Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weighty matters

"What is making my purse so darn heavy?" I wondered. "I know what I'll do. I've got that dandy electronic kitchen scale. I'm gonna weigh every last thing in my purse to find out the answer."

So I did. Here's what I found:

The purse, laden, weighed 4 lb. 11 oz. (2.13 kg). Okay, so I wasn't imagining things; that's kinda heavy.

11 oz.
310 g
purse itself
8.5 oz.
240 g

7 oz.
200 g

5.5 oz.
160 g

moleskine notebook
5 oz.
140 g

4.25 oz.
125 g

medicine/makeup bag
4.25 oz.

120 g
agenda book
3.75 oz.

105 g

special red “ideas” notebook
3 oz.

90 g

2.5 oz.

75 g

2.5 oz.

75 g

Weight Watchers member book
2.25 oz.

65 g

loose change
2 oz.

55 g

2 fountain pens + case
1.75 oz.

50 g

ID badge & lanyard
1.5 oz.

40 g

loyalty cards on keyring
1.5 oz.

45 g

1.25 oz.

35 g

earphones in a tin
1.25 oz.

35 g

0.75 oz.

20 g

packet of tissue
0.75 oz.

20 g

lip balm #1
0.5 oz.

15 g

lucky bauble
0.5 oz.

15 g

exercise band
0.5 oz.

20 g

tube of hand lotion
0.5 oz.

15 g

ballpoint pen
0.25 oz.

10 g

lip balm #2
0 oz.

5 g

2nd pair of earplugs
0 oz.

0 g

I can see a few things that I can do without, at least for everyday commuting (hello, two fountain pens?). And I can certainly choose lighter versions of other things. But can I use this as an argument to get a different small camera? And if I got a smartphone, could I really bring myself to leave out the camera and the agenda book and the iPod? 

It makes me think of Steve Martin in "The Jerk":
"Well I'm gonna to go then. And I don't need any of this. I don't need this stuff, and I don't need you. I don't need anything except this. [picks up an ashtray] And that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Man struck down in crosswalk

I saw him for the first time this summer, in a crosswalk in Chicago. I wasn't sure if he was friendly, so I walked by without speaking to him.

But when I saw him after they repaved the streets, he just wasn't the same man.

It's a tough life on the streets. (I think this is some sort of meme.)