All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go. Well, almost.
I finally finished choosing my clothing. I try to remind myself that I have to live with my choices of shirts for the next thirty days. If I change my mind, my only option is to buy something new.
The last thing was deciding what books I want to read on my trip. I picked up Paul Coehlo's The Alchemist, mostly because I heard him interviewed on NPR yesterday morning. NPR is a pretty good arbiter of middle-brow tastes, and my tastes are about as middle-brow as they come. I happened upon a whole display of his books at Border's and I noticed that all of them had the blurb "by the internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist," so I figured it was his best work (or at least the most popular).
I wanted to balance something serious off against that, so I decided to bite the bullet and finally read Hannah Arendt. Most people assume I've read her work, but I focused much more on nineteenth-century thinkers and never quite got to her. I'm rather embarrassed by this, actually, and just nod when people mention her name, hoping I won't be called on to say anything substantive about her.
Anyway, this trip seemed like a good way to catch up, so I picked up The Portable Hannah Arendt; I'm hoping it lives up to its name.
I've got some crossword puzzles and the new Harper's on how to deal with the multiple failures of the Bush administration to keep me occupied on the flight. Then an Ambien to sleep on the overnight leg so I arrive in Germany fresh and alert.
So that's it. Monday morning my plane leaves for Newark bright and early at 8 am, God-willing with me on it. Next stop, Berlin.