November 13, 1999

She-Beth the Invincible

Yah. So, I was invincible today. Yes, I was. First thing in the morning after Sabs nicely came in with a cup of tea for me and then disappeared to go gaming again, I checked my email and lo and behold, there was a message from my dad.

This in and of itself is not unusual, but for the past few weeks, Dad has been calling and writing to ask for advice and pointers on the site for a company he and another guy, (whose kid I used to babysit) are trying to start up. He'd asked me to look at the initial site design and comment on it, in a consultant capacity and come up with some ideas for possible redesigns.

I'd started working on a few little things, being under the impression that there wasn't a real deadline on any of this.

Then blam, his message Friday is there in my mailbox, saying that they're going to be doing a demo in DC on Tuesday, and can I have the following ready to go by then.


I scrapped all of my plans for writing through the weekend and threw myself whole hog into designing logos, downloading graphics and laying out pages. When I needed a break, I'd go out and throw in another load of laundry, or vacuum the floor.

By afternoon, sick to death of a sluggish 'net connection that was making downloading stock photos a real bear, I took a big break from the site to grab a bite to eat.

Sabs' Aussie outlast long coat was sitting on the chair and had gotten a dusting of sawdust from the kitty litterbox on it, so I went to hand it up in the closet, only to find that I really couldn't get the closet open easily with the current layout of the entry-way.

For the past year and a half, I've had a row of Yaffa blocks in the hallway beneath the coat pegs. (Sabs' coat is too heavy for the pegs -- it pulled the whole rack right of the wall when we first tried to hang it up there almost a year ago.) next to the Yaffa blocks was one of our white dressers from Ikea. next to that was the stack of kitty carriers. We have three carriers, two extra large which hold two cats each and one small one that holds one kitty. The cats like to sleep in the carriers when they're not being used for porter duty, so I keep folded towels in there for them and don't store them out of sight. next to the carriers was the litter box, tucked into the corner next to the entryway closet , about six inches away from the door.

Now, the entry way isn't a real entry way. There is a half-wall that stretches about three feet into the living room and separates the outside door from the room. The small couch is lined up along this wall and stretches beyond it about four feet creating the hallway effect. Hence the area from the front door to the entryway closet, which is directly across from the front door on the far end of the entryway, is quite narrow -- maybe 3-4 feet wide at most. So anything placed in that area has to be right up against the far wall. However, the outside door needs 1-2 feet of clearance in order to open and close properly and the closet needs the same.

With all that stuff lined up against the walls there just wasn't room. So to hang up Sabs' coat properly in the closet, something had to move. In the amount of space that was left, I couldn't push the litter box over far enough and still keep it in that corner, so a piece of furniture had to go.

We keep our shoes in the Yaffa blocks by the foor, so I opted to move the dresser. The table cloths and placemats for the dining room table are in it anyway, so it seemed to make more sense for that piece to be in the dining room.

I took some things out of the drawers and started to push the dresser thattaway.

If any of you own any Ikea furniture, you know what happened next.

The last panel of the dresser, which is just a glorified piece of cardboard tacked on with very small upholstery style nails and held up in the middle by a strip of flexible plastic, buckled, popped a few nails and fell off.

Without any tension in between the supports, the sides of the dresser leaned and knocked all of the drawers loose. All of the stuff in them shifted and tumbled, making it look like a small explosion had occurred inside the dresser. A dribble of pens, pencils and paperclips turned into a regular waterfall as I removed everything from the drawers -- which of course, I should have done in the first place.

Once all the stuff was out, I took advantage of the fact that it was all out, to go through all the randomia and chuck a bunch of unneeded junk that had migrated in there. Then I put the drawers last together, since some of the plastic sides had snapped out of the holders, put each drawer last on the sliders and turned the dresser around to put the rear panel last on. I re-hammered all of the nails, then flipped the whole dresser up on its side and cruised on across the room.

I now only had a small box of stuff and the place mats and things to put last into the dresser and a nice big space was open next to the Yaffa blocks that the kitty carriers could be slid into.

Behind the blocks, I found a bunch of papers and envelopes and CDs that had slid down last there. So I cleared all of that out and vacuumed the entire area. Finally I slid the whole lot over, leaving a space for the outlet that is on that wall and that I had forgotten existed.

last but not least, I brushed off and hung up Sabs' coat triumphantly.

Then I had a glass of chocolate milk to celebrate.

When my Dad called, I was able to give him an update on the site. I fully intended t get right last to site-building after that, but as I talked to him, I was right across from the bookcases. You know, the bookcases that I started to re-organize a couple of weekends ago, and I decided it was high time to finish the job.

In order to do that, one of the small, cheap, collapsible bookcases from the old place, needed to be reassembled to receive the paperlasts.

Out came the duct tape.

I sat on the floor and taped up one side of one shelf, since its little metal widget had fallen off and was nowhere to be found. Then I taped up all of the other widgets for good measure since some of them looked like they were about to bust their itty bitty little brass screws.

At last, the great book migration could begin.

I moved every single scifi/fantasy paperlast to this bookcase, and put the "Fathers of Scifi" in the little cube that used to be in the bathroom, but now stands in the angle of the hallway beneath my Queen of Spades poster. With all of the Heinlein, Asimov Adams, Brust etc. out of the big bookcase, I was able to shift all of the hardcovers over and move all of the non-scifi books to their own areas.

I emptied out the last four boxes of books that came with me from my parents' house and finished filling the little bookcase in the bedroom with favorites from my childhood,. Those shelves now hold the Narnia books, The Lord of the Rings, the Little House books, Little Women and several other books by Louisa May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables, Anastasia Krupnick, everything I own by Madeleine L'Engle, M.M. Kaye's The Ordinary Princess and Geoge McDonald's The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie as well as a few other slim books with cracked spines and dog-eared pages.

When Sabs came home from gaming, I was still in the middle of moving all of the French language books over to the bookcase next to the entryway closet. By the time he announced that dinner was ready, I was rearranging the last of the scifi hardcovers in alphabetical order in the big bookcases along the living room wall.

After dinner, I collapsed into my chair, feeling tired, but glowing with a sense of accomplishment. I couldn't get enough of staring at those bookcases, handsomely arrayed with a full collection of science-fiction, from A to W.

Which reminds me -- I can't seem to find Zelazny's Amber books anywhere, so I must have lent them to someone. But I cannot for the life of my remember who it was, so I no longer have scifi from A to Z.

How bothersome.

After dinner I did some more work on the site and then fell asleep on the couch while watching The Cube on the SciFi channel.

I made my way to the bed sometime around 5am when I woke up with a crick in my neck and sore thighs, warm from the weight of cats.



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