Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Oh, umm, hi. You people again? So soon? Okay, umm...

How 'bout this craaaazy weather, huh? And those football teams with their football games, there's somethin' to talk about, eh? And how 'bout that Conan O'Brien? He's a... umm... wacky...

Okay, is it THAT obvious that I have no clue what to write about this week? Truth be told, I have nothing to write about because I've ceased to have a life. Well, I have a life, but for the past 3 weeks, it's been developing eyestrain, sitting in my living room, plugged into a Mac Book Pro. I'm pretty certain that I might just be going insane.

Or I might just be going a little OCD. Now, I know that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a real thing that afflicts tons of people. And I'm not going to make light of it, lest I get a flurry of angry letters that real OCD sufferers will send just as soon as they're done washing their hands for the 34th time this hour. I couldn't imagine a life ruled by ritual behaviors and paranoia and anxiety, and I sure as heck hope that none of you fine folks are afflicted by it.

But what I'm pretty sure I DO have is OCPD: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. I've never been officially diagnosed as such, but a quick trip to Wikipedia pretty much nails it. According to Wiki, the primary symptoms of OCPD are "a preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, and schedules; being very rigid and inflexible in one's beliefs; showing perfectionism that interferes with completing a task; excessive focus on being productive with one's time; hoarding items that may no longer have value; and a reluctance to trust a project to someone else for fear that one's standards will not be met."

Now, some of you (namely: my girlfriend, parents, friends, co-workers, and everyone who's ever met me ever) may be laughing right now, because I'm pretty much THE dictionary opposite of organized and detail-oriented. And the only time I'm rigid and inflexible is when I've laid on the couch so long that my muscles have atrophied.

But when it comes to ONE particular aspect of my life, the above description is pretty much me in a nutshell. That's why, at great expense of time and manpower, I've come up with my own malady. I fear, ladies and gents, that your humble columnist suffers from OCMND: Obsessive-Compulsive Music Nerd Disorder. And right now, it's about thiiiis close to wrecking my life. Let me explain in the least nerdy way I can muster.

You guys know that I DJ on the weekends at a club down in the District, right? Well, recently I made the decision to change my DJ system to an all-digital format. Out with records and CD's, in with mp3's and laptop computers.

For me, it was a decision of logistics. On any given night, I lug books and books down to the club full of roughly 2500 CD's. And when you've got a cubic ton of CD's scattered around you, the whole DJ booth starts to feel like a game of Musical Mah-Jong. In order for me to play a song, I have to remember what book it's in, which CD it's on, and what track number it is. With a digital system, all you have to carry is a hard drive capable of storing a quarter million songs. There's just one teensy tiny problem.

The hard drive capable of storing a quarter million songs starts out EMPTY. I first must go through my entire music library and rip the songs I need down to the mp3 format. In my delusional head, I thought I could get it done in a couple of days. I've been at it non-stop since Christmas and I've only just reached the "N"'s.

At least I'm learning new and exciting things along the way. For instance, I've learned that when your girlfriend wants to come hang out, she does NOT want to sit on the couch in silence as you huddle over your laptop for hours on end. I've also learned that when you sit Buddha-style in front of a laptop for hours on end, eventually your legs want to fall off. I've also learned that your friends and family don't like it when you get too "on a roll" to answer your phone, leave your apartment, or - in my worst moment - fail to shower for 48 hours straight.

But they don't understand my OCMND. It needs to get done, and soon, and the right way.

Let's go back to the symptoms:

1. A preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization and schedules.

I'd like to pretend that I didn't spend an hour trying to decide whether to alphabetize "The Dave Matthews Band" under D or under M. Guilty.

2. Being very rigid and unflexible in one's belief.

I believe that it should alphabetized under M. Rigidly. And don't get me started on what to do with A Flock of Seagulls or The The. These kinda things keep me up at night. Guilty.

3. Showing perfectionism that interferes with completing a task.

Which might explain why I'm only through the N's after weeks of working. Guilty.

4. Hoarding items that may no longer have value.

I own three Dexy's Midnight Runners CD's, and only one of them contains "Come On Eileen." Guilty.

5. Excessive focus on being productive with one's time.

It's kinda killing me a little bit to sit here and type this column while the O-Z CD's are unripped. They're staring at me longingly from their place on the wall right now. I'm pretty sure one of them keeps muttering "loser" at me. I suspect it's a Beck CD.

6. A reluctance to trust a project to someone else for fear that one's standards might not be met.

Bless her heart, my girlfriend offered to help, she really has. I politely refused. She thinks it's because I'm such a caring dude that I wouldn't want to subject her to such a boring time-waster. Truth be told, I didn't think she could pull off the correct spelling of bands like Einsturzende Neubaten.

Enough chitter-chatter. I've got an overdue appointment with an Oingo Boingo CD. Don't blame me; blame my OCMND.

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