Since I love trying new things, I found myself hobby-licious, defined as having too many hobbies. Don’t bother to look it up in the dictionary. The word doesn’t exist. But don’t tell my niece when we’re playing scrabble.

Anyway, I had a cross-stitching phase. I still do it when I find the time and a pattern I can’t resist. It made me richer when I had no job and even got me connected to teaching small kids in school. There’s something relaxing about the connection of needle and thread to Aida cloth that allows you to probe the depth of your being without having to think real hard. My mind just wanders into the different areas of my life when I’m stitching. It also allows me to be still and examine myself without commitment. It’s a mindless task that’s best done after a day’s cerebral work. Sad to say, I never had a pattern made that I kept to myself. There’s joy in giving away a year’s work of stitching. Ah, except for one, of a wooden cross wrapped with a red cloth. That one I gave to my Mom for her birthday. When she died, I had it transferred to my room. It now hangs over my bed. I sign my work MD. This art requires precision and a surgeon’s steady hand.

The second phase was portrait-drawing. I made one that I find close enough to the real person and soon after, I was researching about perspectives and materials in the internet. And I bought different kinds of pencils, drawing paper and erasers and got my hands dirty and nobody could talk to me. This one requires time … and inspiration. Because you just can’t draw if you don’t feel like it. But it does require a lot in an artist. A lot of observation, patience, angles and an eye for detail. It’s a passion that takes you by the hand and you instantly forget everything. My drawing phase. And I sign my work DMS, in chinese. Hehehe. Not very original, I know.

Next was the HTML phase and the computer geek re-surfaced. It all started with a very innocent Website Design training. And it sent me into a phase where image-editing, tags and other programming tools nurtured me like I was starving for years. My butt became a permanent imprint in front of the computer. Sometimes, I find myself having the need to kneel, and not in a prayerful way, to relieve butt-soreness. It did not end on HTML however, but went on to Access, Excel, Visual Basic and now, the ever mysterious Borland C++. I have put it to good use too, in my work. But it gave me little patience with computer babes who insist that F4 is found in Taiwan but not on the keyboard. It also started the craving to have a laptop at home. It made me more logical in almost all my decisions. “Can I take you out for a movie?”; “That depends, which movie? length? good?” Of course, art also is required here. But sometimes I sacrifice art for a faster ‘.exe’. During this phase, I had no name at all. I lost it somewhere in the bytes and pixels of the hard drive.

Next phase, the writer phase. Well, it’s not exactly a phase since I’ve been writing since I was ten. But this was the first time I actually took it seriously. And started reading books and developing my own ideas of a romantic love story. But I discovered soon enough that it was not that easy. And the writing will maul you at any time, any place, even when you are not ready for it. So I made it a habit to carry a notebook, just in case something comes into mind and I can’t find a piece of napkin or a receipt to write down an enthused thought. I only read novels for fun, but went on to re-read them to examine styles and character development and twisting of plots. I even went to a high school textbook phases and I did every exercise on that book. Some of them, you find in this blog. But who cares, it’s a great way to express yourself and the best way to discover things about yourself that were not meant to be critiqued, but just to be accepted and appreciated for its oddness. That’s when ilongga70 was born. And so was this blog.

My next and hopefully my last phase is photography. Writer friend sent me an Olympus OM10 SLR camera with 50mm lens. Don’t worry, when I first got it, I didn’t know what SLR means or how important a 50mm lens is. Before that, I bought myself a Canon never-mind-the-model-because-its-old camera. I don’t like taking pictures much. It’s an uncomfortable job that requires you to be shameless. And I still haven’t grown enough face skin to be that self-assured. So I’d rather take my pictures when no one is looking. But I soon realized there’s no room for timidity in this business. It’s an imperfection that I have yet to overcome. But I do like the hmmmm and ahhhh, I get when people see my photos. Of course, I make a lot of duds too. Still photography does interest me to the point of excitement. So here I am with an old classy camera, trying to understand apertures, depth of field, manual adapters, lenses and exposures. It looks like a complicated toy and an expensive one. Very fancy professional stuff. But that hasn’t stopped me before. No name for this one yet.

I still do a little of everything because I’ve learned to like all of them. Add all these to dancing, choir-singing, leading a ministry, TV, movies, taebo and badminton, how can I find the time? I’m too hobby-licious.

I should start calling myself Jackof all trades, master of none. I like trying everything out. I might like it. I might not. But what can I do? It's discovering the unknown that makes life interesting. And one is never too old to learn.

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