Thursday, April 10, 2008

Despair and Home Improvement

Grumpiness abounds here at Knitcrit mission control; garden variety annoyances were recently transformed into a massive jungle of despair by the news that my academic arch rival got a major grant for which I also applied and which, needless to say, I did not get. The academic arch rival in question, I hasten to add, is probably unaware of her title; it was conferred upon her years ago when my spies heard her badmouthing me at a conference. Her genetic predisposition to seek and destroy competition combined with the fact that she has now effectively kicked my ass in grantwriting 101 has, I think, doomed me to being the lesser, other, and/or unconsulted academic opinion on our shared topic.

Whoever said that the best revenge is living well has, in recent years, become my personal hero (though I do have a true story about an ex-landlord, a washing machine, and some creative letter-writing that might contend for the title of best revenge, come to think of it. Another time). Unfortunately, working as a hedge fund manager is pretty much the only easy way to live well in Manhattan; for the rest of us, it's a high art.

My most recent triumph in this regard was switching our office and bedroom. Technically, we live in a two bedroom apartment. I say technically because in Manhattan, a room is, legally speaking, any space that has at least one window. Thus, the "room" that we used as a bedroom for nearly the first two years of our lease was a bedroom in the purest sense of the word - it was a room almost completely occupied by our bed, with the remaining floor space filled with two dressers. Going to bed meant opening the door to the room, taking two steps forward, and lying down. I couldn't open the bottom two drawers of my dresser because they were blocked by the bed. Making the bed involved standing in the middle of the bed. And so on.

This living situation was necessary because when we moved into the apartment neither of us had a job in the strictest sense of the word, and we therefore needed to use the larger second bedroom for our shared office. It's a wonder we managed to get married at all after sharing an office, actually.

Knitcrit: Can I interrupt you for a minute?

Todd: What?

Knitcrit: Will you read this for typos? I have to send it out right away.

Todd: (grumbling) Yeah, yeah, sure (reads, approves, returns to desk, puts on headphones and begins listening to work-related music at high volume).

Knitcrit: Todd. Todd? TODD! (throws pencil/paper clip/crumpled piece of paper at him to get his attention because it's just too hard to get up and walk the three feet to his desk because that would entail the effort of trying to roll the desk chair over the necessary traction-producing Red Ringum).

Todd: (pulling off headphones) What?

Knitcrit: Will you turn the music down? I can't concentrate. Sorry.

Todd: (in a tone suggesting otherwise) It's okay.

Knitcrit: (in a tone suggesting lack of actual gratitude) Thanks.

Ah. The office. It was overflowing with books and bitterness.

Note Red Ringum looming in the foreground.

When I got my actual job, I got an actual office, making it possible to move all of my books and files to work. Todd's actual job does not, alas, come with an actual office, and so the solution was to move his office to our old bedroom, repaint, and move the bedroom into the nice room with actual light and something resembling enough space for a bed, two dressers, two end tables, and a little desk for my laptop:

My career may be ruined, but at least I can now make the bed while standing next to it rather than standing on it. What revenge.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Although there may be a great deal of standing-as-far-back-as-possible-to-take-the-picture going on in these photos, it looks like your apartment is HUGE! Lookit that floor space. Windows plural in the bedroom! Compare this to the seminary room where you lived in 2001 - I think it was smaller than our car. And we have a Honda Civic.

For further floor space increase, have you considered a loft bed? I did all kinds of research on them leading up to Sloane's birthday, as the plan (carried out) was to buy her a bunk bed as she turned 3. I had wild plans of giant bunk beds which could house all manner of friends and relatives who would come to stay. In the end the Ikea junior bunk bed was the only one that would fit in that room. But I did look at lots of loft beds online and they seem like a great solution...