Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Favorite Vacation



A while back, Dave and I were talking about what our favorite vacations were growing up. Naturally, his all involved camping under the vast African sky and fighting off monkeys and lions and such (ok, maybe not so much wild animal fighting, but there could have been!!).

My family never went on elaborate get-aways, but I do remember going on a number of vacations with my family. Often, they involved unbearably long car rides and sharing rooms with cousins. I always had fun, and while the van certainly felt cramped after 12 hours, I never dreaded spending that time with my family. We'd listen to Hank the Cowdog or Adventures in Odyssey. We'd play the licence plate state game and the alphabet game 1,000,000 times (till mom made us stop because she was going nuts). But my favorite vacation wasn't at my Aunt's condo or touring new and exciting cities, but at my uncle's lake cottage about 40 minutes away from our house.

We'd been there a million times, so there was nothing "new and exciting" about the trip. The lake wasn't even that big. There wasn't a ton of sand to play in or fancy touristy things to visit. There was just a comfortable old cottage by a comfortable old lake with a comfortable old tree swing. In the summer of 2007 my parents decided that we would borrow the cottage for a week of vacation.

I was 17 and naturally couldn't handle a whole week away from "civilization" (aka my best friend and my boyfriend), so my parents let me bring Emily along. The four of us girls (Em and me and Sarah and Hannah) stayed in the ginormous upstairs loft/bedroom area all squished together, and Jake stayed downstairs in the "real" second bedroom. We didn't go anywhere the entire week. I'm pretty sure that the TV didn't work and all the music we listened to was on a record player (which honestly is retro and awesome. I hope that thing is still there). We spent the entire week swimming, canoeing over to the "island" just across the lake, laying out on the dock (and getting royally sunburned!) and reading. Seriously, at any given point there were probably three people sprawled across various pieces of furniture in the most uncomfortable-looking positions reading adventure novels and mysteries and westerns.

We ate a lot of food and roasted marshmallows over the fire. We relaxed and played and had a great time. We read and chatted and slept when (and where) we felt like it. To me, it was the perfect vacation. I was surrounded by people I loved. I wasn't expected to go anywhere or do anything or even make small talk if I didn't feel like it.

I was reminded of this vacation when my cousin posted pictures of her little daughter enjoying time at "Grandpa's cottage." I've seen pictures of me and my siblings playing there at about the same age. She'll grow up to have wonderful memories of a relaxing place with people who love  her. I know I do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad.
(My Favorite Things, The Sound of Music)

There are a few things that can always make me happy, regardless of how I was feeling before. There's something wonderful about Christmas music (yes, any time of the year!) that will make me feel better even when I'm totally bummed out. When Dave and I were first married, he had to travel for two weeks for work, and I was sad and lonely. I realized that when I put Christmas music on, all my favorite feelings from my favorite holiday just came up and made me feel better.

I know I can't be the only one who has little things that make a big difference. They're things that recall my childhood or people that I love, and sometimes that's just enough umph to get me out of a rut. Here are a few of my favorite things, what are yours?


Read:
Anne of Green Gables
Little Women


Watch:
Friends
Enchanted (or pretty much any princess movie)


Wear:
Something pretty
An over-sized sweater or sweatshirt, especially if it belongs to my hubby :-)


Listen to:
Disney music
Christmas music


Do:
Knit


Drink:
Tea


Eat:
Homemade chocolate chip cookies

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why Blog?



I started thinking today about why I want to blog (and why I never do).

I love reading blogs by other people. I love learning more about things that interest me, and blogs can be a great way to do this. However, I do prefer personal blogs to corporate blogs. For example, I read Apartment Therapy, and I love it. I've learned a lot and been exposed to beautiful things I would have otherwise perhaps never heard of. However, I'm not attached to AT. If I go away on vacation, I don't read all the posts when I get back. Sometimes I skim through the titles to see if anything interests me, but usually I just clear my feed and start over.

My favorite blog right now is Young House Love. This blog is also about home decorating things, but it's much more personal. Most posts are about what the couple (The Petersiks) are doing around their house. They give DIY ideas and budget friendly ideas and then sometimes talk about what they had for dinner or why they cloth diaper. It's much more engaging than Apartment Therapy, and even if I have no use for the project that day, or even if I don't like the result, I love to read each and every post. I like to know that they think kinda like me and have a similar style to what I imagine my style would be if I were ever organized enough to have "style."

So I love blogs, and I'm capable of writing (the fact that my school gave me a diploma in Journalism is proof-ish of that). So why don't I?

I want to be interesting. I want the world to be fascinated by what I do. I want to write about the way I vacuum my floors and have you all falling over yourselves to tell me that I'm talented or brilliant or that you like the color I painted my toenails. I have trouble updating my blog because I blog for my readers. And for that to be a lasting motivation, I have to actually have readers. Which I'm pretty sure I don't.

But I still love the idea of blogging. When I was a kid I kept diaries. I still have them, and when I found them and started reading through them I was so embarrassed that I thought (much less wrote) the things that I did. I was immature and silly and awkward, and I wanted to go and burn those diaries so that no one could ever find them and read them. But then I remembered that I was in fifth grade. And in fifth grade you're supposed to be immature and silly and awkward. And when I wasn't searching for matches I realized that all those awkward things brought back memories that otherwise may have been lost forever.

I wish I had kept a diary when Dave and I were dating. I have no written record of how I felt when he asked me out, or where we went for dinner on our seventh date. And I wish I did. There were so many memories and feelings involved in those years that may now be gone forever, and it makes me so sad. I have no written record of planning my wedding, I was too busy planning it to take five minutes to write down how excited I was. And now I realize that we have been married for two years and I am 23 years old, and I may someday forget the beauty of being a newlywed.

So maybe someday I'll look back at this blog and think how silly I was, and maybe I'll wish I had never written it. (It is quite likely I'll wish I had never published it). But maybe if I decide to blog just for me, I'll be able to remember some of the silly little things that make this part of my life special. Maybe if I forget that I'm in between life stages and stop looking for interesting things to happen, I'll remember what it feels like to be 23, graduated, married and a little silly.

Maybe that will be enough to keep me writing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Moving Mania

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Problem with Panem


Panem (the fictitious nation in Suzanne Collins' hit series The Hunger Games) has a lot of problems. The president-dictator is an evil man, running a country full of slaves in the most brutal way. He is still punishing the people for a rebellion that happened 75 years ago by brutally killing off their children in a gladiator-like arena. The people in the 12 districts have poor living conditions, little food, and less hope.

President Snow lives in constant terror of another uprising. This is why he treats the districts so poorly. He wants the people to live in constant fear of the government and its power over them. He allows a victor to live every year to give the people just enough hope to keep living, but not enough hope to fight back. This, I think, is the main problem with Panem.

The fastest way to unite a group of people is to give them a common enemy. This is why some governments flourish, and some fall to rebellions every few years. Honestly, this is probably why Hitler's rise to power worked so well for him (for a time). He was a persuasive man who convinced the people that all of the problems in their lives were caused by a particular group of people, namely, the Jews. He then called for their help rounding up these "undesirables", and for a while had a fairly united government. The people under his control felt needed. They had problems, but they  had someone other than the government to blame them on.

Panem's biggest problem is that its people have only one common enemy: the Capitol. When the downtrodden people finally begin to look at their lives, they realize that their lack of food is caused by the Capitol. They are forced to watch their children brutally murdered by the Capitol. They are sent to work as slaves in mines and fields by the Capitol. And when the people start to realize this, they start to realize just how many more of them there are than their captors.

You see, Panem probably could have worked. If the people were kept well fed and warm and relatively safe, they wouldn't think of uprising. The "dark days" could stay a sad chapter in their history books, but as long as there is no reason for the Capitol to be the common enemy, the people won't rise against it. President Snow could even stay a dictator-president, as long as he causes the people to love him, instead of hate him.

Wow. So this is altogether more political than I usually like to get. But, these are really very political books. Collins brings up flawed governments, failed ecosystems, nuclear war ... the list goes on. A recurring theme in the third book, Mockingjay (which I am almost done with!) is trying not to completely destroy humanity.

These political thoughts about the main problem with Panem were what mainly kept running through my mind as I read Catching Fire. President Snow started realizing he had a problem when it became obvious to him that the people loved Katniss, and she wasn't too fond of him.

The man's an idiot. Yes, to run a country he needs a certain amount of power over the people of the country, but the best power to have is that of love and respect. He could have presented himself as this kindly grandfatherly man who saved them from the dark days, but instead constantly threatened to throw them back into them.

What about you? Have you read the Hunger Games books? What do you think of them? Do you think Panem could have set itself up for success by making a few simple changes, or do you think there is no way to save it? What do you think of political themes in novels, especially young adult novels? Read anything else good lately that I should read once I finish Mockingjay? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reflections on the Hunger Games



Last night I saw the hot new movie, Hunger Games. The night before, I finished the book. Yay me, being barely on top of things!

Normally I'd consider myself a book worm. Perhaps it's not as obvious now as when I would devour books when I was little, but I love reading. My reading habits changed when I got to college for the sake of time. I realized that when I was reading a good book, nothing else mattered. I wouldn't go to supper, I wouldn't do my homework, I wouldn't sleep. So I stopped reading at school, and mostly saved it for holidays.

Last summer, Dave was home sick (a rare occurrence. He's the type who would try to go to work with the IV still in his arm). A coworker had lent him The Hunger Games book the night before, and he read the entire thing in one day. Then he found the next two and read those as well. I think it took him a total of four days to get through the trilogy, and it only took that long because at some point he was healthy enough to go back to work.

Unfortunately, Dave thinks by talking. Every time something interesting happened in one of the books, he'd tell me about it. By the time he was done and insisting I read them for myself, I swore I'd never read them because he'd spoiled them.

Then they announced the movie (so, it may have been announced earlier. I'm clueless about these things). I don't like watching movie adaptations of books without reading the books first, and I knew Dave would want to see this movie. So I grudgingly decided I'd read the books.

It took me a loooong time to get around to it. I started listening to the audiobook last week. I finished it Saturday night, before going to the theater Sunday.

And, even though Dave "spoiled it," I did like it. The book was well written and interesting. The premise was different than anything I'd read before without being bizarre. It was young adult fiction without being corny, and included action without being overly gory.

The movie was also good. It was very true to the book (I found myself commenting every once in a while about how something didn't match, but in hindsight they were all things that didn't change the integrity of the story, and helped move it along to fit a screen). It also had very little gore, which I appreciate, but enough action to keep all the guys interested.

One thing I've been thinking about, however, more than how good the book was or how much I wish I could write something that awesome, is an article I read a few days back comparing Katniss to Bella (of Twilight). The woman who wrote this particular article had read both Twilight and The Hunger Games, and was comparing how the two heroines stood up as role models for the young girls who read their stories.

She said she understood why girls loved Bella. She was lost, starting over and honestly needed to be saved. Every woman's been there at some point or another, and loves the idea of a perfect guy stepping in to help. She also knew why Katniss was appealing. She was strong, powerful and independent. She wasn't necessarily good with people, but people liked her anyway. The author concluded by saying that if she had a daughter, she'd understand if she chose Bella as a role model, but would be overjoyed if she chose Katniss.

This really stuck with me. I read Twilight and didn't like it. I'm not a fan of vampires or anything like that, so that didn't help. But I honestly didn't like any of the characters. Bella was whiny and dull. Edward was creepy and ridiculous. Yeah, everybody's started over and wanted someone to help them out, but Bella took it to a whole new level.

Katniss, on the other hand, is almost too strong. That's what really hit me when I finished the book. In every situation, she saved Peeta. He was playing the role of the damsel in distress, and she was his knight in shining armor. Now, I understand that challenging gender roles is a good thing, and women should try to be strong, but I thought the characters were almost too much so. I wanted Peeta to save her, just once. I wanted him to be smart or strong or cunning or even just be good at finding and making food. He always almost died, and she always saved his life.

Granted, I'm probably  not the best person to comment on a movie that challenges gender roles and features a strong female in the lead. After all, I aspire to be a housewife and mother someday. And I'm proud of it. But I wonder if, by forcing so many strong women on our daughters, we're really causing the opposite problem than we had before? No, girls aren't going to pine away in their ivory towers, waiting for prince charming to come save them. Instead, they're going to go out and try so hard to prove that they're strong, independent women that they'll never know the joy of relying on someone else. They'll never be a helper because they'll insist that they'll never need help. And that's just a lie. Everybody needs Somebody.

I know many people don't want their daughters reading fairy tales or princess stories. They don't want to force them to be girly, or even encourage any love of pink or lace that could be read as weakness someday. However, I think girls should be exposed to fairy tales. That they should read them (and boys too!). If you really read these stories, or even watch their Disney versions, you'll realize that often these women aren't helpless. Perhaps they're thrust into a situation where they can't save themselves, but they don't give up. They go on with life--and are good and kind and sweet and hard workers in the process--and when someone shows up willing to help, they are willing to accept it.

If I ever have a daughter, I'd understand if she connected with Bella. I'd be happier if she wanted to be Katniss. But I'd be overjoyed if she understood that being a girl isn't something to be ashamed of, and was kind and good and hard working, and still willing to accept help.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Award Winning

Last week I went to the Ohio Newspaper Association's annual convention with two other members of Cedars, our campus newspaper. Mr. Gilbert (faculty adviser), Emily Severance (managing editor) and I (layout/visual editor) went because Mr. Gilbert entered our paper into the collegiate newspaper contest, and we had won several awards.

Before we went, we didn't know what kind of awards we had won, only that we had placed in five categories. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. All of our entries were from the previous school year (2010-2011), and since we only started in spring semester 2010, we were still figuring out what on earth we were doing.

As a result, I wasn't terribly excited about going at all, especially because I had checked the schedule beforehand. The whole day was full of sessions that may be interesting or useful to career newspapermen, or even students ultimately interested in going into the newspaper business, but I didn't fit in either category. And frankly, updates from a post office expert didn't seem like anyone's cup of tea.

So I got up early Thursday morning not expecting much. I figured I'd get a free lunch out of it and get to see the first modest awards for our little paper, and that would be it. We drove over an hour to the north end of Columbus and went through airport-worthy security to get into the convention.

Did I forget to mention that Vice President Joe Biden was speaking? Yeah, he was there. I'll get to him later. But he explains the security. Unless hotels are just generally distrustful of journalists...

When we got there, one of the sessions was already underway, and we decided to skip it. They were speaking on advertising, anyway, and we don't get many advertisers. So, we looked at the displays of the award-winning papers (weekly community papers and collegiate publications) and talked to a few of the vendors.

Then we went to a Round table Discussion, which was basically an unorganized session full of people complaining about young people. At least that's what it was at our table. Most of the attendees were publishers and top editors of their papers, and were ... old. There were several men at our table who went on long rants about how the young 20- and 30-somethings wouldn't read their papers because they led with the most important local news on the cover of their weekly paper. To these men, the most important local news was the latest chamber of commerce meeting. Or something equally boring. Honestly, they lost me when they were actually sitting in front of me talking. What was really weird, however, was that these old men were asking other old men what they should do about the problem, when there were two girls sitting there who were obviously in their twenties who could have given much better information.

If you want to know what young people read and why, doesn't it make more sense to ask young people than old?

Yeah, it didn't make sense to me either.

Then they hustled us off to the main dining room for Biden's speech. It was interesting for the first 10 minutes or so, when he was talking about journalism and newspapers and the internet and freedom of speech and such. But unfortunately, his speech was about an hour long. And the last 40-50 minutes were all campaign mumbo jumbo. Boring.


It was pretty interesting to see a political campaign stop; I've never been to one in person, and certainly not for someone as important as the current vice president of the United States. But I've never been terribly interested in politics, so he lost me when he lost the topic of journalism.

Biden wasn't the keynote speaker of the event, however. Jack Hanna was. For those of you who don't know, Hanna is like the Crocodile Hunter of the US. Without the stupidity, I think. He's always worked with animals, and is the reason that the Columbus Zoo is the the best in the country.




Last October, Ohio experienced an animal emergency. A man in Zanesville (a town outside Columbus) had a farm full of exotic animals that he kept like a private zoo, a legal practice in Ohio. Last October he committed suicide after cutting the fences and gates of all his exotic animal enclosures, setting them free. A nearby farmer called the police because when he went out to check on his horses that evening, he saw a full grown male lion out by his barn. This was less than an hour before dark.

When the police and Hanna responded, there were 49 dangerous exotic animals loose, and less than 45 minutes till dark. They had no choice but to shoot to kill. This controversial decision gained attention worldwide, and Hanna is still fighting to let the truth out about that horrible night.

He mostly focused on what really happened, and talked about a bill to ban keeping exotic animals as pets in Ohio, a topic very close to his heart for the safety of both the animals and the people living around them.

But after all that, he did what he does best. He showed us animals. There was a bearcat and a penguin and a flamingo and a full grown cheetah, and a few other things that I cant remember. But they all came right into the banquet hall and we got to see them up close, without fences. It was awesome.



Later that afternoon, we went to the awards ceremony, and I was blown away. Colleges from all over the state were represented. Some of the huge schools, and some that I'd never heard of. And we were listed among them.

When they read the awards, I couldn't believe my ears. I was expecting our 5 awards to be 3rd and maybe 2nd places, simply because we spent most of the year finding our stride. But they weren't. We got 5 awards, and not a 3rd place among them. We won:

2nd place Headline Writing
2nd place Sports Coverage
2nd place Arts and Entertainment Coverage

1st place Photojournalism
1st place Design

!!!! Do you see that? We got all 1st and 2nd! And, the 1st place sections fall under me! I am the layout and visuals editor, and we won first place in the two visual categories!!!!

(Yes, the exclamation mark police are going to arrest me. I think I earned them.)

All in all, I think it was pretty good day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Mom's Trash is Another Gal's Treasure


May I just say how much I love that thriftiness is cool now? Because it’s cool. And since I’m thrifty, I’m cool by extension. Right?
One of my favorite parts of the thrifty movement is the beautiful before-and-after projects that everyone seems to be accomplishing. Ambitious people are seeing potential in beat-up secondhand furniture and breathing new life into old things that others discarded.  I actually originally got addicted to this sort of thing through the wonderful design blog Design Sponge. I stumbled across the blog on a Thursday (before and after day), and I’ve been hooked ever since. Thursdays are still my favorite.
I’ve done a few small-scale re-dos, but never anything particularly ambitious. Last year, Dave and I repainted and recovered our kitchen chairs, and I’ve upcycled numerous items, but I’ve always wanted to try something big. I’m always reading about people finding impossibly beautiful pieces at thrift stores or garage sales, but I’ve never been so lucky.
Last week I got lucky. We were at a brother- and sister-in-law’s house to watch the football game last Sunday, and we left pretty late. Apparently in that particular neighborhood trash pickup is Monday morning, so many homes had garbage cans and recycling bins out at the curb. One home had something extra: a glider.
I saw it as we drove by and mentioned it to Dave. I wasn’t sure if we should stop and look at it (somehow after years of reuse and recycle being the thing, I still feel weird about being so … me), but Dave figured it would at least be worth checking it out. So back we went. As far as we could tell in the dark, it was a fully-intact glider, complete with ottoman and smoothly working hardware. We couldn’t see the cushions well, but they were obviously not ripped. So we decided to load it up and take it home.
We could always throw it out again if it wasn’t worth the effort.

When we got it home, I went over it carefully. The frame was bright white and not scratched at all. The ottoman was missing a screw to attach the top to the rocking part, but that was the only structural issue. Very easy to fix. The cushions were a butter yellow color with a few minor stains and no tears. Two of the snaps had ripped off the back, but everything else was intact.



Yay us! I immediately stared daydreaming about how I would redo the chair in the perfect fabric and how my beautiful glider would make the rounds of all my favorite blogs … and then Dave burst my bubble.
He, naturally, wanted to know what we could recover it with. As in, was this going to be another of my should-be-totally-affordable-but-ends-up-costing-an-arm-and-a-leg projects? I went back to our scary room craft room/office and picked up some fabric we purchased eons ago for curtains (that never got made). It was a bright dark pink (is that a thing?), and a color that I naturally loved and talked Dave into allowing in our house.

I draped it dramatically across the chair and was very happy to see that not only was there more than enough of this pretty fabric, but it really popped next to the bright white frame.
Then I started freaking out. Gliders are mainly nursery chairs. We don’t have a nursery (and it would be weird if we did, because we don’t have a baby). And, isn’t redoing a baby chair in pink the same as asking the universe for a surprise baby boy?
Oh no! This means that I should throw out the chair! Or maybe redo it in yellow so we’ll be surprised with our baby surprise! Or maybe do it in blue so I can have a little princess! Or maybe throw it out because I’m in college and going crazy right now!
Or maybe just go to bed. Which is what I did.
In the morning, I tried to go on a mad pinning spree, but you’d be surprised at how few gliders I could find. Or maybe you wouldn’t. Gliders aren’t all that popular right now because they don’t tend to have a modern silhouette. I’ve always loved them because growing up, my mom always had one in her sewing room. But they were still very hard to find. I found a few recovering tutorials, but not any major changes.  Since I couldn’t find any inspiration (except some really hideous ones that some other enterprising young moms had redone in garish prints), I figured my solid pink was a good enough plan.
(from here)

(from here)

So that’s what we’re going with.
Have you ever found a gem by the curb? Maybe you’ve managed beautiful furniture re-dos that you want to share. How much do you think my chances of having a whoops-its-a-boy went up? I’m thinking about 500%. Don’t tell the hubby!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coffee Tables and Impulse Buys


For a color bug like me, living in a white box apartment is painful. I’m drawn to bright colors, so the white walls and yucky navy blue dorm carpet really aren’t doing it for me.
Because of that, I’ve tried my best to inject color into every living space in our apartment.
Recently, Dave and I made yet another trip to Ikea (yes, I know. It’s not a good idea to go all matchy-matchy, especially with something as recognizable as Ikea. However, it’s inexpensive and great for furnishing a first apartment in a hurry. Plus, now we don’t feel guilty replacing items as we go.). We were mostly just browsing on our way home from an event, but we stopped in the scratch and dent section and saw a glass table top that we loved, and decided would make a good coffee table. So, we loaded the huge table into my tiny VW Bug and drove home.

Once we got it home, we just set it on top of our existing coffee table (two Lack tables) and called it good for now. I started researching it to see what legs were recommended for it by Ikea, and realized that it was not supposed to be a coffee table, it was supposed to be a desk.
Now, this actually makes a lot of sense because it’s huge. But somehow that idea hadn’t occurred to Dave and I, and we decided to go ahead with the original coffee table idea.
We knew we would have to paint the table part because 1) it was black and 2) there was a large chip/scratch on one side. My immediate thought was to paint it pink (!) but thought maybe my husband wouldn’t approve of the girly color. So, I simply started looking for a bright color that would work in our room.

Since we have a very small space, and were aiming for colorful not monochromatic, we had to consider what other color statements we made in our house. Orange was out because we already had 5 orange chairs. Green is impossible to match and difficult to force, so the green curtains in the living room vetoed that idea. Red doesn’t really fit with the jewel-tones we already have. Yellow is out because of the beige couches. I love turquoise-y blue, but the ottomans under the coffee table are already that color.
So, that left us with (drumroll please) pink and purple.
Yay girly me!
Thankfully, I married the most wonderful man in the universe. He thinks a home should represent the people living there, but especially the taste of the woman. Hooray! Also, he knows how much I love pink and is totally ok with incorporating pink elements into our home. Yippie!
So, we decided on pink. Bright, wonderful pink. Of course, we ran out to Lowes and picked up tons of pink paint samples. The clerks there probably think I’m preggers. 

Now, painting this monstrous coffee table is only half of the project. It isn't very sturdy because it is just resting on top of other tables, and because coffee tables often end up in foot space, I'm terrified it's going to get kicked off one of these days. 
So, we need to make a sturdy base for it.
My original thought was to do something like this:
We would measure the width of the sides of the table (3/4") and buy wood the same width and secure it using L brackets. Unfortunately, Dave didn't think this would be sturdy enough. He thought we should do something like this:
He wanted to move the legs in a bit to make it sturdier, and honestly, I wasn't able to visualize it. (I just found these pictures on Pinterest, and in seeing a real table with inset legs makes me realize it's not as awful as I originally thought... but still not what I'm looking for.)
So, I did what anybody would do in this situation. I doodled. In church.

Oops! But it did help both of us visualize what we were looking for.
From the sketches I thought maybe the box idea would work the best, and Dave agreed. We mentioned the idea to Wes, who suggested adding a drawer for storage, as we'll be losing our ottomans. Fantastic idea.
Until we started looking into the price. We payed about $50 for the table top (I think? I'll have to ask Dave if he remembers the actual price) and it would probably be at least another $60 to build a base and a drawer and paint it. 
Yikes. 
And, to top it all off, I started having second thoughts! 
This table was meant to be a desk. It's big like a desk, the space between the wood and the glass is the perfect amount of space for a desk, and it's big like a desk.
Yeah, this thing is kinda huge. We will have to move when I graduate in a few months, and what if our new apartment has a smaller living room? It takes up a lot of space. Plus, I was realizing that this giant coffee table, while it's nice now (we always eat in the living room because the kitchen table has turned into a counter), it's not really what I want in a coffee table. The glass top is fun, but I'd rather have something more MCMish, with rounded edges and spindly legs. This table will never be that.
However, we still have it and we still like it in this context. So what are we supposed to do????
It's too expensive, it's not what I ultimately want, it's huge, and we're moving soon. One thought I came up with was to simply reuse four of the existing legs on the existing coffee tables. That would be free (with only the cost of paint) and therefore painless to replace if it realizes it's life goal of becoming a desk someday. 
What do you think? Would you ever dare to paint a piece of furniture bright pink? Have you ever picked up some great deal only to get it home and realize it was something completely different than you thought it was? Which base would you pick?