Friday, March 5, 2010

When I grow up

I'm at Vanderbilt's central library, trying to get some writing done, but I got distracted by the pencil sharpener. It's the kind of sharpener that was in every classroom growing up. It bolts securely to the wall, has a dial of holes to accommodate pencils of every size, and is hand-cranked.

I love those things. They're so much more satisfying to use than electric sharpeners*. I have something of a fetish for devices that are mechanical rather than electronic. That's why I have a Zassenhaus burr coffee grinder and a French press, for example. That's one reason I'm better prepared for the apocalypse than you. Never mind that I'll only last as long as my glasses do. (The moment they break, I won't even see the alien overlord preparing to idly stomp me underfoot.)

A serious pencil sharpener is definitely on my list of Things To Put in My Faculty Office. Number one, of course, is bookshelves. Yes, they rank higher than a desk, because I can sit on the floor with a laptop - not that I don't want a desk, too. Also, an enormous bulletin board for right over my desk, and unnecessarily expensive and arty pushpins. But no simply decorative tchotchkes, thank you.

Hm, do you think anyone makes hand-cranked paper shredders? Because if they do, I'm going to run out and get one and start shredding for the thrill of it. (ETA: OMG, I want one of these. Please, please, someone crafty, make me one for graduation, pretty please?)

* Unless, perhaps, you have to sharpen 100 pencils at one go, and you end up with dreadful hand cramps. But how often does that happen?

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