Monday, January 16, 2012

Spending Time in the Shallow End of the Pool

I had such a Judgy-McJudgerson weekend….it was awesome!

The stars aligned and brought me the Miss America Pageant on Saturday, followed by the Golden Globes on Sunday. Obviously I was #winning.

Let’s break it down…shall we?

To be clear and to remind all of us beforehand, the Miss America Pageant is a “scholarship competition”!!! (stamps feet, raises eyebrow). Therefore….they must have written an essay or solved an algorithm to qualify…right? Nope! There is an evening gown, swimsuit, talent (cough) competition followed by a Q & A with the judging panel. Oh and the judging panel? Let’s just say, MENSA Members need not apply. How do I know this? One of the judges names rhymed with Kardashian.

They added a fun twist for the viewers at home by including little nonsensical tidbits about the finalists that appeared in text at the bottom of the screen. Information such as, Miss Illinois is “afraid of windmills”, or Miss Oklahoma “knows how to give a cow a pedicure”.

Miss Illinois eventually was crowned the winner, which proves that just because you suffer from Anemomenophobia, doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve greatness.

FYI…even after watching the pageant whilst consuming chipits of un-melted fondue chocolate (from the bag no less), I still went to bed feeling pretty darn good about myself.

The pageant was simply a primer for my Sunday night, which was spent watching the Golden Globes hosted by the hilariously inappropriate Ricky Gervais. After hosting the 2011 Golden Globes he received a lot of criticism, but responded to said critics by saying that the Golden Globe audience "wasn’t a room full of wounded soldiers" but "the richest, most privileged people in the world!"

True. Get over yourselves people.

All in all, the time spent watching both programs was 5 hours of my life that I will never get back. I could have exercised my right to change the channel to something less trivial like Hillbilly Handfishing, but instead I turned it into a learning experience. Here are my “take aways”:

Give them space: Unless you are going to teleport the winners to the stage to accept their award, provide sufficient space between the tables allowing easy access to the podium.

Don’t rely on technology: When the teleprompter froze and Julianne Moore and Rob Lowe had to rely on (gasp) their improvisation skills until a paper script was handed to them…it just proved that even the biggest budget events need to have a back up plan.

You get what you pay for: Personally, I don’t think that Gervais was irreverent enough this year, but that didn’t keep me from watching the entire 3-hour telecast. I watched because something might happen. The Hollywood Foreign Press knew what the potential was when they hired Ricky. Takeaway for planners? When you are hiring a speaker for your event – always do your research; get references and recommendations; ask to see clips of previous engagements.

Have the courage to try something new: The weird bits of information that appeared on the bottom of the screen during the Miss America pageant was a good idea gone bad. We all know that each gal wishes for world peace so we don’t need to be reminded of it. The vacuum between “wishing for world peace” and being “afraid of windmills” could have been filled with information such as, “volunteers at her local shelter”. I’m just sayin.

Next up? The Oscars!!!!!! I might even melt the fondue chocolate next time.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't pee on me and tell me that it's raining....

One of my very few (okay, okay..I have more than a few) pet peeves in life is being lied to…or deliberately misled, or manipulated or B.S.’d. I don’t think any of us like it. It makes us feel a little dirty and not in a good way. I have a B.S. meter that is very sensitive and reacts quite quickly and accurately around even small, seemingly innocuous piles of steer manure. Oftentimes, when listening to a conversation, I gauge the B.S. factor of the exchange. A high B.S. factor sometimes results in raucous laughter and snorting coffee out of my nose…that is, until I realize they were serious. Then I get peeved.

Why this sudden interest in B.S.? I actually got thinking about it after reading the blog post, “This Post is Filled With Bullshit” by Erika Napoletano on her blog RedheadWriting. NOTE: This gal is funny and smart and yes….you should also follow her on twitter. She shares my dislike of thinking inside/outside/underneath the so called “box” and plus…she uses pretty colours on her blog and rumour has that she might be giving away ponies….

I believe that my sensitivity to B.S. came from my upbringing. Yes….I am going to blame my parents for something else. It started with “Are we almost there?” to which they responded, “only a few more miles”. Hours later (no…not very perceptive at that age), I would realize that my parents were lying and that Hell No! we were not almost there yet.

More from my parents:

“You haven’t stopped growing yet honey…give it time” (nope! I peaked at 5’1” – please bear in mind that this advice was coming from my 5’8” father and 5’2” mother)

“Winning isn’t everything” (yes….it is)

“If you cross your eyes, they will stay that way” (mostly a lie, except for my cousin Kevin…he has one looking at you and one looking for you)

Later in life came, “Do these palazzo pants make me look fat?” and the answer would always be, “No! Of course they don’t”. But in fact….the palazzo pants were not a good fit for a 5 foot tall, short legged gal. Same deal for the tight perm (I looked more like Bob Ross than Diana Ross), the Dirndl skirt and my fascination with corduroy vests.

All of these life experiences assisted me in developing my B.S. meter and I feel that now in my 47th year it is pretty much ninja level in its accuracy. Basically….I can smell it a mile/kilometer away.

Is honesty the best policy? In business, I “honestly” believe that it is. Please do not tell me over the phone that the hall will hold 250 people when it clearly won’t; don’t tell me that something will be delivered the next day knowing that it is a logistical impossibility; please do not over-promise and then under-deliver; basically……please do not intentionally disappoint me. Why? It makes me sad and there is a distinct possibility that a puppy/fairy/unicorn/dolphin might die… you really want that on your conscience?

So…although steer manure makes for good fertilizer, (you should keep it handy for social occasions, with family and friends and hey….even blog posts), it won’t help a professional relationship grow.

My wish for 2012? Less crap