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Sponsor A Law Kid

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.



Sponsor A Law Kid Update – March 22, 2011

I’m 81 days into my Sponsor A Law Kid (SALK) campaign and have 127 days to go.  So far, I’ve sold 46 days to 33 people and businesses, and it’s paid for about 1/3 of this semester’s tuition.  It’s been quite a journey and I’m grateful to have been part of these people’s lives.

When I embarked on this campaign in November, my friend basically said to put up a blog post and a Facebook page and see what happens.  I sold quite a few days right off the bat, but then things fizzled out a bit.  Over winter break, I decided to send some emails to people who might be interested in sponsoring a day.  I made a list of every product I use or businesses I patronize on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, I use mostly national brands that don’t sponsor individuals.  Then I started flipping through local publications that I read when I have the time, and I sent emails to everyone who had an ad that included an email address or website.  I would easily spend 8 hours sending emails to get 1 or 2 responses that would say “Yes.”

One day over break I was lounging around my parents’ house when my phone rang.  It was a representative for Bashas’, a family-owned grocery store chain in the Phoenix area where I regularly shop.  They received my message about SALK and she was calling to offer me a $1,000 scholarship in lieu of sponsoring a day.  I was speechless and so touched by their generosity.

When I returned to Phoenix, I decided to see if any of the local news stations would be interested in using SALK as news story since school would be back in session soon.  I sent an email to every news station and pitched SALK as a potential story.  I was shocked when I got a call 20 minutes later from Channel 15 asking if they could come over to do an interview to air that night.  One of the viewers that night was a woman who used to be a receptionist at the agency where I worked before law school.  I hadn’t seen her in years.  She loved the idea of SALK so much that she sponsored a day to raise awareness for soldiers with PTSD.  Somehow the Phoenix New Times heard about my campaign and featured SALK on their 365 Ideas blog.

I had sponsorship for most of the days in January.  On the first day that didn’t have a sponsor, one of my classmates offered to sponsor it at a much reduced rate to promote a cause for him.  I admired his gumption, so I accepted the deal.

One thing I’ve learned from SALK is that it takes more time and energy than you’d expect to write on someone’s behalf.   My sponsors trust me to write about causes that are close to their hearts, and I take these obligations seriously.  It takes considerable thought to determine the best way to accurately express their sentiments.  I am honored by the opportunity to share their stories, whether I’m writing about a rare illness, paying tribute to a loved one, or promoting someone’s passion.

Nowadays I’m too busy to solicit sponsorship, but I’m glad when the emails pop into my inbox from people asking to sponsor a day.  Moreover, I’m always happy when I see that others are finding my sponsors because of my blog.  My only regret related to SALK is that I didn’t think of it sooner and have more time to invite people to be part of the SALK family.

SALK Day 78: Arizona Animal Races

Today’s sponsors are Micah and Danielle Larripa, two of the most wonderful people I’ve met during law school.  Micah is my classmate and a proud member of the U.S. Marine Corps who is perpetually “living the dream.”  Danielle is his beautiful wife.  They asked me to write about the “awesomeness of obscure animal racing events in Arizona.”  I did some digging and here are the top 8 animal races in Arizona.

  1. Just anther day at the Ostrich Races

    Image by Zach Inglis via Flickr

    Ostrich Races:  The ostrich races are part of the annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler.   There are races where ostriches pull chariots and races where participants ride the giant birds.  It’s a hilarious crazy event where you’re likely to see the birds spinning in circles and races where every jockey falls off their bird.

  2. Pug Olympics:  I had to throw in a pug event for the Larripa’s pug, Scout.  This annual event takes place every January in Mesa.  From what I can tell, they let the dogs run wild on agility equipment.
  3. Dog Sled Race:  This race is part of the annual Winter Games at the Hon-Dah Resort Casino in Pinetop.  The Winter Games also raise money for the local humane society with a purebred dog show a “mountain mutt” dog show, and a dog weight pull competition.
  4. Pig Races at Schnepf Farms:  The pig races are part of the pumpkin and chili festival every October.  Hillbilly Bob calls the races as the little pig race around the dirt track.  This is a great family event where attendees all get pig noses for being there.
  5. Desert Dachshund Race:  This event looks adorable – dachshunds zipping down a race area in little colorful race bibs.  This race occurs every October and benefits the Sahuaro Dachshund Rescue.
  6. Goat Dressing : This isn’t a race, but it’s an animal event that was too hilarious not to put on the list.  The Arizona Gay Rodeo Association hosts the Road Runner Regional Rodeo for the International Gay Rodeo Association every February.  Along with the standard rodeo events (bull riding, barrel racing, roping, etc.), they have Goat Dressing – an event where teams of two compete to see who can put a pair of panties on a goat the fastest.
  7. Mascot Race:  Ok, so this is not exactly an animal race, but I’m sure that there are people dressed up as animals.  Mascots from local restaurants race one mile as part of the annual Gilbert Days every November.
  8. Warrior Dash:  The Warrior Dash is an event for humans with animalistic spirit.  This hellish 3.4 mile race is peppered with twelve obstacles including a cargo net, a river, barbed wire, and fire.  Participants receive a Viking helmet and a beer upon crossing the finish line.  The Warrior Dash has races in 30 cities in and out of the U.S.  It’s coming to Arizona for the first time this spring.  And in case you were wondering, yes, I’m doing it.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsors are Micah and Danielle Larripa.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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SALK Day 74: Pursuing Passions

Let’s talk about passion.  It’s a powerful feeling.  It drives you to stay up until 3am, working on a project for fun.  It’s that gut feeling that you’re doing something that you were meant to do, and it’s so powerful that you can’t explain why you feel this way.  It just is.

Ignite the moment...

Image by ViaMoi via Flickr

It can take time to figure out what you’re passionate about.  You have to try different things, encounter different people and situations.  I never know when I’ll find something that ignites my passion, but when it happens, I get a burst energy that can overcome the power of sleep deprivation or a bad day.

This past year I’ve had to ask myself what ignites my professional passion.  I love it when I’m working on a legal project, determining a viable answer, and being frustrated that I can’t give legal advice yet.  That’s usually followed by the blaring thought, “Why aren’t I a lawyer yet?!”  When I feel that burst of passionate energy, I’ve tried to slow my brain down enough to identify what was driving that feeling.  It led me to learn that two things make me exceptionally happy – being a helpful reassuring source of knowledge and being a performer.   I am grateful that I have opportunities to be both of these things.

I’m graduating in 60 days, and I don’t have a job lined up yet.  One of my reasons for going to law school was the fact that I didn’t like my job anymore.  I’m being somewhat selective about where I’m applying for jobs because I decided I’m going to pay over $60,000 for a career change that’s going make me miserable.

It’s a joy to watch other people sharing or engaging in their passions.  Today’s sponsor and my friend, Stefi, is such a person who embraces her passions.  It’s not something she consciously thinks about; it’s just what she does.  Sometimes she gets so excited that she literally bounces up and down when she talks.  If you say something that she really likes, she might express her happiness by proposing marriage.  It’s very cute to turn around and see that she’s holding a ring out to me because of something I’ve said.  I love that she risks being seen as weird.  I’m so pleased to see that I’m not the only one who came to law school to find and follow a passion.

Happy Birthday Stefi!

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Stephanie Green.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.


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SALK Day 73

This post has been temporarily removed at the request of the sponsor.

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SALK Day 62: Vote For Sonoma!!

I was born and raised in a little town called Sonoma, California.  I love my hometown.  Visitors come to Sonoma for the award-winning food and world-class wine.  I hope they also experience what a charming place it is and meet its residents who are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  The city is filled with beauty and closely held traditions.  My family still lives in Sonoma and I look forward to visiting them every year at Christmas.  Every summer, I miss being there on the 4th of July.  The whole town gathers around the Plaza to watch the parade and then in the evening, we all troop out to an empty field with blankets and popcorn to watch the city’s fire work display, put on by the fire department.

(cc) Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

This year Sonoma is being honored as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.  This program recognizes cities “that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization.”  Until this week, I really never thought about how beautiful Sonoma is compared to other cities and the efforts that its residents put into preserving the gorgeous old buildings and reusing them without disturbing the outer facades.  You can tell that many of the downtown businesses used to be someone’s home.

This week I got to take a trip down memory lane by looking up pictures of Sonoma on Flickr.  I love the look of all the old stone buildings.  The center of the Sonoma is the Plaza, the home of city hall and a lush green park with fountains and a duck pond.  I love that I grew up in a town that has a traditional town square.  Sonoma is also one of the most historic cities in the west.  Everywhere you go, you see historical sites and preserved buildings dating back to the 1800s.

Sonoma should be the fan favorite of the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destination, but it is currently lagging behind Paducah, Kentucky.  Please cast your vote for Sonoma every day through March 15th.

(cc) juanlondres2 & Steve Parker

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Pam Gibson, former city manager of Sonoma. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

SALK Day 61: Two Men And A Truck – Movers for Moms

Two Men And A Truck is the largest local franchised moving company in the United States.  Beth King has been a franchise owner of Two Men And A Truck since 2004 with locations in Peoria and Goodyear, Arizona.  Two Men And A Truck is a full-service moving company for home and business moves.  They also provide packing and unpacking services and sell packing supplies.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK truck in front of a home

Image via Wikipedia

This year King is partnering with Two Men And A Truck locations in 9 other states on a program called Movers for Moms.  This program collects creature comfort items and essential items that will be delivered to women living in shelters on Mother’s Day.   The purpose of the program is to recognize all mothers, including those who may not be expecting anything this year.

I love this program.  I can’t think about how much I love my Mom without my eyes welling up with tears.  I think it’s so wonderful that Two Men And A Truck, many of which are female-owned, are doing something to make all mothers feel special this Mother’s Day.

Movers for Moms encourages people to donate any item that all mothers enjoy such as nice soaps, hair products, soft pillows, slippers, etc.  Essential items such as food and toiletries will also be welcome. No gift is too small.

2011 is the fourth year that Movers for Moms has been in existence.  Last year, Movers for Moms collected more than 20,000 items for women in 14 shelters in Michigan, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, and New York.  This year, their goal is to collect and deliver 50,000 items.

Two Men And A Truck will be collecting donations for this year’s Movers for Moms program until the week of Mother’s Day.  Donations may be brought to the Peoria (623-933-2180) and Goodyear (623-932-6090) locations during business hours.

Please contact Two Men And A Truck to partner with them on this project or to make a donation to Movers for Moms.  You can email them at and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Movers for Moms also has its own Facebook page and Twitter account.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Two Men And A Truck. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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SALK Day 60: Bristol6 Nippies

Today’s sponsor is Bristol6, maker of Nippies, my favorite brand of pasties.  Yes, I have a preferred brand of pasties.

I discovered Nippies about five years ago.  I was a member of Arizona Women in Tune, a lesbian-identified choir in the Phoenix area.  The Pride festival was approaching, and we were given the opportunity to raise money for the choir by volunteering in the alcohol booths.  The organization earned $1 for every drink ticket we collected and the choir got to keep all of our tips.  I looked over at my choirmate and said, “So, the hotter we look, the more money we’re going to make, right?”  My friend said, “Yeah,” and without skipping a beat I responded, “Miniskirts and pasties.”  I had never owned or worn a miniskirt or pasties before then, but it seemed perfect for the occasion.   We verified that our attire would not violate the Arizona decency law before we went shopping.  We made a lot of money for our organization that night . . . and we were not the most scantily clad people in at the festival.

I love Bristol6’s product.  I wear them a few times a year when I’m in situations where I don’t want to risk having a visible bra strap but I don’t want to “nip out” either.  They keep me contained and they’re super comfortable.  They come in a variety of colors and shapes so you can conceal them or show them off as you please.  I’m obviously a fan of the sparkly star-shaped ones, but they also come in hearts, butterflies, and x’s.  They also have a really cute line just for brides.  I’m sure some brides have worn pasties as their “something blue.” I’ve also met a lesbian bar owner with all-female bartenders who have had their employees tend bar in pasties.

One thing I love about this product is the adhesive.  It’s super-strong, yet it doesn’t irritate my skin – and I have sensitive skin that has had bad reactions to band aids and athletic tape in the past.  I have never had to worry about my pasties falling off, even on super-hot Arizona days.  They even stay on in water.  I have worn them longer than the suggested time without any issue.  Last summer I went to the beach for about a week before my sister’s wedding and I was worried about getting tan lines that would look funny with my dress.  I’m also a body surfer so a strapless suit would be instantly around my waist the second I caught a wave.  I considered wearing Nippies and a bikini bottom, but then I found out that that would violate the California decency law.

Bristol6 sells Nippies on their website along with nipple covers, hem tape, and double stick clothing and body tape.  They are also available at adult stores like Fascinations.


Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Bristol6.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

SALK Day 55: Sheila Dee Photography

Sheila Dee is one of my favorite photographers (and people) in the Phoenix area.  She has such a keen eye.  When she first considered doing a professional show of her work, she sought guidance from a fellow photographer who asked, “Is your works special?”  I’d say Sheila’s work is more that special; it’s magnificent.

I love when I see Sheila at events around the valley, like Ignite Phoenix, Podcamp, and Improv AZ events.  She’s usually wearing her green photography backpack that makes her look like a turtle.  When I see her, I know the pictures are going to be magnificent.  Some of my favorite pictures of me where taken by her.  When I met Sheila, I didn’t realize that her specialties were photographs of nature and architectural elements.  Her work on her website, On The Creative Side, is spectacular!

Photo by Sheila Dee

Her first showing was last year at Studio 5C in Tempe, AZ, a gallery that doubles as office space.  One of the people who worked there loved her work so much that he bought a piece before the show even opened.  He picked a beautiful picture of what appears to be an architectural detail.  I was so impressed by her work at the show that I declared that Sheila gets to decorate my first office after I graduate from law school.

I love Sheila’s pictures from her travels.  She has such a unique perspective.  Sheila takes pictures of buildings but she also take the most beautiful pictures of the most ordinary things – an autumn leaf on the ground, a link of chain, a nail sticking out of a board, bubbling water – everyday occurrences but viewed in almost majestic ways.  She has amazing skills with texture and light.

Sheila shared her passion for photography at Ignite Phoenix #8.  She said that her photography is a “personal expression of who I am.”  She gave us an incredible glimpse of how she views the world through her camera.

When asked why she enjoys taking pictures, Sheila responded, “The thought of capturing a moment in time excites me. The idea of showing someone a place they might not have been to prior or allowing them to remember a special place they have visited really pleases me. I enjoy shooting the ordinary and making it special.”

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Sheila Dee.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

SALK Day 52: In Memorium of Jim Wolf

The gift of Jim

Jim loved to give gifts. As his wife, I was privileged to be a recipient of various gifts. I’ve listed a few of the highlights that I want to thank Jim for one more time.

Jim Wolf (1953-2009)

The gift of family:  When I married Jim in 1982, I gained 6 sisters and two brothers plus numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, parents-in-law and grandparents. While this seemed a bit overwhelming at times, it was truly a blessing as I came to love them all as he did. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of family.

The gift of Steve:  After 7 years of marriage Jim and I welcomed our son, Steve, into the world and we became a family of our own. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of a son.
The gift of humor:  Jim had a passion for boats. Big boats, little boats, motor boats, any kind of boat; he liked them all. So, when he wanted a remote-controlled boat but couldn’t justify the purchase, he bought one for my birthday and pretended that it was really for me. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of humor.

The gift of a godly husband:  At a time when marriages so often end in divorce, we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day, 2009. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of a godly husband.

The last gift that Jim gave to me wasn’t really from him, but it was the most precious gift that we shared in our lifetime. You see, when Jim’s heart stopped beating last Saturday morning, he entered immediately into the presence of the God that he loved and served. His desire was that all of you would have that same opportunity to spend eternity in glory. The best gift that we can give him is to make the choice to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

Thank you, God, for the gift of eternal life.

And thank you, God, for the gift of Jim.

In memory of Jim Wolf
June 24, 1953 (Gardner, KS) – February 21, 2009 (Phoenix, AZ)

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Bev Wolf.  She asked me to publish the testimony that she read at her husband’s memorial service in 2009. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.