Tim Wu's recent New York Times article, "In Praise of Mediocrity," kinda' hit home for me. In it, he praises the practice of having a hobby, of doing something for the joy of it. I can appreciate that.
I may have a list of things on my profiles that describe the different things I do "Teacher, Musician, Photographer, etc...," but am I really good at any of them? Not really. And do I make money from any of them but being a teacher? Nope. Do I do any of them to the degree that people seek em out to hire me to do them? Nope.
[T]here’s a deeper reason, I’ve come to think, that so many people don’t have hobbies: We’re afraid of being bad at them. Or rather, we are intimidated by the expectation — itself a hallmark of our intensely public, performative age — that we must actually be skilled at what we do in our free time. Our “hobbies,” if that’s even the word for them anymore, have become too serious, too demanding, too much an occasion to become anxious about whether you are really the person you claim to be.
I've experienced this before. Many people seem to expect me to be a super-professional of sorts with my music and photography. They ask when I'm going to put together a gallery show, finish my album, or start a band.
And, to a point, that makes sense. I should get a band going and I'm sure I'd find joy in it; I should learn how to do all the darkroom stuff in order to justify all my darkroom equipment; I've written a bunch of songs, so I should release them to the public. And I feel that sort of pressure... to publicize my skills in a way that I can gain acknowledgement and deserve the titles I put on my business card, or in the right column of this website, or on all of my social media profiles.
However, I don't seem to have that drive. I've tried making the music more professional before, but I keep putting it off and I'm kinda' ok with it. The older I get, the less I feel like I need to share my emotions with people; my drive to share my music in a professional context has faded with that. I've been enjoying making photographs as of late, but I'm not out there hiring models in order to show off my skills. I'm quite happy to keep my photos "in-house." The article mentions running. I like running, enough that I push myself to run kinda' far now and then, but I'm not "in training." Lately I've been going down to the weight room and trying to stay fit, but I'm not really bodybuilding.
In all these things, I'm a hobbyist. I don't do any of them with a passion that creates cash for myself, and cash is the only real currency of capitalism. I don't have much desire to mix Capitalism with my hobbies. So I keep them with myself.
It makes me wonder how I'd even jump on anything if I had the chance. How would I jump on a bona fide music career? Or photography gig? I have no idea. And with the need to pay for child support, lawyers, and all that separation-related stuff, I can't really abandon my job these days.
So I'll keep up with my hobbying and maybe I can bring in a few bucks as some hobbyist side hustle.
And I'll take more pride in keeping "Musician" and "Photographer" in my profiles, even if they are just a hobby, and even if Capital doesn't recognize my accomplishments.
Matthew Hawkins at Around Chilliwack featured some of my photographs and a few written interview answers. I feel truly honoured that he approached me at all.
Summer's over. It felt kinda' long, since so many things happened that... well... took a long time. Two visits from the kids, my car that broke down and needed to be replaced, the fact that I didn't find a summer job to fill in time or money, the stifling wildfire smoke—this summer felt long. But tomorrow I head back to the school and all this summer stuff is all done.
Back to work—I don't feel ready at all, but the bell schedule doesn't wait. I hope I can sorta' hit the ground running.
I hoped to play lots of music this summer and set myself up with more gigs to fill in for how I didn't find a more typical job, so I didn't get out much. I didn't get any songs written. I read a few books. I went to the gym. If there's any way to reflect on the summer, it's through pictures.
Here are my best photos from the summer of 2018:
I picked up this Konica T3 from a thrift shop. It had markings inside that said it was once owned by Brian Minter.
I like it a lot, but I feel like it will take a while to master it. The indoors shots I took with the camera seemed to work best, for now. It's also the only SLR I have that has a wide angle-ish lens, which might explain why the indoor shots worked so well. I need to learn to fight the greys for the outdoor ones..
I picked up the Canon AE-1 from a guy on a Facebook group. It's a solid little camera with a working light meter. I love the photos it takes, but can't seem to quite hold the camera level most of the time. I need to figure out what's going on there.
A few months ago, I got a Konica S2. I love this thing. Its photos seem astoundingly crisp and it seems to capture light in a unique, earthy way.
Here are some of the photos I took with it the first time around, using some trusty Kodak Gold 200 from Wal-mart.
YouTube: ephemeral ideas
Amazon | DailyMotion
DeviantArt | Duolingo | Flickr | FVRL | Kik
LinkedIn | MeetUp | MySpace
Playstation | Reddit | Snapchat
Spotify | The Internet Archive
Tinder | Vimeo | VK | WattPad