Thursday, February 14, 2008

Emotional Baggage

"So, what's in that magic bag of yours?"

I got that question last week from Deric, a fellow picketer and WB stalwart. The bag in question is a small, bright orange nylon Mossimo backpack with numerous zippered pockets. I bought it years ago, I think at a Ross Dress for Less. This bag was attached to me like a limpet for the last 14 weeks.

Orange? Backpack? Obviously, I very early gave up trying to be remotely fashionable on the picket line. When you're walking in circles for hours, comfort is key.

I did try bringing a cute backpack-style purse to carry my strike essentials for a while, but found it was too small, particularly when I needed to stow an outer layer like a sweatshirt or jacket. An experiment with a shoulder bag one day about killed my back, with the weight so unevenly distributed.

So, enter the Magic Bag. It's done good service for me in the past: I've used it as a daypack while prowling both Mayan ruins in the jungles of Belize and the eardrum-crushingly loud caverns of E3. Packing for a strike, I learned, has a lot in common with both.

Here's what was in Kira's Magic Bag:

  • Keys
  • Cellphone
  • Wallet - A lighter wallet than my "main" one, with less stuff in it.
  • Makeup bag - A girl goes through a lot of lip gloss during your average picket shift.
  • Brush - Unnecessary. My hair spent the last 3 1/2 months in one or more ponytails, under a baseball cap.
  • Scarf, gloves, ballcap - If I wasn't wearing them.
  • Sunglasses - Same
  • Two energy bars - Because you can't always count on StrikeSnacks...
  • Bottle of water
  • Cough drops - Chanting (early in the strike) and chatting over the honks (later) takes it toll.
  • Pocket pack of Kleenex - Between allergies, the cold, and a cold, I went through a couple of these.
  • Hand lotion - Brisk, dry SoCal air and wind = dry hands.
  • Sunscreen
  • Advil
  • Earplugs - For the Weeks o' Jackhammering.
  • Travel pack of toilet paper - Don't laugh. I needed this before Warner Bros. started super-stocking the bathrooms at Gate 2.
  • Packet of hand wipes
  • Spare hair elastics - For the aforementioned ponytails, or for cinching up a too-big strike t-shirt.
  • iPod - Didn't actually use this much. Occasionally at Fox.
  • Small notebook, pens - For notes, and exchanging contact info.
  • Folding umbrella - During that rainy spell, otherwise it stayed in the car.
  • My Warner Bros. ID - Not really sure why I brought this. As a totem, maybe, for luck?

    As you may've guessed, I was a Girl Scout. Why prepare when you can over-prepare? Sure, you snicker now, but when our plane goes down in the outback, you'll want to be on my team.

    The orange backpack worked out great, but I hope that this was its one and only strike. Now, the Magic Bag's unpacked and put away, dreaming of future hikes or videogame trade shows.
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