Friday, January 20, 2012

To the left, to the left

Though my friends assure me that I am nowhere near hoarders-level in terms of clutter (and I can find my foster cat fine, so I'd be willing to believe it), I cannot deny that I am not a particularly neat or clean person. My office might be considered about average amongst the rest, but I try hard to at least keep it not-disgusting since people actually see the place.

On the other hand, I am ashamed of my apartment and don't really let people come over except for my closest of friends (or people I'll never see again).

My apartment complex is re-opening their self-storage facility. The first 20 people who rent get a 5'x10' unit for $100/month. I don't know why, but I was considering it. An extra $100 monthly rent just for 50 more sq feet...but it'd get my stuff out of sight and out of mind.

After checking the big places like Public Storage, which btw, has a really fun animated interactive size guide that shows you how big the units are, I've determined that for a self-storage facility next door, that it's a good deal.

I was really starting to think this was smart. That some people use self storage as that, general storage for your stuff. I thought it was mostly people in-between moves, but maybe, maybe renting a giant closet would be the solution to all my problems.

But of course I finally analyzed it. I will be in this apartment at least another 8 months according to my lease. So that's $800. A great majority of the clutter I feel like I can't deal with are just boxes. Boxes I like moving with, boxes fragile things came in, boxes that I claim hold sentimental value. There are other things --snowboarding equipment I haven't been able to get to use, a cat litter box that is too small for my current cat, random junk in tubs and under my bed, etc -- that would benefit from just...being somewhere else. But for the most part, I think boxes are my problem. Everything else I could probably find room for if I just threw out or sold other stuff. (Or I might be in denial about that as much as everything else -- I have lived in a heap of dusty clutter for years now.)

Even if I get the most ridiculous moving package from U-Haul made for a 4+ bedroom house, I'd be under the $800. And I'd get bubble wrap. BUBBLE WRAP. With the difference I could easily also get two maid cleanings. (Or one of the many Groupon-like deals for one.)

I might be ready to let go soon. Maybe not that soon. I do still have a Rock Band set of drums that are still in the box because I don't know where I could keep them. Also the box my broken printer came in that I keep thinking maybe I'll one day actually pack up and go get fixed. And not really sure where that cat litter lid will go. I mean, my next foster cat can be coming any time and it might be smaller. (Actually, any cat would be smaller than my current.) But at any rate, I've had bouts of "sell all my old stuff for $5" inspiration and I could always go that route.

Baby steps.

Anyway, this has been another installment of too-well-researched-for-my-pocket-journal but too-long-and-boring-for-my-tumblr. I'm not sure what anyone else can get out of this except...even someone with a cheap miser past can lose track of the big financial picture.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

'sall relative (in time!)

Today someone randomly asked me if in other languages, there were more efficient ways to say "day after tomorrow" and things like that. I was happy to report that I knew...yes!

Well, efficiency is subjective, but I at least knew that Mandarin and Japanese had terms that were special to terms like "day before yesterday" and "day after tomorrow", even if just prefixes.

But because I had already forgotten what most of the terms were, I had to confirm at work (and my new work computer can display east asian characters. so happy!).

So here are the Mandarin terms (copy and pasted from
today - 今天 - jīn tiān
yesterday - 昨天 - zuó tiān
the day before yesterday - 前天 - qián tiān
tomorrow - 明天 - míng tiān
the day after tomorrow - 後天 - hòu tiān

See, no matter what, two character words!

Japanese is a slightly more complicated issue, and I don't know if I'm just biased because it seemed so hard to learn in general, especially at 8:30am, but I feel that Japanese has many many alternatives to saying every little thing.
But here's what I think is common (copy and pasted from random dictionaries I could find online):

today - きょう - kyou (and fun fact: the kanji in Japanese is 今日, which is similar to the Chinese one above, but not quite...annoying, huh)
yesterday - きのう (昨日) - kinou
day before yesterday - おととい (一昨日)- ototoi
tomorrow - あした (明日) - asita
day after tomorrow - あさって (明後日) - asatte
two days after tomorrow ("in three days time") - しあさって (明明後日) - siasatte

As you can tell by the characters, the terms for things beyond yesterday and tomorrow are more or less derivative from the main terms. But they are more like prefixes, and I think still more effective than saying "day after tomorrow". I do realize that saying "in two days" is the same as "the day after tomorrow", and that it's not exactly a cumbersome phrase. But it's still seems less cool. :-)

Since I never studied Chinese formally, I don't know if the terms are related in the same way. They all end in the word for "day" (天), if you were wondering. Also the word used in the kanji in Japanese, 日, does actually also mean "day" in Chinese, but in different contexts. I can't give great examples, but 日 can also mean "sun" (it looks like a sun, eh? =P) and 天 is more related to the heavens and sky. But both are used in Chinese in terms that mean things relating to days, daily, routines, etc.

When I was thinking of the Japanese terms though, in my head I thought I had remembered that the prefixes were more blatant. But I realized I was thinking of the German terms! (I realize that mixup doesn't make much sense, but I learned those languages within a year of each other so...that explains a little.)
today - heute
yesterday - gestern
day before yesterday - vorgestern
tomorrow - morgen
day after tomorrow - übermorgen
two days after tomorrow überübermorgen

Anyway, I got so excited about knowing something that I felt I wanted to write a blog post on it, even on this old one that no one reads anymore. :-)