What's on Joseph's desk this late in October of aught-seven?

The litter spread across my bureau isn't especially remarkable or revealing. But since I spend fifteen hours a day sitting at it, a preservational caprice came over me to record it. So here's what's on my desk right now:

  • A white MacBook perched on a perspex pedestal, a little symbolically. The machine is ageing but faithful; the stand is a Griffin iCurve on loan from Ms Cunningham — I prefer it upside-down, which might also be symbolic.

  • A nondescript LG 19" LCD monitor. It's positioned in just such a way that I can't see V's 24" iMac in the distance, which reduces my pangs of jealousy.

  • A black slender IKEA halogen lamp, given by my parents about 16 years ago and still — unbelievably — running the original bulb that has illuminated many VCE CATs, innumerable Arts essays and one interminable thesis, and much else besides.

  • Twin BOSE speakers, in a miniature profile that belies their reasonable ability to thunder and wail, on loan from Ms Murdoch.

  • A tattered globe of the world that's somewhat older than me. There are deep gouges in the North Pacific, and in fact the entire North American continent is rapidly peeling away. It's perhaps a little pretentious, especially as I use Google Maps for all my geographical queries these days.

  • A glazed clay tankard, circa 1960s, featuring a beguiling cartoon damsel in fishnets and a miniskirt. It bears the inscription: "I want a perfect secretary: one who types fast and runs slow". This treasured article of ancient misogyny was given to me by Ms Gillespie, whose brain is precisely attenuated to my sense of humour. It holds pens and scissors and textas and etc.

  • A wee business card stand, bearing cards representin' my bizness.

  • In pride of place below the MacBook, my keyboard and mouse. My keyboard is a sliver of black perspex and brushed aluminium, and cost me 250 fricken dollars. Such are the vanities of the professional software inventor. By contrast, my mouse is a piece of shit wired Microsoft jobbie. I need to get a replacement at some stage, but I don't like the Apple Mighty Mouse's nipple and I can't find a mouse with a better spec. Of course, I run vim, so I have little use for a mouse anyway. (Nyer.)

  • Six different notebooks and legal pads. Three of them are Moleskines, but I rarely use those. It turns out that I reflexively choose my parchment according to the significance of my thoughts — I mean, you don't want to sully a Moleskine with a shopping list, do you? Sadly, I've had little occasion to jot down profundities since my teenage years, so the more impressive notebooks gather dust while the pads become dog-eared and beloved.

  • A plastic bottle of 'DeBug'. It's a 'hand hygiene solution', but that's not the joke, Joyce. Another item donated by Gillespie, obviously.

  • Two overflowing in-trays, stacked atop one another, and labelled "Heaven" and "Hell". Folks seem to want their correspondence to go into the upper tray, but as I explain to them, "any which way you look at it, you're still dead." Better to stay out of the trays if you can.

  • A few stapled specs and exegetic emails that have not yet found their way into either Heaven or Hell.

  • An iPhod called Zaphod, charging. Here's a tip for all you iPhod users heading into the northern winter: you can't use the touch screen with begloved fingers. This is because the screen does not register pressure, it registers electrical conductivity. However, I've found that the tip of your nose works just super, with a little practice. Failing that, try a hot dog.

  • Keys, wallet, old Nokia 6280, a metal ruler (also on loan from Murdoch), an empty spectacles case, and a pair of sunglasses that I suspect were accidentally left here by Mr O'Kane.

  • A landline handset in it's cradle. I hates it, I hates its infernal ringings.

  • A stubby holder, from the Tote, my local. On the back it reads "They call it sticky carpet. We call it history." Which is a kinda dumb line, Mr Milne, but still. I love that place.

  • A wine glass, mostly empty and shortly to be replenished. A final interesting factoid: more than 50 per cent of the correspondence I get through the contact form on this site (ignoring spam, which Akismet summarily dismisses) either admonishes me for my alcoholic excess, or celebrates and encourages it. I appreciate the sentiments, guys, but seriously, tend to your own gardens.

Well, that's my desk. Now I'm curious about yours.

Joseph | 30 Oct 2007

Thu 1 Nov 2007, 12:53AM Vincent

You asked for it:

  1. An empty drawer designated "sunglasses drawer".

  2. Lenovo laptop - the design is unglamorous but the story behind the brand is fascinating - with gimmicky fingerprint scanner.

  3. Post-its, topmost of which displays an armless rendering of Charlie Brown with outpoking tongue (circa 2007. Drawing spurred by recent revelations of Schulz's persistent loneliness.

  4. Many nausea-inducing books perused for thesis purposes when I am not overcome with despair.

  5. A pile of nausea-inducing journal articles perused for thesis purposes when I am not overcome with despair.

  6. A bottle of Scott's Cod Liver Oil Emulsion, with dosage instructions in Indonesian, or possibly Malay. "Oren" flavoured. The veil of language leads me to simply to take swigs of it when the mood takes me, under the vague impression that in my current state, vitamin supplements and trace minerals should be ingested directly. The usual intermediary of a balanced diet has been retired at this point in the cycle.

  7. A plastic jar of Nature's Own Valerian tablets. Each unit is 2000mg of root extract surrounded by a foul-tasting capsule. To force me into normal sleeping rhythms.

  8. A well-thumbed copy of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law. No matter how many times I read it, I still don't qualify for right of abode.

  9. The Macquarie Concise Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Page 66 yields an interesting second definition of the word "attenuate" - to become thin or fine.

  10. Box Hill Indoor Sports Centre Winter Competition 2007 Soccer Division 9 Runners-up trophy. Scores were level until the final minute. You and me both, Lucas Neill.

  11. Tinaderm powder spray for tinea. The weather's getting warmer. I'm man enough to admit these things.

  12. The Times Atlas of the World. Page 109 marked, China - South.

  13. A carton of tissues, marked "Emo box" in texta.

  14. Some copies of the Economist, for when I feel like reading the condescendingly educated tone and detached admonishments of this journal's deathless house style. Box of same on the rightmost edge.

  15. DVDs. A lovely Chinese movie "Courthouse on the horseback", Beat Takeshi's "Violent Cop". Kurosawa's "Ran"

  16. My pen jar, woven from rolled up HK newspaper pages by my auntie.

Thu 1 Nov 2007, 2:34PM Joseph

Interesting. You're right, I did ask for it. And thanks for gently pointing out that my use of 'attentuate' to mean something like 'calibrate' was in error.

Sat 15 Dec 2007, 1:29PM Rohan

What an interesting idea. Anyone can play- unless you're warming your legs with a laptop- which I'm not.

I've been at this desk 3 years now and I am currently printing off the PhD (PhuD is abetter name):

  1. Diamond View 19 inch monitor - tube.

  2. Potato bonsai dish - no

  3. One cope of Lisa Ting's 2002 PhD thesis entitled: 'Principles for an integrated land administration system to support sustainable development'

  4. Two Dell speakers - gun metal- they don't match the other hardware

  5. Thesis submission forms x 3

  6. Postcard from Nourlangie Rock - addressed to someone else and written by someone I don't know (was here before I came and is seemingly destined to outlast me)

  7. Picture of Eve

  8. Postcard from Shanghai - I purchased it on the Bund when I needed change to use a public toilet. Saved my life it did - well saved me from an unfortunate incident involving the previous nights digested cuisine and a new dirt cheap pair of slacks.

  9. Manilla folders x 7 - case studies etc. etc. Read the book.

  10. Computer hardware case

    1. 1 black white board marker

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