Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What Next?

Here's the thing about me: I am difficult to please and difficult to keep entertained.

Translation: I've (almost) graduated and am now (easily) bored.

So, I'm trying to devote some of my newfound energy into developing a "hobby." I realized yesterday that for the last, oh, I don't know, 20 years, my hobby has been school. I've worried about, thought about and lived off of doing well in school. I've written papers, read books, yelled at the computer for freezing mid-term paper in high school. It's a scary thought to realize that now I don't have school.

Now, I'm not talking about going back to school for a Ph.D. or a second master's (at least not yet), but I do have to seriously sit and think about what I want to do with my spare time (no quotes, because it's actually spare).

I have my interests. I do enjoy photography, writing short stories, cooking, baking, spending time with friends and family. But for the last four months, anyway, my main mode of in-house entertainment when I wasn't actively engaged working on homework, was American Idol. And American Idol ends tonight. Ha! What will I do then?

For the last several years, I've thought on and off about figuring out how to build a Black and White photo lab in my house. I started to think more seriously about it over the weekend. I even investigated what I would need to buy, where I could buy it and how much it would cost. The answers, in order: A whole lot of stuff, including dangerous chemicals, mostly online but possibly in Berkeley, and A LOT. As I considered forking over six hundred, if not a thousand, dollars, I remembered the piano lessons fiasco of 1991.

My whole life, well, up to age 11, anyway, whenever we went to my grandma's house, I'd play the piano. I'd bang out chopsticks or the opening bars of "Edelweiss," sing loudly at the top of my lungs and otherwise entertain (annoy) my relatives. For Christmas in 1991, my grandmother finally decided to do something about my piano skills and offered me piano lessons as a gift. I was SO excited. Finally, I would be able to do more than fiddle around on the piano...I would ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING.

Since I didn't want to be at my grandma's every day to practice, my parents rented a piano from the local music store. I was told that I would need to practice for fifteen minutes a day. FIFTEEN MINUTES. That's nothing, right? I started lessons. The teacher was mean. I persisted and knew that I could get better. I was going to play a real song, all the way through. I was going to compose my own music. I was going to play in Carnegie Hall! I would be the best pianist ever to have come out of Northern California!

And then, I didn't practice.

I complained about the teacher.

I preferred NOT knowing what I was doing and just wanted to make noise on the piano keys.

Ask me how long this whole thing lasted.

Six months.


Ask me how long it's been since I fooled around on a piano.


Now tell me it would be a good idea to invest in a photo lab.

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