Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ingenuity.. I haz it.

I'm not an engineer.  It's not a secret.  I have a 4 year degree in Communication-Media which means that I can truck and dolly a video camera like no other and I've written enough research papers on qualitative and quantitative research methods to give myself an aneurysm.  But sometimes, I have to do things myself.. like build a bookcase.

For most people, it wouldn't be that difficult.  Most people probably also have all the tools necessary to accomplish the simple construction of a cheap $30 Target bookcase within 30 minutes.

I own this.  No jk.
What with all the PCS-ing and the broken promises of the Filipino guys that worked in Personal Property in Bahrain (who said my household goods would be here mid-to-late November), my tool kit, that I received for Christmas last year for this very reason, is currently going through US Customs.  I borrowed a brand new screwdriver/flat head set from my sponsor so I could at least hang some hooks and curtains.  Which I didn't actually do, btw.  The maintenance man who came to fix my lights happened to have a drill and he actually hung the curtains, even though I said I would (try to) do it.  I'm definitely not complaining that someone else did it for me.

But the hooks still haven't been hung yet.  I didn't want to take advantage of the maintenance man since he had already hung my curtains, so I told him that I didn't really need his help anymore...  Along with the very strong creeper vibe I was getting, I would figure out how to hang hooks myself, kthx.  Mr. Maintenance Man showed me how I could "drill" a hole in the wall by banging a hole into the wall with a screwdriver, but I'm not that strong I guess, because I just make dents in the wall, which is very ineffective.  Hooks = still sitting on kitchen counter.

I was determined to make this bookshelf happen though.  It was just screwing it together, should be no big deal.  That's how I hyped myself up.  Just screws, cause I mean, I have screwdrivers!  WIN!

I opened the box, fearful of what might jump or fall out of it, knowing that it could sense my arts degree fear.  I took all the pieces out and dumped out the mechanical bits (aka screws/nails/various other pieces).  There were a LOT of mechanical bits.  I was pretty intimidated.

I also learned why people don't read directions.  They are tricky, tricky.  My drawings didn't seem to match up to what was happening on my floor.  I just kinda winged it for one part.  Everything seemed to line up, so I felt like I was ok.

I screwed the frame together with only minor complications.  Only one hole didn't want to line up, so I did the rest of its instruction siblings and came back to it and it worked better-ish.  Lesson about $30 bookcases.  The back is a piece of thin cardboard.  I wasn't aware of this.  I was thinking maybe something more heavy duty like.. thin plywood or something a little less.... ghetto?  The instructions said I was to hammer 54 nails into the frame to hold the cardboard backing on.  WHAT?!?!?!  FIFTY-FOUR NAILS?? Nails that are only an inch long?  You've GOT to be kidding me.  What happened to the screws?  Why isn't there a screw option here?  I have a screwdriver.  Which, by the way, can also double as a hammer in desperate times.  Flip that sucker over and use the handle.

That was my plan.  I was just going to use the screwdriver handle to hammer 54 these nails in.  Then I noticed around nail 4 that I was leaving marks on the handle.  On the handle of the screwdriver set that belongs to someone not me.  This was problematic.  I had to find an alternative solution.  Teh Bear suggested I go buy a hammer.  I whined, "Why can't the hammer just come to meeeeeeeee?"  I mean, this is totally feasible in Bahrain.  The market delivered anything you wanted.  I also didn't want to have to buy something I already own, since is currently just displaced, not disowned (story of the last 2 months of my life).

So I improvised.  Re-enter bathroom hooks into story.  One of the hooks I purchased has a large flat surface.  It's metal, which means that its kinda hammer like.  Check on the hammer 54 nails into the bookcase step.  The nails also left marks on the hook, but since it was on the part that goes against the wall, I didn't care.  Also, since the flat part was super large, there wasn't any times that I missed my mark.

So the mark looks a lot worse in this photo than when I looked at it after I was done.
I'm sure the wall will definitely mind.
Ahhh.. Teh Megan is so clever.
And she has a bookcase for stuff.
Stuff that isn't in her apartment yet, but might be one day... eventually... soon.. ish.. y.

It's actually "espresso", but it definitely looks black in this photo.  I don't really like how it blocks the window, but I don't really have anywhere else to put it in the living area.

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