Shameless Self Promotion

It just dawned on me that I haven’t properly promoted myself like a good millennial. Here is where else you can find me:

Twitter: @Metkaf

Deviant Art: http://met-kaf.deviantart.com/

Don’t expect too much from my twitter feed. As I’ve said before I really don’t have a whole lot of excitement going on through my day so I don’t tweet a lot. Also I’ve mentioned before I’m a wanna be photographer but I don’t post new work as often as I used to. I want to get a new camera which I hope to do in the next 2 months so I’m holding off on most of my photo taking until I can upgrade my camera. I am currently shooting with a Fugi Film Fine Pix S3000 circa 2002 it does great as long as you are in direct sunlight in June on a cloudless day. And even then you will sometimes get a blurry photo if the object is dark.

Metkaf

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I thought I’d something more to say…

I’ve had a blog in some form or other for probably 10 years. One of my earliest posts was about when I first tried to bake. It was pretty much a very overly dramatic tale about how many times I had to go to the grocery store to buy forgotten items or replaced ruined ingredients, it was a mess, but interesting and tasty. I really wish I could find that one. It has been lost to the ether.

I Guess I have these delusions of grandeur where I’m going to write interesting and compelling stories about my life or this kick ass trip I took over the summer. When the reality is that I never seem to do anything worth telling. My day to day life is extremely uninteresting.  My days are normally filled with spread sheets and line items or activity reports. The highlight of my day today was receiving an email from a coworker who in my 6 years at that desk has never once emailed me. After lunch I had to sort the mail because the regular mail sorter was absent. *GASP Wow! I really shook things up today! I even had a voice mail when I got into the office this morning… ooooOOOOooo. So there is really nothing to talk about in my daily life.

I really almost have nothing to say, but for some reason I need a place to say it. I don’t have strong feelings about any particular subject. I’m not politically minded in the slightest. I’m not going to argue with you or anyone else for that matter because I don’t feel like I have the right or ability to try to make you see things my way. This is America after all and we are all entitled to think or say whatever we’d like.

I think my hope is in having a blog that I will write more and get better at it. One day I’d like to look back at these posts and cringe the same way I do today when I look back at that 9th grade geography paper. “Angola is on the continent of Africa. The primary exports of Angola are…” YESH! I feel like my voice changes throughout the life time of my writing which is I guess everyone’s goal right? To improve. Sometimes my voice even changes in the middle of a single post. I’ll sometimes start to ramble then I have to go back and edit until it makes sense. I think I’m starting to ramble again, so I’ll sign off for now.

Metkaf

guess everyone’s goal right? To improve. Sometimes my voice even changes in the middle of a single post. I’ll sometimes start to ramble then I have to go back and edit until it makes sense.

Commission Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a photo I took for my dad. He wanted me to take a photo of an old house that his friend, we’ll call him “John”, was born in. I took the photo with no problems. Getting it printed however, that is a different story. I use the local CVS to get my prints done. I do this mostly because I can upload my photo before I leave for work and usually pick it up on my lunch break. Its quick, easy and cost about the same as these websites who specialize in prints. Anyway I’m getting off topic. I was hoping to get a print made so that my dad could give it to him on his Birthday. And if everything had worked out as planned that would have happened. Things didn’t go as planned. That Sunday morning I uploaded the photo. Went into CVS Sunday afternoon only to find that the developer was out of order but “someone will be in tomorrow to fix it” an employee assures me. I wait until Wednesday before returning to the store. A different employee tells me that it will be at least another week because the CVS tech had given up and called in a Kodak tech who would be in at the beginning of the next week. So to make a long story short what should have taken 3 hours took nearly 3 weeks. I wanted to be mad but there was no one to be mad at. The machine broke. These things happen and there is really nothing you can do except order which ever part failed and wait for it to arrive. But again I’m getting off topic again.

Finally this past weekend I was able to give my dad the print he’d requested nearly a month earlier. He presented it to John on Monday. At first John didn’t believe my dad when he said the photo was for him. Then he nearly got emotional. I made an 80 year old man speechless with the press of a button but the story doesn’t end there. John took the photo home and showed it to his wife who also got emotional, I’ll explain why later. She ended up moving the family portrait over so that a photo that I took could stand front and center on their mantel in the living room.

Turns out John was born in the house but he only lived there for two or three years. After he and his family moved out they sold it to another family. That family had a daughter. That daughter ended up becoming John’s wife. One house, two families, all the stories and memories that happened within those walls came flooding back because of me.

I don’t know how to feel right now.  I just got off the phone with my dad. He called to tell me all about how happy I made this couple. I refuse to believe that I hold that much power in my hands but I don’t know how to rationalize it. It’s just a thing I do. I take photos. Every now and then the stars align and the picture turns out exactly the way I envisioned it, this was one of those times. I was hoping John would like it but I have no connection with him or this house and this is not the first time I’ve sold a photo but this feels different somehow. I guess I’ve always secretly wondered if people really like my work. If I really was as good as everyone kept telling me. I don’t want to say that this is validation but it is certainly different.

Metkaf

Feed Dump

I was planning to write when I got home from work yesterday. I was planning on reading when I got home from work yesterday. I was planning on exercising when I got home from work yesterday. I did none of those things. Want to guess what I did do? Sleep. Yep. I got home from work. I was probably asleep by 6:30 pm which means I did absolutely nothing worthwhile. It also means that I woke up at 2:30 this morning, a full 4 hours before my alarm clock went off. Instead of exercising (morning exercise leaves me dead on my feet by midafternoon) or reading (I was afraid it would put me back to sleep) I watched disc 2 of The Sarah Conner Chronicles. And in spite of my best efforts I still fell asleep somewhere around 6am which really made it tough to get up with my 6:30 alarm.

Anyway, I’m writing now and I’ll be writing in some for another hour. After which I will read more of “The Village Beyond”. I nearly stopped reading this book because it’s kind of boring. So far this is a story or a middle aged couple on vacation in Italy in the mid 1960’s, doing all the things couples do on a vacation to Italy, you know like checking into the hotel, sleeping off jet lag, going to a nice restaurant, having too much to drink and then getting lost trying to get back to their hotel. I keep reading it in hopes that the story will get more interesting, the last time I did that I got through ¾ of the book before I realized I had completely wasted roughly 10 hours of my life reading a pointless book. There was a bit in the beginning about him being stationed in Italy during World War II and falling for this girl, I’m hoping that she will reappear soon.

In other new one of my photos was submitted accepted and posted to a photography blog! I’m pretty sure the only requirement for approval is that you submit the photo on time but I’ll take it! You can see it along with many other wonderful photos at http://leannecolephotography.com/2015/01/14/mm45-monochrome-madness-45/

On the #BeardWatch2015 front my beard has reached the itchy like crazy stage. It’s the time where your beard is a lot like a giant mosquito bite on your face. It itches. And scratching it only makes the itching worse. Scratching too much causes my face to turn all red and look like I have a major skin condition. :/

Other than waking up WAY to early things have been going pretty good. I may get to hang out with a friend this weekend, one I don’t get to see all that often so hopefully everything will go as planned! I also need to upload some photos I took for work.

Metkaf

Fifteen Minutes to Midnight

I decided after one day to stop with #BeardWatch2015 mostly because watching hair grow is a lot like watching paint dry, it’s kind of boring. I’m sorry if that is a disappointment to all you beard enthusiast out there but I will say that it is coming along nicely. It is currently in the 60 grit sand paper range. Full beard hopefully by the end of next week.

In other news, I sold another one of my photographs! Woohoo! I have various photos on sale at the arts council building in my home town of Windsor, North Carolina. I received word today that my last one there has sold meaning that I now need to take them some more prints. I think I’ll go with some of my newer photos this time. The one that sold is one that I took in the spring of 2009.  I’ve gone on a few photography outings in the past months and have come up with some halfway decent photos.

I’ll make prints of 2 that I took over the summer and one that I took last month and get that to the arts council in time for their reopening sale in February. I think I’ll try to use Shutterfly to do my prints this time. I’ve been using the local CVS store with mixed results. I’ve never had problems with the quality of the prints it’s just that photography is not their business. Waiting in line for 20 minutes behind people buying meds to battle their varying levels of cold to get my prints can get old fast. Plus, the last print I made took them over a week to get to me because the developer was broken.

I’m also about 20 pages away from finishing Terry Brooks’ “Running with the Demon” (I took a break to let my brain rest and decided to write a quick post) but I think I like it. We’ll see how it ends.

All told this has been a pretty good day. Except for that 3 hour nap I took after dinner :/. Oh well, can’t win em all! Back to my reading

Heres a copy of the photo that sold:

Winding RodeIts called Long and Winding Road

Metkaf

To Beard Or Not To Beard

Classes start tomorrow so this morning I decided to trim my beard a little. I was just trying to clean up all the little stray hairs and what not since I hadn’t done anything to it since Christmas break. I made a SLIGHT miscalculation and trimmed too much off of one side. After trimming the other side to match I decided that the way my beard looked made my face took stupid (Well, More so than usual) so I shaved the whole thing off leaving the mustache. I’ve never shaved my mustache for as far back as I can remember.

After I got to work I went to the bathroom to make sure the massive downpour of rain hadn’t completely washed me of my dignity. Looking in the mirror I began to study my mustache. I usually keep it at sort of Fu Manchu level, I don’t know why, always have so I never put much thought into it. Anyway, after my mis-shavings this morning I ended up with something that closely resembled a Tom Selleck but not in a good way. It seems that having a thicker luscious mustache when you have a thick luscious beard works. Having a thick luscious mustache without a thick luscious beard makes you look like you are stuck in an 80’s country music video. So after dinner this evening I shaved the mustache off.

For the first time in 15 years there is no hair on my upper lip. It feels weird. I’m going to let it all grow back. I normally keep a full beard this time of year on account of it being cold. I didn’t realize how much warmth a beard provides until I didn’t have one. My face was freezing!

I expect my beard to make a full recovery in a week or two but until then I’ll be on #BeardWatch2015 Join me won’t you? I’ll be updating it every few days or until someone begs me to stop.

(Note: I was going to post a photo but due to razor burn and the general unpleasantness that is my face I’ve decided to spare you the horror)

Metkaf

Commission

Over the weekend my dad commissioned me to take a photo. One of his friends turns 80 today and he wanted me to take a picture of the house the man was born in so he could give it to him as a gift. He drove me past the house on Friday afternoon while giving me an idea of what he wanted. I only got a glimpse of the house as we passed by, it was dilapidated and on the verge of collapsing under its own weight. Dad wanted to get a picture of it while it was still standing.

Saturday I grabbed my camera, drove out to the farm and found the house. I walked around a bit trying to get the whole layout in my mind, my favorite part. The outline of what used to be a house stood before me. Boards were missing from the front and sides, a section of roof had been torn away by storms. Somehow the framework was still holding. It looked bad. Weeds were waist high all around, higher in other places, saplings had grown to be 6 feet tall.   After a few minutes of thought I began to take photos, eight in all, from three different angles. Happy with what I had I headed back home to begin my other favorite part, editing.

Editing may be my most favorite of all. I could spend hours making the tiniest of changes just to see how it effects the end product. I’ve even gone back to old photos to see how newly learned editing techniques can improve my less than stellar work. I’ve found that a lot of what makes a good photo can be done in the editing. My dad wanted either a black and white or sepia toned photo, so I made a few quick changes to the photos that I had uploaded and presented him with his options. He chose this:

1-3-15 008

I’m happy with the way it turned out and if everything goes well he will get a signed framed print by the end of the week (It would have been sooner but the developer at CVS was out of order.). One day I’d like to make photography a legitimate source of income. Until then this will have to do.

Metkaf

Main Street

2014 will be over in less than an hour and 2015 will be upon us, full of potential. I’m reminded of a New Year’s Eve party from 2010. I was using my vacation from my “paying job” to work at Bertie County Peanuts. While I was there I meet these two women and for whatever reason they’d got in in their head that they were going to go to a New Year’s Eve party and I was going to go with them. This was news me. They seemed determined that I was going and I was equally determined that I would not be going. I don’t even like to leave my house let alone go out in public, especially to a place I’d never been before, and there is going to be alcohol at this party? Forget about it!

My stubbornness was winning… that is until the last day of work. I clocked out for the day, went over to the remaining workers, which included one of these ladies, and said the now standard “Yall have a Merry Christmas and I’ll see you next year.” As I made my way down the line saying my goodbyes I was dreading the last one, her, the other woman had already left for the day, but this one was still here, so I strengthened my resolve and walked up to say goodbye. “So, New Year’s right?” she says. “ I… I … I can’t” I stammer. She looks crushed. I just have to get out the door before I cave. I had made up my mind damn it and nothing was going to change it. I tried to reassure her that we’d see each other again next year, none of this was helping. I just had to get out of there as quick as I could while still maintaining some level of dignity. So I just said “see you next year” and left. Didn’t look back.

I sat in my car for at least five minutes trying to talk myself out of going back in there, trying to talk myself out of going to this New Year’s party. I should have known then that I was fighting a losing battle. Finally my stubbornness won out and I drove away. I spent the whole drive home, nearly an hour, talking out loud to myself about why I wasn’t going and how this was the right choice. That night I had one of only a few completely sleepless nights. Not a restless night. This was clearly “I’ve made up my mind and I don’t care what you say” kind of sleepless. It only happens when my brain disagrees with a decision I’ve made. I finally concede and said “If they let us go early I’ll drive back over there and agree to the party” This way I have an out. This way it is completely out of my control.

The next day my stomach is in knots because I don’t want to go to this party. Let me make myself perfectly clear, attending this party would be a terrifying hellacious experience and the last thing I want to do. But I made a deal. In exchange for 4 hours of sleep I agreed to go to this party IF and only if they let us go early, because they’re never going to do that. Around lunch time the email came that we were free to go as of 2p.m. Well, the universe has spoken. Now I have to go to this party.

At 2:00 I left the one job on my way to the other. Once I arrived “to get my paycheck” they were both there so I made horrible small talk because I didn’t know what to say and when I left I said “So I guess I’ll see you guys for New Year’s. They may have cheered.

I dreaded it for 8 days but when it finally arrived I cleaned myself up the best I could and went to this party. I arrived promptly at 9 o’clock because that is what time the party started, I never understood the whole “fashionably late” thing. Remember, I don’t go to these parties so I don’t understand protocol.  I scanned the room for a good hour before the first one showed up, the second would arrive much later.

I go over a sit with her and her husband, some time passes and she leans over and says “He’s (Her husband) probably not up for dancing tonight so you’re gonna have to dance with me.” Alarms start going off in my mind, red lights are flashing, the whole nine yards, this ship is sinking, life boats are being deployed, and violin players are voilining. I agreed to attend this party, nobody said anything about dancing. I DO NOT dance. Instead of saying any of this I nervously smile.

The band starts to play Bob Segar’s Main Street and she leans over to her husband and says “I’m going to dance with him” meaning me. At this point I feel like I’m having an out of body experience, this can’t be right, she can’t mean me. She gets up and I can’t even remember if she even says anything. She probably just motioned for me to follow her. The next moment I have control over my body I find myself following her to the dance floor. Every possible negative scenario is going through my head at this point from “Ok, don’t fall” to “You can still back out” and the ever present “She’s married. Is this going to cause any problems?”

I step off of the carpeted area onto the concrete dance floor and every fiber of my being is telling me to stop. Those voices in my head are screaming at me now. Only a few more steps to go and the battle is raging in my mind and then she turns to face me. It all disappeared. Absolute serenity washes over me. I was still scared to death but it was ok. I remember making a mental note that she was wearing opened toed shoe so I needed to make extra special sure to try not to step on her toes. I remember trying to figure out if I’m supposed to talk to her or just listen to the music. We spun round and round in a seemingly never ending slow dance to the point where I swear the band started to play the song over again.

I’m sure she thought I was the most uncoordinated person on the face of the earth. I sped up I slowed down, but I did not step on her toes! We survived! It is now and will probably always be one of the best nights of my life. She has become one of my closest friends and to this day whenever I hear Main Street by Bob Segar I get a chill down my spine.

Happy New Year!

Metkaf