Is Comedy “Getting Hard”?

On Saturday, I went to a comedy show. I don’t intend to mention any names in this post, as that’s not the point of this post.

I found it interesting that every performer, the openers and headliner alike, spoke some form of “comedy’s getting hard because people are more sensitive” near the beginning of their act.

Of the openers, two were received very well, and one received a lukewarm response. Thinking about the show later, I realized something crucial.

Let me pause for a moment to say I’m well aware I’m no comedian. I can’t refute comedians’ assessment that comedy is getting harder. What I can offer, however, is an outsider’s perspective of the situation.

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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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Explaining Pens

“You spentΒ HOW much on a pen?” Every pen person has heard it at least once.Β It can get a bit annoying to hear, mainly because you can hear the judgement in the tone nine times out of ten.Β If you aren’t a pen person, you’ve probably though it while reading my blog.

I used to just laugh it off and continue the conversation, but the tiny kernel of hurt remained. It seemed an unfair judgement. After all, I stay within my monthly budget. All my bills get paid. What difference does it make if I buy a semi-expensive pen? Semi-expensive in relation to the full spectrum of available pens, that is.

Granted, if you’re someone who’s spent their entire life using BIC ballpoints, it’s likely the idea of spending even $10 on a pen is too much. But we’re all different. We all have something we splurge on (when we can). The trick is to know what the person you’re talking to splurges on.

For example, I was talking to a friend the other day who was having the typical non-pen person reaction (basically, wow, that’s expensive). Knowing she’s on the girly side, I told her:

“Pens for me are like shoes and bags for other ladies”

It was really interesting to experience her near instant change in attitude with her new understanding.

“ohh got it πŸ˜‰ they are like the jimmy choos”

I’ve had similar experiences with other friends, too. Once I can give them something to relate to, they understand me better and the judgement ceases.

How do you explain your pen habit/hobby to friends and family? Or if you aren’t a pen person, what’s your main habit/hobby, and how do you explain it to your friends and family? Leave me a comment to let me know. I’m really curious.

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2018 DC Pen Show

This past weekend I was back at the Washington D.C. Collectible Fountain Pen Supershow (a.k.a the DC Pen Show). I spent two and a half days at the show this time, as opposed to the 2/3 of a day I spent last year, so rather than a set of in-depth posts, I’m giving you an overview of my experience with some detailed stories of the best parts of the show.

Friday

We weren’t able to take time off from work to attend the show on Friday, but we went straight from dinner to the hotel. From the moment we arrived at the Marriott Fairview Place on Friday night, it couldn’t have been more different than last year. By sheer coincidence, we arrived as a group of our pen friends were heading out to dinner. We exchanged “hello”s and “see you later”s with everyone, and hugs with a few people.Β Ralph, the contagious ink boy, inked Jim with a hug, which was rather funny.

We relaxed at the bar for a while, catching up with our friend TeAntae and her mother, Louise. Once people started returning from dinner, we spent the evening at the hotel bar, chatting, testing paper and nibs, and generally having a great time.

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How I Got My Grail Pen

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about the DC Pen Show and shared my favorite fountain pen story: how I got pen #19 of 88 of the Stipula Etruria Prisma 88 limited edition. It’s been my favorite pen story every since, but it has now been dethroned by the story I’m sharing with you today. Allow me to tell you the full story behind my acquisition of my grail pen.

Stipula Leonardo da Vinci olive wood
Stipula Leonardo da Vinci olive wood limited edition (photo from Rakuten). Photo modified to be more true to life.

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2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 6

Alright, this is it. The big one. The one we’ve all be waiting for…whoops, nope, this isn’t Harry Potter. This is my last BWIPS 2018 post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reminiscing with me. If you haven’t yet, go read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 before continuing.

When I left you yesterday, we were all heading back to the hotel for the “official” pen show after dark fun. Somehow, between leaving Frank & Nic’s as one big group, and arriving at the hotel (a 5-minute walk if you’re going slow) we separated into multiple smaller clusters of 3-8 people.

Jim made a beeline for the hallway between the show rooms as soon as it became apparent that that was where the “event” was being held. Jim wanted a good spot, and I tagged along with him.

Soon Cary Yeager and a gentleman whose name I don’t know came down the hall and started setting up the area. I helped bring out and set up the chairs so my conscience would be clear when I didn’t stay to clean up.

Slowly, people filtered down from the bar and lobby, filling the little hallway area to overflowing.

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2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 5

Welcome back to my BWIPS experience write-up. Today starts the pen show after dark shenanigans. If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, you might want to go do that. This post is back to a shorter length, but tomorrow’s (which should be my last post) will probably be rather long.


The announcement that the show was official over (for the day) was a bit of a bummer, but it also meant that it was time for after-show shenanigans.

It took me a while to locate Jim, who I found sitting with Adam at the Bertram’s Inkwell table. At that moment, the plan was to stick with Adam to enjoy the after party.

But when we got shoo’ed out of the room, we found ourselves in a crush of people. For a while, we sat and listened to Larry Ragland of Diplomat Pens play the guitar. I even had some fun dancing. Te was kind enough to let me include some photos she took.

Larry Ragland playing guitar Dancing to Larry Ragland's guitar playing

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2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 4

Welcome back to my BWIPS experience write-up. If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, and 3, you might want to go do that. Fair warning, this post is longer than I intended it to be because there’s a lot to say. That said, I hope you enjoy it.


When I last left you, I was on my way to the Bittner table to buy a Homo Sapiens Bronze Age (VHSBA). There were a couple of people in front of me, so I waited, mostly patiently, for them to finish. Finally, it was my turn. Cindy Bittner was very efficient. She had my Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Maxi with a medium nib packaged up and checked out in a couple of minutes.

Happy as a clam, I met back up with Te and Jim, and we went to the Chesapeake Room to await the Organics (Studio) 101 chat with Tyler Thompson.

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2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1 or part 2, I highly suggest you do so before continuing with this. I’d like to take a moment before I start to mention that the more I “got into” the pen show, the less I remembered to take photos. So you’ll be seeing less for this installment.


As I was leaving the Herbert Pen Company table, I spotted Jim, and went to grab him so he could pick up his own pen. Of course, in doing so, I lost Te along the way. These things happen at shows. We’re walking along, happy as can be, then suddenly, “Oooohhh!! Shiny!!!”

Jim was a very happy Pen Sloth once he got his hands on his pen. I may be biased, but I think my pen is a little bit nicer. ;-). His is beautiful, though. It reminds me of Thai iced tea.

Herbert Pen Company Pen

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2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1, I suggest you do so before continuing with this.

– – –

I walked into the large room through the second door. The table immediately to my right is, for some reason, completely lost to my memory. I’ll blame it on pen show excitement.

I walked down the row and spent a few minutes staring at the Kanilea Pen Company pens. They’re absolutely beautiful, but, for some reason, they just don’t call to me. I’ve yet to figure out why.

Just past Kanilea was Jonathon Brooks/Carolina Pen Co. Unsurprisingly, the pens at his table were absolutely beautiful.

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