Spent...let's say two of the past seven days feeling useless and depressed and frustrated (lack of job, lack of social circle, lack of bravery in pursuing music stuff, all that jazz). Decided that was for the birds. So today I did what any self-respecting middle-class American would do when faced with a house full of boxes and only half-full of furniture: I went to IKEA.
I've been angsting over bookcases for the past three weeks. Ever since we left Juneau and sold our awesome double-size oak bookcases, we've been making do with crappy particle-board Walmart ones, which invariably have shelves that sag under the weight of our somewhat massive book collection; this move, we swore we weren't going to get any more that didn't have solid-wood shelves. Easier said than done - the only option we were able to find that wasn't hundreds of dollars apiece (or didn't require Craigslist searching and finding a truck to haul) were the HEMNES series
at IKEA. Nice size, nice design, inexpensive, okay, sounds great! ...except they only come in three colors. Black, brown-grey, and white. Black was Not Ideal - we have a gigantic black TV in here already, and with the black granite countertops/fireplace and dark brown/beige sofa it was just going to make our living room way too dark. The white looks very preschool, which leaves the brown-grey, which...blah. Not my favorite color. But after a bunch of frustrating time spent looking up other options, some of which might have worked but had ridiculous shipping charges attached, some of which seemed well-made but just not as nice...I can deal with the brown-grey, if it means my bookshelves aren't going to sag. And at least it's a nice neutral color.
I'm possibly most excited about finally having a proper bed, with a headboard and a footboard and everything! True, it's just a MALM
, but it's more than we had before - our entire life together, Brian and I have slept on a boxspring/mattress on a metal frame. (Someday, we will have a sleigh bed, but that day is not yet here - those things are expensive
.) Between that, our cherry-veneer dresser/nightstand/mirror, and a bright-red EXPEDIT
, our room's going to be a little mismatched, but we'll see how it looks. Brian thinks it'll be charmingly bohemian. I'm reserving judgment, but if I just can't take it I can always exercise my spousal veto.
We've had a birch-veneer desk from them for a while, and were just using dining-room chairs to sit at it. However, since we're no longer in possession of a dining room (and I sent the table and chairs back to my mother), I tried every single dining-style chair they had on the floor and found the most comfortable
one to go with the desk. (Brian specifically requested one, since he doesn't like swivel chairs for some reason.) The photo's a bit awkward, but there's a slight curve to the back that makes it surprisingly comfortable. Plus, it came in birch veneer too, so something
Somehow, I managed to fit all of this (plus new dishes, plus two chair cushions, plus some wooden coat hangers) onto a single flatbed cart
, get it rung up and then take it over to the delivery area. (Which probably says far more about IKEA's genius design of flatpacks/carts/layout than it does about me, though I'm rather proud of the Tetrising I did to get that all to fit on one cart.) $59 for home delivery, same day - cheaper than it would've been to rent a truck, and I didn't have to drive an unfamiliar vehicle in the city or on the expressway, either. (Aside: is it a thing in the Midwest where the more cars are on the highway, the faster everyone goes? On the way there, traffic was fairly light, and I was going faster than most at 60. On the way back, it was moderate-to-heavy, and going 65 I was getting passed left, right, and sideways. On a supposed 55 MPH expressway. o.O)
I'd heard some nightmare stories
about IKEA delivery, but I guess I lucked out - the guys who delivered my pieces were punctual, friendly, efficient, and strong - I don't think I could have hauled the particle-board EXPEDIT up the stairs myself. So now the house is full of furniture in potentia.
Meanwhile, I've been busy making split-pea soup and trying not to come down with a cough. I think I'm losing ground on the latter, but the soup smells good enough I can probably deal. And I've got enough furniture to build/unpacking to do to keep me busy at least another couple days. After that...I think it's high time I polished my resume and started looking for places to volunteer/work.
Here's to not feeling depressed and useless.