I think what I heard Wednesday night was joy. That joy leapt off the stage and into all of us in attendance at the Abstractions tour stop at City Winery Atlanta, February 9, 2022.
I had a seat in front of the stage and saw up close the interplay between these talented musicians, Zo!, Deborah Bond and Tall Black Guy, accompanied by some really tight musicians from Atlanta on bass and drums.
Zo! was musical director, pianist and emcee and played each role with ease and a virtuosity. Tall Black Guy put in work! I don’t know what all those things were called that he was playing but, he brought in music, effects, sly commentary and kept the music moving. Last but not least was Ms. Deborah Bond. She is a petite fleur with a big voice who can sang sang! She sang songs that Phonte, Carmen, Joi, Darien etc. etc., were featured on in Zo!’s discography as well as selections from TBG’s Remixes and Tings Vol. 1. and others, beautifully. She is a fire dancer as well!
All selections were outstanding and I particularly enjoyed Hold My Hand, Connected, I Know You, I Live You For Sure, and a Go-Go style Prototype by Outkast. This show is the best I’ve seen in the pandemic era, and one of the most enjoyable, fun shows I have been to in years. The key word again is joy. These musicians bring a joyful noise and clearly enjoy playing together.
If Abstractions comes to your city, DO NOT MISS IT!
The juicy .7 mm medium in assorted colors is my go-to pen for journal writing, work and general note scribbling. In an effort to stretch out (again) I went for not only a rollerball, but a fine rollerball at that, the Pilot Precise V5 RT.
The grip is rubber and has a nice firm feel in the hand.
The clicker is the clickiest so there is no question as to whether the pen is depressed or not. The casing over the top of the clicker does slide, but that is not a deal-breaker.
The tip is really a thing of beauty, so much so that as a heavy-handed writer I was scared that I might bend it. No need to fret, the tip is solid and did not falter under pressure.
This fine tip makes a fine, clean line with no ink blobs and rich color. There was one skip noted in the sample below, however skips were never an issue when the pen was used as a daily writing instrument.
Overall the Pilot Precise V5 is highly recommended, is excellent for daily writing, and is well-suited for those who prefer a finer, cleaner line ✍🏾 ✍🏾 ✍🏾 ✍🏾.
I purchased tickets January 2020, then the pandemic hit and shut down the world. Atlanta for the most part was not shut down, however live performances were cancelled or postponed, this show fell within the latter. Originally scheduled for March 2020, the performance was postponed twice when finally on September 2, 2021, I was able to use those tickets, along with proof of vaccination (or negative covid test) and with mask in place, I was able to experience in person, Meshell Ndegeocello.
Though described as a rapper and bassist which are at best limiting descriptors, I entered the show knowing I would experience much more than that given the magnitude of her talent. I did, but not in the way I expected. Her performance was subdued, with her band providing the instrumentation on drums, bass, guitar and keyboards. Her guitarist in particular was outstanding. Ndegeoceollo picked up the bass, twice, played keyboards a bit, but mostly gave the audience a slow burn of songs through the rhythm and tone of her voice whether it was singing or speaking.
She performed several songs from “Ventriloquism”, a release of covers performed in only the way that she could. She performed Night and Day (Al B Sure!), Waterfalls (TLC), Tender Love (Force MDs), and the standout of the songs performed from the album, I Wonder if I Take You Home (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam), which was in short a groove. Her rendition of Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Nina Simone, The Animals) was also outstanding. But the *close your eyes and feel it* song of the night was Outside Your Door from her first album “Plantation Lullabies”. Her vocals, the band, the musicianship was faint-worthy and there were plenty of Woos! from the audience to affirm the sentiment.
When leaving the performance I felt disappointed that I did not get to experience her virtuosity on bass, but checked myself for a few reasons. First, we are in a pandemic still, regardless of what is displayed in the media, things are not “back to normal”. I should and will expect live musical performances to feel different as I believe we are all in a different space now. Secondly, Ndegeocello celebrated her 53rd birthday on August 29th, for which she displayed gratitude and lastly, and perhaps most importantly, she announced the recent transition of her mother. All of these factors I believe had an impact on this performance, which nevertheless was still exceptional.
Overall I loved the performance. The understated nature of it was much appreciated during this time of high emotion and divisiveness. Atlanta was just her third stop on this tour and as the tour continues, her performances may be completely different from what we experienced here. Whether subdued or in full out rock, jazz, funk and all the genres she’s fluent in mode, Meshell Ndegeocello in any form is highly recommended.
One more thing on the description of Ndegeocello as bassist and rapper. She is an artist, a complete musician who sings, speaks, exhorts, announces, whispers and demands but rap, she does not.
Who hasn’t used a Sharpie? The pointed felt tip permanent marker has graced many a paper, posterboard and football (think T.O.). I have used the felt tips and even the Sharpie highlighters but never a gel pen from the brand, not until Amazon suggested it of course.
The S-Gel is built like a tank and is almost as impenetrable as one due to the little rubber piece on the tip when the pens are packaged.
Those bad boys were hard to remove and I basically had to write them off because prying off was so difficult. Look at the second pen from the right.
Once past the tip shenanigans the Sharpie S Gel performed well with the clickiest of clickers, and a juicy smooth line from the .7 mm medium point.
Since writing the sample on the left, many a journal page has been filled by the Sharpie S-Gel. They write smooth like butter every time.
So, if you are in the market for a new gel pen with a juicy line, the S-Gel should be a go-to choice. 🖊🖊🖊🖊
These pens ended up in the grab and go pen cup for my beloved to use. OMG the blobbiness of it all! I had to cut them loose. If you have these pens make sure you’re not writing on a public facing document or are anywhere near something that you can’t clean. These are now rated 🖊1/2 for emergency writing only.
I just refuse to let this ballpoint pen situation rest. I mean manufacturers are making them for a reason. I just haven’t seen compelling evidence for their sustainability in my stash until now, maybe. So let’s talk about the Pentel RSVP RT.
A medium ballpoint at 1.0 mm, the RSVP RT is another pen that the manufacturer claims gives a smooth, no skip experience.
The Pentel RSVP RT is a well constructed, almost beefy pen, with an indented rubber grip that feels great in the hand. The clicker (push button) is the clickiest and the in/out position is obvious.
The barrel is a clear thick plastic with the barrel colors reminiscent of Jell-O.
The question of course is, does the Pentel RSVP RT ballpoint live up to what the packaging says. The answer is for the most part, yes.
The Pentel RSVP RT is a smooth writing experience. It is not skip free, however the ballpoint rolls nicely on the page and the ink blobs are minimal. The feel is nice and the colors are truly representative of the barrel color. This pen is a keeper, that knocks one of its lesser competitors right out of my pen holder. 🖊🖊🖊🖊
If you use the Pentel RSVP RT, let me know your experience in the comments.
I was looking for new pens but not exactly clear on what I wanted. Amazon, of course will do what it does to get a sista’s money and suggested this pen created from recycled bottles, the Pilot B2P retractable gel pen.
I was no doubt skeptical but for naught, as the pen was definitely serviceable.
The barrel, favoring a bottle of water, is translucent, brightly colored and fairly represents the ink color. The grip is nice, no slips.
The clicker is tight, no play in it so it should be able to withstand being pushed down for the life of the pen.
For a .7 mm medium point the B2P line is closer to fine than medium. So far, only the blue has given the dreaded ink blob. However, the gel ink renders brilliant color.
Overall the Pilot B2P is a great idea with fairly good execution, certainly good enough to grace the pages of my journals. The B2P is a solid 🖊🖊🖊1/2.
I do not know how some of y’all do it. Out here looking flawless and know exactly the best way to show it. I’m amazed, inspired, in awe and let you know about it with all this stuff❤💜💙👍🏾👏🏾😍🥰🤩
Then you have folks like me, stay trying to get it all to work at the same time but failing miserably at the look and the mechanics of the situation.
I can’t take a selfie to save my life.
Y’all I must have assistance because I dont know how to hold the phone so I dont drop or take a photo of my palm. If I do manage to keep it on my hand part of my head or something else is chopped off. The only modicum of success I have is by using a tripod and still end up looking like this.
So I dedicate this post to the self portrait photogs of the world. I appreciate how you make the process look easy and you look bomb at the same time.
I had to go there because it was highly rated in some review that was based on some reviews that were on that gigantic online retailer’s site. Where I went was to the Pilot Acroball 1.0 mm medium ballpoint pen.
The package said incredible smooth ✅, vivid ink colors ✅ striking good looks and an effortless writing experience? Let’s not get carried away.
The grip on this is outstanding. Made of textured, curved rubber it was comfortable on the achiest of arthritic hand days.
The clicker is the clickiest, i.e. the thrust mechanism seems solid and unlikely to fail for before the ink runs out.
Then pen is nice-looking with a colored gel like barrel that lets you see its parts
The question as always with the ballpoint pen is does it pass the blob test?
Blue on the far right should be an indication.
From here it looks nice. On further inspection…
This Pilot Acroball performs well in short bursts of writing like that above. For journal writing, the pen becomes more blobalicious, not so much so that I wouldn’t recommend it though. Rating 3.5🖊 of 5.
If you’re a Pilot Acroball user, let me know know your experience in the comments.
I’m starting to feel a way about these ballpoint pens. The latest entry is the Zebra Z Grip Plus 1.0 ballpoint.
The clicker is nice, sturdy and doesn’t give indication that it will fail any time soon. The grip is really nice, a soft ridged-rubber with nice placement. One day, when not ashy, I’ll put a hand in there to demo.
This pen is a little light in the fanny for my taste. Big Mama likes a pen with a little heft to it. This felt fragile but appears to be a solidly built plastic barrel.
And the writing of it all???? It’s okay, the flow is fairly smooth but as noted in the photo, there are some skips. The ink blobs I guess are a thing with ballpoint 1.0s a fine tip may yield different results.
Overall the Z Grip is serviceable for jotting down notes and journal writing, not so much if the written product is to be distributed. Rating: 3 of 5