A ridiculous story about a mattress (Day 333)…

January 27, 2008


The packing insanity, as you can see from the above photo of my so-called living room, has officially begun. In my quest to make this move as green as possible, I’ve been buying all my furniture used or antique. But recently, I decided to take another leap in this direction:

As I plan on renting out the basement of this house furnished, I need another mattress. Although most people balk at the thought of a used one, a looksee on Craigslist turned up lots of mattresses that had only been used a few times for guests and were purchased as recently as a month ago. Plus, while sleeping on something previously slept on may sound creepy, what’s also creepy is the off-gas that usually accompanies a new mattress. Yes, there are eco-friendly options, but I happen to be broke.

Anyway, I found something I liked on Craiglist and after a few phone calls had agreed to buy a mattress, boxspring and frame for $400. It couldn’t be delivered, so it wasn’t long before I found myself at a U-Haul office in the west end, booking a cargo van with a man named Fred. Making conversation, he asked what I needed the truck for, so I explained the situation and grumbled about having to go all the way to Richmond Hill.

Then he said, “You know, I actually have a queen-sized mattress and boxspring out back that I’m trying to sell — did you want to look at it?” Next thing I know, I’m lying on this mattress in a dark storage room with Fred, thinking it was not the most comfortable thing in the world but would save me having to U-Haul my ass out to the ‘burbs. Then I see he’s got this wicked 50s-era love seat (that’s it, in the pic above), so I ask him if that’s also for sale. He then tells me he’ll give me the mattress, boxspring, frame, love seat AND the whole truck rental for $120.

Best deal ever! Unless of course it has bed bugs or something, but I did as careful an inspection as I could and will be airing it out as much as possible.

I feel so used. But I like it! (Day 305)…

December 30, 2007

Pyrex bowls

Well, I’m back from New York, and of course it was fantastic — I walked from Chelsea to Greenwich to SoHo to the Lower East Side to NoHo to Union Square and back again; I laughed until I felt queasy at the Upright Citizens Brigade; I broke my no-corn rule and indulged in not one but four cupcakes from Magnolia and had one of the best meals of my life at Sushi Samba (where I also intercepted my friend’s attempt to order Chilean Sea Bass, thank god!); I fell in love with Brooklyn, but not so much with the Metro ride down there; I had two celebrity spottings — Kevin Spacey and Joshua Jackson — the former looking somewhat pallid, the latter looking mighty fine; and then, just before heading home, I met up with Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, for a late breakfast, which turned out to be only partially eco-friendly (in a flustered state, I ordered a bagel and cream cheese without first asking if the cream cheese was organic… though I felt somewhat less guilty upon noticing the sliced bananas on Colin’s oatmeal, which were obviously not so local).

It was great to meet my fellow green blogger; we chatted about everything from getting the eco blues to the lack of sustainable running shoes to how fridgeless living is remarkably easy. And weirdly, in the span of an hour, two people asked if we were brother and sister (apparently we look alike?).

But I’m getting off topic here — the change for today has nothing to do with New York, it has to do with things like Pyrex mixing bowls, tin coffee canisters and wood-handled ice cream scoopers. I got all of these recently for Christmas, from my mother and a family friend, who had them sitting around unused and thought I might want them.

I certainly did, being someone who likes to cook and loves all things retro, and it led to my new commitment: to only buy used kitchenware. Though part of me does get excited by modern inventions like the Magic Bullet (which my friend just bought), most kitchen tools and appliances have been around for ages and are just as effective.

As well, I feel like cooking with materials like glass and cast iron is much safer than using things like plastic and Teflon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some yams and pepper squash from last week’s CSA delivery that are getting mighty squishy and need to be turned into soup pronto!

Photo of pink Pyrex bowls courtesy of the Flickr user with the cutest name ever: teensy muffins