Frustrating Habit

I think I remember reading an article about how Larry and Bono of U2 couldn’t share hotel rooms back in the day.  Larry liked things neat and tidy while Bono’s suitcases “exploded on impact” (I can’t recall which of the two said that).  That’s how it is with me and roommates.  The inspiration for this entry came just now when I was putting laundry away and kicked an empty box on the bedroom floor.  I was trying to be quiet and not wake the neighbor below me.  I had to grab the dresser so I wouldn’t fall, and became acutely aware once again of my most frustrating habit.

Although I’m not much of a TV person, two shows I like to watch are “Biggest Loser” and “Hoarders”.  “Biggest Loser” gives me good ideas for eating right and exercising, and motivates me not to regain the weight I’ve lost.  “Hoarders”, a much more disgusting and disturbing show, gives me comfort to know there are people in this world who are far more disorganized and messy than I am.  It also serves to keep my own hoarding tendencies under control.

Moments ago, as I sat down to write about my frustration with tripping over the box, I was unable to find my Blog Book.  The Blog Book is a notebook where I hand write first drafts before posting things online.  This was even more frustrating than the encounter with the box because I just had the darn thing a few hours ago!  Eventually I found it, under the coffee table, beside the new camera I bought two weeks ago (which is in its box).

The new camera contains a lot of “before” photos of my apartment, taken in anticipation of the great “purge and clean”.  So does my old camera.  Neither camera contains “after” photos, because when a “purge and clean” episode comes on, it tends to only last an hour or so and is limited to one area.  Then I take a break, fall asleep, return to work, go away, or whatever.  “Purge and clean” is always a work in progress.  I forget to photograph the spotless, organized area before moving onto another room, and by the time I’m done with the second room the first one is back to its normal state again.

This problem extends far beyond the appearance of my apartment.  To quote Lady Gaga, I was “born this way”.  My toys were all over the house when I was a kid, much to my mother’s frustration.  I was also the kid who consistently lost or forgot to bring her homework to school (even when I did it).  Hmm.  How I got to grad school is anyone’s guess.  The disorganization manifested itself in other ways when I got my first job, like not knowing how much I owed on which credit card and which bills I already paid.  All along, from preschool to present, I’ve had an issue with keeping my things in order.  OCD, only in the opposite form from what most people think, or undiagnosed ADD.

Regardless, I am sitting here (again), in my mid 40s, promising myself I really will change once I’m done with my master’s paper (since most of the clutter consists of articles and books needed for that purpose).  I vow once again to behave more like Larry did, but it will be hard since everything–be it suitcases, work bags, the mail, or my articles—explodes on impact when I’m around.

My First Official Blog….In Case Anyone Cares

Hello world!  I’m finally starting my own blog!  Yippee!  And my name is Marie Smith.  “Stirbuzz” is the name of the blog.  My friends kindly started calling me “Stir” after watching a skit on Saturday Night Live back in the early ’90s, probably after having a few drinks.  Blogging is chat, and chat is what I call “buzz”.  So Stir’s chat is “Stirbuzz”.

 This is not my first experience with a blog.  I’ve been keeping one on and on  I’ve gotten some good reviews on the U2 blog over the years so this week I decided to go “off on my own”.  Besides, some of my stories are long and I don’t know if is the best place to post them.  And there’s only so much you can say about U2 (although it’s a “general” blog where fans can write anything).

Last year I was at Border’s Books in Camp Hill trying unsuccessfully to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by wrapping gifts for donations when I ran into a guy named Don Helin.  He was there promoting his new book, “The Kingdom Come”.  I bought a copy, and Mr. Helin told me he was a member of PennWriters.  I made a mental note to check PennWriters out because I have always enjoyed writing and was told by many professors over the years that I have potential in this area.  A few months later, I became a member of PennWriters and signed up for my first formal writing course.  To date, I’ve written a hodge-podge of memoirs intended for use in a book about being a U2 fan.  I later found these stories morphing into a book about addictive behavior and reckless spending.  I used this theme throughout my lessons in the writing course.  My hope is to use these memoirs in a book that will motivate others and help them to steer clear of the pits I managed to get into…and out of…over the years.

Much to my horror, I realized that most of the active members of PennWriters are highly experienced writers who have published books already and are well-known.  I am kind of embarrassed at this point to introduce myself to them outside of the online classes.  I can see it now:

Really Talented Published PennWriters Member: “Nice to meet you, Ms Smith.  Tell me, what kind of work have you done?”

Me (blushing): “Outside of formal papers for my classes? Well, several blog posts on, an op-ed piece in the Patriot News back in 2006, and roughly 50 original songs!”

RTPPW: “Oh, very good.  Well good luck to you”

One of these days I’ll have the courage to come forward in the PennWriters’ discussion group.  They seem like very nice people; I’m the one who is uptight.

In the next few days I will start to make some genuine posts here, a few of which will be from the blog or intended for that site.  I think they are written in a way people will enjoy them, regardless of how they feel about U2.  At least I hope so.

I won’t bother with the posts I made on Ourstage because to my knowledge no one has ever read them.  My posts there are even less visible than my music which, although heard by a few as noted on the Ourstage “number of plays” dashboard, is buried under thousands of other original songs by thousands of other indie artists.  Those posts also have a very negative tone, mostly because my music is going unnoticed.  Since I don’t want to come off as a Debbie Downer, I’ll try to keep things merry as I embark on this blog.

Hello world!

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