I thought you might like to see one of the places where I write blogs. Sometimes I work in this space, too. It’s my new office. Pardon the shittay quality of the photo – I took this picture with my cellphone. Let me give you a tour. Starting with the left side of my desk, you’ll see a rock I’m using as a paperweight. That rock came from a beach in Muir Woods. It’s not windy in my office; I just like the rock. South of the rock is my Zabar’s coffee mug. I’m amazed it made it back from NY without a chip. Usually when something like that happens, you break it when you put your luggage in the trunk after landing in your hometown. To the right of the rock, see that brass round thing? That’s my grandfather’s Port of Houston Authority plaque. He was editor of Port of Houston Magazine for years and years. The computer screen is washed out, but it features my favorite picture from the Grand Canyon trip. I exhale a little deeper every time I see that picture (seriously, it really gives a sense of expansion – I can’t help but physically react). The figure standing on the base of the screen is a laughing Buddha whose belly gets rubbed quite often. To the right of that, my Alley Theatre mug/pen holder and a cute picture of Stella.
On the far wall, you’ll see a poster from the Ant Farm exhibit that was at UH’s Blaffer Gallery three years ago. My dad was in a lot of that exhibit (he wasn’t an ant farmer, but he was friends with those guys back in the day and was captured in many of the photos).* To the right of Ant Farm (and the TV that is always tuned to HoustonPBS, except when it’s not) is my bookshelf. I haven’t brought too many books from home, so this is mostly just what I inherited with the office plus a few three ring binders of stuff I’ve anally organized. On top of the case is a quote I love: barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon – Masahide. I have no idea who Masahide is – I saw this quote printed on a card and was drawn to it, so I bought it. On the back of the first shelf are a picture of Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey on a collie at full gallop and an ad for my father’s company, Artisan Builders. The second shelf features a picture of Stella on her first birthday, wearing a birthday hat that James made her, and a small McDonald’s happy meal toy from 1987 (according to the date stamped on the bottom). It’s a cheeseburger that transforms into a robot, and it was given to me by an Alley coworker as a going away present in commemoration of the burger journey. Moving further to the right, above the lamp you’ll see an Obama sticker and and Edward Albee/Alley Theatre poster. The far right features a poster of Main Street at Rusk from the 1930s.
I was going to give you a tour of the other side of the office, but enough already. You’re not missing a lot – I have a framed picture of downtown Houston a la 1987 (odd that two dated things in my office are both from 1987 – perhaps I’m living in the past), a huge HoustonPBS poster, a printer, filing cabinets and a writing desk. There’s a window in here, too. You’ll note the lamps – I really am not a fan of fluorescent lights, so I have three lamps instead.
There you have it.
* You may have read my blog years ago about the exhibit experience – a pimply “security” guard followed me around the whole time because I tried to take a picture of one of the displays with my camera so I could save it for prosperity. It’s not often you see your dad in a gallery. You can go to the Metropolitan Museum in NYC and take all the photos you want, but Blaffer Gallery is a different story.