This is me...

This is me...
I'm having a mom moment....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicago, Day Two, Saturday, Part Two

So the restaurant that provided lunch was "Truffleberry Market" in Chicago, and it was really good.  After a little lunch, we had a smoothie demo from Cassie at The Green Grocer in Chicago.  (I may be getting the exact order of these things mixed up, but y'all don't really care, right?)  And, I don't know if y'all know this about me, but I am NOT what you might call a "health nut."  So when Cassie says she's gonna make this smoothie....with Kale in it....using "Hemp Milk" and Maca Powder, and Chia Seeds, I almost just tune it out.  Luckily I didn't.  She gave us the standard smoothie recipe which is:

2 Cups of fruit (frozen)
1 Cup of leafy greens (Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, etc.)
1 Cup of liquid
1/2 Cup of ice

It was okay.  I doubt I will be making any Kale smoothies, and I had never even heard of Hemp Milk, Maca Powder, or Chia Seeds.  But if you want to make it, you can now since I have given you the recipe. 

We were broken off into our groups again and given 20 minutes to learn about a vacuum, script a 30 second promo ad, and film it.  Big shock, I was convinced to be the on-camera person for our ad.  I sucked.  This is how it was supposed to go:

"I get it, you're busy -- your 2 year old just dumped a box of Cheerios in the kitchen and your 4 year old has spent the last 10 minutes shredding a Kleenex in the hallway.  You don't have time to listen to how awesome my life is since I got this vacuum.  This is the Kenmore Progressive Canister Vacuum.  This thing can handle the Cheerios and get the tissue bits without slowing down.  The soft horse hair brush means that you can get your 8 year old's glitter off of Grandma's antique dining table without worrying about scratches, the swivel means that you can maneuver around the dog, the kids, and the husband with ease.  The crossover wand extends to get the cobwebs from the corners before your mother-in-law shows up.  The crevice tool is stored in the handle where you can get to it easily and the retractable cord means that when you're done, you're DONE.  Trust me -- do yourself a favor and get this vacuum and make your life easier.  Now go take care of those Cheerios before he adds the milk."
That, unfortunately, is not how it went.  Nope.  Not even close.  I started out just fine.  Then I forgot the name of the vacuum.  So I cursed and started over.  Then I couldn't get the features that I was describing as super easy to BE super easy.  So I cursed and started over.   Then I got about halfway done, and the person filming interrupts me and says "That was 30 seconds."  Which resulted in me saying "Dammit!  Are you serious?!  How could that have been 30 seconds??!"  They were all laughing (because they were on the other side of the camera), and said to just wrap it up.  So I did this:
"Look at your vacuum.  Now look at this one.  Now look at your vacuum.  And look at this one.  You need this vacuum."
When they showed the films at the end of the day, the crowd was laughing hysterically at all of the bloopers.  Another team won.  We came in second place.  If I hadn't cursed, we probably would have won.  Oh well.

The best part of the day was when Evan Hansen from Wired spoke to us.  He talked about how blogger's are often the best and fastest source for news and current events -- surpassing trained journalists because they don't have to follow the same rules. They don't have editors.  They don't have to wait for approval from anyone.  And they use language that their readers can better relate to and add personal opinions into their writing giving the topics a distinct voice.  Blogging is faster and more responsive than old-style journalism. There is a real connection with the audience.  "Niche blogging" is what is winning on the web (FYI -- I have no niche....).   Companies love to work with bloggers, particularly those niche bloggers with dedicated followings.  One quote that really stuck with me was "We are no longer in the culture of the book, we're in the culture of the screen."  This is both exciting and sad to me because I love to write.  I have always felt confined to my screen since I have been unable to find a publisher.  I would love to get my name "in print" -- on the cover of an actual book.  I learned so much from Evan -- both at dinner Friday night and from listening to him speak on Saturday.  (When he asked what I wrote about, and I told him "Whatever the hell I want" he smiled and said "Good answer.")

So on that note, let me assure you all that I am still me.  I am still full of snark, sarcasm, and I will continue to share my stories.  I am not going to change my blog in order to court companies into begging me to sell their products for them.  Kenmore did an awesome job of making certain that we WANTED to talk about this weekend, and believe me, I got home and couldn't wait to tell you all about the stuff I saw.  But I am not a food or travel blog.  I am not a contest, a review or consumer reports-like blog and I don't want to be.  My blog is about me and my life and the things that effect me in ways that the writer in me just has to get them all out.  That is what it will continue to be.

I have no idea how one is "supposed to" blog about these type of events because this was my first one.  I may never get invited to another one of these types of things.  I don't know, I probably did it wrong.  I am certain that I stepped on a few toes when I received my gift for attending.  Kenmore had sent out an email before the summit asking us to rank 5 small appliances in the order we'd most like to have them, then at the end of the day on Saturday they let us know that we'd all be receiving our first choice from that list as a thank you from Kenmore.  I was thrilled.  The item in the number one spot on my list was a stand mixer.  I couldn't wait to get it.  It was the only item on the list that I didn't already have, and it was also the one thing that I would never buy for myself.  Yesterday, I got my gift.  It wasn't the mixer I was expecting.  It was a vacuum.  I know that this was a free gift, but I was crushed.  I knew from Twitter that everyone that I followed from last weekend all got their first choice.  For whatever reason, I didn't get mine.  I felt, once again, like I was not as important as the other bloggers.  So I sent an email to the organizers of the event and asked if I could return it to a local Sears for store credit that I could then put towards the mixer that I wanted.  It was probably a mistake to express displeasure with a free gift, but I couldn't help it.  I wanted that mixer.  It was the only thing on the list I wanted that I didn't already have.

I haven't heard back yet, but I am certain that it will be the one thing that will get me kicked off the list for the next Blogger's Summit.  I hope not.  I think that kenmore is an awesome company with awesome products and they put on one heck of a weekend summit.  Oh well.  if I don't get invited back I'll just have to go back to blogging about teachers that piss me off, treadmill Barbies that should hold their tongues, and my adorably insane kids.  Y'all don't mind, do you?


Carin said...

Well written, Lady G! Glad you decided not to "sell out".

No light without dark, no warmth without cold. Kenmore needs negative critiques as well as the positive ones. You give them both in one blog! They should be glad you did.

Maybe they expect a diplomatic, tactful way of criticising. If that's the case, they haven't read your blogs :-)

Hope you can get the money back on the vacuum so you can put it towards the mixer.

I'm off to fight Mt. Washmore (thanks for adding that to our vocabulary ;-).

A. E. said...

Love your blog how it is! Thanks for not changing.
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