Posts Tagged ‘Ikea’

And What Are You Up To

September 25, 2015


Not what I was up to last Thursday.


I am studying.

Or should I say, I was studying.


Not getting hickies tonight.

Oh well.

I knew well what I was getting into when I decided to pursue graduate school–no more reading for pleasure for a few years, limited social interaction and engagement, and lots of studying, outlining, underlining, and digesting of ideas, theories, and studies.

I will also get to add to that, navigating student financial aid, technology, online facebook pages for my cohort, never thought I would use social media for graduate school studies, but my cohort has a group on facebook and I actually do use it.

Said hickies have faded and left little trace of their previous engagement.

All that is left is a warm feeling and a few sweet thoughts.

He goes one way.

I go the other.

Nothing wrong there.

No expectations.

No resentments.

Life meandering on its way.

I’m not maudlin, upset, or concerned.

I’m focused on what is happening in front of me.

Which is mainly getting all my Human Development reading done before the weekend.

I have one chapter left in the big text-book and a lot of articles in the reader, but I have successfully finished all the reading that I need to have done to outline the chapter and do the presentation with my partner next week.

I will go back over the reading again this Saturday and perhaps one more time before I do the presentation.

Grateful to be getting the work in and done.

Grateful to be carving out the space here and there to navigate said reading.

A little here.

A little there.

The stuff and things they get done.

I haven’t really addressed the reading for any of my other classes yet, but I will.

I will get to it.

I always do.

I don’t sit idly by.

I don’t take many breaks.

I get the job done.

Speaking of job.

I expect that at some point tomorrow, since it has not happened yet, didn’t happen today, I will be sitting down with the family and doing my year review.

I have no more anxiety around it.

Which is a relief and I don’t have expectations of myself, except that I show up and be honest and come from a place of gratitude for my job, for the boys, for the gift of having a job while I am in graduate school that seems like it could well carry me through all the way from this first semester to the last.

That is my hope.


I know.


I know well.

That whatever happens.

I am taken care of.

I have no doubts.

With that qualification I await the morrow with some interest.

Tomorrow is when the school disperses the financial aid.

I have my fingers crossed that I will get the rest of my tuition bill paid for and that there will be a few thousand, two to be specific, two thousand, left over after my tuition is covered.

I really want a new mattress for my bed and I have been eyeing the Casper full size for the last three months or so.


I wonder.

Would it be better to sit on the money and see how I do under my own power with the hours that I am working at work before I spill out the money?

Should I sock it away into savings and have a nest egg?

Sleeping well is important, but could I wait until I do my taxes in January?

That seems so far away.

I have been quite frugal the past few months and am doing alright with my finances.

I will be paying my rent for October when I get my paycheck tomorrow.

That’s also something I need to keep in mind, the paychecks for the next few months will be smaller to reflect the fewer hours I am working.

I feel like I can afford it though.

The full size is $750.

That would still leave me sitting on $1250, which is basically one months rent, and I could sock that away into my savings, where I currently have one months rent, and then have a little prudent reserve to see how I do with the navigation forward.

I keep looking at my bed.

It’s a nice bed.


It’s an Ikea mattress that is two years old and was not meant to be the end all and be all of mattresses.

I had thought I was going to replace it this spring, but I did not.

Sleep is important.

My brain will do better with quality sleep than without.

I could write it off as a study aid.


Doubtful, but it’s a nice thought.

I don’t have many needs.

I live a small life.


It is a full life.

A quality life.

I like my food organic.

And yes.

I do drink expensive coffee.

I probably drop $60 a month on coffee beans.

But my, they are so delicious.

I also rarely buy coffee out, although I do have it on a fairly consistent basis.

Today I had a lovely iced coffee from Grand Cafe on Mission Street on my way to the Mission/Bartlett Farmer’s Market to shop for the family.

The family sports my coffees.

I don’t take advantage of it, though there can be a tendency in my brain to want more, after a certain point I just can’t do a big coffee after four in the afternoon.

I have a lot of perks at work.

I am well aware of how lucky I am to have a good job, that I get to live in San Francisco, go to school in San Francisco, live in the best city in the United States, one of the best in the world, and live as well as I do.


I live in a studio.

But it is by the sea.

In the most salient place for me to be.

The best place for my soul to reside for the time being.

At least for the next three years.

And after that?

Who knows.

I am too focused right now on the here and now.

Where the reading is.

Just there.

On the other side of my laptop.


If you’ll excuse me.

I have some more reading to do.

See you tomorrow.

I’ll let you know if I get that raise.

Cut & Run

September 13, 2013


I turned, said, excuse me a minute, and pulled the water bottle out of my purse.

I took a large drink, finishing off the liter that had sustained me through hours of following small black arrows on the floor of Ikea, and breathed deeply.

Screw the budget, I will be ok, just get the help.

“Ok, do it,” I said to the guy at the Information help desk, one of many kiosks of hell that I had navigated around for hours, giving him the go ahead to charge me for another service at Ikea.

In toto, I spent $919.

Run away!

When I think about it, as I am reclined on my new bed with its five new fluffy pillows, new white duvet, new beachy duvet cover, new sheets, and mattress, it was worth every cent.

Frankly, I got away with a deal, if I am honest with myself.

I got a new bed, a new mattress, dishes for six, silverware, pots and pans, two sets of  glasses, bowls, knives, a can opener, pot holders, three frames (just finished framing my posters from Paris that I got at a book seller’s along the Seine the day before I flew back to the States), a toilet paper holder, three candles, a dish rack, plates, and saucers.

I did pretty fucking ok.

And my “I can’t go over that” money limit was $1,000.

I had no plans on spending it all, but I knew I could if I had to.

I worked my ass off at Burning Man and I am now reaping the rewards.

Or reclining the rewards, if you will.

But at that moment in Ikea when I was looking at the delivery costs and the assemble it costs and where the fuck is it in which aisle, I almost cut and run.





I had a bad, bad, bad case of the fuck-its.

In hindsight, that happened super fast, as soon as my friend and I were in her car, I realized that we had been in Ikea for almost four hours.


They know how to snag you and the lack of being able to see to the outside world,(sort of like being in a casino, now that I think about it), the unnecessary parading of you through rooms and rooms and corridors of things that you don’t need until you can get to the stuff that you do need, is exhausting and disorienting.

Add two trips to the bathroom and one to the “display” show rooms, after a full on onslaught of the regular store, and no wonder I was panic-stricken.

I caught my breath and turned and walked right through the





I said, ok, I will pay for that.

I will pay to have you deliver, assemble, and sort for me.

I hand it over, I am here to surrender, let me turn it all over to somebody else.

My friend went to check on something she was getting for her unit and as I stood there struggling to not go into financial shock, I have the money, I have the money, I have the money, I made a spending plan, I have a list, I stuck to the list, this is ok, the mantra of you are enough you have enough rolling through and calming me down.

Until I was calm.





I walked through the fear and said I would pay the piper.

Now, the fun part.

The guy at the desk said, no, that’s silly, let me save you the $40.

Go grab a cart, I will show you were the stuff is and you can load it onto the cart and take it to the check out and then go to the delivery people, you don’t have to pay to have me help you.

Well, ok, then.

I went, got a cart, and returned to the help desk.

He trotted ahead of me, I realized that he was probably doing something he was not supposed to do, and jogged along behind making wide turns with the flatbed cart to catch up to him.

He quickly pulled down the boxes and bits and ascertained everything that I needed and the next thing you know I am in line, having saved some dough, and my friend pulls up behind me and says, oh hey, that will totally fit in my car, you don’t have to pay to have that delivered, we can do this.


That was a brilliant turn of events.

I stayed put and I got the help I needed.

We got everything back to the house and I unpacked the vehicle, stacking things in their appropriate places.

While the unloading was happening my friend made herself some lunch and then I did the same and we ate on the back porch in a patch of sunlight that seemed to have poked through the fog just especially for our al fresco dining experience.

It was lovely.

Though not as lovely as the dinner I had later this evening.

“You need help,” my friend said to me as I sat with a bewildered look on my face trying to decipher the cartoon drawings that Ikea gives you with the 8 million pieces and parts of the bed frame.

“Call your guy,” she said.

“Ask him to come over early, before the movie,” she finished.

“I can’t do that,” I replied, anxious all over again.

The Mister and I were supposed to go see the 7 p.m. showing of Spark, A Burning Man Story, at the Roxie this evening, but the way the bed assembly was going, there was going to need to be a miracle for me to get it done before he arrived.

“Just ask for his help, I heard him say, if you need any help, to ask.” She looked at me and arched an eyebrow, “so ask.”

I am getting an idea of why I have been single for so long.

When you, meaning me, are as autonomous as I have been in my life, doing it myself, not asking for help, well, then why be in a partnership, I’ve got it all covered, can’t you see, I don’t need your help.

But I needed his help and I wanted his company.

So, with my friends assistance, I wrote him a text asking for help.

And lo, he replied of course, he’d be over in just a bit.

We never made it to the movie.

But I did get him in my bed, frame, that is.

Get your head out of the gutter.

It took forever.

Even with me having pulled it all out and laid all the pieces parts one end to the other, it still took hours and hours.

And it might be the best fun I have ever had setting up furniture.

Why have I been doing it all myself all this years?

I am an idiot.

Or just in fear.

A little of both, I suspect.

The bed, well, it’s made, with fresh sheets and a fluffy duvet and I am leaned up on some nice soft pillows and listening to some jazz.

And thinking about the dinner we had on the back porch, in the dark, with the crash of the surf in our ears, the mist of the fog on our faces, and some Thai Cottage take out in our tummies.

That and the text he sent me after he left about how I am scrumptious.


A new bed and I am scrumptious.

Here’s to walking through that fear.

I am done running away.

Here to stay.

For a good long while.

In my cozy new bed.

Sock I(kea)t To Me

September 12, 2013

Big deep breath.



And repeat.

It will be ok.

The store will not eat me.

It may suck up all my prudent reserve though, which I have sat and figured and re-figured out how much I can afford to spend at the Norwegian/Scandinavian, what is it anyhow, super store, in Emeryville.

The last time I went there it was for my studio in Nob Hill, many moons back, just after, yes that is correct, I came back from a nanny gig at Burning Man.

I am apparently all about the moving directly after I get back from Burning Man, I have done it three times now?  Maybe four.

I am, fingers crossed, done with the moving.

I am getting up early and going with my friend after she drops her daughter off at school.  I looked at a catalog today at work, a quick half day, and by the time 1 p.m. had rolled around I was ready with my list.

One bed frame.

One mattress.

Two side tables.

One “kitchen” table/desk.

Sheets, duvet, duvet covers, pillows, throw rug, can opener, dish strainer and mat, pictures ledges, frames, a soap dish, a throw blanket and a few other miscellaneous objects.

Maybe a pot for my new orchid.

I also went to the Farmer’s Market in the Castro by Cafe Flore today after I met with John Ater. I rode my bicycle back to the Sunset and my “room-mate” was leaving to pick up her daughter in the same neighborhood I was in and offered a ride to and from the market.

I was down.

Not having to haul groceries along on a bicycle in a messenger bag is a huge treat.

I am not going to say I am aghast at what I spent, but it was more than I would have had I not been with company and just really felt like treating myself well.

I deserve nice food.

And I bought some.

Damn you Frog Hollow fruit sample man.

Not like I don’t love them anyway, but I know what I a getting from them and it is always the nectarines.  I will enjoy a peach and that is what they are known for (their peaches have the highest measured fruit sugars of any peaches in California, probably in the United States), but give me a nectarine.

I like the tang and the lack of fuzz.

It is the end of the stone fruit season and now is the time to get those last-minute fruits.

I was just going to get the nectarines.

Then I was offered a sample of a Warren Pear.

Holy Toledo!

It blew my hair back, it has to be the best tasting pear I have ever had in my life, it tasted like it was dipped in honey and slowly glazed in the sun and soaked to the brim with translucent juices.  And only $4.90 a pound.

Good grief, Charlie Brown.

I bought a fucking five dollar pear.

I am looking at it perched in the kitchen on the plate with the other fruit I scored at the market–organic Golden Delicious, Fire Island Nectarines, and yes!  The first persimmons of the season.

I don’t hardly know where to start.

I also got baby pickling cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, fresh dill, baby gem lettuces, Easer Egg radishes, and the most beautiful head of cauliflower I have ever seen.

Also a five dollar and change purchase.

The cauliflower!

But damn it was tasty in my dinner salad: 1 baby gem lettuce, 1/2 a Hass avocado, four sliced radishes, with the radish greens chopped up and tossed in, fresh dill, one baby cucumber, a handful of heirloom black cherry tomatoes, an organic carrot, one hard-boiled egg, and some sea salt, Bragg Amino’s, olive oil, and a splash of Gravenstein apple cider vinegar.

I had a nectarine for desert and felt so full and replete and satiated and happy.

I barely had room for my tea.

I was going to go down to the beach and finally take a stroll, but I found it easier to repose back to my little room–I had dinner with my friend and her boyfriend and daughter in the up stairs unit–and clean up my dishes and look over the Ikea online catalog one last time.

I am not going to be able to fit the bed frame and the mattress in the Pathfinder, so I am going to get the same day delivery, add-on $89, and I may even pay to have it assembled.

The dollar signs flashing like warning signs in my brain.

But, I also know that I deserve a nice bed to sleep in and a place to write my words and a chair to sit on, a home.

I am not going nuts.

I have a spending plan.

But I am also not going to cause myself unnecessary stress or anxiety.

“What’s the worst that can happen,” John Ater asked be today as I was re-telling the tried and true “tale” of my financial woes and worries.

“I couch surf,” I said and laughed.

“I start over,” I shook my head, “I know this, I know I am not going to be out in the streets in the gutter, I told myself to simmer the fuck down, the thoughts don’t help.”

Nope they do not.

I am not going to live the next part of my life with holding nice things, like pears and persimmons, or a soft mattress and a nice pillow.

I am not going to live with that kind of mentality.

I am embracing abundance and I believe that I will be allowed to live here, in this home in a manner that does not disregard financial responsibility, but also does not place me in a space of such frugality that I sleep my nights away on a blow up mattress.


This is my last night on a blow up mattress.

Tomorrow, the Ikea, the bed, the same day delivery, set it up and let me make it up with new pillows and sheets and a duvet and a throw blanket that is soft and cuddly.

If I blow my entire budget on my bed I will be ok with it.

I deserve it.

And I believe that I am being taken care of.

As long as I take care of myself.

To that end, I also bought myself a bouquet of sweet pansies and my first orchid.

I love flowers in my space.

My space.


I like the sound of that.

My space, my home.

My little nest.

By the sea.

A Kinder, Gentler, Carmen

June 17, 2013

I am done with the beating up of myself.

So what if I did not find a pair of jeans today?

Who the fuck cares?

I am clothed just fine.

And I have some Basement Jaxx blasting in the background and a very large cup of Chocolate Coconut tea steeping on the counter as I type.

I am a happy girl.

Plus I got to see my ladies Joan and Molly tonight.

Fuck yes.

And I have been dancing around since I got back to the house sitting.

If I got to house sit I am going to make some sunshine happen for myself.  I am not isolating, I got my ass out there today and did shit.  I have access to the car and I used it.

I also have filled the tank up and I am being a responsible egg about it.  Hyper aware of traffic and parking, thank you to my dear friend again, Stephi, for having taught me how to parallel park years and years ago in Madison, WI.

She would have been so proud of me as I tucked into a space today.

I did thank her out loud as I cut the tires and with two smooth turns of the steering wheel I had navigated right into the spot, slick and clean as a whistle.

I decided to do all the things I would not get to do if I had just my bicycle and my BART pass.

I went to the Berkeley Flea Market, the San Pablo Flea Market (which should just be called a junk yard, seriously, do people actually find stuff to take home from there?), the Resource Depot (I think that’s what it’s called), the Pallet Store, Berkeley Bowl, and Bay Street for some clothes shopping, oh shit, yes, I also went to Target.

I am a little blown out with the commerce.

I don’t have plans to do that again any time soon.

It was a lot.

I found nothing at any of the flea market or re-purposed stores.

I found very little at Target, some leggings and a cheap pair of silver hoops–got to represent.

I found almost nada at Bay Street and was happy to get out of there with my life, that is an experience I will pass on doing ever again.  I felt that it was good information to have gotten, but I don’t believe I need to down load more of it.

Bay Street is sort of like an outdoor mall.

I blew past Ikea.

I don’t like Ikea, no I do not.

The only time I have liked Ikea is when I have gone with my friend Calvin in the middle of the week when there is no one, well, for Ikea, no one, and we went to the cafeteria and got the Swedish meatball children’s meal with diet Cokes then went and “played” house in the stage set ups of the furniture.

I got into a bunk bed at one point and pulled the comforter up over my head and laid my head down on a pillow and waited to scare the shit out of Cal, but instead was mistaken for a sleeping mannequin by some shopping mom, who commented on how restful the bed was.

I had an idea today that I might find a few things for the place I am going to move into when I get back from Burning Man.

Yes, that’s right, I am already nesting.

Just the thought of having my own space to settle myself into sent me off into a tizzy of decorating in me head that I could not fall asleep right away last night despite being tired and ready for bed.  My head buzzed with ideas for the space and I thought I might find a thing or two at the flea markets.

I know I need to wait until I am actually in the space before I decorate, but it’s an old habit from years past when I would mentally re-decorate the house I grew up in, in Windsor, Wisconsin.

It never failed to put me to sleep.

I also will admit that I was trolling the internet for a new bed.

I got rid of all my stuff when I went to Paris.

I have nary a thing.

I know the stuff will all come together, not too worried about that, and I was surprised that the frames that called out my name were more affordable than I would have thought.  It’s still going to be a little investment.  I have not also bought a new mattress and box spring ever.

I mean, ever.

I believe at the ripe age of 40 that it may be time to get a nice mattress.

Sleep is important and being well rested is not something that I can shirk any longer.

I do get a head of myself though, I don’t have to think about that stuff for a while yet.

Though I did realize that two months from today I leave for playa.

That’s eight weeks!

Which of course influenced one of the few purchases clothing wise that I did make today, and what is even more funny about it is that I bought it at Berkeley Bowl, not really where you think about buying clothing.

I did not need to do a hit at Berkeley Bowl for groceries, I had a very successful trip at Rainbow earlier this weekend, I went to get supplies for Graceland–laundry detergent and a jumbo sized pack of toilet paper.

Stuff that is near impossible to get into my messenger bag and on my bike back through the hood.

I also stocked up on some extra tea and some bottled water, because I was being nice to myself and there was a sale.

Then I saw it–the sparkle scarf!

And I had to have it.

It was twelve bucks and well worth it.

I will wear it to Burning Man, I will wear it tomorrow.

It sparkles, of course I will wear it.

Today what my life looks like is nice healthy salads with organic fruit for dessert, pushing the pause button when I was overwhelmed at the stores and getting out without buying stupid shit (here’s where my head goes, oh if it doesn’t work, you can just swap it out at the clothing swap you’re going to next week.  Uh, no, if it don’t fit, don’t buy it.), and making plans to see my girl friends.

Now, pardon me, while I go hit my snack and some True Blood.

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