IKEA BUS-save the date!

6 04 2012

i’m hoping to get ticket sales up and running next week while i’m recuperating, but in the meantime… i have rented a bus. if you want to ride the ikea bus 2.0, you might want to put the date MAY 19TH on your calendars. but now, i must rest (it’s 2 am and tomorrow is surgery day).





i try it- vegetable growing bonanza!

14 07 2011

i’m not exactly the earth mother.  i like plastic, and pop culture, and mini skirts. i watch A LOT of tv. it’s not that i hate the outdoors, or that i shun the environment… hey, i have reusable bags somewhere in my apartment. but you’re probably not going to catch me dabbing patchouli all over my braless ass while i listen to jam bands. you’re certainly not going to hear me talk about feeling “close to the earth”.

again, it’s not that i’m anti gardening… it’s just that i’ve killed a good 80% of the plants i’ve ever owned (let’s face it, i’m on my 3rd set of ikea cactuses).  but for some reason (with full knowledge of my spotty history with plants), when the deadbeat dude who is in foreclosure in my condo association abandoned his raised bed in the backyard… I WAS ALL OVER IT. at least that’s what i told the condo association president.

while i was waiting for planting season, i had lengthy and involved fantasies about what gardening would be like. i started asking agriculturally inclined friends for tips about what to do.

“you’re gonna need some compost. like a lot of compost.”

“you should hit the deering oaks farmer’s market for seedlings.”

“don’t bother with carrots, they never work out.”

“10-10-10!”

i took all of this sage knowledge into my brain, and waited for it to germinate.

nothing.

may arrived, and it was time to weed the box (which hadn’t been touched in 2 years)! except that if you remember may at all, it RAINED CONSTANTLY… the seeds of gardening excitement that i had planted in my brain were slowly being drowned by inopportune weather and the slow creep of laziness and apathy.

come the end of june, i still hadn’t done jack, and the excitement i once felt for the project had dissipated considerably. and by considerably, i mean entirely. it seemed too late. maybe i would do it next year… sorry condo association president. Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- go the *uck outside edition.

20 06 2011

it’s summertime y’all! and as such, we will likely be keeping summer hours around these blog parts.  it is ludicrously beautiful outside, and i plan on spending as much time as humanly possible outdoors. other states are nice and all, but i like to think that maine puts them all to shame. here i am in the biggest city we got (ok, admittedly not that big, but still…), and there’s all this motherfucking unspoiled nature just minutes (at times seconds) away.

i’m especially feeling the love today after my friend pook turned me on to the glory that is portland trails. 30 trails all over the greater portland area, all equally surprising and awesome. oh, and all free.

for example, today we hit an incredible seaside bird sanctuary, AND a freakin waterfall. i have lived in this area since 1996, and had no idea there was a FREAKIN WATERFALL 5 minutes off the peninsula.

anyway, being outside is pretty famtastic, and fits happily within my summer fun budget of $0. i’m thinking long hikes, picnic lunches, brown paper bag beers, and falling asleep on the grass/rocks/beach while reading summer trash with puffy gold letters on the cover.

what’s in your budget for summer fun? (you can start by reading these links) Read the rest of this entry »





IKEAbus coma.

25 04 2011

today, i took the day off.

i phoned in lazy to easter, and spent the day on the couch cuddling my dog, watching lousy horror movies on netflix, eating stale tony’s donuts, and lapsing in and out of consciousness.

as a person who normally shuns sleep, and tends to work until she passes out on the couch on a nightly basis… i don’t give myself a lot of lazy do-nothing days. actually, i don’t give myself any.

i have to say that the IKEAbus could definitely be classified as a success. nobody yelled at me, or asked for their money back, no fist fights broke out, and nothing burst into flames or turned into radioactive ooze.  Read the rest of this entry »





i am not a monster!!!

22 04 2011

when i first conceived the IKEAbus many moons ago, everyone seemed really excited about it.  it was positive vibes all around, and it propelled me forward to the point where i actually put my tax return money down on a bus, in hopes that i could actually  fill it up with swedish furniture loving folks with $30 to spare. (ta da!)

a few weeks in and a few tickets (very few at that point) sold, i posted an article on the wsch around town blog about it, thinking that might be a good place to drum up some local enthusiasm. instead, i got this:

Hey WCSH why don’t you take more time talking about the great family run furniture stores that still exist here in Maine, as opposed to encouraging folks to take their business out of state, In a time when Maine is so desperate for every penny in business it can get, I find this irresponsible!

i didn’t know what to say. so stupidly, i said nothing (i really aught to rectify that).

well, i’ve spent the last few weeks ruminating about it, and here is what i have decided: Read the rest of this entry »





ALL SYSTEMS GO!

8 04 2011

on monday when i only had 13 tickets sold and no sign of picking up… i was ready to quit this bitch. i really didn’t think it was gonna happen. i even started making other plans for the 23rd.

i don’t know if it was my general sad sackness working the guilt angle, or just that people woke up and realized that they really did need to buy 25 billy book cases in order for their lives to feel complete… but i hit my half way goal and then a little bit more  yesterday.

as of this morning, i’m at 27 seats sold, and i’m sending the bus company my money- eek!  what i’m trying to say is that the IKEA bus is ON. ON. ON.

there are still 23 tickets left that i’m gonna be trying really hard to sell (anybody got any catchy poster ideas?), but the die is cast. i’m going through with it no matter what. i am also taking recommendations for what should go in my local food snack packs.

finally, i want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who talked about, facebook liked, and tweeted up this event. many of you couldn’t afford it or had other plans, but you still cheered me on. gennyfer shook down the moms over at raising maine! cindy and matt guilt tripped their coworkers! the entirety of the forge brandsstaff decided to drink the ikea bus kool aid!

anyway, thank you. i am overwhelmed! i make you my solemn promise that the ikea bus will be as awesome as i can possibly make it. and for those of you who can’t join us, i promise frequent twitter updates and lots of goofy pictures of people pretending to poop in the fake ikea display bathrooms.





pulling out of the station.

17 03 2011

well, the couch shoppers have it! after analyzing the poll, i decided to go  with the $30 tickets ($32.46 after surcharges- sorry!) that include a 17′ U-haul truck to drag back all your giant shit. i’m also working on scoring some snacks and other good stuff. but while i’m working out the details…

GO BUY A TICKET RIGHT NOW!

The most important thing to remember here is that if i can’t sell at least half of the bus by april 8th, i will have to cancel the whole trip. please don’t make me have to do the dance of shame! seriously, your mom loves particle board furniture, and this bus looks way comfy.  we’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll morph into bona fide ikea hackers when we get home. it’s gonna be AMAZING.





its here…

15 03 2011

yesterday, i chartered a bus. i promised that i would attempt to bring the ikea bus to portland, and i’m doing it (APRIL 23rd! MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!). however, i have a few details i need to iron out before  i can officially put tickets on sale later this week. for example, how much will tickets cost?  well, there are two possibilities:

1. $22 ticket where people are allowed to bring home only as much as will fit in the 7′ X 8′ under-bus compartments.

2. $30 ticket where i rent a supplemental U-haul box truck so that people can get couches and mattresses and shit.

i’m inclined to go smaller scale for the maiden voyage, but i also am scared that if people can’t bring back whatever they want, nobody will come! ok, i am scared in general that nobody will come, but i can cancel and get my deposit back 15 days before the event… so the risk isn’t too high. still scary though.

anyway, i’m trying to gauge what ikea bus riders might prefer- lower prices or greater capacity, so i rigged up this little poll to help sort it all out: Read the rest of this entry »





the gears are turning

30 12 2010

still recovering from the very nutcracker into xmas shitstorm, but yesterday’s snowstorm provided something of a rest and regroup. well, except for the part where i had to take my dog out to pee in the insanity. as it turns out, kazuki LOVES the snow. me, not so much. but anyway, before i go ahead and do another full on rant about bad gift giving (obviously a serious pet peeve of mine) and broken polar bears… here are a few interesting bits and pieces that have floated to the surface in the last week or two:

i’ve done a lot of crazy shit this year. thus, i thought it would befit 2011 if i kicked it off with something equally nuts. on february 12th, i’ll be hurling my pale and fragile body into the icy waters of casco bay for charity. if you wanna help me out, this polar bear will give you the details (it’s a PDF, but i promise it’s safe to download!).

i went straight from the makeup project directly into nutcracker madness, and i don’t know if anyone noticed the wrap up that i did on the update page. the short version is that it was very well received. with lots of help, i managed to throw it together in less than a month (which was all kinds of incredible), but i’d love to get started RIGHT NOW for next year. nothing organized yet, just planting the seeds. so if you have an opportunity to score free makeup or other teen-friends stuff this year in your coupon travels… you know what to do.

i know, 2 donation requests in one post is kind of hardcore… but don’t say i never gave you anything:

the ikea bus is fueling up! i talked about it many moons ago, but the wheels are finally turning (pun intended). the portland daily sun even wrote an article about it (no turning back now!) come april (tentatively the 23rd), there will be approximately 50 spots on the bus (which i am assured will have the capacity for an in-flight movie). i was hoping to keep it under $25 a person round trip- but it looks like if we up it to $28-$30, we can also rent a uhaul so that people can buy big ass furniture (mattresses! couches!) and not worry. and considering that a round trip to boston on greyhound is like $40… and ours will come with snacks and even possibly in-town furniture delivery…  i still think it’s a pretty good deal. i have started an email list, so either go to the ikea bus page, or send me an email and i will add you. no commitment, just updates on progress, prices, and dates.

finally, i’m working on a super secret project with some local fashion bloggers that i think you’re all really going to like. obviously, it’s super secret, so i don’t have a lot of information to give… but hopefully soon i’ll be able to explode the details all over your face. i promise, you’re gonna love it.





an open letter to concord trailways.

9 08 2010

dear concord trailways:

back in my college days, i rode the greyhound with reckless abandon. so what if it had dirty pay toilets, and if i couldn’t get on the bus without some sketchy dude giving me his phone number.  2 hours smashed up against a window with an overly chatty seatmate whose only carry on luggage was a cardboard sign- NO PROBLEM (true story). guy across the aisle trying to look down my top while suggestively rubbing his groin area- CAKE (double true story). hey, is that a LIVE RABBIT in your tote bag? YOU BET (seriously, the greyhound is NUTS). when i was 19, it seemed like par for the course to spend my bus hours sweatily clutching a snapple bottle that i could smash against the window and cut anyone who tried to touch me. greyhound and i were old friends.

but somewhere along the way… maybe around the time i got my own apartment and could no longer wear my sweatpants to work… i found you concord trailways. with your spotless and airportlike bus terminal, free donuts and juice, and in-flight movie, greyhound was a mere smelly and uncomfortable memory. and it is that undying love and respect that i have for you now (there is no other bus in my mind), that brings me here to talk to you today. concord trailways, i have an AMAZING IDEA, but i can’t do it without you.

last week, my twitter friends @badlerory77 and @drwhogirl and i were having a little chat about going to ikea. unfortunately, the closest ikea is 127 miles away. it’s tough for portlanders. many of us don’t have cars at all, and for those of us that do have cars, most are not large enough to carry a billy bookcase home without 78 bungee cords and a lot of fervent prayer. this is where you come in, with your roomy cargo compartments and plush seats…

what if a couple times a month, you took us all on a trip to ikea? picture it- a sunny saturday morning, we could have snacks and watch a movie and finally all get a chance to load up on lingonberry jam and particle board furniture.  it would be the perfect combination of fun and convenience, all wrapped up in the solidarity of people who want good design but can’t afford to pay for it. all i’m saying is that i think it could really be brilliant, and i really want you to be a part of it.

you don’t have to answer right away, but promise me you’ll think about it. we’ve been together a long time… i think you owe me that much.

love forever,

allie.