You're my favorite.

No, really - you are.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I love the lingonberry jam and tealight holders and side tables and everything!

I am feeling a little betrayed.

Granted, it is by a huge multi-national corporation, none of whose employees know me at all, but STILL.

IKEA is opening a store in Utah in early 2007.

UTAH! Home of Mormons and.....I don't know, more Mormons. What else does Utah have? Oh, right, pretty soon, an IKEA. Bastards.

I found this out during one of my occasional checks of the “coming soon!” listings on the IKEA website. Yes, I check that periodically. Yes, I'm always hoping that a Colorado store will be on the horizon. No, it never is. But this time, I saw Draper, UT listed. Turns out that Draper is a suburb of Salt Lake City. A suburb that will soon offer affordable modern design of decent quality conveniently flat-packed for transporting ease. Lucky, lucky Draper.

Why not Denver, I ask? According to an IKEA spokesman, they chose Utah because “it had the company's requisite market of 1.5 million to 2 million people, and its location made it a 'natural extension' of IKEA's expansion. Plus, he said, the company's database of previous purchases indicated it had a ready-made market, with upward of 30,000 Utah customers.” We have the people! I bet we have the customers, or at least people with the desire to be customers!

The only thing we don't have is the location. Denver is currently at least 900 miles from the closest IKEA (I've done the Mapquesting, people. I know these things). And that 900 miles probably places us outside of their comfort zone for expansion. They've been moving into the country from the edges so far, and Denver's so close to the middle that it's taking a while for them to get to us. Which is the truly great thing about IKEA Draper – it's only a little over 500 miles away. Five hundred miles is totally roadtrippable. Five hundred miles could open this market to the wonders of IKEA. Five hundred miles could make us the next “natural extension.”

To give IKEA their due, they've tried before. Almost two years ago, I started an email campaign to bring IKEA to Denver. A few dozen people wrote in – it probably didn't make much of a difference but it gave them a little nudge. And a couple months later, the Denver Business Journal announced that IKEA was looking for land. My heart beat faster and I started to hope. A month or so after that, they announced that an offer had been made to the city of Lonetree....and turned down.

Lonetree didn't want a big blue and yellow store in the middle of all of their beige. IKEA offered to tone it down. Lonetree didn't want the 17 acre parking lots that IKEA normally has. IKEA offered to do below-ground parking. Lonetree hemmed and hawed and finally revealed itself to be a bitch-ass that just didn't want an IKEA, thankyouverymuch. And IKEA sighed and tipped its hat and went away.

I don't know why no other suburb pursued it. The sales tax revenue god. Maybe one did and IKEA was nursing its wounds and wouldn't deal. The Denver Business Journal does report that one developer is interested and IKEA does have a real estate broker here. But Draper could put us back into play officially. Draper could open us up again. Draper could inadvertantly bring the charm of cheap Swedish design to this side of the Rockies.

Keep your fingers crossed for 2008, people. It could happen. Soon we too could enjoy a kitchen table and four chairs for $99, an 8x10 rug for $79 and a couch for $189.

Draper, my hopes rest on you. Build quickly. Advertise. Draw in our side of the mountains. And help us someday live the dream that you will know all too soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Betty? Rhonda? Flo?

I found out tonight that my neighbor's name is Linda.

I've been calling her Kathy for over a year.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm so sorry.

This is my entry in the December Blogging for Books contest, currently hosted by Joshilyn Jackson. I meant to write about something else entirely but then this happened.

Last night I intended to bake cookies and write Christmas cards. Instead I spent the evening at the emergency vet.

I'm so sorry.

Everything is fine. That's what I keep telling myself. But what I keep hearing is that I fucked up. I could have killed my dog tonight. I would be wholly responsible if things had gone just slightly differently. I keep telling Ben and Wilbert that I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, and Ben keeps telling me that it's okay, everything's fine, there's nothing to apologize for, and Wilbert keeps sleeping at the foot of the bed like nothing happened, but I know differently.

I'm so sorry.

We went out to dinner. We left Wilbert inside – the day was nice but it gets so cold once it's dark and we wanted him to be comfortable. When we got home, we found that he'd chewed up a Christmas present for my mother that I'd left under the Christmas tree. I should have known better, he gets anxious when he's alone and he chews on anything handy. Tonight it was this book. Just the spine a bit, not enough to actually destroy the book but enough so that it doesn't make a very nice Christmas present anymore. I was angry – with Wilbert for chewing on it, with myself for leaving it under the tree, even unfairly with Ben for not suggesting I move it. I yelled at Wilbert and went off to sulk. The book was all I noticed.

I'm so sorry.

Half an hour later, Ben found our pincushion with toothmarks in it. And pins scattered all around it. And I started to cry and didn't stop for a while.

Please be okay.

Ben called the emergency vet and they said to bring him in right away. We hustled him into the car, which Wilbert thought was swell because he loves car rides, and raced to the vet. I kept whispering “please be okay” over and over, like it would help. In the reception area, we waited for a tech to come check him. One did, and brought us back into an exam room to wait for the vet.

Please be okay.

When the vet came in, he checked Wilbert's gums and haunches and felt along his abdomen. He advised x-rays. We agreed. The tech came back and gave Wilbert a sedative so that he'd hold still for radiology. Wilbert wiggled and jerked enough that they couldn't get the needle in so I held his head and whispered to him about what a good boy he was and he calmed down enough to take the injection.

Please be okay.

He got woozy right away and threw up, which they'd warned us about, then pretty much collapsed. Ben and I sat by him and petted him while we waited for the techs to come take him. They did. We waited again.

Please be okay.

The vet brought Wilbert back and told us he had good news – the x-rays looked good, no pins in sight. We have to keep an eye on him for the next few days, but he's okay. He's okay. We paid and came home. All night I kept waking up to make sure he was still breathing. Every time he was.

I'm so sorry.

It's my fault. Yesterday morning I noticed the pincushion sitting on a chair, and I thought, huh, that's not where that goes, and I made a mental note to move it when Wilbert and I got back from our walk. But I forgot. I didn't move it. And he got it. And it was my fault.

I'm so sorry.

I don't know how bad it could have been. I don't know if he actually could have died or just been in a lot of pain or needed surgery or been permanently disabled. No option was good. But Ben didn't blame me. While I was panicking and sobbing, Ben kept calm and looked up the vet and called them and drove there. Every time I started to get weepy again, Ben talked to me about something else, something to distract me from my guilt and keep me together.

I'm so sorry.

And Wilbert didn't care at all. Wilbert thought the car ride was great, and the new smells and people at the vet were exciting, and all the nice pets he got from us were fantastic. He calmed down when he needed to for the injection because he trusted me to not hurt him when strangers' hands were clutching him. And he's okay.

I'm so sorry.

This is my family. This is a family I chose, a family I built. And maybe one member of it is a dog, just a dog, but he's my family. And I almost hurt him, but I didn't. I didn't. And the other member forgives me for my carelessness, or actually insists that there's nothing to forgive. I think there is, but I am so grateful that Ben doesn't. I am so grateful for both of them, so grateful to have them in my life and in my heart, to live with them and love them and laugh with them and be consoled by them.

This is my family.

I'm so lucky.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Code Name Waffle

Remember how when you were, oh, 12 or 13, you and your friends would have huge crushes on people and you'd absolutely have to talk about them and write notes to each other about them and be all into them and possible never talk to the actual person but that wasn't the point? And remember how it was dangerous to use the crush's real name because, hi, notes get intercepted and fellow school bus riders have remarkably sharp hearing when they want to? And remember how then you'd have to create these really complicated code names for said crush that were logically derived from their real names? Remember?

Oh. No?

Okay, well, some of us did that. And let me tell you, it was a complex system. You had to keep track of which crush each name referred to. Sometimes a crush would have more than one code name, just in case an outsider might start to figure out to whom you were referri ng.

My big seventh grade crush was this kid named Zach Montoya. Oh, I thought he was dreamy with his shaggy dark hair and brown eyes and fairly large nose. We christened him Waffle. You get it, right? Right?


All right, I'll walk you through it – it won't take long. It was the early nineties. A popular television commercial at the time featured a kid who played with Legos like they might crumble before his little eyes. The commercial tag line was, “Zack! Zack! He's a lego maniac!” From there, we got Lego, which inevitably led to “Leggo my Eggo!”, and from there, to Waffle. (We were 12. For us, that WAS really complicated.)

Sadly, things weren't meant to be for me and young Zachary. I was incredibly shy, my hair was so permed you could have scrubbed out pots with my head, and Zach had no idea I existed, at least not as a girl you could, like, go out with. He did ask for math help once. And I moved on to a boy who didn't go to my school so we could just talk about him using his real name (Brian Joyce! Who was much cuter than Zach, actually, and who actually liked me back, and who actually asked me out to see Benny and Joon and then some french fries at Paul's Place, which was my first real date, unless you count the time Ryan Nelsch took me to see The Aristocats in second grade but I don't because my mom made me go on that one).

Perhaps we should go back to using code names - people do it on blogs all the time. Me, I'm not all that anonymous, nor do all that many people actually read this and I think everyone who does knows me in real life, so I don't bother. But should I start referring to Ben and Wilbert and everyone by other names? I'm open to suggestions.