February 17th, 2006

krazy koati

I'm on my way

I've got my new office. It's across the street, and would most logically be reached either by getting off one stop earlier, or three stops later (the bus loops), though continuing to get off where I do lets me stop at the canteen for breakfast. The office is a bit larger than my current one, although it's in an older building and has a worse view, looking out campus roads, lecture halls, and the science library, whereas my current office looks out on the sports fields and a SingTel building. There's also a walkway around the building, for maintenance, which means I'll be startled some afternoon to see somebody outside my fifth-storey window.

It's got a bit more desk space, and much more shelf space, plus it comes with plenty of those vertical hanging folders so that I could, in principle, organize documents down to the sheet of paper, which I never will. It's even got metal-case filing cabinets, like they used to use in Roger Corman movies to make offices look unconvincingly like space centers. The floor's tiled, so the chair has a little ticking rattling as I slide around. Also, my chair's got a bubble wrap cover, that somehow was assembled so the back of the chair and the armrests puncture the bubble wrap sheet, and there's no way to get it off except to tear through several feet of bubble wrap, which presents an awful temptation.

Now I need to move in. Preliminary searching proves what I knew, that I don't need about 95 percent of the stuff I compulsively keep (eg, essays turned in to a class I taught in 2003, along with the post-it notes containing the URLs from which the students swiped them). But I feel like I need to bring some boxes of substance to prove I do something useful. I may have to bring books from home.

Trivia: To boost declining attendance figures for exhibit Joice Heath, billed as the 161-year-old woman (she was in her 80s), Phineas Taylor Barnum had started the rumor that she was a hoax, and was in fact, an ``automaton, made up of whalebone, India-rubber, and numberless springs''. Source: Living Dolls, Gaby Wood.

Currently Reading: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, by Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.