Time for a novel-gazing “What junk has landed on my desk, and why?” post. I don’t know if you get anything out of them, gentle reader, but my best reader, me in a couple of years, will find it interesting. So here’s what is on my desk.
A dreamGEAR MyArcade DGUN-2561 from 2013. Back in the olden days, when I would pick my elementary school children up from school, if I took them home before going to martial arts classes an hour later, they would rebel. So we would sometimes go to the library across the street instead of going home, or we might go to the frozen custard stand in the shopping center with the dojo. Most times, though, we would go to the martial arts school and wait for the classes. I picked up a couple of cheap coloring kits at Walgreens to keep them occupied or to keep the youngest occupied when he was too young to do class himself. I later bought minature Etch-a-Sketches, and then little games to occupy them. Including this little pocket gaming system which was under $20, but it occupied my boys through those martial arts waits and in the waiting rooms of orthodontists, dentists, and doctors.
Now, of course, they have phones and devices and can occupy themselves for all their waking hours on them. So this device has languished in the drawer where I keep my gym bag for a number of years. I’ve donated the other little things, but this is on my desk because I’m going to mount it on my wall. It will be the most personal of the items, and the least recognizable and least valuable to collectors. But it will resonate with me and will fetch maybe a quarter at my estate sale.
Marine Corps Toys for Tots is the last holdouts sending fundraising appeals to my sainted mother who passed away over a decade ago. I tear open the envelopes and shred the papers, but I keep the coins, paperclips, and the stickers. In the olden days, my children, especially my youngest, loved stickers, so they would be delighted when I gave them some. But they’re beyond that now. My beautiful wife uses stickers to adorn to-do lists and that sort of thing, so I was planning to see if she wants them. And I’ll probably do just that after I post, which renders this item (these items?) the least likely to still be on my desk the next time I write a Five Things on My Desk post.
By the way, if you’re wondering, I have two previous FTomD posts this year, in August and October. Of those 10 things, 4 have been put elsewhere, 4 remain, and 2 have been put on a shelf or in a cubby of the desk (the clock, the Time, the book, and the iPad case are elsewhere, and although I put the majority of the spoons back into the store room, others emerged from under other things, so technically, I still have spoons on my desk). So my track record is not good in tidying up even after these posts.
A pocket-sized copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. This came in a fundraising appeal from some constitutional or political organization. I already have them in other places and larger editions. I don’t know what to do with this copy, to be honest. I can’t just throw it away. Likely, I will donate it, but there is a non-zero chance that I will get toward the end of the year (wait, we’re there?) and read it to pad my annual total. Time will tell, but it won’t be long before I have to decide.
A signed copy of Jane Monheit’s new Christmas CD The Merriest along with the little thank you note she sent. The CD is a nice collection of secular Christmas songs (not unlike her album The Season which I got a few years ago, also likely autographed). I’d like to see artists feel free to cover religious songs, but I suspect many of them are not religious.
The signed CD will soon go into the stacks with the other CDs and the note into the collection of autographed ephemera, but I’ve been thinking of trying to find a solution for putting all my signed CDs into a place for display or browsing. Which would require culling through the whole collection, but most of my signed copies have been relatively recent purchases. Like this one.
I would say a photo of Gimlet’s oldest child at 2 months old, but that would be weird, but also true, and for the same reason that I have the depicted (repicted?) photo of me, the ringbearer at my uncle’s wedding in 1976, dancing with the flower girl. It would be until my own wedding that I would dance at a wedding again, although I am pretty sure that when I was best man at an Elvis impersonator’s wedding that I had to dance with the maid of honor since my wedding.
At any rate, I end up with random photos from the past on my desk when I go digging through things in my closet, looking through bins that contain both old Christmas cards and electronic bric-a-brac. Generally, I’m looking for a cord, charger, or some other obscure bit that I’ve put in my closet and not the bins in the storeroom, and I end up with photos slipping out–which is why Gimlet’s child is on the desk. The photo from my uncle’s wedding probably came out of the boxes when I tore through my collection of family effects in July when I had to produce my wedding license to get my wife added to my new employer-provided insurance plan. As I’d never been asked for this before, I could no lay my hands on it, and I ended up going through all of the files, all of the file cabinets, and all of my family’s papers. I could find my parents’ wedding license, but not my own. Somehow, the photo was set aside and never got re-boxed.
So both photos came from the relative disarray that is my closet. I’m thinking of cleaning it out a bit in 2023, but time will tell if that happens. Or if I even put the photos away before then.
So watch this space for important 2023 updates about how messy my desk is, and what a time capsule it provides. Also, a distraction when I have better things to do.