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December, 2012:

Top 10 Undeniable Ruth Posts From 2012

According to my analytics, these were the most popular posts I wrote this year. Enjoy!

MBE Score 2Is That Legal – Freaky the Snowman

Unsolicited Advice: Don’t Open Your MBE Score
This post is kind of irrelevant now since Arizona doesn’t send people their MBE scores in advance anymore.

Don’t Lose Your Personality When You Get Your JD

First Yarn Bomb!

yarn bombWhy Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts?

How Do You Know If You’re Too Fat To Fly?

How To Survive Law School Finals

Adjusting To Oregon Living

I Was Cyberbullied

First Yarn Bomb – Three Weeks Later

Have a great new year everyone! I’m excited for what’s to come and sharing it with you.

 

Undeniable Recap of 2012

Ruth Carter, ABA Legal Rebel

Photo by Don McPhee Photography

It’s been an incredible year! Looking back, so much has changed and so many wonderful things have happened for me this year – personally and professionally. I never could have predicted so many good things happening. Of course, I didn’t get here alone and I want to thank all the friends, family, and colleagues who helped make this year fan-fucking-tastic. It was hard to pick the top five events from this year, but here you go!

1.  Carter Law Firm Opened!  I opened my own law practice on January 4, 2012 and I’m happy to report that I’m still in business and haven’t been disbarred. It’s been an amazing year creating and building my own business with all the trials and tribulations that go along with that. I love my work and I’m so lucky that I get to build the professional life I’ve always wanted as the approachable geeky lawyer who wears t-shirts and does awesome work. I love that I’m building my niches in social media and flash mob law and being invited to do things like speak at major conferences.

ruthcover smaller2.  My First Book  I wrote and self-published The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to get Sued, Fired, Arrested, or Killed. I’ve always wanted to write a book and all the pieces fell into place to make it happen. The book has been well received so far and appears to be opening the door for more books. Special hat tip to ePublish Unum for teaching me everything I know about self-publishing.

3.  ABA Legal Rebel  I’ve always looked up to the American Bar Association Legal Rebels, but in my wildest dreams I did not expect to be picked to join this illustrious group only months after becoming a lawyer. I’m tickled that they chose me because of my work in flash mob law.

Rosie!

Rosie!

4.  I Got A Dog!  Adopting Rosie from the Arizona Basset Hound Rescue was probably the biggest life changing event of this year. It had been years since I had a pet and because of her we go walking every day and I’m on a more structured schedule. She can melt my heart with one look and it was so hard to leave her at the kennel for a few days. I love the way she looks when she runs and how she howls at the phone.

5.  Half Marathon Personal Record  This may seem petty, but it was a big deal to me to finish the race under two hours. I was blown away when I heard I finished the race in 1:52. I’d never run that hard for so long before. It was a great experience to do so well.

 

Celebrity Encounters in 2012

 

Firsts in 2012

  • handstand bean1st trip to Chicago where I leave the airport – included my 1st ride on the L Train and my 1st visit to Cloud Gate (The Bean)
  • 1st trip to the Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Bought my 1st Powerball ticket
  • 1st time using Survey Monkey and Mail Chimp
  • 1st time at Phoenix Comicon
  • 1st time owning a pet that wasn’t formerly a family pet
  • 1st business trip to San Francisco
  • Sent my 1st DMCA Takedown Notice
  • Put up my 1st yarn bomb
  • 1st trip to the ABA TechShow
  • 1st YouTube channel

In Memorium

  • Peg Grucky
  • David Malcolm

This has been an incredible year. I’m excited for what’s to come next!

Irresponsible Dog Walkers

For anyone who doesn’t know, I got a rescue basset hound named Rosie this year. She’s awesome and I love her. We take a walk every day with the exception of days when there’s a dust storm or a rain storm. She’s a darling of the neighborhood. When we go walking, I wear a cross-body bag that holds her pooper scooper bags, a flash light, her water bottle, mace (in case we encounter a coyote), my phone, and my keys.

Shit by margaretshear from Flickr

Shit by margaretshear from Flickr

I’ve noticed there are three types of dog walkers in my neighborhood.

  1. Responsible Dog Walkers: These are the people who carry pooper scooper bags, pick up after their dogs, and put the waste into the trash can.
  2. Traditional Irresponsible Dog Walkers: These people walk their dogs and don’t carry pooper scooper bags. They let their dogs shit wherever they want and never clean it up.
  3. Nontraditional Irresponsible Dog Walkers: These people walk their dogs and carry pooper scooper bags. When their dog poops, they put it in a bag, tie off the top, and toss it to the side of the road.

The nontraditional irresponsible dog walkers baffle me. Their behavior remind me of highway clean-up crews that pick up trash and leave the full bags by the side of the road for the truck to pick up at the end of their shift. Only in this case, there isn’t a dog shit bag removal service in my neighborhood.

Dog poo bags by nicolasnova from Flickr

Dog poo bags by nicolasnova from Flickr

The worst part of cleaning up after your dog is picking up the poop itself – and even that’s not that bad. My regular route with Rosie is just under a mile and we walk out and back. There are 2 dumpsters and 4 communal trash cans along the way (not including the 3 trash cans in the park on the route). You have to walk maybe 2 blocks before you reach the next trash receptacle. There are also 3 bag dispensers on our route so if you forget to grab your pooper scooper bags when you leave the house, you can still clean up after your dog.

I don’t know who the culprits are – the traditional and nontraditional irresponsible dog walkers – but I hope they knock it off soon. It’s unsightly and disgusting.

I remember in high school they used to say if you can’t handle buying condoms, you’re not mature enough to have sex. Likewise, if you can’t handle cleaning up after your dog, you shouldn’t be able to have one.

Visiting the Hat

It’s the holiday season and everyone has their own traditions. Some people send cards. Some people bake. Some people give to donations to charity in lieu of gifts. I visit a hat.

Helen Louise Carter “Grandma Lou” 1924-2003

My grandmother, Grandma Lou, was a beautiful woman – on the inside and out. She had the most generous and loving spirit that lit up a room. She had a closet filled with beautiful clothes and she never left the house without “putting on her face.” As she aged, her hair started to thin. Not letting that stop her, she invested in various wigs, head wraps, and hats to wear on the days she didn’t have time or desire to meticulously curl and fluff her hair. She became so well known for her hats that at her funeral, her 17 grandchildren walked up the aisle, each wearing or carrying one of her hats, and placed them on her casket.

Grandma Lou was a prolific sender of cards. Her calendar was filled with reminders about birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and special events. She never forgot to send a card. She was a frequent flyer at her stationary and gift store called Write Ons. She was there so much she became family to them, and was even invited to the staff’s holiday party. She adored them and they adored her.

When I moved to Phoenix, Write Ons became my card store too. In the first year after Grandma Lou died, I would walk into Write Ons when I missed her and just burst into tears. The women there understood.

Grandma Lou’s Hat – 2012

In her hat collection, Grandma Lou had a Santa hat. Her rule was she couldn’t wear it under “double-digit December” meaning December 10th. When Grandma Lou died, we gave Write Ons her Santa hat. If you turn out the white trim, you can see traces of her make-up on the white faux fur. They placed the hat on an angel and added it to their Christmas display.  They start decorating the store for Christmas in November, but the angel and Grandma’s hat doesn’t come out until December 10th.

I make a year trip to the store in December just to see Grandma’s hat. This year I happened to be there as they brought it out. The hat doesn’t smell like her anymore but the inside of the white trim is still stained with her foundation and powder.  I hugged the angel and carefully carried it through the store to its spot on top of the highest shelf. It’s comforting to know that the joy she added to the holidays is still with us.

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Will 2013 Be My Last Half Marathon?

I’m starting to give serious consideration to hanging up my running shoes after the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. This will be my 4th time doing the race and it seems like every time I train for a half marathon, I run a personal best, but I also go into the race more injured than the previous race. Here’s the breakdown of all my half marathons to date.

Photo by Crystal O’Hara

2010:  No major injuries during training (Race time: 2:09)
2011: Shin splints – left leg (2:06)
2012: Shin splints – left leg, Left foot pain (1:52)
2013: Expect to run with pain in both shins and feet

For the 2011 race, I was barely able to train because of my shin pain. That was my most painful race ever. I started hurting during mile 2 and it got worse the more I ran. By the end of the race, you couldn’t hug me because everything hurt – including my internal organs hurt. I started using KT Tape when I was training for the 2012 race. I spent the last month of training with my leg taped up. By race day, I needed tape jobs on my leg and foot. This year I practically started training with my leg taped up and I added a foot tape job last week. I pulled back on the intensity of my training to let my legs rest a bit. My left leg did fine with last weekend’s 6-mile run/walk but now my right leg and foot are starting to hurt too. It makes me wonder if it’s time for new sport.

Before getting into running, I was a gymnast for 17 years. I love being athletic. I was a competitive gymnast for 8 years and I had a plethora of injuries – shin splints, knee problems, back problems, and chronic foot problems. When I retired from competition, I was recovering from a stress fractured lower back. My doctor suggested I take up yoga. I joined a regular gym and I tried it. I found weight lifting to be boring and yoga was challenging, but it gave me no sense of accomplishment. I missed the pounding of my hands and feet against the ground and doing flips. I haven’t found a suitable substitute for gymnastics – there’s nothing like it.

I’ve tried a few other sports but nothing’s clicked for me. I fenced for 1.5 years in college and that was pretty fun. On the advice of my coaches, I took swimming as a PE class when I was in college. I really tried to like it but it did nothing for me. I really didn’t like that I couldn’t tell when I was sweating. When I moved to Phoenix, I got into hiking because I didn’t think running was an option given my history with injuries. I enjoy getting out on the mountain trails, but it doesn’t give the sense of satisfaction I want.

I openly admit that I don’t like running – I like being a size 4. I’ve learned that I won’t work out unless I’m training for something. With running, there’s always a race I could sign up for. I appreciate that training for a half marathon puts me on a 12-week structured training program so I have to work out 6 day a week. But now I’m wondering if it’s worth it to do it again after this race. If I give up running, I’ll need to replace it with something…and I have no idea what that would be.

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