Monthly Archives: November 2011

Do Tall Women Flock to PR?

This is my first official blog post on public relations. The first opportunity I’m taking to discuss the trends and aspects of my industry. My chosen topic: height.

Not kidding.

To be fair, I said to my friends and family that I would make every effort not to promote my clients on this blog (as I shamelessly do with my Facebook and Twitter accounts). But when I spend so many waking hours at the office, I’m bound to learn something worth noting here. So, today’s lesson is slightly less professional, though it’s about my profession. Today, I learned that the women on the 5th floor are tall.

Ok – this isn’t a “fact” per se. And yes, the 5th (and 6th) floor of the building houses the talented folks of Qorvis Communications. But you see, when I left the office this evening, a man hopped on the elevator at the 4th floor, and right when he stepped in, he looked at me and said: “You must work on the 5th floor.”

Me: Why, yes, I do. What makes you say that?
Man on 4th: All of the tall women in the building work on the 5th floor. Is that like a requirement to work there?
Me: Uhhhhh—
Man on 4th: No really, every time I get on the elevator with a 5’9” – 5’10” woman, they press 5.
Me: Interesting…
Man on 4th: Are you guys a modeling agency or something?
Me: Um, no. Just a PR agency. [But thank you, Sir. I will pass that along to my colleagues.]
Man: Is there an advantage for women in PR to be tall?
Me: Perhaps…? [I smell a bloooog pooost!]

First of all, yes, I’m aware that I screwed up the opportunity to offer a brilliant elevator pitch. Secondly, yes, the above conversation is paraphrased, but that’s pretty much how it went. And finally, yes, the red and green usage is in honor of the holiday season.

For the record, I was wearing (pretty fabulous, knee high, borderline inappropriate) high-heeled boots, but I’m 5’8” without them – 4 inches taller than average female in the U.S. – so there is some validity to Man on 4th’s claim. As I walked to my car, I couldn’t help but think what an interesting observation he made. Several of my female coworkers, clients and other colleagues (what up, alliteration?!) are fairly tall. And if not, they are often found wearing heels.

So, is there an advantage to for women in PR to be tall or to frequently wear heels? Well, at the very least, it’s convenient. Below are 8 reasons why.

It’s convenient to be tall/wear heels in PR because…

  1. Height makes it easier to see over spectators and media when running events/press conferences. (Although, I have been forced to lay in front of them…)
  2. Longer legs = longer strides = faster walking. When isn’t a PR person in a rush?
  3. There is no need for a laser pointer when giving a presentation.
  4. Setting up those damn retractable display signs are challenging enough without being unable to reach the top.
  5. Placing carry-on bags in overhead compartments can be done without the help of the flight attendant. (And you can easily reach the reading lamp if you are still putting the final touches on that plan you have to present when you land. Or, you can easily reach the call button when you need a cocktail on the way back home…)
  6. You’re able to hail cabs over shorter passersby.
  7. You can adjust the GOBO yourself when the lighting guy can’t quite get it the way you want.
  8. You can stand behind the camera guy and still get a good view of the interview.

Now, I’m fully aware that height does not contribute to one’s ability to think strategically, speak eloquently or write proficiently. Moreover, wearing heels does not make one better at providing strategic counsel, guiding an organization through a crisis, developing inventive campaigns, or engaging audiences with tact and ingenuity. I’m not suggesting taller people are more apt, but rather, as a fairly tall person, I’m attempting to find the silver lining after being called-out in an elevator by a stranger.

However, there is one advantage; one female truth universally acknowledged that must be said: wearing heels does make jeans look more “business casual” #justsayin

And another perk of wearing heels? The height advantage for catching bouquets at weddings, of course:

Hey, never miss an opportunity to compete, and win. Now that’s a PR truth.

Of Glasses and Doppelgangers

Yes, I’m still blogging.

Thanks for the lack of faith in my ability to follow through. I just took the holiday(s) off, but that allowed for a plethora of lessons I’ll be getting to in the coming days (including flu shots, successful miming and Black Friday failure).

But today, let’s discuss how I’ll buy anything from anyone who says I look like Eva Mendes.

This learning process technically started a week ago when I decided it was time to buy new glasses. The glasses I previously wore are about 12 years old. Not only has my prescription since then gone from bad to worse, but round wire-rimmed styles were apparently fashionable at the time. Wearing them today, I look like Harry Potter.

To be fair, the glasses weren’t that great at the time either, and I switched to contacts almost immediately. Glasses on my face = not cute. Over the years, I tried to purchase new glasses, but there wasn’t a single pair that looked remotely good on me. Friends and sales associates who attempted to help also agreed: stick to contacts.

But after hearing another lecture from another optometrist, insisting that I need to give my eyes a break from constant contact wear, I decided to be responsible and buy a new pair to wear around the house (because lord knows I have no business wearing glasses in public).

So last Saturday, I decided to pop into a local shop – just to browse; not to buy. The sales associate – who, first of all, was quite a dapper young lad, clearly giving him the advantage here – insisted he had seen me before and thought I was in the shop just a few days ago. After assuring him that it was my first time in the store, he kept trying to place me while handing me a few frame options – some good, most not so good, all more than I wanted to pay. Then he placed a brown-framed pair of glasses on me, paused and said: “I know why you look familiar: you look like Eva Mendes.”

Sir, you have just made a sale.

Sure enough, following the Eva Mendes reference, my ego was so receptive to compliments on the frame options that I knew I was not walking out of there without a new pair of glasses. So much for browsing only. To make it more pathetic, the final three options were frames he picked out because they were most like the pair Eva wore in Hitch.

Not surprisingly, I bought the frames I was wearing when he first made the Eva Mendes comparison. Come on, Lindsay – have some self-respect.

But the day gets better… Later that evening, while celebrating Kate’s birthday at a local pub, the night got off on the wrong foot because bartender opened my tab under “Lindsay” instead of “Hyman”, thus ruining my drink ordering entertainment for the evening. Because yes, 15 years after learning its alternate meaning, I still find my last name hilarious. But then, the bartender passed me my drink and said: “has anyone ever told you that you look like Eva Mendes?”

Sir, you are the greatest mixologist that ever lived, this is the most exceptional gin and tonic I’ve ever imbibed, I no longer care about my last name, and you have just secured yourself a fine tip.

Yeah, it was rail. But it doesn’t end there.

Yesterday, following the Patriots vs. Eagles game (what up, Philly?), I decided a celebratory peanut butter frozen yogurt treat was in order. I walked into Pinkberry and quickly learned that peanut butter was only a seasonal flavor and it has been replaced by pumpkin. Blower. As I turned to walk out door, the kid behind the counter said: “hey – you look like that girl from Hitch. What’s her name?”

Sir, her name is Eva Mendes and I’ll take a cup of the pumpkin.

But if you remember, as we established on Wednesday, I don’t like pumpkin pie, nor anything else pumpkin flavored. But you better believe that compliment-topped pumpkin FroYo was de-licious. Embarrassing, Lindsay. Embarrassing.

To be fair, this isn’t the first time Eva Mendes has named my doppelganger, but it sure did sway my buying habits. I get the Eva reference every now and again when I wear my hair straight with side-swept bangs, and top it off with, you know, a shower and some mascara:

Eva Mendes Doppleganger?

Sheer luck.  I mean, I’ve also been called Jordin Sparks:

Sneak peak at me with glasses.

And Michelle Obama:

It's the double strand of pearls...

So, it really depends on the day, or rather, on the hair.

So what I learned: Clearly, I’ll buy anything from anyone who says I look like Eva Mendes.

More important… What you should have learned: If you need a favor from me, try leading with: “Hey Linz, you look like Eva Mendes today”. You just might get a kidney.

Read Labels or have Pink Cheesecake

Right now, there is a pink cheesecake in my oven. (I know that sounds questionable/dirty, but read on…)

Thanksgiving is upon us. This means turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, casseroles of various sorts, and pumpkin pie. If you are like me and you don’t like pumpkin pie (slash can’t eat it), you need an alternative. Enter: cheesecake.

I’ve been gluten-free for almost a year and half now. This was driven first by my being a trend-follower, and also in an effort to improve my swimming stamina, until I learned in January 2011 that I actually have a “gluten sensitivity” and must be diligent in reading labels. I’ve also been sugar-free (-ish), so dessert options are hard to come by. That’s when I began making my own gluten-free, sugar-free cheesecakes which have been praised by my friends, family and coworkers.

And that’s about all I can cook.

So, while preparing to make my cheesecake for tomorrow’s festivities, I decided to get creative and add two of my favorite ingredients to the mix: chocolate and coconut.

Everything was going well. I followed the preparation instructions correctly:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Pour glass of wine for inspiration
  3. Turn on holiday music (which was “Little Dummer Boy” and not very cheery, so I switched to the 90’s station and the first song was Usher’s “Nice and Slow”… win!)

Then I started the rest of the recipe…

Crust went fine. Almond meal is mad expensive, but almonds are mad cheap. So I make my own by placing blanched almonds in a coffee grinder. If my cheesecake tastes a bit like DD coffee = bonus.

Then I moved on to the filling… Again, everything was going fine until I got to the “1 tsp of vanilla extract” part. Now on my second glass of wine, and busy rocking out to Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” then playing on the 90’s channel, I reached into my spice cabinet and pulled out what I thought was vanilla extract…except that is was red food coloring.

Two seconds later, my filling mix was pink. (Damn it!)

Not in the mood to start over and/or walk to Whole Foods for more organic (yes) Neufchâtel cream cheese (yes, again), I decided to go with it. I added the coconut flakes and chocolate bar crushed into morsels and popped that bad boy in the oven. (BTW – the chocolate was crumbled by the end of a power screwdriver because I couldn’t find my hammer and I don’t own a rolling pin…)

Thirty minutes later: my cheesecake looks like a freckled Elmo. Silver lining: if it doesn’t end up tasting great, at least it looks friendly.

What I learned today: I’m good at reading labels in the grocery store, not so much my kitchen. Also, perhaps the 90’s music station should wait until after the cheesecake goes in the oven (FYI – it’s now Ace of Base’s “The Sign” – amazing). Lastly, one could do worse than have pink cheesecake for Thanksgiving; it could be pumpkin pie.

Anywho, here’s the recipe…

Lindsay’s Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake in Pink

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 tsp melted butter
  • 1 Splenda packet (or another sugar substitute)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cream cheese blocks, 8 oz each (I like Neufchâtel because there are fewer calories. Judge.)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 20 packets of Splenda (or another sugar substitute)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract red food coloring
  • 1 ounce no sugar added coconut flakes (make sure it’s GF)
  • 1 ounce no sugar added chocolate (make sure it’s GF)

Directions:

  • Combine crust ingredients in a bowl and press into the bottom of a pie dish.
  • Place crust in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown, then remove from oven.
  • Mix cream cheese (soften it by microwaving for a minute), eggs, sour cream, and vanilla food coloring in a large bowl and beat with a mixer or wisk until fluffy.
  • Once ingredients are well blended, mix in coconut flakes and crumbled chocolate morsels.
  • Place in the oven, mid rack. Immediately change the temperature from 400 degrees to 200 degrees, allowing the cheesecake to bake in a slowly dropping temperature environment.
  • Bake for about 60 to 90 minutes, until firm to the touch.
  • Get creative by dripping leftover melted chocolate and coconut flakes on top.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to the refrigerator.
  • Allow it to cool completely before serving. Consider serving with fresh berries and topping off with no sugar added whipped cream. I plan to serve it with raspberries and strawberries just to confuse everyone about the color/flavor – why not?

Happy Pinksgiving!

Officially a Caucafrican

It’s been confirmed – I’m officially 50% black and 50% white.

Or is it Black and White? Or is it African-American and Caucasian? Not sure which is P.C. these days and less awkward for people say. (But don’t you just love when people start stuttering because they don’t know which version to use – ha!)

Now, I’m assuming a DNA test could confirm this too (or you know, my black father and white mother), but my very scientific findings are based on something far more reliable: Stuff White People Like.

The creators of this blog have identified 134 things that white people like. I assume that their list could be longer, but they haven’t updated it since September 2010 because their blog became a (second) successful book and their humorous commentary became available for speaking engagements (note to self…)

Either way, I took this list of stuff white people liked, dumped it into an Excel spread sheet, and marked each “thing”:

  • Yes – as a white person, I like this
  • No – as a black person, I don’t like this
  • Maybe – as a female, I can’t make up my mind

This, in theory, would give me my official, uncontested racial percentage breakdown. The result: 39% white, 32% black, 25% woman.  Not helpful.

So I forced myself to stop being a girl and make a yes or no decision. After over analyzing each undecided “thing” (guess where #56 Lawyers landed on my list) and taking the bloggers’ rationale into account, I divvyed each gray response clearly into black and white. The final result: 67 yays and 67 nays. Ladies, Gentlemen, Kenny (love you, bro) – I’m half white and half black!

Proof I’m 50% white  

Proof I’m 50% black

In conclusion: What does this mean? I’m a Caucafrican! I’m clearly not one or the other, though others often refuse to accept that. I don’t fit into the predefined categories (though, who does). Regardless of what your perception may be of someone – based on skin color or disposition – only he/she can say who he/she truly is. We each choose our own identity and define our own sense of self. Mine may be based on a humor blog, but that works for me. So for the record, if you ask me to choose just one, I’ll choose Caucafrican. And now I’ve got the data (…) to back me up. And in the end, it doesn’t make a difference; I’m just Lindsay.

But for the record, I’m making every effort to not breed with a fellow Caucafrican in the event this happens:

Two caucafrican parents = One black twin, one white twin.

 

 

But you better believe I would name those kids (male or female) Ebony and Ivory. Guess where I landed on #50 Irony?

Follow through

That’s right. I’m blogging. It’s shocking me too.

No, it’s not because of my love for Barney Stinson’s character on HIMYM. Yes, I’m aware readership will be low.  I’m blogging because I learned something today: follow through. The Urban Dictionary definition, that is – click with caution.

Indeed, I find this funny (see my About page), but that got me thinking about the Dictionary.com definition of “follow through” and how I often suck at it. And then I thought of this blog…

You see, this blog is actually not new. It used to be hosted on Blogspot and it’s more than 3 years old. Hanging out with my then-roommates (shout out Maggie, Kirby, Kate!), we came to the conclusion that I’m often “ohhhh-ing” to pop-culture and lingo references. So I started a blog that would cover the thing(s) I learned each day that were likely discussed in the living room of 2900 Mainstone. I created the concept, drafted the about blurb, half-assed the design idea, and never wrote a single post.

Follow through.

Therefore, I’ve decided to start this up again. Or start rather. The design/layout may change, perhaps I’ll splurge on a custom URL, but I’m officially doing this! Tune in each day (or that’s the goal, anyway) to learn about what I learned about. Maybe you’ll learn something too! Or you can just judge me for being so behind the ball.

So — practicing what I learned today and following through. And to preempt the comments of my inappropriate friends, I’m indeed talking about the dictionary.com definition. Thanks for reading.