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3:26 pm - Sun 8/12/07
The Simple Things

The Simple Things

As an offshoot of “enjoying the simple things” in life–a trait I’m consciously cultivating-- I’ve come to really appreciate things I have that make an actual difference in my life. Simple, inexpensive items that make life just a little easier or more enjoyable, as opposed to all the crap I collect that does nothing except clutter up my apartment.

One of the first times I remember thinking “This was a good purchase” was after I bought one of those things you hang a bunch of bananas from.

By the way, does that thing have an actual name? Cause “one of those things you hang a bunch of bananas from” seems pretty unwieldy (A “banana hook”, perhaps?).

For some reason, it took me quite awhile to realize I needed one. But I like bananas, so it serves a purpose, and serves its purpose well (Though I have to get a new one, cause the one I have is plastic, and the little hook at the end broke off a while back. Now I’m looking for a sturdier wooden one, with a metal hook. One so sturdy I’ll be able to bequeath it to someone in my will).

Another thing it took me a long time to buy that’s made life more convenient and enjoyable is...well, once again, I don’t know what to call them; they have brand names like “Traxx” or “Tuffies”, or other macho names along those lines, but they’re basically just plastic strips, reminding me of “Hot Wheels” tracks, that go inside your bike tires--between the tire and the inner tube–and give you extra protection against flats.

Like condoms, they aren’ t 100% effective–if you run over something big enough and sharp enough, you’re going to get a flat–but the big difference to me is in the time it takes to go from buying a new tire/inner tube to developing a slow leak; where it was weeks, sometimes days, now it’s months of riding before that happens (When you ride a bike in L.A., it can seem like the whole world is covered in little bits of broken glass). For about $8, that’s convenience and savings (In tires and inner tubes) that I can get behind.

Another thing I like is Tilex shower cleaner.

As anyone who’s seen the inside of an apartment I’ve lived in knows, I am a major-league slob (Seriously, however messy you think you are, I probably have you beat). So finding a cleaning product that requires little or no effort from me to do its job is a very big deal (Now if I can only find a spray that washes the dishes, makes the bed, and cleans and organizes the rest of the house, I’ll be all set).

I realize that, even with a lot of competition, this may just be the most boring journal entry I’ve ever written. But it means something to me–I sometimes need a reminder to appreciate things that work, that make life easier, that provide genuine value (Or things that have “Quality”, as Robert Pirsig might say–That’s a big concept in Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance).

Being who I am, prone to depression and frustration and a host of other unpleasant, generally unhelpful feelings, it’s important for me to actively look for things that feel good, things that work for me, that don’t frustrate or upset me, right down to the day-to-day level I’ve just described.

It’s a start toward realizing that life is not always “a slog through the mud”, which is the way I’ve been feeling a lot of the time lately.

Sometimes life is a banana in your cereal that tastes really good.

Sometimes life is a long, hot shower, or a a quiet bike ride after work.

And sometimes, that’s enough.


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