Skeletons in the closet (Office revamp – the unabridged version)

At present, joyous times are being had with our houseguests (my in-laws) from France, who will stay with us a few more days yet. All manner of general housecleaning needed to be done before they arrived, but I spent the better part of last week taking apart my office, sorting through unwanted miscellany (“garbage,” “recycle,” “Goodwill”), and putting the room back together.

Most of the action took place beneath the surface in the closet and drawers, so the room itself doesn’t look much different now than it did last week. Even so, it’s different to my eyes, which had beheld the spectacle of the room’s innards strewn about on the floor and piled up on furniture over the few days it took me to analyze it all. I felt like a forensics investigator. What has been seen cannot be unseen, as they say. It was a lot of crap.

The terrain of my desk changed slightly when I added a lamp, which makes all the difference. This is now my full-time work environment, so my office needed a desk lamp more than the dining nook did. (Another lamp has taken its place in the dining nook, anyway.)

You knew where this was leading… I’ve got the photographic tour here for anyone who may be interested, such as you fine readers who’d asked about my Table of Death when I mentioned it a week ago. It started as a raucous, dark joke with a friend when I showed her the table and realized just then that a Dia de los Muertos bag hangs in that corner (pure happenstance, which prompted the hilarity – you had to be there). Laughing about it helped to mitigate the somberness of that part of the room, but it helped further when another friend asked to see the table and called it a “Table of Remembrance.” So, yeah. I like pairing that brighter perspective with the dark humor one.

Enough about that. 360 office tour ahoy!

As seen from the doorway:

 

inside left corner (desk)

inside left corner (desk)

 

Desk (top view)

Desk (top view)

 

Desk corner detail: Valentine's Roses 2014, original art by Callaghan "not cal" by Not Cal, California ex-pats in Arizona

Desk corner detail:
Valentine’s Roses 2014, original art by Callaghan
“not cal” by Not Cal, California ex-pats in Arizona

 

Long wall to the left (with tapestry and twinkle lights)

Long wall to the left (with tapestry and twinkle lights)

 

Window wall across from the doorway (with futon)

Window wall across from the doorway (with futon)

 

Far right corner (Table of Death/Remembrance)

Far right corner (Table of Death/Remembrance)

 

Wall to the right (closet)

Wall to the right (closet)

 

Behind the door (Lucha Libre poster, boxing gloves, bags, hats)

Behind the door (Lucha Libre poster, boxing gloves, bags, hats)

 

Door-frame (pull-up bar overhead)

Door-frame (pull-up bar overhead)

 

This concludes our tour. I won’t be needing to cover a door window in this office, but the door here stays open, anyway.

Dusting off secrets (Haiku 6: Shadows)

Without preamble, I’ll go ahead and acknowledge that this set of haiku turned out to be just the faintest bit… creepy? Spooky? It wasn’t intentional, I swear. Not that I mind it in the least, though. I’m fond of creepy and spooky, and I like that these haiku came out this way of their own accord. Classical haiku has a way of taking on lives of their own within the 5-7-5 structure.

 

Haiku 6: Shadows

(by Kristi Garboushian)

1.

Patterns will shelter

the historic, ancestral,

extinguished, entombed.

 

Shadow tree

Shadow tree

 

2.

Prehistoric ghost

running Santa Monica

stairs, eyeteeth intact.

 

Shadow bike

Shadow bike

 

3.

Indeterminate

aging, voiceless between your

guardians… landlocked.

 

Shadow fence

Shadow fence

 

4.

Palpable swivel:

alleles in a basin,

suspended in space.

 

Shadow self

Shadow self

 

In other news, we’ll have family visiting from France this week. They’re coming in tomorrow. I sense a whirlwind of housecleaning activity in today’s forecast… always a great side benefit of visitors!

HABOOB!

We’ve arrived at the end of a beautiful but windy week that brought our first dust storm of the year… a whole two months early! Our dust storm (aka “haboob”) season here runs between May-September. Late Tuesday afternoon, we left the living-room window open even after the vertical blinds started whipping around to the tune of the wind-chimes on the balcony.

Click here to see the video.

Ronnie James and Nounours aren’t dust storm fans… yet. They’re new here. They’ll get used to it.

I remember my first Arizona dust storm in the early ’90’s. I was driving, and suddenly (and I do mean suddenly), a towering, opaque wall of dust came toward me. I was a new transplant in the Land of AZ, and it was an odd moment of surprise while feeling at home at the same time. The dust storms here aren’t as violent as the ones I’d experienced in Saudi Arabia, but they can be dangerous, and tragedies do occur. Still, we like them, we do! They’re a part of life in the desert, and they’re somehow mystical.

So, if Tuesday’s dust storm is any indication, our April and May houseguests from France might be in for something really, um, new.

The last time we hosted visitors from France was in July 2011, right before we moved over there. We collected Callaghan’s friends from the airport and took them directly to the small diner across the street from our Chandler apartment – it was one of those small, ‘50’s-inspired trailer diners – and while we were sitting there eating dinner, this happened:

 

 

We’ll see what happens this time when our visitors are here! Maybe nature won’t give us anything more dramatic than its usual spring splendor of desert blooms.

And with that, I’m off to downtown Phoenix to pay a visit to the V.A. facilities. Have a great Friday and weekend, everyone!