Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Miss Ditty

In my family, we don't say "carry-on luggage" or "overnight bag".  Instead, the smallest piece of luggage is commonly referred to as a "ditty bag".  Although it started out as a nautical term, I'm sure all the military branches appropriated the name, because my dad (Army) used it all the time.

When I travel from Korea back to the US, I always underestimate how many bags I'll need.  For some reason, I (so very wrongly) see myself as one of those travelers that can go blithely around the world with my passport and a toothbrush.  Then I see the bookstores and the mall and the bookstores in the mall and that Spartan shit goes right out the window.  

As a result, I've borrowed the bag pictured above from my mom for 3 summers in a row.  Maybe 4.  I always mean to bring it back to her and leave it but...

Me: I've got no more room in my suitcase.
Mom: All those books!  Are you going to need Miss Ditty?
Me: I don't want to have to borrow Miss Ditty again.
Mom: You could mail a box to Korea. There's still time to make a post office run.
Me: [thinking about the price of international air mail] I'm gonna take Miss Ditty.
Mom: Of course you are.

So it's that time of year again.  I'm bringing Miss Ditty back home.  She fits so sweetly underneath the seat in front of me that I don't even need to look at the overhead bin.  The best part of having her along is that I can stuff her with enough books for an 18-hour trip.  (My new motto:  Trust in Kindle, but carry a DTB.)

Here's what's up for consideration.  I have weighed them all both figuratively and literally:

1. Close to Spider Man - Ivan E. Coyote.  Canadian short story collection. Should I apply it to the losing battle that is this year's Canadian Challenge (only 5/13 books!), or use it as a strong start to the new challenge beginning on July 1?

2. In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan.  I won't tell you I don't know what healthy food is when I'm old enough to know better.  When I've found strange love handles in my sweater. I've been giving pictures of Taco Bell's new Baco Taco a longing look. Everyday, everyday, everyday, everyday I should read this book.

3. Flight of the Phoenix - Elleston Trevor.  I can't decide which movie version I like better.  The crash survivors seem more authentically parched in the 1965 Jimmy Stewart version, but my beloved Hugh Laurie has a small but substantial role in the 2004 remake.

4. The Disappointment Artist - Jonathan Lethem.  Essays about The Searchers, Star Wars, Philip K. Dick, comic books, Pink Floyd, John Cassavetes  -- what's not to love?

Now that the Book Situation is sorted out, I can get serious about the rest of the packing.  See you in a different time zone.


Suko said...

I think I will refer to my carry-on bag as Miss Ditty (or Ms. Ditty) from now on. Enjoyed reading this post!

The Relentless Reader said...

I've never heard that term. That's not surprising since I don't come from a military family. Miss Ditty, ha, love it!

Unruly Reader said...

Safe travels to you and Miss Ditty!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I've never heard the Ditty term either, but I love having memories tied to a specific bag. The Huz got me a special bag for a big solo trip I took to Europe a few years ago. Since then I've sewed patches from each country I've visited all over the bag. I love taking it on trips and having those memories go with me.

Care said...

Miss Ditty is adorable! And she's friendly to books. What's not to love? Have a great trip.

ettible said...

Apparently none of your other commenters got the point of this post, which is A TACO WITH A BACON SHELL. Stop the presses.