Monday, August 31, 2015

Grey Monday

Professional Plaid--Monday, 8/31/15

A new week, a new spate of warm summer days.  I had almost thought the heat was behind us, but I suppose I should enjoy this possibly-last gasp of summer in the week before Labor Day weekend.

Today's warm weather inspiration is this interesting juxtaposition of girly pearls, professional pencil skirt and purple plaid shirt.


Plaid shirt, light grey pencil skirt, and pearls?  Done and done.  With a short-sleeved cardigan and fab leopard wedges for good measure.

Plaid purple button up shirt (thrifted, Fred David), $1.33/wear+
Light grey pencil skirt (JCP), $6.02/wear+
Short-sleeved grey cardigan (thrifted, Target), $1.88/wear
Single strand pearls (Macy's), $2.44/wear
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan, $16.50/wear

Outfit total: $28.17/wear

Given how much I like plaid, it surprises me that this is my only plaid button up shirt. 

Today's other vision in grey is this hunkered down mini lop.  I won't even bother asking who wore grey better: blogger or bunny?  Rabbits always win.

In other news...Today I was able to put one of my data problems at work behind me! 

I've probably mentioned that because of the way we join data tables in our new data visualization tool at work that our records kept multiplying out of control (the bane of the many-to-many relationship).  There are some kludges to get around this in the tool but they are slow and clunky and don't always work with our fiddly data.  It is not difficult to fix this in SQL but SQL runs extremely slowly within this tool, so the advice from everyone on the planet who knows jack about this topic says that you should run whatever SQL you need to run (e.g., to deduplicate one of the tables so you have a one-to-many relationship instead) before the data come in to the tool.  Because I am not a SQL guru and because I do not own the stored procedures that produce the tables we feed into the viz tool, I've been waiting for MONTHS for my organization/our consultant to come up with a solution that does not turn my dashboards into frozen molasses.  (Running SQL within the tool caused my visualization to take 45 minutes to load.  Probably not going to pass muster at user acceptance testing.)

Finally last week, I sat in on a conference call with the consultant where I explained again what the issue was and what we needed to happen (and he kept confusing two terms--one that means "year" and one that means the combination of a site and a year--in a way that was very disturbing).  He had a suggestion that our department head nixed because she doesn't want our stored procedures to create any more tables.  Waaaah!

But then he emailed later saying, "Oh, you know, there is this field in your database called X that I could add to the stored procedures so it's available in your customer table and you could filter on it to get exactly the records you're looking for."  This was very confusing because our customer table (created by the stored procedures) already had X in it.  Like 6+ months ago we thought of using the database field X to filter but demonstrated empirically that it didn't work when we tried it in the tool.  We figured, Oh, I guess field X doesn't have the properties we thought it did.

Turns out that unbeknownst to us, the consultant had created a calculated field, that is totally different from field X in our source database, and called it X!  WTF???

So last Thursday, the consultant did the heavy lifting of adding the database field X (which is now called "[Name of our source database] X" to differentiate it from the X that is the consultant's calculated field) to the stored procedure that creates our customer table.  (Note: this is so basic even I could have done it and it would be a major stretch to call my SQL skills "beginner level.")  When the tables refreshed overnight, [Database] X became available to use.

I tested it out today and lo and behold, it worked.  Just like we thought half a year ago it would.  I'm trying not to let my annoyance over this idiotic "let's make something up and give it the same unusual name as this totally different thing in the source database!" thing that has delayed progress for so fucking long cloud the fact that the problem is now solved.

Note: you may be wondering why if field X is available in the source database, we don't just connect directly to the (mirrored) source database instead of futzing with this customer table.  This is because our technology people have globally nixed the idea of end users calling for data on the database mirror server.  Everything we want to access in this tool has to be moved over to a separate server.

You might also be wondering why we didn't refer to our database documentation or ask our technology people 6+ months ago for clarification about database field X when (consultant created) X didn't work the way we expected.  No even halfway reliable or complete database documentation exists, and the technology people have told us that they "will not support" our use of the data viz tool by giving us any information about what our organization's source databases contain.  Indeed, they seem under the impression that if we stopped using this particular tool, all problems with the fact that they do not understand the databases they maintain would magically go away and/or that no one in the organization would ever need to query the database so the issue would be moot.  It is a mindboggler of the first order.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Having a Ball (Necklace)

With Pink and Black--Sunday, 8/30/15

When I saw this business casual work outfit, I thought it was a great chance to wear my magenta top with a braided neckline and my stretchy black pencil skirt with all the folds.  Well, as it turns out, no.


When I tried on the top, I realized that it was a bit tight across the chest...and the hips, which meant that every crease and fold of fabric in the skirt underneath it stood out in bizarre relief.  Not the look I was going for.  So I decided to retire that top (good, I have too many anyway, and this was a very clear "not inspiring joy" example) and to find another pink top to replace it.  I substituted in one of my exercise tanks, but the thin fabric of it meant that the folds in the skirt bumped out oddly beneath that one, too.

OK, screw that, I decided to take the outfit in a weekend direction switching out my black knit hiking skirt (which I want to wear more anyway to bring down its cost-per-wear).  I'd also lost the interesting neckline of my original shirt so I added a statement necklace and what the hell, a pair of floral flats.

Despite all these switch-ups, I do feel that the result bears some resemblance to the inspiration.  And the cardigan (with skinny arms despite NOT being Target brand) was happier being worn with a sleeveless top, too.  (This is starting to become a theme with me.  My biceps have gotten bigger since I've been lifting weights every week.)

Bright pink exercise tank (Kohls)
Black knit hiking skirt (Patagonia), $8.57/wear
Short-sleeved white cardigan (Nordstrom), $2.49/wear
Wild ball necklace (Macy's), $4.06/wear
Black floral ballet flats (Payless), $2.60/wear

Outfit total: $17.72/wear

I was a little bit like, Awww, but I didn't get to wear a top that counts toward my Work the Wardrobe Challenge, since clothes intended primarily for exercise are not part of the challenge.  But then I realized, Oh yeah, getting rid of an item is as good or better than wearing it from a WtW perspective AND I have one less thing hanging in my closet, taking up space.  Yay!

Let's take a moment to chew on all the good consequences of purging your life of a no-longer-useful possession...or on a branch, if that's what you like.

In other news...I have gotten through all my rabbit photos!  After eliminating photos that didn't turn out, and moving a bunch of photos for use in EQ posts, I was left with 645 rabbit photos to last the year.  So, plenty of bunnies to keep the Daily Rabbit in business for over 20 months! 

My legs are tired but starting to feel normal today.  I mean, I definitely feel it when getting up out of a chair or sitting down, but I'm past the stage where I involuntarily gasp with pain, so I call that progress.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pretty As a (Pop Art) Picture

A Pattern Mixing Favorite--Saturday, 8/29/15

Focal item:  Black/white/aqua pop art geometric knit top

The world was telling me, Wear it with stripes!  To wit:


And in a more complex version (with a more subtle striped skirt):


The result was even better than I'd anticipated.  The two pieces shared a color scheme and a similar sharply delineated graphical quality, but the contrast of the curves and stripes was visually interesting for an overall very pleasing effect. 

Black/white/aqua pop art geometric knit top (thrifted, JCP), $0.29/wear+
Black and white striped skirt (thrifted, Target), $0.36/wear+
Aqua/silver teardrop necklace (JNY), $2.04/wear
Black LifeStrides flats, $1.80/wear

Outfit total: $4.49/wear -- very nice!

When I re-wear an 88 cent bargain top with this extremely versatile and pretty inexpensive ($2.50) striped knit skirt that just won't quit, that keeps the cost-per-wear way down.

Here's another perspective on the straight vs. swirly shapes.

Speaking of shapes, when we visited the Japanese garden on our vacation last month, a volunteer told us the history of it, and she pointed out something I hadn't noticed on my own--that this little island in the pond was intentionally created in the shape of a turtle.  See how the big rock in front looks like its head?   

In other news....I appreciated this story about a young female engineer who started the #Ilooklikeanengineer movement after being told she didn't look like a "real" female engineer.  WTF is wrong with people.  (OK, I know enough social psychology that I don't have to ask that question seriously but still...WTF??!!)

Also, check out this handy Bay Area-English translation phrasebook.  Very helpful.

Thigh muscle update--oh my fucking god.  When I'm sitting down, I forget that my muscles are so terribly sore.  Then I try to stand up and argh the pain!  I am mostly hobbling around the apartment, too--my general mobility was not helped by getting a cramp in my lower right leg early this morning.  It is interesting (awful) to realize how very different all the different chairs in my apartment are.  I can sit down easily in my comfy recliner by bending at the waist and just falling back into the chair.  At the other end of the spectrum...let's just say I really wished I could pee standing up.  I really hope I'm back to sitting down, standing up, and walking more or less normally by work on Monday.

I'm making my way through the 1000+ rabbit photos but it's slow going.  There are only so many I can look at until I have to take a break.  I'm not feeling sure I'm going to make it through the set this weekend, especially since an unexpected task has come up.  I am disappointed that some of the outfits I had pre-planned last weekend, to leave this weekend open for bunny-related stuff, are not going to work out because the forecast calls for highs near 90 F every day next week.  The hell?  I don't know where this is coming from.  So I will need to make a few adjustments to my outfit schedule tomorrow to accommodate this heat wave.  This sounds especially delightful given my inability to bend my legs without almost debilitating pain.

I am really suffering for my art rabbit photos this weekend.

Yeah, it's worth it.

Pink Bunny Aftermath

Outfit of the Day #2--Friday, 8/28/15

So after getting thoroughly sweaty at the fair, I came home, showered, and changed out of my tank top, cargo skirt, and hiking shoes into a fresh outfit.  I took my cue from this pink and teal boho outfit...

And turned it into a Sally look by including a full skirt and patterned sneakers.

Pink eyelet top (Kohls), $10.00/wear
Brown/pink/teal floral skirt (thrifted, Old Navy), $2.50/wear
Aqua/red fan necklace (Target), $2.32/wear
Brown plaid sneakers by Rocket Dog

Outfit total: $14.82/wear

Just the thing for sitting around, resting your weary legs and sorting through a thousand rabbit photos.  I'm just feeling grateful that I have a normal weekend ahead of me until I have to go back to work and look and act like a grown-up professional again.

Friday, August 28, 2015

All About the Bunnies!

This morning, Robert and I slept in...until 6:30...then went to the fair to see bunnies.  Many bunnies.  Hundreds of bunnies.  A veritable plethora of bunnies!

Here are a few of them.  (Taken with Robert's phone camera--don't judge.)

We looked at rabbits.  We scratched bunny heads and petted a few rabbit backs.  We talked to proud young rabbit owners and we explained a couple things to some rabbit newbies.  We overheard adults and kids ooh and ahh and say "bunnies!" in an excited, blissful way that reminds me of myself.

But most importantly, we photographed bunnies.  By the end, Robert's phone was down to 3% power and I was on my new camera's second battery (I brought 3 fully charged).  Over the course of several hours, we took a combined 1,000+ photos.  I am not kidding.  This is utter madness, I know.  But what can I say.  I love bunnies.

After we got home and downloaded our pics, Robert helped me categorize the photos by breed.  Next I need to categorize within breed by color.  Then (like last year) I will make a spreadsheet with the count of the photos for each breed/color so I can create a rotation schedule for posting rabbits to RB.  As I post a photo of a breed/color group, I mark that so I can have a current count of the remaining photos in the category.  I did my posting last year with about 90% fidelity to the schedule and I think it was very helpful for avoiding e.g. getting to the last 30 photos and they're all broken pattern mini rexes.  If you're posting 365 straight days of rabbits, you need all the variety you can get!  (And anyway, I don't have any hobbies that don't involve creating Excel spreadsheets, do I?)

I took photos from all kinds of angles, but often the best approach was to get down to rabbit level to photograph them.  This meant doing a deep squat, taking a photo, standing up, moving to another rabbit, doing a deep squat...and repeating this until I thought I was going to fall down instead of stand up again because the muscles in my thighs were so exhausted.  As we were headed back from the bus to the car (the park-and-ride was really great, by the way), Robert asked me whether I was planning to exercise tonight.   I would have kicked his ass for that but I could hardly move my legs.

It was supposed to rain today, and while it was humid, it actually turned sunny (and getting rather warm) by afternoon.  As we were walking across the big bus lot to our stop, I was like, Huh, how is it my hair is still wet...but I didn't wash my hair this morning...oh, it's sweat!  The morning was very pleasant, though, and unlike previous years, it was cool enough that none of the rabbit servants/owners had put frozen ice bottles into the cages to help keep the buns from overheating.  I think I was basically comfortable until we left the rabbit barn and walked in the sun and humidity back to the bus.  Well except for the fact that within an hour of being in the barn (with all the hay that entails), my throat was starting to burn from allergies.

My only disappointment with the day was that because of the timing of the rabbit judging, we were never able to see one aisle of cages, which contained many of the bigger rabbit species and the American fuzzy lops.  But on the plus side, this was the first time we saw lionheads at the fair!  And once you've seen a lionhead, you want to see them again and again in all their wild furred glory.

As soon as we got on the bus to go back to where our car was parked, I was filled with a sudden great feeling of sadness and loss that I wasn't going home to Katy and Leo.  But I just told Robert that I miss our bunnies, and in a minute or two, I was OK again.  So while the daily rabbit posting will start again on FB tomorrow, today is dedicated to my sweet bunnies, the ones who started it all.  Always loved, always missed, always my Best in Show.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Continuing to Bloom

Yet More Floral Print--Thursday, 8/27/15

The primary components of this Reverse Inspiration are floral top, pink/purple cardigan, and black A-line skirt.


My version has bright orange flats and a lion charm necklace (which I can kind of understand that she skipped over in dressing for her more conservative workplace).  (Yep, a photo that predates my new camera.)

Black/orange/lavender floral tank (Kohls), $1.49/wear
Black skirt (thrifted, Axcess), $2.50/wear
*Light purple t-shirt knit cardigan (thrifted, Macy's), $5.00/wear+
Orange lion charm necklace (thrifted), $1.43/wear
Orange flats (Payless), $2.50/wear

Outfit total: $12.92/wear

This is another cardigan with tight sleeves, perfect for wearing with a sleeveless top but of somewhat limited applicability as the weather cools down.

The Julia butterfly loves orange and black, but wonders why how I could have missed the obvious pairing with green and yellow.  Maybe next time.

In other news...I missed the 4 month mark on the Work the Wardrobe Challenge by about a week, so it's time for another update of my progress.

The Challenge is 33% of the way done.  How am I doing with wearing all my items?

Here are my stats by narrower categories:

 Owned  Worn %
Dresses 28 11 39%
Tops 181 95 52%
Sweaters 36 8 22%
Cardigans 60 34 57%
Jackets 47 20 43%
Vests 12 3 25%
Skirts 55 41 75%
Pants 30 18 60%
Shoes 40 35 88%
Boots 10 5 50%
Scarves 54 23 43%
Necklaces 60 45 75%
Tights 6 4 67%
Leggings 7 2 29%
Total 627 345 55%
By broader categories:

 Owned  Worn %
Tops 245 114 47%
Toppers 119 57 48%
Bottoms 113 70 62%
Footwear 50 40 80%
Accessories 114 68 60%
Hosiery 13 6 46%

I'm actually feeling pretty good about this. I am comfortably over 33% for all the broad categories (even tops, always a concern due to the sheer overwhelming number of them I have). For the narrower categories, the places where I'm under 33% (sweaters, vests, leggings) are not surprising since they are mostly fall/winter garments and it's been spring/summer so far. Dresses, scarves, and jackets--the other 3 lowest categories--also skew fall/winter for me, but there I'm still over the 33% mark. Of course things will get trickier soon, as the warm/"bare leg" season ends and we settle in for a long period of cool-to-nose-freezing weather to take me through the end of the Challenge in April.

But in even more important news...Tomorrow is the Lagomorphapalooza at the state fair!  (They don't call it that, but they should.)  Prepare yourself for the return of the Daily Rabbit on FB!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Working the Faded Floral T

Something Irresistible-ish--Wednesday, 8/26/15

I've complained about the premature fading on the back of my Eddie Bauer floral T before, and it continues to be a source of irritation...but not enough for me to get rid of it quite yet.  My feelings about this shirt are ambivalent--it sparks joy (from the front) and annoyance (from the back).  I decided to wear it with the back covered up to see if the joy-to-annoyance ratio was in the desirable range.

Our Reverse Inspiration photo features a bright summery outfit, in which I feel confident that all garments are in top notch condition.  Her pink cardigan has nothing to hide.


My pink cardigan is what makes this outfit wearable at all.  But what can I say, I still love that bold floral design.  And with this skirt in the exact same shade of beige/light brown, the combination almost looks like a dress with a pattern on the top.

Light brown linen skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor), $1.00/wear
Beige graphic T with lavender/peach flowers (Eddie Bauer), $5.00/wear+
Pink/beige shrug (thrifted, 212 New York), $2.50/wear+
Orchid flats by Born, $2.50/wear
Purple gumdrop necklace (Target), $4.46/wear+

Outfit total: $15.46/wear

I have even determined that I can make the top work in cooler weather by wearing it with the bright pink/coral/beige tweed jacket that I bought this summer.  So despite its major flaw, I expect to keep this floral graphic T in my wardrobe for a while longer.

When I put on my cardigan, the tags on the inside (one for the brand and an especially long and stiff one for the other information) scratched the back of my neck terribly.  About one minute with a seam ripper later, and ahhhhh, the delightful feel of tag-free clothing.  (The top, like almost all knit tops I've bought in recent years, does not have a tag at the neckline.)

More prairie flowers for your enjoyment.  This is a nice blend of black-eyed susans and some type of thistle (the purple ones).

(Did you recognize "something irresistible-ish" as a quote from The Muppet Movie?  I think I'm satisfied with my wear-under-another-layer floral graphic T and am not waiting for something better to come along.  Although I wouldn't turn it down if it did.)

In other news....Tam is encouraging me to try a Reverse Inspiration of an outfit I wore in a photo taken in about 1992 or 1993 at college.  I'm feeling quite daunted at the prospect of getting anywhere near the territory of high-waisted tapered leg jeans in a pale blue color.  This challenge will take some thought.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sharp Floral

Non-Interview Version--Tuesday, 8/25/15

Focal item: Black/beige/grey short-sleeved floral blouse

I thought this combination of black skirt, white blazer, and dark floral blouse was very smart.  I decided to use my standby interview blouse (and black suit skirt) in my rendition of this outfit.


My blazer was an old-fashioned one that I got at Goodwill instead of a sharp modern collarless one (no doubt purchased at much, much greater expense), but I still liked the final result and felt that it was a pretty good version of this idea.

Black/beige/grey short-sleeved floral blouse (Kohls), $4.00/wear+
White blazer (thrifted, Liz Claiborne), $0.83/wear (!!!)
Black pencil skirt (thrifted, Calvin Klein), $2.50/wear
Grey pearl pendant necklace (Macy's)+
Light grey wedges by BCBGeneration, $8.75/wear

Outfit total: $16.08/wear

I'm thinking that with the end of summer upon us (and thus the wearable period for this very summery blazer coming to a close), I would like to start shopping for a new "winter white" blazer, in a more modern shape, that could be worn for longer periods of the year.  I think this would be even more useful than the "winter white" skirt that I was talking about yesterday, for at least two reasons.  First, in many situations, my light grey pencil skirt can substitute for a white skirt.  Second, I would get more use out of a topper piece that can be worn over dresses, skirts, or pants than a skirt (and I wear a lot of dark/bright dresses, skirts, and pants that would benefit from the pop of white).  If I start looking now, perhaps I will be able to find a replacement skirt and/or blazer by the time the Work the Wardrobe Challenge wraps up (or restarts????) in April.

I'm happy to finally be able to photograph my blazer outfits without it riding up all funny from holding my arms up high.  (And you will enjoy seeing my nice red sofa in these photographs all the time, too.)

Unfortunately I am running out of photographs from our vacation last month, but here is another queen butterfly among flowers shot.  I like the smattering of white dots along the edge of the wings.  That never goes out of style.

In other news...When my parents visited recently, my mom brought me a bunch of advanced reader's editions/uncorrected proofs of books they were getting rid of at the library, so I've been enjoying a sort of hodge-podge lately.  I just finished reading Vanessa and Her Sister (who is Virginia Woolf, back when she was Virginia Stephen), which I found to be a very entertaining and engrossing book.  (The story is told mostly through journal entries by Vanessa.  The Virginia portrayed is equal parts brilliant, insane, and creepily possessive about her sister.  I enjoyed this take on the character.) 

At the very end of the book, the author gives us brief paragraphs describing what happens to the characters after the events described therein.  It mentions that Virginia Woolf and her husband founded Hogarth Press, named after the house they lived in.  When I finished reading that and the next page or so left in the book, I picked up another book, If I Fall, If I Die.  I opened to the first page and lo and behold, the publisher was...yes, Hogarth, now an imprint of Random House Books.  A Baader-Meinhof synchronicity! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer to Fall Transition

And a New Camera--Monday, 8/24/15

When I saw these inspiration photos pairing a green sweater with a white skirt, I thought that would make a great seasonal transition outfit...or an outfit for a cool-ish summer day.  Today was that day (expected high 67F).

Inspiration #1 features a dark sweater, a skirt, and patterned flats.


Inspiration #2 adds a long gold necklace to the green-white mix.


This weekend I took outfit photos with my new camera for the first time!  Although it was rather extremely frustrating to figure it out at first, Robert and I got my camera set up on the tripod and my cell phone set up to act as a remote shutter release.  (Going into remote mode switches the view from the camera to my phone, so I can see what the photo will look like--convenient, no?)  While my photos are not fantastic (well, as you can see, I'm doing this in my living room instead of in a scenic environment with great natural light), I think they are better than with my old little camera, and it's a lot easier for me to do.  I don't have to hold both arms over my head in an odd and shake-prone position--hooray!

Anyway, here's my version of this outfit, another "forest animal" kind of combination.

*Dark green pullover sweater (thrifted, Kohls), $5.00/wear+
White pleated skirt (thrifted, Chaps), $1.00/wear (!!!)
Leopard flats (Nordstrom), $5.00/wear
Gold tassel necklace (Kohls), $2.86/wear

Outfit total: $13.86/wear

It was even easier for me to do the top-down selfie with my new setup, but I need to work on making my shoes more obvious/prominent in the photos.

This weekend I also tried out my camera on the gang of delinquents frequenting our balcony bird seed supply.  Is my photography improving with the new camera?  The front bird looks skeptical but willing to consider the possibility.

In other news...About halfway through the day, I suddenly noticed the faint ghost of the lunchtime guacamole encounter just over 1 year ago.  Now that I've seen it, I can't unsee it, even though it is so so so very light.  This stain, barely perceptible as it might be, definitely does not spark joy.  I think it's time to retire this skirt to the great resting place in the sky ground.  I enjoyed the fit, comfort, and appearance of this skirt, and I the $1/wear was money well spent. 

I have been thinking about getting a "winter white" skirt in a non-lightweight-cotton fabrication that I could wear in other seasons than the short summer in Coldville.  Now that I have no white skirt at all, I have all the more reason to keep an eye out.

Another day, another couple of little breakthroughs in my current data visualization project at work.  After spending last Friday trying (and finally succeeding) in getting the data to come through correctly, I was able to make some visible progress today.  (More visible than that guacamole stain, certainly.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Sartorial Disturbance in the Force

Not Very Good--Sunday, 8/23/15

Focal item:  beige/white/coral floral skirt

This is another outfit that turned out quite different from my original idea.

You see, in a moment of insanity, I'd purchased a strange cardigan that, well, reminded me of a Jedi costume.  See what I mean?  The wide sleeves, the tie at the waist. 

Ann Taylor has much to answer for

Now, I don't do any Star Wars cosplay [and you know, if I did, I would totally be Han Solo, wearing a normal long-sleeved shirt and a vest anyway--who would you be?], so the applicability of such a garment to my life might seem minimal to you, but I somehow convinced myself that I could make it work in my daily wardrobe.

In this belief, I was mistaken.

I tried wearing it with a full skirt and a long T-shirt tucked in, and it was so, so wrong.  This combination caused a strong disturbance in the Force noticeable to individuals with only the teensiest bit of Force-sensitivity.  Yoda is going to be pissed at me for a long time because this colossal disruption biased the sentinels' testing of potential initiates and lead to dozens of Jedi younglings being admitted to the Academy who do not genuinely have the potential to develop even rudimentary control over the Force.  He's not a dude who likes his time wasted in this manner.

Created on

I did not photograph this horror for fear that the image would foster the emergence of Dark Jedi who make the Sith seem like extremely benevolent Boy Scouts.  I do not want this on my conscience.

So I put away the Jedi Cardigan of Doom for Goodwill donation, untucked my shirt, and put on a normal t-shirt knit cardigan and a sparkly scarf.

And behold, an outfit that is entirely Force-neutral. 

Coral short-sleeved T (Target), $2.33/wear+
Beige/white/coral floral skirt (thrifted, Target), $1.67/wear+
Cream knit cardigan (Kohls), $1.33/wear
White polka dot scarf (Target), $7.12/wear
Gold captoe flats by Anne Klein, $1.08/wear

Outfit total: $13.53/wear

I'm glad that I wore this skirt in a way that was notably different from the last time, even though there are some commonalities (the same shoes, a coral top).  This time I matched the gold on the shoes to the gold polka dots on the scarf instead of gold buttons on the top.  It's the little things.  Me, they please me. Yeesssssss.

In other news...It's been a busy weekend for me with Work the Wardrobe planning because we have only about 6-8 weeks of bare leg weather left until the onset of autumn in earnest.  And since the WtW Challenge ends in mid-April, I cannot count on any bare leg weather between autumn and the end of the Challenge.  So I've been organizing and prioritizing bare leg outfits (i.e., skirts without tights and pants with gold/etc. flats that I will never wear with socks) to wear.  For some of my items, this is the last chance to wear them before the end of the challenge.

I now have outfits planned and photographed for the next 2 weeks!  (I wanted to get ahead by a week because next weekend is all about editing and prepping state fair rabbit photos.  It is going to be insane.)  And I have another 4 weeks worth of detailed outfit ideas organized.

I also spent some time doing preliminary outfit idea generation for the fall and winter months, using my WtW Challenge spreadsheet to help me figure out what items in my wardrobe I haven't yet worn. 

Because of the way I count outfits as I put them together, I estimate that I have about 80-90 outfits left to plan from scratch before the end of the Challenge. 

Here are the counts of items that have not yet made it into any of my planned outfits:

Long-sleeved tops/shirts: 31
Cardigans: 14
Pullover sweaters: 8
Jackets/blazers: 5
Vests: 8
Scarves: 11
Necklaces: 10

I was a bit worried that I'd have more tops/shirts left to use than I had outfits left to design, but I'm actually in really good shape.  Even if I wore the tops/shirts and pullover sweaters separately, that gives me 45 tops to incorporate into 80-90 outfits.  (I have planned outfits for all the dresses now.)

Of course, some of the outfits I plan on paper don't work out when I try to put specific items together (see: Jedi Nightmare outfit), so I end up switching out some of the items or starting over with a different idea altogether.  But I'm feeling good about the margin for error that the 45 tops to 80-90 outfits gives me.

So that was my weekend, living at the intersection of fashion and data geekdom.  How did you spend yours?

Saturday, August 22, 2015


The Shoes--Saturday, 8/22/15

This is one of my favorite outfits from Alecz lately.  Houndstooth + mint + purple = so cute.


I didn't have the items to reproduce this excellent business casual look, but it did give me an idea of how to get my purple shrug into the Work the Wardrobe game in a weekend ensemble.

Black exercise tank (Kohls)
Purple shrug (Target), $5.00/wear+
Black and white striped skirt (thrifted, Target), $0.42/wear
Aqua infinity scarf (Target), $3.90/wear
Brushstroke flats (Payless), $3.33/wear

Outfit total: $12.65/wear

I didn't like the aqua quite as much as the mint with the purple, but it was fine--and purple aqua, and black are all represented in my brushstroke flats, so that made for a nice tie-it-together-while-mixing-it-up addition to the outfit.

And here is a random photo of my iced tea station in the kitchen.  Buying an iced tea machine has completely rocked my world, people.  Perfect iced tea, every day.  It is one of the simple pleasures (one might even say joys) of life.  Perhaps the only downside to it is that I have grown so accustomed to drinking (decaf) iced tea every day as my primary beverage that I cannot bear the idea of forgoing it so I can walk to my office (a jug of iced tea is too heavy for me to carry that distance).  And it's really a stretch to call that a downside.

I must give some credit where it's due, though--Dunn Bros. sells a delicious English breakfast/Earl Grey (caffeinated) iced tea blend that is so good, I used to stop by the place a couple blocks from my old Snow City apartment about once a week for it.  At first, they were selling refills for 25c, but then they stopped, so that a refill was another $4 or whatever.  That was madness and I refused to pay it.  So $20 for an iced tea maker later and I can now have my own delightful and decaffeinated iced tea blend every day.

I have trained Robert so well at making my iced tea that now, on the rare occasions I make it for myself, I am like, Um, how many of which tea bags do I use again?  (Thanks, Robert!)

In other news...All week I've been seeing this message when I pin something to Pinterest.  Come on, guys, you can do better, right?  Right!

Today is super windy, and we are under a tornado watch.  The wind blew the cover off our grill and knocked down the bird feeder a little while ago.  It's gotten quite cloudy and dark outside, so I'm waiting for the rain to start any time.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Flower

But Maybe Not Showers--Friday, 8/21/15

I love the blouse this woman is wearing in her Reverse Inspiration outfit.  Add jeans and red shoes and you're done.


This is the navy floral top that I had wanted to wear with my striped blazer but the Target sleeves defeated me.  So I decided to wear it on its own.  I know it must seem like I do not realize you can wear a shirt without a cardigan, vest, blazer, scarf and/or necklace, but once in a while, I remind myself of this.

Navy/red/teal popover blouse (thrifted, Old Navy), $1.33/wear+
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $0.56/wear
Red buckle flats by Me Too, $3.57/wear+

Outfit total: $5.46/wear

I love the vibrant floral pattern and colors of this top, so I'm glad it worked out for me to wear it alone with denim (despite how well it works with a multitude of colors).

Speaking of a multitude of colors, I am happy that my living room has plenty of space for me to put up two drying racks (to hold my rainbow array of washed clothing) next to the bar without them getting at all in the way.  This is also mega convenient because the laundry closet is in the living room as well.

In other news...OK, how amazing is this dress sewn from fabric whose pattern is an image of the Carina Nebula?  It's almost enough to make me want to sew a Colette Myrtle dress of my own.  Almost.  How would I ever pick just one rabbit fabric?  That's also going to be pricey.  Maybe the combination of indecision, cheapness, and laziness will keep me from doing it, but man...that's a nice looking dress.  Also, I really like the Colette sizes their patterns in recognizable modern store-bought sizes and make this pattern available for sizes XS-3X!  The traditional big-name pattern makers typically have separate (limited and inferior) patterns for plus-sizes.

I just placed an order on ThredUp, hoping to get a fancy dress for Robert's mom's evening/cocktail wedding.  I wasn't super-excited about wearing a black dress (the ones they had that I liked were black, not surprisingly) because I don't need another black dress.  However, if I can get one for $20 on ThredUp then I can spend the $100+ I saved from buying a fancy dress in another color to buy things I will actually wear more than once.  And yes, I checked and basically every expert on the Internet says it's perfectly fine to wear a festive black dress to a wedding, particularly an evening one.  I'm thinking gold shoes, a big sparkly necklace, and a fancy/pretty clutch. 

At work today I solved a problem that no one had figured out yet in our new reporting tool.  I'm not thrilled with my solution because it limits the way my visualization can look, but fuck yeah, I'm counting it as a victory. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pink of Perfection

More Saturated Colors--Thursday, 8/20/15

This photo is an outfit inspiration twofer.  The light shades of cream and beige and blush pink are pretty but can you easily imagine me wearing anything like this?  Yeah, me neither.


But somehow those outfits gave me the idea to wear a bubblegum pink top with two shades of grey.

Pink top with grey floral pattern (thrifted, Fresh Produce), $2.00/wear+
Grey pinstriped pants (thrifted, Dockers), $0.83/wear
*Grey short-sleeved cardigan (thrifted, Target), $3.75/wear+
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious, $1.27/wear
Pink drops necklace (Outfit Additions), $2.89/wear

Outfit total: $10.74/wear

The mind of the Sally is a strange thing to behold.

Behold, this big-ass bumblebee likes pink flowers.  I have not yet determined how he feels about bubblegum, though.  (Bumblegum?)

In other news...For the last week or so, our balcony--the bird feeders and especially the fallen seed on the balcony--has been swarming with young House Sparrows.  They are a rather disreputable looking group, but as Robert pointed out, they are this season's babies grown up into awkward adolescents.  The most bizarre aspect of this was that this weekend I noticed there was a half-smoked cigarette on the balcony, in amongst the seed and birds.  We are on the second floor, and there is no easy way any human could have gotten a cigarette butt up there.  When I showed Robert, he said that research shows that the nicotine in cigarettes acts as an insecticide (protecting babies from parasites), so birds will put incorporate cigarettes into their nests.  And anyway, we shouldn't be surprised that these teen sparrows have taken up cigarettes.  About an hour later, I looked out and the juvenile delinquents birds and the cigarette butt were gone.  No doubt they had headed off to find out whether somebody's older brother would buy them beer.

Coolest story on AdWeek recently: Man Poses as Target on Facebook, Trolls Haters of Its Gender-Neutral Move With Epic Replies.  Second coolest story: Target Loved the Guy Who Trolled Its Haters, Judging by This Genius Facebook Post.  (Hat tip: Capitol Hill Style.)