They’re lumpy again. Which means I get to get felt up by random “medical professionals” again.
What a goat rodeo! Praying I come out the other side, just like all the last times.
Stupid boobs! Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
They’re lumpy again. Which means I get to get felt up by random “medical professionals” again.
What a goat rodeo! Praying I come out the other side, just like all the last times.
Stupid boobs! Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
What’s it look like? What’s it called? What’s the tone? What’s the colors? How’s it received? Who’s your target? What’s their impression?
These are all questions to ask when branding something. As a “professional corporate marketer” by day, I’ve named things; I’ve given them a look and a persona; I’ve set the tone and the voice. I’ve hidden behind a mirror eating M&Ms while someone asked customers what they think of “it.” I’ve spent millions of dollars advertising “it.” I’ve looked at web metrics, direct mail response rates and sales metrics.
I’ve done it all.
Then I tried to brand myself.
What started out as a joke in the halls of said corporate marketing job, became a nickname. Then it became a license plate (no joke). Then it became a website.
This past weekend, at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, we talked a lot about brand vs. voice. While I went in understanding both, I never truly took a step back and looked hard at myself.
So there ya go. Just box that up and I’ve been branded. Not so easy, right?!!
Let’s examine where I’m currently at:
OTT – I am not from Ottawa. While I love Canadians, I don’t want any misconceptions of me trying to be something glamorous that I am not.
MAMA – I am more than a mother and more often than not I am not writing about the Scholastic Book Fair, MarketDay or Homeschooling. If I am writing about it, I’m guessing it’s not in a positive light.
OTTMAMA – not to be confused with an ottoman.
So there in lies my possible branding dilemma.
I am confident in my voice. I have a sharp tongue that may, at times, seem snarky and sarcastic. We will call it a sharp tongue for now as saying snarky or sarcastic is like yelling FIRE in a movie theater. Everyone seems to run from those descriptions. I hold them tight.
Having left the conference, I feel a heavy period of introspection (fancy suburban word) needing to occur. Who am I? What do I want you to think of me at a glance? What do I look like? What do I want you to call me?
Aww, shit. I just got deep on you. Sorry.
So here’s the deal. I’m gonna make a list of things. I will invite you someplace. I will hide behind a mirror, eat M&Ms, have a stranger ask you random questions (yes, there will be wrong answers!) and I will write down what you say. At least those things I agree with.
You in? Good. Keep your eyes peeled for invitation. Aww hell, just throw your comments at me now. I’ll be sitting here. Eating M&Ms. Watching you. From behind that mirror.
Oh and if you come to ottmama.com some day soon and it’s called “hereshernewbrand.com” and everything is pink & green a la Lily Pulitzer (cause I’ve decided I’m light, airy and pastely), just roll with it and keep reading. I promise the snark will still be there.
Yesterday was Leap Day. A day that isn’t supposed to happen. Not real. That means yesterday didn’t happen so today is really my birthday.
And then tomorrow the *official calendar* says it’s March 2nd. My birthday.
So today is my birthday.
And tomorrow is my birthday.
And that is my logic for the day.
Happy Birthday to me!
It’s finally here. That one week a year when everything stops and everyone focuses on me. Every. One. All. About. ME!
Some calendars publish without this holiday noted, so apologies for that! You’ve now been informed of this national celebration. Since *it’s my birthday* week, things are gonna be really different. Here’s how this different, special week is gonna go:
Yep, Birthday Week is way different than all the other weeks. It’s my week to be special and be spoiled. Maybe I won’t do the dishes this week. Oh that’s right SuperHusband does them anyway. Well, maybe I won’t…..ummmm, remind anyone to brush their teeth. No, should probably keep doing that. Maybe, I won’t shower and blow-dry my hair every day this week. Oh that’s right. I don’t do that anyway.
What I will do is smile and know *it’s my birthday* at the end of the week. That special day of the year that is MY DAY. Everyone should have their day and celebrate their birthday like a crazy lady. Celebrate like *it’s your birthday*! We all need more things to celebrate so embrace it and C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E!! If you want to seize my birthday as a reason to celebrate this week, go for it!
And I’m not afraid to tell you my age. I will be 39, and that means the countdown to 40 begins. There’s some crazy stuff I wanna do this year before 40 happens. Kinda like a bucket list, completed in one year. More on that to come, but for now, it’s my birthday week. Let’s focus on that and me. Crazy lady celebrating her birthday!
To start the week in a crazy celebration of celebrating, I’ve got kids to wake up, breakfast to make and emails to answer. I am very important this week and someone very important has to do these things!
To keep you up to date on my glamorous travel, the last time we spoke I informed you of an upcoming flight with Delta. It was a doozy (fancy suburban word!) so let me tell you just how it went.
I almost thought the entire trip was material-less meaning nothing odd happened and it was gonna be a trip that didn’t get blogged. It was all of the usual suspects…airport, easy travel there, uneventful meetings, nice overnight at the hotel with little to no responsibilities, another day of meetings, on-time departure flight, security line a little long but no matter, time to slam a beer at the airport Friday’s and on my way home I head.
All on-time, gonna land as expected, in time for bed and goodnight kisses. Look at me! Super-MOM, balancing (PS – I hate that word) all my worldly responsibilities.
As we approach the landing, I’m deep into my Fortune magazine (I read glamorous things like that!) learning all about Nike’s new approach to marketing…mostly social, not much traditional. During the day, I play the role of marketer in Corporate America so these kinda articles still fascinate me. And those on the plane around me are super fascinated by my smart-i-ness! I can see it on their faces.
But now we’re landing. Seatbacks and tray tables are in their upright and locked positions. As we are approaching, I glance out the window provided by my window seat to see how close we are to landing. I can see the truck drivers as we fly over the Interstate as we continue our approach. And there’s the runway.
Next step is gonna be touch down so I turn my head back to my reading.
Except we don’t land. Instead of going the couple extra feet down, all we feel is a quick jerk up. And up and up and up! WAIT. Landing means down. We are going back UP. Wheels and everything. Back up.
There’s mostly silence on the plane as we are all processing what’s happening. You see heads turning toward each other but not much is said. I simply say to the guy next me, “uummmm, this kinda feels like the wrong direction.” Yes, I am snarky in all situations!
The wheels have come back up and we begin to circle around. Mind you we’ve heard nothing from the flight crew so of course all of us are *subtly* wondering, umm WTF! Followed by a WWWWTTTTTFFFFFF!
As we make our way back into the flight pattern, the flight attendant comes on to tell us “these things can happen for many reasons. Air traffic control, heavy traffic.”
I’ve got a window seat. I’ve landed at this airport way more times than I can count. If I look out my handy dandy window, I can see mayBE one other plane on the approach. It’s also late enough for me to know not a whole lot is leaving this airport this time of night as we are no longer any kinda hub. And 2/3s of our airport is permanently shut down. Not. much. leaving. = not heavy traffic. (Remember, I’m reading Fortune and I’m super smart!)
Tell me another Ms. Flight Attendant!
My head goes to the only logical place it can when this happens in really good weather. HOLY CRAP our ass was about to hit someone/something!! I’m in a little commuter jet and I almost became a news story. Holy crap!
It’s time to change my underwear.
Next go’round we land safely and make our way to the gate. Never a peep from the pilots. We all get off the plane and then have to stand in this goat rodeo…
Isn’t there some really smart person in logistics that can find a much, much better way to do this? Maybe someone in logistics that reads Fortune? Just sayin’
I make my way home, give the family some extra, extra long hugs and of course, post on Facebook that I just experienced an aborted landing and shat my pants thanks to Delta. The comments start flying in from a few others that have experienced similar, a couple with pilot connections that said “hells to the yes, you were about to hit something so that’s why they abort” and others that say “oh that’s why the seat was wet when I got on the flight.”
Yes, that’s why. You sat in someone’s shat after a tramatic flight experience. Enjoy your flight!!
My mom saw my FB post so had to call and hear my voice. I told her I’m fine and home safe with my husband and kids. My dad traveled a crapton (fancy suburban word) when I was a kid so I asked him if he’d ever experienced an aborted landing.
“OH yeah. I’ve had brakes catch on fire, engines catch on fire when thrown in reverse, plane hit by lightning.”
Okay, you win! Good talk.
I’m not traveling for a while, at least nothing glamorous on the calendar, personal or professional, for a few weeks. Which is just fine with me as that last landing officially wore me out!
I’m looking forward to staying at home for a while….not showering, and enjoying my very own routines at home, both personal and professional. Reading Fortune and whatnot will have to wait until I am in public again!
On our roadtrip to Chicago this past weekend, we got to take the toll road. My husband’s favorite type of road in the whole wide world, and man do I love to hear all about his love for stopping every few miles to throw coins in a net. LOOOOVE IT.
This trip we experienced a little something different. Now mind you, it’s me, my husband, 2 kids and a suitcase in your average mini van. A Honda Odyssey, if you need the full picture. Oh and probably some french fries, straw wrappers and a Capri Sun pouch or two thrown in for good measure. We are the average American family, on a road trip.
Except this time it wasn’t average. For those of you that have experienced the joy of the toll roads, not the *you have a ticket that tells you what you have to pay* but the *we are gonna weigh your vehicle and charge you based on # of axles* toll booth, you know how it works. You pull up, it reads 2 axles, you have the change in hand for 2 axles, so you drop it quickly, wait the eternity for the gate to rise and you’re on your way. Zoom Zoom!
But then there’s this one time, the time you weigh 3 axles. Yep THREE. A.k.a – you’re extra fat & heavy.
So what happens? First, I scramble to find an extra 20 cents which is harder than you may think when rummaging through french fries and straw wrappers. We quickly throw in our extra money and drive away.
My next thought is DAMN! Damn cause I didn’t get a picture and this is probably never gonna happen again. Then the husband and I have the most entertaining conversation about how obnoxiously fat we’ve obviously become. F-A-T! So fat we are another axle.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve pushed the limits of my muffin top this winter season. I own jeans in such a range of sizes it makes me cry. I try not to wear any of them. I wear yoga pants proudly and with *longish, should maybe be longer* tshirts.
But a full axle?
Luckily, by the next toll booth, we were back down to 2 axles (BEST DIET EVER!!) and were very impressed with our rapid weight loss, dedication to losing the weight, watching what we ate and time spent at the gym. Best 15 miles ever.
So to continue the rapid weight loss, the following is a photo of my caloric intake for the day.
I hope it’s not too many calories but I did drink the FULL 2.5 servings. I obviously have zero willpower. And man oh man do I feel full!
*ignore the nutty bars in the pantry, ignore the nutty bars in the pantry, ignore….*
These days, I’ve been hitting the road. Some for work, some personal, all of it attached with some kinda drama. Travel is so damn glamourous – let me illustrate the ways.
My work travel usually takes me to one of two very glamorous cities: Pittsburgh or Cleveland. Travel to Pittsburgh requires flight. Cleveland, I can rent a car and haul my ass north. All’s good.
The last trip to Pittsburgh was painful. First leg, no problem. Direct flight (GLAMOUR), early morning, gorgeous sunrise. And boy how I love being awake for a sunrise!
Made my way, arrived safely, thought thoughts as I often do of many seen at the airport, then sat in conference rooms. I added an amazing amount of value to all conversations. Then I had a nice night in a hotel room. A night without any responsibilities of feeding others, sleeping with others, cleaning others and do anything for others (GLAMOUR). It was all me and that’s always nice now and then. And room service. I am also good at room service (GLAMOUR) (photo edited for extra glamour).
I had all my meetings and then it was time to come home. Ice is on it’s way to Pittsburgh, but NO PROBLEM, I’m getting out of town the night before it hits. Direct flight and I’m home safe. Except my flight was cancelled (GLAMOUR). And Delta was kind enough to book me on a flight through ATL, with a 5 hour layover leaving the next day. Saturday. I had other plans for my Saturday. As a business traveller I’m well connected with a Corporate Travel Department (GLAMOUR) so I call them to make my life better and an arrival home that night mandatory.
Mandatory may be too strong of a word, but I get booked on a flight that gets me home at 11pm. Through a city no where near my final destination. Whatever I’m on my way home. I’m getting home tonight!
Except I’m not. We land around 1am (GLAMOUR) and there’s so much ice I can’t drive home. So I spend the night at the airport hotel (GLAMOUR) with about 7 other passengers (different rooms of course) and drive home Saturday morning.
Then I had a weekend in Chicago with some old friends.
And that was F.U.N! Again, no responsibility for “others” (GLAMOUR). Just have some fun. Fun was had. My ride was super fast and a little dirty but I turned a 5 hour drive into about 20 minutes.
Bars, Michigan Avenue (GLAMOUR), Bars, Shopping, Bars (GLAMOUR), Chatting, Bars, Makeup Counters (GLAMOUR), Bars (GLAMOUR).
Then another business trip. A drive up to Cleveland (GLAMOUR) for an overnight. For these drives, I rent a vehicle. A nice ride from my friends at Enterprise. I’ve been renting from Enterprise for years. Never a problem.
Then I had this drive to Cleveland.
These friends gave me a Camry (GLAMOUR). A nice ride. Cruise (GLAMOUR), heat, power windows, all’s good. I’m on my way. Up the interstate I head. Then I’m in Cleveland. Off the interstate. At stoplights. And this Camry stalls out at each red light (GLAMOUR). Ugh? This doesn’t seem quite right. I make it to my hotel, call my friends at Enterprise and they are gonna make it right.
Since they’ve got it handled, I head off to my new home from 24 hours. The beloved conference room. Enterprise calls me twice that afternoon that all is set, cars have been exchanged, all is right in the world again (GLAMOUR).
NOTE to self: when the friends at Enterprise switch out your vehicle, ask these friends to tell you more about your new ride.
I did not ask questions. I was happy all was set. Then it was time to go home. My valet friends at the Hyatt brought around my new ride. I didn’t know what I was looking for.
This is not what I was looking for. “This” was an older Ford Focus (GLAMOUR), with many miles (GLAMOUR), no friendly no smoking here stickers inside, a strong scent inside (GLAMOUR) and NO CRUISE (GLAMOUR). Excuse me, what?? (the following photo is NOT what I was given to drive but it may have well been…)
I’m no car snob, but this isn’t even close to the class of car I rented and oh by the way, you expect me to keep my foot on a pedal for the next 4 hours??!!??? Really, really?
I call my local Enterprise and share my frustrations. As tough and angry as I may get sometimes, I have a horribly hard time making calls like this. I can’t even send food back at a restaurant. The manager at the local branch understands my frustration and will make it right. Since I’m returning the car after hours, he will check the car in and I can call him after 10 am.
I can call him? Nope, not gonna happen. You can reach out to me. It’s your job to make an unhappy customer happy. I’m not sure what’s gonna make me happy. It’s a little late for a foot massage or throat lozenges (GLAMOUR) for that scent I *got to* smell for 4 hours.
This weekend is another personal trip, this time with family so I will have “others” to manage. I think I can handle it and fun is on our agenda (GLAMOUR). Next week includes another flight. For business. Delta and Mother Nature better have their cooperation hats on!
So remember friends, travel is very glamorous and I am living the life! The G-L-A-H-H-H-M-O-R-O-U-S life!
No we aren’t talking about THE girls today, we are talking about the girls. Those friends that you treasure, that you think of often, that you haven’t spoken to in months/years and wonder if they think of you as often as you think of them.
I met a couple of my girls in Chicago this weekend. And as I imagined, we picked up right where we left off. Topics included our kids, our husbands, our challenges, our complaints, our joys, our madness. Okay, maybe I’m the only one with madness, but whatever. We bonded at the makeup counter, the bar, the bar, the drinks at the hotel, Starbucks, the lobby and over brunch. Cause we’re like that now. We brunch.
Growing up, I lived in one place til high school graduation. Then I moved and moved and moved so more. Somehow I can now see 40 and think about all the girls that crossed my path and shared so much. Where are they now? How did we share so much then lose touch for so long? I wonder if I show up on their doorstep, (a) do they recognize me? and (b) do we scream, hug, share a drink and catch up? Oh how I’d love that. (c) my doorstep or yours??
So to all the girls I’ve lost touch with, the ones that meant so much to me…the girls from a long long time ago (Rachel, Megan, Beth, Rana, Shari, Nickey, Joaner, Jen) to the girls I met as a Mommy (shout out to the CLE) to the girls I’ve reconnected with (Megan & Kate) to the new friends that have learned I’m a rump shaker.
To all of you, I say I miss you. To all of you, I say I still think of you often. To all of you, I say hello again, how are you, how are your families?
To me, you’re my girls. And to me, you mean so very much. Much love to you, all these months and years later!!
For the next 24 hours, I will not have to say:
Wash your hands
Wipe your mouth
Close the door
Did you flush?
YES, this is dinner
Get off your brother
Chew with your mouth closed
Yes! It’s time for bed
I will not need to say these things because I’m far, far way from home. For a girls night with some old friends. In Chicago. We’re gonna get our MommyCrazy on and I can’t wait.
Kids – listen to your father tonight!
My girls in Chicago – wash your hands. Chew with your mouth closed. Keep the tattoos & body piercings to a minimum. Now let’s go rock this town.
WAIT, did any of you bring bail money??
There are few celebrities I really, truly admire and am convinced we will some day be the best of friends. I really, truly admire Ellen and know that one day we will meet and suddenly become the best of friends. I just now it!
I find Ellen simply amazing. She’s brilliantly funny, she’s incredibly passionate, hilarious and oh yeh, she’s gay.
I don’t understand why “she’s gay” is one of the few descriptors often used to describe her. I don’t talk about myself as brilliantly funny, hilarious and hetero. Do you know any normal heteros that shout out “I’m straight!” I don’t and I’d argue I’m mostly crooked, but whatever!
There’s a group out there, trying to get pretty vocal, that feels otherwise about Ellen. Some group calling themselves A Million Moms is very concerned about Ellen’s new relationship with JCPenney. They are idiots, there are no where near a Million of them and Ellen addresses them eloquently below:
Haters are my motivators! My response: Hello Best Friend! I knew this would work out between us. Yes, Yes and Yes to everything you said. Anything I can say further about this would only illustrate my fierce anger toward these people and people like them. Ellen tells me to be compassionate. I struggle with that in this situation and will try to find a way to fight the morons “with compassion.”
Compassionate mothers much wiser than myself have created a facebook page: One Million Moms Shopping at JCPenney for Ellen. I used my anger to like the page and add my voice to them. I know, not too hard to push the “like” button. Exactly, so go push it yourself and add your voice.
I’m also not one to shop at JCPenney. Right or wrong, I have a vision of what they sell not appealing to me and I probably haven’t been in their store since I was a kid. But that’s gonna change. I will be visiting JCPenney and I will buy something. JCPenney.com is at my fingertips as it is yours. Go get something now!
In business, numbers tell a story. Go support Ellen by buying something at JCPenney so they see the sales numbers they want and need in making a great choice in picking a new spokeswoman and sticking with her even when idiots are out there “complaining” due to their ignorance.
Hate is motivating me. May it motivate you too!