Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I sincerely hope this does not unearth my deeply buried need to purchase semi-disposable Swedish storage solutions: a cautionary tale

Once upon a time there was a zombie who had a few cds, so she bought some cds racks from IKEA. When IKEA was located way up in the north end of the city, she used to like to go there quite regularly, every 6 weeks or so. They always asked for her postal code at the checkout and she always chuckled to herself, "I'll bet they're thinking that if they moved the store closer to that Z1Z 1Z1, they'd make a pile more money."
And one day, that's exactly what happened. Since then, however, the zombie has only been to IKEA three times, the last two times being a year and a half apart. What happened? How did IKEA's finely crafted plans for market dominance fall apart?
Well first, the new store, although only a 10-minute drive from the zombie's house, was located in one of those big box malls. You know the kind - where you have to drive from one store to the next because they are just that far apart. And the road system in those malls was designed by some deranged labyrinth-maker, who was let out of the psychiatric ward only long enough to scribble down on a napkin some roadways guaranteed to gridlock if more than 7 cars were in the area at the same time. The zombie always swore she would never again set foot (or wheel) in another one of those big box malls.
Plus the new store was three times the size of the old one (which was just the right size), so that the zombie always ended up in the screaming baby section while she was looking for office furniture and started to hyperventilate when she couldn't find her way to the exit before her shopping stamina wore out.
And then one day, the cds stacks spilling out of the increasing number of racks on the kitchen counter got out of control. The zombie, who despises clutter, said something must be done. So she girded her loins (and that hurt!) and made the trip to IKEA.
Where she found a shelf-insert that was exactly the right size for the space she had available in her kitchen! And when she put it together and put all the kitchen cds into it, there was even space left over to fill up with new ones! Of course she had to get rid of all the cookbooks to make room for the shelf, but she didn't much use cookbooks anyway.

And she lived happily ever after.
George has been nominated for a Gemini award as best host.
Go here to vote for him.
Vote early, vote often - it would make a nice bd present.
Hilary is going to be interviewed on Sounds Like Canada! Probably tomorrow, so do try to listen online. You've got 5 time zones to choose from, so there are no excuses.
Hilary is going to give Jian a hard time about why she is whupping his ass at reading Ulysses.
Should be good fun.


hilary m. said...

I enjoy IKEA furniture. But when I get in there, with all its arrows on the floor and fake bedrooms it starts to scare me. Then I start to get anxious and pick fights with anyone in the general area.
My interview was awesome Barbara! I can't wait to hear it. It will be on tomorrow, after the song of the day at around 11:10.

mellowlee said...

IKEA goodness! I love that you put your cds in the kitchen. I never would have thought of that. Then again, my computer is in my dining room, and I listen to my mp3s all the time, so my puter is like a jukebox. I guess you will have to go buy new cds to fill that space huh? hehe! What cds do you keep in the kitchen btw? Oh, is it ok if I copy the vote for George on my blog to spread the word??? I will link back to you. Let me know :)

Evelyne said...

Ikea is one really cool place to find storage but when you're looking for one thing, you end up buying more things than expected, and having your cds in the kitchen is pretty fun!

John Mutford said...

Yeah, I'm with mellowlee, buy the cds, transfer the music to mp3s and just have a laptop or computer set up in a central area. I've about 7-800 cds in storage back in Newfoundland, but the music all came with with me on the hard drive. Too many cds= too much clutter.

Barbara said...

I need to get myself to Ikea quick. I have no place to put all the cookbooks you gave me...
I finish work at 2pm add 30 (traffic) minutes commute time... I dont think I will get home in time to catch Vancouver's sounds like Canada would I?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I like the fake rooms at IKEA, Hilary. I always imagine myself and Sven living in one of them. But those arrows on the floor! Somehow I always end up going the wrong direction and that's when I start to hyperventilate. I try not to pick fights, but if they have screaming kids, well, I can't be held responsible.
I am so looking forward to your
interview tomorrow. Thanks for narrowing down the time. I will listen early, because I have to leave for a meeting at 11:20.

I spend more time than I want to in the kitchen, Mellowlee, so I got an undercabinet player a few years ago and keep a whack of cds there. My computer is on another floor of the house, so I use it like a jukebox too, but can't hear it from the kitchen.
I usually keep new cds and old standbys in the kitchen. A lot of Weakerthans, Matt Good, New Pornographers, Constantines, Belle and Sebastian, Elliott Brood, Joy Division, JAMC, Chad Vangaalen, Neko Case, the usual.
YES, please feel free to copy the vote for George link to your blog. Rock the vote, man!

I always buy way more stuff than I need at IKEA, Evelyne. I always end up coming home with napkins and wrapping paper and those little notebooks, which is okay because they aren't expensive. But I used to come home with sheets all the time and that got a little more costly.
I figure if you have to cook supper, you might as well have music.

We do have all our music on the computer as well, John, but our house is on 4 levels, so there is no central area. Besides, we need music in the kitchen, and also in the basement for exercising, so we just keep buying more and more cd storage. Next I shall get rid of the fridge to make more storage.

You should take my cookbooks, Barbara W. After 100 years of cooking, you pretty much have the recipes memorized.
It sounds like you will just miss Hilary's interview tomorrow. That's a shame! I'll tell you what happens and how she sounds.

Alana Elliott said...

....I've never been to IKEA. I can't say that Winnipeg even has an IKEA...One Great City my ass. :P

mellowlee said...

OMG Alana! You need to come visit one of us and go IKEA shopping! It's so much fun :) But we need a truck...who has a truck?? *big grin*

Alana Elliott said...

According to the IKEA website, there is no store in Manitoba. But there isn't one in Saskatchewan either, so I don't feel TOO out of the loop. However, there's two in Quebec, two in Alberta, two in BC, and FIVE in pretty much as long as you don't live near me, I could visit any one of you to shop at IKEA. :P

Will said...

Great post Barbara. Now I like Ikea, it's good for the price, and the staff are usually helpful.

Now the problem is if I set off for my local store on Saturday morning I'm likely to get on the car park by Sunday afternoon.

So if I go, it has to be weekdays.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Alana, whenever my family comes to visit from Manitoba, a trip to IKEA is always in the works. Once my brother even brought a little trailer with him (well to be honest, he was hauling some stuff out here too). They did a pretty good job of filling that thing too!

Mel, my husband has a truck, but I thik he would object to me lending it to Alana for the trip back to Winnipeg with all her IKEA goods. But we could load her up with lots of little things!

I like IKEA too, Ben. It's funky and affordable, and I like their philosophy, regarding use of resources and treatment of the environment, but I would NEVER attempt a trip there on a weekend, not even when they were located in a more sane mall.

karen said...

God it's so weird how your Ikea sounds exactly like my Ikea. I mean there's the usual arrows on floors, fake rooms, screaming babies which I'm sure is the same the world over. But why on earth replicate the ridiculous positioning? My Ikea is in just one of those malls and there is one tiny entrance, with a tiny roundabout, that feeds Ikea, a massive Tescos, and then the rest of the huge mall AND is also the exit for all of these places!!! It MUST have been the same guy!! Genius.

So was the CD rack all you got? I always come back with a million kitchen implements I never knew I needed.

Allison said...

You described that perfectly. We call those box malls 'outlet malls' and they are spreading like rapid fire throughout Ontario now.

I've never been to an outlet Ikea, I've been to ones that are right off the highway, and those are bad enough. If you go with a large group you need walkie talkies or something, someone always gets lost. Usually, if I go with my family, its my Mom and then I wait for hours on those bobbing type chairs for her.

I love that cd rack those, excellent choice.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to IKEA. Do they have a store here? I couldn't tell you. Anyway, I enjoyed your story.

I have to catch up on your posts!

Will said...

Quite a heartbreaking story this is indeed. Now Hillary loves the iKea ... me, well, I'm so-so on it. Ours is a little bit of a drive, but those meatballs make it worth it. Maybe you could still drive to the old one or maybe the whole Ikea experience has been tainted. Hopefully not.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

If anything, your IKEA sounds slightly more insanely arranged than mine, Kees. Mine is a stand-alone store, but is surrounded by other large stand-alone stores, which have their own parking lots, but all the roads join into each other, so that you drive around and around, trying to find your way back home.
I was very restrained, and bought only some notebooks and napkins, in addition to the cd shelf. But I did test-drive some office chairs.

Those outlet malls will be the death of our cultural identity, Allison. They are ubiquitous!
True story on the need for walkie-talkies - that's why I always shop alone - that and the fact that I don't really have a high level of shopping tolerance, and when I have to leave, I have to leave.

Good to see you, Leazwell! I hope your move went well and that you don't have to make a trip to IKEA now to fill up your new house.

Sadly, the old IKEA has been removed, Will, so unless I want to go up to Edmonton, I'm stuck with this one.
I can picture Hillary parking you in the IKEA cafeteria with a big plate of meatballs in front of you to keep you happy while she goes shopping for Harskervars and Umbarvens.

Will said...

Oh no ... we go together - cuz she digs the meatballs too. Although parking me in front of a big plate of meatballs works as well.

Barbara said...

Barbara B. The good thing about my new job is there is an Ikea along the route. I realy do need shelfs and storage solutions. Most of my books and bedding are still in boxes and bags. My first paycheque tomorrow will go towards that I am sure.

Barbara said...

Too bad you don't get a dollar evertime Ikea is mentioned on your blog Barbara B.

Anonymous said...

Someone once told me that Ikea is Swedish for junk! hehehe Made me laugh! You our right, our new Ikea is stupid! It's way too big, if you want to take a cart to the top floor you have to take the escalator...dumb, dumb, dumb! And yes, I too have ended up in the screaming kids section and was having heart failure trying to figure my way out!! I liked it better when it was in the north, seemed like a much more organized store.

See ya tomorrow girl!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

You would increase your shopping efficiency by 100%, Will, if you and Hillary took turns shopping/eating meatballs, but I guess not all shopping is about time efficiency. Sorry, that was my German heritage surfacing.

Oh didn't I tell you, Barbara W? I get 5 bucks everytime IKEA is mentioned. (I wish) That's actually a great idea.
Don't blow your first paycheque all at IKEA.

Hey Bev! You're back on the blogs!
I know, that store makes me nuts. There was nothing wrong with the old store, now they've ruined it. I am so pumped about seeing you guys this weekend. Wooohoooo!!!!!

Serah said...

I am the outlet joke. I spend 40 hours of every week living in an outlet. Pays my bills and keeps my daughter and I finely outfitted in Adidas. I can't and shouldn't complain. I don't go to any of the other stores except Best Buy and Walmart for cds and other necessities.
No Ikea close by. Which is good cause I dream on the cataloge all year long.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

By living, do you mean working, Sarah? Or do you get to live in one of those fake rooms, like they have at IKEA? I've always wanted to live in one of those, except for all the stupid nosy people barging in all the time.
They do have pretty deadly catalogues, don't they?

Anonymous said...

ikea is evil and that guy that tlaks on the commercials on the radio...he is the leader of the cult...i've been in the one over in richmond...i had to get out to many people...actually i felt like someone was watching and seeing how all of us rats in the maze worked through it...if we could get out or not

Anonymous said...

pshaw all ya naysayers - IKEA is the KIEA... I mean KING in my own mental cryptogram... of all things spatially compromised on a modest budget. I have fit more stupid shit on Swedish furniture than I have on layers of cinder blocks.

I've tried. Cinder blocks are so much cheaper and cave-like.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's a nice cult though, Kelly. Instead of Kool-Aid, you get allen wrenches and incomprehensible instructions. But yes, once you are in the store, only a few chosen ones are allowed to leave.

I'm with you, Michelle. I have been accused of living in an IKEA catalogue. And cinder blocks do not fit well with a minimalist mentality. And they're way harder to move.

Serah said...

By living...I mean working. Ella and I would look great in one of those living room models, as long as we had tv and we could watch the stuff we really love. Just see how "sturdy" the furniture as Ella climbs on everything. Could you imagine if that was a job.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That would be a great job, Sarah! IKEA should consider that, have people "living" in their fake rooms, maybe offering drinks and snacks to their visitors. You should suggest it to them.

Anonymous said...

can i live in the room with the couch ant t.v. and nachos and beer.....would i have to wear pants too? can my dog stay with me?.....who do i send a resume to?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think sweat pants would be okay, Kelly, but definitely genitals must be covered. Dogs should be fine, I imagine. Just send you resume to me and I'll make sure it gets to IKEA.

Maureen said...

I have to admit one thing I miss way out here in the country is IKEA - I'd have to travel through 2 provinces just to get to one.