Fountain Pens, Cagney & Lacey, and Us

It’s National Fountain Pen Day!

Yes, it’s a thing… and we love the fact that there’s a website that that has a countdown to the event. (Really! You can check it out here:

While we don’t share others’ fondness for fountain pens (too messy, too time consuming), we do respect a good writing tool. Pictured here are some of our favorites.

A pen should feel good in your hand, and write the moment you apply pressure. If you have to scribble on a separate piece of paper to get it going, we recommend tossing and replacing it with something lovely and functional, like a fun Kate Spade ballpoint. The Uni-ball “writing instrument” (it’s so much more than just a pen) has the added value of some kind of ink ingredient that protects against check fraud. Don’t ask us to explain it… but we can say from experience that it’s good.

We also have a penchant for the quirky. If we’re in San Francisco, we’ll buy the pen with the “floating” cable car. Ditto for Graceland and the Elvis pen with moving hips. At the Evita museum in Buenos Aires, one of us (Okay, it was Shannon) purchased not only an Eva Peron pen, but a matching pen holder adorned with black and white images of the controversial icon. These pieces liven up the desk, and evoke memories of an incredible South American adventure… not to mention a thrilling musical.

Finally, we can’t say enough about these Cagney & Lacey ballpoints. (Thank you, eBay.) There are some days when a girl wants to be like fiery Christine Cagney, who was never afraid to raise her voice to get what she wanted and deserved. Or, be like Mary Beth Lacey, perhaps the most wise character ever to grace the television screen. Holding pens with their “I’m-looking-you-right-in-the-eye-and-not- necessarily-smiling” images certainly doesn’t hurt.

And don’t get us started on the importance of Ticonderoga no. 2 pencils.



Welcome to the Holidays

Dear Readers,

It’s the second week of October. If you have children, your house probably has an orange theme going right now… or you are feeling guilty because you haven’t yet transitioned the décor. (Forget the guilt; there‘s still plenty of time.) Regardless of your kid status, it’s undoubtedly fall; even Los Angeles, where the temps have been in the 90s, is saturated in All Things Pumpkin. Some people think that the phrase “the holidays” refers to December festivities, but we think that it should be applied to the entire final quarter of the year. Here’s why:

From here on out, it’s all holidays all the time until 2018. From general autumnal vibe (red and yellow leaves, sweaters—or the idea of sweaters if you live in a warmer climate—and the aforementioned pumpkin-spice everything), we glide into Halloween proper: there will be no escaping black cats, jack-o-lanterns, sexy [fill-in-the-blank] costumes and bite-sized chocolates beckoning us with their sugary goodness.

After All Hallow’s Eve, BAM, we’re into Thanksgiving. Witches fly away until next year, candy corn becomes a cornucopia, and Dia de Los Muertos dioramas are switched out for hand-shaped turkeys. Oh, but the scarecrows can stay; they, along with pumpkins, are fine. For now.

Come December, it’s a whole new holiday world with its distinct color schemes and tastes. So, let’s face it: the holidays have started and they’re here for the long haul. We can’t change it, so we might as well have a slice of pumpkin bread and embrace it.

Happy holidays, from Scarlet Letters.