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December, 2017:

Undeniable Recap of 2017

2016 was bad. I felt as if that year couldn’t end soon enough.  But it’s as if 2017 started the year saying, “Hold my beer” and it went downhill from there. I had a lot of challenges this year including reconstruction at Castle Carter after my condo flooded, death of my childhood coach, being in a car accident, studying for the California bar exam, and processing my gender identity.

My jar of happy memories

Thankfully, I started a new tradition of keeping a jar next to my bed where I wrote notes about things that happened in my life that made me happy or giggle. Even on bad days, I could look over at my jar that was filling with notes and be reminded that life doesn’t suck all the time. It was a joy to go through them while I wrote this post. Here are my top 5 events/activities from 2017:

Me and my skateboard

1. I got a Skateboard at CMWorld
Content Marketing World always does an excellent job taking care of its speakers. I look forward to this conference every year and I’m proud to be part of Team Orange. When they announced that Casey Neistat would be one of the keynote speakers, I started tweeting at them that I wanted an orange skateboard as my speaker gift. (They usually get us each a wireless mouse/laser pointer.) Shortly after I checked into my hotel room, the hotel dropped off a big box for me. It was a mini orange skateboard! I love this thing, not just because it’s awesome, but because it made me feel like part of the CMWorld family. Once I finish my marathon in 2018, I’m going to take a skateboarding lesson and learn how to ride it properly.

I love this tattoo

2. “Don’t Be What They Made You” Tattoo
I saw Logan in the theater. When I heard this line, I instantly knew I wanted it tattooed on my wrist. A few months later, Hollis at Iconic Tattoo made it a reality. This is a daily reminder and inspiration for me.

3. “But I’m still your Tranpa”
Accepting that I’m non-binary made me feel like I was a baby queer all over again. I felt especially vulnerable a few months ago and sent an email to trans entertainer and advocate Buck Angel, just an open invitation for lunch the next time he’s in Phoenix. He responded and signed it “Tranpa.” I wrote back and said, age-wise, we’re more like cousins. (We’re only about 7 years apart.) He responded, “Hahaa but I’m still your Tranpa ❤️.”

This warmed my heart. It matters to talk to people who “get it.” Buck is someone I reach out to when I experience dysmorphia or feel like I live in a world that wasn’t made for me.

Still smiling after running 20 miles – and rocking some mad hair

4. Running with David
I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon 2018. After getting a DNF at my last marathon attempt, I decided to hire a coach, David Roher. He lives on the east coast, so we communicate over email, text, and phone. He gives me my assignments and tracks my workouts via Strava, plus we talk about nutrition, stretching, injuries, and life in general.

David always has a word of encouragement when I need it – often to remind me that I have the ability to do any assignment he gives me and not to push myself too hard. When I finished my 20-mile training run a few weeks ago, I was pleased with my pace and by how good I felt at the end of it.

5. Ethics and Ice Cream
I had a flash of brilliance at the beginning of August to do a continuing legal education seminar looking at what Arizona lawyers were being disciplined for during the last few years to look for patterns and commonalities. I pitched the idea to do this for ASU CLE and call it “Ethics and Ice Cream.” They loved it and we scheduled the event for about a month later. I recruited fellow lawyer and comedian, Matt Storrs, and we reviewed all the Lawyer Regulation reports since 2015 and pulled off a successful event.

This event made this list, not because I created a CLE, but because I put this idea into action and made it work.

As I read all the notes in my jar, I noticed there were at least six notes that mentioned hugs or being the “little spoon.” Besides giving me a warm fuzzy trip down memory lane, these notes reminded me how important the people in my life are to me.

Rosie Dog – Go check out her Instagram

Firsts in 2017
Flying in/out of a city in one day (for Ungagged Las Vegas)
Standing ovation for singing “O Holy Night” at the Community Church of Hope Christmas Show
Love and Complements Rally
Interview on The Out House Podcast
Foods: Almond butter (meh), Vegan gourmet shreds (cheese-like, not bad), Cashew milk ice cream (best non-dairy ice cream), Almond milk yogurt (not food), Cashew yogurt (not food), Pumpkin seeds (so good), Spirulina (meh)
Events: ICON, Law Launcher, TBD Law, BlogHer

Minions make me smile

Celebrity Sightings
Tom Green
Joseph Gordon Levitt
Chris Guillebeau
Casey Neistat
Paul Risser
Minions

In Memoriam
George Seivert
Don Rickles
Andrea Esquer
Laurel Graver
Dorian Kreiling

Vampire Running

It’s been about three months since my last post about running, and I’m about a month away from the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon. Training with Coach David has been going well. He still has me running three days a week: two 10Ks and a long run these days. Thankfully I’ve graduated from short sprints and 5Ks with negative splits. Coach David says I’ll curse he name sometime during my training, but I just don’t see myself cursing the person who’s trying to help me.

This is what I look like after running 20 miles. Look at that hair!

Last week, I coined the phrase, “vampire running.” I really enjoy finishing my run and getting home before sunrise. (Yes, I wear a snazzy reflective belt so cars can see me.) The world is so peaceful then. I rarely see other runners out with me – usually just the Uber self-driving cars, a handful of delivery trucks, and people who have to be at work before 7am. It’s nice to start the day running under the last few stars.

David’s been working with me on maintaining a steady pace during my runs. I’ll admit I don’t always care about pace, like last Tuesday when I woke up super angry and I just felt like hauling ass. Looking back, I can’t tell you why I was angry (maybe PMS) but I was spitting nails. I ran 6.6 miles with an average 9:04/mile pace.

Two days later, I was ready to be more even-keeled. I switched out my fast-paced running music for podcasts and ran the same 6.6 miles at 9:39/mile average. Looking at my data on Strava, I wouldn’t call it a steady pace, but it was less chaotic than the first run of the week.

Real conversation I had with Coach David last week

Last Saturday was my first 20-mile run of this training cycle. Even though David’s steadily increased the lengths of my long runs over the last 3 months, I was still nervous for this distance. And since I’m a vampire runner, I set my alarm for 3am so I could be out pounding pavement by 4:30am. (I have to feed and walk Rosie dog and get a peanut butter bagel with banana and a coffee in my system before my long run.)

Running during that quiet window when the night owls have gone to bed and the early risers aren’t up and out yet is wonderful. It helped me find my zone and I kept my most even pace to date. I chose I route that faced west for the first half, so I could maximize my enjoyment of the darkness, and faced east for the run home. I got to see the first light peaking over the horizon and then I watched the sunrise during my last few miles home. It was glorious. I finished in substantially less pain than I anticipated with an average pace of 10:31/mile.

One thing that’s changed since September is the temperature. Autumn finally arrived a few weeks ago and it’s actually chilly in the morning now. I had to ask Coach David about if/when I should switch to long pants and sleeves. (On race day, the expected starting temperature is around 45 degrees with an expected high of 65 degrees.) He said the magic number for that is 40, though he follows a different rule for himself.

The Results Are In

The results from the July 2017 California Bar Exam were posted on November 17th. I suspect you can tell by the delay between results being released and the writing of this post, I didn’t pass.

Reminder: Rob-tastic and I teamed up with Barbri to document and share our stories from studying for the July 2017 California Bar Exam.

He’s Zen. I’m Grumpy.

Bar Results Day
For the week before bar results were out, I was literally counting down the hours. There was nothing we could do to change the outcome. We just had to wait until the designated time when our results would be available. At 7pm on the button, I input my application number and a screen popped up that said my number didn’t match anything on the pass list.

I gasped. I did the full-on “gay gasp.”

I double and tripled checked my number, hoping that I typed it incorrectly.

No I didn’t. I failed bar exam.

I texted Rob. He didn’t pass either.

I was shocked. I spent the rest of the night in a daze with dashes of anger that were more pronounced as the hours passed. (On the flip side, I channeled my anger into a 17.5-mile run the next day. I averaged 9:46/mile.)

Telling the Friends
The bar results would soon be public for all and enough people knew the date they’d be released, so I knew I had to face the music sooner than later. Running for three hours gave me time to think about how I’d break the news. When I got back from my run, I posted to Facebook:

Bad News: I failed the CA Bar Exam.

Good News: I can bang all the Californians I want b/c the CA Rules of Professional Conduct don’t apply to me.

I know it’s not the classiest thing to post, but it was right mix of bluntness, anger, and sarcasm in the moment. Of course, all my friends were loving and supportive. Many of them responded with notes that I’ll pass it next time, which I thought was odd because I have no plans to take the California bar next year. My existing obligations and commitments don’t allow me to turn around and try again.

Will We Ever Take the CA Bar Exam Again?
Rob-tastic has already said that he’s taking the California Bar Exam again next summer. If he passes the second time around, I won’t need my own California license as long as we’re at the same firm. We’re both still fans of Barbri, and will use them again for future bar exams.

Oh, and I have to make a confession: I bought postcards planning to send them to our favorite Barbri instructors to thank them for their help during bar prep. We didn’t get to them before the bar exam, and I figured we could send them after we got results. Now I don’t want to send postcards. I still appreciate our favorite instructors.

So How Are We?
Rob says he’s “pretty Zen” about his results, “little disappointed, not terribly shaken up.” The fact remains that failing this test doesn’t change the fact that we’re lawyers. We’ve been kept plenty busy with client work, so we don’t have much time to think about this test. He’s putting any extra energy he has towards studying for the patent bar which he’s taking early next year.

I, on the other hand, am grumpy every time I think about my bar results. Failing was not part of my master plan, and I’m bummed I spent nearly $600 on my California character and fitness application. Thankfully, I have other projects keeping me busy so I don’t think about it often.

We want to thank Barbri for being our partner in this journey. We don’t attribute any of our results to them. If and when we take another bar exam, we’ll be doing it with Barbri’s help.