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Chris mentioned the other day that I haven’t written any blog entries. And when he tells me this, it really means I haven’t written anything in a while. So I’m going to start a series called Ling Likes, which I am shamelessly copying from¬†Jenn. She recently talked about her love of Sharpie pens, so I thought I’d write about my favorite pens.

I discovered these pens a few years ago and I haven’t found anything to replace them. My criteria for pens is pretty simple.

It has to be waterproof. I’m sure you’ve all spilled something in your writing and lost a lot of your work. But you know, my love of writing in bathes pretty much requires that I need something waterproof.

It has to be lightfast. I have several post-it’s scattered around my work computer and I noticed that a few of them had faded terribly in the Florida sun. There’s nothing worse than looking at something knowing that it was important and you can’t remember what you had written there.

A lot of pens meet my criteria. If you look up scrap booking pens, or archival pens, there will be a plethora of options that come up for you. Unfortunately, they were never quite right for me. But then I found the Uniball DX Um-151 pens and a love affair was born!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

For me, I really like the fine points that aren’t available in the U.S. I actually got these from Jet Pens, who¬†specialize in importing items from Asia.

I like these because they write smoothly, don’t skip, doesn’t dry up in the pen easily and they’re waterproof and lightsafe!

Taken with SmugShot on my iPhone

Here is a page that I dunked in water and then let dry. As you can see, only the pink colors have blurred, but you can still see what’s written there. (And I have a bit of collectoritis when it comes to getting all the colors available.)

I’ve tried several pens since then. Pilot pens and Pentel pens didn’t pass the waterproof test and the Sharpies, unfortunately, have felt tip ends which I abuse too quickly. Same goes for Sakura microns, Staedtler fineliner and various other art pens.

But just because I’ve found a favorite pen, it doesn’t mean I’m not on the lookout for more. Do you have a favorite pen? Tell me which one it is!


Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Happy thanksgiving! We are totally and completely stuffed! The food was amazing!!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal


Nov. 25th, 2009 10:05 pm
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Guess where I’m at! And The Gap store doesn’t count. I will have more photos later in the week.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I should really start a series called Animal Butts. They love to show me their butts when I show up. Even when it’s on the safari ride at Disney and I only have a few seconds to snatch some photos. It’s all about butts.

Rhino butt. Deer Butt

Elephant Butt.

It never fails. I will get at least three animal butt shots. But if I wait long enough, I know they’ll turn around…


And you get shots like this.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal


Nov. 23rd, 2009 10:07 pm
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Well, it looks like my Nablopomo this year has been a fail. I should have known. I mean, I missed the first one, so I should have known I wasn’t going to keep it up this year. But you know, I’ll still try to do my best.

But you know, I had to try. Over the weekend, we went to the Z’s house and I monopolized baby #2. He’s only about 5 weeks old and super cute. And apparantly when they wiggle their head toward your body, it means that he’s hungry. He’s looking for boobies!

Steph is running a contest, so go look!

And I’m going to bed soon. My brain can’t handle this busy schedule I’ve made for myself. Woe is me.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Today is Chris’ birthday. He is 1 million years old. No. Really. He looks good for his age.

I took him to Animal Kingdom where he remarked about how he missed the dinosaurs. How he used to see them on the plains of Pangea. Luckily, there was Dinoland where he could see the replicas.

And for dinner, we went to Columbia’s, where we got the Brazo Gitano (pronounced with and H for the G). They light it on fire, which is how you get that lovely char on the meringue.

By the time we were all done, he said he was pooped. And so was I, even though I wasn’t as old as him. Actually, I’m older than him.

But we’re home now wearing our PJs and watching Stargate Universe, which Chris is enjoying. Until tomorrow!!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I know a couple of you out there use Moleskine notebooks. I bought a bunch of them when you could only get them in boutique stores for $20, but I got mine for $10! (because I bought them in bulk from an art store). This was before it all blew up and became so popular. This was way back when Modo & Modo were the only people making these and they only made 2 models, the black ones in the original 2 sizes. Now there are ton of them and a ton of knockoffs.

I never did anything with the covers of my moleskines because I like the clean look of the black cover. I recently bought a knockoff from Borders (it’s the Picadilly version) for $5. I wanted to see if there was a huge visible difference. (So far, there isn’t.) But the Picadilly version had a big old gash in it where the rubber band kept it closed. I’ve never had that with my Moleskine one’s, but then I bought mine before B&N got a contract with them and they found cheaper manufacturers. So I don’t know if the quality is still good or what. But I’m totally going on a tangent here.

The gash bothered me enough to the point where I slapped on a Hello Kitty sticker just to hide it. And it doesn’t look half bad. I thought about doing the same to my Moleskine, but I haven’t done it yet. I still like how sleek it looks without any markings on it. It’s more mysterious, you know?

So I was wondering how many of you guys deface, I mean, decorate your Moleskines? I know people in the community do. You can see them all over the web. But i was wondering what you do with it?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I don’t know where all my time has gone lately. Well, actually, I do. It’s a combination of work and family and trying to get all my projects done before Thanksgiving. By the time I’m done for the day, I’m ready for bed. This isn’t one of those things that are high on my priority list.

So here’s a photo I took from our flight to California. I like the texture of this picture.

I won’t promise that I’ll have any thought provoking entries in the future. My brain is fried from programming 12 hours a day. I’m just saying. But you’ll continue to get more photos. Everyone likes pictures, right?

Until tomorrow!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Here’s a photo of where I was yesterday. if you have dogs, you’ll be placed on the same floor as this lake. It’s considered the first floor, or maybe the second… I can’t remember now. But there are tench doors leading out to here. We spent part of the afternoon sitting outside with the dogs.

The one thing that bothers me about the hotel is that the facade is painted. Though it looks great from afar, it’s startling to realize the brickwork you were admiring is painted on.

Nevertheless, the hotel is very nice. Definitely clean and I couldn’t even tell the rooms were designated for dogs, which is quite nice.

Until tomorrow!!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Too Tired

Nov. 14th, 2009 11:16 pm
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I’ve been out and about all day and it’s already past 11pm. So I’m too tired to write up a journal entry.

I know, this is cheating a little bit, but this is all you’re going to get from me today. I’ll probably be out and about all day tomorrow too, so don’t be surprised if you get another one of these.

Here’s a photo of me at Disney in the funny hat series. The hat was actually a little bit too small for my head, but you know, can’t beat these little aliens.

The claw is my master

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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There’s a Subaru commercial in which a husband/boyfriend forgot his glasses. And so they go back through all the places they’ve been to in order to look for it.

Now, if it were me, I wouldn’t go back to all those places. I’d just pay for new glasses. And if it was Chris, I’d just pay for new glasses. And if it was you, I’d tell you to suck it up. They’re just glasses. You can replace them. You can’t replace my vacation time.

Now if you’d left them at the restaurant we just left, I’d totally go back. That’s not a big deal. But that’s as far back as I’ll go. I won’t backtrack to the beginning to find out it was on you the whole time!

It’s a stupid commercial.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Sephora was giving away the Too Faced Lash Layering Kit for free. They were the little travel sized ones, but hey, they’re free and I’m currently obsessed with eyelashes right now, so I went to pick them up.

So the lash layering kit has two mascaras. The pinpoint one is supposed to give you long stiletto-like lashes. The other one is to give you volume. Using just these two together didn’t really do much. My lashes were darker and that’s pretty much it. They also clump easily.

I tried with with Shiseido’s lash primer and it looked a lot better after that. But then any mascara looks better after I put on the primer. I look like I actually have eyelashes. But then with the primer, you could definitely see clumping and a spider leg effect. I don’t understand why they call it spider legs because it doesn’t look like spider legs to me. It reminded more of an old pipe cleaner that’s been used and abused. You know those pipe cleaner things that we used to use in elementary school to make artsy fartsy stuff? Stuff that’s used for cleaning a smoking pipe? That’s what it looked like, except stepped on, stuck down the drain, wrung out and dried out again.

I definitely wouldn’t spend any money on this. I’m still searching for a better mascara. Shiseido used to have a voluminous mascara, but they’ve discontinued it and their new product isn’t as good. My mom has a ton of sample mascaras from buying all sorts of stuff from Clinique and Estee Lauder when they were giving away free gifts. She doesn’t use mascara, so she gave me all of them. But none of them are good either.

Do you have a favorite mascara? How about your favorite, can’t live without cosmetic item?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I am doing my entries all out of order. But as long as I post something right? At some point, I went to see Vanessa Carlton as Epcot’s Eat to the Beat. She came with only one other person, a guitarist. From what I could tell he really didn’t need to be there. But I think touring on your own gets really boring. Having someone to travel with and talk to during the down times is much better. Even if you have to pay him.

I read that she liked touring this way because she liked the intimacy of just her and the audience. But when you’re doing this more intimate way of performing, I think that maybe you should talk to your audience a little bit too. Like tell them a story about traveling here or loving this song because it’s about your first love. Or you were inspired by this painting. Or just chatting with you. But she really didn’t do that. She just sat at her piano and sang mostly.

When you hear the songs back to back like that, they all sound a little bit the same. Which isn’t bad. I like her songs. But she did swear when she messed up, which is a total no-no at squeaky clean Disney. She apparently swore at an earlier performance as well. I won’t be surprised if we never see her at Disney again. It’s what I call self-sabotage. Too bad. She could really use this Disney gig. What else was she going to do?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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One of our friends is having a Christmasnparty in which we are asked to bring school supplies for the Salvation Army. Last year, we picked a name from the gift tree and we were nought gifts that they had asked for. Last year, I bought some clothes and a little doll for a girl.

So I went in search of school supplies and found that they weren’t all that economical. Like the notebooks were like $2.00. And though there is nothing wrong with a $2.00 notebook, I feel like I should be able to find them for $1.00. Am I looking for something that doesn’t exist?

So I’m asking you guys. Do you know where I can buy school supplies for relatively cheap? I want the biggest bang for my dollar. An what else is considered school supplies besides paper and pencils? Scissors? Glue? I don’t have a clue!

Thanks in advance!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Hat Time!!

Nov. 10th, 2009 12:01 am
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I do not know how time got away from me today. So I am just going to do a quick post. Here are a few people at Disney wearing unusual hats.

I don’t know where they got these hats. I didn’t see them at Disney, so they must have brought them from elsewhere. They are unique to say the least!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I’ve had it in mind to write a piece of fiction set in Victorian San Francisco. I grew up in that area and in our history classes we had learned about the gold rush. And in some small towns, their whole attraction is that they were once a mining town. They are actually quite proud of it, erecting statues to commemorate those times and even selling you trinkets to allow you to pan for your own gold.

But the thing about setting stories in the Guilded Age of San Francisco is that there are more than a few novels based in that time and place. After all, it was a very exciting time and a much documented time as well. There are plenty of resource materials from books to web sites to the original newspaper articles dating back to the mid-1800’s.

So I thought, since I live in Florida now that I could very well set a story here. My preliminary research was quite shocking, though I don’t know why it would be. Florida is the southernmost state in the lower 48, after all.

There were many items regarding Florida. The most exciting time seemed to be in the 1600’s. There are lost merchant and pirate ships strewn about the southern coastline currently. Ponce de Leon and the fountain of youth and all that. But my interest lay in the 19th century.

What I discovered is that Florida is indeed the south. There is a saying here that you actually have to go north to reach the south, but Florida has it’s roots very much in Southern history.

You see Florida was a plantation culture in the 1800’s. Out of the population of 140,000, nearly half were slaves. During the Civil War not only did Florida secede, but they were also the first to be one of the confederate states.

In the 1900’s there was a series of lynchings. It became so frightening to live in Florida that there was a mass exodus to find a better life elsewhere.

In guidebooks about the south, Florida is never included. But I think that has more to do with the influx of New Englanders. They don’t call it the Fifth Borough for nothing. It’s probably the only thing that keeps Florida from feeling like the south completely. Not that there is anything wrong with the south. I just wasn’t intending on writing a story about plantation life.

It would be a distinctly different story if I set it in Florida. There would be southern belles, land owners, and slaves. That is not the story I wanted to tell. At least not this particular story. There is always a chance that I will set another story here.

So I have decided that the story will remain in San Francisco,. After all, there are railroad barons, bonanza kings, corruption, mayhem, and secret underground tunnels not to mention the rich diversity of people that settled there. And of course, earthquakes!!

Until tomorrow!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Let it Go

Nov. 8th, 2009 11:05 pm
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I watched the new episode of the Housewives of Orange County. I know I shouldn’t watch this junk. It’s definitely one of those secret pleasures that I shouldn’t be telling you about. I’m actually a little embarrassed. But Anderson Cooper is watching it. He’s admitted it. So it can’t be that bad right? Actually, I think he watches the Atlanta one…which I also watch…

So anyway, I watched the new episode today. It seems to me that the OC cast seems to have the most issues. Are they snobbier than the rest or is it just me?

Of all the housewives, I think Tamra bothers me the most. She seems to be the most judgmental and acts more superior than the others. To me, she’s getting older and her whole identity was dependent upon being young and beautiful. And now that she’s losing that, I think she’s having a hard time.

I understand that too. I’m no longer young and skinny. There are times where I look at my old clothes and wonder where did all that time go? I look at my old pictures and think, Jeez, I was hella skinny. But I also think about those times and think about how young I really was and I had something to prove. I don’t feel like that so much anymore.

I’ve come to a point in my life where I’ve let it all go. Life’s too short to hold on to anything, especially those petty things said under stress or flippantly or said without thought. I’ve even let things go that were said with a mean spirit.

Most recently, an acquaintance said that my new haircut made me look older. I ignored her because she says such things. Then she repeated even louder for everyone to hear. I had a whole series of retorts that were both negative and personal attacks, and I said none of them. There are more important things in life than holding on those sorts of things. So if there were issues at some point, I’ve wiped it all clean and I’m pretending that none of it happened. What about you?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Ya’ll know why I bought these pens. They have Hello Kitty caps! I got these from Jetpens when they were on sale.

I generally don’t suggest Pilot pens because none of them are waterproof. The Pilot Hi-Tec C surprised me a bit in this respect because some of the colors didn’t all wash away. They all bleed a little bit, but as you can see, you can still read a few of the colors. Now I put this under the faucet, so this is more faded than if you’d spilled some water over it. You could most likely save some of the lighter colors by dabbing away the water.

This pen writes well, doesn’t skip, colors are vibrant and comes in various nibs. This particular one is a .3mm. I prefer the .4mm-.5mm nibs. I find that .3 is too thin and too light. This line of pens has a bajillion different colors so you’re bound to find a color that you like. They would be perfect if they were waterproof, but alas. I’ve dropped too many notebooks in water and spilled too many drinks. I am, quite sadly, a clumsy sort.

Until tomorrow!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I recently found a box of office stuff that I originally thought i’d lost in the cross-country move.

It contained several notebooks along with a huge stash of pens. And I know that some of you are always on the lookout for waterproof or water-resistant pens. So I grabbed a bunch of them and did a test for you. Here are the pens (which are well over three years old at this point.)

this sheet was soaked in water for about two minutes

Zebra Sarasa. These are relatively cheap and come in different colors. I wouldn’t suggest it only because some of the ink skipped for me and most of them had dried out already.

Uniball Signo EX2, Uniball Signo 207, Univall Vision Elite. These are my favorite pens. They are waterproof and bleach proof and they write smoothly without skipping. I’ve also taken these on planes and haven’t had a problem. But I think the new pens we get these days shouldn’t have a problem anyway. I use these also to write the infrequent check with. I highly recommend these. They have yet to disappoint me.
Zig Millenium. These guys usually make pens used for scrapbookong. I liked this one well enough, but as with all felt tip pens, they start to lose their shape for me because I sort of write a little hard. I abuse my pens pretty badly, so I need a metal nib.
Pigma Sakura Micron. This set of pens are for artists. Once upon a time I fancied myself an artist, so I have a lot of artsy stuff. I wouldn’t suggest this line because it’s a felt tip. It does come in a huge variety of colors and different sized nibs.
Noodler’s Ink Russian. This was one of my favorite colors. But what I found was that the ink totally dried up too quickly for me. Even if I did use it every day, the ink still clogged up my pen.
Koh-i-noor Nexus Art Pens. This is also another set of art pens, but I do not recommend these at all. The first pack that I bought had a couple of dried up colors in it, so I had to exchange it for other colors. After all this time, some of them were dried up while other times it was totally leaky. They say that this pen can write forever, but that is clearly not the case.
Prismacolor Premier fine line. This is another set of artist’s pens and they are felt tip again. I also found the tip a little bit mushier than usual.

Red Dry

This is all the red one’s I have. Noodler’s red isn’t waterproof and the Koh-i-noor one was all dried up

Wet Red

This is after having water poured over it.

Back of wet red

This is the back of the wet sheet. I don’t write on the back of my pages, so this doesn’t bother me

And that concludes then pen evaulation for today. Do you have a favorite pen? Is it waterproof? Why do you like it?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Bent fish

Nov. 4th, 2009 06:33 pm
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My mom has always kept goldfish. As long as I could remember we’ve always had them. They were our only pets (except for this one month when we had a dog because a little old lady couldn’t find a home for her precious Toto so we took her in until we found a new home for her.)

Now my mom has always bought feeder fish. She like them. So go figure. And she also feeds them koi food, so they get super big too.

And when you get feeder fish, you’re bound to het one that isn’t quite perfect. This fish has a funny kink in it’s tail, but it hasn’t kept it from growing initial a ginourmous fish. It may not swim so well, but it does well enough!

Until tomorrow!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal


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Samantha Ling

August 2013

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