Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Government Technical Difficulties, Local Edition

I am currently completing an "exam" for a research/analysis job with a public school system.  It's like a phone interview set out in written form, but damn, this thing is taking forever to complete -- it counts for 70% of my total score and the "oral exam" (in person interview, I assume) counts for 30%.  (They don't state this explicitly, but I assume highest total score gets the job.)

Anyway, I've been at this for a good while now and I've finally gotten to the last question.  I'm supposed to lay out two different analyses I might do with some particular data, and the exam links to 3 different online sources where I can get information about the datasets.  2 of them return errors that the page is not found.  The other requires a secure log-in with password to access the page.  Thanks, guys!  I guess I will be using the power of Google and my friends at MSU (making shit up) to answer this question.

It occurs to me that this could be a very devious and mean way to subvert the whole fair, open, objective selection system.  Amazingly, only one candidate (an internal one) came up with a really nice proposed analysis -- indeed, it seemed like she was the only one who really understand what the data were.  But when it comes to government flunkies, in my experience it is best to assume incompetence over maliciousness unless you have good reason to think otherwise.

Yet More Animals

...but this time not rabbits.

A Bird Sweater

I had this combo in mind ever since I bought those shoes.

New items:
**Turquoise and yellow bird cardigan from Target ($15 sale)
**Mustard flats by Mia ($14 sale at 6pm)

You need a close-up of the sweater, of course.

I have almost gotten rid of this knit shirt (thrifted, Banana Republic) several times because it's starting to form tiny holes near the hem, but I love the color and can't quite bear to give it up.  I'm glad I kept it because I enjoyed how it brought out the lighter shade of turquoise in the sweater.  (Aqua? Teal?  Whatever.  This light yet bright blue that matches the turquoise in the necklace.)

Leopard Print Scarf

My hunt for a leopard print scarf finally came to an end.  There are a lot of choices out there, but it was hard to find one I liked.  I was pleasantly surprised when this one arrived from Target and looked so right.  I am a fan of the inclusion of both grey and a light brown in the scarf and the lack of any weird metallic thread highlights, random beading, etc., that seem to be so common on leopard print scarves.

New items:
**Leopard print scarf from Target
**Burgundy drape neck t-shirt from Lands End

And the close-up...

My leopard print collection is nearing completion.  (By which I mean of course only that I will have the basic necessities taken care of.)  I am still on the look-out for a leopard print coat, however.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flowery Top Remix

Because of a job interview last week, I found myself wearing my flowery grey top again.

Pants Version I Wore the Rest of the Day

New items:
**Black pants (thifted, Dockers) -- I have better luck fitting thrifted Dockers, from previous styles of pants, than new ones.  These are a "slightly curvy" fit that I like a lot but that they do not make any longer.  (They don't appear to make a slightly curvy or curvy fit at all lately, which seems weird -- I can't imagine their customers have become appreciably less curvy in the past couple years.)
**Grey and black leopard print flats by Fergalicious that I purchased as part of a $14 sale at 6pm.  I selected Flats and Comfort and the shoes I purchased do all seem (at first wearing) comfortable (enough for wearing around the house -- I don't know about walking any real distance, but I did not purchase them for that purpose; I just was in the mood for some fun shoes).  Zappos/6pm seems to have more reliable "comfort" labeling than Nordstrom does, in my experience.

With the Skirt from My Suit

This is what the top looks like tucked into the (really cute, I think) skirt from my suit.  (To the interview, of course I wore the whole suit and heels, but while I had the skirt on, I thought I'd try what this would look like in a business casual incarnation.  I liked it.)

Leopard Flat Close Up


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wearing the Buns

I enjoyed wearing my Watership Down t-shirt again last week.  When it got colder in the evening, I put on an unlined cotton navy blue jacket.  (I know; it's crazy warm in my apartment still on most sunny days.  Today it got up to 73 and I had to open the balcony door again.)

New item:
**Orange woven belt from Target

In other bunny attire news, I saw these PJs in the (well, a: they sent me two different ones this past week) Nordstrom catalog and I love them. 

But nope, not paying $58 for PJs that don't even have rabbits on the bottom -- esp. for PJs that have a color bleed issue (per the review).  It did give the idea, however, of making my own version of this sleep top.  Do I dare brave the machine applique?  (I've only done a bit of hand applique, and that shit takes forever.  I would have to watch like the entirety of Star Trek: Voyager to do two big bunnies.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Scarf Steal and Other New Things

I've fallen behind on my outfit posts, but I'm still going.

A Lovely Scarf

I purchased this scarf at Goodwill because I thought the colors were pretty.  I wore it in a very plain mix (white Lands End t-shirt and black Loft skirt) so the scarf would be showcased.

When I washed the scarf (by hand -- it only takes a minute, so I don't mind), I was somewhat surprised by its texture, and I was all the more surprised by how it lay on the drying rack.  Then I realized:  Duh, the scarf is silk; that's why it feels this way.  I only spent a couple bucks on it, so I hadn't really thought about what fabric it was made of.  A nice score for me.

New items:
**Olive and cobalt silk scarf (thifted, Ellen Tracy)
**These Anne Klein shoes have been returned.  After wearing them a very brief time, I realized they were rubbing my foot on one side, so they did not meet my (pretty high) comfort standards.  That's OK -- I still have my brown leopard smoking slippers (though those look better with pants, to my eye, than dresses, probably because of the higher vamp).

Another Interview Top

I'm starting to forget what I've posted and what I've not (too bad there's no way to check that, isn't it -- heh).  Anyway, in case you haven't seen it before, this is a top I bought at Kohl's that I thought would be a nice business casual thing for wearing out over pants (I bought it in the store with credits I'd earned from my previous online purchases), but I also wore it to an interview with my pant suit.  During the rest of the day of the interview, I wore the top with black jeans as seen here.

New item???:
**Flowery top from Kohl's

Navy Stripes

As you've heard/seen before, I love stripes.  Here I'm wearing a striped t-shirt I'm not sure I've worn before (I'm pretty certain I've not shown it on EQ in any case).  For extra fun, I wore it with one of my favorite pairs of socks -- striped, of course.

New items:
**Striped navy t-shirt from Target
**Blue woven belt from Target

Flannel Sheet Adventure

My flannel sheet set finally bit the dust.  One of the pillowcases had a hole in it, as did the bottom sheet.  When Robert tore the sheet off the bed last weekend, the bottom sheet ripped, a clear indicator that it was time to replace this set of sheets (that had been well-used before my mom passed them on to me) with a brand spanking new set.  I went to Overstock.com, my historical go-to for discount priced sheets, but I felt sort of blah about the offerings.  Lots of solid sheets, which is fine but not thrilling.  The only cute sheets they had were more expensive than I wanted.  So I did a Google Shopping search for "bird flannel sheets" and was somewhat surprised how few were available.  Fortunately, one of the first hits was a set of sheets from Target for $25, which was part of their holiday sheets collection.  I loved the look, so despite the almost scary low price, I went for it.  Even though they are supposedly "holiday," they will work just fine with my quilt that I use year-round that has a kind of "things seen around my rustic cabin in the woods" theme.

So the red birds, brown pine cones, and green pine needles on the sheets are a great match.  The colors are consistent, the theme is consistent, and the quilt even has a "red birds with pine cones" square of its own.

The sheets are impressively warm.  So far, I haven't put my electric blanket on the bed, though we have not hit real winter temperatures yet.  (Today was supposed to have a high around 17, so winter is coming, however.)  I like the fact that after a couple hours, I wake up warm enough to take off my socks, and I can move my feet around without them getting cold.  There is something luxurious feeling about sleeping in the fall/winter without socks in Snow City.

The only downside so far is that when we washed the sheets before putting them on the bed, a huge amount of fluff came off the sheets, but not quite enough.  I'm still waking up with little bits of white stuck to my pajamas when I get up in the morning.  This weekend, we're going to try drying the sheets then running them through the fluff (no heat) cycle a few times -- we hope that after a while (and with us regularly removing all the lint from the lint filter in the dryer as they go), all the obvious extra lint will have detached itself and I can sleep on sheets that do not attach little bits of themselves on me during the night.

So I don't know whether the sheets will eventually stop pilling, or how well they will stand up to repeated laundering and usage, but I'm pleased with them so far.  No holes, you know?  That's a major improvement right there.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Feeding the Process

All 3 (in-person) interviews I had last week went well, and I think the chances are very good that I will advance to the next stage of the process with at least one of them.  I had another (in-person) interview yesterday that was OK, but I don't think the Sally-job fit is that great; it's a small organization getting into an expansion phase, and it seems that they want to hire one person with 3 different (but related) skill sets.  And sadly, one of my main skill sets (primary research) is not one of them.  But that's fine.

Today, while I have been basically on pins and needles as I wait to hear back regarding last week's interviews, I applied to 5 jobs, all of which were a good fit for me.  I still have one "good" fit and a bunch of "OK" fit jobs that I will continue applying to this week.  I've got to keep the stream of applications going in if I want more interviews down the road, and anyway, applying to a bunch more jobs after doing some promising interviews appeals to a certain kind of magic thinking for me -- you know, something akin to the idea "If I bring an umbrella, it won't rain and I won't need it, but if I don't bring an umbrella, it will rain and I'll regret it."  When your grounded, rational thinking and your fanciful, magical thinking are suggesting the same course of action, I guess that's a good way to go. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Basic Beef Stew

Today I got a bunch of cooking done.  6 servings of Chicken Junot (for me), 4 servings of Chicken Tetrazzini Supreme (for Robert), and 8 servings of Basic Beef Stew (using slightly different recipes for Robert and me -- he likes potato but no mushroom; I like mushroom but no potato).

Here is the recipe I used for my version of the stew, modified from a Cooking Light recipe.  I used only about 2 cups of broth in mine (~16 oz instead of 28 oz) and when it was done, all the liquid had boiled off, leaving me a substance that is more like Roasted Beef, Carrots, and Mushrooms than stew.  (I had it for dinner -- it still tasted good.)  I have sometimes used less than the full amount of broth, but not so drastically less, and liked that.  Depends on how much broth you like with your stew.  The original recipe has you dredge the beef in flour first, so the broth thickens upon cooking -- if you use the full amount with this modified recipe, your end product will be a bit "brothier" but still delicious.

Basic Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms - Paleo Style
Serves 4

2 t. olive oil, divided
1 lb. small cremini mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ lb. lean stew meat in bite sized chunks
3/4 t. salt, divided
1 c. dry red wine
1 T. dried thyme
2 14-oz cans low sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
12-20 oz. cubed carrot (or baby carrot cut in thirds)*
½ t. black pepper

1.     Heat 1 t. olive oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Sauté mushrooms for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown.  Spoon mushrooms into large bowl.  Spray pan with cooking spray and sauté onion for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown.  Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.  Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
2.     Heat 1 t. oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add beef; sprinkle with ¼ t. salt.  Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.  Add beef to mushroom mixture.
3.     Add wine to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits.  Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to boil.  Stir in beef mixture.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour.
4.     Stir in carrot.  Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally.  Stir in remaining ½ t. salt and pepper.  Discard bay leaf.

*I usually go kind of light on the carrots because I'm watching my carb count, but it's also great with more if you like.  The original recipe calls for 1 lb. cued white or red potato that you can add if you want to...well, not beef it up...carb it up?  I think it's great without the potato, though, and don't miss it at all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shortening Jeans

I used the clever, easy method described in a couple of tutorials I found -- it has you take in fabric just above the hemline so that you can maintain the original hem on your jeans, which is sometimes in contrasting thread and is always a kind of thick, awkward place to sew.  Even if you don't care about keeping the original hem, I think this method works very nicely, especially when you are taking the jeans up only a small amount and would otherwise have to try to unpick the original hem to fold the fabric up at the bottom (because the original hem is just too thick to turn up, if that makes sense).  I used a zipper foot and did stitch down the "flap" using thread that looks basically invisible on the jeans.

Let's start with a close-up of the hem area.

If you look closely, I think you can see that just above (well, because of my orientation here, below) the original orange hem, there is a line of blue stitching -- that's where I have sewn down the "flap" created when I took in some of the fabric to shorten the jeans.  It's kind of tough to see even when you're looking at it up close, and it's really not at all noticeable when you're looking at the jeans from any kind of normal distance/orientation.

Here are some outfits featuring newly shortened jeans.

11/5 - Black and Shiny

Yep, black is definitely showing up weird in my photos.  OK.

New items:
**Black jeans from Target (I have owned these for over a year and I don't think I ever wore them because they were a bit too long; I shortened them by about 1.25" and now they are perfect with flats)
**Black sequined tunic (thifted, Macy's brand)

11/8 - Floral Fun

I created this outfit around the idea that I wanted to wear the newly shortened jeans and this 3/4 length sleeve cardigan -- I had a bunch of cooking to do, and a 3/4 length sleeve is a great alternative to a long sleeve when you want to keep your clothes out of the food and (always a problem for me) out of the water when you're washing your hands.  The 3/4 length sleeve is like wearing a permanently scrunched long sleeve, and I don't know about you, but my long sleeves like to un-scrunch just as I get my hands under the faucet and get themselves soaked.  (Yes, I am aware you can also fold your long sleeves to the desired point, and I do that, too, but when a 3/4 sleeve is available, it's the better option in many cases, for me anyway.)

New item:
**Blue jeans (thifted, JC Penney brand -- I'd had these for quite a while, too, though not as long as the black ones)

11/10 - Pink Stripes

This is what I wore to get my hair cut (when we went out, I wore a new black moto jacket I bought at JC Penney over Labor Day, which of course I forgot to photograph -- I'll have to get that and the oft-mentioned, never-seen black wool coat).  At the hair place, one of the women was immediately like, "Oh, I love your shoes!" and pointed them out to a couple of the other employees of the place.  (Don't think pink is a fall color?  Bah!)  I built this outfit around the shoes and the necklace, and was just lucky to have a shirt that worked with both colors.

But you seriously need to see a close-up of the necklace to understand this whole thing.

It doesn't just have animal print beads, it has actual animals -- 3 excellent lions.  Is that fun or what?  I doubled up the animal print by wearing my leopard print belt with it.

New item:
**Lion necklace (thifted -- purchased the previous day at the Goodwill "boutique" with my interview coats)

11/11 - Colorblock Goodness

OK, I confess, I actually wore this sweater for the first time about two weeks ago, but that was with a pair of jeans that I've been wearing even though they're a smidge too short and that I can now (put in a stack with the intention to) shorten into knee-length shorts for the (brief) summer because I have finally hemmed other jeans to an appropriate length!

New item:
**Blue colorblock cardigan from Target (part of their recent $15 sweater sale)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Lands End Stuff

A couple of red Lands End items formed the basis of these outfits.

11/2 - Red Knit Top

Here you can also see how the wide elastic belt works over a shirt tucked into a skirt.  I just think it looks neater than the waistband alone in some cases (and here, I liked how it repeated the black detail on the shoes).

New items:
**Red knit top from Lands End
**Tan pleated skirt (thifted, Old Navy -- it came with a weird cord belt that I removed immediately)

11/9 - Red Ponte Jacket

This is what I wore coat shopping so that I could be sure that any coat I bought would fit over a jacket.  The fabric is soft and stretchy so the comfort level is somewhere between a cardigan and a regular jacket -- it was definitely comfy enough for me to wear it all day, not just for shopping purposes.

New item:
**Red ponte jacket from Lands End

Friday, November 15, 2013

Miscellaneous Outfits

There's no nice unifying theme to these outfits other than "Things Sally Wore Recently."

11/1 - Shell Top

New items:
**Aqua and navy shell design top from Nordstrom (in the same style as the bird shirt at the bottom of this post)
**Navy cardigan from Kohl's

11/3 - Summer Pieces, Fall Colors

I don't think any of these items are new, but this is the brown cardigan I mentioned in the previous post (with the purplish animal top).  And yes, it is the brother of the navy cardigan above.  I got this basic cardigan from Kohl's in navy, brown, olive, ... I can't remember if there's another color or not.  I really, really like this style of cardigan and think I purchased smart multiples rather than doing a "fear of missing out."  I wear cardigans most months of the year, and this simple open-front design feels current and adaptable (and works with pretty much anything underneath).

11/4 - Introducing the Lands End T-shirt, Long-Sleeved Version

These t-shirts are long...nice for tucking in, and a good length for jeans, but really too long to wear over a skirt.  I tucked it in for lack of better alternatives, but I felt that the thin waistband on the skirt didn't look quite right with the shirt tucked in -- I need to get a comfy, thick elastic belt in brown to wear in these situations.  I like how my black one works.

New item:
**Long-sleeved knit shirt from Lands End

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Brown Pants Debut

As part of my big Kohl's purchase over Labor Day, I got these light brown business casual pants that I have worn two ways so far.  They are a "curvy fit" style, which means that I can get them to fit comfortably over the hips/butt/thighs without a couple inch gap at the waistband, always a bonus. 

10/30 - Bright and Cozy

New items:
**Brown pants by Apt 9 (Kohl's brand)
**Bright pink cardigan (thrifted, Gap)
**White gather-neck knit top (thrifted, ?)

11/6 - Animal

New item:
**Purplish brown/tan animal print drape-neck top by Anne Klein (this is the same style as the teal top from my suit post)

When it got cool in the evening, I added a long brown cardigan over it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Suitable Interview Attire

It's been a while since I've posted any new clothes photos, but I've continued wearing new things and photographing my outfits.  To avoid overwhelming you with two weeks worth of stuff, I'm dividing up this set of photos into what I hope are semi-coherent groups to post in the coming days.

Because my mom asked about this just today (and because this is a Big Week on the job search front), I thought I'd start with my interview suits.  I have a jacket, pants, skirt, and dress all from the same suiting separates line (Tahari).  And amazingly, other than having the pants hemmed to my (low, about 2") heel height, I didn't need any alterations.

Here's the pant suit.  This is what I have worn most often.  (This specific photo is from yesterday.)

It looks kind of bizarrely grey and almost tweedy in this photo, but really, it's just a flat black material.  The shoes are (relatively) comfortable heels in the Cole Haan Nike Air line.

Here's a close-up of the top and necklace (both purchased with the suit).  I love this drape neck top (Anne Klein) and ended up purchasing it in two more colors later (on sale!).

Here's how it looks when I put my new (thifted) Gallery coat / Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter costume on over it.  See how excellently long it is!

When I was not at my interview, I wore the top in a business casual manner for the rest of the day.  (Everything's better with comfy and lovely leopard print smoking slippers.  Oh, and when I saw this post today, I was like, Wow, those look just like my shoes -- wait, they are the exact same ones.  Now if only I had her awesome scarf....)

And here is the skirt suit version (that I wore today) with a pair of Fitzwell heels (a little higher, a different shape, not patent -- for whatever reason, I liked the Cole Haan shoes with the pant suit and these with the skirt, so I got both).  Seriously, WTF is going on with the color on these things?  Do I need to clean my mirror??  Anyway, it looks quite normal in color and texture in person, but you're going to have to trust me on that.  But I like the fit (which of course is hard to tell with my goofy photo-in-the-mirror shot), and I think the little pleats on the skirt adds a bit of interest without being too flashy.

Here's how I wore the shirt and necklace (both also bought with the suit on my big Macy's trip using their personal shopping service) for the rest of the day.  I know, it's winter in Snow City, but when it's sunny, our apartment gets really warm.  It was 73 this afternoon in here and I had to open the patio door to cool it down.  (It also was legitimately just warmer today in general than it was yesterday, and we should be enjoying this warmer -- i.e., highs in the 40's to 50 -- for the next several days, so yay for that.)

And I think with this outfit I get to note two previously unworn items!
New items:
**Paisley drape neck top by Jones New York
**Black pleated skirt (thifted, Loft -- I bought this in April, people!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moving Right Along

I had an in-person interview this afternoon at a non-profit; it went fine, and I should hear back late next week to find out whether I will be advancing to the second round of interviews.

I have an in-person interview tomorrow morning at an education company.

I have an in-person "second round" (as they called it in the email; the first was by phone) interview at a for-profit university.

I have an HR screening on Monday at another non-profit.

So things are moving along with the job search.  Who knows what will happen with any of these specific positions, but it's just good to have things in the pipeline.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Interview Coat

We had our first snow last week, which made me think about needing an interview coat.  I have two in-person interviews scheduled for this coming week and one more that I'm waiting to hear on the time.

Tuesday - First interview with a non-profit organization.  I had a phone HR screen but haven't spoken to the hiring manager yet.

Wednesday - First interview with an education scoring company.  I applied to this one a month ago and didn't hear back.  Because it's a pretty stat-heavy job (of a psychometric variety), I wasn't surprised not to get a call.  But I got a call from HR out of the blue to schedule an in-person interview without an HR screen.  This is the first time I've gotten an interview invite without one that was not a state job.  (And only for one of the state jobs have I not had an HR screen before the interview.)  I can see that state hiring is more old-school overall, and because they publish the salary range with the job opening, they do not need to screen people for salary expectations.  I am still surprised that a private company would not try to get salary expectations from me before the interview.

Thursday or Friday - We haven't finalized the timing, but I have been invited for what the HR person described as a "second interview" with a for-profit university.  I had a phone interview with the hiring manager, and I guess they are counting that as a first interview.

This is going to be my most interview-filled week yet, and I'm feeling more encouraged (cautiously) about the job search at the moment (of course).

Anyway, I realized that although I have a lot of different coats, I do not have one that is job interview compatible, and it's only going to get colder as my job search continues.  The coats are too casual, too "made for serious cold weather" (e.g., down puffer), too colorful, and/or otherwise just not what I'm looking for in an interview coat.  My only wool coat -- which to me seems like the appropriate style/fabrication -- is a great bright red coat that to me is both too colorful and perhaps a bit too casual for the situation.  So I decided I wanted to get a boring but high quality black (or dark grey -- Robert has a lovely dark grey wool coat for work) wool coat that would not have the interviewers referring to me as "the woman with the [insert distinctive coat description here] coat."

I did some looking online, but don't have enough time to order something and have it come in, so I was facing having to go to stores this weekend to shop.  I thought I might try Goodwill first (they always have a bunch of coats, basically all year round) and Robert suggested that we try the two Goodwill "boutique" stores in the area.  The Goodwill people are smart -- they take the nicest, priciest, etc., clothes and put them in these smaller boutique stores where they charge more like consignment store prices than thrift store prices.  So you can get a good deal on a higher-end item but you're not going to find anything cheap (in price or quality).

We went to the closest one first by driving down University this morning...one hour before the football game started.  So we hit the game traffic and it took us a while to get past it.  I had not seen the stadium before, and it was a complete mob scene in the blocks around it.

When we got to the store, at first I thought it was super-tiny, but because it was built into what used to be a garage or something, it was roomier than it first appeared because it had multiple rooms.  Robert found the coats right away and within about 10-15 minutes, I had found two good coats.  The first is a lighter-weight coat with a zip-in liner that is black, in a classic shape, and (something I like) very long.  I was not familiar with the Gallery brand but it appears to be a mid-priced brand.  The coat was in such good condition that it basically looks new.  The second coat is a classic, very long black 100% wool coat -- vintage from Alorna, also in immaculate condition.  I wasn't sure which one to get, so I got both.  I don't own a long wool coat of any kind (my red one is butt-length) nor a lighter-weight coat that does not read outdoorsy or sporty.  At the checkout, I picked up a necklace that I could not resist (and that I look forward to showing you in a later post). 

The total for the two coats and the necklace was under $200.  Now, I could have gotten two coats new from Macy's or Kohl's for about that price (or more, depending on how good the sale is), but the quality would not have been as high and it would have taken a lot longer to pick them out.  (The time thing was a particular issue because Robert's getting sick with a cold and I wanted to get him home as soon as possible.)

I wore a blazer to the store so that I could try coats on over it, and I'm glad I did.  I tried on an absolutely stunning Brook Brothers coat that quite surprisingly fit perfectly in the waist/hips but was too narrow in the shoulders with the blazer on (I usually find the hips/ass the place that's sometimes too small), so I had to let it go.  (Oh, it occurs to me suddenly that the previous owner might have had the coat tailored to fit narrow shoulders, which would explain why it seemed so atypically pear shaped.)

So I am now covered for cold weather interviewing and I have checked out a cool store that I want to look at more closely at a time I don't have a sick companion along.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Job Market, Continued

Mom sent me this post about the stupid processes used by HR departments to find the perfect applicant for jobs.  I also liked this interview with the author of Why Good People Can't Find Jobs.

I have requested Why Good People Can't Find Jobs from my public library.  I liked the list of books with titles that came up on my search.

Liked it so much that I spent a few minutes going backward several pages to look at more of these Why books.

There was a lot of competition for best title, but I think I have to go with this one:  Why Fum'th into Fight.  It's a musical recording of a 16th century hymn apparently.

Runner-up (and I suppose #1 in the Book category) was Why Forums?, published in 1937 by the American Association for Adult Education.  It sounds like a 2013 marketing book about the importance of brand ambassadors engaging in rich social media interactions with customers.

Meanwhile, I continue applying for jobs and getting nibbles.  Today I arranged an in-person interview for next week and applied for a few jobs.  I have a couple more I'd like to apply to this evening.

BBC Mini Series

By a quirk of my Netflix queue, I started watching two BBC mini series last week.

First, Robert and I are watching "I, Claudius," a 1970's production based on the book by Robert Graves.  (I didn't remember that there was a book of this title until we saw the intro to the series; I read the book about 10 years ago and don't remember anything about it.  A couple days ago, I had the thought that I did remember something that was going to happen later in the story, but then realized I was confusing a scene from a book about Cicero I read about 5 years ago.)  The series stars Derek Jacobi (who will always be the monk from the Cafael mystery series) as Claudius.  There were a few other familiar-looking faces, but I'm not really up on British actors of that period.  However, one guy kept reminding me of someone, and after a bit, I realized he was reminiscent in manner, if not in appearance, of Brian Blessed, who played the king in "Black Adder."  I mentioned this to Robert and let it go, but then a day or so later, I thought, If there are only 50 British actors at a given time, and this actor reminds me of someone and is of the right time period, it probably is that person.  And indeed it was.  Looking up the cast list on Wikipedia informed me that another Extremely Well-Known British Actor will be appearing later in the series.  I will keep mum for now about this individual's identity so Robert can be appropriately surprised when he or she makes the first appearance.

UPDATE:  In  my 50 British Actor mode, I forgot to mention that when Robert and I first started watching it, we were somewhat unsure about it.  I was unhappy about the lack of subtitles for a British show, and there was something about the feel of the show that seemed weird.  But luckily, the show stars a bunch of classically-trained actors speaking Queen's English with the excellent enunciation and projection you would expect of stage actors, so after we turned off the nearby air filter and turned up the TV volume, we were able to understand 99% of what they were saying.  As for the weird feel, after a bit I realized that it seemed weird to me in exactly the way certain British and Australian programs I saw in childhood seemed weird to me -- that particular look and feel that comes with programs that are staged, lit, shot, and edited as though they are simply filming a stage play, not making a TV program/movie.  Once I thought of it as a film of a play, the weird feeling abated.

As a bonus, it is fun for me to continue my Roman history-lesson-through-television that started with the HBO show "Rome" -- the events of "I, Claudius" take place after, but not terribly long after, the events of "Rome."

Second, I am watching the recent mini series "The Hour," about an investigative news program at the BBC -- love triangles, murder, spies, intrigue, absolutely gorgeous dresses (I basically want to own every single thing the news producer Bel wears).  It stars Dominic West (who was so totally believable playing an American police detective in the best TV show of all time, "The Wire"), Ben Whishaw (whom I remember from the film "Perfume"), and a female actor who did not seem familiar to me, Romola Garai (though I have seen a few things she's been in).  In 50 British Actor news, I was happy to see the actor who played the pathologist George on many seasons of "Midsomer Murders" in a bit role.

Speaking of "Midsomer Murders," I think the police drama "Waking the Dead" (about a cold case unit) is joining that program as a heavily target-rich environment for 50 British Actor sightings.  Last week, I saw the pathologist Frankie from the first seasons of "Waking the Dead" and the balding Mr. Mosley from "Downton Abbey" as a married couple who owned a bar on "Midsomer Murders."  I also saw previously-discussed 50 British Actor Ronan Vibert, who I had already seen on "Midsomer Murders," playing the friend of a murder suspect on "Waking the Dead."