Monday, October 4, 2010

Living Car-Lite - A Critical Analysis

For the last week, I've had my mother's vehicle at my disposal while she's been away on business. It was really my intention to be car-lite for the duration of the week, and to be completely honest, that didn't happen. I drove everywhere, which - again, to be completely honest - was really nice. It was a hella busy week, what with school and commitments and assisting with my younger brother - getting him to and from school - so the errands that I'd normally take the time to set aside in my schedule to accomplish would be more "on the way" to do things, etc. Taking the bus doesn't really allow for that "freedom" as far as time is concerned. It takes planning, and, again, setting aside time to get things done. It's not an ordeal at all. It's more so an observation.

On that note, here are a few more observations concerning my time with car this past week:

1. Driving Music. I really don't listen to the radio while commuting, although my iPod does allow me to. But I listen to the radio so, so much when driving. Why do I mention this? Because there's so much crap music out there that it becomes almost deal-worthy when driving. I'm talking to you 97.1 KAMP-FM, 102.7 KIIS-FM, and to you especially, Katy Perry. That song "Teenage Dream" is godawful, but somehow tolerable when driving, as is any other auto-tune driven song. I actually downloaded Rihanna's single "Only Girl in the World" the other night. Last time I had the car I downloaded Keri Hilson's "Knock You Down" and Jay Sean's "Down"... I don't know what I was thinking. That's the power of a very limited playlist for you.

2. My Propensity to Cuss Has Increased. My friend Alex laughed the other night when I was making a left turn and a skateboarder made the left turn with me - on my left-hand side. With that, I called him a f*ckhead. (The skateboarder.) It's not road rage, don't get me wrong, but my verbage is definitely a bit more colorful, at least it is to any passengers. This kinda stuff is rolling in my head weather I'm a bus patron, pedestrian or bicyclist - it's just all the more audible when within the confines of steel and glass.

3. Parallel Parking. I'm not good at it. I'm a bit intimidated by it, probably because I'm not used to gauging size in such a manner. I didn't even cover it in my driving test seven years ago. First of all, I went for my driving test in Thousand Oaks because the traffic by the DMV was nothing in comparison to the one in Canoga Park. We backed up, used signals, and did a U-turn. But we didn't parallel park. I have never had to since, not really. But in other parking areas I do just fine. I am the queen of fitting into small spaces. The queen. But I will tackle this beast soon.

4. I Feel Like a Sloth. I went for a good portion of the week without exercising and I'll admit I felt a little sloth-like. Most of this was due to it being a very, very busy week in general - but when riding my bicycle as part of a commute it's like killing two birds with one stone. AKA getting where I need to go while firming my assets. It's interesting; while I've more time to do what I need to do with the car, I have less time to devote to exercising, only because I'm forced to schedule it in. Riding the bicycle, I don't have to.

And finally,

5. I'm Really Liking It. It's been nice being able to be at multiple places throughout the day, not having to section off hours of my day in order to get somewhere. It's been nice to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time, even with traffic. I like it, and do hope that once I have a vehicle of my own I'll be able to live car-lite instead of depending on the car all the time. My schedule will eventually confirm that. But truthfully, I enjoyed being able to get to the people I am more inclined to not see because it's hard to get to their house via public transportation. It was nice not having to run for the last bus of the night in the fear that I won't get home for another four hours until it starts running again. It's all superficial, I know... but it doesn't make it any less true. I am of the belief that it will become less so as time goes on.

It's not like I've never driven before, but it's been an interesting 'experiment', driving when I've been so preoccupied with the idea of it. It's firmed up the reasons in my mind as to why a car can be considered practical, especially when living in the Valley, and why it can be a good supplement to occasional use of public transportation.

In the meantime, however, I'll enjoy the relative simplicity of life without a car at the moment. Which, at this rate, won't be for longer than two months.


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  2. Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind words! :)