Archive for November, 2009

Giveaway Contest over at Lung Sketching Scrolls

I’ve always lusted after Alberto’s art supply reviews over at Lung Sketching Scrolls. Now he’s posted a helpful list of his favorites from the past year, in addition to hosting a giveaway from Jetpens. Just thought I’d help spread the word!


Pelikan 120

So I found a Pelikan 120 at my father’s office yesterday– he’s an architect, and I’ve been raiding his toolkit for as long as I can remember. Despite having sat around for a few years, it needed nothing more than a quick flush before I could ink it up and test it out. I used Lamy black because it’s the only bottled ink I have at the house right now. As it turns out, the quality is still pretty good! It lays down a crisp, fine line and flexes nicely (click on the image for a closer view).

The Pelikan 120 is a lower-end version of the 140, and apparently came in three versions: from the looks of this one, it seems to be the 2nd version which was picked up by many artists and architects.

The only flaw is that the nib is a bit scratchy on strokes to the right… I drew a circle on the sample page to show where the scratchy section was. After a bit of research, I found that you can smooth a scratchy nib on kraft paper, so I did that (very carefully) and it’s much smoother now. Certainly not buttery, but it doesn’t catch the paper now. Hooray!


What is this Nonsense?

I used a charcoal Lamy Safari with a F nib for almost a year until it disappeared (!) a few months ago. I replaced it with a shiny black Lamy Safari with an EF nib, and suddenly my handwriting is so.. bubbly.

I’ve never had bubbly handwriting!  Also, this happened right about the time that I switched to Noodler’s Habanero. Funny how these things can affect your handwriting…

Ode to My Major

We are beings-in-process. At every stage of self-discovery, we look back reinterpret the past, gleaning for clues that we would eventually come to here.

Back in Charlottesville, Virginia, I lean against the columns of the historic lawn at UVa to smoke a cigarette and shelter myself from the rain. I’m the only one standing still in the current of umbrella’d students scurrying to classes, restaurants, coffee shops.

Funny how a place is more emotion than geography.

I heard the other day that a close friend from high school is a creative writing major. Good, I thought, that he should end up where he should be. I wonder if he couldn’t shake the same impulse that I am always fighting—the sneaking knowledge that writing is the best way to sort through things internal and external. Things past and present. And did he sort through me the way I sorted through him?

I have a memory of pestering him to include me in an essay. I think I wanted confirmation that I wasn’t the only one encountering real life through writing. He said he did, but never showed me the result.

In Alderman library, I wonder how I would’ve been at a school of 30,000 students instead of 1600. I count down the days till I return to school, and from then until graduation. These sorts of anxieties are best calmed by a pen—this break has already produced ten poems.

I will write my way from Charlottesville back to Gambier, and from the past back into the present (and onward)

Poetry I’ve Been Digging Lately

…with short and snarky commentary!

John Berryman’s 77 Dream Songs

I’ve now written two extended critical papers on Berryman’s Dream Songs, and I keep wondering why I’m so attached to a suicidal, racist, sexist Confessional poet who completely infuriates me with his solipsism. But at the end of the day, what he did with race, sex, and identity in the Dream Songs is a thousand times more fascinating that Berryman’s actual [offensive] opinions.

The Complete Poetry of Frank O’Hara

Lunch Poems changed the way I thought about poetry. For my birthday this year, I received two copies of the complete poetry of Frank O’Hara. Double the queer city fun!

O’Hara is good to read: before bed, to take a study break, when you are in bed with a lover and wake up before them, if you’re queer, if you’re a hipster, when you are in love, and in cities.

Oh Dear

69895_pig-tree_md copy

I’ve had the flu. Today is my first day back out and about, so I’ll be back to posting in no time!

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