Monday, April 11, 2005

Bred to A Harder Thing than Triumph

I've been thinking lately about getting a few hobbies. At the moment I have very few things with which to fill my free time. Not that I have much free time of course- barely am I free from the yoke of work when I have to knuckle down to my nightly six hours of TV watching and elbow-moisturising. It is hell trying to squeeze in enough time to eat dinner or go to the bathroom, and many's the time I have been forced to scoff dinner while watching telly and not paid enough attention to the plotlines of the soaps, resulting in my completely losing focus and coming to a week later with 'Why is she crying? Is he going out with her now? What do you mean he's her long-lost son?' Pure hell.

All the same, I feel I should line up a hobby or interest to cultivate if the telly were ever to break. I only have two hobbies on the go on the moment and they are reading and drinking. Reading is great because it means you can ignore people who try to talk to you on buses. And drinking is really really great, a fact I'm sure you're aware of. You can't put it as your hobby on your CV though. You have to put 'socialising'. Drinking is not supposed to be very good for your health but you can get around this by asking a few of your friends along and calling it 'socialising'. If you're being extremely pretentious, you can call it 'networking' or 'relationship building'. Other hobbies that look good on your CV are 'languages', 'theatre', 'fine art' and 'unpaid overtime'. Hobbies that do not look good on your CV are 'petty thievery', 'Dutch erotica' and 'cleaning fingernails with keys'. Those are best kept under your hat for a while.

The problem with my hobbies lies mainly in my inability to multi-task. When your schedule is as packed as mine you have to master the art of multitasking to get things done. Often, when I am making my bed in the morning I take the opportunity to rumple the sheets and roll around in it, just because I know I may not have time to mess it up properly the next night. See? Two jobs in one. Excellent work.

When you have two hobbies like me and are dedicated to both with equal ferocity, you often can't find enough hours in the day to devote to them. Often- stupidly, dangerously- you will try to do both at once with messy results. Most of my books are horribly stained from being dropped in pints and I cannot count how many times I have fallen asleep on the bus and missed my stop because of combining reading and drinking. Reading is, on the whole, a very dull occupation and when you have had a few drinks your mind needs extremely exciting pastimes to stimulate it, like dancing like a wild stupid person or getting into fights. Reading will just not do it and you end up falling asleep, drooling and snoring all over your book. Terribly messy.

Not that how I read sober is altogether tidy. I choose a book on the basis of it's cover, flying brazenly in the face of conventional wisdom, and on how ugly the author is. I don't trust attractive people. Then I read the first few pages, get bored, skip to the ending then skim the rest of the book for rude bits. Don't even get me started on the quality of erotica you find in your modern novels! There is better stuff being written on toilet walls. Occasionally I mark parts I like with ripped up post-its. If I have no post-its I turn down page-corners. I like to write my name on the book's endpiece also, if it's a library book. I am no fool though. I write my name in Elvish so it can't be traced. During college I went through a sad Tolkien obsession and learned how to write in runic, and one of the Elvish alphabets. Every book I borrowed from UCD library I inscribed with the Elvish letter for 'L'. If I was feeling particularly idle, I wrote my full name in runic also. Before you ask, no, I didn't do exceptionally well in college.


Voodoolady said...

I recommend aerobics. There really is nothing more fulfilling.

stephenesque said...

How about World Revolution. That seems like a respectable hobby, and by God we need one.

Linus said...

Art is pretty cool, in all seriousness. Or writing the great Irish novel. But moving to Antartica would make it easier, because you'd only have to write something to beat 'Great Penguins I Have Known'. Or snowboarding. I like snowboarding because it a: Sounds cool b: Can only be done infrequently c: Allows you to spend much time drinking in a tent in Mallow while claiming you were on the piste in Andorra.

Marie said...

What do you need a hobby for? Hobbies are for losers who are so boring they need a hobby so that have something to talk about. Look at me I don't have any hobbies and i'm so intresting I am amazed by my own stories at times.

Safiyyah said...

"I choose a book on the basis of it's cover, flying brazenly in the face of conventional wisdom, and on how ugly the author is."

Hahaha! Hilarious. If you don't trust attractive authors, does it also follow that you don't trust attractive book covers?!