tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just How Many Suitcases Does One Woman Need?

Tonight, I will be packing for my trip to Tampa. I have a tendency to overpack, and I am trying to avoid that this time, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Dressing for conferences is a bit of a minefield. You want to look professional, but also be comfortable. And seeing that this conference begins on a weekend, I actually want to wear a bathrobe. And I hate to only have just enough outfits and then wake up one morning and decide you hate the outfit you planned on for that day, and you have nothing else to wear. It’s hot in Tampa (high 80s to around 90), but in my experience, hotel conference rooms always have the AC set at sub-Arctic temperatures, so I’ll need some layers. I’ve been making a list of all the things I need to bring. Here are a few highlights:

1. Underpants. This may sound like a standard item for packing, but I once returned to college in the fall with only three pairs of underpants. I don’t know what happened. My mother had to Fedex the remaining 25 pairs.

2. Face mask and ear plugs. As I frequently write, I am an insomniac. These two items can help facilitate sleep at times. If it’s a really bad bout of insomnia, however, they are useless.

3. Tea bags. Very old-ladyish, I know, but I don’t drink caffeine (in yet another effort to combat the aforementioned insomnia), and decaf tea is rarely an option at such events, so I can whip out my tea bags at any time. I’ll also bring some caffeinated ones, just in case I get a migraine and need a caffeine infusion. I am making this trip sound really fun, no?

4. Workout clothes. Hopefully, the hotel has a decent gym. I may not actually get there, but at least I’ll have made some small effort.

5. Books. I asked for recommendations, and I got quite a few (thanks, gentle readers). I have five books piled up (and a sixth if I can find it. I know that second Shopaholic book is lurking somewhere in my apartment). This may sound like a lot of books, but I read fast (and let’s face it, none of my selections are exactly Faulkner), and I’m going to be all alone at this conference, which means a lot of hanging out in my room and eating room service (which is ok, because room service is one of my favorite inventions of all time). I also like to have some variety of books, just in case I hate one, so I have something to move on to. The books that made the cut:

Slave to Fashion by Rebecca Campbell (per Jordan Baker's suggestion)

Something Blue by Emily Giffin (I read her first book, Something Borrowed, and it was decent. This sequel tells the story from another character’s point of view.)

Snowed In by Christina Bartolomeo. I know the author, she’s a sweetheart, and I liked her first book [which was totally made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie with Mary Louise Parker, Peter Gallagher, and Victor Garber (love love love Spy Daddy)].

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby (per Schadenfreude's suggestion). To my surprise and delight, I found that we owned this book. The whole getting married and merging our possessions has been ok, but for the most part, I’m not that excited about owning all the Dune book. Nick Hornby made me much happier.

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. I had forgotten that I had this one and was saving it for the right occasion. This is a great series that takes place in an alternate reality England: The Crimean War is still going on, the Russian Revolution never happened, and Wales has seceded and become a Marxist republic. The country is obsessed with literature, and the heroine, literary detective Tuesday Next, works to save British literature from ne’er do wells. I read the first book, The Eyre Affair, a few months back and loved it.

Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade. Because I like to fool myself into thinking that I’m going to read something significant on this trip. The pages will no doubt remain unturned, but I’ll feel better about myself just for having it in the suitcase.

(I may also bring Hugh Laurie’s novel The Gun Seller, but there is a part of me that doesn’t want to read it, just in case it’s really awful, and it affects my undying love for him. He’s so fab though, that I can’t imagine him writing a really bad book.)


  • At 5/19/06, 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bring the book, it's really well written and funny and witty. But if you have problems with thrillers or guns or don't like that kind of books, then maybe not a good idea.

    But I really highly recommend it. It's a good read. I finished in 4 days and I'm not even a native english speaker.

    Sorry, just got to pop in and urge the book.

  • At 5/19/06, 9:45 PM, Blogger mysterygirl! said…

    Hugh Laurie wrote a book?! How exciting.

    Hope your trip goes well!

  • At 5/19/06, 10:18 PM, Blogger JordanBaker said…

    Hugh Laurie wrote a novel?????

    Must. Go. To. Amazon. Now.

    And I kind of want to believe that anonymous is actually Hugh Laurie, who clearly spends days doing technorati searches for mentions of his book, lies about not being a native English speaker to cover his ass, and then blows his cover by saying "pop in."

  • At 5/19/06, 10:26 PM, Blogger Lady Tiara said…

    anon: thanks for the recommendation. it's going into the pile.

    mg!: i was pretty excited when i found out. is there anything he can't do?

    jb: the book came out five or six years ago. it may be out of print here, but it's still in print in the UK (i got my copy in london). i've seen used copies on ebay. it got pretty decent reviews. i think it dates from shortly after stephen fry started writing novels, so maybe hugh was feeling some pressure to keep up with his BFF? he was supposedly working on a second novel, but i don't think it ever came out.

  • At 5/25/06, 3:06 PM, Blogger Miss Scarlet said…

    I <3 Spy Daddy! All of those books sound like good choices. Sometimes I wish I had some business trips just to get the forced reading time in the hotel.

  • At 5/25/06, 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How to be Good by Nick Hornby is
    REALLY bad. I kept hoping it would get better, but it sucked all the way through.


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