Thursday, June 21, 2007


With the news of a second air conditioner being installed in our living room, I've been considering turning my living room into a living room again. Quite awhile back, I put the computer equipment, television, stereo, and telephone into the bedroom because it was the only room with an A/C. Given the long, brutally humid Japanese summer and the weakness of that air conditioner, this was the logical thing to do in order to avoid forcing an A/C designed for a 6-mat room to cover 10.5 mats.

My husband's "comfy chair."

While this set-up has been great from the viewpoint of staying cool in summer, it's been rather inconvenient in terms of my husband's and my sleeping and wakefulness schedules. As I mentioned in a post some time back, I have little to do if I wake up early and can't go back to sleep because I have to park in the living room so as not to disturb my husband while he keeps sleeping. There's also a problem with accommodating a second chair at a spare desk in the bedroom so he can't really use his computer anywhere but on the bed. At present, my husband's "comfortable" chair is a huge black, high-backed chair that reclines. It's rather large for this apartment and impossible to fit into our bedroom along with a king-size bed and my chair.

If the air conditioner installation goes off without a hitch this coming Monday, I'll be solidifying my plans for a huge swap of furniture between rooms. This is made incredibly difficult by the fact that there is so little space to temporarily hold items as you move them around. Ideally, I'd empty out the necessary space by using the kitchen as a holding pen for my cabinets but that would be like trying to squeeze a size 6 ass into a size 4 dress. It just isn't going to all fit so I'll have to do it a few pieces at a time.

At the moment, I'm doing some pre-moving preparation. Mainly, this involves going through the junk in storage in the living room and trying to force myself to toss the stuff I couldn't let go of before. That will be followed by the more difficult task of trying to get my husband to throw out the stuff he doesn't want to let go of. He's been a good sport over the last several years as my zeal for de-cluttering has been accelerating but there are still some things he finds hard to toss.

One of the things that is hardest for me to simply throw out is old computer equipment. At one point, I had a huge plastic storage drawer full of SCSI cables despite having only two devices that were using them at the time. I'd paid a fair amount for those cables and couldn't face just throwing them away, especially because I had a case of the "just in cases". This is a situation in which you hold onto something because you paid a lot for it and there's a snowball's chance in hell that you may need or want it again. I'm pretty sure that the "just in cases" disease is what keeps the storage container companies in business and closets full of old crap.

One of the items I'm having the greatest difficulty letting go of now is a USB Zip drive and about 25 Zip discs. If you weren't a part of the group of people that once used these items, they are 100 MB cartridges about 2.5x the thickness of a floppy and about 1/4 bigger in size. They're excellent for small back-ups but their capacity seems pretty paltry in this age of gigabyte-size SD cards. One of the things that makes it harder to let go of is that the cartridges used to cost quite a bit. If anyone out there who lives in Japan wants a perfectly healthy drive and a bunch of discs, leave me a comment with your e-mail address (which I won't publish) and I'll ship you the whole lot for free. You'll only need to pay for the postage C.O.D. (chaku-barai).

Despite the huge amount of effort, this new arrangement will allow us to have a bedroom that is just a bedroom again as well as be able to actually use our sofa for something besides parking my students butts on. It's my guess that not having to lie constantly on the bed while using his computer (because there's nowhere else comfortable to sit) will help my husband's sleep schedule quite a bit. Of course, if the air conditioner the landlord installs is anemic or inadequate, all my best-laid floor plans will go out the window.

1 comment:

CMUwriter said...

Shari: I installed a window air condtioner (8,000 BTU) this spring in anticipation of the muggy Michigan weather, and I know what you mean about room usage now. I find myself hanging out in my room to watch movies with the air one, and not using my rather huge living room, because it is more comfortable. To be sure, the unit is powerful enough to cool both rooms, but i think that it is more cost effective to use it in my room.