About Me

Musings of a hopeful wanderer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Au Revoir

Dear readers (Mom and Dad),

As you can see, this blog is no longer my passion.  I started "fashion blogging" as a way to figure out my new style as a graduate student and professional librarian and to push myself into trying new things.  In this regard, it was a success!

However, my attention and focus has shifted elsewhere and I have a brand new project up my sleeve, ready to roll out in the coming weeks.  As soon as it's all set, I'll announce it here and I hope you'll all follow me there on my new adventure.

It's been real,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

San Francisco chic #2

The Mission district.

Sigh, it's a wonderful place, if all but gentrified.  There's so much greenery and wonderful food and people with dogs.  And people with tattoos!  Which reminds me--there are shockingly few people with tattoos in San Francisco.  I know I've become accustomed to the tattoo-clad whatwith living in Austin where everyone and their grandparents have tattoos, but sheesh San Francisco, making me feel like a freak.

Anyway, on the Friday of our trip, we spent the morning in Emeryville--a small suburb between Oakland and Berkeley.  Ed's school was entirely online, but the offices are based in Emeryville and they had an open house where we could meet all the instructors and other students and whatnot.  It was very funny watching Ed interact with his former classmates, not only because Ed is a bit shy and so are animators in general, but because they had never met in real life.  I wish I could meet my internet friends, harumph.

After a full morning of schmoozing, we headed to the Mission district to refuel on burritos.  They were good, way better than any burrito you can get here in Texas and nay, dare I say, even better than my beloved Big Ten Burrito (and just as cheap!)

This is what I wore to the event and then into the Mission. I'm standing in front of a mural of cartoon superheroes because if there were to be any place in the world with a mural of such a subject, it would be in the Mission.  Shit has murals all over the place.

Shirt: Urban Outfitters
Pants: Gap, thrifted
Shoes: Toms
Batman: I like to pretend its Christian Bale

Saturday, July 23, 2011

San Francisco chic #1

I've been recovering from many consecutive days of work and school, followed by a week-long vacation in San Francisco.  We went to celebrate many things! Specifically, Ed's graduation from his 2-year character animation program and our 4 year anniversary.  Growing up, these kids.

Packing, and subsequently dressing, for San Francisco is tricky this time of year.  We need it would be foggy and chilly, but we've been in Texas so long we kind of didn't know what that meant.  Which means I brought things that were way too warm (scarves, etc.) or way not warm enough (tank tops).  Layering was the key.

We arrived in San Francisco on a Wednesday and Ed's graduation ceremony was Saturday; I was feeling a bit bummed because Wednesday through Friday had been FREEZING (to Texan standards) and while I had brought tights, I really didn't want to wear them with my graduation dress because it's so damn cute.  Fortunately, Saturday warmed up considerably and I was able to go sans tights (and as the day progressed, sans cardigan). 

I have one hell of a handsome boyfriend, don't I?  Ladies and gentlemen, he's taken.

On me:
Dress: Spotted Moth
Shoes: Steve Madden

On him:
Suit and shoes: thrifted (SERIOUSLY!)
Shirt: Old Navy
Tie: Land's End

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weeks in Review, with books

Hello, hello, hello.  That was an echo, it doesn't translate so well online.

Life has been hectic, in the best possible way these past few weeks.  Remember that interview I had?  Well, I didn't get that particular position, but I was offered a very similar position in the same department.  I am now the newest Ask a Librarian intern at the UT main library.  I'm mainly doing chat and email reference work and I'm loving every minute of it.  We have also been away from our apartment for 2 weeks house and dogsitting for some friends.  We tried to make it as much of a "staycation" as possible, with as little internet and work as possible, which we were more or less successful doing.  I did a lot of reading, A LOT.  Here's what I've had on my bedstand table the past few weeks:

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Y'all, this one rocked my world and I gobbled it up in about two days.  It's a story of a teenage hacker, Marcus, who for the most part used his hacking abilities for gaming and getting around his school-implemented online surveillance systems.  After an attack on the Bay Bridge, Marcus is in the wrong place at the wrong time, gets picked up as a suspect, and after a few days of interrogation, is released into what has become a complete police state.  His hacking skills then become mighty useful as he forms an underground network of teens who want to reclaim their civil liberties.

Obviously from the title (and Marcus' online handle, "Winston"), this book is Orwellian.  And anyone who knows anything about Cory Doctorow can tell that this one is, very Doctorow-ish.  And it was great!  It was a fast-paced action of a read; not only did I learn more than I ever wanted to know about how to get around CCTVs, ARPHIDs, and internet filters, and I also learned (again) about the consequences of trading civil liberties for "security."  I cannot recommend this one enough.

Life as We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This one was heavy.  Its written as the diary of 16 year-old Miranda who witnesses an asteroid hitting the moon.  The asteroid was big enough to drastically alter the moon's orbit and distance to the earth, thereby causing massive natural disasters.  Its a harrowing story that reminded me a lot of World War Z.  We see a lot of movies about asteroids and meteors and whatnot, but this was a very realistic portrayal of the aftermath.  What would we do if everyone we knew was dead?  What would it be like if day after day we watched our only food supply diminish?  What would we do when faced with the decision to save ourselves or help another?  It was gripping and heartbreaking and if you know me at all, you know I mean that in the best possible way.

The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

A companion to Life as We Knew It, this one takes place concurrently, also in diary format, of  17 year-old Alex, a Puerto Rican living in Manhattan.  Initially I didn't like it as much, as it begins much the same way and, honestly, I just didn't know if I could take much more of it.  It eventually grew on me, though, and while the decisions Alex is forced to make are harrowing, he brings a different perspective than Miranda did. This was my least favorite of the series, mostly because I found Alex a little melodramatic.

This World We Live In (Last Survivors #3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This one resumes where the first one left off; again, we follow the diary of a now 17 year-old Miranda and well, the moon is still too close to Earth.  I was really excited to read this one, hoping that they've figured out a way to get food, water and heat.  They haven't, but things are looking up--in a way that's only possible once you've hit rock bottom.  Alex and Miranda have crossed-paths, and when I initially found out I rolled my eyes; when you think about it, though, when the population has been decimated, things like that are bound to happen.  It nicely wrapped up the story, leaving me satisfied but without all the answers.  A terrific trilogy for us pessimists.

What's been on your summer reading plate?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dress for Success(ful Interviews)

If you've recently landed yourself a job interview, congratulations!  Even if you end up not being offered the position, interviews show that you are a well-qualified candidate.  Interview attire is nerve-wracking, especially when you are a young professional or entering a new field.  Advice from yesteryear states dark business suits are appropriate; 1) I hate business suits and will go to my grave (hopefully) never donning one, and 2) in today's age, you can be just as professional looking wearing something else.

I recently had a job interview for a reference position in an academic library.  Library settings are tricky because while they are professional, they are often more casual than other workplaces.  You are often on your feet and interacting with people, so you need to be comfortable and approachable.  In a interview, I will opt to dress nicer than I would expect to on the day-to-day, but still comfortable (which, for me, means no high-heels).  Comfort is key because you want to be focused on your interview, and not the pain in your feet or wondering if your top is cut too low.  This is what I wore:

This outfit reflects some of my guidelines when choosing an interview-appropriate outfit.  This dress is a silk blend, so its nicer than cotton.  The belt is a dark color, my shoes are neutral (and flat, always) and the cardigan covers my bare shoulders.  A couple more things to consider:

Tattoos and/or piercings.
Much to my parents chagrin, I have several tattoos and piercings.  Two sets of piercings in my earlobes, and a few "non-traditional" ear piercings in my tragus and helix; more obviously, my nose is pierced.  I also have a large-ish tattoo on my left tricep and a small tattoo on my right wrist.  You'll hear different opinions about displaying tattoos in piercings for an interview, but here's my advice: do what feels comfortable and be honest.  I've never taken out any piercings for an interview and never has it been a problem (that I know of).  I do cover the tattoo on my tricep because it's large and kind of weird; I don't purposefully cover my wrist tattoo, although it often happens inadvertently when covering the one on my arm.  If I'm offered the job, I will let my employer know about my tattoos and ask about any workplace policies regarding facial piercings or tattoos.  Like I've said, I've never had an issue with either of them (in fact, most of my employers have had one or the other themselves).  Again, be comfortable and honest.

Its all in the details.
If you've made it to the interview stage, you've already stood out as a qualified candidate.  I've sat on hiring committees where all the candidates were very well qualified and gave good answers, and the decision ultimately came to small details.  What you say is of course the most important aspect of an interview, but details of your appearance are important, too.
  • I'm a nail-biter which is often unsightly; I curb the habit by almost always having my nails polished, which means they are often chipped due to daily wear and tear.  To make my nails look presentable, before an interview I either polish them or take off all the polish.  Chipped, cracked nail polish looks unclean and unprofessional.
  • I am completely paranoid about things in my teeth, so I floss just before an interview (yes, I'm crazy).  Also, you might be sitting very close to your interviewer, so if you can, brush or use mouthwash just before.  Will you not get a job because you don't have awesome dental hygiene?  Probably not, but it'll never hurt.
  • Iron your clothes.  Period.
  • If you tend to sweat easily (guilty, even when it's not 100 degrees out) and will have to walk some distance between your bus stop or parking lot to the location of your interview, consider changing into your interview attire when you get there, if possible.  If that's not possible, allow yourself some time before the interview begins to cool down.  I did not wear my cardigan on my half-mile walk from my bus to the library because I would have been unacceptably sweaty. When I got to the library, I stopped in the bathroom, blotted myself off and sat in the air conditioned lobby for a few minutes.  Then I put on my cardigan.
What else do you recommend for interview-appropriate attire?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Changes afoot

There are some pretty exciting things happening around Casa Manpern.  First, Ed is graduating in only a few weeks, and while the job market is tough and entering the workforce is always scary, it's really, really exciting.  Even if it means we have to live separately for a while when he starts his first professional animation job, it will be so effing worth it.

Secondly, I started writing over at www.hacklibraryschool.wordpress.com.  It's a blog written by library school students about library school (and information professional) things.  If you're into that sort of thing, check us out!  I was really honored to be invited as a contributing writer, and my first post will be next Thursday.  You better believe I will link you to that shizz on the daily.

Lastly, I have a job interview on Wednesday.  No, I do not plan on leaving my position at Austin Public Library, but I don't want to give too many details other than it is another library position in a different kind of library altogether.  Keep your fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted.

All these changes have left me wanting to wear go-to staple peices--"workhorse" pieces if you will.  Always a lover of plaid, I'm surprised I hadn't paired my favorite plaid shirt with my favorite (if not over-worn) black skirt.  It's a match made in heaven.  Also: I'm still in love with these shoes. 

I want to hear all about your summer break so far!  What do you recommend in terms of yummy food, books, movies, and/or major life changes?

Blouse: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Old Navy, second hand via Elaine
Shoes: Steve Madden
Belt: thrifted
Aloof look: blazing hot Texas sun searing my retinas

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spelling Bee Chic

Confession: I am, and pretty much always have been, a geek.  For example, I went to band camp.  Twice (and loved it).  I hated watching movies in school because, hello, I could watch a movie on my own time thank you very much.  I did an optional senior thesis and when people ask me why, I respond "it was fun."

This past Thursday the Austin Chronicle held an adult spelling bee, the proceeds of which benefited the Austin Public Library.  As someone who was once an excellent speller (damn you, spell check!), I couldn't sign up fast enough.  Sadly, the I was eliminated in the first round, which was a written test which required identifying misspelled words--words, that, of course, I often misspell.  Thankfully I didn't make it to the third round, which was a more traditional on-the-stage spelling bee.  With words like bourgeoisie, embouchure, and decuple, I would certainly have embarrassed myself.

Anyway, I wanted to channel my inner bookworm with ruffles and a sweater vest.  And although I didn't take home the trophy, I looked cute, drank many margaritas, and learned new words.  What kind of nerd doesn't like that?

Vest: boutique in Ann Arbor, MI
Blouse: Target
Cut-offs: Gap, cut off by me
Shoes: TOMS
Face: pure competition