My dad could draw anything, and I used to think that talent was inherited. I woud spend hours drawing animals, but they were never realistic enough for me. Of course, in the confines of a very strict Asian household, only photorealistic drawings were deemed acceptable, and only after you did all your homework, did all the chores, did a full shift at the family owned restaurant, practice piano, etc. etc. I really wanted to learn how to play piano when I was 3 or so, but my mother sucked the life out of it. Every practice section I had to be vigilent about thwacks on the hand with a ruler if I made a mistake. I had a really tough conversation with my piano teacher begginer her not to give me any more jazz, modern, or classical pianists that featured dissonance. My mother had zero musical training, so she didn't understand intentional dissonance. My favorite escape was books because I could get away with "studying" when really I was escaping into the next amazing story.
I was never allowed to cook as a child, which is a bit ironic considering that I spent years working in the family restaurant. It turns out I must be a really great observational learner though, and I'm a supertaster with the pallete to prove it. Conveniently, my husband also loves to cook and he has a similarly sensitive pallete. Even though I never cooked anything other than a pot of ramen or heating up a can of soup, I was able to replicate my favorite childhood dishes with ease the very first year that I lived off campus while at university. The exception? Pho, the traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup dish. I have yet to crack my mother's secret ingredients. I can make it, and it's good, but it doesn't have quite the right complexity. My mother won't tell me what's in her dish because it's a family secret. No, it doesn't make sense to me, and yes, I'm being serious.
Aside from cooking, I knit, crochet, dance, perform circus arts, and choreograph performances. I've been too sick lately to do much of any of that though (long story, toxic mold poisoning, fibromyalgia, and Ehler-Danos Syndrome). Still, I'm hardwired to view myself as a scientist. My partner says that I use the same strategy as choreographing a piece (we sometimes perform together) as I use for sorting out experiments or writing grants. I always thought I was just being logical and teling a story
I started circus arts ouf of a need to exercise regularly to manage chronic pain. My wrists have been badly abused after 17 years at the bench and jobs that require typing constantly now, so I had to quit my yoga practice and find something else. I started hooping (North Carolina is a bit of a mecca for circus arts) and then branched out into levitation wand (a modern take on the magician's dancing cane), fire dancing, aerials, and my favorite, designing custom fire costumes. I really enjoy making fire masks and fire wings, kevlar is relatively pricey, so I haven't been able to afford doing that for a while. My profle picture is from 2 yeras ago when I was fire dancing at a local festival. That's one of my favorite fire hoops in the picture