Scratching the fountain pen itch

Instead of getting a new pen, I got myself a new bottle of ink. I reached the bottoms of the Diamine Evergreen and Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo bottles to the point where I can’t draw it up with the nib. I’ll have to use a syringe to suck up the last of the inks in those bottles. In the meantime, I wanted to have the convenience of a full bottle for easy refilling, where I can just stick the entire nib in the bottle and suck it up. And even though I still have other fairly full bottles, I didn’t want to take my nicer bottles of inks to work (Pelikan Tourmaline, Montblanc Irish Green). So this is more along the lines of introducing more frivolity into my life this year. And apparently, frivolity translates into buying shit I don’t really need.
Noodler's Ink - Black Swan in Australian Roses
But it’s so pretty and it has a lot of variation in light and dark shading. It’s a dark merlot/wine color that’s easy on the eyes.

Beauty products

Tony Moly Strawberry blackhead removing nose packs. Thumbs down.
Blackhead nose strips
I’m not a fan of these types of products, nose strips, but once in a blue moon, I forget that I hate these things and use them again. Then I don’t use it for a long time again. They probably do more harm than good.  I like this Tony Moly version even less.  They reek of a terrible artificial strawberry scent and the three step process is more gimmicky than effective.  It’s basically Biore, but more annoying and no more effective.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Thumbs up. 
EcoTools and Real Techniques
I got into a conversation with a coworker a few weeks ago, talking about the one makeup we like to wear the most. You know, the whole, “I feel absolutely naked without … ” For her, it was lipstick. For me, it’s blush. Not that I wear it all the time, but it’s probably my most frequently used product. It makes such a difference on my complexion that I’ve had people ask me if I’m well on days I don’t wear it. I had a couple of them fall apart on me last year – a Sonia Kashuk and an E.L.F.  So I got a Real Techniques brush. It can be used for face powder, blush, bronzer, or powder foundation.  I’ve been loving this brush.  The bristles are dense and short and don’t shed.  It blends beautifully and feels very soft.

I also got the EcoTools brush for powder foundation. It’s incredibly soft but not as dense as the Real Techniques. For powdering the whole face though, it’s exactly what I need. Something big and floofy.

Why I love plants

Along the same lines of my love for calendars, plants are like living calendars to me.  In 2 years time, this grew from a cutting to a 9 ft tall plant.  I got that one in 2005 when I worked with this lady who gave me a cutting.  This one came from a leaf I picked up off the floor.  They’re like diaries.  And watching a plant grow reminds of of how slowly and quickly time passes.  Like watching the clock during the last half hour at work, if you stare at a plant, time seems to stop, the plant doesn’t change.  But if you look back to years past, the plant has grown to a huge weed and I realize how many years I’ve known the people at work.

I have talked myself into and out of growing plumerias many times.  I don’t have ideal light or space.  This isn’t even the right climate.  But I was in Hawaii.  And plumerias were in bloom all around me.  I got these three.

Plumeria cuttings planted

I’m crossing my fingers they thrive.

It doesn’t fit!

As a nod to ringing in the Year of the Cock, I am cleaning out my closet. I’m ridding myself of the most obvious – jeans that no longer fit! These are ones that I’m never going to squeeze myself into ever again without doing major organ damage.
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When I first started working, I measured my work hours in the pairs of jeans I could buy. I was making maybe $10/hour and that was about a pair of jeans on sale. For a really fancy pair, I might have splashed out for a $20 pair. Whether it’s because of my slowed metabolism due to aging, or from the all the squats and Warrior threes, or one too many beers, 6 out of these 8 pairs do not fit me anymore.

Makeup Rampage

2 weekends ago, it snowed! with accumulation! So, having hopped up on Peppa Pig and Frangelico and coffee, I went on a makeup shopping rampage. Well, rampage by my standards anyway.

This time, I tried a brand called Mineral Fusion. They carry it at Mom’s and Whole Foods.

  • 3-in-1 Color Stick in Terra Cotta – for the eyes, cheeks, and lips. 1 product that has 3 uses sounds like it’ll be good for all the traveling that I don’t do.  I only use it for the cheeks though. It feels powdery smooth and is very easy to use.  I just swipe some on my face and use my fingers to spread it around until it looks barely there.  Just a hint of life to my zombie-like complexion.
  • Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Shimmer.  It doesn’t feel like anything on my lips.  I only put a little on and it looks pretty natural.
    Mineral Fusion 3 in 1 and Lip Tint
    Lip products are mostly a miss for me because I have a bad habit of licking it off. Also, I chucked almost all my lip products a few years ago when I learned they had lead and other heavy metals in them (FDA). So now, I only have 2 lipsticks in my retinue (100% Pure (like) and Pacifica Lip Tint (tolerable, would not re-purchase)).

I’ve been using both of these before work. I just apply both products third thing in the morning, then check back right before leaving to make sure I don’t shock myself.  It’s just enough to look like I’m awake and ready to carpe the diem, not the noctis.

I also have a confession. I was looking for foundation and based on Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation, I ordered Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel. After it was too late, it dawned on me to check if it was cruelty-free and I later learn it is not. I will still use it because damage done, but ugh… oops. This is like the time when I needed some watch bands replaced and as I walked out of the store after they’d already done the work, I realized the straps were all leather! I wish exploitation of animals wasn’t so normative and accepted. I hate having to babysit and monitor and be careful! I won’t even bother to tell you if this product is good or bad because we can just assume no matter how this stuff performs, it’s not worth torturing some poor hapless creature for something as trivial as makeup. And it contains fragrance, so thumbs down on that too.

 

Post 2016 Thanksgiving Shopping Haul

We went to an outlet mall after Thanksgiving to get this!
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Well really, all I wanted were the 4 yellow containers for the lunches I make. But then they showed me a bunch of other dishes that were only $3.99 each! So I got 3 troughs I don’t really need. Impulse buys. Darn sales.

Con-70 Converter

I got this converter for another pen (the Falcon) but it didn’t fit. 
Con-70 Converter
In fact, the only pen I have that can fit this converter was my work pen, the Kakuno.  Perfect.  I took it to work and the ink capacity lasts!  I don’t have to worry about my pen running out of ink in the middle of a meeting.  And filling it is a breeze.  Just a few pumps dipped in the inkwell and I have myself a juicy pen.  Even if the pen dries up and stops writing, I don’t have to do anything more than just give the converter a few gentle half pumps and it’s good to go.  This thing… I should have gotten it long ago.  It’s turned a fountain pen from a play thing and kind of inconvenient to a real everyday work pen.
For the longest time, I was refilling a cartridge with a syringe at work.  This started to get tedious when it was happening every few weeks.  I had to keep a backup ballpoint, which defeats the purpose of a fountain pen.  Suddenly I found myself shopping for a pen with super ink capacity.  But any pen over $20 was not going to work with me.  This accidental converter saved the day.The only drawback if I have to think of one is you don’t get to swap colors as often.  But I’ve found that for work, I’m not going to use too many cartoon colors.  So I end up with the same general range of colors anyways – anything that looks black or blue.  Right now, it’s Diamine Evergreen.  It looks black on a fine nib.

Joined

I’m running out of stuff to do and have been feeling restless lately. Like I need to find something I can get into. I’ve pretty much reached the bottom of the barrel of YouTube and Netflix. Most days, I just have something on for the background noise and can’t be bothered to pay attention. The fish tank is pretty self-contained. The plants don’t like being over-tended. So I joined a gym. Maybe this will help me kill some time and provide something stimulating.

Again with the shopping hobby. In preparation for this new endeavor, I got a water bottle (lost the old one).

These headbands. (I’ve used them for a while now and they’re only ok. They have to be clipped on to stay, otherwise, they slide off.)
Savvy Coconut Headbands
And a locker lock.
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Hobby

I went to a training class at work today and by way of introducing ourselves, they asked participants to talk about a hobby.  I racked my brain for something better to say than just watching YouTube and Netflix which is probably how I spend 90% of my free time.  It’s as valid a way to pass time as anything else, but doesn’t seem hobby-like.   I ended up sharing that I enjoy cooking and doing yoga.

Then I came home to a couple of packages I’d just ordered.  One item was this new watercolor set.  I discovered some watercolor hobbyists on YouTube and decided to dabble in this.  When I was a kid, I took watercolor lessons and even though I didn’t really have the patience for art (and I still don’t), I enjoyed studying objects to try to put them on paper.  And I love color!
Grumbacher
I’m not sure how long this interest will last – for 5 minutes or longer term.  So maybe my other hobby is really just shopping for my maybe-hobbies.

Another Fountain Pen-Friendly Journal

I ordered this journal with the teapot and the PaperBlanks. I’ve been wanting to try this notoriously-popular-amongst-the-fountain-pen-community Clairfontaine paper.

It’s 90 grams per square meter (gsm) which I believe is pretty standard for fountain pen paper; cloth binding, sewn with linen thread. For comparison, I believe standard notebook paper’s gsm is in the 60s. The lines are wide-ruled, like the Paperblanks. I write medium-sized so it suits me just fine.
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The cover is just a thicker paper, maybe card stock, and is soft. I’m perfectly fine with that. More than fine. As long as the paper in it is good, I don’t care too much about the covers because I use these books as journals that stay home.