Sunday, November 19, 2017

Like a Boy in Short Pants

#NatureTwinning Part 9:

Giant Owl on My Leg--Thursday, 11/2/17

I really enjoyed this bold color combination, but it was the pants/socks/shoes that took it over the top to perfection.  The cool trouser socks I bought a few years ago from Sock Dreams are still going strong!  (They're a very good source for interesting socks.)  Ankle pants + fun socks for the win.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $5.88

This dramatically-lit Giant Owl butterfly landed on me at the state fair.

State Fair

Pair of Humboldt Penguins in the Wild--Friday, 11/3/17

I seem to be on a roll lately with this whole "It's Friday, time to wear this white moto jacket" thing.

OCPW: $14.12

It was surprising to see these penguins outside in the 80+ F heat...until I realized that the species is from the coast of South America.  Turns out they were happier with the temperature than I was!

St Louis Zoo

Afternoon View of Climatron Dome and Reflecting Pool--Saturday, 11/4/17

I first saw this blouse on a blog I read.  I bought the black one and liked it so much that I placed a second order for this teal floral one that's identical to the top in the blog post

*Teal and black floral blouse (JCP), $18.74

OCPW: $28.47

One of the disappointments of my zoo trip photo stash is that I didn't get nearly enough blue flower pictures.  But this photo offers blue and white and flowers and other cool things.  I had tried to get a decent long-view photo in the morning, but there were too many other visitors taking their own photos.  But when we came by right at closing time, there it was, just for me.  And now you.

Note the amazing Walla Walla Onion hand-blown glass sculptures floating on the water.  These are a few of the Dale Chihuly pieces that they purchased for their permanent collection about 10 years ago.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

In other news...It's getting too chilly in Coldville for ankle pants, so this article spoke to me.  “We are living in ignorance of the inevitable fact that at some point, for our own health and safety, our pants will have to touch our shoes.”

Friday, November 17, 2017

Impossible Stranger

#Nature Twinning Part 8:

Ruppell's Vulture--Monday, 10/30/17

This was the day I brought out my new purple coat for the first time.  I waited for a 50% off outerwear sale at Lands End and ordered a TON of coats.  Well, they may not have weighed literally a ton, but when we took the returns to Sears, they filled up 3 large boxes, and Robert had to go back to the car for the third box (because of the size, not the weight, though). 

This coat was on a special sale (50% off a discounted price), so it ended up costing about $90.  I have already received multiple compliments on it at work.

It was an accident that I was also wearing burgundy/maroon tights and ankle boots for the coat's debut, but it did make for an interesting tonal look.

The outfit underneath was a bit crazier with the whole bright green with maroon thing going, but I'm clearly not afraid to mix it up, color-wise.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW) $9.61 

For green, black, and a bit of maroon, here is a huge vulture hanging out on the grass.  Dead things, beware.  Or I guess if you're dead, you don't care that much.  Living things, beware--this could be your future.

A fun fact"As scavengers, Rüppell's griffon vultures have the added adaptation of being able to consume rotten meat, even if it contains anthrax, botulism and cholera. Bacteria are then destroyed in the vulture's stomach. A large meal can last at least four days for these vultures."

Cincinnati Zoo

Lorikeet Red--Tuesday, 10/31/17

I know, it was Halloween and I didn't wear any orange with my black.  Will red do?  I guess we could characterize my "costume" as bad-ass bird lover.

OCPW: $6.95

To accompany an outfit featuring a red-with-black bird shirt and an overall tough look, this parrot with the goth-esque dramatic eye liner fits the bill. 

Indianapolis Zoo

Grumpy Old Moray--Wednesday, 11/1/17

I was very pleased to wear my new grey shirt/cardigan duo, which you can expect to see paired again.  Even though the colors don't match, I like it--I'm partial to outfits with several (not 50) shades of grey.  This one was especially nice due to the shoe/sock combination.  Happy pattern-mixing feet.

*Grey long-sleeved seamed T (JCP), $9.10
*Dark grey boyfriend cardigan (Loft), $29.70

OCPW: $46.65

I have no objective reason to think that this eel is either mean-tempered or ancient, but doesn't he just look ready to yell at some kids to get off his grass water?

Newport Aquarium

In other news...This week I completely inhaled the book The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which offered up a heaping serving of mid-80s young-teenager computer nerd nostalgia. many ways the book irritated me.  There's the fat-shaming, and the dude's asshole friends, and the really stupid thing the protagonist does to advance the plot (though I guess I'm mostly willing to accept that 99% of 14 year old boys are basically complete morons), and the twist that does more to confuse us about a character than it adds complexity to her.  So unfortunately, I can't fully recommend it, though I think those of us with a soft spot for the era will find things to enjoy about it.  But yeah, it's no Ready Player One.  (Of course nothing is another Ready Player One.  I will spend my life searching for one, though.)

However, I can recommend the web game based on the video game the characters invent in the book.  It's cute.  Check it out.

Speaking of 80s nerd nostalgia, have you been watching Stranger Things on Netflix streaming?  I avoided it the first season because I'd pegged it as a horror show.  But then when Netflix was advertising the second season just before it came out in October, I got curious about it again and decided to give it a try.  OMG.  So. Much. Fun.  The nights I wore the above outfits, I came home from work, had dinner, and spent the evening watching Stranger Things.  Yep, Halloween episode on Halloween, baby.  If you haven't yet watched it, I envy you the pleasure to be had ahead.

And for a little local tie-in, in an episode of season 2, one of the characters wears a hoodie that was sold in the 80s by the museum a few blocks down the road from our apartment.  The museum decided to re-release the hoodie and sold 16,000 of them in two weeks.  More funding for science education!  Mr. Clarke would approve.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not Even Remotely

Nature Twinning Part 7:

Apartment Red Trees--Wednesday, 10/25/17

I was initially planning to wear this outfit with a black blazer but I wasn't feeling the structured look that gave.  I would have switched in a black cardigan, but surprisingly, I don't have a nice long-ish black cardigan for fall/winter at the moment.  So I tried this beige one and was pleasantly surprised by the result.  After a year or so of only wearing long cardigans with dresses and more recently skirts, my eye has finally adjusted to the look of a long cardigan with (relatively skinny) pants.  Now that I'm on board, watch that combination go out of style in a month.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $9.00

If you're talking October and maroon, the fall color in Coldville is where it's at.

In my neighborhood (Oct 2016)

Crane at Simmons Aviary--Thursday, 10/26/17

Given how much I like the burgundy birds and cream/dark green rabbit utility blouses from Loft, it was a no-brainer that when I was looking to add a few new blouses to my fall wardrobe that I ordered several of the new utility blouses.  Well.  They have changed the cut of the blouse so it is now smaller in the bust and doesn't fit me right any more.  When I took them to a local store to return, the very thin and small-busted young clerk said that she too was disappointed by the new utility blouse style and hopes that they return to the classic cut soon.  If you're not fitting a bigger middle-aged woman like me or a thin young woman like her, I'm not sure who the new blouse is made for!

Luckily, I hit pay dirt with two other blouses, including this elegant dark green one.

*Dark green smocked cuff blouse (Loft), $26.70

OCPW: $29.53

You might expect black and green to be a common zoo color combination, but I found upon looking at my photos that it really wasn't.  But I like how this African crane brought in the gold of my tassel watch into the picture with a fringe of golden feathers on its head.  Nice touch, birdy.

Henry Doorly Zoo

Giraffe Eating From Ground--Friday, 10/27/17

This is my third new pair of jeans for fall, so I now have black, dark blue, and medium blue straight leg options for work, in addition to the dark blue skinny jeans that are still in reasonably good shape after 60 wears but that were not going to get me through to next summer's bare legs season on their own.

*Straight leg jeans (JCP), $17.50

OCPW: $31.69

The pattern of this reticulated giraffe must be what happens when my scarf and white jacket are blended together.

Indianapolis Zoo

In other news...OK, remote (or sometimes remote) developers, do you agree or disagree that physical proximity is important for your work? 

I've done a fair amount of collaboration on dashboard development, and it's felt like a huge boon to have my colleagues in the same office.  Well, really, that's been true of basically everything I've done at my current job from day one--it's been easier because everyone in my department is in one building.  I'm not kidding when I say I think I got up to speed on things about twice as fast because I share an office with another analyst who has a lot of organizational knowledge (she's been working there for 16 years) and domain knowledge.  I think it's too bad that colleagues in different but related departments are NOT in the same building...and not just because I hate driving across town for off-site meetings. 

Why does physical proximity feel important for my work?  Partly it's the convenience factor (because it's just easier to discuss things when people are looking at the same screen, and we don't have a great way to do that long-distance), but also something more fuzzy.  The people I see every day, I build stronger relationships with, so there is less of a psychological barrier to stopping by/calling/emailing/Skyping them about something that perhaps isn't critical but that would be helpful to get input on.  It also sometimes is necessary to keep an eye on my supervisor's office so that the moment he returns from a meeting, I can pop in and ask/remind him about something important.  The ability to hunt people down and get answers from them is a benefit not to be under-appreciated.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Nature Twinning Part 6:

DeHaan Tiergarten Formal Planting--Monday, 10/23/17

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $14.25

They call the outdoor gardens adjoining the Indianapolis Zoo a tiergarten (i.e., animal park), which is a kind of amusing play on words.  It has a lot of different parts, but these formal plantings were one of my favorites.

They played up the "animal" aspect here with the cute statues at the corners.  Of course, I could not resist the rabbit statue (as he relaxes with his carrot)...

And the turtle statue was especially adorable as well.

Female Redwinged BB--Tuesday, 10/24/17

It's hard to tell from the photo, but this blouse has a lace-up section at the top that is interesting-enough looking for me that I did that thing I almost never do--skipped the necklace/scarf in this outfit.

*Black lace-up blouse (JCP), $18.74

OCPW: $26.82

Rock the vertical stripes, girls!  This blackbird is the last of my current wild bird photographs to share (from last May).  Yet another reason to look forward to our southern California birding trip in December...moar bird photos!

MWood Nature Preserve

In other news...My mom sent this post about a horrible piece in a parenthood column in Esquire called "I Don’t Care What My Son Becomes… As Long As He Isn’t Overweight."  What the actual fuck?  His over-the-top bigotry is bad enough--I mean, at one point he literally advocates killing all fat people and rendering them down for candles--but he's directing it at his four year old son.  It defies my comprehension that...
1) A person can really be as horribly bigoted as this,
2) Admit it in public,
3) In a magazine with a national audience,
4) About his own child,
5) Who one day will be able to read this horror for himself,
6) And probably not even be surprised because this asshole is his father who has been treating him like crap about weight/body size his whole life,
7) Unless the asshole's wife gets sick of this whole fucking thing and divorces his ass,
8) Apologizing in her mind profusely to both children that she stayed with the jerk this long,
9) And if she doesn't, she's pretty much signing on to his child abuse.

I think it's kind of creepy when people make a living off their children in any way--columnists, bloggers, whatever.  Commercializing your kids doesn't seem that great to me.  But this is taking the thing to a whole new level.  I'm actually surprised a mainstream magazine published it, rather than it appearing on somebody's AssholeDad blog.  So surprised that even though I trust the blogger who wrote about it, I googled the title to confirm that it did actually appear in the magazine as described...and it did, so I officially do not understand the world.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Nature Twinning Part 5:

The second half of October + bare legs = Yes, it was a stupidly long summer.

Red and Black Butterfly on Orange Flower--Monday, 10/16/17

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $6.29

Red, black, orange, green, and white can make for a kind of chaotic color scheme, but I like how it was implemented here.  (I tried a lot of times to get a picture of this type of butterfly, and this was the only one that wasn't mostly a blur.)

St Louis Zoo

Torch Ginger in Climatron--Tuesday, 10/17/17

OCPW: $9.91

This hot house flower is definitely of the "go big or go home" variety.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

A Sandy River Ray--Wednesday, 10/18/17

OCPW: $22.04

Fish tend to be quite mobile, which make them difficult to photograph.  But I caught this ray (which is a cartilaginous fish) as he was coming up from the surface, rippling the front of his body in that cool ray manner.

Eclipsed Eclipse Black Duck and Possibly a Female Pintail--Friday, 10/20/17

*Purple heathered knit skirt (JCP), $17.99

OCPW: $25.52

This photo name confused me (why did I duplicate the word "eclipse"?) for a moment until I saw it larger on the screen--the black duck is both in eclipse plumage AND is being eclipsed in the photo by the other duck.  Visual pun for the win.

State Fair

In other news....Time for another check-in with women in technology, and I somehow have a backlog of articles from last May that I never shared.  So here are a couple articles on historic rejection letters to women engineers and the recruitment/retention dilemma.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mystery Cat

Nature Twinning Part 4:

Red Eared Sliders--Tuesday, 10/10/17

Another day, another missing outfit photo: Navy crochet top, aqua pants, cream-white moto jacket, and nude Rockstud flats.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $19.49

This is a Reverse Inspiration of some turtles at a local nature preserve last May.

MWood Nature Preserve

Nicobar Pigeon--Wednesday, 10/11/17

A combination of brand-new navy pants and worn-once navy flats that you will probably be seeing again and again; they just work so well together.

*Navy work trousers (Kohls), $34.99

OCPW: $68.83

I love this bird's shaggy iridescent feathers.

Cincinnati Zoo

Lorikeet Black and Red--Thursday, 10/12/17

I surprise even myself that I'm wearing this jacket twice in one week, but I guess I was really feeling it.  At least this time I switched out the red crochet top for the navy one.

OCPW: $17.98

The white of my outfit was translated into a bright green on this bird for a more dramatic color blocked look.

Indianapolis Zoo

Pink Impatiens--Friday, 10/13/17

When a pair of new jeans fits perfectly, it's a great feeling.  And wearing Lee brand jeans sorta makes me feel like it's 1989 again...though in those days I would not have been bold enough to wear stripes, leopard, and floral print together.

*Straight leg jeans (Lee), $30.00

OCPW: $42.89

Do these pink flowers take you by surprise?  They must have picked up on how "impatiens" I was for the work week to be over.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

In other news...I've been saving this for just the right moment, and I think it's arrived.  A woman walked a cat on a leash in the Senate building last spring...enjoy the mystery.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Challenging Bird

Nature Twinning Part 3:

Chinese Hibiscus--Monday, 9/25/17

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $24.26

I can totally see how the flowers on my skirt inspired this lovely bloom.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

Axolotl--Tuesday, 9/26/17

I was running late and didn't take an outfit photo, but I was wearing the white lace dottie top, black tipped blazer, purple pants, double strand pearls, and tan captoe flats.

OCPW: $18.61

What could be more appropriate than a salamander?  This strange dude is a Mexican salamander in the melanoid color variation.  Apparently this a "popular exotic pet" (I mean, I guess by some standard--not exactly a dog or cat level) that can die after a day's exposure to temperatures below about 61 F.  Temperatures above 75 F will kill them, too.  It ain't easy being an axolotl.

Newport Aquarium

A Bird That Drove Me Crazy Trying to Photograph It at the Desert Dome--Wednesday, 9/27/17

*Black straight leg jeans (JCP), $17.50

OCPW: $27.26

I seriously took about 30 photographs of this bird (or its various siblings).  I got this pretty decent shot when another visitor, who had seen me following and frustratedly attempting to photograph the bird, pointed out when it alit on this little tree.  I like that it captures the bird with a seed or something in its beak.  Note that the Google image search told me that the best match for this photo was "Beak."  Ummmm.  Actually, I think it's probably an orange bishop or a close relative.

The inspiration got the colors pretty much right, but managed to reverse them on the bird's body. 

Henry Doorly Zoo

In other news...well, 6 months out of date, not-exactly-news:  I can't pass up articles about companies positioning their brands with a veneer of hot-ethical-quality-of-the-moment.  In this case, it's about empathy, human connection, and other vague liberal-ish virtues in the age of Trump.