What’s in My Bag: Swank-mo-tron

It’s my turn this week to display the contents of my bag.  I carry plenty with me, some might say far too much.  And to not clutter the image I didn’t include any of the cables or power cords I’ve got, but I’ll list the most pertinent ones afterwards.

First we have the bag itself.  It’s a Solo brand laptop bag.  I honestly have no recollection of where I bought it or how much I paid for it, but you can snag them on Amazon for like $30.  I’ve had it for about two years now, longer than I’ve ever had a bag before.  I’m really hard on it, but this one has stood the test of time and doesn’t look too bad for all the wear and tear I put on it.

Starting at the top right and moving clockwise: At the bottom of that pile is a legal pad.  I’m mainly a writer, so I’ve always got tons of paper on me in various shapes in sizes.  Sometimes I love to write on a legal pad, so I try to have one on me all the time.

Next in the pile is a few comic books.  I’m so stupidly busy and I’m so far behind on my comics, I try to keep a few issues on me so that if a few minutes of free time make themselves available I can try to keep up.  Right now, I’m catching up on my Batman comics, post Bruce Wayne’s return.

On top of those is a folder.  It’s got a whole bunch of pertinent papers that I need for various things, both work related.  Right now it’s mostly consumed with Mark Dago’s novel, which I’m reading and taking notes on for him.  I’ve found that putting a single sheet of paper in my bag is the best way to lose it.  It’ll get crumpled up and I’ll find it a year from now when I finally do a cleaning.  Keeping this old folder (that I paid .99 cents for and bought for obvious reasons) is a good way to make sure all the papers I need stay put.

The bottom right corner: My lucky mousepad and a mouse.  As some of you may know I produce a lot of video and movies.  I edit a lot on my laptop and using Final Cut Pro is not easy with the trackpad on my computer.  So I try to always keep a mouse and my lucky Darth Maul mousepad with me all the time.  They don’t take up that much room, but I find I use them constantly.

Bottom Center: Obviously the main purpose of my bag is to keep my computer.  I just bought a new 13″ Macbook Pro.  It’s not one of the brand new ones, I literally ordered this badboy two weeks before they announced this year’s model.  I use it mainly for writing and editing.  I use Final Cut Pro for editing, and I’m rocking Microsoft Word and Final Draft 8 for my writing software.

Bottom Left Corner: Like I said, I’m a writer and if I’m caught without my leather notebook, chances are I’m dead or something.  I’ve always got this thing on me.  The best part of these is that they’re refillable and I refill this one once every two or three months.  I use it for everything, work notes, snippets of ideas, short stories, anything.

Under that is a book.  I usually have a book on me.  Right now I’m going through Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.  A must for anyone interested in writing.

Top left: Next is my Kindle.  I couldn’t live without this thing.  I read the newspaper on it every morning and I love reading books on it.  For one, I read a lot of books that are digital only, or manuscripts for friends and this cuts down on copying.  And I use it for books I want to read but don’t exactly need a physical copy of the book.  And it’s got tons of free reading…  Lovecraft, Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain….  It’s invaluable. I highly recommend it.  It’s the wi-fi only version, which I’ve not had any problems with.  It just makes you think a little bit more about what you want before you leave the house or the coffee shop.

Then I have a Seagate: Freeagent GO 1TB harddrive.  I’m editing a lot and these things are very reliable and work great on the go.  This one only has about 20 gigs left on it, though, so I’m going to be buying a new one pretty soon and I really like these, so I don’t think I’ll be switching brands.

Top Center: Last but not least, my headphones.  I am not the biggest fan of earbud headphones, I don’t like things in my ear.  I’ll use earbuds when I’m driving and need to talk on the phone, but when I’m cutting audio or listening to music I prefer cans.  These are the Star Wars DJ Headphones from Funko and I’m in love with them.  They’re comfortable, adjustable and the sound quality is clean and precise.  They’re better than any earbuds I’ve used and I even like them almost as much as my Sennheiser studio headphones I use when I’m recording audio at the studio.

Not pictured: Obviously, I’ve got my iPhone 3GS, that I took these pictures with.  And I have cords to charge my kindle, phone, and computer.  I also have a pair of Skull Candy earbuds with a microphone for use with my phone, like I said when I’m driving.

I also have a pair of firewire cables.  My computer runs Firewire 800, and so I have connectors from Firewire 4 to 800, and 6 to 800.  I run a lot of cameras that are all firewire and harddrives that are firewire and I need that cable constantly.

In my pockets: I always have at least one pen, usually more, in my pocket.  A small pocket-sized Moleskin notebook (I am totally OCD and if I don’t have the ability to write an idea down if one strikes me, I’ll pull over and buy instruments to do so.) I also have a pocket watch.  My wife got me the pocket watch with the thinking that if I had a watch, I’d reach into my pocket for that to check the time instead of my phone.  Because let’s be honest, if I pull out my phone to check the time, I also check my email, twitter, and my Words With Friends games (swankmotron).

I think that’s it for me.  I carry a lot more stuff than I thought I did.