TO-DO LIST has been a magazine and a blog. Now it's a book, To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soulmate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us, a collection of 100 lists and the stories behind them.
Love me. Love my lists. Meh. I'm not so sure it's such a great revealer of hidden motivations. For one thing, now that it's officially a meme-writ-large, how can anyone hope to write an honest list? I could care less about lists that other bloggers make because at this point, it's a contrivance. You might as well be planting questions for politicians to answer.
I used to be a devotee of The Sidetracked Home Executive. It's a great system for organizing your unwritten list of oughts and shoulds. But it, too, starts with lists. I've used it at work and at home and found myself happily organized, neat, and sleeping well at night having put all of the "screaming monkeys" of obligation tidily to bed in their little cages of conscientious compliance. Used to.
I also have a mental list of great blog names, book titles, stage names and quirky advertisement ledes. I still have a written list, somewhere, of printing-press terms that would make for great gymnastic moves or criminal offenses. Don't ask. It's so obscure to anyone outside of the printing industry as to be geeky beyond all hope.
All of my lists involve the manipulation of words and ideas. I can sit very still, Cuba Libre in hand, eyes closed, and be busily arranging my lists, rewriting my lists, organizing my lists and thinking of ways my lists can help me win fame and recognition. The casual observer might think I'm slacking, but I'm actually working my little feathery synapses to their molecular pins.
[Update: I changed the title of this post for something better. See? I can't help myself.]
Just this morning I was making a list of things that go "beep" in my house, car, purse, or desk. Why? Because one fine morning I'm going to wake up and find that beeping stopwatch wherever it's hiding and smash it with a ball-peen hammer. Yes, the rounded side. So that all of my frustration can be focused into one lovely, case-hardened pinpoint of satisfying destruction. And then I'm afraid the hounds of hell will be released and the cell phone will be next, then the coffee pot, the microwave, the smoke detector with ancient batteries, and EVERY FARKIN' BEEP that BILL EFFING GATES has ever programmed into the HELL that IS WINDOWS and that goes ESPECIALLY for the 2AM "Important Updates" that cause my computer to shut down and re-start with that farookin' loud WINDOWS theme turned all the way up because I was listening to Erica's latest earworm last night and forgot to turn the speakers down. And now I'm awake, dammit.
[Another Update: my Volkswagen dings incessantly for all kinds of reasons. A pox on the Germans! Can't leave the door open on it either, just to vacuum the darn thing. I sure hope some angels are gettin' their wings. Fargin' Krauts. Yes, I can say that cuz I are one.]
I'm posting this under the label "Enemies of Slack" although you can earn cred at The Slack for making lists and completely ignoring them. In fact, it's good for your health.