Friday, September 23, 2011

Professor Bonnie, Doesn't Get Nerdier Than That

No blog posts in two and a half months? Yeah, that's what happens when you take a second job and get cast in a theater production at the same time.

Beginning this fall, I am an adjunct lecturer in OSU's School of Media and Strategic Communications. So in addition to my normal job, I'm teaching two lectures and one writing lab each week.

It's kind of awesome and kind of terrifying a the same time. My co-teacher and I didn't have a lot of time before the semester to prep (hence the terrifying), but it is all kinds of nerdy fun to teach a college class.

Here are just a few of the totally awesome things about my new job:
  • Even though I told them they could call me Bonnie, some of the students call me Professor Cain-Wood. It's all I can do to not laugh at them.
  • I'm going to be a complete pro by the end of the semester.
  • I wrote a syllabus. It was so much fun, nerdy, nerdy fun.
  • They are actually paying me to do this. (I would have done it for free. Shh, don't tell)
  • They are letting me do it again. I'm already scheduled to teach the class again next semester, and it's going to be so much easier the second time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pig Personality Test

I've been going to a series of training for the Leadership Development Program at OSU. Sounds pretty fancy, but basically it is How to Be a Supervisor at OSU. I've learned all kinds of great stuff, mainly about how to not get sued by my employees.

I went to a session last semester on communication skills. Our presenter started out with a strange little personality test. I'd never taken this particular one before. So, I'm going to invite you to take it along with me, and I'll use my test as the example.

Start by taking out a blank piece of paper. Now, draw a pig. Yeah, weird, I know, but that is all the instructions you get. No peeking ahead! You go draw; I'll wait here.

Ready? Ok.

Here's my piggy.

  1. Where is the pig in proportion to the page? Mine's in the top left corner.
    Toward the top of the paper, you are positive and optimistic. That's me!
    Toward the middle, you are a realist.
    Toward the bottom, you are pessimistic, and have a tendency to behave negatively.
  2. Which direction does your pig face? Mine is facing straight ahead.
    Facing left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember dates (birthdays, etc.)
    Facing right, you are innovative and active, but don't have a strong sense of family, nor do you remember dates.
    Facing front (looking at you), you are direct, enjoy playing devil's advocate and neither fear nor avoid discussions. Yeah, that sounds about right.
  3. How detailed is your drawing? I guess mine is fairly detailed. He has a little house and a sun.
    With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful. Yea, probably so, although this one doesn't sound so nice.
    With few details, you are emotional and naive, you care little for details and are a risk-taker.
  4. How many legs does your pig have? I tried really hard to draw my pig with just 3 legs, you know, perspective and all, but in the end it bothered me and I quickly added in the fourth leg. Because, pigs have four legs!
    With less than 4 legs showing, you are insecure or are living through a period of major change.
    With 4 legs showing, you are secure, stubborn, and stick to your ideals. Um, yeah, me again.
  5. How big are the ears? Ugh, another relative question. I think my pig's ear are just the right size. Not big, not small, just average.
    The size of the ears indicates how good a listener you are. The bigger the better. I guess that means I'm average.
  6. How long is the pig's tail (if there even is one)? Seriously? it's long enough! Our presenter said if it has 3 or more curls, then it's a long tail. Ok, fine, my pig has a long tail.
    The length of the tail indicates the quality of your sex life. Again more is better. Um, no comment.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Colorless and Mushy? Sounds Delish.

I'm now two months into my adventure in adult orthodontia. A lot of the things that bothered me at first have subsided. I don't lisp anymore and my mouth doesn't feel like it's full of razor blades.

One thing, really the only thing, that is still really annoying about the InvisAlign is how incredibly difficult it is to snack. You're not suppose to take the trays out any "more than necessary," and you're suppose to keep them in 22 hours a day. Add in the time it takes to brush both your teeth and the trays every time you take them out and you find yourself labeling a lot of food "not worth the effort of eating."

For me this is totally bizarre. I love food. And, I am not myself when I get hungry. Seriously, you won't like me when I'm hungry.

Luckily, I can drink "cool, colorless" things. So, I've decided if it doesn't require chewing, that's the same things as drinking. I went on a quest for colorless, mushy (hopefully, yummy) snacks to help get through the next 10 months. I'm really more of a crunchy snack kind of gal, that's why it took 2 months for this idea to occur to me.

So far, I've stocked my snack cabinet with applesauce, vanilla pudding and jello. Any more ideas? Help me out! I need things that require absolutely no chewing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Healthy Campus Initative Just Got Awesomer

On and off for the last decade plus I have worked at OSU, I have shelled out for a membership at either the Colvin Center (our massive student gym) or the Wellness Center (our small employee gym). I hate choosing between the two. Both are great in different ways.

The Colvin has greater quantity and more kinds of equipment, but much bigger crowds. The Wellness is small, but very clean and rarely crowded. The Colvin has better hours, but lately the Wellness has won out because exercising with the 50+ crowd makes me feel better than exercising with all 18-year-olds.

Now, thanks to OSU's healthy campus initiative I don't have choose and even better I don't have to shell out! The Colvin and Wellness are consolidating and employees get free membership. That's two kinds of awesome.

I appreciate that OSU publicly states a mission to be the healthiest campus in the nation. More than that, I appreciate all the things they do to make that happen: being tobacco-free (well, mostly), healthy(-er) food options, free health screenings, supplemented health insurance, group exercise events. But this, free gym access, has been a long time coming.

Thanks, OSU! My tush and my wallet thank you too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Couldn't Say It Better Myself

After this week's announcement of the death of Bin Laden, I have steadily become more and more disappointed with the reactions of the American media and citizens. Although, I try to keep my blog fairly apolitical (my husband would say that's impossible because everything is political), I had decided I wanted to blog about my own reaction here.

I wasn't quite sure where to start. As I was organizing my thoughts on this topic, I came across this article. It says it perfectly. It's everything I wanted to say here.

The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death by Pamela Gerloff, Ed.D.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Mixed Reaction to UK PR Stunt

If the blog decides to hate this embed, you can view it via YouTube

I love a good PR stunt, a fact I occasionally document here on the blog. It's difficult to plan a good one, one that goes far enough to get attention and not be lame, but not so far that you damage your reputation by being unprofessional. To make matters more complicated, everyone draws that line in a different place.

That brings me to the mixed reaction I have over the PR stunt above. I read about this in PR Daily. Basically, PR pro, Charlotte Horsfall, posted a video to the company's YouTube channel begging a reporter to feature her client MyVoucherCodes Mobile App. The media didn't seem impressed, tweeting things such as "Clearly only one way I can respond to @charlotteyeti's plea. Video camera is out..." and "@KieranAlger Whatever you do don't feature @CharlotteYeti's client."

My initial reaction: Posting a video plea seems really unprofessional, and if you aren't getting coverage, the better tactic seems to be to ask yourself why. Then I watched the video, and maybe I was wrong about it. She is obviously poking fun at herself, it's not a serious grovel. And I'm left wondering if the fuss over her actions will actually land her client considerable coverage (I certainly opted to give them plenty of linky-love in my description).

Some are applauding the stunt, the first comment on the YouTube video suggests this is award-worthy. Still, was it worth it? When this little stunt blows over, she is going to be left trying to pitch to same the reporters who were slamming her actions on twitter. I think the real test of success lies in whether she burnt any bridges with the media she depends on to get her job done.

What do you think, thumbs up, thumbs down? Charlotte, if you're reading, I'd love to hear your personal take on it.

APR Tuesday Tip: Out puts, takes, growth and comes

If today's title left you head scratching, then you're not alone. I came across the evaluation concept of outputs, outtakes, outgrowth and outcomes while I was studying for my APR. I brought it up in a study session; no one knew what I was talking about. But, because I was a total OCD PR geek when I was prepping for the test, I added it to the study cards.

And you know what? It was on the test. It was on there in that sneaky if-you-don't-know-this-then-you-don't-even-know-they-are-asking-it kind of way a lot of things are on the test.

Front: Outputs

Back: Part of the evaluation concept of out-puts, takes, growths and comes

Short-term results of a piece. Focus is on how well org. presents itself and amount of exposure. Ex: placements or impressions.

Front: Outtakes

Back: Part of the evaluation concept of out-puts, takes, growths and comes

Measure of effectiveness focusing on audiences receiving, paying attention, understanding and then retaining and recalling.

Front: Outgrowths

Back: Part of the evaluation concept of out-puts, takes, growths and comes

Culminate effect of all pieces on positioning of org. in the minds of stakeholders.

Front: Outcomes

Back: Part of the evaluation concept of out-puts, takes, growths and comes

Long-term measure of effectiveness by focusing on changing opinions, attitudes and/or behavior as a result of a campaign.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Brace Yourself

After years of prodding from my dentist, months and financially planning and weeks of waiting for delivery, I finally started Invisalign braces this week. I'm so glad to be official started. The process will take a year (paying it off will take much longer), and the sooner I get started the sooner I'll be done.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, instead of traditional wire braces, you shift your teeth by using a series of clear retainer-like trays. You wear the trays 20-22 hours a day and take them out only to eat and brush. This, it turns out, is an even bigger hassle than I anticipated. I expect it'll get much easier though.

Observations so far:
  • Ouch. Today I almost spit out a piece of broccoli because it hurt too much to eat it. If I had been alone I probably would have. It didn't occur to me until the day before that this would probably hurt. It does, but after seeing so many friends have braces, I don't think it hurts as much as that seemed to.
  • Some people still need anchors, usually just couple. I got 11! I keep seeing them referred to as "buttons." Not exactly, buttons are cute. This is more like my teeth now have teeth. The upside of these is that it makes having the trays out pretty uncomfortable, so I want to put them back in as soon as I'm done eating.

  • I'm definitely going to lose a few pounds. See first 2 points.
  • I notice them, a lot. I can see them in the mirror, and I feel like I have a horrible lisp. No one else seems to notice much. Maybe they are just being nice.

  • From a few feet away, they really are basically invisible, which is exactly what I was going for.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

APR Tuesday Tip: Steps in Crisis Management

Last week, my good friend Dustin Pyeatt came to speak to the OSU PRSSA. They asked him to talk about crisis communications and I couldn't have picked a better person to present on this topic.

Crisis comm is the kind of thing you learn by doing. Talking with Dustin over the years has really helped me put my limited crisis experience in context and figure out what I learned from those crises.

Dustin and I are on the same page about one key thing: Crisis communication plans are BS. I think they are a great exercise, and I recommend writing one at least once, especially if you've never worked a crisis. But when crisis hits, that plan goes out the window. What will come in handy is a toolkit of key information and resources saved in multiple formats that you can access remotely: contact lists for key personnel and media, release templates (not the fill in the blank type, but simple masthead and boilerplate style), remote web server access and SM account passwords.

You can't anticipate the details of a crisis, that's why it is a waste of time to develop a detailed crisis plan. Very little stays the same. Today's APR Flash Card covers that little bit.

Front: Steps in Crisis Management (5)


  1. Determine type of crisis; response depends on type and duration.

  2. Assign priorities based on urgency and likelihood.

  3. Draft Q&A and resolutions for possible scenarios

  4. Focus on what to do and what to say in the first hours.

  5. Develop strategy to contain and counteract, not react and respond.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

You Can't Make This Up: Political Doggie Toys

When you are married to a political scientist certain things come along with the territory, like pop quizzes on Constitutional amendments and pre-election briefings on candidates and questions. Evidently, political themed doggie toys are also included in the package.

You wouldn't think there would be such a variety, but surprisingly there is. Right now, Boogie Woogie has both a stuffed Uncle Sam and squeaky (how appropriate) lobbyist. That's right, a squeaky lobbyist. It's one of her favorites.

We got this one when John was working with the Oklahoma Ethic Commission on gift reform. He couldn't resist it and he still gets a good chuckle every time he goads Boogie to "Get the lobbyist! Get him!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

John On Camera

Between attacking ethics guidelines for state government (or the lack thereof) to leading some of the most active student groups on his campus to running for city office, my darling husband John seemed to find himself on camera fairly often. That's where being married to a PR pro comes in handy for him.

We've done a number of pre- and post-interview media training. Looking at this, I can see so much improvement from his first on-camera interview years ago. The big thing I worked on with John (and that he nailed here) is knowing where they are shooting you (cut at the waist, shoulders etc.) and staying inside your "box."

John talks with his hands, so sitting this still while still seeming so natural comfortable and articulate is awesome. If you are a hand-talker (I know I'm guilty!) then just give it try. Sit on your hands and try to make a coherent point. It's hard!

Each of the Councilmen did a "Quality of Life" video. John's was the first one posted because he was the only one that needed no editing. That's my little media darling.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm the Weiner!

This is me and Sheila, who has been my boss for the last 10 years. Because Sheila also happens to be the the Dean of Libraries, she was the one who presented me with the Outstanding Library Staff of the Year Award. Go me!

Really, go Jackie, for being so awesome and supportive and actually nominating me. (as Dean, Sheila isn't allowed to nominate). Jackie is a great friend and mentor, so it means a lot that the nomination came from her.

It was a super awards day for the Bonnie-pire too! Marissa was one of our Wise Outstanding Students Assistants, the highest honor given to a Library student employee.

And Darron received the first Wise Graduate Fellowship. For now, this is the only graduate fellowship at the Library. I may not be Darron's direct supervisor, but I want to count him as part of the Bonnie-pire just the same. He has worked in my department for 4 years and has come to me for help on school, work and extra-curricular projects. He's a super amazing talent who is totally going to change the world changing the world.

Blast from the Past: Years 12-15

Where did ages 10-11 go? I don't know; they didn't end up on my phone. That was around the time Sarah was born. Maybe no one took a picture of me then. I was terribly neglected when Sarah was born, you know.

Age 12: My first year of Junior High. Can't tell you much about it, I've blocked it out.

Age 13: Laser background, really? What were they thinking? I guess they were thinking it's 1990.

Age 14: At the school dance with my first boyfriend, Richie. Wow, we look really really happy to be there.

Age 15: Note the Barney plate. This must be Sarah's birthday. That kid was obsessed with Barney. Look how happy I am! Of course, I am, my fat kid days are over!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blast from the Past: Years 6-9

Blast from the past continues!

Age 6: Is it just me, or do I look super ornery here?

Age 7: Convinced I was going to be a professional ballerina, I stuck with it for a decade. Until my toenails started falling off. Then it didn't seem so glamorous any more.

Age 8: Enter the Little Orphan Annie perm. Sad thing is, I loved that I loved like little orphan Annie.

Age 9: Holy Fat Kid, Batman. Here we go.

My Next Tweet

One of my favorite bloggers, The Bloggess, had a hilarious post about this service called That can be my next tweet. Of course the Bloggess's next tweets were super funny, and actually sounded remarkably like things she would tweet. Mine? Well...

8:30 photo shoot on society? On my ap wish list now? OKState Comm is here. (at least it's school spirited)

Just updated United Way thermometer, $55.4K raised and very soggy softball. Go Systems Dept. (Makes no sense, but does strangely do sound like something I would tweet)

Boone Pickens Appreciation Day in disguise as greatest event I've ever seen. (I swear I did not make that up.)

Carrot/stick motivators work in less than 43 min. Totally a sell out! Debating my RSS feed. (Obviously, My Next Tweet expects me to be live tweeting somewhere)

OMG there's an attempt to stay up to buy a great time! John just calling it the gnome! (Ok, that just sound too personal to tweet)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blast from the Past: Years 1-5

Who does love a few cute baby pictures? Here's some of ME.
Age 1: This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my dad. I definitely don't remember this interaction, but I love this photo.

Age2: While this does seem to be a purposeful picture of me, this the point when my parents have told me I developed a knack for always ending up in pictures, even when I was supposed to be. Still love to get my picture taken!

Age 3: Baby fat? Maybe, or just a sneak preview of impeding fat kid fate.

Age 4: Ah, look. I'm a little farmer.

Age 5: At 5, I went to a private kindergarten. I got dropped off and picked up on mom's full-time work schedule. Once, an adult asked me "Aren't you excited about 1st grade? You'll get to go to school all day." I burst into tears and asked, "Does that mean I'll have to eat dinner there too?" I already spent 8+hour and 2 meals at kindergarten!

Laser Cats From Outer Spaaaaaace!

This entry is falling under a new category I am calling "You Can't Make this Stuff Up." One of my friends suggested I start a file. I decide to go one better and blog them. Some will come from my personal life, but I think there will be quite a few blog-appropriate items from work as well.

About a year back, we got a request to design a retirement party invitation. Valerie took the request and passed it on to me. After I stopped laughing, I told her to stop pulling my leg. She insisted she was not. Then I had to laugh all over again. Laughter in the work place is good, right?

The instructions: an e-invite (sure ok), using green if possible (no problem), with cats (hum, ok it's for a librarian), cats with green eyes (do, what?), incorporating these 3 phrases (oh. come. on) and can it look kind of like the cats are saying the phrases (sorry, I don't even know what to do with that).

After a long search for creative commons images of cats with green eyes, I put together what I thought was a nice tasteful invite that met the specs. But, I always like to give more than one option, and I have to admit this request brought out the stinker in me. So I decided to give them just what they asked for: a tacky cat card.

They freaking LOVED it. It was a unanimous vote to use Space Cats as the invite. And then we laughed some more. Space Cats, you will always be a fond memory. You can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

COOP Ale Works: The Tour Continued

Yesterday, I blogged about out tour of COOP Ale Works Brewery in OKC. Today, as promised, I am going to tell you a little about their beers.

I was surprised how different the COOP Ale beers were, both from each other and from other beers I had tasted. Blake the brewmaster, told us that most of the flavor comes from the yeast, the type and the amount used in brewing. Most large scale breweries use one kind of yeast. COOP Ale regularly used 3 kinds.

Horny Toad 5.3% ABV

This was the first up. I'd had this one before. It's very light in color and taste, crisp and clean. If you like light beers this one was good.

Zeppelin Wheat 5.6% ABV

COOP describes this one as having "notes of clove and banana along with hints of spice." It was yummy, and if you like something not dark, but a little beer-y-er, I'd suggest trying this one.

Native Amber 6.3% ABV

So yum. This was our third taste and instantly my favorite of the batch to this point. If you like Ambers, you'll like this. At this point in the tasting, I was really hit by how different the beers were from other similar styles of beer.

DNR 10.0% ABV

This was surprisingly light in color and surprisingly sweet. Obviously, the high alcohol level makes it a big hit in the bars. It was really tasty too, though.

Gran Sport Porter 5.4% ABV

I don't usually drink porters, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Blake told us it would be "very chocolaty" and it was. It was more like drinking a chocolate drink than a beer. It was so tasty, but I don't think I could sit around sipping this during a football game. It was more of an after-dinner dessert drink, in my opinion.

F5-IPA 7.7 ABV

This one really tasted like no other beer I'd tried before. It's very tart and actually tastes a lot like grapefruit juice. This was another favorite because it was so unusual. It helps that I really like tart flavors.

Finally, we got to sample a mistake, an experiment, an amazing limited edition. The Farmhouse Ale started life as a batch of Zeppelin, but when they finished fermenting it wasn't quite right. Evidently, even the smallest variation in the yeast and other microbe balance can really change the beer's flavor. They call these sour beers or wild beers. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Sometimes, brewers even do this on purpose.

They were going to dump it, but Brewmaster Blake thought the beer "had potential." He rounded up some extra barrels to age it and added tart cherries to the mix. The result is awesome. Our friend Matt said it was the best fruit-flavored beer he'd ever tasted and I agree. You really taste the cherries, but it's a tart fresh cherry kind of flavor, not a sticky sweet cherry flavor.

Farmhouse will be in a few local pubs by the end of the week, RePubLic and Drunken Fry, along with a few others, will have it. There is only one batch, though. For now, when it's gone it's gone forever. Blake has sent a sample off to the lab to try and reproduce the yeast variant that produced it. Keep your fingers crossed for him!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

COOP Ale Works: Beer Made in Oklahoma, by Oklahomans for OKC and Beyond

Back on the topic of public outreach activities that work. I'm a total COOP Ale Works lover now, and the transformation happened over the course of 2 hours.

Our friend Rachel won a tour for 10 of the OKC-based COOP Ale Works Brewery at a United Way fundraiser. Lucky for us, she invited me and John to come along. It was such a blast. Our guide, Blake the brewmaster, walked us through the brewing process, showed us all the ingredients and equipment and answered dozens of questions about recipes, history of beer and of COOP, industry, yeast, regulations, graphic identity and more.

Along the way, we got to sample each of the beers from COOP Ale Works including a very limited one-batch special edition. The brewery doesn't officially have a tasting room. In fact, there is warehouse space directly behind me as I took this picture. We were part of a quality control tasting. Two enthusiastic thumbs up on your quality, COOP Ale Works!

Blake taught us so much about beer and brewing and COOP, it was enough to make your head spin. I was particularly impressed with the company's sense of community and social conscience. That in and of itself was enough to make you want to buy their beers. (Speaking of the beers, I'll tell you more about those tomorrow.)

We got a pretty in-depth tour because it was part of their donation to the United Way, but you can tour the place too. They give drop in tours on select weekends, and for about $100 you can reserve the place for a private event, bring in your own catering and have guests take tours.

If you want to learn more about the company and how you can go on a tour like mine follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or online.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Name Saga

My husband was no help in making this decision, which was actually one of the things I love about him. I asked if he had an opinion. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "It's your name." Damn Right.

Six years later, I am still settling into my decision. At first, I thought I'd use Cain-Wood personally (with friends and family) in sort of an unofficial capacity. I guess I was sort of trying it on.

When it came to the paperwork and my professional life, I'd just keep it Cain. I coasted like this for about 2 years. Even my husband couldn't keep straight what to call me when.

Problems popped up from not sharing a name with my husband, but nothing too big. Until one summer, we had 3 pretty major situations including having our passports seized and being shortly detained in Puerto Rica customs. Let me tell you, when they take your passport and suddenly stop speaking English, you get a little antsy.

So I made the legal change to Cain-Wood. Only I waited so long after the wedding (2.5 years) that it was way more complicated to change. At this point I was still trying to keep just the maiden name at work. The problem is once you change your name legally, lots of work things (insurance, payroll, taxes, logins) start to change automatically. I had to put in a personal request for IT to NOT change my email address (although the sender info automatically showed my new name).

So after another 2 years of struggling to answer the question: What name to use when? I decided I'm all in. Cain-Wood on everything, all the time. But, I still find myself being very inconsistent. It's hard to get used to saying the new name, especially when the first half is what I've been saying for so many years.

In retrospect, I wish I'd come to this conclusion from the beginning and began my married life as Cain-Wood. It's like lots of weird married-type-stuff, I had to figure it out along the way.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Clarification on Your Name

This was the subject line of an email I received yesterday. I wanted to just reply "It's a long story."

When I married it took me a long time to decide what I was going to do with my name. For most people it's pretty straight forward. They don't even think about it, but for me it was complicated.

There were so many options!
  • The traditional drop your maiden and take your husband's. Not an option for me. In a field based on relationships, I felt like I needed my name. And besides that, Bonnie Wood sounds like a porn name.
  • Keep the maiden. No change means no paperwork. I thought this was the simplest option. I was wrong! First, everyone assumes your name is something it's not (your husband's). Second, there are lots of times you need to prove you are married. If your name is the same, no one even questions it. If it's not, then things get complicated (and people think you're a weirdo).
  • Take both. Not as simple as it sounds. Do you hyphenate? Do you have two last names? Space, or no Space? Do you make your maiden name your legal middle name? If so what happens to your middle name?
Ugh! With only a 7-month engagement, it was all just too big of a decision to make before the wedding.

I told you it was a long story! I finish it tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Engaging Events: Red Coyote

Yesterday, I talked about events from one of my favorite non-profits, the OKC Zoo. Today, I want to look at one of my new favorite businesses, Red Coyote.

I actually first learned about Red Coyote because they sponsored an event I was involved with. I likely would have never heard about a small boutique running store in shopping center of specialty shops and cafes. I certainly wouldn't have made the 35 minute drive from my house to a part of OKC I never visit in order to try it out if it hadn't been for the glowing thanks the race director of the Moore War Run gave.

Red Coyote sponsors a number of runs in the Metro area. That makes great sense for them. Who goes to 5Ks? Runners. Who is going to visit small boutique running stores? Runners. Lately, Red Coyote is kicking up a notch by hosting on-site registration (where you can pick up your packet and shirt as soon as you sign up) and early packet pick up. It's a great way to get people into the store.

Recently, they hosted a seminar and clinic on running form. They brought in a speaker, provided free drinks and appetizers and even gave out swag. Attendance was over the top. They had to move to an unfinished store front across from the store. They were expecting 30-45, they had 160.

I think it is because they participate in events that build community around their business, and they were offering something very niche that had a perfect tie-in with their customer base. Definitely and example of a strategic event.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Engaging Events: OKC Zoo

I plan a number of events for work. Many people hate event planning, and it's easy to understand how one could feel that way. Events are work, lots and lots of work. I don't mind the work, and I even get really excited about it when the events are strategic.

"It'll be fun!" is not a strategic reason to host an event. "I would want to go..." is not a strategic reason to have an event. "We always do it," is not a strategic reason to have an event. But when the reason is right, it is great to be on both the planning side and the participant side.

I see so many places get it right. I thought I'd highlight a few on the blog. Today: OKC Zoo.

John and I have been ZooFriends for a few years. We don't visit the Zoo that often, but I support it because my fond memories of Zoo make it special to me. I think we attend more special Zoo events than just regular-old-day-at-the-Zoo visits.

I love the Zoo events because
  • They make sense for a Zoo, they aren't random
    Events like the the Bowling for Rhinos, Party for the Planet, Round Up for Conservation Kick-Off and "Ape"ril Dinner all have a tie back to the conservation mission of the Zoo.
  • They make me feel connected and engaged with the Zoo
    Most of the events take place at the Zoo, which awesome because that's when we end up doing most of our visits. Many events allow you to participate in the Zoo's operations, like decorating for fall during haunt the Zoo, or submitting photos for the annual calendar.
  • They make me feel appreciated as a donor
    ZooFriends does a great job of letting the donors know about all their cool events. We get a quarterly magazine and monthly emails. I have dates saved for Zoo events months in advance. They also have member discounts on all event tickets, always a nice bonus. And, lots of the events give you exclusive access to things not everyone sees. The best is the "Apr"il dinner. You actually go behind the scenes of the Ape enclosure and see the areas where the zookeepers interact with the animals.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fainting Kittens? What Will SYSK Teach Me About Next

I have a 40 minute commute to work and that adds up to a lot of time in the car. One way I have found to make that time entertaining and, for lack of a better word, productive is podcasts.

It took me a bit of trial and error to find some podcasts that were worth listening to, but the How Stuff Works iTunes channel came to my rescue. Their first, and still best, podcast is Stuff You Should Know.

This week I listened to an episode about "Fainting Goats." Evidentially, they don't actually faint. It's an abnormal fight or flight reaction. And, super cute factor, it can happen to kittens.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yoga Weekend

As I write this, I am 3/5 through my weekend yoga workshop. So far we have done something called Ashtanga Primary Series, a challenging series of repeating poses including attempts at some pretty wild contortions, Improvisational Vinyasa, a modified style similar to the first workshop with a focus on twisting, and Breath, Bandhas, Backbending & Thai Yoga.

The last has been my favorite. We did lots of step by step instruction on leaping into poses and lots of partner poses.

It's been a long time since I've packed this much yoga into one week (much less one weekend). Luckily, my years of on again off again practice has left me with the right attitude to enjoy something like this weekend. I've practiced yoga for 14 years. At my most dedicated I did at least 5 hours per week for 3 years straight. At my least active, I might go 6 months without even doing 15 minutes of practice.

Currently, I'm practicing sporadically a few times a month. I may not be particularly bendy right now, but I have internalized a few key lessons. I think learning these kind of things are why some people claim yoga changes their lives.
Things yoga teaches you...
  1. Challenge yourself and you might be surprised at the results: I saw a lot of new stuff this weekend, and several times my first reaction was "Oh, no. I'm too out practice. My body won't do that." But, I tried, and I was surprised at the results.

  2. Don't compare yourself to other people: For some reason this is often the hardest for people to accept. I know I've had so much more fun this weekend because I can look over at the girl with her feet behind her ears and think "Good for you. Now back to trying to touch my toes."

  3. Be patient: In many sports you get better by powering through and pushing past your limits. Yoga doesn't work that way. You have to be tenacious, but over long sustained periods of time. You can't make it go faster, it goes at it's own pace.

Not me, obviously, but this is one of the new poses I surprised myself with today.

Here's what another surprise move looked like. I was the liftee, not the lifter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's

April Fool's Day snook up on me, as does every notable event that occurs on the first of the month. I have to admit, once I realized it was April Fool's Day, I was kind of hoping to see a prank, even if I had to be the target.

Our office is fairly casual, at least as far as administrative offices go. A practical joke here and there, especially on April Fool's, isn't unheard of. I've seen offices filled with Styrofoam peanuts and office supplies gift wrapped. But today was pretty uneventful.

Then Linked in came through for me.
Aw, thanks guys. I feel loved now.

Did you see any good April Fool's gags? If so, were they at work and what do you think is an appropriate at work gag? Is there such a thing?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Team Player

Why am I, a self-proclaimed early to bed-er, dragging in the door at 11:30 pm? Because I was a super duper team player today!

The Edmon Low Downs had a placement game tonight. On a work night. At 9:30 pm. Insane, but I was there. Playing a 9:30 game means I stay in Stillwater, typically in the office, until 8:45 then head to the field, then play for an hour, then drag my half-conscience self home.

Tonight wasn't as bad because my wonderful husband drove the 40 minutes from home to come have dinner with me and watch the game. And, of course, take photos.

I'd completely forgotten we put nicknames on our shirts. This made me smile when I pulled it out of the drawer this morning.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello, I'm... Wait Let Me Check

If you've ever seen me speak in public, you probably saw a completely scripted well-rehearsed presentation, whether you knew it or not.

I rarely get up in front of a group to speak for any amount of time--60 second or 3 hours--without completely scripting my remarks. Right down to "Hello, I'm Bonnie..." It calms me down. It's how I cope with the jitters of public speaking. I try to not let my audience notice, but usually I'll have the script, in its entirely, very close at hand.

I discovered this trick in Toastmasters. Something about the safety net of the script relaxes me to the point that I don't need it. I seldom read from the script. If things are really rolling, I barely glance at it. But I like knowing I could if I have to.

I'm good at delivering scripts and I'm good at memorizing scripts. Part of it is practice, and part of it is just a knack for sounding natural while I'm actually reading something. So, having the script on hand takes the worst case scenario from "freezing, forgetting everything and having to just go sit down" to "freezing, forgetting everything and having to read it off the script."

This is on my mind today, because I just returned from speaking at the Oklahoma Libraries Association Annual Conference. I was on a panel and gave a short presentation on social media and libraries. Of course, my script sat right by the laptop as I talked. I gave it a quick scan once to make sure I'd hit all my points for a particular slide, and I used it when I was sharing a direct quote. For the rest of the time it just sat there as my little private lifeline.

The best part: at the end of the day, a participant told me, "I'd go to any training session you did. You were such a great presenter." Well, gosh. If that isn't a public speaking morale boost, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Movies, a Top Ten

My post about subtitles got me thinking about a top 10 list of favorite movies. It was really hard to narrow it down. I love movies, and John and I watch a ton. With a little help from my Netflix queue, I managed to whittle the list down to a top ten.

What do you think? What's missing? What's your favorite?

Maybe I should have left it at a top 20. My top ten mostly seem pretty dark. Here they are in no particular order.

  1. Fight Club
  2. Dogma
  3. Across the Universe
  4. Pan's Labyrinth
  5. District 9
  6. Inglourious Basterds
  7. Life Is Beautiful
  8. 12 Monkeys
  9. American History X
  10. The Departed
  11. Children of Men

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Realize That Has Subtitles...

I caught this movie again on the Independent Film Channel the other day. It reminded me of when John and I saw it in the theater.

We showed up and bought our tickets in-person. But, we were surprised/confused by the odd conversation we had at ticket counter.

Me: Two for Pan's Labyrinth.

Clerk: You realize that has subtitles.

Me: Oh, I didn't realize that.

Clerk: ...blink... blink... You know subtitles means it's not in English.

Me: Yep.

Clerk: You're going to have to read it.

Me: Uh, huh.

Clerk: I'm supposed to tell you that.

Me: Um... Ok..

Clerk: So what movie do you want to see.

Me: Ah, two for Pan's Labyrinth.

It wasn't until we were walking in that it dawned on me, people had probably seen two sentences of subtitles and stormed out demanding their money back. That's a shame on so many levels, not the least of which is this movie is awesome. It was one of the best movies of 2006 (it had 6 Oscar noms) and it's definitely on my top ten list.

For the close minded folks who never gave it a chance, I don't feel too bad. But I can't help wondering if the attitude that the movie wasn't worth "reading" turned away any viewers who would have been just as wowed as I was.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Time When I Die of Excitement...

Each summer, John and I take a "trip of a lifetime." Yes, it's funny to say we do this annually, but really we didn't give it that name. We just thought it was funny that ever trip we take get dubbed this by others.

We alternate who picks. Trip of a lifetime take 1 was a cruise to Mexico, Grand Cayman and Bahama. Trip of a Lifetime take 2 was the whirlwind 7 islands in 7 days cruise. Take 3 was Ireland, my pick. Take 4 was Egypt, John's pick.

So I'm up again, and I think I landed a good one. John is super stoked too, so I feel like I did a really good job picking. This summer we are cruising the Mediterranean. We hit Barcelona, Monaco, Tuscany, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Palma De Mallorca and Marsellies.

We are just about 2 months out. This is the point where I typically lose my mind with excitement. I cope with this by spending a week or two obsessively planning. I love to plan and it helps me channel some of the nervous energy.

Of course, the great thing about a cruise is everything is taken care of. So, there's not nearly as much planning required. So I guess I'll have to busy myself with selecting side trips, making a packing list, and learning a few key phrases from the Library's newest product, Mango.

Potresti aiutarmi? Sto cercando John.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

You Need to Cross the Road with Urgency...

I work on a college campus. Every day I want to pull a oblivious student aside and have this discussion. Check that, on a good day I want to have this discussion. On a bad day, I want to put them in an "unenviable position."

College students don't do anything with urgency.

Side note, I love this commercial series. They will make you laugh: possum, crab, hamster, lobster, pig, unicorn, mole, penguin, platypus, burro, fish, rat, pigeon, rabbit, parrot, turtle, kangaroo, goat, blue-footed booby and pointer

Friday, March 25, 2011

This Week I Heart: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

I had seen the latest Sally Hansen product in magazines for a couple months, so when I found some on the shelf at Walmart, I couldn't resist trying it out performing an adoption theory experiment.

NOTE: If you aren't a total PR nerd like me, just ignore the side comments and look at the pictures of my pretty nails.

I love having "done" nails (look! compatibility), but I'm so hard on a manicure that it never lasts long. If I plunk down the $15-35 for a professional mani, I can keep it looking nice for 3 or 4 days. If I do it myself, forget it. It'll be chipped by the end of the next day.

The box claims this will last up to 10 days. We'll see about that. I put them on Sunday afternoon (there's my trial-ability). It took a little getting used to, but it was really pretty easy and I'm typically a mess with nail polish (aaaand, there the complexity). It took about 20 minutes, but I was also watching tv.

The best part is no messy cuticles and no drying (relative advantage!). Half the time I've smudged it up before I'm completely dry and I didn't have to worry about that.

Moment of truth: washing my hair Monday morning. Something about the hot water and scrubbing usually does in a fresh at-home mani. My Salon Effects still looked perfect afterward. Two more shampoos later and it doesn't seem to have an effect on these (more relative advantage!).

The first tiny chips showed up Tuesday evening (can you even see them above?). That is about what I'd expect from a professional mani. But since then, they have stayed in great shape. It's Friday now, and I'd say my nails are still event ready.

At $8.50 per set, I won't be wearing these non-stop. These will, however, certainly be a go-to for special events, vacations and any time I need low-maintenance fancy nails for a week. I'm interested to see if they make it the whole 10 days, but I'm already thrilled they made it this long.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rave Reviews

Part of the reason my blog sat idle prior to the 30 Day Blogging Challenge was because I was starring in the Town and Gown's production of The Odd Couple, Female Version.

It was an awesome experience. I think the best theater experience I have ever had (and that is saying something). It was a super cast, especially my co-star Dawn. There is no way I could have developed my character, maintained the script's high energy and channeled Flo (the female counterpart to Felix Unger) every night if she hadn't been there giving it right back with 100% intensity 100% of the time.

We also had a fantastic crew who managed our dramatic set changes and numerous props. And, best of all was a wonderful, wonderful director. I had never been directed by Paul before, but he was fun, creative, sweet and supportive. Everything you want from your director.

We enjoyed ourselves every night. It must have showed because we actually got reviewed! And they were good!!

It's hard to link to small town newspapers (they don't put all their content online), so here are the highlights--you know, the parts about me!

"Cain-Wood's portrayal of the squeaky clean, overly obsessive, emotional Florence was very enjoyable. The back and forth fighting and conversations between Cain-Wood and Wilson are spot on..." Chase Rheam of the Stillwater Newspress

"Bonnie Ann Cain-Wood, as Florence, proves adept at broad, physical comedy in portrayal of the twitchy high-strung, perfectionist. Her Florence is the neurotic love child of Desperate Housewives character Bree Van de Kamp and Lucille Ball. The voice (that voice!) defines her character and helps the audience understand how Olive could find allowing Florence to cook, clean and generally take excellent care of her to be an imposition." Michelle Charles of the Perkins Journal

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My First Marathon, Ok Half Marathon, Ok So I Just Watched...

...But, I was part of a runner support team, so I was still kind of sort of a participant.

If you read this blog regularly, or if you know me for-reals-like, then you know that I got a wild hair about 7 months ago and started running. My husband, John, is an amazing athlete and has been coaching and encouraging me as I take on running.

I was trying to come up with a special treat to thank John for basically being the best husband in the world. I saw one of his friends was entering the Austin Marathon. John is currently training for a marathon, so I offered up a quick trip to Austin, so he could enter the Half and test his progress. John was totally on board.

If you look closely, you'll see the entire Congress St. Bridge filled with runners. The "pack" was never-ending and, well, packed.

The race was huge, more than 20,000 runners! There was 5K piggy-backing on the event, but I decided to skip it. This weekend was all about John and with a physical challenge like this, you really do need a support team. So, I planned, mapped, drove, carried, photographed, cheered, fed, hydrated and filled tubs with ice.

These are the leaders passing 2 miles. You can tell the 2 in the front are Half-Marathoners because their bib numbers are white. Marathoners were black.

Then the pack came by, and came by, and came by. High fives all around! It really was fun to watch. I was using the Austin Marathon ap to track John's progress, but there were so many runners, I never saw him at the 2 mile mark.

You could tell a lot of runners didn't take themselves too seriously and were there to have fun. Here are the duck hat ladies.

And, this guy who was making a video of the crowd as he ran, and encourage us to cheer and ham up for him.

And, the guys with no pants.

And, OMG, is that Santa! Looks like running has been good to him!

I used the pace runners (this group is running fast enough to finish the full marathon 3:20, the half in 1:40) and the ap, but I missed John again at the 8.5 mile mark. Sigh, so I booked it to the finish line via a short cut and crossed my fingers that I'd see him at least once.

And I did! The ap said I was 15 minutes early, but as soon as I edged up to the finish line shute, I saw John come around the corner! There he is, in the blue, making a strong finish.

I've never seen John so wiped out after a run. He really pushed himself. He will disagree, but he did GREAT. His goal was to finish somewhere between 1:50 (the best he was hoping for) and 2 hours (the slowest he'd be happy with). He finished in 1:55:47.

What he didn't realize when he set these goals is that Austin is a really, really tough marathon and half. It's super hilly. So hilly, in fact, that when we drove it the day before, I nearly stalled out the car a couple times.

This was John's first Half Marathon, so (for now, at least) this time is his lifetime personal record. It's one, I think he should be proud of.

See more Austin Marathon pics on my Flickr photostream.