The concept of decorating a work desk is very strange. It is the prime denial of living in the cubicle culture. We have uniform dwellings and have limited choices in creating a sense of individuality in a landscape of desks and Cisco phones. There are the people with tons of pictures of their family. There are the people who put nothing on their desks and make you think they go home and murder cats. There are the neat freak people you suspect will one day just smear dirt all over themselves in the cafeteria because it all just got to be too much. There are the people who use their desks for political statements.
I got to looking at my desk and started thinking about what kind of statement am I making with my “flair” to quote the great Mike Judge. So here are some things on my desk, with some pictures. I apologize for quality as I am using my cell phone and did not really pay attention in my film school photography class for several reasons.
- I always used the auto setting because the term F Stop just pissed me off from the get go.
- When I did take a great photo that one time, I blew the good vibes with my professor because I ran out of class because a girl I liked at the time ran out crying and I went to play hero. Good thing we’re married and have 8 kids now. Totally worth giving up the A. Sarcasm.
- I took like five Advil on an empty stomach because I hurt my ankle and was super dizzy the time they explained F Stops. Really, I just don’t get them.
Anyway, let’s analyze what kind of douche I am by what I have on my desk:
Here is a British flag from a London Sour ordered with co-workers at Trader Vic’s one spring Wednesday night. This is to let people know I like to party and also to allude that like a British person, there is a chance I may be classy and interesting. Behind the flag, a photo from a Palm Springs vacation in which I drink tequila with attractive friends. This is to let people know that I am on the level, enjoy drinking, vacations, being around reasonably handsome company and photos the appear vintage.
Here are my Chinese glow lanterns I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond at my last job, which was across the street from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I went to Home Depot, near my current office, and bought two red bulbs. It was too intense. I felt like a male escort in Amsterdam, which is a bad feeling at 9 am on a Monday morning. I went with one of each. It adds a soft glow to my desk and let’s people know that I may have European subtle tendencies and a pension for Ikea-centric lighting.
Here is a menu from Roger Room that I stole (intentionally or unintentionally). I think it says that I like unmarked bars and polka dots. Additionally, I think it tells people I don’t really hang out in Venice, which I am proud of every day. Nothing against my Venice readers, I’m just saying I shop at a different supermarket.
My LA Weekly award. I leave it out because I am really, really insecure and want people to ask about my blog and say things to me like “you are a writer?” or “I didn’t know you blog”. Despite the translation for these sentences being “I always assumed you were dumb”, what usually ensues is friendship and mutual understanding, followed by long walks on the beach and the occasional request for an arm tickle.
Here is where I keep a bag of Japanese candy (called Milky and brought to me by a preferred co-worker). This let’s people know my friends have international connections. I am part of a world community and know about things like candy from Japan. I also have a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar that I have no idea why I bought. I must have wanted to cook with it, but it never is important enough to bring home. I am sure we all dated people in the past that we felt exactly that way about. There’s also a bottle of vodka I borrowed from a coworker. I guess if I drink it, it becomes stealing. Some friend I’d be then.
I have assorted Dodger bobbleheads and a Big Boy piggybank. I think this says I like sports and eating places late at night. It is the lone proof during my daytime existence that I once was a member of Team Toluca, the Tigers of Toluca, the scourge of the north valley, the bastards of the L.A. basin, king of the lemon throwers.
Here’s my lawyer lamp. It reminds me that I should have been a lawyer. Then I look back at the bottle of vodka and the Chinese lanterns and I feel better about that. I rock a little to hard for that, although I’d know what to do when I got cease and desist letters (fuck you, Los Angeles Magazine, but I will forgive you for a feature, I’m easily bought.)
Finally, a grotesque and awesome drawing done by one of my favorite co-workers. He calls me World War Z. This is his artist’s rendition. Some say it is gross. I say it is art.
What do you all have on your desks?