Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Dan vs. Besta Jagra
Let's start with the triumph.
What you see above is our newly reorganized bookcase. We grouped the books by color. Wish I could say we came up with this idea, but it's enough that it looks awesome in our apartment (pictures don't really do it justice).
And now, the tough stuff. I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon -- and evening -- grappling with Besta Jagra, our new Ikea entertainment center. (Can I just say I love the name Besta Jagra? It's a good Star Wars name. Say it out loud. Am I wrong?)
Now, let me set this up by saying my grandfather is a master carpenter. My dad's not quite at that level, but he knows his way around a table saw. Meanwhile, I struggle with pre-fab Ikea furniture. This is what they call progress.
I'm sure that a 4-foot long TV stand with two drawers isn't supposed to take four hours to construct, although in my defense, at least one of the pictures in the instructions was inaccurate. And a lot of them took major deciphering (is the little wheely thing pointed up, or down?) which was sometimes unsuccessful anyway, requiring unscrewing and rescrewing. (I realize that Ikea's picture-only approach to instructions is meant to be some sorta latter-day Esperanto, understood by everyone around the world and uniting us in our peaceful comprehension of universal pictograms, but seriously...why not provide a written version online at least? Where somebody could read a phrase like, "Make sure the little wheely thing is pointed down." That's what would've kept the peace in our house on Sunday.)
Step 1. So far, so good...(not really)
When I was somewhere around step #15 out of 28 (and Yvonne was safely in the next room, knowing what was coming), I freaked out a little. I became the dad from The Christmas Story when he's fixing the furnace.
"Ohhh, DAMMIT! This whole thing is UPSIDE DOWN. You can't have the rough side on one side and....yep, the smooth side on the other. I knew it. HOW CAN THIS EVEN HAPPEN??? I followed all the directions, those idiotic directions WITHOUT WORDS. There are no words! Who would write directions like that??? Of course I couldn't follow them. And the thing is, I can't even fix this! This particle board crap isn't made to screw and unscrew and then rescrew. It'll never hold. THIS THING WILL FALL APART. I promise you.
"What a disaster.
"Nevermind. I had it right."
Thirteen or so steps later (not counting a couple more re-dos), this, too, ended in triumph, but only after blood, sweat and almost tears were shed. Besta Jagra, you were a formidable foe, but we all knew how this was going to end.