Mar 31, 2008

Goodbye for Now... I'm Writing

You may have noticed that I have attempted to post every day this month. Though I didn't post every day, this post marks my 31st for March, appropriately on March 31st. (I have posted multiple times on multiple days, culminating in the realization of my awesome goal).

Well, I'm proud of me.

One reason I've done this is I (regretfully) anticipate to post much less in April. I'll still post once a week at least, but much of my spare time will be devoted to writing a screenplay, as well as writing papers for school. I have 2 major papers due this week, and I have yet to write a single word for either of them.

I realize this may be a bit premature, and I might find time to post every day in April as well, (phew!) but just thought I'd warn ye, as well as try to garner a little more support as I embark on writing 100 pages of dialogue in the 30 days of April, as well as finish this semester and keeping the A's merited thus far. That is all for now, thanks so much for reading, and I hope one day (maybe in a month) you'll read my screenplay, or see it on the big screen. (In a bit longer than a month.) as that is a dream of mine: see something I wrote performed either on stage or on screen.

But first I've got to write it.

Who knows? As Walt Disney said, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Well, I'm pursuing, in my own small way. Wish me luck this month, and I challenge you to pursue your own dreams as well.


Happy Anniversary Nana & Grandpa!

This Saturday we celebrated Nana & Grandpa's 58th Wedding Anniversary! It was great, we got to see all my Valantine & Stewart cousins, Nana & Grandpa & of course my mom. We gave them a scrapbook of all their posterity, and (even though we didn't write much) ours was the best. (Thanks, Kris!) My uncles wrote very beautiful and long letters, even though I was told we only got 1 page, but ours was prettier, and I'm planning on writing Nana & Grandpa a letter soon. My poor mom felt terrible, because everyone else was so adamant about 1 page each, so she stuck to the rules, feeling a bit lousy since she only had a short page to express her love and gratitude. Fortunately, Nana & Grandpa know we love them, and they know nobody could write anything long enough to say what an influence and blessing they have been to all of us.

I love you, Nana & Grandpa! Happy Anniversary!

Mar 28, 2008

Books Quiz

I love books, everything about them.
Today I've decided to make a quiz on books. So, here it goes!
20 Questions: Books

Book that changed my life (not religious): "The Alchemist", by Paolo Coelho.

Book that changed my life (religious, non-scripture): "Faith of a Scientist," by Henry Eyring.

Book that I can read over and over: "The Plays of Oscar Wilde", by Oscar Wilde

The funniest book I've ever read: "The Scorecard" by Greg Gutfeld

The saddest book I've ever read: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling

The scariest book: "The da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. Yeah, haven't read many scary books.

Best Textbook I've read: "Flash Fiction" a collection of very short short stories. Multiple authors.

Best Biography read: "The Autobiography of Malcolm X."

Worst book I've read: "Playwrighting." I don't know who it's by, I bought it at a bargain used book store (Katy Budget Books) and I think it's one of those books like "Mein Kampf" or "Barney Goes to the Zoo" that make you dumber for reading it. I'm only now beginning to catch up to the mental state I had before I read it.

A book I'm embarrassed to love: Pretty much any of the Star Wars novels I used to read. "I, Jedi", by Matthew Stackpole, "Heir to the Empire", by Timothy Zahn. I must have read about 20 of them.

My favorite book (besides ones already listed): That's a toughy. I'm gonna say "Princess Bride", by S. Morgenstern (but the good parts version, by William Goldman). As it says in the movie, it's got it all. Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles. Not only that, but comedy, drama, romance, terror, and adventure.

My favorite children's book: "Horton Hears a Who," by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

My favorite short story: "To Build A Fire" by Jack London.

My favorite author: Oscar Wilde

My favorite poet: E.E. Cummings

My favorite poem: "Morituri Salutamus," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My favorite genre: Fantasy

What writers would I like to read that I never have: Ovid, Alexander Pope, Umberto Eco, Honore Balzac

Book I'd love to see made into a movie: "The Lost World" by Michael Crichton. If you've read the book, you know that it has not yet been made into a movie.

Book I'd recommend to you (besides everything else listed): "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman. Amazing urban fantasy with such good writing I actually stopped several times just to reread the passages.

Ok. Now, what are some of your favorites?
I challenge all you bibliophiles -wherever you are- to post your faves.

Mar 27, 2008

Some Quotes a la Mitch Hedberg

I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.

I like refried beans. That's why I wanna try fried beans, because maybe they're just as good and we're just wasting time. You don't have to fry them again after all.

I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks. And it was way too literal for me.

I remixed a remix, it was back to normal.

I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs.

I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammible and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.

I wish I could play little league now. I'd be way better than before.

I'm a heroine addict. I need to be with women who have saved someone's life.

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus, or just a really cool Opotamus?

Rice is great if you're really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.

Wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy, all day. Wearing a backpack and a turtleneck is like a weak midget trying to bring you down.

The Award Goes To... The Mormons

Another week's poll is done. You voted. Here are the results: Brooke White wins with 7, second spot goes to David Archuleta with 6. Carly Smithson got 5, David Cook got 4, Syesha Mercado and Michael Johns tied with 3, Chikeze and Jason Castro each had 2, and Kristy Lee Cook and Ramiele Malubay tied for last with 0. Apparently, my poll isn't as effective as the votes on American Idol, because Chikeze is gone and Ramiele and Kristy remain. Sigh.

This new poll is gonna be good, once I figure out what it is.

Mar 26, 2008

Week of Crazy- Not over yet!

This is what stormtroopers do when they go home. Much less degrading than being in one of the new Star Wars movies, in my opinion.

This week has been the week of crazy, and so far I've loved it! In English we've begun persuasive writing, which is good. Persuasive writing is one of my weaknesses, as I don't like persuading people to my point of view. You have yours, I have mine, that's all good with me. So it should be informative and exciting. Monday night we enlisted the help of my mother-in-law Kris to assist/make our scrapbook page for Nana & Grandpa. (It's a secret, but I've heard they don't read my blog very often, so I'm risking it). The page turned out B-E-A-YOUTIFUL! which isn't much of a surprise, as Kris did it (though Tracie did the formatting/how it should be arranged, and I contributed because I'm in all the pictures.)

So that was fun, last night we had my mother over to show her our apartment and to have dinner. Tracie made goulash (I helped!) and I made salad (mom helped!) and it was a lot of fun. I was really stressed with my mom coming over, which is odd, because she's the least judgmental person I know, and very graceful and understanding. But she's my mom, so I wanted the place to be clean and the food to be delicious. Of course they were. Tracie makes better goulash than a hungry Hungarian (Hungary is where goulash comes from) and I make better salad than, um, a French person?

After mom left we went to Tracie's parents again to watch American Idol. It was fun, I was impressed with Michael Johns for FINALLY performing, awed that I actually liked David Cook's performance, even tho I think the judges think he's better than he is. (I loved last week when we was so cocky and Simon said "I think that was as good as you thought it was.") Tracie's guess is Ramiele is leaving, I think it'll be Chikeze. I'd prefer Kristy Lee Cook to get out, but her last performance let her stay at least another week. And David Archuleta did much better than the judges said, and good for him for NOT singing another sappy slow song. And that's my 5 cents on American Idol for this week.

Tonight we're going up to Riverton to visit with my mom again while she's here, tomorrow we're going to Justin's Birthday party, as he's here from Nebraska (it wouldn't be as fun if he was still in Nebraska, though I'd probably still go). I don't know if it's supposed to be a surprise party, but he's the one that invited us, so I'm gonna assume no. Then Friday we'll be hanging out with Justin & Mandi 2 on 2 because Justin's my best friend, and he can't seem to get rid of her. I understand, it's nearly impossible to get rid of Tracie. Thank goodness. I think we're gonna go mini golfing then hang out or something. It should be fun. ... It BETTER be fun. It will be fun. Saturday is the crazy day. I will have class, then we'll go up to Riverton to prepare for Nana & Grandpa's Anniversary Party, then we'll have the party, then we'll have to sneak away for an hour to go see our friend Mike's wedding reception in Eagle Mountain, then we'll sneak back to Nana & Grandpa's. I think we're gonna have to pretend to use the restroom then hightail it for an hour or so.

It feels crazy, I can't remember if/when we had a week where every night was planned. We rented the movie "Across the Universe" and I don't think we'll be able to watch it! It might be crazy, but I love it. And it's not like anything we're doing is work or unwanted. It's visiting with family and friends! Bring it on, I say! Next week we'll go back to our mundane boring evenings, punctuated by American Idol on Tues & Wed. In the meantime, I'm gonna kick back and smile!

Mar 24, 2008

Weekend Whirlwind

Whew! What a weekend! Last weekend was so bland, I guess the gods of the week (that would be the norse gods) decided to make this weekend crazy awesome busy. (that would be the hindu gods)

Friday after work Tracie and I went to my new favorite restaurant, Las Tarascas, they advertise that their mexican food is 110% Authentic, and they've won best Mexican food in the state 2 years in a row. Unfortunately, Tracie doesn't like it as much, so we won't go as often as my expanding growling gut would prefer. We then went to Justin & HayLee's, where HayLee celebrated her 22nd birthday. We just gave her a gift card to the mall (cuz we're so creative and organized) visited, ate their cake, and I spent a good chunk of the visit throwing Tyler & Cheryl's boys on the Love Sac (basically a huge and glorified (and expensive) bean bag chair. No one got hurt (except my back the next few days) and Mason threw up a little. But, it's not fun unless someone pukes a little, right? Where have I heard that? I think it's a Roman proverb, or something. "Nottius Funicus Til Someonicus pukesitius alloverium the Vomitorium."

Saturday was busy and good. First I had class, Art History. There was a test on Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. This is my area of expertise, so, if I didn't get 100, that woman could very well have brain damage. Or I could just be too cocky for my own good. Or both. One funny thing about it is that the projection board wasn't working, so we wrote about pictures of the works of art in question shown to us on the teacher's laptop. After I aced the test, Tracie and I headed over to Aaron & Heidi's to help them move. Since a baby is on the way, they need to make some room, so we took some boxes and a weight set (fun) over to Aaron's parents home. It was nice to meet Aaron's parents, I see now why Aaron is such a great guy (AW! how sweet) and also he & I had a great conversation on church history & I learned a lot, I haven't had a good talk just me & Aaron I think in... ever! So that was great. Hope with school getting out we'll hang out more. That took a good chunk out of our day, so Tracie let me go shopping for groceries at Wally World (Why do we call it Wally world, anyway?) She let me go shopping while she stayed home and cleaned. (Awesome for me! I'll do ANYTHING to get out of cleaning.) And while I thought it would go faster if I went to the grocery store alone, it wasn't. I had to go back several times in aisles I had been through because I forgot something or other. Oh well. Then we went to Hollywood (video, not the town, silly!) and rented 2 movies, which we haven't done in FOREVER, thanks to McNeil video, but we wanted something a bit different, and there was nothing in the theaters we particularly were scrambling to see.

Sunday (happy Easter!) we spent in Riverton. My mommy is up here for the week for Nana & Grandpa's Anniversary, so we wanted to see her. She also sang for the Easter program, which was absolutely beautiful. You think having a virtuoso singer for a mother I'd be used to it, but it blew me away how talented she is. After church we went to Nana & Grandpa's, where we engaged in the requisite card game (no visit to my grandparents is complete unless you play cards) we played Michigan Rummy, one of my favorite Rummy games (even though I lost miserably) and Tracie won! I'm sure she was happy about it, as she often complains that I win at EVERYTHING. (which is mostly true) we visited with mom and nana & grandpa for a few hours, then one of mom's friends came by to see her, so they visited while I got to talk with nana mano e nano (man to nan) and we talked about some of the beautiful places she's been. Nana & Grandpa have been to Mexico, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Egypt, Israel, Russia, Britain, and I'm sure many other places. And nana is the best artist I personally know (besides a teacher of mine, and father of friends, Marcus Vincent), and so I got to hear her talk about what some of her favorite places she's been to, and where she thought was the most beautiful. After that, we went to Tracie's parents, where no one was around so we assumed they went to the park (the same one I proposed to Tracie at!) and we were right. I was in awe how well my Utah nephews can ride their scooters, and that they didn't hate me for repeatedly throwing them against the furniture 2 nights ago. All Tracie's other Utah siblings arrived by the time we got back to her parent's, and we had a fun visit, delicious trifle (trifel?) and cinnamon rolls (synonym roles?) and guessed what Trent & Jessica will be having. (I guessed a baby). After family visiting and eating, we went home, ruminated on our fun busy weekend, and looked forward to the crazy fun hindu week we have in store for us!

Mar 23, 2008

Mar 21, 2008

Fatal Beatings

This is my first video on my blog! Therefore, it's one of my favorites. Hope you like it.

Happy Easter! EASTER!???

Is it just me, or did Easter arrive REALLY quick this year? I don't know if it's the daylight savings or what, but hoo-boy. Can't believe Easter is in 2 days. I hope everyone will have a happy one, celebrating the resurrection of our Redeemer with pagan symbols of fertility and copulation: The egg and the hare.

Me and my big mouth. Easter DID seem to be coming very quickly, but today is making up for it. I think this is the longest day in the history of the world, must be catching up for the rest of this year going by so quickly.

And a happy birthday to my sister-in-law HayLee and my aunt Jan! May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door! (Irish Blessing)

Mar 20, 2008

Help is Here

Some of you may be aware how terrified I am to be a father. I'm afraid of messing up, dropping the baby or forgetting to teach them some important life lesson that turns them into a sociopathic killer. Well, this guide online has taught me tons, and helped me see that I can do it. Please read it, those of you planning and preparing to have children. It will make all the difference in their lives, and yours.

Waaaaaaaaah!!!! Season 7, YOUR top 10!

This IS... aMERican Idol!So, this is a new poll. thanks to all for voting and satisfying my curious curiosity. 40% of the 10 that voted check this once a day, 20% each were more than once a day, and more than once a week, and 10% each for once a week and every minute. Well, I'm flattered, and I want all my Blogs O' Fun peeps to know I check your blogs AT LEAST once a day.

New POLL! Who's your fave Idol in this year's top 10? I have more than 1, so I'm letting you vote on as many as you want. I know, I know. I spoil you.

Mar 19, 2008

Austin's Top 11

Yes, I am hopelessly addicted to American Idol. It's my crack. I believe this is one of the strongest season of semi finalists, even from the top 24. (For the most part). The top 11 are all outstanding, and I'll be sad for whoever leaves tonight.

Also, they've sung Beatles songs these past two weeks. I haven't heard yesterday's songs yet, (my loving and generous in-laws TiVo it for us, since we don't have any basic channels, and also because that way we can fast forward through the hours of commercials) but, almost without exception*, I thought they all did a great or at least good job interpreting songs by the most influential (and great) band of last century. (*the exceptions would be the Cooks).

Though I think they're all very good, I still have favorites, of course. Here's my list of favorites of the Final 11 of Season 7. My 7-11. (Listed from favoritest/bestest to leastest favoritest/worstest)

David Archuleta
Carly Smithson
Syesha Mercado
Brooke White
Chikezie Eze
Jason Castro
Amanda Overmyer
Ramiele Malubay
Michael Johns
David Cook
Kristy Lee Cook

Why did I put them in this order you ask? Well, ok, I'll tell you. (From least to fave)

Kristy Lee Cook- despite having the same first and middle name as my mother-in-law, that's about all she has going for her. After her ridiculous hooten-nanny take on 8 Days a Week last week, I think she'll need something stupendous to save her butt. Unfortunately for her butt and her fans, I don't think she's got stupendous in her.

David Cook- He might be good, if there already weren't 700 other singers already making records that sound like him, but are better. Best of luck to him when he gets voted off and joins a tribute band to Nickelback.

Michael Johns- I loved Michael once. He was like an Australian Jim Morrison. Then Hollywood week was over. And I'm sorry, but he hasn't brought it since. Maybe he thinks he can rely on his good looks and ok voice, but he needs to show again what he can do. I really think he's capable of greatness-even winning (or better, taking second/third). But he needs to deliver and show America what he can do. I ranked him 9th because of the disappointment he has been lately. Do better, Michael.

Ramiele Malubay- Despite having a last name that sounds like a mispronunciation of a Las Vegas casino, I also used to really like Ramiele. But lately, again, she has been too safe, boring, and predictable. And, please, STOP POUTING when the judges give you criticism. I'm sure it was cute when you were four. But it's not anymore.

Amanda Overmyer- Against my will I like Amanda. She has more energy than anyone else on the show, everyone else combined, if you took out Chikezie. Though her voice is just not my cup of tea, I hope she stays for a while, if for no other reason than she can help the other vocalists as a foil. But please, change your hair. It looks like you're always wearing a hoodie.

Jason Castro- Number 6 on my list, Jason is comfortably in the middle. Again, I like him against my will. Tracie called him a stoner's Jack Johnson and John Mayer. Even though I personally believe he's been high once or twice while performing (smoking something most likely supplied to him courtesy of Paula Abdul), it must work, because he's in the triumvirate of my 3 favorite guys this year. (In American Idol. My 3 favorite guys of all time are still Freddy Mercury, Paul McCartney, and Steven Page. ;))

Chikezie Eze- I am so glad he didn't leave at the beginning, because he has just gotten better and better every week. The only reason I don't rank him higher is I like the 4 others above him more. Such a fun personality and performer, I hope he's around for longer, he's probably the one more than any other of the top 11 I'd like to meet, and would pay to see him in concert.

Brooke White- The Crassus of the female triumvirate, Brooke also gets better and better. Though I don't love her voice like I love Syesha's and Carly's, and I want her to NOT play the piano or guitar once, I hope Brooke stays around for a long time, because she appears to be the heart of the show, and a show needs a heart. Or else it's dead. Plus she's LDS, and I love Mormons!

Syesha Mercado- Number 3. Syesha was among my favorites ever since Hollywood week, where she was sick as the devil but still sang like an angel. Syesha is probably the most talented female, and she better stick around, just so we can hear her voice.

Carly Smithson- Hail to the queen. Though I'm not sure she deserves being an AMERICAN Idol, since she's from Ireland and only lived here a relatively short time, her singing silences my protests, and her performing earns her the penultimate position. (Nice alliteration, Austin. Thanks, me.) I don't hope Carly will be around for awhile. I know it.

David Archuleta- Almost against my will I love David. The only way he'd be cuter is if he was stuffed and dipped in candy gummi bears. (Or decapitated and hung on Paula's rear view mirror). I think every performance he's done has been phenomenal, my only complaints are that the songs are always too short, and I want him to sing something more upbeat (while not forgetting the words). Thanks to his talent and the fact that there are so many teenage girls that watch the show, David Archuleta could very well be the next... American Idol.

What's a Blogger to do?

What's a blogger to do, when he wants to blog, but can't think about what he wants to blog about? Blog anyway!

Let's go, school, work, writing, and life. They might not be exciting, but then at least I can write something. Yay.

School- not much is new. I'm doing very well this semester, but I'm only taking 2 classes, so it's not too hard. I took my midterm in English today, and I think I passed, I'm pretty sure I got an A. Art History's third test is Saturday, but it's on Impressionism, which I could teach a class on, so I'm not too worried.

Work- not much is new. I'm between the disliking my job vs. disliking looking for a new job stage right now. I don't want to find another more than I dislike it here, so I'm staying at my job for now. We'll see what the future holds.

Writing- I'm also between places in writing. I'm excited to write my screenplay for April, but I'm unsure if my idea is good. I've been a bit bi-polar on my writing abilities lately. I've bounced between I'm the greatest writer, and I expect to have the Pulitzer within a few years, to I'm a horrible writer and I shouldn't waste my time. It's been fun. Also, some of you still need to go to Glass of Random and tell me what you think of my idea. Lynette, Jan, and Heather are all off the hook. April is coming fast, and I don't want a repeat of December- that is, start writing 2 stories that have no promise before I write one that has no promise, but I enjoy writing.

Life- not much is new. I'm still married to the incomparable Tracie, and loving it. We got a new workout program, but she'll talk more about it. All I'll say is we've only exercised with it twice, and I feel better than I have in a long time. It's the hardest most enjoyable workout system I've done. Now let's just see if it gets results! (Ooh! A TEASER! I love it!) I'm really looking forward to my mommy coming up to Utah next week! More on that later, I'm sure.

Anyhway, that's me in a nutshell (no, this is NOT me in a nutshell). Pretty dull but unsinkably cute. And now I have a good idea for a post! It just took one this time!

Mar 17, 2008

Admiral Eric Pressman

We were watching "The X-Files" movie on Saturday, and there was a minor character that looked familiar! It was John Locke! aka Terry O'Quinn, who also played Howard Hughes in "The Rocketeer" and, obviously, somebody named Admiral Eric Pressman on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I found this pic of Locke in a Federation uniform and had to post it. Other Quinn trivia: He used to be a bodyguard, he's a gifted guitarist and avid Neil Young fan, and, when asked what the monster from "Lost" looks like, he said: "It looks like a camera on a stick."

Mar 14, 2008

I haven't been Tagged in awhile...

And I wanted to be tagged. Plus, where else am I gonna use that picture? If you don't get it, here it is: I'm reflecting on myself. (In this metaphor, I'm the swan) huh? huh? nice!
Ok, so here goes!

Four places that I've worked:
1. Deluxe Carpet Cleaning
2. Convergys
3. Talent Group International (I was a child actor)
4. QualitySmith

Four movies I would watch over and over (no matter if they are on crappy TV and cut up):
1. The Princess Bride
2. Strictly Ballroom
3. LOTR, or the good Star Wars movies
4. Anything Pixar, and most anything (animated) Disney.

Four Places I've Lived
1. La Crescenta, CA
2. Houston, TX
3. Buena Vista, VA
4. Provo, UT

What I Watch on TV:
1. American Idol
3. Friends
4. DVDs-we don't have cable!

Four Places I've Been:
1. Montecastello di Vibio, Italy
2. Minnesota & Wisconsin
3. Thunder Bay, Canada
4. Washington, D.C.

People that I get Email or texts from regularly:
1. Tracie
2. Justin
3. Ammon
4. Me (sad, but true. I often email myself stuff so I don't forget. At least I don't text myself... yet)

Four favorite things to eat:
1. Chinese Buffet (though I haven't gone to one in a long while. I'm getting fat enough without it)
2. Greek Food (esp. w/feta)
3. Gelato
4. Pizza

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. At home, writing
2. At the beach, with Tracie.
3. Disneyland, with Tracie.
4. anywhere with Tracie. It's paradise. As Mark Twain said: "Wherever Eve was, there was Eden."

Four friends I think will respond:
1. Lynette
2. Heather
3. Ashley
4. Andrew

Four Things I am looking forward to this year:
1. NaNoWriMo! Script Frenzy! And just WRITING!
2. A trip to CA or AZ which I hope takes place.
3. My birthday!
4. Starting a family!

Unwanted Magazines and a little Retraction

Lately I've been getting bizarre magazines. No, I haven't been sent Modern Ferret (yet) but I've apparently been given a subscription to Redbook and Working Mother. It says my name on the cover, so I'm curious just HOW I got set up with these. Do I LOOK like a working mother? And, if someone is using my name for things, why the heck are they having women's magazines mailed to ME? Tracie and I both agree we're glad it's not something weirder, or grosser, than some other magazines would be.
Speaking of gross things in the printed form, I talked to Tracie about American Gods, and she was telling me the "explicit" things I read about are more "common" in "books" than I'm "aware" of. She encouraged me to tell this, one-so people would know I don't read "smut", and two-so it wouldn't scare any potential readers away. It is a great book, and, while it's the most explicit book I've ever read, one should know that the runner-up would probably be John Grisham's "The Firm." I would say I'm well read, but I guess my reading has been more sheltered than I thought.

Now I'm worried people will think Tracie reads "smut." Well, she "doesn't." So "there."

And now, some quotes from Comic Book Guy:

(sigh) You may purchase this charming Hamburglar adventure. A child has already solved the jumble using crayons. The answer is 'fries'.

CBG: Yes, finally. I would like to return your quote unquote, Ultimate Belt.
Storekeeper: I see, do you have a receipt, quote unquote, sir?
CBG: I do not have a receipt, I won it as a door prize at the Star Trek convention, although I find their choice of prize highly illogical as the average Trekker has no use for a medium-sized belt.
Storekeeper: Whoa, whoa. A fat, sarcastic Star Trek fan. You must be a devil with the ladies.
CBG: Hey, I... Huh... Tha... Oh...
Storekeeper: Gee, I hate to let you down Casanova, but uh, no receipt, no return.
Bart: I'll give you four bucks for it.
CBG: Very well. I must hurry back to my comic book store, where I dispense the insults rather than absorb them.

Oh, loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix.

I insist you take special care with my collection of valuable and humorous bumper stickers, particularly this one (he indicates a sticker which reads "My Other Car Is A Millennium Falcon") which was given to me by a Harrison Ford lookalike.

Stop right there. I have here the only working phaser ever built. It was fired only once, to keep William Shatner from making another album.

Come back! Those are prescription pants!

TUBBY!? (looks at stomach) Oh, yes. Tubby.

Mar 13, 2008

Sating curiosity, and LOST results

Ok, the lost poll is over. Only 7 people voted, but 32 votes were made (32? Why that's 23 backwards... and 4 times 8!) Here's how it went down: Charlie is the winner! Looks like we just can't get enough of the cute-former-hobbit-recovering-heroin-addict. Charlie gets 5 votes, while bad boy Sawyer gets 4. Next is a 4-way tie for third, going to Jack, Locke, Hurley and Sayid. Rounding out the bottom is Kate, Claire, Jin and Eko with 2 votes apiece (2 votes also going to "I don't watch Lost, yet") Sun gets 1, and everyone else gets none. thanks to all for playing, and to the two who don't watch it yet, start watching it. Best. Show. Ever. This next poll is a little more selfish, but I'm calling it curious. Just how often DO you check my blog?

What do you think? What should I do? YOU decide!

Cheesiness of the title aside, it's also a big lie. Like the war. (Just Kidding) Like North Dakota (Not Kidding). This is of course regarding my Script Frenzy idea. I know what I want to write about, but I'd like feedback, if you wouldn't mind. I posted it on Glass of Random. It's working title is 'The Friends of Henry Paris'. It'll be a departure for me, as it won't be a comedy. It's a fantasy Western. (Apparently, there already IS an actual genre of fantasy western fiction, usually called "Weird West".) Please go to Glass of Random and comment what you think. If you don't have access, but would like it, just email or ask me. If you don't know what Glass of Random is, I'll tell you.

It's Tracie's and my's fiction blog.

So go check it out. And comment. It's not a suggestion, it's mandatory. Like showering after swimming in a public pool. It's for your own health. ;D

Mar 12, 2008

American Gods

Thanks to Ammon and Neil Gaiman, I have finished American Gods. It is being offered online, free here. I semi-regularly read Gaiman's blog, and I've now read 5 novels by him, and by far, this was my favorite. It's one of the first (okay, it is the first) novel I've read that won the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel and actually deserved it. (I don't know what other books have won all 3, I'm pretty sure Ender's Game won the Hugo & Nebula).

Here's a quote from the beginning of the book that tells a bit what it's about.

"One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants move from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies. Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greek-Americans the vrykólakas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old Country. When I once asked why such demons are not seen in America, my informants giggled confusedly and said, 'They're scared to pass the ocean, it's too far,' pointing out that Christ and the apostles never came to America."
-Richard Dorson
A Theory for American Folklore

The book was excellent, and, though I've checked it out at the library over 3 times, I couldn't get "into it." But, Gaiman's publisher thought it would be a good idea to offer it free online for a month, and for me, it was. I finally read it this week. I'm already a big Gaiman fan, though this book has made me much more so, as his last 2 books I've read haven't been as great as the first 2. I highly recommend American Gods, it was a wonderful book and a fantastic read. I don't recommend it to everyone, for, though it was my favorite book by this author, it was also probably the most graphic and explicit book I've ever read, some parts clearly "R" rated, others "NC-17." However, I am older than 17 (though sometimes I don't act it, other times I act much older) and was able to enjoy the book nonetheless. I'm sure it will influence my script attempts for next month, as the books I read close to when I write always influence my writing. As of now, the script for April/Script Frenzy will be a Fantasy Western Horror, (no, NOT like the Dark Tower Series. More like the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, in that it will have great characters, adventure, terror, and only ONE fantastic element, not a bunch of hooey garbage capitalistic throw up)

In conclusion, read American Gods if you have the stomach for it and you're over 18, and look forward to my script, I'm having fun plotting it out right now. Well, better get back to it!

It's Spring without the Break

School is closed for the rest of this week. You'd think I'd be happy, but all that means is I don't have anything to look forward to on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning. Just work. Oh well. It'll help me appreciate school more. And I'm sure next spring break I'll be like "Haaaa-le-lujah! Haaaaa-le-lujah!" It's just frustrating when spring break doesn't mean I get school off and am free to go wild in Cancun, Galveston or even stay home and be lazy, it means I get to be at work more. Another part of growing up they don't tell you about. Like back hair.

Mar 11, 2008

Script Frenzy

I've decided to sign up for Script Frenzy, April's script-writing event from the wacky folks at Nanowrimo. (See this post if you don't remember, or want to read more of my brilliance.) One of their steps for making sure I write it is to tell everyone I know. And, since I live in the 21st Century where basic communication is nearly kaput, here I am blogging about it!

Some of you may recall that I did NOT complete the NaNoWriMo, but it was still a wonderful experience for me, and so I hope this will be just as wonderful. (I completed about 40%, or 20,000 words.) I already have some ideas what my script will be about, but a lot can change from here until April 1st. I'm planning on writing a play, but a graphic novel or TV pilot would be really fun too. I may even conduct a poll to see what YOU think I should/could write about. Aren't you excited!?!!!
Here are

The 5 Basic Rules of Script Frenzy

    1) To be crowned an official Script Frenzy winner, you must write a script (or multiple scripts) of at least 100 total pages and verify this tally on
    2) You may write individually or in teams of two. Writer teams will have a 100-page total goal for their co-written script or scripts.
    3) Script writing may begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and must cease no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.
    4) You may write screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book and graphic novel scripts, adaptations of novels, or any other type of script your heart desires.
    5) You must, at some point, have ridiculous amounts of fun.

I always have ridiculous fun when writing anyway, so that last one should be a piece of cake. Since I plan to be a writer, it means (among other things) that I need to write, and NaNoWriMo motivated me extremely (to the extreme), so Script Frenzy oughta do the same. I hereby challenge anyone interested to sign up as well. It's free, there are no prizes, just certificates of completion. If you think you have a script idea sitting in your head, begging to be told, now is your time! the website has lots of advice and help on how to write a script, so ignorance is no excuse.

And, as it is March 11, I'd like to tell Alan happy birthday to a wonderful patriarch of a wonderful family I feel blessed to be included in!

Mar 7, 2008

Taking a Whack at it- ME; in pictures

favorite color:
favorite animal:
a bad habit:
favorite food:
favorite object:
town I live in:
my name:
my favorite song:
my job:
favorite author:
(so i kind of cheated here. I have my favorite playwright, poet & author)
a place i would like to travel:
favorite dessert:i got this idea from lynette.
now, i challenge nobody! but do it if you like, it was surprisingly fun!

Mar 5, 2008

You All Everybody

Acting like you're stupid people
Wearing your 'spensive clothes

I know, I know. I posted earlier today about having Blogger's Block, and here I am with my FOURTH post of the day.

This is just the notification that there's a new poll- to accompany my newfound LOST obsession, I'd like to know who your favorite characters are.

My Most Embarrassing Story

My most embarrassing moment occurred, not when I was a teenager, but when I was a missionary. Since I went to Minnesota where the major spoken language is Minnesotan, (very similar to English) my embarrassment was not in reference to an err in translation. It was much worse.

In Winona, Minnesota, there's a wonderful member of the Lord's church, for anonymity's sake: we'll call him Bob. Bob had joined the church in the later years of his life, he was in his 80's when I knew him. As age often does to a person, it took its toll on this man and made him effectively blind since his late 70's. So the missionaries would walk him to the store every week so he could do his grocery shopping. We came to love Bob, for his tenacity (something his generation has tons of, (plus moxy) and our generation seems to lack, among other things.) we loved him for his humor (intentional and unintentional) and his straightforward manner.

One of my favorite and least embarrassing moments with Bob (least embarrassing for me) was when we were at the pharmacy and he was trying to find a stool softener. He yelled at the pharmacist trying to help him find one: "It's like a BRICK!"

Anyway, my companion was making an audio tape for his family, mainly because he was lazy and didn't want to write. So we were taking the tape to different people for them to say hello to his family. Bob was naturally one of these people.

I was talking to Bob, who usually was quite verbose, and trying to get him to open up and say something. Here's what we said, to the best of my memory:

Bob: Hello? Hello! This is Bob, I just wanted to say hello, you have a very nice missionary son here, and he always prays for me and I hope you will pray to Heavenly Father God for me and the missionaries too.
Me: Thanks, Bob, that was sweet. Tell his family a little about yourself.
Bob: Huh? Me?
Me: Yeah. (without thinking) What's your favorite color?
Bob: My favorite color? (Pause) Eyesight! Seeing!
Me: (Trying to make the situation better) That's my favorite color too, Bob. (it didn't work)

So we had him sing a song and also introduce his cat Mr. Boy to my companion's family on the tape and we went back to work. I hope Bob has forgotten, he didn't seem offended, but I felt more embarrassed and smaller than I maybe ever have in my entire life, the time I asked a Blind Man what his Favorite Color was. sigh

What makes an "A" Paper?

I make an "A" paper! Remember that post? Well, the teacher LOVED my paper on what makes it an "A." He loved it so much, he asked me to email him a copy of it so he can frame it. Well, ok. The framing part was made up, but the asking part was real. I haven't had a teacher ask me for a copy of my writing since in creative writing in Virginia when my teacher (and several other students, I most unhumbly say) asked to keep a poem I wrote. Just in case you're wondering, I got an "A" on my "A" paper.

I wasn't sure if I should post it on this or glassofrandom, but, since it's not fiction, I'm posting it here:

4 x C = A

Stephen King said the writer performs a form of telepathy by inserting his own thoughts into the reader’s head. A writer is successful when his thoughts and those of his reader align. How does one accomplish this? King never answered that. How does one merit an “A” on their paper? Everyone has written at least one paper in which they practically vomited information and received a high grade. And everyone (I hope I’m not the only one) has worked and revised and rewritten a paper only to see an “F,” or worse, a “C” when passed back to their crestfallen hands.

Effort therefore seems to be irrelevant, or at least not as important. I’ve thought about what makes an “A” paper, and I’ve come up with four principles—four things that every “A” paper has. They are, perhaps inappropriately, all “C’s”: Clarity, Concision, Concrete imagery, and Collection of thought.

An “A” paper is clear. It speaks the writer’s intent without ambiguity or uncertainty. It is what it is. Without clarity, even if the writer speaks into the mind of the reader, the reader will not be able to interpret any more than a Spanish-speaking reader will understand Japanese. Clarity also includes proper spelling and grammar. These are the laws of language, and the writer becomes a criminal upon violating these laws. While the writing of a criminal may hold some macabre fascination, its purpose of entering the reader’s subconscious fails.

An “A” paper is concise. It has no filler. As Will Strunk Jr. said, “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” Without concision, the meaning and intent of the paper will be muddled and weakened.

An “A” paper also contains concrete imagery. Without concrete images, a paper remains a paper, firmly held in the reader’s hands, but not fluttering into their minds and stroking their thoughts, stirring emotions and sense memories like madeleines did for Proust, illuminating new and familiar landscapes to explore.

Finally, an “A” paper requires a collection of thought. This is achieved through structure and order. Point A leads to Point B. Collection of thought pulls the paper’s controlling ideas together, like a knot tightening. Without this, any imagery transplanted into the reader’s head will leave just as quickly as it entered—like water poured into a cup with no bottom. Collective thought causes the reader to lose consciousness of self through rationality—at times called sucking them into the story. The reader must never be consciously reading; they need to enter the place of imagination, no matter the subject.

Once there, in the realm where we dream and imagination is king, the reader’s mind is a sponge eager to absorb—and the writer’s work reaches completion. The reader’s thoughts and memories belong to the writer. And if that’s not worth an “A,” I don’t know what is.

Look to the Cookie, Elaine!

Not much news this week, I'm afraid. We housesat for the McNeil's, watched Lost Season 2 in about 2 days over the weekend, (therefore dreamt about it both nights-fun) and had a fun visit with the Valantine's (Brett & Charlotte). Whenever we hang out with them, I always feel like we don't see them often enough, or that we hang out long enough. But, I guess that's better than the opposite: seeing them too often and for too long. I was sick Sunday and Monday and getting better Tuesday though my voice is really scratchy and I sound like a voice-cracking teenager going through puberty. School is still going really well, I've received a 100% on everything I've handed in in English, and gotten an A on everything so far in Art History. Work is still work, and sometimes barely that. Yesterday Tracie threw a baby shower for Heidi and (among other things) made cookies, hence this post's pic. I'm sure she'll post more about it, so stay tuned.

If you have any questions or want me to post about anything in particular, let me know. The only thing stopping me from posting more is not knowing what to post about. Same with why I haven't posted a new poll yet. I have blogger's block.

Mar 3, 2008

Sick Person

In addition to just being plain sick, I also have the flu. Not fun. I did get to miss work today, but I also got to throw up.

Poor me.

Mar 2, 2008

Sick People

Some rotten people with no lives have been posting links on my comments. I have learned that at least one is a link to a virus. First of all, get a life you horrible person. Second, please don't click on links to people you don't know.

Also, now you'll have to verify information to comment on my blog, hopefully to cut down on these wastes of space.

thank you.