Friday, September 4, 2009

The Passions

Woohoo, already on post #2 of the year! That is one more blog post than I made in 2008!

The present blog subtitle mentions passions. Here are a few (at least those I am currently willing to share in a somewhat public space) of my current hobbies and where I hope to go with them:

Family: My 2 (soon to be 3) children live 2000 miles away. While I visit them each month, my primary goal is to move closer to them so I can be with them more often while still supporting them as I do now. Which means I need to work on my professional skills so I can move to a studio nearby. I get to talk to them everyday on the phone and, when time permits, webcam with them so that I can read the draw for them (this will be a future post), etc.

ART
Animation: I love animation and work at an amazing company which allows me to continue my studies and learn from some of the best animators in the world. I will continue to do this until it is time for me to move on and take those animation jobs that get me the skills need to be hired near my family. This blog contains updates of my animation here to track my progress!
video

Photography: I have always loved photography (and videography) and have taken +20,000 photos of family, friends, and places. As I improve my skills and try new techniques (like the bokeh above) this is where they will be posted!

Videos: Since before I had kids I have recorded and edited videos to document my families lives. While photos are great, videos are a great way to reminisce and laugh at all the fun times together. I have created multiple DVDs and music montage videos of my kids and will continue to do so. I don't have one for this post, but they will be uploaded in future posts so check out the "labels" section to find all the "My Videos" posts!


MUSIC
Piano:
I only get the opportunity to practice when I visit my parents house, and that is when I am visiting my children. As such I rarely have time to play. I would like to get back into it when time permits, especially since Raeleigh has music she likes to hear which I could easily learn.

Guitar: Since I no longer am able to play piano daily (pianos aren't very portable) I have picked up the acoustic guitar (primarily finger-picking). The songs are pretty rudimentary but I am having fun tabbing my favorite themes and learning new arrangements. As I improve and I will upload videos!


BOOKS: One of the nice things about my commute was it forced me to find ways to be productive while sitting in the car. The best solution I came up with was to listen to audio books. I "read" numerous books in this fashion and loved it. The unintentional side effect of moving closer to work and removing the commute was I no longer had a set time each day to listen books. While I had more free time without the 90 minute round-trip daily drive, I would spend that free time focusing on one of the other items on this list. As much, my books-read-per-month number dropped significantly. That changes now! I will update this blog with my current reading list and my future reading plans! Problem solved!


HEALTH
Weight:
A decade ago I was underweight and couldn't gain weight no matter much I ate. 2 years ago I was overweight and lazy. Through hard work and dedication I was able to lose 40 pounds and get back into decent shape. Now I want to really work on being fit and being able to get the most out of life. Beyond running in the mornings I am working out at a local gym and really focusing on toning what muscle I have. When I recently re-started running I could barely run a mile without stopping, and 1 month later I am running a 10k (6.25 miles) in just over an hour. You are only "this" young once (be it 20, 30, 40, 50+) so might as well enjoy it in the best shape you can be! Never again will I be out of shape enough to be gasping after one lap around the block.

Food: Living the bachelor life, I long to cook more advanced meals than "dump can in bowl then microwave". I have discovered a great local grocery store with a delicious variety of international ingredients and in tandem with my weight goal above will be learning new diet techniques for a healthy life style. No longer will "tuna + easymac" be my fanciest dish!


Entertainment/Wasted Time: I love movies. I enjoy TV shows. I play video games. But it got to a point where the combination of these activities interfered with all the above areas of life and in the end am I better for it? Did the games I play, as entertaining and animation-inspirational as they were, make me a better person in the end? While I won't give up any of them completely (all work and no play make Jay a dull boy), I am managing the amount of time I spend on any one of these so that they do not interfere with the above goals. The first step to this goal was selling my game system and TV 6 months ago. And surprisingly, life has gone on. In fact, I suddenly have more time than I thought possible to work on my own projects. I will likely pick up a TV series on DVD in the future and watch an episode a night on my own time, and I won't own a game system until I have met my other goals above. I still spend too much time on the internet,working at an internet school and blogging online make it impossible to cut that off entirely, but it is another goal I am working on. Enjoy life, but don't let life's smallest enjoyments take prevent you from having a life otherwise.


And that's all for now. While I definitely have other hobbies these are the primary areas I wish to track my progress on this blog. So let' do it Jay!

Note to self: work on being more concise in your posts, mmmkay?

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