Monday, April 28, 2014

This is where the magic happens.

     By which I mean this is where I sit when I wake up at four in the morning and I need to know how long narwhals live and it cannot wait until morning (30-40 years. Also did you know that the word narwhal comes from Old Norse "nar" meaning "corpse" and "hval" meaning "whale," because their skin is the color of a drowned sailor? CORPSE WHALE. If you don't think that is the most metal freaking thing ever then I don't even know what to do with you).

     Disturbing but educational intro aside, today I thought I'd share a bit about where I do all ma workins. I go through phases where I get a leeetle obsessed with looking at other people's workspaces online in an effort to find inspiration for my own. When you work from home I think it's especially crucial to keep your work area organized and pleasant, or else you'll end up sitting in bed on your laptop, which wrecks your sleep habits because your brain is a fragile little goofball and if you do your work the same place you sleep your brain gets trained all wrong and every time you climb into bed you suddenly have all the thoughts in the world like you looked into the heart of the TARDIS. Says like, every sleep doctor ever (apparently a sleep doctor is called a somnologist, google tells me. The more you know insert shooting star here). Plus you start to lose all sense of where you do life things, so then it's "well I can have a snack while I work" and eating in bed and before you know it you're one of the future humans from Wall-E. Bad news all around. Anyway, the point was that I wanted to show you guys what my current work set-up is. 

     SO. Lemme tell you what we're looking at. I recently added a second monitor to the situation, which obviously made me twice as productive (citation needed). My dad recently replaced his computer and asked if I wanted the monitor, so I figured "hey, yeah, that could actually be really helpful" since I'm always looking for ways to force myself to do work at my actual desk. And it has worked out really well. I've got the external  monitor set up as an extension of my laptop's screen, so I can swap windows between them easily, like if I want to have a document I'm editing for a client open on one screen and the APA style guide open on the other so I can double-check the formatting of how to cite a radio address with a host, a speaker, and a ghostwriter who received acknowledgment, or what have you. Plus this way in my down time I can be watching Game of Thrones and pinning Daenerys-inspired braided hairdos on Pinterest at the same time. Timesaver!

     Originally I had wanted to be able to just plug it all together and close my laptop, hence the keyboard, but apparently the wifi on my laptop can't work when the lid is closed, for boring technical reasons relating to wifi antennas and other such things that I do not care about. But that just led me to the two-screen setup, so it worked out just fine. I kept the extra keyboard because the external monitor is bigger and a lot easier to look at (constant vigilance against the scourge of eye-strain, people), so it's my "main" screen, and it felt weird to type off to the side. I can still scooch it back if I need the space to work on a physical manuscript (or a place to sit my cereal bowl, let's be honest). 

     Other than that we've just got my makeup brushes and liners and such, which has to stay here because this is also where I get ready in the morning (hence the mirror behind the laptop). Which leads me to my other recent switch-up: the system of boxes I've got going on the upper shelf. I'm always trying to figure out a way to store my makeup that isn't a huge mess to look at but doesn't make everything hard to get to. Previously I had pouches up top and a clear organizer on my desk that didn't really keep me organized. Now all the boxes sit up there (open, so I can pull them out and grab stuff easily. Except the black and white box on the left, which is lipsticks. I don't need to get in there as often; I don't wear much lipstick anymore because I like to kiss on my baby niece and nephew all the time and I'm scared of being the crazy aunt that leaves lipstick marks everywhere) keeping my stuff corralled but accessible. So, from the left it's nighttime skincare stuff in the first brown box, morning skincare in the second, my usual everyday makeup in the pale pink box, then on the other side there's other eye makeup in the white box, palettes underneath, and finally blushes, foundations, and powders to suit all my varying skintones throughout the year, ranging from "shining full moon white" to "only safely viewable through a pinhole in a shoebox." Man, being a girl is effort

     So for now, at least until I find a new tiny inconvenience to rework my entire system around, this set-up is working really well for me. It's organized, it's functional, what more could you ask. The only problem I can think of is that the plant up top on the left (remember that bulb I was growing?) is OUT OF CONTROL and looming over my head as I type. It's a little disconcerting. Look. 

     I admire and fear it all at once. I don't even know. 

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