Tag Archives: lists

All the Totes I Own, Ranked

I would absolutely read a well-researched think piece on the cultural significance of the tote bag, because I can personally only offer speculation.

Totes

Just a fraction of a lifetime’s collection.

During the recent boozefest convention T and I attended, he chided me about all the schwag I grabbed. We’ve been set on keeping clutter to a minimum, so naturally one would assume bringing in superfluous freebies would be frowned upon.

But I love a tote.  I love the concept of a re-usable bag that is also kind of disposable. Like, you probably didn’t pay for it, so if you need to leave it behind because you’ve all decided to go out for drinks after the potluck and you don’t trust your host to return it, it’s no big D. Furthermore, though I usually dislike the idea of wearing a company’s logo on my person when I’ve paid them for the clothing already, the free advertising of freebie totes offers two bonuses: promoting the brand of the product/organization you ostensibly support and promoting one’s own status as someone who supports said brand/organization. It seems petty, but sometimes carrying the right Planned Parenthood or New Yorker tote bag can say more about you to would-be accosters than any of the words you might speak yourself.

I recently pulled out all the tote bags in my house. See photo above. Here are how they rank, based on quality, design and sentimental value, from least favorite to best best.

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Randomized List of This Year and Last

I would start with how much I dislike end-of-year roundups of things, but that belies how much time I spend reading them. I like to be reminded of things periodically, like slightly out-of-date fashions and mildly memorable pop songs, just to reassure me that time is passing at the same rate as usual and not in a Van Winkle-esque jump/cut.

But I really hate ranking things. Having to assign a better/worse value to a group of items gives me anxiety, as I’ll never know if I’ll feel differently about it later. So here’s an incomplete list of things from life in 2015, micro and macro, good and bad, in no particular order, without explanation.

  • pants
  • aged gouda
  • domestic and international terror
  • a bride
  • You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
  • vaccines
  • mood stabilizers
  • Nita Nita
  • climate crisis
  • Pendleton wool shirts
  • Teeling whiskey
  • dancing
  • Cascade Barrel House, Portland, OR
  • Blood, Bones, and Butter
  • gas leaks
  • farm distilling
  • The Painted Bunting
  • flapper-era haircuts
  • privilege
  • Girl at War
  • broccolini
  • grays
  • nonfiction workshops
  • a silver tabby kitten
  • a Hora like a mosh pit
  • Dansko clogs
  • trans-continental flights
  • Solvang, California
  • Sherry
  • Serial and Gimlet
  • moderation
  • hives
  • the Boston Globe
  • yeasts and molds
  • apple brandy
  • 12 parsecs
  • the restaurants of Lima, Peru
  • cilantro
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
  • drought
  • a life size cardboard cutout of Bryan Cranston
  • the Grand Canyon
  • debt
  • Baijiu
  • liquid eyeliner
  • Infinite Jest
  • banana-free smoothies
  • leggings-as-pants acceptance
  • thousands of hand-carved ice balls
  • Sleater Kinney’s No Cities to Love
  • Pok Pok LA
  • a 12-hour farewell
  • used kitchen appliances
  • central AC
  • Punch
  • health insurance hikes
  • avoiding presidential campaign news, but still, the Bern
  • Malibu AVAs
  • gettin’ it together.

Happy New Year, y’all.