Oct 21, 2006

Compacting Travel Part 2

Preparing to take a long trip, I've made some amazing compact finds! I've also made some interesting decisions about souvenirs. Because I'll be gone for over 3 weeks, some of these decisions are necessary for space, I'm using the backpack I got for camping in January.

Finds: I scored an amazing, $500 camera, only 2months old, for $250! I've always used my roommate's camera but it's bulky ... and it's his so he should have it here.

Before I even bought the camera, I started looking for memory cards w/ a post on craigslist. Confident that I wasn't going to find one used, I went out and bought a memory card from Radio Shack. I kept the receipt and didn't open it. The owner of the camera contacted me the day after she sold it to me to offer me some memory cards and spare batteries (rechargeable), which I bought as well. Yay! Just realizing how cool this camera is, it tells me how many pictures I can take w/ the memory card, I'll need another one. Luckily I have 2 offers from craigslist.

So now I have to return the impatience card to Radio Shack and meet folks to get the other memory cards. I realize the ease of consumerism: I have 487 things to do before I leave, shopping sucks.

Some friends gave me a map of one of my destinations. I found a used guidebook that wasn't so useful as it was from 1989. Hooray for the internet.

I found 5 fabulous books at Red Hill Books, all used. These are for light reading. They're the kind of books you can leave behind or give to someone else. Except the 1965 copy of a Philip K Dick book (yes it's pulp but I love him). And since I'm going to look into a grad school program in London, I went to the library yesterday to run off some journal articles relevant to my field.

And there are some things that I need that I'm going to get while I'm away, making the whole souvenir aspect kinda fun. So I'm hosteling in London and the Middle East, at least 6 different spots. So I need shower shoes. I'm buying flip flops for health, in London, perfect souvenir. Might have to get an umbrella there, too. I wear rain gear here, which I'm taking but not sure if it's going to be a good choice.

I might need a hat or a scarf for some places. I don't have one to take. A nice scarf could be a pretty wall hanging later.

And to give to other folks I'm buying coffee and soap. These are locally made products in the cities I'll be visiting. I would buy chocolate but I'd just eat it all on the 17 hour plane ride home so coffee beans are safer.

Oct 18, 2006

Oct 12, 2006

Compacting Halloween

Yep, it's October and I'm still compacting. Most of us are, I think.

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year, my housemate and I go all out. We decorate, I send cards to my friends and family, and we have the coolest pumpkin carving party.

Last year I stopped buying extra decorations and simply mended what we have, same this year. I had some cards left (and plenty of confetti and stickers to spice them up). My mailing list is huge though. Because of the compact, one of my aunts brought me her left over graduation announcement cards, which she was handwriting. So it was just a blank card w/ the seal on the front. I covered those w/ pictures of last year's pumpkins, which I already had printed out.

The pumpkins might be contentious for some folks, but my family is ok w/ it. We have 7 of them. We eat all of the seeds, and keep the guts to puree for either dogs or cats who have upset tummies (wonderful source of fiber, great for my cat). And of course we compost them when it's time.

We carve on a theme. We've done peace pumpkins, carving that word in 6 different languages. Last year we did political themes. We put words into the outline of countries (peace in Iraq, hope in Afghanistan, truth in the U.S.). We also made one for marriage equality.

This year it's environmental pumpkins. 3 arrows, a bike, the Pitch In guy, a Jesus fish w/ "veg" inside, Buy Nothing 11/25, etc.

Perhaps that's my attempt to mitigate the buying of all these pumpkins :)