I wonder how many of you identify with this one . . .

~takes a big breath . . . steps up to the podium~

Hi, my name is Miki, and I’m, uh, . . .  I’m addicted to office supplies!!  ~sobs~

It’s been two weeks since I last bought a G2 pen . . . well, a whole pack of them actually, indigo blue, fine tip.I can’t help it, they’re my favorites.

While I was there I may have looked at a few composition books, the kind with quad-ruled lines in them, which my inner engineer gets all excited about! And those colored sticky notes I never find a use for!! And OMG, multicolored binder clips!! Eek!

20 pack of Pilot G2 pens
Heaven in ink . . . sigh

I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for compulsive writers . . .

Oh, and there may have been some highlighters and a laser pointer I thought my cats might like. No, really: I can’t use a highlighter without a couple of fuzzballs pouncing up to sniff glassy-eyed around my homework. I need the laser pointer to literally throw them off the scent!

But that’s nothing compared to my excitement around anything with paper in it. If you’re a writer, perhaps you know what I mean. It would be nice to know I’m not alone.

When the urge gets to be too much, I will likely set out on a pilgrimage to my favorite place of quill repute (see what I did there?), a wonderful not-so-little place called the New Renaissance Bookshop on 23rd Avenue here in NW Portland. Along with lots of lovely inspirational things of all flavors and genres, there exist whole walls of blank-paged books crying out to be filled with awesome words and thoughts.

If the beautiful covers don’t draw you in . . . the artfully etched or pressed or drawn bindings might, covers meant to be touched as much as looked upon; in a plethora of inspiring scenes and designs. Perhaps the gold-edged or round-cornered pages will call out to you instead. These beautiful books range from the heavy, metal-clasped-and-hinged “book of shadows” variety, to the perfectly mini idea-book sized ones that yearn to live within your purse or backpack, ready to collect your wily ideas.

I can’t walk in that store without fondly admiring–or is it fondling admiringly–at least a dozen of these little journals.

journalsnotepads_ss61But for all this love of the blank page, I will rarely give in to this particular compunction. Experience has finally taught me that the empty pages that so attract my writerly sense will not placate my writerly needs. Often instead I will return home with a lovely book already filled with someone elses words.

The irony here is that although I love the physical form of journals to record my thoughts in, it is the computer keyboard that ends up fitting the bill. But it’s so less romantic . . .  sigh.

Here’s how this happens . . .

On one shelf in my home at this moment sit a half dozen lovely journals, still waiting to be filled. Most of them have their first ten or so pages carefully torn out. Many times have I blindly followed an inspiration to begin a physical journal in one of them, but a few pages in, my impatient fingers remind me how much faster my ideas could be recorded on a keyboard. I shake this thought off as unworthy and tarry onward, thinking how truly wondrous it is to lay ink to paper, ignoring the growing soreness in my wrist. But then, around the tenth or twelfth page mark, another unruly realization invades my paper-and-ink love affair:

My forgotten “organization foible” has unmasked itself once more! ( . . . stay tuned!)

Suffice it to say that I realize that every word I have painstakingly scribbled within those lovely pages . . . will have to be methodically retyped into a computer anyway, if for no other reason than for me to actually see them again. I know from years of trying how impossible it is to locate an entry in all those consecutive pages, especially trying to scan for words and ideas in my own handwriting. Perhaps one day they’ll make paper-and-ink journals with built in keyword search capabilities. I will come back to them then.

Until that day, I’ll stick with my Evernote app. I’ll talk about that one later, too, if that’s okay. I think it might be worth having one blog post just on that. For those of you who dream of becoming paperless, Evernote or one of its clones may be the way to go.

I think it may be a foible within a foible that alongside my love of pen and paper lives a deep desire to be completely paperless . . .  every idea, note, or journal entry digitized, tagged and search optimized.

Ah, the dichotomies that occur when foibles meet. =)

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m seduced by pretty boxes (and shame on some of you for what you’re thinking). To some degree, we all must be, judging by the sheer amount of creativity and colorfulness we see walking down the aisle of our neighborhood grocery store. But most of us are so used to the advertising noise in these settings that we’ve tuned them out as unconsciously as we surf channels to escape commercials..

boxBut for me, and other box lovers out there, there’s just something enticing about a well designed containment unit. Be it a lovingly designed, perfectly fitted hinged affair made of daintily-thin wood, or a shiny aluminum big cousin to the Altoids tin, there’s just something about a well-crafted portable storage space that makes me happy.

For example, my last attempt at buying an appropriate gift for a friend fell into this latter format: a beautiful silver case the size of a fat ebook, hinged, with a pretty olive green sleeve lovingly describing its contents. In this “case,” it was a set of those magnetic words some of us enjoy littering the front of our refrigerators with, for randomly arranging pithy quotes, silly poems, or lurid insults to unsuspecting future appliance users.

It wasn’t until after my starry-eye-inducing purchase was safely out of sight in it’s frumpy paper bag, when I was well on my way home, that I began to realize that perhaps a set of magnetic words for creating poetry … as a present to a poet … might be like giving a teddy bear to a taxidermist: an exercise in the superfluous..

I’m often proud of myself for thinking outside of the box in most situations, but I also need to stop admiring the damn box while I’m out there*. The poet agrees: we’ll be revisiting the store to find something a little more appropriate for her.

Perhaps something in a cute little box …

[ * And lo, when I get home with an especially lovely little box, I find myself wondering what I will do with it . . . or any of the others I’ve collected to date. I don’t want to talk about it. ]

Four out of five narcissists agree: the human race is an imperfect lot. Even our DNA earns its keep by making errors . . . what we call “evolution”. Like most humans, I carry with me a plethora of dysfunction wherever I go. A few are physical—most are not. They don’t eat much, but they help make me who I am, for better or worse, so I proudly call them my own.

This is their story …

Asparagus, Broccoli & Shellfish—Oh My!

Okay, I admit it. I eat like a five-year-old.

My texture issues followed me like hungry kittens into adulthood: where foods like kiwi or mushrooms or cooked squash are too slimy to be beheld; where my bitterness sensitivity make bell peppers (only the green ones), capers and grape leaves inedible; and where a strange genetic mutation transforms guacamole and sour cream into an inert, tasteless nothingness on my tongue.

But these maladjustments barely scratch the surface of my culinary weirdness …

Shellfish, no matter how gourmet in preparation, smells to me like decomposing garbage. To think of ingesting it as a food is to risk projectile vomiting. I had to type the previous sentence very carefully.

Asparagus, on the other hand, has nothing more than a bitter aroma to me, but my throat closes up just to be in the same room where it’s cooking. Attempting to eat any of it would be improbable at best. And asparagus has a unique way of taking over the sweat glands of its victims, so if you’ve eaten some of it in the last few days, please don’t be insulted when I move far away from you.

I don’t want to talk about broccoli, other than to warn you: Do not under any circumstances allow me to eat this in your presence . . . unless you wish to be among the crowd running for the hills soon after. If anyone has seen the movie Godzilla and the Smog Monster, you know what I mean. Failing to heed this advice may be construed in some countries as a terrorist act.

You have been warned.

“Foibles” was a creative writing class exercise that went awry. It was meant to brainstorm prompts for future writing projects, but I think my instructor stepped back in fright when she saw how long my list was getting. There’s enough foibles here to fuel a year long blog, but I think I’ll scale it back to a foible or two a week (welcome to Foibles Monday).

I don’t want to take you away from the normal things I usually write about here. ~giggle~