i drove down to norwood this morning to return the loan computer so the client could return it. turns out they were going to keep the machine for a few more weeks (they decided this when i got there), so i ended up going down for nothing, in the end bringing the pc back home (a pc i spent all of last night clearing it of content and uninstalling software). they did tell me that i might be called in for a business trip to atlanta next month to install the interactive; if this is true, this will be my first time in atlanta, and my very first out-of-state business trip.

on a normal day i'd be angry over this whole fiasco, but i had other reasons to be down in the south of boston today: to go visit the new ikea store in stoughton! before i even arrived i could see a large ikea sign above the trees on the side of the highway. even though it was a weekday morning, there was already a small traffic jam as cars lined up for ikea. not only was there parking spaces before you even got to the store, but there were spaces all around, as well a parking lot inside the building and on the roof. i was afraid i'd be circling around trying to find an empty spot, but there were a lot of spaces on the roof.

ikea stoughton marks the 4th ikea store i've visited. the very first one was in hicksville, long island (twice, actually), followed by elizabeth, new jersey (twice, thrice), and when i was in taipei, i visited one there too. so as far as the ikea experience, i'm a seasoned veteran. the thing you have to understand is all the stores are designed in the same way, where you walk around on a fixed route, seeing all the furnitures set up in perfect make-believe world of ikea bliss, kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, until you arrive at the warehouse, where you can pick up small knick knacks and boxes of disassembled furnitures. the place was crowded (i can't imagine what the place is like on a weekend afternoon), busy with shoppers and workers, humming with activity.

now that ikea is finally here in massachusetts, it's lost some of that magic. ikea to me used to be something exotic you'd hear people rave about. i discovered ikea right when i bought my condo back in 2002; my place was so furniture-starved that the very first time i visited an ikea store, i literally wanted to buy everything. back then, the closest store was a 5 hour long drive (10 hours if you count the way back) down to elizabeth, new jersey (this was before the connecticut store, a place i've only seen in passing, haven't visited that one yet). and when people come to visit and you tell them so-and-so furniture is from ikea, they ooh and ahh. but now that we have an ikea store of our very own, i'm afraid ikea won't be special anymore. now anyone with a car (or even access to the subway, i saw a sign for weekend shuttle bus service from one of the red line stops) can drive to stoughton and visit ikea, and now everyone will own a piece or two of ikea furniture.

i circled within the store, soaking up the atmosphere. since this ikea is just a 30 minute car ride from where i live, i didn't feel any urgency to buy anything, so i just got some wooden upright magazine boxes. by the time i left an hour later, the roof parking lot was already full.

when i got home i had some lunch before going out for a run. it's been a while: the last time i went running was sometime back in september i think. suprisingly, my body hasn't gone to shit like i thought it was, and i was able to complete my 3 miles (with the occasional hacking cough that probably looked like i was trying to throw up a lung).

after i got back home and cleaned up, i tried to get some work done (which involved first plugging back the pc and installing all the software) but being the lazy person that i am, i called it in early and went to go watch television in my underwear instead. ah, the good life! jealous? you should be.

in the evening i had another pot pie for dinner (it took 90 minutes to heat up in the toaster oven, and i ended up with a pie crust so scorched i'm probably going to get some serious cancer after i ate it - the good news is it's my last pot pie, so i won't have to suffer anymore) while watching surface followed by prison break. i went to bed with the place smelling like a burnt pie crust factory. jealous? you should be.