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The Cave Essentials

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My favorite feature of my home office is the paint on the walls. It’s blood red. I’m talking deep scarlet burgundy. The ceiling is a single solid red, but the walls are a macabre mix of every horror film red on top of a slightly textured wall. When people walk in the office, it’s this color and texture they see and they often comment, “It feels so, well, oppressive.”

To which I answer, “There’s the door – right there.”

With respect to friends and family, my office is not for you; it’s for me. My office is not designed to welcome nor entertain anyone except me. It’s intended to be a place where I feel productively safe. Those blood red walls? There is not an ounce of horror in them for me. It’s my cave and a cave is a dark place hidden away from all to see. I wear those blood red walls like a warm blanket.

desk

There are three other essentials that, for me, represent a proper cave. They are:

Your forever desk. My primary location in my office is at my desk. As you can see from the photo, I have two 27” monitors – one is an iMac, and the other is a display. Family photos on the left. Secondary desk with the PS4 and laser printer on the right. You might not have even seen the primary desk at first glance which is surprising because it’s the most important part of the picture.

Everything on that desk will be replaced in the next five years. New iMac, new PS4. The family photos will be upgraded with the latest scholastic accomplishments. There will be more pens. That desk isn’t going anywhere.

A desk’s job is to build productivity, and for me, it achieves this by first providing an immense amount of clear working space. When I put my hands on the keyboard, I want nothing around them except a cup of black coffee. There’s space for memorabilia, but it is well outside my line of sight. Second, a desk must be built like a tank. The surface of my desk is two inches of solid wood. The legs and support beams are similarly sturdy. When I put my feet up on those beams, the desk doesn’t budge.

While I, too, take the desk for granted, there are moments when I stop and admire the slightly discolored oddly shaped patch to the right of my keyboard. It’s where I’ve worn through the finishing clicking and dragging various mice over the years. I run my hands over the surface of the deck. It’s smooth, but there are dents and divots. Some of those imperfections are stories, some are simply mistakes, but like a great bag, a desk’s character is one that improves with age.

A deep leather couch. True story. I owned the Pandora.com domain name many years ago. When I sold the domain for less money than you think to the company that became Pandora, I explained to my wife I wanted three things: whatever the fancy SLR camera was at the time, carte blanche to buy a shit ton of books, and a leather couch so deep that when leaned back, you crossed a time zone.

couch

The couch is from Restoration Hardware and it’s nearly four feet deep and almost seven feet wide. If I put my back squarely against the back cushion, my legs stick straight out like a toddler and I’m tall. When visitors sit down and discover this depth, they tilt their head, look at me, and are about say something snarky about feeling like a toddler, so I quickly quick explain…

“The door… it’s right there.”

This couch speaks to me. This couch says, “You. You there. You looked stressed and I have just the thing. Fire up Netflix, turn on a random Star Trek Voyager, lay down, and how about a quick snooze? Not interested in watching something? How about we re-read the Planetary Omnibus because we’re still not clear clear not what the hell was going on there, right?”

If my desk is where I am productive, my couch in my cave is where I relax. Perhaps I am serendipitously productive or maybe I just find essential quiet between the thoughts on 28 square feet of leather.

Lovingly curated bookshelves. I’ve already waxed poetic about book shelves here. In preparation for this piece, I embarked on the weekend-long task of – once again – curating my bookshelves. If my desk is where I work, and my couch is where I contemplate, my bookshelves are my life resume.

bookshelf

The multi-day process of reviewing and sorting these books is not just organizationally cathartic; it’s a mental adventure where I perform a deep assessment of my current mental state. For example, multiple books on the craft of poker were removed from the shelf. Poker had a good long run – 5+ years – but during my last Vegas stint, I didn’t even think to visit the poker room. Those poker books – gone to goodwill. The writing shelf, the leadership shelf – all well stocked and full of decades of wisdom. The comic book shelf is now shelves as I’ve been on a very satisfying comic book kick for the past six months.

Unlike the desk or the couch, I don’t spend much time at my bookshelf, but like the desk and the couch, my bookshelf defines my office. These are the ideas and the words that I care about. I’ve spent thousands of hours of my time quietly contemplating each one of those books, often multiple times. For each one of these books, there are ten more that didn’t make the shelf. I could buy another bookshelf, but I enjoy the constraint of these 14 shelves. A book must distinguish itself in some way to make the shelf and when it does I want to see it every day.

A desk, a couch, a bookshelf all surrounded by blood red walls. This is the office I’ve designed for myself. I’m sitting here right now listening to Arcade Fire and appreciating that I prefer my coffee mug on the left – far away from the chaotic and spill-inducing movements of my mouse. The white stone polar bear is still sitting there, staring at me, reminding me that everything good that has happened to me is because I chose to write.

polar

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timlikescake
1652 days ago
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3 public comments
fxer
1652 days ago
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I only let my ass rest in the finest $7800 Brompton leather sofas https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod550006&categoryId=cat3700008
Bend, Oregon
DMack
1652 days ago
all I need is a "reclaimed" casper mattress on the floor, and a stack of apple crates for guests
sirshannon
1652 days ago
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Hashtag life goals
digdoug
1655 days ago
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I would read people write up their office spaces all day long.
Louisville, KY

Three brothers search for a flat in the city. It must have tall...

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Three brothers search for a flat in the city. It must have tall ceilings to accommodate their three-story bunk bed. The lavatory must have three bathtubs, so their conversations do not have to end at bath time. The windows must not be too large, no more than one brother wide, and there must be three of them, all facing the street. Each brother fancies a girl, and each one will watch the sidewalk in anticipation of their girl walking by. They shout greetings to their girls as their girls pass by.

“Hoo hoo!” says the rightmost brother, locking eyes with her. A kiss is in the works.

“Ah, hi,” says the leftmost brother, barely taking leave from his distractions. She curdles a bit at this, but never fully sours.

“Yoo hoo! Yoo hoo!” the rightmost brother will shout when he sees the girl he considers his. His tactic works. His cheeks have felt many a kiss.

“Ah, hello. Hi, hey, yes,” the leftmost brother will mumble into his collar as the object of his affection passes by. She does not notice him, and her stroll remains unperturbed by romantic possibilities. Later, he texts her, and they have a very nice text conversation.

The middle brother says nothing, for his love never arrives. She is a fish, and she cannot leave the sea.

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timlikescake
1725 days ago
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vpatil
1728 days ago
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poignant.

nevver: Wish you were here, Sad Topographies

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instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies


instagram @sadtopographies

nevver:

Wish you were here, Sad Topographies

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timlikescake
1875 days ago
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I've been to Nowhere Else. It's just down the road from Promised Land.
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On Living With Your Parents

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Living with parents is nice, except it’s weird to have people constantly observing your every move. “Is that a second glass of wine?” “Who’s calling you?” “Are you going to put the cheese away?” “Why did you sleep so late?” “Why does the dog like you more than me?” “Are you taking another shower?”…“Huh, okay.” 

Regular roommates observe your every move too, but they don’t study it like how you might study a very difficult chemistry problem or a stray dog headed your way. They also don’t comment on it, because your roommate knows they themselves are not above reproach. Parents would probably love for you to observe and reproach them, but as you told them just yesterday, I HAVE A LIFE, MOM! 

The worst is actually when they don’t comment, because it usually means they are too horrified to fully process your latest affront and will need time to think about it before knocking on your door three days later while you’re in the middle of an episode of The Good Wife— “Are you watching another episode?”—to say, “I’ve been thinking about what you said the other day…” Whenever my mom says that she has been thinking about something I said the other day, I know nothing good is coming. Then she will relay some observation she has recently made and how it fits into some pattern of bad behavior she has actually been observing for decades, but has not been able to fully comprehend until now when I have handed her the last piece of the nasty little puzzle. If I argue she’ll say, “Okay,” in a serene way that suggests you can only lead a 28-year-old to water. You can’t make them fall in love with the nice guy down the block.

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timlikescake
1950 days ago
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Here's why you can't play as a woman in The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

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The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes allows for as many as three playable characters, but they are all men because that's the way Nintendo designed the story, said game director Hiromasa Shikata in an interview with IGN.

Tri Force Heroes is a multiplayer game featuring three different versions of Link — one in his traditional green tunic, the others in red and blue. Up to three players can step into the boots of those Links and explore dungeons cooperatively. The setup is similar to The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures on the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, respectively.

Asked...

Continue reading…

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timlikescake
1971 days ago
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"the reason that all of the playable characters are male is because we decided all of the playable characters would be male"
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Canis Canis

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timlikescake
1972 days ago
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My ideal superpower.
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