Category Archives: Lindsay analyzes

How I Fared in 2012

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

 tri1

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

tri2

Goal #3: (See #2)

Result: Third tri complete, Sept 9

tri4

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.

header2.jpg

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.

car

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.

lhjs

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.

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Mid-year Review

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. (See #2) – I’ve got one more slated for September to kick-off BirthWeek. Almost-check.
  4. 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.
  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. – Will let you know in November.
  6. 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…
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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.) Let’s all just agree to email instead. Eh? Fail.
  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.) – Yeah, this one is just not happening. (Fail.)
  12. 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…

Hillz & Ben headlining a client event; covered by Suri Cruise

Brothers vs. Sisters

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.
 

Top 11 and 12 to Tackle

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:

  1. When the bartender fails, reach over the bar and pour your own drinks. (Fact)
  2. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is an appropriate substitute for grace at Christmas dinner. (Lesson taught by my 2.5 year old niece.)
  3. Boxing is not for the faint of heart. Nor is Hip Hop.
  4. I received a Christmas miracle in the form of a coat. (Hmm, this may need to be separate post, stay tuned.)
  5. Apples to Apples is most fun when you are politically outnumbered.
  6. Good friends usually offer good advice – even if it takes you months to finally listen.
  7. If you have a gluten allergy, don’t test it…
  8. I can swim one mile, non-stop. (I suppose I knew this, but it was harder than I thought.)
  9. I can run 6 miles, non-stop. (Did NOT know this, and it was easier than I thought.)
  10. 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?)
  11. 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:

  1. Per #8 – #11 above: complete a triathlon (I’ll chronicle this initiative in the “Lindsay TRIes” category)
  2. And because it’s a triathlon, I think it’s only fair that it occupies three of these goals…
  3. (See #2)
  4. 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.
  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.
  6. Per #6 on the 2011 list: don’t cheat myself and embrace change – could pay off better than expected.
  7. Increase the ROI and wear my glasses. (Largely in an effort to fish for more Eva Mendes references.)
  8. Finish the Harry Potter book series (a 2010 Christmas gift) some time before Christmas 2012.
  9. Take advantage of my height and make some magic happen for my clients and my teams.
  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.)
  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.)
  12. 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:

Arms Akimbo = Facebook appropriate

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.

Soooo, this:

Women the world over, however, know it best as the ideal position to be photographed in because:

  1. Your, um, “extra arm bulge” is made less visible as it’s not billowed against the side of your body;
  2. You can simultaneously push in your love handles, giving you a more hourglass-like figure; and
  3. 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:

  1. Obvi, the term “arms akimbo” courtesy of Buzz Feed.
  2. “Akimbo” is a fun word to say.
  3. 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:

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.

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?