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Calling anyone graphic-artsy:

I wanna make tee-shirts, etc. and need a graphic.  Is anyone interested in helping me?

I am looking for the word "Outlier," preferably in some neat font arranged in an up-an-over bell curve shape.  If you make me a graphic and I end up doing the shirts, I promise to send you one! 
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We are having a silly controversy over here.  Let's see if you can help me out -

How old do you think I look?  Many of you have seen me in person (recently and not so recently), and you have all seen my online pictures (last night's entry, etc.) - based on that, if you didn't know how old I actually am, what would you guess?
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Okay, in my quest to make my life better by making my environment better (only ask if you care to here me rant), I reorganized my jewelry.  And, very sadly, I have three necklaces in need of repair and two broken silver chains.  (I also had a wooden bracelet that needed to be restrung, but I just did that).

One necklace (heavy Venetian glass beads and Swhatever crystals) needs to be restrung.  Another is less traditional - it had a plastic cord with a handful of charms on it, and the clasp part broke, so the whole thing needs to be reassembled somehow.  And the third necklace I bought from a friend of a friend who I am hoping will also fix it for me (I love this one the least so it is not a worry).  Do you have any ideas how I can get the first two (heavy beads and charms and such) repaired?

And is it worth mending cheapish silver chains, or does it leave them too weak to risk beloved items on?
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Yesterday I went out to coffee with a friend of [profile] learethak's. This friend is now reading my LJ too - everyone wave!

I've now been told twice in 24 hours that I probably intimidate men, which seems a little . . .repetitive.

What do you think? Why do women of a certain temperament (think, say, mine) tend to scare the male of the species?
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I took The Golden Compass daemon matching test.  My results?

"Your profile reveals that you are: Softly spoken, shy, passive, flexible, depdendable.  You are therefore matched with the Aeschylus Daemon. Your Deamon Aschylus is one of 5197 crow Daemons within the total Deamon popiation of 126699. Aeschylus is a male Daemon, as human and Daemon pairs are usually of the opposite sex."

I love that I got a crow, but the profile conclusions are interesting to me.  I dont see my self as shy and passive - do you?
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Yesterday was my one week anniversary on the job.  The work itself is not entrancing, but the people are great and overall I am glad to be here.

I am somewhat concerned that I have lost my ability to be a good desk monkey.  I am very distractible, and working independently on projects which have no immediate products or uses loops me back to that grad student place of too-much-to-do, cant-figure-out-where-to-start, ooh-look-something-shiny.  This time there are the added pressures of knowing I am being paid stupendously for the time and wanting to perform well for my supervisors, which assists more with the panic than the concentration. 

Any suggestions on how to retrain myself to sit at a desk for eight productive hours a day?
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Just got a letter from the third member of my thesis committee - his letter of recommendation to the new program to which I am applying was submitted this morning. This means two of the three are in - my advisor is the only holdout, again, but promises to have it in by the end of the week.

What do you guys think of me replying to the two who sent theirs, asking to see the letters (with the 'if you are comfortable sharing' caveat)?
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I am going to NYC at the end of the month. Mel and I are conspiring to see a Broadway show, and she says I get to pick.  There are many to choose from, all listed here.

Out of the choices, I have seen Rent (in Eugene, OR), Grease (Anchorage, AK), Phantom of the Opera (Seattle, WA), Blue Man Group (Chicago, IL), and Stomp (Anchorage, AK). 

Any suggestions which show (that I have not seen before) might be the most fun?
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I have just been told that I am "the best little person to sit at [this] desk ever."  Is there a compliment in there somewhere or am I justified in my desire to bombard her with pads of sticky notes? (I am sitting at the department's front office working on my laptop, she is a first year graduate student in another division).
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I have a VERY IMPORTANT question.


No, I dont.  But I do want an opinion on something of the utmost importance (ha, redux) to my thesis defense.

Do I wear the black-equivalent-of-khakis with a button down collared shirt and look pulled together in a business casual sort of way (and also be super comfortable)?

Or, do I wear the fancy-schmancy black slacks with the same button down shirt and a suit jacket which I will end up taking off immediately anyways (since the room is a million degrees and the cut of the jacket only works for me if I keep it buttoned)?  These pants used to be very comfortable, but I guess the dry cleaner shrank them just a little bit, since surely my butt didn't get any bigger in the last two years (ha, again), and they are a wee bit tight now.

I was planning on the comfy black pants / no suit jacket option all along, but my mom seems to think I need to at least make a stab at the suit thing.  I ruled out wearing one of my cute suit skirts, since the wind is raging and I will have to park miles from the building (well, and I want one less thing to worry about, and I am unlikely to show anyone my underpants by accident if I wear slacks).

So, comfy and business-casual or fancy-but-pinchy pants + a jacket?  Everything else will be the same: boots, shirt, jewelry.  Oh, and the suit jacket looks funny with the comfy pants, so that particular mix and match option is not really available.
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I am starting to wonder if taking the Ph.D. qualifying exams this spring is a wise choice. I have tried to talk it through with a couple of people, since I am interested in other perspectives, but it is hard for my audience to keep straight when presented verbally.

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Dear LJ Braintrust -

I am looking for a plural noun for a group of belly dancers.  Fill in this blank: a gaggle of sheep; a pride of lions; and a _________ of belly dancers.  I dont think an official one exists, but I want to know what you think would best fill the need!

(Also, picking up my jeans hurt when I got out of bed this morning. Ow.)
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Query:  Is it better to do my own taxes online, or pay someone to do them?

Traditionally I do them myself, screw them up, and - months after receiving my lovely refund - get either a nice check or a bill from the tax people.

I am fairly thrifty, so this has worked for me for a several years.

This year I sold a house and had enough medical bills (LASIK) and charitable contributions to bother itemizing.

I probably could do them myself, at great expense of time and energy I dont really have to spare right now, but am trying to decide if its worth the ~$100 it seems to cost here.
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Dear LJ Braintrust -

You are smart and good looking, so I am certain you will know the answer to this:

Background: I have a huge pile of cables, all of which arrived with my last three laptops, one digital projector, and pack rat of an ex-boyfriend.  I dont use these cables, but have dutifully hauled them from Alaska to the East Coast and house to house because there is always a chance I *might.,* someday need them.  I dont even know what goes with which machine any more.


Do I really need a parallel port / parallel port printer cable (my current printer uses USB)? A USB cable with the different ends?  Firewire? CAT 5, even though everywhere I live has wireless internet?  A bunch of AV cables I don't recognize (hi, I don't own a TV)? 

If I get rid of them and suddenly need replacements, are they generally available?

Thanks muchly.

- me
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Dear LJ Braintrust,

What is the working definition of "a date?"  You know, as in, going out on a date, etc.  There has been much speculation in my world lately, and we could use your help!

Gracias in advance.

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I had a professor (why yes, that one) tell us that our exam next week will be closed book, no resources in hand, etc.  Then he announced that we will receive it via email at 1 pm with instructions to submit it at or around 2:30 pm.  We are supposed to be on our honor but - and this is a direct quote that I wrote down word for word- "it is up to [us] if [we] want to play it straight or not. . . it's not about grades at this level."

Is that an invitation to cheat?

I have an opinion and a sense of how I will take the exam, which I will share with you later.  First, what do you think?
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Am looking for resume-proofreaders - I need a couple people to look it over and help me figure out what to do to make my New! and! Improved! resume more appropriate for a consulting job / internship application.

I am looking at you people-who-work-in-the-real-world.

If you have ten minutes to spare and an iota of interest, please email me or leave a comment. Thanks!
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Okay, I want to Do Something Different, so am looking for human resources / leadership / training / corporate culture / etc. internships.  There are no internships currently listed on our professional organization's page, so I am having to get creative.

So far I sent pesky emails to three companies which I know were looking for interns last year: Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Starbucks.

I want to apply with Google in Seattle / Kirkland, but they don't know they need me and thus dont have an internship listed on the web or any contact information.  Anybody know somebody who might know somebody, etc?

Also, any other suggestions on what companies might need me, even if they dont know it yet?
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All the "Dear LJ-Brain Trust" posts are cracking me up, so I thought I would add to the fun.

I am in love with a pen, and need to stock more of them before this one dries up.  It is a Pilot G2-07 rollerball with maroon ink, and I dont want to have to buy multiple packs of the weird colors (hot pink! purple! teal!) to get them.  So, anyone know where I can get more of these in maroon or buy just the ink cartridge refills?  Remember, not pink. Not purple.  Not red.  Maroon.


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