KARATE – I believe I spent over 16 years at the Livermore Kenpo Karate School. Things moved quickly up until brown belt. Then things … sort of slowed down. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it as much, or that it was too much harder. I just hadn’t the right amount of time to dedicate to practicing. It is good to have goals and move up in levels, yet I still think it’s just as beneficial to just make sure time was put in each week. I think the constant workouts over the years have also helped me remain thin and healthy. Plus the stretching comes in really handy for dancing. As time marched on, I sensed the shift in the studio, and that it would not be around much longer. It was do or die time. Well, not die, but all the years of work would have not culminated in a black belt. I practiced daily at that point. And within a year, I had earned the final victory in 2011, after an exhaustive and swelteringly hot black belt test.
READING – About 14 years ago, I took up reading again. Er, well, I started reading anyway. I think it was mainly to have a hobby during long BART rides. Everyone should find time to read. I’ve gone through a number of modern books in the past few years, but now I’m mainly into the classics. See the reading reviews page for details.
SURFING – Alright, I haven’t actually been out to the ocean in many years now. But I do still have the wetsuits, booties and surfboards. I really would like to return to the ocean and catch the big one once again, but working has hindered that plan. Surfing really is quite an invigorating sport. It does take a huge amount of strength and stamina to last out there against the powerful force of the ocean. I guess in a way, it’s not unlike riding a bucking bronco, except you get really wet. Really, I think I’ll just stick to snowboarding from now on. There’s much less danger from sharks.
ART – I started drawing as far back as I can remember. I did about everything from comic strips to finger-painting. Computer art really was a bonus to me when it started growing. For now, I didn’t have to buy expensive materials like air brushes and fancy pens. Now, I just have to buy expensive software and fancy CPU’s. Anyhow, computer art allowed me to use my art background and get into web design. That’s been a big plus for me. I can now get paid to do something I enjoy.
PIANO & GUITAR – After realizing that I was starting to become proficient in the art of being a jack of all trades and mastering none, I simply decided to forgo the guitar and use that time to practice piano. Yes, the dreams of starring in my own rock band are slowly fading, but the dreams of starring in my own piano concert are growing.
THE STOCK MARKET – Before playing the market very long back in 1998, I managed to lose quite a bit of money. Then I gained a bunch of money. Then I lost if again. So I feel like I’m really part of the gang now. Actually, I haven’t lost too much and hopefully by the time you’re reading this, I’ll have made some money. I avoided the market for years, but after one small investment ($1,000, if that can be considered small), I was pretty much hooked on it. I guess it’s similar to gambling though I just can’t seem to get anyone to come around and serve me free drinks. Who’s to blame on that one?
SNOWBOARDING – Yeah, I’m into that now. I will probably never go back to skiing, which isn’t a huge loss cause I was always poor at it (and I had tried all of three times). Finding a new passion, I got myself a board, boots, and bindings. Best thing is I don’t have to keep climbing up the mountain to retrieve lost skiis. I merely just roll a few times and continue boarding.
FRENCH – If it’s French, I enjoy it (food being a noteworthy exception–not all just some). I keep French subtitles going whenever possible or dubbing. Never both though. It’s impossible to learn wehn having to translate text and speech at the same time, especially when they’re not the same.
THEATRE – This should be obvious. Most of it is volunteer.
DINNER THEATRE – This part is NOT volunteer. Those shows occur a few times a month and bring in a nice paycheck–for beer money at least. GibsonHouse has been a great outlet for over 12 years now.
REAL ESTATE – I don’t own entire developments, but it’s a mild hobby for me to invest. And over time, it works pretty darn well.