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Deadliest Catch

My Favorite Things 2013

Oprah used to do a “My Favorite Things” show every year so I decided to do the same, but without all the freebies. Sorry.

I reviewed my calendar and Yelp reviews from the past year and here’s my list of my favorite things. Everything on this list is something I use or do and enjoy. I’ve not been compensated in any way for including anyone in this post.

Working Out
2013 half marathon pre raceFavorite Phoenix Area Race: P.F. Chang Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Favorite Place to get Running Shoes: Runner’s Den

Favorite Place to Work Out: Arizona Canal

Favorite Device for Sore Muscles: The Stick

Favorite Place to get Fixed when I Break Myself: Endurance Rehab

Food
Favorite Doughnut: Buttermilk bar from BoSa Donuts (open ‘til 10pm)

0702131205Favorite Mexican Food: Jordan’s

Favorite Greek Food: Greektown

Favorite Indian Food: The Dhaba

Favorite Dessert for Lunch: Yogurtland

Favorite Food Truck: Jamburritos

Favorite Dessert Food Truck: Mamma Toledo’s

Favorite Ice Krem (Phoenix): Churn

Favorite Ice Krem (Scottsdale): Sugar Bowl

Favorite Place for Late-Night Eats and Work: Gay Denny’s

Life
0511131339Favorite Dog Park: Margaret T. Hance Dog Park

Favorite Place for Shirts with Custom Verbiage: Brand X Custom T-shirts

Favorite Site for Shirts with Original Artwork: Threadless

Favorite Snuggle Wear: REI Yoga Pants

Favorite Person for Fixing my Sore Body: Thomas Porter

Favorite Shop for Music Geeks: Central Music

Favorite Bookstore: Changing Hands

Favorite TV Show: The Big Bang Theory

Favorite Reality Show: Deadliest Catch

Favorite Place to Go When I Really Need to Escape: Firefly Room at the Phoenix Art Museum

No Pants Ride 2013 - Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

No Pants Ride 2013 – Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

Online
Favorite Webhost: Dreamhost

Favorite Social Media Platform: Twitter

Favorite Podcast: Savage Lovecast

Favorite Online Cartoon: Foamy the Squirrel

Favorite Site for Travel Suggestions: Roadside America

Favorite Site for Everything Else: Reddit

Events and Activities
Favorite Flash Mob: Improv AZ’s No Pants Light Rail Ride

Favorite Community Event: Ignite Phoenix

Favorite Place on a Friday Night: ASU Women’s Gymnastics Meets

Favorite Phoenix Geek Event: Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown (PUGS)

Favorite Place to see Who’s Who in the Local Zoo: Local First Arizona Fall Festival

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list and perhaps it’s inspired you to try some of my favorite things. ;)

Living with Insomnia

My name is Ruth Carter and I’m an insomniac.

you can't sleep? by skampy from Flickr

you can’t sleep? by skampy from Flickr

I have dealt with insomnia off-and-on for my entire adult life. There have been times when it was so bad that when I finally fell asleep, everyone around me would do whatever they could not to wake me up. Sometimes this meant letting me sleep in the most uncomfortable-looking position where they knew I’d be hurting when I woke up.

One thing I’ve learned about insomnia is not to freak out about it. It’s pretty hard to die from sleep deprivation, you’re just going to be tired the next day. When you freak out about your insomnia, you make yourself anxious which makes the insomnia worse and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.  Just accept that it’s temporary and that you’ll fall asleep eventually.

My weird insomniatic habit is I’ll be tired in the early evening but by the time it’s time to go to bed, I’m wide awake again. I don’t get it. I just go with it. When I can’t sleep I try to stay mellow and watch TV, read a book, or see what my fellow insomniacs are saying on Twitter. If I’m wide awake, I’ll use the extra time to be productive and do things like sweep my floor and answer emails. If I’m at the don’t-bother-trying-to-sleep phase, I might as well put my time to good use, but I try not to do anything that’s going to wake me up or be such an undertaking that it will be a pain if sleepy time hits me in the middle of the project.

Yawn! by formatc1 from Flickr

Yawn! by formatc1 from Flickr

I’m not a fan of sleeping pills (including melatonin) so I rarely take them. I heard it takes the body two days to realize it’s tired so the night of sleep that really matters is two days before a big event, not the night before it. I took something to help me sleep two nights before the LSAT and two nights before the bar exam. More places should really sell sleeping pills in single doses because the bottle of sleeping pills will expire between each incident I need them.

The real downside of insomnia isn’t lack of sleep, it’s the side effects of sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes cognitive impairments and slows your reaction times. It can be as bad as being drunk. And I don’t know about other people, but I get really crabby when I’m tired. But I usually know when I’m getting what my friend calls “cranky pants” and remove myself from social situations. If nothing else, I make myself take a power nap or at least lay down for twenty minutes. Mythbusters tested this theory with an experiment inspired by Deadliest Catch and showed that power naps improve functioning when you’re sleep deprived.

Am I ever going to stop being an insomniac? Who knows. If it becomes a permanent part of my life, then so will napping.

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Why I Love Deadliest Catch

The ninth season of Deadliest Catch starts tonight!

I don’t have much time to watch TV, but this show is a staple on my calendar and the only one I make it a priority to watch.

I’m not a fan of fabricated reality shows – things like The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, The Real World, and anything involving the Kardashians where we’re watching real people but it’s anything but real life. These people are in irrelevant competitions and you can tell a lot of them are hoping to become famous for doing nothing or get their own show out of the deal.

Me with Captain Keith - Summer 2011

Me with Captain Keith – Summer 2011

Deadliest Catch has real people doing their real jobs fishing on the Bering Sea. They don’t need to fabricate drama because the risk that every day you could die is drama enough. The relationships between the people real, which I think makes for much better TV because we actually care what happens in their lives. And according to the reports, everyone acts the same on camera as they do off camera. They’re there to do a job first, not create good TV. (That comes in the editing.) Apparently there’s at least one guy we almost never see on the show because everything he says contains profanity.

I love watching the captains on all the boats, well except Captain Elliott. They’re hard asses when it comes to pushing their crews, but these big strong (sometimes scary-looking) guys each have a compassionate side. We’ve seen them all shed tears when another boat is in trouble or loses a crew member and they feel guilty when a guy gets hurt under their watch.

And I love that they’re real people. I follow a lot of the captains on Twitter and I saw a panel at SXSW that featured Captain Sig, Captain Keith, and Captain Jonathan talking about how they use Twitter. (Captain Andy was still fishing.) I also got to the hotel before their panel and invaded their coffee time on the patio next to the hotel. They were totally sweet and let me sit with them for a few minutes. I thought about asking them for a picture, but I wanted to treat them like normal people too and respect their down time.

Captain Sig was the best during the panel. His first tweet was “Twitter rhymes with shitter.” He also said that when he gets home from being on the Bering Sea for months he doesn’t want to tweet, “I want to screw my wife.” They all do a good job of interacting with their fans online and letting us be part of their lives. It was fun when Captain Keith was getting his boat ready for crab season and tweeted a picture of the receipt from Costco and let fans guess how much it was.

SXSW was the second time I got to meet Captain Keith. The first time was an appearance he did in Phoenix two summers ago. Props to him for coming to Arizona in the middle of the summer. He was a total sweetheart and signed an autograph for me and one for my friend Stacee who was serving in Afghanistan at the time. I lived with her during my 1L summer with the JAG; we watched a lot of Deadliest Catch because we were living in the middle of nowhere.

I’m looking forward to the new season of Deadliest Catch. For one hour a week I get to feel a sliver of the exhilaration and exhaustion that comes with working on the Bering Sea.  I will definitely have that time blocked on my calendar so I can be sure to see each episode when it debuts if I don’t have other obligations.

Every so often I think it might be fun to be a deckhand for a season, but then I remember that I’m freezing when the temperature drops before 70 degrees, I’m so accident prone I’d be injured the first day, and I’m so small they’d have to put a leash on me to make sure I didn’t blow overboard. Maybe I’m better suited to work on a boat in the summer.

Undeniable Recap of 2011

It’s been quite an eventful busy year. Thank you to all my family and friends who supported me through this year, even during my moments of pure stressed out insanity. Here are my top five events and experiences of 2011.

Photo by AJ Grucky

  1. I Passed The Bar! The process of graduating from law school, studying for, taking, and passing the Arizona Bar Exam and the process of applying and being admitted to the State Bar of Arizona took about 7 months of my year. It was exceptionally stressful – easily the hardest thing I’ve done in my professional life. It was a huge relief when I learned that I passed the Bar and Character and Fitness.
  2. Personal Record at the Half Marathon Injuries prevented me from training the way I would have liked for the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Arizona. Despite being in pain starting at mile 2, I had the same rule for this race as my previous half marathon – no stopping or walking. Around mile 9, I realized that I was close to being on pace for a personal record, so I kicked my speed and finished 3 minutes faster than the previous year.  I was in so much pain by the end of the race, but it was an incredible lesson in determination.
  3. Sponsor A Law Kid I succeeded in getting my blog sponsored for 46 days during the beginning of the year to offset the cost of my last semester of law school. It was a challenge to create quality content every day and to face the backlash from some members of the legal community. I love that I was able to do this. My only regret is not doing it sooner.
  4. I Wish Your Wish One of the most powerful experiences this year was attending Rivane Neuenschwander’s I Wish Your Wish exhibit. It took me down to my core level and connected me with what I want for my life. For over two months, I had a pink ribbon tied around my wrist that said “I Wish To Die With No Regrets.”
  5. Photo by Jamey Peachy

    Big Brain Award Nomination I was shocked and overjoyed when I learned that I was nominated for a New Times Big Brain Award for my work behind the scenes with Improv AZ, the flash mob/prank troupe I co-founded in Phoenix. Ever since I expressed interest in flash mob law, I questioned whether it was a viable area of law. Just being nominated validated my professional aspirations and showed me that there is a need for the work I’m interested in.

 

Celebrity Encounters in 2011:

 

Firsts in 2011:

A Day In The Life of Bar Prep

I’ll admit it – studying for the bar exam is hard, lonely work.   My days are long and boring.   I’m trying to keep my stress in check, and it’s starting to be a challenge.

I initially felt guilty when I banned everyone from house for the duration of bar prep, but now I’m so grateful I did that – and so is everyone else.  I can do my own thing all day without bothering anyone and then I decide when I interact with the world.  It sounds self-centered (and it is) but it’s necessary.

In case you wanted to know, here’s what a day in the life of my bar prep looks like.

  • 5:45am: Get up, Work out, Shower, Breakfast, Check email.
  • 7:30am: Study – often using the Pomodoro Method.  I turn the French doors into my to-do list every day.
  • 11:15am: Lunch.
  • 12:00pm: Meet up with my carpool group.  The highlight of my day is getting to play with my friend’s dog, Oscar.
  • 1:00pm: BarBri class.
  • 5:00pm: Relax, Dinner.
  • 7:00pm: Study, sometimes in the pool when I need to avoid all distractions.
  • 11:00pm: Bed.

Studying for the bar involves a lot of sitting which results in my body getting all types of sore.  During my study breaks, I often ice my sore back, neck and shoulders.  I’m grateful when my massage therapist, Thomas Porter, runs a special so I can afford him.  I told him that he needs to run one the week before the bar exam.

My one weekly indulgence is still watching Deadliest Catch on Tuesday nights.  It reminds me that studying is nothing compared to working on a crab boat in the Bering Sea.

Every so often I have a mini freak out and I reach out to my lawyer friends who have survived the bar.  Their calls and emails keep me grounded.  They all say that if I follow the BarBri program that I’ll be fine.

Here are my tips for everyone who has a loved one studying for the bar:

  • If you’ve never studied for the bar, you have no idea what this is like.
  • A lot of the time, we’re not in a good mood.  Don’t be surprised if we have a short fuse when it comes to distractions and annoying things.
  • Don’t take it personally if we don’t have time to hang out or even return phone calls.
  • We can be optimistic about passing the bar and not be pleasant to be around in general.
  • If we’re in a bad mood, it’s not your job to make us laugh.
  • When we take a study break, there’s a good chance we don’t want to talk about how studying is going.  We may have nothing to talk about because all we do is study so fill us in on what’s going on in the real world.
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Guidelines for Studying for the Bar Exam

Today is my first day of BarBri class.  For the next 10 weeks, I will be on a regimented schedule of going to class and studying as I prepare for the Arizona Bar Exam.  Thankfully, I am a person who thrives in structure, so being on a strict schedule should work well for me.  I have been thinking about what guidelines will apply to my life during Bar prep.

  1. A Student of the University of British Columbi...

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    Stick to the BarBri schedule – go to class every day and study for a total of 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

  2. Use study techniques that work for me: class, outlines, and flash cards.
  3. Everyone is banned from the house unless they have an invitation.
  4. Do 30 minutes of walking, jogging, swimming, biking, or yoga every day.
  5. Eat a balanced diet – lots of fresh fruit, veggies, and protein; minimal sugar; & plenty of water.
  6. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
  7. Avoid people and places that bring excessive drama to my life.
  8. No TV except for my weekly indulgences of House and Deadliest Catch.
  9. When I’m studying, I cannot have my cell phone where I can see or hear it.
  10. When I’m outlining on the computer, stay off of email, Facebook, and Twitter.
  11. If I realize that I’m just staring at my books without doing any productive work, STOP and take a break.
  12. The default response to any invitation to social events until the Bar is “No;” however there must be the occasional fun event to maintain my sanity.

I’ve spent the last few days getting the house in order so that I will have as few distractions as possible while I’m studying.  I have also been reading Chad Noreuil’s The Arizona Bar Exam: Pass It Now.  I’m grateful that my family and friends are being supportive of me and my process.  One of my friends has already put me on notice that if I’m too non-responsive to the point that he worries that I’m getting unbalanced, that he’ll stage a raid.  I doubt that will be necessary but it’s good to know that people care about me enough that they would be willing to do that.

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Lessons From Captain Phil Harris (1956-2010)

UNDATED:  (NO SALE; NO ARCHIVE)  In this hando...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The adventurers of the world lost a friend and colleague last week with the untimely death of Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie.  We got to know him through Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.  I have a deep respect for all the fishermen up in Alaska.  They work long hours in the sub-freezing cold and perform a job that could literally kill them. I particularly enjoyed Phil because of his honesty and his heart.

There’s a proverb at Dutch Harbor: “Live for today. Tomorrow may never come.”  Captain Phil is proof of that.  The passion with which he lived his life inspired me to write a top five list of the lessons we can learn from Phil’s zealous but too-short life.

#5  Rock On With Your Quirky Self.
Captain Phil was a superstitious man.  He never left the harbor on a Friday.  He blew up his main engine twice when he tried to leave on a Friday.  He also wouldn’t shave while he was fishing, claiming it was bad luck.

Captain Phil also had a theory about how to find the crab: He looked for fart bubbles.  He said that crabs are “farting little machines.”  His technique was look for “fart bubbles” and a noxious stench in the air.  Apparently it worked.

#4  Protect Your Crew.
Captain Phil was extremely protective of his crew, especially his two sons.  During Season Four, his health was potentially in jeopardy.  He was literally coughing up blood, yet he kept fishing for days before seeking medical attention.  Although he allowed the camera crew to film his symptoms, he wouldn’t let his crew or kids know how badly he was doing.  It’s well known that crew members don’t pick their boat, they pick the captain.  They literally trust their captain with their lives.  You could tell how devoted his crew was to him.  It was a direct result of how devoted he was to them.

#3  Look Out For The Little Guy.
During Season 5, a baby-faced cameraman named Josh was assigned to the Cornelia Marie.  Captain Phil nicknames him “Mouse” because he looked like he was about 14 years old and weighed about 120 pounds.  Captain Phil said, “He’s as green as they come, and he will get hurt.”  He kept an eye on Mouse to make sure he didn’t get himself killed.  Mouse was seasick for his entire tour of duty.  During one of their off loads at Dutch Harbor, Captain Phil had a local doctor come to the boat to make sure Mouse had the medication he needed.

#2  Give Credit Where It’s Due.
Despite being seasick for four months and loosing nine pounds on the Cornelia Marie, Mouse never stopped saying “This is still my dream job” and “The Bering Sea is not going to get me down.”  Captain Phil said, “I’ve never met anybody who’s got as much heart as he does.”

#1  Do What You Love.
Captain Phil Harris did what he loved.  It appears that crab fishing in the Bering Sea is a brutal life offset by laughter.  Alaskan fishermen can be wealthy, but it’s not about the money.  They do it because they love it.  Captain Phil said, “You gotta be a little bit twisted to do this job.”  He said he “wouldn’t want to do a different job.”

Thank you Captain Phil for showing us what means to live adventurously and with integrity.
Happy Hunting.

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