Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why pens will be my ruin

I think I have a pen fetish. Or I probably am a pen hoarder. Gel pens, sign pens, fountain pens, felt-tipped pens. I couldn't get enough of them. I

I draw the line at ballpoints though. I've never been really a fan of them. Perhaps it has something to do with my pressing on the paper too hard with the pen, so I usually crack the tip of the ballpoint. And if a ballpoint falls and hits the floor with its tip, it's practically useless.

My love for a good, hefty pen got me thinking—what if I try out calligraphy? That craft makes use of pens, right? Besides, most of my friends keep telling me that I'd be a natural at it because of my handwriting. Hmmm . . . .

So I got me some calligraphy pens and just winged it. And that was the biggest mistake of my life. Argh! I never knew that it was so hard! All those lines, serifs, holding the pen at certain angles, descenders, ascenders, versals, gothics, and what have you.
Quite an interesting read, this book is.
It even has bits on the history of calligraphy.
Here are a few of my early attempts. I used no lines as guides, no fancy paper, just cheap calligraphy pens. So saying that these leave a lot to be desired is an understatement.
I guess I was too excited for the weekend.
Just for clarification: this  is "woot!" and not "woop!"
Getting comfortable angling the pen
And aren't weekend craft fairs just lovely? You end up buying cute and kitschy stuff. And only when you're headed home do you realize that you bought stuff that you have actually no need whatsoever. Oh well . . . .
Pens fit so satisfyingly in this pouch.
Also, last weekend was when the book club discussed Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner's SuperFreakonomics. So yes, I'm still squeezing in some reading. But here's a confession: I didn't really get to read this one; I listened to the audiobook, which was wonderfully read by Dubner.

Aren't audiobooks great? They let you multitask. Now you can finish a book while driving, having sex, feasting on a buffet, picking your nose, and in my case, coloring pages. It took a while for me to get comfortable dividing my attention between holding a crayon and understanding what Dubner is saying. When I started, I had to "rewind" the audio just to be able to completely understand the topic. (Hey, is "rewind" the correct term here? Somehow, it reminds me of a cassette tape or VHS.)

Anyway, SuperFreakonomics isn't as a good as the first one, which I found really fun and brought a lot of a-ha moments. This book, which was published in 2009, just felt watery. There isn't enough substance in this book for it to become credible. It's as if Levitt and Duber were rushing to publish another book even though they didn't have enough material. For shame!

Books like these should be able to surprise you, to offer something that you can use during dinner party conversations. Reading SuperFreakonomics made me blurt out, "But I already knew that!" or "Of course! That's just common sense!"

The book is still an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to economics enthusiasts. The authors do make it a point to integrate economics principles into the essays as  much as possible. But, but, but: I couldn't forgive them for making a false statement about global warming. (Water vapor is not the most significant greenhouse gas; it still is carbon dioxide. Come on!)


yccos said...

waaa... you got the Calligraphy bible book!! Saya.. I've been trying to buy Shaeffer basic calligraphy set of pens but its always out of stock. But it's fun! :D

Peter S. said...

Hello, yccos! I bought this at Powerbooks. I saw it too at NBS. Ooooohhhh! Shaeffer! I will Google!

The Unseen said...

Pens and notebooks are like chocolate for me. I always need more no matter how many I already have ^.^ I think your calligraphy work is awesome so far!

Peter S. said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, The Unseen! I love you profile pic! Very artsy.