Favorite Pen Missing

Thanks to Wirecutter (a review site) I found and bought a Uni-Ball Jetstream, well a pack of three. I’ve used them ever since – like in my daily Morning Pages (20+ so far) and everywhere else. Now two of the three are missing.

How much do I love these? Enough that I’ve purchased over 70 refill ink barrels. I’ve been using the same pens all this time. Write, write, write, pen goes dry, peel open a packet of ink, swap it out, write, write, write again. Many of those were ordered from Japan. Because, well why not? And I would get nice thank you notes with them.

And to think, they were recommended in 2013 and they still are today. And for much of the same reasons.

We interviewed experts with thousands of hours of experience testing stationery, and subjected their favorite pens to nearly 70 professionally picky Wirecutter staffers, to affirm that the Uni-ball Jetstream is the best pen for everyday writing. It’s easy to find in stores, it writes smoothly on most paper, and it’s affordable enough that you won’t be heartbroken if someone permanently borrows it.

Wirecutter Review

You can find them at JetPens while you geek out on writing instruments. (like here or here) Or, ahem, Amazon. Check on their review of ballpoint pens – which has a list of pens recommended for different uses: professional, student, eco-friendly, colored. This list goes on. AND they have information. You know why you’re buying whatever. See Below:

But for your pen that is recommended for everyday use, here’s what they say:

The Uni Jetstream is our favorite ballpoint pen, and a perennial best seller. Its low-viscosity ink is some of the smoothest, darkest, and most consistent ink we’ve encountered in a ballpoint pen, and a pleasure to write with. In addition, the Jetstream is available in several versions so that anyone can find a style they like. Unusually for a ballpoint pen, its tip sizes range from a super-fine 0.38 mm to a broad 1 mm and it comes in 13 vibrant ink colors.

JetPens Review

I’d say I’m going to miss them. But if I don’t find them in the places we’ve used them I’m buying another set of three.

Loaf 2

Yes, it looks good. Thanks to #bakewithjack, I’ve got a second and a bit more experience and I can tell what is going on. Now onward to numbers three through five.

If You Are In the Lents Area

Where Woodstock crosses Foster, right before you get to I205 there is a bakery. Bella’s Italian Bakery, a straight forward name. Bella’s? Where did that come from? In the words of the owner.

Michelle’s Nonna called all the girls in the family “Bella” – so Bella is all of us here working to bring you a little Italy. We are proud to be a woman-owned, women-led business.

We’ve been there three times now. Once for a “how is this place?” visit, a Saturday. It was also the first anniversary of their opening the place. Lucky us! Packed, delicious, a man passing out tiramisu after we’d eaten. It was jovial, people sharing their meals. And on the menu, we saw that every Sunday they served lasagna and on Thursdays pizza. It’s also a store, wines, milk, bread, pastas, and more to go. We were beyond happy with the pastries. They were enough to drive out there for. But I’m being unfair, they serve breakfast and lunch foods. Italian train station sandwichs anyone? Yes, you don’t need to go for just a (wonderfully done) coffee and snack. You can go for more.

Every day we bake focaccia, house bread, pepperoni rolls, and seasonal savory flatbreads as well as both traditional and modern pastries: almond cakes, berry tartines, lemon ciambella, sweet rolls, cannoli, ricotta cheesecake, assorted cookies, and sfogliatelle (weekends only). We also do rotating seasonal specials inspired by our farm fresh deliveries. Stop by and see what we’re baking today!

Their Menu

So we went back. For lasagna. As good as what we’d had earlier.

And then last night, for pizza. A perfect Margarita Piazza. How often do you get a perfect pizza? OK, there’s lots of pizza in Portland. We’ll go back. Again and again. Because the place is so damn good.

So if you want to feel like you’re in Italy, go here.

Clyfford Still Museum

Big Reasons to Go:

  • Clyfford Still MuseumYou’re a fan of Still’s work
  • In-house art-making space with encouraging and helpful staffer
  • The museum shows a progression of Still’s work – this is a great help if you don’t “get” abstract expressionism but are curious
  • Quarterly rotations of the displayed works
  • Great gallery rooms with beautiful lighting
  • The most helpful museum staff I’ve ever met. The guards aren’t there just to scold you away when you get too close.
  • They’ll fetch a chair if you want to sit and contemplate when the benches aren’t where you’d like to sit.

Find out more about it on their website, Clyfford Still Museum. I went last summer and remembered the pleasures.

Library in Use

Jennifer had a library book on hold for months, three or four. It was finally available. While she was in Salem. Could I pick it up for her? Certainly. As I drove home from Salem I decided to stop at our local branch. I wanted to check on the availability of a prescription. I didn’t want to go home and drive right by the library.

I thought, “I’ll use one of their computers.” It seems lots of other people had the same idea, the computers were taken. OK, I took the books out to the car. I got my laptop and brought it back into the library. There were open table spaces. Sat down, logged into the MultcoLibrary-Neighborhood WiFi. Boom, I’m online and able to find that Yes, the prescription was filled.

Yay! for the library. I had what I needed. Even better there was a milk crate of empty paper bags. Just what we needed for the kitchen garbage. Books, a connection to my email, a newspaper, and paper bags, this library provided quite a bit today.

Woodstock Library. Multnomah County Libraries.

Signs Precedeing the End of the Word

A week ago I wrote about Herrera Land:

Their book Signs Preceding the End of the World begins with a woman walking down the street.

I’m dead, Makina said to herself when everything lurched: a man with a cane was crossing the street, a dull groan suddenly surged through the asphalt, the man stood still as if waiting for someone to repeat the question and then the earth opened up beneath his feet: it swallowed the man, and with him a car and a dog, all the oxygen around and even the screams of passers-by.
Opening sentence of Signs Preceding the End of the World

Could you stop reading there? I couldn’t. So I continued.

Three cheers for Lisa Dillman! She is the translator of the work and several others. Translators have a difficult craft to practice. Ms. Dillman does so well.

Self, in Herrera Land

I’m happy report that the book continues to tell the tale of Makina’s journey to the United States to find her brother. She’s street wise and winds her way past men.

It is great. I give it an unqualified recommendation.


Do you listen to 10% Happier? It’s an app, it’s a podcast, it’s a YouTube video. Well OK, there are many YouTube videos. Lots of podcasts. But 10% Happier is a place where you can start for free. I’ve been a starter since 2015. Enjoying the benefits of the App for Android phones (yes, there’s an iApp too) for years now.

This is something that I know people can preach about. So I’m done. But, if you do try it and want to talk, get a hold of me.

Give it a whirl, as described here in Meditation 101. Or right here: