Archive | April 2014

robots and jerbs and a comment on Zoya

This week was loooong.  (This update is long.)  My paper, getting yelled at, my video card catching fire,* getting up early at 8:30 to go to an all-day language workshop, spending all day downtown meeting with a company… but a lot of it was jerbs.  Researching and negotiating, but also worrying.  I put a lot of energy into worrying this week!  A lot.

Well:

  • Paper’s in.  And I think it’s pretty good.
  • I (still) hate getting yelled at.
  • New video card ordered.  (Thank you, adviser L.)
  • Language workshop (annual regional thing, maybe 100 people?) was awesome.**  Mostly because of the research/social catchup, but at least two really good talks.
  • Company is a startup working on elder care robots, which coincidentally is what I do!  (It’s not a coincidence.  They’ve gotten my name from a number of people.)  I see future collaborations there.

 

And jerbs.  Ah, jerbs.

I now have an offer from my second choice (henceforth “U”) and a possibly-soon-offer from my first choice (henceforth “G”).  U called this morning to offer me everything I asked for, pretty much; I said I’d answer them Thursday.  I’m not going to wait/keep them waiting forever on a maybe, and y’know… if it’s a mistake, I’ll try again.  There are very few irrevocable decisions in life.

I’m exhausted. I need to clarify about Zoya but… tomorrow.

I put a cushion in my usual pix spot, and now it is a kitty/sunbeam spot that,
as it happens, is close enough for skritches.  It is possible all subsequent
natural light photos will be fashionably framed against a background of
white fur.  In this case I can absolutely guarantee it is cruelty-free.

Oh and this weekend I am going to try to move to WordPress.  Bulletins as events warrant.


* Okay, it only scorched and let out the Magic Smoke, but once the smoke’s out the magic is gone, so that’s enough really.

** At the workshop, I ran into the director of the one and only company (not school) I applied to (they didn’t call me).   He asked how it was going; I told him where I’d gone and what offers I had.   He was skeptical (“Wait… in, like, Iowa?”), then shocked (“That’s not normal.  Is it?  Is that normal in this market?”).  So, in the general spirit of managing my job search with maturity and grace, neener neener should’ve called me back, ppthblth. ^_^

PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Secret Admirer and Winter Wonderland, plus, Zoya!

A bit ago, I asked my sister what color I should paint my nails, and she said gunmetal gray.  This is taking a while because I apparently have too many dark gray polishes!  I wanted to post these two together.

Sinful Colors Winter Wonderland:

Dark gray or maybe black, with a bazillion
little blue and gold shimmer particles.

And Sinful Colors Secret Admirer:

Dark gray or maybe black, with a bazillion
little silver shimmer particles.

Since these were taken in very different lighting, I painted my ring finger with Winter Wonderland and left the rest Secret Admirer.

Yyyyyeah.

I mean, you can kind of see the difference.  WW reads as paler and a bit bluer.  But come on, this is kind of ridiculous.  It’s the same brand!  They’re both very pretty, and they both look like macadam to me (although I don’t think of macadam as “pretty,” really, so that’s a bit weird).

Anyway.  Dupes they be!

Zoya Earth day exchange!

Okay, I have a real post (several) in the pipeline, but I wanted to get this out there real quick.  Zoya is an expensive-ish brand of nail polish, out of my price range usually, but once a year, for Earth day, they do an exchange – (almost) everything half price, and you can send them unwanted bottles of polish to dispose of in an environmentally appropriate way.  I am planning to buy me some Zoya!

Why am I telling you this?  Well, because there are a lot of polishes to choose from.  Like… a lot.  And, as with the repeat wearings of polishes, I end up pretty much just choosing the same colors over and over when shopping.  (I have so much teal…)

I am the one behind the monitor waggling toys
at him.  So basically my life is awesome despite
advisers, because… I mean look at him.

So if any of you wanted to nail shop vicariously through me (or, actually through me, I guess), you  could go to this page right here and choose some stuff for me to buy.  And to subsequently put on my body.*  Or your body.  Or Mr. Fix-It’s body!  Heck, I’m easy.


* Edited to add after questions. Yes, I will totally buy polishes you suggest ironically, and I will wear them.  And furthermore, I will make them look good.  Hit me.

Redux

Grad school. v__v

Yesterday was super bad. DF really gave me a hard time… I was going to say “earful,” but it was mostly about how disappointed he is and how unhappy he is with where we are and how he really thought I could do better; it’s not like he actually yelled at me.

What are you supposed to say to stuff like that? “You should have done this” is an engage-able statement, even if my response is “I know, I’m sorry.” (Or, you know, “Here’s why.”)  But “I am disappointed” is inarguable, non-discussible.  I don’t even know how to apologize to that. I don’t know what to do, except mope around feeling like I should withdraw all my job applications and go make jewellery and sell it on Etsy except I’d probably suck at that too.

So… rough day.

(oh also I got my AAAI camera-ready in and it’s good but whatever because of how much of a disappointment I am.)

Furthermore, Mr. Fix-It was supposed to fly in last night, but Delta decided he needed to spend another day in Austin and take another workday off for flying. *Deltaaaa* (shakes fist on top of hill, backlit against a darkening sky)

Rrrgh bitch bitch bitch.  But now I am going to stop.

Dr. P said she found blue lips, well, hard to reconcile.  But I’ve decided they’re actually a pretty good color on me, and fairly flattering.  Know what makes me say so?  This:

OCC lip tar in Traffic.  Special FX hair dye has a shade
called “Yellow as F@#!” (I’m not censoring, that’s the
name), which would be more appropriate I think.

Now that is goofy and hard to reconcile.  This stuff makes me feel like I could wear the blue to work!

And now for something completely different*; lips and jerbs

Or… okay.  A lil different.

Talked to #2U today, negotiating startup packages and salary.  I thought it went super well actually, although talking about money and salaries is stressful, but I think I did ok.  I will have enough, when all’s said and done, so… ok.

Work is otherwise stupid stressful.  (Since I started this post I had a Skype call.  Yes, at 2am; yes with unhappy adviser man.)  Adviser D is not happy with me for how little I’ve gotten done.  I’ve been trying to balance “job hunt” and “graduate” with research, but, well.  He does not think I have done it well.  And the things I have not done yet for the camera-ready tomorrow are unacceptable (“he is very disappointed and not happy”).  (Those are not paraphrase quotes, just what he said.)

I am ready to be the boss of me.  If I blow it, I blow it for myself, sort of thing.  Also [whole separate post about anxiety, stay tuned]

Meanwhile!  As much as I love nail polish, y’know what’s better?  Being a special effect is better.

What?  I was born that way.  Don’t judge, red-mouth.

Here’s the smurfy deal.

Obsession Compulsive Cosmetics has this new-ish, formerly “trade only” product they’ve been hawking, called “Lip Tar”.  Basically it’s stupidly highly pigmented, highly opaque lip goo.  Applied with a brush – it IS goo – it dries to a semi-matte finish.

I split the base pack with a friend: red, blue, yellow, white, black.  The yellow and white are somewhat not opaque enough (CLOWN pix come soon), but even so, this is remarkable.  The blue coat was one thin layer… probably like 50 atoms of product!  I mean ok not literally, but it is so weirdly little.  I kept wanting to put unnecessarily more on.

PROS: mix goos to make any color ever.  Opaque.  Lovely.  Nonstaining.

CONS: expensive (ish). Some colors feather.

I’m looking forward to playing with these!


* Monty Python ref.  No?  Either:
1 (it is baffling) look up more Monty Python humor, it is hilarious.
2 (it is not funny) ok, not everyone likes Monty Python.
3 (what are you even on about) get off my lawn! You dang kids! (Until you have looked up “Monty Python” in your Wikipedia or DangKidipedia or whatever, I don’t even care, then see 1)

PWI Sinful Colors Gorgeous (Attack of the Teal Foils)

Doing so much life job talky stuff is hard!  SO let’s talk about nail polish, eh?

When I PWI’d Sinful Colors Aqua, I mentioned that it was insanely similar to…

Sinful Colors Gorgeous:

SC: check. Metallic foil: check. Clearly teal: check. 
Obvious distinctions from Aqua: no check.

They’re not dupes; Aqua is noticeably bluer in both bottle and hand:

Shots taken while balancing weird grip are
noticeably blurrier!  Or maybe I was just
sleep-deprived, who knows.

But… I mean, come on.  They’re both teal foils.  They’re both good coaters that are prone to showing brushstrokes.  I don’t quite feel the need to get rid of one, but knowing what I now know, I probably wouldn’t have grabbed both.  (And that’s actually rather saying something.)

Aqua; Gorgeous.  Different, but.

PWI twofer: Essie Penny Talk and OPI Gaining Mole-mentum

I know a lot of you reading already know this, but I have something of an obsession with copper.  It’s not my fault!  It’s genetic!  Passed from my grandmother through my mother to me.  

I like lots of copper.

I like amazingly new, weirdly super-pink copper.  I like more often-encountered, beautiful oxidized copper.  I even think verdigris is pretty cool, personally.  Not surprisingly, this has joined forces with my nail polish obsession.  I will buy pretty much any damn thing that is copper, or coppery, or copper-ish, or SAYS copper.  Sadly, in nail polish as in life, there’s a shockingly lame level of access to copper things!  (give me more copper earrings or give me death)

ANY way.  I started seeing things on the nail-o-blaggityblog-o-sphere about a copper polish,  Essie Penny Talk, which is outside my usual price range but cooopperr.  So I ordered it, got the bottle, and it was clearly gold.  I mean look:

Essie Penny Talk:

I even whined to Mr. Fix-It, and
he was all “Uh…hm. Gold is nice?”
So I put it on my nails.

So I put on my new gold nail polish.  Which did go on gold …until it wasn’t.  Like the weirdness of Push’n’Shove, over about a minute or two, it slooowly changed (cured?), until I was looking at this:

Totes copper.  Specifically, the very pink color of brand
new, totally untarnished copper.  *happy sigh*

What the hell, y’all,  Chemistry is magical.

So I really like Penny Talk!  But I didn’t top coat it, and like most foils, it chips if you move your hand through oxygen molecules, and after a day the edges were all ragged and sucky.  So I added

OPI Gaining Mole-mentum:

Up close you can see that it’s made of little shard glitters in gold, silver and copper.

From a little further away you can see that
it’s just sort of… confused sparkle?

I dunno.  When I did Rouge Rush, also with shard glitter, I liked the depth and the almost-flaky-level glow?  So I thought I would give this a try.  But I’m not so sure.  Also, layering it over copper made the copper glitter vanish, which I did not care for.  So I’ll try it over something else before I do anything drastic.

Jerbs!!

Here’s where I was yesterday, ‘k?  You can just scroll down to the kitty if that’s your gig.

It feels weirdly like asking a girl I’m really, really into on a date, waiting nervously in a state between excitement and terror, and expecting a no.  Anticipation of rejection, disappointment, trying to not give up, and a general feeling that I’ll never be happy again, no matter how many fish other people claim are in the sea – all overlaid by the grownup-brain that tells me I’m over-reacting to the point of being absurd, I don’t even have an answer yet.  I know I’m being absurd, but the feelings are real.  Stupid meat feelz.

Here’s where I am now, which is much better:

#4 (my second choice) is making me an offer – on unanimous vote, which is insane.  Engineers don’t DO unanimous.  I will take their offer, probs, because apparently they really want me there AND I want to be there.  #4 is amazing and wants me and is very close to Dr. P and Dr. D.  I can make this work.

And:

My call with #3 (Dream Job) was the most encouraging rejection I’ve ever received.  The chair actually called, and made a point of saying that: 1, it was razor-thin between me and the offer; 2, I was the only finalist who was NOT a postdoc; 3, zhe loves my research and will visit me regularly to talk and collaborate, because zhe spends a lot of time in the city I’m headed to.

I mean.  Dang.  How am I supposed to feel bad now?

Normally Tachyon (painfully smart tomcat, 12 pounds, left) just runs
when Libra (cute but terrible, 7 pounds, right) decides she wants
a spot he’s occupying.  Apparently sunbeams = détente.

So… yeah; #3 is turning me down, unless some mystery dude gets a “yes” from CMU in a couple-three weeks AND I am not  yet committed to #4.  But!  Instead of being crushed, my status now is: I could live in a familiar town with access to family and friends who are amazing researchers, where I will do research with people who super value me!  And hey.  Who knows what the future will bring?

The worst possible outcome now is awesome.  Awesome like kitties in sunbeams, which is to say, very, very awesome.

Yipes! Stripes! …and some rough news.

So I was talking to Super Woman a few days ago, and at some point asked her, “Hey, what color should I paint my nails?”

To which she responded, enthusiastically, “Blue with black stripes!!”

Er.  Well… I do have striping tape, which is basically the world’s thinnest masking tape.  (Well, it’s mylar.)  I’ve tried to use it a handful of times, with no success.  But this time I had a Directive, by god.

This is my fourth and final attempt:

Blue!  With black stripes.
Bonus thumbs! …look, it’s hard taking pictures of your own hands.

And I think I got it working!

This is not the shade of blue I was planning to use.  What I’ve read about striping tape is that you need to pull it off when the polish is either really wet or really, really dry; I found that only “really wet” worked, possibly because I had so many layers of polish going on.  Basically I found that I needed something that could be opaque over black in a single not-too-thick layer, and what I found was Physicians Formula Trendsetter Chic #2.  Most of my other blues needed either multiple layers or white undies.*

This is layered over Sinful Colors Black on Black.  I refuse to do a PWI.  It’s… it’s black.  It looks black?  But it IS a one-coater.

So yeah!  I dunno if I nailed it exactly?  But I made stripes, by gum!

In other, lamer news, Interview #3 (nickname: Dream Job) has made an offer to someone else, which he is planning to take.  I haven’t officially been told “no” yet – I have a phone call tomorrow – but right now, smart money’s on “SIGH”.  I have officially set aside time to sulk.


* Yes, this is a nail jargon term…

PWI: Sally Hansen Grape Going! Plus, JERBS

For those who are following along at home, here’s the interview scorecard:

  • 1 (R) – A good school, a decent interview.  I wasn’t smitten, and I doubt they were.  I didn’t make a fool of myself but I don’t expect followup.
  • 2 (F) – A fantastic research fit, but a social fit that really concerned me.  OTOH, they made me an offer, and they offered me the moon and the stars.  If they want me that badly, I’m willing to try to make it work.
  • 3 (G) – A fantastic research fit.  A fantastic social fit.  A fantastic place.  I would sell… something important to work there.  They loved me, too; they told me so.  But they’ve interviewed some truly amazing people, and it’s all down to the shouting, now.  It’s an engineering department.  There will be shouting.  (But please, please, please?)
  • 4 (U) – Smaller school, less of a research fit, but I would fill some painfully obvious holes they have, and socially it was awesome.  People were direct, honest, forthright, and kind.  I enjoyed the heck out of my visit and I would work there if they offered.  Also, the closest to Super Woman and Dr. D of anyplace I interviewed.

I expected to hear from #3 today, but didn’t.  I actually managed to work myself into a state where I was womity just from nerves.  Finally I said screw it and fell back to my usual reaction to adversity: sulking and nausea.

And, oh, food.  Coq au vin (traditional style, so it took 4 hours), cauliflower puree, skinned drumsticks in batches in the freezer, and oven-roasted Brussels sprouts in brown sugar and bacon glaze.  (Um… I have leftovers… help?)  I actually managed to fight down the urge to call an impromptu dinner party and make everyone individual Cornish game hens, but it was a near thing.

And, as happens when the going gets confusing and adult, I have been painting the crap out of my nails.  It is consequence free.

Today’s offering is Sally Hansen Grape Going!:

X
Reddish purple!  [hand tilt]  Bluish purple!  …am I more excited than this warrants?

A blue-purple duochrome,* which is pretty awesome.  That said, it has some problems.  One is sheerness, as this is like 4-5 coats, meaning way more chances to screw up.

The second, and far worse, is how subtle the color shift actually is.  I needed this super-direct setting-sun light to get a real purple – the mildly uninteresting mid-tone blue on the right is more the default look.

Anyway!  Tomorrow I will hear something maybe or maybe not!  Please, um, just please cross your fingers, or pray, or whatever your superstition is and all, or nothing.  Just… please.


* Two different colors in different lights / at different angles.  The word is also used for polishes that shift among >2 colors, which makes Grammar Hulk aaaangry because it should obviously be multichrome.  You wouldn’t like me when I‘m… using the red pen

PWI: RED. (By which I mean OPI Red, plus threefer Jane Megawatt and Pure Ice Bare It All, but whatever. RED)

Soooo, two things about red nail polish!

1. One is always looking for the perfect, flattering, amazing red polish. (And lipstick!)
2. People* are Concerned that red polish may make one look Fast, and, perhaps, Loose.**

That said, one of my oldest polish acquisitions is…

OPI Red.

Red.  This shot makes it look pinkish maybe?  But it’s so primary,
unapologetically red. Maybe a hair blue leaning?  It’s not 3-free
or 5-free or vegan or whatever, and I know there’s a newer version
that is, but this is my canonical and beloved Fast Lady red.

There’s a new post-reformulation red.  I feel like I ought to try it, I guess.  Because I am not completely happy with my existing, classic, vampy, and hot red.

Anyway!  There are only about 4, 5 “nail art” things I’d be interested in?  The simple ones!  So I am interested in the “glitter gradient.”  Basically, you take a glitter polish with medium-to-bad coverage, and paint it in receding layers, so a gradient comes out.  Which is my thing!

The glitter is two things: JANE Megawatt – which is the solid glitter on my index finger – and Pure Ice Bare It All.  They are identical.  Weirdly so – they are both gold glitter with random copper glits.  The PI BiA has thicker coverage, so that’s a difference, the only one.  I’ma get rid of one, probably the Pure Ice, because it’s less usable for gradients.

My index finger is the Pure Ice.  Less gradient-y but otherwise identical.

But anyway: RED.


* To a certain Type of Person, don’t you know.  (The kind that sits on hiring committees.)
** …why? Red? It’s a color? I don’t… even…
Yeah, no, I really am.

Post-interviews nails time!

I’ve been rocking the Interview Nails for like… three weeks or summat.  And it is terribly dull to be honest, I mean mannequin hands are kind of fun but for heavens’ sake.  So you know what that means (or will by the next sentence):  nail color blowout!

This is not a PWI, but for fun, I’ll tell you it’s…

OPI Euro Euro and/or SC Enchanted,* Pure Ice French Kiss, SC Rise’n’Shine, Orly Lucky Duck, Wet’n’Wild SaGreena the Teenage Witch,**  Pure Ice Wild Thing, Rimmel London Sunny Days, SC Pull Over, Sinful Colors Citrine, and Orly [mystery red].†† 

This is not interviewy at aaaaalllll

Wheeeee! …I don’t know if I’ll wear this to work tomorrow. (I don’t even know if I’m going to work tomorrow.) But honestly I love the fact that I can have this little brainstorm, poke around in my stash, and accomplish it.

Ooo wait, sunlight (actual sunlight, Seattle is getting to that time!):

Indirect sunlight!  It’s, ahm, not very different.  But it was awesome of Mr. Fix-It to take pictures.

Okay, next is cooking many foods, answering many emails, deciding many things.  But loooook I can make rainbows!


* Yes a number of things were liberated from the PWI bin to make this happen!  The daylight shot is SC Enchanted, because by morning I had dinged my pinky. …somehow?
** A shimmer because I still don’t have a real green creme rrrrr. Also, I did not make this name up.  
THIS is the one-pass nail-staining monstrosity! Rrrrrrrrrrr… but it does work here 😛
†† There’s a sticky spot where the label came off… dude I’ma be honest. This is another probably-10-20 year old polish, I am sure it doesn’t exist any more in this formulation, and I only used it because my even older OPI Red was stuck closed. It’s red, ok?  
Except for green, dammit! And, uh. That one teal I ran out for.  Shhh.

PWI: Rimmel London Pink-A-Boo and Sunny Days

Maaaan all that interviewing stuff was crazy.  And, contrary to my expectations, it’s kind of ongoing!  I had a phone thing with someone from Place #3 this morning, and I’m expecting to have another with #2 shortly… it’s complicated, is all.  I plan to post more (spoilers: #4 was great and #3 was a-MAYY-ziiinng), but I kind of think I write in this blog because nail polish is easy and super fun for me, and I could so use that right now.

So here’s a thing that happened before I went off to get my brains scrambled interviewed.

Rimmel London Pink-A-Boo and Sunny Days:

X
I tried to use these colors as a half-moon mani, but everything went wrong.
…everything.  I don’t wanna talk about it.  (Okay since you insist the yellow is
streaky and transparent and the pink dings if you look at it funny which I did you
can see it and everything gets everywhere after like 9 coats of polish, aaarrrgh!
)

The yellow, uh.  Needs a lot of coats.  But it’s a very true yellow!  The pink’s fine, very very pink, but fine.  After a complete fail of a half-moon manicure, I decided to go with rocking the asymmetry, which I kind of always love:

X
Mr. Fix-It took photos!  With my crappy camera
phone!  I do not think he cared for it at all!

Ahhh yes.  That feels better than worrying about my future, yes indeed it does. ^_^

3 down, 1 to go

#3 interview went sooo well.  Unless something big changes (like #4 is even better), if they make me an offer I sure intend to take it.

#2 interviewers have made me a job offer.  They have offered me everything I asked for so far and more – they really want me, and that is, all by itself, tempting.

#4 is Monday.

These are all great news.  So why not more exclamation points ‘n’ whatnot?  Well, I have more things to say, to think, but I am so braindead I can’t even make the minimally required words go together.

so kitty.  wish me luck, things going well, kitty.

He loves me whether I have a job or not