Wednesday, July 30, 2008
First, the counterfeiters. They duplicate those designer purses, well and poorly. You can find awful fakes - plastic instead of leather, poorly printed "logos - practically shouting to the world their status. For prices of $20 or so, you get what you pay for - and don't really expect the real thing. You can also find very well made fakes, and those can be exceptionally deceiving - leathers and fabrics that are good quality, perfect stitching, and hardware cast from a mold of the real item. These high-quality fakes often command higher prices as well - $100 and up - which makes them feel that much more legitimate.
The second business around designer purses is the resellers - people on eBay and similar sites who sell new and used designer purses for less than retail. Honest resellers offer items they know are genuine - either purchased themselves from a reputable store, or very carefully authenticated. Dishonest resellers - of which there are many - will offer fakes of all quality, sometimes by listing a real purse but sending the counterfeit.
I happen to consider myself an honest reseller - when I offer designer purses in my eBay store, they are generally something I found in a Nordstrom's clearance section. (Can't get much more reputable than that) On occasion, however, I do run across designer items at thrift stores...and then the painstaking authentication process begins.
Most fakes can be easily spotted, if you've seen the real designer items. The logo printing isn't right, or an inside tag is missing. Occasionally, however, even I can be fooled temporarily! This is one such story.
While shopping at my local thrift store, I found 2 possible designer purses - stashed in electronics, where obviously an employee was hoping to hide them until s(he) could buy them. One was a Gucci look-alike - while the outside logo print was nicely done, the inside fabric was plastic-like and cheap. I put that purse back in the "stash". The second purse looked like a Christian Dior logo. The fabric logo print was clean and distinct, the stitching throughout was pristine and uniform, and the leather strap was nice quality. Looking at the hardware, I could see multiple "CD" and "Christian Dior" stampings in hidden locations. The inside lining was a woven black fabric with "Christian Dior" as part of the pattern.
I don't normally sell Dior - it rarely goes on sale - but this purse looked close enough to be worth my $6 at the thrift. I went home, telling myself it was probably fake...but hoping for the best.
To authenticate it, I went to eBay's Guides, and looked for Dior purses. Searching through the guides, I saw multiple items to look for - certain hardware shape, check. Thickness of the hanging "D", check. Woven, not printed, name on the lining, check. This purse had so many hallmarks of a real Dior...
...but ultimately, I've decided that it's just a very well-made fake. (I'm still mildly hopeful that it's just a vintage purse with minor variations...but not enough to sell it) The shape is not quite right, for one. For another, there's no leather tag inside, which my research tells me should exist. Small details, really - but critical ones.
The moral of this story (of course there's one) - if you want to buy a discount designer purse, do your research! Know everything there is to know about the kind of purse you want, make sure you buy from a reputable seller...and realize that even the 'experts' can be fooled occasionally, so don't feel too bad if it happens to you.
Me, I'll be carrying that knock-off Dior occasionally. If I thought it was genuine...so will everyone else!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Finally, statistical proof of what I've known all along...girls can be good at math too. Heck, I should be living proof myself - I'm great at math, have an advanced degree in physics, and more than hold my own with the male engineers at my job.
So why do people think boys are "naturally" better at math than girls? That there's some flaw in complex reasoning brought on by our double-X chromosomes...or perhaps just the 'insanity' of estrogen prevents our logical thinking.
Guess what y'all...boys don't have some natural male advantage. HA!
To the men I've dealt with in my life...including one college professor I WAS WORKING FOR, and who should have known better...I TOLD YOU SO.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
1. Free airport entertainment is worth the price. And by that, I mean it's worth NOTHING. Hubby and I were enjoying our pre-flight sushi before leaving for Vegas, comfortably seated near the front exit. Half-way through our miso, an awful caterwauling commenced...some random 25-year-old guy set up shop with his guitar, and serenaded the busy travelers. Since security didn't haul him away, I assume he had permission...but boy, were we hoping for that burly security guy to step in. This "singer" was awful; he slaughtered perfectly good songs from the 50s through 80s. Seriously, when your "Love Me Tender" is worse than the fat Elvis Impersonator at some cheap casino...it's time to find a real job, perhaps at McDonalds.
2. Vegas needs to change it's slogan. Forget "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"...hubby now proposes a simpler "show us your tits". 10 seconds on a Saturday night is enough to prove him right. Now, I'm no prude - I've been there on a girls weekend where we dressed to the nines and clubbed hopped with the best of them. But sheesh, it's getting ridiculous! Everybody is wearing low-cut, tight, sparkly attire...from the petite girls with fake IDs, to mature cougars who know better. It's getting so you can't pick out the hookers anymore!
3. Speaking of that slogan - people, it's a saying, not a command! You'd never guess it from the Sunday-morning and Monday-morning crowds, however. (Hubby likes to get up before 7am and gamble for cheap) Walk of shame, check. Drunks of all ages, check. Conservative 50-something ladies grinning like Cheshire cats, check and check. As much as I enjoy people-watching during the evenings - all the crazy attire, the makeup, the flirting and drinking - mornings are even better - the hangovers, the smeared makeup and slept-in clubbing outfit, and more.
4. Drunks of all ages are fun. Sure, we saw plenty of drunk college guys cruising for chicks. (Note to college guys - getting drunk and randomly yelling "Wooooo" really doesn't draw the ladies) My favorite group of drunks was older, however. 3 couples, all in their late 40s to early 50s, riding the monorail with us after a night of dinner and a show. All were well soused, but one guy in the group was clearly way beyond the rest - he spoke loudly, said stupid things, engaged random strangers in a debate over the merits of the "Jersey Boys" show he just watched. His 5-person greek chorus just giggled and reminded him to use an "inside voice", which made the whole thing very, very funny to watch.
5. Movies and TV shows aren't that wrong. We witnessed an actual "medical emergency" on our flight back, and it was just like on TV! A lady was having a seizure about 20 minutes from our home airport. The flight attendants asked for "any passenger with medical training...a doctor, nurse, certified EMT". When we landed, we came in hard, and pulled into a gate in amazing time. It was thrilling and scary at the same time - for everyone, really. I can report that the passenger was conscious and able to walk out on her own, so hopefully she's ok.
In case you're wondering, no, we didn't come back big winners. That's ok - we stayed within our budget, ate a couple exquisite meals (Mesa Grill Sunday brunch is wonderful), and enjoyed being adults together. What a wonderful vacation...can't wait to do it again!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
This week has been a busy one for me at work. Brand new product that we're trying to get qualified and out the door - and I've run into a series of issues to deal with. It's meant some long hours, and I've had to come in early and/or stay late more than I like.
Staying late here really says something too...as an engineer, I'm "exempt" - meaning I don't get paid for overtime. (They think they pay me enough as it is, I guess!) So instead of a nice 8-5 job with 1 hour for lunch...engineers here are expected to work 8-6pm, take maybe 30 minutes for lunch, and morning/afternoon breaks? Not a chance. Fortunately, most managers don't really stick to that, as long as you get your job done...but there ARE some odd looks and "going home early?" comments to deal with, if you dare leave at 5:30pm.
So fine, the atmosphere here is work-a-holic. But that doesn't explain some of the weird guys in this building.
Guys who show up around 7am. And leave after 6pm...sometimes closer to 7pm.
Seriously. I mean, I love my job...but I don't want to be here 12 hours a day. Or 11 hours a day. Even going somewhere else for a lunch hour...that's TOO long in this building.
What is up with these guys? Do they hate their wives? Are they lonely? Do they figure, why not work, since their World of Warcraft buddies won't be on until 8pm anyway?
Beats the heck out of me. All I know is...I love my kids, I love my husband, I have a comfy house I enjoy relaxing in...I have two internet businesses that I enjoy working on. Heck no, I'm not going to put in extra hours here 'for the heck of it'.
Time to cut this short...my ESD tester needs my attention!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Yes, I know you have problems. There's nothing like fighting with another woman at work to really ding the self-esteem.
But I have a bigger problem - no women to interact with!
It's really true. I'm an engineer, and I work in a building surrounded by other engineers. Male engineers.
And that means I have no one to gossip with! Seriously, we're not just talking about the goofy new name of Nicole Kidman's baby. This is the important stuff, like the awful bike outfit worn by one of the VPs. The visible tattoos on our new cafeteria cashier. And how the new ESD smocks make everyone's butt look HUGE.
It also means I have no female supporter here. Nobody to tell me my new haircut is great, or my new eyeshadow is too dark. (Guys might think it, but they won't say it!) Nobody to share my anger with over the sexist comments and double-standards that sometimes crop up.
It stinks. Truly.
So go hug your female co-workers today - even the ones you love to hate. Trust me, you'd miss them!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Somebody forgot she's not in college anymore!