Making Things

October 31, 2009

Because I am a lawyer, I don’t generally make things at work. I mean, I write stuff, which is a form of making things, and some satisfaction certainly comes from getting a positive outcome for my client, but somehow, getting a favorable ruling as a result of a brief I wrote on the applicability of equitable tolling to the expiration of the juvenile court’s subject matter jurisdiction can feel a little, well, abstract. As a result, I try to make actual things, either artistic or useful (sometimes both!) whenever I can. Since my life is largely divided into three parts – home, work, and travel between the two – my greatest creative goal is to create something in each area. This past week was a rare treat for me, because I managed to create something neat in all three:

Home

First, Max drew some loopy teardrop shapes and asked me to make them into something cool, which I did:

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Then, I decided I really liked the look of the elephant, so I rendered it again, more purposefully:

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Finally, I went whole hog and busted out the acrylics and the packing paper for a mighty, three-foot-high version – about as close as I get to fine art:

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And the best part is that Max can claim this as his own, or at least as a collaboration with me. He likes this.

Commute

Problem: I wanted a front rack for my bicycle, but front racks cost money, which I’m a little light on.

Solution: I have lots of old, decommissioned shelving hardware, and most importantly, lots of zip ties:

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(Did you know that over six million zip ties were used in the construction of the Varrazano Narrows Bridge? It is not true.)

Home-made front rack
Success!

Work

For my work, I must travel a lot, so I use a little netbook as my work computer. In an ideal world, this item would be supplied by my employer, but in the real world, my employer got a grant to buy new computers, asked me what I needed, looked at the little report I prepared comparing various netbooks, told me they would get it for me, then purchased a heavy laptop with a 17″ screen. (Luckily, my stepfather-in-law bought me the netbook as a present, so all is more or less well, employee disgruntlement aside.) But, since work won’t supply the netbook, work won’t supply peripherals either, so I must obtain a docking station for when I’m in the office:

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Top-of-the-line masking tape integration technology for maximizing productivity!

And while we’re on the topic of making things, you may notice something at the righthand side of the photos above that gives you a clue on how I make decisions . . . that’s right, it’s a magic eight ball:

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And it’s not just any magic eight ball! This one comes pre-approved for use by Connecticut lawyers in their day-to-day legal practice. How do I know? Because it was given to me by the Connecticut Bar Association when I passed the bar:

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Not to be too serious about things, but is it a little bit troubling that the CBA gives these to new lawyers?

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One Response to “Making Things”

  1. Do you remember (actually, since it started when you were one year old and ended when you were five, you wouldn’t) WKRP in Cincinnati?

    One of the characters, Les Nessman, the nerdly news director, creates an office for himself that is nothing but duct tape on the floor. But he enforces the walls and doors the tape represents. Your docking station is a paen to Les’s office.

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