Monday, September 17, 2007

A very short stravaig


I stravaiged to Ikea and it felt like a transatlantic trip. Does this count? Is it bloggable?

I say yes.

Don’t ask me what happened.

I know what happened. My daughter (who is in college) had a tough paper to do and I was swamped with work, and so we both got the overwhelming urge to do home redecorating. It was bad. One of the worst cases of distract-yourself-from-a-task-you-don’t-want-to-do-
by-taking-on-a-big-project that I have ever had. I don’t really have much of a home office, or rather, my work has outgrown my computer desk tucked away into the corner of the bedroom, so I have taken over the kitchen table. And the kitchen counter. And the hall entryway. And people cannot even sit around the table, balancing paper plates on their knees, because whatever is not covered with a stack of papers has a workbag on it. And I am always saying things like, “”Don’t touch that.” And “don’t move that!!” My new strategy for organizing each of my jobs is to have a workbag for each, so I have all of the stuff I need for the task in one place. It is sort of working. I have a plethora of paper clips and rubber bands and highlighters, but it is a step up from my last attempt, which was to leave everything in piles and run around frantically, looking for the all-important stack of papers that I needed for the day or turning my car into a rolling file cabinet.

I blame the home reorganizing all on my sister. And my daughter. My sister is one of those determined people who believe that most problems have solutions. And she believes in organization. And she asks hard-to-answer questions, like “What do you actually do in your living room?” When we visited her in Denver a couple of weeks ago, she explained what she was doing with her house to make it work for her family. So, last week, I looked up from my pile of work and was struck anew by the remarkably unlivable configuration of my living room. It is a long, sort of narrow rectangle, made more narrow by the placement of my couch. I am forcibly struck with the vision of making the room into two different spaces, both roughly equally square, one for the living room and one for the “office”. Did I mention that I am working at the kitchen table? I no longer cook, because I am overwhelmed (and a bit embarrassed) by the thought of having to clear stuff away.

I am thinking in terms of “spaces”. I learned that word from TV. A room is not a room, it is a space. I should say that I have a history of bad decorating behavior. When I was pregnant with Sam, I watched home redecorating shows and Trading Spaces obsessively. This led to a number of half-completed projects that are still, five years later, not completed. My poor husband came home to find that I had (at seven months pregnant) torn out all of the carpet in the house and deposited it in the front yard. I have to say that it was extremely therapeutic to hear the rrrrriiiiippping sound of the carpet leaving the floor. My bedroom floor is still bare concrete waiting to be painted. The baby just started kindergarten.

However, I digress.

Not only did I need a home office, but I needed a new living room. The present living room consists of a huge ottoman that my youngest loved and a small couch that was for him and the cats. It is ugly. And uncomfortable. On the plus side, it has a removable (with Herculean effort) slip-cover and was pretty cheap. I was not going to buy a nice couch until Sam (the five year old) was past the drawing on the furniture stage and the cats died of old age. I thought that cats’ claws sort of fell out when they got old, like teeth do – but it doesn’t work like that. My daughter has promised to clip the cat’s nails so that I can have a new couch – one that more than two people can sit on. Preferably a sofa bed, because my middle son is too big to sleep on the couch when company stays over.

Oh, and as long as I was there, I thought that I might find a way to make the boys’ room more livable. Loft beds, baby, loft beds. Right now, you can walk in about three feet – just enough to survey the room before backing out. At least that is what I do. The last time we worked in that room, there was one less member of the family. My older son has grown about a foot and has been complaining that he does not fit on his bed. And his clothes don't fit in his wardrobe. And his little desk is too small. And his bookshelf doesn't have enough room.

So, two Sundays ago, my daughter and I mobilized.

I called my sister and we had deep conversations. (This also helps me to not get my work done.) My daughter offered to have a local charity come and get our stuff and to clear out the boys’ room. I have the urge to get rid of everything that is not tied down. Kitchen table! Couch! Beds! Everything must go. I hate everything in my house, with a deep, abiding hatred. Nothing works. It’s ugly. And old. And crap. Every flat surface is cluttered because there is no storage. I think that storage is one of those words that is made up to sell us stuff – like bins and cups and file stacker things. “Storage” is a made up concept to sell us crates much like Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday to sell us chocolate.

Mmmmmm … chocolate.

The first step was to drag just about everything in the house into the back yard. All of the stuff that was going had to be out of the house. Everything that could go into a Hefty bag went into a Hefty bag.

The resultant open space and lack of clutter was so pleasant that I almost stopped right there.

The next weekend, the whole family, armed with lists and diagrams and a tape measure and a calculator and a camera, we packed up the whole family, borrowed grandpa’s truck, removed all of the seats from the van and caravanned to the echoing vastness that is Ikea. Things started out well except for my husband and I snipping at each other in his parents’ driveway. That was nice. I am not sure exactly what we were arguing about, but I did not let that deter me and I gave as good as I got. I think I won.

Anyway, we drove the hour and half to the store, the two oldest in the van, husband in the truck, smallest one and I in the Honda. We rendezvous in the store and march around, discussing, comparing, sketching in furniture, people advocating for their ideas like we were negotiating the borders of a country, except for the middle son, who drifted about, listening to his ipod.

Eight hours, four carts, a skillion dollars, and four rooms worth of furniture later we trailed out to the loading dock. The worst part of the trip? After we had everything paid for, we were told that the sofa was in the store somewhere and they could not get it while there were still people about, so we had to wait for two hours until the bloody store closed. I stood staunchly at the customer pick up counter and said, in a firm, no-nonsense way that we were not all going to wait and that the problem had to be solved. It didn’t work, but I felt better for saying that the whole thing was Absolutely Unacceptable.

And the sofa was the big thing … you know, the thing that you load first?

The highlights of the trip?

Well, I have to say that lunch in the Ikea café was fun. The kids were willing to be adventurous and have a Taste of Sweden. More hilarity than you would expect ensued. Everyone was tired and starving and a meal was seldom enjoyed more. I would say, that as a family, we have the ability to make the most of little things.

The second highlight was in the lighting section – the song "sexyback" started playing and I turned to see my daughter dancing to it. Imagine Arnold Horshack channeling Justin Timberlake and you would get a flavor of the dance. She only does it when the song has that self-referential, almost bombastic, "I am sooo sexy" attitude. It is a masterful dance. The middle son and I begin to dissolve into giggles. I see my husband, inspired by JT and my daughter also begin to get his sexyback. And then it was a sort of dance off. Somethings cannot be adequately described, but must be experienced.

About a decade or so later, when we were finally going through the self-service part of the store, which is the part where you go up and down the aisles, pushing the cart and risking significant injury to yourself by having to extract the items from shelves. It is always amazing to me how Ikea can make anything flat.

Anyway, I could not find some part of the desk or something and was told by the unhelpful young man that I would have to go upstairs and order the item. I asked, rather reasonably, I thought, if he could not save me a slog upstairs, as he was standing right next to the computer. He said that he could not, saying something about the computer system. In a more reasonable tone yet, reining in my temper, I asked if his computer was not hooked up to the same system and could he please look up the item. Grudgingly, he looked up the order. I heard one of my favorite songs/videos “Here it goes again” by Ok go,

Realizing that I was all alone at the desk, I turned around to see my son, daughter, and husband taking advantage of the large empty space to indulge in some synchronized cart maneuvers. Never let it be said that we don't know how to have a good time.

I will let you know how the reorganizing goes ...

So far we have managed to get most of the "office" and living room done. There was a bit of a problem, because I had not really thought through the ramifications of having the fourteen year-old do the measuring of the rooms. I am not sure how he was FOUR FEET off in his measurements, but there you go. Live and learn.


rowan said...

Well-done on the decorating! Am very impressed. I have painted the bottom two thirds of two rooms: the upper third is too high, so I'm only allowing visitors under five feet three to call. Anyone taller will see the improbable tidemark where "magnolia" meets "natural wicker" and "pale green" meets "water garden".

I envy you your Ikea dinner. The Swedish meatballs rawk.

Store-dancing props to yer boogying folks! That is just great, and what life is all about.

jenfera said...

Oh happy, happy! A new post on Stravaigin Aboot!

Bob, I am super-impressed with your family's team effort. And dancing. The family that plays together stays together, right? I've never been to an Ikea. I'm not quite sure if I have the urge. The closest one is about 2 hours away.

rowan said...

Oooh Jen, you must go. I will bet you my second best TH mousemat that you will come back laden with must-have items,treasures you did not know were essential to drawing breath till you clapped eyes on them.

They do great cutlery and crockery and fab kitcheny stuff of all sorts. I like wallowing in the nomady berbery textury colourfest which is the rug and cushion section. They always have heaps of stuff not in the catalogues.

Man...I have not been to Ikea since 1992, when my then husband had an attack of claustrophobia in Office Furniture, and we had to go home after only half an hour's delving and admiring. sigh. Ikea is a sort of all-day tactile art-gallery trip, but the exhibits are affordable! (Pockets backhander from Ikea management.)

Yeah,the Bob clan sound lots of fun! They are very cool and happenin. I haven't even heard the song "Sexyback" let alone danced to it in the Ikea pickup zone. Props and respect, peepul.

rowan said... brain is ten years out. I last went to Ikea n 2002, not 1992. It just feeeeeels like 1992. Man....those slicing Dime Bar cakes are a callin me....and the gingerbread thins...

bama said...


Yeah, Bob, totally agree about "storage" being a made up word. Some marketing genius somewhere made a fortune off of it, I'm sure. I now need storage for all my storage items. And I need organizing of my organizational items. Although, I'm still a sucker for the stuff. I'm positive that all I need to make my life complete is a kitchen cabinet/plasticware organizer.

(I did learn a really cool tip recently. I had about a gazillion and counting plastic bags from the grocery store. I just kept stuffing them under the sink until they were multiplying on their own. I read that you could use and empty Kleenex container to stuff them all in and then pull them out one at a time. I tell you, I shoved about a hundred plastic bags into one of the little containers. It's awesome! Lerve that tip!)

Anyhoo....I adore Ikea. It's like an adult woman's amusement park. I have yet to buy any furnishings from them though, b/c I'm afraid of putting things together myself. However, I have purchased tons of textiles. I really love all their duvet sets and sheets. You can change the look of your room in an instant...for less than $30!!

I'm so in awe of you for tackling such a huge project! Kudos to you!

Dr. Bob said...

Rowan and I discovered our mutual love for all things Ikea, which I found funny. There is one in Edinburgh, right Ro?

We have plants to have lunch in the cafe there at some point in the future.

I am sitting at my new work station, admiring my kitchen table, which although old and not matching anything, is actually clear of all of my work-related detritus. Happy day!

If you have never gone, you sort of have to go ... I saw a grill pan that I totally fell in love with, and an odd little triangle oveney thing. It has a cookbook! I can't remember what it is called, but it is like a nomad oven or something and I am completely dazzled. Even though I will never, ever use it. It is just cool.

Bama -- it is indeed an adult woman's playground. My husband however, has dubbed it "Swedish Hell". Men are big babies.

I have become an expert at locking screws, dowels, and allen wrenches. You should have seen my daughter and I, a well-oiled furniture-producing team. We crack ourselves up. My older son volunteered to put his stuff together and did a fine job. He built his whole dresser and everything actually works. Bama, I would start small, though.

I do have to go back and get curtains. I am drawn to some lovely blue green shiny ones, but I know that I will find, to my regret, that they don't go with anything. They are just pretty. I love all of the bohemian and nomady stuff. Rowan, we will get out and stock you up sometime in the future.

All of the kids have the quilts and duvets, which is nice, because as they grow, they are passing them down. Duvets are very European -- as Rowan assures me.

Happy to see you all!

Dr. Bob said...

Thanks for the bag tip, I will absolutely use that one, Bama ...

rowan said...

Bob, indeed there is one outside Edinburgh. I tried to manoever my stepdad there when we collcted you from the airport, but sadly, no dice...or sets of six blue water glasses, or bedside lamps shaped like flowers.


It was funny...saw a mum at the school gates yesterday, showing off a cheese grater she had bought in Ikea. It was round and flat, and had a bowl fitted underneath, to catch the cheesy shavings. had TWO brown, and one orange. The pall of envy in the air was palpable! A low growl was rising from the depths of the outwardly peaceable well heeled middle-aged women.

When I was in hospital in Glasgow, having Lena, I heard about a baby born there that had been named Ikea. No kiddin... ;O

rowan said... the box idea too! Hooray for householdy amusement parks for grown up girls!

bama said...

I really need to spend more time in the kitchen gadgety area of Ikea. It always overwhelms me and I usually skip it.

I forgot to tell y'all that I live about 10 minutes away from the Ikea. It's just up the road! So I spend a lot of time there roaming around...pretending the display areas are actually my apartment. I bet a person could live a really nice life inside an Ikea. You could just hide til everyone left, then you could pick which display you'd sleep in for the night....and eat Swedish meatballs and Lingonberry jam for dinner every night...sigh...

rowan said...

bama, that's funny! Bob and I talked about how cool it would be to hide in Ikea and save on hotel bills during our stravaig. Yo to eating Swedish meatballs and Lingonberry jam! Please tell me you have tried the terminally sweet Dime bar cake. It will take a year off the life of your pancreas, but it is worth it.

Are they making the pillowcases the proper size now? the last time I bought a duvet set, ten years back, the pillocase was too wee, and so the pillow was all squished and rose up in the middle. Swedes clearly have smaller pillows than we do in the UK. Would imagine they are making the bedding dimensions more generous now.

You are lucky living so close to an Ikea. Mine is two hours away. :(

bama said...

My pillowcases were perfect..if not a tad too big!

I'll have to try the dime bar cake the next time I'm there. I usually get one of the colossal cinnamon rolls...yummmy....

I love having the Ikea up the road from me. There is tons of shopping around my house. I love it and hate it at the same time. If I had more $$$ I'd realllly love it. Mostly I just get pouty at not being able to afford all the pretty things I see..

rowan said...

Bama, the cinnamon rolls sound lovely! Yes, you must sample the Dime bar cake. It is sad not to dave enought sponduliks to buy all the gadgets you want, but you can mull them over then decide that you really prefer to be minimalist, and there would be no place to store everything you coveted.

I like the material. Who buys the material, though? There must be people out there who actually sew, like peeps who actually cook.

rowan said...

Yikes, I meant to write, "have enough sponduliks." To dave enough cash sounds like a verb to do with being penurious, like some student living on fried eggs on toast. "I wanted the new monitor, but was daving no luck." That's sort of double-negative... but then, so is not being able to buy all the bits and bobs on offer at Ikea.

Read an article yesterday which reflects ruefully upon the fact that the OED have removed the hyphen from 16,000 words in the English language. leap-frog is one such casualty. there were many more in daily usage, but I have repressed them. Spell-check was another, but that is a makey-up cyberworld word anyway, so am okay with that. Just thought I'd share.

I am buying a lockable computer-cabinet- not from Ikea, as they didn't have one. It is a flat-pack though, which is kind of in the zone.

jenfera said...

This week, I purchased a flat-pack etagerie thing at Bed, Bath & Beyond. That's one of those storage units for the bathroom that stands on legs that straddle the toilet. I thought of Ikea while I was in there, wondering if I would have fouond four others there that I would have liked better. You guys have me all intrigued now! I may have to make the stravaig to Connecticut one of these days to my closest one and check it out. I certainly couldn't get nice snacks at BB&B either.

Hey, did you all notice yet that there is a new post over at Monkbot? Shelley has updates on what has been going on her life.

rowan said...

Jen, you would love Ikea! Your bathroom storage thingy sounds intriguing.

Ooh, I am geting the chance to go to the Edinburgh Ikea today! Whoo hoo! Please send me 'no-spendy-too-much' vibes. Am just intending to window-shop, but as they don't have things in the windows, as far as I recall, it will be an enforced close encounter will all the fab life-enhancing items I will want to carry home. Am just thinking picture frames at the moment, cos they do cheapy ones, but there will be other insidiously necessary life-enhancing items creeping up behind me and casting shadows over my next bank statement. I do not need a pink plastic kitchen tub chair, and yet another bright nattily-shaped container for Lena's felt-tip pens. Saying this in advance may help. I do not know. All that may help in practical terms is wearing full-body armour which has rusty elbow joints, so I can@t get me purse out me 'andbag. (Am assuming a London acccent here, as a further attempt at disassociation from the inevitable Ikea spend-out.)

If I find one of those fit-in-bowl cheese graters, may have to indulge. My kitchen is "mango" at the moment, the only colour which goes with the fake wood-effect seventies cabinets, soon, thankfully, to be replaced. Anyhoo, the wee grater and orange bowl kinda have my name on them.

Take care, y'all!

(Must resist the Dime bar cake...must resist...must resist...)

Man, I have typed the security code seven times. Is that a record? Maybe I need to get specs..:)

jenfera said...

So, how did it go, Rowan? Did you find many items that you couldn't leave behind at Ikea? Did you have a nice snack?

I put together my storage unit yesterday. It wasn't too hard to figure out, actually. They had all of the pieces numbered nicely. Here's a link:

bama said...

Hi Y'all. Rowan how did you make out at Ikea??

The Lass said...

AAHHHHH! I fear for my own cabin. I have had this same bug hit me. I have wild ideas of pulling out my kitchen cabinets and knocking out useless walls. Maybe it is genetic? I am in so much trouble then! I laughed just visualizing the dance off between Phil and Rach. Oh, good luck with the completion of this project!

rowan said...

Alas... I did not get my lovely tv table and bookshelves. Pale pink and chunky, they were calling to me softly, and I was reaching for the stubby pencil and order slip with alittle surge of joy. The table was only eleven pounds!

Unfortunately, there was a sort of tiff between the couple giving m a lift, and the driver disappeared for a while. Did not know whether to get anything heavy and non manually portable, in case he did not return. Bought some colourful cheap picture frames, but they would not stand up, and will need to be fastened to a wall somewhere.

Had a quiet lunch in the cafe, but my chicken and salmon rice thingy was very rubbery. Went and got the meatballs instead, which were somewhat nicer. (As there were other peeps eating the rubbery chicken cubes in traditional British 'just put upith it' fashion, I did not complain,and just spent out for the substitute meatball lunch. >.< ) I can't order online from here, am now dreaming of pink shelvy flatpacks transforming my life in another dimension. Am going to investigate other possibilities, and am going to try the Ikea mandate of moving the settees in from the walls, to leave room for wall storage.

Am very impressed with your measuring and sketching and stuff, dynamic Bob and family. Hey..maybe you could consider posting a pic of your favourite new Ikea obelisk. Home offices and storage rawk.

I liked the wall of wee square cupboards with flush doors, like the face of a rubix cube. Did anyone see those in store? Man...they were the boogie. Also coveted a massive six by five foot black and white picture of Tower Bridge, with a red London bus passing along it. Have nowhere to put it, but that did not mean there was not a severe internal battle going on. It is gracing a wall in my tidy minimalst mansion of deams...the one with the red corduroy Ektorp settee and stone coloured space saving stacking beakers. And a smooth storage wall of flush square cupboards in light Scandinavian beech.

As Debbie Harry s eloquently put it: "Dreaming about Ikea storagesolutions is free."

rowan said...

Wishing The Lass and all havering and stravaiging decorators the very best with remodelling projects, whether projected, or already underway. May all the required fastenings be in the wee plastic bags!

jenfera said...

Rowan, how it is that you haven't been scooped up by some publishing house to write some fab chick lit, or by some posh magazine to write the best articles for the living section, I will never know.

I love reading your observations of everyday things. You are the boogie!!

Bama said...

Rowan! I'm so sorry you didn't get your sweet pink shelvy things. They sound very chic. I might have to look online and check 'em out.

I'm very proud of you for not "putting up" with icky food...even if you didn't choose the "American" way of dealing with the situation (stomping to the front, complaining that the food was inedible, and demanding a refund or replacement)...(which, by the way, is not "my" way, or prolly the way of many Americans, yet truly is the way lots would handle that situation). (I'm a little parentheses happy today.)

Anyhoo, I'm glad you got to have a slightly better meal in the meatballs. I love Swedish Meatballs.

BTW- Your imaginary mansion sounds beautiful. I might just hop in my imaginary jet and come visit you while wearing my imaginary size 4 jeans.

rowan said...

Aw,Jen, how very nice and cheering! I almost applied for such a feature writing/reporting post in a quality Edinburgh newspaper last month. Almost. Thanks for the vote of confidence! As for the chick lit ( or crotchety old boiler lit, in my case) the novel is under the bed, gathering spiders and dust bunnies. There are rumblings afoot, though, and the floppy disks may be unearthed and revisited. It needs a different focus, and I kind of see now where it could go.

Bama, hee hee at the jeans. You are a size four fer sure. Yer paloozahead figure revealed a serious lack of indulgence in Ikea Almondy cake, and suchlike. You can go pile the lingonberry jam on yer toast, sans guilt. Oh...bring me a sack of Dime bar minis, when you pay your visit. In the mansion of dreams, they are calorie free. :)

If yer lookin online, the groovy pink stuff is in the Lack range. Sigh...

rowan said...

Bob...they don't play music in Ikea here. should be wall to wall Abba in all stores, methinks:D

Dr. Bob said...

Rowan, do NOT tell me that you did not apply for that writing job. I am going to strangle you from all of the way over here. You think we love you because you are cute? Well, you are, but mostly because you crack us up. Funny, deft, and witty ... > (

However, at least we get to enjoy you.

I also love the rubiks cubey thing. I might have to put it in my bedroom. First the living room and then the bedroom (shudders). I am becoming pretty used to the crates of dvds and books lining the kitchen wall. Maybe they can just stay there ...

rowan said...

Thanks Bob! :) You American haverers are so kind! Am kinda meriting the cyber-throttling for not applying, I guess! Didn't think seriously about going for the job, as it seemed so far out of my frame of reference really, and owing to the skeery cost of housing in Edinburgh. Funny..the shadow of Luddism launches itself out of the ether like one of those ghastly Australian bird-eating spiders, leaping of rooftops onto unsuspecting shoulders.
Didn't think of the possibility of emailing pieces of writing across the miles, sitting in my velvet morning coat with cocoa and toast. (Hey...unironed mis-matched pjs if I am lucky.)

Perhaps it is not the shadow of Luddism, but a wee stravaig into the foothills of early-onset Alzheimer's. Am hobbling down the mountain path now, at speed, fending off imaginary bird-eating you-know-whats. (It is late here, and mentioning the critters by name may mean arachniddy dreams.) so glad you like the Rubik's cubey wall storage. I am jellis. It is a very groovy way of hiding stuff, and also looks all naturey-woody-arty.

Am with you on the crates of books and dvds lined up against the walls. We are the crate twins! I sooo need a place to put the books and videos.

Have been thinking today that I had never actually knowingly heard a song by JT. Was chuckling at the discussion of the Bob-clan send-up sexyback dance, and was mashing up my fuzzy vision of Robbie Williams with an even fuzzier vision of JT. Both are sort of, well, to put it nicely, rather confident in their allure. I do not find that look sexy in the slightest...the "Action Man" shaved to the wood haircut, paired with white tank and black edgy tattoo, and studied pained puppyish wistful expression. Anyhooo...good luck to the just agreeing that singers who seem very aware of their sexiness are funny, and deserve to be danced to in a suitably amusing way.

The video of "I'm too sexy" by Right said Fred came to mind, and I was going to see if the hotlinking synapse was still firing, and post a link. However, found this wee gem of a video, which plays to the song from which the aforementioned band took their name. As the song is all about moving furniture about and stopping for tea-breaks, methinks it deserves a look. Lego piano shifting blokes

Have been in the throes of furniture-moving today. Seem to be chucking out more than has come in, which is kind of feng shui-ish, even if only the tip of the icberg of clutter still to leave the premises. I have soo many bags of clothes that are too wee, but conceivably fitting me again, one day, and with nowhere to go. The wardrobes are already full of my art gallery of the unworn (stuff which is even smaller.) Yikes and yeesh and sheesh. (You Americans do a great line in exasperated onomatopoeia.)

Had to admit defeat and look up the hotlink html.O_o

Dr. Bob said...

Great video!

I have heard that you should just get rid of everything that you have not worn for the last six months -- unless it is totally seasonal. I am about to clean out my closet and dresser. I am a little less cavalier about the whole thing -- I allow myself to keep a few things that I really love, even if I don't wear them.

My little leather 80's boots are back in fashion, which is really funny. At least shoes don't become too small.

Rowan! Everything must go! There are these wonderful things called ... stores!

Definitely get rid of it if it is something that you never even wore when you were smaller!

rowan said...

Hee hee! Bob, You are right...I will sift and sort, deliberate and prognsticate. Am a leetle bit of a Liberace, in that, like the departed spangly fellow,my clothes are the same, but come in three sizes: "slim, fat, and completely outrageous." Am loath to chuck away "slim and fat", as am hoping to revisit, without repurchasing. (Excuse lack of hyphen, it has frozen. However, sad as it may seem, I can take refuge in feeling hyphen lack trendy, the OED having removed sixteen thousand from the new edition.)

Well done on the judicious and yet cavalier sorting! A nice metaphysical start to the day.

Dr. Bob's Ball & Chain said...

A well-turned-out commentary on our bivouac to IKEA, the mother of all IKEA trips... and we have several under our belts. A clarification is in order, however: I have never called IKEA "Swedish Hell," though I might cop to referring to it as "the 7th Swedish Circle of Hell."

It's not that I don't like IKEA stores, except for loathing the perfect vacuum of service one experiences at our local branches. I do hate that.

As for the stores themselves and their stock, I have told Doc on occasion that it is *too much* for me. I get headachey and irritable after about an hour, overstimulated. I guess that's what ADD feels like, although I don't think I have that (in my day, we would call someone like me "scatter-brained and distractable" and leave it at that -- no Ritalin necessary).

I need a sensory-deprivation tank in the worst way after a day going to and from IKEA.

Doc is a trouper for putting up with my conservatism, which does NOT border on immutability. Rather, my conservatism gleefully embraces immutability and crowns it Lord of All.

Always glad to see the haverers are still havering.

The LIMBO cd is very well-done, and the recording clear enough to pick up everything (even TH's "potty mouth" during the closing number). I give it 4 BBQ pork ribs out of 4.

rowan said...

Dr Bob's Ball and Chain: you raise a lot of issues here. There is indeed an underlying element of Hellishness about Ikea, which one can imagine represnted in a gruesome Underworldly etching by Hieronmous Bosch, or Breugel. Am sure there is a Dore engraving to accompany a canto in Dante's Inferno, where souls in purgatory await their torments, sitting in serried ranks on "Klippan" sofas (the ones with the leather patchwork slipcovers that keep popping out, weigh a ton, and facilitate abdominal hernias when tucking back in.) Maybe that is actually the torment... those people have to tuck those covers in for all eternity...)

There is definitely a Faustian edge to the Hell metaphor too. Mephistopheles gives him a blank cheque, lets him loose in Ikea, then, cackling Fiendishly, abandons him in the "lift it all doon from the shelves by yersel" collection area.

I am a fan of Ikea, but agree that the staff seem to see themselves as exhibits in the modern art gallery in which they work. They float around, adding a roving touch of colour, but have no interactive role.

The ethos of Ikea is amusing. They have ads out just now, howling down dull old magnolia and promotiing exotic pattern and colour. I love lots of their stuff, and it is cool, and affordable. Resent having my magnolia livingroom dissed, tho. You can still think outside the box and embrace a bit of traditional cream wallage.

The Ikea stuff is pretty immutable, so is destined to last awhiles, and negate the need for immanent replacement. I think they also do a neat flatpack flotation tank, in the "leak" range.:)

Really enjoyed reading this post about your trip to Ikea, trolley dancing Bob clan. Bob: keep yer haverers posted on how the projects progress, and if you get the rubick's cubey thing.Mega props for the wizardly flatpackery, btw.

rowan said...

Yeesh: meant to write "imminent" in 2nd last para, and fiendish is unintentionally capitalised. >.<

Hope y'all have a nice weekend!

rex opolis said...

rowen- we have that cheese grater! it was wonderful when we used it. it also came with a cover, so you could save the cheese shavings in the fridge. we don't have much use for it now tho, bc we buy all our cheese pre-grated, which is the best time saver ever. and i think we all enjoy eating fewer knuckle slivers with our cheese.

rex opolis said...

i spelled it rowen even while thinking not put that 'e' in there! lo siento rowan!