Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Anal retentive post du jour

As if I don't have enough maladies, I'm also obsessive compuslive.

Before I dare set foot out of the apartment, I:

a. Check the stove several times. (BG also checks the pilot light, to ensure there will be no gas explosions from his living room, killing five and injuring fifty, on that night's local news.)

b. Check under the couch, to make sure that I didn't accidentally kick a smouldering cigarette butt under there.

c. Check each sink a number of times, to make sure there are no leaks or drips, lest we come back to find the apartment under ten feet of water.

I also like lists.

I like lists, especially mine, to be complete.

So whether anyone cares or not, I feel compelled to repeat the following caveat I posted yesterday:

Only some of my posts are listed on the links to the right.

The first three posts I wrote can be found by pressing the April 2005 link.

But when you get there, the link column doesn't tell you about the three earlier posts; just about the ones you already saw on page one. Or maybe it does list the first three links now; I can't keep track; it just keeps changing.

So, for any frustrated artists contemplating sneaking your art into a major New York gallery and surreptiously hanging it there, as one wacky guy recently did, click on April 2005 to read "Alternative Gallery Hell."

For others who also like lists, or want to see what other ideas psychotic people obsess about, click on the link that might or might not be there, or else scroll down from the galleries piece til you reach "Sleazy 'n' Cheesy Topics."

And for AA's and non-AA's alike who have Issues, click or scroll down even further for "AA: Threat or Menace?"

And for anyone who knows about how to fix this little link problem, I first addressed this issue in "Attention, All you COOL and SEXY Techno-Geeks!. But that post has now disappeared into thin cyberspacee.

So Henry, do e-mail me asap. and you will immediately be my new best friend in the whole world.

That's assuming that Henry or anyone anyone else can access this site today--it's Friday the 13th, and loading up or updating this morning has been as slow as the dickens.

And as they say in the fellowship, if you find anything that interests you on this site--or even if you don't--just keep coming back.

I just realized that you can also enjoy or be revolted by all the posts here if you just click to the top archive link on the right when you're done with the last. It will take you through all the posts logically and anti-chronologically (i.e. latest to oldest).


At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Henry said...

Never fear, Henry is here.

My business card says "Computer Concierge" (bringing many puzzled looks), my motto is "If it deals with a computer, I can make it happen."

I laughed out loud (LOL) when I read today's post; I too am mildly O/C, but entirely different things...

Lists? Did you say lists? I LOVE LISTS!!! That is, when I have it together enough to make them.... One of my problems is that a list cannot be disposed of until every item is completed and crossed off (in a different color ink). Occasionally, I will cheat and move an old, old item to a new list, but this is an egregious violation of the rules deserving of self-recrimination (it's really not that bad).

Anyway, I am working on the blog problems and will have some answers in a few days.



At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Henry said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I had forgotten that it was F13. Something new to add to my day...

I am not superstitious at all but have had several bad things happen to me on F13 (broken nose from slipping in the shower, bicycle stolen, handed in a college paper; it was lost {pre-computer days), etc.)

Also, I wanted to mention my newest discovery in the field of list technology: the digital voice memo recorder. Just like the computer, I don't know how I lived without this thing. Although I am still using traditional pen-and-paper lists, I am slowly weening away from them; maybe they will be a thing of the past, like 8-track tapes.

Oh, but it helps with so much more. When I need that person there to listen to my high-speed babble for 20, 30, 40 minutes, my trusty recorder fulfills all my pressured speech needs. I can see my pshrink bills dwindling now....

I have even developed the outline for a whole new DVR-computer software system for cataloging, printing, and recording voice memos. My psychiatrist said she thought it might have other uses in the psych and medical field as well.... Why does it take a raving lunatic to develop a new scientific tool for the medical profession? LOL

OK, enough from me for now....



At 3:23 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Henry, what can I say? You rule!

I used to scribble lists on long scraps of paper that were too so indecipherable that sometimes I couldn't even read them. Then I got one of those day at a glance sets where each month has its own little pocket sized booklet. The problem was, I'd wind up making a long list, and then not only adding more items to the existing list but then rewriting the old and newer lists on the next day's list til I was frantically scribbling in the margins for lack of room. Being a pack rat, I wound up with drawerfus of little booklets that might have been useful to a shrink in devising additional diagnoses to add to those I already have. (One of these, in fact, is OCD.)

Friday the 13th turned out to be pretty good except for the computer snafus. BG and I took our usual walk to the Botanical Garden, and on the way back he found a quarter, which was real cause for celebration. The first date we went on, he abruptly stopped as we were walking near the Museum of Modern Art, swooped down and picked up 6 dollars left the sidewallk. Little did I know then that BG specialized in finding "giveaways" large and small--money, gloves, hats--etc. Yesterday he also picked up two pieces of a broken cell phone (we don't own one) and briefly contemplated taking it home before I pointed out that it was (A) hopelessly broken beyond repair and (B)the ubiqitous cell-phone stores in the neighborhood all offered free ones. He also can plan a whole day aroundt"official" giveaway events from grand opening days art banks and stores.

Wow, did I wander off there...but anyway, my point was that Friday the 13th was just fine and even left us 25 cents richer. Ah, life is good...

This digital voice memo recorder--I presume it's like those little recorders people can carry around on the street mumbling "note to self--you are a brilliant and handsome guy. Believe it, baby." But I guess the diff is you can enter the info into your computer and convert it instantly to text? I was very excited a few months back when I got a little hand-sized tape recorder with those precious cute little microcassette tapes. For a month or so I taped the inimitable conversations BG and I had while drunk and stoned. Then I started mumbling into the thing in the middle of the night with story ideas. But when I got Herman, I abandoned this pre-Millenium technology altogether.

Speaking of tech, I just discovered yesterday (yes, F13) that my Powerbook Herman had yet more previously undiscoverd and wondrous powers. I'd happened upon the myriad sattelite radio stations in iTunes a few weeks ago, but yesterday accidentally hit a little button which produced incredible day-glo moving pattterns which went along with the music. It was 100 times better than any art video installation I'd ever seen, and reminded me of those laser light shows they have every weekend at the Hayden Planetariuim where kids smoke some ganga and then settle back to try to reproduce their last acid trip to the bombastic but transcendent chords of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I'd never tripped, but imagined that Herman must be having an intense acid flashback, since I'm convinced he is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-seeing.

Henry, you are a cyber-godsend, dude--sent to me by my wise and wonderful Herman. That's all I can say.

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Henry said...

Ahh, yes, the swirly colors eminating from the screen can be soothing.

As for F13, it was uneventful. I even fell asleep at the "normal" time, but, alas, only got 4 hours or so.

The DVR: I am still learning it's capabilities, but I started with the "pre-millenium technology" micro-cassette recorder as well. My little Olympus number is, when compared to the old, clunky Panasonic tape recorder, light years ahead.

When my mother started at People Magazine in the 70's, she told me there were two whole floors in the Time-Life building (51st and 6th) dedicated to their computer (singular); when she retired from Entertainment Weekly a few years ago, there was more computing power inside the Apple II on her desk than the dedicated 2 floors of computer (singular), and everyone had one in their office.

(This is a test: Goateestyle)

I guess I have gotten used to the awesome power of the rapidly evolving world of computer power. Our friends, like Herman --my antique MAC G4/400 is named Yoda, and my first PC is Darth Vader-- are great fun, but also powerful tools. (No, I am not a Star Wars fanatic; Star Trek, yes, Star Wars, no.)

OK My hyperlink worked. Check out that guys blog. I am working on your present blog problems, but I am also considering your future of blogging.

OK I have strayed from my original intent here. I was commenting on the DVR. My new little digital recorder (a gift from my loving wife in the middle of my recent hypomanic attack) blows the doors off the old cassette recorder. It has the built-in ability to download the recordings directly to the computer, but add a little extra software, and, voilå, you can transcribe everything to your favorite word processor for speedy editing and printing.

Soon I will have to give you my cell phone number, because I am just not going to be able to explain some of the computer tricks in writing.

OK time to make the coffee. We're going to my college reunion at 11 am. My favorite professor is retiring after 33 years.



At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Henry said...

PS I forgot to mention that I have an awesome story about the "Laser Floyd" show at the planetarium from my "high" school days....

At 11:08 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


The hyperlink at last! The hyperlink at last! Great gosh almighty, the Goateestyle boy emerged from the blogosphere in a mere click--at last!


The DVR idea sounds way cool too....

As far as your Laserfloyd sight 'n' sound (and drug?) spectacular, how does this sit with you:
You said you'll be setting up a blog soon. Howsabout if I add a hyperlink going to your new blog and you can do it up right? I mean, you're welcome to post it here, my main man, but I figured you might want to do a riff on it chez Henry...but whatever you prefer! Comment on!

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Henry said...


Trust me; this one will play nice with Herman too.

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Henry said...

Here's some more about lists:

Sometimes I am so scatter-brained, I will put the same item on several lists. Then, when I am "organizing", I find myself with several lists, in various stages of completion.

My dilemma is deciding which lists to cross that item off of. If it's the last remaining item on an old list, the choice is easy. However, that is not often the case. Usually, but not always (don't ask about the rhyme or reason to this), I will cross it off the most completed lists.

Man, the BP life is hard.

At 7:47 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


I find that as I get older and "wiser?" I am not as much of a list maniac as I used to be. Sometimes I realize I can trust my memory more than I previously thought back in the day when I was more anal and neurotic.

My work lists were always out of control. Some people had those large book-sized day/week at a glance calendars, but I found the size unseemly, and maybe also too corporate looking. So being the boho maverick that I am, I stuck with the small ones, which I could stuff in my purse.

In my journal/notebooks, I also like to use the front of the book for writing ideas, and the back of the book for lists. Eventually, the sections meet in the middle, and it's time for another book.

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's so much fun to go back and catch up again. Yes, you fall under the spell of a few things that afflict all the B-boyz.

The first is checking everything to make sure it's turned off when you leave your home. That could be the water faucet, the lights, the furnance, almost anything.

I've seen Micky in action at his house. He goes through the whole routine of checking and rechecking all to be sure it is REALLY OFF! I'm almost as bad, checking all knobs, buttons, switches, and the like. (I'm not as bad as Stubba or the Squealer. Don't even get me started on Sparky).

Second, is those lists. Yes, having a list is just as needed as having morning coffee! I can't go anywhere w/o my blessed list. I also have fine-tuned my lists to where I now call my voice-mail and leave lists on it. I call it a "reminder", it's really just another form of OCD, I'm sure.

As far as BG and the free "give-aways"-yes, it's just like him and Stubba to get the free stuff, if available. BG has always been very lucky with finding cash and coin on the ground. He's picked up enough of the green-backs to take a trip to Hawaii, 1st Class!

Funny thing, Sparky will simply buy the 1st brand he finds at the store. No matter what the cost, he's just interested in getting the heck out of the place-fast. Unlike BG, Micky, and me, Sparky doesn't have an obsession to save $$$ when shopping. Of course, he probably doesn't know the real joy of doing a "Wal-Mart" afternoon either. What a real shame.

Stubba loves getting the FREE coffee at his local grocery store while shopping. And, as far as cigs, I've seen the boy rummage through plenty of garbage to find a half-smoked one. (Maybe a lot of smokers do that in a pinch).

As for F13, I thought you guys (you and Henry)were first talking about a function key. Mine stops at F12, so I was confused for a few moments. Then...dah! Friday, the 13th! I'm so quick-like a three-legged turtle going sideways.

Maybe if I had read your blog back then, instead of in July, I would catch on much faster. Oh well, better late than never, right? I'll try to run with the BIG DOGS. If not, I'll just stay on the old front porch and lick my word-wounds.


At 1:55 PM, Blogger kopiluwak nya said...


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