New Hobbies to Try this Year - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

New Hobbies to Try this Year

Image by franciscojcesar from Pixabay

Do you need something fun to put the wind back into your sails after the gigantic downer that was “Our Covid Year”? Like most people, you might have exhausted your normal hobbies by having too much free time on your hands lately. These next-level hobbies are so cutting edge that you can almost guarantee that not only will you fulfill your need to learn something new, but also that you will be seen as a visionary by your peer group.

Enough talk: let’s unleash your inner hobbyist!

Competitive Eating

Do you think you have what it takes to eat the most hot dogs the fastest? Here is a step-by-step on how to become a competitive eater:

  1. Scour the internet for all of the tips you can find on how competitive eaters are able to work with their natural gifts in order to win contests and gain notoriety and even prize money for the ability to eat a whole lot in one sitting. YouTube is a great place to study up, as well as foodchallenges.com, which has databases of tips from the experts for amateurs to read. There are generally rituals that competitive eaters go through before, during, and after they compete to give them an edge. Absorb all of the information you can to help you along on your new hobby.
  2. Now that you have done all of the academics involved in this sport, it’s time to get some hands-on knowledge. A great place to start that also has some motivation for the competitive eater is finding an eating establishment near you that offers a giant-sized free dish of some sort when the diner is able to complete the task within a certain amount of time. It is helpful to figure out if the restaurant has put a challenge out there that is humanly possible to complete so that you don’t feel like a failure if you try and fail to finish a challenge that was not designed to ever get finished. Keep on trying with your chosen local challenge until you meet your goal.
  3. Now that you have some free meals won by competitive eating under your belt (literally), it might be time to scour the internet for bigger mountains to climb. Find a competitive challenge that pits you against other professional eaters. Now is your time to shine.
  4. Start training for the big event. Study the specifics of your challenge, and develop a training plan to match the physical feat that you must tackle in order to be a contender. Give yourself a fair amount of time to prepare. You don’t want to blow out an inner gasket that puts you on the bench before you’ve even gotten off the ground yet.
  5. Once you are ready to compete, it’s not a bad idea to begin to prepare for greatness. Think about choosing a catchy nickname that you can emblazon upon a t-shirt or a snazzy satin jacket to catch the eye of the TV cameras or other press that might attend. Having a “brand” to sell yourself may just land you an endorsement deal someday, or even a lifetime supply of Corn King Hot Dogs.
  6. Be prepared for tough competition. Most professional food competitors take their chosen sport incredibly seriously. Avoid any pre-game sabotage attempts by not getting too close to your competition at this point. DO NOT accept any dinner invitations by someone you’ll be competing against. One trip to the men’s room might just land you in the hospital with a mysterious case of “diarrhea” on game day if you let your guard down at the wrong time.
  7. Prepare for glory! Give it all you have, and win that trophy. If you feel like you can handle the circuit, you might just find yourself becoming a pro.

Crime Scene Miniatures

Creating dollhouses has long been a hobby that adults have enjoyed, and there have been amazing dollhouses built throughout the centuries that boast intricate details, working lights, hand-cut floor tiles and roof tiles, and tiny, hand-painted portraits that adorn the walls of these artful masterpieces.

If the run of the mill dollhouse kit doesn’t appeal to your tastes, consider taking a cue from the life of Frances Glessner Lee. In the days before women were allowed to become, well… pretty much anything except a wife and mother, Glessner Lee had a voracious interest in forensic science. She set about to use her skill in the hobby of building dollhouses to re-create a number of unsolved murder cases in amazingly detailed dioramas.

Frances Glessner Lee’s crime scene dioramas were so invaluable to the trainees in the up-and-coming field of forensics, that she is celebrated to this day as a founding mother of the science. You can now see her dollhouse boxes at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Up until very recently, they were still used to train police rookies about the art of picking up key clues in a crime.

There are numerous dollhouse kits out there, as well as furniture kits, rugs, wallpapers, and anything you can dream of to get into Miniatures. If you want to be as original as possible, use art supplies and your skills to make a dollhouse from the bottom up, from scratch. Face it: a crime scene dollhouse is about as metal as you can get, as far as room decor goes. If your tastes fall on the dark side of the moon, this might be the hobby built for you.

Psychedelic Tai Chi

You can take Tai Chi classes at your local YMCA and other schools for ancient art. A gentle stretching form that is regarded as “meditation in motion”, Tai Chi is Chinese martial art, practiced primarily for defense training, inner peace, and the benefits it poses to your health. The primary benefits of Tai Chi are:

  • Low impact building of both lower-body and upper-body strength, akin to resistance training
  • Increased body flexibility that is easier for many students to practice than yoga is
  • Improves balance to the degree that it might even keep klutzy people from falling as much as they might have without it. It is actually thought to improve the body’s sense of balance, which is controlled primarily in the inner ear.
  • Improves cardiopulmonary health, with little or no impact on joints

Maybe the vanilla kind of Tai Chi is not right for you, and perhaps you’d like to add a bit of rave culture to your practice. Add a pair of amazing LED gloves to your routine, and practice in the calm hours of the evening, and you have successfully completed a session of Psychedelic Tai Chi. Find some like-minded friends, and the group of you together may become a sight to behold in your local park.

Guerilla Embroidery

Embroidery is becoming more and more popular in gallery shows worldwide. This traditionally female art form has been relegated to “craft” for far too long, and feminist artists have been trying for decades to pull it into the limelight that it fully deserves.

Make yourself some postmodern embroidery masterpiece by sewing subversive messages over a pastoral tapestry, or sew some embroidered Kato masks directly into the thick paper of a damaged antique picture that holds no real value to you, sentimental or otherwise. Guerilla Embroidery creates immediate talking pieces for your home. Find all you need to begin this fun hobby at Love Sew, and other retailers of embroidery notions.


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