Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Weather!

After a gray, rainy Thursday and Friday, fall has finally arrived. Highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s and maybe flirting with 40s, this is why people visit and then go home to cold weather, sit around feeling sorry for themselves, and uproot and move to Florida. Then they find out about the crime, lack of job opportunities, pay scale and the true cost of living here. (Hint: "No State Income Tax!" means we drain the operating costs of government out of you in other ways, but you still pay the same at the end of the day. Oh, and you're making less money now.) Whoopsie. I have decided that Ohio must be a really tough place, because the only people I know who move to FL and don't go "Oh fuck, what have I DONE?" are from Ohio. I have scratched Ohio off my potential relocation list, with a very dark, thick Sharpie marker.

It's a gorgeous day, and I intended to go unload the small items from the storage unit today. We were going to make a run to my mother's house for a throwing-out party, but Girl wisely pointed out that Baby needs a new catalytic converter (warranty item) and inexplicably stalled on me once, and though she's running okay and we are waiting for the part from the dealer, we really don't need to tempt fate with a 2 hour trek through the Withlacoochee Forest, where cell phone service is sketchy. You don't need to tell me twice. We bagged that trip until next week.

So I substituted a run to the storage unit, where my gate code did not work, and the office was closed. Yeah, they'll be getting a call tomorrow.

So I came home and threw out some stuff from my own garage instead. Couldn't waste all the good energy.

Girl and I went to IKEA (sound of heavenly trumpets) last night. We may be the only two people we know who aren't in love with IKEA (sound of heavenly trumpets). Girl did find a new bedroom set she likes a lot, that is inexpensive and cute, but I'd suggest a tour of other furniture stores before committing to it. We went with Baby's backseat folded down, with cash in hand, locked, loaded and ready to shop. Girl's new rented townhouse is spacious and very grownup and "I've arrived," (she has a garden tub! with ample surface for wine glass, candles and such!) but lacks kitchen drawer space to a degree that is truly comical. So she needed and wanted a kitchen cart/island unit with drawers and storage - there's a perfect space for it. She could use a nice bookcase arrangement for the entry hall, and a coffee table with storage for laptops and remotes, and a separate storage unit for DVDs and CDs. We were primed, psyched, locked, loaded, ready to spend, and we headed for IKEA.

We found Not Jack Shit. Okay, we found "it'll do", but nothing that she liked enough to bring home immediately, and I agreed. IKEA - at least our store = eh. I really liked the bedroom set she is considering. Hemnes. In white, because that has the most durable finish. The colors come in a soft wood that would get scarred all to hell in six months.

The kid stuff really is to die for - it's the place to go for kid furniture; it's cheap and designed to be used and outgrown. If either of my kids ever reproduces I know where I'm going for precious bedrooom decor and little miniature cookware and suchlike; we cooed over precious little woks and pots and downsized utensils and teeny tiny tea sets and wee tables and chairs, all decent quality at a good price; and I'm still looking at one of their sofa lines as an apartment possible choice because if I still have These Damn Cats I will be buying disposable furniture, but 90% of their stuff is just "Eh." Add IKEA to the Yarn Harlot, most of reality television, basketball and the McCain-Palin ticket on the long list of Things I Just Don't GET.

And shopping there is an ordeal. It's a sprawling, crowded, confused mess, full of people pushing strollers and oblivious to other people's shins as they debate the merits of two really butt-ugly coffee tables. It's a shopping theme park at peak season all the time. Our store is two stories, like two Home Depots stacked on each other, the layout is incomprehensible, and 75% of it is butt-ugly crap, another 15% is kinda okay, and 10% looks like normal people furniture but cheaper, and not like you're furnishing an institution on the cheap. There, I said it. I don't get a rush out of IKEA. Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, and even Wal-Mart all decent nice put-it-together furniture. I am all about the put it together furniture, but IKEA leaves me cold. I do give IKEA credit for their cheap disposable upholstered pieces and nifty kitchen cabinetry. You can do really amazing things with their stuff. But don't visit ours on a weekend. It left us too cranky to buy anything at all.

So we retreated to the mall, where Girl was in search of a really cute pair of Steve Madden boots that Macy's allegedly carries. Yeah. Not our Macy's. Tons of boots, but not the style she is stalking. We consoled ourselves with a trip to L'Occitane. I bought a tube of my favorite grape stuff. Girl bought some sample stuff to try in her new big tub. It was a shopping letdown.

But the weather is lovely. Murphy walked all the way around the whole neighborhood, not just the lake. He did flag a bit a couple of times. I scooped him up and carried him for a hundred yards telling him he had to get into walking shape, because when we head North at some point he needs to be fit enough to keep up as we scout our next home. He loves the cooler weather and trots along like a young pup, even breaking into a run now and then. I can't wait to introduce Murphy to snow. He's never seen it/felt it. He will be equipped with a nice cozy coat, and I will be mindful of his small, tender Floridian Dog feet, but I have a feeling he will enjoy it.


ikate said...

From an Ohio resident - scratch that off again with extra hard strokes! We are the state that "picks the president" each year and look how bad we fucked that up the last 2 times :)

Actually I love OH-IO! As long as you live in/near one of the bigger cities it's pretty progressive and great. Cost of living rocks (you would DIE if I told you how much my Colonial 5-bed 2-bath house cost). Plus I'm weird and like the snow. But it's within driving distance of some warm, ocean-front vacation spots when you need a break from the cold and grey.

Speaking of which; I've been vacationing for the last 10 days and just got caught up on your mother - I am so sorry to hear that you lost her. I'll be thinking about you.

Catherine said...

Oh hell, I think FL totally gets the blame for 2000 - you can take 2004! But if I'm going to go someplace with pockets of great-living-ness, I'll probably land in NC or VA, most likely in MD. Not so cheap to live, but a deeper job pool. My first choice remains Ashville, but the economy was bad when I first considered it, and now, forget it. So now I'm back to Baltimore in the lead.

Still absorbing the loss of my mother. I don't want to sound all glib and perky about it; it's hard and complicated. But, God, she was suffering so horribly, and she wanted it to end, and I respected her choice, even though we might have dragged her along through another month of hell, the outcome would have been the same. She did it on her terms. It wasn't what anyone wanted, it wasn't what she wanted, but she hit the point where she wasn't willing to be a science project, she knew it wasn't working. And I'm content that I respected her wishes, and sad as hell that a stupid thing like an intestinal bacteria killed her.

k said...

You did the right thing with your mom, so many times in the last several months.
I have to add, I do like basketball...

Elizabeth Psyck said...

I actually have the hemnes daybed in my apartment and I've found it to be fairly durable. At least it hasn't shown any damage at all within the past couple of months. And it's a LOT heavier than it looks (the delivery guys were pissed about that). Ikea isn't perfect, but some of it is great. I would say that the hemnes series is actually better than a lot of their other stuff. And it's so fricken adorable.

Amy in StL said...

Mmm, I just bought some Steve Madden boots at the mall near me. My only complaint is that the insole is a little slick, so feet in socks or tights slide down the slight incline(they have a bit of a hidden wedge heel). So I'm looking for some kind of non-slip insole for my boots. And I have to admit loving Ikea, but we don't have one here, so I don't shop there.

You could move to St. Louis! We have a lot of yarn stores and some great dog parks!!!

ellen said...

Having grown up near Cleveland Ohio and spent a fair number of years in Columbus, I think I can explain the Florida love - it's the SUN. The nature of the Ohio climate is that when the rainy season(s) slide in you can have two weeks of gray awful rain in a row. Every day. All day. I'm not crazy about the snow myself. My compromise is Oklahoma - all the changeable weather a person could want, but nearly always sunny and cheaper than Florida to live. You can take that with a grain of salt, because my goal is to move to Boston.