Friday, March 14, 2008

Story - Cell Phone Killer

I am a Serial Cell Phone Killer. I never loose them, ever. But I can kill them with aplomb. I’ve been with Verizon for 8 years and I think I’m on my 20th phone or something like that. Some of the episodes are typical – like dropping the darn thing 50 times in a week – but some of the deaths are spectacular. Like driving over the phone. That one was horrifying… “Wait! I forgot my phone!” only to walk around to the front of the car and see little bits and a very flat keypad. Then we have the phone vs. the hot tub scenarios. I bet I lost a good 5 phones before I gave up talking on the phone while in the tub. The deal with that is that you can, if you are quick, take the battery out and dry them out. They will usually recover. The first time. Do it three days in a row, however, and you are done. Ear pieces help, but only if you can retain the part where you are still connected to the phone and do not suddenly decide to move to the opposite side of the tub, dragging the phone along with you. Cell phones cannot water ski any better than I can and tow rope or not, go down almost immediately.

While the cell phone can endure a certain amount of water, they cannot consume any caffeine at all. Coffee is instant death. Now while I would love to tell you I found this out by spilling my coffee on my phone, I have to admit it was a much more spectacular experience than that. I drive up to shoot a wedding, grab my gear and realize I have my cell. As I live in fear of my phone going off during a ceremony, I randomly toss it onto my seat where the damn thing bounces and lands, no lie, in the coffee cup between the seats. Dead. See? Absolutely amazing – couldn’t do it if I tried to do it, but – get this – I did manage to do it twice. Not once, but twice.

The second time was horrible – my son and I were on some incredible run where we had shot in LA, had to drive to Vegas to catch a plane to Dallas for another shoot, then back to Vegas so I could speak at this convention. With all this going on, it’s imperative for me to have my phone. I manage to play dunken donut for the second time in Texas where I cannot replace my phone for some reason and must return to Vegas to do so. I start using my son’s phone. When our plane lands in Vegas, I make a call while attempting to collect my gear – his phone slips off my shoulder when I get into the aisle and then, due to the stampede of high-hope Gamblers lining up behind me, I was forced forward and managed to step on the phone, taking out our second phone in two days. But I’m not done – l am on a roll. My boyfriend picks us up and out of necessity I take over his phone (I’m supposed to be speaking the next morning and there are lots of event and sound-type people needing to know I’m in the right state). This works for two hours until I leave it unattended for 7 seconds and it gets stolen. 3 for 3. Imagine trying to explain this to the Verizon guy the next day. “Hi – I need three new phones….”

Last year’s episode was sheer stupidity on my part (as opposed to the previous, which was sheer brilliance). My key pad numbers were sticking so I get the bright idea that you can clean this like you can a computer keyboard. You can’t.

And welcome to this years episode. Yes, here I am again. After dropping the phone eighty million times (my next phone is going to have a rubber suit – maybe even a rubber, waterproof suit) I managed to crack the corner of the phone making it a very precarious business – now requiring two hands and delicate handling. That worked for about an hour. Next thing I know, I have half the phone in my left hand and half the phone in my right hand. Murdered. Murdered while trying to explain to Verizon Wireless that I have, in fact, killed yet another phone.

So, the point of all this is, if you are trying to reach me on my phone – which if you are trying to book a shoot, you would be, you will hear a rather cryptic message on my end directing you to another number while I wait for my new phone. Rumor has it that will happen next week sometime when I qualify for my upgrade.

See, it seems that with my last contract renewal, I forgot to get phone insurance.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Story -Techno Attack

You know the old adage that trouble comes in threes, right? Well, I've come to the conclusion that irritating things come in twenty-twos and usually within the span of one short day.

These just seem to be the little facts of life. Yesterday would be a fine example of this theory. The day begins with a dead car battery. Dead because my headlights were left on. OK, you say, you are an idiot and you left your lights on. Well, not quite so much. See, I have a relatively new car and that isn't supposed to happen. When I turn the car off, the lights are supposed to go off too. Not this time. I worried that perhaps something was wrong with the ignition switch, but no. I have no idea how this fluke occurred, but now I'm really irritated. I NEED this feature because I'm FAMOUS for leaving my lights on in foggy San Francisco. Great, I have a feature I cannot trust.

As I'm jumping my car, the phone rings and its Verizon calling to let me know that I might want to switch to the endless minutes plan and I'm some thousand minutes over my current plan and the bill is to the moon. And, by the way a payment is due.

OK, have you ever talked to Verizon? The upside is that they might be one of the last corporations that actually have a human being working with you instead of a robot, but the downside is that they are really very, very, very thorough. So while my car battery is being re-charged, my cell battery is being drained as I'm hearing about every little thing under the sun and how I can use my phone to get directions if I go back to college and take three computer science courses. THEN while in the course of multi-tasking, I somehow manage to tweak the phone in such a manner as to break the top of the phone half way off and it now hangs by a thread and has no screen. Super.

Right about then my clients arrive and I have to abandon both projects. After that, I return to my main office and main computer to do some editing. Or not. Apparently I have a wavering hard drive. Now, while not my main hard drive, this is NOT a hard drive I want to loose, trust me. So we play the re-boot game which becomes massive. Once I finally get the thing up, I have to abandon my plans for the day in favor of burning DVD's like a mad woman to get my information off the stupid thing. I have two computers going in order to expedite this and there I am rolling my chair back and forth, re-booting the one about every five minutes and then the second one decides that while it will check the DVD to tell me the files are there, it will not show me the thumbnails until I reboot IT.

Alright, I know when I'm beat. So I go to call my computer guy... except that his number is in the cell phone with no screen. Oh happy day. Fortunately, I have my son's number memorized, and he works at Circuit City so I call him to see about getting me another phone. I'm really inept at things like that and its priceless to me that he is so good at it. However, seems I must make that payment first. Fine.

I go to look for my credit card and it is gone. Not gone as in stolen, gone as in somewhere on the desk with the 75000 DVD's spread all over the place from my earlier mania. Fine, I opt for the ATM card, call, go through the rigmarole and the card is declined. This puts me in a frenzy because, while I admittedly suck at balancing my checkbook, this would mean about a 2,ooo screw up, which is bad, even for me. So NOW I'm off to the bank. No, I'm fine down there and they have no idea why the card was denied. Back home, back to Verizon and then the dreaded moment happens - the phone falls completely apart. Done. Over. Bye-bye.

So NOW I get to dig through random files to find an old Verizon bill so I can call them back. I do, pay the bill, but not before I get a two hour run down on everything under the sun.

Then to my son. Yes, I can get a new phone, but if I wait until the 23rd I can get an upgraded phone. I couldn't care LESS about an upgraded phone, all I need is one that DIALS and shows me a screen. Then he tells me the upgraded phone will carry 200 of my images in it which I can use as a portable portfolio and now I care about the upgraded phone. Dilemma.

Seeing as the day is primarily shot, I decide to go in and work on the laptop and write my newspaper column. JUST because it can, it decides that the letter *t* is not going to work. Now, have you ever tried to type anything and avoid the letter *t*? I'm here to tell you that it is in the center of the keyboard for a reason.

OK, its become clear that the day is a wash, so I opt for the television set. This was a bad idea because I've recently switched companies and I don't understand my television anymore. I keep getting stuck on the Asian News, which is all well and good except not being Korean, its not really all that entertaining. I call and beg my boyfriend to come over and help me get to Bravo and content myself with Project Runway re-runs and get mad at them for booting Chris off the show all over again.

I go to bed, all to happy to end Black Monday.

Now, I am convinced that these things cluster together for a reason and intentionally. I got up this morning to deal with the letter *T* and you can see it is working. It just began working like yesterday never happened. The other computer is also in a better mood and miraculously, my computer guy found me and will doubtless save me. Can't say the same for my cell phone, but hey - small potatoes.

So the plan is for today to be a better day. My plan, anyway, we will see if the wide world of technology stays on my team or not.

HOWEVER - for the next week, use the office number not the cell. And, Elizabeth, Judy, Jonathan, Paul, Ana, Laura Kerr and Mo please call and leave me your phone numbers? You are in my cell only, so I can't reach you.

Thanks! office number is 707.987.8385

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Photo- Selene

Hey! This is Selene - she's in Junior High and she's my first shoot for my new studio special. Check out her slideshow at and remember, my shows take a bit to load because of the music which I STILL cannot figure out how to deal with. Its only a 45 second wait, but it feels like half your life.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Photo - Jillian and Chad

Here is Jillian and Chad - quite comically, she didn't think she would photograph well. I should have this problem with every bride of mine. LOL.
Hey missy - your site is up -
love you both!

Photo- Brady

Is he not just to die for cute? Here's your sneak peak, Mo! This calm little guy was absolutely fabulous to work with. And check the eyes! A family trait, I might add. I had a great time with him and the three women who are raising him. A very adored young man, I might say, but certainly a justified adoration.

Photo - Abigail, Austin and Reyhanna

Ah, Mr. Austin once again. This time we went out to play in the rain and the mud, which he found to be great sport. I was also treated to a great showing of how Spiderman would handle an umbrella. I loved it, just loved it. He is doubtless one of my favorite little boys.
Miss Abigail. I almost dropped my jaw when I saw how much this child had changed in a year (She's on the front page of my website, the one with the great hat). But the only thing that has changed is her looks (which is good, one cannot look like a one year old forever. Might be kinda disconcerting at the prom). She is still the queen of spunk and personality. And as pretty as ever.

Reyhanna, their cousin. Another one that looks worlds different, although its been a couple years since I've seen her, so it didn't take me by surprise so much. Wild curly brown hair and quite the dancer. I about died laughing when I saw her getting down with her bad self. I've never seen anything quite so cute.