Staying (mostly) Sane.

I am NOT going to talk about how absolutely shitty everyfuckingthing is right now. Let us stipulate: Everything is shitty. I am NOT going to talk about how much I hate my job. I hate my job. I am NOT going to discuss how my former bewilderment about why Republicans are the way they are has blossomed into absolute rage. Seriously, they need to be electorally exterminated in November, if we’re not in a civil war by then.

No, I’m NOT going to rant about any of that and raise my blood pressure. I’m going to talk about my cheap room makeover and plans for a computer upgrade, somewhere down the road, in the After.

I have a 5 year old MacBook Retina which has since been discontinued. I understand why it was discontinued. It is truly the teacup poodle of Macs: tiny, cute and so light I could easily stick it in my purse, but impractical. At the time I was swayed by its tiny cuteness and lightness, and for my purposes it is still plenty of computer.

But its downside is that it has precisely ONE (1) USB-C port. For you non-Mac people, this means it only has one pluggy-thingy that works both to charge the machine and attach anything, like a nice big monitor. This is done via a hub, which is an inexpensive little add-on, but I currently can’t charge the laptop while using it. The meter is running even as I type; and when I finish this I will need to remember to unplug the hub and plug in the charger. Not a big deal, but not something I want to live with forever.

The company I contract for sent us all nice 24 inch monitors to use with our souped-up laptops for this work from home adventure, which was awesome of them. Even more awesome is that on the weekends I can unplug the work laptop and plug in the wee MacBook via a little Anker Hub, and test this as my permanent computer arrangement going forward, in the After. It works fine.

A few weeks ago I bought an inexpensive wireless full-sized keyboard and mouse set, and I’m very happy with them. You can’t beat them for the price, and they’ve made this a very comfortable weekend computing arrangement.

I’m making plans for when All This Shit Is Over, and, assuming I still have a job at the end of this year (not a given), I’m going to trade in the teacup poodle MacBook for a MacBook Pro, and buy a monitor like this borrowed one, and that should take care of my computing needs well into retirement.

(Heh-heh. Retirement? Sometimes I crack myself up.)

Planning for the future is getting me through the present. My home office is coming along nicely. The electrician came out this week and got the two dead outlets working – it was just a loose wire in an entirely different outlet that fed those two; they weren’t entirely dead, just too weak to function. It took the very nice electrician about 2 minutes to diagnose it and 20 minutes to fix everything. I gave him a wish list of other things I need to get fixed in This Olde Condo, and he’ll get me an estimate this weekend.

After all the power was working in here, I spent a couple of hours dragging stuff around, and this room is now much more comfortable and less claustrophobic.

I have come to terms with the reality that nobody is ever going to take this damn futon off my hands. Ellie has a lovely private dining table (Ikea end table) under the window.

The printer is across the room and not looming over my shoulder, and that alone made the room seem more open. There’s a lamp on the other side of the room, which also made a difference.

20+ year old book case and cabinet/printer stand. Ikea lamp.

I’ve spent very little money on this makeover. It has mostly been about rearranging and re-purposing things I already had, but now that the electricity is working in the entire room, I’m splurging on a larger desk and a floor lamp. My current desk is just not quite enough.

This is the weekend version of the desk. The work version has a much larger laptop and notebooks and paper and it’s annoying.
Old bedroom TV and a Fire stick (no cable in this room) sits on my yarn storage bins from Target. When Delaney comes over and wants to watch her annoying YouTube stuff, she can sit on the futon and rot her brain in here.

The new desk is obviously the biggest ticket item at $139, my desk chair was $50, the rug was $35, and the new floor lamp is $33. A few cheap picture frames for Disney art I already owned, and this room is nearly done.

Nearly done, because I think I’m going to add some hanging shelving on the blank wall over the desk, and I need to add a medal hanger. Right now all my race medals are looped on the mirror in my bedroom, and it’s really cluttered. In addition to the four virtual runDisney medals I’ll accumulate at the end of the summer, we still have our fingers crossed that the Wine and Dine will happen in November. I’ve been promising myself a display rack for some time, and finally found one I adore – so of course, it costs more than my desk chair. That’ll keep for another month or so.

This room makes me happy. I’m not like many of my fellow quarantiners. I don’t have time for sourdough starter and Netflix binges. I’m an “essential worker” stuck in a (formerly dark and cramped) home office with my farting dogs, doing a job I can barely stand on a good day, and there are few good days. Long overdue improvements to my work arrangement helped my mood enormously.

But I still can’t wait to chuck it all and go work at Disney. There has to be an After.