December 6th, 2004

I only listen to the radio in cars.

It was a little strange to have a car this weekend, particularly an extremely tall SUV that I would normally scowl at. It made me realize something:

  • I only listen to the radio in cars.

    In fact, I almost always had music on in the car. Music sounds different--better?--on a car stereo. The only other time I really listen to music is if I'm hanging out in my living room, but usually not if I'm reading because I find one distracts from my enjoyment of the other. I don't listen to music when I'm walking around town, because I like to hear the ambient sounds that surround me, and, of course, I like to eavesdrop. I haven't been listening to as much music lately, because I am not driving a car.

    One of the things that allows me to listen to music in a car is a sense of isolation and encapsulation. There's nothing else to hear except the sound of the engine and the bumps in the road. And the sirens of emergency vehicles, I suppose.

    With the help of a vehicle, I ran a bunch of errands I've been meaning to take care of for quite some time:

    • Took a pile of dead batteries to the Washtenaw County drop-off station. I'd been meaning to do that for at least 7 months.
    • Took empty laser printer toner cartridge to Office Max for recycling. They gave me a free ream of paper for returning it there. I'd been meaning to do that for about 8 months.
    • Ordered a different new gas cap for the Jolly Dodger, since the previous one didn't fit. I'd been meaning to take care of that for nearly a year.

    I was glad to get all that done, as it was not just physical clutter but mental clutter as well; every time I saw the toner cartridge I'd think, I have to take care of that. A couple hundred I-have-to-take-care-of-thats piled on top of each other can actually feel a little stressful, even though each task is minor. Then, as I thought about it in that light, I was mad at myself for not taking care of it ages ago. I could have done any of that stuff on my bike.

    Collapse )
    Collapse )
    Collapse )