Pastimes

Duvel

Connoisseur
What are yours? I started thinking about mine the other day after having lunch in the cafeteria of the dorm where I lived in college. The place is right down the street from my office. When I'm hit with nostalgia for my old college days, I sneak in line with college kids for some good old dorm food (It's one of the places on campus where faculty and staff also eat, so don't get any ideas that I'm being pervy). But as I was eating lunch and enjoying the same great view of campus out the same windows I looked out more than 40 years ago on a daily basis, I started thinking about how much I have and have not changed over the decades.

Certainly, appearance wise. Far less hair, just a bit over my ideal BMI instead of far under it. Better dressed! Once divorced, twice married. Plenty of career experience. Plenty of experiences, period.

But so many of my interests are the same. I'm still a huge music fan and avid record collector. I still like to read 20th century literary fiction (sometimes the same books over and over). I'm still "into" art and photography. And I still love the experience of reading comic books.

In fact, one day at this dorm cafeteria I brought along for my lunchtime reading material an old copy of Neal Adams' collected work on the Marvel X-Men series. The Japanese students at the table pointed at the book and then start smirking and giggling. Maybe I made for an incongruous image: old white-haired dude in repp tie, baggy sport coat, cuffed pants, and moc bluchers reading something a kid in junior high school would read. Boy, did I feel silly. And then I thought, why should I feel silly? I like it!

And then my second thought: Maybe I haven't evolved enough? Why haven't my interests really changed since I was 18?
 
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Shaver

Suspended
Should one's interests necessarily alter over time? Certainly I would imagine that they should become more discerningly focused. However, unless of course one's youthful interests were utterly puerile, a life-long commitment may indicate that the correct (which is to say satisfying) personal choices were identified early on. Those recreational pursuits which occupy me now have done so since early boyhood.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
Some interests, particularly music and comic books, occupy me now in a different way. I like to think that my lifelong commitment to them has evolved, become more sophisticated, for lack of a better word. Story lines and the writing in the old comic books of my youth seem contrived and stilted to me now, but at the same time, I appreciate more what the artists, especially the great ones, were trying to do, can see how they were pushing comic book art forward.

Likewise, with music, I notice details, or pay more attention to certain details.
 

Shaver

Suspended
Some interests, particularly music and comic books, occupy me now in a different way. I like to think that my lifelong commitment to them has evolved, become more sophisticated, for lack of a better word. Story lines and the writing in the old comic books of my youth seem contrived and stilted to me now, but at the same time, I appreciate more what the artists, especially the great ones, were trying to do, can see how they were pushing comic book art forward.

Likewise, with music, I notice details, or pay more attention to certain details.

Conversely, it is the modern comic book which, by and large, I find less satisfying - and rarely read. The proclamation 'for mature readers' (it has been famously remarked) seems to be less of a notification of themes more suited to a sophisticated audience and more a euphemism for 'contains tits and innards'. The best of those writers and artists from the Silver Age developed techniques of storytelling and illustration which, whilst operating within the boundaries externally imposed upon the genre, soared above the disposable culture of the medium. Lee, Kirby, Swan, Ditko, Romita, Steranko, Thomas: creators whom it could well be argued ensured the eventual respectability of the 4 colour fantasy.
 

Brio1

Super Member
Books. :icon_study: However , whilst engaged in this most delicious of activities , I do wish to slow the movement of the clock.

I'm reading the Fiona MacCarthy biography of Lord Byron at the moment.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
Well said, and I agree completely. I've read a mere handful of contemporary comic books that I've found at all satisfying. One or two of those were based on old comic books, e.g., The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke.

I purchased another Neal Adams compilation tonight, the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. Loved this series 1970-71 when I was a kid. In fact, I believe a few of my letters to the editor/story critiques were published in some of those issues.

Conversely, it is the modern comic book which, by and large, I find less satisfying - and rarely read. The proclamation 'for mature readers' (it has been famously remarked) seems to be less of a notification of themes more suited to a sophisticated audience and more a euphemism for 'contains tits and innards'. The best of those writers and artists from the Silver Age developed techniques of storytelling and illustration which, whilst operating within the boundaries externally imposed upon the genre, soared above the disposable culture of the medium. Lee, Kirby, Swan, Ditko, Romita, Steranko, Thomas: creators whom it could well be argued ensured the eventual respectability of the 4 colour fantasy.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
It is interesting how, for some of us, the pastimes embraced in our youth, stick with us throughout our lives. I began hunting and fishing at (I think it was) 12 years of age and still enjoy both activities. In my teen years I became interested in photography and until the age of digital photography took over I took a whole lot of pictures, at least a few of which were worth framing and hanging on the wall. For at least a couple of decades I did my own B & W processing in my own dark room.

Not sure it can be considered a pastime, but my interest in clothes seems to have stuck with me, picked up in grade school as fellow students made a game of pointing out I was wearing "hand-me-down" clothes, not so long after which I found ways to earn enough money to begin buying my own 'new' clothes, a practice which I continue to embrace to this day. Just finished rereading Bruce Boyer's new book, True Style last evening, so it would appear that the interest in men's style continues.

Reading seems another continuing passion of mine, as I generally chew through a couple of books per week, my favorite authors being Tom Clancy, Pat Conroy, Dale Brown, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler...and others. After exercising the mind with my reading, I turn my attention to exercising the body, below the neck, completing combined resistance and cardio workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and extended cardio work out on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays...as other health issue permit. I've been doing this for as long as I seem to remember. but admittedly, with age it increasingly becomes more of a challenge.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
Yep. My interest in clothes has been lifelong as well. I have to be careful about it, though, because it can become all-consuming and I find myself losing interest in other pastimes (well, most of them, if you know what I mean). I'm grateful that my wife will remind me of this from time to time, and I have to check myself and make sure I remain well-rounded and keep reading, keep looking at art, keep listening to music, practicing guitar, etc., i.e., remain an interesting person in my wife's eyes at least, and not just a good-looking well-dressed one.

Guitar, by the way, has been an interest since I was about 16 or so, in 1971. I heard Wild Horses for the first time on the radio and I was blown away. I had not heard anyone use acoustic guitar in a rock band quite that way before. I became obsessed with owning and learning to play acoustic guitar, and that's all she wrote. As one result, I know how to play Wild Horses inside and out. ;)
 
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