Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We Got Snubull, Right Here in River City

And She Was - Alison Gaylin

This is the first in a series about a private investigator (specializing in finding missing persons) with a strange condition--hyperthemesia, which not only allows her to recollect personal memories in stunningly perfect detail, but causes her to get lost in the past when a memory is triggered.  Though the story had some flaws (e.g., it was not really convincing that the police detective would share information about a case with a PI this way), it was a decent effort, and I will read the next one in the series to see where this character is going.

A Favorite Color Combination--Monday, 8/28/17

I can't get enough of these coral pants with any shade of blue--navy, chambray, denim...they're all terrific.  It's been a long time since I've worn a denim shirt as a jacket, but I didn't get any bad flashbacks to the 90s (despite the owl necklace, which is the mascot of the college I attended in that era), so it worked out.

Outfit cost per wear: $7.78

Pattern Mixing Meh--Tuesday, 8/29/17

Yeah, I didn't love this one, but I was appropriately clothed for work and comfortable all day, so that's good enough.

OCPW: $9.33

Tomato Peacock--Wednesday, 8/30/17

It's nice having another red-and-blue scarf other than my fish one.  Though this peacock one (gift from my sis) is definitely more "red with a hint of blue" that works nicely to balance out the "blue with a hint of red" striped flats.

OCPW: $11.15

Last Chance Bunnies--Thursday, 8/31/17

You can tell the end of summer is nigh as I keep re-wearing this sleeveless rabbit blouse a few more times before it's too cold for it.

OCPW: $8.68

Boho Candyland Elementary Teacher Barbie--Friday, 9/1/17

Sometimes the outfit name says it all.

OCPW: $7.32

In other news...I have an endless fascination with articles about the job-candidate mismatch, whether it's legit, what's causing it, and so on.  This one argues that the problem is more about hiring company policies than it is a skills gap.

Tam sends this short article about statement jeans, to which I respond: I'm not sure they are fun to look at, actually. They were mostly very disturbing.  That last pair....*shiver*

Monday, September 18, 2017

Picnic Shellder

The Assistants - Camille Perri

Features the Accidental Robin Hood of Millennial Chick-Lit.  Well, maybe not Robin Hood exactly, but one of the more self-interested and self-absorbed of his merry band.  Actually, reading a book about Robin Hood and crew transported to modern America might be really fun.  Maybe more fun than this book was.  I mean, this book was definitely OK, but my life would be no poorer for having spent the time watching Girls on Netflix.  (Full disclosure: I watch Girls on Netflix too.  It's not an either-or.)

Now for a week of outfits that by sheer coincidence repeat items/themes from the M/T/W of the previous week.

Dr. White Tuxedo Again--Monday 8/21/17

When Dr. Bunny Love volunteers at the free clinic in Candyland, she always wears a gumdrop necklace to fit in better.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $6.26

Candyland Employee Again--Tuesday 8/22/17

Working with Princess Frostine on a marketing plan for increasing usage of Snow Flake Lake in summertime.  The current branding is a bit limiting.

OCPW: $4.93

Autumnal Olive Skirt + Navy Cardigan Again--Wednesday 8/23/17

On a rare day off, Dr. Bunny Love takes a walk in the park to watch the squirrels, which are therapeutic animals for exactly nobody.

OCPW: $9.75

And Some Subtle Pattern Mixing--Thursday 8/24/17

Butterflies, polka dots, and lace.  This outfit has a lot going on but I think I dolloped on the patterns with a relatively light hand.  This cobalt blue is such a great color on me, I should wear it more often.

OCPW: $9.12

In other news...If you've been struggling with your closet, consider these only five outfits that every woman needs.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kindles and Kittens

When even my dad is noticing that I haven't blogged lately, it's time to get back into the game.

As I explained to him, it's not that I've been playing a ton of Pokemon Go either (though I've been playing a moderate amount).  It's that ever since I started reading books on my Kindle, I've been reading more and faster than I have in a long time.  Now I wish I'd bought one years ago, but whatever--I've been making up for lost time.  So far, I've read a couple books that my mom loaned me from her Kindle (which is a totally cool feature) and books from the library's Overdrive catalog.  Although it usually takes me a few minutes to find a book I'm interested in that isn't wait-listed, once I do, it's about 30 seconds until the book is on my Kindle, ready to read.  I had hoped that having a Kindle would make getting books from my library a lot easier, and the reality has far exceeded my expectations.

So I might as well re-introduce my Half-Assed Book Reviews feature back to EQ, right?

The Wicked Girls - Alex Marwood

This mystery alternates between two related stories--a serial killer working in a low-rent seaside resort town (featuring the perfectly-named crappy amusement park Funnland) in the present, and two pre-teen girls who ended up killing a young child in their care about 25 years earlier.  Characterization and plot were both excellent.  Recommended!

The Humans - Matt Haig

I thought this would be a SF story, but it's really not.  It's more like: alien comes to earth with a mission to kill some people and discovers this strange human thing called Love, which Changes Everything.  It definitely had its amusing aspects, but overall, it was a disappointment.  Not just because it violated my expectations, but because it didn't feel fresh or new (and wasn't quite funny enough to compensate for that) and was a little cheesy. 

Also, though I gave the author all kinds of latitude because of the obviously ludicrous premise of the story, I still found myself pulled out of the moment by thoughts like, "So this supposedly uber-advanced civilization sends people on assassination plots without giving them even the most rudimentary introduction to how things work on Earth?  These people are capable of literally ingesting and consequently understanding any book with one gulp, but no one thought, Hey, maybe we should let him know a couple of the most basic norms humans follow so he doesn't show up and immediately get thrown into the loony bin.  WTF." 

It's also not clear how well the "aliens who value mathematics above all things" aspect works if you actually know a lot about math.

Alternative recommendation: Humans - Donald Westlake.  It's from 1993 and not easily available, but if you find a copy, grab it!  Angel dealing with humanity beats mathematical alien dealing with humanity 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.  It's funny, dark, whimsical, and wild.  This is one of the books that has survived the book culling of every move I've made since leaving my parents' house without any question.

Dr. Bunny Love--Monday 8/14/17

My outfit for pretending that I work at a rabbit hospital...the kind where we diagnose a human's problems then bring them exactly the right type of bunny to cure their ills.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $16.71

Candyland Business Casual--Tuesday 8/15/17

It's not all just fun and games in the Candyland universe.  Somebody's gotta crunch the numbers to see if all is on track with the expansion of the Licorice Castle.

OCPW: $10.11

Summer to Fall, Part 1--Wednesday 8/16/17

Tone down a bright floral top with the autumn-like colors of navy and olive.

OCPW: $15.98

Summer to Fall, Part 2--Thursday 8/17/17

Burgundy and olive are quintessential fall colors, but kept a bit summery with white scarf and white legs.

OCPW: $9.22

Dressing For a 10 Minute Presentation--Friday 8/18/17

What I wore to introduce a new metric I developed and get feedback from one of the primary audiences for the report (enthusiastically favorable) my actual job. 

OCPW: $12.08

In other news...A neural network names kittens!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Misdreavus Beast

Dad Pants--Monday, 8/7/17

Why this shade of aqua blue is called "Dad" by our neural network friend is a mystery, but it works very well with navy and white.  Although I am not ready to give up pattern mixing and giant flowing scarves and other maximal outfit features, I am digging simple outfits with bright pants lately.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $15.75

Chambray on Chambray with More Chambray--Tuesday, 8/8/17

While the jeans + denim jacket combo is called a Canadian tuxedo (I believe a Texas tuxedo is stereotypically worn with cowboy hat and/or boots), I'm not familiar with a term for layered denim-on-denim...or chambray-on-chambray-colored-knit like I'm wearing here.  But I think it's a winning monochrome combination, especially when paired with neon pants.  And yes, those are chambray ballet flats too.  #AllthechambrayFTW

OCPW: $15.50

A Fan of Aqua + Red--Wednesday, 8/9/17

I initially saw an aqua top + red pants outfit on Jen's blog, tied together (so to speak) with a coordinating scarf (the outfit was inspired by the Turkish tulip embroidery on the left). 


As I don't have a scarf with these colors...and my top has this mega-ruffle neckline that would complete with a scarf anyway...and the high temperature is 80 F...I wore this coordinating fan necklace instead.

OCPW: $6.27

The Mom Cardigan--Thursday, 8/10/17

When I wear this cardigan, I'm reminded of my mom because she usually wears this "grandpa" style (though long-sleeved, not 3/4 sleeved).  I added the scarf at the last minute because I thought it might be a cooler day than I'd planned and I hadn't shortened the straps on the top so it was in danger of shifting too low for comfort.  The coral detracts a bit from the orchid-pink shoes/Fitbit combo but whatever.

OCPW: $3.85

Denim-less Friday--Friday, 8/11/17

I ended up switching my Thursday and Friday outfits so I wore jeans yesterday and black and white and a pop of bright pink today.  This change-up made sense at the time.

OCPW: $9.21

In other news...In honor of a conversation I had with my supervisor and our department head today in which I am being encouraged to do some leadership professional development this year because they would like me to take more of a leadership role in our department, I will refer to this classic article... which does NOT describe my work situation.

"Misdreavus frightens people with a creepy, sobbing cry. The Pokémon apparently uses its red spheres to absorb the fearful feelings of foes and turn them into nutrition."

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sandbork Quincelax Eats 1 Cup Meat or Flour

First, some news on machine learning projects:

I think even my non-Pokemon-playing readers will enjoy this short list of neural network-created Pokemon names, abilities, and accompanying drawings (the latter not machine created). If the network were making the physical Pokemon, like 80% of them would have rabbit ears, as that seems to be a very common feature (Nidoran male and female, Wigglytuff, Eevee and its evolved forms, Sentret, Azumarill)...which makes sense, really, if your goal is to create cute monsters.  What is cuter than a bunny?

And there's always the bad cooking advice that neural networks gives.

Now for outfits based on neural-network developed paint colors:

Rose Colon Top, Redwied Skirt, and Drimple Cardigan--Monday, 7/31/17

I did not purchase this cardigan on Lamuella, despite the fact that the color appears to be named after Drimple, the Sandwich Maker's apprentice, perhaps to reflect its exalted position.  

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $9.87

Cremper Viulet Cardigan and Bull Cream Flats--Tuesday, 8/1/17

Cremper Viulet was also a minor character in the Gormenghast series, wasn't she? If not, she must have been edited out.

OCPW: $6.62

Cardigan with Sinderet Green, Spiced Rope, and Sting Gray Stripes--Wednesday, 8/2/17

Sting Gray is pretty clever.  The color corresponding to the gray of a sting ray?  That's something Robert might come up with.

OCPW: $10.76

Clay Cow Top, Woss White Flats, and Dry Custard Scarf--Thursday, 8/3/17

If you wear something dry custard colored around your neck while you eat pumpkin yogurt at lunch, it's all good if you happen to spill some.  (It also isn't half bad for attending a going-away happy hour for a colleague at a brew pub.)

OCPW: $4.58

Kold of Tale Cardigan and Lemon Nose/Stamped Candy/Windled Waters/Primple Brown/Blue Child Striped Flats--Friday, 8/4/17

I didn't take a class in Chaucer in college, so my familiarity with Kold of Tale is minimal.  But given this really bright, happy fuchsia shade, I guess it was a comedy.  Perfect for Friday.

OCPW: $7.71

Monday, August 21, 2017

Daddy Arbok

Another colorful pants week!  Two days of this week were illness (Monday) and, sigh, the first time I failed to photograph an outfit for work (Wednesday). 

Pinky Dots--Tuesday, 7/25/17

This is a pretty basic summer work outfit formula--bright pants, comfortable short-sleeved top, necklace, flats (plus coordinating Fitbit).  The pink dots on the t-shirt are a lighter shade than the pants, but it's all good.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $6.48

The Missing Photo--Wednesday, 7/26/17

Even though I don't have a photograph of it, I can at least record that I wore the white lace dottie top, the coral pants, the gold tassel necklace, and black pointy-toed flats.

OCPW: $12.54

Formula Day 3--Thursday, 7/27/17

If it ain't broke, right?

I continue to be delighted by this lace top that gets around both the "ugh why are all white shirts too sheer to wear without a camisole" problem and the "um isn't lace kind of see-through anyway" problem by having a layer of lace on top of a layer of regular knit fabric in the front.

OCPW: $17.62

Cobalt and Orange Crush--Friday, 7/28/17

Let's mix up this formula a bit by substituting another recent favorite top half combination--sleeveless top and short-sleeved cardigan.  I continue to be surprised by how useful these orange ballet flats are.  Orange is not a great color on me (though when it leans more in the direction of "coral," it works better) but I'm really enjoying wearing orange/coral on the bottom half (where its clashing-ness with my face and hair is less obvious) in general and these shoes in particular.  And this blue/orange combination is further evidence that the whole "complementary colors are awesome together" idea has merit.

OCPW: $8.76

In other news...I read this article about the smartphone generation with great interest.  There are always these "everything is different now!" articles, bemoaning how one generation is in some way worse than the ones that came before, but this one seems better researched and more convincing than most. 

It had been a while since I've taken a Sorting Hat quiz, so I thought this one created by social scientists at Cambridge was a fun thing to do.  I got Ravenclaw (81% match).  "Your personality shows a high degree of work ethic and shrewdness, which are valued among members of Ravenclaw House."  No surprise there.

This post was brought to you by Arbok, clearly a member of House Slytherin.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Have I Ever Told You You're My Spearow

After our zoo tour was rescheduled due to a crazy heat wave in the lower Midwest, we did take a couple days off at the end of the week to play Pokemon and generally enjoy not being at work.  But first, office outfits were worn...

Peaches and Cream, Now Enjoyed Poolside--Monday, 7/17/17

After a peaches-and-cream outfit with white top and coral pants in June, I revisited the combination with a hefty extra dose of aqua/teal in the scarf and shoes.  I really enjoyed this as a way to highlight the pastel shades of this useful multi-colored skirt.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $17.06

Basic Boring Colorblocking--Tuesday, 7/18/17

This definitely looks to me like an outfit I would have come up with prior to a few years ago when I started planning outfits...and is what happens when the outfit I'd planned (this top with my burgundy skirt--a horrible color combination as it turns out--and a narrow black scarf with neon polka dots that did not work with the neckline of the top at all) goes awry and I have to substitute something at the last minute.  I won't be winning any fashion kudos with this combination, but it was acceptable.  (At least the bright pink and black were repeated in my Fitbit/watch.)

OCPW: $6.34

In Which I Reverse Inspire the Fuchsia--Wednesday, 7/19/17

After yesterday's blah pink outfit, I like this one better.  The print top has small bits of the sweater and skirt colors, so it feels a bit more cohesive.  And doesn't the bright pink/magenta color pop against the green? this flower called the fuchsia.

OCPW: $10.34

In other news...Robert and I settled down recently to watch a DVD of Looney Tunes cartoons while I shortened the straps on the three sleeveless tops I bought at my last Goodwill trip by an inch.  I figured that I would be able to track the plots while being distracted with hand-sewing.  Several of them were familiar (e.g., Hair Raising Hare--with Gossamer the red monster; For Scent-imental Reasons--a delightful Pepe Le Pew short), but there was an old Elmer Fudd cartoon (Elmer's Candid Camera, 1940) that dated to back before Bugs Bunny was called Bugs Bunny!  He was instead called "Happy Rabbit," and he ended the piece with a laugh that was later given to Woody Woodpecker, which was actually pretty creepy.  We also saw the debut of my beloved Marvin the Martin (and his sidekick K-9) in Haredevil Hare.  Marvin is pretty recognizable here, but his voice is different from in later cartoons.  He is trying to blow up Earth with a Uranium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator...which later becomes the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator we all know and fear.