything at all. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

But then Suzi saved it by saying that if you were a tree that was carefully maintained throughout the Christmas season with all its roots, you could then plant it outside to provide enjoyment for years to come.

”I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings” … Taylor Swift’s bop comes on my phone.

It took me a while to warm up to “Lover,” but it’s mostly pretty good. However, I think “1989” and “Reputation” are better. I don’t have any other full albums from earlier in her career.

Other than the sheer number of them I have saved, I’m not sure how the algorithm works for choosing random songs on iTunes, but after Taylor was done, I had a nice little run of Jennifer Nettles both solo and with Sugarland, who I’m going to see for a second time in June.

The night before, Maren Morris is performing in Boston. Temptation level … high.

Later, it treated me with “Underground” from “Memphis” and “Step One” from “Kinky Boots,” both with the fantastic Killian Donnelly.

”I may be facing the impossible. I may be chasing after miracles … .”

There’s the type of writer’s block where you just can’t think of anything to write about. That happens often enough.

There’s the type of writer’s block where, hard as you try, you can’t make the words work. I do a lot of writing in my head before I ever sit down to type, but I do have a draft file with random thoughts, pieces of joint projects I’m working on and stuff I haven’t been able to bring in for a landing.

The file is titled “Flotsam and jetsam.”

And then there’s the type of writer’s block I’ve been experiencing lately, where it feels like my brain is blocked.

I don’t even know if I could have turned anything into a post, because nothing is penetrating the part of my mind that finds anything interesting enough to write about.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve now read all of my attempt to work the clogs loose. Here’s hoping it works.

And speaking of Maren Morris, this just came on.


6 thoughts on “Back at the desk

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — March 1 – A Silly Place

  2. Pingback: When have I been brave? – A Silly Place

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