We have an expensive hobby – wine. We have spent a lot of money on fine wines, sometimes bringing back a bottle as a souvenir from a trip. But so far, we haven’t invested in any expensive wine glasses. We have a pretty set of balloon glasses we got a s a gift, and we have a few white wine glasses we picked up at Crate & Barrel. We also have a couple random souvenir glasses we got at wineries. As we were registering for wedding gifts, I wanted to register for cut crystal glasses, and Him wanted to register for the plainer-looking varietal-specific glasses, like those made by Riedel. I was adamant that the varietal-specific glasses were a marketing ploy designed only to sell more glasses to pretentious oenophiles. Then recently, I was forced to change my opinion.
Riedel offers a traveling tasting class where you can taste four varietals in six different glasses: 4 different varietal-specific Riedel glasses, a cheap bistro glass, and a plastic cup. They offer this class all around the world, and for $75 you get the wine tasting plus four Riedel glasses. We decided to take the challenge and signed up.
The class was amazing, and totally changed my opinion about the varietal-specific glasses! The glasses are designed to allow a specific amount of exposure to air, and the shape of the rim directs the wine onto a specific part of your tongue, which changes the way you perceive the characteristics of the wine. Over and over again, each wine proved to taste and smell best in the varietal-specific glass! I was stunned. An expensive glass can improve a cheap wine, and a cheap glass can mute an expensive wine. (Of course, there exist wonderful cheap wines and terrible expensive wines as well.)
Now we have to decide if we want to spend our hobby budget on wine or glasses!
I love college basketball – therefore you can imagine that I absolutely love this time of year. The kids out there play with so much heart, emotion, and drive, and do not get compensated for it (well, relatively). Sure there’s the possibility that any one of those players may get drafted to play in the NBA – but those chances are slim. Many play for the love of the game, the camaraderie, and loyalty to their school.
Is there anything that you love to do so much that you’re willing not to get paid for it?
For me? That’s easy.
I tutor a kid every week, in a program that gives opportunities to underprivileged kids who come from low-income neighborhoods. I would gladly mentor him everyday to see him succeed. I have also taught classes for undergrads when I was a grad student, and also taught dance. I did get paid for those jobs, but I would have easily done them for free. Admittedly, there is also an ego aspect to teaching, in that I love to get up in front of people and just tell them whatever I know. I also love seeing people make mental and intellectual connections that I helped make possible. I get a huge kick by knowing that I helped someone succeed.
The second would be photography, although I do have plans to monetize that sometime this year. I did photojournalism in college and loved it. Then I learned how develop my own film and make my own prints. There’s nothing like seeing a print materialize before my eyes for the first time in the darkroom. Now own a few too many cameras (see debt) and actually I still shoot film, developing it in my own kitchen. Its something that I love to do, but am finding that it is a huge financial drain, so I’m looking for ways for it to pay for itself.
I also made web design a pretty time consuming hobby with no pay, but now I got my first client. A friend knew I dabbled in web design, and I asked if he would mind if I could offer my services in making him a website. That project is in its early stages, so I still have yet to even make sure that’s going through.
I’d love to hear what your activities are.