Metatalktail Hour: Show Us Your Bags! June 16, 2018 5:12 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, a rerun of the thread that I loved so much I decided to create Metatalktails: Show us your bag! Or your EDC, if you're not a bag person. Your purse! Your backpack! Your messenger bag! Pictures! Links! Descriptions! I love hearing about other people's bags!

Remember, it's a conversation-starter, not a conversation-limiter, and we want to hear everything that's up with you (except politics). If this is your first Metatalktails, welcome! Do pull up a chair and post. MOAR BAGS.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:12 PM (185 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I have a bag problem.
I run out of space on my bags which means I'm always in the market for new ones.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:20 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I recently hung out with a friend who was wearing a fanny pack, from the hipsterish Chrome brand no less. If this means that they're going to be coming into fashion soon, I would find that very handy.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:21 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


A few weeks ago, I started carrying one of these around. I initially purchased it for my upcoming UK trip, but started using it as my bag of choice when my previous purse suddenly fell apart one afternoon ("I just bought you," I snapped). My primary consideration for bags is "can I get a scholarly monograph in here?" and this one fits the bill nicely.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:22 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I stopped carrying a "purse" this year after I came out as genderqueer and I am SO happy. Starting about age 11, I was constantly nagged after to wear one by my mother despite the fact that it never felt right; though I occasionally found a bag I didn't hate, I disliked the practice. I'd inevitably carry too much and everything would fall to the bottom and then my water bottle would leak or I'd get crumbs in a book.

What I do now is (now that it's summer) wear men's shorts with deep enough pockets to carry the necessities (wallet, phone, keys, lipstick, knife) plus one or two pieces of easy entertainment--juggling bags or a harmonica, usually. OR, if it's cooler out, I'll wear my new men's denim jacket, which has SO MANY pockets and which I have been carefully decorating. The patch on the back is from a t-shirt I bought for 79 cents at the then-abandoned Asbury Park boardwalk when I was a deeply dysphoric 14 and makes me pretty happy. We've both survived. Me and the t-shirt and Asbury Park, I guess. Here's my coat, and my daily carry.

The only wrinkle in this is that I'm the primary parent and often have to haul kid's stuff around, and for that, I sometimes miss having a larger bag. I read once that a woman's purse usually contains stuff for herself and also "communal" items that are to be shared with the world such as tissues and primary parenthood is pretty good evidence of that. My spouse got me a small ammo bag--French military, I think?--which can fit my camera, or I just carry my kid's shopkin's backpack, which works in a pinch. A few summers ago I was totally a hipster with a fanny pack. I actually think they're great.

Refuse to go back to purselife, though, personally.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:28 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


I have one of those swiss army backpacks (red, with lots of pockets). I have noticed that all of the middle aged dudes on the commuter train have the exact same backpack. And also my exact same all-black New Balances. And pretty much the same slacks and shirts. These guys are in their 50s to 60s. I am 33.

I also have an In These Times tote bag, for all those times I want to tote my politics around with me.

Relatedly, my toddler is in a "helpful tidying" phase right now and she has adopted the habit of walking around the house with grocery bags, tote bags, etc. as her "purse" and sticking everything she can find inside. My wife discovered my camera's battery charger in a random tote bag--it'd been missing for a month and I bought a replacement!
posted by duffell at 5:29 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


I am carrying a Tom Bihn co-pilot as a purse which was my birthday present to myself (I blame metafilter). I dithered for ages but finally took the plunge for summer -- I was tired of juggling a purse, diaper bag, briefcase, etc., to have everything I need, so for summer, I'm carrying the co-pilot and it's my all-in-one that's purse, diaperbag, briefbag, summer bag (hats, sunblock, water), etc., while I run my kids to five billion activities/camps/lessons every day. It's so nice just to grab one bag! It's big, but it's working for me so far. When they're back in school I may switch bag to a smaller purse (because then I just need my stuff and the toddler's stuff), but for summer when I'm running around to all kinds of appointments and classes and camps, it's nice to just have one bag. Plus, I figured, worst case scenario is that it doesn't work out as a purse, and I still have a nice piece of luggage.

I have had a week that was like a year -- basement flooded, moved our shit into a storage unit, had to have the lock drilled off my house, toddler fell and spent an afternoon at urgent care (she's fine). And then my father-in-law entered hospice on Thursday and died today -- fortunately my husband flew out yesterday and made it in time. (He had been sick a long time and deteriorating recently; it's not unexpected, and he was at the point that it's a mercy.) Anyway, I'm solo with the kids this weekend and the other mods are picking up my slack and covering my shifts as I'm pretty exhausted between the emotion and the rush to get my husband off and the solo parenting of three kids. They've been troopers! But exhausting little troopers. :)

I did get to see churachura on Friday, which was awesome! And we discovered Nano McGee thinks rumble strips in the road are the most hilarious thing in the world. And my "village" has been very supportive this week during our non-stop drama, from my local family and friends to my metafilter community, so I'm tired and a little sad but I feel enclosed by love, so I feel contented underneath it all.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:29 PM on June 16 [33 favorites]


For about 6 years my every day carry bag has been this replica of a Roman soldier’s satchel, called a loculus. I made it myself, which has come in handy as I’ve also had to mend the stitching a few times, but I expect it to last another decade at least. It’s just the right size to hold a 15” laptop, charger, tissues, medicine, etc.
posted by jedicus at 5:29 PM on June 16 [20 favorites]


oh jeez Eyebrows, what a rough week! So sorry to hear about your dad-in-law. Love to you and your family.

(And yay for ChuraChura time!)
posted by duffell at 5:36 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


I love purses, but if fanny packs are in, can I pair that with a lovely socks+sandals combination? I'm headed back to academia, so I've already started the process of morphing into my father.
posted by ghost phoneme at 5:36 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


"My primary consideration for bags is "can I get a scholarly monograph in here?" and this one fits the bill nicely"

For many years my primary bag-shopping consideration for all purses, briefcases, backpacks, etc., was, "Can I fit a fat paperback?" I feel like kindles have simplified my purse shopping considerably! (Also my vacation packing, I no longer have to decide between "adequate clothing" and "enough books to see me through the trip.")
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:38 PM on June 16 [10 favorites]


Player's Handbook or get back on the rack!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:39 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I love purses, but if fanny packs are in, can I pair that with a lovely socks+sandals combination? I'm headed back to academia, so I've already started the process of morphing into my father.

Yes, I think so. I was shopping for new kicks the other day and after browsing asos I came to the conclusion that a major current fashion trend is "90s yuppie dad."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:40 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Oh hey I have these pictures all queued up and ready! I just bought a new bike, super fancy, and naturally it involved putting together a new tool roll to account for all the new schtuff it came with.
posted by carsonb at 5:41 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Broke my collarbone last year, and was forced into the fannypack life for rides (it carries everything that doesn't go in the tool roll: spare tube, calories/energy, camera, keys, wallet) and EDC since one pocket was off limits. Though I was quickly corrected at my LBS after I called it that—they're apparently known now as "shred packs" because then you don't have to say 'fanny' all the time I guess?
posted by carsonb at 5:47 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


But saying fanny is the best part!
posted by ghost phoneme at 5:51 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


I got a colorful bag from the SF zoo that has giraffes of many colors all over it- it’s a very sturdy oversized tote which has become my go to. Still recovering from my hardware removal. Very tired. There was a sale at the garden center and I went cane and all. Just finished putting the dill in a pot- the hyssop into a raised bed, and the Shishito pepper into a much larger pot. Probably more than I should be doing but hey- gotta stay active right? I also bought more replacement carrots for the ones I am about to harvest and some more succulents for another big succulent pot. No energy left to put that one together though- I’m beat!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:53 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I'm thinking hard and I don't think that I've ever actually bought a backpack in my life. I just end up using hand-me-downs or company swag give-a-ways. My current backpack, which was swag from my wife's old job, is dying and I'm confronted with actually having to choose a backpack to buy. I love my job but the two backpacks that they've given me were total crap, the strap on the last one broke the first time I used it. I should probably do an AskMetafilter about backpack recommendations.
posted by octothorpe at 5:55 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I would post a photo of my purse but am weighted down by contented catlap. Instead, I will describe what is now my best purse ever.

I paid 4 bucks for a leather purse at Goodwill. It wasn't a stylish item, but was made well. Upon getting the thing home and finally deciding to switch over to it I discovered a hang tag (made out if the same leather) with "coach" embossed on it.

It must be an older bag because it's very plain and not in fashion, but by dog, it's made of the most heavy, supple, tightly stitched lesther I have encountered: comperable to custom leather horse gear.

I've now toted the thing for a year and it shows not one lick of wear. The fountain of youth must be enveloped within its skin. Even the shoulder strap is not showing any signs of wear..

And it's not a configuration that I thought I wanted, yet, the layout has proven to be the most perfect bag ever. I'm cringingly close to 60 and have searched for way too many years for a bag that works. There's no way that I would have ever paid full price or even discount price for the thing.
posted by mightshould at 5:59 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


My bag.

I paid too much for it but I couldn't say no because whenever I carry it around, it makes me feel like I'm in some cool Cyberpunk future. You'll notice that I have a nice collection of pins starting to dominate the top flap. I'm particularly fond of my Robocop pin. The yellowish star looking one is Disney, specifically the 'Official Conscience' pin that Jiminy Cricket is rewarded with in the film Pinnochio.

I have my work stuff, my Nintendo Switch, a bottle of water and a small pocket knife (always be prepared). And that's my bag.
posted by Fizz at 6:07 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]


I have this bag in khaki and I’ve had it for 17 years. However it is about to finally give up the ghost and I am like 😭. Trying to decide how to retire the old girl with dignity. Maybe she’ll get a viking funeral. In the meantime I think I’ll buy the same bag again but maybe I’ll go for black. I hope it’ll last another 17 years.

I love having a canvas messenger bag as my bag, it’s sturdy and gender neutral and it goes with everything barring a cocktail dress (even then I’d be tempted). In honor of Kate Spade’s passing I’m thinking of getting a small proper purse for those times I actually need something dressier. I like the look of this one But I’m dithering over it.

I also have to have a baby bag now because I have a baby. However I also am still in junior high so I went with this extremely 90s Jansport backpack. None more 90s.
posted by supercrayon at 6:07 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Holy shit Fizz that bag is amazing. 😍
posted by supercrayon at 6:10 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I miss having an herb garden. Fresh dill makes everything better. I hope recovery goes smoothly, homo neanderthalenis.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:12 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I know, right!??! And thanks. I paid $60 for it, which I feel is a bit too much, it's essentially a Jansport with an Atari® logo on it, but it just looks so cool. I know how superficial that is, but it was a purely aesthetically driven purchase. It does have a lot of pockets so that's a plus.
posted by Fizz at 6:13 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


This is my standard go to lab briefcase (the company likes to sell returns for half-off through their eBay store, and it was a "I'm a Doctor now" gift to myself back in 2015). It's usually got a half dozen fountain pens in it, mostly of the "is that a nib, or a needle dipped in ink" variety, my current lab notebook, my laptop, a tin with disposable toothbrushes in it, a tin with painkillers / cold drugs / allergy drugs for when I need them at the drop of a hat, an umbrella, and my shopping bag.

My wife (also Dr Bored for Science; we met in the same lab and did grad together), made the shopping bag. It's covered in cats.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:14 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Making You Bored for Science...that's the type of bag I dream about buying but there's no way I can really legitimize spending on a bag like that, especially for the type of job I have. I don't travel enough to warrant needing something that fancy.

*wipes drool from chin*
posted by Fizz at 6:17 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


I have had a succession of big black leather bags and am envious of mightshould's score. Current bag is from LL Bean outlet, plain but sturdy leather. I had a spiffy colehaan bag (thrifted) that was embossed leather, and it finally got so worn out it had to be retired. The last of my iced tea spilled in it the other day, confirming that I put *everything* in it.

I have a messenger style laptop bag I like a lot. Worn olive drab canvas with a leather bottom.

When I had a baby, I also had a bookstore and I used a Penguin books swag book bag as the diaper bag because it was for Make Way For Ducklings. No pockets or compartments and it worked just fine.
posted by theora55 at 6:25 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


My very favorite bags to carry are my string grocery bags (similar to these). They weigh nothing and squish way down, so I can stuff one or two in my purse without any bother, and they'll carry a bunch of stuff. Perfect!
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:26 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


"it just looks so cool. I know how superficial that is, but it was a purely aesthetically driven purchase. It does have a lot of pockets so that's a plus."

You know what? Your everyday bag is one of the things you see and use most often -- every single day! A great shirt you wear once a week. But a great bag, every single day. So it SHOULD be something that makes you happy every time you see it! There is no better value-for-money in terms of buying happiness than buying a bag that delights you.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:27 PM on June 16 [11 favorites]


Ooooooh all your bags are just lovely and also make me drool with want. My favorite everyday bag is still an old Orvis Fishing Creel, only slightly dirtier and more worn out. It definitely makes me happy because I don't worry about it getting dirty and can fill it with rocks and sand samples and too many pocket knifes. Also because I'm someone who picks up *everything* outside to put in my pockets, yet hates things actually in my pockets, there's no end of weird outdoorsy things like snake skeletons or pine cones or cool leaves or grass grains & dead moths I want to identify and stuff like that, and it carries those odds and ends just fine. And while the actual content has shifted somewhat since the last thread, the spirit remains the same: books, rocks, pens, stickers, and random assorted science crap. (Although Mary Anning is back on my desk where she belongs.)

Fanny packs are my favorite go-to geology field pack! I feel so freeeeeeeeeee! with one. I can run up and down rocks all day with a fanny pack! And the best part of a good solid backpacking pack is when the brain (the pocket attached to the top) converts to a fanny pack, so you can leave your pack behind and go run up a 14er or something - yay for multi-use/function bags!

*happy sigh* A good bag is just the best thing.
posted by barchan at 7:03 PM on June 16 [10 favorites]


Also, Fizz, your bag and shoe(s) fit my mental image of you perfectly - they seem very "you" in a way I can't articulate, but which is awesome.
posted by barchan at 7:06 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I have a Rickshaw Commuter 2.0 (they're currently on 3.0, but it's similar) in tweed as my office bag. I've had it for at least four years now, and it looks brand new. Best feature is magnet closures that overlay the velcro - it's silent and keeps the bag from picking up gross on the velcro.

I'm starting a new field bag life with an Osprey Daylite Plus, since my 12 year old North Face Jester disappeared when I moved to Pennsylvania. (It was full of field equipment when I disappeared, and I am Really Peeved About It).
posted by pemberkins at 7:14 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


My go-to handbag is a sophisticated, black Rebecca Minkoff satchel I've had for a few years. Despite sagging a touch, it's held up remarkably well. However, next month, I'll hit my one year vegan-versary, and I'm growing increasingly impatient to own a vegan bag. While I no longer buy leather, I'm not getting rid of the bags I already own because they're well made, they'll last for years, and I would rather use them up. Vegan bags made of plastic have their own environmental/ethical concerns, so I'm looking at pineapple or mushroom leather as options, too.

Realistically, I'm not made of money (sigh), so if my milestone comes with a new bag, it has to be semi-affordable. Being vegan has complicated things, but life is complicated and nuanced and interconnected. That out of the way, ohmigosh, look at this Matt and Nat bag y'all.
posted by missmary6 at 7:27 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


My bag these days is a red leather purse I found at the Salvation Army for $6.

So last week Friday I quit my job. I had originally told my boss my last day woube June 22, but yesterday at 4:30 I was told that they don't need me next week. I was given my paycheque and all of my accumulated vacation pay and that was it.

And so because I did not know what to do - be embarrassed? Angry? I just ...packed up and left without saying goodbye to anyone. Eighteen months of working desperately to stay afloat at the most stressful job I've ever had and it just ended, and I feel like nothing I did mattered.

I have some interviews lined up for next week so I'm still in the "no, this is going to be fine" sort of mindset, but also UGH.
HAPPY THINGS: I am taking an introduction to acrylic painting class this weekend. The class is pretty free-form, so today we mixed paint on colour wheels and worked on a self directed painting (we were encouraged to bring in pictures or photos of whatever we wanted to work from). I do not have a photo of the thing I painted but imagine a 16x20 canvas portrait of Chi the cat from issue 6 of Chi's Sweet Home. Cats are liquid but they are also circles, which are easy to draw. I am quite happy with the way it turned out and will try to come back to this thread tomorrow and post some photos.
posted by janepanic at 7:34 PM on June 16 [17 favorites]


My bag is a basket (Bolga Basket), and I feel like a fairy tale character wherever I go! (And I will never lose anything in the deep depths of a purse again)
posted by MountainDaisy at 7:37 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


So as I mentioned here, I usually carry a handbag from Vanson Leathers. Inside that lies a Big Skinny wallet, a small pouch (aspririn, band-aids, hair ties and the like), a small tube of Bigelow Rose Salve (my hands are always dry), building keys, a couple of pens, big honking SOG knife and a linen hanky. I use the knife and the hanky at about the same frequency. The key to my Subaru lives on a carabiner attached to the handle.
posted by workerant at 7:44 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I have a red canvas Converse backpack and a blue Air Pack backpack that aren't special enough to rate pictures.

My wallet, however, I found lying on the street near Bupyeong Station. It was new and just lying amongst all the regular Bupyeong refuse, so I grabbed it. I don't like Andy Warhol, but I do like Michael Jackson, and I do like finding stuff on the street, so I kept it. Sadly, it is made of cheap plastic and is now mostly held together with tape, but I think that makes it even better, although my wife hates it.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:49 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]


This is my day hiking/trail running bag and its everyday contents. Going clockwise, starting at the backpack:
- Osprey Daylight, the new ones are a lot fancier
- random collection of plastic bags, ziplock bags, paper napkins and towels
- Water filter, I top off my water from creeks and springs where I hike/run and don't want giardiasis
- Silnylon dry bag, keeps phone and stuff safe in case of heavy rain
- Sharpie
- Tick key
- Lip balm aka nipple balm
- Crappy earbuds
- Can opener
- Leatherman Micra
- Safety whistle
- LED squeeze light
- Six feet of dyneema cord and mini carabiner
- Eight feet of parachute chord (emergency shoelace)
- Deuce of Spades, I poop in the woods responsibly
- Cotton handkerchief for my sweaty face

Not pictured:
- water bladder, they get funky so I rotate between a couple
- repair kit: diaper pin, safety pins, two zip ties, a couple feet of duct tape rolled up
posted by peeedro at 7:57 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I'll tell you about a bag I used to have. It was made of a material so soft that if it weren't a backpack, it would be a perfect blanket to go to sleep under. That's about ... all I remember, sadly. As anticlimactic as it is, I know the bag played a huge part in my childhood but I'll be darned if I could remember specific instances of what I used it for.

Now I'll tell you about a bag I actually remember. I bought it from a dollar store-- a Daiso, if you must know--: a drawstring bag that began fraying as soon as it emerged from a single washing machine and drying machine cycle. I lost that bag; it was rendered most superbly unusable. I really felt quite bad for it.

So here are two bags: one I used a great deal and remember nothing about, and one I never used and remember everything about.

I'm not going anywhere with this.

About myself... I've been stuck on the same scene for hours but it looks like I'm finally finishing it up. (I'm writing.) I usually use up most of my words on my fiction because it's the easier thing for me to do. But even I need a break from that sometimes.
posted by redrawturtle at 8:00 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]


I made an album. 95% of the time I leave the house I'm carrying a laptop so that's my most important category. Second is non-laptop bags which need to be roomy enough to carry the few things I need and also small purchase and one or more units of beer/wine.
posted by bendy at 8:02 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Oh redrawturtle, I was so excited by your username (is it "red raw turtle"? "redraw turtle"? Something else?!). I notice that you answer it in your bio, but I am going to pretend it is still a mystery. :)
posted by Literaryhero at 8:05 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


That Michelle Obama bag though, bendy.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:13 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Broke my collarbone last year, and was forced into the fannypack life for rides ... Though I was quickly corrected at my LBS after I called it that—they're apparently known now as "shred packs" because then you don't have to say 'fanny' all the time I guess?

In the early 90s, I worked at London’s Hard Rock Cafe selling merch to tourists, and oh how my British coworkers would giggle when Americans would ask for “fanny packs”
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:20 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


and oh how my British coworkers would giggle when Americans would ask for “fanny packs”

I know why they giggle. What is the British terminology for those bags then? Just wondering.
posted by Fizz at 8:25 PM on June 16


Bum bag, apparently.
posted by carsonb at 8:29 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


That's still giggle worthy.
posted by Fizz at 8:31 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Waist bag
Bum bag
Belt bag
Hip sack
Hip pack
Butt pack
Fanny pack
...
banana?
posted by carsonb at 8:31 PM on June 16


I'm in mourning for my favorite tote bag, which I've had for close to 10 years. It's either been stolen (likely) or lost. It was made of theater curtain material, heavy, limp, Syracuse Univ. Drama Dept. It would hold a dozen hardbacks, if necessary, or laptop and 300-crossword puzzle book and phone and pens etc etc. I also used it as a grocery tote and it would hold a lot more than you'd think. It was my all purpose tote and I loved it and miss it.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:32 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


I have had a week that was like a year -- basement flooded, moved our shit into a storage unit, had to have the lock drilled off my house, toddler fell and spent an afternoon at urgent care (she's fine).

Oh hey, us too! I mean, we had the house flooding two weeks ago, which wasn't so much the basement (we don't have one) as all four bedrooms in the house. So spouse + me + two roommates have all been camping in the living room. (I also got diagnosed with Every Breathing Obstruction Possible between my trachea and the various orifices air might try to enter my face, which means that surgery ranging from "remove all the tonsils" up to "break jaw in two places, re-form so it's longer" is almost certainly in my future.)

Anyway, we bought s'mores and weenies and toasting sticks and pretended the gas stove was a campfire, which seemed like pretty much the only thing to do at that point. I'm so glad my roommates have rolled with all this shit like champions, too--like you say, my village has more or less banded together to express support, and that matters to me.

(I am currently the sort of Very Fashionable Adult whose purse consists of a Lihit Labs organization bag attached to a luggage holding strap. Eventually I plan to embroider a Captain America shield to the top and call it good.)
posted by sciatrix at 8:54 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


I didn’t buy this bag at my fave bookstore earlier today, but I took a picture.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:17 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Also here’s another of me and a bag in ancient days.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:19 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I have this bag. The EDC is a tiny sketchbook. The bag is from a local (Toronto) company called Ynot, and its named after a neighbourhood that I live adjacent to, but thats not why I bought it. FTGFERSBBCAAC stands for Fighting The Gangster Frankenstein Earphone Radio Slavery Big Brother Conspiracy At All Costs.
posted by rodlymight at 9:48 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Omg. I have a bag problem. I’m trying really hard not to buy more, so I’m thinking I need to skip this thread. I just got a backpack I love. And I waxed poetic about it here.
posted by greermahoney at 9:55 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


I carry a limited run vinyl laptop bag from Daame. I bought it because I hate carrying my laptop with a purse but was about to need to for work. It is lined in a gorgeous bright blue and has lots of pockets, but the zipper is chintzy and it folds in an unappealing way when I carry it. I'm not in love with it, but I'll carry it for the next few years for sure.
posted by potrzebie at 10:01 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I have a Kånken because I'm a young Swedish urban hipster and thus it's obligatory. They used to be nicknamed "the communist hump" (kommunistpuckel) and I'm okay with that.
posted by Vesihiisi at 10:31 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


I'm so sorry about your Father-in-law Eyebrows, I hope you're happy with the care he received in Hospice. :( I'm glad your husband was able to be at his side when he passed.
posted by supercrayon at 10:40 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


MeFites with pets who like football(soccer) should do this:
Psychic Pets: can your pet predict the World Cup results?
It's for SCIENCE!!!

I need to learn to use some sort of image sharing site (and how to take a decent picture). I'm sort of a bit of a luddite when it comes to certain tech.

Back around first grade when I was running wild in the woods my EDC was... an ARMY belt with a canteen/cup hanging off, some sort of K-bar like beefy knife for when the pocket knife was too little, and a med-kit/survival-kit with all sorts of things for the random scrapes and just to make a kid a bit happy.

When I want to impress, I carry the SWAG bag from the 2001 Techs In Paradise conference. That was back in the days when the Internet2/edu/research types went to Hawaii once a year.

Now I have two bags, the small one can be packed in the big one like a little exploratory vessel. Mostly nowadays I carry neither and just go with wallet, cash in pocket, keys, phone. But when I'm entering strange lands, it's at least the little purse that barely fits laptop+kindle and pens, pencils, random altoid tin of pills and bandages/etc, chapstick, snacks, water. The big bag takes that and chargers, books, jacket, more snacks. The best is probably the little cable organizer thing... basically stiff with a pocket on one side and the other with a chaotic weave of elastic webbing to hold cables, dongles, chargers, etc. all in place. That bit stays out most of the time because I use it to hold handy shit in one place.

I have a whole stack of SWAG bags and bags that came with laptops, and bags bought on trips to hold presents on the trip back. Should KONDO those things.

Bonus - during my homeless stint EDC was a bit of a broken mirror (do you have any sharp objects in there? why yes I do, but not what you're worried about.), a whetstone, a little single blade pocket knife, and a leatherman. I did a lot of sharpening for barter. And could give a decent dry shave with that pocket knife. I mostly used the leatherman for wire crafting to make brands...

Anyways, pretty slow week here. It's JuneGloom cold (It was hot a few days ago, now it's cool and it feels cold) so I just went WTF turn the fan OFF you fool and it's a good time to cook something.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:40 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I am a teacher with zero responsibilities right now besides extensive dog exercise, so the closest thing I have is my awesome running vest (which also serves as a biking vest) and is getting used daily.

EDC items inside or in the front pockets include: leash (unless we’re doing canicross and he’s harnessed to me), poop bags, bear spray, light top layer if I might need it, minimalist wallet (since cars keep getting broken into at the trailheads dammit), car keys.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:26 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


My current bag is the hoodie max from this etsy shop. I love this shop--for several years, my bag was the mini classic, which took a ton of abuse and only got retired when I realised that it had been so abused that the top and bottom were two different colors. I also have the classic, which is much larger than it looks and is my knitting bag. And I just got my kid this bag, which they love. I keep telling myself that next time I need a bag I can get one of her leather or waxed canvas ones, but these things are so durable that I suspect it'll be a few years before I can justify it. (Or afford it, I suppose.)

In news that is unrelated to bags, my supermarket had buy one, get one on pork butt roasts, so I have 3.5 kilos of pork butt slow roasting in my oven, blessed with some shandy, garlic, salt, and a cut-up grapefruit. Tomorrow we're gonna have tacos.
posted by mishafletch at 11:47 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


I’ve had to switch to a rolling backpack for work for health reasons (was hoping to avoid this by getting a doctor required, super light fancy laptop but was still getting back pain!), so I spent too much money shipping this galactic beauty from America to France. It helps deal with the repeated questions of if I am going on holiday after work.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:49 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


For grocery shopping I have this bag, all Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Also a canvas bag from a random bookstore in South Amsterdam that says in English "Put your face in a book!".

Best wishes to Eyebrows and janepanic and sciatrix and other people who are having one of those weeks.

I am kind of in the valley between stressful things right now. We just spent a week in NY where my husband and my mother met for the first time (with some moral support from AskMe...) and were really valiant about communicating in broken English and broken Japanese respectively. I kept my temper a lot better than I usually do with my mother (not because she's annoying, she isn't, she's wonderful, because I am immature and dumb), and we saw friends and family and my husband loved the city and understood for the first time what I mean when I talk about pretty buildings.

The official first month of IVF is starting, and I have this perfectly irrational conviction that the more doubtful I feel about whether I want a child or not, the more likely I am to conceive/carry to term on the first try (statistically not terribly likely at all). Oh well, I am carrying on on the principle that anything can happen and something usually does.
posted by huimangm at 11:50 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


Alchemy Goods messenger bag, bitches.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:54 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Shopping bags... Amazon.com: 100% Cotton Canvas Oversized Grocery/Multipurpose Tote Bag 5 Pack, Shoulder Length With Extra Strong Cotton Webbing Handles: Reusable Grocery Bags: Kitchen & Dining. I got these at the first signs of California banning plastic bags, and they have been amazing over many years. Can easily carry a 30 case of beer with more on top. Sturdy AF. (Shoulder straps could be a bit wider for heavier loads...)

Edit: August 15, 2012 purchase
posted by zengargoyle at 12:40 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I'm actually kind of sad to discover that LL Bean has discontinued the bag that's been my primary bag for the last three years or so and is thankfully still in amazingly good shape. It was meant to have a bunch of patches on it but I lost a few of the ones I had initially, and since then now I have a new stash that I have meant to sew on but haven't gotten around to. It has a million pockets, which I love so much that I use basically none of them and it is the giant swamp in which things I own go to die. Its primary purpose is not carrying my wallet or keys, which still primarily live in my pockets, but to cart around my MacBook Pro in a cheap laptop sleeve, along with the equivalent of an entire medicine cabinet Just In Case.

I keep wishing I had something exactly like it but with a shoulder strap, but not enough to actually figure out how to attach a shoulder strap to it.
posted by Sequence at 1:26 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


My backpack is some Jansport thing with fake leather and about a million weirdly placed pockets (I once found a rock-solid croissant in one, and I never figured out how long it had been in there). I bought it with a community college scholarship and had it for most of my college career. It’s just about the dorkiest thing ever, but it was free, and I will go way, way out of my way for free stuff.

I’m dealing with the worst insomnia of my life, which sucks. I tried staying up for 20 yesterday hours to reset my schedule, and by late afternoon I was so tired I was nauseous.

I’ve also finally given up on trying to fix my stereo, after months of frustration after frustration. I am completely and thoroughly useless as a repairman. I’ve wasted so much money on parts and it still doesn’t work right. Absolutely useless.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:31 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Insomnia sucks, I’m suffering with that at the moment, and hate that it makes my anxiety worse in addition to the exhaustion.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:37 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Yeah, seriously! Brain’s all like “panicking will help you sleep, right? Have you tried waking up at 4 in the morning thinking about every mistake you might make in the future?”
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:47 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


I'm an old bag, sagging at the sides, stitching starting to come undone. I carry a lot of unnecessary cargo, I wake at 3am and think about every mistake I've made in the past.
posted by valetta at 2:00 AM on June 17 [11 favorites]


I have a really great tote bag that an awesome friend gave me. Also, recently I made myself this killer little harness-pouch out of shiny black stretch fabric. The pouch is just big enough to hold my phone, keys and bank card. It's perfect for going out dancing! (I tried to take a picture, but because of the location of the straps the pictures all turned out sexier than I'm willing to post, sorry) The funny thing is while I was making it, I thought "hmm, maybe I should put in a separate compartment so stuff doesn't fall out whenever I pull my phone out. Sure enough, I went out dancing and lost my bank card. I got to stomp around to some glorious old goth tunes, so I didn't mind, though!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:15 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


When hungry, eat.
When tired, sleep.
Have you finished your dinner? Wash your bowl.

The last is the reality with which you must deal. Sleep is 90 minutes at a time, it takes two to tango, so 3 hours is just right. What will change in those 3 hours. Set alarm at 3+1/2 if you need just for the time to forget and sleep. You'll be better after. 4+1/2 then 6 is better, but that's almost normal anyways. Take what you can get.

Take 30 minutes to prepare for 3 hours and sleep. It's almost that easy. No worries, crawl into bed, sleep.

Go the Fuck to Sleep, Morgan Freeman - YouTube
posted by zengargoyle at 3:18 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


This thread has inspired me to consider getting a new laptop backpack. I'm not a hand bag person; I'm a many pockets and a backpack person.
My laptop bag has been with me for 10+ years and is definitely getting worn in more and more places; furthermore, I think it would be handy if it weren't just another black backpack, which there always are loads of when you visit a hackerspace. If it were a different colour it would be easier to spot, and if it were a rich, dark purple... that would be pretty gorgeous, wouldn't it?
*dives back into AliBangExtreme*
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:37 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Two-Ticky, spray-paint. Get a new one if you must due to age... Get some masking tape and some Purple paint and go wild. Get stencils and spray paint and knock yourself out.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:47 AM on June 17


Spraypaint on nylon fabric? I don't think that would work out well.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:54 AM on June 17


Oil crayons then. I have a shirt with 20 years of washing that has those damned oil crayon thing from that girl. The fabric is worn out and full of holes and totally unwearable. That ORANGE streak is still there.

Visit an art store. There will be something that will work for your application. (spray paint works well IMHO, but maybe not nylon.)

Buy a (cheap but functional) bag you can Paint how you want.

(Purple spray paint goes really good on a pair of boots....) ((some maintenance required)).
posted by zengargoyle at 4:01 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I appreciate your ideas, but I can get a cheap but functional bag that has the exact colour I want... in fact I'm rather spoilt for choice. I do love my local art store though!
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:07 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Gotcha, I'm a bit punkish and a bit more art projecty and Purple is my color. :)
posted by zengargoyle at 4:12 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Fair enough :-D
I'm into artsy T-shirts lately, I've been experimenting with bleach. Some piccies here.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:24 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I have carried an LL Bean Book Pack for over twenty years. It was the second thing I bought with money from my first job when I was 16. The current one is version 2.0; the original was stolen when my car was broken into in 2000. Luckily, the thieves emptied the contents in a bush down the road, so I recovered all of the books and most of the sentimental items. All I lost was a pair of Oakley sunglasses and the bag itself. But the new bag has served me well since.

Cobalt blue, monogrammed. The latter in particular has led to some interesting experiences over the years. My initials mean something else in a different context (KGB), and so nearly everyone who sees the bag asks me about them. Sometimes in dramatic ways: in college, a girl jumped off a bus to ask me if they're my real initials.

This question amuses me. Do you think I'd get some random letters monogrammed on a bag? And if I didn't choose the letters randomly, and I were somehow associated with the actual KGB (which no longer exists, btw), would I advertise that on a bookbag?

But yeah, I carry it with me most places. I have a notebook, some reading material (usually a book and an issue of the New Yorker), a magnetic chess set, the aforementioned sentimental items, my Swiss Army knife from my honeymoon, and some hacky sacks. I feel like, if someone randomly found the contents of my bag, they'd get a pretty good sense of who I am.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:55 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Nice. Mine ended up yellow-ish or just eaten away leaving holes. :)
Your artsy is beyond my "paint it Purple". Now I sort want to know how you make that work. But sorta don't because I don't need that many more shirts....
posted by zengargoyle at 4:56 AM on June 17


I’m still carrying the ikea family backpack and all the assorted content from the previous thread but the padding on the back is starting to wear through and both zip pulls have been replaced with key rings after snappage.

I am thinking of getting the kit for either this rucksack or this one but might hold out till birthdaymas as it is something that would work well as a group gift from my family/in laws (and my birthday is a week before Christmas so gifts for me is already tricky).

I still use the satchel I made from previous kit and the sandals so I am happy to invest the time/blood into stitching a rucksack.
posted by halcyonday at 5:02 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Oh and having just completed my first responder training, there is now a disposable face shield in case I ever have to do cpr, a credit card sized card reminding me of DR ABC* and other tips and a new wallet, containing most of the contents of the old wallet. Must also remember to add non-latex gloves.

* Danger (check for any), Response, Airway, Breathing, Circulation
posted by halcyonday at 5:11 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


LL Bean has also discontinued my beloved bag (mine is a lovely blue color scheme), though it's holding up remarkably well at 12 years old. I am not looking forward to having to replace it, because it has the absolute perfect combination of pockets for my use.

But since we're showing off EDC type stuff, I do have to show off my wallet, aka the Wallet O' Democracy, which is the ultimate destination of every "I voted" sticker I've received for the last 10+ years. (There should be more stickers, ie, there should have been more voting - I'm getting better at voting every damn chance I get.)
posted by obfuscation at 5:42 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Fanny packs are indeed having a moment again. I just bought one last week!
posted by phunniemee at 5:46 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Is that a jansport fanny pack?! it's so nice!!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:58 AM on June 17


For the past several years my wallet has been a monogrammed money clip that holds my various cards together. A gift from my wife!
posted by duffell at 6:05 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Is that a jansport fanny pack?! it's so nice!!

It is! They have a ton of styles right now. I got the one closest to the teal and purple 90s fanny pack of my youth.
posted by phunniemee at 6:13 AM on June 17


A kind mefite sent me my current bag. Black with leather straps with just the right number of pockets. As a masc butch genderqueer trans being its hard to find a bag that hits the right spot. Usually I carry everything in pockets in male shorts (women's pockets are a tool of the patriarchy) but my hips cause them to fall (nothing like dropping pants as you struggle with groceries and a cane). It rocks this bag. And I'm forever grateful.
posted by kanata at 6:25 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I have several bags. Apologies in advance for the poor photos.

This Timbuk2 messenger bag is my work bag. It holds a full-sized laptop, ipad, Suneye, camera, water bottle, lunch, paperwork, and miscellaneous other crap, plus groceries on the way home—very capacious. It's seen a lot of heavy use and shows no sign of quitting anytime soon.

This Deuter Speedlite 20 is my backpack for short day hikes and general farting around in the woods near my house. It gets used more days than not. Good for a camera, water bottle, snacks, and a bit of emergency gear. I've had it for years and it's been a great bag to me.

This ULA Fastpack is my backpack for big day hikes and minimalist overnights. Unusually for a pack of this size, it has no waist belt—just extra-wide shoulder straps. This gives me great freedom of motion in my legs and is quite comfortable, as long as the bag isn't loaded to more than 20 pounds or so. It's my newest pack.

This Osprey Atmos AG 65 is my backpack for bigger overnights and multi-day trips. It's good up to about 35 pounds, which is about as high as I'd want to go. It has a "brain" section that goes on top but I keep that removed unless I need the extra storage. Very comfortable with excellent access and organizational options.

In other news, I accepted a new job last week! It's the same line of work for once, doing site visits for a solar company, but I'm really excited about the organization itself. They're an employee-owned benefit corporation, and as best as I can tell so far they really take seriously all that flat-heirarchy, take-care-of-your-employees-and-empower-them-to-do-good-work stuff that most companies only pay lip service to. The pay is the same as where I am now but the benefit package is much better, and includes an employee stock ownership plan, paid volunteer days, sabbaticals, an HSA, and solid 401k matching. They do semi-annual financial meetings, where all the employee-owners at the company get to hear about and comment on the details of the company's financial situation. I know somebody who started working there about six months ago, and a little while back he basically said "come on in, the water's fine" so I'm feeling pretty positive that this is going to be a great culture to work in.

It's also a compressed work week, so I'll have three day weekends every week which will be huge for me. The work itself sounds like it'll be fewer appointments but they'll be more thorough and technical, so there'll be more skill involved but less driving across the state from one house to the next. I also get to set my own appointments, rather than relying on the whims of the sales team. The division I'll be working for is also located somewhat to the north of where I am now, so I'm anticipating a move in a month or two to northern MA or southern NH, which will put me closer to the White Mountains as well as finally getting me back out of my parents' house again, something that I'm coming to realize really needs to happen if I'm to progress in my life the way I want to. I sent in my acceptance last Wednesday and gave notice at my current company immediately. My current company has yet to acknowledge my notice, which is just typical but also I don't have to care anymore.

Overall it's a very exciting and positive time in my life, and I'm hopeful that good things are ahead.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:29 AM on June 17 [14 favorites]


And this week has been a hellish one with pain med disappearing off the market, still trying to figure out how to heal without a therapist to help me, crack using upstairs neighbor waking me up so sleep sucks, rent going up and this morning my dog running across a street to chase a cat while I'm in pjs. But I'm really enjoying being in the card club and connecting with mefites on Instagram.
posted by kanata at 6:30 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


My normal backpack is a women’s Timbuktu computer bag, which I like because the outside is a professional grey canvas but the inside is fun but not excessively femme purple with white polka dots. It’s also waterproof, has a padded computer pocket, two water bottle pockets, two front pockets and a under flap pocket, all of which are just big enough to hold the things I need without being big enough that things get lost inside. The flap is also where I can pin my “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”, “Love trumps hate”, and Planned Parenthood pin.

Much much much more fun, however, is the bag I’m making for a coworker who brought my some kimono fabric scraps when she went to Japan on vacation. (I don’t know if she knows that the rule is that when you give craft supplies, you get completed crafts back, but it is.). She wears a lot of space-themed clothes (nebula-printed skirts, solar system necklaces) so I found some super adorable solar system fabric that I’m using for the lining and I’m in the middle of sewing hand appliqué planets to the front. I’m so incredibly pleased with how it’s turning out. It’s also keeping my brain busy at something I enjoy, because in 25 days I have major surgery to take out my gall bladder, a third of my liver, and a benign tumor along with it and if you think that’s isn’t taking up a metric crapload of brainspace these days you would be so very incorrect.
posted by athenasbanquet at 6:39 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


A kind mefite sent me my current bag. Black with leather straps with just the right number of pockets. As a masc butch genderqueer trans being its hard to find a bag that hits the right spot. Usually I carry everything in pockets in male shorts (women's pockets are a tool of the patriarchy) but my hips cause them to fall (nothing like dropping pants as you struggle with groceries and a cane). It rocks this bag. And I'm forever grateful.

Spouse and I are the same size and he recently accidentally put on a pair of my jeans and was like "Where are the pockets...?! They've disappeared!"

(Meanwhile I recently picked up a pair of his jeans and realized they have a flexible elastic waist that fits me like a glove AND man-pockets and immediately bought myself a pair. Bonus is that the very butch style guide on amazon is just plain hilarious. "You're no gym rat, but you've got more muscles than most guys. These jeans give a little extra thigh and glute room, hello ladies!")

The struggle is real.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:39 AM on June 17 [10 favorites]


Yes, I think so. I was shopping for new kicks the other day and after browsing asos I came to the conclusion that a major current fashion trend is "90s yuppie dad."

Apparently this is an actual Thing, cf this NY Times article about exactly that.

Personally I hate carrying a bag and only do so when traveling. I get by with just pockets (wallet, keys, phone, once in a while a knife) but look forward to a future of smart locks and miniaturized technology so I could carry even less. But I also keep buying bags, since I have to use them sometimes and I'm never satisfied with the ones I have; I have an entire row of them on the top shelf of the closet, and that's after donating a bunch of unused ones recently.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:41 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I literally just bought a new laptop backpack, which I am loving. (The Timbuk2 Command backpack) It looks nice! Huge! Gender-neutral! Padding done in a way that my back doesn't get gross and sweaty!

I'm currently trying to figure out what purse I should be getting... I've been using a giant slouchy-hobo crossbody bag that can carry basically anything (books, umbrella water bottles, last minute groceries) for the last couple of years, but it's pretty beaten up. I just started a new job(!) last week, so I want something more professional-looking that's also ridiculously sturdy. I'm... torn on whether or not it needs to be huge. (I want it to carry all of the things, but if I'm going to carry a backpack, maybe that's excessive. Hm.)

thomas j wise, that looks like an awesome bag, and it's going on my list of potential candidates! Other candidates are the Rickshaw Soho tote or a Duluth Trading Co bag...
posted by devrim at 6:50 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


It's been a not-great week (guinea pig severely - possibly terminally - ill, work impossible), so I went book shopping to distract myself and instead found this bag. The guy in Waterstones was unconvinced ("you know there are other bags down the shop? It doesn't have to be this one?"), but as far as I'm concerned it's perfect.
posted by Otto the Magnificent at 6:57 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I feel you should all know that I just bought this fanny pack thanks to this thread (my 4 year old helped pick the style). I already have one but this one will fit a paperback, hopefully without becoming a crap and crumb catcher.

But I also keep buying bags, since I have to use them sometimes and I'm never satisfied with the ones I have; I have an entire row of them on the top shelf of the closet, and that's after donating a bunch of unused ones recently.

I KonMaried when I was pregnant and what was most revelatory about the process was her reflections on younger sisters not having a chance to develop their own taste because they inherit things both from their mothers and older sisters, things that are never quite to their tastes but too nice to say no to. And this was especially true of my purse collection, which had traveled with me across four states since high school. I had over 40 purses in my 800 square foot apartment, and out of them, I'd bought fewer than 10. I whittled the whole thing down to maybe 12 bags and since then have maybe bought three more, all in heavy rotation, still--a fjallraven knapsack, a rainbow kid's courier bag from target, and a fanny pack. It was such a clear illustration of my actual tastes and really helped me to say no to new hand-me-downs. I need to do it again. Those bags that I inherited since, I regretted pretty quickly, like a recycled plastic woven backpack my mom gave me where items would slip out the gaps between the netting, including, once, my wallet. The Wrong Bag is a big problem!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:05 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Also, as for life stuff, I'm pretty positive I have lyme disease, as the lymph node pain I had in this question hasn't abated and has now been joined by crushing fatigue and foot pain. I've been to my doctor twice and he was SUPER dismissive so I'm going back to my nurse-midwife, who is good with lyme stuff (the sweet spot between empathetic and evidence-based) to demand bloodwork, finally, this Tuesday. Talking about bags is a nice distraction from the fact that I know my feet will feel all pins and needly as soon as I get up off the sofa.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:07 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Typically, I just have my wallet and keys and such in my pants pocket. My phone is usually in my pants pocket or my shirt pocket or just tucked in my bra. If I'm out and about and not near home or work or walking distance to my car, I go with a small bag: this shoulder bag is great because it's big enough for a battery, a kindle, assorted small things (usb thumbdrives, reading glasses, bluetooth earbuds, etc) and the padded compartment on the back is big enough for my ipad in its case. I have a small S-clip on one of the strap attachment points so I can clip it around things to keep it from sliding away or to keep it easily accessible when riding in my brother's Jeep.

When I do carry a larger bag, my regular backpack is a Falcon II backpack from Maxpedition (except in bright blue, which is a less 'tactical' looking color) - good for carrying my laptop and assorted tools and power supplies and clothes for an overnight. It's expandable so it can take a lot of stuff but compressed down well when mostly empty. Since I once had a problem with not clearing all the TSA-noncompliant things out of my bag before going to the airport, I don't travel by air with it. I travel with a bag that always gets completely emptied out before loading up: my Courierware messenger bag, and I have a couple of bags - one big grey backpack, one big brown luggage bag - from Yukon Outfitters via woot for fairly cheap. (I like having the straps on 'tactical' bags for attaching things, but I don't actually want to look like I'm trying out for the local SWAT team, so I tend to go for non-black colors). I also have and love my brown 'bug out bag XL' from countycomm, which seems to have been discontinued. It looks similar to the one listed here, so lots of pockets.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:19 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


My bag from Etsy seller Dollypun in Thailand.

Yes it was that brilliant when I got it, but it's really faded now, having been my every day carry for two years.

I should probably order another one, but right now she doesn't have any rainbow tie dye, so I may have to go with DoYouDreamOutLoud in Hawai'i.

Yes, I like brilliant colours, but rainbows in particular. Queer it up!
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:28 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Otto the Magnificent, I'm sorry you're having a rough time, and that bag is indeed perfect.

PhoBWanKenobi, I hope you're able to get a diagnosis and help soon.
posted by lazuli at 7:34 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I saw a canvas tote on etsy that I want one day. Plain black with emotional baggage written on it. I'm a sucker for novelty bags and in your face writing these days.
posted by kanata at 7:39 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I have a black Michael Kors purse that I use most days. I'm not a huge fan of having a designer-labeled bag but they have such perfect cellphone pockets (and two of them! one for each of my cell phones!) that I'm loyal. It's not quiiiiite big enough -- a big paperback fits in there but makes the bag look uncomfortable -- but I generally like it.

My work bag is a Rickshaw messenger bag in tuxedo tweed with a bright turquoise lining that I bought due to MeFi recommendations and that I LOVE. It makes me happy every morning. Especially since they got me a lighter work laptop.

This week has been stressful and weird. Department is reorganizing, and they gave out new work assignments at a last-minute 8am Monday meeting, which maybe 50 of the 350 department employees attended; they passed out printed Excel spreadsheets with each person's new assignment. Managers didn't even know their assignments until that moment. No effort, as far as I can tell, was made to inform people who didn't attend the meeting (I scanned the papers and emailed out the PDF to our team). The spreadsheet has at least two errors, so I have no idea whether to trust the assignment listed for me there, and boss's boss (who is the only person who can confirm) was out of town this week for a family emergency.

I am actually really excited about the new assignment (though nervous in that "ack, new job with new manager" way), but I'm worried that someone's going to say, "Oh, no, wait, that's wrong, you're actually not moving," which would end up with me very unhappily continuing to work with nightmare staff member while losing my boss's backup (she's retiring) and adding the energy of the team's new boss, which is very similar to nightmare-staff's energy, and I really don't want to do that.

So! Fingers crossed that the magic spreadsheet is correct!
posted by lazuli at 7:44 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Also I hosted my first entirely-vegan dinner party last night and I am very proud of myself, and also it was a lot of fun.
posted by lazuli at 7:45 AM on June 17 [12 favorites]


I have one of these waxed canvas bags from Queen Bee, which I bought when the strap broke on the glorious cherry red leather satchel I'd been using. I love this bag - my laptop fits in it, I can use it when it's raining, it's super durable, you can change the size if you need to. If this one ever wears out, I'll probably buy the same thing again. I've never been a fan of purse-looking bags and this is a great solution.

Life: I spontaneously bought a pottery wheel that was delivered this week, and I'm trying to turn my garage into a studio, which is SO MUCH FUN. I made six beautiful mugs yesterday without going anywhere. I've asked friends to please make sure I leave my house sometimes so that I'm not taken down by loneliness and/or silicosis. My job is COMPLETELY BONKERS this month, with high-stakes presentations and meetings every single day, and this will be my sanity.

Other than that, I'm having nasty conflict with my ex spouse about kindergarten readiness and early childhood education, which is both boring and upsetting, and I'd love to know when coparenting after divorce stops being emotionally eviscerating and becomes routine - soon, please? I've been spending a lot of time with the friend I'm quietly besotted with, which is neither boring nor upsetting. Said friend has gotten me into watching professional rugby, also, which is hilarious because I don't generally give a shit about sports and am a completely awkward sports fan. And my garden is exploding with delicious fruits and vegetables that are mostly not being eaten by squirrels.
posted by centrifugal at 8:06 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]


I've been carrying the same black leather giant shopper/tote by The Sak for the past 10 years. I've bought other bags but I always go back to my big leather tote. I don't actually carry that much in it, but it works really well for when you forget your shopping bags because you can fit a ton inside of it.

In life news, I had an interview on Friday. I don't think I did especially well, but I'm proud that I actually did the interview instead of chickening out at the last minute. Then I had an adrenaline crash and slept for almost 36 hours straight.

Oh and I finally watched the entirety of Deadwood!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:16 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


I’m carrying a six-year-old version of this Briggs and Riley laptop backpack, and it still looks new. Virtually no signs of wear. I have my laptop, power supply, backup phone/kindle battery, lightening cord, headphones, mouse, notebook, pen, and Kindle in it. It could hold more. I love it because the straps don’t cut into my shoulders, and it stays in place (I’m a short woman with narrow shoulders). Oh, and it’s lined in bright orange, so things don’t disappear into a black hole.
I also carry this EBags purse, which is crammed with way too much stuff. I bought it for a trip, but it’s light and convenient, so it’s still my everyday bag.
I also carry a tote for my newspaper, coffee thermos, breakfast and lunch ( why yes, I do have a long commute, thank you for asking).
posted by dbmcd at 8:22 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Bag story (plus request)

A good 20+ years ago in the New Yorker there was a small ad for "Danish Boys BookBag" something like that although perhaps norwegian, and it was available for mail order but the magazine required all mail order products to be available at a NYC store. So one day wandering the upper east side I noticed the store something like bread&chocolate which was a childrens fashion boutique but the owner was a friend of the bag importer and had a few bags available.

Best bag EVER!!!

Simple heavy duty canvas shoulder bag that could unzip to carry more books than I could have ever managed. Simple, elegant, practical. Best ever.

So I locked it one evening in the trunk of a car for a few minutes with passports, money, essential docs, and ran out of the garage to look at some street performer in a south american country... yep gone, poof, another complicated story.

But did not get a replacement right away and really kicking myself. So REQUEST: anyone know about this bag? would really love to track one down. Probably gone but any memory, search thoughts?
posted by sammyo at 9:03 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


About 18 months ago I persuaded work to get me a surface book for my laptop, to maximise the benefit of reduced load on my back my SO got me a new bag to go with it, a Rains large black rucksack, which has been great, light, wipeable, looks professional, sits across my chest if I need to walk anywhere.

I am in the run in to holidays, last working day on Thursday, off to a family wedding in Wales followed by 2 weeks in lovely Italy, Bologna-Dolomites-Venice. Very much looking forward to it, already getting a bounce from knowing work will be up just a few days. Made my wedding contribution yesterday by knocking up a pile of veggie chili so early arrivals will have some option other than plain rice. Got some work things that need doing but hopefully manageable.
posted by biffa at 9:09 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


sammyo, would this one be a good substitute? There is a review that mentions the original Danish school bag. (More pictures available here.)
posted by elsietheeel at 9:23 AM on June 17


kevinbelt, everybody in Maine gets bags at the outlet or local thrift shops where LLBean donates them, often monogrammed. A seam ripper will remove the monogram, but sometimes people can't be arsed, so it' not uncommon for Mainers to cary bags with somebody else's initials.
posted by theora55 at 9:33 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I have mentioned previously how terrible I am at performative femininity but I still try sometimes because once in a while I like feeling pretty. I have a Lux de Ville kisslock bag that was discontinued many years ago and still looks fabulous. Day to day, I either carry a Lug bag puddle jumper, because everything I own fits in there or a nondescript charcoal messenger bag that fits my laptop.

In other news, my new Principal Investigator that has taken over my NIH grant is getting on my last queer nerve. My last PI basically left me alone to run my program for 12 years. My new PI is really digging their hands in and mucking around with my work. While change is necessary and often for the best, I honestly thought about using some old and destructive coping methods last week. I didn't, so that's good, but I came pretty close, so that's not.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:39 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Since I telecommute, I don't need a work bag often (have something boring and black in the back of the closet just in case) and I'm not certain if I own a purse, but I do use my shopping bags quite a lot! I love them because we can get SO MANY GROCERIES in each one, and they are easy to throw in the wash & hang on the line. I have another set that is a little more fanciful (not shown - the pink giraffes) that I often use for knitting, beach, or random stuff to take in the car on a trip.
posted by hilaryjade at 9:51 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I'm going to start with my update: Our local pride fest yesterday was AMAZING, and the highlight for me was running into my doctor and hugging the stuffing right out of her and being able to say thank you in that kind of context.

I've been to a bunch of pride fests before, but this one was the first one that was openly for me and a celebration of myself. If someone got more out of it than me, I want to me them because they probably had an amazing time.


So my current workday EDC is appalling, but I guess it's not as bad as when I was actually living on my bike and carrying everything, everywhere, all the time.

So off the top of my head, here's what my current EDC looks like when commuting/working via bike. (The non-bike EDC is essentially the same, minus the bike tools, toolbag and bike.)

This is pretty much every work day and not exaggerated. I carry around an enormous amount of crap, and it's kind of alarming I can actually inventory all of it without even looking at it.

Bags: 3 main bags - handlebar touring bag, underseat toolbag, Ortlieb rolltop 10L cargo.

Handlebar bag usually contains: First aid kit, large ziplock bag full of food/snacks, instant coffee, salt, electrolyte mix, pepper spray, map of local trails in map flap, gloves, paper towels and other sundry consumables. Handlebar bag also usually contains bike light, 18650 flashlight, headlamp and my bike speedo/computer if I'm not riding and the bike is parked.

The food/snack bag usually contains: Plastic camping spoon/fork combo, chopsticks, salt and pepper shaker. Food-wise it usually contains apples, avocados, jerky, crackers, mixed nuts and usually some kind of chocolate or higher quality sugar.

Seat tool bag contains: Triflow lube, patch kit, bike multitool, tire levers, disposable gloves, spare cash for cab/bus/food/beer, spoke wrench.

Main Ortlieb bag contains: Macbook Pro, portable filer/file holder box, clip board, large wool pashmina, rain jacket/shell, spare sweater or cardigan, power cord for MBP, headphones, bluetooth speaker (often strapped to bike) and then a Magellan mesh travel bag organizer. (In winter, add thermal layers, bike tights, gloves, neckwarmer, chemical hand warmers.)

The mesh travel organizer contains: Work/everyday notebook, personal mini journal, a paperback book and now FOUR sub-bags. Yes, my EDC bag is highly fractalized.

Pen case: Cool little mesh/fabric pen case that stands upright when open. It contains: About twelve Micron pens in various nib sizes and colors. Mechanical pencil. A couple of sketching pencils. Art gum and eraser. Pencil sharpener. Workday writing-focused ballpoints like the V5 or Uniball Deluxe, also clicky gel ballpoints. Post it pad. Scissors. And one rather unique thing for a pen case, and it's a micro SD card in a little tiny USB adapter. The micro SD card contains a bootable install of Ubuntu Studio, which instantly transforms my Macbook (or nearly any computer) from work computer to full art/music/media studio.

Zip mini bag one: Toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, sunscreen, moisturizer, good ear plugs and a small pill case holding spare meds.

Zip mini bag two: Smoking materials and accessories, spare USB battery bank that uses 18650 cells, spare 18650 batteries, mini USB micro cables, iPhone USB power cube (because it's tiny!), rolling papers and related materials.

Zip up mini bag three: Cannabis vape, tools, carts, and related bits.

In addition to this I usually have three different metal canteens/flasks, two of which live on the bike in bottle cages and the third usually goes in my bag. Lately the contents of those run like this: Sport top Kleen Kanteen - water. Insulated flask - coffee. Plain top flask - red wine for after work bike ride, which is often shared with random friends on a random beach around town.

Also, I usually have a good SOG multitool on my belt and leatherman Juice in my pocket and a pocket knife somewhere. There's also usually a cloud of other small useful metal bits secreted about my person, and these range from good, strong vintage safety pins to bits of spring steel from street sweeping brushes. The bits of spring steel are because they make discreet, legally portable lock picks and useful pipe-cleaning pokey tools. I actually had to use one of these just yesterday because we couldn't find a key at work and we needed to get access to our basement in a hurry.

Wait, it gets worse. If I'm doing photography it's basically all of the above plus camera, tripod, camera accessories like ND filters and shutter release, spare batteries and memory cards. (Granted, if it's a dedicated photo adventure, I leave a ton of stuff, like the MBP and mobile office stuff.)

Why all this crap? I like to work hard and party hard. If you break down my EDC it's pretty evenly split between "mobile office" and "art" and "play".

Since my job is so chaotic and we all share an office about the size of a broom closet and I don't even really have a desk, most of my paperwork is done hot desking basically anywhere I want. So I get to set up my mobile office and desk in various parks and beaches and docks all over town, and I love it so much. I got really excited when I realized I could go to our great little office/art supply store and I could afford to buy some new pens, my pen case and portable filer to help kit out my mobile office.

It's actually incredibly productive and efficient, and I can stay focused for so much longer because there's always these great views right there and it's like I'm on break all the time, except I'm actually working and don't have to take breaks at all. A "break" for me might mean pausing to watch an otter for thirty seconds then going back to work, or typing and thinking while staring off at the mountains and water and just going "Aahhhhhh this is nice."

And then when work is done I can shift right into that and I'm ready to go find adventures or someone to hang out with. I can go for a nice bike ride, have dinner in a park, practice DJing or just listen to some tunes on my headphones or decent speaker.

And right now the difference between work and play is... nebulous at best. I basically get to hang out, be a helpful know-it-all and be friendly and my job essentially does itself.
posted by loquacious at 10:02 AM on June 17 [11 favorites]


In addition to the purse and laptop bag, I have a designated book bag, NYer swag, and a dance bag, which, when I went to photograph it, I realized is very grubby. Bags. I always seem to have a bag for activities, like a jewelry-making class, book group, library books and dvds, ready-t-go overnight bag, beach bag, dog toys, etc. I want to take a piece of wall near the door and have a ton of hooks, so I can just hang up all the bags.
posted by theora55 at 10:17 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I always hated carrying a purse, so I usually just throw my wallet, keys, and phone in my pockets and am good to go, but since it's roller derby tournament season, I've been wearing my obnoxiously floral fanny pack more often, even in non-derby contexts. In it, I carry chapstick, earplugs, headphones, at least 3 pens, a bottle opener, some Advil, tampons (on any given weekend SOMEONE on my team will be menstruating), my pocket knife, loose change, some fun stickers, a protein bar, and a phone charger.

This weekend turned out to be unexpectedly lovely. My girlfriend and I had a giant list of work and chores to do, and then around noon yesterday my girlfriend said, "Hey, do you want to go on a bike ride and get some lunch?" It turned into an all-day affair, and we scrapped the chores. We biked 8 miles up to a brew pub we like, had some good tacos and beer, biked back to a second brewery, had another beer, ambled the last 3 miles home and did some work to get our kitchen sink hooked up. Today, the canoe club in our neighborhood was having an open house so we stopped in to check it out and ended up paddling around a bit, me in a canoe and her in a flatwater kayak. Tonight we're going to have dinner with friends who are fostering 5 puppies.
posted by coppermoss at 10:20 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Ooh yay, I get to rave about my pack! I'm starting a thru hike of the PCT in a couple weeks, and I'll be taking this lovely number out with me. It's a semi-custom pack made by Superior Wilderness Designs, and I'm just over the moon about it. It's light (half the weight of my previous Osprey pack), comfy as heck, and super-durable. The craftsmanship is impeccable; I'm pretty amazed this is a hand-made pack. I certainly couldn't sew this straight to save my life. Easily my favorite piece of gear I've ever bought.
posted by jacobian at 10:43 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Elsietheel, continuing to send good job-getting thoughts your way!

Sophie1, sorry you’re having a rough time. My current manager is super hands-off and that’s one of my worries about getting a new boss, too.
posted by lazuli at 10:53 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I got onto the Tom Bihn bus because of Metafilter. This is my bag (with bonus cat, who wondered why the hell I was taking a picture of my bag.) Woe to anyone who calls it my purse. It is not a purse. It is a bag.

I've been having weird anxiety issues for the past couple weeks -- weird because I don't know what I'm actually anxious about. Today is the two-year anniversary of my dad's death, so there's that, but I shouldn't be having full-on panic attacks about it, and I haven't really been ruminating over it. (Yeah, your father passing away on actual Father's Day is about as great as you'd think. What's more, there are actually two anniversaries: Father's Day, and the date Father's Day fell on that year, which was June 19th.) I'm hoping that getting past the anniversary will magically mean getting past the panic attacks, because they happen while I'm driving, and getting to and from work for the past couple weeks has been harrowing.

I mean, I had a couple really, really bad years. I made it through the other side. I survived them, when maybe other people wouldn't, so I am strong! I am strong, and things are generally pretty good right now, and I'm a survivor and I am smart and I am good at things! So why can't I do something as simple as drive home from work without freaking the fuck out? :{

There. Now that I've typed it, it's going to be all better. Right?
posted by mudpuppie at 10:54 AM on June 17 [19 favorites]


It's Sunday morning and not Saturday night so in the spirit of fellow travellers... hi, I'm GuyZero and I have a bag problem.

Maybe I'll post photos later, my bags aren't that much to look at, just that I have, next to me:

- two messenger bags (Timbuk2, Peak Design)
- a small shoulder bag aka my "man purse" (Chrome)
- a decades-old Tenba laptop bag that I used to use to haul around my Thinkpad 770 back in the day that still get used for some stuff and looks 5 years old as opposed to 25.

In the garage I have a Patagonia backpack, a REI backpack, a couple duffel bags and an ancient huge hiking backpack from MEC that's probably all delaminated and crumbling at this point.

And I've been contemplating buying a very expensive ultra-lightweight backpack because... because. Because I have more money than sense or something.

Oh and there's my work bike commuting backpack (Osprey) which replaced my previous work commuting backpack (Chrome). In fairness, the new one was a free from work because the old one was still in perfect shape.

And technically a bag I backed this cute bike frame bag on Kickstarter and use it for carrying stuff when my wife and I are out on our tandem. Although it has a full rack and, uh, panniers, which I still have a pair of and I guess they're bags and those are like 26 years old (MEC).

Oh wit and there's actually another backpack which was another work giveaway (brand unknown) that I use for workout stuff as it has a dedicated ventilated shoe pouch through the bottom.

My EDC is basically phone, keys and wallet so it's not like I even carry a lot of stuff except when I'm travelling. I have learned much about the genders criticisms of purse shopping by basically waking up one day realizing that I basically do the non-purse equivalent. And I can't even offer you a tissue most of the time.

So yeah. I don't really need much stuff, but I do like having somewhere to put it.
posted by GuyZero at 11:14 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I mean, I had a couple really, really bad years. I made it through the other side. I survived them, when maybe other people wouldn't, so I am strong! I am strong, and things are generally pretty good right now, and I'm a survivor and I am smart and I am good at things! So why can't I do something as simple as drive home from work without freaking the fuck out? :{

There. Now that I've typed it, it's going to be all better. Right?


I don't know; does surviving actually make you stronger? My experience--and I've had Shitty High-Stress shit happening approximately every six months for almost five years now--is that it winds up making you more fragile, because your reserves for tackling the crappy thing and landing in stride get depleted and so does your ability to honestly believe that the crummy time is temporary. I am much less able to roll with a punch and bounce up, grinning, and ready to tackle the next one than I was even three years ago, because I don't have a lot of those reserves left. I think of it kind of like stress fractures and muscle strain: little stresses that you can then pause and heal fully will strengthen your body, but chronic stresses that never get the time to heal will weaken it.

So, like... you are strong, and you are a survivor and you are smart, but also, you bear a cost of that survival, and you shouldn't expect yourself to be quite as ready to bounce back as someone who isn't dealing with long-term chronic stress and hurt. Chronic physical injuries take longer to heal, right? Why shouldn't chronic emotional injuries? So give yourself the room to forgive yourself for being anxious and scared and not handling things well after those kinds of years. You're still building up your reserves.

I'll tell you when I figure out how to believe myself on this one, but it's something I'm really trying to work on at the moment.
posted by sciatrix at 11:25 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


The return of the bag thread, yay! The original thread resulted in my purchase of this really lovely Le Donne Leather Tote, now sadly only available in black (but majorly discounted) (but its equally refined cousin is available in tan). I love the clean lines and it's held up really well.

A few weeks ago I bought a really cute summer floral canvas tote at the Ralph Lauren outlet (not available online, boooo). My mother saw it and guilted me into giving it to her (actually we traded for a Dooney & Bourke handbag that was nice enough but too small for me, so I passed it on to my daughter), so now I'm using a pink and coral leather tote I bought from a friend for $20 when she downsized her closet, even though I think the pink-and-coral combo is "out," fashion-wise. It suits me and feels summery.

I love totes but don't like rummaging through them, so my bag is full of cosmetic and pencil cases that contain all the detritus and miscellanea I carry with me, sorted by category.

I carry my work stuff in a BlueQ shoulder tote that is not pictured here, but I can vouch that these will last a couple of years with daily wear and you'll feel like you've gotten your $15 worth.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:35 AM on June 17


I've also been on the search for my next work bag. When using a smaller, lighter urban bag I've been using an eddie bauer map/guide shoulder/cross body style nerd purse for, oh, almost twenty years now.

This worked ok when I had a netbook that fit inside it, but it's always been a weird struggle of not being quite large enough. You can't put a jacket in it, and I often have to dangle crap off the strap, like draping a jacket over it, clipping a water bottle to it, or carrying my compact tripod outside of it.

What I basically need is a modern cross body courier bag but don't want another sporty tech fabric bag. I want something more adult and vintage. I'm pretty sure I want some kind of black/grey leather shoulder bag that's somewhere between a leather shoulder bag/satchel and cross body bag. Something sleek that's not too masc/butch, but not quite a purse, either.

It needs to have some pretty key features, like good pockets and organization. There need to be no weird fake metal bits, such as straps with buckles that don't buckle, but have useless little snaps instead. The whole thing needs to properly zip closed, too, nothing should fall out if inverted.

It needs to handle: laptop, slim file case, pen case, notebook, a coffee/water flask and some accessories. Maybe a compact camera, a bit of lunch and a spare sweater.

I've seen a few vintage bags that come close, but so far all of them have goofy, unfunctional crap like the dreaded non-buckling fake buckle closures.
posted by loquacious at 11:52 AM on June 17


Also: On surviving stress - no, it doesn't always get better or make you stronger. Sometimes it just wears you down and takes a bunch of hit points from the RPG character sheet that is your life, and sometimes they've been spent. Or take a long time to recover.

That's... a rough one to hear and accept, and practicing some stoicism here helps a lot. It's life. We're all mortal and limited silly meatbots. Not everything we do makes us stronger.

My personal approach is apparently to try to avoid it, sometimes at very large costs like abandoned relationships. Or jobs. Or even keeping myself housed. All of which have their own stresses, too.

But more importantly to try to arrange and live my life by my values and to avoid having to be involved in much larger stresses, like, a toxic work environment or family member or relationship.

It's actually pretty juvenile and solipsistic, but it's also self-care and trying to have a less shitty personal life with hopefully minimal negative cost to anyone else.

I guess I don't have any easy words on this one except to remind everyone we're not alone in dealing with these things, and perhaps in sharing them, we are stronger and it does get better.
posted by loquacious at 12:04 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Right now I'm carrying this tote bag, which I got at the British Library last fall. It's kind of cheap and thin, but I love the blocky, almost abstract letters. I'm home so much these days that it seems kind of pointless to carry a purse, but I spend a lot of time longing for something better/nicer that still feels like me and is in any way affordable. Maybe I'll find something vintage at some point.

As for what's up with me: General "the world is bleak and horrible" background despair, paired with being really distracted and unproductive at my very demanding job (freelance journalist). You all help keep me sane. Also, I have a new nephew (number five, and a sixth is on the way!) and all I want to do is bury myself in baby pictures.
posted by mynameisluka at 12:43 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I have two Timbuk2 messenger bags: a large one which can fit the large MBP I use at work, and a smaller one which fits my personal 11inch laptop. This works pretty well for my work/personal split, and the personal one is usually (over)full of a bunch of D&D and curling stuff as well as the laptop.

Both bags are pretty nondescript to look at: all three panels on each are the black “ballistic” fabric Timbuk2 offers. This is primarily for durability and waterproof-ness, but I also like having bags that don’t attract attention while walking down the street.

However, open the top flap of each bag up, and they’re both covered in pins. Anything from pins that my employer gives out for awards or work anniversaries, to pins from various curling clubs, to things that just make me happy like an Awn Elming memorial pin. My laptops are both similarly covered in stickers. It’s possible I have a problem...

(No photos, sorry, as both sets of pins would pretty easily identify me IRL, and it would be a pain to remove the “sensitive” ones for a photo.)
posted by fencerjimmy at 12:57 PM on June 17


This works pretty well for my work/personal split, and the personal one is usually (over)full of a bunch of D&D and curling stuff as well as the laptop.

I'm dying to know how a curler manages to carry around a broom and/or those crazy-big stones in a messenger bag that also houses a laptop.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:04 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


For years I carried a Jansport Big Student backpack in navy blue. I still have the same one I bought close to 20 years ago somewhere in a closet. When I went back to school a few years ago to finish my degree it was my go to bag whenever I had to actually be on campus and carried my books and laptop with ease. The fact that it looked a bit old and worn out was the perfect metaphor for how I felt being in my late 40s and surrounded by people in their late teens and early 20s.

For my current job I was issued a laptop, and realized that while I have several backpacks I could put a laptop in, I didn't have a laptop backpack. After some searching online and looking around at what the people at work were carrying, I purchased an OGIO Renegade RSS backpack in black. So far so good, it's got plenty of pockets and compartments and isn't too awkward to carry. The only customization I have on it so far is a SomaFM keychain, which goes well with my SomaFM water bottle and insulated thermos. I use the thermos to bring in my morning tea.

A picture of some of what is in my bag:

- Generic business-class Dell running Windows 10 and (most importantly) Flare 2018, Snagit, and Git for Windows.
- Mechanical pencils, leads, erasers, and a pencil case (all from JetPens.com)
- Graph-ruled composition notebook (I tend to write lots of quick checklists and do brainstorming on paper)
- CMoS pouch with some spare office supplies

Not pictured:
- Bose On-ear wireless headphones (although I am just about ready to bite the bullet and get the noise cancelling version - I work in an open-plan office and it can get noisy)
- iPad (5th gen) that I mainly use for reading manga on my lunch break, although I do have some work-related PDFs and e-books on it that I reference from time to time
- Various wrist braces for when my RSI flares up
- Pocket knife, cheap spare mechanical pencils, and a small notebook
posted by ralan at 1:08 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I carry this embroidered dragon bag on the back of my wheelchair, filled with all the respiratory medical supplies I need in case of an emergency like my ventilator dying. (Ambu bag, spare trach, inverter, all sorts of plug adapters, duct tape, multi-tools, etc.) Earlier this year I was in an Anthropologie store, and a woman rushed out from behind the counter to get a closer look, yelling OH MY GOD I LOVE YOUR BAG. I thought "damn, I make this life support crap look good!"
posted by Soliloquy at 1:17 PM on June 17 [15 favorites]


I've also got a Timbuk2 Commute, picked up cheap on an REI clearance sale back in grad school. It doesn't get much use these days, but it's my go-to travel messenger bag, mostly because it's TSA compliant and I don't have to take the laptop out for them to scan it.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 1:34 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


As promised, here is a photo of one of the paintings I made this weekend.
posted by janepanic at 2:03 PM on June 17 [11 favorites]


I have a soft spot for these bag convos every time. Love seeing other people's.

The older I get the more I try to figure out how to pack light despite my kneejerk "be prepared!" scout tendencies (especially in summer I'm with PhoBWanKenobi; whenever the answer can be really good pockets instead of a bag at all I'm happy). But like others mentioned upthread I make sure to always have an option for some doorstopper tome and a laptop or art supplies too, even if actually going out with it doesn't happen as often as back in the student days, ah.

Also one of those folks who's been trying to make, and happy to see, the fanny-pack-but-nicely-done thing happen (bravely, amid snobby lookdowns from fashionistas in town even). I like practicality (and admittedly thumbing my nose at horror-gasp dos and don'ts dogmatic rules) as part of fashion, always have.
posted by ifjuly at 3:03 PM on June 17


mudpuppie: Ha, brooms and stones would be a challenge. On the other hand, my game notebook, curling strategy books, stopwatch, and other small accessories fit just fine. I am a nerd in several ways. ;)
posted by fencerjimmy at 3:11 PM on June 17


My best bag is pretty close to this one. It's about ten years old now; it was a present for whichever anniversary is the leather one. I get lots of compliments on it and I never quite know what to do, because I'm not the kind of person who usually gets compliments on apparel or accessories. My husband has seriously good taste though!

I'm feeling a little low tonight. Every so often I have one of those conversations with my dad that reminds me that he doesn't really see me at all, he just sees a woman-shaped societal role. It's not like it's news, so it shouldn't really sting anymore, but it still does. Whatever my faults as a parent, I hope my kid doesn't grow up believing I don't care enough about her to pay attention to how she sees herself, and what's important to her.
posted by eirias at 6:31 PM on June 17 [9 favorites]


eirias, *hugs* if you want them. Also, that is an awesome bag.
posted by lazuli at 7:11 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


"Also I hosted my first entirely-vegan dinner party last night and I am very proud of myself, and also it was a lot of fun."

Ooooh, would you mind sharing the menu? We have very close friends of many years that we like to share our "family feasts" with and we all enjoy it very much, but the dad just became vegan and it's thrown a bit of a wrench in our festive meals! My vegan meals are mostly pretty plain pastas with veggies, or warm winter stews that taste good but aren't really PARTY meals. He became a vegan for health reasons (not ethical ones), and doesn't mind a bit if WE eat meat, and says I should make my festive roasts and things and he'll just eat sides, but I'm having a very hard time with that idea because I'd feel like a terrible host!

I purchased an OGIO Renegade RSS backpack in black

I have their laptop tote and I get non-stop compliments on it when I use it -- it's a great bag! Although those teeny side pockets are so shallow they're nearly useless -- they can carry headphones/USB cords/keys and that's about it. It'd be nice if they made the one on the side with just one deep enough for a smartphone.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:39 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Ooh! I love handbags. This season, I've been going back and forth between these three:

1) I bought this Orla Kiely on sale last year, and it's great and super-sturdy (I'm hard on bags). I've loved it alot and it holds pretty much everything.

2) This one popped up somewhere (Instagram?) and I kind of loved it. The US store was sold out, but I ordered it from the UK site, where it ended up being on clearance, so even with the shipping it ended up being less than I'd planned to pay.

And finally

3) My sister and I ended up stuck killing time in a mall last month during one of those complicated wedding/funeral weekends. We both walked into the store and saw this one, and we both ended up buying it.

Anyway, you were wondering why I'm broke all the time . . .
posted by thivaia at 7:49 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I got my bag at Target for $20 in a fit of desperation when I needed something big enough for the camera and all my stuff yet smaller and less, well, hikey than my backpack. I didn’t like it much at first but it has grown on me. It is like an infinite bag of holding - I just keep stuffing things in there and it just miraculously keeps fitting them. Now getting them out again can be problematic, true, but at least I’m making it out the door with camera, wallet, fan, fancy scarf in case of sudden cocktails, notebook, prescription sunglasses, umbrella, checkbook, small bag o’ medicine cabinet type stuff, Kleenex and so on, as you can see! That is me, with my bag, and then the bag and then everything that was in the bag this morning. Except keys, usually there are vast keys carabinered on to one of the straps.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:49 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee, that is the cutest laptop tote I've ever seen.

(Calculates whether I can justify buying another bag )
posted by thivaia at 7:52 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows, I did:

Main: Vadouvan-Roasted Cauliflower with Harissa Chickpea Curry

Side: Cucumber Salad, North Indian Style

Dessert: Talenti mango sorbet with a dark chocolate bar to which people could help themselves.

Reflections: I don't make a lot of curries, let alone complicated curries, so I was very happy to have done a test-run of the main dish a few weeks in advance. On the first run, I did not quite understand that I was frying-frying the shallots, and they were soggy, which I could correct the second time. I also found I really liked the chili-pickling vinegar on the main dish (even if you/guests don't want to add the actual chilis), and I found that it's worth seeking out vadouvan powder rather than curry powder. (I got mine from the local Savory Spice store.)

I did the full recipe and split it among the three of us, and that felt like the right amount of food. If you want to use if for multiples of four, I would add more side dishes.

Cucumbers: If you do that, slice them thinly. Recipe makes it sound like you can slice them any ol' way, and maybe you can and still be in the spirit of things, but I wished I had sliced them more thinly.

Hidden traps: The pickling ingredients call for sugar; not all sugar is vegan, so Google that and find a brand that works (Whole Foods apparently has a number of options). The dark chocolate I bought was not officially labeled "vegan" but the vegan-labeled chocolate was $6 for an ounce so I risked buying something that did not have "milk" or "milk powder" on the list of ingredients; it was okayed even though it said "May contain milk products" (which I figured was more about allergens than actual ingredients). Also I had to separately Google how to cook with lemongrass because this is the first recipe I've used it in, but it was easier than I expected.

Also: Wine! Guest preferred the unoaked chard I had, I preferred the grassy sauvignon blanc she brought.
posted by lazuli at 8:01 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


oceanjesse's suggestion was the winning one when I asked MetaFilter what bag I should get back in 2013. I didn't end up getting the actual bag (got the black leather variant, of course) until spring 2015, when I made it a gift to myself because I could finally afford it with a new job, as well as because I needed a nice laptop bag for work travel. Looking at it now, where it lies splayed open on the "bedside" coffee table where I'm keeping a lot of things at the moment (I'll be sleeping on the couch for another 6 weeks, I guess, while my broken ankle heals), it still basically looks like new. That is one workhorse of a bag.

Of course, everyone who's ever had to carry it, fully packed, has complained greatly of its weight, because it's been my main EDC bag now for the past 3 years, and I keep it stuffed. I didn't answer the question in the thread last summer because I was so busy in New York, I couldn't give my answer the care it deserved, and for much of the time back east, I was also using this Guatemalan recycled cotton bag I'd been gifted. Even now, the barrier to my answering this immediately was that I just have so. much. stuff. in the laptop bag. I'm not going to be able to use it for a while, and when I use it again later this summer when I can walk again, I'll almost certainly have to strip it down a bit to not weigh like 50 pounds, so as to try to accommodate my healing ankle. I'm kind of considering buying another L.L. Bean backpack like the one I carried and repeatedly replaced via their generous replacement policy for all the years I was in school instead.

The bag's contents include like every current MacBook Pro adapter known to man, so many pens, at least one Pepto-Bismol To-Go tube, at least one Burt's Bees lip gloss, a laptop sleeve (they didn't include a sleeve back when I got this bag), the nice Canon camera I never use, this awesome tiny Belkin travel power strip, aluminum tins with more adapters, a compass, a P-38 can opener, cough drops, small black notebooks I've been given at various retreats and conferences, at least 2 bottle openers (one in black enamel on an exterior zipper), a bag of pins I designed, an old-school phone card or two, prescription sunglasses I never wear, a macro/wide-angle lens set, a handful of unopened tiny silver flash drives, and probably many more things I'm not going to hop over to double-check. For all the various computer adapters, cords, peripherals, etc. I bought a basic set of mesh bags on Amazon that have served me well. When I go places, I generally add in the laptop, at least 2 pairs of headphones, my all-silver EDC keychain I'll have to detail, a little black Microsoft Bluetooth mouse, my phone charger cord, a realistic-looking pizza-slice pouch I got at I want to say MoMA (in which I keep my work receipts, naturally)...

But for now, I'm living out of two totally utilitarian/ugly bags slung over my walker, which offend my style sensibilities, but which I don't really want to put money into replacing, as I'm hoping this will just be temporary. The front bag, in some kind of black ripstop nylon with velcro to attach it to the walker, has a bottle of vitamin D3, a bottle of vitamin C, a little hand sanitizer they gave me in the hospital, deodorant, a plastic grocery bag for carrying additional one-off things, the pizza pouch, my silver EDC wallet, and sometimes other toiletries.

The side bag, a light silky nylon Missouri Botanical Garden bag I've been lent, has the rest of my medication, a plastic bag they kept one medication in at the hospital that now holds basic makeup (Aveda tinted cream that I've discovered may have been discontinued, ugh; eyebrow pencil; pencil sharpener; tweezers; tiny clamshell mirror shaped like a MacBook), JĀSÖN cocoa-butter lotion, my hairbrush, some basic black hairties (I had a whole pack of them that has disappeared off somewhere), and my previous hand sanitizer.

One of the many small annoyances about this whole situation, since someone else had to pack up all my stuff for me, is that I currently don't know where everything is—I had been using a totally different green nylon bag whose whereabouts I don't know right now, somehow my good headphones' cord and carrying bag has been misplaced, etc. But bit by bit, I'm figuring it out. Sigh. It could be worse.
posted by limeonaire at 8:33 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Reminded: many years ago SWIM may have bought a girlfriend a vile tuppence-ha'penny leopard print fannypack/bumbag as a gift. Complete with a copy of Bon Jovi's unremarkably-ghastly mid-'90s "Always" single secreted inside. Like that made it better.

Sharing this Bag Fact about SWIM is genuinely preferable to letting you all see my current Bag Of Choice. I hate you all, you cool baggers!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:37 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I carry the old school version of the MEC sling pod that I bought in Toronto in 2007. When I was in Montreal in 2014, I was going to pick up another and it looks like they're cheaping out. It isn't as solid as the old one and the logo is stamped instead of embroidered.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:43 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I have this green wonderful backpack which seems to be the simplest possible incarnation of the STARTTID from IKEA. It cost under $10, and I've used it for little weekends away, too, and I've never, ever seen a similar one here. They seem to only make it in black now, though? Worth a look if IKEA is near you.
posted by mdonley at 9:09 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Update: I found the hairties! They were actually right where I put them, just buried under stuff. So that's one mystery solved.

I suspect finding the headphone cords, headphone bag, and green bag is going to be harder, since I had nothing to do with misplacing them. Grr.
posted by limeonaire at 9:09 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I still haven‘t bought any of the bags I was contemplating in the last thread.
But bag-related news: I now carry a sharp Laguiole Pocket knife for fruit in my bag and it‘s amazing. I can get peaches, peel and slice them and look elegant doing so. Looking at the company’s page, these knives seem to be crazy expensive, but since it was a gift from my dad, I wouldn‘t be too upset about losing it. Happy Dysfunctional Father Relationship day, everyone...
posted by The Toad at 9:42 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I’m not gonna talk about my Kate spade bag but instead my Kavu Crossbody Bag I found at savers.

I’ve taken it across 12 time zones in two months and holy freaking hell this bag is awesome.
posted by nikaspark at 9:47 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I've carried a Le Sportsac tote for maybe the last 6 years of my life: this one is maybe bag #3; the first two were knockoffs from some knockoff mall in Beijing. (But see? the knockoffs led me to eventually buy the genuine product!)

It's always going to be a multi-colored pattern because switching bags out for outfits is a recipe for disaster / not having what you need, and if it's multi-colored, it will always match some part of my outfit, or be the 'pop of color' when I wear only neutrals.

I use Le Sportsac because it's not at all trendy, and more importantly, lightweight and large. I prefer to be able to fit my jacket in my purse (this is possible in Seattle's moderate climate) as a matter of safety, i.e. being able to make a swift, one-grab escape; it's also useful for fitting in a few groceries, library books, and macbook.

Aside from that, its regular contents are one 16 oz water bottle, wallet, phones, sunglasses, travel-size sunscreen, work badge, and headphones; there is also a rotating cast of emergency candies, loyalty cards / coupons, and hairpins.
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:06 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I'm a new-ish part-time wheelchair user, and with some recent improvement in other areas of my health have become much more self-locomoting than I was for awhile. I am currently awaiting the delivery of this awesome lever-driven chair from a company called Grit, which I think will be huge in terms of my mobility and fitness.

Anyway, I have been looking for a carrying-stuff solution. Hanging everything off the back of the chair makes it really difficult to access, and hanging things off the sides makes getting through doorways that much more difficult. I'm a large person, so the kind of armrest gearbags that are on the inside of the arm don't work for me, and the new chair doesn't have arm rests because you're using your arms to locomote.

I was actually thinking of posting an AskMe about this: how do I carry the stuff I need ready access to while using my chair?

And then I discover that fanny packs are back. Perfect.

Back in the day (and yes, I did have a purple-and-teal fanny pack, thank you very much) I thought fanny packs worn in front were such a brilliant thing that I was surprised when they turned out to be a fad. I mean, seriously: hands-free; secure; easy-access; productive and healthy distribution of weight.
posted by Orlop at 11:11 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I carry a very standard pack every day that I have overloaded with bicycle stuff I almost never use. Bicycle pump, wrench, extra light, inner tube, tire wedges, a poetry anthology, multi-tool thing with all the hex keys and stuff, and a super-overkill chain and padlock that must weigh half as much as the bike itself. It would be easier to snip through the bicycle than to snip through that thing. I clank around town like Jacob Marley feeling awful about all the lights he ran when he commuted by bike to Scrooge & Marley or Marley & Scrooge every day. But I know the day I leave that stuff at home will be the day I somehow need all of it in the dark on a deserted road with reports of bandits in the area.
posted by pracowity at 12:45 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I don't regularly carry a bag anymore since I changed jobs; I bike commute now so I try to keep things light. I kind of miss my Filson shoulder bag - it gets a lot of attention and I can fit everything I need in there. The bike has some nice luggage on it by Acorn but I have yet to find panniers that match well enough.

I try to practice "a bag for everything, and everything in its bag" because I seem to be collecting hobbies that require various amount of stuff. Most of them are old backpacks which I don't feel too bad about beating up.

The latest thing is trying to learn how to fish. I've been heading down to Boston Harbor every few days with varying degrees of success (varying from "snagged all the tackle on rocks and lost it all" to "didn't see a single fish but the weather was nice"). I don't really know what I'm doing, but it forces me to get outside and see the sun; plus, all the places I've been going are very bike friendly so I get a little extra exercise.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:00 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


For a goodly long while I followed phunniemee's suggestion to keep my phone with me whilst ambulating around the house by tucking it into my underwear at the hip; but as phones, hips, and "home" have grown this was no longer proving practical. So I've taken to toting it around in a Nathan 5k slim pack (which I guess is a fanny pack of sorts, so yay me?). It's big enough to also carry a set of keys and a wallet if you really really cram it. I guess that's my "everyday carry" since I only venture further afield maybe 3 times a week. When I do go out and about I have lately been carrying this Peruvian-made purse that I got from a friend who held a Facebook auction Leukemia & Lymphoma fundraiser a couple years ago in honor of her late mother, who died of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
posted by drlith at 6:17 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


"everybody in Maine gets bags at the outlet or local thrift shops where LLBean donates them, often monogrammed. A seam ripper will remove the monogram, but sometimes people can't be arsed, so it' not uncommon for Mainers to cary bags with somebody else's initials"

This is one of the things that threw me off when I moved up here. There's an LL Bean outlet in Nashua, so I stopped in and checked it out. They had a bunch of polo shirts with "Dr. Miller" embroidered on the chest. Who the hell would want Dr. Miller's polo shirts?, I thought. I actually brought my wife back with me to show her because she didn't believe me, but a couple of days later, they were gone! So, someone obviously wants Dr. Miller's shirts.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:41 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Saddleback Leather Classic Briefcase, 2nd Gen (no logo on the flap) to be specific.

I didn't pay that price, nor did I buy it new, nor is the current generation as well respected as the first or second gen of the same bag but it was a grail purchase for me and I shopped around and waited for a deal to pop up on their facebook group and snagged it. It's, oddly enough, probably worth more than what I paid for it now and will last me as long as I can imagine needing it. Heavy but bombproof and gets complimented almost anywhere I go with it, including my company's head legal counsel saying he had one but his didn't seem as nice as mine whereupon I resisted the urge to nerd out and tell him about how the older ones are better...

I saw other folks upthread mention the Timbuk2 messengerbags, I have one of those and it was great for carrying textbooks back and forth to class, on a bike, in the rain, at least before I needed something a bit more professional but I wonder that y'all haven't had an issue with the interior vinyl coating delaminating, that's what happened to mine but only after the last few years as it sat idle in a closet.

EDC isn't much, I've recently switched from a bifold wallet to a slim thing from Hitch and Timber that lets me carry a pen and pocket tool/knife with me without using my front pocket. I have nothing but good things to say about it thus far. I intended to slim down farther but having the multi tool (an old Leatherman Micra that I picked up at a yardsale, great tool by the way, no pliers but the scissors are nice in their own way, other tools are good to great as well, nice feel opening/using it too) and pen with me has been worth bloating the backpocket wallet back up to a bit smaller than the bifold was running. The pen is just a Pilot Petit1 until I figure out what pocket pen I want to put in there permanently.

My wrist was sporting a Seiko 5 on a Horween strap that I got from the metafilter mall as best I can remember, that is until it started not keeping time and acting a bit odd, so I've yet to fix/troubleshoot that. I want, want, want a Junghans Max Bill but won't be ponying up the cash for that anytime soon.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:49 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


The bike has some nice luggage on it by Acorn but I have yet to find panniers that match well enough.

My bike's only bag is their roll bag under the seat for emergency tools/cash and it's really nice for that purpose. Looks good under the leather saddle too. A new, not used/abused before it gets to me, Brooks saddle is on my list too but those are spendy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:52 AM on June 18


I scrolled to the end because I do not have time at the moment to read about and see all the bags (CANNOT WAIT), but here's my current favorite, given to me last September for my birthday by my husband and daughter.

Right now I have far too much in it and it's heavier than a small child so I need to go through it and get rid of stuff. I almost always carry totes or large shoulder bags because despite being actually really rather low maintenance, I apparently carry a shit ton of stuff. Doesn't help that I still (and will always) carry an actual physical planner and I also need a little bag that holds my inhaler and lip chap and tampons and stuff. And my wallet is way too big. I need to rethink that one.

My dream bag, and I still haven't found it, is one that can carry all my necessaries in (maybe not the planner, full time) plus my DSLR camera. I'd love for it to be kind of like a messenger bag but with more structure, and I need to be able to wear it cross-bodied. And I'd love for itr to be in some fun print or something other than one plain color. Still searching.
posted by cooker girl at 8:12 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Oh, life update. My dad had major throat cancer surgery last Thursday and is dong amazingly well. He turned 81 the day of the surgery. He had to have a tracheotemy because of the anticipated swelling of his tongue, so that's hard to see. But he's proving us all wrong by firstly surviving the damned 7 hour surgery and now recovering at a speed the ENT ICU staff has never seen in a patient his age. Valedictorian of the ICU is what he is.

My daughter and her boyfriend are taking their first solo vacation together this week, to NYC. They're 18. But we figured we'd be better off saying yes to this and being part of it rather than saying no and them potentially lying and doing it anyway. Plus they're both more mature certainly than I am right now at nearly 48, they're sensible, they've both been to NYC numerous times with family, they've both traveled overseas with school (exchange trips), and Sophie went to Maine for a summer program by herself last year. Some friends have looked at us like we're nuts (I guess because they're probably going to have sex on this trip? BFD.) and some are supportive. Whatever. She's a smart woman, she's going off to college in the fall, what's the point of having kids if you don't let them grow up?
posted by cooker girl at 8:57 AM on June 18 [11 favorites]


After casual browsing it looks like I'm gonna be That Person who spend far too much money on a luxury handbag. I love it so much. After two years of obsessing and squirrelling away money, I bought a Celine Trio. It's just perfect for my life. Understated, classic, light, cross-body.

Pouch 1: Fits my wallet and my phone perfectly. The zip is like butter so I can reach in there and pull out my phone easily or grab my wallet to get in and out of public transport quickly. If I'm travelling internationally this is my go-to bag as well as it fits my passport just perfectly in the front pouch too.

Pouch 2: Makeup essentials - Lipbalm, today's lipstick, pressed powder, tweezers. If I'm travelling I'll squeeze in a battery pack and cord for my phone.

Pouch 3: Non-essential essentials - packet of gum, some bobby pins, pen, some random tablets of motrin, and for some reason there's two face masks in there right now? Despite the small size I feel prepared for anything!
posted by like_neon at 9:11 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I saw other folks upthread mention the Timbuk2 messengerbags, I have one of those and it was great for carrying textbooks back and forth to class, on a bike, in the rain, at least before I needed something a bit more professional but I wonder that y'all haven't had an issue with the interior vinyl coating delaminating, that's what happened to mine but only after the last few years as it sat idle in a closet.

That, and an essential closing strap getting ungluably detached had me replace my Ortlieb backpack after seriously more than ten years. With another Ortlieb backpack. In it: a laptop (two, this week as I'm on call), power supply, another power supply, a PB Swiss tool roll, a bag with USB cables and such, a thermos currently devoid of coffee, reading glasses in their case, a Wiha miniature screwdriver set, a mouse, a small drawstring bag with USB sticks, an umbrella and the inevitable unidentifiable compressed cruft at the very bottom.

Before that first backpack I used a squarish messenger bag (also Ortlieb, there are few other options when you commute by motorbike year-round), which offered better accessibility but it's loading one shoulder when you need to carry it.
posted by Stoneshop at 11:13 AM on June 18


Guys, I'm about to click the order button on an OGIO Hamptons Tote (the Le Fleur). I don't *need* it. But I have Discover cashback points on Amazon!

Talk me out of it or I'm gonna click that button.
posted by cooker girl at 11:31 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Talk me out of it or I'm gonna click that button.

That's a really pretty bag. I hope you bought it.
posted by PearlRose at 11:54 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I have two main bags that I use. One of them is a canvas tote bag with Mrs. Mallard and the Ducklings from Make Way for Ducklings - I bought it when I moved to Boston. The other is a bigger shoulder bag that a friend brought me from the Gambia. I also have a Sweet Dinosaur Wallet. Usually, I just have my laptop, charger, cellphone, charger, kindle, notebook and pen, wallet, keys, chapstick, and a bottle of seltzer. If I've got the bigger bag I may be spending the night somewhere so I may also toss in a brush and other essentials. I am just coming back from a wedding, so right now I also have lipstick, mascara, and favor soap.

I got to see Eyebrows this weekend and meet the Smallest McGee of All, which was lovely! My friends successfully married, and I did not melt in Chicago. Yesterday, a podcast that I was interviewed for came out, so if you've got some time and want to hear me talking about monkeys and things, you can listen! This evening, I'm telling a story in public. I'm nervoussssss!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:29 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


That dinosaur wallet is pretty fuckin fine. Hooray NANO MCGEE.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:42 PM on June 18


My 7th or 8th GoRuck bag. My current daily carry is a 26L GR1 in Navy Blue with a custom patch.

Previously I had a red 26L (sold to a friend). I have 2-3 various Ruckers, a 32L kit bag... three 32L GR2s (black, wolf grey, steel), etc etc etc.

Other brands: I've got a Tom Bihn "Brain Bag", some Red Oxx gear, and some Saddleback Leather.
posted by mrbill at 2:45 PM on June 18


My 7th or 8th GoRuck bag.

On one hand, that's devotion to a brand, on the other hand that many bags seems to indicate there's something wrong... did the bags break or did your needs just change?
posted by GuyZero at 2:55 PM on June 18


Orlop: I'd love to know how that Grit wheelchair works out. My partner uses an under-chair sling which you can see in this photo. It's good for things other than cats.
posted by firstdrop at 3:30 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


And here's my second-in-seven-years Patagonia Atom sling with a Distil Union Wally Micro both of which I like a lot. More than I should really. I guess they're the simplest things in my big complicated life.
posted by firstdrop at 3:43 PM on June 18


@Literaryhero: Hearing a positive reaction to my username makes me feel a lot better about it; thank you. Once I'd discovered the other reading I kind of worried over it -- a lot, actually. I thought I was being rather clever, but it turns out I may have rather been too clever for my own good, or something nonsensical like that...

I would have been happy to preserve the mystery, but it turned out to be something that bewildered me a lot! Still, nothing says I have to take a hardline stance on it. I'm happy it provided you with a bit of excitement -- though I didn't do much of anything, really.
posted by redrawturtle at 7:04 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Oh redrawturtle, we have had a few ‘how do you pronounce your username?’ Metatalks. They’re fun. Mine is bye-labial but some folks assume Bill-a-bile. There’s a user whose handle is uncleozzy (or uncleozzie? I’m in hospital on phone can’t be bothered to search) I read it as Un-Klee-ozzy for...a long time. I just realized zachlipton is not pronounced Zach pilton, which is an interesting bit of transposition.
posted by bilabial at 11:17 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I have a Timbuk2 laptop messenger from 2006 or 2007. Fits my 13inch work laptop, and assorted stuff, and it's been my personal item on many overseas trips. Works ok as a camera bag when I drop in the lowepro camera and lens cases.

The coating is cracking on the underside of the lid, and the softer foam is starting to go on the back. A few stitches pulling out at the grab handle, but I don't carry it that way often.

It's one of those things that you feel bad about replacing because it hasn't died yet, but you keep shopping for new ones just in case.

When I don't have that much stuff, I have a smaller bag from moop. It's this one, but I was a bit disappointed because the photographs make the canvas look a bit chunkier than it is. I've got little holes in the bottom corners just from daily wear, but it happened sooner than I had hoped. It was a replacement for this bag which I had, and then sold on eBay when it was somewhat worn out, but I regretted it, and would love to get another one, only it's been discontinued. The canvas was really chunky, and it aged really well. Faded nicely from the sun, and had the right sized pockets inside. I miss it.
posted by thenormshow at 8:16 AM on June 19


like_neon, that Celine bag is absolutely dreamy.
posted by thivaia at 9:46 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


on the other hand that many bags seems to indicate there's something wrong... did the bags break or did your needs just change?

A couple of them were "get this bag while this color is still available". Some of the Ruckers were $99-sale-specials (like the pink one with curved straps, that I dyed purple). I have one GR2 that's a dedicated "camping/trip/overnight" bag. Another Rucker is a dedicated "laptop and tech stuff" bag. So on and so forth. The steel GR2 is from when I had a coupon on my account and went to buy a discounted GR1, but they'd run out and gave me the GR2 at the GR1 price (their customer service is AMAZING).

One of the GR2s also sits in my trunk as a 72-hour-oh-shit-hurricane-or-something-fuck-lets-leave-NOW bag full of meds, clothes, basic survival supplies, a few days of MREs...

I need to sell off a few of my Saddleback Leather items - I loved their stuff at first (and spent about $4k total over 2-3 years, back when I could afford it), but eventually got tired of the weight of the EMPTY bags, and then got highly dissatisfied with some of their business practices - for more than a couple years in a row, the owner would post "I brought in another business guy, and he says that to sustain things we have to raise prices AGAIN..."

So, I picked up the Tom Bihn bag as "new job, new bag". Ran with it for about six months, found a GoRuck coupon and tried out my first GR2.. Loved it, but realized I didn't need quite as much space, picked up the GR1 "American" (bright red) and used it as my EDC.. After about a year, jumped on a sale for the navy blue version, sold the American to a friend.. etc.

I've been a "bag junkie/fiend" since, say, Jr. High School. I preferred to carry all of my stuff with me instead of using a locker.

Oh yeah, I also have a couple custom-made-in-SF Timbuk2 messenger bags, but I've moved away from messengers to backpacks for the most part. Had some Maxpedition packs about ten years ago, ended up selling all of those off.. and there's a pile of USMC ILBE military packs in the garage, and some SpecOps T.H.E. bags in a closet....
posted by mrbill at 1:00 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


> I bought a Celine Trio

That is a great bag and thank you for linking to it, I think it would be perfect for my particular use case!

I've been looking for a bag that isn't quite as casual as my LeSportsac bags in fun prints, but a bit sportier than say, a Louis Vuitton Alma bag, and that Céline Trio looks perfect.
posted by needled at 2:54 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Lord help. I bought the Hampton's Tote. in RED, my fave color. I got it on mercari.com (similar to ebay, but no auctions), new for $33.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 3:13 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


...I really want a Tom Bihn Pilot or Co-Pilot bag now... It's good that the color combination I want is still in production, so I have time to think it over. (It's hard to justify spending a lot of money on one thing, even though I can afford it right now...)
posted by devrim at 5:52 AM on June 20


And +1 to everyone finding the bag that they love due to this thread! :D
Some of my favorite AskMe's are the "what bag/backpack/purse should I get" questions, but I think the topic fits really well in a discussion forum like MeTa better. Thanks, Eyebrows!
posted by devrim at 5:56 AM on June 20


First off, we recently polled our student workers about what kind of swag they prefer, and the overwhelming favorite was a fanny pack, so yes, they are back.

Second, I just last week got this bag when it was on sale for under $40, and it is a very good buy indeed. It is a scosh smaller than I would like (the low profile mouse/storage USB dongles on my 13" laptop get slightly caught up on the edge) and the strap is not padded, but I really can't complain for the price. It is much more professional than the backpack it replaced, and the leather is much better quality than I thought it would be. If you want a leather bag on the cheap, I recommend it.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:42 AM on June 20


I need to sell off a few of my Saddleback Leather items

This is why we need the MeFi Swap subsite I suggested in the financial update thread...
posted by Rock Steady at 11:45 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


This is why we need the MeFi Swap subsite I suggested in the financial update thread...

Agree. I would support this, even if it were a subsite/spinoff that required/provided extra protections for folks involved.

I need to sell off a few of my Saddleback Leather items

Memail sent. Wife is looking for a purse replacement and maybe you have something that'd work.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:18 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I love that it is embroidered— design can’t flake off. Nary a hint or chin point; a truly surprise gift from mr. lemon_icing. And it’s waterproof!
posted by lemon_icing at 12:32 PM on June 20


I expect to do a lot of travelling in the next couple of years so I just bought this bag in a non-leather burgundy variation, specifically to use as my 'personal item' on flights, along with a wheeled carry-on bag. It's just big enough for all the things I might need on a plane - passport, wallet, Kindle, phone, notebook, a few basic toiletries, etc., and not so big it'll tempt me to hang my laptop and other heavy items off my shoulder. Now the hunt for a lightweight carry-on begins!
posted by tavegyl at 8:20 AM on June 21


I'd been looking for the right bag for a while. I wanted something durable, not cheap. But also something that would look good, even in a city, and I could put my laptop in. And it had to be a backpack, otherwise I'd have shoulder problems like I did with a messenger bag I had.

I settled on a Sandqvist bag. It is made of Cordura and it has leather straps and metal buckles so it is built to last. But it also has a sense of design so that it looks good. Fits my laptop and can stretch wide enough that I recently used it as my only bag on an overnight trip - with a change of clothes in it. They no longer have the exact model I bought but there are many similar ones in the fourth image at the top of the page.
posted by vacapinta at 9:07 AM on June 21


I'm glad someone finally posted their too-much-money bag, because this is mine and I was too embarrassed before.

Mine is light blue and it goes with everything and nothing at the same time. It is so, so beautiful. I have anxiety about holding the handles with bare hands for fear of dirtying it. I love it and I hate it and I hate myself for loving it.

No one else knows this about me, or about it.
posted by slenderloris at 3:45 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


slenderloris, I love that!
posted by lazuli at 3:50 PM on June 22


slenderloris, not that you asked me to judge your purchasing decisions but my collection of backpacks I linked above adds up to easily twice the cost of that bag, and I beat the absolute crap out of them. When you said "too much money" I was expecting something like ten times the cost of that. For something you're going to use frequently and for a long time, I don't think that price is all unreasonable if it's exactly what you want. Don't be ashamed!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:22 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Was a Mountain Hardware "Enterprise" (vintage 2005? model); now I use a TNF "Surge II". Both 30L packs; both a little on the heavier side; oversized zippers; lots of compartments; and I almost live with my backpack the way some people live with their purses. I go = the backpack goes with me.

After a decade+ of running jumping biking beering hiking camping use; I did have to send the Enterprise off to Rainy Day Pass to have one of the back straps re-worked. Not an inexpensive repair; otoh; three years later it has paid for itself several times over.
posted by Afghan Stan at 11:07 PM on June 24


New totebag acquired, via Africa Is a Country!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:05 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


My new purple laptop bag arrived! It's completely as described (yes, it really is a nice colour) and came with a free lock and a keyring with a green monster. It will soon be adorned with a Moomin as shown in the picture. Yaaayyy!
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:49 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


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