Crash Course: Living Room

So far the most fun part of moving has been setting up my new “living room.” There’s just something about getting a fresh start with organizing my bookshelves that leaves me feeling all giggly and excited!

If we’ve been friends for any significant amount of time you are most likely already familiar with my love of organizing and list-making. If we haven’t known each other long, or we have but you were too distracted by my ferrets to notice, no worries; consider this your crash course.

Living Room, View 1: Desk

Click to embiggen

Colored Boxes

  • Red: Philosophy
  • Pink: Education
  • Orange: Writing
  • Yellow: Crossword Puzzles
  • Green: Journals, notebooks, stationary
  • Dark Blue: Dream dictionaries and theory
  • Light Blue: Dictionaries
  • Dark Purple: Language, style guides
  • Light Purple: Grammar textbooks, poetry/ prose collections/ reviews

White Circles (L to R)

  • A picture of Jenny K. and me after a performance of The Actor’s Nightmare at Carroll University. We played Sarah and Ellen, though Lord knows I can’t remember who was who any more.
  • A ceramic piggy bank I got at an Irish fair with my high school boyfriend; Susan, the talking Aflac duck I got from one of their reps peddling their wares at a former job. I got her for answering a question correctly. When I answered a second question correctly the rep offered me a larger duck. *pfft* As if I could part with Susan!
  • A seashell my friend Sarah M. brought back for me in high school from her family’s vacation to Florida, during which her appendix burst. Whoops!
  • The Orrefors candle holders my great-grandma Ruth brought over with her from Sweden. My parents passed them down to me last Christmas.
  • A picture of the ladies of The Actor’s Nightmare: Jenny K. (Sarah? Ellen?), Mariya G. (director), Kate G. (Meg), me.
  • A flower-covered woven thing I wore on my head for the Ophelia costume I wore to a party at Corey R.’s house in high school.

Living Room, View 2: Bookshelves

Click to embiggen

Colored Boxes

  • Red: Fiction, literature study
  • Pink: Poets and poetry
  • Orange: Sociology, miscellaneous non-fiction, politics
  • Yellow: Gender studies; CDs
  • Dark Green: Remodeling, house styles, interior decorating; a gigantic dictionary
  • Light Green: DVDs
  • Dark Blue: Fiction
  • Light Blue: Arty things
  • Purple: Videos (The rest are inside the cabinet below.)

White Circles (L to R)

  • Votive candle holders I got from my Uncle Steve years ago. He also gave me a decorative bag of scented, orange votives to go with them, which I’ve hesitated to burn since he passed away last December. I know they’re just candles, but it feels strange to think of using up something that cannot be replaced.
  • A baby walrus on its mother’s back. This ceramic beauty has been in my collection for over twenty years now. It set me back a whole buck at the local dollar store on a shopping trip with my Mimi when I was about seven years old. I don’t know what prompted me to buy it, though the interest I would later develop in The Beatles certainly made room for it.
  • A long dead lighting instrument I grabbed (with Scott B.’s permission!) from the upper storage space at Carroll University during a work day. I have two of them, actually. I like to think about all the exciting moments they lit up, all the stories that are never retold the same way twice, all the effort and laughter and tears. I won’t keep them forever, but I’ll keep them for now. They’ve seen so much. More than you or I ever will.
  • A stuffed pig my mom received from a student ten or so years ago. Somehow I ended up with it.
  • My senior year of high school our theatre department attended a theatre workshop at Wisconsin Lutheran College. One of the available sessions dealt with mask-making and masked performance. I hadn’t planned to take that class, so my attendance turned out to be one of those “happy accidents.” I believe Deborah Solomon-Phillips led that session. Every part of the exercise taught me something. I settle the mask onto my face every couple of years to see if it still fits. It does, but only on the outside.
  • A light saber from a friend and former employer, Jennifer C. Yes, everyone at work had one. Yes, we had battles with them when we were done having Koosh wars and playing hide and seek.

Living Room, View 3: Couches

Click to embiggen

Colored Boxes

  • Red: Miscellaneous books
  • Pink: Photo albums
  • Orange: Records

White Circles (L to R)

  • A picture of Jenny K. and I at the Carroll Players’ annual Theatre Banquet her junior and my senior year. She has always been just the cutest stinkin’ thing. Love that girl.
  • Somehow I ended up with two of Jennifer’s light sabers…
  • A wire basket of dried flowers from Donna D. Ah, but from which show, which show…
  • Stitch.
  • A purple Ao Po’i table runner I bought with Christie H. at a shop in Itauguá (though it may’ve been elsewhere; those last few days are a bit of a blur!) during my trip to Paraguay this past January.
  • Joey.
  • A picture of Amanda H., Brent J., and me at the Blood Center  on September 11, 2001. Everyone wanted to do something helpful, something positive, something proactive… but what? The lines at the center were long. We were put on a waiting list and told to come back hours later, which we did. They couldn’t tap my first elbow, so they bandaged it up and moved on to the other one. After drawing a pint of my spaghetti sauce blood they bandaged up that elbow, too, leaving me unable to bend my arms. You can’t see it in this zoomed out image, but in the picture Amanda is holding up my juice for me so I can drink from the straw.
  • A turtle candle Jessica C. gave me for my birthday some time during high school; a Speech Meet trophy for first place in Humorous Interpretation.

Is there anything one can possibly do on a computer that feels more mentally fulfilling than completing a detailed list?! Ahh… Refreshing as an ice-cold lemonade after a summertime lawn mowing!


I, uh– I haven’t ever actually mowed an entire lawn…

The bedroom still looks like it was attacked by sea monsters despondent over their banishment to land. But never fear, Nerdfighters: Further bookshelf pictures will make their way up here as soon as I’m done hanging up all my clothes and sorting my non-fiction!



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