Thursday, October 30, 2014

Target Necklace Week: Part 3

Green "Gumdrop" Necklace -- Friday, 10/17/14

The purple one was so tasty, I mean pretty, that I got one in green too.  Note that I broke down and wore leggings with this Friday outfit because the high temperature was forecast at 53 degrees.  (It was a good call; I felt quite comfortable at work.)  But not full tights!  Not boots!  Not even socks!  NO.  I refuse to start that nonsense already.

*Green t-shirt (thrifted, Lands End)
*Black/white striped knit pencil skirt (thrifted, Target)
Black cardigan (Walmart)
Black LifeStrider flats
Black leggings
*Green "gumdrop" necklace (Target)

What To Wear to the Thrift Store -- Saturday, 10/18/14

Well first of all, not a necklace.

I wanted to look for pullover sweaters in particular, so I wore a camisole that I could try on underneath close-fitting sweaters and a button-up shirt that I could try on underneath looser sweaters.  I am trying to prepare for winter in my office, which I have been assured is on the chilly side.  I figure it's gotta be warmer than my Skyrim office at home, but nevertheless, some additional layering options are always welcome.

I got rid of several pairs of jeans (i.e., put them in my Goodwill donation pile) earlier in the week and refound this pair that had gotten buried under some ill-fitting ones.  I had sort of assumed that this pair was in the ill-fitting category as well but my practice of forcing myself to try everything on worked in my favor -- I thought these were just fine once I had them on.

*Black button-up shirt (thrifted, Walmart)
Grey leopard camisole (Kohls)
Blue jeans (thrifted, JCP)
Black LifeStrider flats

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ice Storms and Small Multiples

Today at work, I was looking up information on how to make small multiples in Tableau and I came across a blog post that has a nice map visualization of FEMA natural disasters by county.  Before checking out the viz itself, do you have a guess as to what state wins the prize for "severe ice storms" since 1953?  Were you right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Target Necklace Week: Part 2

Purple "Gumdrop" Necklace -- Wednesday, 10/15/14

You may recall this necklace from my review of the book about the guys starving and freezing their way back from a failed attempt to sail to the North Pole.  I still think it looks quite appetizing in this emsemble.

There was apparently a grey pencil skirt, black knit top, purple cardigan idea floating around this month because about a week after I wore this outfit, I saw a post on the descriptively titled Outfit Posts blog that used the same basic formula. (I like my shoes that color block grey and black a bit better than I do the black wedges.  Her cardigan has a shape/length that is more flattering with a pencil skirt, though.)

Black t-shirt (Walmart)
*Purple 3/4 sleeve cardigan (thrifted, Macy's)
Grey pencil skirt (JCP)
Grey flats with black ribbon trim by Louise et Cie
Purple "gumdrop" necklace (Target)

Mint Flower Necklace -- Thursday, 10/16/14

Nope, there are no quotation marks in the name of this necklace because it just obviously is what it is.  I could take the lead of people who put up signs outside convenience stores, etc., and call it the "Big" Mint Flower Necklace but then you might think that I am only calling it big or questioning its bigness.  Let there be no doubt.  These flowers are BIG.

The night before, I told Robert, "Tomorrow I'm wearing my bird shirt with my teal skirt."  He said, "Teal skirt.  So it's a bird shirt with a bird skirt."  Yep.  I wondered what kind of teal (which is a type of duck) the color was named for because I couldn't think of a teal in the US that has quite that shade.  The blue-winged teal has blue, the green-winged teal has green, the cinnamon teal...well, you get the idea.  But through the magic of the Interwebs, here ya go.

Navy/teal/white bird shirt (Nordstrom)
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom)
Teal pencil skirt (JCP)
Light grey wedge flats by BCBGeneration
*Mint flower necklace (Target)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Target Necklace Week: Part 1

I've decided to play a bit of catch-up with my outfit posts, so be expecting a few of them without book reviews.  (I do have some good books to recommend soon, though, promise!)

I created a week of outfits to highlight the necklaces I purchased during Target's buy one, get one 50% off necklaces sale.

Bright Pink/Crystal "Floral" Necklace -- Monday, 10/13/14

I admit that I really do like the pseudo-suit look of matching colors of my pants/skirt and cardigan/jacket (though I do not try to make it pass as a real suit in situations where a real suit is called for - e.g., job interviews).  And nothing goes with a pseudo-suit like yet another bright pink top.  But this one has lace all over the front so it's different!

*Fuschia lace blouse (thrifted, Avenue)
Black 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Black cardigan (thrifted, no label)
Black pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
*Bright pink/crystal "floral" necklace (Target)

I'm calling it "floral" because I can't decide if it's supposed to look like flowers or if it just looks like that to me. 

Gold "Shelled Pea" Necklace -- Tuesday, 10/14/14

The thing that impresses me most about this outfit is that when I tried on the t-shirt, and decided it was too long to wear with a pleated skirt, I put it on my sewing machine and shortened it.  And BOOM, it's like I have a new shirt to wear.  I have several shirts I've been thinking about hemming shorter, and it seems that doing so when I'm putting a specific outfit together to wear with that shirt is the right time to do it.

The little gold colored beads on this necklace look like beans or shelled peas to me.  Shelled peas sounds more fun in the name of the necklace, though, so that's what I'm calling it.

The last (first) time I wore this skirt, I really thought I'd basically figured out the only way to wear it.  Not so, my friends.  I even wore it with different shoes, which I didn't expect to happen.

*Beige t-shirt (Kohls; shortened by me)
Brown embroidered skirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Brown cardigan (Kohls)
Gold pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
Gold "shelled pea" necklace (Target)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Icy and Not So Icy

Book Review:  In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

5 stars

I don't read much non-fiction, but this book was completely amazing.  In the late 1800's, a bunch of dudes thought it was a good idea to try sailing into the Arctic, breaking through the "rim" of ice up there, and then sailing their way across the hypothesized "Open Polar Sea" all the way to the North Pole (which no one had yet found).  Yep, seriously, at that time, the dominant theory about the North Pole was that it was located on an island in a warm sea that was ice-free and pleasant year-round.  Um...well...since we know that that idea is total and complete bullshit, you can kind of guess where this story is going.  But the details of how the voyage was designed and funded (he spends a surprising amount of time on this, but the main players are really interesting, especially the newspaper magnate who is the impetus behind the whole thing), and what exactly happened to those brave (and foolish) men who undertook this journey--it's well worth your time.  This definitely falls into the "if this were a work of fiction, nobody would believe it" category.  The story is told in an engaging narrative style that maintains the pace of a thriller novel (after the slower initial set-up of the story).

What to Wear When The Last Day of Training Occurs in a Really Warm Room -- Friday, 10/10/14

We shifted locations for the last day of training and being too cold was absolutely not an issue.  By lunchtime, I'd abandoned my jacket.  Luckily, the afternoon was a more free-form thing, and we did not have to be sitting at our computers following along with something the whole time.  So I took advantage of the opportunity to take several breaks to go back to my office and sit in the darkened room and enjoy not being overheated.

We learned during our morning session on security that the security system is fubar and that for reasons mysterious to all parties, we were able to publish to the server but not connect to the server to view anything.  But hey, it was Friday, you know!  And I was not, after days of trying to stay alive by chewing my sealskin boots away to nothing so that I got frostbite on what parts of my feet were not already destroyed, going to eat handfuls of rotten fish flakes that the indigenous people used as fuel not food and then become violently ill from eating something that is not food but continue to eat it because I am so fucking starving literally to death that I can't not eat it even though eating it is probably going to kill me.  So in all, a very successful day.

Purple striped button up shirt (thrifted, Bass)
Grey 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious
* Purple "gumdrop" necklace (Target)
--Not pictured: Olive green military jacket (thrifted, Maurices)

The men of the USS Jeannette would definitely have tried to eat this candy-looking necklace.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Even More Magical

Book Review:  The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud

4 stars

Man, that magician kid is even more of a twit than ever now that he's in a position of authority in the government!  But the obligatory "strong female character" has been (re)introduced in Book 2 of the series, and she's pretty much excellent (of course!).  The demon character seems a little bit less completely amazing seeming than he was in Book 1, and I don't know whether I've simply gotten used to him or if he's being overshadowed by the girl character or what -- in any case, he's still amazing enough.  As a bonus, the plot of this book is stronger than Book 1, I think.  Definitely was an enjoyable one.

What to Wear While Visualization Templates Don't Pull the Right Data -- Thursday, 10/9/14

Yep, another "magical" day of training, this time discovering that the tables and templates that the consultant put together for us are now working, after he spent the previous evening updating his stored procedures to bring over additional tables into our database.  But now they are giving us the wrong data!  (For example, they pull the value for demographic variable X from the table in the database for X whereas for reasons lost in the mists of time, we store the version of X we care about somewhere entirely different from everybody else in the country who uses this product.)  Still, going from seeing no data on our screens to the wrong data is progress.

I wore this outfit with my navy ponte knit blazer most of the day.  Most people in the training were more bundled up than the previous day -- the consultant added a pullover sweater to his ensemble.

* Heather blue 3/4 length sleeve knit top with floral neckline detail (thrifted, Macy's)
Navy pants (Dockers)
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
* Blue/green/"pearl" necklace (Target)

Shiny!  Sparkly!  (Keep your inner magpie under control while viewing this photo.)

Target had a sale on accessories, buy one get one 50% off, so I bought....well, more than one, more than two.  As you will see in the days to come.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Like Magic

Book Review:  The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

3.5 stars

Accidentally walking through a portal to a parallel universe, being ensnared and englamoured by the Fey--who really do not want anything good for you at all--being rescued by the wizard version of a particularly misogynistic Mr. Darcy, trying desperately to learn enough magic to stay alive and get back's still better than graduate school for the protagonist of this story!  

It has a similar feel to the Deborah Harkness All Souls trilogy, and I thought it was not as good as the first one but better than the latest (last?) one in that series.  [Hah, I just noticed that Deborah Harkness provides the quote on the front cover!]

I also think this one was not as good as City of Dark Magic, a book I read a couple of months ago and enjoyed a lot.  I saw on that Amazon page that there is a sequel out called City of Lost Dreams that is now in my library queue.  (Nice to see an immediate, concrete pay-off to writing these reviews on my blog.)

What to Wear When Learning SQL Server -- Wednesday, 10/8/14

This was Day 1 of a 3 day, all-day training session to support the launch of our new data visualization portal in January.  Spent the morning being chilly in the training room and writing SQL queries on the snapshot of the mirror of our big-ass database.  After lunch (in my office), I put on the black moto jacket I'd worn in to work that morning in the high 30s temps.  Spent the afternoon being less chilly, still writing SQL queries.  (These pants look wonky in this photo, but they're OK, and more importantly, they are super-comfy.)

We discovered all kinds of weirdness with our database that our consultant/trainer would have to deal with that evening.  It was not quite like magic...or maybe it was.  Difficult, quirky, and operating according to principles that we don't really understand, yielding unpredictable and frustrating results?  If that's magic, then it was just like magic.

* Grey/maroon striped button up shirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Grey wide-leg pants (thrifted)
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan
Grey big ball necklace (Macy's)