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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've been tagged... again... and again

Remember the game of tag you played as a kid? Yes, of course you do - consider that a rhetorical question. Well, like most things from the back-in-the-day era, a new version of this classic game of hit-and-run has evolved for big kids. And like seemingly all things in our big kid lives, it involves technology to even get in the game.

For several months now, this new viral version has been spreading like wild e-fire through the professional photography blog world, and recently I was tagged by Jen, Barbie, and Marlo.

The Rules
Post the rules before you give the facts. Then post eight random facts about yourself that few people know. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag 8 other people and list their names leaving each person you tagged a comment on their blog letting them know that they've been tagged.

The [Forgettable] Facts
Prepare yourself to be underwhelmed.

1. I never gauge well the amount of paper towels I'm going to need. Tear off one square and I spill something and have to go back for more. Tear off 3 squares "just in case" and I barely get so much as drizzle of ketchup on the corner of one. I've tried the select-a-size rolls, too, thinking more size options would make it easier to manage this dilemma. More choices = more waste. It's an on-going struggle.

2. I'm an obsessive counter. Seriously. I'm always counting and memorizing random things in my everyday existence. It's 19 steps from my 2nd floor apartment to the parking lot below. The seat belt warning in my car consists of 25 mind-numbing 'dings' that go off in succession for a stretch of 6 seconds every 45 seconds until I put my seat belt on. When I stayed in Philly recently, it was 433 steps from the front door of the Hampton Inn I stayed at to the front door of Chili's. Scary, I know. I could continue, but let's move on.

3. I received a nomination from then Ohio Congressman, Mike DeWine, to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy (also known as Kings Point) after high school. Kings Point is the least-known of the 4 major military academies, and probably the one you've never heard of. The other 3 are West Point (Army), Annapolis (Navy), and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It was a pretty competitive screening process and kind of a big deal that I got selected, but I only stayed 3 weeks before deciding it wasn't for me. At the time, the decision to leave was the toughest I had faced in my life and ultimately led to a dark, painful time in my life for a while back home.

4. To this day I have sequestered and locked away all-known evidence of this, but I was once chosen to be Mr. June in a local radio station's "Men of Dallas" calendar contest. I'm still emotionally scarred from the rightful harassing I received from my 'friends' for that gem in my past. (yes, I was completely clothed for the calendar image in case you were wondering. Give me a little credit here... I may have been naive, but I wasn't completely insane.)

5. I love Fruity Pebbles. Always have. Always will. Yes, I'm 34 years old, and, no, I don't care.

6. I'm generally shy and uncomfortable around new and/or unfamiliar people. Perfect characteristic for someone who photographs new people all the time, I know. Yup, I've grown up being a little insecure/unsure of my abilities and intimidated around people I don't know. This is a daily challenge for me, but with the grace of God and a good group of amazingly supportive friends and loved ones, I'm making strides and learning to spread my own wings.

7. In elementary school, I stretched the truth a bit [read: I blatantly lied] and told Michael Styer (Schrode) my family owned a hot air balloon so he'd think I was cool and invite me over to spend the night at his house so we could play Atari Football and Frogger. The only thing I owned with hot air back then were the words coming out of my mouth. Sorry I fibbed, Schrode, but hey, thanks for inviting me over! Besides, the way I see it, I think we're probably even given the manner you threw me under the bus in your desperate love letter to Connie Vanover.

8. I'm a self-taught photographer. As a kid, it never crossed my mind for even a second to write "photographer" in the blank at the end of the "When I grow up I want to be a ..." question. Now, an artist? Different story. Watching Bob Ross every day after school create those 30 minute masterpieces on PBS with 'happy trees' and 'VanDyke brown'- how could I not want to grow up and be like Bob. Although even back then, I knew I didn't want Bob's haircut. Did they not have a stylist for that show?? I digress. Nope, other than an elective black and white darkroom class at Ohio State, I never studied photography in college either. I've always been doing something creative, and I guess I was always kinda curious about photography, but honestly I don't know why or what caused me to decide to do it on a professional level. I think one day a little over 2 and a half years ago, I was simply talking to a co-worker about photography and I saw an ad on the internet for the new Nikon D70 back then and thought, 'Hey, I could do this.' So I played for a while (still am), did lots of experimenting (still am), went to a few workshops and seminars (still do), stalked a lot of other photographers' blogs (still do), and presto - here I am. Thanks to Laura Chambers for being brave enough to give me that first chance to take her family's Christmas photos back in December of 2004. (BTW, Laura, I'm sure you could tell, but I didn't have a clue what I was doing... thanks for not calling me out on it.)

Bonus Factoid. I've broken 3 bones in my life, and none of them were mine. In 8th grade I tackled Kari Ihns from behind in the snow just trying to be funny... she never got up. Yup, broken femur. Nice strategy for showing a girl you like her, eh? My junior year at a HS girl's basketball game, my buddy Adam pulled a chair out from underneath me as I was sitting down, and during the less-than-graceful descent, my flailing hand struck a women from the opposing HS's team square in the mouth and broke her front tooth. Her husband was very large and scary. That same year at another girl's basketball game, I was playing a game my basketball coach had taught us and jokingly punched (seriously, it was a game) a buddy as he ran past me. He tried to duck to avoid me and my fist landed squarely on his collar bone. Ummm... oops.

The Tagged
Considering 1) hardly any of my friends even have blogs and 2) most of the photographers I know - due to my slow e-reflexes and delay in responding - have already been tagged, this is the hard part. So if your name appears below, and you've already been tagged, my apologies. I didn't see any "no tag back" clauses.

Okay, I've only got 7, but you're 'it':

Schrode, Tina/Trinity, Martha, Brooke, Sara, Marie, Alicia, Paige


Trinity Taylor Tackett said...

Oh! You got me! Fun facts about you, Matt. Some I never knew and some I wish I never knew. But fun all the same. Well, since we've been tagged, I guess Trinity & I will have some explaining to do about her short, but highly eventful life (she's only 2, you know). Stay tuned... since Mommy will be writing this, it could take a while. Hugs and kisses for [Uncle] Matt!

Marie Q Photography said...

Mr. June. That cracks me up. Already been tagged, but thanks for thinking of me.

Your new stalker friend in Waxahachie. Love your work!

Charmi Peña said...

Someone else you watched Bob Ross! I used to sit, free of paints or canvas and watch him too...

None of these facts were as mundane as you claim :)

Stacey Lish said...

"Happy clouds, happy, happy clouds." ~ Gotta love ol' Bob! ;)

martha said...

i loved bob ross! did you ever watch a gal who painted wearing a beret (imagine that...)in the early 70's? she was on pbs after sesame street, and i absolutely loved that show. it pains me to no end that i don't know what it was - i've even done several searches of pbs to see if i can find it. tones on tail's "go" sounds much like her theme to the show, she reminded me of a dear lady named elizabeth deustchausen, and there was a little aladin's lamp during the opening credits...

oh yes, and i've searched in vain for the last standing pup n taco, naugles, and have contacted every manuafacturer in hopes of finding some random box of shelved "mug 'o lunch" packets that i might be able to taste again...i wrote campbells, and they sent me an envelope full of coupons, but no further i'm thinking it was lipton...hmmm..

but i digress...

bob ross...yes! happy clouds!

so....thanks! "the pieces of eight" have begun on my blog....

i'm tortured matt, tortured.

perhaps i can use this little diddy i've left about old food searches as fact #2....

and say....did you ever eat "noodles and ground beef" soup by campbells? i can still find it in north dakota when i'm there...i fill the suitcase with it.

Suzie said...

Oh Matt, loved this post! You crack me up. Oh, I was a huge Bob Ross fan as well. Not of the hair, but of his work. And you'd never know you were self-taught! You're pretty damn good.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Learned some new things about you Matt. Mr. June, huh? Are there any of those calendars still floating around? :) Oh, not to be picky or anything but it wasn't 8th grade, it was our freshmen year. Not that it matters. :) And it still amazes me that you still feel shy and insecure. You are an amazing individual who is extremely gifted in so many ways. I consider myself pretty lucky knowing that you were part of my life at one time. I learned a lot from you back then and still do today (thanks to technology). Keep in touch!


paige said...

I'm slowly and desperately learning to keep up with this "tagging" know, you're pretty cool for your mid 30's....

Brooke Drellos said...

hey, you tagged me...I just noticed! Never been tagged, thanks!