Party people

My hetero-life-partner and I just spent Sunday at Ketu and Clydia’s house. They’re two people from the Three Rivers Jenbe Ensemble, and new friends. (Read an account from the party here.)

Take a look at our thoughtful selves. (And notice Katie’s tall drink — that’s one of many she entertained throughout the night.)


Add comment May 23rd, 2007

A retro sci-fi tool…

…That’s what I am. More about that later, but look at the awesome bowl I bought at Artlink from local artist Judy Wintin. The stencils she uses are amazing. I wonder how I can find those?


Add comment May 18th, 2007

The three-sided lament

All right. I’m back. For now. (Happy, Katie Casey?) Today, I’m back on my pencil soapbox (a pencilbox, if you will). I’ve discovered that my hand prefers a triangular barrel. In fact: the Dixon Tri-conderoga may be darn-near the perfect pencil for me. Take a look:


For those of you who don’t know, Ticonderoga pencils, made by Dixon, are sort of the white bread of pencils. They are cheap, readily available at any office supply store, and good quality. They’re known for the yellow pencils with the green ferrule (that’s “metal eraser holder thingie” for you laypersons).

Anyhow, the TRI-conderoga is awesome. It has a black matte non-slip surface, black eraser, and the signature green ferrule, which makes it look cool. The cool thing about it which is rare among triangular pencils is that the eraser is the same shape as the barrel, making for a unique erasing experience (laugh if you will!). Check it out:


(picture from Pencil Revolution — thanks guys, you’re awesome!)

“Ah,” you might say, “such perfection is rare, and it always comes with a price.”
Well… yes. You would be right. Triangular pencils are a bitch to sharpen. A blister pack of Tri-conderogas come with a little pencil sharpener, but it sucks. The blade just chews the wood up and it ends up uneven and brittle. Liz’s big pencil sharpener doesn’t treat it right. It grinds a really long point on the tip that makes it hard to grip when trying to write.

I am told by Don Bell, the really attentive and generous proprietor of Pencil Things, that KUM, a premiere pencil sharpener manufacturer, makes a special sharpener for triangular and hexagonal pencils. Luckily, they’re really cheap, so I think I’ll try one.

I’m also really excited about another triangular pencil being introduced by Pencil Things — Rhodia, who makes my really fancy orange notebooks, is making a pencil! They’re awesome looking, too:


Take a look at the notebooks:


Wouldn’t that be a perfect match?

Holy cow, I’m a geek. Who else feels this way about office supplies? Speak up.

Add comment May 15th, 2007

What I’ve been up to

  1. So the Indiana Dance Festival is over, and I’ve recovered. Sort of.
  2. I’ve developed a new addiction to pencils. But you already knew that.
  3. I’m sort of leaning toward trying vegetarianism out again.
  4. My kitchen is a mess, due to the fact that I’ve abandoned Katie and Sachen and hosted the aforementioned Indiana Dance Festival.
  5. My computer is dead. I’m taking it to get fixed tomorrow, but I’ve been using Katie’s computer and a Windoze computer I borrowed from Brandon. I’m sort of upset by all this.
  6. Katie and I are watching the CMT awards. Yawn.
  7. I would totally wear this watch. And I don’t wear watches.
  8. The new season of Doctor Who is great. And Martha Jones is really hot.

1 comment April 16th, 2007

The Prospector


Okay, imagine this lovely in bright green with a green eraser. Once again, I failed in my search for an appropriate image, and I am just not dedicated enough to take a picture of my own.

To be fair, I wasn’t able to give it a proper trial. I didn’t do a whole lot of writing or note-taking today, but when I did, it stayed sharp and true. A bit heavier than the Golden Bear, I didn’t have as much a problem with the softness of the lead. It stayed sharp. Of course — the tradeoff — it didn’t produce a really black line. It was, well, graphite-colored.

I’ll keep trying with this pencil, and give you a proper review after the weekend. The Indiana Dance Festival is coming up, and I won’t have much of a chance to do anything but host a festival.

Add comment April 12th, 2007

Golden Bear HB


The first pencil on my journey to a new graphite-filled lifestyle was the Golden Bear HB hardness woodcase pencil. I don’t have a very good picture of it — imagine the picture above if the colors were reversed — a blue barrel with an orange eraser.

First, the good points:

  • Writing with it is really, really smooth. One might almost call it creamy. In fact, I will call it creamy. Mmm, creamy.
  • Aesthetically, it is really good looking. Blue, with an orange eraser is pleasing to look at.
  • It’s lightweight, and whips through the air.

Some downers:

  • Although HB lead is in the middle of the hardness scale,  it felt really soft, which might account for some of the creaminess. The point would go dull easily, and it had to be sharpened several times throughout the day.
  • The wood underneath the shiny azure paint didn’t sharpen evenly. It splintered a couple of times.

So far, I give it a 3 on a five-point scale. It was better than your standard pencil, but after the review, I don’t think I’m going to buy a whole set. Tomorrow, I’ll be using the Prospector.

Add comment April 11th, 2007

The Pencil Revolution

Hello everyone… I’m back! Sorry it took so long. I’ll be back soon with an update of what is going on in the world of Andy (lets just say it involves my computer not working.), but first, let me share with you my new obsession.

One of the things you might know about me is that I’m an office supply addict. I get a thrill out of going to Office Depot similar to the high some get from a porn store. I sometimes feel alone in the world from this thrill (though I know I’ve seen you behind the binder clips stroking that new leather-bound legal pad…), but I’ve learned to hide it.

I’ve always self-identified as a pen user, though. I have a few fountain pens, and I buy those cool curvy Roseart pens from Target like there’s no tomorrow. Lately, though, I’ve been reading some blogs like Ninth Wave Designs, which has unfortunately gone out of business. They tell me of the elusive Blackwing pencil, which is the smoothest, silkiest writing utensil they’ve ever used. I confirmed it on BoingBoing (a blog which is an authority on everything, thankyouverymuch). It has a cult-like popularity.

So, I, who follows cult-status stuff like, well, a cult follower, perked my ears up and started paying attention. Still not enough to draw me in (pun intended). I stayed this way until I found a pencil at a trip to Office Depot with a really cool name — a Mikado Black Warrior. I could buy a box for three bucks. Shiny and sleek, it is perfectly round with a lightweight barrel and dark lead.

What was I turning into? I’ve been using it for a few days, and although it’s much different than pens (and you have to keep sharpening it), I love it. I’d show you a picture, but I can’t find one online.

Recently, though, I discovered a new pencil love — the Dixon Ticonderoga.

It’s got a black matte finish, a green metallic eraser band (which I love) and a black eraser. It is really lightweight, and smooth. Very smooth.

So while I’ll still look for Blackwing pencils on eBay (at about $150-200 a dozen — why oh why didn’t I know about these things when they were still around?!) I’ll keep looking.

Maybe it’s a love of quests — often I feel I am not happy unless I have something to hunt for. It used to be the perfect wristwatch (until I realized I don’t like to wear watches), and for a while it was the perfect wallet (which I found, I think) and often it was the perfect pen.

Whatever it is, it has to be either really modern or vintage. At Staples, I found this writing pad, and fell in love. I looks like its out of the 1940s, with a Courier-font cover and a creamy ivory paper… I can’t find a good picture online to show you. Sigh; if only I had a good digital camera…

But lately, I found an awesome website called Pencil Things where I can buy a sampler of high-quality pencils loved by pencil enthusiasts. This sample includes one of each of California Republic pencils with a Palamino HD, a Golden Bear HB, a Prospector HB, a Forest Choice HB, and a Golden Bear Triangular HB. Stay tuned for daily (or almost daily) review of each pencil. First, I’ll bring you the Golden Bear. Take a look tomorrow night.

2 comments April 10th, 2007

Molly the dancer strikes again

I wonder how one goes about making an internet phenomenon out of this.

1 comment February 18th, 2007

Look, I’m a YouTuber, too!

Add comment February 17th, 2007

That’s my sister!

Thanks to the computing “genius” of Rosie, Molly’s penchant for break dancing has now been immortalized on YouTube. It’s long, but scroll to the last 40 seconds or so to see the best part.

Add comment February 16th, 2007

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