I really hate the ‘humble beginnings’ stories that you get from every single rock star or famous person in general; it’s cliché as heck. Seems like every VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ episode starts with some somber ballad playing over baby pictures of filthy kids that would eventually turn into superstars.
I’ve recently been doing some business that does make me think a little bit about my start as a musician, though. I was a lower-middle class kid whose parents made enough to keep us comfortable, but didn’t have a ton of extra cash that would give us all the expensive toys the other kids at school seemed to bring every day.
I worked a paper route from the time I was about 8 years old all the way until I was about 17 (with no car, no wonder I didn’t get a date until I was 20…). I never really spent any of the money outside of getting the occasional soda and burger when my friends and I went out to the mall on the weekends.
When I got into high school, on a whim I decided to attend a concert the school’s jazz band was putting on. Oddly enough, that concert altered the entire course of my life, as the guitarist was really killer (and I saw him kissing one of the hottest girls in the school after the concert was done).
So the fix was in – I was going to learn to shred on the guitar, and that was going to land me a really hot girlfriend the next day. Step one of the plan was to buy my first guitar.
Taking stock of my funds from about 5 years of slinging newspapers, I went to the music shop that weekend to see what I could afford. What I could afford was absolutely nothing, but man did I love the look and feel of that place and the cool older dudes who ran it.
So the next stop was asking my dad to drive me over to the local pawn shop where one of the guys at the shop tipped me off as a place to look. When we got there, we found one beaten up old Fender that had half the strings missing, and I bought it without a second thought.
So began my musical journey, one that would take me to a whole lot of highs and many, many lows. Now that that journey is over (in the professional sense), I’ve moved on to others with oddly similar beginnings.
Used items often are seen as lesser, but what they can represent is the humble beginnings of something far grander than anyone anticipated. That goes for anything from musical instruments to something as boring-sounding as office furniture.
Starting off your business using used cubicles, desks and everything else might seem like a pretty shabby way of operating, but it can give you the cash reserve you need to really kick off your business and put it into overdrive. Companies like Creative Office Design out of L.A., the guys who’ve been doing amazing work both selling me the office equipment I needed to start things off and designing the office to get the best use of them possible, can really help get things off the ground.
So, this isn’t really a humble beginnings story, just a helpful example of not worrying too much about where the stuff you start off with comes from. That may be humble, but it is just a beginning.
Creative Office Design
5230 Pacific Concourse Dr #105, Los Angeles, CA 90045, United States
Welcome back to the blog, folks! It feels like it’s been quite a while since I managed to get enough time to post something here, but some recent events with the family spurned me into a contemplative, writing-sort of mood.
I’ve been having some pretty significant family issues recently that involved the visitation hours and custody rights allotted to me with my kids. I know this subject has been done to death with things like VH1’s Behind The Music and pretty much every biography done on the great stars of popular music since the 50’s, but this is important to me, and you are my reader, not theirs!
Years of reflection have made me recognize that the underlying issues that were the root of my family problems started in high school. A late bloomer and rather nebbish for my first years of serious interactions with women, I did not have a proper ‘girlfriend’ until well into my 20’s when my music was starting to take off.
This late start, with its corresponding years of anguish over unrequited love and watching friends, enemies, and everyone else either shack up with a girl or tear through them lead to a lot of odd ideas about what love looked like and what was proper in relationships. It also lead to a significant amount of resentment towards the fairer sex that was not fair or correct, and this in large part bled into my relationship with the woman who I eventually married, had children with, and subsequently divorced after a number of immature and, frankly, stupid mistakes.
Despite loving my ex wife and being absolutely enamored with my children, the voice at the back of my head always called for me to seek new things, new experiences to ‘make up for lost time’. Well, that would come back to bite me, as I have spent years looking to make up for the time lost with my children thanks to the divorce.
After a long time of resentments bubbling over and competing ideas about how to raise them, my kids have recently begun requesting that they be allowed to stay with me more often, and my ex wife’s stance on the subject has began to soften. My kids want primary custody to be switched over to me, but however much her stance has shifted, that would be a little much for her.
So, we once again have begun the arduous process of working with the family court system to determine a more fair and equitable system of sharing the kids that would leave her, the kids, and I in a better position where everyone can be…if not satisfied, then something closer to it.
For this newest round of court drama, I of course contacted my friends over at Shuff Law, one of the finest family law firms in Santa Ana and all of southern California. They gave a great rundown of everything I’d need to do and have prepared by the court date.
Hopefully, this new state of affairs will let me make up for the time I’ve lost with my children as they’ve grown up, as I can’t stand to think of what life would be like without them. If you’re like me, and need the expert help of the premier family law attorneys in southern California, give the Shuffs a call: you may get the same second chance at a life with your kids that I’m getting now.
This story comes as I was taking a hot tub soak in my San Diego abode overlooking the sea, deep in contemplation over the many scars I’ve accrued over the years. Not from any fights, mind you, or any feats of valor, but from the incredibly dumb escapades I’ve had with my good friend ‘Al’ (cohol). Hands wrecked from punching through walls, TV screens, and windows, burns from late night belligerent cooking, and all manner of scrapes and slashes from falling from various heights.
Then my eyes landed on one set of criss-crossing scars I got from before my music career took off – the one from the accident I had as a young kid just out of high school. The one that almost ended my music career before it got off the ground.
There isn’t some great story behind it – some moron who was drunk at noon decided to do some donuts in a cul-de-sac as I was passing by. Once a neighbor yelled about calling the cops, he burned rubber in an escape attempt, losing control and clipping me in the process. I was sent flying, my leg now bent in a direction it was very much not supposed to be in.
I landed, dazed, and remember only the sounds of yelling before waking back up in a hospital the next day. My knee was absolutely shredded, the bones broken and the ligaments torn to the point that they didn’t know if I was going to ever be able to walk without a crutch.
I decided that this was not an acceptable state of affairs, so I began many months of grueling rehabilitation and physical therapy, all at my and my family’s expense. The guy in the truck was thrown in the can for reckless endangerment, but walked away no worse for wear, while I was stuck on my butt for the better part of a year.
Lucky for me I had my music to keep me comfortable, but my family was in dire straights for a long time while I was getting back on my feet. If we had access to a good personal injury lawyer at the time way out in our corner of nowhere, we’d have avoided a lot of heartache.
So, while ruminating on all of this, I decided I’d help my local San Diego readers find an auto accident attorney if they find themselves in a similar situation. A local guy who comes very highly recommended by some friends is Chris Villasenor and his office, Villasenor Law offices.
There’s a ton to like from what I’ve heard about the firm. Patient, conscientious, and highly communicative, they have everything you want in a PI lawyer. Checking out their Yelp page, Jonathon S. testifies to this in writing:
Great attorney in all respects. Chris and his staff are very helpful and communicative, contributing to a fluid experience from the onset. Moreover, with his expertise and thoroughness, Chris was able to secure an excellent resolution for my personal injury case. I highly recommend his services.
Villasenor’s offices also do a bang-up job with contract law. A peek at their Google reviews has a number of good things to say about their work in the field:
“Over the last 10 years, Chris Villasenor has created several contracts for my company that protect me in case a dispute with a client or contractor crops up. He has also reviewed contracts from my potential clients or partners and made recommendations on ways they needed to be revised in order to protect my best interest. Chris was also very helpful and informative when my husband & I were faced with a real estate dispute while purchasing our current home. Chris is trustworthy, professional and a great legal resource in times of need AND he’s become my attorney of choice!”
So, if you’re in the Mira Mesa, Poway, or the greater San Diego area and need a personal injury lawyer or business attorney, these are your guys. Don’t get stuck with a bill that might crush your dreams and do the smart thing – sue the pants off the guy who had the temerity to crash into you.
Through my years as a wannabe and then fully fledged rock
star, I’ve attended a number of disastrous parties. Things getting thrown out
windows, hit with blunt objects, and not a few buildings getting burnt
to the ground in some particularly boisterous affairs. If I’m being honest,
the disastrous parties were often times the ones that were the most fun, though
my lawyer would probably advise against me saying so.
While I was mostly partied out by the time my time in the limelight
came to an end, that wasn’t the end of the parties. Not only did my band mates
continue their youthful shenanigans, I had some rather unwanted guests in a number
of the properties I had bought over the years stage some parties of their own.
Who are these uninvited guests, you ask? Not hippies, not
grungy punks, not even star-sucking sycophants looking to lap up any crumbs of
clout they could steal from my plate. These guests were of an even more
invasive species I’ve had to deal with.
Termites! The little critters invaded not one, not two, but
three of my residences and establishments over the years, including my favorite
home in southern California. This presented a pretty big problem for me, as at
the time I was going through a bit of a health kick and believed most
pesticides were basically evil.
One major thing I wish we had at the time was an
environmentally- and health-conscious movement in society at large and pest
control in particular, like we do now. As it stands, when it comes to natural
removal of termites and other creepy-crawlies for my Southern California
enterprises, I always call the same guys: Natural Science Exterminating.
The Garden Grove-based company prides itself on its use of
natural remedies to not only remove pests once they’ve infested a building
through tenting and spot
removal, but also preventing infestations from occurring in the first place.
They use a number of naturally derived and plant-based chemicals that the
plants use to ward off pests themselves to give your home a reprieve from damaging
insects, so you don’t have to worry about your pets getting poisoned or
gigantic swarms of bugs coming crashing through your roof as you sleep.
When my homes were host to such unwelcome house parties, I
had to just clench my teeth and allow the smelly exterminator to tent them up for
a week. Once they took the tent off, I couldn’t go into the houses without my
skin crawling from the thought of all the chemicals that were pumped into the
walls and how every time I touched something I was now doomed to a painful
You don’t have to go through the mental torture I put myself
through (I am a bit of a hypochondriac, admittedly, so you might not do it regardless).
Natural Science Exterminating offers free termite
inspections in Garden Grove and its surrounding areas, so if you’re like me
and can’t stand the thought of every chemical monstrosity known to man being
sprayed all over your possessions, give them a call.
Hey guys! Just stopping
by for a quick post today because I’m shoving off for yet another sailing
adventure. I’ve almost perfected my sailing skills to the point that I can take
the thing out of the marina, but we’re taking it one day at a time.
Today, I was ruminating
on how much my life has changed since the divorce, and how incredible the
family law attorneys I used were to leave me with as much of my shirt on as
they did, considering the water-tight case my wife had when we separated. The
firm (Shuff Law
Firm) comes with two thumbs up from me.
Since I’m running short
on time today, I’ll let some other clients of their speak their piece about
Shuff Law Firm was recommended to me by a dear friend and I highly recommend them to you!
Joe, Tamara and their entire team work with the utmost professionalism coupled with a genuine care for their clients needs. This Father- Daughter team brings many many years of experience to the table! They’ll represent you with integrity, honesty, and a great energy, yet will not be steamrollered by opposing counsel.
Most recently, Tamara held my hand during an incredibly tough situation while believing in me and the justice to prevail. Her kind heart keeps her honest and her experience keeps her strong!
My highest respect and regards for this law firm, in which I am extremely thankful for the level of professional care, support, advice and representation I received during a most difficult divorce. Tamara is the first lawyer that actually understood the complexity of my situation AND took action. Her support staff were caring and timely. I highly recommend this law firm to all my friends and anyone who is need of understanding and intelligent help. I am forever grateful
H., the guy who convinced me to use the firm:
If you want results? This is the firm and people that will get your Family/Divorce situation/case solved effectively, efficiently, and the best. I used 2 other lawyers prior to coming to Tamara and her father and they completed what I needed to be done in a short period of time and without the BS associated with family courts. Could I have been lucky with my situation? Maybe – BUT what I have learned in business is over communication, being straight forward (hearing the GOOD and the BAD), and relentless (like TAMARA was and is) is the best medicine to quell the sickness of this not so fun process of divorce. I would AND have recommended this firm to EVERYONE on the planet. Seriously the best people in the business and I would be more than happy to give you a personalized reference about how ecstatic I am that I was referred and used Shuff Law Firm to CLOSE my case swiftly. Thank you Tamara for everything you did for me and my family – words cannot express to you how impressed and overly satisfied i am with all you did. I know you will do the EXACT same for all of your clients in the future! JEFF