Oct 31, 2010



We are pleased to inform you that we have accepted your piece "Origin Of A Crazy Cat Lady" for publication in the fall 2010 issue of Touchstones. We would like to invite you to attend My Word, the Touchstones release party, where you may receive your complimentary copy of this issue. My Word is at 7 pm on November 30 in the UVU Student Center, rooms 206 a & b. Congratulations.


Website: research.uvu.edu/touchstones

Oct 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

From the Rubbles to you.

Oct 28, 2010

Morgan: the Destructor

That's it. Our TV (heretofore known as "baby #1") has given up the ghost. It is no more. It has ceased to be. And I can't help but feel Morgan had something to do with it. Mostly because he had something to do with it.

It's not like we loved baby #1 more than he. He spent time watching the Wiggles and other kids shows on it. Even as a brand new baby, he seemed interested in things like Food Network. When he got older and learned to "use" the remote, (meaning point it at the tv and push a lot of buttons,) he showed a preference for the Spanish channel. I thought "great, baby #1 is teaching Morgan a new language! It's fun and educational!" But all that time with the remote and tv, Morgan was just researching its eventual demise.

It's been dying for months. The line of static at the top has been getting lower and lower. It's taken longer and longer for it to turn on, it doesn't shift through channels, but it still worked.

I don't know exactly how he did it, but Morgan broke our tv. One day it was working fine, the next day: nothing. I tried everything, even unplugged it and plugged it back in a few times.

The good news is we now need to buy a new tv. The bad news is we have to buy a new tv. To tv #1: so long, old friend. We had some good times, we had some bad times. I promise to buy a large, flatscreen hi-def replacement to ease the loss of your glowing goodness.

I'm glad that baby #2 (hereafter known as "Morgan") was the one that came out the victor in that deathmatch. He's cuter, I feel less guilty spending my time watching him, and I've spent more time and money on him.

Oct 27, 2010


For my photo class, now we're working on images for children's picture books. The group I'm in chose to do a picture book/section on Fall.

A good idea, until it snowed today. Fortunately, I got some pictures before the snowfall. These aren't done or submit-worthy, but this is what I'm up to.

I'm a fan of fall. It's not my favorite season (I'm a spring man) but it's probably second favorite. I for one enjoy the cold air, the changing colors, and of course, the pies. What do you love about fall?

Oct 25, 2010

The Halloween Twist

My latest Illustration assignment was a creative self-portrait with a Halloween twist. After a few (20 or so) preliminary sketches/thumbnails, I thought of the pumpkin shaped trick-or-treat bucket, and thought what if my head was the pumpkin, and the bucket was my head? That idea eventually became a skeleton in a big spiderweb/muscle-looking cape holding my head with candy in it. And the pumpkin is filled with eyeballs. Hope you enjoy it, it's probably my favorite drawing I've done in awhile.

Oct 19, 2010

Deciding to Draw

No Nanowrimo for me for 2010. I have 150 more 1/2 hour sketchbook drawings to do before December, so I'm going to spend my spare time doing that instead of writing a story. This will be the first time I've not attempted NaNoWriMo in 3 years.

So, to my writer friends, you have to do Nanowrimo for me. No excuses, unless they're as good as mine.

Oct 12, 2010

Caffeinated Sprites

Our assignment in Drawing for Illustration was integrate fantasy creatures with modern objects. I had fairies drinking soda, or as my cousin Carrisa pointed out, Sprites drinking Sprite.

Oct 11, 2010


I got my light painting assignment back, and the teacher gave me 100%!

He also wrote:

As Mae West once said, "Too much of a good thing... is wonderful!" Nice job with the light painting and exploring the process!

Earlier I got my in class essay back in Ethics, something I was very worried about, I told myself I'd be happy with a C, as I overheard several others in the class complaining about getting D's, and I got an A! (This is the same teacher I wrote this paper for. I followed my advice and it paid off!)

Also, I made a new Che Morrison image I'm happier with. For those of you who saw that I posted it but then took it down, it was because it didn't look right. This isn't perfect, but it's better. Let me know what you think. It takes Che Guevara, Jim Morrison, and the Obey Giant into a unified, ripping off whole. I think I'm going to get a t-shirt of it made.

Call it a "Hunch"

What hump? In addition to walking with a limp, over the last 2 days I'm developing a hump. (Not really, let me continue.)

The 3D Design class make-up project I'm doing involves a lot of bending and leaning over. This wouldn't be too much of a problem, but I spent about 3 hours yesterday leaning over, trying to turn cardstock and hot glue into an angular lemon. That's not a euphemism, (though, to conjure up Dave Barry, Angular Lemon would be a pretty sweet name for a rock band) it's what the assignment actually is. Turn a fruit or vegetable into a planar sculpture. I'm less than half way done, and might just take half the grade for half the lemon.

Because when I tried standing up, I found that I couldn't. My back is questioning why I would be so cruel do it, and to show its disgust is now causing me to post like a question mark. My brother-in-law Taylor cracked my back and aligned about 27 of my vertebra, (vertebrae? vertebray? vertabooraheyohah? I can never tell.) but I still felt a lot of pain. I've been in pain before (shocking, I know) and I thought a good night's sleep was all I needed.

It wasn't. As this morning it took me about 15 minutes to get out of bed, which is a lot. About 13 1/2 minutes longer than usual. And I don't mean 15 minutes of hitting snooze. I mean 15 minutes rocking, jumping, twisting and kicking to stand up. Once I had finally stood up, it took me longer to remain standing.

I'm now at work, cane in hand, painkillers in body and heat pack on back, in not quite enough pain to justify going home to lie down, but enough pain to be a bit of a grouch. Okay, a huge grouch. On a pain scale of 1-10, with 8 being enough to go home, I'm about 7 1/2. So I'm hoping to either get worse so I can go home and rest, or get better so I won't be worried about tearing any heads off, any more anyway.

Oct 7, 2010


Dear Spammers,

I don't need Canadian Pharmaceuticals, I don't need a bigger penis, cheaper Viagra, or rolexes of any kind. I don't need to hear your great business opportunity, my name is not Osteen, Ustin, Aston or Austen. I'm not interested in a mail order bride, a male order bride, Russian or Polish or any other. It's only kind of funny that google keeps thinking I want a recipe for Spam burritos because of you. But not anymore. Please leave me alone.

Dear Pam,

I don't know who you are, but please stop sending me messages on something called "Speed Date" that's appearing in my spam folder. I'm very happily married, and no offense but I can do better than you anyway.

Dear Work,

I love working here. But could you not have the air conditioner on full blast 24/7? I had to wear my winter coat in the summer, otherwise I couldn't feel my fingers.

Dear Stomach,

Why are you so hungry all the time? Do some work and eat the excess fat in my belly/butt/thighs. Stop growling, it's ridiculous.

Dear Leg,

I get it. You're hurting. Get over it already, it's getting very tiresome.

Dear Blog Readers,

Thank you for taking the time to read my random posts. I'll write a good one again someday to make it up to you, I promise.

Oct 6, 2010

The What If Game

As you get older, it gets easier and easier to play the "What If Game." I am mostly happy with the life I have now, but it makes me curious to know what would be different and what would be the same if things were altered. If I made different choices in my life, or different things happened to me. Such as:

What if I had never gotten cancer?
-This is probably the biggest what if. Would I have gotten into sports in high school instead of homeschooling, would I have had different friends, done better in school, gone to a more prestigious/accredited college? Would I be the same person I am now?

What if I hadn't gone on a mission?
-I was told by my Stake President that, because of my health circumstances/situation/cancer-survivoriness, I was exempt from the 'requirement' of serving a mission. I (gratefully) chose to go anyway, though I often wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't. Would I have as strong of a testimony? Would I have graduated college already? Would the people I taught still have joined the church?

What if I hadn't come to Utah after my mission?
-I prayed asking where to go after my mission, and Utah, Idaho, and Virginia all seemed like viable options. I chose Utah because there was a girl here I wanted to date, but I ended up marrying a different one. If I hadn't gone to Utah, would I have met Tracie some other way? Where would Tracie and I be today if we'd never met?

There are lots and lots of other what ifs, like what if I hadn't worked at iArchives? (the place I met Tracie), What if I chose something else as my Make-A-Wish? (Instead of painting in Italy) What if I had been called to a foreign speaking mission? What if my brother Aaron was still alive? What if we never moved from California? What if we didn't have Morgan? As I said, getting older begs you to ask these questions about the seeming endless possibilities of life and how you managed to take your own path for better or for worse, and not see any other way you would have rather gone.

Think about how many occurrences and choices sculpted you into the person you are living the life you now have. How easily such a tiny choice can affect so many people.

In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,

These are indeed exceptions; but they show
How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow
Into the arctic regions of our lives,
Where little else than life itself survives.

I am grateful every day for the choices I made, the things I chose and did and the things I chose not to do, what happened and what I made happen, for they all made me who I am.

Oct 5, 2010

Picdump 204- with comments!

The Awesomeness can hardly be contained.
check out the left hand. he killed my father!
Thank you, random person. This has been bugging me forever.
jesse eisenberg is the poor man's michael cera.
As true as it gets.

The princesses when no one's looking.
or when no one cares.
The world itself couldn't contain their combined awesome for too long.
especially when one is a bisexual and another an alleged pedophile.
Now you know.
-what the other half of the battle is.
Star Trek doesn't need J.J. to be awesome, it just needs Joss.
the first time I want to watch star trek.
I am so going to get this t-shirt.
what? i am.
I will not get this shirt.

Despite the fact that I probably needed this explained to me, it's funny, trust me.
and Big Bang Theory, not so much.

Textures Assignment

In Photoshop, (Digital Imaging) our assignment was to use textures to add, well, texture to our pictures. As well as creative borders. Here's what I did. Still not professional caliber, but it's fun to see myself getting better. No, it's true. I am.

Oct 4, 2010

Ol' Bessie

Some of you may know that my leg (or "Ol' Bessie" as she prefers to be called) can predict the weather. I don't mean to say that I have a fifth sense or that I have ESPN or something, and only sometimes can she tell that's it's already raining.

What I mean is that my leg aches and my scar itches before it rains. This first occurred shortly after my first surgery. My leg hurt and my scar itched like the dickens, and the next day it rained. This happened a number of times before I connected the two- pain and itching followed by rain. (As usually, pain and itching is followed by a trip to the doctor and a rather uncomfortable conversation about creams and ointments and who you got it from.)

I used my power of weather prediction only for good (most of the time) and used it to advise family members on whether they should take a jacket with them, and to know exactly where lightning would strike, and manipulate my enemies into standing in that exact spot tomorrow.

Though, some time after my mission, the power seemed to change. My weather prediction seemed off. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized it was then predicting the rain two days in advance, rather than the previous one. I used this power again for the force of good, and to make lame weather-related puns (do you know what happens to a Toad when it gets struck by lightning?) Those not in awe of my awesome weather manipulation were found lightning-struck atop a pile of extra-crispy enemies of Austin-man, or have their perms ruined and clothes made soggy.

Recently, I've thought my powers waning. It was three days ago that I first felt the itching and aching. I made sure my anti-fungal cream prescription was up to date, and expected it to rain. Nothing. Then I expected it again the next day. Not a drop. Then, today it's raining cats, dogs, hamsters, bunnies, men and an ocelot.

Have my powers of perception slowly decreased, that instead of the next day forecast it has to take 3 cycles of the earth for it to come to pass, or have I become so sensitive to the changes in climate and weather that I can tell nearly half a week in advance of oncoming precipitation? The implications are dire. Either way, fear me! Fear me future enemies and minions! Fear me you all!!!!