Since I leave for Portland on Monday, I've been trying to work out how to travel with all my fragile technology. I have to bring my D80, some lenses, my Macbook Pro and all those cords to go along with said camera and laptop. No iPod though, so I plan on reading several books on the plane and need to work out how to carry all those as well! Oh, AND a bunch of delicate resumes I need to keep pristine for when I go job hunting in town. Thinking about how to pack all this stuff makes my head hurt, and I already have enough social/general/travel anxiety as it is. Every time I fly I'm convinced something terrible will happen and we'll all hurtle Final Destination-style towards the earth. I'm not afraid of terrorists, just malfunction.
Last time I went to Portland, for a mere seven days, all I brought was a small duffel bag and a large suitcase. I could barely drag them down the street from my friend's apartment to the lightrail, so I'm terrified of being physically unable to carry 3-weeks-worth of things. I'm also a notorious over-packer because I want to be prepared for every possible scenario.
So I was looking for a laptop+camera bag that was big enough to hold my stuff but not dorky or overpriced. I finally found and bought this LeSportSac Lexie Tech tote from ShopBop last week and expected it to be perfect. Doesn't it look small, cute and minimalist? Well, it's not. It is much, MUCH bigger in person than I expected. All my stuff fits, but I look ridiculous carrying such a huge purse-like bag. I guess on the plane it works, but walking a quarter of a mile from my friend's apartment to the nearest cafe for wireless internet is going to make me look like a crazy person.
This is how I look holding the bag, but less pretty (and hopefully more stylish. Equally crazy.):
I like the caption, ha!
For when I get back, I bought this Stella McCartney for LeSportSac "everyday tote" in "posh colorblock". According to the dimensions, it'll be a tight fit with my laptop, but I'm hoping they're lying. After all, the description for the bag above didn't mention the fact that it could comfortably fit a miniature poodle (or Mary-Kate) inside along with all of my things. Oh, and right now all the Stella stuff is 50% off with the code "Stella50" at checkout. Random luck!
As far as my reading is concerned, I have seven books to read and a handful more I'm tempted to buy before I leave. So far, I've got:
"Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster" by Dana Thomas
"Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Death of the American Dream" by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
"The Betterphoto Guide to Digital Photography" by Jim Miotke
"Complete Digital Photography" by Ben Long
"Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins (which is way outside my comfort zone but comes highly recommended by the smartest woman I know)
"Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time" by Rob Sheffield
and last but not least, I need to finish "Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media" by Susan Douglas
I'm also dying to read "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by the inimitable Naomi Klein, who also authored one of my favorites, "No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs". And I will gladly take any other reading suggestions.
My problem is I love reading so much that I fall into patterns where I try to tackle too much at once, get overwhelmed and then steer clear of books for months. One thing at a time, Allison. One thing at a time.