May 31, 2009

Morgan Danger

Since June will be the month our son Morgan will be born, and since neither of us want our blogs to be overcome by baby talk and pictures and stories, but we don't want to deprive those who want to read them from doing so, therefore we made morgandanger.blogspot.com. If you're interested, let me know and I'll invite you to the blog.

May 28, 2009

The Rumours are true...

We're buying a condo! As Michael Scott said, "There are only two types of people in this world. People who own houses, and people who own condos." Thanks, Michael. We've made our offer, got our loan, and plan on closing on it around June 15, or a week after Morgan's due date. It's about 400 sq. ft. larger than where we live now, it has one more bathroom and one more bedroom, a deck, is on the middle floor in PG Villas (that's Pleasant Grove, not Parental Guidance, and that's Villa, not Nilla Wafer) and we are so excited we're about ready to pop! (Tracie, quite literally. Though, it could be the 9 months pregnancy that's causing the poppage.) The PG Villas are located just off the freeway in Pleasant Grove (fittingly) and it's location means we're about the same amount of travel time from just about anywhere more than a few miles from our old place.

Pros: We're closer to Purple Turtle.
Cons: We're further away from Red Robin.

Yes, I make all my decisions based on the proximity of fast food restaurants named after a brightly colored animal.

It's exciting getting your own place, even if it's a condo. We're thinking about how we'll decorate, all the things we'll get, all the debt it will hold over us, you know, the usual stuff.

The Utah and U.S. governments are giving us a lot of money to get a house right now, so we just had to do it. Plus, after finally getting baby stuff for Mr. Morgan Man, we realize that our current place really isn't big enough for the three of us.

Our contract on our apt right now expires in the end of July, so we'll have a good month and a half to move in, which will help as we'll have a newborn baby boy to deal with.

Everyone is invited over once we move in, though not at the same time. It's bigger, but not THAT much bigger.

Hooray for us! A new baby a new condo, and a new mortgage to go with it! I'm going to Disneyland! Wait, too far, can't afford it, plus with the new baby on the way... I'm going to Lagoon! No, wait, can't afford, plus new baby... I'm going to Trafalga! ... maybe.

May 21, 2009

G.I. Joe- Rise of Cobra




It's coming. My childhood dream of my G.I. Joes coming to life is finally happening. The Real American heroes. And knowing is half the battle. Go Joe.

Joseph Gordon Leavitt from 3rd Rock from the Sun is playing Cobra Commander. My prediction? Either the best surprise super-villain casting since Heath Ledger's Joker, or the worst super-villain casting since Jar Jar Binks as Jar Jar Binks. If they can make a halfway decent movie out of my Transformers, they should do the same with Joes, right? Right??? Besides, George Lucas ravaged my childhood so far beyond recognition anyway, even if the G.I. Joe movie stinks, how will my fractured childhood know? Sienna Miller is playing the Baroness, though I think her promo picture looks more like Sheryl Crow. Dennis Quaid is General Hawk, but one of the Wayans brothers is in it, and we all know he did SUCH a service for the Dungeons and Dragons movie. However, all is forgiven, because Ray Park (aka Darth Maul) is playing Snake Eyes. That's all I need to know. August 7. I'll be there.

American Spectacle Spectacular Season 8

The reason we watch the show. Tonight was the American Idol finale. It's nearly 1 am but I can't sleep, so, until I can, here's my thoughts on tonight's finale. (I'm trying to be as chronological as possible, but it's 12:46 and so here's what I remember:

Duet #1: Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah: Battle of the Bootys. I can't remember why we listened to this woman. She takes a fun song and makes it boring, even manages to suck the fun and talent out of Latifah (or maybe it was Latifah's too-tight spandex number that sucked). Tracie ended up fast forwarding most of it

Random outburst #1: Carly Smithson reporting from San Diego. I wonder where her husband, tattoo-face is? Out covering the rest of his body with more meaningless hideous ink (taking a hint from Megan Joy, whose arm would look more appealing if it went through a wheat-thresher) or perhaps tattoo-face is getting a new extreme tattoo, and becoming the world's first cyborg. But seriously, poor Carly, failed music career, booted off Idol, now reporting (poorly, but still better than the train wreck crazy lady in Kris's hometown) for San Diegans everywhere (but mostly San Diego.) Look closely, Lil Rounds. You'll be lucky to land a gig like this.

Duet #2: Anoop! Noop dog in the house, yo! Singing the most overplayed Jason Mraz song ever. Hey, look, it's Alexis! How fun! Well, if we have to listen to this song, at least we get to hear it done differently. Oh, wait. Jason Mraz is here to sing it like he does on the album, and the radio, and when it sticks in my head for hours. I normally LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Jason Mraz, but that song is SO overdone it's burnt gristle. I wanted to hear new meat and Jason just took over. Oh well, the night is still young.

Award #1: Well, I got to see the creepy guy, the creepy guy, the bad singer, the creepy guy, and Nick/Norman. We all know who it's going to... NICK/NORMAN! I totally called that he had the sparkly shirt on underneath, I hope he gets a job singing in Vegas or on a cruise ship or something. Such a delight and treat to see him again.

Duet #3: Kris and Keith Urban. I don't know who Adam's going to sing with, or who any of the guests are, but this is destined to be the best duet of the night. I was worried about Kris singing country (at first, yo I was like 'what?' but you really can sing, you're a singer!) but wow. It made me want to listen to more Keith Urban, and hope against hope that Kris won. My favorite of the night.

Duet #4: Allison Iraheta and... Cyndi Lauper? While that song is probably one of my favorite duets of all time and as you all know, Allison was my favorite contestant this season from the beginning, who was the genius to pair up cute, amazingly talented underage red-haired teenager with fifty something, sassy, funky has-been? Not my favorite combo by any stretch, it felt awkward. But, they both can sing, as Randy says. That is good Randy. They can sing. Good for you. Eat a cookie. Though who knew Cyndi Lauper could play the zither? Or more importantly, who knew I knew what a zither was?

Award #2: The award for biggest attention whore goes to.... bikini girl! Oh, how fun, she wore a bikini on stage to complement her new boobs. We fast forwarded most of her crap as she deserves even less attention than her master, the attention whore queen, Paris Hilton. Though we did watch most of her duet with Kara, who showed up bikini girl in more ways than one. *I found that the most impressive display of female empowerment through exposing oneself since Brandi Chastain took off her shirt after they won the World Cup. (I'm of course talking about Kara's wardrobe function (not dysfunction, since it seemed intentional) probably the most hilarious and unexpected moment of the night. Up to that point...

Duet #5- I can picture the producers now. Producer A: "Well boys, we need another celebrity- But we want to include more of the losers- I mean runners up. So let's get a celebrity everyone knows, but who can't sing, and then team him up with two contestants who can't sing so they'll sound better by comparison!" Producer B: "Hey, I know Steve Martin!" Producer A: "Can he sing?" Producer B: "Not a word, but he can play the banjo!" Producer A: "What idiot would agree to sing opposite one of the funniest men of last century playing the banjo?" Producer B: "Not just one idiot... but TWO!" I tried my hardest to tune them out and watch Steve play, though it was better than expected. (How can you expect that?) Kudos to SM, probably the second funniest moment of the night and most clever comeback to a stupid Seacrest question. When asked "who do you think is gonna win?" Steve Martin came back with "Well, I know it's a longshot, but I really hope I do." Hi-larious.

Girls sing: Oh, we're singing a Fergie song, eh? Fine, just get it over with, maybe Fergie will show up and show all of you up. She does. And she doesn't. At least she doesn't wet her pants on stage. I wish she was still with Black Eyed Peas. What ever happened to them? Hey, there they are! Awesomeness! The song isn't. Oh well, good to see will.i.am., apl and Taboo, even if I have to witness Fergie's horrible facelift that makes me reevaluate my opinion on the massacre of Meg Ryan's face. Didn't Fergie used to be pretty, or is that just me? Quick, cameraman, pan yet another shot of Janice Dickinson, maybe it will improve Fergie's face. They do. And it doesn't. Well, thanks for trying.

Duet #6: Danny! Hi! I can't believe it's been just one week since you left. Welcome back. Do your traditional Danny thing. You know what I mean. Start out withdrawn and soft, break into your raspy-albeit-predictable belting that we all came for. Ladies and gentlemen, Nicole Ritchie's dad! Watch him outperform me, like everyone else did! Sorry, Danny. You're too easy to make fun of. Now secure that Lens-Crafters spokesman deal before we forget about you.

Duet #7: What. The. Heck. Is. Adam. Wearing? I want to throw him underwater and see if he catches lobster with those shoulderpads. Tracie said he looks like something Kiss would wear. Well, if Kiss replaced their facepaint for a spray on tan that makes Seacrest look pale. Holy Cow! It's Kiss! Well, if you've gotta be theatrical, you've gotta be Kiss. They rock it on the one song of theirs I really like, Adam does a bang up job we all expect him to, and next to Gene Simmon's freakshow tongue, Adam's pink lolling lingua is really not all that bad. The only excuse he could have for wearing those shoulder pads and shoes is if Kiss is hiding somewhere on the stage, or floating above you, Adam. Ok. Good. proceed. Rock the house.

Trainwreck #3: Tatiana. I tried so hard to forget you. Really, I did. At first, I really wondered if she was ignoring the guards, but when they refused to beat her on stage with nightsticks that we all hoped for, I realized the game for what it was. Good for her for learning to laugh at herself. She just joined the millions of us who already are. Come on, security guards, get her! Don't you have any mace or anything? Oh well. Her fifteen minutes just went ding!

Guys sing: If you think I'm sexy? The whitest bunch of Idols ever (I know there was Anoop and Jorge in the mix, but Danny, Michael and Scott bleach it right up) were just not sexy. It didn't stop me from getting up and getting my groove on with a few air gyrations, but Rod Stewart's appearance didn't stop me from gagging, either. No Rod. I don't think you're sexy. Apparently, my mother in law does, but that's a different story, and not one I'm sure she'd appreciate me sharing. You had to be there, I guess. Did Rod seem drunk (-er than usual) to you too? Oh well, whatever works. Just because I don't find you sexy don't mean I don't like you. That raspy voice just plain rules.

Duet-ish #8: Santana! Awesome! This is the best finale ever! Go, Matt! Glad you got some singing time in, before everyone comes to join you. Now everyone shut up for a second and listen to Carlos some more. Wow.

Finale #1: We've had Kiss. We've had Lionel Ritchie. We've had Steve Martin on Banjo for crying out loud. What could they possibly do to top this night? One word: Queen.Freakin Queen. The greatest rock band. Ever. No arguments. No runners up. The only thing that could have topped it was if they brought Freddie back from the dead. But I'm okay with Brian and Roger. I'm de-flippin-lighted. I'm a Queen fan, btw. And the choice of "We Are the Champions" I thought was going to be cheesy, but it was perfect. A perfect end to a perfect night. Well done everyone. You ARE the Champions.

Finale the final: Oh, right. The results. I really didn't care much this time. Both have already won record deals, it's basically who gets the laurels and who has to sing Kara's mediocre song at the end. I knew it would be Adam. Everyone knew it would be Adam. Here comes the British man with the results, bullet proof and record breaking. What record they broke, I don't know. But he's British, so he must know what he's talking about. (Thanks, Idolatry) KRIS ALLEN WINS!!! Wow. Did not see that coming! That's terrific! Underdog! Dark Horse! The person the judges gave the least credit to! America loves its underdogs. But Kris really deserved it. Adam was destined to be a star, and he will be, but Kris really earned this. If Adam hadn't been in the competition, I think Kris' originality and creative risks and payoffs would have been praised much more, rather than the judges eating off Adam's butt and grudgingly throwing Kris a bone from time to time. I was so happy for Kris, but I think my favorite moment of the night was watching the credits roll and see adorable Kris holding his adorable wife adorably and just hold each other and crying. I don't know about you, but I teared up (seriously). It was a moment that you could just see at that instant they were the only two people in the world. Kris showed us something deeply personal and sincere, the only thing he ever shows us. Way to go. Standing ovation to a season well done.

May 18, 2009

If it's Supposed to be Good for Me, then Why Does it Feel So Bad?

Saturday I had my "Fitness for Life" class. It should be good for me, because if I keep it up my life will last a few more weeks. We did all the different body tests, and I learned several things.

* I am in horrible shape.
* I wish I was home sleeping.
* I pushed myself too hard and now I am going to die.
* My goodness, I'm fat.

From walking (as fast as I could. It may sound easy, but you try doing it with one leg) to seeing how many sit ups and push ups in 1 minute I could do (an embarrassing 22 and 32, respectively) only being able to test my core strength for 1 minute, let's just say I think I have the most room for improvement in the whole class. So yipee for me.

The teacher was nice enough to let me walk 1 mile instead of run a mile and a half, and I still got the slowest time, I'm sure. Though my body is achy, I feel better than I have in a long time, though that could be the painkillers and muscle relaxants I'm taking. Are you supposed to combine them? I'm not sure, let me go read the clabmelx dasgsdffdg a..a.sdael jokakejad nvad jajasdtaroack aroiclaje..........................................

Vernal, glorious Vernal!

Never thought I'd say THAT, let alone have it as the title of a blog entry. This weekend, kind of spur-of-the-moment we drove up to Vernal to see HayLee and Justin, Tracie's sister and her husband. (Tracie's sister's husband, not Tracie's husband. That would be me. Try and keep up) We've seen Justin a lot lately, what with him being our Realtor and all, but Tracie hasn't seen her sis in awhile, and there's an old adage that goes something like: "If you keep two sisters apart from each other for too long, the universe will implode." (or something) Wanting to do my part in keeping the universe unimploded, we took the 2.5 hour drive up to Vernal on Saturday evening. On the way, we stopped at Dairy Keen in Heber, (not to be confused with Dairy Queen. So please don't sue them, DQ) and had a DELICIOUS shake, and I ate half of a Jim Gaffigan joke. "Hey, you know what would go good on this burger? A ham sandwich!" Apparently that's what their "Train burger" consisted of. Well, I tried it, and I am no longer laughing. I am no longer walking or breathing without gasping for air either, but I ain't laughing. Yum.

Not much eventful happened in Vernal, we were only there for about 24 hours, but it was good to see HayLee and Justin and their dog, Mocha. Missionaries came over, I left my suit at home, Tracie slept on the beanbag chair while I snored away on the inflate-a-bed (her choice) HayLee and Justin cooked us delicious meals and a good time was had by all.

*As a prank, I wrote "Mocha" in the side of the couch (it's a microfiber couch, so you can write in it by going against the grain) wanting them to think the dog could write his name, but Tracie saw through our deception. Oh well, until next time. Thanks for having us over H&J, we'll see you next weekend!

What did YOU do this weekend?

May 13, 2009

Kris + Adam

Besides the fact that they look like a cute couple, America got this week right. Gokey finally did the hokey pokey off the stagey.

Now all we need is to put a muzzle on Randy and a straight-jacket on Kara.

Who do you think is gonna win? Who do you want to win? Are you upset that Go-go-go Gokey finally left?

May 12, 2009

Gimme a P!

So today at work we had random drug testing. That doesn't make me nervous, as the last time I did drugs it was a) over ten years ago, and b) perfectly legal, they were to treat the cancer.

What made it noteworthy in my opinion was I was an "alternate." Meaning those who were selected to randomly participate in the random drug test randomly received an email stating what time they were scheduled to make their deposit, but at the bottom it said "alternates, some guy and Austin."

At first I was a bit perplexed as to what my alternate status entailed. Did it mean, if someone was unable to pee, then I would jump in and contribute my Olympian-grade number one? Or did it mean, if no one else passed the test, it would fall on me to make things right for the company? Sadly, no. It simply meant that I was a stand in for people who didn't come in today. However, fortunately it also meant that I would be contributing my OWN #1 for my OWN records.

So I patiently waited to see if I was to be called upon, I drank a healthy amount (borderline unhealthy) of water so I'd be sure to make my deposit count. And stay on the clear side. Well, I needed to go around 11:00 when it was scheduled, but I waited, thinking I'd replace someone I knew wasn't in that day. Well, I didn't get called until 12:30, with the pressure rising and my patience wearing thin. And when I was called, they told me my skills wouldn't be required until 1:10. The last 15 minutes or so consisted of me doing the potty dance as it is called in some circles, and I finally made it in time, filled my cup a little past the required line (I'm an over-achiever, what can I say) and felt the relief I haven't felt since I was a child. I can't remember the last time I was so happy to pee.

Gimme an A!

I got all A's this last semester. You know what that means? It means I have some of the most generous and forgiving and easy to please teachers ever! This last semester was one of my most difficult, but I also can honestly say I learned more this semester than I have in any other.

While having 3 classes, working full time, looking for a new home, and caring for an increasingly pregnant wife can cause a considerable amount of stress, I can look back and say "I did it!"

Next semester I have 4 classes, 2 science and 2 art. We'll also have a new baby and more money to pay because of our mortgage.

So I'm REALLY really looking forward to this summer, just one class, 2 credits, it meets once a week, and it should help me get in shape (the class is Fitness For Life, my P.E. G.E. or pege, for short). Also, our little boy is on the way!

Less than 4 weeks left before little Mr. Morgan Danger Beckstrom is due to enter the world! We've finally started ordering things like his changing table, stroller, car seat, crib, diapers, and whatnot. I can't wait to see him, hold him and love him like nobody's business!

May 9, 2009

The Face of a Botticelli

I've always said (and been told by others) that Tracie has the face of a Botticelli. Now I have proof. While in Europe, my parents found this painting that does look quite a bit like my ideal beauty. Aptly, that's the name of the painting: "Idéal féminin" or "Female Ideal." I don't think it looks exactly like my princess, but it looks quite a lot like her for being a painting done over 500 years ago. What do you think?

May 6, 2009

Damn you, American Idol

Damn you.
The only consolation I have is she is this season's Chris Daughtry.

May 3, 2009

Photography Final

I am a very relaxed and laid back person (in my opinion) when it comes to my life. However, when it comes to art and creativity, it is a complete reversal. I must be in control and in charge of whatever I am doing. My reasoning is, if I leave it up to chance, well, I don't have much right calling it my own work. Therefore, my final project for photography was me going in the complete opposite direction. To do something that terrified me. And there weren't any naked octegenarians willing to pose for me.

Instead of choosing the picture, the focus, the view, Tracie took a picture of me. Rather than worry about developing it to a specific time, I chose a completely random development time (to an extent.) I solarized the image, meaning I exposed it to light before the image was finished developing. Finally, I tinted the image, which means I left it in a dish of blue dye until I felt like removing it. I wanted as little control over my image as possible, letting the image somehow "create itself." What resulted is a blue monster, and an A in both Photography and B.S. :)

May 2, 2009

Alan Rickman reads Marcel Proust

Proust Recitation - Alan Rickman
I found this online and think it's absolutely beautiful.



For the hearing impaired, or in the event this website/clip is taken down:

“I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it–our life–hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

‘But let all this threaten to become impossible for ever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

‘The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening.”