Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My other office

When I was a boy I was notorious for reading in the tub. Or anywhere else for that matter. I would stay in and read for hours as my mom yelled, "Ben, do you have a book in there?"

"No ma." 

Of course I did. Every time. She especially didn't like it when I'd take our Scribners Classics in there or our nice copies of The Lord Of the Rings. This also happened when I had to "ahem", use the loo. It got to the point where she'd check me as I'd go in or out for contraband (see books). No we weren't in Nazi Germany, just Murphys, California. 

I learned to stash books quickly if I sensed I was under scrutiny, under the sink, beneath the washcloths. I also grew adept at tucking them in the front of my pants and shirt, then sucking in my stomach as I went by the Gestapo, sorry, my parents. (disclaimer: they actually encouraged me to read my whole life and didn't speak German at all, they just wanted other people to use the bathroom too) Of course Scribners Classics contained the stunning full page NC Wyeth illustrations and a bunch of other pages that made me look suspicious, and pregnant, as did the Lord of the Rings, War and Peace and the other "fatties". When that was the case I'd resort to a distraction like throwing a pillow at a lamp or something else to "throw them off the scent". Steinbeck, Kjelgaard and many others were nice and slim, no outlines.  

Well my cloak and dagger days have come and gone (as far as you all know...) but my
affinity for baths and books have not. I figured since I loved reading in the bath so much, why not write in it too?

It was love at first dip but my early attempts were primitive. The problem with writing in your journal while in the tub is that you have to crank over to the side for too long and it isn't very comfortable. Plus you have to keep your elbows and forearms dry so you don't get your Moleskin black leather journal wet either. Right? And that narrow ledge.

So, through trial and error, and with "necessity being the mother of invention" my tub writing has evolved into my "Other Office". That's what I write in my notebooks when I write there, usually accompanied by time and date (which I never know, so I always have vague attempts that are pretty pathetic - Nightime, sometime in October, or November, I think the 12th, or the fifth pretty sure a Tuesday or Sunday, In Other Office). 

So here are some pictures of my "Other Office" (no not with me in it). My dad thinks I'm nuts. I don't spend a majority of my writing time here, but if you want to get away from all distractions, I recommend it. 
Notice the waterproof job on the ipod. I don't always listen to music, and sometimes just need quiet, but other times Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan are mandatory. My wonderful wife made me those awesome sandwiches this morning before she went to work, so I just had to pull them out and presto. If you can see there is a king size Snickers bar, but the apple on the right balances it out. Balanced meals are everything. Yes, there is a candle. Yes, I would get beat up by the guys I grew up with if they saw that. Yep, that's a phone too. So if you ever call and hear a strange echo while I'm talking, bingo. My pops gets all weird if he hears me in the tub and hangs up when he figures I'm in there. There is an alarm clock as well so I don't forget to pick up Amy at work or if I need to do whatever. The desk itself is the middle leaf to our dining room table upside down.

It is important to have a lifeguard around, while in the water. 
                                         So here he is:

I think this looks pretty inviting. Don't you?

And yes, of course that's coffee in my new mug. Plenty of cream and sugar please.  

Time to take the plunge. Nice dirty mirror. 

Yes, that is the same sweater in every picture I've posted on here so far. There IS a logical reason for that. It is my WRITING SWEATER. It makes me feel like a writer. That being said, there will be other sweaters in other pictures someday. And shorter posts. And literacy rates will improve. Ok, one thing at a time. Of course most of my other sweaters are brown too.


  1. Wierdo. Clean wierdo. Literate and clean wierdo.

  2. And I thought your brother was strange.

  3. He IS! Welcome to the Family Mariah!!

  4. This is pure genius. I'm going to dismantle the dining table tomorrow and set up shop in the tub. Now if someone would just make me some of those cute little bagel sandwiches...