Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Desk Spelunking for Writerly Types

If you ever wondered what the inside of the main desk drawer of a writer includes, here's a mostly comprehensive list - with notes on certain brands and item usefulness.

Gel Pens - 13
Roller Ball Pens - 27
Ball Point Pens - 33
Fancy Schmancy Pens - 7 (4 discarded b/e broken/dead)
Other: Antique pen and pencil that used to be my grandmothers - has her maiden name and Northbridge address on it! REAL mini-fountain pen!
Total - 74 (way too many to break down by color… blue, black, red, green, silver; also not including all "cheap" pens thrown out because dry)

Lesson: Bic pens cannot die. Some have bite marks from high school and are still kicking. Onyx roller ball pens also do not die unless you leave the cap off for years. Companies - if you're going to put your name on a pen, a cheap-o Bic will be used forever; fancy pens - notsomuch. Almost all discarded pens were fancy corporate-logo pens.

Mechanical - 23
Never-used "old skool pensils" (the kind that require this antique called a "pencil sharpener") - 8
Used and/or chewed to hell old skool - 5
Golf pencils - 2
Colored (various colors) - 8
Total - 47

I hate throwing away stuff, but I never, ever, ever use non-mechanical pencils anymore. Better not to put advertising $ there.

Sharpie - 5
Permanent Black "Other" - 8
Black Laundry Marker - 1
Dry Erase (What, I'm a table-top gamer!) - 12
(5 blue, 2 red, 5 black; 4 disposed, all "Rose Art"or generic. Expo = longest lasting brand.)
Calligraphy - 5 (R, G, Bl, Bk, Br)
Fine Tip - 14 (6 Bk, 2 Bl, 5 R; 1 Bk + 1 Bl dried up)
Highlighter - 4 (1 blue, 3green, Pentech green dried up)
Total - 48

"Other" Writing Implements:
Glitter glue pens - 3 (red, green, & blue - only the green works)
Sonic Screwdriver with secret message nib - 1 (yes, I'm proud to be a geek!)
Total - 4 + nib

Total Writing Implements: 147
Lesson: Yes, writers can have too many pens.
My drawer had over 147 writing implements in it. I threw out probably about 30 or so (some documented, some not). Yeahhhhhh… that's too many. Especially with the regenerating/multiplying/undead properties of cheap ball points and roller balls.

Other Desk Stuff:

Push Pins, tacks, pointy things to hang stuff up with (I had one - very old - box of them, but also found a lot loose in the drawer. Fortunately, no skin was broken from these pointy little buggers.)
Paper clips (2 round containers, plus about 60 scattered around but now housed in a chocolate almond bag.)
Binder clips (1 round container plus a lot of loosey goosies - variety of sizes)
Pencil Sharpener (to go with all those old skool pensils)
4 big rubber erasers (also for said old skool pensils)
2 mini staplers (with staples)


Mini Screwdriver set with screws
Needle-nose pliers
Small (not mini) flathead screwdriver
2 allen wrenches
3 tapemeasures
2 retractable Exacto Knives

Scary Stuff:
Ok, a lot of what I found today could be classified as scary, but here are the real winners:
ReNu eye drops expiring 2000
Halls Cough drops expiring 2001 and 2004
Neosporin expiring 2002
3 Chap sticks without expiration dates
Blistex expiring 2003
2 melted/deformed rubber bands
* Sharp, pointy compass thingy (what we were supposed to use to draw circles with in grammar school but really used to see how many holes we could poke in the wooden desks with.)
Rusted mini-stapler
Envelope blotter with scary goopy clear stuff inside
*unsheathed/uncovered Exacto knife

*Stuff not immediately transferred to trash

Random Crap:
Windows Me promotional mints
2 fortunes from fortune cookies
school ID for St. Louis University Madrid campus (where I'm more naturally blonde)
1 bag googley eyes
1 bottle of white nail polish (put aside for Mom)
Laser pointer (Here, Nylis! Kitty, kitty!)
Screw-locking carabiner
2 scrapbook edging scissors
2 jacknives
4 wood furniture touch-up pens
1 white paint pen
1 copper paint pen
2 pair animal nail clippers
1 hole puncher
1 costume ring (no idea how that got in there)
1 St. Anne's Shrine (from Fiskdale) medal
bundle of red embroidery floss
1 nut pick (another wtf find)
10 Lighters (I'm not a smoker)
2 boxes and 5 books of matches (Really, not a smoker)
1 empty box of Mentholl 100s (I SWEAR! I think that was where the loose tacks were stored! Honest!)
Pieces of a watch that's not mine
Some… photos.
A silver quarter
5 pennies (1 Canadian)
1 Thunderbird (Native American, not car) beaded necklace
2 sets (human) nail clippers (because, one isn't sufficient?)
key to said drawer
deck of Mohegan Sun playing cards
empty pill box from Spain that I got for Dad

Art Stuff*:
1 box charcoal
1 bag pastels
1 scratch-board… utensil.
paint brushes

*all transferred to a new drawer

Phew! There are a few other unidentifiable things that I don't feel like photographing or discussing… but yeah.

Writers: Clean out your desks. Rely on quality (cheap) pens. Throw away old medication and mints. Do this more than once every ten years.

Business People: Spending a lot on "quality" merchandising (like expensive pens) is a total waste of money. Matchbooks and cheap pens will have your company name in front of people and being useful for a much longer time.


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