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The close-call on the house, and the prospect of actual repairs occurring some time in the next five years, has given me a new appreciation for our home.

Lately when I’ve looked at it, I’ve only seen the stains on the carpet, the dog fur in the corners, the papers on the coffee table, and the grey mist in the windows. But the last few days I’ve been concentrating on the glowing colour of the walls, the wood floors that are the exact shade I have always wanted, and the plans we have to improve it – baseboards, for example – and how great it will look when those are done.

Yesterday, Pefect Husband and I spent a lot of time online trying to figure out a solution to our living room.

Currently, Moby (our CRT 32 inch widescreen HD TV), the cat tree, an extra coffee table, a small black two-shelf bookcase double-stacked with DVDs, and our various Nintendos (from NES to Weslii, our Wii) are stuck in a jumble at one end of the living room, which ends in a kind of niche. Perfect Husband and I have been talking about getting a proper entertainment unit that fits perfectly into the niche, and displaying our torches on top of it. On Thursday evening we finally put the torches into their stands and sprayed them with hairspray to keep the soot on them. It is time to get a place to display them.

In our Internet search through Ikea, Sears, The Brick, United Furniture Warehouse and many more stores, we discovered something:

  • Most Entertainment centres these days don’t have a shelf which goes over the tv on which we could place two torches.
  • Those that do are too high to have room for two torches at the top.
  • No entertainment centres actually have a space deep enough for something as startlingly enormous as Moby. They are all built for slim, sleek little LCD flat screens, not massive whales like Moby. In fact, most of them intend you to HANG your tv.

So we made a new plan. We decided to get two tall book shelves to place one on either side of Moby and a matching shelf to stretch in between, OVER Moby, and we could put the torches on this. We made a foray to Ikea, which was a madhouse. Apparently, we weren’t the only family to celebrate Dead Jesus Day by going shopping at a Swedish furniture warehouse and eating hot dogs and cinnamon buns for 50 cents each.

We found two bookcases that we liked, and their little living-room displays made me realize that I wanted to get little bookcase lights to shine classily down on our shelves’ contents, so Perfect Husband patiently hung around the lighting section for 20 minutes while I hemmed and hawed over that selection. We grabbed the two bookcases, which weight 100 pounds per box and were so long that we had to tie the trunk down with twine (which made for a harrowing trip home given the ridiculously high gales that Vancouver was experiencing yesterday). But… we couldn’t find a shelf that would fit between them.

They seem to have standard shelf sizes. 32 inches is too short to comfortably fit two torches onto, and 46 inches is four inches too wide to fit between those bookcases. Our niche is about 104 inches wide. The bookcases are 31 inches wide, each. The 46 inch shelf would make the entire width 108 inches, which doesn’t fit. We need a 40 inch shelf, and those don’t appear to exist.

So that will be its own odyssey, apparently. But in the meantime, we have 200 pounds of bookcase in boxes lying in our hallways, and I can’t wait to have them up and looking all new in our living room, with their fancy little bookcase lights.