When I was younger I was sure that interesting experiences made interesting people, so I spent some time off the beaten path. I started playing the banjo and right after high school I hitchhiked across the country, which was a bit foolish and a bit awesome. It brought me face to face with a lot of people I wouldn't normally meet and really broke me out of my bubble.
A little older and wiser, I studied math at UC Santa Cruz and then got my master's degree in the Liberal Arts at St. John's College. It was fascinating to read through the history of human thought.
Over the past few years I've been a farmer, a bike courier, a tutor, and now I'm working as a journalist and applying to grad school for Middle Eastern History.
I've basically adopted the old motto "Nothing human is foreign to me." I'll be in the cold, dark ground before I constrain myself to a single field.
I'm currently reading through "The Communist Movement in Syria and Lebanon." There's so much to uncover about the betrayals of Stalinism on the one hand and the genuine fight to unite people across ethnic and religious lines on the other.
Reading, analyzing, and writing news. I try to stay as informed and involved as possible. The Rodney King obituary I wrote is one of the pieces I'm most proud of: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/06/king-j21.html
Playing the banjo; I've been at it for a decade now. I once got 2nd place at a festival in Santa Fe. There were three people competing ;)
I also play the Appalachian dulcimer, and I suppose I'm good at it, but that's an instrument that's hard to be bad at. Seriously, it's fretboard is designed so you can't hit a wrong note.
Or possibly my fantastically curly hair.
Movies: Harold and Maude; The Wind that Shakes the Barley; Cool Hand Luke; Hot Fuzz; O Brother Where Art Thou? (Coen Brothers in general); Pan's Labyrinth; Miller's Crossing; Let the Right One In; Winters Bone; Iron Sky
TV: Louie, Mr. Show, Futurama, Arrested development, Flight of the Conchords, Archer, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Bojack Horseman
Music: Tommy Jarrell; David Bowie; Johnny Cash; Doc Watson; Roscoe Holcomb; William Elliott Whitmore; Carolina Chocolate Drops; White Stripes; Flaming Lips; Air
Sometimes I just need to write an idea down to really understand it.
I would toss in music, but that involves far more doing than thinking.