Apr 142011
 


On the way to Ballens. The farm on the right has lovely band of 20 or more frolicking horses.

I was re-writing the About page the other day because Wild Dingo used to be a Web site that was for my consulting business and blog. I had to update the information because people still contact me about work.  And it brought up that question that everyone inevitably always asks: “What do you do?”

I cringe every time I hear it–like Hugh Grant’s character in the movie “About a Boy,” who doesn’t do anything for a living but live off the royalties of his father’s Christmas jingle.  Maybe it’s guilt. But then again, I’ve met quite a few women here in Switzerland who are exactly like me. They don’t have kids. Maybe they have a dog or two. They don’t have a job, but they do lots of stuff. And unlike Hugh’s character, I do lots of stuff too.


Close up of the same view.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of hobbies. I used to ride a bike enough hours in the week as if it were a part-time job. While I still ride, I pushed it aside in favor of new hobbies. The photos in this post are taken while riding my bike.  And photography is fast becoming a new hobby.  I’ve also taken up running again because of Juno.  The dogs are yet another hobby. I put in two years of training with both dogs and plan to do more. Loki is going stark raving mad not working and it’s high time we do something soon for him. At least one of us wants to work around here.

I’ve also started cooking–a lot. At least four to five times per week we have 3-course dinners and a bottle of wine. Usually the wine is a carefully chosen, tasted wine.  While Mr. Wild Dingo is not impressed with my career (non)ambitions, he’s been really happy coming home to nice dinners and a great bottle of wine every night. Hey, it’s the least I can do for dragging him kicking and screaming to Switzerland.

I’ve also taken up learning about vineyards and making wine. Does anyone see a trend here?


Coming home from my ride. Dennes, overlooking Chateau Vufflen. Lake Geneva and the Alps in the background.

A few other hobbies include ball room dancing (I even competed a little bit about 87 years ago),  yoga (I still practice), jewelry design and domain name collection. Yes, you read that right. It’s very sad. I have a sickness. I buy domain names and never use them. I have more domain names than I do shoes. It’s Gen-X’s version of baseball card collecting.  I own various versions of “SibeVibe” and “Formosan Dog” domain names as well as several yoga-themed URLs such as “Living Asana.”

I mainly buy them because I think they’re great names and would sell easily.  But I never get around to actually selling them. I have a few that I plan to keep for sentimental reasons. But I think it’s time I sell some, such as the dog domain names, some of the yoga names and ” theburnersystem.com.” The Burner System was yet another hobby–a single girl’s hobby–that I had well-before I met Mr. Wild Dingo. I bought the domain name because a few of my girlfriends had the hobby too and tried to persuade me to write a book about it. That never happened, so it should go.

 


Closer view of the Chateau, the lake, and the snow-covered mountains. Yes it really is this green and blue here.

The only thing worse than the domain names I collect are the hobbies that I collect. They are so numerous, that I wondered if being a professional hobbyist was my new career path.  Just how much do professional hobbyist make? As I was hatching my new career plan and trying to figure out how to break it to Mr. Wild Dingo, I snapped up the domain name theprofessionalhobbyist.com. I told you it was a sickness.

Then I Googled “professional hobbyist,” hoping to find someone who did this for a living.  I didn’t get much: a facebook page, a Wikipedia page on “hobby” and a link to Ghost Hunting as a hobby-turned-profession. Hm. Ghost hunting. Now that sounds like fun…

It’s a vicious circle, my life.

  15 Responses to “The Professional Hobbyist”

  1. $4.00 US

    Hobby-ist yearly salary! :)

    Have you thought about writing a book? I’d buy one!!

  2. You are living the life…. the one I would love to be living as well. And I do ever so well remember the burner system – having my own little story I intend to write about someday.

  3. Ah, yeah, we should all have it so rough! :P

  4. I want to come live with you and eat 3 course dinners with paired wines. mmmm :)

  5. Have you considered opening a bed and breakfast? BOL – we would be your first guests.

    Photography seems to be going quite well – those photos are amazing!!!

  6. If not a bed and breakfast, how about a hike/bike/photograph/dinner/wine and bed… I’m in. Oh and maybe some chatting and laughter… Here’s to enjoying the time we have!!

  7. How about a bed and breakfast that offers bike tours of the area? It could have a little flock of sheep for Loki to tend. Oooh, sheep….and wool….and fiber…knitting/weaving…more hobbies!

  8. Boy, mama gets sidetracked for a couple of weeks and the world changes! Love your blog’s new look! Both the design and the content changes suggest not only Juno & Loki, but also your mom, have really and truly gotten your grooves on. You are in the Zone.

    Unless there is actually someone out there who bet on Day 179 for the Danskos, you may as well declare the House the winner and end the contest. Then your mom will get careless with the Danskos and Juno will FINALLY get her chompers into them.

    It is wonderful to read and see how much better Juno is doing. We’re so happy for you. And Loki, we’re impressed with your foreign language skills in learning to Woo. Bet your Woo-accent is better than your pawrents French accents are, too.

    Jed & Abby

  9. Another new hobby for the folks at Wild Dingo

    latimes.com
    Cocktail: Loki at Villains Tavern

    downtown L.A. has introduced its new spring cocktail menu featuring fresh options for sunny days. A standout tipple is the lovely Loki created by mixologist Dave Whitton. Cold vodka infused with earthy green tea is tempered with silky-sweet honey peach syrup, tart lemon and a hint of fragrant sage to create a light and refreshing drink that is best consumed after a day spent in the open air. Lucky for you, Villains has one of the most comfortable outdoor patios in L.A., so stopping for a drink doesn’t mean going indoors.

    Loki by Dave Whitton

    2 ounces Haute vodka infused with green tea*

    4 pieces of sage

    3/4 ounce honey peach syrup**

    3/4 ounce lemon juice

    Pour ingredients over shaved ice and top with club soda. Garnish with sage, a peach bramble and 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.

    *Green-tea-infused vodka: Put vodka in a jar that can be tightly sealed. Add Bigelow green tea and let sit for five hours in a cold dark area.

    **Honey peach syrup: Bring one part honey and one part freshly juiced peach to a boil, simmer for half an hour and then refrigerate for at least four hours to set.

    Remy and Flash

  10. I have the same trouble with the “What do you do?” question. In my case, I can say that I have spinal surgeries at least once a year… which rapidly halts the conversation.

    It’s a very odd turn of events in my life because I used to have a very high powered career that everyone wanted to talk with me about. Now, I cringe when the question is asked. What can I say?

    Professional Hobbyist… Hmm. Maybe I’ll start buying domain names. Do you have any for sale?

  11. I don’t “do” anything either. I used to have aspirations, but as time goes by, I’m quite happy to be “between jobs” for years at a stretch. I dabble in this & that, take classes, pretend I would be happy with a full time job…. but truthfully, well, except for the “not having any money to speak of” part, the rest of not having a job ain’t bad at all. Of course, I keep shipping out those job apps & resumes….

  12. So you will be the first. There is so much to do in life anyway. I bet you are super duper busy. Hey, you know what? Momma hates that “what do you do” question too. So you aren’t alone. What she DOES is go to the work place and earn kibbles money. Who she IS is another matter entirely. Maybe the humans should just modify that question to “what do you like to do?” and everybody would be happier?

    Slobbers,
    Mango

    P.S. We are doing NOTHING today except spending time with mom. Damn the housework!

  13. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you’re doing. Especially if you’re feeling better and your sleep is improving. Your health is the most important thing. Having been plagues with health problems myself I can understand how it affects work life. I work part time due to my health. No one understands why someone my age works part time at a gas station . . . :( It’s uncomfortable and depressing. I basically just tell them I have health limitations and that it’s private. It works well. Good luck on your professional hobbyist career. :D I like the ideas above about a bed and breakfast or a book. ;)

  14. I think being a professional hobbyist sounds just fine. Of course, I am also the one who quit a job where I made good money only to go back to school where I feel ages older than everyone else!

  15. hi dear,
    hope all is ok as i see you having very good live,hope you have a s-bed for me so i can speand all my time with you, you really knows how to have a very good time and the the countary you chosen its the best place as per u.n. a very good luck to you always.however you are invited to bahrain at any time you would like to came i will be there Cheers Moosa look for youre replay

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