Thursday, January 19, 2012
I usually wait until it's nearly February to make my New Year resolutions. By then my head has been cleared of the seasonal excesses. You know: mid-morning Mimosas, Beef Wellington, baked brie - all clouding my senses and probably clogging my arteries. I can once again walk into my office without fear of being greeted by lovingly made gifts from my team members: the inevitable bowl of fudge that is one person's specialty or the chocolate chip pound cake that is another's. From a very fine gentleman a large can of Hubs Virginia Peanuts always finds its way to my desk, and usually a bottle of Argentinian wine. It all requires much too much restraint, which is exhausting. By the time January rolls over on its back I feel as though I've been hit over the head with a ball peen hammer and my veins are rivers of sludge. Have I mentioned that Christmas is far from my favorite holiday?
The fog has lifted and I have taken stock of what must be done...again. First, there are the family photos. They fill boxes in the closet, boxes in trunks, and boxes under the bed, and I am afraid my method of storage is doing them no good at all. Happily, I am also a collector of pretty scrapbooks and lovely papers and I resolve to make things right.
Next on the list is the pantry. Out with the Fruit Loops. In with the steel cut oats. Good-bye pizza with cheese-stuffed crust. Hello chicken/tofu/kale stir fry (which is delicious). No more white jasmine rice...but, weep not, brown basmati tastes even better. The freezer has been stocked with flax seed meal, and oat bran, and blueberries, and pecans. Quinoa has replaced couscous; sour cream must make way for Greek yogurt. And after eating the entire can of Hubs Virginia Peanuts single-handedly - washing it down with the Argentinian wine - I decided I'd better stock up on Edamame. With these changes, and thanks to an extra flight of stairs at work now that I have an office in the attic, I should be able to successfully whip myself into shape. (I have been moved out of my office in the haunted carriage house into an office in the even more delightfully haunted attic of "the big house." Like many antebellum mansions, the "big house" has so many twists and turns in it I really should leave a trail of breadcrumbs when I venture out of my office so I can find my way back to it. It has, by the way, a lovely window. I share my kingdom with Napoleon Bony-Parts, who has been my office-mate for almost 20 years and who graciously posed for his portrait...for your admiration. His cap says, "Genuine Antique Person." It suits him and he thinks it becoming - especially with his strong jaw-line. He is sometimes my date for New Years Eve and always my date for Halloween.)
Finally...and most worrisome...my library. I must organize my library. But how on earth do I even begin? I started with the Library Thing, but after an hour of pulling volumes I only entered 32 books - not even one shelf-worth, really - and only then realized that I had all the wrong editions listed. My list of books indicated paperbacks when I had hardbacks, and hardbacks when I had paperbacks. It would be easier if all the books were in one place. Ideally, one room would be devoted to the husbandry of books. To be sure, it would require some serious shelf-building. I do have a room that could be purposed in that way...as long as the books can live in peaceful co-existence with my piano. Yes. It could be done. But should it be done when I need replacement windows and am having nightmares about how long the plumbing will hold out. Looked at in that light, it seems frivolous. Nevertheless, something must be done to bring order into chaos. What heaven it would be to be able to go, like Roger Mifflin of The Haunted Bookshop, to the exact spot where the volume you were seeking was taking up residence...at the exact moment you needed to punctuate your argument with a quote! Instead of, "Well, it's here...somewhere...perhaps...over there...no...maybe..." By then you've lost the point and the conversation has drifted to something else...beekeeping perhaps, or some other subject upon which you are woefully deficient. Moments must be grasped, my friends...they must be grasped. Or so Napoleon is fond of reminding me.
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Happy New Year to you, Grad! I like the sound of all that healthy food (and the unhealthy food too, I admit). Hubs Virginia Peanuts and a bottle of Argentinian wine sounds like a great snack!ReplyDelete
And a happy new year to your office-mate too. What does it say on the to-do note on his chest? One of my New Year's Resolutions (I'm starting small) is to sit up straight and work on my posture. Slumping in front of the computer is doing me no good at all.
Happy New Year, Grad. And I love your date, although I honestly don't think you should be following HIS plan for weight loss. Still, his jaunty pose is a delight. My bet is that you have inspired him with your va-va-voom. As for the room, well, my own feeling is that there is nothing quite so nice as seeing one's books in a congenial setting, and that sort of thing can provoke the moral fibre necessary for tackling replacement windows, etc. But I have every faith that you'll do what you need to do and in exactly the right order, too.ReplyDelete
Pete! Happy New Year to you and the family, too. I actually do look forward to the Hubs. They appear as if by magic in their green and white box (and can) every year the week before Christmas. The pink sticky note on Nappy simply says, "Napoleon Bony-Parts," because too many people were referring to him as "the skeleton" rather than by his proper name, and it was making him feel hollow...well, that's what he claims anyway. Now, sit up straight or your spine might start looking like his.ReplyDelete
Litlove, Happy New Year! Nappy is a very good date. He's a great dancer, doesn't each much, and can play the musical spoons on his knee. It makes a delightful sound...like a snare drum. He's very entertaining.
Napoleon Bony-Parts! I love him! He is a class gent and, I imagine, the ideal office mate. An entire room dedicated to your books sounds like a lovely idea. I'd come help if you were closer, but you'll have to accept my encouragement instead.ReplyDelete
Your plans for the new year sound great. I organized my books on Library Thing not too long ago, and it was a huge task, often a quite annoying one, but it's awfully nice to have everything cataloged and labeled now!ReplyDelete
Stefanie, he is an ideal office-mate until he insists on clenching a cigar in his teeth. He stopped smoking several decades ago when the doctor insisted it was bad for his health but I fear he was never convinced. I have suspected for quite a while that he has purloined a box of matches and lights up after I've left for the evening...I'm also missing Scotch...so I wonder.ReplyDelete
Rebecca, I will take your success as an encouragement to continue with The Library Thing...but I'm wavering!
Mom- well done, again!!!! this is hilarious.ReplyDelete
Nappy says hello, Katharine. He'd like to take you out on The Ghost Tour next time you're in town!ReplyDelete
I love all your resolutions--and your friend Napoleon--but don't get carried away. There is a thing such as TOO MUCH organization.......ReplyDelete
Tink, I seriously doubt I am in danger of being the victim of too much organization. As proof, I stubbed my toe and then tripped over debris on my way to the bathroom last night! Napoleon adds a touch of class to my office, don't you think?ReplyDelete
Graddikins, I read this ages ago and was pulled away before I could comment... but I'm back now because I simply must tell you how much I LOVE your expression of January rolling over on its back - it's exactly like that, isn't it? Rolling over, rubbing its expanded belly and letting forth a belch loud enough to rattle Napoleon's bones. All your healthful alternatives make SO much sense and I really must try to follow your lead. Also, that's a lovely window, and please do move the books in with the piano - just imagine that lovely room!ReplyDelete
Di, Not only have I modified my diet, I am also doing quite well on the Total Gym (but not so much on the Nordic Track. I'd rather do my walking outside). January is a month bloated by the excesses of "The Holidays." I would love to move the books into the piano room, but it will require the outlay of some serious cash for shelf-building...but first the hard wood floor. Perhaps I should start playing the Lotto.ReplyDelete