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Pretty Thing: T-Shirt Skirt September 28, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Lovin'.
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So, John has come down with a nasty case of bacterial strep–as in, by 3:30 today he had a penicillin and a steriod shot right in the derrière.  Though he now has cute Band-aids down there–one on each cheek!–he won’t let me take a picture.  So, unfortunately, you’re stuck with my latest project.

After John and I moved into our new townhouse, we went through our clothes and thinned out the ranks.  John had a lot of oversized t-shirts that we planned on giving to Goodwill…at least, until I found this tutorial about how to make a paneled t-shirt skirt.  So I stole two shirts from the needy and got to work.
Three broken needles, two yards of blue-and-white striped fabric, and one afternoon later, I have my very own restyled skirt:


Please ignore my complete lack of photogeneity.  There’s really no help for it.
Anyway, I basically just took two of John’s nicer t-shirts (yes, I took good t-shirts from the poor, I’m an awful person) and whipped this up.  The blue band on the bottom is courtesy of a long-sleeved number.  Because of how the panels are cut, the skirt ends up being full without being Pentecostal.  You can get a better feel for that here:
I have no idea why my head looks so small.

I have no idea why my head looks so small.

The hardest part about this whole thing was how thick the fabric got when you started to hem it.  I was using light-duty needles, and I definitely broke a few.  Totally worth it, though.  It’s comfy, and absolutely great for travel because it doesn’t wrinkle.  I think this would also be a great project if you had graphic t-shirts you no longer wanted.  I can see the screen prints being adorable.

Thank you, TIME, for validating my life September 24, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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As seen on TIME’s Quote of the Day page:

Dan Pike

Open quoteI don’t think Glenn Beck does. I think Jon Stewart does. Close quote

  • mayor of Bellingham, Wash., on who adds “to the national conversation in a good way”; Beck’s visit to his hometown of Mount Vernon, Wash., has sparked demonstrations

On the Hunt for Alarm Clocks September 10, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Lovin'.
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1 comment so far

Two posts in one day!  I thought I’d make up for my earlier rant with a peace offering of lovlies.

The other night as I snuggled into bed, I was struck by how hideous my alarm clock is.  I mean, really, it’s ugly out of necessity–I need the numbers to be big enough that I can see them easliy without my glasses, and multiple alarms are nice so that John and I can use the same machine.  But seriously.  It looks like a large, ugly, black box just chilling out on my nightstand.  Must something so functional also look like an 80s throwback?  Surely not. That’s when I found these:

NUMBER 1:  A String of Numbers

It's like Legos, only not.

It's like Legos, only not.

The only problem here is that I’d feel the need to stack these in a way that would make them uninterpretable.
NUMBER 2:  Water Clock
Sustainable AND cute.

Sustainable AND cute.

This sucker uses a little bit of salt and water as a battery.  You just refill it and keep going, and the environment is none the wiser.  ThinkGeek.com has a version of this that lets you keep a little flower in it.
NUMBER 3:  The Wave Clock


I particularly like this design.  Sleek facing, easy-to-read numbers, hard to knock off your desk.  Those pointy corners look like a heath hazard, though.  Some random flailing might equal a trip to the ER.
NUMBER 4:  Wood Clock
My personal favorite.

My personal favorite.

I love this.  I mean, I REALLY love this.  The LED light shine through an actual block of wood, and all of the buttons hang out on back.  How cool is that?

Y’all, I am READY to take it to some people September 10, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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I rarely discuss politics here, because…guess what?  The fastest way to lose friends and alienate people is by constantly harping on a) political beliefs and b) religious beliefs.  I know that I differ on both of these counts from most of my friends who, although tolerant of my backward ways, would promptly get sick of me if that’s all I decided to write about.  I love you guys.

But seriously.  I am so sick of having labels applied to conservatives willy nilly just because they happen to be conservative.  It also seems to me that most people are incapable of separating the talking heads on news stations and political figures from the average, everyday people that align themselves with the Republican party in some fashion.  It is unfair to think that every American who calls themselves Republican holds every tenant of the party as close to his heart as his Bible and gun.

I especially hate being called ignorant, stupid, classless, and anti-Obama because I remain aligned with the Republican party.  It is exactly this kind of agonism that keeps problems from being solved.  People spend so much time slinging cruel names at one another that actual issues–you know, those things that affect our daily lives, insignificant really–are either unresolved or resolved poorly.  Deborah Tannen wrote an article a few years ago called “We Need a Higher Quality Outrage” that sums up this problem in a completely bipartisan fashion.  It’s quite good.

Don’t think that this doesn’t go both ways.  Shame on conservatives for doing the same injustice to their liberal counterparts.  There’s no reason that we can’t respect each other’s opinions and engage in healthy debate.  I’m just sick of all of this awful name calling and mudslinging.

Life List: 61-70 September 3, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.

61.  Take cake decorating classes
Have you ever seen Ace of Cakes?  Let me tell you, every time I see one of those shows, I’m always struck by how beautiful the cakes are.  I’d love to be good enough at decorating cakes that I could volunteer my skills for free (just like John often takes gratis photos at weddings for our close friends).  I like being able to help, and I love being able to give.

62.  Stay in a hut with glass floor in Tahiti
This is like, the epitome of travel.  Tahiti is ridiculously expensive, so I know that I’ll only see Tahiti once.  By God, if those are the conditions, then I plan on seeing Tahiti right. Since I am in love with the ocean, and alawys have been, I want a chance to be close to it every moment I’m on the island.  Because the water is so impeccable there (and Bora Bora, which is actually a satellite island of Tahiti), the clarity is basically a non-issue.  I’d love to stay in a hut over the ocean where I can always see the sealife.

63.  Dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world, and it’s teeming with life.  Though the water isn’t as clear as the Caribbean reefs–and there’s a danger of death from alligators, snakes, and jellyfish–I say, why not?  Much of the sealife on the Great Barrier Reef is unique to its ecosystem.

64.  Take cooking classes in Tuscany
What better place to learn the art of Italian cooking?

65.  Take a shark dive…somewhere
John has no desire to do this with me, but I’ve wanted to dive with sharks since I was in middle school.  I think it will be terrifying, but I also think it will be AWESOME.

66.  Dance in the rain during a warm summer shower
I used to do this all the time when I was a little kid.  Sometime between then and now, rain became something that I ducked inside to avoid.  How sad is that?  There should, overall, be more dancing in the rain.  I think it would solve a lot of the world’s problems.

67.  Learn to drive a stick shift…

68.  …so I can own a sports car
That’s right, baby.  I’ve always wanted a convertible sports car.  John and I have a deal: we can get a stick shift Camaro (one day, looong into the future) if, and only if, I know how to drive it before the purchase is made.  See, this all stems back to John’s family.  They own a Pontiac Solstice, which is cherry red and gorgeous, but only John’s dad knows how to drive it.  Pshaw.  If I can’t whip around town in it, there’s no use in having that big of a toy.

69.  Keep a prayer list/journal

I tell people I’ll pray for them–which I do, diligently, for a few days…until I forget.  I need to create a better system to help me remember whom I need to pray for and what I need to pray.  I figure a journal would be the best way for me to keep track.  I think I’d just cross off names and requests when they no longer became pertinent, and add more later.  At any rate, I need some sort of list.

70.  Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary
This, of course, entails living until my 50th wedding anniversary, which we all know might or might not happen.  I always sort of figured I’d die circa 40, but perhaps not.  If I DO live this long, I’m going to throw one sick party, mark my words.