Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Time is out of joint

O cursed spite

It appealed to me greatly when I saw it in the bookstore. At last, a calendar devoted to tracking dates instead of wasting time on extraneous fluff. It was “The Calendar.” (Nice, functional title.) It didn't sport any art or other distractions. This it proclaimed in large print on its cover:
No kitties, no flowers, no inspirational quotes, no babies. Just 12 big blank grids for 2010.
What could be more straightforward?

I happily purchased The Calendar and took it home. I posted it on my wall. (That's what you do with calendars, right?) The dates were big and visible and easy to read from anywhere in the room. Nice!

I sat down and got to work on my spring semester syllabus. Naturally, I kept glancing at the calendar. The birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.? That's a Monday holiday in the school schedule and there's no instruction on that day. According to The Calendar, it will be January 19.

Wait a minute! According to the college website it will be January 18.

Scratch the head. Look at The Calendar. Look at the website on my computer screen. Go up to the The Calendar and look more closely. Hmm. January 18 is correctly labeled (in the fine print) as Martin Luther King Day, but it's the first day of the week.

Bloody damn. It's a Monday through Sunday calendar (the weekend is, in fact, the end of each line). Unlike 99% of the other calendars out there, The Calendar's first column is devoted to Monday.

I checked: The same publisher offers a “bad cat” calendar with the conventional Sunday through Saturday format.

This is going to drive me crazy all year.


hans said...

99% of the calendars out there *in the US*. In some other parts of the world, the week's end is in its proper place at the end of the week.

Barry Leiba said...

In the immortal words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, “It just goes to show you: it’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” You get kitties, or you get your week starting on Monday. Waddyagonnado?

AnyEdge said...

Well, shouldn't Sunday be at the end? Didn't The LORD rest on Sunday?

/sarcasm in case it wasn't obvious

Matthew LaGro said...

Why don't you just print a calendar grid the way you like it?

Lsquared said...

I find that if I buy one of those huge things from Office Max or someplace, and figure out how to hang it on my wall, that's perfect.They're cheap too.

Zeno said...

Point taken, Hans, but need I point out that I am a simple stay-at-home provincial *in the US*? I don't buy calendars in other nations.

(My grandparents used to have these weird [to my eyes, okay?] calendars that ran all the days together in blocks more than a week long. It would be interesting to see one of those again.)

Zeno said...

Why don't you just print a calendar grid the way you like it?

Actually, Matthew, I do. That's the calendar that I keep in my gradebook. However, I like something bigger to post on the wall. I can't print out a calendar with big-ass numbers on my printer. (Hmm. I wonder if there would be a market for a "Big-Ass Calendar.")

Oded Shimon said...

Of course, Israel conveniently solves all of this by having WEEKDAYS START ON SUNDAY!!!

In hebrew, "sunday" is translated to the words "first day".. "monday" is "second day" etc.. So for me, in my head, sunday will always mean "first day"... I cannot fathom you people starting to work on the second day of the week! What is wrong with you!

(I actually despise the weekend system in Israel, because on friday most stores are open until 1PM tops, and on saturday NOTHING is open.. So just about the only time you have off from work/school, is completely useless to do any errands!!)

Zeno said...

Oded Shimon, you may be amused to learn (if you didn't already know) that Portuguese refer to Monday as "segunda-feira", which means -- drum roll! -- "second day". It's an unusual nomenclature (relative to the other romance languages, at least) and numbers the days through Friday that way. Saturday and Sunday are more conventionally called "sabado" and "domingo", respectively.

Sili said...

The college doesn't have a big-format printer? (Or big-arse printer, if you prefer.)

Think of it as an opportunity to commune with your Portuguese roots.

wv: reysist - I'll let that one speak for itself.

Miki Z. said...

Japanese calendars seem to start on Sunday despite Saturday/Sunday being the 'week end' (週末). I'm not sure this will come out, but the Japanese days of the week are
日曜日 (sun) 月曜日 (moon) 火曜日 (fire) 水曜日 (water) 木曜日 (tree/wood) 金曜日 (gold/metal) 土曜日 earth. The months are just numbered 1 through 12, beginning with January.

I'm reasonably certain that there is, in fact, a market for Big Ass Calendars in the U.S., both with and without swimsuits.

For instance, of the no swimsuit variety:,413082490

nacky said...

Just agreeing with Hans. I think you can get used to the weekend being at the week's end - where it rightly belongs.

Karen said...

I tried living with one of those week-begins-on-Monday calendars once, and it did drive me crazy. Starting the week with Sunday is just too ingrained in my head. Fortunately, my city sends me a calendar each year with pictures of infrastructure upgrades or major events that I can ignore, while having the week start on Sunday.

By the way, what have you got against kitties?

Ploon said...

Srsly? The week begins with Sunday? In Europe there are calendars that have a weekend either before or after the working days, but I have never ever seen one that splits the weekend down the middle. Where did that convention come from. What about TV guides? Those over here usually start on Saturday.

llewelly said...

"Well, shouldn't Sunday be at the end? Didn't The LORD rest on Sunday?"

According to the Jews, He rested on Saturday. The Christians changed it to honor the coming of Jesus and the fiddling with of the rules.

llewelly said...

What will you do if your calendar is mysteriously replaced by a sign that reads "calendar"?

Interrobang said...

I always hated calendars that started the week on Sunday. On the other hand, if I were in Israel, I would love them. (Rak ani b'Canada, khaval!)

(My friend in Tel Aviv completely concurs with Oded Shimon's assessment of the lack of available errand-doing time, and wants the buses to run seven days per week.)