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Archive for March, 2010

Book 5: Feelin’ the Love

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The PR was officially released today on my 5th book, Indianapolis: A Young Professional’s Guide, Second Edition.  Here’s the official PR piece, and the scoop by Inside Indiana Business.

PR is nice.  But here’s what I think is nicer: when a young person actually moves into our city, gets this guide in their hands, and finds out what they want to do in order to connect in meaningful ways for him or her with this great city of Indianapolis.  That’s it.  That’s the joy to me.

Also, I dig in this second edition that I had the humbling and exciting opportunity to write about THE VERY BEST THING about Indianapolis.  What’s that you may ask?  The cupcakes at The Flying Cupcake, or Lucas Oil Stadium, or the Final Four being hosted here for men’s bball this year?  Nope.  None of that.  The very best thing of all in Indy…ready?  It’s THE PEOPLE!  THEY ARE AWESOME!

This is where I take a small time out to sincerely thank everyone who helped me with this 5th and longest book yet project:  Dorothy Albert (my mom!), Mayor Greg Ballard, Jennifer Ruby, Esq., Kate Shepherd, Jerald Harkness, Kelly Hartman, Gerry Dick, Billie Dragoo, Trevor Belden, Clare Welage, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, Ryan Grimes, Neal Brown, Nancy Ahlrichs, Sarah Taylor, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Lynn Jenkins, Laurie Foster, Kathleen McDonald, Dr. Michael Evans, Dr. Chris Bojrab, Jessica Patterson, Andrea Crawford, Chris Russell, Rebecca Stevens, Michael Maurer, Melina Kennedy, David Certo, Erin Smith, David Seiter, Sarah Fisher, David Nijhawan, Julie Schrader, Callie Smith, Darby Casady, Ron Brumbarger, Hazel Walker, Bree Emsweller, Henry Kurkowski, Morgan Greenlee, Michael DeWeese, Dr. Elaine Voci, Carlotta Katra, Debby Brust, Diane Snyder, Bridget Gurtowsky, Dr. Julie Koehler, Dean Mary Andritz, Sharon O’Donoghue, Liz Mok, Stephanie Williams, Tina Moe, Deb Walton, Sally Fillburnn, Jill Wesley, Denise Meyer, Susie Harmless, and Pam Blevins Hinkle.

I loved the tremendous opportunity to work with each and every one of you.  This city is lucky to have you as a citizen, and I am lucky to have had the chance to work with you.  Rock stars you all are, and I look forward to the NEXT edition of the Indy Guide (IGIII), because it’s going to be even better – because YOU raised the bar on the 2nd edition!

THANK YOU, Indianapolis!  You rock!

Never Underestimate the Power of a Bulldog

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Disclaimer: I’m not writing this as a professor at Butler.  I’m writing it as an ALUM of Butler.

Here we go – WSJ posted a story today on the miracle of tiny Butler University making it from obscurity to the final four.  First of all, we’ve been here.  For a long time.  Over 150 years.  But, I am thankful that WSJ FINALLY is giving Butler some props in the press.  Despite our fantastic winning streak AND the academic success of our players, we’re finally getting some love although we were NEVER the favorite in ANY of the games I watched.

Also, Cornell making it to near the end was impressive as well.  Here’s why: because they don’t have any basketball scholarships.  All their students basically walk on to play.  It’s a school where dare I say…academics come first…?

Someone said if they did brackets on academic success via players’ GPAs, Butler would have already won the tournament.  I say – props to both Butler and other schools that understand what’s the MOST IMPORTANT thing about college – EDUCATION.  Not basketball.  Not football.  Yes, they’re nice, they give us someone to root for, but honestly, at the end of the day, I want as an alum for my colleagues of Butler to get a championship education more than anything else.  If we can do that as an institution, we’ve already won.

Oh, yeah, and GO DAWGS!

It Comes in 3s

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Yes, I’m talking about death.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard that my great uncle passed away, which was the first.  He was in his 90s. Although he probably was better at ‘clean living’ than me and my generation, props to him for having a long, healthy life.  As soon as I heard of his passing, however, I began to worry.  Superstitious I am, especially when it comes to the tri-ness of death.

Second I heard about was one of my former pharmacy mentors, who gave me my very first job in retail pharmacy.  Don was an icon at that particular store, and people came to see him.  I learned a lot just by watching him, and he was always willing to give good advice on his profession, which he was very proud of. He, too, lived a long life, although he did suffer from a debilitating illness.  But he didn’t let that stop him…ever.

So, thinking I might actually flee the elusive power of 3 by not hearing of any other passings, no such luck.  Yesterday, I heard from one of my former colleague’s wife, who just wanted to let me know that my former colleague and friend Tim had passed away last fall of pancreatic cancer.  As I sat in the car and looked at the iPhone in the parking lot, a wave of shock washed through me.  I had traded other emails, texts, and phone calls with other former colleagues at this particular company where we all worked, and his name came up frequently.  “Have you talked to Tim?  What’s he up to?”  No one knew for awhile.  And shame on all of us for not picking up the phone randomly to find out.  The scariest part of this third passing was that Tim was not much older than me.  He passed way too young and left behind an amazing family – one that he always loved to talk about and was so proud of.

The third passing of Tim reminds me of one thing: you never know when your time is going to be up.  That’s why we each have to live every day like it’s our last.  If we don’t, we begin to start taking things for granted – like friends, family, and all the others who so enrich our lives.  I’m striving to be more aware of this today, and in the days to come.

Rest in peace to my dear 3 friends.

Writing 70749: The Love Hate Love Relationship

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Today, for the first time, I had the chance to hold my 5th book in my hands, fondly known by the publisher as 70749.  I can’t exactly tell you the dates and times of my other 4 books where I had that exact experience; however, I can tell you how I felt. The feeling was the same as today:

love.

Writing books is a lot like being in one of those ‘significant other’ relationships.  Some days are really great; some days, bluntly, suck.  When you’re writing a book, at first, the idea is like a fuel that gets you fired up. You are excited.  You love the process.  You finish the first draft; you rearrange, and then, in my opinion, the ‘hate’ part comes.

You have to edit.  You have to listen to critiques from others.  You have to tweak, bend, twist and cajole the words to fit the way you want them to be in the sentence, in the paragraph, on the page, in the chapter. It’s a dirty, inexact, ugly process.  It is maddening and frustrating…especially for someone who has spent a career trying to get things near the “p” word: perfect.

Then, the galley edits come.  They are even worse.  It becomes a matter of splitting hairs…minutiae. Tedium.  Coupled with a new paranoia…did you run the spell checker?  What about the sentence structure? Do you have a noun and a verb in the sentence?  Should that text be italicized, underlined, bolded, or all of the above?

Do you, really, at this point, care?!?  After losing your cool, you give up and turn the *!@n thing in.

Lastly, a week or two later, the copy comes.  It just shows up on your doorstep one day, when you almost forgot that you had a book out there that you were waiting on to be finished, in the most unassuming, bland, brown cardboard package.  You tear it open, giddy as a kid on Christmas morning, and all the love – the fuel that got you started in the first place with the idea of the book – that love comes rushing back.

Those of you who know me know that my modus operandi isn’t exactly touchy feely, but I do have a soft spot for books…yes mine, but ALL books.  I love books.  Books take us to other places, show us different ways of thinking, and bring us new ideas.  And, despite my hatred of editing, tedium, and criticism, in the end, the love prevails.

Dear Google Fiber: This is Why You Need to Choose Fishers

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

This video was created by my town of Fishers to get the attention of Google for the Google Fiber Project. Not only is it entertaining, but it goes to show you what a town can do to get some attention…and higher speeds up in it.

Kudos to the producers of the video.  And Google – if you’re listening – Fishers rocks – not even close to a choice with other towns!

Read My Pearls and Rock the Pins

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Today I was going to wear a pin.  Like Madeleine.  Madeleine Albright.  I had the chance to see her live at my alma mater tonight.

Instead, I wore pearls.

Anyway, she was fantastic as I expected her to be.  Best question of the night was posed by a 10 year old in the audience, who asked her how many languages she spoke.  (In case you were wondering, the answer is 5.) Besides that, she fielded a lot of questions about being a mom/wife/secretary of state and ‘balance’ – along with being the first woman in the role.  She replied that women have ‘guilt’ as their middle name.

The other thing she said (which I will try to not butcher by paraphrasing) was this: There is a lot of room for mediocre men in the world, but no room for mediocre women.  That feels so true sometimes.

I have nothing else to say about the talk, other than the place was packed, she did a great job, and political parties aside, I respect her deeply for going before us and paving a path that we as younger women sometimes take for granted.

To the women who have gone before us – THANK YOU for making our path so much easier!  While we still have a long way to go, whether we choose to wear pins or pearls, Madeleine shows us that possibilities can be endless if we just work hard and love what we do.  She’s a rockstar!

p.s. – Yes, she wore a pin!  It was a diamond studded heart.  She rocked that pin!

Doctors: Charging More Like Lawyers in the Future?

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I’ve heard twice about this pricing model, and I’m beginning to wonder if it is the start of a trend.

First, one of the local pharmacies in Indy is offering a new new service for general practice medicine.  They have a GP (MD) and a NP on staff, and they charge like a ‘club’ membership or a retainer to see a doc or nurse whenever the patient wants, as long as they pay the membership fee.

Similarly, I heard another story of a general medicine clinic outside of Indiana charging similarly – pay a monthly fee, see the doctor as many times as you like with a nominal copay.

Is this the future of medicine–doctors putting patients on retainer, like lawyers?  Furthermore, will other healthcare providers do this as well (like pharmacists)?  (NOTE: some states don’t view pharmacists as providers…but I’ll save that for another post on another day.)

These models are interesting, in that they side step managed care.  Hmm…what do you think?

Twas the Night of a Big Debacle

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

I just spent 45 minutes wranging the copyright.gov site without much success, so I’m primed and pumped to talk about a big mess that could become an even bigger one this evening by a vote from Congress: healthcare.

First off, if it takes me 45 minutes to try and submit an online application for a copyright of a book, how long is it going to take the federal government to fix my healthcare?  Here’s a hint: it is not going to be fast, and probably not cost effective either.  (BTW, in case you were wondering, I lost the battle and submitted an entire tree’s worth of paperwork offline to the copyright office.  I couldn’t figure out how to create a password for the site.  I have 3.5 degrees and I couldn’t figure it out…so I wonder what type of rocket scientist it does take to create a successful password on the site? I digress.)  The proposed bill that will be voted upon tonight – where are we getting the $ to pay for this?  No one knows.  Heck, no one has even READ the bill they’re voting on tonight – because it would take YEARS to get through.

The only entity I’d like further away from my healthcare beyond my employer is the federal government. Healthcare should be private.  We pay for our own car insurance, life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and as I’ve ranted before, the last entity that should be forced to pay for my healthcare is my employer….now with one exception – I really don’t want the federal government in my healthcare either.

While preventative care (one appt per year for me) might be a fundamental right in other countries and perhaps should be in this country, I’m not so sure healthcare should be a ‘right’ beyond that.  If I don’t take care of myself physically, eat whatever I want, smoke, and don’t exercise, why is my employer forced to pay for my bad habits?  And, why should the government be bailing my bad habits out by supporting my medical care? Have we not yet had enough bailouts in this country thus far?

Canada’s system isn’t so great either.  A lot of people who are on the wait list for procedures come to the states to get care instead of waiting.  The other option beyond waiting in some cases?  Death.  That’s so…permanent.

Where the government should be focusing is the providers and insurers.  How much profit is too much for healthcare insurers?  Should they be posting record profits and lobbying Congress with millions and billions of dollars in their own interests?  This leads to a fundamental question: should companies even profit at all off of healthcare?

While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I do know this: that if we pass a healthcare bill tonight, I shudder to think about the outcome.  If the copyright.gov online system is any indication of the healthcare system to come, I’m not only shuddering, I’m frightened….for all of us…

Play Like a Champion Today

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

I grew up in South Bend.  Yup, Notre Dame country.  Anyone who follows ND football already resonates with the title of this post. On the trip from the locker room to the football field, ND football has a sign that says “Play Like a Champion Today” that every football player touches before he enters the field.

I can’t stop thinking about this phrase as I read through Stephen Goldsmith’s new book in my previous post, The Power of Social Innovation.  I just got to the “secret sauce” section of the book, or what ingredients are necessary for a social innovation to truly be explosive and successful.  I’ll let you get the book on your own to find out ALL the ingredients of the secret recipe, but let’s just say that one of the key ingredients is…ready? A champion!  A high level, thoughtful, passionate person who could push the cause forward.

Is your town or city’s council or mayor passionate about what she or he does?  Are your leaders of your organizations?  Do you even know what they are passionate about?  If not, how can we know if they are championing the right causes that we care about?

Last but not least, are YOU playing like a champion today?  Are you thinking about or acting on a cause you are personally passionate about in order to make the world a better place?  That might mean studying for your finals (er, that I’m not doing so well at myself this weekend), or volunteering for a cause you dig, or just cleaning up your yard and neighborhood, as an example.  Try it.  You just might find success along the way too – and not only for you, but for bigger things that make your world even better!

ps.  This post I dedicate to the Butler Bulldogs today as they continue onward in the NCAA Championships. Even though ND men’s basketball didn’t fare well, I wish the Bulldogs to have the power to play like champions today too! Go Dawgs!

Power to the Social Innovators

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I just TODAY received my copy of this new book by Stephen Goldsmith called The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good and I CAN’T WAIT to rip through it and read it cover to cover.  It looks awesome and spot on with what I’m studying as a fellow this fall in public entrepreneurship.

If you marvel at how government can sometimes get in the way of innovation and entrepreneurship, read this book.  It will make you fear not…and behold! For great ideas full of tidings and joy can be just around the corner DESPITE the roadblocks along the way for communities.