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Brand new bag

January 21, 2013

Okay, it’s not so brand new.  I’ve had it for a couple of months.  But since I’ve searched for the right computer bag for more than two years, it still feels pretty new.

A few days ago, Freshhell got some of us talking about the things we carry around with us.  I’m jumping on the band wagon.

Here is my bag and its contents (lying on my slightly disheveled bed:


This is pretty representative of what I carry to work each day.  The bag itself is new and I’d like to give a shout out to the maker, who’s a one-woman business based in Charleston, SC, Alesya Bags.  This bag is the best designed bag of any type that I own and it’s beautifully made of gorgeous leather.  I couldn’t be happier with it.  It’s hard to get a sense of the color, but it’s a dark silver.  I get no kickbacks, I’m just a very happy customer.  I could gush further about all its features, but I’ll spare you.  I am in love with this bag, which somehow makes carrying a 15 inch PC laptop feel glamorous.

On to the contents:

Yes, there are two laptops.  Yes, I sometimes carry both.  But mostly I just carry the black one — my work-issue Dell.  The Mac is staying home tomorrow.  To the right of the Dell is the work I brought home this weekend — three project folders, an envelope of expense account receipts from November that I still haven’t submitted, and my production schedule.  In front of that is the cord to the Dell on top of my purple Kindle and a book Magpie gave me, Verlyn Kinkenborg’s Timothy, or, Notes of an Abject Reptile.  I haven’t started it yet, as I’m caught up in Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale (on the Kindle) at the moment.  But I always like to have a non-electric book handy in case my batteries run out. Incidentally, the  bookmark, which you can’t see is half a postcard that Readersguide sent me from Kansas (the other half was used to write a note to the president of the PTA at AJ’s school).  Next to the folders is a stack of mail to be sent and checks to be deposited on my way to work in the morning.  Next to that is a legal pad and two stationery notebooks (with identifying marks hidden).  All are full of notes on various work projects.  Next to it is a green notebook with an orange bird on it where I keep my work to do list.  On top of that is my big black wallet that I desperately need to replace.

Next to the Klinkenborg book is my asthma inhaler and my spare phone charger (my phone would ordinarily be here too, but I used it to take the picture). Next to it is what looks like a CD but is actually a gorgeous calendar made for me by the very artistic Peppy Pilot Girl, along with her new business card and Christmas card, all of which she made.  I’ve been wanting to get my calendar to my desk at work for a while, but it was accidentally shelved with the CDs during a cleaning spree and was misplaced for a bit.  The red Moleskin is my calendar.  I mostly use a computer calendar, but I like having one I can write in too.  Mostly it has notes on my travels and the occasional meeting and my non-work schedule.  The letter next to it is something my mother found when they moved.  It is a letter from British Children’s author Noel Streatfeild, that fell out of a book I bought at a used bookstore or library sale or something when I was about AJ’s age.  I’m bringing it to show a work friend and fellow Streatfeild fan.

In the next row, there’s a stack of MetroCards of dubious value (most likely none of them are useable, but since I don’t know for sure, I can’t get rid of them). There’s a little blue pouch full of blister bandages and other foot care items for my blister-prone feet, a pile of cough drops, some Burt’s Bees lipstick, a few pens, and a folded stack of tissue.

In front, there’s a thumb drive with a bunch of AJ’s videos and my dissertation on it, a card with info on reporting ethical violations at work (recently handed out), a business card for Chess Forum in Greenwich Village where AJ and I played chess a couple of weeks ago, and my red and gold business card case. Next to that is the only MetroCard that I know has enough cash on it to get me to work in the morning, my office keycard, and some, ahem, feminine protection.  Currently missing:  my ear buds, which I’d better find before morning.  It’s hard for me to survive the subway without tunes.

You’re not seeing some of the less savory elements, as I used the process of pulling everything out to clean things up and got rid of fistfuls of coins (my wallet’s coin purse never stays shut) and receipts and cough drop wrappers and used Kleenex (ew).

This is  a fairly pedestrian day as far as contents go.  Often you can find mandolin strings or guitar picks or tuning forks or other tools of my trade.

What’s in your bag? And more importantly, are you going to groove it all night long?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2013 11:46 pm

    This is a collection I can relate to. I do hope the jump drive is just back up and not the main working copy of anything, though. The Boy has to save all his in-school computer projects on a jump drive and I’m always worried that we don’t back it up often enough.

  2. January 22, 2013 12:01 am

    Yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with thumb/flash/jump drives. I use it mainly to transfer things from point A to point B, and they’re good at that. It’s mainly for personal projects I might need to work on at work. I generally back things up into the cloud when I’m done and where I can access it from multiple computers. But sometimes it’s easier to clarify the versions with an extra drive — I don’t like making too many copies of a doc to save versions, because then I forget which is the one I want. Thumb drives are risky, though, mainly because they are so small and easy to lose.

  3. January 22, 2013 12:09 am

    Understood. I’m always glad to have one when I need it, but I can’t bring myself to rely on them. The Girl lost hers a couple of years ago, but luckily I had backed it up into her Dropbox account a couple of days earlier and the project she needed was mostly done by then. Starting in 5th grade, the school gives them dedicated Google Apps accounts and they save everything to Google Docs (which is its own set of concerns, but that’s another day).

  4. January 23, 2013 12:12 am

    I like your variety pack of Metrocards. Nothing says city-dweller like a bag full of empty transit cards! When I worked I carried EVERYTHING with me. I was the first stop if someone needed something. Ever since switching to the diaper bag (and back to a purse) I find myself just transferring my wallet and maybe a lip gloss. I do still use my bag, whatever it is, to stash things like gloves and bottled water and baby snacks.

  5. January 24, 2013 8:03 pm

    I lust after your bag.

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