What’s in Your Bag? is a recurring feature where we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. This week, we’re featuring Verge video producer Sarah Bishop.
The cold truth about this bag is that it’s not my bag. Until recently, I had been carrying the same Jansport backpack for about 10 years. It’s actually quite sentimental, despite the gunk collected on its bottom from setting it on the subway floor. My Dad bought it for a trip to Disney World with me and my brother two decades ago, and I started carrying it in college as a sad acknowledgement that there would never be a time I would cradle finely bound textbooks wrapped by a belt. It’s a great bag: it has two large pouches, a smaller front pouch that has interior organizational pouches, and the standard front zip pouch. But one strap finally gave way, and I have yet to stitch it back together.
Now I’m carrying my partner’s bag, a commuter crossbody I bought for him a few years ago. (He’s started carrying a bag that accommodates his gym shoes.) It fits my laptop and has forced me to carry less, which I resent, but also from which I benefit.
I bought this bag for my partner the first year we moved to New York together. He’d just gotten a promotion, and I couldn’t resist. It has a front and back zip pocket, as well as two interior spaces and some catch-all pouches toward the back. I’ve been carrying it for about a month and tend to put my laptop and cord in the back pouch, with the rest fitting toward the front. Lotuff bags are made in America and typically leather; this is canvas with a leather topper. I wasn’t at the all-leather-everything financial bracket when I bought it, which is what Lotuff is known for.
Crossbody bags hurt my shoulders, so while I look a thousand times more adult carrying this than the beat-up backpack, I will definitely need to switch back to a two-strap system.
I keep my keys on a karabiner, some kind of sentimental shout-out to production life and ye olde rock climbing days. It’s usually hooked so they hang inside the bag.
LAPTOP + CORD + EARBUDS + GLASSES
I’ve had my Vox Media laptop for a little over two years, and frankly, I’m emotionally attached. It’s a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display from 2015 with a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7. I have the full Adobe suite on it and have used it to ingest about 150 videos’ worth of b-roll during CES, and my downloads folder is a brutal mess at the end of each week. I’ve filled up the 500GB of memory more than three times; below the keyboard, there’s an illustration on gaff tape from a former co-worker of me and my partner kissing our cat. The front has every brand sticker from Vox Media; I was a producer in our central studio, working with every brand, before I began producing with The Verge. I’ve also got a “Tech Stands with Planned Parenthood” sticker that I got from Code Conference 2017.
My laptop cord has some gaff tape with my initials that was affixed during my first CES. The earbuds are for my commute, and the glasses have a film on them to filter out blue light from screens. I realistically look at a laptop, smartphone, or television for about 12 hours a day — any media job these days demands as much — and in the last few years, my near-daily headaches have grown a few times into full-blown migraines. Until CBD can be legally used to treat pain, I’ll have to settle for these frames.
LUMIX + VINTAGE CLUTCH
Because I’m a garbage person — or maybe because I have done things a garbage person would do but am not a garbage person? — I don’t know where my lens cap is for the Lumix and have kept it in this vintage clutch for safety. The interior is a sturdy satin, and I like that I don’t have to worry about the display getting scratched in my garbage person bag. I’m just being honest.
My mirrorless camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and is primarily used for travel and hanging out with friends. I love that it can connect to my phone over Wi-Fi to send photos to the Panasonic Imaging App. I don’t ever change the 12-32mm lens on it since it suits casual needs; if I’m going to bring lenses, I’m going to be breaking out my old Canon cameras (5DMIII, 60D), hangers-on from run-n-gun freelance days when I would shoot.
WEDDING PLANNING BOOK + TIGERLILY MEDIA JOURNAL
I’m getting married in a month. When I first began the planning process, I told myself I would never be that person who did any wedding anything at work or talked endlessly about the planning process. Ha! Such a sweet, sweet summer child.
My reality is that it’s a familial rite of passage and a performative cultural celebration acted out to respect the traditions of my elders. Family members have a vested interest and a ton of opinions. Emotions run high, and budgets are broken across the land. It’s much easier to launch a new Facebook page under the Verge umbrella, or to produce a video series under Nilay’s scrutiny, than it is to plan a wedding. So, when my backpack broke and I finished my last commuter book, I used the scant space in this bag to carry my wedding planning book instead of a novel.
The other journal is one I’ve carried for about three years. It was a gift from a company I’d worked with in my hometown called TigerLily Media. TLM was the first place I ever worked at that felt like a true family, and I strive to create the culture they exhibit wherever I go. I learned a ton of production from them, and I love their work; it’s really great carrying this around and being able to feel a bit of the inspiration they give me. I always carry two Zebra pens in the journal in alternating colors. Right now, my pens are green and black.
As the embroidery states, I was gifted this makeup bag when I was a bridesmaid for a dear friend, and I’ve carried it around daily. I’m not trying to be a sentimental creep; it’s just perfect for commuting and it shrinks and expands more than one could guess. But I do love thinking about my friend when I see it. (She is a bridesmaid — bridesmatron? — in my pending nuptials.)
Most of my makeup is sample-size because I keep forgetting to cancel my Birchbox subscription, but also because it’s incredibly convenient to use a sample of mascara instead of buying a tube that won’t get used up before you’re supposed to throw it out. The large sample of Yves Saint Laurent Tuxedo perfume was actually a favor from another wedding of good friends. It’s such a fantastic smell and really one of the best wedding favors ever. The perfume and the bag; what more could I want?
I’ve also been carrying this pretty dope Kailijumei lipstick: it’s got a little flower in it and these flecks of gold that make it fun to look at. Practically, the color is good, but it leaves a weird film on my lips that I end up scraping off. I bought a pack of them to give in gift boxes to my bridesmaids for the bachelorette trip, and there was one left over — score!
This bag is a bit of a wedding takeover.
CROWN ROYAL BAG + YOGA CLOTHES
When I want to make an effort to be healthy, I bring some yoga pants and a sports bra and rush to Bikram yoga after work. Because it’s ungodly hot (105 degrees Fahrenheit), I don’t have to worry about a shirt or much else in terms of workout gear. I roll it all up and put it in the Crown Royal bag so I don’t embarrass myself in the locker room by upending my supplies to find the clothes.
I also bring my ring box to store my engagement ring while exercising. It stresses me out to leave it behind but apparently it’s bad for jewelry to wear it while sweating.
The tampons were in my bag because I was having a Super day. Just Super.
TURTLE KEYCHAIN + TOTE + THUMB DRIVE
The little turtle used to be a keychain, but the links broke apart, and so I carry it as a little trinket to remember my sister. It’s a bit of a family thing; I know my mom has a lot of turtle paraphernalia as well. My sister got a beautiful, fully colored tattoo of a sea turtle on her thigh, but then died a week later in a car accident. No one heard her explanation behind the sea turtle before she died, and it became a symbol to us all while coping.
I keep the Shakespeare & Co tote bag in my big bag in case I want to go somewhere during the day without hauling it around. It also serves to carry groceries home. The thumb drive is from Akumal Animal Sanctuary; a really great, albeit touristy, half-day experience outside of Tulum, Mexico. The sanctuary has been open for about a year. There are photos of me and my maid of honor playing with monkeys on it.
MAP + STAMPS + TEA + HAND LOTION
I got this map of Paris from an Airbnb host, and I’ve actually been using it folded up in its smallest form (about half the size of a card) as a bookmark. It’s just a great trinket from my trip. Incidentally, I was in France for a friend’s wedding — the woman that gifted the perfume — in case you thought we weren’t talking about weddings anymore.
I still believe in the USPS, and they still believe in receiving payment for their work, so I have a few stamps I’ve kept on me for postcards and letters. The immune support tea is mostly for show… I’ve been drinking it almost every day but have still had two colds in the last three weeks. My sinus allergies have been nuts this year. Related, I was re-gifted the hand lotion after giving it to my soon-to-be father-in-law — it’s made with almonds, and he has a nut allergy. It was an accident!
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