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What are your hobbies?

I’m sure there’s a better definition, but I consider a hobby something you enjoy doing when you’re not at work and something you can enjoy by yourself. A hobby is also something you want to do, not something you have to do or obligated to do. Of course, if you really get your kicks out of washing the dishes, then so be it. Nonetheless, I think it’s very important to have hobbies, preferably more than one. I’m guessing if someone asked you what your hobbies are, you’d ramble off maybe one or two things – the big things – but I’m guessing you probably have more hobbies than you think. This year, I hope to pick up a few new little hobbies and continue to work on hobbies I’ve left behind or just don’t do much anymore.

I play video games a lot, and sure, that’s a hobby but I’m not including that because it’s too easy and frankly, sometimes just feels like a bodily function – it just happens. Computers are also no longer a hobby. They were at one point in my life, but since then I’ve turned computers into my job and thus it is disqualified from being a hobby. A hobby cannot be the same thing as you job, it’s just not possible. It throws off the balance and purpose of a hobby.

A new spin for old cars

One hobby I’ve pursued for several years now is collecting Hot Wheels. This is all fine and dandy but is relegated to pretty much just buying something off the shelf. Overall, a pretty mundane event. I took it a step further a bit last year as I started to build up a derby track for racing Hot Wheels. Not only is the track and racing something I really want to push through this year (once the weather improves), I’ve started to dive more into customizing Hot Wheels. Sound dumb? Sure, but think of as just building a model like you did when you were a kid, just much, much smaller.

I’ve taken to painting the cars, and this time it’s way beyond just slapping on a coat of paint as I did when I was a kid. No, this time it’s all about taking the car apart, stripping off the factory paint, grinding, sanding, repainting, and so on until you get a new car. As is the trend for my new short list of hobbies, it’s all manual work. Even if the result is rather unexciting, the act of taking the cars apart with tools, painting, etc. is a lot of fun – and a lot cheaper than dealing with real cars. Believe me, a single can of paint goes a long way when your car is smaller than a dollar bill. My first two tries at customizing turned out pretty well. One was inspired from the “Ricky Bobby” movie, and the other from one of my TV favorites, the A-Team. The nice thing about this hobby is it’s relatively quick. You can dismantle, strip, and paint a car in an afternoon, so it’s the perfect weekend project when you’re bored of everything else, and you can back to it between chores.


I’ve discovered Perler beads

Another totally new hobby I’m dipping my toes into is Perler beads. You know, those little round pieces of plastic you put on a grid and then iron over to make them stick together. I didn’t know they had a name either, so don’t feel bad. Lucky, Jenny “got paid to do Perler beads for eight years,” so she was an old pro and got me a huge bucket for Christmas. Perler beads are wonderful, easy, and cheap. I stumbled across a site recently where people share their video game inspired Perler bead projects, or bead sprites. Being the consummate 8-bit gamer that I am, I had to try it. The Perler beads are perfect pixel replacements and the 8- and 16-bit graphics mean you’ll only be dealing with a few colors. The few examples I found had me sold and I quickly made my first bead sprite – Mega Man! I can see Perler beads being a small addiction that will yield many coasters and magnets. But hey, at least they’re cheap.

I think I pledge every year to do a painting, but this year I found some obscure motivation. I was watching the The Black Hole recently and noticed a painting in the background I had never noticed before. It’s a sci-fi painting of the spaceship from the film. The prop is no doubt a production drawing but it looked great as a painting and it was enough to plan to get out my paints again. I also think I’m going to dabble in origami. Paper folding is always fun and I’m dying to relearn how to make the little frog I was able to make blindfolded in 3rd grade.

Mega ManThe Black Hole

In an age where most entertainment and hobbies put in front of the TV or the computer, it’s great to be able to do things that are “low-fi” that can really entertain you. Not to mention, you can see some sort of result when you’re done. Video games are great but in the end you just have bragging rights. With any luck and persistence, these few new hobbies will result in something I can hold, touch, and show off with a smile. I also am looking forward to the fact that these hobbies are very light weight and don’t require a great amount of investment, either in time or money.


  1. Big G Big G January 8, 2009

    Ahh, yes. Hobbies. I can never afford my hobbies. I’m really quite envious that you’ve found some cheap ones.

    Mine include (or I’d like them to include):
    Ham Radio
    Woodburning (yes, it’s a hobby, and a lifestyle!)
    4×4’s and off-roading

    Yeah… it’s a problem. Too bad work takes up so much time, right?


  2. Jen Jen January 8, 2009

    Hobbies…hmmm…sometimes I feel like I really lack these. Does reading count? I love to read and I always have to be reading a book.

  3. Renee Renee January 9, 2009

    Ha, as you know, I’m a hobby collector. I’m trying to not let them get out of hand, but I really love learning how to do new things.

    My list:
    cross stitch
    random nerdy arts and crafts

    And I think blogging should be considered a hobby. It sure takes up a lot of time, and we obviously do it because we enjoy it on some level :)

  4. Jen Jen January 10, 2009

    I really want to learn to knit or crochet. I tried to knit a few years ago but couldn’t grasp it.

  5. JuanO JuanO January 10, 2009

    I really lose track of time when I am fiddling with my website, blogging too.
    Gaming, cooking, yard work (believe it or not), drawing (I just picked up recently), knitting (thanks to Domestic Scientist! :) )… what else… hmm… computers… photography… that’s pretty much it – unless World of Warcraft is seperate from gaming… ;)

  6. Brian Brian Post author | January 10, 2009

    Dude, I think WOW might be separate from gaming because from what I hear, that can take up a ton of time. I think it’s beyond gaming – unless you’re just a casual player. But I’m not sure there is a such thing as a casual WOW player.

    Just don’t let Jen get a hold of WOW. I fear she’ll really get in to it and we’ll go poor.

  7. JuanO JuanO January 11, 2009

    I consider myself to be a casual WoW gamer – sometimes. I mostly play to keep in touch with my brother on the west coast.

    Last year, when I started playing, my wife spent lots of time alone; it can be VERY addicting. It never really got bad and I actually got bored with it after a few months, that is until my brother started playing too. Now, I only play about once a week – sometimes less.

    You can set up a timer so that Jen can only play during certain times of the day/week. I believe it’s under parental controls… just in case. ;P

  8. Jen Jen January 11, 2009

    You know what, Juan? I really would need that timer. :) I won’t go near WOW because I think I’d play it all the time. It seems totally addictive. Maybe I could get someone to pay me to play?

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