February 12, 2008

Expensive Hobb(ies)

I've been playing the violin since I was eight years old. Throughout all my years of schooling with the exception of law school, I was always playing -- orchestra, chamber groups, pit orchestras, wedding gigs, church gigs, and even square dances (I discovered a "string band" at my college). When I moved to NYC for law school, the violin lay dormant in my parents' home. Upon my return to WNY, I needed to play again -- after all, couldn't let all those years of lessons go to waste, right? So I found an orchestra that suited my needs -- weekly rehearsals and a few concerts a year. It's tied to a local university so we're off during school breaks -- just the right size time commitment.

Last year I noticed that my bridge was warped. For anyone who plays/ed a string instrument, you know what that means. For everyone else, if you can picture a violin or any of its stringed relatives, the bridge is the little piece of wood perpendicular to the instrument that the strings rest on. Well, it wasn't quite so perpendicular anymore. When I played more regularly, this would have been corrected immediately but given that my playing is now purely recreational, I put it off. This year however, it just couldn't be ignored so I took it to the string repair shop. I had to plunk down $130 for the fix. I suppose if I added up what I've spent in yarn and knitting accessories, I've probably spent a whole lot more per annum, but spending that much at one time for a mere hobby is kind of painful.

So, to make myself feel better, I intend to indulge in yet another expensive hobby tomorrow and go skiing. On this however, I got a deal. A friend -- oddly enough a fellow orchestra-mate -- is a member of a local ski-club and got me discounted all-day lift tickets. I snagged a pack of five -- for less than what I paid to replace my bridge! -- in hopes that I'll hit the slopes often enough this season to justify buying my own skis at the end of it. I enjoy skiing but never really get to go often enough. Maybe this year that will change.

If it sounds like I'm indulging in a bit of a mini-holiday, well, I am. The judge I'm assigned to is on vacation so I also took a few days off. I've spent most of that time giving my apartment a much needed, thorough cleaning and even put a couple hours in on work matters, but tomorrow I am going to play.

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