As I’ve stated previously, my current pen rule is to be more thoughtful with my pen purchases. I’m doing my best to purchase pens that will make me happy to own, not just happy to buy.
It can be difficult sometimes. Pens may have misleading marketing photos — I’m looking at you, Sailor Pro Gear Slim Red Supernova — or zero size reference, for example. So, pens you think will be be fabulous may turn out to be not so great, or even totally wrong for you.
The question then, is what do you do? My plan was always to immediately return any pen that didn’t make me 100% happy upon unboxing. I put that plan in place after the Red Supernova debacle. In theory, it was a great plan. In practice, it hit a major snag the next time a pen didn’t meet that standard.
Watching Coco gave me a greater appreciation for my Mexican heritage. Since then, I’ve been trying to fill in cultural gaps leftover from childhood; like the appreciation and understanding of Mexican art.
One of those glorious art styles is centered on Día de Muertos. The riotous use of colors alone is enough to capture my attention, but combined with macabre imagery and joyous celebration, it’s definitely in my top 5 favorite art styles/themes.
Some of you may know that I used to be terrified of driving. I didn’t get my license until a couple of months after my 29th birthday. And learning to drive really only diminished my fear, it didn’t eliminate it. In the intervening nearly 4 years, I’ve hardly driven at all. In fact, I didn’t drive on the road at all until December of last year.
That’s because we only have one car, and it has a manual transmission. Jim tried, right after I got my license, to teach me to drive stick. But, he’d driven stick for long long that it was all muscle memory for him. He had trouble explaining to me what to do. And he loves his car so much that it freaked him out when I keep stalling it out.
This past Saturday, I went to Bertram’s Inkwell to pick up the pen I won from Pensplaining with Corinne. While there, Adam mentioned that they had a bunch of secondhand pens. So, pen fiend that I am, I asked to see them.
Note: If you don’t want to read the story, feel free to jump down to the pen porn or the list of sites I mention in the narrative below.
Out came three big zip cases of vintage pens. I went through the cases, but I don’t typically love the look of vintage pens. They aren’t as pretty as modern pens, in my opinion. But, in the third case, there were a bunch of vintage Pelikans. Among those was a red and black pen. I love red and black, so I pulled it out.
Unfortunately, the nib was looking a bit rough. Out of curiosity, I took at look at each of the other Pelikans. Most of them were stubs or broad, which I know I don’t like writing with. But, this one was intriguing.
Mid last year, I reached out to Yoshi Nakama of 18111 Pens about commissioning a custom pen. As the DC Pen Show was only a few weeks away, we agreed to discuss it at the show. At the time, I hoped to get a pen themed to my Exalted Bloodlines series.
I eagerly sought him out at the show. However, when I showed him the ideas I had in mind, he warned me it may not be doable.
The proposed roll stopper design, the blood drop I wanted scattered across the pen, and the moon and star I wanted on the top of the cap all have “sharp corners.” Apparently, 3D printing and laser engraving can’t produce sharp corners at that size.
However, I hoped we could reach a compromise with a modified design that I liked and could be executed. I agreed to modify the design before sending Mr. Nakama the files. He warned me that his waiting list was about 3 months long. Granted, considering the year+ waiting lists many pen makers have right now, 3 months is hardly an issue.
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.
While volunteering at the 2019 Baltimore Pen Show, I was gifted a lovely red, lever-fill, vintage Esterbrook pen. Admittedly, I know next-to-nothing about vintage Esterbrooks. I also have a penchant for finding out as much about my vintage pens as possible.
That said, it should be no surprise that I set out to identify and date (as accurately as possible) my new Esterbrook as soon as I was able.
Because I had fun doing so, and I found the information interesting, I figured I’d share it with you in the hopes that my research would prove useful to others.
As I mentioned in my last post, this was my first time as pen show volunteer staff. It’s an experience I look forward to repeating many times in the future.
When Corinne, the show organizer, put out a call to the DC Pen Crew for volunteers, I eagerly signed up. My reasoning, beyond wanting to help out, was that if I was volunteering, I wouldn’t be spending money.
That theory worked out well. When I received the schedule, I was happy to see myself listed for Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. That shift schedule worked so well that I’m hoping for the same next year.
You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side.
This information is provided in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Preferences cookies should be enabled so that the browser remembers your preferences.
If you disable this cookie, your preferences will not be saved. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
Google Analytics Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps me to improve my website.
Your preferences cannot be saved because you have disabled the Preferences Cookies. Please enable them to enable any other cookies.