So, late summer is my favorite time of the year to shop at Target. Oh, sure, I like the Christmas displays in December (okay, more like November) and the summer displays in May. But late summer, late summer is the best, because that's when they take the school supplies out.
I have no special fondness for the actual back-to-school process. For the first 26 years of my life I adhered to the academic calendar, first as a student and then as a teacher, so the glimpse of the first back-to-school sale always gave me a bit of a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. And even now that I'm not attending school in any kind of capacity, the end of summer does always feel a little bit sad.
But the actual back-to-school sales? They now give me pure joy! And why? Because, I'll admit it, I love office supplies. And in late July/early August, you can get all kinds of office supplies for super cheap.
Pens are my favorite. I think I like pens best because, ultimately, pens are the basic tool of the writer. I mean, obviously now most writing is done on computers, but somehow pens seem to signal writing in its purest, most raw form.
I eagerly awaited back-to-school time so I could get a new pen case at Target. This is the new pen case I carry around in my purse, with its contents:
Yes, I have all these pens in my purse all the time.
These first two are gel pens manufactured by The Write Dudes, which seems to be the primary line of pens that Target is carrying for back-to-school this year. I kind of think these particular pens are better suited to tween girls who love fairies:
These others are also from The Write Dudes. They kind of suck.
This next pen was a giveaway at my gym. Not surprisingly, I love getting free pens. I hope I get some free pens at BlogHer. I always get unreasonably excited about free pens at various booths and tables, which the representatives at the booths/tables misconstrue as interest in their particular company or cause. Like, at the gym on Old People Day or whatever it was called, I got all excited about a free pen from an Alzheimer's care facility. "Do you know somebody who needs help with Alzheimer's?" the lady asked enthusiastically. "No," I said, "I just really like pens."
The pen in this picture was also from the gym, but it's not the Alzheimer's one. I got it at Member Appreciation Day, at which rude gym manager Montie (woman) once again made me feel unappreciated. See, a few years ago on Member Appreciation Day she reprimanded me for letting Nathan have half an energy bar, because "those snacks are for adults only." Two years later at Member Appreciation Day, she told me I could take either a keychain or a pen, but not both. Both were really nice, though, and I think that my with my three years of membership, four sessions of personal training, multiple fees for swim lessons, and three annual daycare passes, I've given the gym enough money to warrant both a keychain and a pen. So I took the keychain and then grabbed this pen later when she wasn't looking:
It writes really well.
These are actually Bic pencils, the kind I used exclusively in high school:
And my beloved Hi-Tec C pens from Tokyo Pen Shop:
My sister-in-law commented on how I write about these pens so often. So I gave her one.
In talking to my dad about my various pens, he said, "Oh no, you inherited the pen gene, too." See, my dad and my brother have very definite opinions about pens. My brother is even a pen collector.
So, my dad gave me his favorite type of pen, which is the Pilot Varsity:
My dad also gave me this little black Sharpie pen. I didn't even know Sharpie made regular writing pens. Here it is posed with its fat Sharpie cousin, which I always carry around in my purse. I learned once at a Weight Watchers meeting that it's useful to calculate the points in a food before you buy it, then write those point values right on the package at the grocery store (assuming you're going to buy it).
At my middle school you'd get in trouble if you were packing a Sharpie.
Finally, here's my floating brain pen that I got at the Museum of Science and Industry: