IMG_0111I’ve always had a habit of getting obsessed with stuff (case in point: fishing) but in the past few years I’ve developed a new habit: Acquiring hobbies.
It used to be music and only music, 24/7.
When I first moved to Chicago and lived in a 347 square foot studio apartment, I’d barely cooked anything in my life. Now that I was living alone, I started to cook many meals. The cooking became an end in itself; it wasn’t just about feeding myself, it was about the enjoyment of preparing my own food. (Hobbies: music, cooking)
Once I got a “real” job (read: “day job”) at Columbia College Chicago, my financial situation was secure and my free time was, for the first time, mine. I didn’t have to spend every waking minute honing my craft or pounding the pavement for gigs.
That’s when I started fishing a lot. (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing)
My obsession with fishing lead to my desire to create my own lures. After stumbling across this post (by my then-soon-to-be buddy-and-coworker Sam Bennett) I started carving wooden crankbaits. There was no reason I thought I’d be successful; I didn’t know the names of any tools, I had never used any before, and certainly couldn’t build things.
But I started doing it with a knife and some wood, and quickly discovered even my primitive unsanded creations covered in nail polish would catch fish. (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making)

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a recent creation

Once my good friend Rob introduced me to fly fishing, it was a logical next step to tie flies. As I discovered with crankbaits, even poorly-tied flies catch fish. (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making, fly tying)
Although I began by defrosting frozen pizzas and heating up packaged meals, over the years my cooking has steadily leaned to the “from scratch” direction. Recently that has included bread baking and home fermenting (for sauerkraut, among other things). I started my own sourdough starter, which is sort of both baking and fermenting stuff. (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making, fly tying, baking, fermenting stuff)
In the past few years my interest in computers and technology has grown exponentially; I used to teach music technology at a college, now I do tech support. Last year I learned to code, and have since created a variety of my own scripts/applications, such as a fishing log webapp. (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making, fly tying, baking, fermenting stuff, coding)
Recently I started homebrewing, another one of those things that seemed “too challenging for me and my limited skillset” until I started doing it. I currently have a belgian IPA, a black IPA, and an American pale ale fermenting in the back of the office here; downstairs is the Everyday IPA bottle conditioning. I can’t wait to see how they turn out! (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making, fly tying, baking, fermenting stuff, coding, homebrewing)
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A natural offshoot from carving fishing lures is carving other stuff. Over the past few months I’ve carved a few spoons, built a primitive shelf, and most recently started carving fish. Not fish to catch fish, just fish to look at. My skills are limited, but I do believe these hunks of carved wood are indeed recognizable as fish! (Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making, fly tying, baking, fermenting stuff, coding, homebrewing, woodworking)
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If I lived in a different climate, perhaps one where I could fish 365 days a year without too much trouble (or ice) I would stick with music, cooking, and fishing… But alas, I live in Michigan. It’s not always practical to go fishing, and I don’t always want to make music or need to cook, so I have a long list of hobbies.
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I’m sure Claire would appreciate if I add “cleaning bathrooms” and “immaculate kitchen cleanliness” as hobbies, but so far I haven’t been able to get into those things.
(Hobbies: music, cooking, fishing, lure making, fly tying, baking, fermenting stuff, coding, homebrewing, woodworking, collecting hobbies)


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