Saturday, July 19, 2008


Things I used to mock, but now use all the time and would mess up my day if they were gone:
  • cell phones
  • car wash
  • bottled water
  • pre-washed, ready-to-eat produce
  • dishwasher
  • orthotics
  • to do lists
The first and last ones especially. I love having a cell phone. Best thing ever for my no-planning lifestyle. I can be driving around and think, "hey, I'm near a friend's house" and call them to see if I can drop by. Or I can plan to meet someone and give them status updates on my lateness. Or say "I'm by the elephant but I don't see you...Oh, the other elephant... of course." when trying to meet someone near a landmark. Not to mention that this blog post wouldn't exist without a to do list.

The car wash and bottled water are specific to being in CA. I didn't need them much before moving to SoCal. But if I want to see through my windshield, and not be embarrased by my ride, it must be washed regularly. Since they know this in CA, most car washes come with an interior vacuum and trash removal, then interior and exterior glass cleaning. Love it. The bottled water is because I travel greater distances by car in CA and despite being 20-40 miles from millions of people, there are places out here where I would want to have emergency water with me which is drinkable after a week sitting in 120F heat. My emergency water is kept in the car and I consume it regularly.

The bottled water and pre-wash veggies I used to mock as being lazy and wasteful versions that any eco friendly person would be able to do for themselves. Not true. Turns out that the alternative to pre-washed peas is NOT unwashed peas, it is Doritoes or Snickers. The alternative to bottled water is not tap water, it is Dr. Pepper or Squirt. I still shop at the farmer's market and rinse all my produce in the 25% vinegar wash, unless I'm just boiling it right away like corn, or water will kill it like mushrooms. But if I'm away from home and jonesing for a drink and a crunchy snack, a bag of snap peas is healthier than the chips by far, and the water from my trunk is both better for me than soda and much, much cheaper than buying it piecemeal. Yes it is true that these things can replace their more labor intensive cousins as well, but not even that is terrible, given the number of people I've seen running water at full bore for several minutes while they wash a single, semi-disposable food or drink container. Does 10 gallons of water down the drain outweigh the resources to create and procure a new container, putting even the eco friendly argument on shaky ground?

The dishwasher is in there as an apology of sorts to my former roommate. I didn't "need" one then. I do now. And the orthotics always seemed like something for inferior people who failed, but now I can't stand up for more than a few minutes without them. And they tend to make my heels fit my shoes better which I like too, although avoiding the feeling of walking on broken glass is plenty sufficient reason.

The jury is still out on boxed wine. I'm thinking I should get some and check it out.

Yo blogland, what did you used to think was idiotic and now find essential? Mine can't be a comprehensive list. Or is there a group of people you formerly didn't sympathize with and now do?

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