Sunday, August 8, 2010

Et cetera, et cetera

Ok, so I decided to start reading The Corrections (about 8 years after I bought the book) on the trip out and realized almost immediately that this was a terrible idea. Terrible! It is the Most Depressing Book Ever. Especially if you have a father with health issues or want to be a professor. Who was looking for representations of lit professors? Here's another depressing one. I don't really need to hear about people landing a tenure-track job and promptly having a mental breakdown and self-sabotaging. Yeah, it's kinda horrifying. Beautifully written, yes, and Franzen does a really wonderful job of portraying those family conversations/fights that clearly have a history and everyone is locked in their old bad habits and fighting past battles. I'm about halfway through and I have to keep taking breaks every twenty pages.

In other news, I noticed something weird with my bedroom closets ... they don't have clothes rods. Aroo? I am confused. Should I be providing my own closet rods like with the curtain rod for the shower? I think I will call my landlord people on Monday. That just seems weird. I mean, it's not like I have any clothes to put away in there at the moment, but still.

I continue alternating between pondering and planning and not thinking about it and obsessively looking at various stuff out in the stores for my bathroom. I bought a deep purple hand towel and put it in the bathroom and am now contemplating it. I know that's totally different from a pale green, but purple is way too over the top for painting entire walls of a small room, and the pale colors I think wouldn't give enough "pop" if they are only there in little bits. Ponder ponder ponder.

Speaking of my shower curtain rod .... I had the thought that I could put color on the little bath walls by using a spring-tension rod and some fabric material? Or would that look too random and crazy to have basically the equivalent of a window treatment inside a windowless bathroom? Hmm. I was also thinking of getting an old open frame (window or picture) and backing it with colored paper or fabric (and black wrought-iron designs on top of it). I'm still pondering.

And my other dilemma is the office: I seem to be too picky about desks. Either that or desks today all suck. I believe it is the latter. I don't want much: a large space to spread out on and drawers. Why does everything on sale today not have any drawers or storage space? I am also wary of assemble-it-yourself crap from places like Target et al; I have a long history of getting that stuff and it has holes drilled in the wrong places or doesn't hold together very well or has gaps and crooked spots. And don't suggest Ikea; there aren't any in my state and I know from the past that shipping furniture from Ikea runs in the hundreds of dollars, and I'm not up for that. I should go to the Officemax or Office Depot and contemplate their desks but I haven't done that yet.

You'd think that moving up in cost to the fancy catalogs would solve the problem, but I'm not sure. Definitely still have the lack-of-drawers problem. Grumble. I looked at the Crate and Barrel stuff and just didn't like it; I'm not loving the white furniture either. I looked at the "modular filing system" stuff from Pottery Barn and liked the idea, but then I totaled up the cost and thought it didn't look nice enough for the price. Hmm.

I haven't looked at the used furniture places yet, but I'm not sure they will have desks. Nobody is selling desks around here on craigslist. There was even an article in the local paper today about how the current trend is for built-ins and having people do carpentry for your home office, partly in response to the lack of good bookshelves and furniture, but also contributing to the furniture places not having good stuff. Meh. I even thought of getting a used kitchen table and separate storage instead of a desk, but I don't think that would have the right height to work at. Clearly I must ponder and obsess more. Oh, and I have big wonderful plans for the bookshelves, and want them to work with whatever sort of desk thingy I get. Hmm. More pondering is ahead. Should I be hauling ass on my research projects right now instead? Nahhhhhh!


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

You're right, there are no good desks these days. Go used. There's a mostly-antique-and-some-just-old store near me that had a great old library desk. You want an "antique mall" that provides an outlet for a lot of different sellers, for the best stuff. Talk to people & tell them what you want, & if they don't have it, they may be able to find it.

Shane in SLC said...

Does your new university have a surplus store? You might be able to pick up a used desk for cheap. At any rate, I would think you would have better luck finding an old-fashioned desk with drawers from a business that supplies to offices and schools rather than to home-office consumers...

Lucky Jane said...

Need a desk be a desk? My current desk is my old dining table (a thrifted cobalt blue marble tabletop on wrought-iron trestles); printer, paper, reference books, disks, and other supplies are on rolling carts, while a rolling file cabinet serves as my desk drawers, though it is never under the desk.

If you must have new stuff (and I know you mentioned being wary of assembling furniture), it might be worth your while to check Overstock and even Amazon. The reviews are helpful, and you can't beat the shipping.

heu mihi said...

I second the antique store recommendation--not just for desks, but for bookcases and whatnot too. You can find some good deals--and then you have cool stuff that's a lot more unique, interesting, and DURABLE than the particle-board crap they sell at OfficeMax and Target etc. (I hate that stuff. I will never buy it again. I vow!)

Anyway, the antique malls around here always seem to have a wide variety of desks, some of which I've coveted (but I'm not in the market, so I can't have them). Oddly, bookcases seem much harder to find, but we have bought a couple of nice ones of various sizes.

And the whole reusing thing is better environmentally, of course, if that factors into it for you.

Eileen said...

First time commenting! I just started reading.

My solution to the desk + drawers solution, between having no good used desks in my area and an apartment with a door and stairs too narrow to get a desk in anyway, was a hollow core door ($30) and two used file cabinets (5 each). Cheap, paintable, huge. It's a little shorter than your average desk, but it depends on how tall your file cabinets are.