Monday Profile: Khalid Hanifi

 By Jo Mathis

Legal News
Residence:  Ann Arbor.
Currently reading … “The Contours of American History” by William Appleman Williams.
Your most satisfying moment as a paralegal?  Working a relatively small arbitration with my mentor, Marta Manildi.  Marta is one of the brightest and most generous spirited people I have ever met - and working day and night with her on that arbitration was deeply satisfying, despite - or perhaps because of - the challenges we faced.   
My mother always told me …“Do whatever you want, son - I’ll love you no matter what.” 
What is your most treasured material possession?  1973 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar.
Favorite local hangouts: Michigan Theater. And my couch.
What is your happiest childhood memory?  Getting “Meet The Beatles” for my 10th birthday.
Which things do you not like to do?  Be in crowds or wait in lines.
What’s your greatest achievement?  Raising two wonderful children.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?  “Lighten up, dude.”
What one thing do you wish people knew about your work?  That there is real beauty in the order and efficiency of a well constructed and maintained document database. 
Favorite joke:  The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? The distribution of wealth.  
Must-see TV: “Mr. Show.”
What’s your favorite animal?  Humans. That would also be my answer to “What is your least favorite animal?” 
Why is that? Though I have an enormous amount of affection for our species, we truly are the source of most of the world's problems.
What word do you overuse?  Like.
First gig: Joe’s Star Lounge, which happens to have been located seven floors beneath my office at Miller Canfield.  
 What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?  Build a guitar from scratch.
What is something most people don't know about you?  I love gardening.  
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Smedley Butler, Thomas Paine and George Kennan.
Who is your favorite character of fiction?  Captain Ahab.
Favorite movie:  “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”
What’s the best advice you ever received?  “Pay more attention to wanting what you need than needing what you want.” 
What place won’t you return if you can help it?  Gordo, California.  My wife and I stopped there for lunch while driving through Big Sur a few summers ago.  We couldn’t decide if it was more like a disturbing episode of “The Twilight Zone,” or a sequel to “Lord Of The Flies.”
What do you drive? What would you drive if money were no object?  Jetta Hybrid.  Same.
Favorite place to spend money:  Big City Small World Bakery, Ann Arbor.
What is your motto?  “Be kind, rewind.”
Where would you like to be when you're 90?  Retired.  
What would surprise people about your job?   Though Miller Canfield is a large firm, it is anything but a cold, impersonal corporate place to work.  The Ann Arbor office in particular has a very down to earth and pleasant culture - a great group of people to work with. 
You're a singer/songwriter. Is that as much fun as it sounds?  More fun than it sounds.  
What's your favorite song? This is a constantly moving target for me, but right now it's “Khena Ghalat Ghalat To Chhupana Sahi Sahi” by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.  Of songs I am not currently obsessed with, let's say “Devil Got My Woman” by Skip James and “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” by the Beatles. 
What are your favorite Khalid Hanifi lyrics? Given that I wouldn't write them if I didn't kind of like them, this verse from “Whose Idea Was That?”:
Fill your mouth with careful words
Fill your sleep with tweety birds
Fill your soul with perfect turds
Whose idea was that?


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