27 and Still Not Barbie

barbie president

About a month ago I realized my birthday was coming up and I had a mild panic attack. “My birthday goals! I haven’t even been looking at them! I’ve probably failed at everything.” Overall I feel like this year went by really fast. I’m chalking that up to the fact that:

  1. I’ve been really (productively) busy.
  2. I’ve spent a lot of time in airplanes.

When I actually opened up my 26 and ready post to grade myself for the year, I realized I had given myself a relatively un-quantifiable list of goals [here they are, along with my ‘grades’]:

  1. Leave the country [A++].
  2. Visit my #2 in Chicago [D].
  3. Create a product [C-].
  4. Be more observant and connected to my surroundings. Try to see something every day that I’ve never seen before [P].
  5. Say No enough that I can really mean it when I say Yes [A].
  6. Surprise people. Do something that exceeds the expectations of those closest to me [P].

I passed the first goal with flying colors.

The grand ole’ U.S. of A. was without my presence on two distinct occasions over the past year. In December of 2012 I hopped on a flight to Seattle and surprisingly enough the Canadians let me in for a visit. @Tritico and I found this crazy place called the Capilano Suspension Bridge and I took a selfie in front of it so you would all believe that I was really there. Exhibit A:

I stood on a giant suspension bridge in a rainforest in Vancouver (December 2012).

THEN, in June of this year I used the Delta miles I’ve been hoarding for the past year to hop a transatlantic flight to Berlin via Amsterdam. The worst part of the trip was when @Tritico made me ride a rented bike all over Berlin, partially in the rain. He even took this series of pictures of me to prove what an awful time I was having:

I was obviously not as successful on my second goal. My #2 travels almost as much as I do, and he is never home when I happen to be free to visit him. I did make an effort to find a time to visit him though, so I give myself a teensie bit of credit for that. Here’s a picture of him throwing a frisbee at me circa 2005 to make up for my lack of a visit this year.

If I told you about #3, I’d have to kill you. Also, I’d ruin my secret sauce. I would have been further along in this goal, except this. #4 is a wishy washy one; I don’t know quite how to grade myself. Maybe it should be a pass/fail class? I’ll go change that now… Yay, I passed!

#5 is a big fat “A” because I said NO to all kinds of stuff this year, and I’m in the process of saying NO to even more things. Saying NO feels really good, you should try it. This is my NO (see also: “are you crazy?!”) face:

The pictures from this photoautomat are actually really good and have taken up residence on @Tritico’s fridge.

#6 is also a hard one to judge. I threw a surprise party for @Tritico and learned that some people don’t like surprises. Did I surprise you? I’m starting to feel like I’ve been surprising people for so long that people are no longer surprised by me. Is that a thing?

Anyways, that’s all the fun for today.

EXCEPT here are the (noticeably more achievable) goals for the 28th year of my life:

  1. Visit my #2 in Chicago.
  2. Complete “The Daily” list every day (see below).
This is a daily checklist I wrote for myself a few months ago. Right now I actually complete the whole thing about once a week. From here on out, DAILY.


After a lot of pressure on twitter, @Tritico took me to the Barbie DreamHouse in Berlin. I’m pretty sure I would’ve played with Barbie a lot less when I was younger if I’d realized how tall she is:

See you next year!

Get Your Digital Ducks in a Row

Ducks in a row by John Morgan.
Ducks in a row by John Morgan.

As recent years have marched on we’ve all been slowly migrating more and more aspects of our lives into the digital world. And just like the real world, the digital world gets messy.

To give myself a fresh start for 2013, I’ve been gradually doing a digital-life clean up during the month of December, or you could say – getting my digital ducks in a row (hardy har har).

If your on-line life is feeling a little cluttered, put away the swiffer, crank up that Michael Buble holiday album, and get down and dirty on these tasks:

1. Recurring Payments.

I’m personally very guilty of signing up for things that are, “Only $1.99 a month!” or more likely, $10, $15, or even $35 a month (damn you GoGo in-flight wifi!). The end of the year is a good time to pull out those last couple of months of credit card statements and see what you’re getting charged for that you a) don’t use; b) totally forgot you signed up for; or c) have been meaning to get around to thinking about possibly cancelling but it hasn’t been the top of your priority list.

Take 15 minutes to do a quick comb of the credit card statements and 15 minutes to cancel those outdated recurring payments. If you’re feeling generous with all of that dough you save, I accept gifts mailed to my name at Launch Pad.

2. Unsubscribe!

E-mail is the bane of my existence. I keep up with my e-mail about as well as I keep up with my snail mail – which is to say I either totally ignore it or casually glance through the pile every now and then only to shudder and throw it under a box of cap’n crunch.

E-mail newsletters may be the biggest inbox-busting-time-sucks to ever be invented. Unsubscribe! It’s hard to do it all at once so here’s little strategy to make sure you don’t miss anything when checking email on that mobile device or in a hurry. Create a label in gmail called (you guessed it) “Unsubscribe!” and tag things with that label if you want to a) total unsubscribe; b) change frequency preferences from that sender; or c) auto-filter similar mails to never hit the inbox. Go through the label later when you’re in front of a real computer with 5 minutes and tell those newsletters what’s up.

3. Or at least filter, you e-mail hoarders.

Let’s talk about those, “I might want to read it someday…” e-mails you just can’t bring yourself to unsubscribe from. If you use gmail (which you should be, it’s almost 2013!), auto-filters are your digital BFF.

Every retailer email I get skips the inbox and auto-filters into a label called “Shopping.” Similar story for social networking notifications, young professional & volunteer groups, etc. There is a basic tutorial on gmail filters here and some detailed documentation from Google available here.


  • Emails I want to see right away when they arrive but want to be able to archive easily in their proper place (I do this for travel reservations, financial notifications, and even emails from friends & family):

Matches: from:(@res.hilton.com)
Do this: Apply label “Travel”

Matches: from:(EntergyOnline@entergy.com)
Do this: Apply label “House”

  • Emails I want to be auto-filed and “off of my desk” but available for general perusal at a later date (usually when I’m in a store and wondering if I have a coupon):

Matches: from:(worldmarket@emailworldmarket.com)
Do this: Skip Inbox, Mark as read, Apply label “Shopping”

Matches: from:(prytaniatheatre@att.net)
Do this: Skip Inbox, Mark as read, Apply label “NOLA”

4. App Notifications – le sigh.

This is very similar to #2/3. Those pesky apps are bugging you all the time but it seems like such a pain to change the settings. Many apps have become significantly more granular in your ability to manage notifications. Facebook for example lets you choose whether or not you want to be notified via the app for event invites, messages, friend requests, comments, pictures, tags, etc. You can choose to be notified for everything but event invites, nothing except pictures, or nothing at all based on your own personal phone buzzing needs.

In some cases you can also tell apps how often to notify you. While you’re at it – delete some of those apps you don’t use so they stop sucking up your valuable disk space and data usage.

5. Disconnect.

You didn’t read that wrong.

Sometimes the best thing to refresh yourself from the overwhelming madness of your digital life is to shut it down for a few minutes/hours/days. The holidays are the perfect time to put up that auto-responder and step away from the computer/tablet/smartphone/smartTV/smartFridge/smartRoboticPet.

Start off the new year with a fresh perspective on what technology is really all about: making your life easier.

26 and Ready

On this day last year I wrote a birthday blog post. It included a list of goals that I referred back to periodically. I didn’t fulfill all of my goals. I could (and have) call(ed) myself a failure.

Here are the goals I posted last year:

  1. Do more yoga & meditation; spend more time tuning myself into my intuition. [C]
  2. Only take on new work that provides an expansive learning opportunity or excites my love of ___ (too many things to list). [C]
  3. Jump out of a plane (with a parachute). [A]
  4. Take another big trip (Asia, South America, Europe, all of the above, I’m not picky). [D]
  5. Karaoke as often as the opportunity presents itself (thanks to advice from Peter Shallard re: public failure). [A-]
  6. Externalize my internal passion, drive, and love in a more open way. Remember that I have nothing to hide. [A+]

I added grades for myself next to each goal. I passed a few classes with flying colors but ended up with an overall goal-GPA of 2.83. Not so great but it could be much worse. Remember that time I got a 7 on a test?

Anyways, there are other things I failed at this year besides those goals. I failed at keeping up with some of my oldest and dearest friends. I failed at fulfilling some of my volunteer and work commitments. I failed at keeping my bedroom clean.

Perhaps my most consistent and biggest failure has been my lack of timely and clear communication. I’m going to email you back, I promise. [That’s probably a lie.]

But in as many ways as I’ve failed this year, I’ve succeeded.

Very recently, I jumped out of an airplane with 6 of the coolest guys I know.

I’ve made amazing new friendships. I’ve been momma-bird-fed by #roomierebecca. I’ve cried over more breakfasts than I can count with @heyitsmegan, @tritico, and @irishcajun [#breakfastclub]. I sang and danced almost every day. I told more people that I love them. Because I do.

I’ve gotten on stage in front of big and small crowds alike for everything from moderating panels to telling stories for a comedy show. I became Editor In Chief of Silicon Bayou News. I read more books than was probably healthy. I traveled to New York, Boston, Denver, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.

Nothing to Hide

The most important part of my goal list for last year was the last part of the last goal. “Remember that I have nothing to hide.” For me, this is where I succeeded enough to call the whole year a win. I told stories I was scared to tell. I talked to close friends in a more open way about my hopes, dreams, and fears. And I started Molly in a Minute.

Doing daily video posts felt like a huge step out onto a shaky limb. It was just risky enough and just crazy enough and I’m still surprised every time someone watches one of my wild rants.

A barrier has been removed between me and the rest of the world thanks to #mollyinaminute. I’m more real on those videos than I could ever be on twitter or in a written blog. For that one minute every day I have nothing to hide. 

Without further ado, here are a few publicly stated goals for the 27th year of my life: 

  1. Leave the country. [Rollover from last year. Italy, anyone? New Zealand? Thailand?]
  2. Visit my #2 in Chicago.
  3. Create a product. [From a conversation with @tdavidson that has been bouncing around in my head for months.]
  4. Be more observant and connected to my surroundings. Try to see something every day that I’ve never seen before.
  5. Say No enough that I can really mean it when I say Yes.
  6. Surprise people. Do something that exceeds the expectations of those closest to me.

Here’s to another year of you and me. I’m ready.

The App That Ruined My Life

It all started when I was driving to Ohio to visit family for Christmas in 2011. I usually drive solo and pass the hours singing at the top of my lungs to my Sugarland album collection. On this particular trip, I wasn’t traveling alone. My companion suggested that we listen to an audio book. After much debate he downloaded The Hunger Games and we started listening.

My intentions were to:

  1. Hate “The Hunger Games.”
  2. Hate audio books.

I was wrong on both counts. I hate being wrong.

Upon arriving in Ohio and after putting my traveling companion on a plane back to New Orleans I was faced with a serious dilemma: an unfinished series. I bit the bullet, signed up for Audible, and promptly downloaded the second book in The Hunger Games series. And then of course, the third.

Slow Build

My family complained about me hiding in the guest room and constantly walking around in headphones but I didn’t care- a book is a mission. I finished the series somewhere in Mississippi during my drive back to New Orleans. I listened to music the rest of the way home but it wasn’t the same. I was ruined.

After I got back home & back to my routine I forgot about Audible for a few weeks. Then I decided to finally tackle Atlas Shrugged. I read about 75% of the way through the traditional paper book before I got frustrated. It’s a beast of a novel and Ayn Rand is a wordy writer, no matter what you may think of her world views.

To take some of the stress off of my eyes and some of the weight out of my handbag, I turned back to Audible. I listened in my car, on the bus, while putting on my makeup, and while keeping up with mindless work. I finished in two days what would’ve taken me over a week of actually reading in my limited free time.

Then came another roadtrip to Ohio. I knew an audiobook would make the time go faster so I downloaded an old favorite – Pride and Prejudice. I wasn’t overjoyed with the quality of the narrator but I love the story and style of Jane Austen so much that I let it slide. The audio was only 11 hours and I finished it as I pulled into the driveway at the end of my trip.

In the meantime I had been watching HBO’s Game of Thrones series. I loved the show but was getting some flack from my fellow fantasy readers for not having read any of the books. I figured since I had 15 hours on the road home, I could give the first book a shot. This is when my life, in the words of the Fresh Prince, “got twist turned upside down.”

The Addiction

From May 14th to July 9th I listened to 13 days, 15 hours, and 22 minutes of audio.

Let that sink in a little.

During a 57 day period, I spent 23.966666% of my time listening to Game of Thrones. Or more accurately, listening to A Song of Ice and Fire. But nobody calls it that anymore.

Everywhere I went I was accompanied by earbuds. Outside of my immediately necessary obligations of work, procuring food and shelter, and speaking with people who refused to acknowledge that I was wearing earbuds, my life was Game of Thrones.

When I got on a plane I would sit in my window seat, put my earbud in for the ear that was closest to the window, run the cord under my sweater, and cover my ear with my hair. Using this method I didn’t even have to stop listening for take-off and landing. I DO always use airplane mode; I’m not a total rule breaker.

I streamed from the minute I woke up (pause for shower) to the minute I got to work. I then resumed streaming from the minute I left work until the minute I went to bed. Sometimes I had to rewind a little in the morning because I was so tired I didn’t remember what happened in the story right before I fell asleep.

Arya Stark is my favorite character in the series. She's left handed and also known as Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface, Arry, Nan, Salty, Cat, and Beth at various points in the series.

I spent one particularly tumultuous point in the books crying on a bus in New Orleans. I spent many nights in hotel rooms saying, “WHY?!” when things in the story didn’t go my way.

I’m pretty sure I spent more time listening to, contemplating, and dreaming about Game of Thrones than any drug addict does about his next hit. I can’t be sure because I’ve never been a drug addict. I’ve only been addicted to books.

The End (I hope)

I finished the 5th and most recently published book in the Game of Thrones series on July 9th, 2012. George R. R. Martin is currently working on the 6th book. For my sake I hope he takes his time.

In the meantime, I’m back to finishing all of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels and throwing in the occasional psychology book.  In real, paper book form. A book addict like me just can’t handle the IV-injection that is Audible.

Week 1 wrap up and the WHY behind #mollyinaminute

Some History

I’ve been thinking a lot about video content in the past couple of months. A few years ago I started watching Diggnation (a weekly webcast featuring Digg founder Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht) and segued that experience into watching Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss’ later webcast, The Random Show.

I also watched a lot of TED Talks and then (lightning!) discovered the magic of Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary is an excellent example of someone who used the power of video to transform his business, his life, and eventually the lives of countless others. In 2006, he started Wine Library TV, a regular video blog about wine. This made sense because he was the co-owner of a wine retailer called Wine Library and had spent years learning about and buying wine for the store.

Along with his general business prowess, his experiments in video and social media created tidal waves of growth for the company. Like the cool dude he is, Gary picked up a lot of lessons along the way and has since shared them through his books, by speaking at conferences, and now through his own non-wine-related video posts.

Gary’s success in business is inspiring, but what is most inspiring to me is his ability to show his passion, share his ideas, and cause real change through this medium.

I’m not Gary, but we do have a few things in common. I created this fancy venn diagram to prove it:

Figure 1: Molly Oehmichen vs. Gary Vaynerchuk

I might’ve missed a few important things, but you get the general idea. When Gary Vaynerchuk started Wine Library TV, he was pretty much a nobody. Today, Gary is a tried and true influencer in social media, technology, customer service, and of course, wine.

Sometimes influencers are born, but more often than not they make themselves. I wasn’t born much of anything, but I plan to use every opportunity available to make something of myself.

So What?

So a few months ago, video started looking like an attractive option to reach a new, broader audience. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about or that I could really speak to any one particular subject. I went back and forth with the idea for so long that I knew I had to start doing *something* with it or it would drive me insane.

From that idea, #mollyinaminute was born. It’s basically a daily vlog (video blog) where I talk about whatever is on my mind when I happen to hit record.

Goals (evolving)

  1. Get into the habit of posting something every day.
  2. Get comfortable recording video of myself.
  3. Get comfortable recording video of myself in front of people I don’t know.
  4. Interact with people I usually talk to on twitter in new ways.
  5. Learn more about personal interactions on the web, analytics, and content management.
  6. Speak concisely (a minute is short)!

So, without further ado, here are the first seven episodes (first full week’s worth) of #mollyinaminute videos. Follow along by following me on twitter, using hashtag #mollyinaminute, or following my YouTube channel. And send questions, comments, ideas, and random thoughts to mollyinaminute at gmail dot com.

Episode 1: Monday, June 18th

Episode 2: Tuesday, June 19th

Episode 3: Wednesday, June 20th

Episode 4: Thursday, June 21st

Episode 5: Friday, June 22nd

Episode 6: Saturday, June 23rd

Episode 7: Sunday, June 24th

Facing Up

I was struck by the personal responses to my recent post, “Once upon a real love.” In addition to public comments and tweets, I received private messages, stories and camaraderie both online and IRL.

This awesome photo by Flickr user lorrainemd.

Writing and sharing a tough personal story always makes the burden a little lighter. I felt even better after publishing that post to know my story made others feel less alone in their own experiences.

I’m pretty awful at showing or talking about my emotions in person. I find comfort in a few very close friends — and in music. #RoomieRebecca has been known to shout, “Stop listening to those sad songs!” through my bedroom door.

Kate Voegele is a singer/songwriter from Bay Village, Ohio (home of my pseudo-cousin M. Novak & friends). I spent a few weeks brooding on, “You Can’t Break A Broken Heart.” No arguing about that one, it’s sad.

Her acoustic songs are my favorite, including one called, “It’s Only Life,” and the one I wrote this post for, “Facing Up.”

Facing Up is about coming to a place where you have no choice but to face the truth about something you didn’t want to know. At that point, it can feel like there’s no direction to go in – everything is wrong. What truth actually means though is that there is only one direction to go in – Up. 

The truth can be so cruel, but to quote another song, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. So turn the table on your denial, face your fears, and take on the world, my friends.

I use no exaggeration,
I’m plainly hanging by a thread.
I am running low on patience,
but don’t go blaming it on yourself.

Wish I was in my right mind,
but I’ve left myself unnecessary chores.
I make it bad when everything’s just fine.
I was whole and sure, now I’m clearly torn. 

There’s nothing left for me to do.
Right and left lead me to,
the center of my deepest fear.
And that’s facing up to you,
embracing inescapable truth,
and truth is so cruel.

Continual irresolution,
keeps me shackled to the ground.
I’ve been in dire need of revolution,
for far too many days to count.
I thought I was safe in my hiding place,
but it’s sure exhausting, living in chains.
It’s a paradox in so many ways.
I can’t tell love from hate.

There’s nothing left for me to do.
Right and left lead me to,
the center of my deepest fear.
That’s facing up to you,
embracing inescapable truth,
and truth is so cruel.

I’m begging myself to make,
something of it all. 
But I am a lady with no solacement.
Oh my feet won’t move at all,
I think I’m standing still.
Oh one day maybe,
I’ll have something here to give.

There’s nothing left for me to do,
right and left lead me to,
the center of my deepest fear.
That’s facing up to you,
embracing inescapable truth,
and truth is so cruel.

Truth is so cruel.
Truth is so cruel.

Truth can be so cruel.

Once upon a real love

Love is like a marshmallow. Squishy, sticky, and it explodes in the microwave.

Let’s start over. Love is like a s’mores.



I have a history as a dumper. I’ve dumped quite a few guys – some who deserved it and some who were just unlucky enough to be snagged in my web at the wrong time.

Last December I got dumped for what I consider to be the first real time. I saw it coming and thought about doing it first to get it over with. I eventually just let it ride. It hurt, but not nearly as bad as I can imagine it would have if I’d been blindsided. Or if I had actually been in love.

I’ve been in only one relationship where I experienced what I now consider to be real, mutual love.

One of these feet is mine.

It was blissful, romantic, full of laughter, and full of adventure. It was also a rocky, winding, painful road. I cared so deeply for him that his pain was my pain and my pain was his pain. This was a problem because we both had a lot of pain – nearly too much pain for one person to handle, and neither of us could withstand doubling our own pain with each other’s.

I was gradually dealing with some of my pain and in his own way he was dealing with parts of his. But the pain that wasn’t dealt with grew and eventually we self-destructed.

I went through a series of stages after the initial implosion:

  1. Trying to convince myself that I didn’t love him.
  2. Trying to pretend like we could get back together and be fine (we actually tried this a few times… implosion, implosion, implosion, you get the idea).
  3. Throwing myself into work, school, friendships, home-buying, and various other activities to distract myself from the fact that I still loved him (my therapist used to call this “flight to education,” said I’ve been doing it since age 8, and that it’s relatively healthy compared to other psychological reactions – in case you are doing the same thing right now).
  4. Convincing myself that we were meant to be together but the timing was wrong and deciding to just wait it out.

Stages 3 and 4 sometimes overlapped and lasted for a long time. I was content staying busy, being oblivious, and not talking to him for years while believing we would be together “one day.” During this time I dated irregularly- breaking heart after heart because I wasn’t actually interested in real love. I had already found it, duh.

Then out of the blue, someone who I had dated many, many years before showed up and tried to convince me that we were meant to be together. He had been biding his time waiting for his own “one day” with me.

I was shocked, horrified, and told him flat out that he was wasting his time. The next day I woke up a total mess, having realized that I was setting myself up for the same type of failure and denying myself the chance to love someone new.

I flew to New York City and spent almost an entire weekend holed up in a hotel room singing Adele’s then just-released hit, “Someone Like You.” Even the maids were embarrassed.

I thought long and hard about Stage 4. I stayed in denial for a few more weeks and then decided I needed to give myself a chance to be happy with someone else. I was determined to stop dating as a distraction and that’s when my last boyfriend (let’s call him “the dumper”) came knocking.

He was of course, oblivious to my insanity. I enjoyed being with him and felt like it had potential to turn into something more, but he eventually decided otherwise and slowly backed away.

The day he broke up with me I called an old friend and we met for drinks. Like a good friend, he told me how awful the dumper was, how amazing I am, and how excited he was for me to meet the next, better guy. There was a lot of whiskey and a little bit of crying. Then there was a bombshell.

He shared news about my real love. I knew immediately, deep down, what he was going to say and that it was true. It suddenly turned into one day that I wouldn’t forget, but not the one I wanted.

I was never, ever getting him back.

The thing about the sun rising is that it always sets.

This realization was both freeing and heartbreaking in a way I had never experienced before. It was a convenient time to be heartbroken because I had just been dumped, so I hid behind that curtain. Very few people knew that other than a twinge of hurt pride over the dumper – It was my real love that I was dying inside over.

There isn’t really a lesson in this story. I just want the universe to know that I’m doing better. Knowledge and acceptance have been powerful friends to me these past few months.

It’s coming up on summertime again in New Orleans and one day soon I might fall into my next, real love.

Hopefully, I’ll be ready.


Sidebar: I like tiger lilies, cupcakes, whiskey, and a good debate. I sing when no one is listening and dance when everyone is watching. If you want to date me, follow me on twitter for a month and you’ll probably change your mind.

Other sidebar: My deepest, sincerest apologies to every other guy I’ve dated. Some of you I’ve gained as amazing friends while others may be lost to me forever. I didn’t set out to inflict pain- but I know I ended up spreading misery when I misguidedly set out to forget my own. I’m sorry.

Queen of Wands


My last post on this blog was nearly six months ago on my birthday. There are a lot of reasons I haven’t written here since then (I’ve been writing a lot here, I got distracted by a boy, etc) but they are mostly excuses. This post is the first in a series that is documentation of my internal struggles – so I don’t forget where I’ve been.

Last week, I got dumped. It didn’t come as a particular surprise to me. All in all, it was more of an injury to my pride than my heart. As my family likes to point out, I’m usually the one doing the dumping, so I probably needed a bit of a reality-check anyways.

On Saturday morning, I met two friends for breakfast. Naturally we talked a lot about relationships and how our previous attempts at them have gone wrong. One of my friends brought up getting her “cards read.” Friend #2’s reaction was that clearly Tarot cards should not have anything to do with relationships. My reaction was the very sudden memory of the last time I got MY cards read…

Photo of a Tarot deck by wiccked.

In early 2009 I was in a relationship that was falling apart. My mother and aunt are frequent customers of one particular reader here in New Orleans, so I traveled downtown one weekend morning and ended up forking over $20 for her services. It might have been the best $20 I spent that year. Unfortunately I ignored most of what she said about my relationship situation, but that’s a story for another day.

The one thing that DID stick out to me during our session was a card she pulled when talking about who I am. It was the Queen of Wands, also sometimes called the Queen of Rods.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what she told me about this card, and later looked it up online. I gathered information and posted it in a Facebook note on January 31st, 2009.  Here is an unedited copy of my post from 2009:

Queen of Wands

The astrological sign for the Queen of Wands is Leo. This is a woman who is honorable and well-liked and fond of her home. Other adjectives to describe this person might be: fun-loving, proud, honest, aloof, impulsive, determined, loyal and generous.

A very generous, capable and fair person especially in her dealings with people. A woman who is both fertile in mind and body and a homemaker. She enjoys social ease due to her charm and is protective towards those in her circle.

She’s self-assured, and walks with the confidence that she knows exactly what she is doing. Always attractive in the classic sense, she has a way of bringing her enthusiasm to everyone she comes in contact with. No matter what the task ahead, she tackles it with wholehearted dedication. Her life is full and busy, and she prefers it that way. She loves to be going and doing. She keeps up this pace because she is radiantly healthy and fit. She is often a good athlete, being naturally strong and coordinated.

Although she’s never arrogant, the Queen of Wands has a deep faith in her own abilities. Her quiet self-assurance comes from the knowledge that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.

Even the Queen of Wands is not invincible, though from her general outlook on life she might seem to be, and she definitely believes she is. She always has to be on the move, and she will not tolerate anything that makes her stay somewhere for longer than she wants to. Often she takes others’ problems into her own hands to see them solved more quickly, and in fragile situations this can cause more problems than it solves. In general, she would make a great friend, but a very dangerous enemy.

Having these qualities within yourself might seem a little dangerous too, but everyone has a bit of the Queen of Wands inside them. When she appears it is often time to bring these qualities into manifestation in your life. Her constancy and dedication will surely be an aid if you have a creative vision that needs to be carried out, and her innate magnetism will draw to you all the allies and friends that you need. If people call on your strength then be ready to give it; if people ask your guidance, do not hesitate to speak your mind. Engage tough issues with all your might, and do not relent until the day is won.


Thinking about the “new year” this weekend, I spent some time thinking about the Queen of Wands again. 2011 was a year of wandering for me. In contrast, I think for me, 2012 will be a Year of the Wand.

25, With A Purpose

I’m one of those girls (women?) that never admits her age. My acquaintances and colleagues generally think I’m older than I really am. I don’t correct them because it’s sometimes hard to be seen as professional and young at the same time.  Recently, a friend “outed” me in front of someone who didn’t know my age. Her immediate response was, “You’re joking. You’re how old?!”

For better or worse, I have a habit of not finishing one thing before starting the next. Today I turned 25. Since July 29th of 2010, I:

  • Bought and renovated a duplex in New Orleans.
  • Took my Mom on a trip to France.
  • Finished the MBA program with flying colors and a new haircut.
  • Decided I didn’t have enough “fun” when I was 23 so I went out more and spent significantly more time with friends.
  • Quit my full-time job.

Yes, I quit a job where I was making major bank at 24 years old with unemployment over 9% and absolutely no prospects for another job. My family & friends were slightly freaked out. I imagine it felt a little bit like jumping out of a plane and not knowing if I had a parachute. I’ve never jumped out of a plane with or without a parachute though so I can’t say for sure.

It was the best decision I made all year.

For a few months after that I played around with the idea of getting another full-time job. I wrote cover letter after cover letter that I never sent. I danced around friendly offers to recommend me for open positions. The thought of a meager salary at a 9-5 job with 10 vacation days a year threw me into a mild panic. So I stopped looking.

Not having a job is scary. Not having a job and not looking for another job might be borderline insanity. Four months later I’m still kicking it solo and actually cash-flow positive. I’ve read enough books to know that no matter what happens, I’ll be okay.

There’s only one problem with my current employment: it lacks direction. I’m doing a lot of work that involves learning and stretching my skills (which is awesome) but I don’t have any particular niche or well-developed area of expertise. Finding and developing that niche has been a recurring thought recently and I now consider it a priority.

On that note, here are my publicly-stated goals for the 26th year of my life:

  1. Do more yoga & meditation; spend more time tuning myself into my intuition.
  2. Only take on new work that provides an expansive learning opportunity or excites my love of ___ (too many things to list).
  3. Jump out of a plane (with a parachute).
  4. Take another big trip (Asia, South America, Europe, all of the above, I’m not picky).
  5. Karaoke as often as the opportunity presents itself (thanks to advice from Peter Shallard re: public failure).
  6. Externalize my internal passion, drive, and love in a more open way. Remember that I have nothing to hide.
Chocolate cake. Noms.


My youngest sister, Alexis, was visiting me in New Orleans recently.

Alexis: “You walk like you drive.”
Me: “With a purpose? I work like that, too.”
Alexis: “I bet your boss loves that.”
Me: “I don’t have a boss.”
Alexis: “I know, I was talking about you.”