A prayer to the movie gods

A humble request to the lords who control those who enter the same movie theater as me when I am dying to see a movie like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II:

I beg of you to grant my wish that my movie karma kicks in this time around and I get to watch this movie in peace.

Please allow only those into the theater who are interested in WATCHING the movie and are not there to analyze the movie for film class, narrate along to tell the rest of us what’s going on, or worse yet, have every single reaction to the film out loud. Those who can not be separated from their cell phones for 2.5 hours need not come at all. What’s the point?

I ask that those who can not sit still without fidgeting constantly (i.e., kicking the back of my seat) sit in the front row or wait for the movie to come out on Blu-Ray.

If everyone could be in their seats waiting for the movie to begin on time, that would also immensely help. I’d love to not have to stand up to let someone through because they don’t know how to show up even twenty minutes prior to the start of a blockbuster movie on opening weekend.

Lastly, if you could put all those with weak bladders in one theater or maybe dissuade them from coming on opening weekend, that would also help me enjoy my movie-going experience.

Remember Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I?  Yeah. That was not cool when four people decided to walk in for the last ten minutes and begin talking loudly and telling everyone else to shutup when they were shushed. Pretty much the last scene with Lord Voldemort went unheard and my boyfriend was cursed out for having the cojones to tell these guys how rude their behavior was.

Usually I stay away from the theaters until I am sure the coast is clear from the chatty Cathys, people who insist on bringing their infants and toddlers to adult movies, and other inconsiderate freaks (see above). Please, please, please, let me enjoy tonight’s movie.

Your faithful, considerate, quiet, timely movie watcher,
Zoe

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But I’m all…this is hard!

Before I get to the meat of this post, does anyone remember the scene from Will & Grace when Jennifer Elise Cox plays the valley girl nurse who freaks Grace out? I can’t tell you how many times I have recited the “This is hard!” line over the years (that’s what she said).

Note: I used to have a YouTube clip here that showed it but NBC had to yank it because it’s copyrighted and we’re not allowed to enjoy watching that scene for free.

It rarely gets any better than that, though Modern Family and Parks and Rec could probably creep up on that level of brilliance.

Anywhoosits, I don’t know about you fine folks but I have had a doozy of a week. Thankfully, it’s gone from worse to better as the week has progressed. Better than starting a week off great and heading into the weekend feeling sucky because…well, it just sucks. And hey, the final Harry Potter movie is out, so at the very least we have some decent cinema to see, right?

So as some of you may know, I started up a side photography business not too long ago. I’m a few months into portfolio building and have a couple of sessions under my belt, plus 4,000 other photos I have taken and edited on my own with an ever increasing critical eye. I am working diligently each and every day to get this kite (if I may liken my business to a kite) off the ground. But I’m all, this is hard! I’m a pretty patient person by nature, except I tend to equate hard work with results, which means that when I have put my blood, sweat and tears into something for a certain amount of time, I expect to reap the reward. If I were pursuing photography merely as a hobby, then I’d definitely be well into my apprenticeship, if you will, and I’d have no pressure on my shoulders to step out of my comfort zone and interact with <gulp> strangers.

However, since I am bound and determined to see this thing through for the long haul, I know I have to bide my time and put in the effort each and every day before the results will start trickling in. I don’t know a thing about running my own business but I guess any successful proprietor starts off that way. I’m learning a special skill (a trade?) and learning how to manage it all so that I may actually have, you know, a livelihood outside of my office career.

I’m not completely new to the whole side business venture, however. I tried Mary Kay out for a year and my two cents is if they changed their business model in just a handful of key areas, I think they could be way more successful than they have been the last fifty. That’s not to say that the original Mary Kay didn’t bust her tail but the corporate sales giant does not encourage making an honest living anymore. The products for the most part are pretty decent, although some can be vastly overpriced. However, because their business model is a multi-level marketing scheme, it’s not about the product at all but the member recruitment.

The profit margin is rather slim if you just want to hock product, unfortunately, which is all I ever wanted to do. After a year of trying to make it work, I turned in my faint hopes of remaining an Independent Beauty Consultant. If any of you fair readers out there have thought about entering into Mary Kay or want to do some serious research on the matter, check out Pink Truth. I won’t say more than that because I don’t want to discourage anyone who has actually found a way to make Mary Kay work for him or herself. This was just my personal experience, obviously.

In this recession we find ourselves in, business ventures and start-ups seem to be the hottest ticket right now. I know more than just a couple of friends who are working to make their side hobbies turn into full-time enterprises. Photographers, bloggers, bakers, candlestick makers, decorators, designers, Etsy store owners, you name it. It would be wonderful if we could all see our dreams through to fruition. I certainly hope to be one of them.

Shameless plug: and if anyone out there would like a photo session courtesy of yours truly….here’s where you can find me.

And into the weekend we go!

Update: I had to shutter ZV Image Creations in 2014 but I keep my portfolio on Flickr, as linked above.

And here’s another reason checks suck.

A friend of mine’s Facebook status message reminded me to develop this post. He may not think that this was sitting in my Drafts for a couple of weeks now, but it really has been!

Can we all agree that the check is to the finance industry as the cassette tape is to the music industry? It’s a dead technology! Yes, at one time, it was revolutionary. But it’s inconvenient, better money-swapping systems are in place now, and the biggest flaw of all is that the check relies on other human beings to take an action before the transaction is complete. In other words, you have to politely wait for a person to physically go to a bank and deposit the check and then you have to wait for more humans inside that bank to process the check. FAIL.

And what if something happens to the check that’s completely out of your hands? Checks get lost in the mail all the time. They’re easily forged or faked and if you even ask a retailer if they take checks, you get blank stares. Restaurants don’t even take checks anymore. They’re like, “Haha, nice try asshole. You’d have been better off if you dined and dashed.”

In this day and age of instant gratification, taking days or even weeks to have money taken out of your account is absolutely agonizing. When people used to write checks at the grocery store, they probably thought it was the most convenient thing ever because they didn’t have to take time out of their day to specifically go to the bank, guess at how much they needed to spend on food, take that money out, and then shop with it.

And why are checks still in existence? One reason. To pay rent.

Honestly, between debit cards and PayPal, I have no idea why it’s necessary for any of us to pay rent via check now. That’s the most galling thing ever. How come there is no solution for landlords to accept PayPal? If I were a landlord, I’d totally sign up for that shit. I’d tell all my tenants that hey, I don’t need to conduct a thorough credit/background/cavity check; if you have a PayPal account, it means you’ve gone through some legal system to prove you have a checking account and you can pay me rent. Plus, then it’d save ME from having to go to the bank and physically deposit checks. And let’s be honest, who has time for that? I have tweeting and Facebooking to do.

In all seriousness, the lack of common courtesy by most people to go to the bank and quickly cash personal checks is one of the most aggravating things on the planet. The issue is only exacerbated when a person asks you to pay them right away or sets a deadline and then that person sits on your check for weeks. Granted, if you keep up your balance book or can constantly deduct the amount from your checking account when you log in to check your balance (as I do), you’re okay. It doesn’t take away the aggravation, though.

If you have money to burn, you don’t worry about this at all. You’re one of those people we hand-to-mouth people detest because you’ll say things like, “Oh I never even noticed that my check hadn’t cashed!” Shutup.

Someone needs to FIX THIS and figure out a way for us rent payers (mortgage payers too? I have no idea) to use PayPal or something equally instantaneous and gratifying. Lastly, do you know how long it takes me to go through a single BOX of checks? Years. I just switched to a new box that finally has my correct address on it after three years of it having an address I lived in for a mere six months. Ridiculous!

If someone has an idea on how to overhaul this annoying process, I’d love to hear it. Death to checks!

No. You didn’t SEEN anything.

Um, can we talk about something serious for a moment?

There is an epidemic in this country – an epidemic of extremely, extremely ignorant grammar, speaking, and writing skills. I understand colloquialisms. I do! I say ’em, too. But when you write these things out as your actual manner of speaking, it just puts the nail in my tightass coffin.

I don’t like to preach a lot about grammar here and if I can help it, I won’t write another one of these for a long time, if ever again. But I can’t help it this time. No, it’s not the You’re vs. Your thing; which is appalling, by the way. “Your welcome” always makes me want to say, “But is it my welcome?”

The issue at hand is the misuse of the word “seen.”

Seen is a conjugation of the verb “to see,” which means that if you want to use it, you may do so in the present, past and future perfect voice. Which also means that there is always another verb in between subject and the word “seen.”

Examples:

  • You have seen
  • I had seen
  • We will have seen
  • They had seen

and so forth. There is absolutely NO conjugation that has subject + seen. None. Zip. Really! If you say, “I seen with my own eyes” or ask, “You seen it?” I strongly but gently advise you or your friend who does this to go back to elementary school grammar and brush up on this verb. (I won’t comment on, “You done seen it, too?”) I don’t know why this one thing in particular motivated me to write a post about it. I mean, yes, I can write bitchy rants, and I know that many people frown on those who take time to write stuff like this, but it just cooks my cactus – whatever that means.

It gives us, as Americans who speak English, an even worse reputation than we already have for being (proud) uneducated morons.

I am not without humor – clearly – so I am also posting one of my all-time favorite Friends scenes here with Ross and Rachel having yet another one of their epic fights, in which Ross corrects Rachel’s grammar in the letter she wrote to him. If for some reason you have never seen this, you’re welcome.

Thank you for reading my rant when you could have been doing any number of other things on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

Do you LOL?

When I was first chatting on the internet in my late teens – the late 90s – I remember when internet speak and acronyms burst onto the scene. If I don’t already feel old saying that, I surely will as the years pass.

I have to admit, I got caught up in it all in the beginning and I was ‘loling’ away. Even then, however, I noticed that there were those who would write “heehee” or “heh;” some dudes even did “HAAAAA.” For a little while I would use ROFL or LMAO or even the extreme LMGDMFAO, which is super nerdy, but it didn’t take long before I found a different system that totally worked for me and has until this day.

What I use is the Haha System. I’ve found haha and variations thereof works to signify actual laughter or appreciation of humor.

“Ha” is both a nod to something being said in jest but it also can be used in short sarcastic bursts, as well.

Haha is your go-to response. You can add this before or after any sentence as a way of saying, “Yeah totally.” Or, “I’m laughing at what I just said.” And lastly, “This was intended as a joke.” This is pretty crucial, if I do say so myself, since anything and everything can be misinterpreted in online chat or texting.

P's awesome laugh

A great example of genuine laughter.

Hahaha denotes real laughs coming now. A hahaha with an exclamation point is one step beyond that.

If I type, “HAHAHAHA,” this is the equivalent of LMAO. And anything beyond that – more hahas, exclamation points, bold, etc, I’m going crazy with laughter.

I dunno, it just works!

With the Lol System, it’s hard to tell – in my opinion – if a person actually thinks what you’re saying is funny, but particularly if a person overuses it. I suppose the overuse should tell you. If every time you say something and a person has no response or doesn’t know what to say and responds with “lol,” chances are it’s not actually funny. And this goes for, “haha,” as well!

Aside: I will refrain from going on too much of a tangent on notorious Conversation Killers but couldn’t help but put this in. Just know that if your only response to a person’s descriptive paragraph is, “Oh,” “I see,” or “I hear ya,” there’s hardly a good way to come back from that. If people say that to me in an online conversation, I flat out stop talking. Message received.

I’ve actually written back to people and said, “But are you laughing outloud?” Someone I know used to make fun of “lol” by pronouncing it like the word loll. So he’d exclaim, “Loll!!” to demonstrate how ridiculous he found this expression. I always had to laugh.

I think one tick in the plus column for the Lol System is that it is universally recognized. Everyone knows what you mean. Moreover, it’s more succinct. A LMAO doesn’t take up as much time or space as “HAHAHAHAHA.” Usually that would appeal to me, as I am a practical woman, but for whatever reason, I don’t use it. But I will use acronyms like FTW. I’m a big fan but I think it’s because I simply like the phrase, “for the win.” Anyway, this whole online laugh thing is totally a matter of preference. I’d love to hear from those of you who are devotees of the Lol System. (Paging Scott…)

I thought of one more reason I prefer the Haha System over the Lol System. I think for me, the alliteration with the Haha System says to the other person that I really do think something is funny, over using an acronym like ROFL. Because no one is actually rolling on the floor laughing.

Don’t forget about the people who refuse to use either system and have come up with their own way of doing things. I’d be fascinated to hear from someone who does that.

As always, thoughts/comments/feedback are welcome! Happy Wednesday, haha. (See what I did there?)

Wethead.

In order to test one of my own theories this morning, I decided to go to work without drying my hair.

Some of you may be gasping. Some of you may be shrugging.

Heretofore, I have always believed it to be a completely unprofessional look for people (read: women) to show up to work with a wet head. I know it’s a double standard and it sucks but if a man has short hair and shows up to work with his hair neatly combed but still damp, it looks nice. Plus, you know the guy has washed at least one part of his body.

Not so for women, unless you also have a short boy cut. Otherwise, it looks like you were in a hurry and/or too lazy to bother with your hair.  Normally I don’t judge stuff like this because I don’t regularly paint my nails, I don’t wear heels a ton, and really, I vacillate back and forth between being high maintenance and not. Some days I really take my time with my appearance and others, I walk out of the house with nothing but SPF lotion on my face. (Is this against Girly Girl Credo? More than likely.)

But for whatever reason, wet hair on a woman has always signified to me a real lack of professionalism and I don’t know from where it stems. It just doesn’t look right to me.

This morning, I was in a particular rush so I decided to wing it and go to work with still-damp hair. I was a little upset with myself for breaking my own judgment/rule but I really couldn’t lose another minute. I had even put some cream/mousse in my hair, hoping that it would dry with a nice tousled, effortless look.

Well, we reap what we sow, don’t we? My hair dried lifeless with not very much curl or body to it, so it ended up just looking like ass instead of fluffy and bouncy – or even shaped, for that matter. I ran a brush through it hoping to give it some oomph but I think that just angered it. In the end, the saving grace became tucking my hair behind my ears and that’ll just have to do. Now I know that when in doubt, although I don’t see why I’d be in doubt after this, always blow-dry my hair.

In my younger years, I used to put my longer wet hair into one French braid or two regular pig-tail braids and then my hair drying flat on top was fine. It was super cute. I wish I had a photo of that. (Note: if I find one such picture, I’ll come back and post it.) Then and only then is not blow-drying acceptable.

Edit: found the photo!

Me in my dorm sophomore year - webcam pic!

Heck, I’ll post a poll, since there is just a matter of opinion and perspective. Whatcha think?

I know I’ve learned my lesson.

May: the month of a gazillion birthdays

Compleanno
Well, we’re officially in one of my two favorite months of the year and so far, the first three days have been a doozy. Am I right or am I right or am I right?

I am getting close to knowing someone with a birthday on each and every day of this wonderful month. I don’t have children but if I ever get to that phase of my life, I’m going to wonder what is so special about the 9 months prior to May because it is baby and birthday explosion come May 1. I got my Facebook notification on Sunday night that told me I know six people on Facebook alone with birthdays in the first week.

My special day is 5-5, a very symmetrical birthday. I’m all about symmetry. Heck, this blog began on 8-8-08, incidentally. I have a cousin with my same birthday and I have met probably ten others who also share the May 5 birthday. Today is my dear friend Meg’s birthday and I know at least twelve more people with birthdays this month. I even know people with birthdays on the 6th, 7th, and 8th. It’s crazy!

Have I said the word  birthday enough?

May is the month of Taurus and Gemini. That’s right, I went there. I also am completely discounting the “new” astrology system because the 13th sign sounds ridiculous. I know it doesn’t change my sign because of the year but I still find it lame (as at least half the population does about astrology in general). I have a soft spot for astrology. I like figuring out which signs are supposed to be compatible with which and I have this book called The Secret Language of Birthdays which is a really cool personality profile based on everyone’s actual birth-day. Just saying, if you’re into this, this is a must-have book.

Aside from May being Birthday Month Extravaganza, it is also the month with Memorial Day and kicks off travel season. I am visiting a dear friend in Seattle for over five days at the end of the month and I am completely through and through stoked about it. I’ve only been to the Pacific Northwest once for vacation when I was a teenager and I was in Vancouver ten years ago but I have never explored the fine metropolis of Seattle. So Original Starbucks here I come!

I may not have mentioned my passion for coffee mugs, though I know I’ve talked about my being a coffee snob. I have an array of Starbucks mugs from various cities I’ve visited and I’m actually kind of excited to add to the collection. I had a fabulous mug from Paris from 2004 when I was there and it survived the trip back, and even many moves within New York City, but it was no match for Kevin, who accidentally broke it in my last New York apartment. I went to find a replacement and they were selling on eBay for like, $90 or something. C’est ridicule, ca! So yeah, that’s long gone. I’ll have to stick with Stateside mugs.* C’est la vie.

Any travel plans (or anything particularly exciting) this month? How many people do you know celebrating a May b-day?

*Edit: I received a replacement Paris mug that was, in fact, purchased for an obscene amount of money, and it happily sits in my kitchen cabinet with all of the other mugs I have amassed.

If anyone needs me…

I’ll be over on my Tumblr page posting and reblogging anything and everything to do with the Royal Wedding.

Kthxbai.