Last week I had a chance to see the A&E show Hoarders for the first time.  Interesting.  Challenging.  Bothersome.  Sometimes disturbing.

Some of the people had serious issues that expressed themselves in their hoarding.  Some were able to overcome their compulsions with a little help.  Some had deep, deep problems, that went way beyond what the producers thought they were getting into.

I watched about a show and a half.  I stopped because I didn’t want to spend more of my time watching other peoples’ misery.  Some things should be private.  But I was also get bothered because I could imagine myself in that situation.  I don’t have a whole lot of the messy thing going on (aside from books and music and software), but I can relate to the compulsive side of things.  One lady didn’t want to throw away a cheap soda cup from a fast food place, going and getting it out of the trash.  I have saved books that I may never read.  And no, I don’t blame it on genetics, although perhaps a case could be made.

My compulsiveness comes out in other ways.  I like patterns, having a certain meal that I like to get at each restaurant.  I listen to music an album at a time (shuffle is something for cards, not for music).  And the music I like is occasionally different.

Not exactly weird, so to speak, but a couple standard deviations off what gets radio play.  I’m considering getting Steve Reich’s Different Trains (“a three-movement piece for string quartet and tape”), and I like Laurie Anderson’s Big Science album with its repetitive sounds.  But I really like Phillip Glass.

He has done the soundtracks to several movies (from the plotless Koyaanisqatsi to the horror flick Candyman), and worked with a lot of other artists.  His works are very repetitive and almost mechanical.  But there is a comfort in that to me.  It’s familiar.

I have several of his CDs, and we have been to a concert.  I liked it.  Bettie, not so much.  (And Bettie thinks I didn’t like it at the time, compared to his recorded music.  I like my edited memory better than hers.)

But you might like the music, and here’s a chance to try it out.  Amazon is giving away a sampler of his stuff.  Check it out and leave a reply, if you’re interested.

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