Monday, September 30, 2013

Random Internet Reading Acts

Robert does this too, and it always strikes me as peculiar when I see him do it.  Seeing this comic, I was like, Wait, this is a thing?  I don't know that he has a preference regarding the resulting shape, however.

From xkcd.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Whole Foods

The Whole Foods they've been building down the street from me (about 4.5 blocks) opened last weekend, and today, Robert and I stopped in to check it out.

They had your normal WF type stuff.  I was happy that they had grass-fed beef at the meat counter (both ground beef and stew-meat-style chunks) and bought some ground beef to eat this week.  I purchased 3 different types of dark chocolate (~70%) to test out because they did not have either of my normal two brands.  I did not see any flaxseed oil, which surprised me -- I guess we'll still be going to Lund's for that.

There were two happy surprises, too.

First, they sell a rotisserie chicken that does not have lemon or other Sally-incompatible ingredients.  I bought one and ate half of it for dinner, with my hands.  At one point, I said, Robert, look, does this look paleo or what?  And intending to chomp down like an animal on the drumstick, I bit my own finger -- yikes, that hurts.  It was not the very best rotisserie chicken in the world, but it was certainly good enough, especially when you eat it with the skin.  (I know, it's crazy--of all the aspects of a neo-paleo diet, I think eating animal fat in that way is the one that most sets of my "but wait, this can't be healthy!" feelings that have been formed by growing up in the age of low-fat mania.)

Second, their bakery had an astonishingly beautiful array of pastries, and my favorites were the tiny little cupcakes, tarts, etc.  (Robert pointed out the ones that looked like tiny little coffee cups made out of chocolate, filled with a frothy "frappe," and I was like, Awwwwwwwwww.)  But I felt about them like I feel about looking at a display of flowers -- they look so pretty but they don't feel like food.  The idea of eating one was not only not particularly tempting or motivating, but actually seemed a bit weird.  I was not especially hungry at that moment, but (1) that's never stopped me from wanting pastry in the past and (2) other food in the store did look appealing.  I guess I've been not eating that stuff long enough to way ramp down my "Oh my god that has frosting on it nom" reaction.

I think it's going to be fantastic having the WF down the street.  It's close enough to be super convenient when you need something (esp. those times I haven't prepared anything in advance and am coming upon dinner time with no good idea of what I'm eating) but not so terribly convenient that I think I will go there on a whim; I think 4.5 blocks (9 blocks round-trip) is far enough that my laziness will win out most of the time.

I tried the Theo chocolate this evening; it was good, and I found that 2 squares was plenty.  I am hoping that I will easily establish the habit of taking 2 squares, instead of the 4 on the package, as the amount to eat in one sitting.  It's funny---when I was eating Ghirardelli, I always ate 3, then later, 4 squares, and even though I wanted to cut back to 2 squares, I just couldn't do it.  But once when the store was out of Ghirardelli, and so I got Lindt's, I had no problem taking 2 squares.  2 squares clearly looked like "enough" chocolate (and the size of the squares are basically the same for the two brands), but my ingrained habit of taking more squares was just too strong when facing my normal brand.  I don't think there's anything wrong, per se, with eating 4 squares of chocolate, but it's more than I need/fully enjoy having at one time, and I'd rather have 2 squares with the idea that I can always have another serving later if I want to.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Progress and Frustration

After a relative dearth of relevant job listings, today I found several that were...well, if not promising exactly, not ridiculously inappropriate and with a halfway reasonable chance of me seeing a response.  I applied to five jobs, which felt pretty good.

It would have been six jobs, but the best one was very annoying in the manner that Debbie recently described on her blog -- I went from the job listing site to the company site to the specific job posting page to the page where you can start your application.  And when I tried to do the application, it took me to a new screen stating that the job is no longer open.  When I had seen that the job posting was active (i.e., when I went to the company site and the specific job posting, it opened up the page to start the application), I had customized my resume, so even though I did not have the full time-waster experience it sounded like Debbie did (where it let her input all her information, then informed her that the job was closed), it was definitely a time waster nonetheless.  How fucking hard is it for the company's HR department / IT department / whoever to make sure that when the job is closed that the web site does not allow you to click into the opening and start your application?  Of course, this is the same employer that a couple weeks ago let me apply for a job and then almost immediately sent me an automated email that the job was filled.  Note that this did not stop the job from being open on their site for days afterward.  (I'm not willing to check, but my guess is that it's still up on their site.)

UPDATE:  I just got an another job alert email with that open-but-closed job listed and clicked through; yep, it's still active on the company web site.  Nice.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Shiny

I've worn some more of my new items this week.


On a somewhat warmer day, I paired a new-new t-shirt with a shrug that I purchased a couple months ago.

New items:
*Striped shirt from Kohl's
*Shrug from Target

But what's that hanging around my neck?

An owl pendant that I purchased...during our family trip to Germany in 2001 and I had not (I believe) worn before now.  I found it when I was digging around in a box with some old costume jewelry in it, and I am glad to have rediscovered it (and its two comrades from the same trip).


The Alice t-shirt makes its first showing.  It's awesome, and fits well, except the V-neck is too deep to wear without a camisole (or, as I did here, with a sports bra).  Sort of annoying.

I was also feeling pretty crappy that day, so the grumpy Alice really fit my mood.

New items:
*Alice t-shirt from Out of Print
*Cardigan from Macy's

Sunday I wore a variant a previously posted outfit.


I took advantage of a phone interview in the morning as an excuse to dress up a bit again, this time in a blouse that Robert calls the Snow Leopard.  I'm loving these animal prints.

New items:
*Animal print blouse from Jones New York

Today (Tuesday), I wore the green vine skirt outfit again, only without the cardigan because it was a sunny, and hence quite warm, day in my apartment.

Not a Great Week

I've been sick, and I've gotten some disappointing news on the job front (nothing dire; I just didn't advance to the final round of candidates for a couple jobs).  So time for a goofy storyline from my solitaire game to cheer me up.

Once again, Hercules the clueless fish and Sally (who is a jellyfish, not an octopus--duh) have gotten a writing assignment in school.

Working together on a school project?  This sounds ominous.  But Hercules is a well-meaning, hard-working clownfish and he's determined to do his part.  However, his fundamental misunderstanding of the assignment is problematic...

...and things go from bad to worse for him as he tries to come up with a solution.


With the gathering of a scary-looking mask, which isn't even a doll, Hercules finds himself in very serious trouble.  What is a poor clownfish to do?

Well, I didn't see this ending coming, even though I should have.

It is, after all, pretty much the story of my life.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Perhaps the Worst Job Match of All

Phlebotomist?  I really, really don't think so.  Let's just say this is a job I will endeavor not to imagine myself doing...unless I want to pass out.

The fact that I have almost none of the required qualifications and that the job hours are 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. doesn't even come into it.

Frustrating My Inner Homer Simpson

Here's an inappropriate job for me that showed up on my job alert this morning:

Project Estimator - Nuclear

I liked this: "Must live within 60 minutes to ensure proper implementation of Emergency Response Plan."  But damn, in current traffic, I'm 1 hour 5 minutes away according to Google.  Guess I'm gonna have to pass on this one.

Or even better, how about this?

On-Air Host

I could be like the youngest wife on Big Love.  I really think my "captivating presence and amazing ability to connect with others" make me the obvious candidate for such a role.

Or a job posted on

Product Lead - Corn Genetics

Somehow I don't think my knowledge of rabbit fur coloration genetics, gathered by reading stuff on the internet for a couple hours, is going to help me here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Almost Last Cardigan

Today's cardigan is a heavier, warmer one.  I do not normally gravitate toward heavy sweaters, but there are times I really want to cozy up.  I half-expect to find myself using it as a mini-robe over my PJs.  (I can't stand actual robes--they are too long and can get twisted up and annoying.  This cardigan is good because it does have a single button at the waist to keep it closed, unlike robes that you have to try to tie closed with a gigantimous tie-thingy that doesn't want to knot neatly, etc.)

New items:
*Blue cardigan from Lands End (still on sale for $24.99, fits true to size, about 27" long)
*Coral knit top from Lands End
*Grey pants from Rafaella

But it was too warm today to actually wear this cardigan.  I looked like this all day instead.  (Hurrah for my excellent scarf collection.  Couldn't believe I had one to pull the blue and coral together.  I'm getting toward the end of my new clothes, so it's a bit tougher to make coherent outfits from them, but a scarf saves the day.)

And DAMN these are some long pants.  I'm wearing shoes with about a 2" heel and they're still too long.  Will definitely be hemming these puppies.  But they're super comfortable pants, so it's worth it.  I actually got turned on to this brand and style when I bought a pair at Goodwill (aka Our Favorite Store aka The Other Rafaella Sportswear).  They are jeans style, but made from a thicker version of the fabric that is common in pants made for business casual wear--do you know what I mean?  Business casual pants can be tough because the fabric is often so flimsy that it doesn't fit or drape well.  I guess these pants are that basic kind of "wear to the office pants" (made from polyester/rayon) that are thicker than the typical business casual pants but a bit thinner than suit pants.  I would wear them either casually or business casual (in many offices).

I like how the decision to post this stuff is motivating me to dress a bit better--or at least less boring--than usual.  Because I'm at home all day, I often will wear the same jeans and cardigan for several days in a row.  I'm enjoying taking advantage of the variety of my closet and the challenge of wearing new things each day.  I think I'm going to continue wearing new things every day--I have stuff I purchased months ago (mostly at thrift stores) that I haven't worn yet.  And that's just dumb.

An Interesting Alternative

Today I received an email from an HR rep stating that after reviewing my resume, they want me to fill out a brief questionnaire (self-assessment) on which I briefly list specific experiences/accomplishments that match up with the job requirements.  Completing this questionnaire was very much like having that initial HR screener call, only more concise (and clearly a lot faster for them).  I guess they'll decide who talks to the hiring manager on the basis of this questionnaire.

In other news--you know how companies say they will keep your resume on file in the event of a future job opening that matches your skills, blah blah, and obviously that's totally bogus?  Well, apparently it does happen sometimes.  I applied for a job at a market research firm a couple weeks ago (and heard nothing) but then this week, their HR rep emailed me to ask whether I was interested in an opening that had just come up (which was the same job title as the job I'd applied for earlier).  I responded Yes, and we chatted briefly by phone, and I now have a phone interview with two of the directors on Monday.  Nice!

My current situation looks like:
--Have received an email following my in-person interview with a market research company, asking me to keep them updated on my status as they continue with their process.
--Have an in-person interview with a state agency next Thursday (I have not had phone conversations with anyone prior to this, the only time this has happened yet in my current job search).
--Had phone interview with hiring manager at a company (client-side) on Monday and am waiting to hear back as to whether I will be brought in for in-person interview (there will be only one in-person interview before they choose their candidates--they are hiring either 2 or 3 people, I wasn't entirely clear which).
--Have phone interview with hiring manager at a different research company this coming Monday, as mentioned above.
--Completed the questionnaire alternative to HR screener with a company (client-side) today, as mentioned above.

So, the job search continues and all is going well.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Cardigans and Other Stuff

UPDATE:  My mom was curious about the cardigan lengths so I added them below.  (I measured from the outer shoulder, where the shoulder meets the sleeve, and straight down.)

I did a major online shopping run over the Labor Day weekend and was lucky to mostly find what I had been looking for.  One of the primary targets of this shopping was some colorful cardigans.  I had a good number of black and grey cardigans but was low on brighter colors -- and with cardigan season lasting about 9 months in Snow City, having cardigans is important.  (By contrast, I own one pair of shorts that are not wear-while-I-exercise-only shorts.  I'm not in Texas anymore.)

My mom has also been in the market for cardigans so I thought I would show some (terrible!) photos of the cardigans I bought, as well as some other things.  (Because I often buy new things and put them away, not to wear them for a while, I've been striving this week to wear several new items every day.)  Because I'm holding my arms up to take the photos, it's kind of hard to see exactly how the sweaters lay, but none of them are horribly baggy/shapeless or anything, and you can see how they look on a model at the links that I'm including along with prices -- though of course you don't want to buy anything online without checking for a coupon code at retailmenot first!

Day 1

This is such a common look for me in the summer.  T-shirt, skirt, cardigan, and necklace or scarf.

New items:
*Olive cardigan from Kohl's (still on sale for $30.80, fits true to size) (26.5")
*Olive patterned skort from Kohl's (I love the pseudo-camo look to this, esp. as a birding skirt)

Day 2

This one was so fun; I was smiling every time I saw myself in it.  I loved adding another graphic T to the mix and this one was super on sale.

New items:
*Teal cardigan from Lands End (still on sale for $24.99, fits true to size) (26")
*Parrot t-shirt from Kohl's (can you tell it also has postage cancelation on it?  I was like, WTF, and Robert suggested that it is intended to be reminiscent of a vacation postcard from an exotic locale.  I'm all over that.  Note: it's important to pronounce parrot as "pay-rot" when referring to this shirt. rhymes with "kay-rot" that way, and I always called carrots "kay-rots" when addressing my bunnies.)
*Burgundy jeans from Kohl's
*Leopard belt from Target

Day 3

I didn't wear a cardigan with this outfit until later in the evening, when I added my beloved cheap-ass Wal-Mart cardigan -- black and thin fabric -- that I bought to wear in OK and TX last winter (a winter cardigan for the south = a summer cardigan up here).  The fish scarf isn't new, but I haven't worn it much yet and love it (Target).  Something about black and white striped shirt + scarf = as close to casual French chic as I ever get (not that close, admittedly, but still).  Also note that yes, I am a convert to the semi-tuck.  Please excuse my pathetic photo fix of the hovering Grey Box Menace -- I didn't really want the world to see my undies hanging on the drying rack.

New items:
*Striped shirt from Macy's
*Jeans from Kohl's

Day 4

Because it was the weekend, I got Robert to take this photo.  I had initially thought, damn, too bad I don't have any grey shoes....then remembered these comfy old Skechers shoes. 

New items:
*Berry cardigan from Lands End ($30, fits true to size; I also got this in cobalt blue) (25.5")
*Grey jeans from Kohl's

Day 5

Again, I added that same black cardigan when I got cool later.  I decided to dress up a bit in honor of a phone interview I had in the afternoon.  The blouse looks a odd with my arms in this position, but under normal circumstances, it is loose but has a nice drape so it isn't totally shapeless as it might seem here.  (This kind of shirt is not as "figure flattering" as some, but I really like to wear something looser that surrenders the waist sometimes.)  These pants will need to either be hemmed or relegated to wearing with shoes that aren't totally flat.  

New items:
*Red animal print blouse from Jones New York
*Black pants from Rafaella
*Red flats from Nordstrom

Day 6

I love these braided belts I bought at Target a few months ago -- I hate it when you are between holes on a normal belt, and these avoid that issue altogether because you can size them at any point.

New items:
*Teal cardigan from Macy's ($27.99, fits true to size; I also bought it in berry).  I know this is two teal cardigans, but they have different fabrications and different shapes.  This one is gathered in the back so it is more curve-fitting than the other. (26")
*Sleeveless shirt from Kohl's
*Jeans from Kohl's

Day 7

This brings us up to date to today.  These shoes have a 2" wedge heel and are super comfortable and as stable as much flatter shoes -- excellent.

New items:
*Royal blue cardigan from Lands End ($59, fits true to size) (26")
*Jeans from Old Navy

You can see that my fall formula is knit shirt, cardigan, pants/jeans, and scarf.  I love layering and am glad to be living somewhere that supports that choice most of the year.

I still have a couple other cardigans to add, which I'll do over the next few days.

Favorite Inappropriate Job of the Week

Despite my marketing background, I don't think I have what it takes to be a Bee Squad Coordinator.

Monday, September 16, 2013

An Easy One

Before posting my rabbit photo on FB, I thought, I should see whether I can figure out its genotype based on the 11 loci I talked about in my last post.  This seemed kind of daunting, but then I saw the photo -- a brown Dutch.  This is easy!


(Note: the _ indicates that because the rabbit shows the dominant characteristic, it's not possible to know whether the other gene is the dominant or recessive version; the bun looks the same either way.  Only the breeding will tell.  Or, I suppose, gene typing.)

It's funny how after a couple hours on the internet, a person can know more about a topic like the genetics of rabbit fur coloration than like 99.999% of the population.

Note: I actually screwed it up the first time, despite the fact that it was easy.  I was like the kid at the spelling bee so relieved to get an easy word that she isn't careful enough and blows it.  Hah.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dominant Bunny

Behaviorally, Leo was our dominant bunny and Katy the submissive (I always called her "phlegmatic") partner.

Genetically, who had the dominant genes?  Let's investigate their fur coloration genes.

What follows is a basic explanation of the genes that affect fur coloration.  I started reading about this tonight because of comments that have arisen in response to my daily rabbit postings on FB, and it's really interesting stuff.  But I would understand if you want to skim over this part.


There are five series (loci) of genes, labeled A-E for reasons that will be clear below.

A=Agouti pattern.  This refers to the presence or absence of banding on the hair shaft, which affects the pattern of coloration, not the color of the hair itself. 
Dominant: A - agouti - the hair shaft has bands of color that give the bun the light-to-dark pattern over the fur.  The bands are (moving from skin-end of hair to tip) white, gray, rufous (reddish orange), and black.  This is the familiar "wild rabbit" look.
Intermediate: At - otter, aka tan -  same as agouti only the main part of the body has hair shafts with a solid color.
Recessive: a - self - the hair shaft is a solid color so the rabbit has a solid coloration pattern over the entire body (and the fur is a solid color down to the skin).

Katy:  Definitely had an agouti coloration. (Could be AA or Aa.)
Leo:  ???

B=Black coloration.  Affects the intensity of the black pigment.
Dominant: B - black
Recessive: b - brown (aka chocolate)

Katy:  Definitely had a black coloration.  (Could be BB or Bb.)
Leo:  I think he also had a black coloration.  (Could be BB or Bb.)  The fact that he was bred to Katy further suggests this because typically people breed the same color together.

**Note that when you combine the dominant A (agouti) and B (black) genes, you get a rabbit like Katy who looks brownish, not black, because of the banding of the hair shaft given by the agouti gene.  (Remember that one of the bands is a reddish color and that shows up in her pattern of coloration.)  Only a self black, with no banding to the hair shaft, will look black.

C=Complete color. This affects the shading or albinism of the rabbit.  There are five options here, listed in order of most to least dominant.
Dominant: C - complete - all pigments normal
cch3/cchd - chincilla - black is normal, yellow pigment becomes white
cch2/cchl - shaded - reduces the black pigment, eliminates yellow pigment
cch1/ch - himalayan or californian - color is restricted to the "points" (like on a siamese cat), the rest of the body is white, and eyes are red.  What's weird/cool is that this is temperature sensitive!  The color only shows up on the cool areas (the extremities).
Recessive: c - albino - no color and red eyes, aka red-eyed white (REW)

Katy and Leo:  Definitely had a complete coloration.  (Could be CC or C with another type.)

D=Dense color.  Affects how much black or brown pigment (from the B locus) is present.  Does not affect the intensity/chemical composition of the pigment itself.
Dominant: D - dense
Recessive: d - dilute - gives a faded look (black becomes blue, chocolate becomes lilac)

Katy and Leo:  Definitely had a dense coloration.  (Could be DD or Dd.)

E=Extension of color.  Affects the quantity of black pigmentation.  There are four options here.
Dominant: Ed - dominant black - will make any rabbit look black.
Es - steel - overproduction of black on the shaft makes the bun look darker.
E - normal extension ej - Japanese - the yellow and black pigments are in separate areas instead of on the same hair shaft, creates the brindled mix of colors of the harlequin/magpie.
Recessive: e - no black pigment at all, turns the rabbit red/fawn.

Katy and Leo:  Definitely had a normal extension.  (Could be EE or E with another type.)

So no wonder we see Katy-looking rabbits so often -- the castor rex is what you get when your bun has at least one copy of the dominant gene on each of the 5 loci!

But there are other genes that also affect the coloration pattern.  Here is one that's important for my buns:

En=Broken factor (English spotting gene).  Gives the rabbit that Leo look of the color "broken up" with white areas.  Present in some breeds (such as mini rex).
Dominant: En - broken
Recessive: en - non-broken

A rabbit with two En genes (EnEn) is called a Charlie and has very little non-white color.
A rabbit with one En and one en (Enen) is a normal broken.
A rabbit with two en genes (enen) is non-broken.

Katy:  Definitely had non-broken pattern.  Must be enen.  Recessive on both.
Leo:  Definitely had a normal broken pattern.  Must be Enen.  Dominant on one, recessive on the other.

There are also plus/minus modifier genes that affect how much of the white and dark colors will appear on the broken colored bunny--whether it has the "blanket" of dark color or the "spots" of dark color (like Leo).

Others include Du (dutch factor--gives that sharp white triangle and other markings of the dutch rabbit), Si (silvering--creates silver hairs), V (vienna--creates a blue-eyed white rabbit), W (wideband--the yellow band of the hair shaft is larger), and P (changes eyes to pink).  These are recessive, i.e., require two of the recessive genes to show up on the bunny, and neither of my buns had these them.


OK it looks like Katy was dominant on all genes (i.e., at least one of her pair for each loci must be the dominant version of the gene) except the broken coloration (10 out of 11).

Leo...harder to say.  He was dominant on somewhere between 9 and 11 out of the 11 genes, but if I had to guess, I would say 11 of the 11.

It would not be implausible to me that Leo was an exceptionally dominant rabbit even where his coloration genes were concerned.

My thanks to the following web sites, from which I gathered the genetic information above and hopefully did not mangle it too badly in the process:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brief Work Update

It's been a while since I've written anything about my job search, but it continues.  So far this month, I've had 4 phone screens with HR -> 2 phone interviews with hiring managers (plus one scheduled for Monday) -> 1 in-person interview (plus one scheduled for next week).  And I have also been invited for an in-person interview for a state job in two weeks without any phone interviews -- this is the first time that's happened.  It seems that everyone else is doing phone interviews first.

The in-person interview next week comes as a big surprise to me.  After getting off the phone with the hiring manager, I felt like I didn't do a very good job on the interview and thought I wasn't going to get a call back.  (I called my mom to talk about it because it rattled me a bit.)  But then it was easy to think of all the possible downsides of the job and I was OK with the situation.  Now I'm in this weird place where I've sort of already talked myself into the idea that I didn't want the job anyway, but I am going to be interviewing for it (and seeming enthusiastic, etc., is critical on an interview).  Well, I guess I have a little while to talk myself back into wanting, or at least being open to, the job.

I also got word this week, after my emailing the HR contact, that I'm not getting a job I had done a phone screen on and had found myself strangely attracted to.  I did this phone call and I was supposed to hear back the next week, but I heard nothing for two weeks, and when I asked the HR person, she said that the hiring manager had gone on vacation for two weeks and she needed to follow up with him.  The next day, she told me that the hiring manager had decided to hire a person that he had interviewed (in person) before leaving for his vacation.  Um, OK.  I know that hiring managers do this weird shit, but seriously, couldn't he have told the HR person before he left so that they could get moving forward with the paperwork?  I hope (for their sake) that their candidate hasn't taken another job -- I suppose for my own sake I should hope that he/she has.  Anyway, I think I was attracted to this job because the office location is extremely convenient to my apartment, and I had let myself think about how great it would be to live close by.

The moral of these stories is that there is really no upside to thinking too much about any given job, either before you apply for it or after.  It's impossible to know, even after several rounds of interviews, what the job is really going to be like, so trying too hard to imagine it prior to that is just a waste of time, I think.  It's too easy to get caught up on things like "oh, this is in a convenient location" or "maybe I wouldn't like working with that kind of data anyway" or whatever, and whatever you read in the job description is not at all going to give you a feel for what it's like to work in the specific environment, with the specific people, and all that -- indeed, the job description will probably even fail to tell you what the job itself is really going to involve and what the day-to-day duties will be for you to imagine it at all plausibly.  It all seems kind of premature until you have received, if not an actual job offer with a dollar figure, etc., attached to it, strong indication that you are a very top candidate for the position. 

This being said, it's difficult not to think a bit about a job you've started the interviewing process with, and that's fine.  But in my view it's a mistake to get too emotionally attached or have strong feelings about a job (including feelings that might keep you from applying to a job that once you start learning more about it, will seem more appealing) until you are close to needing to make an actual decision about it.  With most jobs, the probability of your needing to make a decision is close to 0.  My (ideal) approach is just apply to the job, feel a sense of accomplishment when you put it on your Excel spreadsheet of job applications, and move on to the next opportunity.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Remarkable Pun

I dedicate this one to Robert, my resident punster-in-chief.

(Hat tip: AlreadyPretty)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Another Sally: A Castaway Tale

Yesterday, the level of Solitaire Blitz I played on Facebook featured a cartoon character named Sally (an octopus, I think).  I was going to say that a Sally computer game character is a new one for me, but I have seen (though not played) the games Sally's Salon, Spa, and Studio.  So I guess I'll say that the Sally octopus computer game character is a new one for me.

Like Gilligan, she is stranded on a deserted island.

Like the professor, she is good at figuring out how to make all kinds of stuff out of coconuts.  However, she gets this knowledge the new old-fashioned way -- a distance degree program.  (Indeed, she fishes it out of the ocean.)

After gathering all her necessary equipment, she puts her degree to work.  Who says a doctorate isn't practical?  You just have to make sure it's in an applied discipline.

....And when she gets back to civilization, she apparently returns to junior high, where her choice of term paper topic causes envy among her classmates on the next Solitaire Blitz level.

Such a Sally move -- to write a term paper on the topic of sharks, requiring an entirely separate literature review, when she no doubt could have re-purposed part of her dissertation on coconuts for this project.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day Shopping

Confession: I bought so much stuff online last night perusing the Labor Day weekend sales that my credit card was blocked due to suspected fraud -- this happened once before when I bought a bunch of shoes on Zappo's in about 4 different orders, one right after the other.  Fortunately, my retention to order ratio for clothes and shoes purchased on the Internet is something in the range of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 (depending on the category), so it's not as crazy as it seems.

I actually really like shopping online for clothes and shoes much better than in stores.  My stamina for shopping is sort of low, so by the time I've picked stuff out to try on, I'm kind of tired of it all already, and the idea of going from one store to another is exhausting even to consider.  But shopping online is fast, and travel time is a non-issue, and by the time the items start arriving (in a semi-staggered fashion over several days) next week, I'll be ready to start trying them on.  I also love that I can try items on from different stores to compare easily side-by-side and that I can try them with things I already have.  With shoes especially, I like trying them with the hose/socks (if used) that I would wear with them and doing things like walking up and down the stairs of my condo.  (You can do this with things you buy in the store also, of course, but I have not historically approached shopping in stores this way.  I think if I can find something that fits reasonably well, looks reasonably good, and is in my price range, I tend to pull the trigger on it right there and stop looking because it means not having to go to more stores, try on more things, etc.  I just want to be done.  But with online shopping, I go into it knowing that the majority of the things I buy I won't want and will either mail back or return to the store, so I am a bit more selective.)

Robert was really funny this morning when I told him about my (late-night) shopping spree -- he said, I hope you checked out the return policies before buying those things.  It's a reasonable concern (though bruited somewhat late in the game, in my opinion) but seriously, this is not my first rodeo.  I bought from stores that have either free return shipping or that it will be (relatively) easy for me to return items to (I say "relatively" because even though Macy's isn't that far, it will take me several trips to return the amount that I anticipate returning), with two exceptions.  The first was Jones New York, who charges a flat $7.50 fee for returns by mail -- I am hungry, hungry for leopard print stuff and they had an awesome selection that I simply had to sample from.

The second was a very special situation -- I saw a blogger wearing a T-shirt from Out of Print Clothing and I was immediately compelled to go to their website and order one for myself.  (I had recently noted a distinct absence of graphic T's in my wardrobe since the demise of my Rabbit Ambulance shirt and have been wanting to fill that hole -- I'm not into the dumb/aggressive messaged shirts, but I do like to have a few T's with neat images -- so it was very well-timed.  The fact that they're also having a 20% off back to school sale made it easier to justify buying two shirts.)  This company specializes in clothing based on books.  Any guesses what two books I will be sporting on T-shirts in the near future?

Think, and then scroll..........

Come on, this one is too easy!

Here's the first, the one I saw the woman wearing and thought MINE.  Not only do I have a gorgeous tinted print of this scene hanging on the wall of my office (a wonderful gift from Robert), I use a snip of this scene as my blogger avatar.  Yep, here it is:

Not only is it Alice, it's even a scene with the March Hare, so it's doubly awesome.  The only thing that could have been better is if they had a second Alice t-shirt with another of my favorite drawings from the stories -- the Cheshire Cat looming over the people arguing over whether he was to lose his head or not (given that his body had disappeared and he was, in fact, only a head).  And well, there are a bunch of John Tenniel's Alice drawings I would like to have on a T-shirt.  But I'm not going to get greedy here.  They picked a very fine drawing to represent the Alice stories and I am going to love wearing it.

The second one is all about the buns.

How cool is that?

If you now feel compelled to buy an awesome book T-shirt for yourself (and really, who could blame you), note that they have both Women's and Men's/Unisex style T-shirts, and pay careful attention to the sizing guide because on the Women's side at least, they run small -- I had to order up from my usual size, and a person much bigger than I would be SOL on the Women's style shirts.  Of course, because I haven't received the shirts yet, I can't comment on how they match up to my expectations from the sizing guide.  I really hope they work out!

I had also been wanting a bird shirt recently, and satisfied that with a shirt from Nordstrom that ended up draping so well (and tucking and semi-tucking so nicely) that I bought it in several colors.  This is the shirt -- sweet, isn't it?  (I tried to make the image big so you could see the pattern -- it's green and white birds facing each other, beak to beak, that makes up the diamond pattern.)

But lest you think my weekend is all about shopping (and doing crossword puzzles, one of my big things today), tomorrow I will be laboring for Labor Day, getting ready for two phone interviews on Tuesday and sending in some more job applications.  I know I have two "excellent" prospects to apply to and some others that are in the "good" to "very good" range.

I hope your Labor Day will be relaxing or exciting or productive ... or whatever combination of those things that you would like.

One of These Images is Not Like the Others

...and no, I'm not talking about all the bunnies I've been posting on Facebook!  (Robert is not the comment-on-FB type so I will share with you here his comment on today's picture when I explained that hotot is, per the collective wisdom of the internet, pronounced like hoe-toe: "So it's a hotot photo." Indeed.)

But please do enjoy this EQ Exclusive rabbit photo -- this is a very relaxed-looking English lop doin' the flop, and yes, her ears are supposed to be that long.

All the better to ignore you with

Now, onto the other images.  I had a similar kind of WTF reaction to this Harper's Bazaar lay-out as Nicolette Mason.  That woman is dressed like Harper's Bizarre, and not in a good, fashion-forward, making-you-think, challenging-your-eye kind of way.  It's just embarrassing -- for the stylists, not for the model, who I think could be interpreted as giving a "hells no" to the way they made her up. (And the shoes!  For the love of God, give the woman awesome shoes!)

The rabbits say, Two thumps to that!