Jun 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!!

Happy Two Year Anniversary, Tracie! I Love You Now And Every Day.

Jun 28, 2008

The Selfish Giant- by Oscar Wilde

Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden.
It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. 'How happy we are here!' they cried to each other.
One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.
'What are you doing here?' he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.
'My own garden is my own garden,' said the Giant; 'any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.' So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.

He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside.
'How happy we were there,' they said to each other.
Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still Winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. 'Spring has forgotten this garden,' they cried, 'so we will live here all the year round.' The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. 'This is a delightful spot,' he said, 'we must ask the Hail on a visit.' So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.
'I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,' said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; 'I hope there will be a change in the weather.'
But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant's garden she gave none. 'He is too selfish,' she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King's musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. 'I believe the Spring has come at last,' said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.
What did he see?
He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children's heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still Winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. 'Climb up! little boy,' said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the little boy was too tiny.
And the Giant's heart melted as he looked out. 'How selfish I have been!' he said; 'now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever.' He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became Winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he died not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant's neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. 'It is your garden now, little children,' said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were gong to market at twelve o'clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.
All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.
'But where is your little companion?' he said: 'the boy I put into the tree.' The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.
'We don't know,' answered the children; 'he has gone away.'
'You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,' said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.
Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. 'How I would like to see him!' he used to say.
Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. 'I have many beautiful flowers,' he said; 'but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.'

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.
Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.
Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, 'Who hath dared to wound thee?' For on the palms of the child's hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.
'Who hath dared to wound thee?' cried the Giant; 'tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.'
'Nay!' answered the child; 'but these are the wounds of Love.'
'Who art thou?' said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.
And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, 'You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.'
And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

This is my 2D Design final. This photo doesn't really do it justice, it's a really good picture, and I'm very proud of it. It's the moment the giant sees the Christ-child's hands and feet and asks "Who Art Thou?"

I don't love you

I haven't posted in awhile (at least for me) I'll post more about what's up with my wacky life later. But here are 2 pics that cracked me up. Barney haters unite!

Jun 23, 2008

Weekend of Wonders

I've been a lucky son of a gun 2 weekends in a row. (Ironically, neither of my parents are firearms or weapons of any kind). First, this week my parents & lil' bros were in town, and we got to see them several times. My parents went to Thanksgiving Point where the Plein Air Art Festival was going on (more on this later) as they know the CEO of Thanksgiving Point. (Good Friends) So they wanted us to go to Thanksgiving Point to see the Festival, and who were we do argue? (Nobody, that's who!) Now, let me go in reverse a bit. Here's Saturday:

Unlucky part: As usual, I had Biology from 8-12 Saturday morny. It was ok, as we mostly talked about evolution and how the earth came about by alien life generator technology and other fairy tales. It was my last class of the semester (next week is the final) so I was happy about that. No more Biology!!! So the unlucky part became the lucky part! HA! This really was a great weekend.

After class we went out to lunch, Wingers, our restaurant of choice, and greatly enjoyed that, naturally. Then we went to Thanksgiving Point, which neither of us have ever been, (the gardens, that is) and they were just gorgeous. I had no idea somewhere so beautiful was so close. Tracie went trigger happy with the camera, shooting everything in sight, until the camera couldn't keep up with her and gave up the ghost and 2 sets of batteries. We met a few of the artists there, I didn't get to meet James Christensen but I saw his umbrella! Wow, you saw James Christensen's umbrella? Lucky! We'll post some of Tracie's lovely pictures sometime, I'm sure. Thank you mom & dad for paying for us to go to Thanksgiving Point and to rent a golf cart, (it was REALLY hot!!) we had a great time!

After Thanksgiving Point, we went to see "Get Smart" with tickets I won at work. I give it my full recommendation, we laughed pretty much the entire time. It was so refreshing to see a movie that 1) doesn't rely on dirty embarrassing humor (there was some dirty humor, but it wasn't the focus and it wasn't disgusting) and they never milked a joke because there were so many in there, it was like, "this joke: funny, quick, next joke, next joke, etc." there was so much funny going on you couldn't keep up. And kudos to the writers & director for making the film suspenseful AND hilarious, and the actors for nailing their characters. In conclusion, I loved it and give it an easy 5 stars. We're definitely going to buy this one. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard and so frequently in the movie theater. BAsically, I liked it.

And that was our Saturday! Jealous? (Unless you're Mandy ;))
Sunday was also good, Aaron & Heidi's new arrival William was blessed and so we got to go see them and have a good luncheon at Aaron's parents house (also in Thanksgiving Point) and we went home, had a long nap, and went to the McNeils and visited, had food, and went on a lovely walk in their lovely neighborhood. It was lovely. And there's our weekend.

Now I'm back at work, all ready for a great week in store!

Jun 19, 2008

IS THIS What those Democrats want???

Here's your Democrat "Dreamticket."
McCain's looking better and better all the time.

Jun 18, 2008

Firefox 3 & Stumble, my new best friend.

I usually hate sequels and hate the trequels even more. However, I am loving Firefox 3, and the new addon, StumbleUpon.

Here are four art websites I greatly enjoy, and another picture I stumbled upon.


check out the websites and Get Stumble Upon!!!!

Egads! I've been Tagged!!

Charlotte has tagged me. Now I have no choice but to react.

10 years ago I was...
Dying of cancer, having High School at home and dating my first girlfriend Suzette.

5 years ago I was...
Getting back from my mission to Minnesota and debating what the heck I should do next.

1 year ago I was...
Enjoying my job a lot. Working at QualitySmith, having fun, and getting ready to go back to college. And getting ready to celebrate my 1 year anniversary to Tracie. Yay!

Yesterday I was...
At work, blogging, then in SF at my last 2DDesign class of the semester.

5 favorite snacks...
Jelly bellies
Gummi cokes
pretzels and all pretzel relatives (soft pretzels, gardetto's, etc.)
Pretty much any and everything made by Tracie the next day. (The day before it was dinner/lunch/a meal)

5 favorite books...
The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho
Complete Poems of E.E. Cummings
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (I don't usually call something a fave after reading it just once, but for this I'll make an exception)
Exile by R.A. Salvatore

5 Favorite movies...
The Princess Bride
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Strictly Ballroom
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Honorable Mentions:
French Kiss, Shrek 1, Star Wars Original Trilogy, Harry Met Sally, Young Frankenstein.

5 favorite places to runaway to...
The Library
The Park
The Internet
The Movies

5 bad habits...
Only 5? Nosepicking (sorry)
brainless internet surfing (dang Wikipedia!)
being offended when no offense was meant
swearing (but only in the car. I'm working on it, Mom, I swear! Dang it!)

5 things I would never wear...
I'm a boy, so these aren't as interesting, unless...
a bikini
a thong (try getting rid of THAT image!)
lipstick (never again)
a leather jacket (not that I protest animal cruelty or turning them into clothes, kill them all, but I just can't pull the leather jacket look off. I'm just too damn cute & sweet.)
a white glove covered in rhinestones. (don't ask)

5 pet peeves...
Fake people
Bad comedians (that goes to both bad mouthed ones, and unfunny ones. You all suck!)
Hollywood Media and their obsessions with celebrity
Paris Hilton (see fake people)
people who leave the toilet seat down.

5 things I enjoy...
Greek food
Art & Poetry
Good writing (esp. Fantasy) whether my own or others.
anything that tickles my funny bone (it's very sensitive)

5 favorite TV shows...
Arrested Development
Obligatory ones (Simpsons, Friends, Seinfeld, Home Improvement, etc.)
I don't watch much/any TV shows that are still on, really.
American Idol

5 people I would like to meet...
Living people or dead people? I'll do both.

Dead (or not on the earth, currently)
Jesus Christ
Oscar Wilde
Captain Moroni
Mark Twain
Jim Morrison

Alive (that I'm aware of)
Neil Gaiman
Thomas S. Monson
Shigeo Fukuda
Steven Spielberg
Dave Barry

I'm not good at tagging people (one reason I was always one of the last ones picked for tag. But I was really good at BEING tagged. Guess some things never change.)

So I'll tag EVERYBODY!!! If you're on my list of Blogs o Fun, you've been Tagged! Ashley, Brittnee, Charity, Cheryl, Erin, Heather, Heidi, Jan, Jasmine, Jen, Jessica, Jim, Justin, Katy, Kris, Lynette, Mandi, Mandy, Becki, Seth, Taylor, Tracie, and anyone ELSE who reads this blog!!! (Charlotte is exempt, as she tagged me, and as we all know, there are no tagbacks allowed.)

How's THAT for a tag! Ooh, snap!

Austin and the Wonderful World of Art

Seems a bit egotistical that Austin keeps putting his name in the posts. Though, it's a bit egotistical that he calls his blog "Austintatious," one could even argue the ostentatiousness of his claim. But I won't.

This is about 2 phases of art and mee.

I finished my 2D Design class yesterday, and want to post a picture of my final that took me about 10 hours, (opposed to other students who took a photograph and matted it) I'll post it eventually and maybe talk about it a little. Just, in closing, I'd like to say I enjoyed taking the class, despite it being at Spanish Fork High School, I was grateful for an excuse to go to SF and visit my Uncle Jim & Aunt Jan's family biweekly, and to have a good teacher (yes, he turned out to be very good) instruct me in my first art class in about seven years.

Ok, I'll talk about it and post it later. For the final we could do anything we wanted, and then write about the principles of design (line, shape, color, rhythm, illusion of space, texture, etc.). Several students just took a picture or a few pictures (one just got 4 pictures they'd taken 4 years earlier), and one genius used a final project from a drawing class. Though there were some nice ones in there as well. A computer-generated seascape, a doctored photo that was simply breathtaking, and a really really cool design done on a plate of steel by an auto body painter. I opted for an illustration, as it is something I'd love to do someday, (among many other things, of course.) I did an Aubrey Beardsley-esque illustration from the Oscar Wilde story "The Selfish Giant." Like I said, I'll try to post a picture of it, but so far the pictures I've taken don't justify it's beauty, which is pretty beautiful, if I do say so myself.

Also (and I apologize if I mentioned this before, but not too much) a very big thank you to Troy and Jen for giving Tracie & I the opportunity to WRITE something!!! Their ward is doing a Piratey activity and we get to write a little pirate skit/mini play. I'm pretty excited about it, and will let you know more details (as well as probably post the whole thing on glass of random) as they come.

In the Artist's way, it talks about Synchronicity, or things happening to you that help you with your creativity. I think both these things are great examples of Synchronicity.

So have you picked up "The Artist's Way" yet?

Jun 17, 2008

Austin's Mishaps and Run-Ins with the Law

I don't like cops. I think I have an irrational fear/dislike of them, rooted in childhood and adolescence when I got lots of tickets. (Disclaimer: this does not extend to my brother-in-law, Ryan, a wonderful person and dad and brother-in-law, who I am not afraid of nor do I dislike.)

Well, in the last few weeks I've had reason to fear and hate them less. The first happened on our return trip from Vegas. I was going about 85, 10 miles over the speed limit, because I wanted to get Tracie home and go to my 2D Design class, since we left early on that Thursday just so I could make it to class. About in Fillmore, we saw the lights and I got pulled over. The officer was very nice and understanding, and I explained to him I wanted to hurry home so I could go to school. He told me I was clocked at 89, but I told him that was impossible, as I had been on cruise control for quite awhile, and it said 85. Well, he told me 85 was too fast, and to slow down. But he LET US GO! I haven't gotten just a warning since I was in high school and I showed the officer some emotion and a little cleavage. Or I told him I was going to seminary. Believe what you want.

My next near encounter with a policeman happened just last week. I was hurrying to work, and going down Orem Center street, which is a bit of a steep hill and so it's a speed trap, which I don't think is very fair for police to stake out, but that's just me. Anyhoo, I drove down the hill and spotted the policeman waiting to ambush some innocent motorist and so I slowed down as much as I could on that hill without looking suspicious, and pulled onto the street I go on to get to work. Out of the rearview mirror I saw him pull out and come behind, and then make the turn on the street I was on. I started panicking, asking myself if I should just pull over, pull into the Prosper Parking Lot and hope he didn't follow me, risking humiliation with my entire office seeing me get handcuffed and beaten by the Man, or just making a run for Mexico. My options wore out when he turned on his lights, siren, and pulled over the car behind me. As they say on Arrested Development, "Well that was a freebie."

Cop encounter #3 was the most humorous but most annoying. While visiting with Heidi & Aaron and Brittnee & Matt not 5 minutes after the Fireworks at Summer Fest, a Jr. Cop on a bike told us, "Ok guys, time to go home." Aaron said ok, we'll go. And, in his squeaky voice (think that kid on the Simpsons) "No, NOW!" So we packed up and left, trying hard not to snigger at his whiny/bossy attitude. I mean, what's the kid gonna do? "That's it. You're causing too much trouble. Hop in my basket." Sigh.

I'm starting to think maybe the cops aren't as bad as all that. But then, these are Utah cops.

Catching Up (At least trying to)

Whew. It’s been awhile since one of these. Yesterday I wrote a huge, wonderful, hilarious post, Pulitzer-Prize material, but alas, stupid computer and stupid internet shut down and didn’t save it. So we’ll have to start from scratch, and you’ll have to read a post that is merely a shadow of its original artwork. I’m sorry.

I have a lot a lot to talk about, and much of it is quite disjointed, so I think I really will turn this into several posts. (Yes, I know, I spoil you, get over it.) First I’ll talk about our Big Bad Busy Bweekend (that was the name of the post that never was, single tear). That’s this post. Next I’ll talk about adventures living outside the law, while within the law, and the third post will be about me and my place in the World of the Arts. I’m so excited I can barely control myself. I’m going to the restroom, when I get back and regain control I’ll write about the Bweekend.

Ok, I’m back. Miss me? Me too! We have so much in common! This weekend can be summed up in one word: busytrulescent.

Friday began as any other day, me at work, in shorts & sandals, goofing off, having fun, and getting a little work in. The day just improved after that. (It usually does. I mean, after work, I get to see TRACIE!!!) So I got home, saw Tracie, and we had Charity & James over for dinner. Tracie made DEEEEELICIOUS Margherita (not Margarita) pizzas, and Charity made DEEEEELICIOUS fruit salad, and I said DEEEEELICIOUS a lot. We had a lot of fun just chillin & visitin, and they went home a little early/ we kicked them out/ they escaped the cages, letting us get ready for the big bad Saturday in store…

Saturday morning I didn’t have class. So you’d think I’d have a nice relaxing day, free of cares or 8-12 Biology. Well, you’d be wrong. I had Biology homework to do as well, so I still got up early because, the only thing I’m better at than putting work off to the last minute is procrastinating. So, I did the homework, dropped it off at the weekend office (the teacher was at a seminar in Tennessee or somewhere) and Tracie and I headed up to Centerville for the SVU Alumni BBQ. I went to SVU for a year before my mission, and was excited to see several people there, as it has been about 7 years since I have. However, I debated with myself on whether or not to go. You see, without going into too much detail (largely because it’s not worth mentioning) there would be someone there that I didn’t want to see, that the last time I saw her it took me about 5 years to get completely over her. But, long boring story short, I wanted to see my other friends badly enough, as well as prove to myself once and for all that this person had no power over me, so I brought the most beautiful woman in the world and held my head up high. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed seeing many old friends & meeting their kids (one old friend had FOUR kids!! She wasn’t even dating anyone the last time I saw her!) and I can say I am completely over said strumpet. Thank you, Tracie, for coming with me and encouraging me to stay after being there for 10 minutes, so we were there almost an hour. After the SVUBBQ we went to Riverton, as my immediate family (minus the Chileanos or whatever they call themselves) spent the week in Idaho and are now in Riverton to visit us and anyone else that wants to see them. Which is a lot. Yessir, they spent the week in Idaho, (causing me to lose the bet that there is not enough to do in Idaho that lasts more than a day) and we had fun visiting them, and I had fun beating up my little bros, who are nearly as tall as I am now, but I can still beat them both up. That’s all that matters to an older brother. “How are you doing in school? Are you making good choices? Any girls in your life? What do you do in your freetime?” I don’t care. “Can I still whoop you both in a cage match given the opportunity? Yes?” Good.
After the brief how do you do I missed you in Riverton, we went back up northward to pickup our friend Brittnee (opposed to our common enemy Brittnee) and headed down to Provo to meet her fiancée Matt at Guru’s, a really good and eclectic café on Center street. We had been there before and it had been ho hum, but they must have changed the menu or something because this time it was yo yum. That means tasty. The food. Try to keep up. So, we and Brittnee and Matt our friends (not Brittnee and Matt, the leaders of the Neo-Nazi Communist Terrorist Party of Utah) went to the Orem Summerfest. I’ve lived in Utah for about 4 years now, Orem about 1, and I must say, of all the Days and Fests there are (Strawberry Days, Swiss Days, Freedom Fest, Llama Fest, Best Fest, West Fest, Chest Fest) Summer Fest is the best Fest (even better than Best Fest). We had a lot of fun touring the booths of overpriced junk, and had some very good Sub Zero ice cream, made by freezing cream with liquid nitrogen, some Kettle Corn (cooked in the second biggest kettle I’ve ever seen) and I had a lovely pulled pork sandwich. I’d like to say that no animals were harmed in the production of that sandwich, but it’s called pulled pork, so I doubt the pig really enjoyed the process of pulling the meat off his (or her) body. But, it tasted GOOOOOOOD, and that’s all that really matters in the end. I mean, if I was raised to be slaughtered and eaten, I’d at least like to know if I tasted good. Or I’d hope the cruel beast that devoured me choked on my fat. Either one would be fine.
Anyway, after the carnie stomping we found a spot near the ballpark where the fireworks would go off. We had a lot of fun with Tracie’s glowsticks, and oohed and aahed and wowed at the fireworks. What is it about fireworks that make you ooh and ahh like that? The light? The colors? Or just the fact that an explosion is so beautiful? I don’t know, but I just loved em. After the firework spectacular we met up with Heidi and Aaron and visited with them for a bit, after being shooed by Orem’s bicycle cop menace. I may talk about more about Mr. Junior Woodchuck on Wheels later, but for now, I’ll just say our night concluded with fun and laughter with Matt & Britt and me & the missus settled down for the night.

Sunday is a family day, so that’s what we did. We went up to Riverton to play games with my parents, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is a Valantine family law. “When three or more of you are gathered together, thou shalt play cards, lest a curse be placed upon your heads and you be stricken with baldness.” I disobeyed the law once, but never again. We played “Wizard,” a fun variant on Shoot the Moon (no moons were harmed in the production of this game. Or wizards) with my parents, visited, and then headed down to Pleasant Grove (though the weather was far from pleasant) at Tracie’s aunt Sharon’s house for the Annual McNeil family BBQ father’s day/birthday hoopla. It was a lot of fun, the food was Excellent, it’s fun to see lots of family members I don’t really know and how they grow, and play games. This year was marred a bit by HayLee & Justin’s absence, and the almost triple digit temperatures. Other than that, a glad time was had by all.
To be included in my post of the weekend is a bit about Monday, at least the first part of it, because it felt like the weekend. Prosper rented or bought out or whatever 2 screens to show the entire company “Indiana Jones 4: We’re surprised he’s not dead too.” I mean “Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” While I enjoyed it more on the second viewing, partially because I knew what to expect/that I’d be disappointed, I still stick with what I’ve said before: any Indy is good Indy. And I realized something. When you spend so much of your life fantasizing and anticipating something, no matter the end result, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Like on our honeymoon. We were so excited and looking forward to it, but when it finally came, we looked at each other and said, “THIS is San Diego??!!?”

And that’s it for now!~
Stay tuned, 2 more coming up!

Jun 12, 2008

The Artist's Way

I recently finished reading "The Artist's Way" recommended to me by my Uncle Jim. It's a workbook to help you unblock your creativity.

Hands down, it is one of the 5 best books I've ever read and the most helpful to me. (Some of the others are the Alchemist, and of course the Scriptures)

If you are a blocked creative, or want to be artistic, but don't think you have the time, don't think you're good enough, or whatever, this book will help you.

It focuses on "Daily Pages" where you just write 3 pages everyday, whatever you want, and "Artist Dates" where you take yourself on a creative date, usually window shopping, nature walks, or just treating yourself to something you've always wanted to do.

It has helped me unlock more creativity and in my opinion, become a better person.

I loved it!

Jun 10, 2008

Show Me An Angel And I Will Paint One

I love this painting. The Wounded Angel, by Hugo Simberg. I’ve wanted to find something blogrelevant to be able to post it, but I couldn’t, so I’m just posting it.

I found it while I was looking at Symbolist painters, and I think it’s breathtaking. It looks like a painting done by a Realist, maybe Courbet or Millet, but it has an angel. What’s remarkable is that it doesn’t seem out of place.

But it’s too perfect and pure for this world, so it’s injured and must be carried by 2 children, accusingly looking at us, as if our unworthiness caused the Angel’s wounds. What amazes me most is I’ve never seen this painting or heard of this artist. What other great beauties of Art are hiding in History? instead of showing the same paintings by the same artists over and over again, expand your views and discover a new artist, or a way of looking.

I know I will.

Jun 7, 2008


I'm so excited for this book to come out this fall. It's an homage to "The Jungle Book," by Neil Gaiman. It's about an orphan raised in a graveyard by its inhabitants...

What books are YOU looking forward to?

Jun 6, 2008

Meet Paquimo

This is Paquimo. Say hello. Go to Tracie's blog to learn more about his genesis and other fun stuff we did Saturday night.

Last Weekend

Last weekend, I gave you my heart, the very next day, you gave it away. Last weekend I had lots of fun, until it was Mon., I cried like a nun. Man, I'm good.

Well, the weekend is almost here, and I have fun plans for it, so I better hop to that post on what I did for the weekend, last weekend!

Saturday was a lot of fun. I had Biology from 8-12, (not as fun, but I like the teacher) and shopped at Wal-Mart. We did our typical Saturday stuff, like cleaning and whatnot, then we went up to the Provo Canyon with Tracie's friend from work Charity and her husband James (becoming my friends too.) It was a lot of fun, we found a place pretty quiet and secluded next to the river and visited and had a lotta fun. We made tinfoil dinners and banana boats cooked in aluminum foil in the fire, taken from a project Tracie did in school.

Retelling the story doesn't really equate the fun it was. Some of Charity & James' friends joined us later, and we roasted marshmallows and Starburst and hot dogs as well. I took some small twigs and drew a charcoal Homer Simpson on the cement where our table was. Then I got the bright Idea to take a large half charred tree branch and write with that. If you don't believe me, they all took a lot of pictures. I wrote "I Tlee", but then I realized that my shirt was COVERED in soot from the branch. Smart, Austin. Very smart. S-M-R-T.

Sunday we had church of course and went to the McNeils as Alan & Taylor are away this week and the next, Alan wanted to bring the whole family (Utah branch) together. we had fun as always, playing a variant of pictionary where you draw things about a person in the room and everyone guesses who it is.

Stay tuned for this weekend o fun, I'll try to get it out before next Friday. (And I'll post a pic on here later too. For some reason I can't put pictures on here right now.)

Oh, and go check out Glass of Random, I posted 2 stories I wrote awhile ago on there. They'll have pictures added too, eventually.

Jun 4, 2008


While perusing imdb.com, I saw a trailer for a new movie called "Australia." It looked interesting-ish, with Hugh Jackman & Nicole Kidman playing the main roles, but I yawned and internally passed, until I saw who the director is. Baz Luhrmann!!! I am SO seeing this movie now! (That's right. The SO is capitalized, bolded, and italicized.)

Isn't it interesting that something like that can change your perception? I didn't really want to see it, until I found out who the director was. Kind of the opposite is true too.

(Watching a trailer) Explosion. Suspense. More excitement. "Ooh, that looks like a great movie! I can't wait to go and pay money and see-- Oh. Nevermind. Kirsten Dunst/Uwe Boll/Paris Hilton is directing it... Pass."

But yeah, the creative genius behind Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge is doing something amazing and different, count me in!

Jun 2, 2008

Viva Las Vegas, Baby, Yeah!

As I said a few days ago, we're back! Our trip was great, the only bad part was I'm now back at work. Well, I told you I'd post this once I was less smelly and tired. Well, I think I'm about as good as I can get, so without further ado, (maybe a little bit more ado) here's our Las Vegas travelogue for your blogging pleasure!

Monday morning we left, a bit later than we wanted, (only about 10 minutes though) and I drove. With my new radio in the car we listened to CDs and my ipod, except during the beginning where Tracie napped (or tried to) and I sang songs to myself (or tried to). I got grouchy as I tend to do on long road trips, but we still liked each other enough to decide to sleep in the same hotel room.

Tracie found these "Power Passes" online, that let you go to a lot of Las Vegas Attractions for one low low cost, so our first stop was Caesar's Palace where we picked up the PP's (that's Power Passes) at PH (that's Planet Hollywood). Off we went to the Luxor, Tracie married a bit of a cheapskate, so we carried our luggage from the parking garage to check in, then we carried our luggage to our room: a luxurious Tower-suite! (Don't worry. We (and by we, I mean Tracie) found a great deal online so it was very inexpensive!) after unpacking and resting a bit, we ventured to the Luxor atrium, only to discover they don't accept the power pass to go on their Obelisk ride or see their King Tut duplicate exhibit.

A bit of a rant here: So, what you're saying is, even though internet is the FASTEST way to advertise something and change something, and you've had TWO MONTHS to take your attractions off the website, (and the person I called said "Yes, we accept the Power Pass!") you're either too busy to change the information, cheapskate Luxor, or you're too stupid to do it. I didn't wanna go on those attractions anyway. :(

So, anywhoo, we went to a NICE hotel, the Venetian, (and by NICE, I mean honest, and able to use the internet) and saw Madame Tussaud's or whatevers Celebrity Wax museum. We took lots of pictures, we'll have to post them someday, of us with such celebrities as Brad & Angelina, Michael Jordan, President Bush, Johnny Depp, Martin Luther King Jr., Abe Lincoln (No, I said "Hey, Blinkin!") Ben Franklin, Liz Taylor, Sinatra, Shaq, and... Mr. Wayne Newton!!! That was one of the coolest things we did. Oh, there was also a little haunted house exhibit at the wax museum. I didn't want to go, being not the biggest fan of haunted houses, but we went, and it was fun. There was Freddie, Jason, Chainsaw guy and some other scary movie freak jumping out of the walls to growl at us menacingly.

So, after the Wax Museum (with a wax Nicholas Cage on the outside. Which of course led me to quip that even if it was the REAL Nicholas Cage, we wouldn't really notice.) we went to Postrio's, a Wolfgang Puck Bistro Cafe. We had gourmet chicken drummies (they of course called them drummettes) and a gourmet pizza. It was gourmet greasy but gourmet good. Then, with our PP's, we got 2 for 1 Ice cream at Haagen Dazs. Oh, we also saw some fun street performers at the Venetian, fun and funny. Next we drove to the Las Vegas Hilton (not to be confused with the Las Vegas Hitler) and went to the Star Trek Experience. Neither Tracie or I are very big Star Trek fans (especially not compared to some. There were several grown men who looked frighteningly like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons) but it was on the Power Pass, so we went. They had 2 rides, the Klingon Experience and Borg 4-D Adventure. I liked the Klingon one better, though it was more low-tech, it was more creative and interesting, I thought. They start you off in 4 short lines in front of 4 doors, like Star Tours, but then it goes completely dark, you feel wind and see flashing lights, then you're on the deck of the Enterprise, like you were just beamed up. Very cool. The Borg Adventure was more like Honey I Shrunk the Audience, with 3-D glasses and water squirting you in the face. Following our adventure at the Hilton (favorite T-Shirt at the Gift shop: "Real men never set it to stun") we went to the New York New York Roller coaster Roller coaster. We've done it before, but, you guessed it, it was on the PP, so we rode it. It was fun, made me a little sicker than last time (probably because I'm a little older and fatter than last time) and we went back to our hotel room and took a nice bath in our jetted tub and called it a night. Not bad for a first day, just a bit tiring.

Day 2 (We'll call it Tuesday) we went to the Las Vegas Art Museum. It was cool, it had all contemporary artists, (the oldest one was a great big $ by Andy Warhol of course) but it should have been called more of a gallery, as there were just 3 small rooms and 20 works there. Next came the Bellagio. All you have to say is Bellagio and you're loving it. We went to the Conservatory & Tracie got a lot of pictures of the flowers and things there (paling in comparison to the temple grounds, but still not bad for Vegas) we also went to the Art Museum there, again, more of a gallery, but it had some really cool O'Keefe paintings and kind of cool other people paintings there. (I'm such a freakin docent, seriously. "This is 'Something' by 'Whatshisname' done during his 'Whatever' period. As you can see, the brushstrokes and color palette are a precursor to his later stuff. Or not.") Following the Bellagio, we rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris and saw the Bellagio fountain exhibit, fun, and got a few pictures of Vegas from the top. Following that bit of vertigo, we went to the nicest casino on the strip, Circus Circus! In Circus Circus we went to the Adventuredome, a theme park indoors. It was smaller than we expected, it was like an indoor carnival, but we had fun on the roller coaster, Marvin Martian, and Spongebob rides. Here Tracie got her fortune told by a Zoltar machine, not nearly as Satanic as in the movie, and we also got our picture of our mutant monkey child with the bad 80's hairdo (but is there anything called a "good" 80's hairdo?). And that night we went to the old Las Vegas Strip and saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was fun, but missing it's old magic. Possibly from the fact that the title character qualifies for a senior citizen discount, or that the dialogue was as bad as Cate Blanchett's accent. That's supposed to be Russian?
I wrote a review of it in my journal, but I liked it better than I made it sound, and you've probably seen it by now too, so you can have your own opinion. Bad plot idea, subpar acting, crappy dialogue aside, I still liked it if for no other reason that what I always say: Any Indy is good Indy. (Indiana Jones, not an Indie movie. Those all suck. ;)) I heard the Russkies protested/banned that movie, and NOT because Cate Blanchett's acting was so bad.

Wednesday, Our last full day, was the most relaxing and therefore the most fun. We spent a lot of the time in the hotel room, having fun, and we also went to Ethel M's Chocolate factory. (Btw, the M is for "Mars", not "Mertz" as I postulated) it was fun, we paid for some overpriced chocolates and toured their cactus garden, one of the biggest in the world, surprisingly cool. (pun not intended, for once). We also saw Sea Monsters 3D at the Luxor IMAX, fun but not as scary as I thought. (Yes, I went to IMAX thinking I'd get scared and was surprised when it was educational instead.)

Thursday we left via the Luxor Breakfast Buffet, drove home. We made 1 stop at In N Out Burger in St. George because I promised my cousins & aunt & uncle I'd get them some, and then I went to 2D Design class in SF. (Spanish Fork, not San Francisco)

Friday we had work, then the weekend started again!

And there's our trip in a nutshell. Stay tuned for what we did over the weekend!!!