A Story of Two Couches

Somehow time has just been flying since I started at my new job on January 5th!  That first week I was so focused on getting up to speed on the new job, and then that weekend I had yoga teacher training all weekend, followed by my second week of trying to get up to speed.  And then this past weekend arrived, which was kind of a break from the go-go-go.

The past couple of weeks have just been crazy for Mike and me.

We drove down to Tacoma to try to test drive an Alfa Romeo.  We threw our couch into a huge dump at a transfer station in Shoreline.  We drove down I-99 during the NFC playoff game and heard thunderous cheering from the Seahawks stadium.  I did a 9 mile run at an average page of 8:37 per mile (way faster than I’ve been running in the recent past… clearly the iron supplements are helping!).  We went out to a local Japanese restaurant for sushi.  Mike made Piper a cardboard box wall that she has been playing with endlessly.  I’ve been learning node.js and coffeescript (no, I’m not kidding… that’s the name of the language.  If you can call it a language, since it’s essentially a more “friendly” way of programming javascript.  I don’t think it’s as friendly as Javascript, but that’s probably because I’m coming from a Java background, so Javascript seems plenty friendly to me.)  🙂  Mike got a new silver globe.  Mike and I finished another past season of Top Gear.  I love that show almost beyond belief.  Mike and I retried our turkey burger experiment since I kind of burned them the first time I made them.  There you go… a thirty-second slice in the life of Mike, Karena, and Piper.

I’ll expound on just a couple of the more interesting things we’ve been doing over the past two weeks (don’t worry… I won’t elaborate on node.js or coffeescript.)

Let’s talk about couches.  And cats.  And cats who have some wires cross and occasionally urinate on couches.  Yes, that would be our cat.  After an incident last Monday, Mike put his foot down.  “We are not cleaning this couch again.  It’s going in the trash.”  The next day he came home with two little wheely carts.  The day after I found directions to the Shoreline Recycling Transfer station and a confirmation for rental of a Zip van on the kitchen counter.  The day after he asked me what I was doing on Sunday morning.

And that was how we found ourselves on Sunday morning in the middle of a huge downpour driving out to pick up a Zipvan with our little wheely carts in the trunk.  Zipcar gives all of their cars names (maybe for easier identification for people who don’t know car makes/models?  I’m not sure.)  Anyway, Mike told me the Zipvan we were picking up was named Exeter which annoyed me like crazy.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a poorly chosen name.  And how do you pronounce that anyway?  “Ex-ter”?  “Ex-e-ter”?  The Zipvans we’d rented in the past had much better names (Eskimo and Elmer.  I think Zipcar had an ‘E’ name thing going on because the vans were Ford E models.)  Driving to pick up the car, I kept suggesting better names for the Zipvan to Mike.

“How about Eleanor?”

“I don’t think these vans seem like girls.”

Silence for about 30 seconds.  “How about Emerald?  It’s even in the Emerald City, which fits.”

“Emerald’s not a real name.”

“Neither’s Eskimo, and that’s the name of one of their other vans.”

Silence for another 30 seconds.

“What about Eddie?”

“That’s a name from the early 1900’s.  Besides even if you pick a name, you don’t work for Zipcar.” Mike paused.  “Unless you’re actually planning to call them about this?”

I considered the idea while Mike rolled his eyes.  “What about Eggshell?”

“I rent these vans when I want to tote a bunch of heavy stuff.  Eggshell sounds too delicate.  I wouldn’t want to rent a van named Eggshell.”

“Good point.”


“What about Emmett?  Like the doc in Back to the Future?”

Mike paused.  “Emmett’s pretty good.”

I leaned back against the seat finally, satisfied.  And in protest of the bizarreness of Exeter, I called our van Emmett during the duration of our trip.  I have since thought up another good van name: Equinox.  So, Zipcar, if you need names for your Zipcars, you know who to call.

Once we picked up the van and headed back to our apartment, the challenge began.  Somehow we had to muscle the couch out of our apartment to the elevator, and then down to the van using the wheely carts.  Fortunately, both Mike and I have been lifting a lot more weights since the last time we tried this, and we found that we had pretty good combined muscle power.  Unfortunately, the hallway to the front door was narrower than we remembered and the front door was set at an angle to the hallway that didn’t bode well for getting the couch out.  To further complicate things we had an entry bench just inside the door intruding into the hallway that wasn’t there when we moved the couch in the first time.  And because of his love for sturdy things, Mike had thoughtfully nailed it to the wall, so moving it wasn’t an option.  Twenty minutes later, I was pretty impressed with Mike’s lats and we had flipped the couch around a couple times in the narrow hallway and somehow had it in the hallway.  Mike muscled it onto the wheely carts and we proceeded down the hallway pushing our giant couch.

Getting it from there down the elevator and into the van was mostly a testament to muscle combined with wheely carts.  We drove the couch all the way up to Shoreline and Mike backed the van up to the five foot concrete railing around the huge dump.

“So we just maneuver the couch out of the back of the van and right over the edge of the guard rail?” I asked Mike.  He nodded his agreement.  I got in the van behind the couch and pushed hard as Mike pulled on it to guide it.  It went flying out the back of the van and we found it suspended, one end on the concrete guardrail and one end still in the van.  There was a heavy chain link about three feet above the concrete guardrail, and I called out to Mike, “Careful!  We don’t want this chain sticking on the couch and keeping it from going down!”

“It’s not catching on the couch!” Mike called back as he gave one final heave which sent the couch careening into the giant dump.

Except that the back edge of the couch was indeed now caught on the giant chain, leaving the couch effectively suspended in midair over the edge of the dump.  The chain looked like it was straining against the weight of the couch.  One of the workers at the dump watched us with what looked like amusement.  Great.  Just what we needed… an audience.  I lunged towards the chain to try to pull it over the back edge of the couch while Mike yanked down as hard as he could on the back edge of the couch so that I could get the chain clear.  A moment later, the couch fell into the dump with a big thud.  The guy working there wandered over to us and looked down at the couch.

“Nice couch,” he said, looking it over with the eye of a future owner.

“Yeah,” Mike said, hot, breathless, and never one to beat around the bush.  “Our cat peed on it like 6 times.”

“Oh!” The guy made a face and took several steps back.  “This is the place for it then.  You can never get that stuff out no matter how hard you try.”

A few minutes later we were driving out of the dump, minus one couch.  Our only couch, when it came to that.

And that was how we found ourselves downtown at a furniture store later that afternoon looking at couches.  And interestingly, whereas when Mike and I shopped for a couch seven years ago and neither of us were very picky, this time was completely different.  I noticed that the arms of some couches were too wide, some couches were too deep.  Some were too poofy, some didn’t come in exactly the shade I thought would go with the apartment.  Some looked too old-fashioned, some looked too western.  Some didn’t look like they’d wear well, some had weird gimmicks on them (Head-rests that fold down into the couch?  Really?).  The sales lady assured me I wasn’t too bad and that she’d had much pickier customers, but I was doubtful.  While we were debating about couches, Mike became intrigued with a silver-colored globe that was also at the store and examined it.  (If you think you don’t need a globe, guess where the country of Chile is in relation to Seattle.  If you’re like anyone I’ve asked so far, you’ll be shocked.)  An hour later, Mike and I had selected a couch which met most of our specifications and was on sale.

“With the money we saved on the couch, we should buy the globe,” Mike said.  “I don’t think countries are changing much days, so it’s time to invest in a globe.”

“Done,” I replied, and we walked out of the store with a globe and a delivery date for our couch.  Which incidentally isn’t for another couple of weeks so in the meantime when we watch shows we’re spreading a towel on the floor, picnic-style.  Fun, fun.  🙂

Now let’s talk about football.  Not because I care about it very much but because Seattle won the NFC championship on Sunday in a crazy game and is now heading for the super bowl with the Patriots.  On Sunday, during the game, Mike and I were couch shopping, so we clearly weren’t very game-focused.  We did monitor it enough to know that Seattle was down by like 16 points at halftime so we decided Green Bay was probably going to win.  (I wasn’t heartbroken about that… I was born in Wisconsin.)  However, as we left the store we started to see that Seattle seemed to be catching up in the 4th quarter.  It looked like they might actually win.

Mike fiddled with the car stereo trying to find an AM station that was broadcasting the game while we drove home.  We stopped for ice cream, thinking that Green Bay was going to win again, but after scoring 15 points in the 4th quarter it looked like the Seahawks had a chance.  And then the game entered overtime.  Mike and I went in so he could get some ice cream since we figured the overtime would go for awhile.  The ice cream place which ALWAYS has a line going out the door and around the street corner was completely empty.  Apparently everyone besides us was glued to a television somewhere watching the game.  As we got back in the car, the radio came on and the Seahawks had just scored.  And won.  Wow!  What a comeback!

In completely unrelated news, Mike and I did a turkey burger experiment over the weekend in which I made up the turkey burger patties and Mike cooked them (since I kind of burned them last time).  Mike ate them, but said that it was very clear to him why turkey burgers aren’t as popular as beef burgers.  So there you have it.  Beef > turkey.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2015 so far and staying warm with all the cold weather across the country!



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2 responses to “A Story of Two Couches

  1. Nate

    My brother once told me, “It’s amazing how quickly a job gets done when you have the right tools.” I think this extends to house purchases when you have the right people on your side. Questions you have are answered in minutes. I look forward to seeing the place later this year.

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