I'm an office supply junkie, totally, and it seems like you can't go *anywhere* these days without encountering large bins of such things at discount prices. Even the grocery store isn't safe: they've got piles o' paper and pencils even in the frozen foods aisles.
Thus far I've managed to restrict my purchases to a small stack of Wal-mart composition books (currently a quarter apiece) and a package of USA Gold wood-case pencils (last of the Made in the USA wood pencils, so far as I know!), for a grand total of about three fifty. But I somehow found myself at Staples today, wandering around with some fancy(ish) Pentel mechanical pencils in an 0.9 width, which I don't currently own, plus a packet of leads, and a couple Black Pearl erasers. I don't need them. I put them back. But it was a struggle.
I've kind of been in a graphite mood, if the above paragraph didn't convey that strongly enough. Some time back, Speculator of La Vie Graphite sent me a very generous sampler of all sorts of pencils, mostly wood-case. I played with them for a bit, and then they got shuffled aside during my move earlier this year. But in the last few weeks, they're all I've been using for journaling, and even for notes at work. The joy of pencils is a little more subtle than fancy pens, I suppose, which makes them all the more appealing. I'm really enjoying cycling through them over and over, noting the slight differences in feel (some are smoother, some have more "grit", which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and even within the same grade, some are darker or lighter than others. Some have that wonderful cedar aroma, some have cool colored wood. (Rhodia!) My current favorites are a few basic Pentel mechanical pencils (hence the near miss at Staples), Helix Oxfords, and yes, the cheap USA Golds, despite the fact that they're a little thinner than what I'm used to and do have a certain amount of that grit I just mentioned.
So...on that note, here's my first ever pencil cast, about--what else?--pencils, of course. I cheated: this is just a recent entry from my journal, scanned in (rather poorly, I might add). Yes, I yammer on about this stuff even to myself.