Ten random things that I love to have around:
1. Harry and David double-dipped malted milk balls. I get them in the candy aisle at Target for about $2.50 a box, two or three a day keep me happy, and I don’t share them with my children.
2. Post-It notes of every shape, color and variety. On my desk at this very moment are sticky notes shaped like dialogue bubbles, squares, rectangles, and mini flags. I never learned the English major / teacher habit of writing notes in the margins of my books – books are sacred and should not be defaced in any way, even in the name of scholarship – and I really hate having a new approach to a reading influenced by the things I thought before. I solve this issue by writing my notes on Post-Its and sticking them to the respective pages. When I’m finished with the book, I put the page numbers on the sticky notes and stick them all to the inside front and back covers on the book. That way, I can go back to them or not as I choose. They’re also great for putting notes on the wall above my desk: I currently have a copy of my teaching schedule and of TCCs grading scale on stickies on the wall behind my computer.
3. Binder clips. I’m not much of a paper clip kind of gal; I prefer the no-nonsense, solid hold of binder clips, and I collect them at every opportunity. I’m running a little short on my supply – as I do every term at about this point – and plan on bringing chocolate to the Goddess at the front desk of TCC in the hopes that she will bless me with a couple of boxes of clips tomorrow.
4. Lip balm. I have several different varieties of the stuff strewn throughout the house – there are tubs of Blistex on the window sills of the kitchen and bedroom, tubes of Softlips in the living room and by my computer, and several different varieties, both tinted and not, in the bathroom, my purse, and the door pocket of my car. I’m not much of a make-up girl, but I do try to keep my lips from chapping.
5. A book. I feel lost if I’m not working my way through a book and, at any given moment, I have at least one – sometimes as many as three – that I’m reading (though, if I’ve got multiple books going at once, they are almost always of different genres). I’m currently reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood for the Dark and Stormy Book Club, and my mother in law brought over a book that she recommends very, very highly, called The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I’ll probably wait to start my MIL’s book, but I take her recommendations very seriously – that woman is a wicked reader.
6. Lemon juice powder. I’ve tried – mostly successfully – to give up soda in favor of water. My problem is that I don’t really like plain water. This problem is solved, though, by a wonderful product called True Lemon. It comes in little, highly portable packets that I can stash in my purse and my briefcase, so I can have light, lemony water whenever I want it. My students are often curious about what I’m pouring into my big Life is Good water bottle – I think they think I’m doing something illicit. They’re like that.
7. Music. I have two different CD cases in my car, and I try to keep a rotating selection of music in them (at least, until Mr. Chili settles on a hard-wire set up for the iPod in my car). I love NPR and, really, am a certifiable junky, but sometimes a girl needs some tunes. I also really love my iTunes on my computer. I’ve got a sweet little Cambridge Soundworks speaker system that I can connect to the laptop to fill the kitchen (really, most of the house) with all my favorite songs. It’s good.
8. Nail files and dental floss. I suppose that MacGyver could do more interesting things with these than I do, but I really hate both the feeling of a “catchy” nail or of something stuck between my teeth. These rescue items – fine grit paper files and mint, waxed floss – live in all of my bathrooms (there are two now, soon to be three) and in my car (in the door pocket next to the aforementioned lip balm). I’ve actually gotten killer headaches from having a bit of popcorn hull or apple skin wedged in my back molars – it may be geeky to have ready access to floss, but it’s better than the alternative.
9. Fine point pens in fun colors. I’ve got a student this term who doesn’t see things in the red family very well, so I’ve taken to grading my students’ papers in purple, but I’ve got a virtual rainbow of fine point pen choices available to me (thanks in part to Organic Mama, who is a wicked enabler of my pen (and chocolate) habit).
10. Hair things. Clips, barrettes, sticks, scrunchies and bands. I have great hair – thick, wavy and auburn-brown – and it’s something I’ve finally grown to appreciate. In the summertime, though, it can be a bit cumbersome: it sticks to the back of my neck when it’s hot outside, it frizzes out something awful when the humidity is just right (or, really, just wrong), and it can make driving with open windows a hazardous undertaking as it blows all over my head and occasionally blocks my vision. I have various hair restraining devices scattered all over the place: there are clips and scrunchies hooked on the directional and windshield wiper stems in the car, there are baskets of them in the bathrooms (the girls, too, have quite a bit of hair that sometimes calls for taming), and a few implements of restraint tucked into my purse and my briefcase. I’ll often hook a clip to the hem of my shirt or jacket, even if I want to keep my hair down; it’s better to be prepared.
There you have it. Randomness at its finest.
Happy Tuesday, Everyone!