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Shed those pounds, fast and easily

I am finally facing down the boxes of academic papers. This is going to be an iterative project. The thing is, it's hard to visit those tactile memories and make decisions about them. I'd like to believe I can at least recall all of the journal articles I've read, but honestly, I can't. Far from it. In these early stages, I am simply getting rid of articles where I know I'll have a good chance of tracking them down again if they become relevant again, or where I just don't think they're going to be relevant again. This is taking care of about three-quarters of the papers, which should mean I can go from four boxes to approximately two, because at least two of the boxes consist of papers organized in stacks according to relevant subject matter. I am also keeping almost all papers that aren't easily digitally accessible. Eventually I hope to track down a fast pdf scanner to convert them. Academic libraries often have them. Also, in case you have ever wondered, don't get coroplast file boxes. They might seem better than cardboard, but they're terrible - flimsy and fall apart.

In the non-academic department, I need to think about how I want to handle financial paperwork, too. I still have every pay stub from graduate school, every credit card statement and bank statement and cell phone bill, all filed in file folders. I have a storage box (sweater-size) full of every single receipt for every single thing I've purchased over the last 5-6 years. Who is ever going to look at these things? An anthropologist, someday? I guess they're kind of like the story I heard on This American Life about a book some psychologist wrote that documented every single move made by a ten-year-old boy over the course of a week. A monumental wasted effort. The critical files all fit into one of those plastic file totes, so maybe the rest of the financial paperwork will go into a storage box and eventually get tossed when I tire of schlepping it from place to place.

A dream last night helped me partly understand why my mood has been pretty foul since last Friday. I dreamed I was attempting to walk a brevet. You know, because cycling one isn't a big enough challenge. The dream didn't end well because somehow it transformed into the recurring car-driving dream where the vehicle is really hard to control (usually my parents' old poo-brown Dodge Caravan). I think this means that I need to do a better job of consistently getting exercise. This morning is the last morning that I had to get to work by 7 am, so hopefully I can take advantage of this 5 am wake-up schedule in the name of exercise. This always feels like a "spirit's willing, flesh is weak" situation. I will report back to you tomorrow.


( 6 remarks — Remark )
Nov. 4th, 2015 03:42 pm (UTC)
record keeping
All those receipts and statements...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as I heard your office manager at Tufts say when I met her and she observed that I was wearing sandals :-)

At least we haven't had to move them from place to place. And I did toss out oodles of canceled checks not long ago.

Nov. 4th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
omfg so bossy
I save things like cancelled checks from 20 years ago that tell me how much I was paying for rent and health insurance then. I laugh at how much I was stressing out about such tiny amounts.

Those plastic, heat-printed receipts are hormone disruptors, copy them if they are tax-related, otherwise keep them only as many days as their worth in dollars. Don't recycle, don't compost, trash them.

Any ideas on what will drive out cereal moths / book moths / wool and sweater moths? I can't use mothballs. I'm thinking lavender and bay leaves? cloves? irish spring soap makes me sick.
Nov. 4th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
Re: omfg so bossy
Yeah, I should see about coming up with a system to digitize all of the receipts, anyway, as that would be a more effective method for analyzing things and laughing at my own old rent checks!

Cereal moths: the only solution I have found is to make sure that everything is packaged in good containers that the moths can't drill through, then use up or get rid of everything they've invaded. I just sifted out the larvae with a mesh strainer because I figure we're eating so many insects anyway and they aren't harmful.

Book moths: Arg, I don't have good ideas. Only thought would be to freeze the books for a period, but I'll have to think on this one some more.

Wool moths: These guys hate cedar. First, make sure the items have been washed to eradicate any eggs. Dry-cleaning works well but I believe a good soak in water also works. Then, get some blocks of cedar and store the items in a container along with the cedar. As an added bonus, cedar smells good. We used to sell these cedar plastic bags for storing wool when I worked at a dry cleaners, so those would work, too.

Also, it looks like my litterbox is mite-free, hurrah! I have this funny story about litterboxes and heat that makes me think a heating pad wouldn't be ideal for bakers mites...a friend has a self-cleaning litterbox and noticed that it seemed to be going through its cleaning cycle a lot. Apparently his cat had figured out that the litter was warm after the cleaning wash/dry cycle, so his cat was sleeping in the litterbox and then getting out of it periodically so the litter would get warmed again.
Nov. 4th, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: omfg so bossy
omg what kind of self-cleaning litterbox? Every kind I've ever looked at was a horror.

I'm treating already-scrubbed litterboxes with hand sanitiser, I think it helps kill the ammonia smell?

Nov. 4th, 2015 08:32 pm (UTC)
Re: omfg so bossy
It was one of these:


I just messaged the friend again to see if they still like it.

And yes, the hand sanitizer should help kill the ammonia smell - the alcohol kills the bacteria that produce the smell. I wonder if it would be cheaper to just use rubbing alcohol.
Nov. 5th, 2015 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: omfg so bossy
You could put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and just spray the litter box down.
( 6 remarks — Remark )

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