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My amazing niece wrote this for her expository writing class. I’m posting it here because, honestly, she makes me feel special. Of all the things I’ve done in my life, it’s nice to know I got one thing right:

I am amazing at limbo. You would not think this by looking at me since I am chunkier than most, but I am. People usually wonder why I am so good at this random game and I tell them it is because of my uncle. He has been training me for the sport ever since I was little because that’s just how he is. He would always tell me that, by using limbo, I would defeat the alien overlords when they came to earth. The head alien would attempt to verse me in a limboing duel, thinking he was superior to me. I would easily defeat him, though, and win the Earth back. Due to my skill, I would save the world. Of course, he trained me for this by constantly trying to poke my nose, which is really annoying when you’re trying to play videogames. So I would have to bend backwards to avoid his finger. My uncle makes the little things I can do seem like things that will eventually save the planet. Simply put, he makes me feel special.

My uncle is more like an over protective big brother or a father than an uncle. He cares too much about me to just be an uncle and he been there for me more than most distant relatives. It helps that we have a lot of things in common, mainly because I have always wanted to be like him. If he liked something, I would want to check it out. He is the reason I want to be an artist. He is the reason why I know way too much about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is the reason I know how to kick box. He is also one of the few reasons I survived through middle school and living with an alcoholic mother.

When I moved out of my mother’s house in the seventh grade, he was the first one I turned to. I immediately called him to have him get me out of there, and he did it. He had always told me that if I need his help, he would be there. At this time a lot of people had turned their backs on me, even if they said they were there. I had started to give up hope; he was the one who turned me back to the light. He saved me from Hell, gave me a place to live for eight months, and kept my mind occupied so I wouldn’t have to constantly think about my mother and the abuse I dealt with in her house. There is no doubt that he saved me, and I thank him so much for that.

I used to have terrible stage fright, horrified to talk in front of people. He helped me get over this using something you may not expect: Dungeons and Dragons. This forced me to come out of my shell and speak to other people, mostly coming up with everything off the top of my head. Having to do that every other Friday night made saying a rehearsed speech in front of a class seem like nothing.

He shaped me into what I am today. He taught me that being weird is a good thing and I should embrace my unconventional side; whether it was with stories about aliens or us bonding over a bag of D&D dice and some character sheets. He made me different from other kids, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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As evidenced by the lack of significant posts, this has been an uneventful week. Today was better, as I went out with Kendra on our last photo safari before she returns to school. The picture above is one I took while we were horsing around, but I think it came out very good.

Other than that, there’s not much to talk about. I’m a bit miffed with my father. I was making dinner when the phone rang and my dad answered it. Usually, Dad screens all calls through the answering machine, but this time he picked it up on the first ring. The next thing I know, he’s saying “There’s no David K**** at this address” and then he hangs up. I look at him and he tells me that he assumed it was a bill collector, so he said I didn’t live there……. Ok, soak that in. I’ve been sending out resumes and filling out online job applications with my home phone number, and if my father picks up a call for me, he tells the caller I don’t live here…… That’s just freakin’ great.

 Fabulous Kendra

 Yesterday was one of those days where my horoscope turned out to be eerily accurate. I checked it in the morning like a usually do and it read, Scorpio: Making a tough financial decision could be your big challenge of the day. One part of you wants to spend the money without sticking to your budget. But you know that an impulsive purchase might not be the smartest move. You can get the best of both worlds by buying something relatively inexpensive like lunch, a book, or a CD, while putting off a major buy until you have enough time to do more research and think it over carefully.”

Since my plan for the day was to go out with Kendra on a photo safari where my biggest expense would be gas for the car and breakfast, I wasn’t all that worried. Heh, silly me. As it turned out, the weather decided not to cooperate with our plans. It was cold, rainy, and just not good hiking and taking pictures weather. So instead, we went to the mall. We had planned to go there after taking pictures because Kendra had one a free photo session at a portrait store and she wanted more information. I figure we’ll check it out, then catch a movie…. Which we did. We saw Stardust and that film is awesome. It’s original. It’s entertaining. The acting is great and the special effects are awesome. Plus, Robert De Niro plays a gay pirate. I highly recommend seeing it.

Anyway, when we checked out the portrait place, Kendra and I ended up making the appointment for the photo session that evening. So, after the movie, I ran her home so she could clean off her makeup and grab a couple of outfits. The photo session itself was a lot of fun. Kendra got her hair and makeup professionally done for the first time in her life. That took close to an hour, but it looked fantastic when she was done… and I say that as a straight male. Then they did the photo session. I have to admit, I had several ‘Who is this young woman and what has she done with my little niece’ moments. Kendra was just glam-or-ous. They did about a half dozen pictures in each outfit and the photographs turned out wonderfully. I also enjoyed the chance to get to see a professional photographer do studio work. I don’t have any experience with that or with working with a live model, so it was a good learning experience for me.

It was only at the end that we hit a snag. Kendra’s prize covered the makeup and photo session, but did not include any prints. They started talking print packages that started at over five hundred dollars. Just a basic 8 x 10 print without any touch ups or graphic effects was forty five dollars, and we got twenty five dollars off as part of the prize,  so I ended up having Kendra pick out her favorite photograph and got a print of that. The manager offered us a special deal of three more for another seventy five dollars, which sorely tempted me, but I just couldn’t afford to spend so much. At least with the one print we can scan it and make more for Kendra to give out as gifts.

All in all, though. it was a lot of fun and a very interesting experience. Now I have a much better idea of what would be involved for me to do studio work. I also have a better idea of the money that can be made at it. Heh, yeah. I just have to invest in the equipment, but still, it’s an idea. With a better camera, lighting, and a few simple backgrounds, I could offer an ‘in home’ portrait service that could make some money. I know I can match the colorization and touch up editing they were offering easily enough. It’s food for thought if nothing else.