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Reverb10 December 30, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Reverb10.
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Okay, so Christmas has me way behind, but I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS DANG IT.

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

This is an interesting prompt, because this year I’ve felt more alienated from my own body than I ever have.  From allergies to back problems, I really struggled to get myself in order.

However, I did discover PiYo, which is a mixture of Pilates and Yoga.  Though it hasn’t fixed all of my problems, it gave me a chance to try and get in tune with my body.  Though it wasn’t always successful, I always felt a little better after leaving a class.

This year, I just didn’t jive with myself.  I’ve been stiff, static, and sick.  I’ve always been comfortable in my skin, but this year I felt as if my body was working against me and really hampering my productivity.  After having a few weeks off, I feel better, but not totally in sync.  I think a combination of stress, overcommittment, and exhaustion threw me off, and I hope that 2011 will help me get back on track.

December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

This is pretty easy, since in graduate school your next step is lined out for you.  Right now, it’s completing my coursework.

It’s the steps after that which become really problematic.  After I complete my coursework, I begin reading for my comprehensive exams, where I pick three subject areas to specialize in.  The problem is, I like tons of literature.  The only areas I know I HATE are 18th century literature and modernism.  Other than that, I’m really open.

Right now, I’m thinking about Victorian literature, which I’ve always had a passion for.  Of course, my major emphasis has been gender, which I’ll keep with.  However, after that, I have no idea.  I used to be really opposed to American literature, but now I’m pretty okay with it.  I’m really interested in the American West, but not westerns, per se.  Minority literature, like African-American literature, has always fascinated me, and I’ve done quite a bit of work with Southern lit, too.  Sigh.

I really need to crack down on this—I only have a few months to decide.

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

TIME.  This year, I have come to really appreciate my time (though I can’t say that I use my time any better.  Cue sad trombone).

I’ve come to really value my own time, but I’ve also become acutely aware of others’, as well.  I don’t waste other people’s time if I can help it, and when people willingly spend time with me, I try and thank them for it.

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

Ooh, a toughie.  Here we go…

I really don’t want to forget playing games with my grandparents.  I always laugh so hard when we sit down and play Uno or Yahtzee.  I’m glad that John has come to appreciate that, too.

I’ll never forget the Razorback game that lasted 6 hours because of rain delays.  John’s dad and brother were able to find John, Courtney, and I by my love of kettle corn, and we watched the whole thing, start to finish.  (Also, I want to remember sledding on Christmas, even though that technically was LAST Christmas.  Hoo boy, that was wicked fun!)

Diving and Cozumel.  What a wonderful reward for finishing my thesis.  I’d like to forget having my ear nibbled by a creepy old mariachi dude, but that crap is pretty memorable.

I also don’t want to forget my thesis work.  It was amazingly difficult, but it was the first time I really felt like an academic.  I researched it top to bottom, and presenting it felt amazing.  It reassured me that I can survive in academia, and maybe even be good at it.

I want to remember my honors composition II class, too.  I really felt like a literature teacher, and I think I did my job to the best of my abilities at the time.  I know I can do a better job now.

Most importantly, though, I don’t want to forget the quiet moments with John, where we just sat and were.

Reverb10 December 22, 2010

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December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

This is a really interesting question.  Getting married has taught me a lot about how I’m unique.  I know that sounds strange, but follow me for a moment: when you’re dating, you think about all the ways you are like another person.  For example, maybe you’re like “Oh, he likes to rock climb too?  Match made in heaven!” or “I can’t believe that he also dips his bread in milk!”  But once you’re married—or in a very long term, monogamous, committed relationship—your differences become apparent.  Suddenly you start saying things like, “Why does he sort laundry like that, doesn’t he know that’s wrong,” and “Do we have to watch Police Academy again?  We did that last week!  How about a romantic comedy…wait?!  Where are you going?!”

Point is, there’s nothing like living with another person to help you realize how different you are.  It’s really not a bad thing; as the prompt so aptly says, different is beautiful.  However, for the purposes of answering this prompt I’m going to switch the word “different” to “unique”—it will help me talk about that “lighting people up” bit.

EDIT:  I wrote a few paragraphs, and decided that this would work better in list form.  Buckle up.

  • I’m an English major, but I’m not all hoity-toity about the stuff I read.  I hate it when people dislike books just because they’re popular.
  • I’m a homebody.  I like to travel, but not too much.
  • I have a hard time controlling myself when presented with the following foods: watermelon, Cadbury eggs, chocolate covered cherries, flour tortillas, orange Tic-Tacs, hushpuppies, lemon bars, blackberries, French fries, squash, and bread.
  • I’m perpetually cold.  It’s very hard for me to be overly hot
  • I will kill someone for opening something that belongs to me.  Like, if I buy a DVD, I’d BETTER be the one that takes off the cellophane wrapper.  After that, I can be the 50th person to use the damn thing, but I’d better be the first to open it.
  • I’m multiracial, which gives me quite a few interesting characteristics and perspectives.  For example, I’ve got all of the fiery temper from my Latin side, but I’m outdoorsy like my Mom’s family.
  • Things I’m good at:  learning, leading, teaching, joking, relaxing, reading, writing.
  • Things I want to be good at:  listening, praying, seeking, being, cooking, building, creating, photographing, compromising, loving.
  • Things I will never be good at:  calculating, exercising, coordinating (my body!), pushing, feeling, failing, quitting, wasting, sentimentalizing
  • I’m not afraid to voice my opinions.  I’ll tell you what I think, every time.
  • I can do anything I put my mind to, not because I’m talented, but because I’m stubborn.
  • I’m Mexican but I hate spicy food.  Loathe and detest it, actually.
  • I am very, very religious, but sometimes I find it difficult to identify with my religion.
  • I don’t like women very much.  I’d much rather be friends with men.
  • I have a very strong sense of right and wrong, but that doesn’t make me immovable.  I’m willing to compromise and bend on certain issues, and I understand that the world is not black and white.
  • I love to read, but I want to write for a living.  That would definitely be my dream job.
  • I have a very hard time telling my dreams from reality.  I have hyper-vivid dreams, and often I’ll wake up and not realize that what happened (in said dream event) was not real.
  • My husband is my favorite person to hang out with, and I rarely get tired of him.
  • I can waste hours on the Internet.
  • I will yell at sporting events, television shows, and animals.  I will never yell to win an argument.
  • I love horses.  I also love sharks.  I wanted to be a marine biologist as a kid, but that never worked out.
  • When I get really mad at someone…I mean, like, pop-my-top angry, I picture myself beating the crap out of said person.  It always makes me feel better.
  • Writing things down motivates me.
  • I can learn anything—well, I’ve got a perfect record so far, anyway—from a book.  Cooking techniques, crochet, sewing, Photoshop, you name it.  If the instructions are well-written, I’m golden.
  • I have terrible allergies.  My brother once told me that when he sees a Kleenex box, he thinks of me.  He wasn’t kidding.


December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I don’t really go to parties.  I’d have to say the most important one I went to was my dear friend Grant’s wedding in Kansas.  We almost missed the whole thing (I got the time wrong, John got the location wrong), but we were there, and it was wonderful.


December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Pssssht.  Wise decisions?  What the heck are those?

It’s a lot easier for me to pick out all of the UNWISE decisions I made, but I guess that’s not quite what the prompt is asking.  Let’s see…I guess it would have to be continuing for my Ph.D, though to be fair, I only feel like that was a good decision 70% of the time.

The thing is, even with grade disputes, crappy students, and long hours, I love teaching.  I enjoy learning, and I love school.  For the first time since starting graduate school, I feel like I’ve learned enough to really be valuable in a classroom.  I love the new and changing challenges.  But the best thing is that they PAY me to read, write, and talk ALL DAY LONG.

December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

Looks like today’s series of posts will be somewhat of a listography.  Let’s see—what 11 things should I get rid of in 2011.

Daily Websites
If I check all the websites I like that update daily, I can spend 2+ hours just poking around the internet.  It’s so easy; one site has a link to another that you follow to another and before you know it, BOOM.  Afternoon gone.  I think I could easily become addicted to the Internet in a bad way, and I need to seriously cut down on my browsing time.

Bad-For-You Food
My schedule this year made it almost impossible for me to keep a really healthy diet.  Being gone from the house three nights a week made it hard to cook, so we would heat up something from the freezer section of Walmart or grab take-out.  Though there are healthy options in both of those categories, John and I are notoriously picky eaters.   This severely limits our options and often ends with us eating stuff we shouldn’t.  I want to cook more, and cook healthier when I do.

Like most college students, I racked up student loans while in school.  Right now, John and I are slated to pay them all off by December of next year.  There’s nothing I want to be more than debt free!  That way, we can begin working our way towards saving for a house of our very own.

Critical Judgment (but not Critical Thinking)
I’m very judgmental, and sometimes that really complicates my relationships.  That doesn’t mean that I judge everything everyone does.  I’m actually very cautious about that, and I go out of my way to be as open-minded as possible.  However, it’s easy for me to criticize people I don’t know that well (like people I see in supermarkets, etc.),  and I know that comes off as cruel even though I think I’m just being observant.  It’s time to police myself better.

Less Control, More Spontaneity
I’m a control freak, and that keeps John and I from doing fun things sometimes because I’m more tied to what we should be doing than what we want to be doing.  I want to lose a little control and be a little more irresponsible if that means I have more fun.

Back Pain
I’ve earned my MA, but I’ve also found back pain in graduate school.  Lots of reading + lots of sitting + lots of hunching when grading papers = throwing my upper back out once a semester.  It’s incredibly painful.  I’ve found that yoga and Pilates keep it in check, but it’s so hard to work aerobics classes into my schedule that they often fall by the wayside.  I really want to recommit myself to healthy living, and that means managing pain through exercise.

I’ve always had bad allergies, but they’ve gotten progressively worse since living in Arkansas.  I’m on daily medication, and even that doesn’t manage them sometimes.  It’s gotten to the point where my allergies affect my quality of life, and it’s time to get shots (as much as I dread them).  I want to be healthy AND happy, and getting sinus infections from pollen doesn’t fit that model.

I hate clutter.  I mean, I HATE clutter.  I want to go through our house and get rid of everything that’s just taking up space.

Birth Control
Okay, I know this counts as overshare, but stick with me.  (You can even skip this one if you want to!)  I’m not trying to have a baby—GOD NO.  I don’t even like kids.  But I hate The Pill.  I want to switch over to an IUD, and stop worrying about the burden of pregnancy and contraceptive.

I mentioned in an earlier Reverb10 that I stretched myself waaaay too thin over the past 8 months.  No more!  I don’t need any more commitments in my life than I have right now.  In 2011, I want to say NO to more responsibilities and YES to reclaiming my free time—and my life.

The Brown Desk
This is sort of silly, but right now we have the crappiest desk in the world.  In 2011, I want to redesign our study so that John and I have a nice and comfortable place to work.  Right now, we can barely use our desk it is so AWFUL.


Reverb10 December 20, 2010

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December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I spent all weekend thinking about this prompt off and on.  I’ve done quite a bit of letting go this year, and some of it was really, really tough.  I know I’m going to have to do a lot of letting go next year, too.

One thing I let go of this year was a very close friendship.  My freshman year, my roommate and I became very good friends.  Best friends, you might say.   At the time, I thought we were just really close, but in retrospect, we had a pretty toxic relationship.  She was needy, wanted validation constantly, and demanded a lot of my time.  Because of that, some of my other friendships suffered, for which I am now incredibly regretful.

Anyway, she got married, and as soon as she moved away, that was it.  She and her husband would come back into town to visit and never call; we’d run into each other and it was a big “Oh, surprise!  Sorry!  You want to grab dinner or something?”  I’d call her and she wouldn’t call me back, or she’d pick up the phone and immediately dismiss me.  It was incredibly clear that she wanted nothing more to do with me.

I was so deeply hurt…hurt to the point of almost hating her.  I’d think of her and my stomach would clench; I would dread going to football games in case we saw each other in the parking lot.  I even missed church one night because I knew she’d be back for a visit.  I used to have dreams about punching her in the face.  That’s messed up.  Basically, I let her treatment of me dictate aspects of my life for a long, long time.  (Note to self: That’s part of why I need to stop holding grudges)

Anyway, I’ve been working really hard to make new friendships and get over old ones, if you know what I mean.  Then, earlier this year, her grandmother died.  John and I are still very good friends with her uncle (whose a sophomore in college—confusing, I know.  He’s adopted, and we’ll leave it at that).  Like good friends, we went to the visitation, and I was all upset because I knew SHE would be there.  I saw her, told her I was sorry, and…that was it.  I felt…nothing.  No anger, no sadness…it was just over.

Over.  What a nice word to type.

Strangely enough, writing about this—no matter how vaguely—makes me feel better, too.  It’s nice to put it out there, to acknowledge to the world that I’m okay now.  Well, maybe okay isn’t the right term.  I’ve let go, and now I’m working through the emotional baggage on my way towards being “just fine.”

Maybe I’ll write a longer post about this once I get there.


December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

Hah!  This is funny, because I’m actually making Christmas presents as we speak.  Some of it is hush-hush, but suffice it to say I’ve recently crocheted two very warm, very fuzzy, very red presents.


December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

This is kind of an interesting question for me.  I haven’t really discovered community anywhere this year.  I would say at my home church, but that’s really a 2009 thing, so I guess that doesn’t quite count.

Perhaps it’d be easier if I stuck to the second half of the question.  I know exactly where I’d like to find more community: at work.  I’d like to make better friends with my fellow TAs.  It’s been hard—I was lucky enough to land in an office with instructors, but that means that I don’t have much interaction with teaching assistants.  It lets me be an affective TA, but I’d like to have more interaction from my peers.

I also want to do a better job maintaining the communities I do have.  It’s been very hard over the past few months to keep in contact with my friends—school, marriage, and my family has taken precedence.  I’m not very good at making friends, and I really value the ones I have.

Reverb10 December 17, 2010

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Wow, I didn’t realize it had been this long since I last blogged.  Trust me, I’ve wanted to, but I’ve been running at full capacity this semester.  I’m glad it’s over, and thankfully, that means I’ll have more time to blog.  Yay!

I thought I’d start with a project called Reverb10, which is an online initiative to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next.  I was inspired to do this by my friend, Aba, who has been “Reverb-ing” (with commitment!) this month.

Since I’m quite far behind, I thought I’d do a couple of posts a day until the month is over.  Hopefully this will help get me back in the spirit of blogging, too.

So without further ado…

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Full.  This year has been packed to the brim.  I finished my Master’s thesis and moved straight into a Ph.D program that gave me one night a week at home.  John and I took over more responsibility in our church, which kept us quite committed as well.  We were often double or triple booked, and our life was a constant—but successful—juggling act.

One year from today, I’d like to say that my life is balanced. This isn’t so much as a wish as it is a necessity; neither I nor John can keep operating at the pace that we have been.  The only problem is that we’re both strong leaders and often assume responsibilities that we have no business taking on.  I don’t want to sacrifice our families or our church if we can help it, but I’d like us both to take more time to just unwind, relax, and have some fun.  Crazy, right?

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit that contributes to this—mainly school/work. This can’t so much be eliminated as streamlined.  I’m a pretty organized and on-task individual, but my officemates love to chat which really cramps my productivity.  I want to maximize and make better use of my time so I can shell out some more time for fun writing.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

I felt most alive when I was scuba diving off the coast of Cozumel.  Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things to do, and it’s such an otherworldly experience.  The ocean, especially the Caribbean in Mexico) is just phenomenally beautiful, and that’s just from the beach.  There’s a whole ‘nother world under the surface that very few people get to experience.  Heck, most people are blissfully unaware—as we were snorkeling the beach, we saw stingrays swimming around people’s ankles!

When you dive, there’s a real sense of excitement and anxiousness as you suit up.  I mean, the potential for death is really high if you’re not careful about your equipment.  Once you hop in, though, diving is just so incredibly…peaceful.  The only thing you hear is your own breathing and the bubbles from your exhaust as you sink down to the bottom.  Scuba diving is physical, but you actually swim fairly slow as you go through reef formations that are thousands of years old.

The one amazing thing that you just don’t understand from aquariums, or even snorkeling, are the incredible colors of the reef.  Every color imaginable is down there, and the patterns are just so complex.  Everything down there is alive, moving, sparkling.  There’s just so much life that you can’t possibly take it all in.  We saw sea turtles, squid, lobster, sharks, eels…just tons of aquatic life.

The coral reefs are the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and there’s nothing that makes me feel more alive than recognizing how small and insignificant I am in God’s greater plan.  You can’t not be aware of that when you’re diving and surrounded by so much magnificence.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I don’t know if this counts, but I pretty much discussed this on Day 3.  I guess, for variety’s sake, I’d say that my job cultivates wonder all the time.  I’m constantly engaged in explorative thought; my job—and the thing I most enjoy—is teasing out some new meaning from a text.  You could say that I wonder all day!

I’m Lovin’: This DRESS October 14, 2010

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Oh my GOD, it’s gorgeous.

No, really.

29. Earn my MA in English October 6, 2010

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Earning a Master’s degree is much less momentous than getting your bachelor’s in anything.

This is a funny thing to say, I know.  I’m not saying that it’s less important–that’s obviously not the case.  I’m also not saying that it’s less rewarding, less work, or somehow easy.  That’s not true either.  It just…comes and goes with little fanfare.  With your undergraduate, you and your friends are lamenting the end of your college days together, and the closer the end of the semester comes, the more nostalgic you are.  Finally, you graduate, hug, and go your separate ways.  A new chapter opens.

For me, this was certainly true.  I went from having two weeks of graduation festivities to getting married, and within the course of a month my whole life had metamorphosed into something new.  My MA wasn’t like that.  I finished, defended, and then went straight back to work.

This sounds like I’m really down on my degree.  I’m actually incredibly proud of myself.  I’ve never worked so hard for anything in my whole life, and I can’t wait until I get my piece of paper that proves I’ve accomplished something great.  I loved writing my thesis on Doris Betts and the American West.  Though it was incredibly stressful, and the most I’ve ever written in my whole life, I think I could easily revisit that subject and write *more.*  It was…fun, in its own way.  I pretty much wrote nonstop from May until the beginning of August, and I logged 50+ hours a week on that thing.  It’s my baby, and without trying to sound pompous, it’s good.  Not great, but good.

When I finished my BA, I thought I was pretty smart, that I’d stretched my skills about as far as they could go.  Getting my MA has proven to me that my abilities can be pushed to almost limitless standards, and as long as I’m game, I can keep learning. Improving.  Growing.  I was telling John last week that when I was a junior, a 7 page term paper scared the bejeezus out of me.  Now I look at 25 to 30 page papers like they’re normal, and often find myself having to *cut* ideas and information.  I’m a much better writer, critic, and thinker, that’s for sure.

The biggest blessing of this journey, though, has been my teaching experience.  I love it.  It’s something I could picture myself doing for the rest of my life, and if I stick through my Ph.D, I just might be.  That thought is scary and exciting.  It’s sublime, even.  On top of that, the support from my family and loved ones has been tremendous.  I really know who I can count on now.

My MA is something I knew I wanted since high school.  Having it feels good–really, really good.

People Lie October 4, 2010

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Last night, John and I were sitting on the couch in our PJs discussing how people “Other” God when I had a life-shaking revelation.

We’d just finished a rolicking debate when I popped open the computer to look up something on the Internet.  Of course I ended up on Facebook, where one of our RELATIONS* had a status update.  Of course, it looked like someone had hacked his/her facebook account, but the status update read like this:

“UNNAMED RELATION sits on the computer and Skypes with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend all day and never goes to class.”

I laughed, because this RELATION is a freshman in college and, as we all know, freshman year is rife with mistakes.  Also, I’m not entirely sure that this RELATION’S status is a lie–honestly, not going to class and hanging out with the boyfriend/girlfriend sounds about right to me.  The only problem is that this RELATION’S parents are also on facebook, so they caught wind of the update and had some choice comments.  (By the way, how much drama must friending your parents cause?  Thank God both of mine are computer illiterate and I’ve blocked any other family member that might cause me problems).

I read the update to John, and I laughed about how, since RELATION doesn’t have a scholarship and has no academic distinctions to compromise, it would be impossible to know what his/her GPA is.  John just sort of snorted and laughed and was like, “Yeah, and even if s/he talked about it, there’s no way to know if s/he’s telling the truth.”

It was like two semi-trucks full of cymbals had collided IN MY BRAIN.

People lie about their GPAs?  I grew up in a city where I couldn’t go out alone at night after dark, and yet it had never occurred to me that people would lie about that.  GPAs are like…sacred.  It’s not like lying about your weight, which is really anybody’s guess.  It’s like lying about your innate character, your capabilities, and your competency.  It’s one of those WHOPPER of a lies, one of those lies that is so incredibly unethical at its center that it pretty much qualifies you as the scourge of the earth.  What’s the use of going to school and working hard if I can just fake how well I did on my resume, application, or otherwise?  I’ll just tell everyone I got a 6.0 because I’m awesome like that and move on.  I get that not everyone does well in school, sometimes through no fault of their own.  Fine–then leave your GPA off your resume, or make sure that you can address it with honesty, candor, and effectiveness in your interview.  It makes me think that students right out of college with no job experience should have to turn in transcripts to their employers or something, to keep them honest (don’t eat me in the comments, I know this is a poorly thought out and rash idea).  It makes me want to find people who lie about their GPAs and kick them in the throat.  Hard.

*Name unspoken because I cannot afford another one of those hoo-rahs**

**Last time I had a blog, I posted some things that John’s family found controversial and it was a big, awful, HUGE mess.

I Am An eBay Idiot September 16, 2010

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I have lots of stories to tell–like how my SISTER gave my DAD my texting number and how he now sends me copious texts that mean nothing.  This morning he sent me a text that read, “sexy maxi found mexican in Springfield.”  I still have no idea what that means.  He also seems religiously opposed to spelling, even in text speak.  Example: “luv u mch.”  What the crap.

ANYWAY, that’s not the story I’m going to tell you.  Not right now, anyway.

I’m an eBay virgin (well, not anymore, but I was until a week ago).  I’d heard everyone rave about eBay, and I’d looked on the site a few times, but I was largely unimpressed.  Most of the items you couldn’t bid on, and those you could were overpriced.  I left it in favor of Amazon.com with no qualms about it.

Until last week.  My mom’s birthday is coming up quickly, so I started looking for a cheap pair of Chaco sandals for her.  (If you don’t know what Chacos are, you should stop RIGHT NOW and go to this website and marvel in wonder.  They’re only the best shoes ever.  Really.)  She never buys herself anything nice, and she’s always working outside.  I wanted to make sure she had something to wear that will be as tough as she is.  The problem is, the shoes run about $100, and unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money just lying around.*  After looking around for a good deal on a used pair, I ventured onto eBay.

Turns out, there were quite a few pairs to bid on.  I registered, then hopped on my first item.  I placed my initial bid, which I was pretty confident with, but then eBay asked me to place a second.  Now, let’s pause here.  I have two degress, for God’s sake, but it did not occur to me that I was setting up some sort of automatic bid function.  I just thought they wanted me to bid a little higher.  So I did, and ultimately lost.  I tried this on a few other pairs of used sandals, ultimately being outbid in the closing seconds of the auction.  It sort of sucked.

In order to increase my chances of winning, I decided to open up three or four bids at a time, hoping that one would win.  I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THIS LOGIC SOUNDED GOOD AT THE TIME.  Actually, I do know.  I thought that once I won, I’d just cancel my other bids and be just peachy.  NOTE:  YOU CAN’T CANCEL BIDS ON EBAY.  I had no clue.

So then I get a second chance offer on a pair of brand new sandals for $20.  I immediately had a panic attack.  Do I take up this guy on his offer, or try and snag a cuter pair with one of my ongoing auctions?  I wrung my hands and ground my teeth in worry.  Finally, I decided to go with the new pair and just close out (at this point) my other five open bids.  I went ahead an paid, then started looking for bid reduction instructions.

There were none.

Turns out, it’s a breach of contract to lower your bid.


So the next week involved me freaking out about possibly owning 5 pairs of chaco sandals at varying prices.  Thank GOD I was outbid on most of them, so now I’m the proud owner of only TWO pairs of Chacos that look exactly the same.  Awesome.  Turns out that eBay is much, much smarter than I am.

As an aside, anyone interested in a pair of Chacos?  Haha.

*I’ve started to pay back my student loans.  Even though they’re not anything like what most people have, it’s still expensive!

I Am Not Dead! September 7, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Lovin'.
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Hey everyone,
Sorry for such a long hiatus.  This summer was crazy, and after I finished my thesis, I just felt like I needed to take some time for myself and my family.  Now that the school year is back in full swing, expect regular updates, just like always.
Time to dust off the rust, I guess.  Where to start?  Oh, I know!  How about an…

I’m Lovin’!

Right now, I am absolutely head over heels for the art of ModHero’s Rogan Josh.  I am secretly (though I guess not anymore) a huge comic book fan.  I’ve been a Marvel Fangirl since I was a kid, and after a lapse in comic book reading over the past few years, John bought me a subscription to Marvel.com’s online comic feature.
It’s amazing.
Anywho, I recently stumbled across Josh’s fantastic, super modern superhero artwork.  It’s really stunning–and doesn’t really look superhero-esque unless you know what you’re looking at.  Take the following for example:

Guess who.

Unless you’re familiar with the X-Men, you probably don’t recognize this weather witch.  And yet, the art is still stunning no matter what the inspiration.  Josh doesn’t open his shop often, and when he does it’s only for a few days.  John and I picked up three prints this weekend–namely, Thor, Captain America, and Gambit–right before he closed his doors again.  It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in a while, mostly because I’m desperately in love with most of his prints (I mean, have you seen his oversized X-Men poster?!  Love it).

Life List: 91-100 July 2, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life List.
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Here’s the “end” of my life list.  I set a goal of 100 things, but don’t be surprised if I go over!  The point of a life list, in my estimation, is to create a cohesive guide that helps you achieve your dreams.  There’s no set number to fulfill, and as I get older, I might remove things from my list and add others, too.

91. Own a sports car.
Mama likes to go fast.

92.  Swim with whale sharks in the wild
Biggest fish in the world, and they just so happen to be the hardest to find.  However, over the summer they head to the warm waters off the coast of Mexico to mate, and if you time it just right, you can strap on a tank of O2 and jump in the water with them.  Totally harmless, but absolutely beautiful.

93.  Be part of a choreographed flashmob
I have no desire to converge on the Union Mall with glow sticks.  That’s too easy.  What I want to do is join a giant, impromptu dance recital.  Here are a couple of examples of fabulous flashmobs.  Honestly, I hope it’s a Glee one.  Geez, I love that show.

94.  Attend the Chincoteague Pony Swim
Ponies.  Swimming across a channel.  Seriously, this looks awesome, not to mention that I read all of the Chincoteague pony books when I was a kid.

95.  Learn to decorate cakes a la Rick’s Bakery
Rick’s is like…Fayetteville’s Cake Boss.  I want to learn to make gorgeous, high-end style cakes, mainly for my own amusement.  But let’s be honest, I love to “wow” at parties.  Whip up some awesome, professional cupcakes, and there you go.  Instant favorite-person-in-attendance status.

96.  Make 100 lovely things
I love to craft, and this gives me a goal.  I have so many projects floating around the back of my head/computer hard drive that it’s really kind of ridiculous.

97.  Get in the habit of writing thank-you notes…

98. …and write notes to everyone who has shaped me into the person I am today.
Thank yous are so important.  I love getting thank you notes in the mail, but for some reason, I seem physically incapable of writing them myself.  I just forget, and it really is incredibly rude.  I also think I owe huge thank yous to a lot of people in my life.  There have been so many teachers, friends, and colleagues that have taught me so much that a card seems like the least I could possibly do.

99.  Learn calligraphy
A friend of mine from high school recently started a calligraphy business, and she is awesome at it.  (Even when we were in school together, I would envy how neat and perfect her handwriting was).   I figure I have nice enough handwriting, why not?  And what a skill to have when addressing all of those lovely thank you notes.  It just occurred to me, though: if I really learn the skills on my life list, I would be the most rockin’ wedding coordinator EVER.

100.  Learn to pick locks
I already know how to syphon gas and hustle.  Why not have a trifecta of delinquent skills?