Hat on Top, Coat Below


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Archive for September 27th, 2004

Bag Lady

September 27, 2004

I got a sinking feeling when I walked into my office this morning and saw the empty docking station because while I was not arriving empty-handed, I certainly did not have my laptop with me. I hadn’t seen it since I packed it up Friday night and put it behind the driver’s seat of my car. I thought I remembered taking it into the house and putting it next to the dryer like I usually do when I bring it home. I most certainly did not remember picking it up from there as I walked by on my way out to the garage. Crap.

I immediately rejected the idea of going home to get it–that would add two hours to my day. Forget that. I figured some developer was bound to be out sick or on vacation and I could just use his machine (provided he hadn’t taken it home, and yes, his, because I’m the only female web developer we’ve got right now). Sure it would be embarrassing to admit that I, supposedly a computer professional, had left my, um, computer at home, but I’d survive. Before I started looking for a temporary home, I figured I could at least check my car. It’s Monday, I’m tired–maybe I had grabbed the laptop and just forgot. And lo and behold, there it was, safely wedged behind my seat. I’m guessing I never took it out Friday night. Can you say relieved?

I think the wayward laptop is a result of me throwing myself off by cleaning out my bag this weekend. Not my laptop case and not my purse, but the canvas bag I carry to transport things from work that need to go home–including recycling, like the empty bottle of Paul Newman vinaigrette used up on my lunches (it has my userid written across Paul’s forehead on the front of the bottle so my coworkers don’t use it up for me), and pay stubs–and things from home that need to go to work–like lunch (though sometimes the bag is too full to hold it and I’ll have to bring a supplementary plastic bag) and copies of the Journal of Accountancy–and things I might need either at home or at work, like my DayRunner.

I have a collection of canvas bags that I use for this. When one gets too messy, I start using another, transferring only what’s absolutely necessary. I was down to my last bag until we went to Alaska; Holland America gave us one on the ship and it’s that one I switched to over the weekend. I usually just stash the old bag somewhere to clean out later–last I saw them, the one from Weight Watchers with the maroon trim that I got as a thank you gift for being the At Work coordinator at a former employer was in the guest bedroom closet, and the others were in a box in the basement. There’s one from the Pompeii exhibit that came to Chicago when I was in high school, and one with the purple cats silk-screened on it that I bought from the vendor my mom and I used to see every year at the NQA show and got to know well enough that she let us run her booth once while she went to lunch, and one with the B. Kliban sneaker cat on it that I don’t quite know how I came to be in possession of. Amazingly, the ZaRex bag I had been carrying–which I ordered out of my college roommate’s Portland (Maine) newspaper because it has a cute Zebra on it and I thought it was very clever to have something that no one else on campus had and which is now probably a collector’s item because when I went looking for a picture of the zebra online I found that ZaRex syrups are no more–is in the laundry. I actually cleaned it out.

I suspected I didn’t need most of the stuff in there, since if I did it wouldn’t be so easy for me to abandon the old bags and rarely have to go back to retrieve things from them, and that assessment was pretty much confirmed as I went through the contents of the bag. Some high(low?)lights:

1) The wrapper from a Smarties Bar I got in the airport in Vancouver earlier this month. I saved this rather than throwing it out to remind me to write something about how bad it was. I like Smarties (the Canadian version–something like U.S. M & Ms) and white candy bars (like Zero) so thought this line extension would be right up my alley. Nope. I don’t know what that white stuff the Smarties were embedded in was, but it certainly wasn’t good.

2) Three 20% off coupons for Bed, Bath, & Beyond, which I haven’t been to in months. The expiration dates ranged from May 15th to August 16th (yes, this year, smarty pants).

3) A Sierra Woman catalog (Summer 2004) with the corners of two pages turned down because I intended to check online and see if they still had the things I wanted in my size. Looking at the pages now, I can’t remember which ones I wanted. On page 35, was it the Cape Blanco II Jacket in light purple/purple? Maybe–I did end up buying a similar (but non-purple and more expensive) jacket at REI that I wore almost every day of our Alaska trip. Or was it the Glacial Fleece crew in light purple with the delicate cut-out border at the hem? That’s pretty–not that I need more fleece tops. On page 38, I know what it was–the Moving Comfort shorts, which are the same ones I tried to order from Title 9 but waited too long and they were sold out.

4) Two packages of red double fold extra wide (“compared to what?”, I might add because it looks narrow to me) bias binding that I bought thinking I would use it for the plane quilt and then when I didn’t thought I’d return to the store but never got around to it because it wasn’t that much money and I might use it for something else someday.

Gah. I hate that I drag all this crap around with me. I need to take a few minutes every day, or even just every week, to keep the bag’s contents pared down. Just like I need to eat less and exercise more and catch up with all my projects at home. Not bloody likely that any of that’s going to happen any time soon at the rate I’m going.


One year ago, there was no entry.

Two years ago, I was pondering friendship.

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