Yes, it’s insanely early…

Yes, it's insanely early in California -- worse, I've been up for an hour. But it's not as bad as it sounds; for some unknown reason (fighting off Jed's cold?) I crashed at 8 p.m. last night. Goofy. Jed's guest room has one of those torchiere lights with a three-way bulb, and I find that it's perfectly suited to my waking up in stages. Get up, make my way naked to the computer for the first morning e-mail check. After the initial urge is assuaged, put on some clothes, turn the light to the first notch. Work for a while, then realize that one is still cold and it's rather dark in here. Turn the light to the middle notch, add socks. I'm sure that the next stage will involve turning the light all the way up, signalling awakeness, followed by some hot tea and possibly turning up the heat in the house. I don't really understand why I feel the cold more as I get more awake. Shifting from a lizard-like to a mammalian state? Bizarre.

I'm going to save party recounting until I have photos -- I'll try to remember to get them from Jed's camera when he wakes up.

Yesterday was a running errands kind of day. I wanted some presents at the Apple store, so we toddled off there around noon, picked the stuff up, stopped at Shady Lane where I found some lovely garnet jewelry that I hope my sister will like. Started heading back, but Jed needed a bookshelf, so when we were approaching IKEA, I suggested stopping in. An excellent choice, as it allowed me to find some more presents (ones I'd intended to buy long ago, for some of the tiny munchkins on my list), and Jed to purchase a fine Billy bookcase in medium-brown. We're wondering whether the words used to label IKEA items actually mean anything in Swedish? Billy is one of the few that sound like American words/names. Mostly they're more things like Flarke or Tunhem or Markor. I'm voting for real Swedish words, but Jed is mighty dubious. Enlightenment would be appreciated.

We wandered home around 3ish, had some lunch, started wrapping presents. Around 4:20, Jed came down and said that the local UPS store closed at 4:30, so if I was ready to go, we should go. I was not ready. There were ribbons to tie on, after all, and ends to curl. I am not the fastest wrapper, but I am generally pretty about it. (If you get presents from me that aren't pretty, well, I started to feel just slightly harried, as the story will soon relate). I sent Jed back upstairs to find a better option. He came down around 4:45 and said that the UPS store in Sunnyvale was open until 5:30. Better. I finished a little after 5 -- we brought the immense bookshelf in from the car and then loaded up the presents and went, hearts racing. At least one heart racing, anyway. Not sure about Jed's. Would we get there in time, or would we be left to scrabble pitifully at the door? I practiced my most-pitiful-please-let-me-in-it's-Christmas! expression, just in case.

There was some minor confusion finding the place, which ended up kitty-corner from where all sensible address-reading would put it. I'm still bewildered by that. But, adrenaline pumping, we made it in the doors before 5:30, at which point the smooth automated system took over, churning out little labels for me. There was a very nice guy at the counter, who assured me that 2-day would get my items there in time for Christmas, saving me slightly appalling overnight charges. (Apparently, they even offer same-day, for something like $170 delivery -- eep. I hope I never need to send anything that urgently.) Even the presents I sent to England should get there by Christmas, which I find somewhat astonishing, but very gratifying.

After that, we came back here and collapsed. There was some eating of leftover curry, and a little re-reading of The Hobbit, and Jed even assembled a bookcase, but mostly, I think I was pretty close to asleep from 6:30 on, and right out by 8ish. Weird! Holiday excitement, followed closely by holiday exhaustion.

I do find great satisfaction in having sent out my presents, though. :-)

Around lunchtime, I go to join Kevin and his family for the holidays -- limited dial-up access there, so expect sketchy entries. From the 26th - 30th, I'll be in San Diego for MLA. Then back at Jed's, with real net again, from New Year's 'til the 3rd or so. A few days at David's, then home on the 6th. Long trip...

5 thoughts on “Yes, it’s insanely early…”

  1. IKEA: generally they’re real Swedish words. I have a receipt here for a couple of IKEA items. One’s called “smaskig”, which means tasty/yummy, as in “smask” the sound you make when your mouth waters. I think those might have been the ginger snaps I bought. And there’s also a “murmel”, which is a kind of squirrel. I have no idea what that item was, but it probably had nothing to do with squirrels. The names are assigned with a mix of common sense and surreal randomness, as far as I can tell. It’s the Swedish way.

  2. There is a system, though I do not know Swedish, and can’t verify this is true:

    Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames

    Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian placenames

    Dining tables and chairs: Finnish placenames

    Bookcase ranges: Occupations

    Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays

  3. I think IKEA uses that basic system for naming, although they don’t stick to it rigidly. But the assigned categories of that system are a mix of common sense and surreal randomness 🙂 I maintain that a system which names all lighting products with “terms from music, chemistry, meteorology, measures, weights, seasons, months, days, boats, sailors language” is a distinctly Swedish style of cheerful oddity.

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