Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's rough, it's animal, it's stone

At the Observer, Toni Schlesinger muses on color fashion (that link won't last). Here's my favorite pair of sentences:

No more beige, he said, though he wasn’t talking about late-1950’s champagne beige, silk-furniture beige on which women in chiffon evening-gown beige would sit having a champagne cocktail and sounding like Deborah Kerr. He meant 1990 Jil Sander beige, the white and the bone.

In one of those fantasies that will never be enacted--really I only want the plainest possible living environment, I am a devotee of monastic self-discipline!--I will one day live in an apartment where I can paint one of the rooms robin's-egg blue. Hmm... must schedule some drastic tidying-up round here once I've cleared a few of these deadlines, although I don't have very much other than books and papers & a few odd pieces of furniture (in a fire, besides laptop & iPod, the only two things I would really have to rescue are a few pieces of my grandmother's green-and-gold-and-white china for old times' sake and also and more importantly my beloved cat) the cumulative effect of these heaps of books and papers is disastrously unmonastic. Even the bed has been pretty much awkwardly taken over by books about original sin (I'm not kidding).

One day I am going to have a really nice office with walls and walls of bookshelves and I will take almost all my books there or else get rid of them & then I actually will be able to achieve my fantasy of living in a place that looks somewhat like an old-fashioned railway train station, one big empty room with some kind of seating bench or narrow low shelf-like rim round the edges on which I can lay out various heaps of work-related materials project by project and leave them undisturbed for months at a time....


  1. I love the endless bench/shelf idea, but won't you need someplace comfortable to read?

  2. Several years ago, after the departure of a roommate I had an empty room. It was an enjoyable form of conspicuous consumption to have an entirely vacant room (no tables, no chairs, nothing) in a Manhattan apartment.

  3. maybe be get rid of the books. It´s so liberating. I took it one step further and got rid of everything (except ipod, laptop, flashlight, chapstix, pocket otoscope). But the papers still pile up...

  4. Yeah, I really am going to minimalize, actually, as soon as I can find the time to deal with it (and perhaps awaiting some kind of new office situation also, which would mean I could REALLY either move or get rid of almost all books that are not either absolute favorites or else unread). Liberating to the nth degree--I live after all 2 blocks away from a major research library at which my borrowing privileges are essentially unlimited, it's semester loan renewable online so that library books often remain in my possession for years at a time--when I had to return everything before I moved to Cambridge for the year I learned I had almost six hundred checked out, it was awful--in grad school there was a two-hundred-book limit that I was constantly irritatingly bumping up against... Mmmm.... books.... but no reason I need to own any of 'em.