Author Archives: MsThorns

MATINAE PENS – Redemption Maybe

Ballpoints might have been a wrap after the last fiasco. The PaperMate InkJoy 550 RT managed to save the category for me.

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The colors in the set of eight are bright and vibrant. The ballpoint is smooth and rolls over the paper like butter.

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The grip is a soft rubber that is comfortable in the fingers

This pen has the clickiest of clickers. There’s no mistaking whether the ballpoint is in or out.

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This set has graced many a journal page and looked good for the most part. However the final test revealed Les BLOBS.

They aren’t severe, certainly not enough for me to chuck them. In fact they are staying in the rotation because they are so buttery smooth.

The InkJoy 550 RT is a solid choice. If you rock this, let me know your experience in the comments.

Photos: MsThorns

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MATINAE Pens – Count Blobula

My favorite pen right now is by BIC so I decided to stretch out and try one of their ballpoints. Let me introduce to you Count Blobula, the BIC Atlantis.

So close but yet so far because there are some positives. The colors are brilliant and bright. The grip is a soft rubber that fits nicely in the fingers and it is positioned very well. However the ink blobs when writing are an absolute no go.

Also the clicker/thrust mechanism is “soft.” When pushing down on the clicker it is so soft that I had to look to make sure the actual tip was out and ready to write. Maybe this was a bad pack, I’m not sure. I am sure that no more coins will be spent on the BIC Atlantis.

Rated NOPE!

Photos and bad sketch: MsThorns

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MATINAE Paper – Class Act Dream

This was just so beautifully presented.

This was produced by Class Act Stationery and purchased from Walmart a few years ago.

The company may be out of business and I hope not because this is one of my favorites in recent memory.

Journal writers, what is your favorite?

Photos: MsThorns

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Spiritual Music

Will start with this:

Spend some time with this:

And end where the spirit leads me.

94 today.

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MATINAE Pens – Uniball Signo

The first story I ever wrote was with a pen, one that had been laying around the house. I wrote that story at age seven or so and have been fascinated by, hoarded and yes used pens for writing ever since.

The technological age may have changed some of our writing behavior. This post was drafted and posted fully online. However those initial ideas, scribbles, doodles and journal writings are all handwritten. Because I love them so much, I figured why not use the digital form to write about the analog form.

This will be a series, or not. I’m not sure as yet but I have so many I figured I’d share with my fellow pen lovers, see what you’re writing with and hopefully have you comment as well. The first pen up is the Uniball Signo 207, .07 mm medium point gel pen.

I’ve written many a note, journal entry and various scribbles with Uniball Signos for a decade or more and the purple was blessed and highly favored in my stockpile. This year I actually purchased a multi-colored pack for writing in my journal and I love the line it makes and the colors but the build for me just doesn’t doesn’t work.

This pen has a long nose cone/tip which places the rubber grip a little to high up the barrel for my liking. The grip is a nice rubber with the little bumps on it that makes it even nicer to grip. The other rub for me is that the pen is a little narrow for my taste. I like something a tad wider for my long fingers to hold on to.

All in all, the pen writes beautifully, no skips and no blobs but the grip makes it a grab and go, quick note pen not one to write a bazillion words. Tell me what you think?

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So DOPE!

In the years following that first party, I always asked who was the DJ and there was one who was the dopes of all. His name was Jose. If I heard Jose was DJing, I was cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, DOING ALL THE THINGS so I could be there. Back in those days it was the DJ not a corporation or some A&R cat, who broke records. Two that Jose broke (for me), I remember vividly, though several years apart, were Rapper’s Delight and She Blinded me With Science at a club where I definitely was not supposed to be (LOL!). This dude was so dope and if you knew where I was from, you’d be shocked that we got down the way that we did.

I think of Jose now because of our current collective situation, under stay at home, shelter in place or quarantine. Covid-19 has us in the house, some have been home upwards of two months. There would be no concerts, no clubs, no DJs in our lives for the the foreseeable future until there was.

You see, Instagram (Twitch, YouTube) became the new Club 112 (only old Atliens know about that). It was on IG that the DJs saved our lives. Music fans had access to the best in the world. In the former time, most of us would never experience one of their sets. Now we’ve seen some of the best and youngest in the world. I was on Questlove’s IG the night Stevie Wonder called in, and was a regular at D-Nice’s club quarantine. I caught DJMaseo one morning playing Teddy Pendergrass and was hooked thereafter and twerked (allegedly) to Mannie Fresh. I watched the Rza v DJ Premier Verzuz battle, viewed in amazement the skills of DJs Amira & Kayla and every Saturday post his own recovery, I danced and sweated to the illest of all time (imo) DJ Jazzy Jeff.

These men, women and young women DJs saved and gave us our whole lives during a time that has been hella difficult. I love, thank and appreciate them all for sharing their love and their art with us and I thank Jose, for making me fall in love with the art of DJing.

Postscript: This post was originally drafted during early May. Since that time there has been an apparent DJ shutdown on IG over alleged publishing violations. Just so you know, this some b*((*$!t !

Images: Ms. Thorns

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Fragility

This was originally written right after Roy Hargrove’s passing.  I needed some separation from the time of writing until now.

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Woke up this morning with my mind staid on Jesus but wasn’t about to go to church while fending off the vestiges of some cold/sinus/whatever this thing is I have going on. So I’m home, in the bed writing those inconsistent morning pages and I started thinking about the foolery that is my life as I currently live it. I generally do this life assessment thing when something jarring happens. The jarring this time was the untimely death of the trumpet great Roy Hargrove. This brother just turned 49 and now he’s gone.

I didn’t write when Prince passed. Though I loved him the majority of my life, there was nothing to say, too much grief,  too many well known, highly talented, music writers and cultural critics filled that space. Besides, I’m just a fan. The same holds true in this instance as well but something mundane happened this morning that put my thoughts about Hargrove and life in perspective. I broke a bowl into a million pieces.

Hargrove’s death is personal. When I discovered his music, all I lived, breathed and  spent money on was jazz. This was the early nineties. I heard everything,  I knew what was hot, I was down for sure but my genre of choice was jazz and as far as I was concerned,  Hargrove was the hottest with his cool. What I loved about him was that he wasn’t trying to blow up the trumpet,  the mic or my ears. His tone, his phrasing, his technical aptitude, his respect for the artform was all I heard and it was beautiful.  The brother was a hard bopper, a balladeer, a funkateer, soulful and hip-hop. He did it all. He was the soundtrack for my life, his music felt good.

Whenever he dropped something I was on it. When he dropped Habana? It was over. People often talk about seminal recordings, landmarks what have you, Habana was it for me. As I write this I hear the opening cut O My Seh Yeh clearly. I felt the music, I felt him, the musicians, Cuba and the continent of Africa.  This was soul music, for real. And I’m thankful for having experienced it.

I listened to it all, his quintet, fronting a big band, the Soulquarians, absolutely bumpin’, always stellar. I kept Hargrove on my hotlist of artists to see. I saw many that he collaborated with from Herbie Hancock to Erykah Badu, but I never saw him. When I heard he was gone I literally clutched my heart, it was broken. As I read about his death I learned that he was broken, fragile. He had kidney disease, was on dialysis for years. He had some ups and downs, but he was still playing, still recording, still working though he was clearly ill.

Maybe that’s what I’ve gotten from his life, his work. He didn’t have it all together anymore. He was fragile, yet he continued to keep it moving. He continued to inspire and mentor, he continued to do the work that he loved regardless of his fragility. So I say,  thank you Brother Hargrove for sharing your art with us. May your trumpet sound all the more beautiful in eternity.

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Photos: MsThorns
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Not a Photographer on Weather, Food and Wine

Atlanta shut down in February for a bit as well.  These photos sum that time up for me.

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Photos: MsThorns

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Not a Photographer But… I Keep Taking Pictures

As chronicled before I participated in the Google+ 365 Photo Project for 2012 and 2013. For 2014 I decided against it, because I found that trying to find something new and/or inspiring on a daily basis was quite challenging. Then a funny thing happened I found that I was still taking photos quite a bit, not every day but certainly more than I expected. I actually missed doing it as it was a routine and made me pay attention to things that I normally would not pay attention to. As such I’m going to begin publishing some of those photos here. A story may be attached, a story may not. At any rate I hope you enjoy it.

H/T to M Hardy, I needed to do this anyway. Thank you.

First up, a couple of shots from January.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I am fascinated by heavy equipment.  I blame my father an automotive guy and being Hoosier surrounded by farmland, tractors and such.  The photo above is of construction near my job (the old location).  What made me take this photo was the giant “screw/drill” entering the ground. If you know the proper name, please feel free to drop that in the comments.  I’m curious.

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The two icy looking photos are from Snowmageddon/Snowpacalypse I in Atlanta on January 28-29 of this year.  I’m sure you saw all of the hoopla and jokes.  They were all TRUE.  We were shut down until that Friday. The shut down was pretty fab as far I was concerned as I had plenty of food, wine and naps to pass the time away.

Look for the next installment of whatever this is going to be called on Not an Expert soon.

 

photos: MsThorns

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Not a social media expert but Twitter ain’t what it used to be

Twitter Born Day---------------------------The 2008 presidential election is what brought me to Twitter.  It was an exciting time for folks who are activists, zealots or fans of politics and political theater.  I created an open account, dove in and started tweeting and responding to tweets about the election, following folks who were thoughtful and sometimes comedic on the subject of politics.

Post-election I began following folks people who tweeted about things I was interested in like football, technology and so on.  I consider myself fortunate in the sense that those I followed were nice, knowledgeable, passionate and entertaining. Twitter was enjoyable and was my go to social media source. As it grew it became a great source of breaking news worldwide and now at least here in America it is so common that it’s joined at the hip with traditional media formats. It’s also a bit more than social, and a bit more than news.

Twitter is now the go to place for isms, none of the good kind. Because we now live in this always on always connected world we get wind of all those things that were backroom whispered things or things that may not have even been spoken at all. Isms are now tweeted, re-tweeted then amplified through other media. Now let’s be clear Twitter was never to my knowledge tame, what I am saying is that it’s reached an all new level of nastiness and that’s disappointing.

There is no “putting the genie back in the bottle”. I expect Twitter to continue to change and as that happens I will continue to adapt to it. My own ism, Optimism has me believing that the format is still good at disseminating information and getting people talking. That same optimism has me hoping that when we tweet we can do so without the negative isms.

I’d like to hear from you. Are you a Twitter user? How do you use it? Is the experience enjoyable? Let me know in the comments, on Google+ or Twitter.

 

Photos: MsThorns

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