MRY: The Packing List

Dear Internet,

I hopscotched my way from Monterey back to Grand Rapids more smoothly than a baby’s bottom, which surprised and delighted me as my past experiences with United have been awful. They have totally picked up their customer service, planning, and execution of getting people on their way which now puts them back in the front for airlines when I go looking for flights.

After TheHusband picked me up late Thursday afternoon, we had an early dinner and then went right home. Not long after I had unpacked and gotten settled from the trip, I slept for nearly 14 hour straight with no breaks even to pee. I was that fucking tired. Some of the people I met at IL were coming down with various and sundry colds and sniffles, so I’m hoping I shook enough of that nastiness out while sleeping, drinking Vitamin C to help (and also helps with potential cases of scurvy), and congratulating myself for having the foresight to take the day after I came home off from work.

For this trip, I was smart enough to grab pictures of my bags once I got to the hotel, before unpacking, and what the bomb explosion looked like after I had unzipped. Exhibits below:

Tom Bihn bag:

  • Tolietries bag
  • Make-up bag
  • Drug case
  • Jewely box
  • Loofa sponge
  • 1 Chucks
  • 1 Tieks
  • (1) dress boots
  • 1 (2) scarf
  • (1) hoodie
  • (1) leather jacket
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 pair of Jammie bottoms
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 jean jacket
  • 1 umbrella
  • 1 ice bag
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 pair of glasses
  • 1 brick for Mac Air
  • 2 (3) bras
  • 2 dresses
  • 2 cardigans
  • 2 tank tops
  • 2 (3) pairs of pants
  • 3 pairs of tights
  • 6 (7) pairs of socks
  • 7 (8) pairs of underwater
  • 8 (9) tshirts
(Not seen.) Rickshaw bag:

  • Mac Air
  • iPad
  • Work notebook
  • Personal notebook
  • BBC History magazine
  • The Whale Road (book)
  • Fountain pens
  • Pencil case
  • Clutch with money
  • Bag o’cables
  • DS3
  • Portable recharger brick
  • Quart bag with toiletries
  • Pouch with miscellany

And I’m sure after all is said and done, I’m missing a few items.

There is a couple of key things when packing minimally: Roll everything, bring items that can be worn multiple times, pack as many solid toiletries as possible, and bring as much neutrals as you can stomach.

I was in Monterey for 6 days/5 nights, but ended up with enough clothes for over a week AND I had at least two clean outfits left when I came home. There were a couple of things I didn’t think about when I packed, such as while wearing my dress boots to Monterey, there may be a chance I didn’t want to wear them coming home, which ate into my luggage space. Packing a leather jacket, a jean jacket, a hoodie, and several cardigans seems like overkill, and also eats space, which could be consolidated by getting one neutral jacket that will work for just about all weather types.  I also packed more layers with the outwear because not one weather site was consistent with the constant changes of weather happening while I was going to be there.

Could I have done better? Always can do better. The brilliancy of bringing solid shampoos, body lotions, and body soaps opened up ton of space in my quart bag. Plus I wasn’t feeling cheated out of my toiletries. My clothing choices could have been streamlined more by quite a bit and if I didn’t have this burning desire to dress like a Lifesavers roll every day, it would be a lot easier.

But considering a similar trip taken 18 months ago to a similar place with similar weather had me lugging around a 50lb+ checked bag with all of MUST HAVES, this is bloody brilliant.



This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2011

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: November 2, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.


Dear Internet,

This week I’ve been at a conference and have hardly been online, so this weeks CCC is on the thin side.


thewhaleroadThe Whale Road (Oathsworn #1) by Robert Low
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished

What attracted me to reading this series was the author is a journalist, is passionate about the time period, and the best part? He’s a an active Viking reenactor. So we’ve got someone who can write and knows their history well.

But just as one can be a journalist and be a terrific writer, it does not necessarily  mean they can write fiction. Low is not one of those people, but this is not to say his story is without problems. The story meanders at times with no point, the character development isn’t there, and the plot seems thin on the ground. BUT, it’s intriguing. I love the historical aspect that is being presented, and there is a lot of promise to the series. So it’s not great, but it’s good and will keep you entertained.


Weekly watching: American Horror Story: Coven, Breathless, AtlantisHomelandMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivorDownton AbbeyBoardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky BlindersThe Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2010, 1998

Kalendae Januariae: November Update

Dear Internet,

When I started writing the Kalendae Januariae, I didn’t really have a plan in mind on when to update other than I should do it often. Scarily, I find myself  now almost an entire year gone since the first entry; since the first of the month is about renewals, it was seemed like a good time to see how I’m progressing.

Buy Nothing in 2013

In 2012, I placed 114 orders from Amazon. This did not include digital files, or orders placed with other vendors which would push that number even higher. As of November 1, 2013, I’ve placed only 29 orders via Amazon and I’ve hardly bought any t-shirts this year! A dramatic drop in spending compared to the year before and obviously I’m beyond thrilled that I could cut my spending so drastically. Am I reaping any benefits from the lack of shopping? Sadly, no. My income drops dramatically in the summer and I’ve had to pay for work conferences galore. Thus all cash saved from not spending it on me, went right into travel, lodging, and conference fees. It’s frustrating.

I do find myself being more conscientious on making instant spending decisions. The question of, “Do I need another pair of chucks?”, almost always has the answer of, “Probably not.” My biggest problem is, and has been, going out to eat since I do so many work related meetings around lunch or meeting up with friends for drinks after work.  So while I’m not spending money on frivolous things galore, I am still spending a lot of money on entertainment and food.

I decided to hook up You Need A Budget (YNAB) and start implementing the practice as soon as possible. TheHusband has said if I want to do any big trips next year, like Europe, I’ll have to come up with half the cash for the trip and he’ll match it. Right now I’ve saved approximately $92.32, which will pay for the cab to the airport. I started on/off on keeping track of what I am spending and I’d like to boost that up again to actually better track how my disposable income is being spent.

2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)

2013 has been a crazy year, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

But you know what? That’s okay.

I did not get the opportunity to do the projects I had set out to do this year for this task, but I’m not giving up hope. They are still things that interest me and still things that need to be done. Now that I’m off of Lithium again, and my moods have evened out, I’m feeling a lot better to tackle these projects.

Year of the written word

Read all the books/comics I own before buying more For the most part, this has been kept true. My book/comic buying have been reduced dramatically, but my reading for the year is still as haphazard as before. I still do not think finishing a book a week is out of the question, but again, this year has been a crazy year of emotional, mental, and physical ups and downs. While I may not be reading as many books, I AM reading our delivered newspapers and magazines regularly, so there is some comfort in that.

In January, I said I wanted to

  • Write 10 hours a week  (Does not include blogging)
  • Write 250 word blog entries 5x a week (Get proficient enough to knock it out in 1/2 hour).
  • Keep notes on everything
  • Write a short story a month.
  • Write a poem a month.
  • Get something published by my birthday in June

While I have not followed these steps exactly, again I don’t think these goals are not unreasonable, I am pretty proud of the output I did this year. According to a word stat counter, since January 1, I:

  • Wrote 82, 261 words over
  • 108 posts (average 11 posts a month) and 17 pages

This does not include any notes, work done on paper, editing of pre-2013 posts, and so forth. Add another a rather conservative estimate of 25K words for over 100,000 words this year alone and for that, I’m really proud. Sure, I didn’t get a poem or prose published, but that’s also okay. I’ve got a better sense of what I want to do and what I want to write, and I know I can always do better. Produce more. Leave a mark on the world. Keep pushing forward.

Strangely the thing I’m most proud of is I have not skipped a week of Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes. I set a goal to do something every week and I did it. It’s small, but as this is the first time I’ve ever actively worked on something to the end.

teh interwebs

Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists Always ongoing, I’ve been unsubscribing left and right with the intent of getting my mail in order. But, and there is always a but, my mail is still a bloody mess. One thing I have discovered is my filters were part of the problem, so I removed filters from all incoming mail which has worked tremendously. But my mail is still a mess, but a more manageable mess.

Delete unused social media accounts Always ongoing. Like the mailing list conundrum, I’d get a random email from some company I had signed up with years ago to find out they are now active/selling their business/something and I have to go in and scrape my data. Or I discovered I am not actually using the site all that much anymore. In becoming ever vigilant in being able to control my data

Stop following people/services/accounts/blogs that no longer hold my interest/are not engaging  The mass culling is constant still. I’ve either moved companies/people/brands to separate feeds or stopped following them altogether.  I found, however, that I don’t actually follow or read the separate feeds and you know, I don’t miss it. I’m also being more aggressive in getting stuff out of my RSS feeds by reading them in a more timely basis / cleaning up uninteresting things. I stopped apologizing to myself for unfollowing people who aren’t my cup of tea anymore.

Get the archives back up  YES! I have been doing this! Anyone following the Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes knows without fail I’ve been diligent almost every week getting some of the archives up. It’s slow work, a lot slower than I had anticipated, but it is going on.

Stop buying domains No new domains were purchased in 2013. Huzzah!

Stop obsessively checking social media accounts  Not as much as a problem as it was earlier in the year, but still a problem. I’m finding myself more and more with having time on my hands, checking FB/Twitter and the like, and then having nothing else to do despite the fact I have over a 100 apps on my phone. Because this is where it becomes problematic is when I’m out and about and not always in the position of carrying a book, magazine, or something
Overall, not a bad start. Next year is going to be even better.


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2011, 2011, 1998