More on lists

I bow to the list-meister. Falstaff, you do know your stuff. However, I’d like to defend myelf. I am not a complete novice, and actually do some of the things you talk about. Having said that, I did expose my greenness by not having thought the post through before publishing. (Reminder to self – make a list of what you want to cover before you publish a post, then publish the post.)

1) Losing lists – don’t do it with all my lists – just the shopping lists. At any point, I have at least 7 different WIP-shopping lists – on my person, in my bag, the car, on the computer, etc. Yet, every single one of these magically disappears the minute I enter a store / mall. Things to be bought at Indian grocery stores are particularly hard to locate, and emerge days or seconds afterwards from the weirdest of places – like my person, my bag, the car or my computer. It’s a complete mystery.

2) Using the list as a way of making yourself feel spontaneous. Brilliant idea. Situations like the one with the eggs you describe have happened only by accident, but clearly, there’s way to systematize these serendipitous events. And what you say about the big ticket items – I had tears in my eyes as I read that. That’s the way to deal with life. Thank you!

3) Revising lists: My masochism hasn’t proceeded thus far, yet. I have no list-buddy I can conveniently blame / laugh at. It’s a purely solo activity, and now that I know what to do about ‘get into a relationship’ items, it is likely to remain that way. I can barely bring myself to take a re-look a list as it is – let alone revise it over & over again. All that reiteration of how wastefully I spend the one life I have would be too painful. Perhaps that is the solution – revising that one-life philosophy. If I start believing in multiple lives, AND eliminate the karma component, list-revising could become my favorite pastime, after reading and watching movies.

4) Higher order lists. I already have higher order lists of lists I have, but see the advantage in planning super-lists of lists I don’t have yet, or don’t intend to make.

5) Lists as security blankets. Spontaneity sucks, especially in areas that matter to me. Walking into Blockbuster without a plan is one of the most painful experiences in life. Unlike books, I prefer to order movies online, & the Netflix Queue is manna from heaven. That is one list I love revising. And as much as I love browsing in book stores & libraries, I rarely act impulsively. Browsing is essentially list-making, performed into order equip myself with a conscience-proof reason to visit to the store / library again.

Make a list of what you want to cover before you publish a post, then publish the post. Check. Oh sweet heaven, does that feel good!


5 comments so far

  1. Karthik on

    I buy gadgets that will help me make lists. I went to B&N a while back, and found a list of books I liked, but I wanted to buy them at Amazon (cheapie that I am).

    But I had no paper, no pen. Thats when I decided I had to get one of them Palm Pilot thingies that people use in meetings all the time, writing down everything important. So I started dropping hints, and got one for my birthday. Guess what, writing anything on these things is next to impossible… and that went nowhere.

    I don’t really learn, because I bought a cool Dell Axim with wireless internet – the idea is you can look at a book you like, and order it immediately. Hah! I will let you know how that goes.

    BTW, which Stephenson did you buy? Cryptonomicon would be my choice (or Snow Crash or Diamond Age). And please, keep your expectations down…

  2. Falstaff on

    DoZ: Good, good. Welcome to the club. Will send you the list of member’s rights and duties (if I manage to find it).

    Just to clarify – I don’t have a list buddy either, but that doesn’t stop me. I take the fundamentally Heraclitean perspective that the me who made the last list no longer exists and can therefore safely be made fun of by the me who’s revising the list.

  3. DoZ on

    Karthik: Tut tut. Trusting new fangled handheld gadgets with lists, especially of books? ALWAYS have that on paper & pen. However, I lost my whole book / movie list during a trip to New York – I hadn’t the foresight to make those lists on water-proof paper & was constantly rained upon. Best to have multiple copies, on different types of media, just to be safe. Book lists are to be guarded with your life. The only stuff that is worth keeping in the original, strewn about the house, perilously close to the trash can is stuff like tax returns, bank statements, your last will & testimony – who needs that stuff anyways?
    Abt Stephenson – borrowed The Confusion – book 2 from the Baroque Cycle. They didn’t have Quicksilver – & I thought plunging straight into the second one might spice things up a bit. I did see Cryptonomicon. But I have no powers of resistance against ‘period’ pieces, the older the better – so felt compelled to pick pilots in sail-boats to code breakers. I will keep my expectations realistic – if I don’t get ‘Confusion’, will go back to the library & get Cryptonomicon.

    Falstaff: Thank you for the warm welcome, and for clarifying your list-buddy status. And, don’t bother with the members’ rights. I’d have thought that ‘novices to make their own lists with no guidance from senior members’ would’ve been the first item on that list. This clearly begs a heavy dose of list-revision. I’ll take care of it.

  4. Karthik on

    I think you made a good choice there… QuickSilver was a little bit of a drag. Confusion was the best of the three books, and I think it has a “What happened so far” summary at the beginning which helps you catch up.

  5. DoZ on

    Good. Will keep you posted on how much I like it. There are things I am unabeshedly positively predisposed towards – and all things historic are on that list.

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