habits

Tough Questions: What’s the Worst Piece of Furniture You’re Still Holding On To?

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Every week we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week:

What’s the worst piece of furniture you’re still holding on to?

Rules are simple: Everyone has something they have kept for about three moves too many. There’s some chair that your Uncle Robert gave you that you just can’t help but love, even though it’s filled with wild animals. Which of your possessions is it looking increasingly like you’ll be buried with?

Alex Russell

The sheets are new, but my bed itself is the same bed I slept on when I was a teenager. This same dumb queen mattress and box spring have accompanied me all the way. Every time I move I almost leave it behind just to force myself to upgrade the thing I spent eight hours (six hours? four hours?) with every night, but it just never happens. I need some sort of intervention where my friends force me to go to IKEA, because even that would be an upgrade at this point.

Stephanie Feinstein

A dresser from our first bedroom set. I have managed to cycle out the sleigh bed and the single nightstand, but the dresser still stays. Outwardly, it looks great, dignified, with a lovely cherry finish. But the drawers have never opened properly (they are weirdly short and with a strange catch, so they only open like three inches at most), the handles are falling off, and one drawer also will NOT close. It is not terrible, but I dream about new dressers often.

Jonathan May

couch

This couch is the Craigslist ad you’ll never answer. It sat in my friend Susan’s parents’ house for the longest time. The year was 2009, and I was moving into a new place and had little to no furniture. I was working at Starbucks then. Susan’s parents saw my plead for furniture online and submitted to me this humble couch, available for pickup that night from their curb. So my 5’4″ and 150-pound self drove over after work and stared at the long couch, wondering how the hell I would get it into the back of my truck by myself (it was late). With a lot of finesse, I managed to get the damn thing up there. Then it started to rain. I eventually got it home and unloaded it into my living room. That couch moved with me from house to house over the years, and now it resides in my carport, ravaged by raccoons and smokers.

Andrew Findlay

This Tough Question is probably the first no-brainer I’ve had. I read the question to my wife, and her eyes immediately went to this chair:

SAMSUNG

This chair is over half a century old. My grandparents bought it for my father when he was living with them as a child. It included two dressers, a mirror, and a desk. My father did his homework in this chair. I did my homework in this chair. Now, I use it to prop up my feet while I watch TV or play video games. My wife hates it. It’s outdated, it does not match anything else in the apartment, and at this point it might be more Elmer’s wood glue than chair, but a hassock would just be lame, and this chair is bursting with sentimental value.

Brent Hopkins

This might be an odd response, but I technically don’t own any furniture in America or Korea. Every apartment I have lived in here has been fully furnished, so I haven’t needed to buy anything. I haven’t technically lived in my own place in America in years, so when I go home I tend to sleep in the guest bedroom which is full of things that aren’t mine.

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Tough Questions: If You Had to Do Something Every Day for a Year that You Don’t Already Do, What Would You Pick?

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Every week we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week:

If You Had to Do Something Every Day for a Year that You Don’t Already Do, What Would You Pick?

Rules are simple: When are you gonna finally shape up? This tough question forces you to collect your aspirations and put them into one actionable damn thing. What would you fix about the crumbling house that is your life, if you had to pick one daily thing? Would you do good deeds? Or would you at least stop doing evil ones as often? Look, it’s rough out there. You don’t know my life.

Alex Russell

Pete Holmes (comedian, TV host, and fictional advertizing baby) often talks about the idea that to create an hour of stand up you only need to write a minute a day. It’s an easy idea, but we’re all terrible at compartmentalizing ourselves. We don’t think in chunks; we think in finish lines. I would want to write one joke every day. I’m a weird obsessive about stand up comedy and I liked the (VERY, VERY) brief experiences I had trying to sell my own bullshit on a microphone. A kick in the ass every day to do some more would do me some good and a lot of audiences a whole lotta bad.

Jonathan May

Since there’s no way I’m going to start doing CrossFit or yoga on the regular, I’m going to have to go with prank-calling people from the payphone in the mall. The calls will be short, so I really just need a little spare change every day. Now you may say, “Jon, the mall isn’t open every day,” and you would be right. So on days following holidays, I would make up the calls I’d missed. Heading into my thirties, it seems like I should pick something more sensible like doing crunches or household chores, but honestly, this will be much better for the soul.

Andrew Findlay

I would go to bed by 10:30 every weeknight. This is just the lamest personal goal ever, but six hours versus eight hours of sleep makes a huge difference in overall levels of happiness and effectiveness in life. The problem is, I never, ever recognize that at 10:3011:30, or 12:30. It always seems like reading a little bit more, watching some television, or wasting time on the internet will make my life better, then I wake up very sad in the morning. Seeing as how the phrasing of the question is if you had to, this unfortunate pattern probably won’t change anytime soon.

Austin Duck

If there was something I could commit to for a year but haven’t yet, it’d definitely be doing something every day that I’m proud of. I spend so much time making stupid fucking mistakes, but if I could exercise, read, and write every day (if I had the fucking willpower), I’d love to commit to it. 

Brent Hopkins

The one thing I would commit to would be some flavor of art. As a kid I always wanted to learn an instrument but after failing repeatedly I completely gave it up and it has been a chip on my shoulder for years. With the time to do it every day, I think I could will myself to stop being awful and at least learn something simple to play like the recorder or ukulele. That being said, I am also terrible at general art, so I wouldn’t mind learning to draw or learning to paint either. I like solo relaxing activities so these would meld best with my personality.

Mike Hannemann

The easy answer here is exercise. But if I went with the easy answer, this wouldn’t be a tough question.  I would probably commit to reading War & Peace, every day, for 30 minutes. Being able to claim that I have read that monstrous tome has been on my bucket list for years. However, when a book has over 130 characters and you’re used to consuming media with a character called “The Ice King,” this can be extremely daunting. At the end of the day, doing this every day for a year may not get me to the end of the seventh longest novel ever written, but maybe I’d be able to tell who at least four of the characters are. That’s something I can’t boast about the recent season of The Walking Dead.

Scott Phillips

I read every single day. No, I’m not talking about Twitter and Facebook and other internet material, I’m talking biographies and a lot of nonfiction books. As a career sports writer, I tend to be fascinated by nonfiction writing because I want to mold my writing to emulate some of my favorite authors that have followed sports teams or athletes like Jeff Pearlman, Jack McCallum, or David Halberstam.

But between my job(s), my social life, and those nonfiction entries it doesn’t leave me a lot of time to read great works of fiction. I wish I read fiction every single day; it pains me deeply that I don’t. Most of my fiction reading comes in the form of the television shows that I digest while I work around the house or to give myself a break from writing or researching. I would love to dive into George R.R. Martin or Stephen King, or even re-discover Tolkien after my childhood hobbit fixation.

So I know I could easily commit to reading great works of fiction every day for a year, I just wish there was more time in a day.