Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Curbside Gathering

I'm managing to slowly clear away the debris that the hurricane that swept the apartment left in its wake.  I've put a Craigslist ad up for the dining room table and chairs that weren't being used for anything other than as a massive dumping ground for junk (Mounds of plastic bags, bills we didn't want to look at, old catalogs, extra bags of dog and/or cat food, and overdue library books are just a few examples.).  The very last thing we did at that table was eat, and the chairs were only put into use as hangers for wet laundry when our clothesline and drying rack were full.  So, as you can see, it was time to get rid of them.  Now I just need someone to actually buy them...

Anyway, I've moved the table and chairs into the bedroom until they're sold and I've recreated the corner - it's now my own personal book nook!  The "missing" chair I mentioned the other day turned out to not be - er - missing, exactly.  It happened to be in the hallway.  In my defense, I thought the giant box belonged to the couple that is moving into another apartment on my floor.  It took my non-English speaking super pointing angrily at the box and then gesturing wildly in the direction of me and my apartment for me to realize that the box was, in fact, mine. *headdesk*

Several minutes with a pair of scissors, a few garbage bags, and several curse words later, the chair and ottoman were unpacked and - this is the truth - it is the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in.  You can see it here.  When I sit in it, I feel like I'm sitting in a womb - warm, cozy, and enveloped in soft, fleecy, cushiony loveliness (I sure hope, for my future babies' sake that this is what a womb feels like).  It is so comfortable that I fell asleep in it the other morning for a couple of hours after I woke up at 2:30 AM.  Chair completed, the next step in creating the book nook was to acquire a bookcase.  I despaired of getting one soon, knowing it would take weeks for my father to build one, let alone get it 400 miles across New York state.  Now that I'm on a very strict budget as well, I further despaired over finding one I liked for an affordable price.  And then, the universe cut me a freaking awesome break. 

Because this morning, when I took Rupert out for his morning walk at 6:30, I stopped short fifty feet from my apartment.  There it was, my bookcase, calmly sitting on the curb waiting for the trash pickup.  I rushed Rupert through his bathroom routine, ran up the three flights of stairs, poured his breakfast in a rush, and stomped back downstairs and out the door.  I'll be damned if I was letting MY BOOKCASE go either to anyone else, or worse, the trash.  It was lovely.  It's about five feet long and three feet high, with thick, heavy outer boards and thinner shelf boards with an open back.  Excitedly, I hefted it onto my shoulder.  It didn't move.  Uh oh.  This was going to be harder than I thought.  Ten minutes later, I had reached my front door with it (fifty feet, remember?) while the line of homeless people waiting for the soup kitchen across the street to open watched interestedly.  I then spent another six or seven minutes navigating the bookcase through the obnoxiously heavy and too close together double door entrance to my building, politely turning down help from a passing mail carrier.  I'm sure I looked a sight: bright turquoise pajama shirt, flaming yellow sweatpants that say PINK on the butt, hair sweaty and hanging in my face, cheeks bright and eyes slightly maniacal with excitement.  Then came the fun part.  Okay, Cait, I thought, It's only three flights.  No problem.  Just in case you're wondering, the first flight has eighteen steps.  The second has sixteen.  The third also has sixteen.  Something about thunking a seventy pound bookcase up those flights kinda burns the numbers into your head.  Finally, I got it into the apartment, sanded a rough spot, cleaned it thoroughly, and set it up against the wall before gleefully calling my mom to tell her of my find (it's a good thing she wakes up early is all I'm saying).

It holds all the books that needed homes and get this - there's room for more.  There's even room for a certain someone to nestle into.  He seems to think that one cubby of this case was designed especially for him, which, of course, it was.
Here's the bookcase in all its glory (it kills me that this is blurry but I'm too lazy to try again):
Now, it's not a finished product.  I'm envisioning a colorful runner for the top, a different lamp, and some framed pictures (our apartment holds precious few and with this fancy new camera of mine, I'm determined to take some frame-worthy shots).  Decorating tips and ideas are always greatly appreciated!

Right now, I'm basking in the comfort of my new chair, admiring all my favorite books close at hand, and being grateful for the slow clearing of my home.  Wednesday, you've done well so far.  Let's keep it up, shall we?


Wiley said...

Sweet deal!

I too am feeling the glow of accomplishment from a found piece of furniture...I discovered a rattan storage trunk when dumpster diving the other day and hauled it all the way across the city on two metro lines and then carried it the 15 minute walk to my door. Luckily it was not very heavy!

Lauren said...

What luck! It looks great- especially with the cat!

Cait said...

Wiley - seriously impressed with not only the discovery of the rattan trunk, but the dragging-and-carrying bit. Props!

Lauren - thanks! Tucker obviously thinks I dragged the bookcase up three flights of stairs expressly for his lounging pleasure. I see no reason to argue with him on this point.