Spoke Too Soon

Late last week, I mentioned how nice and warm it is in San Diego. It was so wonderful to walk outside in December, especially at night, with a light jacket at the most. I thought my peacoat and scarf were retired, but I was wrong. During the weekend, we experienced some drizzle, but we had a full-fledged rainstorm yesterday.

Strangely enough, the rainstorms also reminded me of the personal blog meetups I had with the guys who formed my immediate, but somehow national blog community. Last year in December, Chris was in town for a conference, so I whisked him away to the gastromonically incorrect & gay owned diner Brians’ and then for some beers at Sole Luna. During my brief early summer holiday in DC, it rained most of the time I was there. I lost a pair of Kenneth Coles on that trip, but I got to meet up with Brian and Fredo in Dupont Circle. Fortunately, the weather cleared up and we had dinner at Lauriol’s and beer at the bar across the street.

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Here is the scarf I wore. I’ve had it for a few years; I suspect Clinton and Stacy would make me part with it if I were ever on What Not To Wear. It reminds me a bit of Tom Baker‘s The Fourth Doctor scarf, but not as long. Winter scarves in San Diego are usually ornamental, but on a day like today, it kept my neck warm.

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I was going to do drive-thru Starbuck on Mission Gorge, but I saw this line. Frak that. I parked and briefly braved the rain for some counter service. It was a much quicker wait than if I remained in the car.

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At Starbucks, my name is John. I’ve never felt like telling a total stranger how to spell my name or butcher it, so I’ve often given my middle name. Here to get me through the rainy drive was some venti Christmas coffee and a peppery bacon egg muffin.

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This was on the way to the East County college. It was very, very nasty on the 8, and also very, very slow. I had take the 125 north. Not as bad as the 8, but still rainy road condition. A majority of my students made it to class, though I would not have blamed them for not showing up. The remaining few got through their presentations.

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Can you believe this was taken around 12:45 pm? I left the East County College for the Urban College, but I had no idea what kind of ride I was in for.

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Going west on the 8 was scary. A few miles of the freeway were covered in a small layer of puddles, enough to make cars hydroplane. I kept going for a few miles until I returned to the Mission Gorge Starbucks and then took the off-freeway detour to the Urban College. It took twice as long as it normally would on the freeway, but I was nerve-wracked. I was also crazy enough to take some pictures.

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After my Urban College course was over, I took the long way to Mission Valley to get some gas. By Texas and Madison, I wound up taking this Anton Corbijn-like photo of a police car that had pulled over a limo. I wound up seeing a second police car closer to Costco. Apparently, people in San Diego drive stupidly in the rain.

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Before meeting some friends out for dinner, I stopped by the Twiggs on Adams and Idaho. I could have used a gondolier.

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Here’s a closer view of the corner from Twigg’s entrance. The fun was finding the water at its narrowest point to cross to and fro my favorite cafe.

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Here I am in my scarf and peacoat. I like it much better than shorts and a t-shirt, even if warmer weather’s more comfortable.

It’s still raining in the middle of the night. No doubt will it still be raining sunrise. My lesson leaned: Do not gloat about warm winter weather. Perhaps I should drive to Julian some time tomorrow to see if the entire town is snowed in.

iPhone Couture, Part 2

iPhone Couture, Part 2aI iPhone Couture, Part 2c

Sometime ago, I went Project Runway on an old tie and dress shirt. Last week, I lost the darn thing, which then compelled me to create another one. I still have enough remnants of the tie and dress shirt to make a clone, but it was much more fun to make it out of Okinawan textiles this time.

For the shell, I used a bingata fabric. This isn’t the traditionally hand-stenciled textile, but a more commercial one available in Okinawa. I got it from my mother, who in turn got it from a friend of hers who recently traveled to Okinawa.

For the lining, I used an old pair of jinbei shorts. I’ve had too many of these things growing up and even as an adult. I liked the fabric on one of them, a very soft material that looked like Okinawan plantain fabric without the itch.

This project went more quickly than the last, but I didn’t have issues I had with the tie fabric this time. Plus, sewing went much more smoothly and this one is prettier.

iPhone Couture, Part 2aII

Making It Work: iPhone Couture

Getting the iPhone is one thing. Anyone can get one, provided that they have the right plan and a great deal of patience. The next step is to get a cover, and anyone can buy one. There are so many choices, especially if one has some money to throw away to accessorize. There are gummy protectors, leather holsters, and even eco-friendly, granola-ey sheaths. However, not everyone can make their own covers.

On Tuesday night, I set out to do a Project Runway of my own. My materials were a Geoffrey Beene necktie and a Geoffrey Beene dress shirt. My budget was $0 since I was recycling some fashion that fell into disuse. I could hear Tim Gunn telling me to “Make it Work.”

iPhone Couture

Of course, I had a few ideas. While I had a great time destroying a tie, I then turned my attention to a dress shirt to make a soft lining. I also thought some elements of the shirt could make clever features on the iPhone sheath. However, in the end, I settled on a more minimal design. The tie’s fabric can do the talking without any competing elements.

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With the lining, I made it work. It compliments the shell instead of competing with it.

No machines were used; everything was stitched together by hand. A steam iron (along with an ironing board) to smooth out the fabrics, a sharp air of scissors, and some pins to hold the fabric together helped me a great deal. Making sure the lining was integrated and the seams not showing was the most challenging part.

Why did I do it? For several reasons: I’m too cheap to buy a sheath and I like creating things. While I don’t have granola tastes, I like the idea of recycling fashion. Plus, the final result is something I’d use. It looks nice on its own and it doesn’t look out of place in a suit’s breast pocket. Very dandy indeed.