Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good News!

Today, at little after 10am my nephew, Broxton Dean Chaplin was born!!!!!

He weighs in at 6lbs. and is just over 19 inches long. He and his mom are both healthy and doing great! Congrats Bro and Michaela!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bored and Single in Boise = Sucks

I am in a kind of bad/depressed mood.

This whole being single during the holidays thing kind of sucks. I have come to the conclusion that I should get pro-active about finding a girlfriend to hang out with. How I am to go about doing this is beyond me. No available women at work...none that I would ever consider going out with anyways. No church community to tap into. No friends with cute friends to hook me up with. BTW if you are a friend and have a cute and non-crazy friend to hook me up with, do so now. I just have been doing some cool stuff lately and it would be nice to have a significant other to talk about things with.

In a similar vein, I find myself getting slightly bored with Boise again. I am having a hard time finding stuff to do that interests me. The Boise Flickr group kind of sucks. We almost never do anything and when we do, the same people show up. Oh yeah, most of them are guys too. If I had a girlfriend, I don't think I would get bored as much. Significant others tend to be time sinks, which is good because I have a ton of time to sink right now.

I have been dreaming in Japanese again. I have been back for almost a year now but I still remember the vast majority of Japanese I learned. When I dream in Japanese that is a signal that I am homesick for Japan. I have to admit, I have been really homesick for Japan lately. The irony is, if I were in Japan right now, I would be homesick for here so I am screwed either way. At least when I was lonely/single in Japan, I had an excuse. Here I don't get that luxury.

I have decided I need to take a road trip. The problem is that I do not have the time or money to do so and the locations I want to hit would probably not jive weather-wise. I want to make it up to Canada to visit Reid and Karie but am fairly certain the roads would not be the best to drive on right now. Since I cannot make a road trip right now, I have been planning my next big one that I hope to do this summer. I am going to start by going South, like to New Mexico and Texas. I would then head East and make my way across Louisiana and Mississippi and eventually, Florida. Once I hit Florida, I would turn North and hit the Carolinas and Washington D.C. and then New York City. After New York, I would turn West and head back home. I am not sure how long this roadtrip will take or how much money it would cost. I have friends in DC that owe me a couch for a few nights but I am lacking in Southern friends to crash with. Sleeping in my car is an option and so are hotels, but hotels cost money and I am trying to keep the price realistic. Oh yeah, I am going through the South because it is the only part of the United States I have never seen other than Hawaii. Flying is also out of the question because I don't have a specific destination for this trip. I have this weird drive to see all fifty states and flying doesn't help that out. As it stands I think I am in the mid-twenties so I am about halfway through. Roadtrips are also preferred because they provide more of an experience than flying does. Driving allows me to meander and hit strange places that I happen to come across, flying just gets me there. If I were to fly, it would be to DC or New York but I really do want to drive.

In other news, I am all registered for next semester are that means about $1700 in new debt. This is depressing because it always seems like when I am financially on track, something comes along to screw it up. After this next semester, I have three more classes, one in summer school and two during the Fall. So this whole thing about getting my special ed certificate will have taken me about a year, not bad as long as it gets me a job.

I REALLY need to move out of my parents' basement. I have no space here and sleeping in my room is starting to be difficult just because of the constant clutter. I want to get a house but that takes money and I wish I was more stable financially. A teaching job will get me there. What I am doing now, does not.

Speaking of my current job, I may not have it in about a month. Thanks to all of the cuts the state of Idaho is making to stay afloat. The fund that pays my company is getting slashed pretty hard and if the cuts get much deeper, the owner of my agency is closing up shop. I am ambivalent about this other than the fact I am out of a steady income. I could stand a different job and I always seem to be able to find new jobs. I like what I am doing now but I am getting bored with it.

I am just getting bored with everything at the moment.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

And I Become a Professional Photographer

And I mean that in the most basic sense.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I was invited to put up some of my photographs as filler for a coffee shop art gallery. That opportunity has blossomed somewhat, with fun results. My pictures have been displayed for over a week and since hanging them, I have learned a couple of valuable lessons.

On the day that I was to hang my pictures, a couple of cool things happened. First, one of my pics sold before I even hung it. A guy that used to be one of my biggest customers at Costco bumped into me at the coffee shop, saw one picture in particular, and paid me $40 for it on the spot. Thus, I entered the world of professional photography! This happened at a very opportune time because the people that were orchestrating the whole showing were there and took note that this guy that was a last minute invite was selling his work before they were even getting to the wall. A few minutes later I was told that I needed to raise my prices and that my photos were of a caliber that could get me more money than I was asking. I was also invited to become a permanent member of the artistic co-op and was told that as long as I could supply pieces, my pictures would be at every showing that was lined up for the group. Sweet!

The next cool thing that happened came about ten minutes later. Other photographers are shown in this shop and I was particularly impressed by one man who is a local professional photographer and was showing several very cool pictures. As it turns out, he was in the shop at the same time I was and one of the show's organizers knew him and introduced the two of us. He was a nice guy and gave me several pointers that I have started utilizing in my work. In my opinion, when you are looking at a picture, you should not be seeing a signature from the photographer because you are to be looking at a photo, not a signature. As it turns out, people are more likely to buy a work if it is numbered and signed. So from here on out, I am to get my pictures printed with borders so I can write the title on them and sign them. Numbering is optional but when people think they are getting something that is limited, they are more likely to pay more for it. Things I never thought of!

I am also learning the importance of framing. A good matching frame can sell the photo sometimes faster than the quality of the pic itself. This was the case for my first picture that sold. The frame matched it very well and added to the picture.

Notice how I said, "first picture that was sold", that is because I sold another one this morning to a lady who is also in my co-op. It was one that I took at Ben and Kristy's rehearsal picnic that has been getting attention and today it was snagged.

I am guessing two more of my pictures will sell, possibly three. There are three out of the ten that are hanging now that people speak highly of. If I sell one more picture, I will have paid for the printing and framing of all of the pictures and then a little bit of profit. Not too bad for a hobby.

One other related thing to note. It is a very weird thing to sit in a coffee shop and listen to people talk about your pictures when they do not know you are there listening. So far, it has been an ego boost. I wish someone would come in and bad mouth some of the pics because I would like to hear their criticism. Most of the criticism I get on my pics comes from friends and family and sometimes I wonder how much they sugar-coat the advice they give me.

Anywho, I am getting some recognition now and it feels pretty good. It is kind of funny but it's a pretty good feeling. Oh, if you want to see the pics and live near Boise, the pictures are hanging at Dawson's coffee shop on 8th St. and Bannock and will be there until the end of December.