Dining Table, what what!

Let me tell you what, work sucks. I do not enjoy my job one iota. Sigh. I never envisioned my future like this when I was a child. Where have the dreams of my childhood innocence gone to? I close my eyes and see them burned away in the acrid oscillating flickering of vacuous ghastly pale green fluorescent office light tubes.

mabo nasu for dinner on the new dining room table

That having been said, before I get around to sketching out my misery in crayon form for an upcoming post (seriously. But first I need to find some fricking crayons) I should probably talk about something happy. So here is my happy thing: a brand new dining room table from IKEA. Is it sad that I have been planning this purchase and carefully budgeting and saving for the past 3 months just to be able to afford a 4900 yen table (~$45 USD) and two 2900 yen chairs (~$26 USD)?

I’m happy though. Summer is coming soon and a dining room table next to the wide open window is perfect, because as much as I love my super comfortable panda-bamboo-grove-esque bedroom, it’s hard being productive in there with the futon and tatami mats so inviting. “just one little nap panda, 5 minutes, that’s all!!” I say to myself, and the next thing I know I’m waking up passed out in a puddle of drool, massive case of slanted-bed-head and the readout on the clock flashes 3:53 AM when the last thing I knew it was 6PM the previous day.

new dining room table

It’s like that “third place” that Starbuck always purports to be, between “home” and “work”. Well I guess technically my dining room is “home”, but what I mean is, the kitchen is a place where you can kick back and putz around in your house clothes (so not at work) but it’s not like you’re in the bedroom where you’re distracted by TV and beds and (in my case) about 1700 stuffed panda dolls. Have you ever read the book Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto? She really got it right in there. The kitchen/dining room is a great place to be.

And now, with the smell of fresh pine wood filling the corners, it is even more so. The wood is unfinished, just the way I like my furniture. I love the way unfinished furniture weathers and wears from use – setting into something comfortable and familiar, you can see the slight darkening from where your elbows always rest at the same 30 degree angles on the table surface, the slight sheen from where the ball of your foot always perches on the lower chair leg cross beam, the slight circle rings in the far corner from the pot of earl grey constantly powering late night web design sessions… you come in the room and it sits there waiting for you like a flat, tabular doggy, worn, personalised – yours – an old friend inviting you to come join it again, a pattern and sense of the familiar and steady, an anchor in the listless, directionless floating disconnection that is my current juncture in life.

another shot of the table

Table cloths, placemats and varnish – these things are artificial filters that barricade the connection between us and the immediacy of the moment. Naught but the trappings of pretension, they defy the purpose of buying furniture in the first place – to use it and to let it serve its purpose. I don’t want to stop to think to put down a coaster, or spend hours trying to lay down the perfect streak-free coat of varnish and stain – I just want to kick off my shoes, set down a plain white ceramic bowl filled with a simple food on the table, open my computer, or tear off a sheet of paper and just be.

When the future is uncertain – when my future is uncertain – it is comforting to have this reminder of the my connection to the solace of an immediacy of moments spent in comfortable surroundings, in my little house right here in my little corner of my little city in this little chunk of this little island floating all along and bobbling in the wide vast swath green blue oceans of the uncertain scary world.

Letter Writing Campaign 2007, Update II

Alright so things are progressing at a fairly steady clip after a couple of days of slacking. I got a few more letters mailed out last week and some people, including my fellow namacha-panda fanatic in germany, the Lovely Lorelei, report they already arrived! I’m penning out at least one more tonight as soon as I post this entry too. Remember, it’s not too late, if you still want to get in on the campaign just drop me a line via the admin contact box over to the right!

People already in the queue


completed!letter completed!
in progress!letter in progress!
waiting to be written!In the queue!

  • The Lovely Catarrh
  • Liz
  • Momo
  • Lorelei!
  • Fudge
  • Smurf
  • Bellish
  • Lina
  • Gwen
  • Veronica (package too!)
  • KC
  • Ben
  • ……
  • Your name here!!

Okay, that’s it for now! Plenty more posts in the queue, for once I have an overabundance of stuff to write about, but just don’t have any time to actually write it down! But stay tuned!

Now listening to: Young Jeezy – Go Getta (feat. R. Kelly)



Sorry, it’s a youtube link but I can’t find a good .flv editor for Mac…*

* (I used Riva Encoder on my Windows machine to encode and resize the .flv files to something manageable so I could host them on my server, but until I find a comparable program for Mac OS X I’m afraid I’m going to just embed the youtube video as the .flv file is 8.2 Mb which is more than I care to host on my server. So umm, the video is up there until youtube takes it down, so enjoy it while you can folks)

22 Reactions

  1. Lorelei

    That is so weird, I’ve been thinking about getting that very same table/chair combo for my place! Ikea is everywhere, after all.
    Your apartment always look so neat and stylish on the pictures you post: everything is tidy and you have flowers! In real vases! Do you clean up for picture time or are you just the perfect housewife?

  2. Ceetar

    Nice Table. One thing I never understood was buying a nice table and then immediately covering it up with tablecloths so you can’t see it.

  3. lizb

    sunflowers! aw that’s a cute little table by the window :3
    i have finals next week so after that i will have the time to write your letter. actually i am working on chem lab homework right now (can’t you tell? lol)

  4. momo

    does the rest of your place look that clean!?
    sometimes when i dream about my fantasy abode, it is decorated in a minimalistic swedish style.
    today i went thrifting and you popped into my head for some reason!
    your dinner looks delicious by the way.

  5. Lorelei

    And just last week I thought that I’d like to read “Kitchen” again some time. Very Outer Limits-y, this post of yours is…
    Working on your letter right now!

  6. moritheil

    That’s pretty much the point of it.
    I remain convinced that work sucks because as children we were all decieved into thinking we would have fantastic jobs that allow us to change the world and do deeply meaningful things.

  7. Ben

    Great set up there mr.michaelpanda. Speaking of which, I just purchased a new work lamp (MIL) from IKEA for my desk.
    Another little advice is drink lots of Red Bull if you have to pull an all-nighter (that’s what I did for few nights during my exams). I know it’s unhealthy but life is all about sacrificing one thing for another thing. Similar to smoking.
    And your black MacBook is really cool.

  8. gwen

    lovly post panda hun :)
    are you really that worried about your future? :( *hugs*
    on a different note; get you ass a facebook account! – todays “gift” is a panda, and i wanna give it you!
    and yays… my letters really being written? :3

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