25 Sep 2012

keri: ([france] strasbourg!)
So it's been ages, again, since I posted to LJ. This time it's because those fucking birth control pills were not right for me and my depression was pretty awful. Is pretty awful? I don't know. I just couldn't be bothered to do a lot of shit. I haven't participated much on LibraryThing in a few months, and my reading has slown down a lot, because I just can't muster the interest. But other interests are obsessively overwhelming me - fountain pens and Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom. Those were partly retail indulgence (when I get depressed, I like to buy things and go on trips) and partly something Different and easy to obsess about, which gets my mind off of the other shit.

I ended up quitting the Ortho TriCyclen Lo after the second month. While it was better than the first month, it was still worse than nothing at all most of the time, and I didn't want to try another month to see if it'd get better. I mean, the WORST had cleared up, but it still wasn't good? And in the last 3 weeks, I've actually had periods where I'm feeling All Right (like today), even if other times (like all of last week and the week before, thanks to Suicide Prevention Day or whatever the fuck it was that trigged me like whoa) were bad. I mean, I screwed up at work in a huge, huge way 2 weeks ago because I just didn't care enough to try to figure out a better solution, and then the next week I was walking downtown and just burst into tears (my boss had scolded me, and I think that primed me for it, but I was dealing with it until randomly looking at a person walking by and then sobs? and also when I was at Disney last Tuesday, I kept starting to burst into tears for no discernable reason, especially when it was something kind of happy and nice happening?).

I think maaaybe I need to get a new job that doesn't stress me out for stupid shit (I don't like being responsible for revenue, it is really hard on me), and also pays me enough to be able to afford my own apartment. I don't even want a big place, just something with a separate bedroom from the living/kitchen space, and close enough to Sash's house that we can hang out as much as we want. But that's still kind of more expensive than I can afford right now. And I also worry that it's just my depression that is talking?

Anyway. I went to the gynocologist today for my annual, but it's been like 8 years since my last one. I was pleasantly surprised that my doctor remembers me! Even if she doesn't remember the details, she said that she seemed to remember seeing me more recently than 8 years ago, but time does fly... She's a really nice lady, though. Gave me a new script for a bc to help with the depression spikes that accompany my period, and I'm glad that I can trust that she'll immediately help fix things if it's not right, unlike my GP who is lovely but isn't as familiar with bc so has more of a wait-and-see approach.

I also went shopping today! I needed some new clothes that are stylish and look good and also FIT because I've gained weight since last year, and a lot of the clothes I bought last year don't fit comfortably at work. I bought a pair of wine-colored trousers and teal skinny leg chinos. The wine-colored ones are for dressier days, the teal ones are for more casual days (fridays, weekends). Next month, I'm going to budget some money to buy new sweaters - something chunky? and some chunky cardigans that go with both pairs of pants and my maroon pencil skirt. I love having richly colored pants/skirts. It's hard with sweaters, though, because I'm allergic to wool, and if I want something chunky or with an interesting neckline/collar, I tend to be out of luck. But all my sweaters from previous years are starting to look worn and faded, and they don't really match my new pants. (I also have a few shoes marked in the September Aerosoles catalogue that I'm dying for - lace-up boots, oxfords with heels, that kind of thing, but I'm going to have to find alternate brands with cheaper prices...)

I want to buy a few dresses that are more wintery, but I'm kind of despairing on that one. I prefer my dresses to have defined waistlines, because I am such an hourglass shape and sheaths and clingy knits tend to fit loosely up top and too snug around my hips, and then I feel frumpy. But I also want sleeves, and my broad shoulders tend to mean I have to go sleevless or capsleeves if I want the dress to fit everywhere else. Maybe I'll have to order from eshakti.com or whatever the site is... But when I get a dress, I need more textured and colorful tights.

I seem to suck at fashion, though? and I already have so many clothes that I don't really need more. But I feel so frumpy and gross when I wear a lot of it lately, so I don't know.



Anyway, another topic: I'm planning to go to France for about 10 days next September. I need someone to travel with me - I'm happy to go on my own, but I don't think that's wise. I'm having a hard time finding someone who's able to save the money and can get the time off work, though. I'm trying to save $100-$200/month, and whatever shortage I have, to open a credit card to cover the rest, and work on paying it off afterwards. (I COULD save for 2 years instead of 1, but my inability to plan for the future means it needs to be sooner rather than later.) I'm planning to run the number to find the cheapest way to get to Strasbourg - flying into Germany or Italy or France or wherever and taking a train in, possibly - and then stay there for the week-and-some, and rent a car for a couple excursions to Colmar, to Riquewhir, &c. I don't really plan to go to Paris unless we fly into/out of there, because I mostly prefer Strasbourg - I like how close it is to the Vosges mountains and to Germany and also there's the nostalgia factor of my study abroad trip. I'm expecting the trip to cost between $2000 and $3000, depending on the costs of flights and lodging (which can be less expensive if it's two people sharing a room, don't forget). thus, if I sock away $100-200/12 months, I should be able to save up for most of the cost.

Books - I need to post about some books I've been reading lately. My mom gave me her Kindle keyboard (3rd gen, I think), and I've been reading Guns, Germs, and Steel on it. I found some lesbian pulp fiction I'd downloaded ages ago for shits & giggles and was reading one of the books, but got distracted and never finished it. I'll have to do so and then post about it - it was surprisingly less porny than I expected and also a bit more sensitive of a portrayal, though it's still pretty stereotyped and very 1960s (when it was written, afaict).

Fountain pens - I've been quietly obsessed for several years, but a few months ago (a year ago?), it got rekindled, and over the summer, I managed to find the huge collecting community (mostly guys it seems, which is interesting but I'm not sure why). I also found jetpens.com to accompany xfountainpens.com on my list of Great Affordable FP Shops Online, and also FPGeeks.com, which have an "Inkcyclopedia" series that I love. It's something about watching Stephen write and seeing the inks...I'm starting to want to learn a better script so that I can also write fancy, but as it is, different elements are invading my style (it's already heavily influenced by the Palmer method, crossed with printing). (I got Sash hooked - she's always been interested in stationery, and then I gave her a cheap $3 pen, and she's all into it. She said her boyfriend was totally jealous, so I might get him one for winter holidays.)

I don't know what else I want to share with everyone. I haven't been in a mood to journal or anything for a while. I was keeping up notes about my mood & pain status in my daily planner, but I haven't even been up to that. It's just too much effort. Twitter is easy, though, I guess.
keri: ([france] strasbourg!)
So it's been ages, again, since I posted to LJ. This time it's because those fucking birth control pills were not right for me and my depression was pretty awful. Is pretty awful? I don't know. I just couldn't be bothered to do a lot of shit. I haven't participated much on LibraryThing in a few months, and my reading has slown down a lot, because I just can't muster the interest. But other interests are obsessively overwhelming me - fountain pens and Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom. Those were partly retail indulgence (when I get depressed, I like to buy things and go on trips) and partly something Different and easy to obsess about, which gets my mind off of the other shit.

I ended up quitting the Ortho TriCyclen Lo after the second month. While it was better than the first month, it was still worse than nothing at all most of the time, and I didn't want to try another month to see if it'd get better. I mean, the WORST had cleared up, but it still wasn't good? And in the last 3 weeks, I've actually had periods where I'm feeling All Right (like today), even if other times (like all of last week and the week before, thanks to Suicide Prevention Day or whatever the fuck it was that trigged me like whoa) were bad. I mean, I screwed up at work in a huge, huge way 2 weeks ago because I just didn't care enough to try to figure out a better solution, and then the next week I was walking downtown and just burst into tears (my boss had scolded me, and I think that primed me for it, but I was dealing with it until randomly looking at a person walking by and then sobs? and also when I was at Disney last Tuesday, I kept starting to burst into tears for no discernable reason, especially when it was something kind of happy and nice happening?).

I think maaaybe I need to get a new job that doesn't stress me out for stupid shit (I don't like being responsible for revenue, it is really hard on me), and also pays me enough to be able to afford my own apartment. I don't even want a big place, just something with a separate bedroom from the living/kitchen space, and close enough to Sash's house that we can hang out as much as we want. But that's still kind of more expensive than I can afford right now. And I also worry that it's just my depression that is talking?

Anyway. I went to the gynocologist today for my annual, but it's been like 8 years since my last one. I was pleasantly surprised that my doctor remembers me! Even if she doesn't remember the details, she said that she seemed to remember seeing me more recently than 8 years ago, but time does fly... She's a really nice lady, though. Gave me a new script for a bc to help with the depression spikes that accompany my period, and I'm glad that I can trust that she'll immediately help fix things if it's not right, unlike my GP who is lovely but isn't as familiar with bc so has more of a wait-and-see approach.

I also went shopping today! I needed some new clothes that are stylish and look good and also FIT because I've gained weight since last year, and a lot of the clothes I bought last year don't fit comfortably at work. I bought a pair of wine-colored trousers and teal skinny leg chinos. The wine-colored ones are for dressier days, the teal ones are for more casual days (fridays, weekends). Next month, I'm going to budget some money to buy new sweaters - something chunky? and some chunky cardigans that go with both pairs of pants and my maroon pencil skirt. I love having richly colored pants/skirts. It's hard with sweaters, though, because I'm allergic to wool, and if I want something chunky or with an interesting neckline/collar, I tend to be out of luck. But all my sweaters from previous years are starting to look worn and faded, and they don't really match my new pants. (I also have a few shoes marked in the September Aerosoles catalogue that I'm dying for - lace-up boots, oxfords with heels, that kind of thing, but I'm going to have to find alternate brands with cheaper prices...)

I want to buy a few dresses that are more wintery, but I'm kind of despairing on that one. I prefer my dresses to have defined waistlines, because I am such an hourglass shape and sheaths and clingy knits tend to fit loosely up top and too snug around my hips, and then I feel frumpy. But I also want sleeves, and my broad shoulders tend to mean I have to go sleevless or capsleeves if I want the dress to fit everywhere else. Maybe I'll have to order from eshakti.com or whatever the site is... But when I get a dress, I need more textured and colorful tights.

I seem to suck at fashion, though? and I already have so many clothes that I don't really need more. But I feel so frumpy and gross when I wear a lot of it lately, so I don't know.



Anyway, another topic: I'm planning to go to France for about 10 days next September. I need someone to travel with me - I'm happy to go on my own, but I don't think that's wise. I'm having a hard time finding someone who's able to save the money and can get the time off work, though. I'm trying to save $100-$200/month, and whatever shortage I have, to open a credit card to cover the rest, and work on paying it off afterwards. (I COULD save for 2 years instead of 1, but my inability to plan for the future means it needs to be sooner rather than later.) I'm planning to run the number to find the cheapest way to get to Strasbourg - flying into Germany or Italy or France or wherever and taking a train in, possibly - and then stay there for the week-and-some, and rent a car for a couple excursions to Colmar, to Riquewhir, &c. I don't really plan to go to Paris unless we fly into/out of there, because I mostly prefer Strasbourg - I like how close it is to the Vosges mountains and to Germany and also there's the nostalgia factor of my study abroad trip. I'm expecting the trip to cost between $2000 and $3000, depending on the costs of flights and lodging (which can be less expensive if it's two people sharing a room, don't forget). thus, if I sock away $100-200/12 months, I should be able to save up for most of the cost.

Books - I need to post about some books I've been reading lately. My mom gave me her Kindle keyboard (3rd gen, I think), and I've been reading Guns, Germs, and Steel on it. I found some lesbian pulp fiction I'd downloaded ages ago for shits & giggles and was reading one of the books, but got distracted and never finished it. I'll have to do so and then post about it - it was surprisingly less porny than I expected and also a bit more sensitive of a portrayal, though it's still pretty stereotyped and very 1960s (when it was written, afaict).

Fountain pens - I've been quietly obsessed for several years, but a few months ago (a year ago?), it got rekindled, and over the summer, I managed to find the huge collecting community (mostly guys it seems, which is interesting but I'm not sure why). I also found jetpens.com to accompany xfountainpens.com on my list of Great Affordable FP Shops Online, and also FPGeeks.com, which have an "Inkcyclopedia" series that I love. It's something about watching Stephen write and seeing the inks...I'm starting to want to learn a better script so that I can also write fancy, but as it is, different elements are invading my style (it's already heavily influenced by the Palmer method, crossed with printing). (I got Sash hooked - she's always been interested in stationery, and then I gave her a cheap $3 pen, and she's all into it. She said her boyfriend was totally jealous, so I might get him one for winter holidays.)

I don't know what else I want to share with everyone. I haven't been in a mood to journal or anything for a while. I was keeping up notes about my mood & pain status in my daily planner, but I haven't even been up to that. It's just too much effort. Twitter is easy, though, I guess.
keri: (j&w)
USPS.com says my new inks should be arriving tomorrow or Thursday!!! They just reached the sorting center downtown this afternoon/evening coming out of San Diego, so depending on how early they get to my local PO and get sorted for the delivery truck, I might just be lucky enough to see them tomorrow. :) The only thing is that the package has to arrive by 7 or 8am, I forget which, to get on the delivery truck that departs around 8:30/8:45pm and gets to our block around noon. So most likely it will be Thursday, but I can be surprised!

These are the inks I ordered, after much debate:


Twilight Blue
- because I love teal inks and this one has lovely shading according to the tests/examples I saw at the FountainPenNetwork forums. I want to use it for general use at work, so it's a nice, dark teal. plus it's got more saturation than the cartridges i had been using, which sometimes tended towards grey.
- check out the FPGeeks' Inkcyclopedia for this ink


Green/Black
- again, dark to be suitable for use at work, but still nicely saturated with color. i chose this because it's so dark but has the wonderful green tints. on my screen, this swatch from Diamine is a little darker/more blue than some of the examples at FPN


Eclipse
- and here is a nice black - except that it has great purply and blue bits and is a little bit metallic at times. the swatch is definitely more blue than the purple that all the examples on FPN showed. i wanted to have a pen filled with black for forms and such that the green or teal wouldn't be appropriate for, but i didn't want a true black, so there's this one.

These are the colors on my list to get soon:


Grape
- this is a lovely purple with reddish and grey tones, but nice and dark. it's saturated, but not super bright, which is something i like - so many of the more true, bright purples aren't colors i like to write with regularly these days (and I already have a bunch of Waterman purple cartridges and Diamine Imperial Purple cartridges if I want a bright shade - imperial purple is here)


Syrah
- I was thinking of "merlot brown", but after looking at comparison swatches and such, I think I'm going to go with Syrah, instead - it's a bit more saturated and deeper, less of a washed out brownish red. i don't want a crimson or bloodred ink, but i like this with the pink tones to it


J. Herbin's Larmes de Cassis
- when I'm ready for a sliiiightly more whimsical ink, I think this will be the one - I love how it's a purply reddish pink, nice and deep (this swatch seems to be a bit pale)

I love colors! paints and pastels and inks. when I was in high school, i had an enormous collection of Gelly Roll pens - over 35, I believe? almost every single color available (there were a few I lost or didn't bother with because they were useless for my purposes - i got a pack of the lightning ones, for example, but didn't get further additions to that line, because the silver element made a huge mess in my notebooks and was hard to read).

Here is my wishlist on JetPens.com, where you can see some of the pens and inks I like (keep in mind that I've already purchased several items on the page - I maintain it for repurchasing purposes): http://www.jetpens.com/wishlist?wish_list_id=267ea085d9b2081d

My most recent pen which I ADORE is the Sailor Clear Candy, which I bought in metallic pink. This one:


It writes like a dream, especially with the Sailor black ink cartridge that came with it - and it was only $16.50! I bought pink Clear Candy ink cartridges to replace the black, but it's likely going to be in charge of the Eclipse ink once I use up the pink, or if the pink turns out to be unsuitable for my notes at work. FWIW I don't really care to spend more than $30 on a pen, and it's hard to convince myself to spend more than $20. At least for now...

If you'd like to try a fountain pen and don't want to invest too much, I've found that the Platinum Preppy is rather nice. I'm not entirely fond of the color of the ink in the blue-black one (it tends to be a little grey for me - I like my inks to be highly saturated, though!), but it's only $3.30 on JetPens and is easy to use. Plus, it looks pretty cool!



If you click the image, it will take you to the fine point blue-black version. I like fine points best, but a medium point is also available (I'd say in the Preppy, an F is similar to a .50mm Pilot G-2 gel pen, while an M is similar to the standard sized G-2 - .75mm? 1mm? but the size isn't exact). If you like it, once the cartridge runs out, you can then convert the pen to use bottled ink via eyedropper, which is pretty nice - bottled ink is loads more economical than cartridges, and there's less plastic waste.
keri: (j&w)
USPS.com says my new inks should be arriving tomorrow or Thursday!!! They just reached the sorting center downtown this afternoon/evening coming out of San Diego, so depending on how early they get to my local PO and get sorted for the delivery truck, I might just be lucky enough to see them tomorrow. :) The only thing is that the package has to arrive by 7 or 8am, I forget which, to get on the delivery truck that departs around 8:30/8:45pm and gets to our block around noon. So most likely it will be Thursday, but I can be surprised!

These are the inks I ordered, after much debate:


Twilight Blue
- because I love teal inks and this one has lovely shading according to the tests/examples I saw at the FountainPenNetwork forums. I want to use it for general use at work, so it's a nice, dark teal. plus it's got more saturation than the cartridges i had been using, which sometimes tended towards grey.
- check out the FPGeeks' Inkcyclopedia for this ink


Green/Black
- again, dark to be suitable for use at work, but still nicely saturated with color. i chose this because it's so dark but has the wonderful green tints. on my screen, this swatch from Diamine is a little darker/more blue than some of the examples at FPN


Eclipse
- and here is a nice black - except that it has great purply and blue bits and is a little bit metallic at times. the swatch is definitely more blue than the purple that all the examples on FPN showed. i wanted to have a pen filled with black for forms and such that the green or teal wouldn't be appropriate for, but i didn't want a true black, so there's this one.

These are the colors on my list to get soon:


Grape
- this is a lovely purple with reddish and grey tones, but nice and dark. it's saturated, but not super bright, which is something i like - so many of the more true, bright purples aren't colors i like to write with regularly these days (and I already have a bunch of Waterman purple cartridges and Diamine Imperial Purple cartridges if I want a bright shade - imperial purple is here)


Syrah
- I was thinking of "merlot brown", but after looking at comparison swatches and such, I think I'm going to go with Syrah, instead - it's a bit more saturated and deeper, less of a washed out brownish red. i don't want a crimson or bloodred ink, but i like this with the pink tones to it


J. Herbin's Larmes de Cassis
- when I'm ready for a sliiiightly more whimsical ink, I think this will be the one - I love how it's a purply reddish pink, nice and deep (this swatch seems to be a bit pale)

I love colors! paints and pastels and inks. when I was in high school, i had an enormous collection of Gelly Roll pens - over 35, I believe? almost every single color available (there were a few I lost or didn't bother with because they were useless for my purposes - i got a pack of the lightning ones, for example, but didn't get further additions to that line, because the silver element made a huge mess in my notebooks and was hard to read).

Here is my wishlist on JetPens.com, where you can see some of the pens and inks I like (keep in mind that I've already purchased several items on the page - I maintain it for repurchasing purposes): http://www.jetpens.com/wishlist?wish_list_id=267ea085d9b2081d

My most recent pen which I ADORE is the Sailor Clear Candy, which I bought in metallic pink. This one:


It writes like a dream, especially with the Sailor black ink cartridge that came with it - and it was only $16.50! I bought pink Clear Candy ink cartridges to replace the black, but it's likely going to be in charge of the Eclipse ink once I use up the pink, or if the pink turns out to be unsuitable for my notes at work. FWIW I don't really care to spend more than $30 on a pen, and it's hard to convince myself to spend more than $20. At least for now...

If you'd like to try a fountain pen and don't want to invest too much, I've found that the Platinum Preppy is rather nice. I'm not entirely fond of the color of the ink in the blue-black one (it tends to be a little grey for me - I like my inks to be highly saturated, though!), but it's only $3.30 on JetPens and is easy to use. Plus, it looks pretty cool!



If you click the image, it will take you to the fine point blue-black version. I like fine points best, but a medium point is also available (I'd say in the Preppy, an F is similar to a .50mm Pilot G-2 gel pen, while an M is similar to the standard sized G-2 - .75mm? 1mm? but the size isn't exact). If you like it, once the cartridge runs out, you can then convert the pen to use bottled ink via eyedropper, which is pretty nice - bottled ink is loads more economical than cartridges, and there's less plastic waste.

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