Me...eccentric??

Jason

Shohin
Messages
499
Reaction score
125
Location
Western Oregon
USDA Zone
8
Do yo ever feel like practicing bonsai makes you appear eccentric to the general population? I've given up caring for the most part (used to be a closeted bonsai grower) but still feel like people do double takes when they find out you care about growing trees in pots. I think they think I'm going to go all karate kid on them;)
 

chrisbotero

Sapling
Messages
47
Reaction score
7
Location
Portland, OR
Appear eccentric...

Well, lets see. I spend hours scouring nurseries looking for material. I drive hundreds of miles and spend days walking around in the woods only to dig a 10 pound tree and a 50 pound root ball, strap it to my back and hike 6 miles back to the car. Then I spend good money on just the right soil, hours on building a perfect grow-box, and visit the tree everyday noting its every move for a year. Then I spend countless hours planning how to style this tree. Then I finally get around to repotting the tree (more time and money for soil) only to let it sit for months before ever thinking about styling. More planning, more daily visits. Then I spend more money to buy wire, spend hours wiring, styling, and taking pictures. On to more daily visits, watering, fertilizing, trimming and monitoring for any sign of new bud growth, change in color of foliage, etc. Then when Im not visiting, watering, repotting, wiring, planning, etc. I get on here and read about others who are visiting, watering, repoting, wiring, planning, etc.

Ive only started my collection a year ago and I already have about 25 trees (5-10 of decent quality, 10-15 in progress and 10 or so experiments) not to mention all the cuttings.

I dont know about anyone else, but personally I think the general population might be right...
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,985
Reaction score
16,184
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
7B
Anyone with a passion appears eccentric to those without the same passion.

I know surfers who surf almost EVERY day - getting up at the crack of dawn before work to jump into frigid Pacific waters. It's not my thing :)

I used to be a paratrooper. I know people who jump for fun - whenever they can. It's not my thing :)

I know people who are REALLY into show dogs. They breed dogs, travel around the country to show them, even hire professionals to show their dogs for them. It's not my thing :)

Though I can't appreciate the specific interest, I can certainly appreciate the PASSION. I love talking to people who are passionate about SOMETHING. Nothing is more boring than someone without a passionate life.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,682
Reaction score
12,357
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Well, you ARE eccentric if you're into bonsai, like it or not.:D:eek:

It is not a normal hobby. It involves mysterious (to most people) ideas and forces. It is chock full of strange practices and equipment.

You're either a twisted torturer of plant life, or a Zen master in training to most people who don't do bonsai. You are marked as "different" either way.

I have neighbors (one of whom is a marathoner) who occasionally take care of my trees on weekends while I am away. They have remarked that the trees are "beautiful" and "amazing." They have also asked me "So, what's up with the bonsai thing? We don't get it."

I just shrug and then ask them "what's up with the $300 running shoes?"
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
33
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
So far, the strangest passion I encountered is the one shared by professional protesters. Their passion is to protest. They do environment, healthcare, anti-war, pro-choice, global warming, you name it.
They travel from place to place, just to get arrested, fumigated, manhandled, yelled at, and tased.. That IS a strange one.
In comparison, bonsai is a very mild affliction: you torture plants, and you love them in the same time. Doesn't make much sense, but at least you don't get waterboarded.
 
Last edited:

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,682
Reaction score
12,357
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
"So far, the strangest passion I encountered is the one shared by professional protesters."

Living in DC, these folks are no strangers to me. I pay for their overnight accommodations in the DC jail after national elections and the "protest season" in the summer and fall. It's a taxpayer funded hobby.:D
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
33
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
"So far, the strangest passion I encountered is the one shared by professional protesters."

Living in DC, these folks are no strangers to me. I pay for their overnight accommodations in the DC jail after national elections and the "protest season" in the summer and fall. It's a taxpayer funded hobby.:D
That's right, you live right in the middle of it. It must be fun to live in the mids of all that passion.
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
33
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
Joking aside, it its essence, bonsai is no different from other art forms. Creating interesting, beautiful, thought-provoking works of art. If you look at it that way, it is not eccentric at all, unless you find eccentric to create art, in general.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,682
Reaction score
12,357
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Just as with bonsai, there is a very fine line between passion and idiocy with "professional" protesters :D

A while back, a group protesting IMF complained they weren't getting leafy green "macrobiotic" food in the DC lockup, only peanut butter sandwiches. The Police chief--God Bless him--told them "this ain't yer parents' house. Shut the eff up..."
 

milehigh_7

Mister 500,000
Messages
4,581
Reaction score
5,306
Location
Chandler, AZ
USDA Zone
Hot
I think people do consider me a bit eccentric when they hear me say that I like trees more than I like people. Then they find out that I wasn't joking and really think I am a bit strange. However, I felt this way about trees many years before I ever heard of bonsai and many more years before I actually began to try it.
 

greerhw

Omono
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
10
People are naturally curious about someone else's "strange hobby". I have two, I also keep show koi, friends and relatives don't ask anymore, but when someone new visits, they always ask the same question about my trees, how old is it, most of time I will be honest with people, other times, when I'm feeling orney, I may jerk them around a little. When it comes to my koi, people seem to be more interested, they will ask how old is it, what does it weigh and the question that bugs me is, what is it worth. I always ask them alive or dead ? It's really no one's business what someone's property is worth, that's when I really start to jerk them around. So if you're ever visiting my pond and ask what my koi are worth, don't be shocked at the number I throw, it may even be true......;)

keep it green,
Harry
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
33
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
When it comes to my koi, people seem to be more interested, they will ask how old is it, what does it weigh and the question that bugs me is, what is it worth.
That's funny.

Two weeks ago I was at a bonsai exhibit here is Pasadena, and there was a guy who seemed to be very interested in the exhibit. He took lots of pictures, and spent a lot of time looking at the trees. I was pleased to see him taking so much interest.
Only when he opened his mouth, I became a little more suspicious about the nature of his intentions. He kept complaining about "why they don't put the age of the tree on the name tag". "It's a real shame", he said, "that we don't know how old these trees are". "Isn't age the most important thing?", he said, "these things are supposed to be hundreds of years old, and they don't even put that on the tag". He also kept asking me about how much are they worth.

I should have responded like you: Dead or alive? :D:D
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
33
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
So if you're ever visiting my pond and ask what my koi are worth, don't be shocked at the number I throw, it may even be true......;)

keep it green,
Harry
Last time I checked in the grocery store, a dead carp was selling for around $2.49 a pound, in the meat department.:)
 

greerhw

Omono
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
10
Last time I checked in the grocery store, a dead carp was selling for around $2.49 a pound, in the meat department.:)
I have a koi that was a gift, because she got to old to show, I blimish here and there like me. In her hay-day she sold for about $1500 a pound.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Tachigi

Omono
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
32
Location
PA.
USDA Zone
6b
Eccentric?......You all look perfectly normal to me! :D
 

BUBBAFRGA

Mame
Messages
203
Reaction score
5
Location
Darien, GA
Yeah I get a lot of strange looks when someone learns of my passion. The question I get all the time is do I sell them.....I ask them do you sell your children....they give me even stranger looks...LOL

To the regular world we are eccentric
 

irene_b

Omono
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
2
I think we are all normal and they are nuts!!
Irene
 
Top Bottom