Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Have Some Candy

I might be the teensiest bit anal retentive.

I work at the front desk in my office, which puts me in charge of the candy jar. I have plenty of prior training for this job responsibility, thanks to my lifelong social skills compensation technique of offering people sweets as an inducement to like me.

I am also thoroughly provisioned because the nearby yuppie grocery store sells saltwater taffy in individual bins, so I can count out an equal number of each flavor.

It’s important to ensure proper flavor distribution in the jar, so I sort out all the taffy into little piles on the desk and then layer them in. One of my coworkers caught me in the middle of this process last week.

You can’t let all the strawberry ones end up on the bottom.

Come to think of it, this compulsion toward order is probably behind my inability to appreciate the “shuffle” feature of my MP3 player.

When I finally get tired of listening to the Muppet Movie album on repeat, shuffle always sounds like a great option. But then every song that plays reminds me of two or three more I want to hear. The buildup of music options is compounded by uncertainty: With 8 gigs of music, it could be weeks before I get around to “Uptown Girl.” Worse yet, what if I change my settings in a moment of weakness and disrupt the shuffle cycle? Then it’ll start replaying stuff I’ve already listened to, and my thirst for '80s falsetto will lie unquenched amid the horde of other songs stabbing at me all over.

It’s a lot of pressure.

TANGENT: I also get anxious around comic strips that repeat the same word a lot of times for effect, because I have to read it all thirty times even though I’m aware that that’s stupid. Panels like this take me ten minutes in case I missed one:

Luckily, I’ve discovered a solution to the music attack problem. My player lets me run through all the songs in alphabetical order, irrespective of artist or album. The effect is a lot like shuffle because “Babylon” is followed by “Back in the USSR,” but I can feel secure in the knowledge that I will eventually get to everything that’s on there.

This method is also good for discovering that I have three different copies of “Hakuna Matata.” The only down side is that now I want to make graphs of which letters are most common for starting song titles.


  1. I like how Alice's Restaurant is one of the songs that stabs you...

    I like things to be even too :)

  2. Felycia, what do you expect from a massacree with four-part harmony and feeling?