Of the Interests in Interests

I’ve stepped off the wagon of blogging (or writing, in general) lately. I go through stages where I despise Americans’ constant need to document, publicize, and validate every activity of our daily lives, until it seems we truly don’t enjoy anything without the attention that might come from it, like a perpetual junior high. The main problem with giving up writing is that I really love writing. Sometimes I have a strong urge to write, with nothing particularly in mind, it’s just a natural desire to get everything out on the table, so I can look at it. Today I have the urge to take a look at my interests and where I’m at with them. It’s probably quite uninteresting to the world at large, but I really don’t feel that the large world is reading this, probably mostly my moms and sister and husband. In such cases, you’re likely somewhat interested or at least have the comfortability from being closely related to me to discard the task of reading something disinteresting that I’ve written. However, I do get asked often what in the world I do with all my free-time since I have no job, because I couldn’t possibly stay busy and productive without a bossman looming over my head and a prospective paycheck awaiting every two weeks. That part would be nice, but alas, at some point in one’s life, in order to find satisfaction in life, one must learn to work purely for the fulfillment of one’s goal tasks. That being said, I stay quite occupied, and, I hope, productive fulfilling the learning of my interests (not to mention one’s unwanted duties, such as cleaning the shower), which at times seems endless. This is, in part, due to my German ancestry, from the ones I know, they seems quite incapable of being useless. Thus, all useless talk aside, let’s take a look at this.

Music: Let’s start with one everyone knows I’m interested in. I have lately been playing a few concerts again with my three siblings. It has the taste of such sweet familiarity and a bond that I don’t have with any other activity. For a time a couple of months ago, I started getting into classical violin. It’s something I’ve always wanted to delve into, however, I didn’t find much time for it in recent years. I kind of set that aside with the busyness of moving and playing bluegrass again. I have a great, great desire to get ahold of a piano. Yes, a real one; it cannot be duplicated with modern technology. It is just very complicated to transport and we’re moving so often, I’d hate to find something I loved and then ruin it. It’s tossed around my top 3 list of wants. Someday. Artists I’m currently digging are Josh Garrels and Noah Gundersen.

Photography: I recently acquired a couple of old film cameras from my father-in-law, he was quite into photography back in college, so you can imagine how cool these cameras are. My main use for them to this point was our big trip last year to England and Ireland. There really could hardly be more beautiful scenery for 35mm, my brother and I thoroughly enjoyed filling up those rolls, just like the good old days. A couple of weeks ago I did a photo shoot of my really, quite ridiculously adorable niece, Cambria. I don’t get asked to do photo shoots very often, because, you know, I’m not a professional photographer, but for some reason my brother and his wife really like my style so I get to photograph their beautiful offspring. Sweet deal.

Fitness: Everyone and their mom talks about health, because it’s kind of a fad right now. People make lots of money off of it, but I have to work out whether it’s faddish or not, so it’s really quite nice to have so many options floating around. For the past year I have been doing circuit training 5-6 days a week. It’s really been the best way for me to become fit. It’s quick, difficult, and yields results. I tend to get really bored with the same thing all the time, and with long workouts, so I’m at a really happy place with it.

Painting: I haven’t done much painting this year. I had a major fail last fall and I became rather panicked about it, so then when I was asked to do a painting for a friend of mine I was quite determined to prove to myself I could still do it. Like all of my interests, I merely paint from instinct, so I do often think ‘Gosh, this could all be gone tomorrow’, but the painting turned out well, I think she’s quite pleased with it. So she says. It’s so hard to trust nice people.

Knitting and Sewing: These are two things I’ve always wanted to do and even moreso the past few years because my moms are really great at these two things. I want to continue such skills down the chain of generations because there’s nothing quite like making things with your hands and it’s pretty awesome when you can get taught the skills by your own family. Adam got me a great sewing machine for Christmas, (AH! the man has endless surprises up his sleeves) I was rather aghast at the amount of buttons… so I took it to my mom’s and she helped me get started. I’ve since made countless curtains for our new house and a new bowtie for Adam. It’s really not that scary. My mother-in-law taught me how to knit in an hour, right before we left for home during our holiday visit, thus I really only know a basic knitting stitch currently. However, I’ve got a good length of scarf going right now and it’s going to be done just in time for spring. Yeah.

Home-making: That word can sometimes make me cringe because it’s normally connected to misconceptions of ugly housewives who have tired faces and saggy bottoms and a distaste for the outside world, which I don’t particularly want attached to thoughts of me. I really got into home-making because it’s super interesting that you can home-make things. I mean, with most things you can throw together a few ingredients and BAM! you have laundry detergent or lotion or air-freshener. And how cool is it to get out of the shower and get to put on lotion that you made?! So after the cringe quickly follows a pride of being way cooler than everyone else. Except for the other people who also home-make things. I hope to have all homemade household supplies within the next year. I’m getting pretty close. Also, along the same note, I’m wanting to have a homemade pantry this year too. I got a lot closer to my goal this last week when I got a food processor. The thing is a magic box, and can hardly get turned on without everyone in the house dropping everything and running to watch the 5 seconds it takes for it to slice a potato. Yes, our house is the coolest house. I really love cooking, and this past year I have finally gotten to the point where I feel like I don’t have a need for recipes. Of course, for baked goods, you generally need recipes, but the creativity of being able to walk into a kitchen, take a quick assessment and then produce a good-tasting meal is a coveted position. I think if you would look deep-down, you’d find a desire for being such a cook. I think, in general, it’s really important to have a lot of logic (in life, but) especially in the kitchen. Recipes can get you into some real thick pudding and suddenly things explode, or you have quinoa cakes that are more like salty, sod crumblings and you have no idea what happened.

Literature: This year has been the year of Russian literature. I’ve only read two Russian books, but they were really big books, so it took me a while. I love reading foreign novels, mainly because they’re so much more interesting than straight history books but still give you a lot of background for foreign affairs and languages. These two novels were The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Good books. I would encourage the reading of both. I have read other things mingled in there, but these were the big guys.

French: I have studied the French language off and on since graduating high school. This past year, I decided to dig in deep. I have attempted to study it every day, because it is so difficult to keep it in your head if it’s not consistently around you, and I thoroughly enjoy the language. It’s the only other language I’ve studied so it’s a challenge, but really cool, at the same time. And as you know, I’m very concerned about the cool factor. Er something.

This concludes the main points of my current interests. If you made it to the bottom of this page, you’re really quite a gem.

Now, I’ve madeleines to put in the oven.