Sunday, July 31, 2011

Getting Settled Into the New Digs

On Thursday, July 28, 2011, I became a Houstonian.

I left my cozy little parquet-floored apartment in fancy-schmancy Highland Park, Texas, and moved a few hundred miles south to the Upper Kirby/Greenway neighborhood of Houston, also in Texas.

There are a lot more mosquitos in Upper Kirby/Greenway than in HP. And they're all in my apartment, I think. Hopefully, if I stay inside (and the weather stripping around the front door is repaired) I won't be providing free room & board to the skeeters much longer.

It's mostly the mosquitos' "board" that concerns me, at present. I slap exposed parts of my body at random just to make 'em nervous, keep 'em guessing.

In honor of the move, I did something I haven't done since high school: I wore shorts. And I believe I will do it again, because it gets seriously humid down here. Really. It's like swimming through medium-warm water when you step outside.

I only brought two bookshelves from Dallas (the other is currently residing in my parents' home), so it's been - interesting - trying to shoehorn all of the books onto the two shelves. There's a lot more double-stacking, this time around (books in front of books, that is). At present, there is still a large quantity of architectural reading material strewn about the Persian rug in the living area, but that will be attended to tomorrow. Maybe.

Oh, and the Persian rug is being a real creep. In other words, it is slowly creeping across the pile carpet beneath it towards the patio doors. I think it's trying to make a break for freedom, but I could be wrong. A coffee table might be in order to slow its westward progress.

I went to IKEA, today, with my sainted older sister. We were lucky enough to encounter a delightful yellow-shirted fellow at IKEA who helped us load a couple of storage units into the boot of my car. Despite what you might assume from the yellow shirt, he was not an employee, but simply a gentleman. And an attractive one, at that.

Back at my apartment - sans attractive blond yellow-shirted men (sigh) - my sister and I ripped open the boxes containing the laminate covered particle board. We opened them right up while they were still in the trunk of the car, then made four trips from the car, down the length of the building (about 200 feet) and into my little apartment, carrying heavy boards and oddly shaped boxes full of screws and bolts and wooden pegs.

My sister went home, and I proceeded to clear some space in which to assemble the monsters. Then, I got down to business. The first storage unit went together beautifully, without a hitch. Obviously, after building one, I no longer needed the directions to construct the other (which will be screwed onto the first in an unapproved-by-IKEA product hack).

I got so far into the process, then hit a snag. The screws that held the bottom to the sides would go in 2/3 of the way, but then the screw head started getting stripped, and my Phillips-head screwdriver wouldn't drive them in any farther.

I was furious! What kind of company makes a product with screws so soft that the heads strip midway through the screwing? Utter crap! I was so seethingly furious that I mentally began composing letters to the president of IKEA about how they should include a warning in regards to the foul language employed during assembly, etc. My main focus was going to be the tendency of their screw heads to strip.

And then, I saw it, and I felt like an idiot.

Somewhere around step #4,659, I was supposed to start using an Allen wrench.

I looked closely at the screw heads, partially embedded in the laminate-clad particle board.


They had indentations in them where tools were meant to be inserted.

The indentations were hexagonal in shape.


Thank goodness I'm an architect and not, you know, an actual construction worker, otherwise I'd be (wait for it...) screwed.

1 comment:

  1. You're in rare form in this one. Glad to see it. Your cousin Amy has experience with IKEA storage units - building, unbuilding, moving, building, unbuilding, moving, building ...