Other Pursuits

There are, from time to time, moments when I engage in pursuits other than the law. Most days, I spend at least a little time pursuing my life-long passion for chess. In all candor, I’m not particularly good at it, but it brings me peace when I win and humility when I lose. For me chess is, above all else, a constant reminder not to take myself too seriously in this win some, lose some world.

When not lawyering or trying to tap into my inner Garry Kasparov—or I suppose it’s Magnus Carlsen these days—you may find me by following the low notes to my music room, where I eschew gently weeping guitars in favor of the bone-rattling thunder of the electric bass, a constant in my life since my teenage years. I played in bands from junior high school through college, and in college I ran the on-campus recording studio. Today, depending on my mood, I may jam to classic rock, pretty much anything from the 80s, grunge, or whatever else I heard on the radio that day. My axes of choice are an MVP4 and a Pentabuzz, both by Pedulla, run through a Fender Super Bassman 300W stack. I have an emotional attachment to my rig. Don’t judge me.

I am also a husband and a father of two sons and a daughter. This is, by far, the most important and interesting aspect of my life. My children delight, confound, amaze, frustrate, amuse, irritate, and inspire me on a daily basis, which I think means we are all doing our respective jobs.

I grew up minutes from where the New England Patriots play. I have been hooked on the team since Steve Grogan’s third year, which means that I lived through a lot of lean years—I remember those 2-14 and 1-15 seasons—before the recent pleasantness. In our house, though our kids have always lived in Northern Virginia, we all are die-hard Patriots and Red Sox fans. When our teams go to the big dance, we go with them. For my kids, their frame of reference is that the family goes to the Super Bowl or the World Series to cheer for our team about every two or three years. Having experienced the searing pain of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, however, I know all too well that this is not the natural state of things for Boston or any other city, so I am teaching my kids never to gloat, and instead to enjoy and to appreciate every minute of this extraordinarily good run while it lasts, before it reverts to another 86 years of soul-crushing gloom.

Life is good.