UPDATED - 09.05.2007 - See #9!

Hobbies.  Pass-times that we enjoy!

I have many hobbies that help make life enjoyable.  There's no way to list everything that someone can and does enjoy but I'm going to try and list, at the very least, my favorites.

1. Friends -- I have a select few friends that I keep close to my heart.  Friends are the most entertaining hobby in the world.  I relish the time I get to spend with my friends.  To me, the best kind of friendship is where you can just be yourself and not have to worry because the other person has already accepted you for who you are.  No pretenses, no prejudice, no judgments.  And the best conversation is the conversation that is unspoken... a level of understanding between two people that goes beyond just spending time together.

2. Reading -- I do love a good book.  I love to read mostly science fiction - from Star Trek to Lord of the Rings.  A good fantasy book can really get my imagination going.  Some of my favorites include the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, Forgotten Realms (specifically those books with Drizz't Do'Urden in them), and, of course, Star Trek (Next Generation and DS9).  Lately, I've been reading such books as "10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Improve Their Lives" by Joe Kort.  It has helped me realize that I have done a lot of growing (and still have lots of growing to do) and that being gay is so much more than just sex.

3. Writing -- I have from time-to-time composed poems for different things.  I also just like to write down my thoughts to help me sort them out.  Sometimes it also sheds new light on situations and relationships where I had previously seen no other sides to the story.  Writing, at least for me, can be very cathartic.

4. Movies -- Who doesn't love a good movie?  I certainly do.  Whether it be at the theater or at home, I really dig watching movies.  I have lots of favorites - way too many, in fact.  Like the books I read, the movies I watch lean toward the science-fiction and fantasy categories.  But you turn on a good chick-flick and I'm hooked as well.  Some action movies and great animation get my attention too.  A few of my favorites from any category are as follows:  The Mummy, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord Of The Rings, The Simpsons, Futurama, Hope Floats, X-Men, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy - The Spirit Within, Charlie's Angels, The Emperor's New Groove...  and these are just for starters!!

5. Music -- Music.  Something that most people are **very** passionate about - and I'm no exception.  Anyone who knows me, will know the name of my favorite band that I like listening to.  It's a very simple name - Dream Theater.  I know what you are thinking: "huh...??".  They are a progressive rock/metal band.  They are most easily comparable to groups such as Metallica and Kansas.  They've been around since 1989 and I've been a fan since 1994.  They definitely cover a wide range of styles.  Anyone who listens to them can usually find at least one song that they like.
    And, as if that's not enough, the members of Dream Theater have done numerous side-projects such as Transatlantic, Liquid Tension Experiment, and O.S.I.  -- all of which are equally great!
    Ok, back to a more general topic...  Music is something that has been in my blood since I was a kid.  When something catches my ear, I will, more often then not, go and pick up the whole cd and end up liking it.  Then I become a fan and have to pick up any other cds by the same group.
    Some of my longtime favorites include:  Dream Theater, Janet Jackson, Fear Factory, Shane Stockton, Garth Brooks, Gary Allan, Rascal Flatts, Metallica, Alanis Morissette, Yngwie Malmsteen, Pantera, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, The Spice Girls, and Chris Cagle.

6. Website Design and Maintenance -- As you can tell by this website alone, I love doing web design.  I've only taken one formal class on web design and attended a few seminars that covered HTML and CSS.  At one point, I was updating and maintaining six websites... it was a lot of work!  I have respect for anyone who can sit down and make their own website as it takes a lot of time, patience, and thought -- even if it is only one page.

7. Videogames -- Yet another passion of mine...  *sigh*.  It's also the one most expensive hobby that I have.  I have a love for Role-Playing Games (RPG's) especially Final Fantasy.  I have videogames systems and games in my collection going back to the original Nintendo.  Every once in a great while, I like digging out those old systems and playing a game or two for fun and nostalgia.  It seems lately that most of the games coming out today don't focus on gameplay, but graphics.  Now while I do like good graphics, it's the gameplay that has me hooked.  Some favorites by system:
    Nintendo: Solstice, Final Fantasy, Crystalis, Zelda (I and II), Super Mario Bros 3.
    Gameboy Advance: Metroid Fusion, Metroid Zero Mission, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
    Gamecube: Metroid Prime
    Playstation (1 and 2): Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy 7, Castlevania, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Anthology, Final Fantasy Chronicles, Final Fantasy Origins, Mortal Kombat, Soulblade, and any of the Namco Museums.
    Sega Genesis CD:  Sonic CD
    Super Nintendo (my favorite system!!): Final Fantasy 3, Chrono Trigger, Equinox, Legend of Zelda - A Link To The Past, Prince of Persia, Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario RPG, Super Metroid, and Super Ghouls-n-Ghosts.

8. Dancing -(added on 09.09.2004)- Over the course of about 4-5 months, I have been taking dance lessons at the local gay country bar.  It's a very cool place and I've met and become friends with a great group of guys that show up to lessons just as regularly as I do.  We learn line-dancing, two-stepping, and waltzing.  All forms are great fun.  Some of the line dances that I've learned include the Tropicana Parking Lot, Dizzy, Tush Push, Dirty Talkin' Tequila, Country Strut, Western Cha Cha, the Circle Dance.... and I could go on!!  If you get the chance to try some dancing, do it... I LOVE IT!!

9. Computers -(added on 09.05.2007)- I have been slowly upgrading and updating my computer over the past year... my latest and greatest update was replacing the motherboard and harddrive in my computer.  While it was nerve-wracking, I learned a lot about my computer and how to put it together.  Essentially, I have built my current computer from the ground up. (with a little help from my friend, Zeke!).  While I don't do a lot of trouble-shooting for other people, I do trouble-shoot my own computer (software and hardware) and seem to get by just fine.

A few of my favorite (must-have!) programs for Windows:  MAME, Firefox, Zone Alarm, Trillian, and Winamp - just to name a few!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed getting to know some of my hobbies... as these aren't all of them!