Sunday, October 30, 2005

I Do It So That I Can Sleep at Night

I'm a list-maker, a note-taker, a writer-downer, if you will. I'll resort to using my hand in a pinch, but if a Starbucks receipt is available, I'll use the back of that. Even better, if I'm at home, I'll use one of my 3x5 index cards, which I keep in abundant supply. In my "To Do Now (If Not Sooner)" tray is a stack of notes and lists and quotes and observations, waiting to be dealt with. They contain snippets, reminders, schedules for paying bills. And they are in no particular order. They don't need to be. I know what is what and where it is in the pile or on the card. I can see it in my mind, its place but not necessarily its exact details recorded in some random corner of my brain. Sometimes I guess at the details (especially if it's an address or the correct spelling of an uncommon last name) and am right. But I shouldn't say sometimes; it's closer to most times. I suppose I write things down to help me remember them, and find that once it's been written down, and the image burned into my memory, I no longer need the reminder. Still, I keep the scraps on which they are written to go over later, just in case some of the information slips through the swiss cheese holes that exist in my grey matter. Often I can't sleep, afraid that I'll forget something, but once the list is made, I rest easy. The little notes help me relax.

Tonight I was thinking ahead to events of the coming week and the one to follow it, and I got a little edgy, feeling like all the bits and pieces swirling in my mind were about to attack me and eat me up whole, possibly with ketchup, or maybe, heaven forbid, ranch dressing. (The overuse of ranch dressing is something that troubles me greatly.) So I made a list, and I feel much better.

For your entertainment, and so you can see just how it all goes down, in classic Mary organized disorganized fashion (and in uni-ball Vision Exact micro black pen every time unless there's a pen emergency), here's tonight's list:

(on the unlined side of a 3x5 card, vertical)

This week:
car inspection
tags for car (fri??)

nanny app:
-contact potential references
-current numbers for Snelling & KCRF
-fill out and SEND

Mon-
ML Halloween treat bags
ML party - drop off
& then go get Jack
(OK w/ Ms. Opal??)
Jack check-up Tues--
have Kelly write
note for Mrs.
Opdyke
Jack early release
Wed.
Sat. 7pm Presley
babysitting
Herbie Hancock from iTunes??


Obviously it's very important that I remember what I'm considering downloading from iTunes. I mean, what if I forget all about poor Herbie Hancock?? He'll be crushed, I'm sure. It's a good thing I squeezed that in at the bottom.

Also please note the random capitalization, punctuation, and use of dashes and double question marks.

Man, I love my lists. How about you? Anyone else out there who's a list-maker? A note-taker? An obsessive writer-downer? I just want to know who else is in the club.

11 comments:

amy said...

Mmm, yes. Compulsively. And I even draw little boxes to the left of each one so that when I have to no longer remember it, I check it, and then I feel better.

James E. Robinson, III said...

My wife. Lists. Lists. Lists, everywhere!

To be fair, i use index cards as well; but i keep them neatly in my back pocket.

Shepcat said...

I don't make lists as often as I probably should. (In fact, even as I write this, I'm probably forgetting something Ithat requires my attention this week.)

I just wanted to point out that Herbie Hancock performs a great cover of Nirvana's "All Apologies" if you haven't already downloaded it. Thanks for thinking of him.

cara said...

i make lists for the grocery store or else i would just come home with chocolate. not that there is anything wrong with that. except it's part of my job description to keep the husband well-fed. and he does not like chocolate. (i know, what was i thinking?) but back to the list...my handwriting is always at it's best when making a list. and then, pridefully, i want to keep them, even frame them.
i think we listy people are a little sad, but i suppose that's better than being lusty since that's what got me married to a chocolate bigot.

Shiz said...

D is a major list-maker, but his are scary-organized. Mine are randomy, and I lose them a lot.

marymuses said...

Ooh, little boxes. Nice. I like to just cross things off.

James, your wife sounds great! List-makers unite!

Shepcat, I was thinking of downloading an album, but in the end decided to wait another week (which means I'll keep the list another week). I did, however, download your recommendation--nice pick. Are there any other Herbie songs you'd recommend?

Cara, I'm sorry to hear about your bigoted husband. Oh, the shame. And I'd say being listy is definitely better than being lusty, though I think you can be both at once, which could get dangerous. Oh, and the framing of lists--yes! I always want to keep mine, especially if I've doodled a little something cute on the side (today I drew a kite). Earlier this year I was trying to transfer all the things I needed to remember from my small scraps into a big notebook, but it just didn't work out. I really love my little lists.

Shiz, I am not surprised that D's lists are scary-organized. Mine are very randomy, like yours, though I don't usually lose them--I just have them tucked away everywhere. I'll empty out my bag at the end of the week and there will be six or seven in the checkbook, a couple in the pocket, and maybe one just floating free. It's delightful, really--all those lovely lists and snippets.

David said...

Ok, I was going to comment about my list-making and stuff, but it looks like I was outed already.

Yes, I am a list-maker. I put lists in my Moleskin notebooks (plural - as in different ones for different stuff). I also put little boxes beside every item and fill it in when done, or half filled when half done. And sometimes if something is not on the list and it shoulda been but I did it before I listed it, then I retro-list it complete with filled in box.

Makes me feel good. MM, you must get you a Moleskin notebook - mandatory for people who use a mac and shoot cool photos. Oh, and a black turtleneck, or something similarily cool and hep-cat-ish. All things one must have if one is to be an organized artsy fartsy. Heavy on the fartsy.

Shepcat said...

Re: Herbie: The man's a certifiable genius, so you really can't go wrong with any of his stuff.

I'm a fan of his early solo work, which is well represented on the Blue Note compilation The Best of Herbie Hancock ("Cantaloupe Island," "Maiden Voyage," "Speak Like a Child" and "Watermelon Man" being among my favorites).

His largely improvised collaboration with saxophonist and fellow genius Wayne Shorter, 1+1, boasts the sort of laid-back, meditative music I think you'd enjoy as a soundtrack for watching windshield wipers on the bus.

And if you want to really piss off Eponine, 1983's "Rockit" has serious interpretive dance potential (in an angst-ridden high school drill team sort of way).

marymuses said...

David, I can't wear turtlenecks. They cause me discomfort. Can't I just keep layering t-shirts and wearing scarves that I make myself? And I don't think I'm up for the Moleskin notebook. I really, really, really like my pile of small lists.

Shepcat, I almost downloaded Watermelon Man last night, but decided that I'd wait in case it ended up being on whatever album I decided to get. I think I'll probably end up choosing The Best of Herbie Hancock and maybe put 1+1 on the list for later. ( I have a very extensive iTunes list for later. I may need to rob a bank or something in order to get all those tunes.) As for Rockit, Eponine is relaxing on my lap right now, so maybe the time is just right for a download and a brand new kitty dance.

markbe said...

PDAs, people. You can save your lists forever and improve on them. I could go on and on about how they can revolutionize your list-making life. You don't have to say goodbye to paper, just complement it with a PDA for those really important lists. How long till iPods get PDA functionality and everyone finally gets their act together? ok, so that's more than my 2 cents.

marymuses said...

I have a feeling if I got a PDA, I'd do with it the same thing I do with the planners I get every year for Christmas: Use it twice and then go back to my previous system of receipts and 3x5 cards. But the PDA would be nice for games...