Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Sitting Desk

A lot of people have been asking me about my desks (no one has ever asked about my desks) so I thought I'd share some photos of my sitting desk after a productive Saturday morning writing session. I use the term "sitting desk" because I also have a standing desk at which I often write.

Here is a picture of my sitting desk, with descriptions of some of the items upon it:

  1. Laptop: it sits upon a wooden box for better ergonomics. I use a wireless keyboard and mouse with it for the same reason. I also use the wireless keyboard because I hate the chiclet keyboard on my laptop. The keys are constantly becoming improperly seated.
  2. Windup toys: I dislike clutter, yet I like windup toys. I got that crab in Baltimore, MD, home of John Waters and a mall in which 50% of the stores sell 100% crab merchandise.
  3. Hand Lotion: I thought about removing the hand lotion from my desk, because people would think, "Hand lotion in the summer...? Alan Ryker is spending all his time sitting at his desk masturbating!" I keep lotion on my desk because, being half black, I tend to have dry skin. Now don't you feel like an asshole, you stupid racist?
  4. Computer monitor duh: sometimes I use a second monitor. I once did so frequently when I wrote health and fitness articles, because I'd need to have my research handy on one screen and my word processor on the other. Now I really only use it when doing cover design.
  5. A peg chess set: I like chess. This chess set is pretty useless, as the pawns, rooks, bishops and knights are all basically the same height. But it's the only peg chess set I have and it looks pretty neat.
  6. A denim pocket: Sometimes I use it as a mouse pad. Sometimes I use it to file my nails. Seriously.
  7. Sea Monkeys: more on those later.
  8. A playing card: I like to use playing cards as bookmarks and sight markers. It's not just an affectation. I've tried using note cards, but the texture prevents the card from sliding along the page. The playing card surface is just right for sliding down a page. Not that I read paper books much anymore.

Here's a closer shot of my laptop and windup toys, and some stone dice I got at the Smithsonian:

Here's my sea monkey aquarium. I circled the friskiest of my sea monkeys. When I'm thinking of the next line in a story, I like to watch it swim around. Sad story: I left my sea monkeys on the window sill for too long, they overheated and most of them died. I seem to have three left. I knew that at one time sea monkeys procreated, but I waited a long time and saw no babies. At first I thought maybe they'd figured some way to make them sterile mules, like genetically modified crops, but I looked it up and that's not the case. Turns out the eggs won't hatch if conditions aren't just right. I thought I might have to dehydrate the jar and rehydrate to jump start the process. Then the day before yesterday I noticed babies. Yay! They're not big enough to photograph yet.


  1. Upgrade from those fake shrimp to real shrimp. Check out these awesome guys:

    They sit on my desk too. Strange how we both took up shrimping at nearly the same time. I have some bumble bee shrimp too, but I don't have pics yet. Maybe tomorrow after I clean up their tank a little.

    1. I don't see myself ever getting a fish tank that requires maintenance (my cat and dog fulfill my quotient of pet hassle). In fact, these sea monkeys were just a cheap test to see if I would like to spend the money on one of those sweet ecosphere shrimp terrariums that are sealed and thus impossible to maintain.

      But nice shrimp!

  2. I can totally relate. I was worried I'd get bored with the maintenance in my fishtank, but so far I don't feel overburdened. The shrimp tank is much easier because it's small and the shrimp don't make much of a mess. I change out a couple of gallons of water every couple of weeks and that's about all aside from tossing them a pellet every couple of days.

    They have cool cylindrical and square tanks that are only a few gallons. Those would make great shrimp tanks!

    1. My emails haven't been communicating, so I didn't know you'd replied.

      If you've never seen them, check out these ecospheres. I first encountered them at the Smithsonian gift shop