Monday, February 23, 2009

Woggy #16: New Bed

Though it's probably a surprise to anyone actually viewing my wog, my original inspiration for this page began after considering my friend's blog The Cranky House, and wondering what sort of topic I might be able to write about myself. Thinking of the absurd number of unfinished home projects I had around here seemed like that might be a funny place to start. In classic woggy style, I have of course done everything but talk about household projects ever since. So, I figured today is as good a day as any to finally mention one of them.

My husband and I have had plans for ages to buy or create some sort of new bed. And by "new bed" what I am actually meaning is really just "a bed", at least in the classic, traditional sense of what most people consider to be a bed.

While I was a bit opposed to it aesthetically, we did, quite immediately after moving in together, go to a mattress warehouse store and purchase the standard and traditional American Queen mattress with matching box spring. This set did come with a FREE! super-basic "bed frame", which is to say a simple but sturdy metal framework with wheels that one could safely place one's mattress and box spring set on top of. Here is a picture of said "frame", collapsed in space-saving fashion in the corner.

For several years we were content to call this basic assortment a bed and a bed frame, and I even bought a nice stylish bed skirt to make it appear a bit less rustic industrial than it actually was. As time wore on and probably somewhere after our actual marriage ceremony, I began to realize that most established couples out there seemed to have one of these complete and inclusive furniture item things that most people mean when they hear the term "bed", and hey, why don't we get one of those too! those look pretty nice!

And so began this woggy project. Due to financial restraints, we originally began looking just for something that would help fill out our current operation into something that looked more like a real bed. A headboard, a less rustic-looking support frame... And we had made some progress in this direction when we were interrupted by an unexpected and life consuming construction project. Our condo building needed to replace all of its exterior wall surfaces, and was going to replace all of the building's windows at the same time. Since 2 walls of our bedroom are almost all windows, and construction required a three-foot clear-out zone for the construction crew, that left our usable bedroom nonexistent, which meant our bed got deconstructed and placed on its side against the wall, ala factory storage style, for the duration of the construction project.

In the month that stretched into months of construction, while we slept on the most rustic bed of all, the floor, we began to discuss and imagine what sort of real, actual bed we might like to sleep on when all this construction business was over. The definitive conclusion we came to was that, neither of us actually wanted a box spring, and we would both like some sort of nice modern and stylish complete bed frame for our mattress to go on. We devised our environmentally responsible plan for freecyling our box spring and metal frame, which we reasoned would probably be a serious score if you were say, just out of college or high school and looking for something to put your beginning-to-sag futon on. Or perhaps someone whose boxspring had met with an unfortunate accident, and was looking for a replacement. We looked at catalogs, talked about bed styles.

Things were really looking good for this woggy project by the time the construction was coming to a close. New windows, new walls, and soon.. a new bed!

Several years later, we are still sitting here with no bed frame, and have actually devolved in that, thinking we would be freecycling our box spring and frame, we only bothered to put the mattress back on the floor, assuming we'd get a frame under it any week now, and leaving the others against the wall would make it so much easier when the freecycler showed up. Months after these assumptions had proven untrue, we did finally put the box spring down and the mattress on that, just "temporarily", until we bought the new frame, of course, which is why we didn't actually put the frame itself back on the floor and the box spring and mattress on top of those. And as, you might have noted from the picture at the top, there it still is, not under our bed!

But, my hope springs eternal. why, just two days ago, we almost went to the store to look at a bed frame. We firmly decided we'd probably go to that store instead next weekend. Maybe! A girl can dream..

Things Left To Complete This Woggy Project:
  • go to the store to look at beds
  • decide on a bed and buy it
  • put our box spring and frame up on freecycle
  • give away our stuff to freecyle person
  • get our new bed delivered
  • say, "Hey, doesn't our new bed look great?!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Update: Woggy #13

Well, especially thanks to an experimental voluntary week without electricity, I have made some significant progress on the ole Taj Mahal. Here you can see I completed the dome, and have also created and assembled all of the main base of the mausoleum. The top of the dome is super-solid, obviously a rework of the classic & sturdy Lego sphere. But the sides are super fragile and have begun to be a major pain in my butt. Every time I even get near those sides they try and pop off, and when I try putting them back on they usually become disconnected from the base, which requires even more delicacy getting everything back in place again. But I admit, creating cylinders of any sort is definitely a hack with Legos, so I suppose the Lego engineer who created this design did the best they could. For now I've got my dome sitting up on this shelf, and I don't plan to touch it again until the final building assembly, where pieces are undoubtedly going to try and pop off yet again...

I can now check some items off my Woggy To-do list:

X complete the four tower spires (this one's from the last update)
X complete the center dome structure
X complete the main part of the central building

Things Left To Complete This Woggy Project:
  • complete the roof of the central building
  • put all pieces together
  • revel in my construction triumph!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Woggy #15: Getting Out of My Mind

As some of you may have noticed, I do on occasion have difficulty completing various significant tasks in my life, ones which some might say would help me achieve "success" in this corporeal world. While you may have wondered if this fact had escaped my personal notice, it of course has not. In fact it is often forefront in my mind, and various solutions to this issue have themselves been an ongoing woggy project.

One such solution that was offered up to me within the past year has been the book Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life. Based on a school of psychological thought called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, the goal in general is to face your problems/ issues/ conflicts directly, accept their existence, and learn how to stop letting them run your life. A good deal of the book is spent explaining and performing mini "experiments" on your mind to show how our mind/brain, useful in most day-to-day problem solving, is extremely tricky and completely unsuited for assisting us in dealing with the tangled self-referential web of emotional and psychological issues inside us. This convolution is particularly pronounced for those of us who have more intense emotional things to deal with, and/or for those of us who have spent most of our lives trusting that our ample brains are certainly well-equipped to get us out of any old trouble we find ourselves in. Being doubly afflicted, I have found this book to be immensely helpful.

However, while almost everything in the book has been amazingly useful and interesting, it is and has been at the same time extremely intimidating, painful, and difficult as it requires you to face all of the various demons you have, with the assistance of your giant brain, found many elaborate ways to hide away from. Not to mention the fact that, as the main point of this book seems mostly to be telling you how to stop listening to your brain when choosing how to live your life, it for obvious reasons makes that same brain rather reluctant to pick up the book again and continue reading, as it means in no certain terms and end to the reign of Brain As Monarch of Life.

So between me, my brain, and my demons, I have been quite on-again, off-again with this book. I'll read a bit, handle all the exercises and readings that aren't too painful to deal with, and then find myself whack right up against a question like this:
"The memories and images I avoid include: ____________"
after which I promptly put the book down ("That's enough for today; we'll pick it up tomorrow, I promise!" my brain fools me). And so it goes slowly, but at the very least, it goes.

And as the awesome, awesome, awesome Lynda Barry says:

"No one had ever solved the riddle by thinking their way out of it."

Things Left To Complete This Woggy Project:

  • set aside time to read
  • write down the answer to above-mentioned troublesome question
  • continue reading
  • begin actually doing the daily/weekly mindfulness exercises from the previous chapter
  • keep moving through next stumbling block
  • continue reading and doing excersizes until the end of the book is reached