June 10, 2020. That’s when I last posted a photo and an update.
My daughter was two then. She’ll be five in August.
It is incredible to see how quickly life changes in what seems to be a matter of moments. Instead of plaintive posts accompanying my photography exploits, I have been busy writing sarcastic legal articles on taxes. Shortly after my last post, I created a blog—Briefly Taxing—and I have thrown myself into that full bore. It’s a labor of love that brings together my two post-graduate degrees—an LL.M. in Tax and a Ph.D. in Sarcasm.
In August of 2021, the blog caught the notice of an editor from Bloomberg who asked me if I would be willing to write an article for them. Not only was it an honor to be asked to write for them, I was, perhaps, even more thrilled that the editor had asked me to write because she liked my style and humor—and not despite my frolics and detours into esoteric and generally unrelated subjects.* So far, I have written five articles for Bloomberg, and I have a few more in the pipeline.
I churned out the articles, some of which I loved writing—like the one about the Michael Jackson estate tax case—and others I wrote begrudgingly because I was asked to. At the end of the day, though, I was writing, and people were actually enjoying my snarky take on tax.
If you’ve ever read a legal article, you’ll know that they are as entertaining as waiting for paint to chip off a wall whilst you wait for the elderly lady two customers in front of you at the DMV to explain to Felicia, the crusty old municipal employee who is counting the seconds left in the minutes until 5:00 PM, why her license should be renewed despite her advancing blindness. My articles, most of them at least, are not dry or plodding. As Emily Dickinson might have said if she were a tax attorney, I tell all the tax—but I tell it slant.
Despite my success and my productivity in the land of the tax nerds, I miss the introspection of this blog. We went to Maine (the land of my forefathers – well, at least my father) with my wife’s family last July. I forgot how beautiful the coast Down East is. This photo was taken in Acadia National Park on top of Cadillac Mountain. There is something I find extremely innocent about it—something that brings me a sense of peace. In the chaos of my law practice, the slice of time captured in this instant is precisely the type of serenity I need.
It’s good to be back.
*As evidenced by the following footnote in a later Bloomberg article:
FN71. That is, of course, unless “Uncle Sam” is an actual beneficiary of the estate in question and not the anthropomorphized personification of the Federal government, which has come to resemble a wizened older gentleman in a white top hat, engirded with a blue ribbon, itself emblazoned with large white stars, pointing towards “you” in a 1917 recruitment poster for the U.S. Army created by created by James Montgomery Flagg, which image was repurposed and made all the more famous in World War II. Interestingly (for me at least), the first reference to Uncle Sam in literature was in the 1816 allegorical book The Adventures of Uncle Sam, in Search After His Lost Honor by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq. The tome—Fidfaddy’s sole work—was a satire on the policies of the United States leading up to the War of 1812. Fidfaddy appears to be a nom-de-plume, as Mr. Fidfaddy, himself, concedes when he answers the rhetorical question, “who is Tid Fid Faddy?” The good author pivots and replies, “Aye, but honest friend, what is there, in these degenerate days that does always pass by its real, deserved name?” The Adventures of Uncle Sam, 6 (repub. 1971, Liberty House).
And to answer your question, I will be adopting this moniker going forward…