Sunday, December 12, 2010

No, you can't replace it!

End of the  year cleaning up is a tradition in my office.  Godsend Meredith Barnes has an eagle eye out for all the things that washed up on the Reef this year that need to be polished, discarded or otherwise dealt with.

There aren't very many things that I've lunged across the desk to seize from her tidy paws, but this is one.


Yes, it's old. It's never going to be really clean again (you try getting dust out of glued on geometric pieces of foam!) It doesn't look professional in the slightest.

And I love it.  (alot!)

I love it cause my darling niece made it for me for Christmas when she was five.  She saw it a couple years back and rolled her eyes and said "Aunt Sharkly One, I can't believe you still have that!"

Believe it!

What's on your desk that you'll never throw out?

47 comments:

Fanfreakingtastic Flower said...

My desk is too small for anything other than basics - speakers, mousepad, and headphones. There's often some mail to the left, though, and a cat to the right, and when there's both mail and a cat, there's really not enough room for me.

Visual evidence --> My Writing Spot

agoraphob said...

This is going to sound weird, but I have a gummi bear in a little porcelain box. The bear is solid as a rock. Sixteen years ago, my twin sister and I put it in there as an experiment to see how long it would keep.

I hauled that gummi bear across the country when I moved. When my sis comes to visit, she asks, "You still have that gummi bear?"

Kathleen Bittner Roth said...

I have an Alot on my desk. Can't give it up.

And I love it. (alot!)

Ahem.

Shakespeare said...

For me, it's the seven or eight journals I started and then didn't finish. Most entries are mind-numbingly boring, but I'll still keep them.

I'll burn them right before I die, though, so no well-meaning relative tries to publish the utter refuse after I'm dead.

Sarah W said...

I have a spherical plexiglass paperweight with a dandelion puff in it---like a preserved wish. It's been with me for almost seventeen years.

There's a crack in the base, and it tends to roll off stacks of more than three pages, but I play with it when I'm thinking, spinning it, rolling it around or tossing it from hand to hand (yeah, that's why the base is cracked).

I'm saving the wish for when I really need it . . .

Bill Cameron said...

On my desk is the Beanie Baby wiener dog which was the original inspiration for Patch in Lost Dog. Beanie Babies are so old news now, but this one came from my daughter, so I'm keeping it forevah!

Philangelus said...

Not on my desk, but over it. I have a framed promotional poster for Battle of the Planets, circa 1976 sent to TV stations to get them to air the show, and which was sent to me when I was 12 years old after I sent repeated fan mail to Jameson Brewer, who produced the show. I was utterly in love with Jason and wanted to get my hands on scripts, artwork, anything to do with the show after it went off the air.

He sent me that poster and two Voltron scripts (he no longer had the BotP ones.) We corresponded after that on occasion and I sent him a Christmas card every year until he died. I met him twice in California, and I dedicated my first published novel to him.

I will never take down that poster. Never.

Anne-Marie said...

I have two gifts that were given to me by students a long time ago that are fixtures on my desk at school: one is a ceramic dog that is meant to hold glasses, and does indeed do just that for my "spares", and the other is a huge bean from a trip a student took to the Bahamas back in 1994. I use it as a shaker to get the class's attention. Practical both, but still reminders of two wonderful girls I had the pleasure to teach along the way.

Great that I am not the only sentimental one!

steeleweed said...

Whatever books I'm reading, usually 2 or 3. Phone, pen, coffee mug or beer glass.

Dozens of Post-It notes, each with a phone number and undecipherable message. I no longer remember anything about them and only throw them away when they have 1/2 inch of dust.

Slush said...

The picture of my daughter's face plastered to the center of a paper flower. The flower sits in a pot.

It's adorable! I wouldn't throw it away for anything... that Mother's Day my daughter announced to her class that I was the best mom 86 year-old mom ever!

I definitely look good for my age.

Becky Mushko said...

Several cats—although they periodically leave and return. A New York cobblestone with my name, class of 67, and flowers painted on it—a college graduation gift from a friend and one of the best paperweights I've ever had. A small ceramic watering can that corrals pens, pencils, scissors, and a microfiber cloth for cleaning the iPad. A decorative tin box used for storing various cords to various electronic gizmos. Desk calendar (with last year's desk calendar behind it).

Buffra said...

This made me smile and reminds me of my dad's office. He had a wooden board with a bunch of dried beans glued to it. At one point, they had made a flower, but as the glue gave up, half the beans had fallen off. I made it for him when I was about 5 or 6 (?) and it always made me smile when I stopped by and saw it on the wall along with his framed certificates and diplomas. I always wondered what his clients thought about it.

Steve Masover said...

A little glass candle holder, meant for votive candles, filled with old fortune cookie fortunes. Only the ones I liked, natch....

Marie Rearden said...

I've noticed many of you have cats. I have them as well. They love to stomp on my jbaq nCF IOR.
Anyway...
There's a thesaurus and Jeff Herman's guide, as well as enough junk to fill several file cabinets. Always an empty mug and a clock. And my trusty flash drive.
Good luck with the cleaning!

Joyce Tremel said...

I love reading these comments.

This isn't on my desk, but in a drawer. I have a remote control from a long-gone TV with a tooth mark in it. My younger son, who is now almost 23, bit it when he was teething. I won't get rid of it.

Levi Montgomery said...

When my oldest son was in first grade, the class made ceramic candle holders for Fathers' Day. Instead of being sent home, they were presented to the parents at an open house, where the candle holders were arrayed in a long row down the center of a series of tables.

As we paraded slowly down the line, oohing and aahing over all the artwork on display, Brandon was so eager to get to his, so eager to give it to me, that he kept trying to pull me out of line. "Come on, Daddy! Let's go get yours!" he kept saying.

There were some truly astounding candle holders there, carefully shaped and painted, decorated with stars and unicorns and bumblebees, and I was enjoying them all. I was in no hurry.

Then I saw his. It was truly ugly. It was hideous. A misshapen heart in an angry red mottled with brown and pierced with one thumb-hole to put the candle in, it sported his name in scratched-in letters that started on the back and worked their way around to the top, getting bigger and bigger as they went.

For one long second, I was shocked, unable to even move. Surely every parent here had received a nicer candle holder than mine. Surely no other father here would feel shame as he took the proffered gift from his son. Then I saw the look in Brandon's eyes, and my heart soared so far above and beyond all those other parents that it has never returned to the mundane level it left.

The other parents only got candle holders. I, the father of the finest boy in all that room, received a far greater gift: the sure and certain knowledge that Brandon's candle holder was as great in this world as it was in his heart and mind.

I still have that candle holder, and it is still every bit as beautiful and wonderful as it was in that moment.

Jennifer said...

That is absolutely adorable. :D

I've got two little stuffed animals, a cute little turtle and an even cuter evil octopus named Tako-chan, that I picked up while on field trips with my students to an aquarium in Japan.

My students spent the day running around stealing them, wearing them on their heads, and otherwise just having fun, and some of them would even come by the office to "visit" them sometimes.

They might just be cute little stuffed animals, but for me they represent the awesome time I had in Japan and how much I enjoyed my students. They've earned a permanent place on my desk.

Loretta Ross said...

My sentimental keepsake is too big for my desk. There's an old tractor sitting in the field in front of my house. I've had offers to buy it from a hobbyist wanting to restore it, or for scrap, and once two guys tried to steal it, but I went out and chased them away. It's not even all there anymore and it'll never run again, but it was my dad's.

Jeff Adair said...

Last time I checked, my Dad still had a pencil cup I made him while in Cubscouts, almost 40 years ago...

kregger said...

I have a Campbell's soup can with blue cardboard paper around it. On the paper are glued seashells and glitter. It is a second grader's version of a pencil holder. I made it for my grand father and sent it to him for a Christmas present. I received it back from his estate thirty years later, and someday I hope to get one just like it from one of my five granddaughters. I will cherish it forever just like my grandfather did mine.

Ginger Marcinkowski said...

I have a plastic Cupie doll given to me when I was 3 yrs old by a nun, (I'm not even Catholic)the year I had my tonsils out. She's naked now,(the doll, not the nun,) with a punched in head, and one pink feather stuck to the one arm she has left. The random act of kindness attached to the doll means it's on my writing desk until they drag me out feet first.

MJFredrick said...

I have a ceramic angel a writer friend sent me when my grandmother died, a stuffed penguin from a student and a seashell from another student :)

Keith Popely said...

I'd love to throw out this accursed computer that refuses to finish the rewrite on my novel, but I suppose I'll hang onto it for awhile.

Catherine said...

A multicolored fish with fuchsia lips is taped to the wall beside my computer at work. My daughter colored it when she was in kindergarten. She's now a teenager and tried to remove it during her last visit. I threatened to withhold Starbucks for a month if she dared touch it. The fish stays. The neon colors make me smile.
A friend at work gave me a Towanda button. I stuck it to the foam mini hard hat on my desk. I had to explain it to the guys. They didn't really get it, but asked me not to smash into their cars. Okay...just don't park in my spot.

Robin Mizell said...

Fleur-de-lis bookends propping up several volumes of Colette translated into English. Until this moment, I hadn't recognized the symbolism.

Mama Bear said...

I have a wooden pencil holder with a ceramic anime girl and Chinese characters on it. I don't even remember what the translation reads (Shame on me for forgetting!), but it was a gift from some dear Chinese friends when I taught English at a Chinese university several years ago. I cherish their thoughtfulness.

ryan field said...

M&M's

Bella said...

A solid silver elephant about 30 years old. On my wall is a print of a painting by a friend which is also the cover of one of my books. It is of the twisted knarled & mossy roots of a Moreton Bay Fig tree & is quite spooky the more you look at it.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

A leprechaun figurine that came in a Red Rose tea box three years ago, which replaced the Snoopy typing on a keyboard, one of my kids got in a happy meal five years ago.

Amber Cuadra said...

I have a blue rubber duck that I got when my best friend dragged me to the mall (I don't like the mall). Turned out to be one of the best times we've had. I also have a mug with the face of one of my favorite anime characters from another close friend of mine that I won't ever see again. It's special.

Joanna said...

I have a picture of Joe from when he was 19 and we first started dating (cue "Awwww!"), in an old glass frame with flowers pressed inside. It sat on my desk in my college dorm, then my first apartment, then my first job (and second and third jobs), and now it sits on my desk at NCLit.

It reminds me of when we first met--I refuse to update it with something new! Besides, he was so adorable at 19... :-)

AKDD said...

A lock of hair from the first dog ever to completely steal my heart. She's 15 years in her grave, but not a day goes by that I don't benefit in some way from what I learned by living with her wise and joyful soul.


P.S. - Levi, that's lovely.

Donna Glaser said...

My heart belongs to a two-year old marshmallow with toothpicks sticking out all around it and a face with a tongue sticking out drawn on in black marker. It's what I used at my brother's eulogy to describe him: prickly outside, soft, mushy sweet goodness on the inside. I miss him so.

Brenda B. said...

A ceramic hula girl. I think she is supposed to be on the dashboard of my car, but I like her here on my desk, playing her ukelele for me while I work.

Brenda B. in Maine

Teri said...

A chunk of metal that reads: "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

CNU said...

A cliche piggy bank with the words "Beer Money" on it... it's filled with pens for writing short, pithy poems and drafts of disturbing children's books meant to subvert the youth.

I do enjoy that piece of kitsch ridiculousness.

-C

Violet Ingram said...

A picture frame with pictures of all 5 of my kids as newborns. Also, a picture of my hubby in his Army uniform.

Christina Auret said...

My most treasured possession was the result of a series of lucky missteps.

I bought a carving of an evil red giraffe at a church bazaar about 10 years ago. When I bought it, it wasn't red and it didn't look evil. It looked like an inexperienced wood carver's first attempt at a giraffe.

It probably was.

It was also only R5 so I bought it thinking I could paint it red and blue to enhance its wackiness. After one coat of red, the giraffe was not wacky anymore; it became a glowering testament to the amount of malice that can easily lie hidden. I love it dearly and will treasure it always.

jjdebenedictis said...

What's on my desk permanently?

My beloved collection of chocolate smudges. The heat of the laptop made them wick right into the wood.

(My potato chip mementos, however, are securely stored in my keyboard.)

Sharen Ford said...

A 20-year-old photograph of my husband and I, taken from the Brooklyn side of the East River, with the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center as backdrop.

kd easley said...

I have a small baby food jar with construction paper shapes glued to the outside. The lid is glued shut and there's a tag attached with a piece of yarn. The card says This jar is filled with love, Happy Mother's Day. I wouldn't take a million dollars for it.

Bree D said...

My Dwight Schrute bobble head. It was a gift of course.

Aslimmerkitten said...

My mum (a genealogist, but she's published a book on how to trace your family tree, so it counts) still has this absolutely awful ceramic... thing I made in primary school. I think it's supposed to be a wolf or dog head, it's hard to tell.

I don't yet have an exclusive, permanent desk. I share my writing space with my husbands and I's shared silly-little-model-painting hobby and his computer games. Also his contact lenses.

christine tripp said...

My desk itself!!!
My 4 kids are all grown now, married with children of their own but years ago they started a tradition of writing notes "thanks for the lunch mom" or " Bess loves Tyler" etc and drawing little pictures on the wood surface of my old drafting table.
I had purchased the old cast iron based drafting table second hand and it was already pretty marked up. I look at it now almost every day and though I sometimes think it would be nice to get a slick new drawing table, I know I could never do it.

wry wryter said...

Above my desk a faded computer picture of the Teton Mountains, labled "mommy's mountains" by my then 10 year old daughter.(she is 24 now) I visited the mountains when I was 15 and hope to go back someday, that was over 50 years ago.

Sandra Cormier said...

I have a stuffed Rocky The Squirrel sitting on my desk. Also a bobblehead dashboard doggie.

Do I see a cocktail shaker in disguise on top of your pine cone tree?

Posey said...

A note from your one and only Keri Dell, who sent me a congrats on hitting THE END of my very first story. She also sent a bundle of books. She tried to send me her couch, but her husband objected.