Things I Hate

Life lesson #66: IKEA is not for wimps.

In fact, nothing about moving would serve the faint of heart. Whether you’re shlepping 90-pound boxes up three flights of stairs or hoping desperately that the new sofa you just bought will stay securely tied to the roof of your car as you coast along a Brooklyn freeway, when it comes to moving, pantywaists need not apply.

Which is why it’s so fortunate that I am a moving warrior.

Today was my first trip to an IKEA. I mean, I was familiar with the custom: giant warehouse, loads of inexpensive furniture, Swedish sensibility, etc. What I didn’t know is that IKEA is not just a store. It’s an experience.

When you go to IKEA, you’re not just going to walk away with a cheap futon. Oh no, it’s a place where you can find yourself the proud consumer of a streamlined living room and a streamlined view of the world. The IKEA experience includes dining on delacacies in the cafeteria (including Swedish meatballs and a free breakfast during the Memorial Day Weekend Sale!!!) and learning why clearing your own tray is not only better for the wait staff, but better for the world in general.

The only real problem with IKEA is that you want everything. Literally.

Emma and I had roughly two hours to scour the gigantic kingdom for a couch, coffee table, bookshelves and a dresser—the feat was almost too much, even with my loyal parents by our sides. The real challenge, though, turned out to be getting our Swedish treasures home. Fortunately, my dad is a wizard with twine, and we got everything home without a hitch. (Again, literally. We’d already returned the U-Haul trailer we’d rented to get the rest of my crap to New York.)

The only thing left to do was somehow put everything together. Emma and I conquered these bookshelves: (sorry they’re sideways)


But the real victory, my magnum opus, is this:


Go ahead, you can ooh and ah. I’m impressed with me, too.

I BUILT that thing with my BARE HANDS. I don’t know if you’re as excited as I am, but the point is that Ty Pennington better watch his back.

Life lesson #38: Shameless self-promotion is still a little shameful. (Hey kids! Check out!) See?

I am, in general, not a braggart. I hate cover letters because they make you explain why you’re the most awesome applicant. I was hesitant about starting a blog because who the hell cares what I think? I’m bad at accepting compliments; I always tack something onto my “thanks” that undercuts why I’m deserving of compliment. (“Oh this dress? Oh thanks! It was, like, a dollar at Target.”)

The problem is, I’m in an industry where simply doing good work and hoping someone notices just doesn’t cut it. You have to sell yourself, and you have to sell hard.

If you clicked on the link in the life lesson above, you can see where this is going.

My school is on this kick of getting all the students to buy their domain name and create a site to post their résumés, clips, etc. And so, being a good little student, that’s what I did. Gag.

It’s not that I’m not proud of the site. In some ways, I am. I mean, it looks ok. When you click on stuff, it generally takes you where I intended it to. It’s more the idea of “look at me! look at me!” that I’m averse to. But hey, a starving journalist’s gotta do what a starving journalist’s gotta do.

So who wants to hire me?

You wanna know something fun? It’s possible to be as poor as you’ve ever been the EXACT SAME YEAR you make more money than you ever have before. Isn’t that kooky*?

It turns out that if your summer internship doesn’t take out money for taxes, and no one notices until March 24th, you just have to write a giant check to the IRS. And there’s really nothing I love more than giving people the money I earned.

Lately it seems like everything in my life revolves around how much money I have (or don’t have). The economy has become like the new global warming—the ultimate scapegoat.

Person A: Why didn’t you do the dishes?

Person B: Dude, in THIS economy?

But I really am trying to stay optimistic. I mean, there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to have an internship this summer that will pay me $20 a day! Ka-Ching! (That’s a cash register noise…it’s better in person. Don’t believe me? My roommate Emma will vouch that I’m excellent at sound impressions.)

And, I mean, any DAY now things are going to start picking up. Right? RIGHT?

*effed up

I’m not a big crier. I swear. I mean sure, I get choked up when a little kid starts talking about miracles or their older brother or how much they love their kitten, and I wept like someone had killed MY boyfriend at the end of West Side Story. But who didn’t? (Besides robots. Because you would have to be INHUMAN not to cry at the end of that movie.)

But despite my will of steel, I always find myself practically hysterical when I get frustrated or supremely disappointed. Which happened today. In public. And even though I ran away from the problem and drove the twenty minutes home, I was STILL sobbing, which led to making my emotion-phobe roommate incredibly uncomfortable. (Although she hid it well for my benefit. Gotta love her.)

The point is, I hate people seeing me cry. I am NOT a pretty crier. You know what I mean: I’m one of those mascara-running, snot-dribbling types. Plus, I work pretty hard on this invincible exterior, and I don’t like having the illusion spoiled by sniffly tears. So I googled ways to keep yourself from crying. Here’s what I found, in order of helpful-ness:

Least helpful: Calm down by taking slow, deep breaths.

Oh really? Oh, I should probably just get it together then, huh? Thanks for that world-rocking advice. Thanks a lot.

Maybe helpful: Shift your jaw forward and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

The theory is that by making a face not compatibly with crying, you will confuse yourself enough to hold off the waterworks. Sounds plausible, but with my luck I’ll just end up an uglier crier.

Most likely to be helpful: Anticipate situations where you might cry and visualize yourself dealing with them.

Practice makes perfect, right? Usually I cry when expected to explain myself (yeah, SO helpful), so it makes sense that mentally preparing would help me keep it together.

Eventually, though, everyone needs to have a good cry now and then. I’d just prefer to have mine while in my pajamas with the Jets and the Sharks.


Here are things that bother me:


1. My camera is still stolen. I was trying to be optimistic about this (someone probably took it by ACCIDENT!), but with each passing day, it becomes clearer and clearer that my beautiful baby camera has been abducted, and I just need to accept it and move on. But rest assured, my lovely Powershot, you will be avenged!

2. It snowed again. You know what 07-car-buried-in-snowI’m really happy about? I’m so happy that it snowed four inches last night. I’m just thrilled that I paid $20 for about seven hours of clear driveway. I’m simply ecstatic that I had to dig my car out AGAIN using only the brush side of my heavy-duty ice scraper. Seriously, it rules.

You may have won the battle, Winter, but you will never win the war.

no-money-23. I’m poor. Ok, ok, I KNOW. EVERYONE is poor. But it’s another thing that annoys me, so it goes on the list. It would just be great if the stock market could go back up, ok? And this isn’t just me being selfish–I’m thinking of everyone. Is there anyone who would be hurt by the stock market recovering? No. So this is me thinking of everyone, got it?

4. I don’t own this: aaaeihmjiinoaagi( Ok, THAT’S me being selfish.

I think that’s enough blogging at work. Safe travels to everyone braving the snow! Remember, when you’re sliding on the ice, don’t break and don’t overcorrect!

*Not actually my car

*Not actually my car

Well, it’s official. Winter and I are at war.

I was going to play nice. I was going to smile as I tugged on my boots, dug out my mittens, and wrapped a scarf an infinite number of times around my neck. But winter doesn’t play nice–winter fights dirty.

It started this weekend when my friend Susan and I slid off the interstate after a snow storm. I mean, sure, it actually wasn’t as harrowing as it sounds; we were fine, the car was fine. I didn’t even take it personally. LOADS of cars slide off the interstate, right?

Then today hit a little too close to home. I got stuck in the snow IN MY DRIVEWAY. After a humiliating display of driving in reverse, then forward, then reverse, then forward–resulting only in digging myself deeper into the mud–a friendly (sketchy) neighbor man offered to plow my driveway and push me out for $20. I readily agreed, even though he looked like the sort of person who might mug me for booze money.

When he came by later to pick up his fee (I don’t carry cash normally, ok?), he actually handed me a cleverly worded business card for snow removal. So I stand corrected on his sketchiness.

Moral of the story: Don’t judge a book by its cover. And get your snow tires put on the FIRST time your dad tells you to.