Daily Bag of a Neurotic

Below are the contents of the bag (SwissGear SA1923 ScanSmart Backpack) I lug around everyday. The rolled change of socks, t-shirt, and underwear and the rolled hoodie help stabilize the bag while leaving the main compartment 3/4 to 4/5 empty for bag lunches/other. Back pocket is left empty for laptop when I telework.

I'm ready for an overnight stay at anytime, and I have some ridiculous stuff I probably wouldn't even use in an emergency (mostly in right pocket). Packing for most trips is mainly an issue of putting more changes of clothes in the bag and leaving. For traveling by air, all I have to do is empty the right pocket and remove the Swiss Army knife from the front pocket to be ready for security.

The abundance of pens (two imported from Japan) is because I am insane.

Main Compartment

  1. Rolled zippered hoodie from Target

  2. Rolled socks, t-shirt and ExOfficio Men's Give-N-Go Boxer Brief

  3. EpiPen (which I hope I never need)

 Main Compartment: Interior Pocket

  1. Short iStubz Cable for when I bring my iPad

  2. Short male-male USB cable for item 6

  3. Micro USB cable for my Moto X

  4. ibattz Mojo Treble keychain (compact and unfolds to a USB adapter, Micro USB and iPhone 4 charger adapters, microSD card slot so it can be used as a flash drive)

  5. Amazon 5W USB Power Adapter

  6. 3 In 1 Hub Mem SDHC TF Card Reader Adapter (plugs into Moto X to allow for computer and wifi-free file transfer, can be recognized as an SD slot as well)

  7. USB car charger

  8. elago Mobile Nano II USB 2.0 microSDHC Card Reader with 32 GB microSD

  9. SanDisk 16GB Flash Drive

  10. LaCie 16 GB Flash Drive loaded with work files, portable apps, troubleshooting programs

  11. Tiny plastic phone stand

Left Pocket

  1. Mint tin filled with various pills (for headache, colds, etc.)

  2. Travel deodorant

  3. Comb

  4. Screen wipe (normally I have several moist towelettes)

  5. Toothpaste

  6. Travel toothbrush

  7. Tissue

  8. Tide Pen

  9. Ear plugs

  10. Bumble and Bumble Sumotech (hair wax)

  11. Floss

  12. Eye drops

  13. Chapstick

Top Front Pocket

  1. LG Tone Bluetooth Headphones

  2. Panasonic In-Ear Headphone (for when the Tone isn't charged)

Bottom Front Pocket

  1. LePen Dark Grey

  2. Bobino Slim Pen

  3. Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel Ink Pen - 0.3 mm - Red Orange

  4. Pilot Juice Gel Ink Pen - 0.38 mm - Coffee Brown

  5. Fisher Space Trekker Space Pen with red ink (sold separately)

  6. Hardwood Swiss Army Knife

  7. Car keys (with church key)

  8. Large black garbage bag (to waterproof bag and/or electronics, if necessary)

  9. Tiny moleskine notebooks

  10. Teaberry gum

  11. Microfiber cloth

  12. Business cards

Right Pocket

  1. Real Carabiner

  2. Inova X5MT-WT X5 Lithium Powered 5-LED Flashlight, Titanium (as seen in the movie The Island)

  3. Snow Peak Titanium Spork

  4. Leatherman 830037 Wave Multitool with Combination Leather and Nylon Sheath

  5. Matches

  6. Spyderco Native Lockback Knife

  7. Swedish FireSteel

  8. Can Opener


  1. Totes Golf-Size Compact Umbrella


How I've spent the last 33 years



Before Audible, I have almost no ability to track how many books I've read or how much time I have spent reading them. I do know that when I was 15 or so, I traded over 1,200 novels (mostly pulp sci-fi, mystery, and other low-calorie fare) to The Neverending Story used book store for credit. I know I'd read more than that at the time because of bi-monthly trips to the library, as well as that being my second large purge. During the summers of middle school and high school I would average 2-3 novels a week, sometimes reading a complete book a day. My reading speed also fluctuates, and got much slower after college and learning how to read critically. Unfortunately, my gluttony for the printed page means there have been multiple instances where a person or online algorithm will suggest a book and I will get 2/3rds through it before I realize I've read it before.

Just Audible listening time: 47 Days, 12 Hours


I love movies. Bad movies with/without Rifftrax, good movies, old movies. Any movie based on a comic book (From Guardians of the Galaxy to History of Violence), Korean Horror/Thrillers, etc. All movies all the time. I can't remember all the movies I've seen, but I've tried to keep my Netflix updated with ratings for any movie I see there, in cinemas or elsewhere. Unfortunately, even Netflix's excellent customer service couldn't tell me the total run time of all movies I've rated, so I had to export and try to import into IMDb, which lets you export a csv with this and other data. While I'm sure two days of this is just credits, hopefully it helps cover the films I couldn't remember or find.

Estimate using IMDb: 121 Days, 13 Hours


Tried to flesh this out with anything I was certain I saw a complete season. Innumerable shows not tracked as I have no idea how many episodes I saw of Hey Dude, Inspector GadgetSuperTedMighty Max, etc.

Estimate using Tiii.me: 173 Days, 11 Hours

Video Games

NES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Sega Genesis, DreamCast, PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox 360; a series of computers and games including everything from Commodore 64 classics like Maniac Mansion to text adventures to Steam. I love video games, and it is the pastime I am most conflicted about, as I can see wishing I had seen more movies, or read more books, but I can't imagine I would able to say "I wish I'd played more video games" without a fatal overdose of chagrin.

Verified playtime:

Steam: 43 Days, 22 Hours


There is no way to know. Even removing songs played in the background of bars, car trips and movies that I ignored, I have no idea. I do know that I had enough music to play continuously for several (3+) months without repeating, but that was in the early aughts when Napster was the wild west of music piracy and I downloaded not merely a lot of German boy bands (just because), but also several day-long electronic mixes from raves and music festivals. If I was to guess, I'd say at least a tenth of my waking life has been spent with music, and I've actively listened (just sat there and listened, staring at the wall) to hundreds of albums worth of songs, often multiple times.


Hahaha. All the time. I'm on it right now.


Notes from the Migraine

Your mind is too much yolk in a brittle egg. It is heavy, but every time you try to put it down, however gently, it starts to split apart again. The softest pillow is a bag of sharp stones.

Every sense is heightened, each sensation a new source of pain. You can feel light hit the skin on the back of your arms. You're hearing is hyper acute. These would be superpowers if you didn't want so badly to be blind and deaf and numb.

You are just a too-large head. Your limbs are afterthoughts, useful only as restlessly moving angles that cannot get comfortable. They are the Eastern European family with you in steerage for the transatlantic journey to America, with their loud music and strange food. It is a marriage of inconvenience. The only thing you have in common is mutual suffering.

You forget a life without pain. You know you have lived a life mostly free of unhappiness. You know this must end sometime. Those sound like stories told to distract yourself. You can no longer separate the person you are from the pain you are experiencing. You are this pain, without shape or border. You are draped over the universe, smothering it, feeling it try to scrape and pound and cut its way free.

You can't remember falling asleep. You wake up feeling shaky; something vital has been carelessly scooped out of you in the disappeared hours. When it started you hated everything, every source of sound and light and idea that tried to force its way into your too-crowded brain. Now you hate yourself, weak and confused, but you may start to enjoy living again.

You never really wanted to die. There was one thought of pure terror and delicate hope to get you through it, to force you through it: This could hurt more.