Monday, October 31, 2016

Tired Halloween

"Working in the Mint Office on Halloween"--Monday, 10/31/16

OK, yes, it's Halloween, but I didn't feel inspired to dress in a holiday fashion today.  Instead, I offer you an outfit from last spring that I revamped quite a bit so that it doesn't really resemble any of the photos I'm including here.  Use your imagination, all right?

This summer 2013 Polyvore inspiration photo, entitled "Professional Woman," was a simple one to recreate from my wardrobe, focusing on my mint shell top.  But at the end of the summer, I purged almost all of these shell tops because I was tired of the annoying fit at the hips.  So I switched it out for a new magenta t-shirt instead. 


So pretend here that I'm wearing a magenta top, a slightly different skirt (that is more straight rather than cutting in at the knees), and grey tights with this outfit, and that's pretty much the thing.

*Light magenta short-sleeved T (Walmart), $5.00/wear
Grey tweed skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor), $2.50/wear
Dark grey blazer (JNY), $3.06/wear
Gold chain necklace (Ann Taylor), $1.75/wear
Grey tights
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan, $7.62/wear

Outfit total: $19.93/wear

Overall this has a more business casual vibe than the original ensemble, but is still on the dressed-up side for my office.  Luckily people in my office don't monitor and regulate how other people dress by asking if you have a job interview every time you put on a blazer.  I know that's a common thing and on the surface, it doesn't sound bad, but it strikes me as controlling and passive-aggressive so I'm glad that doesn't happen to me at my current job.  I think it's something that's more likely to happen when you show up wearing something that's appreciably more dressed up than your usual.  As you can gather from seeing my work outfit photos over the past couple years, I don't venture into truly casual or full-on suit mode, but cover just about every point in between, so it's not an outlier when I do dress up a bit more than usual.  And hey, it's Halloween, so I can always fall back on dressing up as a serious office worker--you know, a "Professional Woman"--for the holiday.

This jersey wooly asks, Is curly hair professional?  Oh wait, I don't have to care about that!

In other news...Stayed up too late last night because the Cowboys game went into overtime (at least they won), so now I'm exhausted.  BAH.  This princess will be turning into a pumpkin well before midnight.

I don't have any holiday plans for this evening.  Do you?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Voting My Conscience

Stripes, Florals, and Rabbits--Sunday, 10/30/16

I love the dog rescue T-shirt + actual dog combination here.  I wish I could do something similar with a bunny T-shirt + an actual bunny, but I will have to replicate other aspects of this outfit instead.


How about the striped jacket and olive green pants combo?  Works for me.

White Rabbit tank (Disney Alice/Kohls), $3.43/wear
Grey striped blazer (thrifted, Target), $1.00/wear
Olive hiking pants (thrifted,Walmart)
Grey/rust/green floral scarf (thrifted), $6.99/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom), $3.00/wear

Outfit total: $14.42/wear

That isn't a great view of my new scarf, one of many from that huge Goodwill scarf haul in July, but you'll be seeing it again this fall.  It is the perfect dark fall floral pattern, which happens to be all the rage this season.


Grey and white is a classic color combination that never goes out of style, especially on an adorable little mini lop bunny.

In other news...After sleeping late and eating French toast for breakfast, we did another round of Pokemon Go, hitting the park across the street from the library again.  It was cooler today, so sitting on the metal bench got chilly after a while.  I've been enjoying the bump in Halloween-related Pokemon for the holiday weekend.

I still have a cold but I've been feeling better, slowly--however, after this outing (and coming home and washing my hair, etc.), I was wiped out.  I was drowsing in my chair a fair bit during the afternoon.  It was only after dinner that I started to feel more normal again. 

Robert and I have filled out our absentee ballots for me to put in the USPS box in front of my building at work tomorrow.  I'm glad this election season is almost over.  I am thinking that I will start playing Fallout New Vegas the weekend of 11/11--I hope to be doing so as an adventurous sojourn into a dangerous game world to help assuage the boredom of every day life and not as an escape from a dangerous real world in which Trump is president. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Distracting Computer Games

"Pining After Bunnies"--Saturday, 10/29/16

I'm always looking for inspiration photos featuring graphic Ts, so this one that also has a maroon striped cardigan similar to mine looked like a good candidate.


I opted for my Alice T and awesome black bootcut jeans (super-comfortably high-waisted but not, I think, veering too much into Mom jean territory).

Black/maroon striped cardigan (Kohls), $5.52/wear
White Alice graphic T (Disney Alice/Kohls), $4.32/wear
Black jeans (thrifted, NYDJ), $1.50/wear
Black oxfords (thrifted, Munro American), $0.50/wear
Coral lace infinity scarf (Walmart), $1.38/wear

Outfit total: $13.22/wear

She seems to be thinking, "You are wearing a coral scarf with a maroon cardigan and I'm not sure they really go together but...rabbits....swoon...sigh." 

When in doubt, distract with bunnies.  Look here!  Big and fluffy!  Tiny and cute!
The White Rabbit Brigade: a French angora and friends

In other news...This morning, Robert and I walked to the library, picked up my books, stayed for a while in the park across the street, and then walked home, playing Pokemon Go all the while.  A marathon was finishing up on the major street next to our apartment when we left, and as it was Halloween themed, there were many runners in costume, including one group of women as Alice, the Queen of Hearts, and the Cheshire Cat.

This afternoon, we've been doing some research on the next computer game I'm going to start playing soon, Fallout New Vegas.

Good times. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Like An Adult, Kind Of

"A Study in Contrasts: Red Leopard Edition"--Friday, 10/28/16

I liked this combination of black/red pattern + lighter blue denim and decided to use it as another way to wear my black/red leopard blouse that I love but is a bit more limited than most of my clothes in how it can be remixed.


Against expectations, I enjoyed wearing this together.  The cut and fabric of this top says "dressy" but the medium wash jeans say "casual," and it seems like this juxtaposition wouldn't work very well at all.  I don't know, maybe it's the novelty of it, but I like this jumbled up mess of an outfit (with mis-matched silver tone necklace and gold tone shoe buckles, no less). 

Red leopard blouse with ruffled neckline (JNY), $3.60/wear
Straight leg jeans (thrifted, Bandolinoblu), $0.11/wear
Red buckle flats by Me Too, $2.06/wear
Silver/bright beads owl pendant (Kohls), $3.50/wear

Outfit total: $9.27/wear

Continuing this color scheme, I hope you will enjoy this lovely red tree, brought to you by autumn in Coldville.

In other news...This article on dressing like an adult is pretty solid.  I admit that I violate #1 in my business casual workplace fairly often these days (bright colors! print mixing!) but I didn't dress that way at my job interview or in my first weeks of work (looking back at my first work outfit photos, they are pretty muted) and I still dress more conservatively when I have a meeting of any significance (e.g., with people outside my immediate work group).

Plus, if that red is overwhelming you, how about a dose of light pink, that inescapable color?  This article talks about how rose quartz became a thing (with appropriate references to "think pink" and The Devil Wore Prada, etc).  One thing I found particularly interesting:  Prior to the 1940s, pink was not associated with girls--girls were more associated with blue because the Virgin Mary was often depicted wearing that color.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bright Oklahoma Education

"A Little Unified Wild-n-Bright"--Thursday, 10/27/16

We're going back a little with this one, folks.  It's an outfit I put together in the spring but didn't get a chance to wear before summer arrived.  So now with the cooler temps back on the regular, I dug this outfit out of the closet, spring-like colors be damned.

I think I'd get more use out of my white/navy star blouse if it had a collar (and could thus layer nicely under sweater vests and pullover sweaters) but I have not really begun to explore its possibilities with cardigans.  This outfit pairing a similar blouse with a teal cardigan, grey pants, and leopard print shoes looked like a good place to start.


I agree with Carrie that blouses are great for layering without being too bulky.  But when I tried on my blouse, I realized that it is very short--really bizarrely short.  I'm not sure how that happened because I don't think I would have bought it that way.  Perhaps there was a laundry snafu that I forgot about or didn't realize?  In any case, that blouse is now bound for Goodwill for a person with a lot less torso than I have (or who wants to rock a crop top style blouse, I guess.  I won't judge.)

So I substituted a navy polka dot top.  I am a bit disappointed that this one is kind of too short for wearing with pants, so I substituted a grey skirt and tights for the pants at the last minute (hence the photo below is from the waist up)--I almost always prefer wearing a skirt anyway, so that worked out.  I have a very similar teal cardigan to the one she's wearing, but went with this lighter and brighter one for better contrast to the navy top.

I played a wild card in my outfit with this crazy ball necklace that is great in a lot of the "this outfit needs a little something but I'm not sure what" situations I encounter.  (I know that most people would say, Um, two patterns and a bright teal cardigan is enough!  But I actually think that the extra dose of wildness from the necklace makes the bright color of the cardigan look like less of a stand-out/pop and more part of a cohesive outfit.)

Navy polka dot top (JCP), $2.58/wear
Bright teal cardigan (Macy's), $3.43/wear
Dark grey skirt (Walmart), $4.00/wear
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan, $7.92/wear
Grey tights
Wild ball necklace (Macy's), $2.61/wear [WtWC MVP #4 with 7 wears]

Outfit total: $20.54/wear

To go with all this blue, here is a photo of a mallard and its reflection from a birding outing last month.

In other news...Today I have two Oklahoma education articles for you.  And no, they aren't bad news!

First, an article about new research on PreK (that says it's not all that it's cracked up to be) mentions the favorable outcomes being seen in OK.  For more background on OK PreK, and why their program might be showing stronger results than other programs, check out this article.  High standards for teachers (they must have a college degree + a certificate in early education) and relatively good funding are two key components of the "high quality" OK program.  Here's an example of the kind of outcomes they are seeing:

In studies published in Science and the Policy Studies Journal, Gormley and his co-authors found that the pre-K programs in Tulsa significantly improved young children's ability to identify letters, spell and solve problems—leaping an average of five months ahead in pre-math and nine months ahead in pre-reading skills. "Those are really big gains," Gormley said. "Oklahoma decided that it was a waste of time and money to have a low quality program, so it decided to have high quality programs...which can produce really big improvement in school readiness for a wide range of children."

In essence, it seems that with PreK programs, you need to go big or go home.  This whole idea of making more PreK spots available (here, there's been a lot of talk of late re: universal PreK) but not really funding it is a joke.

Second, an article and a commentary about the controversy stirred up by a Norman, OK public school teacher who engaged his students in a discussion about racism.  So, a white teacher tells his class of white students that white people are racist, and some white students get offended.  Get a grip, kiddos.  Even worse is the parents who are all in a huff about it, as though the teacher is "demonizing" white people.

One thing I will say is that even when you have an audience of white people who aren't so quick to be all "well I NEVER" in response to a discussion about racism is that it is very difficult to navigate the various levels and aspects of racism/racial prejudice.  The idea that all white people are racist, and the idea that non-white people can't be racist, is based on institutional racism.  It's about power structures and privileges based on race--it's not a personal thing, about individual people's thoughts and actions, the way that most white people think of racism. 

From the movie Dear White People

So you've got this institutional vs. personal aspect, the implicit vs. explicit aspect (that of course I think about all the time, as it was a part of my grad school work), the thought vs. action aspect, all of these components that easily get smushed up and mangled. 

A white person hears "You are racist" as a personal accusation of outright bigotry, not as a statement about race-based privilege in our country or about implicit bias (that a person might be very motivated to control and correct for).  I mean, when I say that Trump is racist, I'm not merely observing that he is white in a country where whiteness is privileged.  I am making a personal accusation of bigotry.  Unfortunately, the terminology used for these various meanings is the same.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Comfortable Dating Apps

When You Veer from the Inspiration Course--Wednesday, 10/26/16

Let us go back, back, back to September 2012, when Anne challenged herself to recreate a summer outfit using fall weather appropriate pieces.


I started out with the intention of replicating the chambray shirt + dark green pants + brown leopard cardigan combo.  But I decided I wanted to wear this new t-shirt that is just the right shade to match the cardigan, then I tried on the pants and was like, screw it, I'm tired of dealing with the low rise on these things--cute as they are, I'm sending them to Goodwill.  And by the time I had gone matchy-matchy with the shirt, pants, and cardigan, I chose to go all-in with a matching scarf, too.

This is an uncharacteristically netural-toned outfit for me, but yeah, I was happy with the result.  This is the kind of outfit that can seem boring, but I'm going to call it classic instead.  And these higher-waisted pants?  So much more comfortable and easy to deal with than the "modern" cut lower rise pants.  I am not looking back.

Black work pants (thrifted, CJ Banks), $1.75/wear
*Light brown short-sleeved T (Walmart), $5.00/wear
Brown leopard cardigan (Lands End), $7.90/wear
Black scarf (Target), $1.20/wear
Black pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom), $1.85/wear

Outfit total: $17.70/wear
And as a bonus, I now coordinate with this brown mini satin with black points.

In other news...I enjoyed this post in which an American living in Germany helps a friend style some clothes--here's the money quote:

I explained to Nina and her roommates that I found it surprising that so many Germans wear athletic shoes now, because it was considered a “typical American” thing when I first visited Germany in 2009. Her roommate cleared this up for me by saying, “Germans figured out that they’re comfortable as fuck.” Word.

My outfit today wasn't quite THAT comfortable, but luckily, except for a short walk across the parking lot, I was lazing around on my still-feeling-sick ass all day at work.

Plus, an article that makes me glad not to be looking for a relationship via dating apps.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Yellow Bunny Work Mysteries

Back to Werk--Tuesday, 10/25/16

Yep, back to it on a Tuesday because I was still feeling terrible yesterday from the cold I caught visiting my family last week.  Thanks, guys--you're so generous! :)

This not-exactly-polka-dot patterned top reminded me of my navy rabbit blouse.  My blouse even has yellow flowers on it, so a yellow blazer would be perfect.  I don't own a yellow blazer.  Oh well, I'll just wear a different color.


I considered wearing it with navy pants, as in the inspiration outfit, but decided to try it with my bright blue pants instead.

Navy rabbit blouse (Disney Alice/Kohls), $3.77/wear
Blue skinny pants (thrifted, Macy's), $3.00/wear
Beige-grey blazer (Target), $2.50/wear
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom), $2.17/wear

Outfit total: $11.44/wear

Now if I can stop thinking about how cute it would be with the yellow skirt I don't own...

But what I do have in yellow is a tree next to the river behind my apartment.

I also have enough rabbit photos to kill a person who has not increased her cuteness tolerance through years of bunny companionship.

This lady is too dignified to frolic on somebody's blouse.

In other news...I thought my sister might be interested in this article about the ultimate efficiency hack--having kids.

I had the strange experience this morning that within a few minutes of arriving at work, an unfamiliar person stuck her head in my door to ask whether I would take an emergency call in our department head's absence.  I said yes and dealt with that issue (which was luckily not too tricky, though it did require several calls altogether to get it handled).  Then I saw that this mysterious person was sitting at our admin's desk, so I introduced myself and asked her how long she was going to be with us.  "Until a permanent person is hired," she said.  Huh?  We chatted for a few minutes, then when I was going through the emails I'd ignored on my vacation, I saw one in which our department head announced that Friday had been our admin's last day, and that the admin had asked that it not be announced until after she left.  Talking to my office mate later, I found out that it's unclear to her (and I suppose anyone else not on our management team) whether the admin left of her own accord or not.
But hey, I still had a job when I went in today, which I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Suddenly, Fall

A Little Longer--Wednesday, 10/12/16

I immediately gravitated toward this combination of maroon pants, navy blazer, and navy patterned top from Fonda, who I think has the on-the-conservative-side business wear style that most resonates with me of all the bloggers I follow.  Although I obviously have the latitude to dress more casually than she does at work, her professional outfits-of-the-day are a great starting point for creating Sally-ified ensembles.


For this outfit, I initially thought it would be a good opportunity to wear my navy faux giraffe print blouse--a very business-y top that was purchased as part of my interview clothing set.  But when I put it on, I realized that it was an odd length to wear with the pants.  Too short to wear untucked, and worn tucked in...well, I hate futzing with tucked in tops and this one threatened to come untucked immediately.  So I substituted a burgundy/navy paisley blouse, which was just that little longer enough to be viable (though I would have loved it to be a little bit longer still).

Burgundy paisley blouse (Lands End/gift from Mom)
Maroon pants (thrifted, Lands End), $0.87/wear
Navy ponte knit blazer (Target), $3.33/wear
Nude Rockstud flats by Wild Diva, $2.50/wear

Outfit total: $6.70/wear

As you can see, the burgundy top here is appreciably darker than the maroon pants, yet I find the combination attractive enough.  As I've discussed before, colors on that maroon-to-burgundy spectrum are tricky--sometimes two colors that I think will go well together look terrible, and then other times (like this one), I have low expectations for the combination and am pleasantly surprised.  My backup plan was just to grab a navy striped top and be done with it, but I'm glad that I had the opportunity to wear this top again.

It has a funny history--it was an item that came completely by accident in a Lands End Internet order to my mom.  Not in place of another garment, just an extra.  My mom had no use for a dressy office blouse with a bow tie neck (although that fits the stereotype of the librarian pretty well, I think, she dressed in breathable natural fibers for her very physical job shelving books) so she gave it to me.

I just wouldn't feel right with a blog post headed by "A Little Longer," featuring ankle pants no less, if I didn't reference Lyle Lovett's "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)" with the famous line "And buy your pants just a little longer..."  I know I link to the video every few months, but come on, everybody could stand to hear this song every few months!  I really liked this song when I was living in Texas (as a non-native), but now that I'm here in these strange northern lands where people do not get it at all, I even more strongly appreciate Lyle's ability to conjure up that quirky, crazy, unique, and ultimately kind of awesome Texas-ness.

Today's rabbit is a long (though not tall) Californian.  I think the white fur would really bring out the white design on my shirt.

In other news...It was all of 48 F today, which is setting me up nicely for my vacation to my hometown, where temperatures in the upper 80s are expected.  Wha..?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mixed Moody Fit

"Moody Red"--Tuesday, 10/11/16

I love a good pencil skirt outfit, and I thought this combination of floral top, bold solid pencil skirt, bright shoes, and subtle statement necklace [can that even be a thing?] was a nice inspiration.  Her ensemble was in a cheerful, summery palette, appropriate to her July 2015 outfit-of-the-day, but I decided to adapt it for this early fall season.


I started with a dark green/maroon floral top that I purchased on a thrift store outing with my mom--it's probably my most autumn-ish floral option.  I decided that the red pencil skirt went well with the maroon flowers, and I stuck with red for the shoes as well.  Rather than a small crystal necklace (which I don't have), I wore my hammered silver one.  This was all well and good but I thought the outfit was just missing that something...oh yes, the near-obligatory top layer!

Dark green/maroon/black floral knit top (thrifted, Kohls), $2.50/wear
Red skirt (JCP), $2.38/wear
Red buckle flats by Me Too, $2.14/wear
Black open weave cardigan vest (Kohls), $1.84/wear
Hammered silver necklace (JNY), $2.06/wear

Outfit total: $10.92/wear

With the addition of a cardigan vest, this outfit went from Good to Great.  Man, wouldn't that make a great book title?

Also, I only realized when I saw the photos that I'd mixed a silver necklace and shoes with gold buckles.  Luckily, mixing your metals is a recurring recent trend (I found articles on this topic from 2008 through 2016) so no worries.

I thought this dusky bunny would make a good accessory to my outfit.  Do you think he could be convinced to ride on my shoulder like a parrot in a pirate movie?
His answer: All the nope.

In other news...This is a good list of universal fit challenges for women's clothing.  I particularly struggle with the first two:

(1) Dresses [and I would add skirts as well] meant for an office environment that are too short.  I am on the tall side of average, not a giant, and I run into this all the time.  I have several dresses and a few skirts that I have to reserve for (our admittedly long) tights season because they are definitely too short.  I hear people complaining about this on blogs all the time.

(2) Jacket sleeves that are too tight.  I thought maybe that was just me because of my massive guns (hah but also not) but apparently it's a common problem.

Do you have any fit problems that weren't on the list?

Re: yesterday's post title--Poisonous Pokemon in My Bathroom:  Ever since Robert caught two poisonous Pokemon in our bathroom over the weekend, I have had this phrase, sung in a particular way, stuck in my head.  Be glad that it is not easy for me to share this (poisonous?) ear worm with you.  It's a bad one.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Poisonous Pokemon in My Bathroom

"An Odd Green"--Monday, 10/10/16

Today's Reverse Inspiration features a striped cardigan and mint green pants in bright, spring-y hues.


My outfit features very different greens, more applicable to summer-turning-fall (my fall season starts October 15).  I first tried pairing the cardigan with bright green pants but I didn't like the result.  The olive is still a bit off, but I think it goes with the cardigan okay.  I still think these pants are comfortable-but-frumpy, but I'm hoping that the snazzy modern flats will help distract from the frump factor.

Green and grey short-sleeved cardigan (thrifted, Macy's), $2.33/wear
Olive pants (thrifted, Coldwater Creek), $0.50/wear
White short-sleeved V neck T (Lands End), $1.33/wear
Nude Rockstud flats by Wild Diva, $2.86/wear
Green gumdrop necklace (Target), $4.46/wear

Outfit total: $11.48/wear

The necklace is a good match so I will declare victory on the green color front.

Continuing the green theme, here are some wood ducks against green reeds that I photographed on a birding trip in September.

And the dead bunny pose heart attack: every human who has lived with a rabbit has been here:

In other news...Today I fully realized that the Nidoran male Pokemon is a rabbit!  They call it a "rodent-like" Pokemon, but nope, it's definitely a lagomorph.  Appropriately enough, we keep finding Nidoran Pokemon in our apartment.

The Poisonbun

Tonight after work we went out for a bit of hunting--we hatched our first eggs (2 5 km eggs) and got two Sandshrews.  We have not encountered these in the wild yet, so that was cool.

Work kind of sucked today, if for no other reason than it reached 79 F in our office.  On a warm sunny day in October (which is apparently the start of the "we have turned off all A/C for the year" season), we are screwed.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Packing Debate

"Totally Irrelephant"--Sunday, 10/9/16

I liked this relaxed weekend outfit as inspiration for wearing my new casual long-sleeved aqua top.


The thing I didn't consider until I tried putting on my denim shirt over it is that long-sleeved T topped by 3/4 sleeve denim shirt combination is no bueno.  I mean, hella weird looking.  So I switched out my blue denim jacket and went with that.  I jazzed up my non-embellished top by adding an elephant pendant at the risk of looking like a supporter of the Republicans in the presidential election.  (Note: I am not.)

Or perhaps the somewhat-odd-when-you-think-about-it blue horseshoe shape on the elephant's side is meant to suggest that a donkey has kicked it so hard in the side that it left a serious bruise.  That feels appropriate for debate night, doesn't it?  Either way, elephants are bad-ass and I won't be bound to arbitrary political party/animal associations developed in the 19th century.

*Aqua long-sleeved T (thrifted, Liz Claiborne), $5.24/wear
Black and grey striped skirt (thrifted, Loft), $0.86/wear
Blue denim jacket (Liz Claiborne/JCP), $4.04/wear
Silver elephant pendant (Target), $3.20/wear
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious, $0.58/wear

Outfit total: $13.92/wear

One thing I learned from that article was that the donkey was first associated with Andrew Jackson after his opponents called him a jackass (and he decided to embrace it).  Recently Robert and I went through all the major party presidential candidates to find one that was worse than Donald Trump and we came up with, yep, Andrew Jackson.  (With an honorable mention for John Breckinridge, who represented the Southern Democrats in the 1860 election and later became the Secretary of War for the Confederacy.)  We are obviously not alone in our dislike of Jackass Jackson, but I was amused to see that the History channel did a cartoon outlining Jackson's "supervillain qualities" in this "Biggest Presidential Bad Boys" segment.  (The cartoon is preceded by an ad for a race track, which is very appropriate given Jackson's love for betting on the ponies.)  The Harriet Tubman $20 can't come soon enough.

And for your Bunday enjoyment, a mini lop with flecked grey/black in his fur.

In other news...Today involved getting about 70% of my packing done from our trip next week, walking for 2 hours playing Pokemon Go (at the end, we went past the famous Pokemon park across from the library and it was pretty sweet), and cooking work lunches for the week.  I wasn't sure whether I wanted to watch the presidential debate tonight, but given the recent developments (Trump's insanely tasteless/sexist video and the Hilary Goldman Sachs speech leak), I decided I wanted to see how that played out.

Refrigerated Pokemon

"Rusted Out"--Saturday, 10/8/16

This Reverse Inspiration has the grey/black polka dot + rust (or OK, pumpkin) color scheme going for it.

From via Pinterest

And it's a more successful outfit than the one I created.  Somehow this seemed better when I thought about it than when I tried it on.  My thinking was to use the colors of the patterned ballet flats to develop the rest of the outfit, but I'm not thrilled with the result.  Part of it is that I've decided I'm not a fan of this jacket--the fabric is stiffer than I'd like and this color close to my face does me no favors either.  So it's time to send it back to Goodwill.

Rust utility jacket (thrifted, Kohls), $1.67/wear
Grey short-sleeved T (Kohls), $0.48/wear
Grey polka dot skirt (Kohls), $2.24/wear
Yellow necklace (Kohls), $2.33/wear
Grey/rust/tan tribal flats (Kohls...just kidding...Payless), $1.14/wear

Outfit total: $7.86/wear

Let's distract from this iffy outfit with a gorgeous rabbit photo!  Here's someone who looks wonderful in a pumpkin/rust hue.

He can't bring himself to look at my outfit.

In other news...Twitter Reveals How God Created Animals.

Yesterday (i.e., Saturday) morning, our short refrigerator saga came to a close.  Robert had put in a maintenance request on Friday morning that our fridge temperature was running too high.  The maintenance guy came in at 9:30 Friday to replace something on the fridge but it didn't help.  Then yesterday morning he came back and said that they didn't have the part they needed to fix our fridge on hand so he switched out our refrigerator with one from an empty apartment unit.  So now we have a fully functional refrigerator with a minimum of drama and zero extra expense, just the way I like it.

Yesterday evening, Robert and I tested out Pokemon Go by taking a walk along the river--30 minutes down the river and 30 minutes back pretty much wiped his phone battery, though I don't know whether it was fully charged when we started.  (Sadly, my phone is so old that I can't play it on the Android OS I have.)  I guess it's because we were both in an area that the Pokemon Go map thinks is a park and because we were next to water that we found a seemingly insane number of Pokemon in that time.  There were also two PokeStops and one gym (which we were not high level enough to enter, let alone mess with the Dragonite stationed there) in that stretch.  I was thinking that today it would be nice to walk to that park that is considered the best Pokemon spot in the state but the phone battery would not survive such an outing.  Pokemon players, how do you keep your battery charged?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tan Rabbits and Vexatious Requests

"The Coral Cobalt Overlord"--Friday, 10/7/16

The color combination here struck me as unusual but interesting--coral, cobalt, and brown leopard print.


Seems like a promising way to try my new short-sleeved cobalt blue cardigan as we transition into the fall season.  (A less stubborn person would have substituted their long-sleeved cobalt blue cardigan given the 54 F high temperature!)  I had a lot of options but decided to stick somewhat close to the inspiration photo with a coral top and leopard scarf.  Not sure why I went with the striped flats, but what the hell.  It's Friday.  I did end up wearing my black denim jacket to and from work, but my office continued its warm streak so I had the fan on all day.

*Coral short-sleeved T (Walmart), $5.00/wear
Cobalt blue short-sleeved t-shirt cardigan (thrifted, Lane Bryant), $2.62/wear
Brown leopard scarf (Kohls), $2.08/wear
Skinny jeans (JCP), $0.66/wear
Pink/tan/black striped flats (Payless), $1.14/wear

Outfit total: $11.50/wear

And to match my outfit, a hungry Tan rabbit.  This striking color pattern is produced by the at gene, which produces different colors on the top/sides and the belly (note: the otter coloration is produced by the same gene), and the ww gene, which makes the belly a bright orange/red color.

In other news...Tam sent this article about how a group of patients, journalists, and scientists have exposed deep problems with a famous study finding that people with chronic fatigue syndrome will improve or "recover" by doing more exercise--a finding that became a treatment recommendation at many reputable hospitals/facilities.  (This despite the fact that post-exertion exhaustion is a hallmark of the disease.)

I was irritated by the university characterizing Freedom of Information requests for access to basic study data as "vexatious" (which basically means it would be too much of a pain in the ass to provide the information--"a disproportionate or unjustifiable level of distress, disruption or irritation"), though I find the terminology amusing.  In that request, the person asked for mean and standard deviation for one measure for each of the four experimental groups at each of the four time periods of measurement during the study--that's 32 numbers.  The data was shown in a figure but the figure was too small/low resolution for the reader to extract the numbers.  Um, how is this a vexatious request?  That's like very, very basic stuff that should have been published in a visible way to begin with.  The authors must already know what those numbers are to have made a (poor) graph with them, so it's not like any additional calculation is needed (and it's already aggregated so there isn't an issue with providing individual level data that could be misused).

If you would like to dig into the basic problems with the study's design, this is an excellent source.  Some of the issues include:

--Recruiting people who don't necessarily have CFS while excluding those with severe CFS.  Apparently there's a whole lot of technical shit around how CFS is identified/defined that they were kind of like "eh, whatever" about.  So they were generating recommendations for treating those with a disease that their participants didn't even all have.  I got the impression that they ignored the significance of fatigue in response to exertion as a defining characteristic of the disease, which, you know, might be problematic in a study trying to show that exercise helps people with this specific disease (and not just people who are generally fatigued/depressed/etc.).

--Starting the study with a certain set of criteria for success and then lowering them dramatically later, to the point that the same score could qualify you for inclusion in the study AND count as "recovery."  There is uncertainty as to how much access to the data the authors had before they changed their success criteria--it's very possible that they revised the criteria in response to the data in the study, or they might have generally lost faith at some point and defined success more broadly to increase their chances of getting the result they wanted.  In either case, bad.  And how they can count people as "recovered" who are bad enough to qualify for the study boggles the mind.  The authors apparently responded that they didn't mean "recovery" the way that people generally use the term recovery.  Paging Dr. Dumpty...

--Using measures with serious floor effect issues (which the article characterizes as a ceiling effect, which confuses me a lot; I asked Robert what he'd call this effect--since he was trained in stats but not experimental design--and he said "censored data," which is legit).  For example, a bunch of people start out feeling really bad so on the initial questionnaire they use the lowest response category.  Then after treatment, half the people feel better and half feel worse.  The ones who feel better move up to a higher response category, but what about those who are doing worse?  They can't give a lower response than they gave before--they're already at the floor.  So overall, the scores would show an improvement on average, whereas in reality, there's no net change (the ones who improved and the ones who got worse canceled each other out).

--They also changed up some of the statistical tests from what their original study plan called for.  At least some of these tests make as much sense as the original ones, but it's odd that they didn't stick with their original analysis plan.  It raises the question of whether carrying out the original tests resulted in non-statistically significant results or what.

So yeah, the recommendation that people with a disease featuring post-exertion exhaustion should start exercising to recover?  Bogus.

I can't help but think about how many people in the psychology community have pointed to these kinds of "gold standard" medical studies as a model for how psych research should operate.  For example, publicly laying out what the interventions will be specifically, what measures will be used, what the relevant criteria are, what kind of statistical tests will be run, etc. in advance so that there will not be the temptation to fudge things when the data come in.  However, this study shows how that model is no guarantee that the researchers won't fudge things anyway.  I'd argue that in some ways, having the appearance of a gold standard study while being shoddy underneath is even worse because people are more inclined to believe the results.