Friday, March 25, 2011

The Social Challenge

Quick blog post, but something very important to me:

I worked at Special Olympics Missouri for two years as their Public Relations Intern and as their Student Outreach Coordinator. Now, I serve on their Public Relations committee and meet on a bi-monthly basis to come up with new PR and marketing strategies that will further the message of this amazing organization.
Having worked for an organization that serves such an amazing population of individuals, I’ve come to really resent the word R-word It wasn’t a word that I used before working at SOMO, but now more than ever it is a word now that seriously erks me to the core every time I hear someone say it.

I was talking to a close friend and fellow SOMO employee the other day about a party that she went to. Some guy was talking to her and used the R-word. She politely told him that it wasn’t a nice thing to say and please don’t say it around her because of where she works. Even more importantly, Hillary is heading up a Missouri wide campaign to end the use of the R-word and feels very strongly about the cause because of her work with Special Olympics. This guy was indignant and rude and it ended up really bothering H and she had to leave. I’ve fortunately never had to stand up to someone about using the word – usually just saying that you feel passionately about Special Olympics and please don’t use that word around me works. I really respect H for standing up for what she believes in and not backing down to an ignorant, uneducated individual who uses a word with such an awful connotation.

I know this post is a little heavy and a tad bit soap boxy, but I saw a Facebook post by a sorority sister of mine and it made me think of my conversation earlier this week with H. Please go to and look at the live Twitter feed on the left hand side. I went to it and was amazed at how quickly the Tweets were updated and how many people used the R-word so nonchalantly. They say that the R-word is used 24,000 times PER DAY on Twitter. On a public forum where present and future employers can see, they throw this word around like it’s nothing – as if it’s as simple as saying “um” or “like” to fill a void in an otherwise incomplete thought. They drop it to describe themselves, someone they saw at school, someone on the bus, and people with actual intellectual disabilities. Log on to this website and take action against these people. You can actually tweet back to them and tell them to stop. Now, I’m not sure what kind of backlash the Social Challenge will see, but it’s an interesting experiment into exposing people for what they say and do on Twitter and actually having people respond and hold them accountable.

Okay, end of my rant. Back to work. HAPPY FRIDAY.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Werty Day

This weekend was all about Jeffrey because it was his TWENTY FIFTH birthday! 25! Holy cow! I can’t believe I’m allowed to be friends with people that are 25, let alone date someone that old. I know it’s really not that old, but to me, a 23 year old with the heart (and maturity, oops) of a 12 year old, it seems old. Good think ol’ J-Man is mature as can be. See the below pictures of Saturday’s Werty Day festivities for proof.

Happy Birthday J! Thanks for being the best birthday boy ever – hardly any crying. Love you and can’t wait for another fun year with my old man!

Happy Monday everyone! This was my afternoon distraction, so back to the grind of press releases, calendar updates, Facebooking, and copy editing. At least it’s gorgeous out my window.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bon Voyage!

So, for the 15 followers of this blog, you know that I have this crazy obsession with every single one of my friends. When you're lucky enough to make it into my wolf pack (Thank you “The Hangover” for making this a well known saying) you become more than my friend. You become part of my family. With that comes all the fun, sometimes crazy, parts of my life; my job, my philanthropic endeavors (i'll ask you for money and your time), my family, my Mother (yes, she does get her own mention because believe me, you'll really get to know her), and every other part of my life.

One of those lucky wolf pack members is Miss Lindsey Rose Shindler. Lindsey and I have been friends since middle school when she saw me on the first day of 6th grade and thought I was a teacher because I was slightly more developed than the average 12-year old. Thanks Linds! We've played soccer with each other, shared our deepest, darkest secrets, shared some insanely good times, and had one month long fight that we still can't even remember what it stemmed from. Lindsey is part of my group of 11 girl friends from home that hasn't changed since high school. We went to seven different colleges – Mizzou, College of Charleston, University of Virginia, Georgia, University of Arkansas, Washington and Lee, and Vanderbilt University – and we're still as close as ever.

That was never more apparent as last weekend when seven of us came together for what I so lovingly deemed Linds Shinds Farewell Weekend in Memphis. Sadly for us, but excitingly for Lindsey, she is leaving this Saturday for London for an entire year. She's moving there to work in communications for a bank, travel, eat fish and chips, and hopefully fall in love with Prince Harry (she loves gingers!). The whole weekend was about Lindsey and us showing her how much we love her and that this year without her is going to suck, but we'll be here waiting when she gets back. If she'll have us.

I know all of you know Linds, but here are 10 things that make her an awesome, coolio chick.

1. The first time I spent the night she wanted to make love potions – of course I'd be friends with someone like that.
2. She's had the same email/computer/facebook/everything else password since middle school and it has something to do with an A*Teens member. Cool huh?
3. She can have so much fun by herself. One of her favorite things to do in high school was melting Jolly Ranchers and mixing two together.
4. Her mom makes the best pickled cucumbers (Not pickles – pickled cucumbers. Get it right!)
5. She comes as a package deal with some of the coolest parentals in the world -- David and Julie (we love you!)
6. She might be 23, but she still knows everything about the Disney Channel. And I mean everything!
7. She is one of the best listeners. She doesn't judge, she just listens. She just lets you get everything off your chest and feel 100% better.
8. She is one of those friends from home that even if I see her outside of Little Rock, she makes me feel at home again.
9. She is one of the most accepting people in the whole world. Seriously, she's friends with all of us. That's saying something.
10. And finally – She is so talented with makeup (pretty makeup, and scary/TV makeup)

So Linds – I love you. You're one of my very best friends in the whole wide world. Have so much fun in London, and I AM VISITING YOU IN FEBRUARY!!!!! So, get pumped! Peace.

Love, Marilyn.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

what i'm currently looking at...

This is the view outside my office window...

Will this snow ever go away? Good luck all you Arkansans on your snowpocalypse!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 2011

Finally Finished!!!!

So, this month has been an awesome month. It started on January 3 when I started as the Public Relations Manager at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM for short). My very first day I was introduced to TOKY, our advertising firm, at the training session for our new website, and that's where it all started. One week to get all of the information up. One week to get everything tested, fixed, and ready to go. One week to unveil an entirely new website. There was no better way to learn about everything that CAM does then by helping to upload all of the information about our programs/exhibitions/events/etc and find photos to accompany all of those postings. Check it out here:

Now, it's been four weeks and here's a run down of what I've done and what I can look forward to over the next however long I work here, which I hope is a long, long time, because this is the most kick ass job ever!

-Write and distribute press releases
-Serve as the liaison between CAM and TOKY on copy writing/design edits for all advertising/promotional material
-Media buying/ad placement
-Coordinate sponsorships
-Help plan/promote/staff CAM events
-Write and distribute monthly eNewsletters
-Monitor press mentions about all things CAM
-Maintain all social media
-And all additional job duties as required...

Going to work for an art museum seemed very intemidating, but it's become such a welcomed change in my life. I moved to St. Louis knowing a set number of people, and hadn't really branched out from there. The great thing about CAM is that it's more than an art museum – we throw some awesome parties to!! Over the past three weeks i've worked an event or two every single week. Almost every event is free, packed with 300-1000 people, and an event i'd want to go to even if I didn't work here. They're all so much fun and have become a great way of branching out and meeting other young professionals in St. Louis.

For anyone who heard me talk about my previous job, you can tell how excited I am about this one. It's exactly up my alley with fun parties, fun people, and fun/fast paced job requirements.

So, enough about my job, this month was also special because my little Anners was initiated as a Chi Omega!! Big day!! Jeff tells me on a weekly basis that I need to move on, take the Chi O sticker off my car, and take my owl collection from 20 or so down to 4 (blasphemy!!). I drove down to Fayetteville with Aaryn and Cindy and met up with my family, Lindsey, Sarah K., Spencer, Margaret, Rachel, Anna and Clay. We spent a great weekend having fake bachelorette parties for Anna and her fake fiance Graham (oops), being Chi Omegas at the Psi Initiation, and patio drinking in the 70 degree weather in Fayetteville (thank the Lord)! Great weekend with fun friends and family.

Today, I am hunkered down on the couch updating my blog and working from home on CAM and Celebrate Style stuff. Snowpocalypse is about to hit St. Louis so Jeff, his roommate Tim, and I are snowed in the apartment watching movies and working diligently (or so we're pretending). Here's a picture of what we're seeing outside, and they're saying a white-out blizzard is on it's way and hitting within the next hour.

Ya'll stay safe. Stay warm. And I promise i'm going to start updating this blog more often.



So December meant my very first Christmas on my own. I know I've had Christmases in my own place in college, but this was my first real Christmas where I didn't spend a month back in Little Rock. Mom was sweet enough to buy Jenna and I our first Christmas tree. She, Jeff, Jenni, and I spent the night decorating. Really it just consisted of Jenna and I decorating and forcing Jeff and Jenni put an ornament on every 10 minutes so they could be involved. Sad to say that Christmas tree is still up, but I think it's beautiful, and meaningful, so I don't care.

Jeff and I flew to Little Rock for my cousin Olivia's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, and a great reason to go home for a weekend.

Then, the next weekend was CHRISTMAS!! We spent Christmas Eve with the Wertenbergers. With so many babies, and so many toys, I was able to feel like a kid on Christmas again. We felt so adult waking up on Christmas morning together in our new city, made french toast and opened presents together on Christmas morning. Just another added bonus of living in the same city. We were up super early so we could make it to Little Rock in time for my family's Christmas celebration that night. The next few days were spent with family, friends, and celebrating different religions among my group of friends at Chrismakkuh.

Then, one of my very bestest friends in the whole wide world, and one of the coolest people I've ever met in my entire life, Miss Lindsey Rose Shindler, rode back to St. Louis with Jeff and I to spend New Years with us. We stopped in Memphis to hang out with Esther in her new home, and then spent the next few days celebrating the New Year.

Another BIG thing that happened this month is I got a new job! YAY! I'd been looking around for a while and just keeping my options open. It wasn't that I didn't like my job at HEC-TV, but I needed something a little more fast paced, and i'd like to start saving money, which was absolutely impossible at the rate I was going there. I interviewed with a company in St. Louis since November, and found out the week before Christmas that I was offered the position of Public Relations Manager at the Contemporary Art Museum. YAY! More updates on that in a bit.



November=Thanksgiving to me. It's one of my most favorite holidays, and it means the beginning of the holiday season which I absolutely love. The girls and I had a STL family Thanksgiving meal. We all potlucked it, which was awesome because all of us are becoming pretty good cooks. I brought a Pittman family staple – green bean bundles. YUM!! And, of course, the turkey Mum.

The night before Thanksgiving in St. Louis is apparently one of the biggest nights to go out all year. Jeff and I spent the evening supporting a charity that is near and dear to both of us through our work – Guns 'N Hoses, an event that raises money for the families of police officers and firemen killed while on the job.

November=Thanksgiving=LSU v. Arkansas game. I'm not sure what it is about this game that gets an entire state so excited, but every year that this game makes its way back to Little Rock, Thanksgiving break is a little more fun. This year was no exception. Jeff and I spent Thanksgiving day in St. Louis with his family, drove to my family's that night, and the rest of the weekend in Little Rock.