In an effort to maximize employee productivity, my company’s IT department/The Man have deemed certain websites inappropriate for viewing on the company network. There are certain sites that are understandably inaccessible (facebook), ones that are inexplicable inaccessible (Victoria’s Secret, for example, is blocked for being categorized as “lingerie”), sites that are inexplicably accessible (twitter, youtube), and sites that are sometimes accessible and sometimes aren’t, depending on the day (craigslist).
Don’t ask me who came up with the site-blocking determinations, because a) I guarantee I can waste as much time on youtube as on facebook, and b) I’d really like to be able to look at bathing suits without the IT administrator thinking I’m trying to access porn, but I really wish they’d make up their minds about Craigslist. It’s like a 3-act Shakespearean drama. Act I: There is a ton of cheap furniture out there just begging to come home with me, and I can’t browse any of it. Act II: Or wait! It’s not blocked anymore! Joyous hours of internet-thrifting are mine! Act III: The Man hath blocked my access once again. I am driven mad by my desire to purchase gently used housewares and as the curtain falls, you see me throw myself upon my computer, weeping.
Unsurprisingly, my work computer has developed a very confusing relationship with Craigslist. It never knows if it is going to be able to get to the site or not, and thus spends hours at night writing bad poetry all titled “Why Won’t Craigslist Love Me?” to work out its feelings of rejection and inadequacy. On the occasions that it was able to access the site, I’ve come away with some nifty purchases (STOP SPENDING MONEY, DUDE). Observe:
Pay no attention to the leaning awkwardness of it. Eventually it will be mounted level against the wall, and that bottom bar will lean against the bottom of the wall. I first saw this table in a house tour over on Apartment Therapy, during the annual Small Cool contest (which no, I did not enter, and yes, I wish I had, but it would have required me to put away the piles of clothing from my sofa and dust under my bed, and my apartment and I have an agreement that those things only happen on the rarest of occasions). I immediately fell in love with it for its clean lines and simple, white design, and felt all proud of myself for being able to identify it as an IKEA piece. Go, Erin! You have officially amassed enough information about IKEA products to have a mental rolodex of products you didn’t even know they had! (and this was before the owner of the apartment told someone in the comments where to find it, fyi).
Anyway, a quick browse of IKEA’s website informed me that while it might have been one of their items, they certainly didn’t sell it anymore. Thinking I was wrong about the source, I checked CB2. Nothing. West Elm, nothing. Crate and Barrel, Overstock, nothing. Still convinced it was IKEA, I googled every conceivable combination of “IKEA white small leaning desk” until a name popped up. It was indeed IKEA (a million points to me!). It’s called Ludvig, as in Beethoven, if he had been born in Sweden. Further research (thank god Google isn’t blocked at work) indicated that the Ludvig desk had been redesigned last year (it’s now selling as this iteration, which hello, is SO NOT THE SAME). I found one of the older versions on ebay, but with shipping it would have cost way more than the desk had originally sold for. True, it was unavailable, and I had already decided that I had to have it, (and we all know what happens once I get in that mindset), but I just wasn’t into spending more than was necessary.
Off to Craigslist I clicked, my fingers crossed so tight I couldn’t feel them, and lo and behold! The site wasn’t blocked. And ever better! I searched “IKEA Ludvig” and not one, but TWO postings came up for the version of the desk I wanted. Out of the two, one responded to my email, and she lived two blocks away from my mom (hi mom!). And she was selling it for $20! Fully assembled! I know I’m overdoing it with the exclamation points, but seriously, you guys: if you’ve ever assembled IKEA furniture, you understand solely from the string of expletives that came out of your mouth that having something come fully assembled is like a blessing from the gods, on earth as it is in heaven (excerpt from the IKEA bible, verse 2).
This beaut came home with me, obviously, and I didn’t even have to buy her a drink first. Now the fun part of “how do I mount this to the wall without fully disassembling it” begins. My goal for this is to use it as a vanity or potential laptop desk (as it was intended by the gods of IKEA) for my new baby.
And then there’s this:
This score was slightly less dramatic. I’d been looking to buy a simple, small wooden side table that would serve as a blank canvas for me to refinish. This desk was an absolute steal at $10. And since the seller lived 20 minutes away and just happened to be driving into the city, she even offered to deliver it to me. Don’t worry, I didn’t give the lady my full address, only the cross streets, so she can’t come and murder me in my sleep. Stranger Danger!
Anyway, the pictures in the original Craigslist post didn’t fully detail how much work this baby needs, starting with a good cleaning. There are scratches, carvings, and stains of indiscriminate nature all over this guy:
It was originally intended as a child’s desk, and even has that cute little rail in the back for pencils or slap-bracelets, or whatever kids bring to school these days (chewing tobacco? homemade shivs?). Luckily, it’s solid wood that is still sturdy and sound. I have big plans for it, which will all be detailed in their own post once I rally enough motivation to sand and stain/paint it.
Which leads us to another poll:
I am going to blame my recent laziness on the weather the past few weekends. I’d ideally like to sand this thing outside, but with weekends full of rain, bad weather, and full-day hangovers from dancing til 2am, it hasn’t been possible yet (c’est la vie). Maybe this weekend? I’ll let you know.
Have you guys ever used Craiglist? Any goodies you want to show off?