Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Misdreavus Beast

Dad Pants--Monday, 8/7/17

Why this shade of aqua blue is called "Dad" by our neural network friend is a mystery, but it works very well with navy and white.  Although I am not ready to give up pattern mixing and giant flowing scarves and other maximal outfit features, I am digging simple outfits with bright pants lately.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $15.75

Chambray on Chambray with More Chambray--Tuesday, 8/8/17

While the jeans + denim jacket combo is called a Canadian tuxedo (I believe a Texas tuxedo is stereotypically worn with cowboy hat and/or boots), I'm not familiar with a term for layered denim-on-denim...or chambray-on-chambray-colored-knit like I'm wearing here.  But I think it's a winning monochrome combination, especially when paired with neon pants.  And yes, those are chambray ballet flats too.  #AllthechambrayFTW

OCPW: $15.50

A Fan of Aqua + Red--Wednesday, 8/9/17

I initially saw an aqua top + red pants outfit on Jen's blog, tied together (so to speak) with a coordinating scarf (the outfit was inspired by the Turkish tulip embroidery on the left). 


As I don't have a scarf with these colors...and my top has this mega-ruffle neckline that would complete with a scarf anyway...and the high temperature is 80 F...I wore this coordinating fan necklace instead.

OCPW: $6.27

The Mom Cardigan--Thursday, 8/10/17

When I wear this cardigan, I'm reminded of my mom because she usually wears this "grandpa" style (though long-sleeved, not 3/4 sleeved).  I added the scarf at the last minute because I thought it might be a cooler day than I'd planned and I hadn't shortened the straps on the top so it was in danger of shifting too low for comfort.  The coral detracts a bit from the orchid-pink shoes/Fitbit combo but whatever.

OCPW: $3.85

Denim-less Friday--Friday, 8/11/17

I ended up switching my Thursday and Friday outfits so I wore jeans yesterday and black and white and a pop of bright pink today.  This change-up made sense at the time.

OCPW: $9.21

In other news...In honor of a conversation I had with my supervisor and our department head today in which I am being encouraged to do some leadership professional development this year because they would like me to take more of a leadership role in our department, I will refer to this classic article... which does NOT describe my work situation.

"Misdreavus frightens people with a creepy, sobbing cry. The Pokémon apparently uses its red spheres to absorb the fearful feelings of foes and turn them into nutrition."

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sandbork Quincelax Eats 1 Cup Meat or Flour

First, some news on machine learning projects:

I think even my non-Pokemon-playing readers will enjoy this short list of neural network-created Pokemon names, abilities, and accompanying drawings (the latter not machine created). If the network were making the physical Pokemon, like 80% of them would have rabbit ears, as that seems to be a very common feature (Nidoran male and female, Wigglytuff, Eevee and its evolved forms, Sentret, Azumarill)...which makes sense, really, if your goal is to create cute monsters.  What is cuter than a bunny?

And there's always the bad cooking advice that neural networks gives.

Now for outfits based on neural-network developed paint colors:

Rose Colon Top, Redwied Skirt, and Drimple Cardigan--Monday, 7/31/17

I did not purchase this cardigan on Lamuella, despite the fact that the color appears to be named after Drimple, the Sandwich Maker's apprentice, perhaps to reflect its exalted position.  

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $9.87

Cremper Viulet Cardigan and Bull Cream Flats--Tuesday, 8/1/17

Cremper Viulet was also a minor character in the Gormenghast series, wasn't she? If not, she must have been edited out.

OCPW: $6.62

Cardigan with Sinderet Green, Spiced Rope, and Sting Gray Stripes--Wednesday, 8/2/17

Sting Gray is pretty clever.  The color corresponding to the gray of a sting ray?  That's something Robert might come up with.

OCPW: $10.76

Clay Cow Top, Woss White Flats, and Dry Custard Scarf--Thursday, 8/3/17

If you wear something dry custard colored around your neck while you eat pumpkin yogurt at lunch, it's all good if you happen to spill some.  (It also isn't half bad for attending a going-away happy hour for a colleague at a brew pub.)

OCPW: $4.58

Kold of Tale Cardigan and Lemon Nose/Stamped Candy/Windled Waters/Primple Brown/Blue Child Striped Flats--Friday, 8/4/17

I didn't take a class in Chaucer in college, so my familiarity with Kold of Tale is minimal.  But given this really bright, happy fuchsia shade, I guess it was a comedy.  Perfect for Friday.

OCPW: $7.71

Monday, August 21, 2017

Daddy Arbok

Another colorful pants week!  Two days of this week were illness (Monday) and, sigh, the first time I failed to photograph an outfit for work (Wednesday). 

Pinky Dots--Tuesday, 7/25/17

This is a pretty basic summer work outfit formula--bright pants, comfortable short-sleeved top, necklace, flats (plus coordinating Fitbit).  The pink dots on the t-shirt are a lighter shade than the pants, but it's all good.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $6.48

The Missing Photo--Wednesday, 7/26/17

Even though I don't have a photograph of it, I can at least record that I wore the white lace dottie top, the coral pants, the gold tassel necklace, and black pointy-toed flats.

OCPW: $12.54

Formula Day 3--Thursday, 7/27/17

If it ain't broke, right?

I continue to be delighted by this lace top that gets around both the "ugh why are all white shirts too sheer to wear without a camisole" problem and the "um isn't lace kind of see-through anyway" problem by having a layer of lace on top of a layer of regular knit fabric in the front.

OCPW: $17.62

Cobalt and Orange Crush--Friday, 7/28/17

Let's mix up this formula a bit by substituting another recent favorite top half combination--sleeveless top and short-sleeved cardigan.  I continue to be surprised by how useful these orange ballet flats are.  Orange is not a great color on me (though when it leans more in the direction of "coral," it works better) but I'm really enjoying wearing orange/coral on the bottom half (where its clashing-ness with my face and hair is less obvious) in general and these shoes in particular.  And this blue/orange combination is further evidence that the whole "complementary colors are awesome together" idea has merit.

OCPW: $8.76

In other news...I read this article about the smartphone generation with great interest.  There are always these "everything is different now!" articles, bemoaning how one generation is in some way worse than the ones that came before, but this one seems better researched and more convincing than most. 

It had been a while since I've taken a Sorting Hat quiz, so I thought this one created by social scientists at Cambridge was a fun thing to do.  I got Ravenclaw (81% match).  "Your personality shows a high degree of work ethic and shrewdness, which are valued among members of Ravenclaw House."  No surprise there.

This post was brought to you by Arbok, clearly a member of House Slytherin.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Have I Ever Told You You're My Spearow

After our zoo tour was rescheduled due to a crazy heat wave in the lower Midwest, we did take a couple days off at the end of the week to play Pokemon and generally enjoy not being at work.  But first, office outfits were worn...

Peaches and Cream, Now Enjoyed Poolside--Monday, 7/17/17

After a peaches-and-cream outfit with white top and coral pants in June, I revisited the combination with a hefty extra dose of aqua/teal in the scarf and shoes.  I really enjoyed this as a way to highlight the pastel shades of this useful multi-colored skirt.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $17.06

Basic Boring Colorblocking--Tuesday, 7/18/17

This definitely looks to me like an outfit I would have come up with prior to a few years ago when I started planning outfits...and is what happens when the outfit I'd planned (this top with my burgundy skirt--a horrible color combination as it turns out--and a narrow black scarf with neon polka dots that did not work with the neckline of the top at all) goes awry and I have to substitute something at the last minute.  I won't be winning any fashion kudos with this combination, but it was acceptable.  (At least the bright pink and black were repeated in my Fitbit/watch.)

OCPW: $6.34

In Which I Reverse Inspire the Fuchsia--Wednesday, 7/19/17

After yesterday's blah pink outfit, I like this one better.  The print top has small bits of the sweater and skirt colors, so it feels a bit more cohesive.  And doesn't the bright pink/magenta color pop against the green? this flower called the fuchsia.

OCPW: $10.34

In other news...Robert and I settled down recently to watch a DVD of Looney Tunes cartoons while I shortened the straps on the three sleeveless tops I bought at my last Goodwill trip by an inch.  I figured that I would be able to track the plots while being distracted with hand-sewing.  Several of them were familiar (e.g., Hair Raising Hare--with Gossamer the red monster; For Scent-imental Reasons--a delightful Pepe Le Pew short), but there was an old Elmer Fudd cartoon (Elmer's Candid Camera, 1940) that dated to back before Bugs Bunny was called Bugs Bunny!  He was instead called "Happy Rabbit," and he ended the piece with a laugh that was later given to Woody Woodpecker, which was actually pretty creepy.  We also saw the debut of my beloved Marvin the Martin (and his sidekick K-9) in Haredevil Hare.  Marvin is pretty recognizable here, but his voice is different from in later cartoons.  He is trying to blow up Earth with a Uranium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator...which later becomes the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator we all know and fear.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Double Chinchou

A quick outfit post before I go out to play Pokemon Go...

Aqua Dottie--Monday, 7/10/17

I know this shirt looks like it has faint stripes on the front, but they are actually rows of tiny dots, hence the goofy name I have bestowed upon it.  Matching pants, Fitbit, and spots on the back of the turtle pendant for the win.

*White lace dottie top (JCP), $11.89

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $20.90

Halloween in July--Tuesday, 7/11/17

It's hard to wear orange and black together without it feeling like late October, but trust, I will not be wearing sparkly toed ballet flats without socks or a short-sleeved knit top without a jacket/sweater at Halloween time.  And somehow this silly fish charm necklace always seems to add a strong dash of summery to any outfit.

OCPW: $12.18

Hello Invested Sailor--Wednesday, 7/12/17

Can't stop, won't stop with the striped sailor-y shirts or the "hello sailor" based outfit names.  After referring to a row of hedges near our apartment that are a bit scary in the dark as the real-life equivalent of the topiary animals in Zork 2, I recently fell down the Internet rabbit hole of Infocom walkthroughs...and was reminded, man, was it ever satisfying to "hello sailor" that Viking in Zork 3 for an invisibility potion!

OCPW: $7.46

Pretty Pink Sick Day Blues--Thursday, 7/13/17

A rainy day spent at home with some malady that I no longer remember.  I do remember thinking that it was weird that I could wear a denim jacket on a warmish (high 83 F) day, but it's amazing how having a fever changes those calculations.  (My outfit was otherwise what I had planned to wear to work before bailing on that idea.)

 *Bright pink/white striped top (thrifted, Karen Scott), $4.49

OCPW: $10.36

Silk and Lace--Friday, 7/14/17

I actually found the bright white top and grey-ish white scarf combination rather ill-advised after seeing it together, but I didn't feel like figuring out something else to wear that also worked with the maroon flats (which I don't wear very often and was in the mood to wear).  So instead I chose to focus on the textural contrast of the items.

OCPW: $16.27

In other news...Yep, today's feature has to be the recent Ask a Manager column in which a reader writes that she (?) was reprimanded by her boss for wearing the same pair of pants twice in one week.  Not professional because it implies something about the person's finances or that they "aren't taking care of themselves."  WTH, right?

So yeah, I wore the same pair of shoes twice this week (although only once to work as it turned out).  Infer from that what you will.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New Skirts, Heart Attack Symptoms

Don't be alarmed by the post title--while I did buy new skirts, I did not have a heart attack!  But I did recently learn something about heart attack symptoms (described later).

Going back to work after the Independence Day holiday was tough, am I right?  I had taken off two days because Tam came to visit!  But at least it was a short week...

Lightening Teal--Wednesday, 7/5/17

A white/cream lightweight short-sleeved cardigan is a real wardrobe workhorse for summer, when it's pleasant to wear a sleeveless top but you want to a bit of coverage in the office.  I could have worn this outfit with my black short-sleeved cardigan, but it's nice to wear a lighter shade in the summer, I think, at least some of the time.  I also liked how the darker purple necklace popped against this pale background.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $17.17

Chambray Grenadine--Thursday, 7/6/17

I had been calling this skirt "coral red" but after reading this blog post from the Vivienne Files about the fall 2017 Pantone colors, I think "grenadine" is a good description, too.  For its debut, I wore it with this rather oversized peplum top that has a bit of that "is she or is she not pregnant?" look about it (I am not pregnant) but that is nice and airy for a 94 F summer day. 

I was in a hurry to wear it, so I didn't wash it first, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake because the fabric was purposely over-dyed such that as you wash it over and over, the color fades from this dark denim-like hue to a lighter, heather-y color.  Well, that over-dying process meant that by the end of the day, my beige bra and parts of my arms/chest were dyed blue.  Robert scrubbed my skin until it was red instead of blue, and I let the bra soak in soapy water for a few days until we got some OxiClean to wash it with.  After washing, the blue on the bra had mostly faded except for a slight hint around the area that fits under the arms.  OK, lesson learned.  When I did end up washing the shirt for the first time, I did so in a load of all blue items in case it wanted to share its dye with others.

*Coral red skirt (JCP), $11.89
*Chambray blue peplum top (Kohls), $17.49

OCPW: $35.75


Peplum Butterflies--Friday, 7/7/17

I hadn't planned to purchase two stretchy pencil skirts in such similar colors, but I really liked both of them, so one coral red skirt and one salmon pink skirt it is.  This salmon pink one is a bit longer--definitely below the knee--and has an interesting ribbed texture to it.  None of the pinks in the scarf or ballet flats really matched it, but what the hell. 

And again with the loose cotton knit not-really-maternity top because my office was ridiculously warm.  My office mate and I found out from the custodian--when he walked into our office and was like "ugh, this is uncomfortable"--that this was partially due to the air conditioning in the building not working right.  He unlocked this inconspicuous little box on the wall that I'd never noticed, which apparently contains the thermostat, and set it down a few degrees, but said that we probably wouldn't get much relief until the A/C was back in action 100%. 

*Salmon pink skirt (JCP), $16.79

OCPW: $25.19

For your photo of the day, here is a set of mallard chicks from a nearby nature preserve in May.

In other news...A couple days ago I read a blog post about a 32 year old healthy postpartum woman who had a heart attack.  Weird, right?  From her post, I learned that women do not always have the classic "sudden pain in chest and arm" heart attack experience, but instead can have a wide array of symptoms that can actually be difficult to diagnose as a heart attack. 

So here is a short list of heart attack symptoms in women from the American Heart Association:

–Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
–Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
–Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
–Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
–As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort.  But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

According to the Women's Heart Association, "71% of women experience early warning signs of heart attack with sudden onset of extreme weakness that feels like the flu - often with no chest pain at all."

Here are a few other links to check out on this topic:
3 subtle heart attack symptoms (Cleveland Clinic)
Women's heart attack symptoms (WebMD)
Another woman's heart attack story in the NYT

It's scary to learn that you can have a heart attack and it's not totally obvious.  Yikes!

This article about the heart attack gender gap reports that women have lower heart attack survival rates than men, and makes a couple of important points:
(1) "Women may overlook even the classic heart attack symptoms, like chest pain and pressure...[and] tend to minimize their symptoms and delay seeking treatment."  So don't ignore the symptoms!
(2) "A recent study of nearly 50,000 people ages 65 or older who were hospitalized for heart disease (often a heart attack)...found that compared with men, women were less likely to receive potentially beneficial medications such as aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs, or to receive advice about quitting smoking."

They also offer this handy guide to heart attack symptoms:

Is it a heart attack?

Know the typical—and atypical—signs.

Pain or pressure in the center of the chest that may radiate to the neck, jaw, or left arm is the most common symptom of a heart attack. But it doesn't always occur. Some people experience nonclassic symptoms, and these may be slightly more frequent in women than men, as well as in older people.
Classic Symptoms
Nonclassic Symptoms
  • Pressure, aching, or tightness in the
    center of the chest
  • Pain or discomfort that radiates to the
    upper body, especially shoulders or neck and arms
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Unexplained fatigue