House Rules

Hello guest, Thank you for choosing our home. We know that there are lots of great options out there, so we appreciate your decision to stay with us. Here are a few House Rules to help you get situated, and to make sure that your stay here is as enjoyable as possible. Check in is after 4 PM and check out is before 12 PM. You are welcome to park on the street, but you will need to move your vehicle into the driveway overnight.

Why I write...

So many things make me happy: the smell of mulled cider drifting through the house on a cool autumn night, the taste of slightly smoky single malt scotch, the quiet tick of a mechanical watch held close to the ear, the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony. Unfortunately, many of these things that bring me happiness are fleeting – eventually the bottle runs dry, the symphony ends, and the autumn leaves give way to a bright, white cocoon.

Ink Review: Diamine Blaze Orange

Blaze orange is well known to Americans as the color of construction barrels, traffic cones, and hunting caps. It’s a color designed to provide significant contrast to the environment – critical when dodging traffic during rush hour on a busy highway or when creeping through the woods with dozens of other hunters, all of whom have high-powered rifles in hand. In those contexts, the color is aggressively monotone, obnoxious, and prosaic, but when embodied in ink form by Diamine, it becomes delightfully dynamic, engaging, and lyrical.

What I've been up to...

This is Maya. She’s a teeny tiny bundle of snuggles and giggles, and she just turned ten months old today. As those of you who currently have, or in the past had ten-month-old kids know, they’re fairly time-consuming. Maya joined our family when she was nine days old, the same day I started my new job, which was about six months after finishing my two-year MBA program. It’s been a busy few years without much of a break or time to be creative.

Ink Review: Diamine Meadow

I’m not a connoisseur of green ink. I’ve reviewed J. Herbin’s Vert Olive and Vert Empire, and I have Iroshizuku Shinryoku sitting on my shelf, but none of them have spent much time in my pens. Over the years, I’ve reviewed plenty of red and blue ink, and I love a good purple, but green isn’t a color that captured my imagination – until I tried Diamine Meadow. There’s no mystery in the inspiration behind the name of the ink – no foreign (to English speakers) language to parse or obscure tidbit to research – only the verdant, vibrant, green of an English meadow.

Ink Review: Iroshizuku Tsukushi

Iroshizuku is a line of ink produced by Pilot under their high-end Namiki brand. The natural landscape and plants of Japan inspire the colors in the line, resulting in some of the most interesting and unique ink around. Some of my earliest reviews were of Iroshizuku ink: Yu-Yake, a delightful burnt orange; Momiji, an incredible, if subtle red; Yama-Budo, a ripe, juicy purple; Kiri-Same, the color of storm clouds in a bottle; and Kon-Peki, a deep and intoxicating ocean blue.

Pen Review: Monteverde Prima

About a month ago, Ron from Pen Chalet contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in receiving a pen for review. I happily accepted, and after a bit of back and forth, he agreed to send me a Monteverde Prima with a 1.1 mm stub nib. I’d heard good things about Monteverde, and my only experience with stub nibs was with the wider 1.9 mm nib on my Lamy Joy pen.

Ink Review: Iroshizuku Asagao

I’d like to begin by offering a hearty apology to the fine folks at Jet Pens, who sent me a bottle of Iroshizuku Asagao all the way back in October of 2013. At the time, I thought that I could sneak in an ink review in the middle of my EMBA program. That was a gross over-estimation of time and ability on my part. I managed to get the ink samples created, but the review itself never materialized – always de-prioritized in favor of papers, presentations, and projects.