Thursday, April 25, 2013

Update: The Desk.

Update:  The Desk is worth at least $3,200.  There is one on Ebay right now for that price that has been refurbished and half the drawers don't work.  I found out it is Asian Rosewood.  An Asian Rosewood Partner's Double Pedestal Desk.  Un-freaking-believable.

Moral?  Good things come to those who wait.  Hooray!   :-)

Cherstin and Desk, out.

The Desk.

If I were a superstitious person, I probably would have given up yesterday.  I would have turned around in the parking lot of the 7-11 and just come home.

I have been searching for a desk for quite some time, utterly convinced that the L-shaped, glass monster in my office was giving off nothing but bad mojo.  If it wasn't the desk, it was definitely the chair.  It was in the style of a tractor seat.  Plastic.  No arms.  Plastic.

Did I mention it was plastic?

When I left the house yesterday morning, nearly a half-hour late, I stopped in at the 7-11 to pull some cash out of the ATM.  Okay, I can't lie:  I also wanted a Starbucks Frappucino (in the glass bottle) and two Krispy Kreme donuts.  I pulled into the nearest available parking slot and grabbed my planner from my purse, flipping through the plastic "customer loyalty" cards to find my bank card.  It wasn't there.

I checked the entire contents of my purse:  there were a pair of sunglasses with one lens popped out, but no bank card.

Hmm.  This was a conundrum.

I realized there was a Publix behind me, and I had a check book.  Terrific.  I knew "cashing a check" was pretty old-school, but I always remembered that Publix had a Check Cashing service back in the day, so I pointed the truck in that direction.

Publix does, indeed, cash checks, but they only cash a personal check up to $75.  Not good, as I needed exactly twice that, and there went my idea of Krispy Kreme donuts.

Back to the truck I went, headed to the bank.  If anyone in town knows what an upstanding, responsible citizen I am, it must be the bank.  Indeed, I was able to cash a check at the bank, although I admit I had to ask the teller how to do it.  ("Write it out to 'cash' or to yourself, then sign the back," she said politely, smiling as only bank tellers do.)

I pulled out of the bank at the same time I was supposed to be arriving to pick up the desk, so I decided it would be a good time to call the shop and let them know I was on the way.  The guy I was meeting answered the phone -- I asked him, "Hi, is this Mister X?"  (Not his real name.)  He said, "Yes."  I said, "Hi, this is Cherstin, I'm the one who is picking up the desk this morning?"  (I'm not sure why I said that as a question, but I did.)  He said, "Yeah, okay, I'm on the other line right now so I'll have to call you back."  All I could say was, "Uhhh, okay, bye."

Now, I'm not sure about you, but at this point, I really questioned why I was about to drive 30 miles to pick up this desk.  So far, everything in its entirety had been working against me.  Was there even a desk?  Was I walking in to some sort of Craigslist trap?  Should I alert the authorities?  Should I stop to set up some kind of Last Will and Testament?  Even better:  I decided to stop at Dunkin' Donuts.  (I'd written the check at the bank for $50 more than what I needed for the desk.  Brilliant.)

Eventually, he did call back, and when I finally found the Auction House where the desk was located, I did have an initial "second thought" when I first saw this monstrosity.  It sat alone in a packed warehouse full of other people's discarded items, and it was huge.  Was it too big?  Is there such a thing?  I wasn't sure.  I just knew that I'd come to far and been through too much to turn around.  I said, "It's perfect.  I'll take it."

We--the desk and I--made the trip home and I only had to stop once to fix the straps so one of the three desk pieces wouldn't fall out of the truck bed.  I say I only had to stop once, but in reality, it was a double-duty stop:  I also had to turn around because I was headed the wrong way on the interstate.

If that was fate telling me, "DO NOT BRING THIS DESK INTO YOUR HOME," I pretended not to notice.

After some cussing and heaving by me and some rolling of eyes by my husband, we managed to get the desk inside to its new home, where it belongs.  Now I might be biased, but after a nice coat of furniture polish, I'm fairly certain we got this desk at a steal.  It's solid wood (which goes a long way to explain why it nearly broke my arms and back), it is a double desk for two, complete with drawers all over the place.  It has carvings and wooden handles that are also carved and it is absolutely the bomb.  It is the desk of all desks.  It is a behemoth.  If I were going to sell it, I'd ask around $4,000.  I'm not even joking.  It's 72 inches long, 42 inches wide, and it is going to keep me happy for years and years and years.  I love it, and that's what matters.   :-)

The moral of this story should be something like "don't give up on your dreams," or "never settle for less than the best," but it could also be "big desks rock."

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Cherstin and Desk, out.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Et tu, Brute?

While my mind swirls around thoughts of "Emergency Management and the Terrorist Threat" (that's chapter 9 from Introduction to Emergency Management, 4th ed.), I have come up with a short list of, oh, about thirty household projects to distract me from the joy of schoolwork.  One of these projects has come in the form of an office renovation.

Thanks to a new book I haven't even cracked yet, Daily Rituals:  How Artists Work, I have decided that the majority of my procrastination episodes have to do with this uncomfortable desk and chair I've been using for the past year or so.  The L-shaped, glass-top corner desk seemed like it was going to be the right desk for me, as did the plastic, modern-looking white armless chair I decided to order at the same time.  Let me tell you:  If you spend more than 3 hours a day sitting at a desk, do not opt for the modern, minimalist look.  It's all about comfort, baby.  You don't see commuters driving a plastic bicycle with a steel seat to work, so don't kid yourself that a plastic chair is going to be comfortable even if it does have a built-in butt groove.

In all reality, this beast of a desk I am going to pick up today at 11am could probably not be more wrong for this space.  My office is approximately 8' by nothing, and I'm putting in a six-foot desk.  I'm not even sure how this monstrosity is going to get through my front door.  But the picture and accompanying photo on Craigslist says it all:  ornate, vintage, $150 or best offer.  These are all things I can work with.

Finishing the painting and baseboards in the office?  Ehh, not so much.

Why is it that we I can become so excited about the out-of-the-ordinary tasks, like driving to pick up a new desk that probably weighs 300 pounds, but I can't seem to finish the mundane, boring tasks I start?

Probably because I'm so awesome, that's why.

Anyway, I'm on the hunt for an Allen wrench to begin the taking-apart of my current desk.  I think I have the perfect spot for it in the kitchen, replacing a small table I spray-painted last evening.  Now where am I going to put this table?

Cherstin, out.