Home Office Design

More often than not, I work from my couch. But periodically, for example, when I’m about to move, I start thinking about office design. My current office design, and the office/bedroom designs of my past, can be best described as “how can I pack the most books into this space?” When I lived with roommates, my bedroom was jokingly called the library.

But one of my favorite distractions is to read dumb design articles and think about how I could or could not function in the space. The chairs in fancy design magazine home offices all look hideously uncomfortable. The addition of cowhide (fake or real) does not help, and does not fit house style (and I don’t mean Chicago). That said, I would love more stained glass windows, a window seat, and possibly even a ladder.

Before I worked at home, and before I worked in publishing houses, I worked in bookstores. (Ed. note: Bookstores and Indy Clause have the same aesthetic: Fit in as many books as possible.) The joke was that there are two kinds of booksellers. Those who alphabetized their books and those who spent so much time humming the alphabet song under their breaths at work that they felt no compunction to do so at home.

We all made fun of people who arranged book by color. They were Not Real Book People. But today I found the worst in anti-book sociopathy. Scroll down until you see the photo where the designer wrapped each book in brown paper for consistency. Words cannot express my horror. I am clutching my pearls. It Cannot Be Borne.

What drives you to capital letters?

July Notes

When I was dreading my wedding for all sorts of non-Spouse-related issues, my therapist told me to concentrate on the parts I was looking forward to. I think that’s when I started thinking about food and it being over.

Well, our offer on a country house next to greener pastures has been accepted. We are moving to a greener state, if nothing catastrophic happens between now and then (which I am not discounting). So I am focusing on what I am looking forward to.

I am going to sift through this fucking office and create order. I’m getting a long desk (possibly a hand-selected, pressure-treated board to go over two artisanally curated filing cabinets). (Note to self: learn how to spell artisanal before I move.) I went online for some inspiration and found this. It turns out workspaces routinely consist of three vases and two color-coordinated books. Feh.

I’m going to have a chair for company and a chair for solitude, a bookcase for science books, a shelf of reference books ON MY DESK, and a bulletin board somewhere.

Meanwhile crazy has been normal in politics. I need to denormalize it again and get to work. I am not looking forward to this, but I’m posting it here as a reminder.

What are you looking forward to?


It’s Quiet Around Here, Too Quiet

I would have posted, but I’m too busy trying to edit my friend’s book on artist’s colonies.

I would have posted, but I just edited chapter 4 of my own book. Note: Try not to write/edit/think critically about your father’s death on his birthday in the vicinity of father’s day.

I would have posted, but I didn’t.

I would have posted, but we’re getting pretty serious about a move to greener pastures, or at least woods.

I would have posted, but I had to contain my secret glee and my spouse’s overwhelming sadness at having our first deal fall through.

I would have posted, but we made an offer on a house yesterday that we like better.

I would post now, but I have to go home and pack and try not to die of anxiety. One can’t die of low-level anxiety, right?

I would post now, but wait I did.

What’s your excuse?

Winter Projects

I had family here all week and Houseguest remains. I hosted 16 people for Thanksgiving, and although Spouse did all the cooking, I still had to make sure everyone had a drink and no one felt left out. Or hungry. God forbid. To say I hate most people right now would be an understatement. [Ed. note: Indy Clause acknowledges that it would be an understatement at the best of times, and this year could hardly be termed the best of times.]

The good news crawling out of the wreckage of my mental health is that I have a new medium-sized writing project. For the past few months, I’ve written a few mismatched paragraphs for an article and poems that don’t go anywhere. It’s been a needed break, but it turns out that not writing is nearly as bad as writing.

This is my first ever professional writing gig. I’m going to take the writing project into the holidays. I’m going to hole up at the Micky Mouse porch table in my sister-in-law’s attic, and I’m going to write. The goal is to be smart, brief, and funny. The word “I” isn’t going to appear once in the whole damn manuscript. Huzzah!

How do you make it through the holidays?

Freelancing with Dogs

We agreed to get a dog the first week I went freelance. And when I say, “we,” I mean, I finally caved in to my spouse’s incessant pleading for a dog. To his utter surprise, a month ago and seven or so years later after Mr. Dog came to live with us, I agreed to get a second dog.

It’s nice to have a dog when freelancing. At least it looks at you when you moan about having to renumber citations eight times. For christ’s sake why can’t people with Ph.D.s in science cite each source IN NUMERICAL ORDER ON FIRST MENTION! There. It drove me to all caps. (Spare me your observations that they may have added or taken out sources and were more interested in the content than getting their citations straight. I just don’t care.)

Walking a dog gets you out of the house when you can’t take it anymore. They’re cute and love you. So why not have two dogs? I mean you could just drive a few states away and pick up a gorgeous poodle dog who was rescued from Louisiana because her owner died and the family didn’t want her.

So now in addition to having a little muppet thing (Mr. Dog), I have a horse, by which I mean a tall 36-lb poodle lady. I can’t work because I have to get up and go into the other room and look at her lounging on my couch. Is she comfy? Is she really mine? Holy shit!


Early July

I have such mixed feelings about the fourth of July. Our country is leaning hard right towards nationalism, and frankly, fascism. One of the planks of the Republican Party platform is exceptionalism. I do love the United States, but we are not somehow better than other countries. To think that is to engage in magical thinking and to ignore history. We Americans are good at that. It is not one of our more endearing traits as a country.

That said, I’m going out in a few hours to drink beer and eat grilled food outside with some friends. (Someone might be bringing her FOUR schnauzers. I hope she does, and I will report back.) I love sitting outside in the shade talking and drinking beer with people I like.

Often the Fourth finds me antisocial and writing. I’ve been doing that too this weekend. I write under my tree when I can, and inside when it gets too buggy or the screaming children in the park are too much. I made a revision checklist that I need to work through. Then it’s time for a print-out and I’m reading the fucker aloud. I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it.

Where does the fourth find you?