In response to Blue Wren’s challenge, here’s what on my desk, right now, besides an irregular, but noticeable layer of dust:
1. An older, but serviceable HP Deskjet 895Cse which needs a new color cartridge (it doesn’t print green anymore).
2. A Mountaineers Go Guide, July 2006 issue, and a stack of printouts (lacking in green) from the ConsumerReports.org Car Buying Kit (it’s a bit of a sore subject).
3. A stack of Grand Circle Travel (Small Ship Travel 2006, Travel Favorites 2006, and Europe 2006) catalogs my parents gave us. On top of that, a sheet of notes about airfare to Italy, which we’re visiting in October. That’s capped by my oldest nephew’s graduation announcement.
4. A small, wooden, decorated box with a very intricate inlaid top that my parents brought us from their last trip (on Grand Circle Travel) to the Middle East.
5. This computer’s monitor and speakers, which are usually turned off.
6. A plastic puzzle, which supposedly can be manipulated into a Rubic shape from its current misshapen, pointy blob of smaller cubes strung together with elastic. I’m beginning to think that I’ll never solve it.
7. A couple of note pads. Three Mountaineers release forms that I’m really supposed to send in. Three pens and a mechanical pencil. A white rock and a piece of green glass that I picked up off an Olympic National Park beach in the first weekend in July.
8. A stack of books, from the bottom:
Photoshop Elements 3, the Missing Manual edition (O’Reilly)
Mediterranean Europe on a Shoestring (Lonely Planet)
Venice (Lonely Planet)
Tuscany and Umbria (Frommer’s)
Pocket Rome (Fodor’s)
Rick Steve’s Italy 2006
Olympic Mountains Trail Guide (Mountaineers)
Backpacking Washington (Wilderness Press)
100 Hikes in Washington’s South Cascades and Olympics (Mountaineers)
Baedeker Rome (Macmillan Travel)
9. A Non Sequitur leaf-a-day calendar, with today’s offering titled “Birth of the Atkins-Shmatkins Rebellion.” Sometimes I don’t get Non Sequitur.
10. And, in the corner, a four-bin stacking file, which isn’t as full as it usually is. My stack, which is on top and often over-flows the top and will even, on occasion, spontaneously slide off into the paper recycling collection below it, is less than half full, though some of the items have been there a long time. On the bottom: a pamphlet from the Olympia Community Yoga Center titled Yoga Basics and a pretty goofy 8 x 10 of me in my friend’s boat. The next bin is my wife’s. It’s more full that mine, but less full than it usually is. I’ll leave its contents to her consideration. The bottom two are quite sparse – they were for my kids, but they’ve pretty much stopped getting mail here.
11. The odds and ends: a plastic coaster, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival bookmark, an extra mouse pad, and a small note with a list of things to remember to take to the beach house.