Most things are on the kitchen floor, being looked at and compared to The List. I'm trying to be sensible. The kitchen sink, after all, would be difficult to detach and include. Some basics are available almost everywhere in the country...shampoo, for instance. Stores exist in other places (more stores, even.) I just paid the credit card bill, so the plastic is now chilling and ready for use. Do I really need *that many* reference books? Surely three (birds, butterflies, dragonflies) are enough, and I don't need the BIG Odonate book...just the smaller one (but it doesn't include damsels...what if I see a lot of interesting new damsels? And beetles...surely I should take the beetle book...and....what about plants? Can I really survive a few weeks without the tree book, the flower book, the grass book?)
It's complicated by packing for two conventions, with time in between when I'll be visiting friends, working on revisions, and (hopefully) visiting some prairie restoration sites, plus the long drives, plus two Musketeer performances. A pair of jeans and some underwear and T-shirts cannot get the job done.
I have fencing gear, armor, costumes, clothes for the conventions (more professional, though casual) and special events at the conventions (more formal) and clothes for wearing in the field if I get a chance (jeans, straw hat, heavy gloves) and all the writing stuff. The days of tossing your portable typewriter and a ream of paper in the car are long gone...everyone expects to be able to contact you. "Are you going to have email? Are you taking your cellphone?" Because I'm working on revisions and they need to go in between convention A and convention B. Email's handy for that. But that requires the laptop, its power brick, and a number of thumb drives for redundant backings up. I could take the external hard drive or the external CD burner, but that would mean taking *their* respective power bricks. Ick.
At least I'm driving and not flying. I can have my hangnail clippers with me, so if I get a hangnail while driving (I always do while flying) I can snip it off at the next rest stop, before it peels halfway up my finger. I can have my favorite shower gel, which is mint-scented and perfectly harmless. I can have gel heels in my shoes (and they *do* ease the pain.) I can eat what I want, pretty much when I want, and (if bathrooms are to be found) I can use them without being told to return to my seat. Driving is more hazardous, but less restrictive. If I start feeling sick, I can stop. If I want to sing along with the radio, I can. Etc.
So it's time to unplug the laptop, crawl under the desk and unplug its brick, pack everything else while the laptop itself cools off, and then stuff the car to be ready for early departure. (Why so early? Meeting a friend coming from Houston in McKinney, for lunch at 11. 11-ish. Then we'll caravan.)