Every once in a while, I like to do simple editorials designed to facilitate discussion and conversation, both here in the Comments section and in the forums. It's more important than ever to do so now, because we continue to grow and grow…when we first started counting registered members, it was maybe around 4,000. Well, it's over 14,000 now and we've shot from maybe 50-75 Comments per day to around 300-400 daily, and forum activity is really starting to pick up. As you may have noticed, we also have some larger ad campaigns on the site so on the surface it may appear we're going "big and impersonal."
Yeah, well, not while I'm around.
The reason we continue to grow is because of our community. I could get all egotistical and say it's because of the content – which of course we work hard to produce – but in reality, we know just how important our awesome community has been and will continue to be. Therefore, we will always keep that small-town atmosphere, as idealistic and cliched as it sounds. So, let's talk about what you like to do besides game. We all have to take our favorite hobbies in moderation, so let's hear it. I'll get things started-
I love to read. I've often thought about doing some Week in Reviews or other editorials specifically geared to my other passion, but I know few read what I read. I have this insatiable drive for the classics; for the absolute greatest books ever written. I want to read as many of them as possible before I die. It's why my favorite books are Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina," Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence," Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain," and George Eliot's "Middlemarch" and "The Mill on the Floss." I just finished a complete collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor and I'm currently reading Virginia Woolf's "To The Lighthouse." I know I'm weird. I know I'm in the vast minority.
I've been working out for about 8 years now and only in 2008 – when I realized I was getting older – did I finally incorporate cardio into my standard weight routine. So when I started in July of '08, I could only do about 15 minutes on the rower before becoming completely exhausted, but I'm happy to say that after a year and a half of hitting it hard three times per week, I can now go 55 minutes at a good clip. Really, I'm in the best shape of my life. As for the strength training, that now consists of two 55lb. barbells and one 65lb.; I do four or five difference exercises with those. So I'm working out six days per week and if I miss a session, I feel like hell .
I am so sick and tired of chain restaurants and over-processed "food stuffs" that so many Americans call "food," I find myself searching for better-quality, better-prepared food. Yes, it costs a little more but in my eyes, it's worth every dime. The portions aren't designed for cattle, a good chef will provide a flavor and taste explosion, and it's true; presentation matters. We have so little around here, though; I have to drive a good 35-45 minutes before I can break the boring and repetitive string of Ruby Tuesdays, Chilis, TGI Fridays, Applebees, etc, etc, etc. Dude…they're all the same restaurant and not a one features good food . That's all I'm saying.
I also like to play tennis when the weather cooperates; I've been playing since high school. Other than that, things have calmed down a bit for me in the past few years. When I was writing for the papers and handling entertainment features, that involved some interviewing of celebrities but you know, that is nowhere near as glamorous as it sounds. I could barely pay for the gas to get to those interviews; getting $50/article makes it tough to live. It was only freelance, after all. So people would go, "oh wow, you got to talk to 'insert celebrity name here;' that's awesome!" and then I'd just say, "yeah, I was about ready to ask them for a loan." These days, I just sort of work and live. A calming period, I suppose.
Okay, how about you?