Jan 31, 2011

January in Review

The first month of 2011 draws rapidly to its close, but not before I get a say in the matter.

This January has been one busy son of a motherless goat. I've started my new schedule of 13 credits and 30-35 hours of work a week. It's not easy. Those 13 credits total 18 hours, not including any homework, that's all class time. Fortunately Moby still appears to recognize me, at least for now.

We got a new entertainment center with sound system and PS3 to go with it, special thanks to Brett for helping us set it up, and for my employer for giving me such a generous Christmas bonus to pay for it.

We managed to paint Morgan's room and our living room, just 2 rooms to go. (This is in addition to the squares/splotches of color that have been on the walls for months.)

We've actually managed to stay on top of laundry, and not in a "scale mount clothing" type of stay on top, but actually folding and putting it away. It's amazing. Same with dishes.

My classes are all going well, I actually start my novella on Wednesday, we're finally drawing people/models instead of skulls for my "Rendering the Human Head" class, I made 2 unique and attractive (IMHO) monograms for my "Typography & Layout" class, I attended a workshop given by James Victore (and all I got was a lousy sticker. I kid, I kid), and I'm still building a website. (If you want to see what I've done in class but not fit for having my name attached to it, go here. That's no template. That's a site from scratch.) austinbeckstrom.com is bought and waiting for something useful/interesting on it, but I need to get Host Gator's FTP information but I'm not willing to wait an hour on hold to get it just yet. So yeah, classes are going well, even though I was up until past 2 last night doing homework.

We went to church 1 time this month and plan to go more next month. We had trouble coming back after getting sick and church changing times to 9 am. But we're gonna do it, darn it!

As far as my resolution goals go, I haven't been keeping them exactly, but I am doing them somewhat.
I'm not exercising 3 times a week yet, but I am getting more exercise thanks to both stairs at school and Just Dance on the Wii. My junk food consumption is down, but I am still eating out more than once a week.
Writing goals are good-ish, as I'll be writing something like 20K-40K words next month, I wrote a topic article for Cracked.com and submitted pitches for several others.
Bedtime stories to Morgan are going ok but not every night, I need to re-step up on that one.
I won't know for sure that I've got all A's but I've only missed one class of any of my classes and turned in everything I've been supposed to, guess I just gotta keep that up.
Finally, I've been doing more reading than I did last year, but not much fiction, mostly writing books/textbook and design books/textbook. I'm going to read the rest of "Anthem" tonight, since it's like 50 pages and it's been due at the library for long enough for them to send their collector squad after me.

On the fun side, we've been watching "Veronica Mars" and "30 Rock" on Netflix. I highly recommend both/either if you're a fan of good writing and acting.

I grew a beard for over a fortnight (18 days) but finally got rid of it because it was itchy and had more gray that it should and Tracie didn't kiss me as much/at all. Pictures are on facebook if you must see it. (Of the beard, not the kissing. Regrettably.) Morgan made the cutest face of confusion and then recognition the next day when I got him out of bed and he saw a beardless daddy.

We also still managed to find time for friends and family at least somewhat, not as much as we'd like but not too much that they got (overly) sick of us. No matter what they tell you. ALL HAIL THE CHINESE CHEESE BISCUIT!

Creative Monograms

Jan 20, 2011

Reasons I'm growing a beard

1. I can sleep in an extra few minutes since I'm no longer shaving.
2. I get compliments from fellow (mostly bearded) coworkers.
3. Food storage.
4. I'm already sexy, bald, and have a cyborg leg, If I wanted to look cooler, it was either this or an eyepatch.
5. So my face gets less cold when I'm outdoors.
6. Got to grow hair somewhere. (Get your mind out of the gutter, I mean my bald head, thank you very much.)
7. I'm tired of being the unique one. I wanna conform. In my creative writing class, EVERY guy there is balding, wears glasses, and has facial hair, except me. Now I am just one of them. Except I have a cane.
8. I got tired of people asking me if I went to BYU or UVU. Now the beard tells them.
9. Tracie has a new reason not to kiss me besides my breath.
10. I wanted to join the ranks of the likes of: Sean Connery, Philip K. Dick, The Ghost Pirate LeChuck, Abraham Lincoln, Chuck Norris, Brigham Young, Alan Moore, Evil Spock, Mr. T, Commander Riker, ZZ Top, Hemingway, most non-British philosophers, (Nietzsche only had a mustache, but WHAT a 'stache!), Gandalf, Dumbledore, Obi-Wan, all the Beatles at one time or another, and according to most Western art, a guy named Jesus.
11. (bonus) Just look at me.

Jan 19, 2011

More than I can chew

On Mondays and Wednesdays I have one class at the GT building, then a class in the LA building, then again at the GT building. Why is this noteworthy? Well, because they are on opposite ends of UVU, and are seven floors apart.

I began the schedule ok. It was somewhat crazy, but handicapped parking made it doable. However, because I'm not the only handicapped person at UVU (just the cutest) I had found it progressively harder to even get a handicapped spot when going to the LA building or returning to the GT building.

So today I had the bright idea of walking to all my classes. That way I'd get to keep the sweet handicapped spot and get a little exercise too. What I got instead was covered in sweat, 20 minutes late to class, and the inability to stay in my drawing class. Now I'm in so much pain I don't know if I can stay at work.

If I never exercise how will I ever get better, but it's really depressing when walking makes my entire day shot.

I'm beginning to think that 18 hours of school, 34 hours of work and 30 hours of sleep a week is too much, too much and not enough. Fortunately I have a great job as well as a wonderful family I can fall back on and who are very understanding. Because right now I feel a lot like the fish in the middle of that picture up top.

But, as Tracie (and Dori) would say, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimming!" I'll try to keep swimming as long as I can walk.

In happier news, I am loving most of my classes, especially Interactive Design. I've gone from feeling like the dumbest person in class for my early design classes to the smartest person, since I know what HTML is. Go me.

Jan 10, 2011

One Classy Guy

It's hard to go to college in Utah County and not get a BYU education. Even though I'm not going to BYU, it appears all my professors this semester did.

That being said, this looks like it's going to shape up to be a memorable and busy semester.

My Typography and Layout teacher I already like a lot more than my last one, but to be fair I've only had 2 classes with this one thus far, and he hasn't critiqued any of my work yet. But, I'm looking forward to the first assignment: creative monogram. That's right. It's graphic design and apparently it's 1900.

Creative Writing should be fun, at the moment I'm planning on writing "The Friends of Henry Paris," while it has nothing to do with his friends, it should still be enjoyable or at least complete with 30-50K words by the end of the semester. Wish me luck.

Rendering the Human Head may be more boring than I thought, although I'd be remiss if I didn't make a slight retraction from my last statement concerning this teacher. When I took one day of his class last semester I thought he was dull beyond all belief and stoned beyond all comprehension, only to discover now that he was suffering from jet lag, not weed, and so the class may be less drug-fueled than originally planned. I'll let you decide whether that's good or bad.

Rounding out the 3 credit classes is Interactive Design, or Dreamweaver 101. It's exciting to FINALLY be in a class that actually teaches something I actually want to do. It's also exciting to be in a class where I feel like I know the most out of all the students, as I know enough HTML to blog, and to work in Tech Support. Yay me. In other news, the teacher teaching it is my age. My. Age. Not slightly older, but my age. That's depressing. But, hey, soon I'll be graduated and all will be right again in the world.

Last and probably least is Art Lectures, about 200 or so UVU students in an auditorium once a week listening to a visiting Artist/Lecturer pontificate on being an artist and whatever that entails. I'm more excited to visit with friends from past and current classes shortly before and after the lectures, but still, it's just one hour a week for 10 weeks. I can probably handle that. Of course, I have to take the class twice more, but at least it's (hopefully) different lecturers each time.

And that's my first week of class. I'll keep you posted (probably) on how the semester and my sanity fares as it (hopefully) does so.

Until then, brothers and sisters, adieu.

Jan 5, 2011

The Good News and...

In addition to several others, I had my first Creative Writing class today. The good news is I'm looking forward to it and looking forward to writing a whole whole lot. The not as good news is instead of a bunch of short fiction, the class assignment for the whole semester is to write one novel(la) length story, about 30,000-50,000 words. The main reason that's not so good news is I'm not sure what to write about, and it won't be as easy to post on my beloved glassofrandom. I have several ideas, some even good ones, but we'll see what is destined to become my longest story ever written.

For those of you familiar with my work or have read glassofrandom in the past, I'm debating between several.

Prince Pert and the Perilous Quest for the Perfect Princess, a tongue-in-cheek fairytale prequel, I actually have a first draft already written, but that's about 20,000 words and I don't know how much I can add. I probably should actually remove quite a bit. There are only so many "fairest of them all" jokes you can make.

The Friends of Henry Paris, a western/horror/mystery story. One of my ideas I think has the most potential, but possibly too long for a novella. It's about a small town Sheriff in the old west who hires someone to kill a pesky thief, only to have the pesky thief come back from the dead and makes things even worse then he did when alive. OOOOOOOOooooooo.

Magpie, or Nick the Thief
, a character I came up with in my last creative writing class. Basically a harmless thief who is so antisocial and awkward the only way he can connect with people is by stealing seemingly worthless objects from them. But the plot begins when he steals the wrong thing from the wrong mob boss. Dun dun duuuuuuu-- you get it.

I've wanted to write 50,000 words of one story for several years now, and now it finally appears that I will do just that.

What do you think I should do? What would you write if given a 50,000 word assignment? Not that I'll listen, but comments are what I love, and they warm my little black heart.
Bless their little black hearts.

Jan 3, 2011

Resolution RevoluciĆ³n

Inspired by various blogging friends of mine, I'd like to post some New Year's Resolutions. Why is it a Revolucion, you ask? Besides the incorrect spelling, tis because I am going to make SPECIFIC resolutions. So "lose some weight" becomes "exercise thrice weekly and junk food only once a week." for example. If you don't get it you're gonna get it because...

1.) Exercise three times a week, only treat myself to fast food one day a week. This will mean play less video games and make my lunch before work.
2.) Finish a second draft of "Prince Pert's Perilous Quest for the Perfect Princess." And write a new story for NaNoWriMo. Also participate in Script Frenzy and remind those who would like the reminder to do likewise. It's only 88 days away, people!
3.) Read a bedtime story to Morgan most nights. I don't say every night because if I forget or circumstances don't allow it, I won't lose my goal and give up. I started this on Christmas and have done so nearly every night since then.
4.) Get A's in all my classes. This is specific, how can I make it more specific? Do my homework, turn it in on time, be awesome, buy Adobe CS5 and don't skip class.
5.) I haven't been happy with how little I've been able to read this past year. I love reading but have found little time to do so. I think I can commit to reading one book a month. I have a lot of books I've been given both as Christmas presents and a few backed up from birthdays, so I plan to read these books, and possibly write a review of each, though it will probably just be a heads up, since some of you may know my reviews end up being either "I love it, read it!" Or, "I hate it, don't bother even using it as toilet paper, you may get cut." So the goal is to read a book a month, not review a book a month, of the books I own and have neglected since coveting them before I did own them.

No goals on blogging, I think I currently blog a sufficient amount. Not too much that you get sick of reading what color sweater my bichon frise is wearing this hour, not too little that you worry you'll start seeing my face on milk cartons, provided they start putting children's faces on milk cartons again, or that you start drinking out of milk cartons.

There are other hopes and wishes I could call resolutions like reading more scriptures and being a more active parents, husband, houseworker, employee, student, etc. etc. But these are enough for little ol' me for now.

What are some of YOUR new year's resolutions this year?

2010: A Year

I turned 28. My wife 26. My son turned 1.

I had to drop a whole semester. Soon I'll have made up that semester finally. I got a new hip, knee, and everything in between.

In addition to my junk, TSA will see a whole bunch of metal in me.

I was out of commission over a month, rarely leaving the living room. (hip surgery apparently does that to you.)

We got a bunch of new furniture like couches and desk and a TV.

My graphic design ability and knowledge grew exponentially. (According to me of course). My technical knowledge went from "This is a computer." to "This is a monitor. That's the computer." and beyond.

There was some oil spill on my birthday that was kind of a big deal.

It snowed in May.

I got published in Touchstones.

I'm one more year closer to finally graduating.

Leslie Nielsen died.

Some of our best friends moved away. Some others came to visit.

I didn't see my family (the Texas ones) nearly enough, but I did get to see them.

I managed to keep my job over a year. Usually I'd have been fired or quit by now, but I love it.

I lost weight. I gained weight. I lost hair. I didn't get any back.

Our tv broke.

I didn't read as much as I'd have wanted or written as much as I'd like, but I drew an Olympian amount. (There's no Olympian God of Art. Techne maybe, but that's more of a personification of a concept than a god.)

In other news, Morgan claimed the title of cutest baby ever. (He was in the top 5 since he was born, but this year he won it.)

I was going to have a picture of a "ripped calendar" but after googling that I think I have to wash my eyes.

Other than the few ouchies and surgeries, it's been a good year, hope yours has been too, and hope 2011 just blows 2010 out of the water.