production & passion

I want to be a producer, somebody who makes stuff.  Right now I'm predominantly a consumer.  There's nothing special about consuming.  I buy others' merchandise; read others' books, blogs, and comics; eat others' food; and watch others' videos, TV shows, and films.  Consuming is universal; producing, on the other hand, is SOMETHING.

I'm in awe of producers.  Maybe it's tied to passion.

Hatman's passionate about dancing.  Angelbiscuit's passionate about education.  Scottish's passionate about making music.  Avimatic's passionate about knitting.

What are my passions?

I'm passionate about Wikipedia.  I love writing articles, interacting with the community there, and forming/shaping the future of one of the top five sites on the internet.  I've been editing Wikipedia since December 2004, and I'm still spending my own money to buy resources with which I can write better articles for free.  

I used to be passionate about building computers, but it became dissatisfying sometime around 2008.  Instead, what began to fill my mind were images of building cars.  It combined what I loved about building computers with the satisfaction of having something that is just a welcome on the road today as the day it was originally built.  I would have a lot to learn, but I'm willing and able to do so.  Here's a slideshow of a 22 year-old building a VW Rabbit over the course of three years; he had no knowledge about cars before beginning the project.  That inspires me so much to believe I can do the same thing.

I'm passionate about flying.  It scares me, but the idea of flying permeates my dreams.  I'm not limited to planes either; I've researched hang gliding, sky diving, paragliding, and other ways of taking to the air.  A good friend of mine when I was at UK (the University of Kentucky) was a private pilot and took me up a few times, and I've been dreaming about it since.

I'm passionate about consuming.  Television, music, films, books.  I'm the consummate American consumer.  I regularly watch 19 different shows, I have 51 films I've yet to watch on my Apple TV (and that's not counting the hundreds of DVDs/Blu-rays I have), and I have two whole bookcases—stacked double-deep— dedicated to fiction books.  I'm not trying to impress anybody (what's impressive about a compulsion to consume?), but to drive home the point of my passion.

I'm passionate about organizing and cataloguing.  I'm in my second year of trying to make my music library as perfect as possible.  7,404 songs already meet muster (lossless if possible, all correct ID3 information, lyrics, and hi-res album art when possible), and I only have 1,732 songs left to process.  I'm passionate about completing this process and having as right of a collection as possible.  There could be shades of OCD in this passion, but it's a minor outlet that's ultimately satisfying.

I'm passionate about writing.  That's the whole point of this blog: practice writing this and that.  I took a half-dozen writing courses at the University of Missouri—St. Louis, and have been writing Wikipedia articles for almost 10 years now.  I want to be a more prolific writer of fiction and poetry, so they'll be posted here sometimes, too.

I'm passionate about my wife.  I'll do anything for her, and regularly work towards making her life easier and better.  I want to make her happy, and that's my passion.

I'm passionate about cats.  I'm not a cat-hoarder (that's rule #1: no more pets than people), but I'm always willing to help out my local cat-rescue charities.  I have a regular Friday commitment to volunteer with the Dent County Animal Welfare Society, and I try to lend a hand (and a car) to Tenth Life when they need it.  I always adopt shelter cats and care about my cats a great deal.

I'm passionate about Star Trek.  Remember those two bookcases I said were full of books?  One of them is dedicated to Star Trek books.  That doesn't include the Blu-rays of The Original Series I bought, nor my DVDs of all the films.  The last four articles I wrote for Wikipedia were all about Star Trek episodes.  I own two uniform t-shirts.  And I'm already planning for the 50th anniversary Star Trek convention in August 2016.

I'm passionate about my savior complex.  It's not that I see myself as a savior, but that I wish I could. I read stories online about children being rescued from terrible circumstances and wish I could do that. I see stories about people who don't have anywhere to go or anyone to turn to, and I wish I were involved in helping those people.  I read about cats being rescued off the street or out of parking lots and being nursed back to health and wish I could be such a rescuer.  I once volunteered in a Honolulu soup kitchen with a neighbor family and was really impacted by the effort.  I don't know why I haven't tried to repeat the experience, especially because I think so much about it. Maybe I'm just too comfortable in my life.

I'm passionate about gaming.  Whether it's video games or board games, I'm a huge fan.  I'm a regular member of my local D&D group, and we're about to start a new campaign about which I'm very excited.  I'm also attending a local board gaming convention called Geekway to the West (to which you're all invited to attend!)

Those are my passions.  What I need to do is focus my life around those passions and I'll see a correlating rise in my satisfaction in life.  That's the goal anyway.  Let's try it out.

Daniel C. Hodges