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The office

There is much to like about the new apartment. The cats have more space, so they reenact Roman Gladiator fights far less frequently. The kitchen has a dishwasher that actually cleans dishes instead of leaving spots and clumps on all the plates for me to pick off with my fingernails. Most of all, I love having an office:

My office

And, ok, occasionally that guy who wears Dr. Pepper pajama pants and plays his Nintendo while he walks the dog goes traipsing past the window. And, yes, the neighborhood kids like to play baseball or soccer or ultimate Frisbee or whatever games kids play these days in the patch of grass between apartments. But this is why they invented curtains and venetian blinds and window decals.

Yes, I know the curtain rod is bowing. I have a metal rod to replace the plastic one with, but I haven’t hung it up yet. Otherwise I have all I need to work here: a laptop, a monitor, a stereo system, and a new printer/copier/scanner. Printers sure have come a long way since the late 90’s, which is when I bought my last printer. Sadly, when my desktop computer finally gave out its final death rattle a few months ago (see its corpse under my desk?), I realized my laptop did not have a SCSI port to connect to my printer, which was manufactured when the Spice Girls still ruled the world. But the new all-in-one printer is quite fun, and not that expensive after I used my Amazon rewards card’s gift certificate.

I’ve got my kitten of the day calendar on my desk for daily smiles and “Awww’s.” I’ve got my wall calendar to track my weight an my running schedule. I’ve got some gnomes guarding my desk. What else do you need?

Not only do I have my own space to work, I have a door to lock kitties out. They are smart little cats who long ago figured out that the best way to get their mom’s attention is by getting between her body and the computer monitor. At my old place, I had to lock them in the bedroom to get some peace. I always felt like I was locking them in a prison cell and one day I’d open the door to find they’d eaten each other up. Notice that my office chair doubles as a scratching post, saving lots of money on cat toys!

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Donna • July 17, 2009 at 10:42 am

My cat’s favorite place is between the keyboard and the monitor. If he lies still and sleeps, I let him stay. If he rolls around and tries to get my attention, on the floor he goes. Sometimes it takes three or four on the floor he goeses to make it stick. :-)


lurker • July 17, 2009 at 11:21 am

I am wondering if you would tell me which printer you settled on. I also need a new one and am thinking of a Canon MP480, but would be interested to know what yours is, and what you think of it.

Also: saw a woman reading your book during jury duty this week. Cool.


PastaQueen • July 17, 2009 at 11:38 am

@lurker – Actually, I got the Canon MP470 and so far it has worked well, but I’ve only had it for 2 days. It got good reviews on cnet.com which is why I got it.

And thanks for reporting the book spotting! Glad I could help someone kill time during jury duty.


Rochelle • July 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Love your desk – It actually looks like my desk at work, “cube style”!


Sara • July 17, 2009 at 12:30 pm

LOL! See, I told ya that your new office mates would love having you home more. ;) My dogs are usually pretty good about not bugging me too much when I’m working at the computer, but as soon as I shut the lid – they freak out and decide that it must be time to go play outside, or something equally as exciting. :) I love my furry “co-workers”.


Jess • July 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm

The new office looks great! I love it and I love the color of the curtains!


HugeMD • July 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Nice space! I’ve actually thought many times while watching my cats fight that the Roman gladiators must have gotten some of THEIR moves by watching CATS fight!


Rebecca • July 17, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I agree with Jess about the curtain color. It’s nice to have something joyful in your work area.

My husband has a separate keyboard, but needs to keep his laptop open. Our small cat just LOVES lying on it, and can do things like make the computer vocalize what you’re doing(??) or totally shut things down. I figured out a file box lid would protect the keyboard while allowing ventilation. All are happy.


Karen • July 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Speaking as someone who recently upgraded her home office area, I will just say that I TOTALLY understand the feeling of satisfaction that comes with having a really together/comfortable computer area. While mine is NOT in its own room (some day, some day…), I finally have writing space and space for books (I’m in grad school) so I can be on the computer typing up a paper and not have to spread my books on the floor because there’s no where to put them closer to eye-level. It’s a thing of beauty.

And YOUR office space looks great and I’m jealous of the fact that it’s its own room.


Karen • July 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm

And PS I’ve also followed your lead and began keeping my own workout scheduling/tracking wall calendar. I started this back in January and I find it very handy.


DonnaLynn • July 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm

@Karen – I need to keep mine on a calendar as well, it would certainly help to keep me more consistent. Any tips on how you do that, from you or PQ? I’m all ears.


Quix • July 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Congrats again on making the move to freelancing. :) Love the office. I loved the day I got a laptop so I could work from the couch, but now I find that I get distracted a bit easier and am less focused if I’m doing something important and I miss having a desktop with a desk sometimes (but mine is so ancient, it hasn’t been hooked up in over 2 years, the lappy is so much better).


PastaQueen • July 17, 2009 at 3:11 pm

@DonnaLynn – I usually just write down what I did that day exercise-wise. Lately it’s just been “C25K Wk X” replacing X with the week. Basically, if I look up and see there are a lot of blank days I know I need to kick my ass into gear.


Michelle • July 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Congrats on the new office space!


Karen • July 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm

@DonnaLynn – I bought one of those “Write on” calendars that provides a lot of space for notes. I usually just write whatever I did, i.e. “Jog outside” the amount of time I did it for, and then the amount of calories my heart rate monitor tells me I burned (the accuracy of this number is questionable, I realize, but it does give me an indication of how hard I was pushing myself during my workout, relative to other workouts). I also track things like my TOM and if I’m feeling sick. For a time, I also wrote down my calories for the day, but… I stopped, feeling like I was tracking things a little too closely/anal retentively.

Like PastaQueen, it helps me “keep it real” — if I see that there are a few blank days in a row, I can’t deny the fact that I’ve been skipping workouts and it forces me to get back on track.

Interestingly, I was inspired to do this by PastaQueen but actually started to keep track out of spite for a doctor who, when I told her how often I workout, didn’t believe me! I vowed to keep archival evidence of my exercise pursuits so that I can bring it with me the next time I see her and, when she mentions the fact that I’m overweight and need to start exercising, i can… well.. shove it in her face and ask her “Whatcha think of THAT!?”


Diane • July 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Oooh, I’m jealous of the office! With my seven children, I’ll never have an office until I’m too old to care!


Tori • July 17, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Kitties seem to love office chairs. One of my cats commandeered the office chair as his own. He spends his days lounging on it and his nights climbing the back and using it as a nice high place that allows him to pull back the curtains and peer out the window.

The chair spends most of it’s time in front of a door we don’t use. On the rare occasion that someone knocks on that door he usually “answers” it by yanking back the curtain and giving an unusually loud MEOW; scaring the hell out of the Jehovah’s Witness that’s standing on the other side.


DonnaLynn • July 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm

@PastaQueen – Ah! I thought you meant you planned it out ahead of time. I can write down what I did, (but I don’t, sadly), it’s the writing what I *intend* to do that isn’t working for me.

Seems so simple, I don’t know why on earth I thought it was more complicated. Thanks to both of you for your answers.


Ro • July 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm

This a little weird cause I planned out how I wanted my desk and little drawers in the back and the printer. It almost looks like this! Oh! and I have burgundy curtains to LOL!!


vasilia • July 19, 2009 at 4:45 am

Congratulations on the new apartment. And I sympathize with furniture doubling as scratching posts. The legs of our dining room table double as scratching posts and there are bets on when the table will finally fall.

I enjoy your blog!


Anti-aging Sytropin • July 20, 2009 at 9:33 am

My cat’s favorite place is on top of my keyboard where he goes and play dead. So whenever I’m chatting up someone and Mutsung gets particularly grumpy, my chatmate would be surprised by a series of garbled messages I send her.

BTW, I have the seven dwarfs in my bedroom. Do they count as gnomes?


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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