Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Professional" Bloggers on Assignment - Part 2

For those of you who missed yesterday, Kate & I got a real honest to goodness blogger job that meant we got to fly to Chicago and watch a bunch of Second City improv actors film a series of internet videos depicting casting sessions to be the next Totino’s Pizza Stuffers Mom. By job I mean of course “not paid in actual money, even Candian dollars which are probably made up anyway (no offense, Amy).” Anyway notwithstanding that fact, Lydia was filled with Paltrow-like smugness that Rants from Mommyland had been chosen for this gig. And as all sane people know, being that self-satisfied is always a precursor for humiliation.

As soon as we arrived on the set (a restored firehouse - complete with a pole for Kate), we started to meet people. It was hard to keep them all straight – both because I am a moron and also because I had gotten no sleep the night before. Here’s a quick list:
  • The nice PR lady who’d invited us (LOVE HER and tiny, blonde cuteness),
  • The dude from the ad agency (who showed me pictures of his dog on his phone which of course made me like him instantly)
  • The director of the videos (who I managed to offend within 60 seconds of meeting him because I made the observation that the last four letters of his name were D-I-C-K)*
  • A really nice young man who worked there in some capacity that I don’t understand (who showed me how to connect my iPad to their internet and also offered to help me in any way I needed and I almost asked him if he could periodically remind me not to say anything to anyone but that would’ve been weird).
  • The lady from The Brand (who seemed very nice but I couldn't tell whether she was amused by us or slightly disappointed).
  • The producer of the videos (extremely professional and please note the lack of sarcastic quotation marks here).**
  • The actors (all of them awesome, talented and friendly).
  • Various other professionals (also lovely folks and very nice to us). 
*I actually did that. I told him his name had dick in it. I think I have some sort of disorder because normal people just don’t act like that.

**She was a slightly terrifying platinum-pixie’d type person with a neck tattoo that Kate swears is of a pizza. I was like ,“Shut your whore mouth – a pizza?” But then I looked at it closer and Kate was right - it really did look just like a pizza.

Most of these people were cool. And by cool, I don’t mean not warm. I mean hipster. Like maybe they weren’t cool in high school, but they are totally bad ass now. They were certainly the coolest collection of adults I have ever seen in one place. Not that that means anything given that the last adult-type gathering I attended was a discussion about whether or not our church should have a compost pile.

These people were attractive. They smoked. They cursed fluently without glancing around to see if small children were listening. Everything they said was clever and funny. They wore clothes that they probably bought someplace that you can’t also buy diapers – so pretty much NOT at Target. If any of them were approaching fashion trainwreck status (the place where I live), it was either because they had just put on a costume or because they were being ironic. They laughed and were friendly and wore interesting shoes and where do you even buy a pair of glasses that looks like that?

It is not an exaggeration to say that I am not cool. Not even a little. I am a fat housewife from the suburbs who managed to trick a PR person into thinking that she was a “professional” blogger. And here’s where the smugness downfall hit me like a face slap with a sandwich. Every single person I met (with the exception of the nice PR lady) was like “Oh hi! You’re one of the bloggers! Nice to meet you!” And then there silently followed their internal monologue -that went something like this (in the nicest possible way): Who is this woman and what is she doing here?

And of course, my internal monologue responded with: F*ck if I know. I should be at home cleaning the toddler potty right now.

Maybe it’s because they didn’t get the whole mommy-blog thing. Or they got it and were like – Really? A mommy-blogger? Don’t they make those by the thousand in China now? Couldn’t you at least get a good one? Was Jenny Lawson not available? But they tried to cover it up with good manners. Or maybe because this whole being a professional in the entertainment business was their real job and they were unaccustomed to random women in Pajama Jeans crashing their video shoots. Or maybe I’m just socially awkward.

In any case, whatever I was anticipating - that wasn’t it. If I had begged and pleaded and offered up a kidney to be allowed to watch everything (which for the record, I absolutely would have done), I would’ve expected the overwhelming sense that no one had any idea what we were there for. But we had been asked to come – whisked away from our real lives to participate in this venture. So we got there, and immediately got sort of confused as to our purpose. Mostly, because everyone else seemed affably confused by the same thing. I mean, we had a general idea of why were there:
  • Watch filming of funny videos
  • Interview actors as their mom characters
  • Write posts for our blog and The Huffington Post about the experience
  • Have fun while also reveling in the fact that for 24 hours I was far, far away from all my responsibilities.
  • Try to look like I was not a total fish out of water.

Meanwhile, stupid Kate looked just like all of them with her tiny ass and her white pants and her hair that had been brushed. Also, she had to spend a lot of time on the phone when we first got there because something from her real job needed her attention. So I got to be everyone’s first impression of Mommyland.

And of course, I’m an idiot, so that was probably no bueno. Then the filming started.

Part one of the epic odyssey is right here. Part three is tomorrow.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. There are places that sell clothing besides Target? (My husband's aunt says it with a french accent, "tarjeh.") Also, please hurry up, tomorrow, because I'm dying to know the rest of the story.

  2. Lydia, at least you own up to who you are and are not afraid to wear the awesomeness that is pajama jeans. I, on the other hand, am still lost in my dream world where I try to look amazing, but I always miss the mark by THAT MUCH. Not to mention the fact that my son probably just spit up on me and pooped his pants, so I'm distracted and stub my toe and he starts crying and the dogs are barking and fortheloveofMaude is it naptime yet?

    Coffee Fueled Family

  3. Oh Lydia... you just described me! If we were in school, I'd call you over to sit on my table in the cafeteria...you know, with all the other girls with frizzy hair and polyester shirts

  4. "A really nice young man who worked there in some capacity that I don’t understand (who showed me how to connect my iPad to their internet and also offered to help me in any way I needed and I almost asked him if he could periodically remind me not to say anything to anyone but that would’ve been weird)."

    This is usually me on video shoots. I'm the video tech, which also means the solver of everyone's issues involving electrons (those really fast really small things that make electronic thingys work). I love it, and I love all the different people I get to work with, which usually means people way cooler than me, a middle aged suburban dad of 4. Although I don't usually get to work on cool shoots like this one! Lydia- they will always remember you, even if it is as Pajama Jean Boobstain lady, they will remember you, in a good way.

  5. Sooo disappointed you're bashing Canadian dollars. You realize that during the summer, they were worth more than your American dollars right? Damn Americans and their not realizing we just wanna be loved too :(

  6. Lydia - you're flippin' awesome. That's all I have to say about that.

  7. You girls are funny! Can't WAIT to hear the rest... (please post it soon!!!)

  8. this post kind of breaks my heart, because it's ME. sometimes i walk in some place and feel so instantly uncool and out of it because i've pushed a baby out of my hoo ha and haven't showered since. i really hope you were able to take it as well as you appear to be taking it, because i might have just felt miserable and cried.

  9. Lydia, I'll tell you what I told my hubs this morning after he bemoaned the fact that he's no longer cool. "Dude. You're a dad. You're not supposed to be cool. You're supposed to be AWESOME."

    So Lyds, don't worry about being cool. Because you, my dear, have perfected the Art of Being Awesome.

  10. Babe, You are cool in your ability to relate to US. Chicago is not that cool (I can say that, I live here). We have sucky weather, sucky cab drivers and sucky coffee. Wait...strike that last one. Dunkin Donuts Rocks. Kate can go suck it. (love you kate! But I can pole dance you off your pole any day!)

  11. You only wish you had been paid in Canadian dollars !!!!! And I think MANY of your fellow Americans are wishing that they were being paid with ANY kind of dollars too !!!!

  12. I beg of you, please tell me there is some sort of background video taping so we can see what you two were doing while not "on".

  13. Hey, Canadian money is real and last I checked, worth more than American money right now...just sayin'...:) Can't wait to hear what happens...please tell me Kate slid down the pole!!!

  14. Girl. Regardless of whether you buy your clothes at Target or Urban Outfitters (or wherever hipsters buy their clothes, hell if I know), funny is cool. And you have funny in spades.

  15. you might not know this but to us other socially awkward uncool mommies you my dear are awesome sauce! And that's why they picked you!

  16. My kids have passports specifically so I can take them shopping to spend our *Canadian* money at the nearest Target approx 1h across the border. Too bad we can't take a T-box back with us :(
    Actually the majority of shoppers at this particular Target and adjacent mall are Canadians helping your economy. You're welcome. :)

  17. I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment. You've replaced my excitement for True Blood.

    Thank you for the shout out and thank you for taking a poke at our money. It is ridiculous looking (yet surprisingly easy to identify when drunk in the dark).

  18. Loved this, but come.on. Smoking isn't cool.

  19. I hope you are enjoying Chicago, sure the weather can suck but it is cool. Lots of amazing food and lots to do! I live here, I know.




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