about a month into my new job and i’ve already survived my first solo business trip…to charming georgia.
very quickly, i noticed a few things about these georgians:
-nobody has front license plates. (conspiracy.) *except for the prop nyc cabs that were out for the filming of anchorman 2*
-the women are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. (conspiracy.)
-on every corner, there are one of three things:
1) chick fil-a
2) waffle house
3) a church, usually baptist.
(although by looking at all the chick fil-a ads on the tops of buildings,
sides of cars, and plastic cow-adorned billboards, you’d think chick fil-a
was the kim jong-il of georgia)
…and if that doesn’t scream conspiracy to you, i don’t know what would.
-manners. i’ve never gotten so many ma’am’s in my life. old women will leave their spot in line at the diner if they see a fluff of lint on your hat.
-diversity. beautiful, refreshing diversity. at least in atlanta. (i’m pointing my finger at you, oregon.)
-huge houses. for instance, i was invited to someone’s house, who i shall not name here…but their neighbor is usher. you’d never know, because everyone seems to have a mansion. (again, conspiracy.)
-lots of old men on tractors wearing cowboy hats? if any special agents out there are reading this, i’ll pretend i don’t know about this signal.
-every street is peachtree street. every business is peachtree motors, peachtree paper company, peach tree gymnastics…every school is peachtree school. peachtree everything! really hard to find an actual peach tree, however. had to get lost in rural wonderland to find one of those. special agents, i’ll try to let this one slide too.
in case you didn’t know, i have a tradition of taking bathroom selfies in airport bathrooms. it’s the only time and place i do, just to be extra ridiculous. bonus points if other ladies are caught gaping with confusion and reproach in the background.
my friend roxy lives in the atlanta area—hadn’t seen her in five years! so naturally, we met up a couple times and took a gander around the city. on my last night, we stayed up singing for hours. nope, that was a lie…hours of laughter, punctuated by singing. video to come…
^eddie’s attic, the reason for john mayer’s fame. ^doesn’t piedmont park uncannily resemble central park? more conspiracies!
^ and atlantic gateway looks too much like l’arc de triomphe? i’m telling you, atlanta is a hodge podge of portland, london, paris, san francisco, and manhattan. it was the closest thing to teleportation i’ll ever experience. or, again, it’s all a big conspiracy.
^roxy has five birds, hashtag putabirdonit. they cuddle, kiss, and one even sings the star wars theme song! that was definitely a trip highlight. and that bird is definitely a spy.
i didn’t get to sleep a whole lot—- ^ too much pressure and excitement!…and missing tyler, gretel, + gertie. big time.
after the layover from hell en route to portland, the details of which could only seem imaginable in the chimera of SNL scriptwriters (because the airport spies didn’t want me leaving atlanta with all their top secrets), i think it’s safe to say i conquered the modern-day business woman’s work trip.
georgia, it’s been real. (that, or a series of conspiracies disguised as quirkdom)
this is why gertie rarely makes it to the blog. she really detests the whole take-pictures-of-your-life-for-the-world-to-see-like-anybody-cares thing. she finds it obnoxious. don’t you dare come near her with any lens-sporting devise.
so basically, gertie has a severe case of blogger’s cat.
oh hi wanna snuggle?
wait…is that a camera? nevermind-i hate you.
and you know what? i get where she’s coming from. it’s too dang cumbersome to take pictures of life every day and create artful posts of them (that i can be proud of.) i hereby release myself from feeling any pressure to take pictures of life every day.
i do not understand how the big-timers do it. especially those with kids! do they live in this microcosm where life is only lived for photo-ops, page views, and curating posts in order to fit a certain aesthetic or appeal to a base readership?
*i am not talking about people who share “normal” life; i am referring to people who only share the parts that look glamorous and picture-perfect, where each shot looks like it took staging and plenty of throwaways before attaining the blog-worthy capture…the ones who never sport workout clothes and wouldn’t be snapped sorting laundry…the ones who open up about their bad days just as comments like “but that was just a tiny moment. i really am so blessed!” usher in. no sign of insecurity, no sign of ongoing stress. shiny, happy, perky.*
do they spree-shop for new outfits and goodies in order to look “on” and hip all the time? do they switch out their nail color at the sight of one chip? exhausting! blog posts take a lot of time and energy if you want good content. and then the ones who constantly upload to instagram, vine, twitter, & pinterest on top of that? how do they not get lost in the cyber abyss? too much screen time makes this girl unhappy. to each his or her own!
maybe (not maybe) i’ve just slowly morphed into a crazy cat lady who is starting to take on the personality of her feline friend. or maybe (not maybe) right now, i’m tired of the blogging world. am i now realizing how vapid much of it is? how contrived? something feels icky to me.
in order to keep this blog authentic, i am going to try posting three times a week, instead of getting down on myself because i am not posting every other day like the successful bloggers out there.
now, i’m working full time, slowly training for a marathon, learning the banjo, hanging out with family and friends (and i don’t want to be the person who always has to post every freakin’ meet-up) and working on other matters of personal and spiritual progress. those things will always come first to me.
i want to use the interwebs to share life…not use life for sharing on the interwebs. ya know?
just know that if you see an “artsy” picture here on the blog, it’s purely for the fun of making art and being creative. i promise. we strive to keep it real ova here at zealously zika :)
maybe my tune would be a little different if blogging was a paid gig, but this is my hobby, my online scrapbook/diary that is first and foremost intended for future children and grandchildren and so on…
i’ve got a serious case of cat’s blogger right
(and no, i don’t care that the images in that gif are different sizes. life isn’t seamless and flawless so why should this blog be?…hence the off-center blog header that i can’t seem to fix.)
lollipops and pies
burgers, soup & fries
just taste better, darn it
…somewhere between 3 & 4 am.
when tyler and i were dating as teenagers, our favorite hangout was a 24-hour cafe, “harbor house,” in sunset beach, california. to our dismay, portland doesn’t seem to be keen on sober night owls like us: heavy on the bars, light on the around-the-clock diners. people here prefer their owls on sweaters and coffee mugs only. hipsters. :)
little did we know…about 10 minutes away from our place is “bannings!” it’s a 24-hour cafe that offers organic and in-house-prepared grub! …not a lot of vegan options, but i make do.
so we’ve been there about 6 times since we discovered it last week. at the craziest times! and on weekdays!
why not? we don’t have kids! and while tyler and i work opposite schedules, we’ve gotta do whatever it takes to get that quality time in. as long as i can squeeze in a nap between our late-dates and work, i’m happy as can be!
we sit in the booth by the window so we can wave to gretel, who is always perkily perched at the dashboard wagging her tail at us. of course, we have a ritual of ordering her a little somethin-somethin so we can take it out to her mid-meal to say, “thanks for waiting for us, little sweetie!” (this is the song we imagine she sings in the car while we’re dining)
i may be a 22 year-old married woman (ridiculously old, i know), but whenever we decide to mosey on over to bannings for a late-date rendevous, i still feel like i’m that 16 year-old being courted by the studly surfer college boy who did no good for my curfew. it’s that feeling of being a little rebellious without really doing anything rebellious, ya know? (going to the cafe at 3 am in high school felt soooo dangerous!) i love our late-dates.
because lollipops and pies
burgers, soup & fries
just taste better, darn it
…somewhere between 3 & 4 am.
*this post is not appropriate for cynics of happy marriages*
last night this morning, i heard keys rattling at one a.m. because tyler’s new work schedule is straight-up funky.
even though i roll out of bed at six for work, i always wait up to greet him. never want to miss a minute with this guy.
well, he arrived fully stocked with coconut water + a green “naked” juice + organic salt & vinegar chips (my 3 favorite things right now), climbed into bed to cuddle with me and the furries, and whispered with such candor, “i love you. i love everything about you. i love our marriage. let’s make it last forever.”
the other day, while i was at work, he deep cleaned our home & car, even taking care to arrange new “mr. & mrs. zika” pictures in various nooks & crannies.
tyler hosted a guy’s night at our place this tuesday. it ended laaaate and i had work within the hours thereafter. for that, i’ve been promised foot rubs every night for a week. (in that case, it’s okay hun, you can throw aaaaallll the parties you want!)
recently, i ruined clothes by leaving lipstick in the pocket of some article of clothing in the laundry basket. feeling utterly loathsome, i put in a few extra hours at my office & used the money to surprise him with a bundle of new (better) clothes. it almost embarrassed him, the idea that i wanted to compensate! he returned the clothes, citing that the money should go towards something like a nice dinner date instead. there was no changing his mind about it.
when i’m disrespected or hurt by people near and dear to my heart, wreaking havoc on my uber-sensitive soul, (it can make a girl act a little crazy, ya know?) tyler goes above & beyond to help me snap back into my usual cheery/make-a-silly-song-and-dance-out-of-everything self. he is the sugar that transforms my lemons into lemonade. sweetest man i’ve ever known! i am so thankful for him!
tyler, i love you. i love everything about you. i love our marriage. let’s make it last forever.
the last blog post was all about my new career path, but now, it’s tyler’s time to shine. today, i am sharing an equally exciting, glorious, downright epic bit of news regarding tyler’s job.
behold, i present to you…
the bioengineering lab tyler works for finally perfected the technology, making him the first ever cyborg—-the first viable test specimen to complete the process! don’t worry, he can still revert back to full homo sapien-hood if he takes special pills. you read it here first, but be sure to check the news stands tomorrow.
okay, fine, i kid. sorry to let y’all down. just had to share that symbolic illustration our artist friend made for tyler. so creative, right?
…wasn’t kidding about the job news, though!
people of the blogosphere, introducing…the one…the only…
tyler zika, employee of the month!
well played, husband. well played.
(totally upstaged me)
(and yes..this is the actual picture he submitted…all of his own creation. it currently hangs in a very public place.)
i have a job!
my first job with a fancy shmancy college degree.
you’re looking at a marketing content associate.
i’ll be working on the tenth floor of that building behind me
in my own office!
(the picture is obviously a shameless car selfie—-taken immediately after accepting the offer)
i’ll be writing bi-weekly press releases, editing/writing content, implementing seo and social network marketing strategy, aiding campaigns, traveling to conferences…
now jump back to december, when i blogged about submitting my final dissertation before completing my b.a. requirements. then, i hadn’t the faintest clue how long it would take to land a dream job. would it be 6 months? a year?
the time has arrived.
i couldn’t be more thankful or excited! pinch me!
by the way, today is my first day.
(and no, this is not an april fools joke.)
pleasepressrepeat asked: I love your posts and you are so beautiful!
well aren’t you the sweetest! thank you so so so so much! i really appreciate you reading and enjoying my content. it brings me so much joy to share happiness and inspiration with others. you are a doll <3 <3 <3
yesterday, i got the chance to meet a sweet, plump, & wooly lamb. (can you hear my heart still fluttering?) so naturally, he made it into this “happy easter” post, though i fully recognize that today has little to do with cute baby animals. (at least in my view)
also, no animals or animal products will be eaten in tonight’s family feast. aunts, uncles, cousins, mothers…we’re all still going vegan-strong over here!
today is set apart to reflect upon god’s creations…like sweet baby animals, spring flowers, family members…anything…but mostly, his ultimate gift to us is jesus christ. today, (with a little pagan historical collusion) we celebrate the gift of eternal life through the son. if you don’t believe in such religious/spiritual matters, perhaps take this day to count your blessings anyways. this blog is for believers from all sects and backgrounds. :)
happy easter to all <3
p.s. if you really really love baby animals as much as i do, you will enjoy this video of my favorite easter prank ever. enjoy!
brought to you by the foundation of messy hair,
tyler zika’s iphone,
& the talented becca mckenzie,
who created this
one-of-a-kind quote book
and snail-mailed it
i do treasure this book of things that make you go, “oooo!” and “hmmm” and “whaaaa?”
…full of impressions that simmer at the base of your cortex, until your subconscious boils with anxiousness to experience the burst of new revelation that will undoubtedly occur upon spotting a random artifact at the thrift store or hearing lyrics in a new way. right then and there, things start to collide into epiphany. that’s what art, especially quirky art, does for me. it pushes me to see the world beautifully impaired and unexpectedly re-defined.
…combine that with springtime nature, a fun dress, and and an inquisitive mission to discover all the quirky & lovely things of this world…(+ throw in a camera) and you’ve got one happy person over here.
thank you so much becca. i love it i love it i love it! i hope my readers will too!
yesterday, we took a day trip to the oregon coast…more specifically, my great-grandmother’s house. (remember this?) she lives on a cliff overlooking a couple super-secret-private beaches. it’s rare to have an entire beach to yourself on a sunny day…especially in oregon…so we did our best to make the most of it: “zealously zika” is the name of this blog, is it not? :)
i think we had a little too much fun for one day, because we slept over twelve hours upon arriving home…whoops!
here’s some moments from our day that the film above doesn’t feature:
may 2011: my best college friends & i planned a co-ed road trip to havasupai with our men. one wrong exit & a series of communication mishaps later, we somehow ended up at the grand canyon with only one male, my husband.
and it was awesome:
-ghetto-fabulous cowboy hotels
-hot tub talks under a starry charcoal sky
-and then there were those caribou that blocked the roads a few times & practically ordered their dinners at a mcdonald’s drive-thru
-…aaaaand the rabbit i ran over on the highway (still feeling uber guilty about that)
-exploring charming desert townettes along route 66
-all-around basking in the grandiose allure of the grand canyon.
maybe this year we’ll get around to that havasupai trip, although tahoe and mammoth are also contenders in our brainstorming pool.
as evident from this trip, however, it doesn’t really matter where we end up. there’s just nothing like road trips with loved ones. (oh, and here’s a more recent road trip post)
it’s the last day of february, folks
…so that means my husband is 25!
actually, he’s a leap year baby
so we’re celebrating any day we want.
last night tyler opened his gifts from me:
& today we took out the ‘ole camera
for some fun birthday shots:
happy birthday to my tyler robert zika.
the world is lucky to have had
a quarter of a century
with you in it. <3
this valentines day, i am reflecting on a simple truth:
unfortunately, if i listed all the reasons why this is true, it would drag on longer than the twilight series, and nobody cares that much about our love. i fully accept that. interspecies, fate-ridden vampire/human hookups are so much cooler and much more important than real life, functioning romance. (heavy self-deprecating sarcasm there) since i’ve had this man in my life for six years, i’ll list six reasons why life is better with my everyday valentine:
1) i have a partner for eternity. (and i didn’t even have to turn into a vampire!) since the age of sixteen, i’ve wanted him, naively believing he could be my forever love. not a day goes by that i don’t marvel at how this lovestruck idealism became a reality. life is better when you’re living out the dreams of your young heart. and we still have so much to look forward to!
and by the way, when i say partner, i mean partner. this man has stuck by me through hell and back. he puts up with my every quirk and flaw with wondrous equanimity. naturally, from ages 16-22, i’ve changed a lot. it’s beautiful having a partner to learn and grow with through stages of life, especially these early ones. i’m thankful i found him so soon in life.
2) nobody knows me better than he does, and he can say the same. there’s something to intimate and safe about that. before meeting tyler, i wasn’t so comfortable with anyone. (notable mention: it’s wonderful not having to hold in one’s flatulence to preserve that pre-commitment poise)
3) i have an audience for my 24/7 singing. (it’s like breathing, i can’t help it.) so when i’m dancing through the hall with a towel on my head and belting a made-up jingle about $2 shampoo, i don’t feel as dorky about it.
4) we make each other better people. tyler is the much better person, so i suppose i’m the main beneficiary of this concept.
5) in nearly every way, tyler and i are opposites, but our dreams are shared. i married a man who wants the same things as i do, exactly…even down to the eventual teeny tiny sustainable living farm house with 25+ animals & brood of kids, hopefully including foster/adoption. also, we both would love to live in iceland (maybe in 50 years when we’re retired?). i should probably do a blog post some time on all the eccentric dreams we share, that only soul mates could possibly agree upon. :)
lip service love service. it’s each other’s joy to create reciprocal happiness. the big things, the little things, the surprises…it’s what the good stuff of life is made of!
happy valentines day to everyone! i hope you’re reflecting on the love you are so blessed to have, even if it’s not all ooey-gooey and gross ;)
when it comes to inspirational
quotes people anecdotes anything, i’m a hopeless addict. yup, i seek out inspiration everywhere i go & in everything i see, to the annoyance of many loved ones, who probably wish i’d stop hyper-analyzing everything. what can i say, i am a true believer that everything, and i mean every. little. thing., as mundane and insignificant as it may seem on the surface, has beautiful layers of meaning to be excavated and applied.
naturally, as an effect of this avocation, my phone is brimming with self-made memes. if i see something that speaks to me in an inspiring or meaningful way, i want to capture it.
it’s selfish not to share a couple:
obviously, the message here is to form your own line, even if it’s you’re the first and last one standing. aim higher, magnify your individuality, and explore a new perspective.
when i saw this patch of daisies, i got so giddy. then, i realized, how profound! there was only one patch of adorable daisies in an expansive field and i was drawn to it. why is that? i want to believe it’s more than the superficial fact that daisies are my favorite (okay, tied with sunflowers.)…but that it also has to do with the reflexive qualities of the endorphine-inducing act of standing among them. by reflexive, i mean mathematically: “a relation in which each element is in relation of itself.” put another way, the positive feelings and observations i contrive from being in the middle of those flowers, becomes absorbed into my psyche. i kind of take what i like about them with me for the rest of my day.
this experience reminded me that sometimes, it’s okay to be a part of the group (unlike the message portrayed by the “be that bird” meme). everyone needs a sense of community, and you are only as wonderful as the company you consistently keep. choosing positive influences is key.
this idea is a nice segway into the most recent meme creation, from when i was shopping at a children’s toy store. immediately, i was struck by these three hanging globes:
let me explain: of course, everyone has a different experience in life. some view the world as a dangerous, hideous place replete with corruption and tragedy. others exist in the world blissfully unaware of the negativity plaguing earth’s every nook and cranny. many see the world as an experiment in happiness, a conglomerate of stardust and asteroids, a canvas of divine design, a community of knowledge and collaboration, a maze of expedition, a test of moxie, a springboard of service and sacrifice…
all of these are valid perceptions. it’s up to each of us to choose the kind of world we want to live in, because perception is reality. once we choose how to view the world, we can truly secure our identities, strive towards our goals, and make this world a better place according to our view.
and all that came out of three plastic, distinct globes. i won’t get into my extrapolations on their varying sizes/styles/heights…this is probably already feeling like a lecture. sorry.
it’s beautiful how much wisdom one can gain from the littlest facets of the human experience.
i hope this inspires someone out there to open the lock to “philosophical” observation. it’s free and good for the soul. <3