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No Pants Light Rail Ride 2013 – Me & My Shadow

My law school alma mater holds an annual networking auction to raise money for its pro bono activities. Local lawyers and ASU law school professors offer opportunities to network – usually lunches and letting students tag along to hearings and depositions. Since I can’t be normal, I auctioned off the opportunity for a law student to shadow me at the 5th annual No Pants Light Rail Ride – participation mandatory.

I was tickled when 1L Michael Ortiz, someone who has never participated in a flash mob before, purchased the item and came along for this year’s ride. He agreed to be interviewed and share his thoughts about the experience.

Mike & Me on the light rail platform, Photo by patrickem from Flickr

Mike & Me on the light rail platform, Photo by patrickem from Flickr

Why did you bid on this item?
I was interested in meeting you and getting a better understanding of what an intellectual property attorney does. When I saw that the No Pants Ride was mandatory I interpreted it as a challenge and experience which would take me out of my comfort zone.

How did you feel before the ride?
When I woke up the morning of the ride, I was already nervous. As I drove to the meet-up point I started to feel a bit anxious, but as soon as I saw some pantsless people already assembled at the light rail stop, my anxiety and nervousness disappeared.

What was your initial reaction/thoughts/feelings about being pantsless in public?
I think knowing that others would be pantsless as well made me more excited to take my pants off. I wasn’t nervous at all and I thought it would be more fun than anything. The sight of numerous pantless people is something else, and the feeling of camaraderie among us pantless folk made the entire experience even better. In all honesty I felt pretty comfortable in my underwear; it wasn’t nearly as awkward as I had thought.

What were some of the highlights from the ride for you?
I think the best moments were witnessing the reactions of people getting on the light rail filled with people wearing no pants. Some of the best reactions were people trying to NOT act surprised. Drinking beers with fellow No Pants Riders was also a highlight for me. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had.

Would you do a flash mob again?
Definitely!

What’s your advice for anyone considering participating in a flash mob?
I would say that there is no other experience like it; you meet awesome and fun people, make memories that are unforgettable, and you get a rush that lasts long after the flash mob has ended.

I had a blast hanging out with Mike at the No Pants Light Rail Ride. I’m glad he enjoyed the experience and that he got to see what it’s like to be an organizer of the event. I was pleased to see that the next batch of law students has some open-minded people in it who want to challenge themselves outside the academic arena.

You can check out more pictures from the 2013 No Pants Light Rail Ride on Flickr and via College Times, Phoenix New Times, and AZ Central. The video from the ride is expected to be released soon on Improv AZ’s YouTube channel. If you live in the Phoenix area and want to participate in a flash mob or prank with Improv AZ, please add yourself to our email list and you’ll be kept in the loop on our upcoming shenanigans.

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:

It’s Official – I Have a Big Brain

A few weeks ago I got a message from Jonathan McNamara of the Phoenix New Times informing me that I had been nominated and was a finalist for the 2011 Big Brain Awards.  The Big Brain Awards are annual awards give out by the New Times to exceptional and innovative people in the arts in the Phoenix community.  I never thought that I would be nominated, let alone a finalist.  The committee started with nearly 400 nominees and whittled the list down to 18 finalists, 3 in each of 6 categories.  I’m a finalist in the Performing Arts category.

I was selected as a finalist because of my work with Improv AZ and because of Sponsor A Law Kid.  I am very excited and humbled to be nominated.  I have been blown away by the phenomenal people I’ve met in the Phoenix area in the last two years that to be singled out for my work is quite an honor.

I will find out if I’m a Big Brain winner or just honored to be nominated this Saturday at Artopia.

None of this could have happened without the love, support, and guidance from some special people in my life:

There are two special people I need to single out and thank for their support and guidance.

  1. Jeff Moriarty – If it wasn’t for Jeff organizing the first No Pants Ride, none of this would have ever happened.  There wouldn’t be Improv AZ, and I wouldn’t have met most of the amazing people in my life today.  Jeff was also the person who encouraged me to become a blogger and helped make Undeniable Ruth possible.
  2. Evo Terra – Evo is one of the most outspoken and brilliant people that I know.  A few months ago I asked him how he he developed a thick skin against criticism.  He responded, “Figure out who’s opinions matter to you. Then genuinely do not give a shit what anyone else thinks.”  That is easier said than done, but those have become my guiding words when I’m against people who disagree with what I write or what I do.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far.  I’m up against some phenomenal people this Saturday: Tom Leveen and Joseph Perez.  While it would be nice to win, I will be pleased regardless of the outcome.