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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).


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Lovin’: This May 12, 2010

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Via nathanwpyle.blogspot.com

I’m Lovin’: Timbuk2 March 25, 2010

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Have you heard of Timbuk2 bags?  NO?!  Oh my God, seriously, people.  Get yourselves to an outdoors store and drop some serious cash, already.

Anyway, some explication: everyday there is a war raging in my head and in my pocketbook.  On one hand, I’m a fan of good, functional, sturdy design.  Usually this translates to me being a fan of expensive things.  Take my engagement ring for example (I will spare you pictures).  The design is classic, but John was sure to buy one with a thick band and really sturdy diamond-holdy-prongies.  Right after he proposed he told me he specifically asked about the durability of the ring, and the jeweler said that as long as I don’t run over it with a truck, it should be good for at least a few years.  Of course, that cost money.  How much, I’ll never know–John and I agreed that there’s really no need for that.  He just phrased it as, “If you knew, you’d make me take it back.”

On the other hand, I am an incredible cheapskate.  I mean, An. Incredible. Cheapskate.  I refuse to buy things full price.  With the exception of groceries, I really can’t remember the last thing I bought that wasn’t at least 10% off.  My mom taught me how to save money, and save I do.  As a matter of fact, this drives John nuts sometimes.  He’s really fiscally responsible, but I take it to a whole ‘nother level.  I’d rather spend a week DIY-ing something to save $50 than give that money to The Man.  Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I have rich people tastes with poor people sensibilities, which basically makes me schizophrenic when I’m shopping.

That’s why when I first saw Timbuk2 bags at our local outdoors store I nearly had an aneurism.  They’re sturdy and completely, wonderfully functional.  Not only that, but the company itself is dedicated to sustainability and small business, which I love. Then I looked at the price tag and had a fit.  Buy it, said my luxe half, while the other subconsciously made my hand grip my wallet until my fingers cramped.  I mean look at them.  They’re magnificent.

So many styles, so little money.

After months of my going on and on about them, John finally bought me one for my birthday a few years ago.  The best thing is the organizational system these bags come equipped with.  They hold TONS (I have a medium Outtawhack, which unfortunately, they don’t make anymore).  I can carry my laptop, a few books, my phone, and various ephemera comfortably.  My bag converts to a backpack for when things get extra strenuous, too.  For me, it’s been invaluable.  The size of the bag accommodates everything I could want and then some, and its functionality helps me to cull all the crap I don’t need in order to pack only what I do.

Also, it’s seriously the sturdiest bag I’ve ever owned.  Though I still carry my conventional backpack to school, this is the only bag I travel with.  The top flap hooks with snaps AND velcro, so in airport security lines, all of my pertinent information is easily accessible with one hand.  When everyone else is fumbling for their crap, I whip mine out like a pro.  My laptop compartment is heavily padded and lined in corduroy, and the whole bag is lined in PVC waterproof lining to keep out any water.  I mean, it’s like they thought of everything.

So, if you’re ever in the market for a high end bag, I recommend Timbuk2 with all my heart and soul.  Actually, just browse through their website for a few minutes and see if you don’t fall in love.

I’m Lovin’: Birth Control is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and also Robbing God of Priesthood Children!!! December 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in BookLust, Lovin'.
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PREACH IT SISTER>>>!!!!

Need a pick-me-up?  I swear to God, the reviews of this book made me laugh so hard I cried.  Also, bless my soul, you can look inside!  Trust me, IT IS ALL CAPS FABULOUS* BECAUSE JESUS THE HOLYGHOSTCHRISTCHILD TOLD ME>>>: ALSO I’M NEVER ROBBING GODTHESAVIOREMMANUELL OF CHILLIN’ FOR HIS PRIESTHOOD THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY** LIFE!

I’m Lovin’: Glee! November 12, 2009

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Have you watched the breakout hit Glee yet?  No?  My friend, you have not lived.

glee

Join the Glee Club. You'll love it.

Now, Glee isn’t for everyone.  It’s from the creators of Nip/Tuck, so you know it’s not going to be a PG romp a la High School Musical.  It’s not kiddy, but it is campy.  If you’re not into random musical interludes, then this show isn’t for you.  If you like hilarity and enjoy show tunes, then get on board, y’all.  It’s a hoot.

What I can’t get over is how funny the show is.  One week Jane Lynch’s character, the demented Coach Sylvester, gave a talk about caning students.  I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe.  Any time Rachel, the resident diva, goes on a rant about her two dads, I lose it.  The show itself is really, really delightful.  Don’t believe me?  You can watch full episodes on hulu and download Glee songs on iTunes.

I have to admit, there are some parts of the show that can get annoying.  The pregnancy plot is old; how many teen pregnancies can you watch before they lose their drama?  The subplot with the Glee club coordinator’s wife is equal parts icky and awful.  So no, the show’s not perfect, but it’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face every week.  It’s fabulous.

The Reason I’m a Mac November 8, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Lovin'.
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I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw this.  God, that dialogue box is so annoying.  I hope for all of your Windows users out there that Windows 7 really is as good as advertised–everyone deserves a functioning OS.

Also, John bought me a Magic Mouse last week.  I don’t know what I’ve done without it.  It’s revolutionized my life.  Okay, not really, but it’s pretty flippin’ sweet, no lie.  I sort of wish that the whole surface worked to move the pointer and/or that you could tap click (rather than depress the mouse and click), but hey!  I’ll take what I can get.  It was awfully sweet of John to put himself on a waiting list to buy me such a pretty present, don’t you think?

Finally, have you heard of MacHeist?  If not, you should.  For the next three days you can download some software for free, if you’re interested.  Some of it looks like free trial stuff, but I dunno.  Just thought everyone might like the opportunity to snag some neat-o freebies.

From The Great Beyond October 27, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet, Life, Lovin'.
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Hey everyone!  Remember me?  You know, that Mexican girl you talk to sometimes?  Yeah, I’m not dead…yet.  Just totally, completely swamped.  It’s been non-stop work for me lately, so much so that I haven’t been able to type up a single little blog post.  Intolerable, I know.

Anyway, in the interval, why don’t you check out my new favorite website: People of Walmart. I, of course, live in the Walmart (not Wal-Mart, they’ve changed their branding!) capital of the world, which means I pretty much swing by a Supercenter every other day.  I mean, the convenience!  The affordability!  The PEOPLE.

Of course, you’ve read about one of my encounters with a Walmart employee whether you realize it or not.  But really, I can vouch for the People of Walmart website single handedly.  I mean, seriously.  I cannot begin to tell you how many nutjobs I’ve seen trolling the aisles of the Middle Class Retail Mecca of the World.  For example, one night John and I went to Walmart around 2:00 am, I can’t remember why, probably for unmentionable naughty things Cheez-its.  We noticed a man walking around the store with a giant 42″ flat screen plasma television in a cart; we mainly noticed because the man was rocking the longest mullet I have ever in my life seen.  Throw in the dirty camo pants, and he definitely looks like he doesn’t have indoor plumbing, let alone the wall space for such a honker of a boob-tube.  Anyway, the guy happens to be lapping the store, and as we make our way to the front we watch him try to walk out the front door with the television, even though John and I both know he hasn’t paid for it.  He presents the greeter with a reciept, which is promptly denied.  He then gets angry and walks back to the electronic department like he’s going to put the television back, only to try to exit through ANOTHER Walmart entrance/exit, despite the fact that it’s closed.  John and I hang out to watch this guy, who tries to exit the store not once, but three different times.

I mean seriously.  Why try and steal such a huge television?  Why get greedy?  Steal some small expensive things, like cell phones, curtains, etc. and sell those in order to get the cash to buy the television.  Tisk tisk.

Anyway, enjoy the website.  I sure do.

Pretty Thing: T-Shirt Skirt September 28, 2009

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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:
Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

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.

On the Hunt for Alarm Clocks September 10, 2009

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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
Shiny.

Shiny.

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?

I’m Lovin’: Lemon Blueberry Muffins August 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in From the Kitchen, Lovin'.
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My mom recently bought a Cooking Light cookbook that she bought on sale at a resale shop.  Since I’ve been looking for ways to eat healthier, I borrowed it on the condition that I would test recipes and let her know whether the book was any good.

This book comes straight from Lowfat Cooking Heaven

This book comes straight from Lowfat Cooking Heaven

Anyway, I’ve made a few recipes from the book so far, though I’ve only taken pictures of one: Lemon Blueberry Muffins.  When I looked at the recipe, the muffins sounded delicious despite it calling for buttermilk.  I especially liked that each muffin was under 200 calories (180, to be exact), so I thought I’d try them.  Here’s how they turned out.

Don't they look delicious?

Don't they look delicious?

After tasting the batter, I began to have reservations about the whole thing.  The batter was positively unappetizing (again, because I don’t like buttermilk), so I popped them in the oven totally prepared to scrap the final product.  Boy, was I wrong.  Once I iced them with delicious lemony icing, they were FABULOUS.  John loved them, too.  We even took some to Tulsa with us and got rave reviews.

I had no idea that cooking light could be so good.