Thursday, December 31, 2015

An Inappropriate Return to Autumn

...At the End of December--Thursday, 12/31/15

Today I have two inspiration photos that suggested a color combination--olive and orange/coral.

The first one also includes a sizable dose of white.


And the second one likes tan/cognac boots.


I included white in the form of a scarf and wore my outfit with tan ankle boots.  By no means a fashion-forward ensemble, but definitely a comfy, semi-warm one.  (I think something around 75% of the outfits I make with these somewhat baggy pants end up in the "somewhat frumpy middle-aged schoolteacher looking but hey it's comfortable!" category.  Um, actually, I'm not sure what the other 25% would be.  Maybe it's closer to 100%...)

Coral pullover sweater (thrifted, Talbots), $0.83/wear+
Olive pants (thrifted, Coldwater Creek), $0.56/wear
White polka dot scarf (Target), $3.56/wear
Tan ankle boots by Easy Spirit, $8.24/wear

Outfit total: $13.19/wear

But I did enjoy wearing this color combination today, and the coral sweater brought out the slight rose-gold tint of the dots on the scarf in a way I hadn't noticed before.  Of course, wearing a cotton sweater would have made more sense a month ago, when it was still very much fall in Coldville, but it seems apt that I am closing out 2015 in my typical way, wearing a seasonally-inappropriate outfit. 

I am wearing a warming camisole underneath, and that helps.  Warm core, warm body, right?  Well, perhaps that's true in not-very-cold places like Colorado, but today I did feel a bit chilly in the arms at times.  (Note: one of the compensations of living in the frozen north in the winter is being able to talk smack about wimpy winter temperatures in places other people think of as "cold."  I'm sure there's an Alaskan blogging about the relatively balmy climes of my town right now.)  I am scheduled to do another outfit creation session tomorrow, and I think warmer clothes are in order for the coming weeks/months.  But hey, we are having an unusually warm fall/winter season so far, so I'm not complaining.  (Weather gods, do not seek to redress this issue!)

I am also wearing these dangling owl earrings that I picked up when my mom and I were out shopping for baby clothes.  I was going to purchase them for myself, but my mom bought them for me as part of my birthday present.  Sweet!


This Japanese harlequin thinks it's always the right time to wear orange on one's top half, and who dares argue with him?  (He's not so sold on the owls, though...)

In other news...Let's say farewell to 2015 with Dave Barry's Year in Review.

I have zero plans for celebrating New Year's Eve, other than I'm thinking that a small scotch will be in order later. 

This evening Robert is back on Skyrim after having to give it up for our vacation; he does not seem to have suffered from the withdrawal too badly.  He also has spirits on the agenda tonight--indeed, he reported to me a few minutes ago that he shot a ghost with a steel arrow, bringing its health down 85%, and the ghost said, "I sense a presence."  Nothing gets by that guy!  I said, "Actions speak louder than words."  Robert responded, "It was a pointed comment."

It turns out that I did not do the envelope stuffing project at work today because the co-worker in charge of it is in the hospital!  Her office mate said that she has recurring bouts of pneumonia and also a chronic thyroid condition, both of which could be hospitalization worthy issues at times.  Not a fun way to close out 2015.

But I did finish the reports I wanted to get done this week at about 4:15 and called it a day.  There were a whopping 3 people in my office by that point.  I almost never work during this quiet week but it was kind of nice in a way.  Next Monday, everybody in our organization is back from Winter Break, so we'll see how long it takes for people to start thinking, Data!  I need data!  I hope that my supervisor will distribute my reports on Monday morning--maybe that will fend off the ravenous hordes for a little while.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


...Outside the African Grassland Habitat--Wednesday, 12/30/15

Looking for a way to wear my short sleeved zebra print silk shell, I found these three ideas.  First, a wintery version (with a too-short skirt and over-the-knee boots that would not be ideal for wearing to my job).


Second, a straight up summery business professional version with a sleeveless blouse.


Third, a blue dress with black and white animal print flats (yes, same person as in photo #1) just as further support for the cobalt + black/white idea.


My business casual winter look combines the black and white animal print top and shiny necklace from the first outfit and the (unfortunately poofier type of) faux wrap skirt (but yay pockets?) from the second outfit.  Make it seasonally appropriate with the addition of tights and a blazer, and voila.

*Zebra silk shell (JNY), $17.40/wear+
Cobalt blue skirt (eShakti), $11.67/wear
Black ponte knit blazer (Target), $2.27/wear
Silver blob necklace (JNY), $2.25/wear
Black wedges (thrifted), $0.31/wear

Outfit total: $33.90/wear

With the black cross top wedges that Tam likes, just because.

In other news...Tomorrow I am going to help one of my co-workers with stuffing envelopes.  Our admin is unexpectedly out this week, so several of us (i.e., all 5 of us that are in the office this lonely week between Christmas and New Year's) are pitching in an hour of work each to get the job done. 

Stuffing envelopes--that's a blast from the past, right?  Back in my survey research days at the state, stuffing envelopes was a not-uncommon task.  It was a running joke among the analysts who did surveys to say "Good thing you took that graduate seminar in envelope stuffing!" when we'd see each other in the mailroom, organizing our mail-outs. 

Remember how I'd get workers in the job corps internship program to help me with the survey mail-outs?  Remember the worker who was unable to fold a single piece of paper in thirds because the idea of creasing the paper was beyond him?  Yeah, that remains one of the highlights (lowlights?) of my career.  I wonder what happened to that guy.  Jail?  I mean, he'd make an incredibly incompetent criminal if he has any tendencies in that direction.  Winner of the Darwin Award by killing himself stupidly?

The cold weather has me and this sweet bunny all hunkered down.  He is also a bit bug-eyed with horror at that worker's inability to fold a piece of paper...or his willingness to try to fold a piece of paper without chewing it, because chewing is obviously the right and good thing to do with it.  Note to self: Do not hire rabbits to help with paper survey mail-outs.  Or with phone surveys--they do not make good interviewers.  Bunnies are strictly Internet survey workers only.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Back to Work

Bird (Jail) House Fashion--Tuesday, 12/29/15

A pink dress and black/white striped blazer is a nice combination.


But to make this outfit cold-weather compatible, I added a black t-shirt on top of the dress, underneath the blazer.  And the inevitable tights, of course.

Sleeveless bright pink dress (Target), $14.00/wear+
Black and white striped knit blazer (Nordstrom), $7.08/wear
Black knit top (Walmart), $1.00/wear+
Bright pink silk bird scarf (Nordstrom), $10.00/wear+
Black tights
Black heeled oxfords (thrifted), $0.83/wear

Outfit total:$32.91/wear

So, yeah, my striped blazer is a bit more in-your-face prison style, but you mix those big house stripes with cute little sparrows, and well, you have an outfit that perhaps says "mental facility" as much as it does "correctional center."  But I like it even if it looks like Hamburglar has attracted a flock of sparrows by eating French fries outdoors in a messy way.  (I'm not sure what kind of sparrows these are, incidentally, so perhaps they have traveled a very long way indeed.)

This mini rex matron approves of bold black and white patterns.

In other news...What's cuter than an otter?  A baby otter!

It wasn't easy to go back to work today.  I'm still feeling kinda crappy (though better than yesterday) and it snowed a fair amount overnight--enough that the snow was higher than the curbs, making driving on the (unpaved) back residential streets to work a bit challenging.  The parking lot (where I bumped the curb getting into the driveway) was almost completely empty, and I saw only a few people in the office.  But my office mate was in, so it didn't feel deserted.

My goal for this (thankfully short) work week:  get through it.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Holiday Illness

And Cheshire Rabbits--Monday, 12/28/15

It's just as well that I'd asked for today as a vacation day from work to recover from our trip because I have a lot more recovery than I'd hoped.  I got sick last Monday and am still sick, though not as bad I was mid-week.

So obviously it's a day to wear a ludicrous Alice/rabbit themed outfit.

And because my stomach is hurting, I am wearing my new rabbit pajama bottoms with it.  Does it get much sillier than this?  Well, I'm wearing my glasses rabbit watch and little bunny stud earrings (Robert gave them to me yesterday as an unbirthday present) too elevate the silly factor.  I might be wearing rabbit slippers later as it cools off today.

Alice in Wonderland T (Out of Print), $3.29/wear
Bright pink Cheshire striped top (thrifted, JCP), $0.29/wear
Grey leopard jacket (thrifted, Macy's), $1.00/wear

So I plan to sit around doing not a hell of a lot today, including playing my latest simple but addictive free phone game, 1010.  It's a puzzle game like Tetris in which you place shapes in a grid to destroy lines of blocks (horizontally and vertically) but it isn't a timed game.  The trick is to leave enough space on the grid for the pesky 1x5 and 3x3 shapes.

Friday, December 11, 2015

1 More Day

Layers Galore--Friday, 12/11/15

Button up shirt, black sweater, striped knit blazer, jeans, bright red shoes?  This I can do.

I don't know whether her sweater was long-sleeved or not, but I find that this is one of the perfect ways to wear a sweater know, for those times you don't want to look like a 70s librarian, and instead are rocking a boldly striped prisoner costume blazer.

Teal and black leopard blouse (thrifted, Express), $2.00/wear+
Black sweater vest (thrifted, Foxcroft), $0.67/wear
Black and white striped knit blazer (Nordstrom), $8.85/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $0.33/wear
Aqua/red/white bead necklace (Target), $2.47/wear
Red flats by Me Too, $2.98/wear

Outfit total: $17.30/wear

The inspiration photo is definitely a more simple take on this concept, but I had to add a hint of pattern mixing and a big-ass necklace.  I thought the colors of the necklace brought some cohesion to the red/gold shoes and the teal shirt.  Also it's just cool-looking against the black background of the vest.

In other news...Ack!  It's time to pack!  We're leaving for our long road trip south tomorrow morning.  1 more day?  It's a lie, I tell you.  A bold-faced lie.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2 More Days

And a Birthday Too--Thursday, 12/10/15

Lilli has an amazing collection of dresses (as befits her blog's name).  But this was a simple yet elegant combination I thought I could work with from my closet.


For drapey blue cardigan enter the blue Aztec snakeskin sweatshirt cardigan!  (Which is definitely one of the most distinctive names for something in my closet.  I never wonder which blue Aztec snakeskin sweatshirt cardigan I mean when I write that.)

Sleeveless navy dress (Target), $9.33/wear
Blue Aztec snakeskin sweatshirt cardigan (thrifted, Rafaella), $1.67/wear+
Navy tights
Navy ankle boots by Seychelles, $10.77/wear
Navy scarf (Target), $2.40/wear

Outfit total: $24.17/wear

This neck-to-toe monochromatic outfit is atypical for me but I enjoyed it.  (And I did have the long scarf thing going to keep it from being too un-Sally-like.)

In other news...I was very productive at work today, which I need to be if I'm going to get out of there on time tomorrow for vacation!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

3 More Days

What to Wear When Interviewing for a Research Analyst--Wednesday, 12/9/15

The key elements of this inspiration outfit were striped shirt, black suit vest, subtly black/grey patterned skirt, tights, and black shoes.

For my version, I used a burgundy striped button up shirt, a more fitted vest, and a new grey tweed skirt.

Burgundy/black/grey striped button up shirt (thrifted, Kohls), $2.00/wear+
*Grey tweed skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor), $7.50/wear+
Black suit vest (thrifted, JCP), $1.33/wear
Grey tights
Black heeled oxfords (thrifted), $1.00/wear
Silver chain link necklace from Mom

Outfit total: $11.83/wear

This photo gives you a better sense of the colors/patterns/textures involved.  I was really pleased with how it turned out.

In other news...I am linking to this article about the significance of people's names mostly because it reminded me of a conversation Robert and I overheard at The Cocoanuts this weekend.  (The people seated directly behind us were talkative and opinionated before the show and during the intermission.)  One of the people involved in the production has the first name Tree, which was considered amusing and ridiculous by this group as they were looking over the program.  The woman in the group (in her 30s, I think) was like, "Tree, that's ludicrous.  I'm going to call you...Sally.  Sally, that's a nice name." 

Now we know the secret of my success.  My familiar name, that people can process with great fluency, and yet that doesn't remind them of their overbearing relative, or their annoying next door neighbor, or that bitch they knew in high school.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Both of the candidates we interviewed today were men with common, standard white American names.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

4 More Days

Color Combo--Tuesday, 12/8/15

This photo inspired me to try an outfit mixing light blue, olive and white.  (I also want her adorable fluffy dog...)


I switched the colors of the shirt and cardigan, put on a white necklace, and a seriously comfortable outfit is born.

Olive cardigan (Kohls), $12.32/wear+
Light blue long-sleeved top (Kohls), $1.70/wear+
*Denim trousers (thrifted, Boden), $5.24/wear+
White swag necklace (Kohls), $3.61/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom Rack), $5.99/wear

Outfit total: $28.86/wear

It's odd--did these pants somehow get bigger in the wash?  I would swear they were not so baggy and long when I tried them on at the store (and I know that I haven't miraculously gotten smaller over the holidays).  Of course, bagginess has not stopped me before, and it won't stop me from wearing these, but it's a confusing thing.  I guess I need to hem them...grrrrr.  The top I wore yesterday has also developed a gap in a seam that I need to close up too (luckily it was covered by my cardigan so I didn't notice it until last night), so I will be doing some minor sewing when I get back from Christmas vacation.  I should think about whether there are any other small jobs I've thought about but have put off.

In other news...Pants getting bizarrely and annoyingly bigger and longer?  That's just about right for how my day started out, feeling sick and nauseated and not at all wanting to take my morning flax oil (though I did).  All hail the mayor of Grump Town.  I was sitting at my computer around 7:55 a.m., not wanting to go to work, but Tam sent an email with the final exam that she wrote for her probability class, and the exam had an image of a rabbit wearing glasses on one of the pages and an image of an otter on another.  This gave me the will to get off my duff and drag my bedraggled self to work.

My tardiness was such that on my drive to work, I heard on the radio a Christmas song by Sibelius (it is the 150th anniversary of his birth today) sung by the incomparable Anne Sofie von Otter...who is not only the most glorious mezzo-soprano but whose name is Otter! 

And now I'm home from work.  Hurrah!

Monday, December 7, 2015

5 More Days

I'm a Fan--Monday, 12/7/15

Focal item: Mint/navy fans shell

A summery outfit with a mint top and navy skirt should be winterized for Coldville.


I first tried this with a cropped navy cardigan that I bought at Goodwill for $2.50 but that looks wrong every way I wear it.  I suppose that cropped cardigans don't well suit my style.  None of the items I'm wearing today are new to the Work the Wardrobe Challenge, but I did put that cropped cardigan back in the bag to return to Goodwill.  I bought it in April 2013 and never managed to wear it!  And without the WtWC forcing my hand, who knows how many more years it would have languished in my dresser?  (Perhaps until the next time we moved....)

Mint/navy fans shell (Nordstrom), $19.50/wear
Navy pencil skirt (thrifted, Liz Claiborne), $1.67/wear
Navy cardigan (Kohls), $4.93/wear
Blue/green statement necklace (Target), $3.70/wear
Navy tights
Tall cognac boots by Sam Edelman, $18.09/wear

Outfit total: $47.89/wear (!!)

This was a pricey outfit because my boots are still pretty new and because I haven't yet been wearing this top as much as I should have done.  But I'm working on it!

In other news...Yep, only 5 more days and then Robert and I are headed to balmy southern climes for the holidays!  I was a bit concerned that the top half of my outfit wouldn't be warm enough for December, but our warm spell continues.  I actually had to turn on the fan in my office around 3:30 this afternoon.  This is me not complaining at all.

Listening to the theme from The Polar Express on the radio this morning, I wonder, How many people have ever ridden in a horse drawn sleigh and heard sleigh bells?  And yet music has taught us to know this as a winter/Christmas sound.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


But Not Sick of Pattern Mixing--Sunday 12/6/15

I loved how this outfit not only was all about the pattern mixing but gave me the inspiration to pair two of my new (i.e., November) Goodwill purchases.


Maroon plaid + black and white polka dots + pearls (to mimic the polka dots) = right up my alley.

*Maroon plaid button up shirt (thrifted, Walmart), $2.99/wear+
*Black polka dot blazer (thrifted, Talbots), $9.74/wear+
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $0.31/wear
Single strand pearls (Macy's), $2.17/wear
Maroon flats (Payless), $3.40/wear

Outfit total: $18.61/wear

Not pictured: white socks with red crabs, to fit my mood

In other news...It was a day of sniffling, lounging, working on my outfits spreadsheet, and reading the new Cormoran Strike novel A Career of Evil.

I really wish tomorrow weren't Monday.  I'm not feeling terrible (daily nasal rinse has helped a lot with my congestion/sinus pressure), but I'd love another day of loafing before going back to work.  I'm just wimped out.

What to Wear to Watch a Marx Brothers Stage Show

Something Just a Little Bit Zany--Saturday, 12/5/15

To celebrate my birthday, we got tickets to see The Cocoanuts, a live musical based on the Marx Brothers musical and movie, for the 7:30 showing.  Wheeeeeeee!

I wasn't really sure how to dress for the occasion, but I figured this was a good chance to wear the kind of fancy skirt I bought as a backup plan for Robert's mom's wedding...

Red and black scroll cardigan (thrifted, JCP), $2.50/wear+
Red and black scroll sweater (thrifted, JCP), $2.50/wear+
*Black scalloped skirt (thrifted, Dress Barn), $9.89/wear+
*Black/gold polka dot tights (JCP)+
Red/black paisley flats (Ivanka Trump), $2.00/wear
Gold tassel necklace (Kohls), $1.67/wear

Outfit total: $18.56/wear

And I always like to wear this twin set around the holidays.

My little bit of zany came in the form of these polka dot tights, giving my outfit a 3 pattern mix of scroll print, paisley, and polka dots.  I added the gold necklace to match the gold on the tights and shoes.

But obviously I didn't sit around all day in this semi-fancy outfit.  I decided that the Alice + striped cardigan combination was such a success that I should try the rabbit version.  The lapin looks disapproving but I think it's cute.  (Here's a hanger photo for you.)

So now that we're done with the outfit recap, how was the show???

I was very pleasantly surprised by how good it was, considering it is being compared to the actual Marx Brothers (though The Cocoanuts is one of their weakest movies).  Fortunately, I tend to be very open to different spins on my classic favorites.

The most striking difference was that this play is very much like a modern musical, rather than a story interspersed with (kind of pathetic overall) vaudeville singing/dancing acts.  Well, like a movie musical, with a modest cast--not a full on Broadway musical.  They performed a number of original pieces, and the songs were much more integrated with the storyline.  (At one point, while the detective is wanting to interrogate everyone about the stolen necklace, Groucho keeps getting the entire cast started singing different songs and the detective begs then demands that they stop it at once.  I liked this because I've always thought it funny that no one in a musical ever is like, Cut that shit out, we have stuff to do here.)  The singing and dancing was also of an appreciably higher quality than in the movie.  They included the song "Always," which Irving Berlin wrote for The Cocoanuts but was rejected from the movie as too sappy and implausible.  Later in the play, Groucho references this history by singing "I'll be loving you Thursday," a lyric that had been suggested to Berlin as a more realistic one.  They did not perform "Monkey Doodle Doo," a ludicrous song from the movie that is accompanied by a bunch of dancers dressed up as...well, the best Robert and I could come up with is jungle chickens, although Robert pointed out to me that they did play an instrumental of it during a scene change.

I thought the Groucho and Harpo actors were pretty solid (though more on Groucho later).  Almost anyone can look like Groucho with the appropriate costuming/makeup if they have the right basic build, and the actor captured Groucho's characteristic movements and his zany side well.  Harpo is more difficult but if you get the primary (clownish) facial expressions right, you're well on track.  The Zeppo character (Bob) is nothing like Zeppo or the love interest from the film--they played him as a sort of shy/nerdy character, which worked well for most purposes, especially the love story (though I felt that the scene where Harpo keeps stealing Bob and Groucho's stuff out of their pockets lost a lot of its oomph--the actor in the movie was a lot funnier).  Chico...well, I think Chico's a tough one.  Playing him well requires both mastery of the ridiculous but fluent Italian immigrant patter and the ability to capture Chico's subtle facial expressions.  (There is something with Chico's sparkling eyes and sly smile that feels difficult if not impossible to replicate.)  Chico does do a musical number, though not the piano piece from the movie--he and the cast do a song while...I'm not sure what it's called when you do that rhythmic slapping/clapping/moving glasses around on a table thing, but they did that thing and it was fun.

In addition to the changed-up musical aspect, they also included new material...a combination of material taken from the original Cocoanuts stage play, bits from other Marx Brothers movies (nothing major, mostly some of Groucho's lines, as far as I could tell), and original material.  They had some stuff that was clearly written for the Snow City audience (e.g., Zeppo/Bob scoffs at the idea of sushi in Snow City, declaring it lutefisk).  Other stuff referenced recent pop culture.  For example, when Zeppo/Bob tells Groucho that "there's a man outside wants to see you with a black mustache," Groucho replies (as in the film), "Tell him I already have one."  But he goes on to say "Is it Bruno Mars?" and to do a little Bruno Mars thing.  I about died when Harpo, pulling a bunch of shit out of his pockets-of-holding, came up with two light sabres.

There were also several times the actors addressed the audience (at least a couple times this was in response to something somebody did--for example, when one women stood up to leave, Groucho was like, Oh, she didn't like that joke....yeah, she's not coming back) or otherwise referenced the fact that they were in a play.  During the "why a duck" scene, in which Chico is to explain how there is no such thing as a little lot, Chico claims that someone in the audience distracted him, and he now has to confer with Groucho about his lines.  Referencing the fact that Chico is played by a Shakespearean actor, Chico tries out some of the most recognizable Shakespearean lines ("To be or not to be" etc.) as he's working this through with Groucho.  When Groucho is contemplating a future when his hotel is successful, he says he'll hire a dozen bellhops, "all female, just like in the movie."  When one guy in the audience laughed particularly hard at that, Groucho turned and said, "So, there's one fan of the movie here tonight."  At one point, two of the actors (ghosts) from A Christmas Carol (the play on other stage in the theater) do a walk-through across the stage.  Groucho is like, Hey, what happened to the Ghost of Christmas Future? He's supposed to be here too.

I'm not sure how much of this was the live performance aspect (vs. film) and how much was the sensibility of the actors/producer, but it was sometimes a little disconcerting to feel the actors waiting for the audience response, and Groucho in particular seemed a bit...I don't know, overly self-aware?  I enjoyed him for the most part, but there were disappointments.  For example, what I consider the very best line of the movie didn't really work for me in the play:  Groucho asks the rich widow he's courting whether her husband is really dead and when she says yes, he responds: "A 'yes' like that was once responsible for me jumping out of a window, and I'm not the jumper I used to be."  In the film, Groucho says this in an absolutely perfect way--matter of fact, a hair reproachful but also a bit wistful.  The play's Groucho is too one-note, not subtle enough, too eager with the audience somehow...too something or not enough something else to capture the complexity in Groucho's delivery.  It's like, Groucho kind of throws a million excellent lines away because there are a zillion more where those came from.  Here, the actor is a little bit too much "See what I'm doing? I'm doing Groucho!  Is this awesome or what?"  And it is pretty great know.  Oh well, I mean, to be fair, we are comparing a mere human actor to Groucho Marx.  There can be only one Groucho, and I ain't ever going to see a live performance of his unless somebody gets busy on that time machine idea.  To see an actor channeling one aspect of Groucho pretty successfully is still worth quite a bit to me.

They also made subtle changes to some of Groucho's lines that really stood out to me, having just watched the movie the previous night.  For example, in the movie, Groucho comments about one of the thieves, "Yates is gone? And I gave him a check this morning for a thousand dollars!  It's a good thing it was my personal check."  But in the play, he said he gave him a thousand dollars, it's a good thing it was counterfeit.  I'm not sure why they changed it, but I thought "personal check" was a lot stronger than "counterfeit."

The play is significantly longer than the film, and the extra time between Bob being arrested and the end of the movie was not always used to great effect, in my view.  Maybe I was just too adjusted to the movie's pacing but it felt a little slow in the section before the engagement party. 

As for the engagement party, I was hoping that Groucho's Spanish costume would be the MC Hammer delight of the film, but his costume in the play is actually much more tame, though his response to Polly telling him she likes the costume's color scheme--"That isn't a scheme, that's a conspiracy"--does make more sense when you're not watching it in black and white.  (This quibble aside, I enjoyed the set and costumes a lot overall.)  However, one change in this scene I loved: Harpo, drunk as a skunk after several trips to the punch bowl as he fortifies himself against boring speeches, is told by Groucho that it's non-alcoholic punch.  He immediately straightens himself, walks to his chair, sits down, and looks out at the crowd with a level of stone-cold sobriety never before seen on Harpo's face.


So...yeah, it wasn't perfect, but overall, I say two thumbs up.

The theater was pretty full and it seemed that people really enjoyed it.  This is good news because the Groucho/Chico/Harpo triumvirate also was in a production of Animal Crackers at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (where this version of The Cocoanuts debuted).  So perhaps if The Cocoanuts does well enough, they will bring Animal Crackers to town at some point.  Hurray for Captain Spaulding!

Friday, December 4, 2015

And Yet More Leopard

Yes, Two Days in a Row--Friday, 12/4/15

Somehow the universe was conspiring for me to finish these week strong with leopard print.  I am powerless in the face of these forces.

My inspiration blogger was wearing a not-quite-leopard-looking floral print, I think, but it reminded me a lot of my burgundy/beige leopard blouse.


And since I've been looking for a new way to wear this blouse, it was a done deal.

Beige/burgundy leopard knit blouse (Anne Klein/Macy's), $6.66/wear+
Beige knit blazer (Nordstrom), $4.43/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $0.38/wear
Taupe smoking slippers (thrifted, Gap), $2.50/wear
Gold shelled pea necklace (Target), $1.89/wear

Outfit total: $15.86/wear

The shelled peas are looking a little wild in this photo--no doubt it is the proximity to leopard print that's bringing out the wildness.

In other news...I was woken up early this morning with a migraine and couldn't fall back asleep.  I despaired over what the day would bring, but I held firm in my no-caffeinated-tea policy and I felt better by the time I got to work.  In part, I think walking across the parking lot in 22 F weather was a help--cold is always good for a migraine.

After a productive day at work, it was nice to start off the weekend with a viewing of The Cocoanuts

How did I never notice before that Groucho is Master of Ceremonies Hammer and is wearing a pair of loose harem-type 1929????  (I cannot fathom why the Internet is not giving up a visual on this but...My. God.)

I am also still laughing at a moment that never really struck me before--the scene in which Harpo keeps stealing people's watches, handkerchiefs, etc.

HAMMER [Groucho] Well... I hope I still got my underwear on.
Red [Harpo] pulls Hammer's underwear from one of his pockets 
and offers it to him.
HAMMER Come here with that. Hammer snatches the underwear away from Red
and stuffs it in his pants.
HAMMER I felt kind of flimsy.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Red Leopard Fix

Velvety Goodness--Thursday, 12/3/15

Today's outfit was inspired by two lovely bloggers rocking a red top and brown leopard skirt.

First, of course Alice needs no introduction.


Second, Natalia gave up her fashion/writing blog last month--her bold color combinations and photographs along the nature boardwalk near her house will be missed.


To make this outfit compatible with the increasingly cold weather, I added a black velvet blazer.  I like the texture of this against the fine knit silk top and polyester knit skirt, but what clinched it for me was the buttons--beige/brown buttons to match the beige/brown background of the leopard skirt.  It's a small touch but I loved how it tied the two garments together.

*Red short-sleeved silk shell (JNY), $15.00/wear+
Leopard skirt (Kohls), $1.65/wear
Black velvet blazer (thrifted, Talbots), $0.83/wear+
Black tights
Black wedges (thrifted), $0.33/wear
Red/gold 3 row necklace (Macy's), $4.25/wear

Outfit total: $22.06/wear

I also thought this gold/red necklace fit the matchy-matchy vibe pretty well.

In other news...This week has really flown by, which I guess is good because I've been sick on and off for the last several days.  Today's version was insanely painful headache upon waking (and I have a deadline tomorrow that meant staying home wasn't a good option) that luckily started to fade during a meeting in which I was not staring intensely at numbers in a spreadsheet any more. 

Tonight I've been in pajamas since about 7:00, if that tells you anything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What a Maroon

A Perfect Pairing--Wednesday, 12/2/15

Maroon pants with a black patterned top are featured in today's Reverse Inspiration.


But instead of stripes, I went with polka dots.  I bought these two items on my last Goodwill trip and could not wait (for perhaps more reasonable, warmer weather) to wear them together.  (Ack, sorry for the blinding light in this photo.)

*Black blouse with red/burgundy/white polka dots (thrifted, Notations), $5.24/wear+
*Maroon pants (thrifted, Lands End), $5.24/wear+
Maroon flats (Payless), $4.25/wear

Not pictured: Cream cardigan (Kohls), $1.09/wear--added at the last minute because I remembered I am giving a presentation today in a conference room that is cooler than my own office.  I noticed a couple hours later that the last time I wore it, I'd spilled a few drops of iced tea along one side.  After work, I washed it and my similarly tea-splashed white sweater vest in cold water and bleach, and voila!  Tea is gone.

Outfit total: $15.82/wear

Every time I buy one of these soft, drapey blouses, I end up loving them.  Although it's unusual for me to wear such a simple outfit, comprised of so few pieces, I still really liked it.

Also not pictured:  When I got my order of this White Rabbit pocket watch pendant on Monday, it seemed like destiny.  I had not (consciously) planned no necklace with this outfit so I could wear my new necklace, but it worked out perfectly.  $32.26/wear

I didn't realize this until just now, but the time is adjustable using the knob on the top.  Mine came set to 5:05, which is fabulous.  It's time to go home from work!  It's not just "5 o'clock somewhere"--it's always 5 o'clock no matter where and when I am!

On the downside, it is two days wrong...

In other news...I presented some of my dashboards to our development group.  My department head has fallen madly in love with one and wants to elope with it, I think, but ultimately decided that it's just way too good to keep to herself.  OK, perhaps that's overstating, but not by as much as you'd think.  I have to say, it is pretty awesome.  It's always a good sign when a group of people stop talking about the functionality/etc. (which was our purpose) and instead get wrapped up in the data itself.  And this group is my fellow analysts, who are not the hands-on people who will be our end users.  It's just data that when presented in a clean way is very compelling and begs for action.