Indy, Chicago, Chicago, and Chicago: The Packing Lists

Chicago, October 2013.
Chicago, October 2013.

Dear Internet,

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with my packing lists for various travels this summer and for that, I apologize. As I’m flying to a conference in California this week, it seemed like a good idea to get you updated on how my minimalist packing project is going. I’m pretty pleased on my accomplishment so far as I can make it work for a weeks worth of clothes solo in the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. The goal is to get it to two weeks.

In April, I went to Indianapolis by car and Chicago by train, both for conferences. In June I was back in Chicago for another conference (travel by train) and earlier this month, TheHusband and I went away for a long weekend to Chicago (also by train). Whether alone or packing for two, my Tom Bihn Aeronaut has been a damned champ!  While we had splurged for the extra duty cross body strap, I found that I really liked the backpack straps when I’m flying about stations and terminals. I keep the cross body strap inside the bag just in case.

The one change I did make was swapping out the Tom Bihn Imago with a Rickshaw Medium Zero messenger bag. I needed something slightly bigger and with inside pockets. Luckily for me, Rickshaw had a 50% off flash sale on the Zero so I splurged on getting the coveted bag along with two modular zipper pockets. I was also able to get, at no extra cost, a longer cross body strap (I need something roughly 50″ or longer due to my tallness; most cross body bags run between 42-46″). I love this bag to pieces!

When TheHusband and I went to Chicago a few weeks ago, we were gone for four days/three nights. I packed the Aeronaut for both of us, and I also brought my Rickshaw bag to hold electronics, books, etc as well as a purse for me.

Here’s what I was able to get into the Aeronaut (this does not include what we we were wearing on our person):

  • Three pairs of jeans (two for me, one for TheHusband)
  • Cardigan (me)
  • Two hoodies (one for me, one for TheHusband)
  • Four pairs of underwear each
  • 2 pairs of socks (me)
  • Bra (me)
  • One pair of shoes (me)
  • Pajama bottoms (me)
  • Skirt (me)
  • Button down (me)
  • Eight t-shirts (roughly half for each)
  • Toiletries

When all was said and done, we had enough clothes between the two of us to mix/match for five or six days and with toiletries to boot.  Back when I had long hair, the number of actual toiletries to bring was significantly less than what I carry with me now, which of course makes packing problematic when flying. For my trip to California, I bought solid shampoo, body soap, and lotion to open up some space in my quart bag. It never dawned on me to go solids for a lot of my beauty care, which is actually pretty brilliant since they do not count towards the 3-1-1 rule.

My biggest problem with toiletries is getting the right bottles/jars for the job as sometimes the products marked for travel are too bulky. For example, my regular sized bottle of make-up remover is 2 liquid oz while not technically travel sized is under the 3 oz rule, but I’ll use maybe 1/4 of an oz during the course of one week, so why drag the entire, ill shaped bottle with me? Same with body lotions and other goops. As we don’t have a Container Store in my vicinity, I searched through dollar stores, Target, and other like stores for purchasing various sized travel bottles and jars in small quantity for my trips. As I couldn’t find anything under 3 liquid ozs or at least a variety of sizes under 3 ozs, I went to the internets and found this: a travel bottle and jar set. As I require a lot of goops, creams, and potions to maintain the lifestyle I’m currently living, getting this set will allow me to get more bang out of my space. Experiments with using only one type of lotion for everything or going without something has proven I don’t do well when missing beloved items.

In the accouterments area, I took my Air and my iPad on my most recent trip to Chicago, along with my 3DS, phone, journal, pen case, and a paper book. I also carried a purse with me which proved to be more hindrance than useful, and resorted to using a favorite clutch everywhere we went. The Air was overkill as I had thought I would be getting some work done at the hotel or on the train, but circumstances were not in my favor that weekend. While as a to-go machine, my iPad (along with its leather keyboard case) is pretty durable for doing some work but there are some things that do not translate well and that mainly has to do with how a lot of cloud services and websites handle rendering for a mobile device, even if it has a 10″ screen. But again, as I’ve done for other trips, I tend to over pack in this area with the thought I’ll do X,Y,Z and either do not make time for it or forget to do it or something else.

I’ll be doing a run through pack before my trip on Saturday, and I’ll report back on how that goes.

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003

a drink that gives one courage

Street graffiti, Rome, circa 2005.
Street graffiti, Rome, circa 2005.

 

Dear Internet,

Benadryl is a cruel and demanding mistress.

TheHusband and I dove into chocolate bars last night, rescued from the cabin this past weekend when we cleaned it out for the winter, with the intent of having a late night snack. TheHusband, his will and stomach of pure iron, was fine. I, on the other hand, started going to into allergic sensitivity mode: My throat started closing, I started scratching, and I was trying not to panic.

In hindsight, I SHOULD have used my EpiPen, but I doubled down on the Benadryl and waited for it to kick in before making any formal decisions, my throat started relaxing and I eventually fell asleep.

This is not the first time this has happened to me, but it is becoming more frequent. Some of it is my own stupidity: Eating a milk chocolate bar when the first ingredient is milk fat or having a slice of Chicago style pizza, but others times it seems overly innocuous when eating a candy/spiked water/crackers/chips where milk/whey/lactose are so far down the list and ergo in minute proportions I don’t even think it would be harmful but yet. Yet here come the symptoms and the signs, and the double dosing of Benadryl.

This is the second time in a month I’ve called in sick due to the effects of my stupidity: Eat something I’m not supposed to, start early stages of anaphylaxis, drug up to cure it, and surrender to whatever effects the drugs give, and then fall asleep. I slept 12.5 hours after taking the Benadryl last night, waking up long enough in the morning to email work I wasn’t coming in and then I was back down for the count.

I always feel so off and surreal when the drugs empty out of my system, not quite 100%. Hell, not quite 50%.

Two years ago I revealed my diagnosis of my dairy allergy and for the better part of that time, I’ve been mostly good. Lately, I’ve gotten fast and loose on what this allergy means when I’m starving at work, nothing is open except the vending machines, and I want some kind of crunch. Hello Doritos. When there is no repercussions, then, of my indulgences  or if the repercussions are small, I store that bit to remind me it could be okay to eat Doritos/spiked water/whatever again.

According to my allergist, the milk protein is so fragile, that being able to eat pizza makes sense since there is so many processes into making it while eating ice cream, which is hardly processed, sent me into various sick modes. Why eating chocolate cake at a restaurant was fine, while eating bars of chocolate is not.

It would seem most prudent then to stop eating/drinking/using anything that contained milk in any forms or context, which means going back to being strict even with non-food stuffs.

I never want to go through this again, Seymour. Never again.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 20082008, 2008, 2003

weekenders on our own, it’s such fun

Dear Internet,

It wasn’t until the day was almost over that I realised today was a pretty perfect day.

I was intent on waking up early this morning, hopefully naturally, so I could spread out my day in larger chunks rather than waking up at noon, zombifying it around the house until I realize it’s almost 5PM and then it’s time to get ready for the week.  Nothing ever completed, nothing ever done, not even relaxation. The almost insurmountable stress of trying to do ALL THE THINGS in a short amount of time while feeling strangled with reproach.  There is always some residue guilt of not having done laundry, waxed my ‘stache, vacuumed the house, or the million of other chores. Somehow this week I wasn’t feeling that pressed to get much done chore wise other than swap the sheets on our bed and I felt totally okay with that.

I got my wish for an early rising when one of our smoke alarms started chirping it had a dead battery at 730AM. Not too ungodly early, it seemed, and instead of rolling over and hoping it would magically die on its own, I woke up and got ready for the day. And by getting ready for the day, I mean put on my glasses, yoga pants, and stealing one of TheHusband’s hoodies when I took the dog out for a walk in the drizzly mess outside and not taking it off when I came back into the house.

TheHusband, who was grumpily complaining he did not want to wake up at some inhumane hour while the alarm continued to annoyingly chirp, was fixing the broken alarm when I came back from the dog’s morning constitutional. We foraged for breakfast, which was simple since we had thrown boxes of Yummy Mummy and Count Chocula into our grocery basket last night. Coffee percolated, bossa nova on the home stereo, some kind of vanilla concoction candle lit, and I settled on the couch to read the New York Times.

Four hours of near vapid article reading later, coffee was consumed, toast nibbled, and paper tossed into the recycle bin, and it wasn’t even noon.

With my afternoon free, I opted to do some organizing on the site and work on some back-end work, which I did while catching up on podcasts. When was the last time I sat down and really listened to a podcast, more importantly, for longer than say 30 minutes? Months maybe, if not years. I was able to plow through five or six of the BBC History podcasts, putting me firmly now in July 2013.

I had no plan on mind rather thinking I’d start cleaning up some of the broken links, several consisting of near full nude of pics of me from the past when I was getting photographed for my earlier tattoo work and a NSFW pic of my very spanked behind. The images are not going to be easy to find — the content of the pages, tags or titles doesn’t lend itself to the images at hand. Consider them easter eggs linked somewhere in the nearly 700 pages on this site. Happy hunting.

(I remember the spank picture, hysterically so, for it was taken with an analog camera on a roll of film that had everything from pictures of flowers to sexy time pics. The boyfriend at the time was near lunatic thinking the processing place was going to turn in the images for their content or refuse to print them. Neither of course happened and I have both the images, complete with very vivid date stamp, and the negatives still on hand. Ah, the momentary discretions of youth.)

TheHusband had started slow roasting a roast beef dinner this morning (which ended with smashed sweet potato/squash and amazing green beans for sides), which was filling up the house with delicious smells. For the rest of the afternoon until dinner, I plugged away at cleaning up broken links, adding new to the site content, and whatever other miscellany the rabbit hole took me. Including a link to TheHusband’s 1997 Geocities site.

It is becoming increasingly clear I need to set up a plan of what work I’ve got up and how it is formatted as well as a more concrete path. I came across a folder today I had forgotten about, while cleaning the broken links, containing works written for the web but were not blog pieces but more prose and flash fiction. I ended up scrapping a few of these that were already up as blog entries, turning them into pages to make the work consistent, and viola! A new section, Ephemera was born. Stylized as the prose companion to The Lisa Chronicles, this contains pieces that were written as mainly non-fiction creative prose rather than a diary entry as well as some earlier flash fiction I had written for contests and the like. Most of this stuff hasn’t been up for a decade, and a list of the works added will be on this weeks Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes, so please do keep your eye there.

Dinner rolled around, which was delicious as almost always (the one incident of TheHusband adding corn to chili has kept me on guard on his cooking for the last few years), and by 6PM, I was back to finagling some more back-end work on the site and mulling over other ideas.

I did have plans on doing some fiction writing today, but I got so wrapped up on getting the site back-end cleaned,  but time just slipped by.  And for once I do not feel guilty about losing that time, for finding that trove of written work I had forgotten about was a brilliant replacement. Now the question is – what to do with it?

The day meandered slow and steady, there was no rush, no plan, no agenda. TheHusband and I, and of course the hate-pooping dog, just went our own ways, meeting up in the hallway or in one of our offices for stolen kisses. Neither of us bathed, brushed our teeth, and the bed was only made because I changed the sheets. My desire to treasure the day, even if the day glossed over with the seemingly mundane and the wink of a cliché, was a success.

x0x0,
Lisa

 

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010, 2003, 2003