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Archive for September, 2011

Happiness: The Misunderstood Celebrity

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Had the pleasure of having lunch with one of my favorite law professors today.  Of course, he’s pretty smart, so I had to kick up my brain cells a bit to match him (which, I of course failed at 150%).

Anyway, we were talking about…of all things…happiness, and which philosophers said what about it.  I think after getting back to my office and looking it up, Aristotle might have it right.  Although, the word itself in Western culture…? Has been badly branded, and misunderstood.  Maybe lost in translation…?

Aristotle I think argued that happiness wasn’t a fleeting, ephemeral emotion.  It instead is an endgame; and thus, if one is looking over her entire life, she can’t really definitively say she’s been “happy” or “not happy” until she gets to the end.  Here in the US, we tend to use the term as describing our night out with the girls, or going to a movie, or participating in some program that will end in 3 hours or less.  This site describes how happiness the word got a bad rap in western culture.

So…I’m coming around.  Guess that means I can’t brand whether or not my life has been “happy” until the end…or at least closer to it.  So….?  I will continue to keep plugging away, one day at a time, one hour at a time, on the things that I truly believe need to get done, and worry about the happiness later on.


I Had A Dream

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Last night, I had one stellar dream.  I won’t share the deets on it–besides, it’s TMI.  But, my awesome off-the-chain dream reminded me of my previous day job, where I had the luck to hang around sleep researchers and learn about–sleep.  More importantly, I learned the true value of sleep, and how without it, our lives can really become one big hot mess.  Lack of sleep can lead to a myriad of other health problems–everything from decreased immune system issues all the way through to other mental health disorders.

Most fascinating during my time in sleep research was the research about dreaming.  Why do we dream?  What purpose does dreaming serve?  A lot of researchers say that it’s mere memory consolidation.  I’m not totally sure I buy that (especially on the super cool dreams).  There’s also lucid dreaming, where you can be aware that you’re actually in a dream.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this, but it sounds cool.

Some say that dreaming portends the future.  (If we could pick and choose which dreams fit into that category – sign me up!)  Sometimes, I have hyper-vivid dreams, about a particular person, and I usually feel compelled to email them or call them when I have a particularly vivid dream about them, just to make sure that: 1. they’re OK and 2. I’m not suddenly becoming part of the psychic friends’ network. (Which isn’t all bad, I suppose!)

The brain is really one of the medical final frontiers we have yet to totally understand.  Furthermore, sleep researchers themselves don’t totally understand WHY we need to sleep.  So, for now, I guess we’ll just have to be glad we have the good dreams, and check up on our friends during the vivid ones.  The best dreams?  Maybe we should just keep them to ourselves!

Hopefully, tonight?  I’ll have yet another great dream.

Night night!

One Said Mental Health Day

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I rarely take ‘em, but today I did. At least as close to a mental health day as I can take.

First, I worked from home this morning and afternoon and became the perfect trifecta sandwiched between Prezi and PowerPoint.  It was good.  I cranked.

Then…sssshhhh….I also took a mental health day from school tonight.  I got embroiled in what I was doing, to the point where I couldn’t stop (mainly editing and writing parts of book 8).  The sign of getting close on a new book for me?  Yup, it’s when the 200+ page word document starts frying my computer.  And itself.  Make updates, save, make more updates, save some more.  Because inevitably, at one point you’ll get the icky clipboard on the mac that says something went wrong and your manuscript magically dissappears.  Or, the dreaded spinny rainbow that never stops instead comes to stay…and spin…and spin some more.  Hemingway and Poe never had to deal with this crap.  The horror!

Why am I telling all of you this (all 12 of you)?  Well, you’re all my friends, and I’m doing this as more of a public service announcement than anything else.  I’m here to tell you that it’s OK to want quiet when you work.  It’s OK to need a little think tank time to crank stuff out.  And…even as an educator myself, I’m here to tell you that yes, it’s even sometimes appropriate to take a class off so you can regroup.  It’s not only good, but sometimes necessary.

So, next time you feel guilt-ridden about wanting to stay home, crank some massive piles of catch up out in your sweats or jammies, and you KNOW you can do it more/harder/more efficiently that way?  I’m going to give you the hall pass to do it.  Once.  One said mental health day could be yours.  Just make sure you clear it with your boss too (and share this post with her or him if it helps).  Tell them Dr. Overachiever* sent ya!

*Got called this on FacePlace the other night.  Dug.

e’s Irrefutable Laws of Networking

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Ok, I’ve been cranking on these today….what do you think?  Do you agree?  Disagree?

E’s Irrefutable Laws of Networking:

1.  Thou shalt not sell.
2.  While there is an “I” in networking, there is no “Me.”
3.  Treat your Social Capital like your Financial Capital: Save it for a rainy day.
4.  Networking is more like farming; less like hunting.
5.  Keep on dating in networking, just like the first time.
6.  Thou shalt bring passion to the table.
7.  Network up, down, across, and out of your world.
8.  Follow up.  Every.  Time.  All the time.
9.  Networking is a chronic condition.
10.  Network face to face first*, THEN connect online (*unless physically impossible).
11.  Get as far away from your desk as possible while networking.
12.  Follow up and thank yous: kick it old school.
13.  Treat Networking like a career or mad skill – keep polishing your skills.

That’s all I got.  Thoughts????

And While We’re Bowling…

Monday, September 26th, 2011

…can we also bring along Ebay and Facebook?  Maybe they can be in a tournament with Google Books and Spotify.

What I’m thinking for this pairing: how about an online “shop” for every brand and person on Facebook?  Like…if ya like me, maybe you’ll buy some of my stuff…?  That way you can keep profiles free, and everyone can enjoy some commerce–IF, that is, they choose to partake.  Maybe Google can even make their own shopping cart a little more user friendly so we can all have a different option than the one that starts with P.

My bowling tourney is filling up fast…

Spotify & Google Books: They Should Go Bowling Together

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

I’m concentrating in health care at the law school at graduation – but surprisingly, I’m also super close to concentrating in IP law too.  But–I’ve got to write one more paper on an IP issue in order to concentrate in IP law at law school before I graduate.  (And a few other things, including a GPA criteria, but I’ve not looked at my transcript lately…) Anywho…I’ve been thinking a lot about Google Books, and Spotify.

While this might not be perfect fodder for an IP paper, I think they should get together and go bowling.  Here’s why.

Google (in this AUTHOR’S opinion) was wrong on scanning and giving away parts or all of books that are currently under copyright.  (Including some of my own in the past, until I sent them some notice and takedown under section 512 of DMCA).  They were violating copyright.  And even though I think they’ve settled, I haven’t received any notice that they are actually paying copyright holders for licensing their books.  (Or, at least, I’ve not received any checks.  Maybe my check got lost in the mail. Hmph.)

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is Spotify.  Aside from their annoyingly loud commercials that interrupt my Dvorak or Chopin occasionally, it is a pretty boss free service that anyone with a computer and internet access can get to.  However, they did license deals with the record labels on the back end, so it’s my understanding that every time a song plays on Spotify, someone is getting paid (kind of like the Angel getting his wings on It’s a Wonderful Life, but probably not that prolific).  What that rate is…? I don’t know.  It was reported online they paid out $61M in 2010.  But at least they are giving props to someone who owns a copyright.  Too bad it’s just music.

What I think Google SHOULD have done was strike license deals with publishers and authors of copyrighted material beforehand–like Spotify did.  Furthermore, Google should have sold books in a different way from Amazon, B&N and other booksellers–like chapters for musical tracks (chapter 1 of a book for $3.99, then the rest of the chapters for $1.99 for example.) Rather than giving everything away for free and totally violating copyright laws, or selling the entire ebook like everyone else does, why not try a DIFFERENT way of selling it?  Also, someone needs to RENT books just like movies online.  I don’t need access to a book forever, but for a week or two, I’d pay a lower price to rent it–AND I’d be more motivated to get it read more quickly.

On the Spotify side, when are they going to start selling tracks on their site?  There’s stuff on there that isn’t on iTunes.  I’d buy it from ya, Spotify…just sayin’.

Dear Spotify and Google executives: get together. Go bowling.  Have some beers, maybe (assuming, of course, everyone is over 21, which could be a stretch for high tech companies such as these).  I think the two of you could get some amazing selling strategies going for us out here in the ether.  Or Spotify and Amazon.  Just someone please start thinking about different ways to sell books!  This author needs to get her ideas out there…and I also need new fresh ideas from new music and books as a reader, too.  I’d just like more than one way to buy those, please….

FREaking Out

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

I just hit my evidence reading for next week.  And with that, we’re getting into very dangerous territory: hearsay.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of law school, in Evidence class, you literally learn the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE)–what can and cannot be admitted into a trial.  After seeing rule 803 and it’s 2-dozen exceptions, I’m growing to loathe it more and more each and every passing week.

Why?  I just can’t memorize like I used to.  And I know what you’re thinking: “if you spent a little less time, Albert, whining about it here and studying a little harder, you’d be better off.”  Yeah, I know.  I tell my advisees that too.  But since there are only 12 of you to commiserate with, I thought I’d be safe here in bringing my complaint.  My complaint back is–if they’re posted places, why oh why do we have to memorize them???

Evidence is probably right up there with my least favorite classes in law school–Civ Pro.  Vile.  I loathe Civ Pro and Evidence for the same reasons: they’re both rule-based, and instead of focusing on substance, we fight instead about the rules themselves and the procedure.  Ugh.  Why am I taking it in the first place?  Two words: The. Bar.

To my ex who said I’d make a great litigator, I say–you’re nuts (clearly in more ways than one, since you dated me in the first place).  Not going to happen.  Unless someone can come up with the Matrix upload on how to memorize the FREs like Trinity flying a helicopter—no dice.

OK – I feel better with my little rant.  Thanks for listening.  I’m headed back to the rules…albeit very reluctantly…

The Joshua Bell Experiment

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

So, I agreed to do this talk on leveraging one’s network for success in October at the Greenwood Chamber.  I love to speak, but honestly?  It has been a while since I’ve actually formally thought about how I network. Being old and lazy (ha!) I went out to Prezi to see if I could find anything good on this without having to reinvent the wheel.  I stumbled upon this one, and I had forgotten about the Joshua Bell Stradivarius example, (BTW, LOVE Joshua–he’s a shining star Hoosier native) but I thought it was an interesting one to ponder.  What can we learn from this experiment, relative to networking?

I think it is a bigger issue, which is this: we must stop and smell the roses, or listen to the million dollar performance unfolding right in front of us. There are truly amazing things going on all around us, each and every day, moment by moment.  It’s whether or not we choose to pay attention to them that makes the difference.  I’m a big believer that I think the universe definitely attended a MBA marketing class somewhere along the way, because it delivers messages to all of us on a just-in-time basis–just in time we need them, that is.  I think Oprah used to call this a whisper, which usually then turns into a sledgehammer if we choose to ignore it.

Let’s all vow to pay a little more attention to the world around us.  I’ll do it too.  This should be good.  Maybe we’ll notice the $3.5+ million performance going on right in front of us.  Or maybe?  That performance will be…priceless.

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Hello, my eDozen.  I’m really sorry I’ve been a bit MIA this week.  It was yet another crazy one!

BUT–this weekend, I vow to bring the universe the new, digital only edition of Single. Women. Entrepreneurs.  This time?  It’s going to rock even harder – because we’ve got 4 additional interviews with 4 more amazing women in the book!  Here’s a little mini-preview of the businesses – ready?

Pink Poppy Ink – Indy
Mocha Tree Organics – Indy
Producer/Director of Seeking Happily Ever After – Boston
Red Hot Roasters – Louisville

These 4 stories and the women behind them rock.  Why?  Because each of them took a problem and turned it into something AH-MAZE-ING!  I love each of them, along with all the original women in the book–out there trying to make a difference in the world!

And what was I doing this week that I was soooo busy that I couldn’t blog much?  Well, I attended this event at the law school (awesome, although slightly depressing – there is some serious fraud and abuse going on out there in healthcare land…)  Also, got invited to attend this event: Go Run Chicago–Part of the White House Project–but couldn’t make it fit on my calendar (but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten this and I’ll definitely be back to get some training in this arena…somehow and someday)!  Last but not least, I virtually attended the f8 Facebook address to learn more about timelines and all the new shenanigans going on over there as part of my own personal social media geek-wanna-be-dom.  Also set up my own Timeline as a ‘developer’ last night on Fbook (yeah, a little during class, sorry, but I just get so excited about geeky stuff over memorizing the federal rules of Evidence…)

I hope you had a good week too, albeit crazy!  But you know, my friends, that’s just how I roll over here.  It has been, and continues to be, off the charts awesome, and semi-practical, with a bit of get-it-done thrown in there….

Please Select One (1)

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Ok, I’m on fire with my rants today, so one more shouldn’t hurt–I’ve already voiced my complaints about health care and housing over at one of the other blogs – so let’s keep it up, shall we?

I went over to to clean up and add to my profile there, since it seems that a lot of people are connecting with me there (which, don’t get me wrong, I love – I say as EM Forster does – ONLY CONNECT)!

Here’s Erin’s complaint: under “Status” – I am asked to select ONE of the following options:

Business Owner
Looking for Work
Working Independently

Now – I beg of you – which ONE should I pick?  In theory, they ALL fit me!  I have a day job, I am a business owner, I’m always looking for cool writing projects and health care work to pitch in and fix, I DO work independently on my books for the most part – AND I’m a student!

I’ll spare you from the drop down box rant on “Industry.”  My point is this: why oh why do we love to slap only one label on ourselves?  Don’t we all have multiple layers of passions, jobs, things we love to do, and things we are learning?

So–if you want to connect with me over at – you’re going to see “Select One” as my choice in the drop down boxes, simply because I can’t choose.  And frankly, none of us should be choosing just ONE choice anymore.

That is all.  Rant over.