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?