Two Things I’d Consider Paying for On the Internet

But I’m stoked I don’t have to yet. (And no, porn isn’t one of them.)

I’m normally apprehensive when I’m asked to pay a subscription or fee for something on the Internet. As a pseudo-journalist, I hate to admit that my reading of the New York Times will probably wane once their online subscription goes into effect. But, who knows? I may miss it so much that I at least subscribe to the Sunday edition. I do know that if I had to go back to the free version of Pandora I’d probably end up stuck on my CD collection that hasn’t been updated since 2006, when I quit working for the music magazine (and scoring free CDs to “review”).

One of the greatest free (for now) online inventions of all time, in my humble opinion, is Epicurious.com and their weekly dinner menus. No joke, this site compiles ridiculous (taste-, presentation- AND ease-wise), in-season recipes for each day of the workweek, complete with dessert and booze pairings. Fan-fucking-tastic, right? But it gets so much better. They not only give you complete menus for each weeknight, they then break down a shopping list for you. And if that’s not enough, they’ll say, ‘oh, no big whoop, for Wednesday’s side, just use some of that leftover tomatillo-scallion-whatchumacallit you easily whipped up on Monday night.’ Seriously! In 2010, I went from essentially terrified of looking like a complete fool in the kitchen to easy-breezily making all five side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner like a pro (all of which, like you even had to ask, came from Epicurious). I would really hate to have to pay for this brilliance, but have a sneaky suspicion that this is just too good to go on for free forever.

Same with my other “thank god it’s free” gem, Yoga Journal. I began practicing yoga last spring and immediately became…um, addicted is probably the most appropriate word. It was a lot cheaper – and a lot more helpful – than therapy. I get it on so many levels: This old ballet dancer body totally remembers what it’s like to stretch and bend, and yoga’s practices of self-discipline and spirituality are right up my alley. I’ve spent a lot of time on my mat asking really deep questions about my life, my situation, myself. And a lot of times I get some great answers. Other times I need more. And that’s where the Yoga Journal comes in. They have articles written on yogic wisdom and practice, even dietary tips. I don’t read everything, nor do I follow what I do read religiously. But sometimes things resonate with me and I’m glad I have that resource. Plus, yesterday started their 21-day-challenge, where they’re actually providing 21 days of different yoga exercises in video form. Last night’s was fun and challenging; today’s looks nice and refreshing. It feels like a great complement to my own 21-day challenge to get out of bed at a decent hour every day.

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