Work essentials

September 10, 2012

My move to New York having been postponed to January (... more on that later), I mostly work from home (aside from French tutoring and an internship I won't mention here because I'd like to keep my blogging separate from it), and my work is mostly writing: for my blog; for All Things Fashion DC, where I contribute biweekly; or on a novel that is undergoing final edits (... again, more on that later).
Here are a few  essentials I like to keep on hand when I am sitting at my desk, in front of my laptop, and typing the night away!

Violet herbal tea: I am fond of everything that reminds me of Toulouse, France (my favourite city in the world), and getting a whiff of violet from a piping tea mug is quite motivating. In what way, you ask me? Thinking of Toulouse => makes me happy => I work harder => I make a great income => I save for retirement => I turn 65, move to Toulouse, where I buy a very large house => I occupy my days cooking for my husband, entertaining and taking care of the many cats (strays or shelter euthanasia-row) I will shelter (either permanently or temporarily, until someone adopts them).

Gel ink pen: I know this is the digital age, and ever since I finished high school, I've barely used a pen. I thus discover a certain pleasure in writing by hand, so I keep pens around for letter-writing (Yes, I do that!), penning down recipes that I actually like (only the best I've tested make it into my recipe book, which I have ever since I was 7), and just about anything else.

Post-it dispenser: A high-school teacher introduced me to the massive and compulsive use of post-its, and I've been hooked ever since. I don't like opening a Word document to make a list of what I need to do. Instead, I scribble down my future post ideas (or just about anything else, like an essay outline) on post-its that I stick on the shelf over my desk. Obviously, they're pink.

Fruit crisps: I used to keep a bowl of candy near me, as anyone may know how after some arduous intellectual activity, well, how do I put it... Brain. Needs. Sugar. Now. I recall a particular episode during a philosophy bac blanc (non-Francophones: the baccalauréat is the exam you need to pass to graduate from French high-school, and in the final year ("terminale"), you do one mock exam in a different subject each week) when after working on my "dissertation" for an hour and a half, my mind blanked out. My friend had cookies, but I didn't dare ask her for some, because you're not supposed to speak during an exam. All I had to snack on was a pack of chewing-gum, and I finished all twelve in less than a minute. All this to say that those fruit crisps not only are healthier than candy because they only contain 100 calories and the fiber is filling, but they actually taste like real pastry (or, to be fair to my apple-pies made from scratch, the closest you can get that comes in a wrapper).

Opera: Those who have been reading my blog for a while know my great, unlimited love for opera, the finest, most divine of all arts, and for Maria Callas... the Goddess. Whether I am studying or working, I always have an opera playing on iTunes. I suppose it inspires me to create beauty and reach for perfection. Currently, I am listening to Lucia di Lammermoor, with Maria Callas and Giuseppe di Stefano. I recommend it to anyone.

Scented candle: Aside from the occasional allergic reaction, unlike everyone in my family (lots of allergies/sensitivity) I am very fond of scents. I always keep pots-pourris, aromatic candles, and linen sprays made from essential oil mixes. My favourite place to go for candles is Bath and Body Works; what I like the most is that they have small-sized candles, which are ideal for trying new scents. I recently picked up a few, including Black Pepper Bergamot, which is now my favourite scent, after my Sandalwood Vanilla was discontinued (I did stock up on a few candles and the home fragrance oil, but I use them very sparingly). I think I am very fond of spicy scents, maybe because this one in particular reminds me of the perfume that a man I am extremely fond of wears.

Fur blanket: Work doesn't mean one must be uncomfortable or cold. I do sit straight (okay, sometimes I work straight from bed... What, it got me an A on a politics essay once!), but I like to wrap myself into a soft fur blanket. The only problem is that when my neighbours' cat is around (and she is... a lot.), she likes to snuggle against it and becomes very possessive. The solution is to wrap myself into the blanket, then let the cat cuddle in my lap and turn on the purring machine. The blanket does somehow protect my sensitive skin against Madame Kitty's instinctive kneading.

Do you have any work or study desk essentials that you can't do without? Is there anything you particularly recommend?

On a different note, I have just been thinking, would anyone be interested into learning about opera? I could write a post about it, outlining the big styles, a little bit of chronology, and suggestions about what to begin listening to. Let me know.

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Sensaatio said...

These are some great essentials, I can relate to so many of them :)

Rebecca said...

Yeah it's nice to have a work area with these awesome stuff in it!!


Anonymous said...

You forgot to talk about the... Nah, won't say it here. But it's taking a considerable effort to stop myself! Hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

You are a fascinating character. I get the feeling that you belong in another era. Reading your blog is immensely refreshing. Stay classy, lady, and I would love to see some posts about opera.

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