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I’m Lovin’: Magnetic Measuring Spoons July 31, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Lovin'.
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magnetic measuring cup

Gorgeous and functional. Just how I like 'em

Where have these been all my life
?Magnetic Measuring Spoon - GreyMagnetic Measuring Spoon - GreyMagnetic Measuring Spoon - GreyMagnetic Measuring Spoon - Grey

Look, a moment of honestly (like I don’t have those all the time): I love kitchen gadgets.  If it makes cooking easier, I’m all for it.  The problem is, they’re always one-function items.  I mean, I always have to dig around in my drawers just to find my measuring spoons, and inevitably the one I want won’t be there.  I cannot emphasize this enough–I hate hunting for things.

It looks like Joseph Joseph has come to my rescue, at least in terms of measuring spoons.  One end is a teaspoon and the other is a tablespoon, which is miracle enough, but the designers took these nifty little items and added a 1/2 measure line in each cup.  If this isn’t enough to make your heart skip a beat, they are also gorgeous and MAGNETIC.

I’m all aflutter.  Aren’t you?

I’m Lovin’: The Facebook Song July 30, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Lovin'.
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Warning: Don’t listen to this at work.  Also, if you have a problem with profanity, just don’t click.

I’m Lovin’: Subversive Cross Stitch July 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Lovin'.
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For those of you who don’t know, I’m an incredibly crafty person.  That’s not to say that I’m an incredibly talented crafty person, but I’m working on that last bit.  This weekend’s move has got me all fired up to start, like, roughly a million projects, so my scouring of the Internet has produced the perfect thing: Subversive Cross Stitch.

If you’re not familiar with Subversive Cross Stitch, you should head over there right now, because you have absolutely no idea what you’re missing.  Seriously.  I cannot wait to make a few of these for my house (and for friends!).  I love how delightfully easy they are to make, and how each and every one makes you do a double take.  Oh, so that doesn’t say “Home Sweet Home?”  Excellent.

Here are my two favorites:

This is my very favorite.  Maybe I'll make this for Lindsey.

This is my very favorite. Maybe I'll make this for Lindsey.

Ah, I think this adequately expresses my Mexican heritage.  I picture this right above the kitchen sink.

Ah, I think this adequately expresses my Mexican heritage. I picture this right above the kitchen sink.

If you’re feeling particularly subversive, you can check out the SCS flickr group.  Not all of those are as delightfully witty as what is featured on the site (read: naked cross stitched ladies), but others are quite fun.  I’m particularly fond of “You’re a stinky pirate whore.”  Maybe I’ll submit one myself: “Don’t make me hit you with my pimp hand.”

Life List #49: Fly a Kite on the National Mall July 17, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Life List.
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Woo hoo!  Cross one off the Life List!

One of the items on my Life List was to fly a kite in Washington DC–specifically, on the national mall.  If you have seen Night at the Museum 2, you will note that in the opening 30 minutes there are some kids flying kites in Washington DC.  The minute I saw that, I was like “Oh my God, I absolutely have to do that!”  And…I did.

Just our luck, our hotel in Rockville, MD was right next door to an REI (by the way, if you’ve never been in an REI, you are missing out on life).  I cannot believe how many kites they had, and all of them were awesome. After some debate, John and I purchased the Atom, made my Prism Kites. Let me tell you, it is the coolest. kite. ever.

So the first day we went into DC we left the kite at home.  We hadn’t really figured out how we were going to schlep it around yet.  That particular day (of course) the wind was great, and there were like, HUNDREDS (really, just ten) kids flying kites all around the Washington Monument.  I was so excited; so, the next day, I made sure that we were able to pack the kite.

And the wind didn’t blow.

Okay, no problem.  I just took the kite the next day.

And the wind didn’t blow.

I didn’t get to fly my kite until the day before we left, because there just wasn’t any breeze.  But let me tell you, once John and I had the chance, flying that kite was the most fulfilling–and the best–part of the whole trip.  You can see some of the best photos here, on Flickr.

Here’s the thing: I knew crossing an item off my list would be exciting, but I didn’t know it would be so rewarding.  There have been a couple of times as I’ve been composing this epic list that I’ve considered how arbitrary and impossible it is.  You know what, though?  If I feel like this every time I scratch off another number, I won’t stop working towards these goals.  That, in and of itself, is worth it all.

Washington DC 2009 July 14, 2009

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Instead of reading for class, I’d much rather tell you all about Washington DC and how wonderful it was.  I mean, how many times can you read “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” before you know it by rote?  Can I get an “amen?”

If you are in DC, you should:

1.  Definitely check out the Star Spangled Banner in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  It’s so tattered and delicate that it can no longer fly; they have it displayed in a special low-light, low-humidity exhibit.  It’s dark, and the atmosphere is almost eerie.  Also in the exhibit is a touch screen where you can zoom in on certain areas of the flag (like shrapnel holes!).

2.  Go to the Holocaust Museum.  John and I opened the place up and shut it down.  You have to get there early to get a ticket to enter the permanent exhibit.  I would imagine that they go quickly.  Anyway, while we were waiting to enter the big exhibit, John and I checked a temporary display on Hitler’s propaganda.  Did you know that Hitler was the first candidate for the chancellorship that utilized campaign stops?  He chartered a plane and flew to nearly 200 locations across Germany, stomping for his election campaign.  His opponent made a grand total of THREE stops around the country.  This was my favorite museum of the trip.  The architecture is amazing, and the content is thorough and moving.  This is a MUST SEE.

3.  Visit either the Senate and/or the House of Representatives.  It’s really interesting to visit the floor where all of the country’s legislation is debated.  Scary note: NO ONE WAS THERE, and there were two Senators debating the health care issue.  By NO ONE, I mean there were like, three aides, a few runners, whoever was presiding, and two Senators.  Two.  I think we would get a lot more done as a nation if we required senators and congressmen to actually ATTEND debates.

4.  Eat at Good Eats, down on the corner of 3rd and Pennsylvania.  Apparently the guy who owns it won some kind of reality cooking show.  After five (yes, FIVE) separate people told us about it, John and I swung by.  It’s a burger/fry/shake joint and is totally delicious and absolutely reasonably priced.  It was so delicious that it was the only restaurant we ate at twice.

5.  Visit the Memorials down and around the National Mall at night.

If you are in DC, you should not:

1.  Forget that you have an appointment for a private senate tour with your senator so that you have to run to the other side of the city.

2.  Get pooped on by a bird as you run to the other side of the city for the senate tour you forgot.

3.  Walk into the wrong senate building, effectively ALMOST making you late for the tour you forgot.

4.  Watch other families for parenting advice.  I cannot even put into words how many times I almost strangled someone else’s children (or completely idiotic parents).  There are two stories that immediately come to mind.

After an exhausting day in Washington DC, John and I hopped the subway train back to our hotel in Maryland.  Now, mind you, it’s like 10:00 at night on a Friday, and lots of people are using the Metro.  John and I sit down, and there’s a couple with two children standing up near the exit doors right in front of us.  Their son, probably about 3, was strapped into a stroller, and the daughter, who was 5-pushing-6, was standing next to her mother.  The dad lets the boy out of his restraint system stroller, and the two kids start spinning circles around one of those long grab bar things.  At first this was no problem; the standing room at the front of the car was pretty much empty.  However, a few stops later, people were cramming onto the Metro, and the kids were still running around, spinning on the bars, and CRAWLING ON THE FLOOR (the last bit actually made me gag a little).  At this point the parents told the kids to stop, but of course they didn’t.  The little girl, as a matter of fact, looked straight into her mother’s eyes and defiantly kept spinning.  I almost had an aneurism.  I understand that kids are kids, but there’s a time and a place for that sort of thing.  A crowded subway car, where your kids keep bumping into people, is NOT that place.  Finally I looked at John, and loudly asked how old you had to be to fit into the default “kids get to go to Heaven” clause in the Bible.  Then I loudly proclaimed that I hoped those children didn’t go to church.

The second incident happened the day before we left.  John and I were waiting in line to go to the National Archives.  It was a hot, muggy afternoon, and the line was about 30 minutes long.  It had already been an exhausting day, so John volunteered to take the most awesome water bottle in the world and fill it up.  How nice, right?  Anyway, as I was waiting under a tree, I began to overhear the family behind me.

The mother (if you could call her that) was overweight, with dyed blonde hair with two inches of brown roots sticking out.  Her low cut shirt was flouting her ta-tas to the world, and I couldn’t understand how someone’s shorts could ride that far up her crotch.  She looked just like she had stepped out of backwoods Mississippi and had done herself up right for a trip into town.  Her boyfriend was more put-together than she was, younger, and fairly attractive; apparently he had no standards.  The most tragic part of the whole scenario were her two daughters, dressed identically, who she continuously lambasted and mistreated.  I guess they were about 11 and 6, and just as sweet as they could be.  It was obvious that they have some other influence in their lives other than their parents, who were basically the scum of the earth.

It began with the cussing.  Look, I’m not saying that it’s my job to police other people’s language; you want to curse, fine with me.  However, I have to draw the line at calling your 6 year old daughter a “whiny little bitch.”  Within ten minutes, she’d called both of her girls “stupid idiots” a handful of times, which was making me sick.  Her tone was just so condescending and…mean. Then, of course, to make matters worse, she has them both go sit in the sun despite already having visible sunburns.  When the youngest complained of her sunburn really hurting, Mama Dearest told her to “cut her shit” and keep sitting there until permission was given to move.

It was at that point that I went over to sit with the little girls.  I started chatting with them, offered them some of our sunscreen, asked them what their favorite parts of DC were, just ANYTHING to keep the mother from speaking to them anymore.  I figured that any bit of niceness would be more than the poor waifs received at home.  Ugh, it makes me mad all over again just thinking about it.

5.  Make sure you know when the subway terminals shut down for the night, and check for special postings so you don’t end up running halfway across DC to catch one of the last trains to your stop.


I’ll be posting about my Life List in another post very, very soon.  🙂

Life List: 51-60 July 6, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life List.

Yes, yes, I know I’ve been silent lately.  And seriously, I break that with a Life List addition?  I’m a horrible person.  Thank God I’ve come to terms with that.

DC was wonderful, as I hope to explain in a post shortly.  I’m just waiting on pictures of my kite flying extravaganza to get downloaded from John’s Big Camera, and I’ll be set to go.  Until then, here’s 51 to 60…

51.  Document my life experiences with pictures
I never take pictures of ANYTHING.  This is mostly because I married a photographer who I expect should do all of the picture-taking, but alas, he does not.  I find that I miss out on capturing memories because I just plain forget to carry a camera with me.

52.  Grow a garden
My grandfather, for as long as I can remember, has always grown a massive garden.  I absolutely love helping out in and amongst the plants, and “harvesting” is always my favorite time of year.  I want to start a small container garden soon, but would love to have a giant plot of yummies one day.

53.  Visit the Mayan city of Coba during the Serpent Ceremony
While we were in Mexico, John and I had the opportunity to visit the Mayan-Toltecan city of Tulum, just south of Xpu-Ha on the Yucatan peninsula.  The history of the place, as well as the grandeur of the ruins, was fascinating.  Coba, the largest of the ruins, is also the most intact.

54.  Tango in Madrid
Oooh, que sexy.

55.  Dress like a hick and attend a NASCAR race
John (surprise!) loves NASCAR and really wants to go to a live race.  I, however, want to people watch.  The best way to do this, of course, is to blend in with the natives.  I picture teased hair, daisy dukes, white platform flip flops, and a henna tattoo.

56.  Take John to a demolition derby
Again, John likes cars.

57.  Lick the Eiffel Tower
Reference my photo of the Washington Monument.  I plan to “lick” every phallic trademark monument I come across.  Hey, a girl has to have goals!

58.  Attempt snowboarding ONCE
It goes without saying that I am not a winter sport kind of girl.  I much prefer the beach to the slopes any day.  However, John’s a skiier.  I have absolutely NO desire to ski, but I figure snowboarding looks kind of cool.   If I hate it, then I never have to do it again.  If I like it, then I’ll be able to hang out with John and his family in Colorado every few years on the Robinson Family Ski Trip.

59.  Have a neat, well-decorated home
I hate cluttered homes, and I’m an organizational freak (when I have the time).  I want to have a home that I can invite someone to on a whim without worrying whether there’s junk on the coffee table or crap stacked a mile high in the guest bedroom.  What I don’t want is a house that feels sterile and cold because it’s too perfect.  I want a home that’s enviable without being uh-home-like.

60.  Find 100 geocaches
This is actually harder than you would think.  Not only is it hard to find the time to cache, some of those boogers can be downright impossible.  So far we’ve found 38.