The First Two Letters of Mom101: Mo. Coincidence?

One of the strange and unexpected effects of having more than like six readers a day now is that marketers contact me and ask me to promote their products from time to time.
Dear Mom101 (because we haven't bothered to take the time to learn your real name),

Love your blog. Especially the post about [drop in reference to most recent post here]. Ha ha ha!

So enough about you, we here at Toxic Household Products Incorporated would love if you'd write up our new toxic cleaning fluid that's now available in WalMarts across the country! All you have to do is write about it on your blog. And tell your readers to buy it. Isn't that a great deal?

What's in it for you? Well, um...we'll send you a sample valued at 2 dollars and 98 cents retail! Seriously, it's like us PAYING YOU almost THREE DOLLARS to write an ad for us. Isn't that awesome? You should feel very very proud that we want to pay you for your writing.

Plus you get to be affiliated with the very impressive Toxic Household Products Incorporated. And WalMart. You do like WalMart right? Or are you a Communist?

Best regards,

Clueless about marketing on blogs and not a Communist

Needless to say, I'm not generally interested in advertising someone's product for free. I get paid good money to do that in my day job. And I get paid no good money to do that at Cool Mom Picks. Mom-101 is basically my endorsement-free asylum. Unless I can get sex out of it.

But recently, I received an email from a very clever guy who approached me in a very clever way. He dropped Gloria Steinem's name (hello!) and told me about this new radio network she's involved with called Greenstone Media, which, when I clicked over to the website, was totally exciting to me. It's talk radio for women, by women. And no, I don't mean twelve consecutive hours of women yammering about their periods. These are funny, smart women like Mo Gaffney and Lisa Birnbach. And yes, Gloria Steinem.

I was intrigued by the idea because I like talk radio. But if you look at what talk radio has become with very few exceptions, it's hardly anything woman should be interested in. It's dominated by men, mostly angry white men, and that's something too many women get at the office anyway. Or worse--at home.

I wrote back to David and said if Mo Gaffney is involved, sign me up.

Ever since I saw the Kathy & Mo show off-broadway - way back before it was on HBO like every four seconds - I've been smitten with her and Kathy Najimi. I laughed so hard at their sketches that I actually may have spit on them. And if you've ever been to the theater, then you know what a turnabout that is. I think she's one of those smart, thoughtful comedians that understands the balance between promoting an ideology (coughcoughDennisMillercough) and just being funny.

Besides, she was on AbFab.

The next thing you know, David is telling me, "you like Mo? I can get you ten minutes with Mo."

Really? Really?

Now let me ask you, blogworld, is this not the most genius marketing tactic you have ever heard? I mean, if Toxic Household Products Incorporated told me that I could get ten minutes with say, George Clooney, do you not think I would suddenly find something decent to say about WalMart?

The answer is no.

No way. Never. No.

But I certainly would take them up on the George Clooney chat.

So of course I prepare for my ten minute call by stressing out for three days straight. I may be funny at the Thanksgiving table but against a real professional comic actress? Um, no.

Then I spending an entire afternoon reading about the network and listening to back episodes of Women Aloud, the show Mo co-hosts with her best friend Shana. And what are they discussing? The same things we do here: The "motherhood is boring" article that Her Bad Mother was (mis?)quoted in. The Forbes article about why men shouldn't marry career women - the very article brought to my attention by Christine at A Mommy Story.

I thought, I know these topics! I can talk about these topics! Mo will not think I'm as much of a dork as Arianna Huffington did when I met her, and could think of nothing to say except how nice her triceps were.

(Do not worry. I did not say that out loud. But I did think it.)

"Hi, is this Mo?"


"Hi this is Liz from Mom-101 and Cool Mom Picks?"


"Oh okay, you're the blogger."

"Yeah, yeah. So um, do you know why I'm on the phone with you right now?"


Let me just assure you now--because I see you sweating there, I can sense it, right through the computer screen--that the call got much better from this point on. I stopped the stammering and nervous giggling, and we settled into a nice rhythm where frankly, I felt less like she was pitching me and more like I was on a first date. No way, you were at that pro-choice rally? I was there too!

We discussed feminism and those women who diss it even (as she put it) while they're not standing around barefoot baking cookies. We talked about Women for Women International, a great organization we've both been involved with. We agreed that pundits describing all of so-called Middle America as the same, are being as unproductive as calling a state that went 50.3% Bush in the last election, "red."

We traded stories about our kids; I even picked up a few parenting tips like how to confront your kid's bully. Or what to do when your son asks to wear blackface to school on Halloween. I also learned that if your son thinks girl bands are "stupid," dust off the Joan Jett.

We ranted about the Pussycat Dolls. And sexism. And homophobia. And racism. At which point she said:
Actually today on my radio show, I was telling this story about giving my son a black doll when he was 2 and a half..."
So of course I interrupt right away and say WHAT? WHAT? OH MY GOD I WROTE ABOUT THAT VERY THING TODAY.


Because of course you knew I had to dork it up at least one time over the course of the call.

But I didn't dork it up entirely. In fact in the 46 minutes and 42 seconds that I wound and unwound the phone cord nervously around my fingers, I believe made Mo Gaffney laugh twice. And this, in my book, is the Nobel Prize, World Cup, and Homecoming Queen, all wrapped up in one. But even better, she made me laugh. And think. And want more.

I am officially the newest fan of Women Aloud. And I have no problem shouting it from the rooftops, out my windows or across the blogosphere.

Hooray for smart funny women. Hooray for smart funny women on the radio. Hooray for the distinct possibility that all it will take is one more illegal prescription drug incident to free up some much-needed airtime.


Blogger Sandra said...

You had me at Gloria Steinem and Mo Gaffney and I clicked over to their site and fell in love. Then I came back to your post to read more and ... well Mr. Clever marketer sure did his research because he picked the perfect blogger to endorse them.

I couldn't be more jealous of your phone call. I don't even have the words to explain.

8/30/06, 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way better than getting a bottle of KY, methinks. Unless they send you Johnny Depp and one of those "I have no memory of this ever" light ray things from Men in Black to use on the huz-type.

Not that I've ever seen that movie or anything...

8/30/06, 11:53 AM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Um, sorry, I'd love to write a comment (Hurray! Mo Gaffney!) but I have to click over to Women Aloud. Pronto. I just read something - was it from you? I forget now. My head is spinning. ;) - about how fabulous it was and now I am compelled to go there. In fact I've forgotten everything I had to do today because a blogger told me I had to go listen to these women. Damn, you've got some power. It's a good thing you didn't tell me to go to wal-mart.

8/30/06, 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very cool! I may very well tune back in to talk radio if I can hear smart funny women.

8/30/06, 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Mom,
You sure can write. Imagine how jealous I can make the world: I was there at the birth of Mom-101. I mean really. I mean she came out of the womb smiling and being funny and smart and passionate about life. I mean really. :)

8/30/06, 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, I think we need to get YOU your own radio show. How can we do that? Let's make some calls and figure it out. Because you would KILL on radio! Don't get me wrong. Mo Gaffney is great but I still think you're funnier.

8/30/06, 12:26 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

This gift of graft was WAY better than a puny ol' condom. Way to go.

8/30/06, 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You really ARE a rock star. I knew it!

8/30/06, 1:14 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

Hooray for blogging and the doors it opens for smart, talented and hilarious women such as yourself. Personally, I think Shana and Mo should come to Sirius Satellite Radio. It's the place to be for free thinking and free speaking (at 12 dollars a month). Too bad I only have 11 readers, because a Sirius marketer could see a comment like this and decide to give me ten minutes with Howard Stern.

8/30/06, 1:36 PM  
Blogger Namito said...

Mo talked with you for bloody well almost an hour! What an ego blast!

The AbFab reference got me. Looks like I have a new show to listen to...

Big Ol' congratulations, Liz.

8/30/06, 2:08 PM  
Blogger Mazenbloo said...

Oh. My. Gawd. That is AWESOME! What an incredible experience for you. I would have needed a new telephone cord after that (seriously? You still have a corded phone? They still make those things?)conversation! Congrats!!

8/30/06, 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with metrodad. Let's get you your own radio show.

8/30/06, 2:27 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I'm with MD. Where the hell is "THE LAUGH WITH LIZ SHOW" ? I'm waiting...

8/30/06, 3:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!!

First, let me go on the record as massive Mo fan. She has much love in limey-land (abFab and Ruby Wax show).


Second, let me go on the record (and without a shred of cynicism, but no small shred of jealousy;-) to say I am DEAD PROUD OF/FOR YOU on this one. What a fricking coup!!! You get to talk to Mo! Tracey gets to talk to AYun Halliday.
We're taking over the woooorrrrrrld!
(and I am so glad you are our spokesmodels).

Third. Must get a non-white doll STAT. (and non-muscled, non-speaking, non-testorone laden would not be bad either).

8/30/06, 3:20 PM  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

Way wicked cool! Now ya gotta get yourself some kind of digital recorder so you can podcast cool stuff like that.

(Erm, don't look at me, I just swallow and regurgitate this stuff, I have no idea how to actually do any of it!)

8/30/06, 3:33 PM  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

Way wicked cool! Now ya gotta get yourself some kind of digital recorder so you can podcast cool stuff like that.

(Erm, don't look at me, I just swallow and regurgitate this stuff, I have no idea how to actually do any of it!)

8/30/06, 3:33 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

OK, first you're on TV in the crowd at the Today Show, and now you get to talk to Mo? Geez, woman, you're practically famous at this point.

Oh, and anyone who doesn't think my state is a red state because 50.3% went for Bush is wonderful in my book. (I swear Columbus is mostly blue!)

8/30/06, 4:51 PM  
Blogger Jen R. said...

That sounded like an awesome conversation...so jealous...

8/30/06, 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray for smart, funny women -- that would be YOU! So wonderful, what a moment (46 moments, to be exact). Much more to say but I'll take it off the air.

8/30/06, 6:03 PM  
Blogger the mystic said...

Oh this is great to know, I'm glad you plugged it and will definitely check it out.

And the KY story --- priceless!

8/30/06, 6:29 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Wow, 46 minutes with a radio person? Isn't that like an eternity in their book? Sounds like it made your day/week/month/year. Can I touch the ear you used during the phone call?


8/30/06, 6:32 PM  
Blogger Perstephone said...

That is so fantastic! I would be plugging away on that one, too.

8/30/06, 6:34 PM  
Blogger IHF said...

Am I allowed to tell you that you that it's so cute to see you gushing? :D

8/30/06, 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine you giddy and insecure talking to anyone. I have this image in my head what you are like, so self-assured and so metro in your ways ... ready to tackle the world and still raise an amazing child (not without some insecurities I do read this blog!) but yet you always seem so cool in the end of it all. I love that you gushed like my daughter does for Disney Princesses! Congratulations on being able to talk with an idol/role model. Sounds like an amazing venture and I will be sure to click over there!

8/30/06, 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How exciting for you! Congratulations! I'd love to hear the interview. Any chance a link will be available? I will definitely be checking this program out. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us :)

8/30/06, 8:18 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I think that is awesome...and I'm even a bit jealous. But in a good way. :)

I would talk about it too. Congradulations.

8/30/06, 8:22 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Ooooh, cool. I'm totally with you, and am now triply more excited about this whole Greenstone Media thing.

(And? You have phone cord? Phones still have cords?)

8/30/06, 8:32 PM  
Blogger J said...

Hooray for you! So cool to talk to someone famous, even more cool to make them laugh. How cool are you. ;)

I'm cool, too, because I dined with a famous civil rights person last week.

8/30/06, 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had recently wondered whatever happened to Mo! Yay!

8/30/06, 9:49 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

Um, that's super cool. That your 10 minute call turned into almost an hour -- you totally had her at hello.

8/30/06, 10:33 PM  
Blogger Waya said...

That's way awesome! Congrats to you! And as for those idiot marketers, they found someone else to bother, yay for me...a free DVD.

8/30/06, 11:42 PM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

Can I touch your ear? The one you had pressed to the phone while talking to Mo? Seriously.

Way. Too. Cool.

8/30/06, 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are too cool for words. Mo Gaffney is the bomb.

8/30/06, 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool. I agree with everyone else, you were the perfect choice.

8/31/06, 12:34 AM  
Blogger reunion committee said...

Gah! Does that make me a dog-piler to agree with the previous commenter? Mo Gaffney? I'm So there1.

8/31/06, 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/31/06, 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women Aloud sounds awesome. However, if it is as cool as it appears to be, that virtually guarantees you will never be able to pick it up here. Tampa sucks.

But big ups to YOU for getting to talk to Mo Gaffney and no doubt charming the pants off of her. This is just the beginning :)

8/31/06, 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you can use your blog to promote things that you believe in, that's great. It looks like this was a very symbiotic relationship. And it sounds like something I, as your reader, will be interested in!

8/31/06, 1:47 PM  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I shall most definitley be checking them out. Good call.

8/31/06, 1:50 PM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

Awesome! Keep us posted on your pending famosity!

8/31/06, 1:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This sounds really cool! Thanks for writing about this.

8/31/06, 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too cool. Now where is that audio post?

8/31/06, 2:42 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Too cool - I love Mo Gaffney. I'm so jealous! Good blog... I enjoy the read.

8/31/06, 4:17 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Very nice and completely Molicious. Thanks for the heads up on Women Aloud.

8/31/06, 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay. i think i just turned green. am i green? Mo? you got to spend 46 minutes and 42 seconds on the phone with MO????

i'll check out Women Aloud. and i bet i like it, because i, too, am in favor of smart funny women having a fabulous forum in which to discuss matters more important than, say, KITTENS. besides. you know Mo.


8/31/06, 7:06 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

You were already a star in my book. Congratulations. Methinks this is just...the...beginning!

8/31/06, 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so amazing it makes me want to close up shop and stop writing my tiny excuse for a starter blog (you know, two bedrooms, one bath, needs new paint).

I can't believe *you* were nervous. It sounds like the conversation went really well. And yes, I clicked over too.


8/31/06, 9:09 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

OMG! You and Mo are like BFF!!

That is awesome. Congratulations on getting a great conversation out of the deal!

9/1/06, 1:53 AM  
Blogger Silly Hily said...

I'd say turning 10 minutes into 46 minutes is a huge success. Congratulations!

9/1/06, 8:35 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Aw Liz, you rock hard.

9/1/06, 1:04 PM  
Blogger GraceD said...

Dude! This is most excellent! Or, should I say Mo excellent!

What would I give to interview Gloria Steinham. What would I give! (Ummm, can you hook me up?)

9/1/06, 2:40 PM  
Blogger modmom said...

you've hit the big time!

9/1/06, 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is that it's about damn time women came to talk radio. All the mothers stuck driving around all day will be rejoicing.

9/3/06, 1:07 AM  
Blogger KrisUnderwood said...

I love Mo Gaffney! She rocked in AbFab. Funny Post. And GLoria Steinem?!
Yeah, you, Mom 101, rock.

9/3/06, 9:18 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

wow. I'm jealous. Mo Gaffney is a beautiful human. Particularly when vested in nurse's clothing. Or just anything.


9/8/06, 1:44 PM  

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