…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy! If you are looking for Kaylia's official Website please visit KayliaMetcalfeWriter

Snacking For the Sake of Art

Every now and then you get invited to do something cool simply because you happen to know the right person. This weekend, the person was David.

I have known David since high school… and that story can be told some other time. Suffice it to say, we were close friends, we haven’t seen each other once since graduation, and we recently reconnected on Facebook.

David is following his dream. He is the founding member of Dog Shadow Productions (soon to change their name) and also pretty busy being a photographer/artist. It was because of the second pastime that The Man and I were able to have another wacky yet totally fulfilling artistic adventure last night.

One of David’s current photography projects is called Midnight Snack. It is a series of photos of people (dressed in jammies) indulging in a midnight snack by the light of the open fridge door. The photos I have seen have been classic, artistic, and somehow poignant. I would never dare to speak for David, I don’t know exactly what theme he is going for but off the top of my head I can see this work of art being about hunger, secret appetites, personal pleasure in getting exactly what you need exactly when you need it most, and the thrill of adventure that only the night can provide. At least that’s what midnight snacking is for me.

However, my midnight snacks (if they ever actually happen) tend to be crackers or popcorn or that secret bag of cookies. Aka, not fridge food. Which is why, on our way to he empty office building that would serve as studio, the Man and I stopped off at a grocery store and bought sorbet and yogurt.

Seeing David again for the first time in something like 12 years was great. I must admit that I didn’t recognize him now that his hair is short. Meeting his wife Anne and his brother Chris was also a lot of fun. They were all normal geeky laid back people that made the idea of changing into PJ’s and letting David take my photo while I ate not only manageable but fun.

I had, of course, freaked out about what to bring to change into. The Man was easy, he wears pretty much the same thing to bed every night: pajama pants and a tee shirt. I, on the other hand, dress for bed based on my mood. My night clothes run the gamete from long flannel nightgowns to lacey skimpy, from stained and ragged tank tops to tunic tees, and everything in between. I opted for cute PJ bottoms and a billowy tank; an outfit I have never actually worn to bed, but that felt like it looked the part. (And for the sake of art, I did actually wear the billowy tank to bed last night…. I had bought it a while ago and never worn it out because I thought the billowy-ness of it looked silly with jeans. Remarkable it actually works in bed.)

We changed in an empty office and then, hair properly mussed, sans glasses, and feeling just a bit silly, I knelt in front of the fridge and we started.

It was massively fun! I have done a bit of modeling activities (though normally not for mass consumption) and at first it was hard to relax, but eventually I did and the time flew by. David offered suggestions and I played with the food a bit, trying different angles and such. Later, The Man took my spot for his series. We even took a few combo ones of us fighting for the food and then sharing it.

I am famously not photogenic and there are many times when my negative body image makes me want to hide from the camera or label all photos of myself as crap. I’m working on this though, and letting people like The Man and David take my photo in fun non critical (shall we say artistic and playful) ways is an important step for me.

I really hope a few of the shots he took last night turn out and are usable for his project. I will find a way to link them here if that happens.

In the meantime, I just wanted to say that I had a BLAST with David, Anne, Chris, and the Man last night. Not only was the photography part a lot of fun, but the reunion with a long lost friend was amazing.

So many adventures this week! What will June hold?

Adventure for the Sake of Art

Upon the advice of some trusted folks and the encouragement of facebook friends and twitter pals alike, I decided to attend my first open mic night last night.

I convinced The Maifan-San to accompany me and after doing a brief search on google found a local event.

At an Anarchist Coffee Shop.

Not to be daunted, I figured if nothing else it would be an interesting adventure (and blog entry) so I re-convinced The Maifan-San to come with me and off we went.

-Technically I freaked out for a few moments trying to decide what to wear, I printed off a few poems just in case I managed to work up the nerve to actually participate, I discarded them and printed off different ones… Then we headed off.

Being who we are, middle class and newbie, we got there WAY early. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a teeny tiny little room (and patio area) with crowded book shelves, Zine racks, and home made coffee served in a “provide your own cup” sort of way. Also, not surprisingly, they only took cash.

We left briefly to rustle up some cash and some coffee mugs (The Maifan-San’s office was relatively close by) and got back just in time to order our coffee (1 buck each) and find seats on the folding chairs before the show started.

The floor was cement, scratched and stained. The walls were bare. The people milling about were pretty much what you expected to see in downtown Santa Cruz at 8 pm, a mix of college skaters, veterans, the Raging Grannies*, beatnik bums, well pressed yuppies trying to fit in, even a biker or two. The coffee was extremely strong. There was soymilk on hand and chunky organic sugar.

The Maifan-San, having been a resident of Santa Cruz much longer and also having had a very different college experience than I, wasn’t really all that surprised by the “acts” that we saw. He was moderately impressed by the skill of a few of the guitar players and by the number of guitar/music acts (they were mostly musical with a few poets thrown in for good measure).

I, on the other hand, was blown away.

Not by the raw talent, although there were a few pretty talented people there, but by the whole idea. With a five minute time limit (lights that would lower just a smidge to let you know you were almost out of time) and a very open and friendly atmosphere, this open mic night was the perfect place for artists to try out new material, deal with the demons of stage fright, and participate in my personal favorite aspect of art: shared inspiration.

Shared Inspiration. Whether it is a group discussion that stars in one place and meanders down long twisty paths that lead the participants to new ideas and inspiration… or an interactive art show where you respond directly to the art around you by making your own art right then and there… or in a jam session where musicians feel the ebb and flow of a musical conversation… or story telling where you have the freedom to adapt the narrative as you go based on how your audience is reacting…. In all these cases (and many more) the creation of art is two fold… Art being created for the pure sake of art and Shared Inspiration. Sometimes you need the energy and the input, the momentum of the audience or fellow artists or partners in order to create something totally unique and beautiful.

No, they didn’t spike my coffee.

I have missed that sort of thing…and stupidly, I had never thought it could happen at an open mic night.

Yes, there were “acts” that were pretentious and poetry that was, subjectively, awful. But there was also a spirit of art, a spirit of sharing that transcended the few political spiels to make that tiny space seem huge with possibilities.

We had to leave early due to needing to eat dinner and go to bed at a relatively decent hour, but as we left, I was buoyed by the experience. Snippets of verse still floating in my head, I let my mind wander and found ideas and inspiration for myself.

Will I go back? Probably.

Someday I might participate. For now though, it is a comfort to know that places like this exist and that art is still evolving.

Decision Time

As many of you already know, I wrote a book.

So far, those who have read it really like it. I have gotten a lot of very positive feedback both from people I know and from strangers. (Even a 5 out of 5 stars review that will be splashed all over this blog once it goes live.)

The problem seems to be getting other people (general public) to know the book even exists.

In order to try to get the book in front of the eyes and purchasing hands of the general public, I need to do some concentrated marketing / promotion.

Which, as I am sure you can imagine, is both time consuming and at times expensive.

I am torn.

Torn between throwing myself into promotion and marketing of Links…. And letting it take a back seat while I write something else, something new.

I know that ideally, I would have the time and resources to do both. Unfortunately, I work more than 40 hours a week at a job that is emotionally rewarding but also physically and mentally draining. (Woot for the non-profit sector, eh?)

So, I kind of feel like I need to pick one project to wallow in, to immerse myself in, to focus on.

The trick is picking.

Me Again!


Wow. It’s been a month. Lots of stuff happened.

Ever have one of those things that you need or want to do but you keep getting distracted or for some reason it doesn’t feel like the right time and the longer you put it off the worse it gets?

Like calling a long lost friend.
Or doing the dishes.
Or starting that diet.
Or going back to the gym.
Or editing that short story.

Or updating your blog.


Enough is enough. Time to get back into it. Rawr!

Coming Soon: (not necessarily in this order, and honestly, not necessarily at all.. like so many things in life, it all depends.)

NOW and Gay Rights
Volunteering for Love and No-Money
Bowling and Event Planning Without Bumpers
How Not To Market Your Book
What it means when it means nothing at all
Comparing your partner to a trucker and other not so romantic ways to say I love you.
Double The Meat
Being the Not-Exactly-Straight, Straight Girl
Reviewing Reviews

And much much more!