Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bare Legs in November

Mad Mad Sally--Saturday, 10/31/15

I have to admit that despite my love of leopard print and zebra print, I'm not such a fan of snake print, like the dress in this inspiration photo.  But pairing a black and white dress with bright teal and purple and a big mint necklace is an idea I can get into.


A striped dress is much more my style, and I think this particular one is interesting with the stripes that go in two different directions.

Black and white striped sleeveless dress (Target), $9.33/wear
Purple cropped cardigan (thrifted, Macy's), $1.67/wear+
Bright teal flats (Payless), $1.44/wear
Mint floral necklace (Target), $4.42/wear

Outfit total: $16.86/wear

The cropped length of this cardigan makes it a little tougher to wear than I'd prefer, but I do like the slight gathering of the fabric on the front--it adds a bit of interest.

I was going to wear something else today but because it is 75F in my apartment (!) and I am overheated and headachy to the point of violence, I wore this instead (actually, without the cardigan right now as I wait for the air through the open windows finally cool things down).  Time to take my feelings of aggravation and violence out against the super mutants in Fallout!

For you Halloween traditionalists, here's a spooky black cat photo for your enjoyment.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Atypical and Exhausted

Ordering the 4 Pattern Platter--Friday, 10/31/15

I appreciated this sophisticated business professional ensemble featuring a polka dot blouse and a navy pinstriped suit.


I stole the polka dot top + pinstriped blazer aspect of this outfit, then proceeded to casualize and Sallify it.

Navy polka dot top (Kohls), $5.16/wear
Navy pinstriped blazer (thrifted, The Limited), $1.67/wear+
Straight leg jeans (Kohls), $1.32/wear
*Blue/orange/green floral infinity scarf (Target), $14.24/wear+
Navy striped flats (Payless), $3.40/wear

Outfit total: $25.79/wear

Because the colors of the main pieces of the outfit were the same, I thought I could stand to push the pattern-mixing up to 4 different prints, including a very bright and cheerful scarf.  This scarf is so interesting--there is one smallish segment of the floral print that is white, in contrast to the pink/blue/yellow/orange/green elsewhere.  When I got it, I thought that my scarf was flawed, but when I looked it up on the Target website, I saw that this was a design feature.  It looks pretty strange when you have the scarf lying flat but I think it looks cool once you put it on.

So this isn't a typical Friday-before-Halloween outfit for work but for those who are afraid of pattern mixing, it's downright frightening.

In other news...A brief reminder of what I was thinking about during the first year of my masters program:

Second year students at school are working on their PhD applications, and I've been hearing everyone talk about how brutal the process is going to be this year with programs taking on fewer PhD students than in years past.

And yet the reality is that PhD programs are in some ways not being brutal enough.  In most fields, they continue to take on way more students than the job market will withstand.  I'm glad to be out of that shit storm. 

Speaking of brutal, my brain is so very tired after an extremely intense and somewhat stressful day.  Thankfully I'm not a grad student so I get to have a relaxing weekend of no work whatsoever.  Wheeeee!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Teal and Owls and Yahtzee Weirdness

And a Paisley Scarf--Thursday, 10/29/15

I liked the light brown/cognac and teal color combination in this inspiration photo, but the bright pink was feeling a little bit much for me, especially for the fall season.


So I used a somewhat darker brown and a deeper teal and left the pink out entirely (which I admit is not like me, but I think the outfit benefited from my restraint).

Dark teal cardigan (thrifted, Banana Republic), $2.50/wear+
Light brown pants (Kohls), $3.20/wear+
Brown wedges (thrifted, American Eagle), $0.50/wear+
Black/light blue/mustard paisley scarf (Target), $6.00/wear+
Black short-sleeved T (Target), $1.40/wear

Outfit total: $13.60/wear

Four new-to-the-Work-the-Wardrobe-Challenge items in one outfit!  It's been a while since I've done that.

That scarf is a real show-stealer in the top down photo, but I also liked how the outfit works even without it.  I always enjoy wearing these pants, but I don't do so very often.  I think I forget how versatile they are.  It's a bit hard to see even in this photo, but the pants have faint black flecks in them, so I think they go surprisingly well with a black top.

Being pairable with black makes such a big difference (in my wardrobe) in how mixable and re-mixable an item is, so I need to remember that these pants are not plain brown.  Of course, these days, it's perfectly OK to wear black and brown together, but I find that it looks more intentional when one of the items you're wearing has both colors in it.  Something made in a brown leopard print is the obvious solution for me, but light brown pants with faint black specks is another good option.  (I first wrote "solid option," which is a funny thing to say about a pair of pants made unexpectedly from a subtly patterned/not solid fabric.)

In other news...I haven't read the book Lean Out, but it sounds interesting.   It's a collection of 25 essays from women and trans gender people working in the tech industry, particularly in Silicon Valley.  I'm very interested in how the lack of representation in tech has become a "pipeline" problem in the dominant cultural narrative--i.e., that there aren't many women working in tech because there aren't enough women with the necessary skills to do the work--rather than one of a work culture that is hostile to women (and prevents some women from developing the skills because they won't want to work in that environment). 

Sometimes these draft blog post fragments really make me curious.  What prompted these lines?

Reason #281836590 not to believe everything you read on the Internet:

No, I did not actually attend the University of Texas as an undergrad.

I mean, I have not attended UT at all...well, except for 1 distance math class through their extension service.  How very odd indeed.


And from a Yahtzee game I was playing against my mom last night, what's wrong with this picture?

I mean seriously, what the hell?  I first noticed that it was counting my 6s as 18 on 6s, then that it counted 0 for 4 of a kind and then 22 on 3 of a kind.  Robert said, It must think one of the 6s is a 3.  And apparently that's right because it is counting this roll as 3 on 3s.  So weird!  And so annoying!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

World's Oddest Cardigan

...Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Blob--Wednesday, 10/28/15

This Reverse Inspiration blogger is sporting stripes, a short-sleeved grey cardigan, and pants.  Definitely captured some of the definitive elements and one of the colors.


But my outfit is all about the green...and the strangely blocked cardigan (color-blocked and blocky-shaped).

*Grey/green sleeveless cardigan (JNY), $8.82/wear+
White/grey striped top (Kohls), $2.83/wear
Green pants (JCP), $2.51/wear
Light grey wedges by BCBGeneration, $7.00/wear
Silver blob necklace (JNY), $2.45/wear

Outfit total: $23.61/wear

Well, a green-teal color, anyway.  I figured it was close enough to green to wear with these green pants, but perhaps my bright teal pencil skirt would be a more exact match to the shade.  But maybe the trusty blob necklace will draw people's attention away from this color semi-mishap.

I'm really glad I put this week's outfits together before we left on our trip.  I had zero energy to do so when we got back.

And after work today, it was raining and windy and (dare I say) kind of chilly for a person without a jacket/coat (thankfully I had an umbrella at least).  It's starting to feel a lot like autumn (though I still had my fan running in my office, so who the hell knows).

Today's time capsule post comes from way back when I was taking an undergrad introductory marketing course.  I had just finished the second test in the class:

When I got home from taking my exam, I flipped through the chapters of the book to identify which problems I missed. There were 8 problems that I had struggled with a bit and was able to determine that I missed half of them - I had actually barely gotten one of them right but had applied multiple choice test-taking heuristics and managed to eke it out. But I also found that I had missed one question that seemed obviously correct to me at the time. So my test score prediction was 90%.

Robert was quite surprised that I could remember what the test questions were, and though I could not sit down and totally recreate the test from memory, I did remember many of the questions outright and could basically recognize relevant terms or statements from the book and then remember the question about them.

Two of my misses were totally fair - the questions that were asked about two stages of the product lifecycle wanted answers that did not match up with what I thought were the important aspects of those stages, but I should have been able to answer but did not remember. One was somewhat annoying simply because I misread the question as equating size to sales volume rather than size to number of firms in the market and thus answered the wrong question (and knew the right answer to the actual question).

The question that I confidently answered incorrectly chaps me because I suffered from both too much actual knowledge about the example being used (segmentation strategy for REI) and the book stupidly equated psychographic segmentation with the Claritas system of customer profiling based on Census block-level data. Since I know deeply that the probabilistic "lifestyle" segmentation programs like Claritas and Tapestry...

Just this past weekend in Denton, I was talking to Tam about a question she wrote for her recent probability exam--I thought that I would be able to suppress my industry knowledge about how direct mail works enough to recognize that in the context of the test, I should use a Poisson distribution to answer the problem.  (The class only covered a limited number of distributions and it is the best option of the lot.)  But my response to that segmentation question on my marketing exam is a good reminder of how I get tripped up sometimes by knowing too much about a subject area.  I'm guessing that most students taking undergrad courses do not have this problem.

Plus: this is my life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sticking Together

All the Brown--Tuesday, 10/27/15

I had three inspiration photos for my outfit, and yet it still was somehow less than the sum of its parts.  Well, I can't blame these bloggers for that.

#1 features a teal top and dark brown pants with brown shoes--this was the outfit that was the primary inspiration for my outfit.


#2 is a mint blouse with a brown skirt and brown shoes.


#3 is kind of a twofer in itself as the blogger was recreating an advertisement photo herself.


I think my mistake was adding this (wrinkly) knit cardigan that for some reason did not want to play nicely with the (somewhat loose) knit top.  My whole top half kept getting stuck askew to the pants in a lumpy mass.  This was the least bunched up/wrinkly photo I took, and it's pretty screwed up.

Brown cotton pants (thrifted, Nine and Company), $0.29/wear+
Teal top (thrifted, Macy's), $2.00/wear
Brown flats by Frye, $9.75/wear
Brown t-shirt knit cardigan (thrifted, Rafaella), $2.50/wear
Mud brown/blue/beige necklace by RB

Outfit total: $14.04/wear

Usually two items made from t-shirt knit do OK together but not these two.  I suspect that the somewhat rough-textured cotton pants weren't helping the situation.  My top sort of wanted to stick to the pants anyway, making it hard to smooth the shirt fabric out.  I ended up treating my cardigan as outerwear--I wore it into work but didn't wear it once I was in the office.  That worked out OK (it was not too bad to deal with the top wanting to stick to the pants once the cardigan was no longer a factor).  So yay, outfit salvaged.  I was happy with this color combination, though, without reservations.

In other news...It definitely sucks to have to call in sick to work on the first day after a vacation, but I was having ear pain Sunday and Monday (such that I hardly slept Sunday night and was unable to even nap yesterday while I was home).  Today I talked to the doctor's office and my doctor has no available appointments until next Monday, so if I want to go in, I have to show up to the walk-in clinic that operates on a first come/first served basis.  Of course, my ear (and my head above the ear, which was also hurting) is now completely back to normal.  I haven't decided whether I will go in to the clinic tomorrow morning or not.  I guess it depends on how the rest of the night plays out.

We had a pretty good time for Robert's mom's wedding.  Our basic schedule was get into DFW Wednesday afternoon, pick up the car and drive the way the fuck out to his mom's rural estate in rush hour traffic (took forever), eat dinner at home with his mom/the prospective groom/his mom's sister (who Robert lived with for a while in Austin)/his girl cousin.  Then Thursday was pretty low key hanging out with the family and the dog (who is a cocker spaniel, a real sweetheart, though he is a sneezy pup!) until we met a bunch of bride and groom family for barbecue that night.  We also found that the previously purely evil kitten has grown into a Jerkyll and Hyde type of cat, who will seem to enjoy being petted until the moment she fucking attacks you.  As we got ready for bed in the larger guest bedroom, we watched her arm extending under the door, trying to slash anything she could reach (i.e., nothing).

Friday evening was the wedding at the B&B in Forth Worth.  Robert walked the bride down the aisle.  The groom's first wife's brother (!) was the minister, who came in all the way from NJ or something, and I was impressed that he brought the Adam's rib story kind of up-to-date (e.g., with the notion that being created from a rib represents that the wife is neither above nor below but on an equal level with the husband).  I got to catch up a bit with Robert's family and a few of his mom's friends that I have known for a long time, though I didn't get to talk to Robert's now-step-sister and her husband as much as I'd have liked.  (Well, we'll be seeing them every Christmas from now on, so I guess that's OK.)  The dinner was amazingly delicious and there was a lot of it.  I was just tipsy enough at the dinner table that when the guy next to Robert (his other now-step-sister's husband) said that he was a graduate of Memorial HS in Tulsa, I fist-bumped him.  But hey, it wasn't my fault!  My neighbor, a 71 year old man, started it--when he asked me where I grew up, he said he was born in Tulsa and put his fist out to bump me.

The room at the B&B was very nice and breakfast the next morning was almost too precious--a sausage patty, two triangular pieces of flatbread covered in scrambled eggs and cheese, and a mound of grits flavored wonderfully with green peppers (just a bit spicy so probably some jalapeno in there) arranged like an angel.  Then we left and drove up to Denton, where we spent Saturday hanging out with this crazy-awesome math grad student (and even a bit with her awesome math grad student roommate) and her lovely cat, who appeared highly gratified by the quality and quantity of petting and especially rump-scratching she received.  We came home Sunday (waking at 7:15 a.m. to arrive back at the apartment around 4:45 p.m., including a 1 hour delay at the airport).

It rained pretty much the entire time we were in Texas, but at least it did not affect our travel.  Robert's cousin and his pregnant wife (due at the end of February) from Boston got diverted to an air force base when first DFW then Love Field airports shut down due to the thunderstorm.

And now I'm home and itching to play a bit of Fallout before bed!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cocktail Wedding Attire

Since Robert and I will be leaving on a jet plane shortly, I thought I'd show you the outfit I am wearing to the cocktail wedding on Friday.

I was very happy to easily find a dress at ThredUp so I didn't have to spend over $100 on something I might not wear ever again.  (Fancy dress events are just not a normal part of my life.)  Yeah, it's black, but (1) that's OK for weddings these days and (2) I blinged it up a bit so I don't think it looks funereal (I mean, unless you are attending the funeral of your arch enemy and want to look all festive for the occasion).

My primary bling is this big-ass statement necklace!  That is a LOT of necklace, but I do think I'll be able to incorporate it pretty easily into everyday wear.

But I also have some good-sized sparkly earrings, a fantastic sequined clutch with a peacock motif, and my trust gold flats.  Black with white crystal, gold, and blue accessories seems appropriate enough to me.

Black cocktail dress (thrifted at Thredup, Jessica Howard), $15.00/wear
Gold peacock clutch (Amazon), $20.00/wear
Blue/crystal "Rapunzel bib" necklace (Baublebar), $52.00/wear
Crystal "Dogwood studs" earrings (Baublebar), $28.00/wear
Gold flats (Nordstrom), $2.78/wear

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Happy Combination

In Which I Outdo Myself--Tuesday, 10/20/15

Focal item: Black/pink/coral floral blouse

A truly brilliant entry in the Reverse Inspiration games by this blogger wearing magenta pants, a floral top, light colored flats, and a subtly patterned jacket.  Kudos.


I had initially planned to wear this blouse with my bright pink pencil skirt and a white blazer.  But then I bought a pair of magenta pants and the end of white-blazer-made-of-summery-fabric season occurred and the start of and-you-aren't-thrilled-by-that-blazer-anymore-anyway season happened.  So first I decided to substitute the magenta pants, then I went looking over my jacket/blazer collection to see if I had something better than a black blazer or cardigan to wear with it.

This cream polka dot blazer of my dreams jumped out from where it had been hidden since last spring (it's made from heavier fabric than is compatible with summer, even in Coldville). And whaddya know?  Houston, we have liftoff.

Black/pink/coral floral blouse (Kohls), $6.66/wear+
Cream polka dot blazer (thrifted, Target), $1.00/wear+
Magenta pants (thrifted, Target), $2.25/wear
Double strand pearls (Macy's), $8.63/wear
Rose gold flats (thrifted, Old Navy), $0.83/wear

Outfit total: $19.37/wear

I absolutely adore the juxtaposition of the floral pattern and the polka dots, and the black edging on the blazer (which as you all know, I LOVE) is 110% perfect with the black background of the top.  Add comfortably slouchy cotton pants (with pockets!) and girly touches in the pearls and ballet flats, and as they say on the youlookfab site and forum, my happiness factor is through the roof!

I needed my happiness factor to be boosted today because I am feeling grumpy about our trip to Robert's mom's wedding (leaving tomorrow! haven't started even getting ready to pack!). 

But on the upside:

--No more work this week.
--With any luck, my Amazon book order will have arrived with several great things to read on our trip.
--It's a cocktail wedding so if nothing else, there will be booze.
--I'm going to see Tam!
--I'm cautiously optimistic that I will be in low-to-no stomach pain tomorrow for our flight.  Today was the first "pretty good" day I've had in a while, and I hope it is the first of many (knock wood).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Stripes, Storage Solutions, and Software in Space

Satisfactorily Salvaged--Monday, 10/19/15

Looking for navy top + navy cardigan outfit inspiration, I saw two outfits with green skirts where I thought it would be easy for me to substitute my green pants.

#1: A long-sleeved navy top with strappy cognac sandals.


#2: A lacy navy top with leopard heels.


But when I tried my navy top and navy cardigan with my green pants--ruh roh!  Both the top and the sweater were on the short side, so when I sat down in my low-rise pants, I didn't feel confident that I wouldn't be showing the top of my undies at work.  So I thought, well, maybe I have a navy pullover sweater that's long enough to go with these pants...I seem to remember having a wool sweater so maybe I can transform this into a winter outfit.

I looked on my Big Shelf o' Sweaters and saw this delightful striped cotton sweater!  Not only do the greens match perfectly, it has little gold buttons along the shoulder that match the gold necklace and gold flats that I'd picked out.  I tried it on, sat down, and boom, we have a winner.

Navy/green striped pullover sweater (Kohls)$7.50/wear+
Green pants (JCP), $2.93/wear
Gold chain necklace (Ann Taylor), $2.15/wear
Gold flats (Nordstrom), $2.94/wear

Outfit total: $15.52/wear

This is a nice summer-to-fall transition outfit (not that I am especially careful with that or anything, but it's a sweet little bonus to be seasonally appropriate).

I also feel that this is an outfit that is what Angie from youlookfab describes as "just flattering enough."  The pants have tapered legs and are a bit on the short side (more an ankle pant length), which is not a conventionally figure-flattering style for a woman large of the hip and thigh.  But the color of these pants makes me smile, I like having pants that are an alternative to the bright colored pencil skirts I wear so often, and it's a rare pair of pants I own that are reasonably current in their style.  Add a striped (matelot!) sweater and gold accessories that bookend my hair color and I am glad to rock the tapered pants (which, by some miracle, are actually large enough to satisfy the Thighs of the Colossus).

Related post:  Sally McGraw discusses "When flattery and design preference clash."

I cannot resist another shout out to my awesome sweater storage solution (to wit: leaving them in plain sight) and to Robert for installing it.  Also note the fabulous series of laundry bins that we use to pre-sort our laundry at the time we take the garments off...wait, the first one is missing--Robert must have been doing some laundry (warm water/dryer) when I took this photo.

In other news...A nice article in Wired about Margaret Hamilton, the mother of software engineering.  My favorite part starts like this:

There was no reason an astronaut would ever do this, but nonetheless, Hamilton wanted to add code to prevent the crash. That idea was overruled by NASA. “We had been told many times that astronauts would not make any mistakes,” she says. “They were trained to be perfect.”

You can tell where that story's going.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

All the Birds

Well, Several of Them Anyway--Sunday, 10/18/15

Focal item: Peach titmouse blouse

I wanted to wear this lovely blouse one more time during the Work the Wardrobe Challenge before the weather got too cold (and stayed cold through April), so I took some inspiration from this books-and-fashion blogger and put it together with denim and some nude flats.  Easy peasy.


Uncharacteristically, I decided to style this with subtle but very on-point accessories--some pieces that I've had since my high school/college days.  A pastel bird choker (whoa, that sounds really bad! I don't use it to choke birds, I promise!) that I bought at a garage sale and a pair of earrings that always remind me of a simplified thunderbird image.  I haven't kept very many earrings or necklaces from so long ago, but I've held on to these, even though it's been years since I've worn them.  Thanks to the WtW Challenge, I got them out of the jewelry box and onto my bird-lovin' self.

Peach titmouse blouse (Kohls), $8.00/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, JCP), $0.24/wear
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious, $1.08/wear
Silver chain with birds necklace+
Thunderbird earrings+

Outfit total: $9.32/wear

I thought A Birder's Guide to Everything was a sweet movie with some funny moments.  My favorite lines were from Ben Kingsley, playing Lawrence Konrad, an ornithologist and very serious birder who joins 15-year-old protagonist David and three other teens as they attempt to re-find a bird that David believes might be an extinct species, the Labrador Duck.

Konrad wrote a memoir that the 15-year-old protagonist David has read 5 times. When David mentions this to Konrad, Konrad says, "Then I don't need to tell you...that I spent 15 months in Ecuador...tracking the pale-headed brush-finch, only to learn that it was a mere white-headed brush-finch.  If I had faced facts a few days earlier, you'd be looking at a man with two legs."

(And no, we gloriously do not find out how that leg was lost.)

David tells Konrad that his dad, who is getting married the next day to the nurse who cared for David's mom in the months before her death, is a dick.  Konrad disagrees (having met him once) and warns David, "Birds are my muses.  And I strive to be a true watcher. I can remember when I spotted my first greater prairie chicken...but not my own daughter's birthday....I'm 63 years old and very much alone.  I guide assholes for money.  I have one leg and no driver's license.  Please do not confuse me with a role model."

David asks, "Why don't you have a driver's license?"

Konrad replies, "A bit of a mix-up...between what I thought was an albino nighthawk and a high-speed police chase."

I also adored a scene in which the teen birders encounter a couple of asshole birders (indeed, two of the assholes that Lawrence Konrad guides for money) in a bird/nature store and get into an awkward conversation about what birds they see.  When David lists some birds he sees in his hometown, one of them is all, "Wait, you saw a yellow-winged vireo is New York?"  "Yeah."  "Yeah? Wow. Wow wow wow."  His friend says, "Don't be an asshole, Jeff."  David then realizes he misspoke and says, "Oh, I'm sorry. I mean a yellow-throated vireo."  The two assholes are condescendingly like "There you go," "There it is," etc. 

When David asks them what they see, it's "We just had a great trip to Tanzania. Saw an usambara eagle-owl, among other things.  Not bad for our first year."  One of the teens says, "First year?"  The guy responds, "Last year we climbed the Seven Summits.  This year we're going for the world big year record."  David's more aggressive friend says, "Oh, so you're not birders.  You're more like Mountain Dew ads."  Jeff says, "More like extreme hobbyists.  That means in 10 months, we've seen over 350 endangered species, including finding only the sixth-known nest of a grauer's broadbill."

I'm glad I've never run into these jerks in the field.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Better Than Expected

Dress as Skirt--Saturday, 10/17/15

Focal item:  Sleeveless faux-wrap purple knit dress from Target, approximately 100 years old

Well, maybe not that old, but I've had it for a long time.  I remember wearing it on vacation at the Outer Banks (as a swimsuit cover up), and that was over 5 years ago.  I consider this item fully depreciated, but I wasn't sure whether it was something to keep in my closet or get rid of.

The top part of the dress is both too tight and too revealing these days (the wrap dress and faux wrap dress are notoriously immodest) but the bottom half still fits well.  Could I layer something on top and use it as a skirt?

Here are two Reverse Inspirations based on the outfit I came up with.

First, a super fancy version with a full skirt.


Second, a super fancy version with a lace top.


By comparison, my decidedly not-fancy weekend in the summer-to-fall transition version.

Sleeveless purple knit dress (Target)+
Cream pullover sweater (Kohls), $2.82/wear+
Purple/aqua/black/white chevron scarf (Target), $3.84/wear+
Rose gold ballet flats (thrifted, Old Navy), $1.00/wear (yay)

Outfit total: $7.66/wear

I was surprisingly happy with how this turned out.  The sweater was comfortable over the dress, and the top of the dress did not bunch up or cause any weird lumpiness--to my eye, it just looked like a sweater with a skirt.  And of course, I loved the scarf with this combo--it's that critical third piece that takes an outfit from fine to marvelous for me.  I eschewed the more typical black or teal shoes and went with rose gold ballet flats for an extra sprinkling of summer-ness while the temperatures stay above 70 F (in my apartment on a sunny weekend, that's not hard to do).

Sometimes things just come together very quickly and easily and take you a bit by surprise.  Other things, like these Japanese gardens, require painstaking effort and multiple attempts to reach a pleasant simplicity.

In other news...The end of this article about "Asian" performance at universities (and how this affected some college ranking systems) resonated strongly with me.  Sure, in California, "Asian" means "high-achieving American-born children of Indian or Chinese engineers" or whatever.  In Snowville, "Asian" means "desperately poor immigrant children, born in war-ravaged countries, who may not have any living parents, who have had inconsistent schooling in the past, and who don't speak English."  In our schools, Asian students struggle a lot.

I found an unpublished blog post entitled "Blah."  It was empty.  Hah.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Teal Paisley and Ballad Verse

De-Frumped Friday--Friday, 10/16/15

Focal item: Teal paisley top

I've worn this top once already during the Work the Wardrobe Challenge, but I wanted to wear it again to bring the cost-per-wear down.  I loved this sharp business casual outfit with a teal cardigan and wide leg trousers.


I made mine into a fall-appropriate causal Friday ensemble by using my dark teal drapey cardigan and trouser jeans.

But when I saw the photos, I was like, Blergh, these baggy jeans + drapey cardigan is a whole lotta nope.  So I traded out the trouser jeans for skinny jeans and was much happier (sorry, I didn't do a second photo shoot, so you'll have to trust me).  What's silly is that I have a teal cardigan that is shaped a lot like the one in the photo; that would have been a better choice.  Oh well, another time!

Green/blue paisley top (JNY), $8.33/wear
Trouser jeans (thrifted, JCP) Skinny jeans (JCP), $3.68/wear
Dark teal drapey cardigan (Coldwater Creek), $3.00/wear
Bright teal flats (Payless), $1.63/wear
Gold/clear collar necklace (Target), $3.33/wear+

Outfit total: $19.97/wear

And I was happy to find a good outfit to wear this collar necklace with.  It's pretty, but it's a bit of a tough match.  I liked how the gold picked out the mustard yellow tones in the top.

Another blast-from-the-past unpublished blog post (the image is annoyingly sized; click to enlarge):

The advantage of writing poems in ballad verse is that they can be sung to the tune of the Gilligan theme song (as well as "O Little Town of Bethlehem").

The poems of Emily Dickinson, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," children's verse like "Mary Had a Little Lamb,"....

I ran out of steam there, but surely there are a gazillion such poems.  What is your favorite ballad verse to sing to the tune of Gilligan's Island?

Today at work I read a brief paper on the Internet which examined student grades from...OMG...North South University in Bangladesh.  North South University.  See, I'm not making that up.  Is that the most geographically fucked up sounding college in the world or what?

"North South University, that's totally fucked up.
Where are we? I don't know, I'll have to look it up.  (Have to look it up.)"

See, even that works as ballad verse!  If my life were like the episode of Community in which Chevy Chase's character writes a school song for Greendale Community College that is a rip-off of Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is," I could write the song for North South University to the tune of the Gilligan theme.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

No Exam

Lace Action--Thursday, 10/15/15

I loved the combination of bright pink lace and dark green in this inspiration outfit.


My own (darker) pink lace top has short-sleeves, and my dark green pants are made from a surprisingly warm fall/winter/early spring weight fabric, so that was a bit confusing.  I decided that I should add another layer, just in case.  Everybody says that wearing white after Labor Day now is totally acceptable, so here we go.

Fuchsia lace top (thrifted, Avenue), $2.00/wear+
Dark green pants (Kohls), $3.20/wear
White knit blazer (Nordstrom), $5.06/wear
Leopard flats (Nordstrom), $3.84/wear
Pink floral necklace (Target), $1.47/wear

Outfit total: $15.57/wear

Of course, I could not resist the chance to wear leopard print shoes.

In other news....Today's Throwback Thursday feature is an unpublished blog post from my masters program days, in its entirety: "My half-semester class has a lot of assignments, but no exam. This feels great."

You know what also feels great?  Not being in grad school anymore.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What to Wear When Interviewing a Job Candidate and Being Overwhelmed by Pies

Pattern Challenge Day 6: Floral--Wednesday, 10/14/15

Focal item:  Black top with beige flower design

Yep, another outfit that dates way back to that pattern challenge I didn't quite finish.  The outfit I created is so simple and iconic that the Reverse Inspiration is extremely close...except with leopard print instead of floral print on the top.

From egyptomaniac on

Yeah, I can understand that.  Leopard print feels more like a fall pattern than floral does.  However, I really liked how this dark, neutral floral print worked in the outfit--it's a little more surprising (in a subtle way) than leopard, I think.

*Black top with beige flowers (thrifted, T and Company), $4.00/wear+
Beige knit blazer (Nordstrom), $5.90/wear
Black pants (thrifted, Lane Bryant), $1.00/wear
Captoe flats by Clarks, $3.57/wear
Gold tassel necklace (Kohls), $2.22/wear

Outfit total: $16.69/wear

And the dark background lets the gold tassel necklace shine.

In other news...Today we brought one of our candidates back in to give us a presentation of her analysis of a simple data set (2 years, about 6 variables) that I put together for her.  She did pretty well, and I managed to not react when faced with 2 pie charts presented for comparison (though my supervisor did sneak an amused glance at me when that slide came up). 

Of course, I had just come from a meeting of my group in which someone showed a data visualization they'd developed with FOUR pie charts to compare--and because they did not fit with the other data on a single screen, you had to look at two, then scroll down to look at the other two.  To be fair, my co-worker had merely put together a visualization in our new software that replicated what the visualization requester (a person from another department) was already doing in Excel, so the idea came from that person.  BUT.  Ack. 

However, I was happy that my office mate, a long-time pie chart user/abuser, said that the developer should consider doing a bar chart like I did when I revamped one of her (my office mate's) reports and replaced a series of pie charts with a single bar chart that was easier to read.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Membrane Channels Eye Potential

That Hit the Spots--Tuesday, 10/13/15

Focal item: Black knit top with orange/pink/white dots

Looking for an outfit inspiration featuring a black/pink patterned top, I came across this simple and lovely combination. 


But I didn't think that my boxy, zip-up bright pink jacket (awesome as it is) would look right here, so I brought in my open-front coral blazer, and I liked the result.

Black knit top with orange/pink/white dots (thrifted, Target), $1.00/wear+
Black knit skirt (thrifted, Axcess), $1.67/wear
Coral blazer (JNY), $8.25/wear
Gold flats (Nordstrom), $3.12/wear
Gold chain link necklace (Ann Taylor), $2.33/wear

Outfit total: $16.37/wear

The cream-colored lapels on the blazer were perfect with the white spots on the top, I think--just a nice little touch that "sparked joy."

Cleaning out my draft folder for my blog this weekend, I came across this image, apparently a word cloud from my notes prepping for my neuroscience final at My Masters University.  I chose some nice fall colors that go nicely with my outfit today.  The power of my Reverse Inspirations knows no bounds!

In other Fallout 3 this weekend, I visited the museum that houses the Wright Flyer.  In our world, this is the National Air and Space Museum in D.C.  (I have not ever been there, though I have been to Kitty Hawk, NC, where its first flight occurred, and I've been to the Wright bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio.  I also did a Wright Flyer simulator when I was in Seattle.  I've only been to D.C. once and I didn't have the time to fit in a trip to such a large museum.)  In Fallout 3, it's the Museum of Technology in D.C.

And in that museum, the Flyer is destroyed.


It sounds silly, but when I saw the mangled plane in the game, I teared up.  I mean, of course the post-apocalyptic universe sucks in basically every conceivable way.  Death, disease, slavery, starvation, cannibalism, mass extinction of animal life, all of it.  But seeing the Wright Flyer as a crumpled mass (possibly due to "malicious damage") in the ruins of a museum...that hit me where I live.  That's your end of civilization right there.