Out of My Comfort Zone


Hey Sam, gimme shelter?

Where does your blog live?

Some blogs live on wordpress or blogspot, blogger or blogher dots com. Some are private, some public. Some are cozy, some are edgy. Kind of like our real homes, our virtual homes reflect an aesthetic we either live by or aspire to. That’s part of the appeal of starting a blog. Free decorating.

Unless you upgrade.

Since some blogs are still gestating, maybe your blog only lives in the most virtual space of all—your brain. Like Zeus with Athena, I hope you are able to birth your brain-child. If that’s what you want.

When I invited you to my blog, I gave you the address at wordpress. That’s the virtual home of process not product, and for me, it has been a surprisingly welcoming address. I certainly appreciate how easy it’s been for this tech-know-nothing to construct a site.

My blog’s actual, physical home is where I do the writing, on my computer, in my office, in our home. I would say sentimental whimsy is the decorating theme of this space.

While composing, my gaze often lingers on the perfect purple lamp, the precious triptych of Lord of the Rings posters (Ballantine first edition covers), the totally cool Jonny Quest Hallmark ornament,  the framed flowchart of “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.” This is my perfect work environment: kind of silly, very tidy, achingly familiar. I work best when surrounded by at least a few threads of continuity.

For the last few days, I have been unraveling.

On Sunday, my computer developed pixelization.

Yes, let us bow our heads and despair in quiet tones.

It’s an 8-year old laptop. The repair would be “at least” $470 to install a new video card and replace the wires in the monitor.

In the Venn diagram of:

  • Things that make sense and
  • Spending $470 on an 8-year old laptop–

there is zero overlap.

So for now, my blog lives in Sam’s office, on Sam’s computer. It can play with games called Guild Wars, Morrowind and Oblivion; it can listen to thousands of iTunes; it has access to a lot of naughty YouTube videos. Unfortunately, there are no themed lamps or out-of-print dorm posters or Hallmark ornaments nearby. There is very little whimsy and even less, well, tidiness. But we are guests, my blog and I. And we will not criticize our gracious host. In fact, I am sure we will do something nice for Sam and his computer.

Like vacuum the crumbs out of the keyboard.

I’m confident I can get used to the new digs; you know what they say about a change of scenery being good for the soul. Okay, I’m not at the spa or the beach or a mountain lodge, but I will endeavor to embrace this experience and try not to pick up any traveler’s scurvy. (That’s less about Sam’s cleanliness than about my finicky constitution.) And I will try to be a good guest and not rearrange the desktop too much.

I am asking for some forbearance from my gentle readers. It may take some time to unpack my things and get about my business. Work feels urgent but suddenly doing the work feels unfamiliar.

I wonder if Sam would mind using a purple desk lamp for a while.


5 Responses to “Out of My Comfort Zone”

  1. Erin Says:

    I think he would be THRILLED to have a purple desk lamp. I mean, the real truth is… Sam knows each and every reference on that lamp just as well as we do. Perhaps that is because there were too many Friends-loving women around, but I consider it one of his best attributes. At this time I would like to serenade you with MY favorite Phoebe song.

    Now Grandma’s a person who everyone likes.
    She bought you a train and a bright shiny bike.

    But lately she hasn’t been coming to dinner,
    And last time you saw her she looked so much thinnerrr

    Now your mom and your dad said she moved to Peru
    But the truth is she died and someday you will too.

    LalalaLa LalalaLA LalalaLa Lalala La La La La!

    What is your favorite Phoebe song?

    I love you!

    • sthibeault Says:

      I’m in the shower and I’m writing this song–
      Stop me if you’ve heard it.
      My skin is soapy and my hair is wet,
      And Tegrin spelled backward is Nirget.

      Lather Rinse Repeat
      Lather Rinse Repeat
      Lather Rinse Repeat…
      as needed.

  2. Donna Says:

    I’m so jealous of your “writing spot” and so sad that you are not able to “live” there right now, although you certainly seem to have found temporary quarters with their own special ambiance.

    I have a number of things tucked away that I would love to have out in my “office.” Unfortunately, they will probably have to wait until my “office” is a little more “my” office, if you catch the difference. So my Frog and Toad poster, my working model of the transporter, my Enterprise-D ornament, my dinosaurs (on no, wait, Mom threw them away), my Lord of the Rings map, and my Playmobile Robin Hood live in my heart, but not on my walls or shelves. But all is not lost, as I can reach up and let Harry into Professor Dumbledore’s office whenever the mood hits (thank you Hallmark), my copy of Bowditch tables is right there for whenever I might need it, and Secretariat still runs for the triple crown at regular intervals with just a few keystrokes.

    Small pleasures, small pleasures,
    Who can deny us these? 🙂

  3. Sydney Says:

    Oh, my– I have an unexpected companion in my quest to adapt to new workplace surroundings!

    How will I do without the view from my office window that perfectly frames the cradle of the Dogwood that has been the nesting place for three seasons of house finches? How will I remain pleasantly temperate without the Chad-made air-diverter that keeps the cold air from falling directly on me when the air-conditioning kicks on? How will I remain grounded without the comforting weight of the enormous safe under my desk?

    I will take my pictures and my books and even my chair, but I will miss my old office. I can SO relate to your line, “It may take some time to unpack my things and get about my business. Work feels urgent but suddenly doing the work feels unfamiliar.”

    I love you so. It’s heartening to share this small struggle with someone who is also unpacking.

  4. boysgonewild Says:

    My favorite Phoebe song –
    Oh, the cow in meadow goes moo,
    The cow in the meadow goes moo,
    Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up,
    And that’s how we make hamburger.


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