Ralph Breaks the Internet

I got to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (RBtI) on Sunday. It was a great movie, totally living up to the expectations generated by the first one.

Spoiler-Free Zone

While watching it, I couldn’t help but notice how much social commentary there was within it. I don’t know if I’ve somehow missed it in previous movies, or if it’s just more prominent in RBtI. From Yesss’s words on the internet comment sections, to the way people are represented via their avatars, there are a bunch of eye-opening moments that make you stop and think for a second.

The adult jokes and the self-deprecating humor were other welcome additions that helped make RBtI feel less like a kid’s movie and more like a movie for anyone. I’m really looking forward to watching this one again later.

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Bohemian Rhapsody

I finally got to see Bohemian Rhapsody on Thanksgiving. I loved it. It was a fabulous movie.

I’m not exactly a Queen “fan”. There’s plenty of their music I’ve never heard (proven to me by several songs played during the movie). But I enjoy the music of their I’ve heard, and I’ve watched several Queen/Freddie Mercury documentaries. From those, I know that Bohemian Rhapsody took some artistic license with history, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

However, in my opinion, the movie did a great job of portraying the different sides and evolution of Freddie’s character.

The best part of Bohemian Rhapsody is undoubtedly the Live Aid performance. I had chills throughout the scene. My arm hair was quite literally standing on end the entire time.

My feelings toward the movie may be unique or fairly normal, but I left the theater feeling inspired. I wanted to follow “movie Freddie’s” example of wearing what I like, rather than what I “should”. I wanted to pursue my ambitions, follow my passions, and just be myself, regardless of society’s feelings and expectations.

Here’s hoping that inspiration will last and help me on my journey to become my best, most unadulterated, self.

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Crimes of Grindelwald

I saw Crimes of Grindelwald (CoG) this past Sunday. It was an interesting movie. I liked it enough that I couldn’t find a good place to duck out to the bathroom. TMI, I know, but it makes my point. That said, buckle in, grab a snack, because this one’s going to be long.

Spoiler-Free Zone

I left the theater in shock (for lack of a better word) over some of what was revealed. Hence the delay in this post. I kept turning over everything the movie had thrown at me, and I was left with way more questions than answers.

But now, I’ve processed the movie as much as I can for the moment. There’s a lot I won’t understand or know until future installments, but that’s OK. After all, this is only part 2 of 5. But JK has a lot of explaining to do.

There were far less “fantastic beasts” in this one, which was a bit sad for me, but the Kelpie was absolutely gorgeous, the Zouwu was adorable, and the baby Nifflers were too cute for words and didn’t get enough screen time.

I hope at some point we’ll get the whole story behind the Leta Lestrange/Scamander Brothers relationship, as there’s clearly some major backstory there.

That’s just about everything I have to say that’s spoiler free. If you aren’t OK with spoilers, it’s time for you to stop reading. If, however, you’re OK with them, or have already seen CoG, then click the button below to read the rest of this.

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Troubles with Torrid

I tend not to write about negative experiences if possible, as I prefer to dwell on the positive. However, in this case, it’s more of an annoyance and inconvenience. Also, I hope this post will help other who are considering purchasing from this store.

Until recently, Torrid was my favorite clothing store. I could purchase anything, online or in-store, without having to worry about sizing. The clothes were well-made, so I knew I’d get my money’s worth. And the general look and styles fit my personal preference.

I purchased so much from them that I hit the platinum level of their points system. Torrid was almost the only store I shopped for clothing from.

However, my most recent purchases have been major failures. The fit has been horribly inconsistent, and the quality seems to have gone down a bit. Allow me to share my most recent fit failures. Don’t want to read the backstory? Just jump down to the wrap up.

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Green Nib Update

I mentioned in my 2018 DC Pen Show post that I purchased a green nib from Hinze Pen Company to match my Green Ivies pen from 18111. At the time, I thought I was purchasing an anodized nib. Turns out, it’s lacquered steel, which explains my experience. At the show, I was warned by a few people that colored nibs tend to experience flaking. Sadly, that warning held true for my nib.

I waited a while to write this update, because I was hoping that I could give you a positive result. At first it seemed as though the flaking was minor, and, if it had stayed like that, I could have lived with it.

With the first and second cleaning (both within the first month), a bit of green flaked off either side of the nib slit on the outer edge of the tines. It was noticeable, but it wasn’t really obvious, so I hoped that that would be the end of the flaking, and I’d have a good nib.

However, with the most recent cleaning, I decided to change the color in my pen. I found, as I cleaned it, that the ink was being particularly stubborn. After 10+ minutes of flushing water through it, I decided to pop it in my ultrasonic cleaner.

SIDE NOTE: You’re probably shaking your head. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t have put it in the ultrasonic cleaner. But…I thought it was anodized, and an anodized nib likely wouldn’t have had a problem with a half “round” in the ultrasonic cleaner.

It occurred to me at the time that I may be making a mistake, but I needed to clean the nib thoroughly, and I didn’t want to spend forever to do so.

Sure enough, the ultrasonic cleaner was a MASSIVE mistake. Here’s the nib after about 45 seconds in the cleaner. As you can see, there’s no going back, the green is toast.

So…my thoughts on colored nibs. Seeing as so many people warned me about them, I’m going to wager that this type of problem is common. I really wish that the nib had come with a disclaimer of things to avoid, or ways to care for it that would keep the color from flaking off.

That said, if you’re VERY careful with the nib, you can probably get a lot of use out of it before the color flaking becomes obvious. Also, if you can find an anodized steel nib, you’re likely to get much more use out of the nib before you have color flaking issues (if you have any).

If, however, like me, you have a certain expectation of performance for your nibs, a colored nib probably isn’t for you, especially one that’s lacquered rather than anodized.

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Stipula Etruria Prisma 88 Comparative Review

Last year I wrote about my Stipula Etruria Rainbow Prisma 88 and followed it up with an update. It’s one of my favorite pens, so when the Stipula Etruria Prisma 88 Magma was announced, I snapped one up.

Now that my Magma is back in action, I’m writing a comparative review of the two. I couldn’t find anything about the Rainbow when it first came out, and there doesn’t seem to be anything about the Magma, so hopefully, this will help anyone considering purchasing either of them.

Backstories

If you know the history behind these two pens in my collection, feel free to skip down to the main review.

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Regalia Writing Labs Sequel Nib Review

Collage of close ups of the Sequel nib

I’ve wanted one of Regalia Writing Labs‘ Sequel Nibs ever since Ralph shared the first photo of one. Part of my interest was based on the uniqueness of the nib, and part was a desire to support Ralph in his continued nib tinkering and modification. I’m very interested to see where his efforts take him.

Unfortunately, he teased us all for a while before making the nibs available, and then, only at shows. They’re still (to the best of my knowledge) only available at shows or via Instagram flash sales.

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Franklin-Christoph Firma Flex Notebook

I’ve been searching for my “perfect notebook” almost since I started using fountain pens. Every notebook I tried had at least one problem (in my opinion, I’m sure people would disagree with me). I’d just about given up hope of finding my “perfect notebook” when I stumbled across the Franklin-Christoph Firma-Flex Journal Notebooks.

The Search

When I started using fountain pens, I realized I could no longer just pick up any notebook I wanted to. So began my notebook search. And, of course, the elements that make up my “perfect notebook” have changed over the course of my search.

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The Montegrappa Fortuna Saga

With one exception, my experiences with fountain pens have been fantastic. Today I’m going to tell you about that exception. Before I do, however, I want you to keep something in mind. I vacillated for weeks between sharing this story and keeping it to myself. I don’t want it to read as a smear on Motegrappa. What I want you to take away from this story is the amazing customer service offered by Cary Yeager of Kenro Industries.

Montegrappa Fortuna Heartwood Pear

I bought my Montegrappa Fortuna Heartwood Pear (FHP) on November 11 at Bertram’s Inkwell‘s yearly trunk show. I’d been eyeing the pen for a while. It’s beautiful. Cary had one at his table with the nib size I wanted, so I bought it. And so began the FHP saga.

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Regalia Writing Labs Semiflex Nib Review

If you’ve been reading my Fountain Pen 101 series, you’ve seen a couple of shout-outs to Regalia Writing Labs. Beyond being a genius with nibs, Ralph Reyes, the creator, is a really nice guy.

He offered a limited run of “Full-Flex” nibs a few months ago, and Jim was lucky enough to snag one. It was absolutely amazing. Check out this fabulous flexibility. I wasn’t even putting much pressure on it.

Full Flex Writing Sample

So when Ralph announced a Semiflex nib was coming, I turned on post and story notifications for his Instagram account and eagerly awaited the start of the sale. I was lucky. I got my hands on a nib, as did Jim. It took a while, but our nibs finally arrived on Monday.

Semi-Flex Nib Packaging

Ralph did an amazing job with the packaging. I felt like I was getting a piece of jewelry. And I loved the custom seal.

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