on office ergonomics and the prick of pins and knitting needles...


a lucille ball... © Raffaella Loro

My last job required a great deal more mobility than my current role as a glorified desk jockey. I don't know if this change in roles has lead to the increase in my subcutaneous fatty deposits, but it has certainly increased the frequency and intensity of my lower back pain. I get up and about throughout the day, but I tend to spend more seated than I do roaming about.

Last night, in an effort to counteract the imaginary curvature of my spine, I pushed the coffee table to the side and lay out my exercise mat determined to stretch. For the last hour while I was watching the movie version of "The Robber Bride" on CBC (starring Mary Louise Parker) memories of Ana Caban filtered through my brain. I did a mish-mash of pilates and assorted other mat exercises, doing more of a "forty five" than a "hundred" and really lame modified pushups that after a quick rep made me want to kiss the ground like the late Pope John Paul. But to make up for my weak performance in the upper body strength category, I threw in some plies just to make me feel like my body still retained some flexibility and muscle tone. And although I'm still have my moments of pain today while sitting at my desk I know my efforts were not in vain.

In other news, with the possession date of the condo fast approaching, my helpful beau has been crunching numbers and drafting up plans for our intended residential improvement plan. I can't remember if I've described the dimensions of our unit, but basically it's a wide open space (kitchen, living, dining all one huge room) with a separate bathroom as well as a room for laundry and storage. We're hoping to construct some sort of storage unit for our combined wardrobe that will also function as a room divider of sorts for our sleeping area. We have considered purchasing pre-built options, but either the quality of materials is not what we would like or the cost is just too prohibitive. Our design for the actual storage unit is very simple (three big rectangles with hanging storage up above and two drawers below), but coming up with an economical and aesthetically pleasing door option is proving to be a bit more challenging. We've considered leaving the closet units open, covering them with curtains, or using PAX sliding glass doors from Ikea. However, after seeing this armoire from Crate and Barrel, I think I would like to go with a slatted design. However, I am no Norm Abram... and although this design looks simple to me, my beau tells me that such a door may be quite time and labour intensive (we plan to build three units like this, so six doors total). If we were a little closer to my father's workshop I would gladly offer my labour for the project, but I think the money that we might save in that case would be quickly made up for in transportation costs from northern BC to Edmonton.

And since I'm in the mood to divulge the secrets of my interior design success, I think we have finally decided on our couch and chair (and a half) style. It's a contemporary (plain Jane) style with clean lines (sans boring throw cushions). The new furniture won't be ordered until a few weeks before we move, so we have a few months to decide on a colour that would work. Our condo is a blank slate. The closet, book shelves, computer work table are all a dark espresso stain (fitting, since as my father says, our loft is designed for yuppie cappuccino types). The coffee table and chair feet will probably be a similar stain. The walls, ceiling and kitchen cabinetry are all white. The appliances are stainless steel. I'm open to suggestions on colour combinations, involving paint or otherwise. I've been looking at www.apartmenttherapy.com for inspiration. If you come across any ideas that you think I might like, please keep in mind that all of our windows are west facing and we have a fair bit of greenery to display in addition to our 61 linear ft. (and counting) of books. Oh yes, and the budget... let's not forget that.