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90 Days of Awesome

Day 82/90 – Moment of Grace

I can’t say that Day 82 of the 90 Days of Awesome was awesome. The Phoenix community woke to the devastating news that our friends’ child passed away from cancer earlier that morning.

Krys and Atticus

Krys and Atticus

We had all been following Atticus’ story since he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 13 months old last October. The family kept us in the loop about his progress and setbacks. It was heartbreaking to learn that his cancer started to grow even while he was on chemo. Throughout this entire process, it was a joy to see the photos of Atticus smiling and the videos of him roaming the halls of the hospital. He brought happiness everywhere he went. This family has so much of love for their children and their community – and we love them all back. It seemed so unfair that these wonderful people and this innocent delightful child had to endure so much.

Facebook was flooded with messages of love and sadness as we all learned about Atticus’ death. A lot of people said things like, “I’m going to go watch the sunrise and cry.” I knew I wasn’t suitable for human consumption, but I still had work to do; so I went to the office, closed my door, and told my receptionist that I wouldn’t be taking any phone calls that day. Instead, I focused on my client’s work that was fairly straight-forward – responding to emails and closing files on completed projects – while dabbing the tears that periodically trickled from my eyes.

There was a moment of the grace among the sadness – I appreciated how lucky we all work to be part of this loving community, so none of us, especially this family, didn’t have to suffer alone. Whether we live in Phoenix or are part of this family of friends that is scattered across the world, there were loving words and virtual and actual hugs for all. I am sad that Atticus is gone (but never forgotten), and that this family is in pain, but I am also grateful to be part of a community of so many wonderful people. Knowing the depth of our collective pain reminds me that we are also capable of this magnitude of collective joy.

In case you missed it: Day 81 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Sometimes the highlight of the day is not being hurt when you step on your dog’s rawhide bone.

Day 81/90 – Simple Pleasures

Day 81 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I didn’t hurt myself when I kicked Rosie’s bone.

Rosie Loves her Rawhide Bone!

Rosie Loves her Rawhide Bone!

Today was pretty unremarkable. I’ve been really tired of this week so I opted not to torture myself by going for a run this morning. I went to the office and cranked on client work all morning before attending a CLE for women lawyers about having “true grit.” I don’t consider myself to be someone who has any issues in this area, but I went to the CLE (1) to meet other cool lawyers and (2) because it was free. I will admit, I was underwhelmed by the program but the more neophyte lawyers seem to appreciate it.

So what made today awesome? To be honest, the best thing that happened today was the fact that something didn’t happen. After taking Rosie for her evening walk, I was walking through the bedroom when I kicked one of her rawhide bones. Thankfully, I was still wearing my sneakers so it didn’t hurt. Have you ever stepped on or kicked a rawhide bone with bare feet after it’s gnarled from your dog chewing on it? It hurts like a bitch! I was relieved when my sneakers spared me from that pain and annoyance.

In case you missed it: Day 80 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I got to talk about my non-traditional legal career with prospective law students.

Day 80/90 – Breakfast with Prospective Law Students

Day 80 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to have bagels and coffee with honors business undergrads who are considering careers in the legal industry.

Photo by Gina Sanfillippo, used with permission

Photo by Gina Sanfillippo, used with permission

I was invited to speak to this group of bright students from the W.P. Carey School of Business  at ASU about having a nontraditional legal career. These students are in an internship program which involves working out of business and attempting these weekly seminars where different speakers talk about various aspects of working in the legal industry. I was invited to share my story to demonstrate to the students that you can do more things with a JD degree then be a traditional lawyer.

I got to talk about how I basically went to law school on a whim and how I found my professional passions after getting involved in the flash mob and social media communities in Phoenix which led to me starting this blog, opening a firm right out of law school, and putting as much energy into developing my career as a professional speaker and writer as I do into providing legal services for my clients. (I still say the best thing I did in law school was participate in the inaugural No Pants Light Rail Ride. It led to almost all the awesome opportunities in my career.)

It was fun to listen to these people, who are at the beginning of their careers, about their ideas that they want to work on professionally and how they can make opportunities for themselves through blogging, social media, and just being professionally bold about what they want.

To be honest, I don’t remember much of what I actually said, but the group’s coordinator, Gina Sanfillippo said I did a great job and all the students seemed happy with what I presented and wanted my card. I’ll take that for a win.

In case you missed it: Day 79 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Mitch Jackson and I did a live preview of our talk on social media law for Periscope Community Summit.

Day 79/90 – Periscope Community Summit Preview with Mitch Jackson

Day 79 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to do a spontaneous online show with Mitch Jackson about our upcoming panel at the Periscope Community Summit in New York!

Ruth and Mitch Rockin' it on Blab

Ruth and Mitch Rockin’ it on Blab

I previously shared that Mitch Jackson and I will be co-panelists at the Periscope Community Summit in September where we will be talking about the legal issues that accompany live streaming video and social media. Today, Mitch suggested we do preview show on Blab to talk about some of the topics we might cover in our talk and to get input on the topics and questions non-lawyers who use Periscope have.

You can watch our full talk on Blab here.

And here’s Mitch’s write up of our conversation.

I thought it was so funny that Mitch has pages and pages of ideas for our panel. I summed up our talk into a sticky note that said, “Stop Fucking Up On Social.” The audience seemed to appreciate that.

We’re only going to have an hour at Periscope Community Summit for our panel but I’m sure we’ll try to touch on copyright/fair use, trademark, defamation, privacy, First Amendment, harassment/bullying issues, and FTC requirements. Hopefully we’ll have time during and after the conference to keep the conversation going about these legal issues because with these new technologies, the legislature and the courts are still figuring out what the rules are.

This is going to be a fun trip. I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone at Periscope Community Summit and all my New York and New York-adjacent friends.

In case you missed it: Day 78 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I got to corrupt the 1Ls at ASU Law School!

Day 78/90 – Corrupting ASU 1Ls

Day 78 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to meet some of the new law students at ASU at their orientation reception.

I can't wait until the new law school building is finished (Photo courtesy of ASU Law School)

I can’t wait until the new law school building is finished (Photo courtesy of ASU Law School)

ASU Law School has a reception during 1L orientation where they invite their alums to meet the new students. It’s in the evening so the 1Ls are exhausted from a long day of information overload and culture shock. It’s fun to share tips for surviving law school and give them a glimpse of what life after law school is like.

My goal for attending these types of event is to show law students that there’s more than one way to be a lawyer. I purposely attended in jeans and a tank top to show them that not all lawyers wear a suit every day. Along with talking about my legal career as an Of Counsel attorney, blogger, speaker, and author, I tried to share some lessons that got my though law school:

  • If you’re smart enough to get into law school, you’re smart enough to get through it.
  • Sometimes you’ll lose your mind a bit due to stress and fatigue, but it’s temporary. You will bounce back and be happy again.
  • The difference between the top and the bottom of the class is small. Unless your dream job requires you to be at the top of your class, you don’t have to check your grades. I didn’t.
  • Become friends with the IT guys. They will save your ass when your computer breaks.
  • The staff and faculty at ASU Law are as supportive as they claim to be. If you need or want something, ask.
  • Treat law school like a trade school. Learn your craft and network your face off you so will be well connected to the community by the time you graduate. If you have an opportunity that requires skipping a class, definitely skip class.

I told a group of 1Ls the story about the day I realized Dean Sylvester was super cool when he encouraged me to send a demand letter to the then-ASU Law Dean when he was late to class.

I also met a 1L who I exchanged emails with a few years ago. She’d asked me if law school was worth it and I told her to ask herself whether a law degree was necessary to achieve her goals. If so, go to law school. And now she’s at ASU. That was really cool.

I gave my business card to just about every law student I met and I told them to call or email if they need anything. We’ll now many of them take me up on it.

For anyone who discovers this post after meeting me tonight, here a bonus for you: Seven Layers of Academic Hell.

In case you missed it: Day 77 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I treated myself to a Suzie Housewife Day!

Day 77/90 – Suzie Housewife Day

Day 77 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I treated myself to a Suzie Housewife Day!

This is what Rosie did most of the time while I was being productive today - except when I got too close to her with the vacuum.

This is what Rosie did most of the time while I was being productive today – except when I got too close to her with the vacuum.

A Suzie Housewife Day is a day I get to be mellow, stay home, and do chores. It may sound boring, but it’s quite relaxing. The day started out with a 4-mile run just after sunrise. It’s been so hot in Phoenix, I was soaked with sweat by the end of it. And I was tired again, so I laid down on the floor next to Rosie who was crashed out in her bed and I fell asleep for 45 minutes. I guess Rosie didn’t appreciate me napping so close to her because she had moved to another room by the time I woke up again.

I took a shower and put on a fresh tank top and oversized pajama pants and started working around the condo. I got quite a bit done:

  • Did laundry
  • Balance my checkbook
  • Paid bills
  • Vacuumed the floors
  • Cleaned dishes
  • Brushed Rosie
  • Boiled chicken for Rosie (Yes, my dog gets chopped chicken with her kibble at every meal. She’s spoiled.)
  • Made chickpeas and veggies to have over rice for lunch at work this week (It’s a recipe from the Star Trek Cookbook.)
  • Did my weekly strength test (I’m up to 30 consecutive push-ups!)

In between all of this, I was binge watching the routines from the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships. Both the men and women’s teams look awesome this year. I’m started to get excited for next year’s Olympics.

Even though I was pretty productive, it was a restful day. I didn’t feel pressured to do anything. I just whatever I wanted to do next. It feels good to get things prepared for the upcoming week.

In case you missed it: Day 76 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I had an awesome dinner at Oden’s house with friends!

Day 76/90 – Dinner at Oden’s

Day 76 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to have dinner with friends at Oden’s house.

Love this photo of Oden and me (Photo by Sheila Dee, used with permission)

Love this photo of Oden and me (Photo by Sheila Dee, used with permission)

I know Oden through Ignite Phoenix and Improv AZ. She’s freakin’ awesome. She is a self-proclaimed “Jewish mother” and somebody I can always count on. With one friend visiting from out of state and another friend recently moving back to the Phoenix area, Oden had a group of us over to her house for dinner.

It was a fantastic evening filled with good food and laughter. Oden cooked up a storm, including pulled pork, cheesy polenta, and homemade white chocolate ice cream for dessert. Everything was so good, and it was so great to see so many of my friends.

I also fell in love with one of Oden’s cats. His name is Broken – because he has a crick in his tail. He is an attention-loving talkative older cat – complete with a deep loud old-cat voice. He was so cute.

I left feeling stuffed, happy, and lucky to have so many awesome friends in my life.

In case you missed it: Day 75 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I got a tour of the Fox 10 Phoenix TV station.

Day 75/90 – Touring Fox 10 Phoenix

Day 75 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got take a tour of the Fox 10 Phoenix station with Jeff Moriarty.

Some things never change.

Some things never change.

Jeff is my partner in crime, and he is also the Director of Social Media for Fox 10 Phoenix. He’s been a bugging me for months to come down to the station for a tour, and I’ve been putting it off, mainly because you never know when breaking news is going to happen and I didn’t want to be in the way. He finally got me down there this week.

I'm flying!

I’m flying!

I got to visit Fox 10 a few weeks ago when I was on Fox News Now, but I didn’t get the full tour of the facility. Jeff showed me all the ins and outs of the station including the back hallways, editing rooms, and the sets where they do the morning and evening news programs. I was really nervous walking through the building, because I didn’t want to touch anything or speak too loudly in case it would disrupt someone’s work.

The sets for the news were really awesome – they are all in one room. I was intimidated by all the equipment – especially the boom camera and the robotic camera. Yes, they have a robotic camera that can be controlled remotely. Even though they weren’t shooting a show at the time, I was afraid it was going to wake up and move around. Jeff, of course, was comfortable in our surroundings and encouraged me to take pictures on the sets and with the green screen.

Again, I felt like I was invading someone else’s world, but I’m glad I got a behind-the-scenes look at the station. It seemed like a place where I could become comfortable if I worked there and the things that intimidated me as a visitor could become commonplace equipment and activities.

In case you missed it: Day 74 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I got to be a guest on the Russ on the Radio show!

Day 74/90 – Russ on the Radio Show

Day 74 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got to be a guest on the Russ on the Radio show on KFNX 1100AM!

KFNX Talk Studio - photo courtesy of KFNX (Sorry, I forgot to talk a selfie)

KFNX Talk Studio – photo courtesy of KFNX (Sorry, I forgot to talk a selfie)

Russ Stevenson has an hour-long non-political non-religious weekly talk radio show. He invited me to be a guest to talk about social media law and flash mob law. He gave me the option to call in or be a live in-studio guest, and of course I chose to be in the studio. The station is only a few miles from my office and being there in person is such a richer experience than calling in to a show or doing it via Skype.

I got to the station a little bit before Russ’ 4 o’clock time slot and met with Russ and his co -host Alex Stephens to go over the format of the show and what topics they wanted to cover. I was very touched and pleased when Alex said, “You’re a performer.” I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve been involved in the performing arts since I was a child and that people acknowledge that this is part of my personality and one of my natural talents.

Being on the show was awesome. The hour flew by. I loved being in the studio with the fancy headsets, microphones, and the egg crate foam on the walls. During each of the commercial breaks, we chatted briefly about what we are in a cover in the next segment. Working with Russ and Alex was so easy. I think they thought it was funny when I would dance in my chair during the intro music. Everyone at the station made me feel very comfortable and welcome. I can’t wait to hear the replay when the show is released as a podcast after it is edited. Russ said they take out some of his Ums and other verbal stumbles. I hope they do the same for me.

After the show, Russ and Alex said that I did a good job. Even their driver said I did a good job – and according to Russ and Alex, he doesn’t say that to everyone. They said they want me back on the show again, because we only scratched the surface of social media and flash mob law issues. I’m looking forward to it.

In case you missed it: Day 73 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Mitch and I are Invading New York this Fall for Periscope Community Summit!

Day 73/90 – Invading New York with Mitch

Day 73 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I found out that Mitch Jackson and I are co-presenting at the Periscope Community Summit in New York this fall!

Doing The Human Side show with Mitch Jackson

Doing The Human Side show with Mitch Jackson

Mitch is an awesome personal injury attorney in southern California. He is a great guy who’s also active on Twitter, Periscope, and has a podcast called The Human Side. I had the pleasure of being on the show earlier this year – we had a blast. I’m jealous of his Periscope videos that he shoots next to the ocean just before he goes surfing. We hoped to connect in person when I was passing through southern California during The Undeniable Tour, but unfortunately our schedules didn’t mesh.

Today I got a call from a giddy Mitch. He was so excited to share the news that we will be on a panel together at the Periscope Community Summit to talk about the legal issues related to using Periscope and other social media platforms.

“Do they know how awesome this is going to be?” he asked me.

“They think they know, but they have no idea.” I responded.

Then we went off on a tangent about how we aren’t going to sleep when we’re in New York because we’ll to be so busy with the conference and trying to see all of our friends and to connect with New York-based social media movers and shakers. As proud members of the Vayner Nation, we decided we at least have to stop by VaynerMedia to see GaryVee. Mitch suggested we jump in an Uber with him when he’s between meetings to maximize our time with him. Can you help us make that happen DeMayo?

I’m so excited that I will finally get to meet Mitch in person, and we are going to blow the Periscope community away with our talk. They will never think of lawyers in the same way again. I can’t wait.

In case you missed it: Day 72 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I love that my job lets me fix my clients’ problems.