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PWI: Born Pretty Holo Polish, plus adornments!

Quarter’s drawing to a close.  Good riddance.  I’ve finally piloted my user study on the robot (thanks MK!).  It still needs work but in most ways it’s pretty deployable.  I really need to figure out why the robot’s verbal responses are delayed almost 3 seconds; that part’s just not working.

Stupid robots.

Anyway!  I have been painting my nails, just not blogging as much.  Just busy.  Well, and also Tachyon discovered that if I play console games instead of sitting at my computer, I make a really comfortable lap:

cat

I mean… what am I supposed to do?  I’m no monster.

So that’s been something of a showstopper.  Yeah, my life is hard.

Anyway, I got nail-mail yesterday from the Born Pretty store, a source of cheap stuff that’s based out of Singapore.  (My last two packages had customs labels describing them as “cell phone case” and “electronics misc,” so that’s definitely legal.)  Shipping to the US is free.  All of this means it takes arbitrary amounts of time to arrive.  I basically place an order and forget about it, and whenever it shows up it’s a nice surprise.*

If you’re anything like me, when presented with new toys, you have to try them out right noooww.  This is how I came to be sporting Born Pretty Holo Polish:

rb

It’s magically delicious.

This is a “linear holo,” meaning the holographic excellence shows up along lines defined by the curve of the nail, rather than being randomly spangled about.  I am very excited about future polish!

Unfortunately, the above is about the best holographic presentation I got.  It was taken in the weird cold fluorescent elevator of my 100-year-old apartment complex.  Below is what it mostly looked like in practice.

gray

Gray’s a color.

It was still interesting.  Also, this is a rather low-end holo polish;** I may step it up to an expensive one.

In the meantime, since I still had new things to play with and less-than-exciting nails, I promptly bunged on a ton of stuff.  Behold: stuff.

ad6

Indirect (and failing) sunlight.  This is the closest I came to getting things in focus.  I choose to believe that this is not my camera’s way of opining on the tackiness of just slapping everything on together.

Left to right:

  1. Silver… errr… crown? sort of? stickers.  They were fine, they stayed on, I’ll use more.
  2. Silver rhinestones.  Also fine.  I got to use my new teeny-thing-picker-upper tool!
  3. A black-and-clear 3D sticker.  Iffy.  It tore when I tweezed it off the backing, and subsequently came off the nail in blobs.
  4. Water decal of some generic part of a clock.  If you haven’t built models of aircraft or tanks or (in my case) giant space robots, you probably didn’t know that water decals are the devil.  But I was prepared for it, and I love the designs on this sheet.

Then a bunch of stuff fell off.  But hey, toys!  TOYS.  Expect rather more… er… reasoned adornment pix in the near future.


* Actually this is how I cope with almost all shipped goods.  We order so much stuff from Amazon that we get several packages a week… so why track?  Mr. Fix-It will ask me what’s in an incoming box, and I’m all, “Clothes?  Toiletries?  Electronics?  Cats?”

** Actually, at $7/6ml on sale <!!>, it kind of isn’t!  Should have read the description more closely.  But there are companies who specialize in this nonsense and may produce shinier holographics.

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. ^_^

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.

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

Interviewing!

I have three interviews in the next 2 weeks, so… posts are likely to flag a bit, I guess.  Or, um, a lot.  Please just cross fingers for me to get an awesome job somewhere (first talk’s in 4 hours!) and there will be content again shortly.

Now I have to go put on a Suit.  Fortunately I have an awesome Suit.

De rigueur kitty:

kitty smoosh

Interviewed! Lived to tell!

I got interviewed!

It was… long.

  • 6:00 – Get up to practice talk
    • Body time (PST → EST transition + DST): 2:00? I think?
  • 9:00-11:00 – Many ½ hour meetings
  • 11:00 – Give talk (eek)
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 13:00-18:30 – Many ½ hour meetings
  • 18:30 – Break
  • 18:35-21:00 – Dinner (delicious; also, thinly veiled excuse for more interview)

That’s not THAT long a day, but it’s a pretty nonstop day, if that makes sense. Very few breaks, no letting guard down.  On the flip side, I learned a lot.

Since we’re making lists:

  1. Faculty seem socially isolated
  2. 2/3 of faculty live in NYC or Princeton (see above) – not a great sign
  3. Teaching load going up soon (from 1/1 to 1/2)
  4. Funding seems an issue in general
  5. CS department is split across several buildings
  6. Many significantly older professors
  1. Faculty seem friendly, forthcoming, and interested
  2. Students are engaged and (mostly) interesting
  3. Two profs closest to my research are both ~ my age and nice people
  4. Many options for collaboration, I think 
  5. Um, east coast? duh?
  6. Only one person harassed me a bunch about Cyc

I don’t have a synthesis.  Too tired.  But hey, it happened, and the world didn’t implode or anyfing, so that’s nice.  I felt like it went pretty well, and like I had a good connection with many of the people I talked to.  Maybe that’s accurate, maybe it was the sleep dep.

We Shall See!

I was gonna add something about… something… hard.  Uh.  Hard is too hard.  Brain going offline.  Cat:

My macbook pro has warms. He especially likes it when I play Flash games.

On the Groves of Academe [a rant in several parts]

Academia is a funny place.*

For one thing, it’s kind of insane to want to be faculty. I mean that in a fairly literal sense. Consider:

      • You spend 5-8 years in PhD school, living on a relative pittance. This is 5-10% of your life, 8-13% of your adult life.
      • Grad school isn’t always fun. It can be fun! There are excellent things about it! But PhD students spend a lot of time slogging through, under pressure.
      • The opportunity cost of 5-8 years of possible earnings with a BS/BA (or 3-6 years with an MS) is very high.
      • The odds of actually finding a position range from mediocre to astronomically low.
      • The pay is non-concomitant with the effort. Financially, the sweet spot is the Masters. 
      • Should you actually land a position, possibly after another 2-4 years as a postdoc, you face 4-7 years on the tenure track – years that are much more grueling than grad school.
      • Also now you are between 27 and 35. 
      • If you make it through ALL the hurdles, you achieve the gold ring: you’re a tenured faculty member, expected to teach classes and Produce Research.
      • Also now you are between 38 and 46. (I hope you didn’t want kids? j/k, that’s what faculty wives are for†)
      • The gold ring: If you do amazingly, continuously, for the rest of your life, at least 100 people will look up to you! Probably 200-300 will know your name. Maybe even more!
      • Congrats I guess?

          Is this insane? Well, the cost/reward ratio is waaaay off. I mean, nobody would look at this objectively and say, “Oh, that sounds like a great idea!” So… either you know yourself, and know what makes you happy, very, very well; or you’re nuts; or, you somehow missed the memo on the above.

          It’s interesting, what happens when I mention this to my fellow faculty-candidate colleagues. About half of them nod, a bit sadly, and we share a Look, and go back to our insanity. The other half go straight to, “Nooo! No, not true, because of reasons! …”

          I worry about the second half.

          How could you miss the memo? Well, really, the Academe is geared towards making academics. Great undergrads are steered into grad school; after that, research and publication and faculty are all anyone talks to you about. How could it be otherwise? You are mentored and taught exclusively by people who followed that path AND got the gold ring. What else do they know?

          But now, we produce at least one order of magnitude more PhDs than we have faculty slots, so something’s gotta give.

          After I get my crazy person slot.**

          I will try to amend for wordiness with a sleeping kitty:

          It is so hard to get work done around here you guys I mean what was I gonna do

          * A funny place, especially, in STEM. Which is honestly pretty close to all I know. One of the funny things is how very, very different areas are. So let’s take all of the following as referring to STEM.
          j/k, faculty-chillums obviously a problem for all genders.††
          †† (it isn’t)
          ** It’s a nice crazy-person slot 😐

          PWI: Urban Outfitters Babyboy

          Another day, another blue. I think I’m going to make a point of not wearing blue tomorrow. Unless I just keep this color on for another day, which would be fine with me, as it’s wonderful.

          I went to Urban Outfitters last night to get a couple of 2/$8 polishes, and also to get out of the house and get moving. (Nail polish motivates me.) Aaaand they had a bunch of colors on fire sale, $0.99 a bottle. So I got six new polishes! …and a couple more for $8. (What can I say? I’m weak.)

          Indirect sunlight. In indoor-only lighting it’s much more teal. Dang,
          I feel like if I swapped this and the physicians formula blue,
          they’d both be more color-accurate. do not need another hobby…

          Why I haven’t seen more on the blogosphere about Urban Outfitters polish? I mean, yes, everybody wants in on the nail polish market right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if my insurance agent comes out with a line of nail polish. But UO has lots of colors, a reasonable price ($5, with various specials like 2/$8), and, in my experience, exceptional formulas. Am I missing something??

          Update: I mentioned this to one of my (two) polish-interested friends, and she said, “Maybe it’s all that ripping off indy designers?” So I Googled ‘urban outfitters controversy’, and… yeah. Well, I’m not returning one-dolla polishes, but good to know. I guess. 🙁

          Depressing! Let’s look at cats instead.

          Sunbeams are the best thing.

          Project Wear-It

          Project Wear-It was inspired by The Crumpet‘s apt observation that we tend not to wear the polishes we’ve had for a long time (original post here). However, unlike all the actual organized bloggers out there, I haven’t the first idea what I’ve worn or when I got anything. I mean, I can say “Oh, this one must be from about five years ago,” but that’s about it. Plus, even though I try not to, I’m pretty sure I re-wear a few polishes colors a lot and neglect others.

          So I’m starting this blog to chronicle Project Wear-It, in which I am going to go through my entire polish collection and wear every single thing. To make this work, I am not going to re-wear any polish until the whole thing is over. (It feels like such a commitment!)

          Obviously there will be exceptions, if I’m particularly inspired, or have a job interview, or have the perfect polish for a special night out, or whatever. But for the day to day what-shall-I-grab question, the answer for a while is going to be: Always something new.

          Wish me luck!

          gratuitous kitty

          Once more into the breach

          Let’s start this blog off with a picture of kitties, what say?

          I have a lot of cat pictures, you see.

          The blog title pretty much says it all, I hope. I’m a roboticist with a love of nail polish, good science, cats, and an astounding array of other hobbies and topics.  (See, I don’t sleep much.)

          I’m planning to put random things here, including the annals of Project Wear-It and the cute cat pix I keep accumulating – but it remains to be seen whether I’ll manage. Let’s hope!