“I’m not crazy; my mother had me tested!”
Yay, it’s time for a new category here at Dave-ros Towers: “Self-analysis” (uh huh huh huh, “anal”), because my melancholic navel-gazing didn’t end with last year’s “Exploring emotions” posts, oh no. Even though I’m improving all the time, there are still aspects of my personality that bear critical inspection…
So anyway, let’s start with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder, if y’all need that). Now, admittedly, looking at my room would probably cause you to doubt I’d even heard of the term (don’t worry, I’m working on it… still…), but in fact I was rather obsessed with cleanliness when I was a nipper: I still remember the night I, as a six- or seven-year-old, had to get a cup of water from the bathroom and wipe the steps of my bunk bed ladder simply because I’d sat on them individually while climbing down! And then there was washing my hands at school after playtime because I’d touched metal pipes outside, even though I wasn’t about to eat anything. This has carried over into adult life to some extent, but only because I eat at my desk, and science has shown it’d be safer to eat from a toilet seat.
Plus, you all know how much I hate having weirdos sit next to me on the bus, or use the armrest between us on the Tube if I’m wearing a T-shirt (and thus my skin comes into contact with theirs). Fortunately my dating coach is helping me with confidence, and eye contact, I can confirm, is a good way to freak out people as they walk up the aisle, and convince them to sit the hell away from me — and if that fails, I have the guts to get up and make them take the window seat, so I’m not crushed against the window any more by my utter revulsion!
And as that weren’t bad enough, there’s also the occasional obsession I get with making sure my body touches things equally with both the left and right sides… which I’ve only just thought of, and it’s your fault that I’ve got it again. Thanks, readers!
However, my real OCD-ishness is intellectual in nature: I am very, very pedantic, as you’re probably no doubt aware if you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning (and I pity you if you have). Doubtless I’ve made some mistakes, typos etc. in the course of producing this work, and thus I seldom re-read old entries in case I spot something that bugs me. In fact, I have a couple of corrections to make to older entries, but don’t want to “ninja” them because, well, who reads old entries in my blog?
- In this post about “female best friend’s” wedding (specifically the picture caption), I stated that The Corpse Bride is the only movie with “wedding” or “bride” in the title that I can actually stand to watch. In fact, I also like The Princess Bride (hey, Peter Falk, Wallace Shawn and André the Giant, c’mon!), but didn’t think of it at the time because it’s not really a wedding film (except inasmuch as Beetlejuice is one as well). On the other hand, 27 Dresses and Mama Mia! are films I never want to see, purely because they’re about weddings…
- In this post about hatred, I stated that I had only hatred left to hate; I wish to clarify that I still really, really, really hate cockroaches. Sorry, but there’s nothing remotely good or defensible about them, they utterly suck as living things (yes, more than mosquitoes), and they are the only animal I hate more than H. sapiens!
- In this post about worrying unnecessarily, I’d intended to mention “that” Gwar song whose title consists of three letters (basically crossing the line, even for them) from This Toilet Earth, and how for a long time I’d always skip past it when listening to Gwar on rotation, much as I’d skip past an Eminem song from The Marshall Mathers LP which also had a three-letter title; I even ommitted both from my general “all music, no skits” playlist on my phone. I have since learned to tolerate and even enjoy them both, without worrying that I’m somehow being “evil” for listening to, well, music!
It actually happens rather a lot, which leaves me annoyed at my own forgetfulness when I realise I’ve forgotten to say something really clever in a blog entry I’ve been planning for ages, but I’ve already published and so can’t amend it because I think some of you (including my maternal unit) get e-mail copies, which obviously won’t be updated as well!
And yes, that’s another thing: I write “e-mail” hyphenated (except in text messages, where it’s too much trouble, even on a smartphone), much as I generally write “Hallowe’en” instead of “Halloween”. These are my particular quirks, but I’m also prey to the more general annoyance of intellectual people on the Internet against people who can’t (or worse, won’t) distinguish between “its” and “it’s” (people who otherwise seem know when to use “their”, “there” and “they’re”, for example). Missing out dashes in words that should be hyphenated also bugs me, as well as writing “transatlantic” instead of “trans-Atlantic”, or the recent trend in advertising for including a whole first-person sentence in the middle of a phrase (of the variety “The I’ve Made It To Work Really Early On Friday Feeling”) without even using a different font colour (it must really confuse non-English speakers).
Then there’s people who pronounce “Hiroshima” as “Hero-SHE-ma” (apparently thinking they’re somehow getting it right), people who repeat as fact the urban legend that “golf” stands for “gentlemen only, ladies forbidden”, the perennial favourite “would of”, calling the monster “Frankenstein” (and then trying to justify it), using “companies” in the singular possessive context (so I guess my worst sentence would be “its my companies policy”), referring to the supermarket Tesco as “Tesco’s” (it’s not a person’s name, buttmunch), or worse, “Tescos” (like it’s a really cheap Greek island), that whole American “I could care less” thing (argh!!!), combining “any” and “more” into a single Poe-esque word (even Microsoft Word wants me to do that)… oh, and people who can’t spell my surname right even when they can read it in the e-mail to which they’re replying, which gets my back up to a worrying degree!
And speaking of
Tesco’s Tesco, I had some unpleasantness there the other day: I saw an eco-friendly variety of washing capsule on their shelf, and tried to buy a tub, only to be told that it wasn’t in their system and thus they couldn’t sell it to me (naturally I went back today and saw it still on their shelf, after they’d said they were going to remove it). Much as I refuse to eat food if I can’t confirm its vegetarian credentials, I also try to get eco-friendly pharmaceutical products, but on this occasion was left with nothing because I refused to buy anything else they had to sell (for example, I will never buy a P&G product, such as Fairy, due to their unrepentant insistence on animal testing in the 1990s). I had to go all the way up to the big Sainsbury’s (yes, that’s a person’s name and so has a possessive form) in North Finchley to find an equivalent product; if I weren’t so obsessed with my vegetarianism, I’d have been able to pluck any old washing product off the shelf, rather than gallivant around…
(I’d have happily bought the Co-op’s own brand, except the one near my workplace closed down and is now a
trendy wine bar Waitrose, and the only other one that’s big enough to sell them is a long way away in Old Street!)
It’s because I’m a vegetarian that I bought my own cookware, cutlery and crockery back when I lived on Caledonian Road. This was partly because I didn’t want anything I cooked with to have come into contact with meat, but also because “bad housemate” would otherwise have used my stuff and then not washed it up — or worse, washed it up with Fairy and a sponge that had been used to clean meat juices off of other people’s things! This latter aspect meant I used to obsess over him coming home when I’d left my washing-up out in the kitchen, and even though he never touched it, eventually this led to me washing up my stuff immediately after cooking, a practice I have continued to this day (except, sadly, the stuff I actually eat off of — sometimes my tray is still in my room two days later, especially at the weekend). It’s also led to me getting my own clothes drying rack, which I won’t let anyone else use so I know it’s always available for me to use (there’s been an argument about drying clothes lately, involving our favourite drumming housemate, but I’ll speak of that another time).
Still, my OCD isn’t necessarily a bad thing: at work, I’ve ended up “data cleansing” our client database, sorting out improperly-entered names, or the “parental responsibility” tag being applied to the child’s side of a relationship instead of the adult’s side, and I always do my best to ensure everything’s entered correctly. I may be a natural proofreader… well, except when it comes to this dreck, I suppose! It ought to come in handy when I move into IT, as precision is even more necessary when you’re dealing with people’s records in Active Directory, or permissions for a Group Policy object… yes, I’m still studying Server 2008.
Another way my OCD affects my computer-related life is, of course, gaming: I seem to spend ages in roaming sandbox games trying to find every last side mission or collectible object, and can get quite annoyed at being denied these due to the game cheating (let’s just say the original Prototype broke my joypad and leave it at that — don’t worry, the sequel’s being much nicer to me). Playing games obsessively is, of course, unhealthy, as I know only too well — here’s how some famous games have messed with my head:
- Pipe Mania!: lying awake at night imagining ever-more-complex networks of pipes;
- Gears of War: seeing concrete roadblocks in London streets (thanks, terrorists) and wanting to run up and take cover behind them;
- Just Cause 2: looking up at buildings and wondering if I could fire my grappling hook at them (not surprising when you consider Steam says I played it for 99 hours);
- Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City: seeing a line of grates in the floor and wanting to open one and duck down into the shaft they cover (I actually experienced this at “female best friend’s” wedding in church!);
- Prototype: seeing the “Web of Intrigue” symbol in front of my eyes — gotta consume them all!
I’ve also been playing an ancient game called Marsport recently, trying to map it out and work out what to do logically without having to resort to seeking help… and consequently feel really stupid for having to look up a partial solution. Well, how was I to know that you’d have to combine a lute and a dais to make a lead suit? They’re just letters, neither object has any relevance to… urgh!
(I won’t go into the weird obsession I have with trying to find scans of old computer magazines and books online, but if anyone has a PDF of “Games for your VIC-20” and wants to let me relive my pre-Amstrad days…)
Finally — and you know how obsessive I am about mentioning Gwar in this blog — there’s music and other entertainment, which I try to enjoy “in order” like a true purist. Doctor Who, as you know, I’ve been watching from Hartnell onwards since the start of 2011, as well as reading all Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, and I’ve been buying all Gwar’s albums strictly in order (Hell-O doesn’t count), which I’m also intending to do with other artists such as Prince, 2Pac and Del the Funky Homosapien (no, that’s not a made-up name, he’s the guy who rapped with Gorillaz in 2001… well, okay, it is a made-up name, but he made it up for himself!).
However, with Eminem I’ve hit a snag: not only did I get The Marshall Mathers LP before The Slim Shady LP (hence I went from mortally offended to completely unoffended) back in the day, but in my recent attempt to listen to all his works (including the D12 albums) in order, I discovered that he’d released an album with Royce da 5’9″ (Hell: The Sequel) in 2011, which I somehow missed. I ordered it and listened to it this week (yes, it’s dope and all that), but realised too late that I should have waited until I’d listened to Relapse and Recovery first!
Right, that’s yer lot — I now have to obsess over what I’ve forgotten to include in this post, and what other mistakes I may have made… well, it’ll distract me from worrying about (a) the fridge breaking down again, (b) my impending holiday to Michigan, and (c) the necessity of tidying my room…