Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hobby selection...?

Well, I've done it again -- I've gotten to a spot in my life where I feel like I should take on another hobby. The question is: what should the new hobby be?

Current Activities

For reference, the following is a list of my my current hobbies/regular activities. In order to make it onto this list, I have to spend time engaging in the activity at least once a week.

So, what kinds of things do I spend most of my time doing?

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Exercising
  • Tabletop RPGing
  • Video gaming
  • Spending time/chatting with family and friends

Other nominal activities include:

  • Household stuff (dishes, laundry, cooking, groceries, etc.)
  • Working
  • Physical Therapy (yeah, my shoulder is still wonky)
I also program simple games from time to time, but I don't do that often enough to call it a hobby or even a nominal activity. When it happens, it happens. It's kind of like NaNoWriMo in that I'm probably going to do it once a year or so, but it's definitely not something I do regularly throughout the year.

Potential Activities

There are two main potential activities that have appealed to me lately: learning guitar, and learning to draw.


Oooo, look how fancy!
I've been enamored with the guitar for as long as I can remember actually liking music. Classical guitar especially, with artists like Andres Segovia and Karin Schaupp inspire me to be better at whatever I happen to be doing when I listen to them.

Beyond pure classical guitar, however, I find percussive guitar REALLY interesting. I always stop down when I stumble across someone playing it or find myself hearing it on a streaming music service. Rodrigo y Gabriela combine classical with some percussive techniques and are beyond fantastic. Recently, I've come across Petteri Sariola, who hammers, taps, and strums like a maniacal genius.

I've often thought of picking up the guitar semi-seriously over the years, so much so that I own both a classical acoustic and an electric guitar. The sad fact is that I don't know how to play either of them beyond tuning them. That is a travesty, a tragedy, a tryptophanic tradition that I should change.

Getting to where I could play at least a little something on the guitar seems like a great growth opportunity, even if I weren't looking to be able to play Eruption like Eddie Van Halen. 


Now, draw the rest of the f***ing penguin!
Then there's drawing. I currently own no less than three books on learning to draw. Seriously, I own at least electronic versions of:
I also have a fantastically cool book of Hokusai art that Tanya and I were exposed to while in London. On seeing it, I distinctly remember saying to myself "I'd like to be able to draw like that." Something about his style (and the way it changed over time) really appealed to me. I've got other art books as well, including a fantastic collection of M.C. Escher.

And anyone that knows me is already aware of my adoration of Bob Ross. At some point, I'll talk about the fact that I created a Bob Ross Lorem Ipsum site when the one I commonly went to was down for a week. It's been a source of joy for me, since I had to watch a bunch of Bob Ross episodes on youtube to get quotes for the site. 

Sorry, back to the point. One of the very few pieces of art I've had commissioned in my life is a mashup of Bob Ross and M.C. Escher, drawn by the immensely talented Denise Najera (local artist), and presented here because I didn't realize I hadn't posted about it earlier. 
Bob Ross With Reflecting Sphere

Beyond those, I'm a big fan of Critical Role, for lots of reasons. One of the newer shows on the network is PubDraw, which teaches you to draw (character basics, at least through the episodes I've watched). If I were looking for signs from the universe, this (along with my persistent inspiration in that direction) might be counted as one.


I've got a decision to make. Should I start spending time learning to play guitar, with an eye on percussive guitar at some point in the future? Or should I dedicate some time to drawing so that I can have a creative outlet with something as simple as a piece of paper and a pen/pencil?

Or both? There's no reason I couldn't try out both and see if one is more appealing to me. The only thing I would sacrifice is a little practice in each, but the truth is that I don't expect to "master" either of them, ever. I think it would be fun to be able to sketch silly little things and have people know what I was trying to draw, or play some chords and sound out some melodies on the guitar when the opportunity arises.

OR... other options? If you've got hobbies that you enjoy that I should investigate, definitely leave a comment (in whichever social medium is convenient for you). I look forward to hearing your feedback, and will let you know once I've chosen a direction!