First, Amtrak has to be frigging kidding me on those prices. For God's sake I could fly there cheaper! And since I can't afford to fly... Now, the hotel were no surprise, and in fact, the ones I prices in the city were fairly reasonable, IMHO. I found many for $99 - 120/night at their cheapest. But to add it all up:
Two people to tour New York from DC:
$ 241 - Cheapest pair of round trip tickets there (flying)
$ 500 - Hotel stay for 4 days (with tax). I didn't want to stay less than that.
$ 400 - Approximate food and rail/bus fare for all 4 days for two (New York is pricey)
$ 200 - Entertainment (1 Broadway show, assorted tours, and so on)
$1,341 - Approximate total
If I can swing that, which I almost budgeted for (about $400 less), I could certainly buy my son a whole new roomful of furniture, which he deserves more than my dalliances in the Big Apple.
Which leads me to the next thing: my son's appalling furniture situation.
What CR Has and Why
I feel this need to explain to my new York pals (Ellen, Eden, Merideth, Vinny, and half of 3WA) why I can't make it to "Noo Yawk." What follows are my photographic evidence. First, let me apologize for the mess of his room. He's 12. Second, let me apologize for the strange wall pattern. See, the former owner had this room for their two eldest boys, and this is how she masked stains: sponging teal paint on them and then evening out the pattern to make it look intentional. The carpet is a strange green and blue stipple pattern that from a distance makes it looks like grayish green/blue. The border near his ceiling is of killer whales. We can't really repaint though, unless we sleep elsewhere (like out of the house) for a week. He and I have the same asthma reaction to paint fumes.
|Cargo Upper Bunk/Daybed - I used to work at Cargo, and I got this... uh, "Off the back of the truck" as the drivers put it. I did a HUGE save-their-ass favor for the drivers one day, and they repaid me by uh... "selling me" spare parts to buy a bed. Truthfully, they kept spare parts of all our stock in the truck, because what if they got to a customer's house and a bed rail was warped? Or it was missing hardware? It would take weeks to get back to the customer's house. So they always had spares of all the parts. Sometimes they had too many spares. Sometimes they would end up in ... uh, an inventory black hole. Yeah. Okay, enough about that. My son needs a new twin mattress now, but man, what a bed.|
|3-Drawer Dresser on the Verge of Collapse - This was a formica-over-particle-board 3-drawer dresser *I* had since I was... 3? 4? I don't know how I got it or where it came from. Chances are it came from a former house we moved into where the previous owners left it behind. I used to have a six-drawer combo dresser with hutch that matched it, but that finally collapsed in 1994. This collapsed in 2000, and I don't know how it remains standing with no drawers and no internal struts. My son's 5-gallon fish tank is on it now. I better replace it before there's broken glass, 5 gallons of water, and a flopping goldfish on his floor.|
|Cheap-ass Ugly Brown Plaid Loveseat - My wife has the matching chair in her den. We got the pair when a previous neighbor was moving out of her house to rent it, and she said, "I don't want to throw these away, but I can't store them. Want them?" It's handy, comfy, and other than a really bad spring suspension, it's in fairly good shape. I think we'll just buy a cover for it.|
|Milk Crates - We have a lot of milk crates in the house. I got mine from two sources: flea markets and once my mother got a "college milk crate system" which were supposed to be interlocking "supper crates" (like Yaffa) but really sucked. Christine got hers... from stealing them, I think. :) Then somehow we got a Yaffa set. Now the crates act as storage, end tables, book shelves, and a tribute to ugly standards of function. My son needs real shelves.|
Plastic Toybox (sans Lid) - Need new toybox (with lid). Probably at least 3. I think we paid $10 for this at K-Mart or something. You can't see it here because it's buried under what supposed to be piled neatly in it.
The Tiki God - Stays. Don't mess with the Tiki God. He keeps our house from evil spirits and only demands a sacrifice once in a while. We usally give him Reeces Peanut Butter cups or Oreo Cookies (Double Stuf), so he won't become a VENGEFUL GOD!
|Busted Up Cheap Pineboard Dresser - This was Christine's dresser growing up. The way it was built, it was one step better than pure cardboard, but just barely. I kid you not, most of what you see here was stapled together by the manufacturer, and thus falls apart with amazing regularity.|
Ejection Seat Office Chair - The amazing things your former office gives away for free. This office chair(the green blob on the lower left), which dates back to the 1950s, is a marvel of enineering. I looks like a normal office chair, but has a complicated internal mechanism that when sat upon, dumps the sitter on the floor. It works by some counter-balance mechanism. Christine got it from a former office who was throwing it out, can you believe that? No? Then have a seat...
The Lamp - Notice the light shining in your face. It's the top of my friend Rogue's old boa constrictor tank with a 60watt florescent bulb in it. That's the light source for the entire room. The entire, 10 x 24 room. There used to be a ceiling fan lamp, but my son broke it beyond repair, although he denies it, but when it happened could not explain the loud noise, the shattered glass, and the expose wires. The fan part still works, but the light part below is totally destroyed. So yes, he needs lamps.
|Busted-up Particle Board Rolltop Writing Desk - Proof that particle board furniture has no loving God, the garage-style rolltop is nothing short of a sculpture of decaying pressed sawdust. This was Christine's desk, growing up. It should be tossed, because it has me throwing up. It's too bad, because Christine really liked this desk, and it was well-designed as far as the drop leaf and cubbiholes went, but it's been through too many moves, and then a young boy, so it sits, sagging like a comdemned structure. That white panel in the foreground is actually what remains of the rolltop garage-door part. What's holding the slats together? White paper. I kid you not.</td>|
|US Government Issued 3' Metal Office Desk with Bent Leg - Rescued from a pile of trash my neighbor had. It was my son's first desk, then a work area, and then back to a desk again when the writing desk could no longer support the weight of a computer.|
Deep Blue Ikea Rollaway Nightstand - We got this when one of the two Birch Rollaway Nightstands we ordered came in the wrong color. We forgot to exchange it. Its birch twin is in our bedroom. CR will probably get a second one to match it, unless they send the wrong color again.
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