Sep 30, 2008

Hello, October

Goodbye September,
I'll fondly remember

Hello October,
tenth month of the year.
What surprises do you hide,
folded into your days?

And you wonder why I think I'm an awful poet. Shame shame.

This is one of the many "I'm blogging because I want to" entries. I want to get in at least one more entry before the month is up. So, a little update on the me.

I've taken my first Art History Test, but the teacher has yet to grade it. I knew quite a bit, but not everything, so I'm guessing I got a B. History is still going good, haven't had any assignments which has been nice, I only get 2 grades, the midterm (in 2 weeks) and the final, so I have to do good on those or else. :) And writing for mass media is also going along well, I just had my group presentation yesterday on "Political Comedy" and I think it went rather well. I won't know for sure as I had my classes dropped!

Long story short, when I applied for a loan, the company I was going through wanted me to be the sole account holder, not a joint account holder with my wife. So I opened up a new bank account and am waiting to straighten all this out in the next day or two. Fun fun fun. Don't procrastinate, kids. Though, procrastination didn't really hurt me as much as the UHEAA. Le sigh.

Still very stressful, still very enjoyable. I haven't had to work or think this much in a job since... ever. But, I like everyone I work with and have the biggest cubicle I've ever had! Plus I'm being paid more than I've been paid in over a year. But soon I'm going on a new pay structure, which potentially has me making even more, or much less. Ah, the joys of working!

My only thing scheduled for October is to brainstorm for NaNoWriMo, I'm going to get back into my "write 3 pages a day" thing I had going for awhile, as well as start reading Twilight. Sounds like a good horror story for October, right? If not, I'll just look into the H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King books we checked out at the Library. :) Ooh, and I have Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" reserved for me, once 9 people before me read it.

And I think we (Tracie & me) might join a book club this month! More on that as it unfolds...

and in sadder news, Paul Newman died. I only know him from Butch Cassidy and his cameo in Silent Movie, and his salad dressing. But I'm sure he was a great man, actor, humanitarian, and provider of Sockarooni pasta sauce.

Sep 26, 2008

Angels & Demons

I did it. I finally finished Angels & Demons. And the verdict is in: I liked Da Vinci Code better. Maybe it was because the story was more hyped, maybe because it was my first experience with Dan Brown's edge-of-your-seat formulaic approach to writing. I figured out the villain and the twist WAY earlier in this book than I did in Da Vinci Code. The one thing I liked better about Angels & Demons was the female lead, much more interesting than the French cryptologist in Da Vinci who's colder & blander than creme fraiche. That was mean. Maybe I'm just remembering the awful actress in Da Vinci Code, Ron Howard's crapsterpiece. I like Robert Langdon more in Da Vinci Code too, probably just because he seems to have a better reason for being there than in Angels & Demons. It was fun, but I took my sweet time reading it (the library actually sent me a letter reminding me to return it) and I don't think I'll read it again. But, I don't regret reading it, which I may regret my next choice of book: Twilight.

I want to see what all the fuss is about. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sep 23, 2008

Austin at The Movies

Or, Austin and Tracie renting a lot of movies.

As you may know, Tracie and I still don't have cable, or any TV. This doesn't mean we necessarily watch the tube less, we are just able to choose what we watch, sometimes to our detriment.

Last week and this week we've rented a lot of movies, and not from McNeil video, (shocking, I know) but from Hollywood video. With our UVU Starving Student card, we get movies for free, and 2 of those on the list we had a raincheck for, so we actually only paid for 3 of these. Anyhoo,
Here are my reviews of what we watched, in case you're curious as to what to watch or not watch next. Listed in order of when we watched them.

Cocktail: We watched some of this at the gym and it made us want to see the rest of it. For those of you who don't know, it's an 80's movie where Tom Cruise wants to live the 80's American Yuppie dream, but learns more about life from a wise Australian bartender and becomes a successful bartender. His life is shattered when said Australian bartender steals the love of Tom Cruise's life, a hideous Gina Gershon, so bartender Cruise moves to Jamaica, where all bartenders run to when their mentor betrays them. In Jamaica, bartender Cruise meets girl next door Elizabeth Shue, they fall in love, but he instead goes after gross rich socialite sugar mama. Tom Cruise's early choice in the ladies is not the best. Long story short, he mends his ways, Australian mentor kills himself, and world-wise bartender Tom Cruise opens his own bar with hopes to again live the American Yuppie Dream, with Elizabeth Shue by his side. 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Penelope: Christina Ricci stars in this wonderful modern fairy tale with perpetually weird-looking leading man James McAvoy. She's an heiress who's been cursed with the nose of a pig until one of her own accepts her for who she is. In short, I loved it. In long, it could have been longer, it seemed overly clipped and cut, Reese Witherspoon pops into the movie and pops out just as abruptly, Christina Ricci's pig nose is much more cute than horrifying, but the show is stolen by (as always) Catherine O'Hara as the well-intentioned but judgemental mother of cursed Penelope. But, brilliant or at least very good performances all around. Of all the movies we watched, this one had my favorite ending. I recommend it. 4 out of 5 stars.

The Invasion: This was the one I was least interested in seeing, as I'm not one for sci-fi thrillers. That being said, I really liked this newest update of Invasion of The Body Snatchers. Nicole Kidman is fantastic as always, Daniel Craig makes a better Bond than scientist/Nicole Kidman love interest, but I was impressed with the fear and terror in the movie without it being gross, gory, or over the top. Very well done. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Baby Mama: This was the movie I wanted to see the most. When we first went to Hollywood video, this wasn't available so we got a rain check for it. For those of you who don't know the premise, I'll tell you: Tina Fey is a successful business woman hungry for a baby, Amy Poehler is (to put it nicely) a crude, immature white trash woman with a fertile uterus for hire. I think they both are two of the funniest women (or just people) making movies right now, so I was preparing for a laugh out loud fun fest. What I got was a movie I really enjoyed, a lot less formulaic than I expected, as well as a lot more heart. My main criticisms for this movie were it was too short, I wanted to see more from these characters, and my other criticism is the writing was a bit weak, it had one of the most talented casts I've seen in a long while (besides Fey and Poehler, it had Sigourney Weaver, Steve Martin, Greg Kinnear and others) and it didn't seem to worry enough of getting the most out of the cast. All in all, a really good movie even with less effort. 3 out of 5 stars.

Be Kind Rewind: What the heck were they thinking? Man this was lousy. I was willing to forgive the far-fetched premise (Jack Black's brain becomes magnetized in a freak power-plant sabotaging mishap, and then erases all the videos in his friends store, so they go about remaking all the movies) just so I could watch Jack Black do his thing. What I got was annoying, overly-sentimental drivel. Too much plot, too much drama, especially for such a ridiculous idea. Even the funny parts, very few and far between, couldn't make up for the overall stink of this movie. 1 out of 5 stars.

Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day: I wasn't planning on getting this. When we tried to rent Baby Mama, they gave us a rain check for this by accident. I corrected them, but they let us keep this one. Man, am I glad they did. I really really liked this movie. Frances McDormand of Fargo fame is Miss Pettigrew, a governess who is hired as a social secretary by flapper Amy Adams. Both learn life lessons from the other and have a lot of fun in the process, letting the audience have fun as well. 5 out of 5 stars.

The Jane Austen Book Club: Best for last. I picked this up on a whim as I remember Tracie saying she wanted to see it. We watched this last night and I absolutely, unreservedly loved it. A+ cast, characters, plot, dialogue, story, everything. Though it certainly classifies as a "chick flick" it didn't resort to a big, sappy, teary ending, but was enjoyable the whole way through. 5 out of 5 stars. And one extra for the heck of it.

Those are our movies, I'm going back tonight to return the last 4, anyone seen anything lately that you'd recommend?

Sep 19, 2008


Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day! I be fixin to blog about my scurvy week, ye landlubbers, but then I figgerd I'd rather be hoistin the mizzen mast and shiverin me timbers.

to commemorate this fine occasion, here be a song written for a play about Pirates by yours truly and his chief wench! (Yar, I be payin fer that jibe later, i knows it)

Oh, we are the pirates of the Mauve Pearl!
the Mauve Pearl pirates are we!
We love to loot and steal and rob,
cuz that's what good pirates be!

have a grand weekend, ye salty dogs! YARRRRRRR!

Sep 17, 2008

Past My Nightmare Quota

The other night I had 2 nightmares where I woke up in a cold sweat and my heart racing. What made them particularly terrible was they were the kind that seem so REAL when you're dreaming them.

In my first nightmare, my boss called me into his office and had a talk with me. It wasn't a bad talk, it was a "getting to know you" talk. We talked about our interests, our families, and found we had a lot in common. Imagine my surprise then when I went back to my desk and it wasn't there. No computer, no picture of me & Tracie, no desk. I asked my coworkers around me what was going on, if it was some kind of joke, but they shrugged and said no, you're fired. I was then escorted out of the building with a box of my belongings, and I remember wandering around North Orem, wondering what I should do, where I should go, and how I was going to tell Tracie I got fired again. I haven't been so relieved to wake up in a long time.

After going back to sleep I was haunted by night terrors again. Quite literally, as it made less sense, and included a horror from most everybody's childhood. I was driving down State Street in Orem being chased by Pennywise the Clown. What made it even more terrifying was all the street lights were out and my headlights didn't work, so I couldn't see anything, but I could hear him chasing me. I haven't dreamed about killer clowns/molesters in years.

Now, the funny thing about the two dreams is that the getting fired dream scared me a lot more than the clown dream. After I woke up from my It dream I actually laughed a little. I guess our dreams can show us what we're really afraid of. Failure, and Tim Curry in clown make-up.

*At least it wasn't Tim Curry dressed as Dr. Frank N. Furter, or Michael Jackson dressed as Michael Jackson.

NaNoWriMo is coming!

It's getting to be that time again! National Novel Writing Month will return this November for it's tenth year, and the second year I'll attempt to write 50,000 words, or 1667 words per day. Last year, all the NaNoWriMo Writers drafted an impressive 1,187,931,929 words, of which 19,245 were mine. This year, I think they're going for 2 billion words, and I'm going for a more reachable 50,000. I am currently thinking what to write my novel about, if I should try to finish my 19,000 word monstrosity, or start something new from scratch. I am not devoid of ideas, I have quite a few I'd like to develop, we'll see what I decide on once November 1 hits the calendar.

In the meantime, I challenge anyone with an idea and a bit of time on your hands (1667 words a day isn't alot) to come along with me and write that novel idea you've had for so long. Registration begins October 1, writing begins November 1, so you still have plenty of time to convince your self to sign up!

Let's get through the crazy month together! Who'll join me?

Sep 16, 2008

The Wizard of Apt

brought to you by, courtesy of StumbleUpon.

Sep 15, 2008

Chef's Table

This weekend Tyler and Cheryl treated us to dinner at the Chef's Table, for watching over their boys two weeks ago. (Which we loved doing, and will do again, especially if we're paid this way. :)) Those of you unfamiliar with Chef's Table, it's the only 4-Star Restaurant in Utah County, and the best food (besides home cooking) you're likely to find in Utah. If you haven't gone, go. It is completely worth it.


When you walk in no less than 3 people with better manners and vocabulary than you treat you like royalty, they lead you to your table and place your napkin on your lap. You're then given a light sorbet to cleanse your palate, it might be viewed as overkill, but the food is so good, you want to taste as much of it as you can.

Tyler and Cheryl were very grateful and ordered 3 appetizers, (Tracie's parents were there as well, as they watched the boys also (and longer than we did)). We had 2 orders of their coconut shrimp, the biggest and meatiest shrimp I've ever eaten, as well as most delicious (and I've eaten a LOT of shrimp.) We also had the crab cakes, and, though I haven't had that many crab cakes to compare it to, I am fairly certain that these were some of the best I would ever have. They were flaky and flavorful, everything there is rich, but never too rich. Just right.

Tracie and I each had a salad, and not just lettuce smothered in cheap ranch. I said 4 star restaurant. The salads came with tomatoes, cucumbers (BIG cucumbers) and were divine in and of themselves. Tracie had the Chicken stuffed with prosciutto (is that how you spell it? proshooto. prashewtoe? Italian bacon that's not smoked.) with Au Gratin potatoes and summer vegetables. She wouldn't let me eat much of it, for obvious reasons, but what I can say is it was like some beautiful symphony of flavor, the chicken was moist, the prosciutto tender, all the flavors came together in a way that was better than the sum of the parts. Mmm mmm good.

I elected to have the Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Sauce Madeira. I have congratulated myself ever since. Actually, I stopped reading after "Bacon" and just ordered that. I expected to get little medallions of flavor wrapped in bacon, but I got quite a large filet draped in bacon. It was superb. I ordered it medium, which some family members may criticize me for, but that's how I like it, and it was pink and red and oh so tender, right now I am salivating so much thinking about it that Pavlov has called me several times for some kind of study he's doing. My largest and only regret is that it was so good I ate it all up and couldn't have it again the next day. (Something Tracie shrewdly did with her Chicken).

Now, dessert. Tracie had a Chocolate Napoleon, which I am convinced she's going to leave me for once she gets a second. To me, it looked like a slice of a multi-layered German Chocolate cake. To Tracie, it looked like the new love of her life. I had the Chocolate Rasperry Cake, with a large layer of rich mousse. The dessert tasted like the inside of a humongous dark chocolate raspberry truffle. But better. It was so exquisite I think it may have ruined other desserts for me. I'll have to eat more (and soon) to make sure.

If that wasn't the best meal ever, dessert cemented it. But besides the excellent food, I'd also like to make special mention of going to eat with Tracie's parents and older brother and his wife. We really enjoyed going out with them, and it was wonderful to go to such a nice setting and be treated as "adults" among the "adults." Not that they treat us like kids, but from someone who's spent more time at the "kids table" it was nice to be at the Chef's table as an ''adult." Everyone should do it at least once.

The only real question now is when will we go back.

Sep 12, 2008

Lazy Blogger's Post Generator

We all need one, we've all read them (hopefully not from me) I hope you like this "Lazy Blogger's Post Generator" I found while stumbling.

Crikey! I just noticed I have not updated this since Paris Hilton was in jail... You would not believe how hard it is being waited on hand and foot and generally lounging around. Apologies to my regular readers! Even the little blue ones!

I am lost in a sea of pseudo-olde-english with setting fire to people wearing Crocs, selling my soul to Google, just generally being a delightful mistress to various lawyers I met recently, my day is a magical flight from the first cockadoodledoo from the rooster to midnight. I am convinced that I absolutely deserve this after all my hard work. But who cares.

I solemnly swear that when the weather turns bad, I will blog more often. You have my word! This is for my ever faithful, devoted public.

Pink and Palin

I've wanted to blog lately, but I don't have much to say. But, as I have said in the past, I say now: never stopped me before. I suppose I could rant a bit on things that have been bugging me lately.

Who the heck decided that "pink" is the generic "girl" color? And "who" decided to put "words" into "quotation marks" when they're "angry?"
Seriously tho, is this a new development, the designation that pink is inherently feminine, some marketing genius/nutcase in the 1920's going "Nobody's buying our pink baby clothing, see? We gotta do something about it, see? I've got it, see? We tell all the girl babies to wear pink, see? Girls look freakin adorable in pink. See?" Or was it an ancient technique, practiced by cavemen before fire or Geico Commercials, would dress their babies in pink or blue to deferentiate them, rather than pull down their tiger-skin diaper and risk becoming baby boy squirtgun target practice. "Throg! Little Boogoo got me again! There must be easier way to check which one boy and which one girl!" "Me know! Put boy in blue and girl in pink!" "Where we find blue and pink? We not even develop dyes yet!"

We may never know the answer. I'd care even more if I thought I looked good in pink, but as some of you may be unfortunate enough to know, I don't. And what is with the social ostracism accompanying men wearing pink? We don't think a woman is a lesbian or even a little butch if she puts on blue. But put pink on a man, and everyone around him suddenly becomes homophobic, or thinks they're in a bad 80's movie. (And I know what you're thinking, so stop it. There were TOO some good 80's movies.)

Matt Damon doesn't "like" Sarah Palin. Ok. Thanks for that, Matt. Maybe she was involved with Treadstone, and he just wants to protect us. Shouldn't he be working on his second Oscar-winning script with Ben Affleck? Or practicing his fight scenes while filmed by an epileptic camera man for Bourne 4, the Bourne Ennui? Sigh. Yeah, I'm Jason Bourne. Yeah, I can kill people, that doesn't mean I want to. Yeah, we're the government, we're corrupt and we want to kill you cuz you don't want to kill people for us, yet you'll kill all the people we throw at you. If they were smart, they'd hire the targets they want assassinated at Bourne, that'd take care of em in no time!
Seriously, I love those movies.

What else I like is Governor Sarah Palin!I don't know what ANY of her issues are, but I like her solely because she's a woman, and if I didn't like her, I'd be a sexist bigot. So, what I'm really trying to say is I'm for the Obama/Palin ticket, because that way I'm neither racist nor sexist, even though the only part of Obama I don't like is his white half. Seriously, America, how childish are we that if we criticize Palin we're sexist, we criticize Obama we're racist, we criticize McCain, we're anti-septegenarian, and if we criticize Bush, well, we're loyal Americans. That only leaves me free to criticize Biden, and for all I know, he could be great! But let's grow up a little and stop the attacks, let the opponents criticize without mud-slinging. The first party to STOP ATTACKING their opponent will be the one that my vote goes to.

And there's a new post for ya. ;)

Sep 6, 2008

Happy Blogiversary!

It's officially been 1 whole year since I first posted on my blog! Happy Blogiversary to me!

Sep 2, 2008

Weekend Updates

I started writing this update last week but it was a busy busy week so I never got around to it, so here's last weekend followed by this weekend. Just so you know, last weekend was funner. More fun. Funlier.

So this weekend was pretty fun. Not as fun filled/action packed as some, not as boring and lazy as others. It was a good mixture, which I'm happy with.

Friday after work we tidied up the apartment a bit, then went to our (ok, my) favorite date spot: The Nickelcade!!! Where else can you play vintage/broken arcade games for 5-15 cents each? Where, I ask you? The Nickelcade!This being Labor Day weekend, it was quite empty, so we were free to play some of the old arcade games (I won first place in a racing game, so I got another one for free! I've NEVER won first place at the arcade!) Tracie kicked my metal butt in some weird Japanese fighting robot game, and I wasted 2 whole dollars trying to win tickets. But we had fun Cruisin' the USA, killing aliens in Area 51, trying to catch each other with a broken Mortal Kombat game (the joysticks didn't work, so we stood there trying to hit the other) and Tracie Danced Danced her way into her very own Revolution. Our booty was less great than usual, I pillaged a cool plastic skull ring I creatively named "Ringo" (because he's a ring) and we also got 3 Laffy Taffys with less than hilarious jokes thereon. "What does an astronaut drink?" Tang. Wrong. He drinks moon juice. I thought Tang was funnier. But then, that's why I don't write jokes for Laffy Taffy, I guess.

Saturday I had my 2 History classes as mentioned, I really like them.


My poor Tracie got her wisdom teeth taken out, so I took 1/2 of Friday off so I could stay home, watching over her, making her soup, jello, and getting her pain meds. We also watched ALL of Friends, Season 10. We now have all 10 Seasons, not a big deal for everyone else, but it was for us. I've never seen the last episode of Friends, but now I have. Saturday was lazy except for the 2 classes I had in the am, American Civ and Art History. We learned about the peoples in America before the Europeans, and about Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art. Basically, I learned that the Native Americans weren't real Natives to America, and that the Spanish settlers were the meanest/cruelest/worst Europeans to America. And that Egyptians really focused on death and Mesopotamians focused a lot on war and fertility.

Sunday we missed church because we forgot it was Stake Conference today, :( but we instead watched 10th Kingdom, all 7 hours of it.

So, it was a very lazy weekend with a LOT of TV.

I didn't say it was fun, but I sure enjoyed it. :)

Sometimes you just gotta have weekends like that, and, it being the weekend after watching Tyson, Preston, and Mason, I think we (and by we, I mean mostly Tracie) deserved a little R&R & TV.

I'm looking forward to tonight, my second Writing class. Until then, or sometime after... bye for now! Maybe I'll get next weekend done before the next one.

Saturday Classes are History

American History and Art History to be exact. Oh! See what I did there?

So Saturday I got up earlier than usual (guess I won't be sleeping in at all this semester) and went to American Civilization, my History GE. The teacher seemed smart, not long winded as History professors are apt to be, (though he never got the chance) but I think I'm going to like him, he's funny, smart, nice, and more than a little bitter at his Adjunct Professor status. Class got out about an hour and a half early, but I had Art History next, so I stayed in the class room and read some of my homework.

Art History will be good as well. It's with the same teacher I took my first Art History class (ironically, it was the second Art History class). We're studying Art History from Pre-History to Pre-Renaissance, our first class covered the longest span of time, about 30,000 BC to 6,000 BC. We looked at cave paintings, fertility idols and Stonehenge. I really like this teacher, she's nice, she knows her stuff, and her tests are easy. What everyone wants in an Art History class.

I was worried I'd have trouble staying awake Saturday mornings, but my teachers seem intent on keeping me awake and interested, I'll let you know if they succeed as the semester progresses.