Still working in a research lab for the short term where I get some money and can ride on the fruits of the last few years labors for a while longer (ahh....the 'joy' of paper writing).
N.B.: The word 'joy' is pronounced /ˈagənē/
Making stuff. And at that, just about any 'stuff' you can name. When I had more time for hobbies, I set out to be a self-taught craftsman. It paid off, and I finally think I can make the claim that there's pretty much nothing that man has made that I genuinely can't. Ahh, beloved hubris!
Puns. I try to make them all the time-when there's a good seed from a conversation. It's a perpetual challenge/puzzle to find them, and the more elaborate (yet legitimate) they can be made, the better. (Ooh! It tickles!)
When I had the time and motivation, I used to be a decent 'psedo-romantic-era' composer as well. I'm getting back into it again now that the PhD is done, but back in the day, I could do some amazing things. The gift is still there, it's just idle.... Come on, muse, let's go play together like we used to.....
I have a weird tendency to gradually match the accent of the person I'm speaking to. I don't do it on purpose...it just winds up happening, I swear! ......sometimes with mildly hilarious results when I snap out of it or someone else notices. I'm lucky it's never landed me in any serious trouble....
(The best time was when I had someone ABSOLUTELY convinced I was from his home town in New Jersey just by the accent of my speech from talking with him for an hour)
Mostly "classical" stuff from about Handel's time to Ravel's time. REALLY a strong interest in the period of about 1850-1910 (late Romanticism). A BIG fan of the Imperial Russian composers, especially a few of the more maligned/obscure (e.g. Glazunov, Kalinnikov). Also some of the 20th century German school (Zemlinsky, Joseph Marx, Korngold).
Oddly enough, I've got a soft spot for pre-1940s jazz. Stuff from the 20s & 30s is...different, and kinda clever. So guys like Arden & Ohman, Eubie Blake, Venuti & Lang. Also, if you know who Adam Carroll (the pianist) is, and why he is amazing, then why haven't we met before?
More modern/popular stuff would be like Queen (excellent harmonic structure and May's solos are very clever), but also a bit of CCR, The Police, Allman Brothers, No Doubt, Journey, Boston, AC/DC. You get the general flavor.
There's a lot that I like, and I'm willing to consider a big span of time. Just to give you an idea (certainly not limited to this):
- silent stuff like Buster Keaton, maybe a bit of D.W. Griffith
- 1930s 'golden age', like 'Ninotchka', 'The Lady Eve' as comedies, the Astaire/Rogers musicals, etc.
- 1960s , plenty of good caper and spy films (Topkapi, Charade, The Kremlin Letter), almost anything by Hitchcock, Sergio Leone westerns, etc.
- 1980s, Good ol' Indiana Jones (there were only 3 movies, right?), The Princess Bride, Blade Runner, and so-on
- Recent, like The Illusionist, Sherlock Holmes, Wall-E (Pixar rarely fizzles), The new Batman Trilogy, Prometheus
- Also the occasional foreign film, maybe something fun from Japan like Zatoichi, and I had to admit that OSS:177 Cairo was ridiculously enjoyable
Well, if you mean "things" as in the inanimate, then:
2. Pen (see paper)
3. A light (candle, lantern, bulb, whatever) so I can work at night
4. A file (the metal kind - you can do a LOT with one)
5. (under revision)
6. A quiet place to retreat to from time to time
Rather, if you want to be really broad and philosophical about this:
1. Love (pure and simple)
2. Trustworthy friends
3. Reliable colleagues
4. Persistent ambitions
5. An imagination that doesn't grow dull
6. The absolute predictability of the laws of physics (only last because it's practically, but not certainly, a given)
Or if you want to go the route written by graduate-student comedians exposed to a lethal dose of nerd-rays:
1. Equipment that doesn't break. EVER.
2. Statistically valid data EVERY TIME.
3. Entropy working in your favor - FOR ONCE.
4. Infinity dollars of annual research funding, for life.
5. Code that automates the writing of flawless research papers.
6. The ability to always beat everyone else to publication.
Yet there's this nagging feeling - What I want to do, people won't pay me for, and what they'll pay me for I really don't want to do....