1. How’s Beantown these days?
I still love it here… It is so great living in a city where alternative transportation is a real option. I normally walk to work, although after the snow/ice storm this week I’ve been taking the bus to avoid the treacherous sidewalks…
I know the weather isn’t for everyone, but I really like defined seasons… I don’t like really, really hot weather… So by the last few weeks of summer, I’m thinking “Ok, I’m ready for fall!”. And, by the last few weeks of winter, “I’m ready for spring!”. So, for me, those seasons are just a week or two long, but why be picky.
2. What’s the deal with giving your cars nicknames?
Oh, it’s clearly stupid.
I’ve actually only done it for the past two cars (besides affectionate names for cars like “shitbox” or “fucking wagon”). Since I started driving, whenever I’d be stuck behind some sunday driver in a Minivan, I’d always say “Come on, Maude, get it moving” or something to that effect.. So when I took the Minivan from my parents during my unemployed job search, I started calling the car “Maude”. It always seemed to me that people who named their cars generally drove expensive or classic cars, so I guess I found humor in naming ahand-me-down van.
When that car died, for some reason I decided to continue the tradition and named my Hyundai “Hawkeye” (Hyundai is Korean, MASH, blah blah blah). The “joke” hasn’t gotten old for me, I guess…
3. What percentage of your life is taken up by your career?
That depends on the job I’m holding at any given time… When I worked at Rovia, I really had no social life outside of work.. Any free time I did have was spent with Adam, Matt, & Rory.. I had no life, no girlfriend, and little free time. As much fun as I had at Rovia, I recognized that after that ended, I wasn’t terribly keen in working 50-70 hours weeks again…
When I took the job at Goodrich, I was excited, because it seemed like people tended to work 40 hour weeks, which for the most part was true. But with the 45 minute drive (each way, without traffic) combined with the extreme disinterest that grew in me for the work I was doing there, I really spent a good chunk of the day thinking about work, even when I wasn’t there. I’d get home, be in a foul mood, and stew until I passed out. Obviously, this wasn’t good for my relationship with
either, although she was a trooper… Beyond all that, Goodrich’s vacation policy was crappy, so I only had 2 weeks of vacation, most of which was consumed by the Christmas travels (and would have only been worse now that Corinna and I are trying to spend Christmas together).
My current situation is great. My boss, who is also a co-founder of the company, is a firm believer in the 40 hour week. The company takes obvious pains to keep it’s employees happy, with little perks here and there (For instance, we got a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day), I feel both appreciated and that I am being appropriately compensated, with both money and vacation, and enjoy the things I am working on. While it still takes me 40-45 minutes to get to work in the morning, I feel alot better about a casual 2.25 mile walk to work versus a 27 mile drive..
When I get home now, I rarely think about work… Sometimes inspiration strikes at the strangest times, and I’ll take advantage of that inspiration, but nowadays that generally means jotting down ideas and emailing them to myself at work. I don’t do any “work” at home..
Finally, to answer your actual question, I’d say that my career consumes about 25-30 percent of my life right now… I work 8 hours a day, sleep 7, and have the rest of the time for myself (not to mention weekends and vacation, where I go out of my way to avoid thinking of work). And I’m pretty comfortable with that percentage.
4. If you had the power of perfect persuasion for just one conversation, to whom would you talk and what would you say?
This one is the toughest to answer, because there are so many things I wish would change in this world. But if I had to pick one thing, I think I’d sit down with world leaders and try and convince them to actually push for renewable, non-polluting energy research and policy. I think that if someone could make that happen, the world would benefit greatly.
5. What will you want to have accomplished so that when you’re 80, you can look back on your life and feel it was well-lived?
It’s funny that you ask this question, because I’ve been really trying to think about things like this of late… I can honestly say that at (near) 30,I am very satisfied with the way I’ve lived my life. I don’t want to make it sound like I’ve been sitting around forming some kind of personal mission statement, but here’s the kinds of things I’ve been thinking about:
- I would like to continue being a valuable contributor to whoever is paying my bills while still feeling like I am an individual. I want to work to live, not live to work…
- I want to avoid being trapped by excess, while still living comfortably… Corinna and I don’t need a 2000 sq. ft. home, so why waste the money on one? I don’t need some fancy luxury car, so why not go with a more efficient economy car (or, hopefully, no car at all!).
- Along the same lines, I want to do what I can to minimize our personal “footprint” here on earth.. If that means paying a bit more for energy or materials, so be it, where possible. In planning the purchase (and any renovations) of our new home, consider this as part of the purchase decision. I’m not planning on living in a tree like some kind of hippie, but lots of small things can add up to something great.
- TRAVEL! One of the big regrets I have in life is my limited travel experience. This year might be difficult with all the money we will be laying out to move into a new house, but I’d really like to travel to a foreign country in the next 365 days. And I’d like to continue to do so at least once every year of my life. I’ve never had a real, “grown up” vacation, mostly because Goodrich’s vacation policy was so stingy.. Now that I am getting 3 weeks (plus 1.25 days a year), this should be a much more realistic goal.
- I don’t want to (have to) work until I die. I’d like to wisely save for retirement so that when that time comes around we can enjoy retirement. If I want to continue to work, so be it, but I don’t want to be forced into it.
I’m sure there are other things, but that’s what comes to mind right now.