A Weekend in the Office

I spent much of the weekend in the office watching a multi-hour webinar on Planning for the Taxable Estate. Around watching, and as an excuse to get up and stretch my legs, I thoroughly cleaned up the books and files around my office. The furniture stayed put.

I’ve always liked to use the end of the year to organize various parts of my life – both physical and digital. And as we near 1/1/2013, it’s time again to put away the 2012 stuff and make room for the new. Especially with our baby son coming oh-so-soon, I am guessing that I will have to be more efficient than ever at keeping my stuff in order because his stuff will soon displace my stuff in the hierarchy of which stuff I most care about!

The week ahead is going to continue to be busy, as we have three Christmas parties to attend – MFDA, RJFH, and CRB. It will be fun, and I am looking forward to a healthy dose of Christmas cheer to go with the fresh blanket of snow covering the white Christmas lights lining our fence.

The snow also marks the true start of winter, and my 6am-obligation to keep the steep and curving parts of the driveway safe for passing. It’s not all bad, as it’s forced near-daily exercise.

Have a tremendous week, and don’t be too busy to enjoy a Christmas song from time to time.

Ruckus RIP

Ruckus, the company at which I first worked after graduating from college, shut down today around 5:30pm EST. I left the company in February of 2006, nineteen months after I was hired as the approximately thirtieth employee. While I’ve been far removed from the company for a long time, I look back on my time there in a positive light. I met some outstanding people, learned about balance in my own life, and had a great deal of fun. I will always have a great affection for “start-up culture,” and hope to experience it once again someday.

Here is a TechCrunch article that explains what will happen with the Ruckus music libraries.

Rest In Peace.

Work and Creativity

There is a massive clash between the work I will end up doing as an attorney and my desire to be creative. Sure, many have bridged the gap, either (1) by finding creativity within the law, (2) by being satisfied to explore their creative interests outside of the law, or (3) by leaving the law to be creative — whatever that means.

#1 isn’t really the creativity I’m talking about. No matter how brilliant one’s ability is to view the law, it does not become art. In fact, if the law became art at any point, I think we would all be in trouble. There is already far too much room for interpretation in the law without it being subjected to the massive number of quandaries tossed around at art museums and shows. If law became art, law school would be irrelevant, lawyers would be useless, and there would be anarchy. There is no institution overseeing the creation and interpretation of art like there is the law. That just sounds absurd.

#2 is what most people do — they turn their dreams into hobbies. This is the sad reality of having to make a living. The opportunity cost of wanting material things, having a family, and living comfortably means saccrificing your dreams for most people. I do not dream of being an attorney. I see it as a way to make a good living. A way to support a family. A path to security.

#3 is what I would do if money were no object, and I hate that it comes down to money. I say that and I think of my friends that have corporate jobs. I think of the job I had at an Internet start-up. I think of the foolish demands to which we subject our precious time. I think back to my time in undergrad reading about Ponzi schemes and the “castle in the clouds” where as long as you can get the next fool to buy into your foundationless story you’ll be OK — never mind that what you are selling has no value if the next person doesn’t buy into it. That’s what life feels like at times — not that it’s valueless, but that we’re all doing something because it fits in the grid — because it propagates the masses — because it’s what was done before.

These thoughts are far beyond creativity. Creativity is the antithesis to work for me. The time I spent writing fiction, nonfiction, or pure gibberish when I was younger is the exact opposite of what is considered productive or successful now, yet it was freeing and inspiring. Although writing was far from easy at times, I loved the idea of it. I loved the blank screen — the blank page. I still love blank journals — I just bought a new one and plan to fill it with unproductive gibberish and stuff. Just stuff.

I’ve been thinking about all of this for a long time — years.


My ideal job would involve playing golf or creating something. Professional golfer isn’t really in the running, and never really was. I wouldn’t mind being a golf pro – the kind that gives lessons – but, I’m too arrogant to do so. And, I have little patience for teaching people.

Being a college professor would be fun because I love the setting. I love the thought of being on a campus and drinking coffee while writing on a board and learning. I don’t have authority on much of anything at the moment, but that can always be acquired.

I would love to be a personality – a talking head. A creator. An intellectual entrepreneur. I have ideas all day long – the stream of Chris. Some of them make their way past the idea stage, and the others may some day when I have more “free” time.

I’ve never worked at a coffee shop or a hardware store, and I wish I had covered both in high school or college. The draw of the barista is mostly because I like coffee and I would like to get wired on caffeine for free. There’s something calming about a hardware store and it’s aisles full of obscure tools, rope, and metal objects that I find fascinating.

Writing is something I’ve never really given a chance beyond the random blogging and a few short articles for my old company. I think, if you were to ask me today what my ideal job would be, I would say author. Hopefully, fiction. But, I could settle.