August 2019: Longer than I expected

Welcome to August

Edited: Yes, I understand that I am now posting this in October, which means this is two months late, but eh, I’m just happy I got this done. Haven’t been feeling this in a while.

Queen Bae
August… feels like a fever.

A fever that’s still happening in September, but that is a story for another day. I’m still not completely back to normal, and considering what happened in July, that’s kind of understandable. Money wise though, things are fairly stable, which is a blessing in disguise. Overall, things seem to have settled into a much more predictable tempo, which is nice.

Letter to self

Favourite pens

One of the things I have been trying to push myself to do is to play with the stationery I’ve been accumulating over the last few months. My favourite pens in August were the Pentel Dual Hybrid Metallics, along with the black notebook I bought from Popular not too long ago. There’s something mesmerising about watching the ink turn from red to shiny green or blue to gold while writing.

I have also been trying to push myself to use the arsenal I have been accumulating since I started this journey. The gorgeous tape here is from a series called Sword which Neko helped me get from this year’s Doujima in Singapore. It’s gorgeous and there’s so much of it, but it is so very pretty! Unlike a lot of washi tape though, it’s actually a bit fragile, so I use it for things I am pretty sure I don’t want to move.

Fountain pen cleaning

Stepping into inks

Thanks to Kakei’s suggestions, I began investigating a way to reuse my fountain pen cartridges while being able to play with inks from ink bottles (which, as we all know, is a deep rabbit hole). This journey made me realise a few things:

  • Sharp needles are very hard to find
    I was looking for syringes and online people were recommending mainly pharmacies (only if you are US-based or in a country where self-medication and injection is not looked down upon as it is here). Turns out Guardian and Watsons, the two biggest chains in Malaysia, don’t stock both the needles and the barrel. If they do, it’s only the barrel, which is more for feeding kids/pets.

    The bear and I suspected this could be because Malaysia had a war on drugs years ago, and having easy access to those needles was probably a bad idea. In the end I found what I wanted in Daiso, of all places. They have a variety of blunt needles that fit my needs, plus made me feel safer.

  • A little bit goes a long way
    Everything in perspective, but a little bit of fountain pen ink can go a long way. I think my cartridges all need less than 2ml (and I think even that is grossly overestimating their capacity) BUT they last me for weeks, even with daily writing. To be fair, I do tend to switch between different pens because of ink colours, but they don’t dry out (which was my biggest worry).
  • Stickerrific sells sample sizes
    Of a number of inks. I got two of them and now I am planning to get the full size of the Kyo-Iro ink: No 3, Flaming Red of Fushimi. This ink was a bit thin when I was using it in the Monami Olika, but when I switched over to the Kakuno it performed admirably.

    Kyo-Iro inks in Monami Olika

    The Soft Snow of Ohara is a very calming greyish-blue, but it’s not quite to my taste. A bit of research reveals that actually reveals that the Flaming Red of Fushimi is kinda dry, while Soft Snow of Ohara is a bit wet, both of which would explain their behaviour in the Olikas.

Enlightenment Ceremony

Family outings

The husband’s family attended Nirvana’s Enlightenment Day, which is similar (if not the same, I can’t tell because it’s all very Chinese-speaking/writing based) to the Buddhist holiday “Ulambana.” It is a day to pray for your family’s ancestors to gain enlightenment and reach Nirvana (so like the Catholic version of escaping Purgatory, as I understand it).

The festival coincides with the Hungry Ghost Month, so as usual, the practices may seem to have blended into each other. Which also means it’s…

Casa Hana mooncake

Mooncake season!

This year it kind of snuck up on me and the husband unawares. I was asking our respective moms if they wanted us to buy mooncakes, but both of them were “no, no need, no one will eat it.” Mooncakes are delicious, but they can also get very cloying very fast, and the husband and me don’t usually take more than one.

Mooncake packaging on the other hand, as you can see, was absolutely beautiful. If I could get just the packaging without the mooncake why yes I would.

Hi Bitna!

I got myself a new phone! There were several reasons for this, part of it being I needed a new one (not urgently, but it was getting to be from a “nice to have” to a “I should start looking at replacement features I want” and then they announced the Note 10 with plenty of features.

I was actually planning to wait but when the husband and I saw the pre-orders we thought it was worth it. Mainly because unlike the previous pre-orders, I would actually use the majority of the items. If you pre-ordered the Note 10, you get a wireless charging battery and the Galaxy buds.

Note 10 Preorder

I have not regretted my decision. There’s a ton of small features within the Note 10 that makes it quite worthwhile to upgrade from my Note FE, including colourful off-screen memo (it used to be only in white on black), to better camera features and upgrades, and a speedier processor. Battery life is also superior to my FE and it seems that the fingerprint sensor, even though it is now under glass instead of a dedicated button, is much more reliable than the FE’s.

Testing Note 10 camera

The stylus upgrades were also quite fun, especially with the selfie function. I just need to remember to press the button to trigger the Air Gestures, otherwise I’d keep thinking it was faulty. :p Overall I think if you’re coming from Note 8 and below, it’s a worthwhile upgrade.

Cats on roof

Now that I’ve written all that, it seems that August wasn’t as empty as I felt it was. And I left out the bit about reorganising my desk, but that’s something I think I’ll write about in the next entry. Onwards to September!