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Archive for January, 2013

40 Things About Me

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

After 3.25 hours of cramming the Indiana Trial and Appellate Rules tonight after a fun-filled day at work, I’m just not sure I can take much more.  So, during a break, I headed over to the faceplace, and saw an intriguing post that a blogger wrote – 40 Things About Me.  She requested the rest of us out there in the blogosphere do the same thing.

What they hay?

Here goes.

40 Things About Me
(That you may or may not already know)

1.  I like to read trashy romance novels.  Hey–everyone needs a vice or two.  I don’t get the chance much (or I didn’t over the past few years) but trust me, I’m heading back there soon.

2.  I’m a cat person over dog person.  The main men of my life over the past couple of decades?  Bob. Jack. Furry men. #CrazyCatLady  I like dogs, but I’m really a crazy cat lady at heart.

3.  I’m superstitious.  I avoid walking under ladders, watch out for 13s, and broken mirrors.  I also throw the spilled salt over my shoulders.

4.  Ironically, however, I think black cats are good luck.  And I have a collection of them in my kitchen to manifest this belief.

5.  I used to collect rocks and was into Philately as a kid.  Now I suppose I collect ideas instead.  They take up less room.  (And I was careful on how I spelled that second word for those of you paying extra attention to my spelling…)

6.  I was the drum major in high school.  Yeah, imagine that – a whistle and some authority were given to me, and I ran with it.  Shocker!

7.  I don’t like deep water.  Can’t swim well.  And sharks.  Yes, sharks are always a threat.  Definitely.

8.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a nun.  But I’m not Catholic.  Sound of Music, maybe?

9.  If I had to be a color, it would be purple.  Or maybe orange.  I don’t like that jails and prisons have branded the orange color as their own, however…

10.  I have open house party in my Jeep – it’s all dance, it’s all loud, it’s all the time–and I’m usually singing right along with it.

11.  My makeup and my closet are both usually a huge mess.  The inside of my filing cabinet at work is a mess too.  I prefer order on the outside, but tolerate mess on the inside.

12.  I need to get back to sewing.  I hate a lot of clothes these days.  Maybe that just means I’m getting old…?

13.  Sometimes, I think I was born in the wrong era.  And maybe wrong geographic location.  There’s some vintage karma or reincarnation stuff someone forgot to take out of me before I reached this life.  And why oh why was I born in a state that cares more about sports than literature, music and the arts?  That, I will never understand.

14.  For exactly one month each year, my brother and I (I think it should be “me,” but I’m sticking with “I”) are the same age.  And he loves to remind me of that each and  every year.  Although, for being Irish twins, we couldn’t be more opposite in so many ways.

15.  I’m not a fan of horses.  I rode horses as a kid, and a few as an adult.  I never trust transportation with a mind of its own.  I do, however, believe in the magic of unicorns.

16.  Sweet over salt.

17.  White over red.

18.  Bubbly over still.

19.  Hot over cold.

21.  Writing over speaking.

22.  Evening over morning.  Despite many work and educational plans in my past to attempt to force me into becoming a morning person, I’ve resigned to the notion that I shall never, ever, be a morning person.  Even with coffee.  Even with a gallon of coffee.

23.  If I had one superpower, I think it would need to be teleportation. (As I’ve mentioned before.  Repeatedly.  And every time I step onto a plane.  And I know teleportation isn’t a superpower, because I’d technically need a beam, but hey – this is my list and I want a beam!)

24.  If I could live anywhere, it would be Paris and New York in the summers and/or somewhere warm in the winter.  (And clearly, money would need to be unlimited in this bullet too, since I’m choosing a couple of the most expensive places on the planet to live.)

25.  I never feel as though I’m saving enough for retirement.  This, probably, worries me the most.  Since Gen X is never going to have or see anything called a “pension,” “Social Security” or “Medicare.”

26.  If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d probably try to write some fiction.  And film a documentary.  See #28.

27.  I want to go to Spain for my next big trip.

28.  Still would like to produce a TV show or documentary – I think I actually have the topic worked out – just need the time.

29.  I never get sick of talking about entrepreneurship.  I love, love, love talking about it because I really truly believe it can save our crazy world in so many ways.

30.  I also never tire of talking books–reading them, writing them (although, admittedly, I’m personally no Pulitzer Prize winner), and most of all, inspiring other people to write and publish books too (more for me to read)!

31.  Early crushes: Shaun Cassidy, pretty much all the men in the movie The Outsiders, Jake Ryan of course from Sixteen Candles, and a few of the members of Duran Duran.

32.  I was a waitress.  In high school.  Worst. Job. Ever.  But it made me stay in school!

33.  I can paint.  Not like Picasso–more like Benjamin Moore.  I’m not the handiest gal in the world, but I can paint.

34.  I hate to cook.  I’m terrible at it.  No patience, and the end results are awful.  Don’t make me handle raw meat, either.  I do, however, enjoy eating.  Baking I’m better at than cooking.

35.  My favorite movie candy is Junior Mints.  I only get them when I go to the movies.  Why?  Who knows?  But I love them so!

36.  If I could meet anyone now dead–I think it would need to be George Washington.

37.  If I could meet anyone currently alive–I think it would need to be Condoleezza Rice if a woman (she is awesome)…

38.  …or Jonathan Scott from the Property Brothers if a man.  (Give a girl a vapid one in the 40, OK?!?  Besides–nothing better than a beautiful man making beautiful things with his hands–I can think of nothing more alluring.)

39.  I still want to learn French. And glass blowing.  And Picasso-type-painting.  And more coding.  This list could go on…

40.  I hope you might consider writing your own 40 Things About Me, like the other blogger suggested.

I think if we actually took a few seconds to understand where we’re all coming from, we’d all end up in a much, much better place.

Organic Chemistry Makes More Lawyers

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Think about it.

How many people crashed and burned on Organic/Orgo in pre-med or pre-sciences that just totally turned them off of science altogether – and then defaulted to law?

Is Organic Chemistry the “but for” cause of more lawyers?

That’s the thought for the day.

(I didn’t do very well in Organic either.  A level of my firey inferno = refluxing in an un-airconditioned sweaty lab. Ugh.)

Using SurveyMonkey To Create Your Next Book

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Here’s how I did it with one of my books – and you can too.  Thanks to SurveyMonkey for allowing me the shot at guest blogging for them!

p.s. – there’s a world wide premiere of the NEXT book I’m working on in this post!

Women & the Media, cont.

Friday, January 25th, 2013

A lot of good responses out there on the previous post about The Bechdel Test – thanks.

I also saw this article today on how women watch media online.  I was glad someone posted it.  Because frankly, I don’t consume much media in terms of TV and movies at this juncture in my life.  However, what is on “traditional” media for women kind of…sucks. (Apologies for my unprofessional term.)  Let’s be real: most of it really is garbage, as we were all reminded of by applying the Bechdel Test.

What positive media out there exists for women?  I watch movies on iTunes, and frankly I really struggle to find something I’m interested in watching.  Granted, I don’t demand to be “edutained” every time I watch a film or a TV show, but I DO want to see what awesome looks like when it comes to the world and women.  I want to walk away from a film or TV show inspired – not feeling badly about myself and the world around me!

I’ll share a tiny secret with you – my faithful 13 readers: I’ve been thinking about and possibly working on some media programming for women that will be POSITIVE, that will CHALLENGE all of us to think bigger, and be edutaining all in one.  But I’ve got this icky not so little exam between me and it.  But I am thinking about it, because I think it’s time.

It’s time to show the next generation of women (and men, for that matter) what awesome can look like AND entertain us at the same time.  It really CAN be done.

Let’s see if I can get through the next couple of months so I can actually IMPLEMENT this big idea.

In the meantime, keep on rocking out there – and happy weekend!

The Bechdel Test

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Admittedly, I did not provoke this conversation – it was started yesterday at Faceplace by one of my friends, who posted this video from TED, talking about…The Bechdel Test for movies.

Here’s the Bechdel Test, if you don’t want to watch the video:

1.  Are there at least 2 women [in the movie]?

2.  Do they talk to each other?

3.  About something other than a man?

Of all the movies in 2011, only 11 passed the Bechdel Test, according to the TED video.

Think about it – does the mass media really screw us up on gender roles?  What are movies, TV and for that matter, music teaching our society?

Let me talk about my favorite TV shows for a minute.  My favorites right now are: 1. Girls (HBO), 2. Downton Abbey and 3. The Carrie Diaries (bear with me, I’m making a point).  All 3 of these shows I think pass the Bechdel Test.  They have more than 2 women, who talk to each other, about stuff other than men.

I think the Bechdel Test can apply to more than just movies.  I think it can also apply to music, and to TV as I just described above.  So–I think the next time we all pull out Netflix or iTunes, it might behoove all of us to think about The Bechdel Test, especially if we are going to let our kids watch it.

Just a suggestion.

Knowing the Role vs. The Keys to the Building

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

I have a book hangover this morning.

I won’t say which book I read, because I once said I’d never, ever read it.  (Never say never.) Furthermore, I don’t agree AT ALL with the book in terms of its treatment of women. In fact, I’m so opposed to it, I’m not going to even mention the name of the book here. (But I will say, if anyone cares what my opinion is on the lead male character for the movie series that I’m sure is coming shortly – my vote is for Ian Somerhalder–he’s got the ‘steel eyes’ vote pretty much wrapped up in my book.) That’s all I have to say on that matter.

However, the book-that-shall-not-be-named triggered a thought for me regarding the world of work–one that I definitely know more about.

There are really two ways to approach your career:

1. To know and accept your role (as the path this book reminded me of), or
2. Just pretend your first job into a place isn’t a job, a title or a specific role–it’s just the keys to the building, and what you decide to make of your career is yours–i.e. Choose Your Own Adventure.

Path 2 isn’t my original thought – it is Tina Seelig’s.  That is – your job can be what you MAKE of it–you don’t have to resign to a job description, a specific role, or a defined employment contract.  Instead, your first gig is just the back stage pass to the LaLaPalooza of possibilities.

The lead character/female of the book struggled with path 1.  Good. For. Her.  I’m a big fan of path 2, as you can tell.  The question is: what is YOUR favorite path there when it comes to work?  Do you really like sticking to the four corners of your job description, or are you going beyond it and stretching yourself and your limits?  Are you growing in your job, or are you stuck? I say, fight it.  If it’s not you, fight it.  YOU are responsible for your life–no one else is–and that includes your professional growth and development.

That’s all I have today.  I’m now going to look for more coffee. #booknerdproblems


Living MBE

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

1. My life has become:

a. a series of multiple choice questions
b. a series of multiple choice questions with 4 answers
c. a series of multiple choice questions with 4 answers – 2 are terrible, 2 are good
d. a series of multiple choice questions with 4 answers – 2 are terrible, 2 are good, and tonight I’m picking the wrong one of the two good answers

The correct answer to question 1 is d.

2.  Insert long fact patterns with a lot of random facts here.  Three paragraphs.  Like Bill sold a bike to Bobby, and then Carol borrowed the bike, but she then decided to keep the bike from Bobby….and borrowed it from him on his land, blackacre.  What color is the sun?

a.  yellow
b. orange
c. it depends
d. no one knows, because no one is supposed to stare directly at the sun

The correct answer to question 2 is technically d, but lawyers would most likely choose c.  This goes back to the problem in my first question.

This is my life until March 1.

–A very confused, law-studying, Punxsutawney Phil-like creature

My New Big Debut: Law School: A Few Short and Plain Statements

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

LatestTinyLawSchoolCoverThought about throwing out a press release on this, but I hear they’re dead.  So…here it is. I’m officially announcing the launch of Yuspie’s brand new book (authored by moi) – to help you potentially avoid one of the biggest mistakes of your life!

Yes, we’ve officially released Law School: A Few Short and Plain Statements.  This book chronicles one law school student’s journey through law school part time at night, while working full time.

If you’re thinking about going back to law school, you need to read this book.  There are tips on what to think through BEFORE you head back to school–and I want to personally help you as founder of this company and as author of this book, to avoid making dumb mistakes that some others may have before they went back to law school.

Here are some general tips – free o’ charge, because I’m that fired up about ensuring you make the best decision possible FOR YOU:

1.  The money - do you have the tuition in the bank, ready to rock?  The average school costs anywhere between $12-50K PER YEAR.  If you don’t have the money, better get a scholarship. Otherwise, I’m here to tell you, there’s no pot of gold for you waiting at the end…don’t go into loan debt over law school right now.  I have friends 6-figures in debt from going to law school, and they STILL don’t have jobs after passing the bar last fall.

2.  The time - do you have it?  I am the LAST person on the planet that would advocate anyone going back to law school full time.  I just think that is one of the dumbest things anyone on this planet can do right now.  So, that leaves part time.  Do you have time for all that?  Seriously, if you’re going to hold down a full-time day job and rock law school 3-4 years at night, do you really have that kind of time to dedicate to it?

3.  The support from the day job - First, you will have a full time day job if you’re reading this, because I warned you not to go back to school full time…so next you have to ask: is my employer going to support my wacky life for the next 4 years?  If you for example travel in your day job a lot, is your boss going to be cool with you bailing on travel time because you have to haul it over to class every night?  You need to have a frank discussion with your boss on this one.  Better yet, does your proposed craziness of law school supplement your day job?  If it does, great.  If not, what are you doing?  How are you going to sell that to your boss as a BENEFIT to your work.

Look–I’m not saying don’t go to law school in this book (although, that might not be bad advice for a lot of people.)  BUT–instead, I want to help make darn sure you fully know what you’re stepping into before you sign your life away for a few years.  Really – I’m looking out for Y-O-U!

Law School is available at:

B&N Nook
iPad (and it is on iTunes)
Google Books
The eBook formatting company, Ebookit (several formats are available here)

We’ve got a Faceplace fanpage for it too, and because I’m serious about you being successful in choosing a smart graduate program for yourself, here’s a mini taste/preview of the book.  And for all my law school homies – MUCH LOVE – you’re one of the BEST THINGS I got out of school with you – MWAH!

The Wall of Shame

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

First, notice that I said “wall” and not “walk.”

Second, I was lamenting (yet again) on Faceplace the other day that to be rejected by email for an opportunity is one thing – but to follow it up with a snail mail is an extra torture that frankly in the electronic age isn’t necessary.  But, with the rejection letter in physical form upon me, is it time to start a mirror to my Wall of Fame in my home office with a “Wall of Shame”?

My Wall of Fame I’ve written about before, as my loyal 13 fans know…but for the rest, it is a wall in my office that I dedicate to stuff that makes me laugh, smile, or feel gratitude for–I have a lot of thank you notes on it.  I love it, because if I need a mental break for a second, I can just stroll by and think of all the happy memories.

Now, back to the Shame Wall.  One of my friends said to start one, then immediately begin target practice on it with darts–polish up one skill with the pain from another.  Friend two said skip it altogether…bad chi.  Another suggested a firepit of shame.  Yet another friend asked if ding letters were good for free cocktails at any establishments in Indy.  (I told this friend that if she finds one, to let me know – I’ll be able to buy everyone a free first round–and maybe a second round….depending upon how many friends show up.)

Dan Pink I caught talking about this in his new book as well.  He mentions there is now a way to send yourself a rejection letter, just to prepare yourself mentally, or if you get a little too big for your britches.  Here’s a site that has several “flavors” of rejection letters, which I think was originally for writers to prepare themselves for the onslaught of rejection letters from publishing houses.

I don’t know if I have a happy ending to this post, other than to ask the questions–Why do I feel weird about rejection?  Shouldn’t I be celebrating it instead?  What am I learning from the process (other than, of course, a healthy dose of humble pie)?  I guess my brain just keeps going back to Thomas Edison and his 10,000 light bulbs.

What do you think?  Should we have more celebration of failure?  SHOULD I start that Wall of Shame? Hmm…..



Monday, January 14th, 2013

….3 hours of pharmacy law, and another 3 hours of Torts review for the bar, I’m a little fried.  Welcome back to the spring semester!

But, never let it be said I don’t share with my 13 fans what’s rolling through my head right now.

I’ve been reading Dan Pink’s new book, To Sell Is Human. I will say it – I hate cheesy sales.  On the other hand, I also get Mr. Pink’s point: we’re ALL in sales now – like it or not.

The stickiest part for me thus far is his stuff on “Ed-Med” – the fact that jobs in this sector are completely crushing it when it comes to skyrocketing job opportunities – more than even business and professional services, which kind of blows my mind.  That, and I can answer YES to all 4 questions at the end of chapter two.  Sigh.  That means there’s more work to do.

How do YOU answer the 4 questions at the end of chapter 2 in this book?

Haven’t picked it up yet?  Maybe you should.  (Does that sound like a cheesy sales pitch?  Don’t worry – I’m not making a PENNY off of this post or Mr. Pink’s book.  I just love books.)

To sell goes from cheesy to divine…?  It’s a stretch, but I’ll continue forging through this book…

…AFTER my bar review, of course!