Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Not You, It's Me

Really though.

Has George Costanza ruined this totally valid reason for us all?  Of all the absurd things he did, this might have been one of the few that actually made sense.  Sometimes it really is important to be able to figure out your shit on your own time, without having to worry about someone else as well.

I am obsessively considerate of others and it's a problem.  I never know if I make decisions because its what I want or what I know someone else wants, but I'm hoping to figure it out.

In the meantime, it feels super shallow to post about shopping so, yeah.  I need a margarita and a day working from home.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Now, Time to Shop for Interview Clothes

In my email yesterday, among the random junk emails I get constantly about houses (even though I'm not even actively shopping for one anymore, I'm way too lazy to hit unsubscribe on all of them), was one that almost didn't get my attention.

Well, at least it will give me an excuse to buy some more business clothes that are way too fancy for my office!

The downside is that my anxiety is now even worse than when I was just waiting to hear back - now I'm just waiting for a day to be grilled, desperately wondering what they are going to ask me and how best to prepare and what my biggest weakness is (ugh) and what was a time I overcame adversity at work (UGH) and what was a time I had to take leadership of a project due to a difficult coworker (UGH).

Time to pull out all those interview tips I got senior year of college.  Maybe at least this time, having more life experience, I'll have some better answers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Jackets

Last winter, I was in love with this Burberry Brit winter coat that was a wool trench with leather sleeves.  It was absolutely gorgeous and honestly trying to find pics of it would break my heart but it was called the Yarrowfield Trench.

I got it for Christmas, to my surprise, and wore the hell out of it.  Not even a full month later, I went to hang it up after a night out and noticed a huge split in the leather, not on the seam, straight from the shoulder to the elbow.  I won't be dramatic here but it was pretty tragic.  Nordstrom gave us our money back and I picked a plain navy wool trench without an ounce of leather on it to replace it.

I have been wary of these jackets ever since.  I've seen them around but fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, etc.

The I saw one come up on eBay.  It was a brand new Vince linen asymmetrical leather sleeve jacket and I loved it, especially at the price.  I bid on it expecting to have lowballed it too much and was surprised the next morning when I saw I won.  I had immediate pangs of regret - here I was making the same mistake again and on top of that it's not even a trend anymore.

But boy is it nice.  The leather is super supple, much smoother than the leather on my Vince paper leather jacket, and much more substantial feeling.  I like the asymmetrical zip because it looks great closed and open.  As long as it didn't rip, I was happy.

A few weeks later, my mom and I were going to meet at the Bloomingdale's Outlet and she was picking out things for me to try on before I got there after work.  When I arrived she had an armful of St. John items (now you can see where my sense of old lady style comes from), one of them being a black jacket with leather sleeves.  

I already have one!  I have a million black jackets too!

She asked me to just try it on just to see.

Long story short,

You can see how that "just try it on!" worked out.

So here I am with two jackets I love that are so similar that it's absurd I own both.  What's a girl to do?  Sell?  Return?  I just love them both and I think they offer a different look but I realize that to most people the difference is negligible.

For now, at least, I can admire them.

I was going to turn this into a deep metaphor for my picking a graduate program but you know what, not today.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Affiliate Links Kinda (Mostly) Suck

Every morning, you get into work, you sit down at your desk, sip your coffee while your computer turns on, and go on to check your favorite blog.  What is she wearing today? you wonder, excitedly.  Wow I would never have thought to put that chambray with those neon accessories and Rockstuds.  Awesome!

The one thing she's wearing that you can afford, a tank top from J. Crew, is listed below the picture.  You click, hoping that wearing the same thing as her will make you suddenly as fashionable at she is.

You arrive (in a new window) at the J. Crew home page.  

Well that wasn't very helpful. 

No, no it wasn't.

Three days later you get an email that it's the last day for 40% off sale items at J. Crew and even though you know they're going to start literally the same exact sale tomorrow, you check it out to hoard some basics.  You can never have enough Vintage Tanks, truly.

You spend the mandatory $150 to get free shipping, adding socks and cute notepads to give you that last $10 you need.  You just did all that work by yourself - looking through page upon page of sale items, dealing with getting excited that your favorite sweater is there only to find it's only available in XXS and XL, seeing that they have smalls and mediums in your other favorite sweater but clicking to find it's only in that weird jade green that looks awful on you.  You worked for it, no one else did!

But somehow, that blogger still gets a commission.

She didn't even do anything except link you to the website, which surely you could have done on your own (I hope) but still, she gets a commission because you have cookies enabled and you clicked her link at some point in the last week.

I am only bothered by the principle of this: someone gets paid for work they didn't actually do.  You aren't losing any money so it's not a big deal, but why should someone else get money for the searching you did?

Certainly I can't propose that shoppers (particularly bargain hunters) get a commission off everything they buy because they're the ones doing the hard work of searching through racks and online clearance sections, but it would seem to make more sense at the very least.

I tried doing these affiliate links a while ago because I thought the cool kids did it so I should too.  What I found: 
  1. It's significantly easier to just put a link to what I'm talking about on my own without having the generate the affiliate link
  2. You're generating more money for the company you use than you are for yourself (which is generally 5 cents per click and commission if someone buys the thing, but they rarely do)
  3. It's stupid.
A main issue I had is that I would never recommend someone buy something full price, yet there I was limited to linking to sites that are affiliates of my affiliate that are more expensive than the same product is elsewhere.

It makes me wonder how other bloggers do it - do they buy clothes so frequently that they can successfully link to everything they're wearing and have it be available online?  I'm wearing some cute ass Lafayette 148 pants today and I'd love for you guys to buy them for as little as I did (eBay duh) but they're 2 years old and naturally don't exist online anymore.  

Oh, oh, another complaint: you can't hover!!!  I hate when they say "shirt here pants here", essentially forcing you to click if you want to know what they're wearing, and then when you hover over it to try and get one up on them the link just says or or whatever else and offers no information whatsoever.  Not a fan.

I do have to give it to them for the amount of work they put into their blogs though.  I am discovering that it's incredibly difficult to get pictures of your outfit where you don't look like a slob every day when you have an actual job to go to and when you get home your pants are all wrinkled because you sat at a desk typing all day rather than frollicking in a meadow and picking up flowers from the corner store so you can take a picture of them in your Celine bag.

No shade.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Eat, Therefore I Am

When did everyone in the world become a "foodie" and how did I miss it?

Ignoring the obvious complaint that calling yourself a "foodie" might be literally the worst way you can make an impression on me, how does one become a "foodie"?

I like food.  I eat it every day.  In fact, I am quite sure that everyone I know eats food every day, but certainly they're not going around calling themselves some stupid pretentious title meant to let everyone know how fancy they are.

So you're eating that giant monstrosity of a cheeseburger with pancakes for buns or whatever the hell was on Guy Fieri's stupid show last week (is that even still on? I hope not), and now all of a sudden you're a foodie.  Believe me buddy, anyone in the world would love all the same fried, grease soaked things you do.  You're not special because you watched the Food Network while nibbling on some kale chips from Trader Joe's.

I took a cooking class once through the Santa Fe School of Cooking in New Mexico (highly recommend, by the way) and we were all going around the room introducing ourselves and saying what we did for a living.  One guy said he was an undertaker which I would have loved to hear more about but noooo, of course we all had to ask questions of the guy who said, "I'm so-and-so and I'm a foodie".

So to prove this guy's foodieness, while we're taking this class from a woman who has a doctorate in food history or something like that and was incredibly knowledgeable about Native American cuisine and the way finding the Americas shaped European cuisine (side note: did you know Italians didn't have tomatoes until they came back from America?  Really makes you think...).  Her class was fascinating because of her absolute breadth of knowledge, even though we were making lamb and chile rellenos which are my two least favorite foods.

Mr. Foodie naturally has some questions, and who wouldn't when talking to someone who knows so much about the thing you use to define yourself?

He must have had some good questions, you're probably saying.

You're wrong.

He asked this expert how she gets everything out of the bottom of her Vitamix blender (????) and what the difference between white and black pepper is (????????).

Basically, this guy sucked and is a shining example of why you should never refer to yourself as a foodie.  It just makes you sound like an idiot.

shirt: helmut draped tank || pants: rag and bone || jacket: theory open front linen blazer || bag: balenciaga black RH city || shoes: saks fifth ave black label randi flats

That reminds me, I went on a very foodie-esque late night mission this past weekend to find fried Oreos on the boardwalk and every place said they were out of batter.  Is this a sign they knew I'd regret it in the morning?  Is this a conspiracy to deprive me of happiness?

Inquiring foodies want to know.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Living Stereotypes

My company is in talks to buy another company that makes this software that's supposed to be super top-of-the-line, innovative, ahead of its time, nothing else out there as advanced etc.

We offered them one amount, they counter offered with (literally) 20 times that amount.

Today I'm playing around with it and it's like using AOL 3.0 with a dial-up modem.  I cannot believe how slow and buggy this stuff is!  Makes me wonder if I could just make my own version that would actually work.  I started googling how to build a GUI but then it got real advanced real quick and, well, I figured I might as well catch up on "Halt and Catch Fire" on AMC instead.

shit: elie tahari colorblock cowl top || skirt: j. crew number 2 pencil || bag: balenciaga black RH city || shoes: tory burch reva flats

It rained the Fourth of July so no, I didn't get tan.  I'm working on it though, I swear.

Anyway, "Halt and Catch Fire" is AMC's new show about the personal computer revolution and naturally there's a token woman in the crew and she's a Lisbeth Salander-esque promiscuous, punk rock enjoying antisocial coder girl.  I got excited when we met the head engineer's wife, also an engineer, who appears to be incredibly smart and capable and a good mother to boot.  Maybe this show will transcend above those "girls who do computer stuff are weird" stereotypes, but I doubt it.

Our lone beacon of hope decided to give up on doing her own work in favor of doing work for her husband, which he did not even give her credit for.  Now what real career-minded person would risk their own job to help someone else?  Sure, help them on your own time, but it's okay to be a woman and say no when someone asks you for help and you aren't physically/mentally incapable of doing it.  I hope in the future she tells him to fuck off and finishes her own shit first, but based on the way the show is being sure to show her insecurities about his female coworker and her flirting with her boss (how else would she get ahead?), it doesn't look like it's going to happen.

It's a good show but there's a lot of technical talk that will probably alienate most viewers.  I work with I/O for a living and found some of the stuff in the first episode, entitled "I/O", to be way too heavy for post-10 PM TV watching.  It's something to do though now that Orphan Black and Mad Men aren't on, so if you're bored and didn't hate "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (the book) as much as I did, it could be worth a shot.

Anyone else watching?

Oh, and does anyone know where I should start with trying to figure out how to make an interface that integrates the software I use now and the new stuff that sucks?