Going through Ikea backwards… am I the only one to have done this??

The weather here has been in the low 70’s, which would be awesome except that it has been crazily muggy and prone to sporadic very hard rain showers that make it unsafe to venture very far without an umbrella.  On Tuesday when I walked home carrying my backpack, my purse, and two big bags of CSA produce, the humidity was pretty bad.  I discovered that, although I’m usually a very optimistic, pretty easy-going person, being covered in a film of sweat when I’m in my work clothes and carrying about thirty pounds worth of stuff is a sure way to make me grumpy.  I walked in the door of the apartment with all of my clothing sticking to me, bags sticking out from my body every which way, and a fine sheen of sweat over my entire body.  Mike, surprisingly, was home early and met me at the door.

“Do you want to go to Ikea?”

“No.  I don’t know.  I can’t go anywhere until I’ve showered.”

“Why?  Are you sweaty?”

“Mike, look at me.  My clothes are wet.  There’s a stream – a STREAM – of sweat running down my back and I’m afraid it’s going to come out the bottom of my shirt and fall on the carpet.  And the CSA lilies are poking me in the chin.”

Mike took a second to peruse me objectively.  “Yeah, you’re right.  You’re pretty disgusting.  You should shower.”

Irrationally, I wasn’t happy that he hadn’t noticed I was sweaty, but I wasn’t happy being called disgusting either.  🙂

Half an hour later we were on the road to Ikea.  Let’s talk about Ikea.  It’s a great store where you can get lots of good deals.  However, there are a couple dangers with buying furniture from Ikea.

1) If you’re not careful you have exactly the same furniture as all of your other early-career friends.

2) It’s easy (very easy) for your house to become a living, breathing Ikea advertisement.  Ikea bedroom set, Ikea bookcases next to an Ikea TV stand.  Which is next to an Ikea end table.  Which is next to an Ikea chair.  On which is sitting an Ikea pillow.  Next to an Ikea jar of potpourri.

Mike and I had been there a couple times in the past month or two looking at furniture, and we had finally placed an order for a TV stand and a bookcase which were strategically NOT the same color to avoid the matchy-matchy ‘I bought everything at Ikea’ statement.  Unfortunately due to unforeseen errors (our fault, not Ikea’s), we ended up with two TV stands instead of one and four legs for the TV stand instead of the 6 it required.  That meant a return trip to the store.

The following day I was set to give a small talk to my team about Asynchronous Javascript and JQuery Deferreds, so I asked Mike if I could practice by explaining the concepts to him while we drove to Ikea (AFTER I showered!).  He wrinkled his nose and sighed, but agreed.  (I don’t blame him… I don’t know that post-work JQuery conversation is the most exciting thing ever.)  I started explaining the concepts and Mike got involved enough to ask some questions.  One thing led to another and around the time our conversation had turned to the intricacies of the Javascript event queue, Mike looked around.

“Where are we?  Are we close to Ikea?”

I looked around as well.  “Um… I don’t know.  Have you not been watching the signs?”

“No, you’re the navigator.  I assumed you’d tell me when to exit.”

“Oh.”   I dug my iPhone out of my purse and looked around to try to get my bearings.  Just as we passed a sign for Puyallup.

“Oh….” my voice trailed off.  “We’re way south of Ikea.  We’re in Puyallup.  We need to turn around.”

Mike took the next exit and we headed back north.  It took us a very long time to get to Ikea because I told Mike to take a freeway exit that ended up being a weird back-door kind of exit and we had to wander around  on more back roads before we finally got to Ikea.  (Just for the record, the new Google Maps app is driving me crazy… the app was so much better when it was the built-in iPhone map program.)

Once at Ikea we decided to divide and conquer and Mike got in line to return the extra TV stand while I went after our two missing legs.  Rather than go through Ikea the way you’re supposed to (from front door following all the white arrows on the floors through to the warehouse and then to the cash registers and then to the exit, I just wanted to skip to the warehouse because I had a pretty good memory of selecting the legs the first time and was pretty sure I could find them again even though there were about a hundred aisles in the warehouse full of dull brown boxes.  You’re really not supposed to walk through Ikea backwards.  It’s kind of akin to driving your car in reverse on the freeway.  You just don’t do it.  Because it’s counter-intuitive.  And because it might endanger other people.  And most importantly because if it’s not illegal, it should be.

So I knew I’d have to time things carefully if I was going to go against the Ikea flow.  I held a sheet of paper in one hand and my cell phone in the other and got ready to look utterly preoccupied and concerned.  There were two cashiers manning the self checkout lanes and I knew I’d have to get past them to get into the warehouse.  I waited until they were both busy helping customers (which I knew wouldn’t take long because if you’ve ever used a self checkout you know that half of the people who use them have issues), and then I bolted through the self checkout going against the flow with what I hoped was a very concerned expression on my face as I looked between my cell phone and the piece of paper clutched in my hand.  I was trying to exude an air of ‘Don’t stop me… I’m in the middle of a crisis.’  Apparently it worked because I made it through to the warehouse.  Once again, everyone was walking towards me since I was going against the flow, but I just navigated around the big shopping carts.  I located the aisle with the legs on my second try, checked through several pairs of legs and picked one towards the back that didn’t look like it had been handled at all.  Mike would be proud of me.  Then I hightailed it back towards the cash registers, enjoying the feeling of being swept along by the flow of people and the reassuring arrows painted on the concrete floor ensuring that I got to the exit safely.  I met Mike and we walked to the car together.  Mike examined the pair of legs I picked up.

“Did you pick the best ones?”

“Yes.”

“Did you look through eight different pairs?”

“Four.”

“Hmm.  Did you double-check these ones three times?”

“Twice.”

“Wow.  My OCD is really rubbing off on you.”

“Not really.  I did the examining and double-checking in your honor.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, since you weren’t there to do it, I did it for you.”

Mike grinned at me.  “What a good friend.”

Mike’s planning on putting the Ikea furniture together this weekend.  I’m relieved.  It’s just sitting in the middle of the floor right now and has been most of the week.

Ikea boxes and screws

Ikea boxes and screws

In CSA news, I am struggling to stay on top of the CSA produce.  I had to throw out some green beans yesterday, but apart from that I’ve been pretty good at keeping up.  I have a huge overabundance of zucchini though.  I made a ground beef and zucchini skillet for Mike over the weekend (and added half a chopped onion and two cloves of garlic to it, because what doesn’t taste better with onion and garlic??).  I’m going to make another loaf of zucchini bread tomorrow night.  I guess I’ll sauté up the rest?  Does anyone have any favorite recipes for zucchini they’d like to share??  I’m happy that this weekend coming up is a three-day weekend.  One extra day for Mike and me to sit at home and eat CSA veggies.  🙂

Here’s a weird interesting fact about our laundry.  I’ve found bits and pieces of our tickets and the zoo brochure and map in the dryer every couple of loads ever since our zoo trip three weeks ago.  Usually I’m pretty good about checking pockets before I randomly throw stuff in the washer.  But clearly the zoo tickets and other papers seem to be eluding me.  I have no idea how they could still be circulating through the washer/dryer system, but the laundry system has always been the closest thing I’ve actually observed to a hidden fifth dimension.  How else do you explain socks that go into the washer in pairs but only one emerges from the dryer?  If scientists really wondered how matter can be created and destroyed they’d be studying the laundry system instead of the far reaches of our galaxy.

Today the humidity finally broke… in a big way.  There have been several periods of time today where the skies basically opened up and dumped buckets and buckets of water down on Seattle.  One of these periods was while I was walking to the bus stop after work.  Sure, I had a rain coat and an umbrella, but they didn’t stand a chance against the torrents of rain coming down.  There were rivers of waters streaming down the sides of all of the main roads and all of the buses were late.  I heard one guy on his cell phone talking about how ‘he’d never seen rain like this’.  I definitely wouldn’t go that far, but it was WET!  By the time I got home my jeans were complete soaked.  I was wearing boots that Mike waterproofed, and they held up against the water.  My feet remained completely dry despite stepping in several puddles on the way home.  We may even get thunderstorms tonight… I’m kind of excited for that, but our ‘thunderstorms’ are pretty anticlimactic.  Usually 2.5 claps of thunder, a dark sky, no lightening, and then ten minutes later it’s over.  Mike loves it though… he never has to worry about unplugging all his electronics because of the possibility of lightening strikes.  🙂

I have continued to make my green smoothies these days.  I bought a green smoothie today at Whole Foods and thought Mine are better.  Granted, that might only be because I’m now putting two inches of grated ginger in every smoothie I make.  This is all Lia’s fault… she turned me on to ginger in smoothies.  I started with a modest half inch stub of ginger… and now I’m all the way up to 2 inches.  I keep telling myself that ginger’s really good for you and aids in digestion, minor stomach upset, and contains many antioxidants, but I’m not sure anyone should be eating a 2-in stub of ginger at a time regardless.  There comes a point with all things where more is not necessarily better and I think I’m at that point with ginger in smoothies!  I shudder to think how much I’ll be putting in in another couple of months!  I have found that despite hating roasted or boiled beets, they’re pretty tasty in smoothies (which is also helping me use up my CSA produce).  🙂

Piper has been loving the new fan that I got Mike for his birthday.

Piper enjoying the sun.  And the fan.

Piper enjoying the sun. And the fan.

Here I think she looks a little like an alien.  🙂

Piper sitting like an alien in her spaceship.  In the sun though.  Always in the sun.

Piper sitting like an alien in her spaceship. In the sun though. Always in the sun.

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend!  Now that it’s Labor Day, does it mean that summer is officially over??  In Seattle, yes, it usually does mean that.  However, our summer has been so much warmer than usual that I’m looking forward to fall.  🙂

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Filed under Apartments, Beets, Cats, Cooking, CSA, Ikea, Laundry, Rain, Smoothies, Weather, Zoo, Zucchini

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