Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This is just a quick post to say that I hope my students were not too embarassed seeing through the top two buttons of my v-neck sweater today. Probably, I should have pretended it was a cardigan and worn a camisole underneath, but I did not. Possibly also I oughtn't to have worn a black bra underneath, emphasizing said difficulty, but the black bra in question is my favorite and most comfortable, and I always give into that appeal.
Sorry, kids.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I heart Hugh!

Funniest part of the Emmy awards: Hugh Laurie and Helen Mirren.
Now, Helen Mirren is pretty awesome; I've said it before, in public. But it is perhaps more well known that I have a thing for Hugh Laurie, and last night I might have sighed happily if I hadn't been laughing so hard. Hugh Laurie's genius of comedic timing combined with Helen Mirren's dramatic, commanding stature? I laughed out loud through the whole thing, and in fact missed a bit of the middle because I couldn't hear it over the sound of myself in giggles.
Some people take a stab at being funny, and it's not funny, but it's okay, because it's an awards show and you're only really supposed to look pleasant. But this is not for Hugh Laurie. He's going to be deadpan and funny no matter what.
And he's hot.
That's right, I said hot.
And as far as I'm concerned, he could have read all the names for the entire Emmys and I would have listened to every word, and I might have even droolled a little bit.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I fricking quit.

Reading Tim Gunn's blog and the responses to Andy's blog on the PR website, I agree with so many who feel the challenge was a perfect one, but ruined by incompetence and bratty behavior on the part of many designers. Instead of being appalled by the challenge, they should be appalled by their own ignorance. Even Vincent, who so gently claimed that designers should understand such things, had the second easiest model of the whole group, so the comments lost their credibility, as did Michael's design for this particular challenge.
My heart and best wishes go out to Uli, the only designer to avoid negativity and to produce something truly beautiful for a realistic everyday client in a shape we had not yet seen on the show.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Tonight it is with trepidation and not a little guilt that I will sit down and watch Project Runway. Trepidation because of last week's disaster and guilt that I am not strong enough to give it the heave-ho from my schedule. Alison was a designer I could be loyal to, like Daniel V. and Chloe, and now, no matter how talented some of the rest might be, I don't really feel loyalty to any of them. But, I do like sewing.
The good news is that I've learned from Andy's Blog that Alison is showing on her own at Fashion Week in September. That does my heart good and I hope she is wildly successful and that someday I might be able to afford an Alison creation.
An additional brouhaha comes in a more recent blog by Andy in which he posts a letter from Kathy Najimy, who was justifiably appalled by the comments made about Alison's model's size. Andy mentions that the area will be addressed again tonight, and I do look forward to that. If the show can put forth or instigate some earnest social discussion, I think I'll feel better.
In any event, I disagree with the ousting of Alison on the basis that the outfit made the model look big, or emphasized her size. She by no means looked fat, and I take umbrage to the idea that the judges were disgusted by her appearance in the outfit. I have seen outfits that are highly unflattering to a model, but personally (and I realize, subjectively) this was not one of them. It was art in a far better place than Vincent's.
And that is all I have to say about last week's PR.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday: A reflection on laziness and then childhood

Hello my darlings.
I am wicked tired right now (and yes, I did just say wicked). I forgot how exhausting school is, or even just walking around and to and from school. I am looking forward to possibly several hours of TV tonight, including Simpsons and reruns of Gilmore Girls and House. I do like that, as tiring as school is, at least it justifies a nap when I get home, unlike doing absolutely nothing all day.

Ok...So, those of you who were present at Steve's, or who also watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
Remember when Charlie's Mom came in, in the crazy paternity episode, when I said "That is Miss Yvonne from Pee Wee's Playhouse"?
I was right.

Is anyone else watching Pee Wee's Playhouse on Adult Swim, and perhaps realizing how funny it is that little adultish jokes are slipped in there, but you just absolutely were too young back in the day to know they were there? Or to appreciate the subtle nuances? It's a little weird. But still fun to watch. Most of the time. There were some shady seasons in there, new characters that didn't make sense or that were annoying or whatever. Seriously, though, it's worth it just to watch Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis. Who knew?

Monday, August 21, 2006

In which I quite unusually take a stand on a religious issue that makes me annoyed and try to describe why

Church dumbness.
I know there's a lot of disagreement about this subject, but I dislike how people interpret the Bible one way, then argue against one's disagreements in a way that actually, ultimately, should apply to their own arguments, which is ignored, or, even worse, argue in logic that one cannot successfully argue against. Logic is like that sometimes...we can all be argued to that genocide, for example, is for the best of the world, but that doesn't mean it's on principles that you inherently can get behind. It presents an either/or situation that is inaccurate and misleading. Essentially, I've seen arguments that depend on a certain interpretation, for instance, here, when that very interpretation may fall into question, or ignores other quite obvious and salient facts and ideas.
Anyway, Romans 16, anyone? You can't have it one way and not the other. Some argue that Phoebe was not necessarily a teacher, and so women shouldn't teach in church, but the argument as described in the aforelinked article is actually that women shouldn't have any job in church that sets them over men, which contradicts many New Testament verses.
This verse from Timothy strikes me as one that has oft been interpreted poorly...in addition, it strikes me, as translated, as being Paul's ideas. They are his representation of what God wants, but they are a letter, an epistle to someone else. Should that be taken with more weight than, say, the Gospels? Or other words of Paul that go against this particular verse, as interpreted in the aforelinked article? Obviously, Phoebe's duties, along with others of her like, are not well defined in the Bible, which in itself makes me annoyed when such literal interpretations are adopted. I don't think it's right for us to assume we have all the information we are allowed to have, or that God wants us to have, or whatever.
Let us never forget that the first people in the Bible to report the ascension were women. I insist that women can be the bearers of the message to anyone, male or female.
Anyway, that's a bit of very unusual religious discussion from me.

Friday, August 18, 2006

In which I sign out and sign in again to fool blogger.

The desk, w/chair, and the hutch. All gaze on their glory.

More New Stuff

Point the first:
Nathan posted this on his wife's blog, and if you don't go watch the Sparty video, I'm not speaking to you right now.
Point the second:
Project Runway's results on Wednesday nearly made me cry. I can't talk about it this week, except to say that an egregious error has been committed, and the judges should be committed.
Point the third:
I got more furniture yesterday. It was a grand adventure. I decided it would be treat day, so I started with a trip to the New McDonalds, which has a fireplace and big screen TVs, but also less seating than the old, or so it appeared. It was like a business lunch McDonalds, with several large booth-type tables among other things. Anyway, I then jumped on the highway and headed to Jeffrey's Antiques, where I agonized for about an hour and a half and finally decided to get that china hutch and also a desk that I had seen previously, and which had been slightly decreased in price.
The problem occurred when I could only (and barely) get the hutch in my car (I SWEAR I measured that out and it should have fit better), and certainly not the desk (which after all was unplanned). So I called up my good buddy Steve to ask if I could borrow his SUV, traipsed home and called him again, with Paul, to get help getting the hutch out of my car, took the SUV back to Findlay, got the desk, got it into the apartment myself, and then looked after the SUV until Carrie and Paul swung by to pick it up before we all went to Steve and Liss's.
Phew! Crazy. Thanks everyone for your help, and I owe you favors all around. The furniture, I must say, looks great. I wish I could show you how great, but one again the picture function has refused to...function.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fun with the First Day, and Thoughts on the Common Reading

OMG it is Wednesday again, already, which means PR is on tonight, which is good, but that I have just five days of vacation left before my life is full of shtooodents again. Help help help!
Oh, wait...I have all my bidness done for the first week. I forgot.

Here are some things I might do to shake up my students on the first day of shkool:

1. Show up in KISS makeup.
2. Crack open my Dr. Pepper, drink it straight down, and then belch so loud the windows in University Hall rattle.
3. Deliver my entire opening monologue in French.
4. Deliver my entire opening monologue in Hebrew.
5. Deliver my entire opening monologue in Sindarin. (that's elvish, for those of you who aren't nerds)
6. Wear my Star Trek costume.
7. Open fire with a super soaker.
8. Do the cancan in full regalia. (I used to do a double pirouette on the first day, so maybe that's not so funny)
9. Tell "My wife is so..." jokes, ala Rodney Dangerfield, for an hour.
10. Fashion origami puzzles out of everyone's syllabi, and insist that if they can't open them in five seconds, they get Fs.
11. Pretend that I was asleep under my desk when they all come in. Do not wake up until exactly 11:30.
12. Break a piece of chalk and begin sobbing uncontrollably.
13. Insist that a fire drill is called for, and that if we can't do it in thirty seconds, we have to do it again.
14. Prepare them all for the coming of Gozer.
15. Pretend I am Dutch.

Now, about Into the Forest. I'm reading it, because I though it might be interesting, more interesting than previous Common Reading Experience books have been to me. I've read ahead, actually, meaning that I've looked at the end and at a few key points throughout the book just so I know what's going on there.
The book is interesting, certainly, but also for me very frustrating. I didn't think I'd be irritated, but to be honest, those girls strike me as being kind of useless. The girl wants to go to Harvard but she can't climb up on the roof and melt some rubber into the leaky spots (mysterious and evidently purposeless chunks of rubber found in the workshop, anyone)? I don't believe it.
My response is not entirely to the characters as people, but to the characterization: The book seems to be about how useless everyone becomes without their precious gas and electricity, and I get that, and I certainly sympathize with those concerns. I think a lot of people would be useless, and I have very vocally put forth arguments in favor of the ability to do things more than one way, and to keep written records like, you know, books. Heck, I built a bookcase without the use of any power tools whatsoever. And this is my problem: the book chooses to ignore legions of people that grew up on farms without electricity, people who to this day still do not have indoor plumbing, and people who have dealt with the dangers of rural ruffians, etc. People who can in fact do things without power, and people to whom this knowledge has been passed.
Of course, the book covers one small area, so we don't know what's happening elsewhere. But, for instance, I did not think Nell's visions of farmer's markets and so on were all that idealistic, as they were portrayed. We've seen the worst of people after the hurricanes, but we've also seen the best in the midst of the NYC blackout (which, after all, is a closer scenario to that which the book describes). Being without the comforts of life are demoralizing, there's no question. But I object to a depiction of all characters as essentially idiots without their power. One moment that particularly bothered me was discussion of the doctors... essentially, it said sure, they're still around, but they can't do anything without their tools and drugs. Are you kidding me? Especially in rural areas like the one in question, doctors would know the local folk remedies and how to use their environment. Doctors know where penicillin and aspirin came from. An associated concern is diseases that aren't responding to usual treatments. I am more than willing to buy that problem, and the consequent deaths, but the book mentions people dying from simple things other than those diseases and the problem of distance, and I'm not going along with that. We simply have not reached the point where NO ONE aside from one old lady can figure out how to get medicine or how to treat basic wounds and illnesses.
Then there are the girls themselves. They'd gone through tragedy, certainly, but for me this is not a viable excuse. I saw nothing in the character of either that justified their complete and longterm inertia following horrific events. Or their lack of common sense. Even down to the elder sister's inability to dance without music...I can sympathize with wanting music, but did anyone once mention Nell simply going and singing while her sister dances? It would be better than a metronome. I also didn't buy that, with the eccentricity of the parents and their desire to keep the kids out of school, that they would permit the daughter to ONLY study online, even for Harvard. They would make pretty darn sure that a: Each daughter had survival skills that are clearly not being employed, and b: the studying daughter had a non-power-based way to study.
Basically, it seems like the book is showing how the girls learn skills to survive, and I do appreciate that, and that's what appealed to me in the first place; but on the other side, these are skills that, with the nature of the characters, they should already know (who runs around the woods without learning to build, let's say, a bird house?), and that others certainly know. In the larger implications, are we to believe that there are NO leader-types in the town that could and would step up and inspire others to do so? NO Samaritans? The book simply ignores some more obvious plot and character points that become gaping holes in the book's logic. I'm not willing, as a reader, to play into the book's isolated atmosphere and believe in the characters' struggles, or be invested in them, when there are so many things that cause my suspension of disbelief to crumble.
In short, if I'm going to read what comes across partly as a cautionary tale, then the cautionary tale part of it should be more realistic in examining the nature of humanity. We've gone a long, long way down a problemmatic road of dependency on and learning through power that could disappear in an instant. But essential character of humanity does not change...people with skills and values are still out there, people still have the instinct to band together to survive, and there are certainly still people who know how to fix a roof and teach it to their children.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Back to the Machine

I got the most adorable light flannel print fabrics yesterday. Why, you ask? Baby quilt, duh.
one has baseball bears on it. One has rubber ducks wearing sombreros and berets. One has baby hand- and footprints. One has summer garden stuff and words. One has moons. One has safari animals. One has a cloudy print.
All are darling.
Oh, such fun will be had.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rocks in the Atmosphere

Many summers as teens, my sister and I would head outside in the pitch black of our yard, march through the dew to the floating dock stretching out in the water, lie back, and check out the Perseid meteors in August.
Often we would bring a strawberry shortcake Good Humor bar or two with us as a snack. Often the cat would join us, appearing silently out of nowhere--we learned to distinguish his arrival as an almost-imperceptible dip in the dock, so as not to jump out of our skins when his silk-soft head touched our hands. I think, though I may be remembering wrongly, that it was usually pretty warm out, and living in the country as we did, the stretch of stars available to us was intensely bright.
I relied on my sister's knowledge here...she knew a ton about astronomy and pointed me in the right direction for my scanning eyes. I'd stay out there as long as I could, and we'd count the number of meteors we saw. My sister had more staying power than I did, but it was a great time to experience sisterhood and awe of the universe.
Last night, after a busy day, at 2 am, I headed onto campus, found a dark spot on a knoll between two dark parking lots, bundled into my electric blanket (which is surprisingly warm even without electricity) and stared upward. It was cold, and my wet hair needed to be hidden under the hood of my sweatshirt, but the rest of me was pretty warm. As a matter of fact, it felt kind of good to be something other than hot for a change.
Not two minutes after I'd gotten out there, I saw a fairly big one, long and medium bright, though it was lower in the sky than I'd expected. I had to wait for a while for others, picking up one or two over about twenty minutes. Then a police officer came to check on my lone car. "Everything all right?" he asked the white bundle in the grass. "Watching meteors!" I called. "Good night for it," he said, and shut off the spotlight. I'm pretty sure he brought me luck, because I saw two pretty great ones right in a row after that, including one I could see burning up. I was just about done, wanting one more nice one, and I got it pretty quickly, shorter than the others but very bright, another "burn up." In half an hour, I'd seen about five really nice meteors, despite the brightness of the moon (last year the moon was new, but it was too overcast during the peak days). I felt pretty content and headed home to fall back into bed.
It felt good to get back in touch with a much-loved activity of my past; it was lonely this time, but it was special in its own way, being out there in the grass and the silence. I'm vowing to myself to pay more attention each year so I can restart the tradition.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Customer "Service"

First, let me just say that there's hope for the world after all. I hate those stupid shows! Hate them.

Anyway, so for the last week I have been patiently waiting for my landlady to have time to get my stove going, since the Columbia Gas people last Friday said the gas is on in there and my service was to start Monday. It's not urgent, since I'm not spending time in there much yet. But then she got in there and later called me to say there is no gas. Huh what? I am instructed, which gives me glee, to give them heck.
So I call the gas people and tell them, and this incredibly snippy woman just REFUSES to understand what I am telling her, that my hot water is not on my account, but the main house account, so the fact that it is working has nothing to do with whether I have gas in my apartment or not. She gets very huffy when I am trying to see if my furnace works (it doesn't) and warns me that, even if she sent someone out there that night, if it turns out to be a stove problem, I am out 60 bucks since it isn't a Columbia Gas problem. Oh, and if you have hot water you should have gas. (I think she repeated this about eight times, again, unable to understand that I don't pay for hot water, just cooking and heating). She is looking at my account info, and I am explaining that I have two apartments, and she has trouble finding apt 2 (my apartment I've had for five years), but then finally does...the hesitation should have been a clue to me. Remember that. So finally, intensely frustrated I tell her I am going to call with my landlady and call them back later.
I go to Grounds for Thought for some chai, and then I have a brainwave: I would be willing to bet money that the first time I called, last week, instead of putting me on apt 1, the new place, they've gone and put me on the MAIN HOUSE LINE, which is where all the hot water and other miscellaneous gas that isn't heating and cooking-related for each apartment comes from.
I call them back and this time get a very nice girl (I talked to billing this time, thinking it would get me further) and explain exactly what the problem is, and sure enough, the ...okay, I'm just going to call him an idiot...from last week, instead of putting me on apt 1 as I asked (I repeated "I have apt 2, and I'm adding apt 1" at least five times to make sure he had it, throughout the call), put me on the house account. GAH!
So instead of looking at my account and realizing that, if my old account said 2 after the address, the new account should say 1 after the address, the first girl I talked to completely ignored this discrepancy and was snarky to me. The second girl I talked to was calm, smart, and very polite. And, she informed me, the gas was decidedly off in apt 1 and, sadly, I won't be able to get service until sometime next Tuesday (which means I have to be over there and stay there virtually all day until they come, starting in the morning. Bleh.)
I thought this was over until I got a gas bill this morning for the house...almost 9 bucks in the two days I had "service." I called immediately to make sure I could disregard that and that the account was in my property manager's name.
The upshot of all of this is that I felt, once again, like a genius, because coming up with the main house line idea was really pretty inspired, in my opinion.
Picture me shuddering and trying to wash my hands of this whole thing. My landlady was very sympathetic when she called me later in response to my second message cancelling the red alert, acknowledging past poor customer service from CG.
So...WAKE UP, Columbia Gas. Some of your personnel are not getting the job done, and no customer likes to be bullied. Thank heavens for the girl whose name, I think, was Michelle, who straightened things out for me.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Genius/Apt update/PR

I've been calling myself a genius lately, not for any real reason, just trying to boost my spirits a bit before the school year. Getting everything into my car at IKEA made me a genius, for instance.
I had rather a stroke of brilliance yesterday when I was helping my friends Carrie and Paul to move. They had this picture left by previous tenants of a statue of a bull licking the hand of a maiden sitting on his back.
"I bet it's Zeus and...um...Europa," says I.
Know what? It was. I used to be quite a classic myths freak, and even though I haven't studied them in quite a while, somehow I came up with the name Europa. You know the story...how Zeus changes into a bull to carry Europa away and seduce her...I was thinking that was linked to the Minotaur story but I am misremembering that; in fact Europa's daughter-in-law had the Minotaur, so it is still linked. I had the Europa part right. The statue's replica is at Cranbrook in Michigan.
Anyway, I am a genius.

The apartment is coming along. I stained/painted (as in, stain that thickened into paint as I worked) my coffee table blue on Tuesday and am looking forward to getting more whatnot over there from my living space. I need to make it all conducive to my work. My stove isn't on yet, though, so I'm crossing my fingers that happens soon. Then I can buy a tea kettle and make cocoa. I can't decide what appliances to buy...a second TV? with VCR or DVD? Microwave? It's all very light and airy, which I think will help me settle down and write or grade or whatever. And there's room for my dance barre. Hooray! At last!

Project Runway.
Was anyone else kind of bored with PR this week? It's a malingering feeling from previous weeks, too, actually. Somehow there's some zest missing this season. People are fighting, sure, but that's never that interesting to me anyway. It all seems...sullen or sulky in a way, no fire to it. The challenges should be interesting, but the material we're being given to watch just isn't living up to PR standards. Some have complained that we're not getting enough of the designs themselves, and I can see that point; we aren't shown much of the sketch-to-product timeline, we're not getting much Tim Gunn critique, and we don't see some designs at all (unless they're crumpled up on a table) before runway. I looked at the clock when Tim Gunn was finishing his round of the workroom, and it was 10:20...forty minutes left for the two hours they have in the morning and the runway show? No, no, no. It's all off. And a "personal" consultation with the TRESemme guy? Really not that interesting. Maybe fun for the designers, but it didn't make intriguing TV. Having the models pick their designers was sort of interesting, but it still didn't quite have the investment of, say, the wedding dress challenge of season 1. I liked seeing more of Michael, so that earlier complaint is taken care of, but seriously. The show needs some life that isn't grumpy. I'm starting to like Angela more just because she has some energy!
As an additional, but unrelated complaint, the PR website is a disaster. I know I've mentioned that before, but today they have Tim's Take divided up into eleven separate little pages, which will take forever to navigate, and it's still in that tiny little print. WAKE UP, BRAVO!
Anyway, they've indicated that the next few challenges are going to be really tough, so let's hope they're not lying. I want to see grit, not just insecurity.
Okay, spoilers section.

I was glad Michael won. His outfit wasn't my favorite, but it was very sassy and I think he had one of the biggest design challenges with his icon. Pam Grier is such a strong personality, and he did really well with her. I really liked Angela's dress this week, actually wish I owned it, and the aforementioned element of fun in her life radiated from that dress. Laura created the perfect Katherine Hepburn outfit, smooth and not fancy, because Kate didn't like fancy all that much. Kayne also came through with his "dark Marilyn" ensemble, and Uli once again showed mastery of prints, though I'm starting to want a little more variety from her.
I didn't think Vincent's outfit was too bad this week, but Bradley's was a clear disaster. Poor Bradley. I don't feel like I ever saw his real design personality. I'm scared for Robert. He's letting the comments infect him, and he's really shaky right now. He has great talent, but he's too scared to use it to meet a challenge. That being said, his outfit wasn't terrible, and I actually didn't think he needed the scare of the bottom two this week, when that spot should have been Vincent's. Jeffrey...not so much for me this week. I wasn't gung-ho for Alison, either, though it was closer to the good side than the bad. Let's call both of them indifferent.

Monday, August 07, 2006

(grins sheepishly)

This is just a quick blog to say that I went home this weekend and, since I was going to be so close driving back to Ohio, I might as well stop at IKEA to pick up the rest of the furniture I want. I also had spent much of Saturday with my dear mother buying stuff for the apartment in such places as Target, Pier 1, and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and rounded it off in World Market on Sunday (and bought some dreamy velvet for some unknown project in Super-JoAnn Fabrics).
The car was packed to bursting, but everything fit and I am a genius.
I have spent much of today assembling my furniture and listening to the remainder of Harry Potter 5 on tape. GOODTIMES!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Today I had a T-shirt-related meltdown. Frankly, I know I've had a good cry coming for days (last night I started crying while watching M*A*S*H) and this afternoon it absolutely erupted.
See, I lost my Princess Sparkle shirt, my absolute favoritest T-shirt ever, the lilac one with the My Little Pony on it. I was devastated. I could not find it. I ripped through the laundry, upheaved the apartment, and was seriously freaking out, thinking I'd accidentally thrown it away or lost it in the laundromat weeks ago.
My poor mother had, once again, to pick up the pieces via a phone call in which I was bawling. Bravely, she tried talking me through the places it could be, and I hung up with a renewed interest in looking and trying to stop crying.
You have to understand that my mother is amazing at finding things...so am I, but not when it's my own stuff. I can find stuff for anyone else, but when it came to finding something in my room, the calm head of my mother always prevailed.
And then I found the shirt. In a place I'd already looked, which is typical. My mother always found my stuff in places I'd already searched. I stopped crying immediately.
I don't know if this makes me immature or if I was responding to something else and therefore disproportionately upset, but let's just say if I'd really lost that shirt I would consider it a bad, bad turn. I shudder to think.
Princess Sparkle, don't ever leave me again!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

PR ep.4

First, let's finish off the picture journal.
Here is my bathroom tile:

Here is the miraculously color-matching towel design I found at IKEA:

And here is my new sofa in its rightful place (though still wrapped):

My landlady is done with everything she needed to do in the apartment, so it is officially mine! Woot!

So, Project Runway. First, true to form, Keith is kicked off for reasons unrelated to those reported by rumor scouts, etc. I am not sorry to see him go, though I am sorry that he made such poor decisions in the middle of a very high-stakes competition.
Second, my favorite line from Tim Gunn's Tim's Take: "Robert draws like an angel."
As for the designs, I am distressed that we have had TWO group challenges in four episodes. It is a time when I wish to learn more about the designers as individuals, more about their aesthetics and their execution of their own work. It was too soon for another group project with team leaders. It felt rehashed rather than new and innovative. In short, I want to see more pretty dresses.
I'm pleased for Angela, though I recognize that her team tamed her. This is also not a problem for me because, as Angela rightly pointed out, it was a truly collaborative effort. It's nice when a team that gets along well wins. I'm also glad Alison and Jeffrey got some attention, though I really wish Alison would win a challenge. In this episode we saw more from Jeffrey along the lines of frustration and uncertainty rather than bitterness or arrogance, which makes me root for him also. So, in the coming weeks I want to see wins for those two and for Michael and Laura. I still can't decide whom I like best out of the crew of designers. It's still almost anybody's game, and I think that's fantastic.

And now I need to go home and try to get rid of this headache...it was supposed to storm today but it didn't, only rained, and I don't know, the pressure out there is doing something awful to my head.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Great Sofa Caper: A picture journal

Yesterday, I went to get my sofa.
My landlady graciously said I could put my sofa in my new apt. space whenever I liked, and since Canton seemed to be quickly running out of my sofa bed, I decided I'd better do it. So, I rented a:

Dodge Ram 1500.
Check out those guns!
I walked to go get it from about seven blocks away, which was a little dumb when we were under a heat advisory, but I made it by drinking water and by remembering that, really, I'm a sturdy little brat, and this isn't any more difficult than hiking the Lighthouse trail in Ludington State Park, much of which is in open sunshine.
Before I left, I made sure to measure up my apartment. Here's what it looks like:

So, I got all my measurements, nearly passing out in the process because it was so hot in there.
And then I set off. I practiced with the truck by driving to Home Depot to buy a tarp and some rope (which I didn't use, and by the way, IKEA has twine anyway). Basically the truck handles a lot like my Dad's Jeep, but it took a bit to get used to the width of the truck. I couldn't believe I would actually fit in the lanes. It was easier on the highway where you're not right next to cars most of the time, and the lanes are wider. I listened to a mix CD by my friend Mike and felt very giddy about everything, actually laughing out loud a little bit at the thought of my little self in command of this giant truck, watching cars get out of my way even though I was going the speed limit. It wasn't like a power-happy thing, I just felt happy that I was doing something new and productive and exciting. With air conditioning.
So I got to IKEA, and was gratified to see that it wasn't as crowded as the first time I went, and certainly wasn't anywhere near the crowds Carrie and Paul encountered when they went--which, the IKEA lady told me, was actually one of, if not the, most crowded day ever, maybe even more than opening day. Who knew? I was feeling a little panicky and I admit I sort of half-ran into the store and made a beeline for sofas. The lady called down to make sure they did indeed have the item, and reserved one for me so I could go pick it up. I quickly went through furniture to see if there were anything else I wanted right then, and made a few notes on possible items I want to think about. For instance, the IVAR tv unit with casters, which I could paint with the same paint I got for my lamps, blue, just for something a little different. Anything else I wanted I know I could fit in the Saturn, so nothing else was urgent.
Then, I went down to the Marketplace section and picked up my curtains and some globe lamps to paint, along with some hangers and other odds and ends. They were out of the laundry bag I wanted, one with really sturdy handles and a shoulder strap. Hopefully if and when I go back they will have more, as it's a popular item.
Then things got a little funny. In a good way. See, the linoleum in my apartment is not what I was expecting. The floor (which I am trying to show you a picture of but the pictures function suddenly isn't working) is a russety red, gold, and cream pattern. My other bathroom, tiled in peach tones, is much different. So right then I'm thinking, how on earth am I going to find something to match this? And then I found these. Wild, right? They're about the same color, with a few other colors thrown in. I picked up one hand towel and one bath towel (fior a guest set. I still need to find a washcloth and bathmats, because they didn't have anything quite right. They were out of the Thisted Mork shower curtain, but I think I might go with a solid color anyway, maybe a gold, and get some new gold bathroom curtains. The yellow curtains already in the bathroom are fine but they're looking a little worn. Anyway, it was a good omen, followed closely by another good omen, which was this: a lady wearing an outfit exactly the same as one my mother has. It was like Mom was with me, which is a good sign when I'm shopping.
I got my sofa in good order and got some major help getting it in the truck. Good omen again--it fit, diagonally, EXACTLY. The tailgate shut and everything and I didn't have to tie it down. I called home and set off. Visibility in the rearview was poor, so I made sure my side mirrors were in good spots and then just didn't change lanes much. I made it back to find Steve and Liss waiting and Carrie and Paul quickly following, and the boys, with a bit of help from the ladies, got the sofa down and into the apartment--it just fit through the door. Thanks a bunch for your help, everybody! You are very awesome friends.
So, there it sits, ready to rock and roll. I think the apartment might be ready, but I'm going to wait until next week to get the utilities going, I think. The gas is shut off and the electricity is on, but I don't need it yet. Still haven't decided what extras are going in...cable? internet? Who knows. I just feel relieved and happy that the nervous calls to IKEA can end.