In April 2007, I walked through the doors at Qorvis for the first time. Nearly six years later, I’m still trying to figure out why there is no “U”.
Today marks my last day in the offices at 1201 Connecticut Ave. Well, sort of… I fully expect invites to the book parties, Q staffers. I’ve had a great time working with some very talented folks producing some kick-A results for some pretty amazing clients. Really, I’ve learned so much. What you ask? Here’s a snippet…
25 things I learned at Qorvis:
2. Ben Affleck is just as dreamy in person, WITH the beard.
3. Elephants walk really, really fast.
4. All Bourbon is whisk(e)y, but not all whisk(e)y is Bourbon.
5. I would like baseball more if all games were like the Subway Series and this was my view:
6. Science can be brought home.
7. With a sweet smile, you can convince six police officers (yeilding really big guns) that you “accidently” broke out of the federal building, after hours. #EventPros
8. Deadlines: (A) internal ones are negotiable, (B) client ones are harder, but (C) I will never, EVER miss a reporter’s deadline (and I’ll make sure anyone I need to meet said deadline it knows it too)
9. Delta flight attendants are the best. They let you dance down the aisle to Call Me Maybe.
10. Road tripping across Missouri for a 30 minute press conference was made more entertaining with a stop at this inappropriately named location:
11. Keeping 16 pairs of shoes at the office is obnoxious when I never change out of the flats I arrived in.
12. Burgers taste better when you fly 3,000 miles just to buy one.
13. Bardstown, KY is not only the Bourbon capital of the world, but the local Hampton Inn offers the world’s best cookies.
14. The tater tots at the Residence Inn in Downtown Baltimore are also wonderful.
15. Doesn’t matter how old you are, Princesses are still amazing:
16. I’m good at predicting major company moves before they even happen.
17. Even on a tight budget, never stay at the Hotel Penn or La Quinta Inn.
19. Sometimes, I’m full of shit:
20. Apparently, I talk too fast:
21. People need to learn to talk faster.
22. At work, it’s ok to clown around:
23. And get a little goofy:
24. Courtesy of a client requested personality test half-day session, I’m a high A (assertive) and a low C (impatient).
25. I’m Qonstantly Qompelled to use the letter Q in words that aren’t appliQable.
And, here’s what I still need to learn, but I fear I’ve run out of time:
- Delete, archive and organize emails. There is no excuse for 77k in the inbox alone.
If I forgot some “key learnings” please add them in comments below. Thanks for a great run, Qorvis!
In 2013, I resolve not to resolve. Here’s why…
Approx 365 days ago, I published a list of resolutions on Lindsay Learns, but God forbid I be normal and actually call them resolutions. Instead, they were 12 Things to Tackle in 2012.
Six months later, I published a mid-year review to see how I was doing. At the time, the standing was:
- 2 things complete
- 3 things likely to be complete
- 5 things really didn’t stand a chance
- 1 thing was 86ed
Now that 2012 has ended, here’s how I did…
Goal #1: Complete a triathlon
Result: Complete, May 12
Goal #2: Because it’s a triathlon, I think it’s only fair that it occupies three of these goals…
Result: Second tri complete, July 7
Goal #3: (See #2)
Result: Third tri complete, Sept 9
Goal #4: Stop relying on the Whole Foods prepared section and put my new gluten-free cookbooks to work.
Result: Failed. Never used the cookbooks, but started eating Paleo anyway.
Goal #5: Waste two more hours of my life on part two. Do not waste 10 hours of my life watching the marathons on FX…again.
Result: Complete, Dec 8. Thank God it’s over.
Goal #6: Don’t cheat myself and embrace change – could pay off better than expected.
Result: Per the mid-year review, this goal has been removed from the to-do list. However, I’m adding it back on. Because after 8 years of reliability, travels up and down the east coast, a demolished quarter panel, countless flat tires, and 3 hubcabs lost to aggressive parallel parking… I embraced change, sold my car and bought a new one. So… Complete, Dec 21. The world really did end that day.
Goal #7: Increase the ROI and wear my glasses.
Result: Complete, Dec 31. Yep, wore them on the last day of the year, just so I could mark this one complete.
Goal #8: Finish the Harry Potter book series (a 2010 Christmas gift) some time before Christmas 2012.
Result: Failed. But I did start reading in general and did finish another “young adult” series. It could happen.
Goal #9: Take advantage of my height and make some magic happen for my clients and my teams.
Result: I took height to a new level for my team. To 30,000 feet to be exact. All for the sake of filming this:
Goal #10: Be more attentive to my phone and promptly reply to voicemails. (Sorry, family.) Also, be more accepting of my generation’s communication preferences by embracing text messages. (And by text messages I mean iMessages – not paying for something I hate.)
Result: Failed. Please email me if needed.
Goal #11: Use fewer parentheses because I realize it’s getting obnoxious. (Sorry for being easily distracted.) (And sorry I’m long-winded.) (Also, sorry that I have comments on my comments.)
Result: Actually, complete. Date unknown. I’m now using a lot of em dashes (–) to insert my thoughts.
Goal #12: And of course, follow through.
Result: Ongoing, my friend. Ongoing.
So what did I ultimately learn in 2012? Make fewer goals. And by fewer I mean none. Also, the Mayans lied.
I’m on another obnoxious quest: go Paleo for 30 days.
Interestingly (read: stupidly) scheduled between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m calling it: The Paleoday Season.
Much like my involvement with my blog, I’m assuming I can’t commit for an extended period of time, so I’m safely dedicating only 30 days to Paleo. That’s 30 days without some of my favorite things:
- Dunkin Donuts Coffee (which is about 50% cream)
- Vinaigrette dressings
- Peanut butter
- Potatoes (especially sweet, in french fry form)
- Rice (or any other GF grain)
- Adult beverages
That’s also 30 days WITH: holiday parties, 90s concerts, mini-road trips, family visits and other distractions. Great timing, Linz.
Now, WHY go Paleo? While triathloning, I adopted a lot more starchy carbs into my diet because I simply wasn’t getting enough performance energy without them. They also helped ease the hunger that set in everyday around 10:30am, after breakfast and 2 hours of morning training. It worked very well, but I didn’t feel as good as I did without them. And now that the September race has come and gone (woo hoo, 3 goals complete!), and training is over, I need to get back in check.
While attempting to look smart in Barnes & Noble, I stumbled upon The Paleo Diet for Athletes, which details its “exercise-enhancing effects” and how it supports “peak performance” for endurance athletes. Granted, I’m an amateur, but I’m curious. So, I’m trying it out for 30 days. If I like it, I’ll keep in going into the spring when I start training again.
I officially started on Sunday, November 25, and I’ll end on Christmas Eve — JUST in time for eggnog, mashed potatoes and cheesecake. So, what have I learned in 60+ hours of Paleo?
- I miss DD. I bet they miss me too.
- Grapefruit is gross.
- Tumblr is the perfect way to chronicle my journey. Check it out: ThePaleodaySeason.tumblr.com
Well, folks, 185 days ago, I made a commitment: 12 Things to Tackle in 2012. Now that we are half-way into year, let’s see where I stand.
From the January 3, 2012 post, today’s comments in red…
In 2012, I’ll do a better job of tracking my lessons (via LindsayLearns.com, of course) [Well, 4 posts in 6 months, clearly not doing a better job], so expect a more thorough year-in-review learnings list in roughly 365 days [I still have time…], assuming the world doesn’t end. To kick these lessons off, please find below 12 things to tackle (not necessarily resolutions) in 2012:
- Per #8 – #11 above: complete a triathlon (I’ll chronicle this initiative in the “Lindsay TRIes” category) – Completed my first triathlon on May 12. Check.
- And because it’s a triathlon, I think it’s only fair that it occupies three of these goals… – Doing another one tomorrow, in the 100+ degree heat. Here’s hoping I survive. Almost-check.
- (See #2) – I’ve got one more slated for September to kick-off BirthWeek. Almost-check.
- Stop relying on the Whole Foods prepared section and put my new gluten-free cookbooks to work. If my cooking is anything like my baking, expect some entertaining blog posts in the near future, chronicled under the “Lindsay cooks” category. – Haven’t used the cookbooks yet, still living off of the WF prepared section, and now replacing real meals with Robek’s smoothies as well. Fail.
- Waste two more hours of my life on part two. Do not waste 10 hours of my life watching the marathons on FX…again. – Will let you know in November.
- Per #6 on the 2011 list: don’t cheat myself and embrace change – could pay off better than expected. – Wow that was cryptic. Well, 50% of this had to do with my love life, so regarding that half… Check. The other half was probably alluding to something I was stressed out about because it was the end of the year. You see, every December, John Lennon gets to me with his “so this is Christmas and what have you done” bit, which gets me in a tizzy about my life decisions. I get all emotional, change my hair style, experiment with fashion trends, and clearly, make ridiculous and cryptic goals. Ultimately, this confirms that despite my often inappropriate mouth and humor, I’m indeed a girl and girls are crazy. I’m claiming high levels of estrogen on this one and striking it from the to-do list. Moving on…
- Increase the ROI and wear my glasses. (Largely in an effort to fish for more Eva Mendes references.) – I wore them last week. Prior to that, not at all. Fail.
- Finish the Harry Potter book series (a 2010 Christmas gift) some time before Christmas 2012. – Maybe if Harry Potter had Christian Grey as a character… Yeah, still on HP book 2.
- Take advantage of my height and make some magic happen for my clients and my teams. – Well, a client event made Suri’s Burn Book (see image below). Nothing to do with my height, but I’d still call that a success. I’m sure I put up a tall banner at some point, so… Check.
- Be more attentive to my phone and promptly reply to voicemails. (Sorry, family.) Also, be more accepting of my generation’s communication preferences by embracing text messages. (And by text messages I mean iMessages – not paying for something I hate.) Let’s all just agree to email instead. Eh? Fail.
- Use fewer parentheses because I realize it’s getting obnoxious. (Sorry for being easily distracted.) (And sorry I’m long-winded.) (Also, sorry that I have comments on my comments.) – Yeah, this one is just not happening. (Fail.)
- And of course, follow through. – Well…
So to recap:
- 2 things are complete
- 3 things are likely to be complete
- 5 things really don’t stand a chance
- 1 thing has be 86ed because I’m a quitter… which means the last one isn’t looking so hot.
And finally: today I learned… I’ve failed my mid-year review, and I’m in danger of getting fired from my life.
But I think I’m back to blogging semi-regularly. I think…
Goal #1 is officially complete. I finished a triathlon.
But, that’s kinda cheating. Because when I made that goal, I meant complete an Olympic distance triathlon – 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run – and the triathlon I did this weekend was a sprint, half that distance. Eh, details.
So, let’s just say the goal is nearly complete. Or better yet, I have two Olympic distance races scheduled for July and September, so we’ll just let those fulfill goals #2 and #3, per the list. So that’s one down, 11 to go!
For the record, I’m not doing so hot on the rest of the Top 12 to Tackle list. But that shouldn’t be a surprise to you, because… I haven’t blogged in FOREVER! Between work and training, life has not allowed for time to write, or do much of anything else, really. So much for follow through. Hopefully I’ll be back soon in all my blogging glory. A social life would also be nice…
Anywho, this blog isn’t called Lindsay Complains, it’s called Lindsay Learns. So here’s what I learned from my first official triathlon:
- SWIM: Wetsuits are strangely flattering, even though you look and feel like sea lion.
- BIKE: Chains can indeed pop off the rings. Not cool when it happens during a race, but cool when it happens on the way downhill and somehow fixes itself. THAT could have been treacherous.
- RUN: It’s ok if 50 year old women pass you. Good on them. In addition, runs are made better when the band starts playing Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” and you pretend like you are Forrest Gump running across the country with doting followers trailing your path. Talk about getting a second wind.
More learnings to come. Eventually.
Older brothers suck.
Allow me to give you some background, in the form of an email conversation with my older brother, Kenny:
Kenny: Yo….write a blog about childhood old brother torture. That’d be funny. Me: That taught me nothing. Other than that you suck. Kenny: I figured you’d make light and hilarity of it. Everything happens for a reason. After all, you brought half of it on yourself. Or don’t write about it. Whatever. Me: That sounds like a challenge. And you know I don’t back down on a challenge. So you know you are going to win this, and I’ll have to write it, just so I’m not backing down. Damn you for knowing how to get to me. Give me a week.
Eight weeks later, welcome to my blog post! Drafted just in time for, and in honor of, Kenny’s BirthWeek. Here are my preliminary learnings:
- I am the ultimate procrastinator.
- Older brothers suck because they constantly challenge you (or is this why they rock…?).
- I repressed a lot of my childhood memories courtesy of said “torture”.
What was this “torture”, you ask? Well, what was once a horrible experience is now a hilarious story, and I actually give my brother props for it…
Picture it: 1990-something. Kenny, age 16-ish; Lindsay, age 11-ish. Lindsay probably did something that irritated Kenny and/or Kenny probably did something that irritated Lindsay. A good ol’ sibling quarrel broke out. Considering Kenny was twice Lindsay’s size, he won. How did he win? By flipping Lindsay upside down, holding her by the ankles, dipping her hair in a bucket of water, and using her head as a mop on the kitchen floor.
In hindsight: well played, sir.
But why were Kenny and I constantly fighting, bickering, and more than anything, competing? Birth order. According to some scientists, theorists and other people trying to recover from troubled childhoods (fair assumption) birth order – first born, middle child, youngest, oops-baby, etc. – affects personality traits and sibling relationships. Today, I learned that those folks are right. Well, in regards to Kenny and me they are.
Here are some theories I learned about birth order. I’ve marked each as true or false, and offered a rationale as to why. (Very scientific, I know):
Claim #1: Firstborns are “dethroned” when a second child comes along, and this may have a lasting influence on them.
- Assessment: True.
- Rationale: More than 5 years went by before I was born, and I was better than him. Thus, I got the throne. Only fair. To this day, Kenny is still angry because I look better on it. But who would you give the throne to? The angelic one or the problem child:
Claim #2: Younger children may be pampered and spoiled, which can also affect their later personalities
- Assessment: True.
- Rationale: See rationale for claim #1.
Claim #3: Firstborns are more conscientious.
- Assessment: False.
- Rationale: We are equally conscientious, just in different ways. Kenny is more diligent and reliable, while I’m more aware and careful – particularly in dealing with others.
Claim #4: Firstborns are more socially dominant.
- Assessment: True.
- Rationale: I may be good at working a room, but Kenny knows how to own it.
Claim #5: Firstborns are less agreeable.
- Assessment: True.
- Rationale: Because he’ll probably disagree with my assessment.
Claim #6: Firstborns are less open to new ideas.
- Assessment: False.
- Rationale: This second born can fit into that theory as well. While we’re both very open-minded, we can be very stubborn if we have a lot of faith and passion for our own idea. We can be convinced, but you’ll need one hell of an argument and we’ll still probably counter.
Claim #7: Firstborns are more conservative.
- Assessment: Mostly true.
- Rationale: Politically, yes. Fiscally, yes. Socially, eh. Fashionably, no chance. He thought this was a good idea: (Embarrassing)
Claim #8: Firstborns rank higher in achievement.
- Assessment: True.
- Rationale: While I make efforts to excel, Kenny makes specific goals and rarely deviates from the plan to achieve them. He’s more about the journey and the goal; I’m more about completion and the win.
Claim #9: Relationships evolve over time.
- Assessment: False.
- Rationale: If Kenny had the opportunity, I’m positive he would attempt the hair as a mop thing again.
Happy BirthWeek brother!Note: These claims were pulled from Wikipedia’s birth order page and its references list.
Now that my last mistakes of 2011 have been made, and my vacay is over, it’s time to write again. Apologies for being MIA.
Lindsay Learns recaps the things I learn day-to-day, but as we’re now moving year-to-year, how about I highlight the top 11 things I learned in 2011?!
Ok. Now let’s be serious. I have the memory of a goldfish.
I’m sure my 2011 lessons were important, but I can’t actively remember enough to make a thoughtful list. So instead, I’ll recap the 11 things I learned while on blog hiatus over the past 2-ish weeks:
- When the bartender fails, reach over the bar and pour your own drinks. (Fact)
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is an appropriate substitute for grace at Christmas dinner. (Lesson taught by my 2.5 year old niece.)
- Boxing is not for the faint of heart. Nor is Hip Hop.
- I received a Christmas miracle in the form of a coat. (Hmm, this may need to be separate post, stay tuned.)
- Apples to Apples is most fun when you are politically outnumbered.
- Good friends usually offer good advice – even if it takes you months to finally listen.
- If you have a gluten allergy, don’t test it…
- I can swim one mile, non-stop. (I suppose I knew this, but it was harder than I thought.)
- I can run 6 miles, non-stop. (Did NOT know this, and it was easier than I thought.)
- I hope I can cycle 25 miles non-stop, and then put it together with #8 and #9, because I’m signing up for a triathlon. (Whaaaaat?)
- I need a bike.
In 2012, I’ll do a better job of tracking my lessons (via LindsayLearns.com, of course), so expect a more thorough year-in-review learnings list in roughly 365 days, assuming the world doesn’t end. To kick these lessons off, please find below 12 things to tackle (not necessarily resolutions) in 2012:
- Per #8 – #11 above: complete a triathlon (I’ll chronicle this initiative in the “Lindsay TRIes” category)
- And because it’s a triathlon, I think it’s only fair that it occupies three of these goals…
- (See #2)
- Stop relying on the Whole Foods prepared section and put my new gluten-free cookbooks to work. If my cooking is anything like my baking, expect some entertaining blog posts in the near future, chronicled under the “Lindsay cooks” category.
- Waste two more hours of my life on part two. Do not waste 10 hours of my life watching the marathons on FX…again.
- Per #6 on the 2011 list: don’t cheat myself and embrace change – could pay off better than expected.
- Increase the ROI and wear my glasses. (Largely in an effort to fish for more Eva Mendes references.)
- Finish the Harry Potter book series (a 2010 Christmas gift) some time before Christmas 2012.
- Take advantage of my height and make some magic happen for my clients and my teams.
- Be more attentive to my phone and promptly reply to voicemails. (Sorry, family.) Also, be more accepting of my generation’s communication preferences by embracing text messages. (And by text messages I mean iMessages – not paying for something I hate.)
- Use fewer parentheses because I realize it’s getting obnoxious. (Sorry for being easily distracted.) (And sorry I’m long-winded.) (Also, sorry that I have comments on my comments.)
- And of course, follow through.
On a separate note… A Christmas Story on TV is great; but A Christmas Story on a boat, even better. Enjoy:
So I thought I could dance. I was wrong.
I’m currently on vacay and have been filling the days before the holiday doing two-a-days at the pool. Goal: drop 3 pounds so as to regain it on Christmas Day. Brilliant. But I gave my goggles a rest yesterday evening to take a Hip Hop dance class taught by the one and only, Katie M.F. Anderson (aka: sorority little sister #1).
I felt pretty good about it going in: I have a bit of rhythm, I am half black (wow, not offensively stereotypical at all, Linz), and I took a nap beforehand (key). Not to mention, I’ve danced under the direction of Katie before . . . dressed like these guys. Embarrassing.
Just as we were getting started, I quickly learned that I’m horrible at Hip Hop. Every time I tried to roll my torso, pop my hip, or glide my feet, I looked . . . like a cheerleader. Like the way this guy describes cheerleaders:
It pains me to say this, and I’m POSITIVE my brother has opinions on this, but I think the years of cheerleading and coaching have stripped me of my dancing ability – if I even had it at all. I mean, I can break it down on the dance floor. I’m flexible enough to get “a little bit softer now” and coordinated enough to “step in the name of love”. But dancing without counting, not sure I can do it.
Now, I took tap dance my freshman year of college (that’s right, for 3 whole credits). I got an A in the class so there must be some dancing skill. Either that, or I talked my way into the grade (wouldn’t be the first time).
But the biggest revelation: during my quarter-life crisis a year and a half ago, I decided that I needed a new hobby. I thought this new hobby should rekindle something that I’m already relatively good at. My choices: competitive swimming or cheerleading (read: dancing because I don’t have time to coach any more).
Soooo… Glad to see I made the right choice.
That said, I’m en route to the pool now for part one of two (and in preparation for Sunday’s Double Chocolate Cheesecake – thanks Lesley!). But first, allow me to recap what I learned:
- Obvi, I wasn’t born to be a Hip Hop dancer.
- Regardless of skill, Hip Hop is SO much fun when you have a great teacher like Katie (sign up for her class here)
- My cheerleading style has some merits: I can choreograph (winning!) youth routines like this!
- I have a reason to publicly share this priceless photo (circa 2005):
Hey, at least I look the part. Or like a man…
Arms akimbo. Yeah, it’s a thing. And it’s what I learned today…
According to Wikipedia, arms akimbo is: a human body position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward, or bent or bowed in a more general sense.
Women the world over, however, know it best as the ideal position to be photographed in because:
- Your, um, “extra arm bulge” is made less visible as it’s not billowed against the side of your body;
- You can simultaneously push in your love handles, giving you a more hourglass-like figure; and
- This pose seamlessly gives you a bit of flair and spunk, but really, you know what’s up (1 & 2).
Can I get an Amen?
Don’t believe me? Pick a girlfriend, go to her Facebook page. I guarantee that at least one of her first 10 tagged photos will feature her with arms akimbo. Or at least one arm akimbo, and the girlfriend she’s pictured with reciprocating with the opposite arm. That, my friends, is a skill.
In the age of Facebook and photo-sharing, digital cameras and Smartphones, it’s hard not to be snapped in an image that will soon make the rounds of public viewership. As a result, people (and by people, I mean females) are very aware of how to position themselves juuust right for social network distribution. This…
…was not planned. But, even in the excitement of prepping for a friend’s wedding, I’m sure we all knew the photo would be on Facebook (or my blog…) within 24 hours, so we unconsciously auto-piloted into arms akimbo. Some of you may also recall the sorority squat – another flattering position that allows for more people to fit into a photo frame, made popular by sorority women. Interesting how we instinctively default into such poses.
So, what I learned:
- Obvi, the term “arms akimbo” courtesy of Buzz Feed.
- “Akimbo” is a fun word to say.
- It appears we take photos more for online circulation and less for capturing memories. But hey, at least we look good.
And lastly, I promise I’m not flaking on my blog – I just haven’t learned anything worth sharing over the past several days. Well, I haven’t learned anything that wouldn’t be incriminating to post anyway… I’ll get to that “learning” as soon as I can figure out how to eloquently discuss a real-life night like this:
…I went to see the new Twilight movie.
But it’s ok because:
- I waited until two weeks after opening weekend,
- I deliberately paid the matinée price, and
- I traveled 25 miles to see it, so as not to be caught by any acquaintances.
What I learned:
- There is something appealing about vampires.
- Even though he clearly lost, I’m still Team Jacob (I mean, you could make a grilled cheese sandwich on those abs).
- Ashleigh lives far away.
- Titanic is coming back to theaters – in 3D – and Kate and I both cried during the trailer alone. Stoked!
- As if the “miracle of life” didn’t already creep me out, I’m officially scarred for life. We’re talking worse than the scene in Knocked Up. Shocked that I didn’t have seizure. This is a tween movie! Except…
- This movie is solely supported by women aged 25-55; not a teenager in the theater.
But while I wasted 2 hours of my life on Twilight, I made up for it by being productive with the blog – and IT-savvy, might I add.
Look at your Web address bar. You’re not where you thought you were. Welcome to LindsayLearns.com!
I dropped the “Every Day” part from the URL because alliteration is amazing to make it simpler for audiences. However, I’m still keeping the “Every Day” as part of the blog name – for now. The “Every Day” concept was important when the blog was created 3-ish years ago, but the blog is evolving (I’m realizing that I’m not learning as much goofy stuff as I once did…bummer…), so I’m still trying to figure out its direction.
Eventually, I’ll get more strategic about the branding aspects and positioning of this blog. But right now, not gonna lie, I do feel like dropping the “Every Day” part reduces the pressure of needing to learn something and blog about it every day. Regardless, I’m keeping with it. I’m committed.
And when my credit card gets involved, that’s basically love.
I mean, check it: I even have a new email address: Lindsay@LindsayLearns.com. AND I have a few other integrations and design changes in the works. Therefore, I’ve also learned that I’m pretty good at managing the back-end of blogs, which is becoming increasingly important as a marketer.
So update your bookmarks, kids – LindsayLearns.com is official. And I KNOW you already have me bookmarked…