Interesting things I found while cleaning my desk

I live a fast, entropic life. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, things always seem to fall into place around me. Unfortunately, that means that some things STAY in that place until something major happens and I finally reorganize everything. I moved around a lot as a kid and this is a sort-of cleansing ritual I picked up that helps me transition. Also, I lose a lot of things. Here are some interesting things I thought I had lost that I found this time around:


  • My passport (under a pile of take-out menus).
  • The spacebar of my old laptop. Also, the ctrl key :( It was a slow death.
  • 2 Cicada skins stored in the box my folder knife came in. This may seem like a weird thing to keep, but who knows how much longer certain creatures have on Earth? What if one day they just don’t emerge from their 13-year hibernation cycle because we’ve destroyed all their habitats? It will be something to show the hypothetical grand kids. Although, insects are pretty resilient, and so perhaps maybe THEY should be keeping human remnants in their cluttered living spaces.
  • Four cocktail napkins with column-fodder scribbled on them in pen from election night 2008. Good, I need column ideas.
  • An actual old-school Zine — Rumpshaker — the prequel to the modern blog, which I find fascinating.
  • A folder labeled “IMPORTANT PAPERS to NOT lose.” It is empty and I am worried about the implications of that.
  • My Social Security card – shoved inside an envelope that I almost threw away.
  • THIS calculator, with which I can divide by zero and instantly make a black hole.
  • “Survival of implanted fetal dopamine cells and neurologic improvement 12 to 46 months after transplantation for Parkinson’s disease,” from NJEM — a paper I was reading for an article I never wrote.
  • A folder labeled “unsent letters,” the contents of which should remain there, permanently.
  • Buried under stacks of magazines at the very bottom of everything, a phone number scrawled on a cocktail napkin, given to me in exchange for mine by a French guy. We never called each other. You know my reason; his was that he was too shy. He felt bad about it every time I saw him after that, especially when I unknowingly started seeing his roommate. As you can imagine, that did not last long.
  • My USB card reader that I’ve been needing since I killed my point-and-shoot and discovered my roommate’s won’t sync to my MacBook with just a cord.
  • $6.14 in change.

7 thoughts on “Interesting things I found while cleaning my desk

  1. Toaster

    I have a dresser filled with the scraps of dead technology and tools that I lug around with me. It’s exactly where I would expect to find a loose control bar.

    As for insects hoarding human remains, who’s to say they don’t already? They outnumber us 10^6:1, so I give them many benefits of any doubt.

  2. scribbler50

    “Although. insects are pretty resilient, and so perhaps maybe THEY should be keeping remnants in their cramped living spaces.”
    Great line, Arikia, and sadly all too true.
    Also, being a bartender, I’m looking at cocktail napkins myself right now, (scads of them on my desk), with everything from e-mail addresses and phone numbers to books to read to “genius” observations that hit me at work to (of course) the ubiquitous WTF? is this and why did I write it napkin? I swear a while back I’d thought about doing a post on “the inscribed cocktail napkin”… the experience of piecing together or trying to explain all these random (often mindless) recordings when I find them wherever, and now that you’ve mentioned it here I just might get at it. Thanks.
    By the way, (and for what it’s worth) I really enjoy your blog else I obviously wouldn’t be here again but God I wish it didn’t have a black background. Yours is one of the very few, if not the only blog, I bother to return to which has this format so (for what THAT’S worth!), much as I hate dungeon decor there’s a compliment buried in there somewhere.

  3. scribbler50

    Arikia, having just noticed that I’ve been honored by being added to “The Entourage”, I’ve returned the favor and placed you onto my blog roll. (In spite of my bitching and moaning about the black background!)

  4. EJ

    “A folder labeled “IMPORTANT PAPERS to NOT lose.” It is empty and I am worried about the implications of that.”


  5. Arikia Post author

    @Razib – I gave up on trying to use those because of their high losability rate. This is also why things such as the iPod nano and expensive jewelry of any kind does not appeal to me. Potential maraige proposal? Forget the ring. I would much rather have something practical, like a wedding car.

    @Scribbler – I strongly approve of your cocktail napkin ramblings idea!!! I’ll scan mine for you if you want to use them. I apologize for the distress my background color causes you. Unfortunately, I like it! After doing nothing but looking at all white backgrounds and ScienceBlogs mastheads for 8 months, I need a change. You can always make the font bigger with ctrl/apple (plus) + . Thanks for the blogrolling! It is likewise an honor :)

  6. Pingback: FOUND at the Internet Garage [new blog series!] « The Millikan Daily

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