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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Austin: I Can't Quit You

I've blogged about our visits to Austin before. While, I always seem to tell people how unimpressed I am with Austin, somehow we keep coming back for more.

Our first trip to Austin was a rare anniversary in the states. We decided to experience train travel (it'll be just like the Hogwarts Express!) and Austin was a convenient end of the line. Our second trip was a conference John attended on my birthday. He made it up to me by bringing me along and letting me have a spa day at the Four Seasons.

On these trips we stayed downtown (the Driskill and then the Four Seasons) walked most of the time, and enjoyed the Congress Bridge bats and the various restaurants, bars and museums nearby.

Here's the thing with Austin. It has a reputation for being cool, and everyone (meaning everyone from Austin) knows it. The place so freaking pretentious, you just want to punch them in the face. Don't get me wrong we had a good time. Bats, awesome. Food, awesome. Museums, awesome. People, get over yourself, you are ruining this for me.

So when I decided to give John a special treat with a last minute trip to the Austin Marathon, I wasn't expecting a great time. But thanks to some great tips from friends, we saw a new side to Austin.

This was a last minute, on the cheap, trip to Austin during a jam-packed weekend. We couldn't get a hotel downtown if we had wanted. We drove more than ever. Traffic was a nightmare, but it freed us up to see some things we wouldn't have bothered with otherwise.

We took a shopping excursion and purchased a "bed picnic" at the Whole Foods (thanks, Dustin and Karee). The next day we "hiked" to the top of Mount Bonnell. It was definitely a highlight of Austin (thanks, Caitlin!).

On top of Mount Bonnell, the Austin skyline at our backs.

The Austin Marathon, well, that was great, too. It deserves it own post. I'll get back to you on that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

30 Day Blogging Challenge is Off!

We have so many 30 Day Blogger this time! It's going to be awesome. If you like the nifty badge in the corner of my blog (thanks Ruth!) and want one for your blog, just click it to grab the code to add it.

Here's the updated list of bloggers. Whether you are participating or just lurking, I hope you'll follow along and provide a little comment-y encouragement for everyone.

And.... we're off!

I Knew What I was Getting Into

This is me and John in 2004 when we were dating.

As you are getting to know a new person, you discover a lot about them. Over the years, I've learned a lot about my husband, and I like to think that now I know him better than anyone else. I will always remember the first time I felt like I had a real "this is who he is" moment.

We'd been dating for about 5 weeks at the time. We were having an at-home date, homemade dinner and a rental movie. It was actually the most romantic thing we had done. John came up with the idea; he asked me to "teach him how to cook something."

I picked a recipe, we shopped together then swung by Hastings and picked out a movie. We chopped and sauted and laughed. We sat on the couch and ate while we watched I-don't-remember-what. John was taking our plates to kitchen when it happened.

I was watching as he walked directly and deliberately into the trash can. And, I saw it coming. As he was going, I thought, "He going to walk into the trash can, he is going to walk right into it." And then he did.

As he picked up the spilled trash and put everything right again, I realized this was not the first time I'd seen something like this in our short time together. It dawned on me that it would always be like this, and I needed to decide right then if this was annoying or if this was endearing.

As I watched him clean up my kitchen, I couldn't help thinking, "Well, he is awfully cute."

Seven years, I still come home to things like this:
Yes, that is a large hole in the toilet tank. He doesn't know how it happened. It just did. And he's still pretty cute.

Monday, March 14, 2011

30 Blogs, 30 Days

The return of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge is right around the corner, and I hope all my blogging friends will join me! If you're not already blogger, but kind of sort of wanted to start this is a great time to do it.

Here's how the blogging challenge works. 30 days, 30 blog posts. Yep, just that simple. We are starting on Monday, March 21 (the day after spring break for many). The last day of the challenge is April 19.

Of course, you can take part in secrecy, not telling anyone about the challenge. You could sneak under the radar and hope no one reads your blog posts. But, that really defeats the purpose of blogging. What makes this extra fun is that all of the challengers are in it together. We're all struggling to come up with a new, fresh, interesting post every day. And we are all rooting each other on as we go.

So why bother? Here are a few good reasons:

  1. Deep down, you wish you were a better blogger. Guess what, you get better at things by practicing them.

  2. If you tell everyone you are joining the challenge, they will read your blog and they will comment. Comments are awesome!

  3. Visiting your blog every day for a month usually leads to refreshing some images, updating the profile, adding some new widgets. With all that clean up and all that content, you'll finish the challenge with a blog you are really proud of!

  4. Searching for daily content will lead you to trying out new blog "tricks," photo essays, video posts, polls, etc.

  5. Blogging daily will show you what your blog is really about. Sometimes we think we know what our blog's theme is, but it might not be what you think it is. Once you figure out what the theme really is, blogging gets easier.

  6. You will blog more when the challenge is over. You'll get in the swing of it. Blogging becomes part of a routine and you'll see potential content everywhere.

So who's in? So far

And there are a few others, I'm really hoping join in.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Have Come to Network! Now What?

The OSU Media and Strategic Communications School presented a networking expo today. When we heard there were lots of professionals there recruiting interns, we decided we had to turn out too. We didn't want someone else snatching up all the good ones!

I slapped some QR codes & links to our internship posting on the back of my business card (felt like a total genius) and headed out with my team in tow.

Then we just had to network. At its best, networking is something even the most outgoing have to work at. At its worst, it is awkward, embarrassing and even agonizing. So how do you do it?

Take a wing man. Garrett was my wing man today. It makes the lulls between table hopping less awkward, because you're never alone. And, if you are a little on the shy side, having a buddy can bolster confidence and help keep the conversation going.

Work the room. Sure when you first arrive, you have to get the lay of the land, but then it's time to beat feet. You can't assume people will come to you. Scope out a small group or someone standing solo and go introduce yourself.

Have some questions ready. Today, we had an agenda: recruit interns. So I looked for students, then asked about their graduation date and major. If they were fit, I asked if they were looking for internships and then gave them my card and explained the link and QR code.

Get in and get out. The point of a networking expo is to meet lots of people. Obviously, you want to spend enough time with each person to feel like you have really met them, but you don't want to spend half the event with same group. The hard part is often how to end the conversation. Something like "It was nice to meet you," or "Good luck with your job/candidate search," can be nice polite ways to say "Ok, thanks, I'm done talking to you now."

That said...

Be respectful. If someone takes the time to talk to you, take some time to actually listen. Even if they aren't exactly who you are hoping to meet (sophomores and juniors majoring in PR seeking fall internships) they might still be a great connection to the person you are looking for. That's why it's called NETworking. I often see people pinging around like squirrels, dropping conversations in mid-sentence to dash off to another person. This doesn't make you a good networker, it just makes you rude.