May 30, 2008

Guess what!??!?!?!!!

No. We're not pregnant. And I don't think we ever will be. In Vegas, we took one of those morph pictures of what our children might look like. Apparently, our child will have a horrible haircut and look more like Cindy Lou Who than either of us. And where did the brown eyes come from? What's with that hair? Did Mr. Snuffalupagus die on our daughter's head?

They should stop having high school kids take care of eggs or bags of flour or those new robot babies as a form of birth control, and just make them take one of these photos. Yikes.

Let's hope genetics will triumph over science yet again. In our defense, Tracie had trouble posing for the picture, as I was still in the booth and she couldn't match up in the right spot, (they take them so fast) and the machine cost 5 bucks. A face only a mother could love. And if any of you say it looks like us, you're out of the will.

May 29, 2008

We're BA-ACK!

We're back! Our trip was awesome, I'll make several posts (or just one big one) detailing our trip. But I just got home after a 6 hour drive and a 2 hour class, and I'm tired and smelly.

I mean more so than usual.

May 26, 2008

Rhapsody in Blue

** I flipped this, because it was taken on our Photobooth which flips everything. So the final picture is now the right way. :)**

Here's my Art History Project on Rhythm. I selected "Rhapsody in Blue," by George Gershwin, to do, as I think it's one of the best and most beautiful music pieces of last century, or ever. below it are it in progress, and some preliminary sketches. I'm off to Vegas!
I promise next time I won't show every step on the way. Think of this as a lesson on the process of an artist! So, what do you think? reminds me a bit of "Starry Night"!

Part VI. The End… And the Beginning

A long courtship (14 months) deserves a short engagement (3 months). We were married on June 30, 2006. Many wonderful things have happened since then, because of that day. Tracie, I love you more today than ever, and I am so excited to be with you forever, talking, kissing, sharing every moment with each other, and making each other laugh forever and for all eternity!

Part V. This is Serious

After our trip to California, we kept dating, kept falling in love, and kept cracking each other up. An award-winning combination, just so you know. Tracie had already met my family that summer, (minus Ammon & Lynette’s branch) and they liked her and she liked them. So, they paid for us to fly to Texas for Christmas. While there, she finally met Ammon & Lynette & their kids (the cutest on the planet, fyi) Carly & Wesley. Everyone loved everyone, so I got the thumbs up to marry her. Not that I was waiting for it, but it’s still a nice gesture. I don’t remember a whole lot of what we did in Texas that time, except for one thing. My parents live near a lake. Actually, across the street from it. It’s a manmade lake and my friends and I used to fish in it. The subdivision is one of several with a lake. I took Tracie to one where in the middle is an island with a gazebo. There in the moonlight I knelt down and “practice proposed” to her. I don’t remember what I said, which I’m kind of sad about, because it was completely spontaneous and sincere. But part of me is glad I don’t remember, because the magic of that moment can’t be duplicated. She said yes. Now all I needed was the ring.
We had prayed about it and both of us received our answer. (Tracie needed some help from both our Bishop and the Stake Patriarch, but once she knew, she knew.) I didn’t want to go into debt for the ring, so I waited for my tax return to return so I could pay for it in full. I cannot express the stress and excitement and agony as I waited for the return to come. Once it came, I realized I didn’t know how I was going to propose. As I’ve said, I’ve always tried to give Tracie my best. She deserved the best proposal. And I didn’t know how to do it.
I asked everybody. A lot of people gave suggestions and ideas, one offered to buy us dinner, but I give my cousin Justin the most credit, because I actually used his idea.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to surprise her. I tried though. I really tried. But Tracie isn’t the easiest person to surprise, and I’m not the best person at surprising. While on my way to work that day, (I proposed on March 4, 1 year and 2 months after we first started officially dating.) she asked me, as she had for about a month, if I had gotten my tax return back yet. I couldn’t think of the answer. I hesitated, then gave her a very weak “…no.” So she already knew something was up. Like I said, I was calling around and asking everyone what to do. I figured my best shot would be to be ambiguous, because that way I wouldn’t be caught in a lie, but Tracie wouldn’t know. Well that plan backfired. We got into an argument because she thought I was just messing with her. Finally I told her, “do you want me to tell you when I’m going to propose?” she said, “yes, I want to make sure I look nice.” So I said, “then look nice.” (real romantic, I know.)
I took her to the park by her parents house where we had a picnic courtesy of Kneaders. I then told her to close her eyes. I then left a trail of rose petals to the playground.
(Warning! Extreme cheesiness follows. Those with weak stomachs or gag reflexes may want to skip this next part. But it was a wedding proposal between two very cheesy people, what do you expect? Ok. I warned you.)
I told her to be my wife, you have to pass several tests. First was a test of balance. I pushed her on the swing for awhile, and told her she passed. Her reward was the movie “Walk the Line” which we saw in the theaters and just loved. Her next test was a kissing test. Well, you know it, I know it, Tracie knows it, she aced it. So I gave her a pack of Hershey’s Kissables, one of her favorite candies. I don’t remember what the other tests were, but they involved things on the playground, and each one involved a gift. The gifts were an expansion of the Sims, one of her favorite games, the board game mousetrap, one of her favorite games as a kid, and finally, I told her the last test was to go down the slide, the Corkscrew one. So she did, and as she came to the bottom, there I was with the ring, on one knee. I don’t remember what exactly I said, but I remember she cried, and of course she said yes.

May 25, 2008

Part IVb. I’m going to Disneyland!

Ok. So it’s not tomorrow. So sue me. (I'm doing this to cheer you/me up, and also so I can have the complete story done by tomorrow. Though Tracie wants me to edit some, rewrite and add more details, but I'll do that when I get back.)

Tracie and I don’t remember the exact order of this trip, but we remember it was fun. It was honestly some of the most fun I have ever had in my life. We were at the serious part of our dating, (serious meaning we thought we would probably get married, not serious like unfunny. Hopefully we’ll never get there. Shudder.) And we decided to go on a trip to California. We took time off work and loaded up my old faithful Neon and drove. I learned quickly that 12 hours is a long time to drive when the longest you’ve ever driven before is about 2 hours. First we went to Northern California to visit with Troy & Jen,
Tracie’s brother & sister-in-law, and their kids, Maddie & Eric. I think it’s a rule that to be our nephews & nieces, you have to be cuteness incarnate. Maddie and Eric fit the bill. (Though, admittedly, they weren’t yet my niece & nephew. Yet.) We had a fun visit with them, it was nice to get to know them better & have fun in Madera. Not the funnest town in California, but Troy & Jen & kids made it awesome.
We then ventured south to my grandparents in Stevenson Ranch, California. (Near Valencia). We went to Carpinteria Beach, not the prettiest or coolest beach, but my family has been going there for YEARS, and it was fun. We built the biggest sandcastle I’ve ever built or seen. We didn’t get sunburned, except on our lower backs. Apparently, we forgot to put sunscreen on the smalls of our backs, probably because they’re so small. Also, we were leaning over most of that day because of said sandcastle.
The next day we drove down the Coastal highway, it was a beautiful drive, except I got lost somewhere in Ventura. But, obviously, we found our way back and went to the J. Paul Getty Museum, probably the coolest museum ever. We saw an exhibit of Rembrandt portraits, the $50 mil. Van gogh “Irises”, and other beautiful works of art. Of course, the most beautiful sight for me that day was Tracie. Aw. How sweet. But it’s true. So there.
The next day we went to… DISNEYLAND!!! Definitely the most fun I’ve ever had at the Magic Kingdom, (sorry, Mom. The time you & I went is second). Tracie found this program online called “RideMax” that has all this data of what rides are busiest at what times from all these matrices of years of people going. So, you type in what rides you want to go to, when you want breaks, and it figures it out for you. In one day, we went on 21 rides, the longest wait was 31 minutes, the average wait was 5 minutes. We also had a 3 hour break for shopping, a lunch & dinner break too. It was a blast and a half. No. Two blasts. Loved it loved it. Plus, I got to spend it with my future wife! (She didn’t know it yet, but I did.)
The next day we went to Magic Mountain. (which I’m glad we did, as I heard the park closed down. What???!!) It was a lot of fun, though Disneyland kind of spoiled us. But we still loved it.
The following day we went to Santa Monica, stopped at the temple, I told Tracie that was where my dad proposed to my mom (hint hint) and left it at that. In retrospect, I hope I freaked her out a little bit. Then we went to Santa Monica beach, a little nicer than Carpinteria, but not by much. I think we just wake & boogie boarded there, got a little sun, & buried each other in the sand. Oh, and we collected shells. No, that was at Carpinteria.
The next day we drove home, I again was grateful for cruise control, as well as a girlfriend who was fun & easy to talk to. There’s our California trip.

Part IV. Giving it a Try: Ups and Downs

A bit of a rewind. Nearly all the girls I had dated prior to princess Tracie had been (at least) a step back for me. I chose girls who were “safe” and “not as attractive or interesting as someone I thought I deserved” because I didn’t want to aim high & get shot down. (disclaimer: except for my first girlfriend, who we’ll call Suzette, because she’s my sister-in-law’s sister. She is a wonderful person, but we were just NOT compatible. But her husband is a lucky guy and I feel blessed to have had her in my life when I did.) But the rest were all less than ideal. Some were losers, some were a “what the he-- was I thinking?”
Then I met Tracie. I didn’t know someone as beautiful as her existed, let alone someone as smart, fun, quirky, creative, original, who got along with me as good as she did. She was a gorgeous package of everything-Austin-needs-and-wants all rolled into one. Well, when I finally convinced her to be my girlfriend, I did everything in my power to show her I loved her and that I was a good boyfriend. In retrospect, I may have gone a bit overboard early on in my affections. The “World’s Best Girlfriend” trophy aside, I came on a little strong.
But I was crazy about her, and I knew she was it. If I didn’t marry her, no matter who else I married, I’d be settling for less.
I bought her flowers every month on the 4th for our anniversary. Valentine’s was more work than I’ve ever done, or more money than I’d ever spent on someone. (I’ve already blogged about that, remember?)
We went to Las Vegas together with friends, had a lot of fun and didn’t gamble a cent. All the money they took from us they took legally.
Tracie’s birthday was both an extravaganza AND a hoopla. Not that once we started dating, everything went smoothly. Her family didn’t approve of me, (probably because I stayed over a trifle late occasionally) she still had feelings for Vapid, (had invited him to the birthday party. Not my happiest memory), I had accidentally read her online journal. (Ok, I didn’t want to discuss this unpleasantness, but I feel I have to. Because right now you’re all at home going “sure, Austin. Accidentally read it. Uh-huh. We understand.” Then your eyes all roll. So here’s the scoop. Tracie had shown me Her Live Journal, something similar to blogging, and you can control who gets to read your entries. Well, one night I decided to comment on it, say something like “I like your journal, you wonderful girlfriend, you.” Because, as I said, you can control which entries are visible to the general public. I don’t want to go too much into it, but the journal entry wasn’t very favorable to Austin, it was very ex-boyfriend Vapid-centric. (This was before her birthday party, pretty early on in our courtship.) It was probably one of the times in my life I really wanted to crawl under something and die. I was hurt and felt betrayed that she’d write this stuff about me to strangers, she was hurt and felt betrayed that I had read her journal. But, as I said, she posted it for the world to see, and I’m in that demographic, and I saw it. Fortunately, we stayed together even after the Night of the Living Journal.)
Man. I didn’t enjoy reliving that. Let’s move on to a happy memory. As I’ve said, we had a lot of fun together, but probably none so much as when we went on our trip to California, which, as you may have guessed, deserves another blog entry. See you tomorrow!

May 24, 2008

Part III. Friends Who Kiss

(This picture was taken AFTER we started dating. But it fits the title. :))
The story continued as it had been. Tracie and I were falling for each other, but stupid pride and feelings for lost loves stood in our way. We kept not dating and hanging out as friends from work (Tracie’s special friend, according to my father-in-law). Then, one night (I wish I kept a journal so I remember exactly when) Tracie’s mom needed her to go to Orem High School and pick up her car. Since I, her special friend was there, we drove together and got the car. I don’t remember how or why, but we both were sitting in her mom’s car, even though mine was there also, and we were talking about stuff we’d talk about. We also talked about kissing, how we wanted to, but were worried that we couldn’t commit. I knew her flimsy reasons, she knew my silly ones. I asked her, “so, is part of you thinking, why doesn’t he just kiss me?” and she said, “a part of me does, yeah.” And so I summoned up every ounce of bravery in me and kissed her. It was wonderful.
After that, we became friends who kissed. Not a great thing to be, but I really really really liked kissing Tracie, she seemed to not hate it as much either, and it worked for us. Then, a wrench was thrown in the works. We’ll call him Bignose.

I had gone to Texas for several weeks (2 or 3, I think) for the Christmas and New year’s holiday to be with my family. Tracie’s friend Heidi introduced my best friend who I kissed to a group of boys, one of them showed interest in her and tried seducing her. She wasn’t my girlfriend, so she let poor Bignose think he had a shot. (Though she’ll deny it, I think she was just trying to get me to commit). Well, I heard about Bignose, I was naturally livid. But, during one of our many phone conversations, we decided we’d define the relationship, (the legendary DTR) once I got back. In the meantime, she wouldn’t go with Bignose, and I wouldn’t murder him with an icepick when I got home.
(in Tracie’s defense, she never kissed him, and I wasn’t technically her boyfriend.)
I was excited to go home and see her. I had a new shirt, a new haircut, and, I thought, a new girlfriend. I got back to Utah on January 4th, my heart racing, and went into iarchives to see my friend who I kissed who was soon to be my girlfriend. She finished work, I drove her home, and we sat in my car, talked, etc. I remember thinking she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen in my life there in the moonlight. Finally she said, “Well, I guess we can give it a try.”

May 23, 2008

Part II. A Less than Ideal Beginning

So the time came that I started working about 10-12 hours a day at iArchives. I stayed at my computer, listened to my books on CD, and let the night girls (as they were called) do their thing while I did my thing. (I mistakenly thought the night girls were annoying and full of as much TMI and BS as the day girls. I was wrong. But I didn’t know yet). One of them was Tracie. I thought she was cute, but she seemed like other attractive girls: A lot on the surface, not much going on underneath . I don’t remember how it happened, if there was a great catalyst or if I just forgot my book-on-CD one night, but I remember that Tracie girl (I didn’t call her Tracie, I just knew her as Cute Girl #2. Not that she was second place, but she was the second cute girl at night that I noticed, and the third girl was pregnant.) Anyway, Cute Girl #2 commented to the other night shift girls, who had recently broken up with her boyfriend, that she hadn’t thought of him in a while. I don’t remember his name. Overrated or Annoying, I think. Maybe it was a foreign sounding name, like Vapid. Yeah. Maybe that was it. Anywho, Hottie #2 mentioned she was getting over Vapid, and I thought for an instant, “ooh, Cutie #twoie is on the market” but then I remembered I was through with dames . Well, I eventually learned Hottie #2 was named Tracie, and we got talking one time . I was impressed with how smart & cultured she was; I hadn’t had an intelligent conversation like that with anyone in a long time. (Partially because I hadn’t been talking to people, and partially because Tracie is just that smart & a great conversationalist.) I started looking forward to work, at least the last 4 hours of it. Against my will, I began to develop a crush on her.

Around this time, Tracie (Ah, Tracie. To this day, for some reason, the sound of that name just makes me tingle!) decided she needed to make some new friends, so she invited us coworkers over to her house for a party. I also was in need of new friends, though I wouldn’t admit to myself I had a crush on her. I came to her parents’ house, bringing 2 (that’s right, Mr. Big Spender, TWO.) 2-liter bottles of Shasta (the good stuff). We visited a bit; it was somewhat awkward as I was the only person that showed up. She texted her friend Heidi about the party of two, and Heidi volunteered to come over and rescue Tracie.

The three of us visited and watched “Star Wars: Episode II. The Attack of the Crap.” Heidi & I both fell asleep. I went home and on the way out the door gave Tracie a high five, as I didn’t want to hug her goodbye, but I didn’t want to shake her hand either. I thought a high five was a good compromise. Two palms, open, colliding in the air like that. Kind of sensual, in a way. ;)

I remember talking to my brother Ammon on the phone and telling him I went to a party of three with this cute girl at work and her friend. He told me when cute girls introduce you to their friends they often want to set you up with them. I told him that was fine, her friend was cute & fun too. (I know. Not exactly love at first sight. “Hey, your friend’s cute too! Are you both available?” No, I didn’t say that.)

So, it continued. I kept working at iArchives, I started liking Tracie more & more, and she kept having parties that only I showed up to. (Though she’ll deny it, I think Tracie secretly told everyone else NOT to come, just so she could have more alone time with me.) It was at one of these Tracie Parties that I realized I was attracted to her. I had liked her for a while and thought she was pretty, but this time she came up the stairs wearing this tan sweater, her hair & make-up done, and it was just WOW. I’m pretty sure my eyeballs fell out for a second because I heard them hit the floor.

I could tell she liked me, but seemed hesitant to progress, as she still had feelings for Monsieur Vapid or whatever. I was sadly no stranger to girls who still carried baggage from their last trip to Dumpville, but I wanted her to get over it already! You dated him for a couple months! It’s been over longer than you dated him! But I didn’t say that. I was patient and kept telling myself not to fall for her. I didn’t need the hurt that came with liking someone who doesn’t love you back. I’d played that game many times before and had always lost.

I didn’t want to develop feelings for someone who didn’t seem willing to reciprocate, but then she started flirting with another guy at work. So I asked her out. That’s where my courage dried up. And my creativity. I didn’t know what to do, so my amazing cousin Justin planned a fun double date in Salt Lake where we went to hear a symphony perform at the Tabernacle and then eat at Olive Garden. My date was less than warm. It was in October, I think, and she was as cold as the weather. I call her my date, because this wasn’t the Tracie I had gotten to know and wouldn’t permit myself to fall in love with. I felt she was wishing the whole time that she was on the date with Annoying or whatshisname. Yeah, Annoying, that was it. I later found out that yeah, she was wishing that. Luckily for her I liked her enough to stay friends with her and not let a bad date ruin her chances. Plus, at the end of the date, she gave me a really good hug. I think that was our first hug. It was at least our first “real” hug. It was good.

(Quick sidenote from the date: I remember her talking to Justin at dinner and saying “I’m going on a mission soon.” And Justin laughed and said, “You won’t go on a mission! You’ll be married before that!” That really made Tracie angry, but it made me hopeful a little. Ah, Justin. Fluent in the gift of prophecy. Though he had told me one time I was going to marry Ugly, so he’s not always right. Still more so than my weather man, though. I just found that funny that on my first date with her, my cousin told her she was going to get married before she could serve a mission.)

Well, the first date was a fiasco as I mentioned. Yet, for some reason—maybe boredom, maybe desperation—we kept hanging out together. But, though we both knew but didn’t acknowledge the sexual tension (so thick you could cut it with a knife. And I did, several times, but it kept growing back) between us, we wouldn’t kiss. We’d go out to eat, but just as friends. I wouldn’t open the door for her or pay for her (except once) because I was her friend. She wasn’t going to have her Austin cake and get to eat it too. There were several times where we nearly kissed, but didn’t for whatever reason. I actually grew a goatee, partially because I think I look good with facial hair, but mostly as a deterrent to prevent us from kissing—Tracie hates facial hair.

The deterrent didn’t work as well as hoped. I remember telling my roommate and best friend, also named Justin (coincidentally, both Justins were my best men at our wedding) that I was going to kiss Tracie that night. I mean, we’d hung out together practically every night for a few weeks; I was in danger of entering the friend zone. I knew I didn’t want to commit, but I also knew if I didn’t make a move, I’d be in the friend zone from which there is no escape. It’s like the Twilight Zone, the Iron Curtain, and a Wiggles concert all rolled into one.

So, after the movie, (I don’t remember which one) we stayed on her parents couch and cuddled for a long time. Our stories differ on exactly what happened down there that night. Instead of setting the record straight, I’ll tell my version and let you decide.

As I said, we both were very attracted to one another, (how could we not be?) and I began kissing her cheeks. I asked her if she wanted me to stop, but she said no. So I kept at it. I’d kiss her face and come close to her lips, but she’d back away. So I’d just keep kissing her face, approach the lips, and she’d back off. Again, I asked, do you want me to stop? And she replied, no. Though, in her defense, I am not a bad kisser, quite the opposite, (according to Tracie) and I can see how it would be hard to resist. Well, she kept up her fight as much as she could but eventually succumbed to me. We kissed. And it was good. Holy moly, it was good. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Later, I found out (partially because she told me) that she felt seduced that night, and we should go back to not kissing. Well, I shaved my ridiculous looking goatee off and we went back to not kissing. For a while.

Because we were falling for each other, and because I was so darn irresistible, we kissed again. The story of our second kiss is more sweet and romantic (and less seductive) than our first. But you’ll have to wait to hear that story.

May 22, 2008

Part I. Setting the Stage

I realized that this story had to begin a little bit before Tracie, to sort of ‘set the stage’ if you will. I also realize that any story like this has to begin with once upon a time.
Once upon a time, after I got back from my mission and moved to Utah, I started dating Ugly. (I call her Ugly for anonymity’s sake, and because it wasn’t really true. If I wanted be brutally honest, I would have called her Boring or Smelly.)
So, Boring & I dated for a few months, I was a returned missionary and thought we should maybe consider getting married, as most returned missionaries think when they first start dating their Boring, even if they’re settling. Ugly was moving for the summer back to her hometown of Moses Lake, WA, but I’ll call it Loserville, for the sake of anonymity. I didn’t want to propose, per se, but I wanted to know if she was serious, as I didn’t think Boring was worth waiting for if she didn’t want to date me. Well, long boring story short, Ugly & Austin decided not to keep going, and so I was (not understandably) crushed. It took me a few months to get over it, I dated a dull Hungarian girl I’ll call Zsa Zsa (partly cuz I don’t remember her real name, and partially because I’ve always wanted to call someone Zsa Zsa). I dated a nice girl who was about 20 years older than me (ok, she was 5 years older. But still.) I don’t remember her name either. So I’ll call her Barbara Ann. No, Rhonda. There was a NCMO in there or 2, and someone who pursued ME, asked ME out first, and then told ME she wasn’t ready for a relationship. I learned later she was seeing a friend of mine. We’ll call that girl Whorianne.
Well, with these misadventures with Utah girls, I understandably gave up and eventually decided I was through with girls.
Being LDS, gayness wasn’t top on my list (plus I really don’t like boys that way) so celibacy seemed all fine and good. I mean I’d been doing it religiously for about 22 years at the time, so I kept practicing it, hoping I’d get better. Around this time, I quit my job (a pattern in my life over the next few years. But we’re not talking about that. This is the Tracie & Austin story, not the Austin’s crappy jobs story. That’s for another day.) A friend of mine from Texas, we’ll call Her Erin Weber, because that’s her real name, told me her company was hiring. So, I rode my bike to Lindon and interviewed at iArchives. Because I’m shy at first and the job was boring, (there were also a lot of annoying yappy girls there) I often just listened to books on CD or CDs while I worked. As I said, I had given up on girls and didn’t really want to talk. Well, my wonderful grandparents decided to give me a car, which I was SO grateful for (we’ll call them grandma & grandpa) and with their generosity, I bought my Neon. They had me pay some of the money for my car as well, which I was grateful for, because that way I appreciated their gift and my car more. Well, I started working more hours to pay the car off, and guess who worked nights there? Carolina & Angie! Oh, and some girl named Tracie.

May 21, 2008

The Austin & Tracie story: First Contact to Marriage- COMING SOON!

Well, I’m finally doing it. The Austin & Tracie story, My side of the story. First, I must apologize to my wife for any (ok, most of the) flack I gave her for taking so long to write the Tracie & Austin Story. I made an outline, and anticipate this to be a big one. However, I’m also going to mostly talk about us. Some of this may overlap with Tracie’s story, as, when we finally began dating, we’ve done practically everything together.

I have finished writing the story, and it’s long. I’m going to release one part daily, because I really liked Kris’ serial technique of her & Alan’s story, and because that way you’re more likely to read it if it’s in bite-sized chunks. Stay Tuned!

The Chase

No, this isn’t the Austin & Tracie Tale, that’s next. Tracie reminded me of a funny adventure we had last night. As you may know, my wife is sexy, and I like that. This will come into play later. (this post is rated PG, don’t worry.)

After watching American Idol the battle of the 2 Davids, the overrated one and the amazing one, we went to our car and decided to go on a quick walk around the neighborhood, as we hadn’t gone on one the day before. Tracie started walking, and I (as I usually do) admired the way she walked and so planned to goose her. Well, for some reason, silly Tracie decided she didn’t want to be goosed, so she jogged ahead a little bit. Like the predator I am, I became entranced with the chase, and ran/hobbled after her. But every time I got close she’d take off again. This continued for some time.

Well, less than a block later we both were very tired, (we’re not in the best of shape. Hence why we went walking) but she still wouldn’t let me goose her. I know, right? Not very charitable. So I kept chasing her, even though my body was screaming at me “What the heck? You haven’t used me in months, now you expect me to catch Tracie?!? She’s like a gazelle!! A very sexy gazelle!” but the hunter in me was like “look at that babe! I got to get me some of that!” and made grunting noises like Tim Allen on Home Improvement.

We continued the chase, Tracie cackling with glee as I hunted her, I felt like we were on a playground, boy chasing girl. (Only I knew what I was going to do once I caught her, unlike in elementary.) Well, right before my body gave up, Tracie did, and I came up to her and gave her a big hug, a few squeezes, and said, in my best Westley voice, “There, was that so terrible?”

Then my body embarrassingly said, “YES!”

A long time?

Well, I haven’t blogged in 4 days, which, according to some, is a long time.

I’ve wanted to blog, but, as I usually begin, I don’t have anything noteworthy to blog about. Nothing blogworthy.

Work- still a roller coaster set to coast, sometimes good, sometimes bad, and usually tolerable.
School- fun, I got a 91.7% on my first Biology Quiz, and I’ve gotten 100 on everything in 2D Design so far.
Life- wonderful. No complaints. Married to Tracie, and we generally like it.
Goals- pretty good. Could be better, the only one I’ve kept EVERY day is my writing 3 pages a day. Everything else is at least 4-5 times a week. (Scriptures, walking/exercise, meditating, & my phlog).
Plans- My plans for next week are pretty exciting, we’re going to Las Vegas, baby! I’ll let you know more about that as time develops and we get back.
Weather- it’s raining.

See. I told ya. Maybe I’ll start working on the Austin & Tracie story:
MY perspective...
Yeah, maybe I will.

May 17, 2008

Where do you feel the Rhythm?

For my design class, we have to make an abstract representation of a song, showing understanding of the golden mean as well as visual rhythm, using only 2 or 3 colors.

I'm trying to decide between several songs, I'm guessing it'll be either "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gerschwin, or "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. (2 great Rhapsodies if there ever were)

Tracie suggested I watch the iTunes visualizer for ideas, which has been a great suggestion, and here's one from Bohemian Rhapsody.

If you had to draw a song, what song would it be?

May 16, 2008

What if?

What if fast food restaurants made a fighting game?

Courtesy of Ammon, art by Lysol-Jones.

May 14, 2008

Epic Struggle... to write

I’ve written 22 pages in my writing journal I started. I have 2 more pages to write today, but I thought I’d just blog them. The writing journal so far has been fun, I didn’t write on the weekend, but I wrote every day last week, yesterday and today. (I also wrote 6 pages yesterday, so that makes up for it a little.) So far I’ve just written stories I have no interest in publishing, editing or letting anyone read, except I got one good idea that I’m going to turn into a story someday. I’ve meditated about every day, read at least a few verses of scriptures and haven’t gone on a walk with Tracie for about a week. So, 3⁄4 goals are going well. We’ll get back on that walking one soon, I hope.

School is going well. My collage was well-received, Biology, though early on Saturday, is fun, and is now 1⁄4 over, can’t argue with that!

Work is a roller-coaster. I’ve been enjoying myself more lately, as well as making a bit more money than usual, so that helps as well.

I guess that’s about all I have to say. Well that was a crappy blog entry. This won’t even count as 1⁄2 a page for the goal!

We finished watching Lost Season 3, and started watching Arrested Development Season 2. Quite a bit of a leap, there. We’re also watching the countdown to American Idol’s finale. Wheee! I’m also excited, as we ordered 3 of the CD’s I wanted, (BNL, Degraw, Mraz) that just came out, so my life will have a new soundtrack to accompany its awesomeness. Yup, digging at the bottom of the barrel here. I know I’ve asked in the past, but give me suggestions/requests on what you’d like me to write about! Who knows? I may actually listen! Exciting, I know!

Tracie is always getting after me for writing a blog entry when I have nothing to say, pointing out that I have nothing to say, then having a big huge entry anyway. Yeah, I’m awful. But she loves me.

Well, this didn’t get me very far. Guess I better get back to my story I’m writing in my journal.

May 11, 2008

Happy Day!

Happy Mother's day to all those mothers out there. I know you women are special, and we all are thankful for you. I'm especially grateful for mine, as she's the best! Happy Mother's Day, Mommy. Thanks for putting up with all the stress and grief I put you through, past, present and future. I love you!


Creativeness of the title aside, I just have to say that Tracie & I saw Iron Man, and it was AWESOME!! Kudos to Jon Favreau, the director, for turning a cool super hero into an awesome one. His biggest movie before this was "Elf", and while I liked that movie, I was skeptical at his ability to handle a superhero movie. All that skepticism is GONE. Robert Downey Jr. was perfect, Terence Howard was a bit of a weenie for Jim Rhodes, but he made a great foil for Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, the best choice for a superhero since Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Gwyneth Paltrow did an excellent job as Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Tony Stark's personal assistant. I was hesitant with her as a super hero's girlfriend, a blonde playing a redhead, (Kirsten Dunst, anyone? No? I didn't think so) but, it seems Gwyneth always pulls out a stellar performance, whenever she gets off her butt raising Apple, Moses, and thinking up the stupidest baby names. I heard Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were going to name their next babies Booger and Tutti-Frutti, just to beat Paltrow and her cat sounding husband (the Coldplay singer. He sounds like a cat, and that's not a compliment) at their own game. But, I digress.

Awesome story, awesome effects, fantastic acting, super suspenseful and hilarious, from nail-biting to belly laughing in the same breath. The promise for a sequel is exciting and makes you look forward to it, (Downey Jr., Paltrow and Howard all signed 3 picture deals), instead of groaning and rolling your eyes like in other superhero movies that beg "please pick us up for another go around! We won't kill anyone next time, we swear!" (I am of course talking about X-3.

If you had any doubts, give Iron Man a try. You'll be glad you did.

On a fun note, we ran into Jessica, our sister-in-law, at the theater, buying tickets for later. Tempted to postpone our movie going experience to go with them, I'm glad we didn't, because we ended up sitting with Tracie's parents who took their Utah grandsons to the movie! Yeah! It made a fun movie even more fun to have Mason & Preston alternate sitting on my lap, with Tyson giving me his commentary sitting next to me.

May 9, 2008

Barenaked Ladies- Snack Time

BNL just came out with a new kids album, "Snack Time." My kids are going to listen to this. It's like the Sgt. Pepper of the 2000's, for kids. And, since I'm just a big kid meself, I love it too.

May 8, 2008

My Self Portrait

For my 2D Design class, I had to make a Self-Portrait collage, using 3 tactile textures (things you can touch) and 3 visual textures. I hate collages, but this one turned out as well as possible for my lack of talent in collage. For tactile, I used orange peels of an orange I ate (a good thing for a self portrait. After all, you are what you eat), a pen, as I love to draw and write, and a broken cd because I love music and art. I etched over the surface it homage to David Smith's Cubi series. The visual textures comes from a copy of a doodle I did on my mission (I think it was mission, it was sometime in the last 5 years or so) I also included some poetry of mine, and a flame-like profile of myself. The profile is echoed in the line in the middle, even in the contours of the sandwich, again, you are what you eat. There's a block of yellow at the top and a triangle of yellow at the bottom, as my personality "color" is yellow, (red is my favorite, hence the flame), and completing the picture we have a wave of blue, as I have blue eyes (like the swirl for my eye?), and I love to swim and the ocean, and some video games in the bottom right corner. So, what do you think? Does it look like me?

May 6, 2008


What sounds like a frog burping? BL-OOOG! That was lame. Lame-o. I never know how to start these things. (Maybe Ribburp would’ve been funnier. Well, we’ll never know). My life is good, great, wonderful, happy, and miserable, disappointing, and painful. Like everyone else’s. But, I’m choosing to look at the good, half-full bright side. At least for now.

I had my first week of classes, meaning 2D Design in Spanish Fork High School, and Biology at UVSC on Saturday. 2D Design, being in a High School, aptly feels like high school. I don’t like it. The teacher seems not too friendly, or good. (He seems like a good artist, but a good artist doesn’t make a good teacher.) and we have to do collages, and I hate collages. They’re too much work and never turn out the way you want. But, by choosing to look on the bright side, I only have to take it for 2 months, and I know NEVER to take a class at SFHS again. My condolences to any family or otherwise friends who went there for High School. And, while I’m not sure he reads it, and while it may be inappropriate, Justin (Spag), I can see why you dropped out of high school there.

My American Civilization class was cancelled, so I hopped in a Biology class. It will be hard, but the teacher is nice (she reminds me of my high school science teachers) and once again, it’s over in 2 1⁄2 months.

Bad news is I’ll miss some class on our trip to Las Vegas. Both teachers are stressing attendance (obviously, with 2 1⁄2 months, it’s important to attend) but we really need to go on our vacation, and I’ve already made some friends in class, so I’ll make them take notes for me.

All in all, this probably won’t be a fun summer school or vacation wise, (summer became kind of crappy once I stopped having it off. Go fig.) but at least I have my health, happiness, and Tracie.

Tracie got Lost Season 3 for her birthday, and we’ve been watching it. Not as maniacally as before (we watched 8 hours straight of season 2) but enough to safely say we’re obsessed, and in awe at how good a show is.

I finished my Meditation for Dummies book (finally) and paid the library fine (finally) on all the books I’d had overdue ($7.20, quite a bit when you realize it’s ten cents a day per book.) The book was very very good, one of the better books I’ve read, and it makes me want to read more “for Dummies” books.

I’ve had a lot of daily goals lately, and I haven’t been doing too well at them. In March, I got the idea to start a photoblog, or Phlog, just taking a picture of myself on photobooth once a day. Lately I’ve forgotten 3 days this last week, and I’m questioning why I’m doing it. I didn’t allow access to it, 1) cuz it was just a dumb personal goal, and 2) because I don’t think anyone wants/needs to see all these pictures of me. I mean I’m cute, but I’m not vain. Well, not THAT vain. So that’s daily goal #1.

Reading a book on Meditation, you start meditating. Let me say that again. Reading a good book on meditation, it makes you want to start meditating. Which I’ve been doing, but again, lately I’ve been somewhat lax. When I meditate, it REALLY helps my stress, focus, creativity and energy. I just haven’t been doing it as much. Daily goal #2.

Tracie and I have started walking. The weather FINALLY seems to be improving, and we enjoy the outdoors as well as the exercise. Yet, we’ve shirked, and only done it every other day, if that, for awhile. Daily goal #3.

After returning all our old books to the library (only 1 was overdue this time, 1984) I got a bunch of writing books. One, the Artist’s Way, recommended to my by my Uncle Jim and by the Meditation for Dummies book, suggests/instructs you to write 3 pages a day. Of whatever. So, I started that today. I only wrote 2 pages, but they were college ruled, and I decided to blog today, as my blog entries are usually at least a page. Daily goal #4.

I’m doing so well at setting daily goals (I keep writing daily ‘goats’. Coincidence? I hope so) that I’m going to start Daily goal #5. Reading my scriptures.

I think one reason/the main reason I’m having trouble keeping these daily goals is I don’t have a great schedule. We watch American Idol some nights, I have class other nights, I go to work at different times, (well, not anymore, but you don’t know that) and other things. But here’s how I see it. Daily goal #1- Phlog. 1-2 minutes. Daily goal #2: meditate. 10-15 minutes. Daily goal #3 walk- 30-40 minutes. Daily goal #4- write. I do that at work, so it doesn’t take any of my free time. (We’re allowed to read and write and do homework at work.) Daily goal #5- read the Scriptures. 10-15 minutes. So that means 51 minutes to 1 hr. 12 minutes. I’ll start doing all that when I get home (minus the walk) and then I’ll walk with Tracie. I can do that, right?

I’m doing my best. And while I’m not getting every day like I should/want to, I’m still TRYING to make my goals, which makes me happy, and as long as I’m trying, I’m moving, and that’s good. Like Michael Caine said: “Be like a duck. Be calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.”

I love ducks. So noble and yet so silly. Like people.