My housemate, Griffin, has a lot of “gottas” in his life. He is someone who is just comfortable living how he’s living, and not too worried about fixing those small annoyances that drive me crazy. For example… Griffin chair in the living room where he sits 85% of his waking hours, and his bed are both too far from an outlet to plug anything in comfortably. To solve this problem, Griffin has a short extension cord he uses to bridge the gap. The issue? He only has one extension cord, and every day he unplugs in the morning, brings it out to the living room, plugs it in and sits down in his chair.
We’ve talked about Griffin getting another extension cord, but the answer is always “yeah, I gotta do that soon.”
I write this with no shade or ill-will, only with amazement and intrigue at how differently me and him operate. The other day, I started a list of Griffin’s “gottas” that I will add to as I hear them. Here is the list so far:
“I really gotta get a hard drive soon…” (2/3/21)
“I feel like I gotta keep screen time in mind moving forward so I don’t… Get dementia.” (2/3/21)
“I gotta get my website up soon… I’ve been saying that for a year now.” (2/4/21)
“I gotta start eating more.” (2/4/21)
“I think I’m gonna have a sale for my posters. Print a bunch out and sell them. I gotta do that soon” (2/5/21)
1. Ratatouille (W). 1/1/21 | 9
2. Knowing. 1/1/21 | 2
3. Castles in the Sky. 1/2/21 | 6
SERIES: The Queens Gambit. 1/5/21 | 9
4. Mulan (2020). 1/7/21 | 5
5. Togo. 1/8/21 | 8
6. Independence Day. 1/10/21 | 6.5
7. Let them all talk. 1/14/21 | 7.5
8. One Night in Miami. 1/15/21 | 6.5
9. Kajillionaire. 1/16/21 | 8.5
10. Outside the Wire. 1/17/21 | 6
11. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 1/20/21 | 5.5
12. Hoodwinked (W). 1/23/21 | 6.5
13. First Cow. 1/26/21 | 6.5
14. The Dig. 1/30/21 | 8
1. 1/8/21 – Ready Player 2. (Ernest Cline) – N, 13.75h
2. 1/16/21 – A Rogue of One’s Own. (Evie Dunmore) – N, 16h
3. 1/27/21 – Fellowship of the Ring. (J.R.R. Tolkien) – N/R, 526p
4. 1/29/21 – Tom Sawer. (Mark Twain) – N, 7.75h
Lists are a passion of mine. I keep many in my notes app, all in a folder to scroll through, effectively acting a singular list of all my lists. I could describe the many lists I keep, but I will keep those for other days – today, there are three that caught my attention.
I have a list in which I mark down how many times I wear each of my four current baseball caps. I call this my Hat Log, started almost exactly one year ago, October 13, 2019, on my very first and very enchanting visit to New York City. I bought a black heathered cap from a street vender for $5, ‘New York’ stitched in small white print across the front. Since that day, I’ve worn this cap 62 times.
I have a white cap that I my sister gave me on April 1, 2020, a patch from a favorite local restaurant sewed to the front. I’ve worn that hat 53 time in the shorter time I’ve had it, and the ware is showing through. It is desperately calling to be thrown in the wash, along with my towels and mask.
My last 2 hats, both acquired in the last month, have a combined wear count of only 3. I like my hats. I have two fisherman beanies, one beige, one black, that I did not keep track of when I first acquired them – and the lack of data frustrates me to this day.
The other two lists in the same category list out two pairs of shoes and two vests, counting the individual wears for each item. The first of the shoes, a pair of gray velcro New Balances, lasted nearly a year before retirement, in which I wore them 280 times. The vests, both recent purchases, have both been worn six times.
I do not know why I like to keep track of these things. But it brings me comfort. I love to see the history of things. The evolution of things. The data of things. I love to see some aspects of normal life that always fly unnoticed under the radar quantified through tracking and diligent notetaking. I like to see how I use my things, and in turn see the value they give me.
It’s weird, but it’s fun – I recommend the practice, even just to try.