Trends: Pen Necklaces

Do any of my growing-up-in-the-90s friends remember this PBS show called Ghostwriter? It’s about a group of Brooklyn teens who solve mysteries with the help of a dot of light and two apostrophes, or Ghostwriter.


That's Ghostwriter sneaking inside the "O" of his name.

Aptly named Ghostwriter because “he’s a ghost and he writes to us,” Ghostwriter communicates with the kids by forming words and sentences with letters and text he can find nearby. This show was my show. I wanted to move to Brooklyn, have a posse of best friends, and be a part of a secret mystery fighting society where initiation ended by anointing the new member with a pen necklace. The pen necklace was meant for convenience so that any time Ghostwriter began “talking” to them, the kids would be ready to respond.

I thought the pen necklace was the coolest thing ever. Like friendship bracelet, making your own lanyard keychain cool. Meaning, REALLY COOL. It overtook my love of bringing a black and white marbled notebook everywhere I went a la Harriet the Spy. I don’t know why it had that effect on me. But I guess even as a nine-year-old, there was something satisfying about whipping out a pen at a moment’s notice, and from a loop of string dangling around my neck no less! Come on, that’s smart right?

Fast forward some years later to Mad Men. Boom. Boom. Boom. That sound is Joan Holloway pounding through the office in her hottest outfit wearing a motherfucking gold pen necklace. Gold pen necklace. GOLD PEN NECKLACE.

Don't mess.

Don't mess.

I didn’t know pen necklaces dated back to the sixties. I didn’t know they could be so elegant. But they can and they are mean and people need to start wearing this along with caftans. Seriously, guys, the thought of stepping outside from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in this southern California valley heat makes me wince.

When I was in Monterey I hit up this fancy schmancy pen/stationary shop in the hope of finding a pen necklace but nothing. By the way, some of these pens are insane. Like, insanely out of my budget. A Cartier pen for $300. For real? I mean, I understand it’s all about craftmanship and it will last you forever ladeedah but $300? Dang. That is a world I will never understand but kind of want to experience. You know, for 15 minutes because I imagine cushy living like that is easy to get accustomed to and 15 minutes is enough to let the guilt start settling in.

But back to the topic at hand. I Googled “pen necklaces” and guess what guys and dolls, you can get your own vintage-inspired Joan Holloway gold pen necklace from 1928 Jewelry!

1960s Vintage Inspired Gold Tone Pen Necklace, 1928 Jewelry

1960s Vintage Inspired Gold Tone Pen Necklace, 1928 Jewelry

The one Christina Hendricks wears on the show was actually found at the famous Pasadena flea market at the Rose Bowl so I’m sure if you wanted the real thing you could hit up a flea market near you. But at $20 a pop and without the relentless thrift hunting, I’m willing to take inspired to the real thing. All my Joan Holloways, writers, practical but stylish folks, or anyone who wants to look fly as hell as you sign off your checks and balances, you all need to buckle on this pen necklace train and work it. I know I will.

Gold tone pen necklace for $20. Also comes in emerald and gold and ruby and gold hue tones for $28. Buy here!


Trends: Sardines

Foodies, rev your palates cos guess what’s making a comeback? Sar-fucking-dines!


Hey, I’m only the messenger. The WaPo featured this a couple weeks back but I only read about it today*.

Personally, I think it’s hilarious that sardines were even ‘out’ in the first place. People eat canned tuna and salmon so I don’t know why they’re all up in arms about sardines. “But it’s got the head on!” my patoot. I hate when people say that! It’s like, Dude, you know your hamburger had a face right? I get mildly offended when people liken the fish to SPAM, as if SPAM is all kinds of low-end hillbilly food. If we’re playing that game then put down the McNuggets. At least you can make SPAM into sushi rolls. You can’t do that with a McNugget.

Sardines are my childhood which probably explains why I love them and am so defensive of them when someone gives me The Face. My parents used to buy them – and still do – from the Asian store at about a buck per can. They usually buy the ones in tomato sauce but they also dig the ones in olive oil. It’s all in the preparation. Sardines taste delicious on toast or with rice with a touch of soy sauce. Grimace all you want but who’s the one suffering from mercury poisoning?

Benefits of munching on the tiny fish are significant and, yes, even more hip than you can handle: Ecofriendly and packed with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Plus, Alton Brown is a fan and you can’t mess with Alton.

Yeeeaah, EAT that.

*The Monterey Herald printed this story and, funnily enough, it was one day after I visited Cannery Row. It’s touristy, yes (Just check out that Web site!), but if you’re a Steinbeck fan like me it’s Steinbeck Country so you are highly advised to go! There’s a kitschy wax museum where Steinbeck himself narrates the history of Cannery Row, a general store that sells every useless thing you can imagine, and some of the factories that still maintain its original decor. It’s easy to see why Cannery Row in its heyday was worth writing about. Oh, Monterey, I think you may trump Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, as my favorite place in all of California.

Correction: Perhaps I should read the very links I post. SPAM masubi is not sushi because its rice is not prepared with vinegar as is customary with sushi rolls. The rice is instead salted. Whoops! My bad.