23 April 2009

I'm married!

Okay, not much more to say than the fact that I'm married, but it's really big news, so it deserves a post of its own.

I'm thinking of posting a bit of wisdom I acquired along the way in a separate post. In short, we managed to make a small wedding reception (for 50 people) at a really reasonable cost, without looking cheap. I say if you're smart, creative and can negotiate, money doesn't really get in the way. This example is impressive, but every couple has to find its own balance between wedding size and resources, as well as between contributing time and money. Here are more ideas.

I'm still waiting for the pictures and hoping to find one when you can see how great I look but not Husband's face because he doesn't want to be tagged on a picture on the interwebs. I'll let you know when I find one!

15 April 2009

What [not] to watch: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Looking for a bit of relax between school and wedding preparations, I decided to watch a movie and came across "Confessions of a Shopaholic". (On my to-watch list: Lisence to Wed and Bride Wars).

The movie is about a girl who is a shopaholic at the beginning, isn't anymore at the end, and becomes a financial journalist in between. It's light-hearted, but not really funny, and stupid, but not to a bang-my-head-against-the-wall degree.

A few cliches appear:

  1. Lying leads to funny situations.
  2. Lying always catches up on you, but things get fixed in 10 minutes. Mostly by themselves - just sit and cry.
  3. Prince Charming always appears next to you on the street when you need it the most but expect it the least.
  4. Lack of education isn't lack of competence, but a fresh point of view.
  5. The rich handsome guy is the one. He'll date someone else for a while, but that's just because he doesn't know he's the one yet. He'll find out soon, just wait.
  6. You'll have major achievements in your first month at your new job.
  7. Revenge is cool. (Hello? Hasn't our civilization gone a bit further?)
Well, I guess that if I'm so tired of those cliches, it's my fault, as I pick such movies. Still, it would be great to see something light-hearted (life is too much stress to watch stressful movies, as for me) but with... er... a fresh point of view! (Hey, why not hire a shopaholic to make your next movie?)

I still "learned" a few things from this movie.

For instance, getting out of debt is really easy. Just show yourself on national TV, speak about frugality and everyone will come running to shop for your stuff.

Also, you can get a job as a journalist without showing a piece of your work. Honestly, I wouldn't hire someone who hasn't got his own blog! Okay, maybe except if that person had good reasons... but anyone can start a blog, and you really get to show your best on yours. You have no boss to please and take full credit and responsibility for your words. Is there a better way of finding out if a journalist is worth hiring than reading his blog?

The biggest finding of all, actually, was that googling before writing an article is unethical. To me, not doing so would be. If you're speaking, listen as well! Besides, the blogosphere and other medias create kind of a world wide dialogue. If you're talking about some subject, please find out what others said about it recently. Don't rediscover the wheel.

Well... I'm a bit hypocritical right now. I haven't read a single review of that movie before writing one. But that's because I learned another valuable lesson: being hypocritical is okay (or will turn out okay, anyway). Kinda from the protagonist, who's giving financial advice between crazy shopping sprees, and kinda from the movie itself: the girl writes so well about personal finance, and yet the only lesson you get to learn watching is:
Don't shop. Ever.

Okay, maybe getting specific about credit cards would make the movie quite heavy, but hey! You have to dress and you have to shop. It's about doing it wisely and finding balance, not shooting yourself in the leg!

Whatever. I want that dress.

12 April 2009

Google is totally censored (and I don't mean Google China)

Google is totally censored - and I don't mean Google China. This screenshot from the original google.com proves it all:

Notice anything missing? Let me just say it gives 17,600,000 results, so it definitely belongs on the list.

07 April 2009

How long should e-mails be?

We've been taught in school to write beautiful long letters full of politeness. So, we assumed the same applied to electronic mail, as we're also communicating in writing, only the medium is a bit different. Well, I've recently come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is the exact opposite - keep e-mails short as can be.

Because I saw this comic:

And I wondered - what kind of e-mails do I prefer receiving? The shorties! Because I instantly know what's going on. And writing? Shorties too, of course. And I'm not the only one, apparently, as someone got quoted a lot recently for twittering:

my secret time saving email tip: change your desktop email signature to "Sent from iPhone" - then write 1 sentence replies! sshhh

Okay, so I prefer getting shorter e-mails, but does everyone? Professors, customers, strangers usually expect some more politeness than a "yes" or "no". But think of that person... he/she's most probably struggling with an overloaded inbox and will appreciate if you respect her/his time. Plus, if you use the little cheat above, you will suggest that you answered the e-mail as soon as you could, even if you weren't at your computer. Still, I'd consider a single word as rude, but bottom-line, there is a huge difference between e-mail and snail mail, and less is more.

04 April 2009

Random stuff

I haven't been blogging for a while (only going to school, moving, marrying - you know, the usual) and something deep in my heart tell me I should be getting back on the blogging train. So here I am, with lots of random stuff.

First, private life. I'm getting married in two weeks. Dress? Not ready. Dozens of pounds to me lost on that occasion? Not happening. (I blame the lifestyle. Losing weight is hard work, doing cardio is hard to start, as you need to get in shape a bit, and while I'm getting two degrees at a time, I'm really working hard and putting a lot of pressure on myself. Can't have it all.) But, I'm marrying a great guy, for the one and only right reason to marry, so I couldn't be happier.

I'm going to an Arabic-speaking country for my honeymoon. I'm so excited! I will finally learn to count and order food! And buy Al Jamila and many more magazines!

Silverlight 3 Beta is out and I know nothing about it, expect you need to have two development environments to work in both 2 and Beta 3 at once, which is really uncool as I work in 2 but would like to explore 3 because blogging about 2 is so yesterday. You can perfectly well develop for .net 2 having 3.5 installed and everything should work that way.

I bought a box of 5 albums by Kasia Kowalska.

And I wonder who buys that. I mean, either you're a fan, so you've got the albums already, or you're not, so you buy a "best of" or nothing, you don't spend that kind of money at once. Who does that?

I am super-motivated to procrastinate write my master paper just like the other grad students all over the world and the ones portrayed on Piled Higher and Deeper. It's scary how accurate these comics are, while the behaviors shown seem so irrational:

Please tell me I'm not like that! And don't ask how the paper is going, that would be rude.

Ok, enough for today, test coming up on Monday about lexical analysis.