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Oct 31, 2010

Recipe #1: Compost Toast

I invented this utterly DELICIOUS recipe when I was 12, inspired from "Suicide drinks" and similar foods. Its deliciousness has never gone obsolete. What's your opinion?

Compost Toast
"Just like Austin used to make!"
  • 3 slices bread
  • Margarine
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Jam(strawberry is best)
  • Honey*
  1. Preheat the toaster to 310 degrees. Just kidding. Just toast the bread slices till they have that sort of light brown shading on them.
  2. Put the remaining ingredients on the toast in the order listed. This order has been tested many times and is the only way the Compost Toast can work correctly**. Tampering with the formula could result in gross toast.
  3. Eat the toast and be prepared to repeat. It may be necessary.
Yield: 3 slices(I purposefully made it easy to divide: 1 slice = 1 Compost Toast. But you'll want at least 3)

Washes down well with...  Milk. Juice would taste gross after so much sweetness.
* Honey was not part of the original formula of '01, but it has been found to add and not subtract from the savor of Compost Toast.
** The margarine serves to melt into the toast so that it adds a robust flavor and makes it so the peanut butter doesn't melt. Sugar and cinnamon on top of this but beneath the jam does seem impractical, but mixed with the jam on top with the honey does not bode well. The preceding order and formula is approved by Austin.

Oct 20, 2010

//Vivdhilnn Viventh inn ko Avlethizh Zlo'o//

Can you guess which children's song this is?

//E ri'idhozh iyzh ko yenshiy ansh yazh shish e jo'o?.
Vivdhilnn viventh inn ko avlethizh zlo'o..
J'vlensh khac flizh mo jyz a nej jylvlec
Frijimc viventh lozh fobilo mu ouoc!.
E ziysh zhadh ann almbyr ansh madh a zloazh
A vivdhilnn farr kazh yiysh j'morr ji jyo'ozh

Ezh yacn-nizh loarru ji. fyzh ezh jo'omosh zhi fo
Vivdhilnn viventh inn ko avlethizh zlo'o..//

The correct guesser will win an "I speak Amoledhese" T-shirt.
That was a joke. But I could make an "I speak Amoledhese" forum avatar if you'd like...

Confused? Go here.

Oct 15, 2010

Pandora Radio Nostalgia

Here I am doing homework, and listening to Pandora Radio(link); I've found the perfect station to listen to if you want to send your mind back through time 8 or 10 years. I keep feeling like I'm riding on a bus with plump foam cushions with patchy corners.

I was a weird kid in Middle School(which here in Rexburg is grades 5-7), in that I A) loved school lunch and B) loved riding the bus. School lunch I loved because every day it was something different, someone else measured the portions for me, and I didn't have to do much thinking with details, like at Subway(too many choices!). In fact, I actually enjoyed the food itself and miss it today.

The bus was made a super fun experience for me and my small group of friends. When we got bored, we made decks of cards to play against each other(similar to Pok√©mon and Magic: The Gathering, only cooler), or simply stretched our imaginations out and larped. We didn't really listen to the radio much off of the bus, so it was a time to pick favorite songs back then in the late 90's and early 2000's.

For those not familiar with Pandora, you basically put it in any song or artist you want, and they program your own little personal "radio station" that only plays songs similar to the one you typed in. You can imagine my bombardment with flashbacks, then, when I made my own called "Two Princes Radio."

Anyone familiar with the music at the time I was in Middle School will remember such songs as "Two Princes," "Semi-Charmed Life," "Kryptonite," and "Pinch Me." When and why did music have to degrade to just sung segments followed by incessant rapping? What ever happened to the simple, upbeat drums and electric guitar that made you feel like you were a little kid enjoying summer vacation? Where did the times of simplicity and warmth, jumping on the tramp over the sprinkler go? Why did I have to grow up and move away, and have to worry about being popular, or making money, or driving a car?

I'm sure this era of music described this way is dedicated to me personally, and probably means little for all of you, if anything. But is a little longing for the simple times of childhood out of order? Yes, I must drive to work and to college now... but there will always be in my mind the simple times when all I needed was a bus.

It's the perfect time of day
To throw all your cares away
Put the sprinkler on the lawn
And run through with my gym shorts on
Take a drink right from the hose
And change into some drier clothes
Climb the stairs up to my room
Sleep away the afternoon

--Excerpt from "Pinch Me" by the Fullydressed Men

Oct 12, 2010

Essay #1: Life

Don't you just love life? Don't you just love coming to consciousness every morning? Then after awhile you take everything in and remember your plans for the day; the sleepy feeling wears off after time and you begin your routine?

Isn't it great how we take off the pieces of cloth that are wrapped around our bodies and step into a basin and let water run all over us? Isn't it amazing how putting pieces of prepared animal pieces or fruits from trees into our mouth and swallowing them into our stomach makes that empty feeling go away? When our throat is dry, we can pour liquid down it.

While we're doing these things we may take sheets of paper with thousands of little symbols on them and stare at them. Sometimes we listen to noises that sound good to our ears.

Then we step into the giant metal casings and wheel on the rocky paths, sometimes the liquid inside the casing runs out and we have to go to a place to put more in. We can't just take it and pour it into the casing, though. We have to have little slips of paper or tiny pieces of metal. The people who own the liquid let us have some in exchange for the little papers, or sometimes we take out a little piece of plastic and swipe it on a box, and they let us have some anyway.

Isn't it fun to buy those little wrapped objects? It makes our mind happy to roll them around on our tongue and let them melt and mix with our spit.

Life is beautiful. It's enjoyable to see others just like us every day, and vibrate our vocal cords and move our tongue and jaw when we're around them. It's also a pleasant experience to find those others we like more especially, and wrap our arms around them and feel them close.

Life is amazing! The closing of our eyes when they get dry from being open, the letting in air and letting it out when it's old, the moving of our eyeballs around and seeing light reflect off of surfaces and the colors. The air moves around us, other animals move around and we can hear their voice boxes. When our skin feels crawly, we run our fingernails across it to make it feel normal again.

Life is an excellent thing. When we're through with all our activities we come back home, switch our cloths again, and lay down on a big sack of foam. After awhile, our eyelids get heavy and we forget everything. Images may run amuck in our mind for awhile, but we always come back to consciousness in light again.

Life... don't you just love it?

Complainin' Hour Episode 2: Immaturity Continues

Welcome to another exciting episode of COMPLAININ' HOUR! where Austin dedicates an entire post to complaining about some awry aspect of his life. Feel free to join in the fun!

"Complaining is not annoying; it is whining out loud, outside of a paper or keyboard that is irritating."  Anonymous

Oct 11, 2010

Ancient Essay #1: Time is a Tool

This is an essay I wrote for English 111 in 2007. It was based  on my odd conceptions of Time itself and its passage in our lives. It's interesting that reading it years later satisfies the very point it's trying to make.

Time is a Tool
Austin Ballard

This last summer I chose to occupy my time with a lawn-mowing job. The job consisted largely of riding on a relatively slow-moving mower across wide ball and recreational fields, pausing my vegetating mind only to reach the other side and turn around to make another swipe.
The mower emitted a lot of noise while working, and there were a couple of ways to cope with it. I could blast music from my iPod louder than the mower to cover its sounds up, or I could drown the din out with my own thoughts. Only a couple of days did I choose the former, though it might have been wiser, for my sanity’s sake, to do it more often. Most of the time I just let my thoughts go wild. In many cases it was a good thing. I could just sit on my mower and ponder the great questions of life, such as time, love, or thought itself. After three months of mowing, my mind had had its share of corners it had dug itself into. I eventually came to complicate my life’s everyday thoughts quite nicely.
The thing about mowing lawns was the fact that I mowed the same properties, once a week, five days a week. I came to realize how extraordinarily odd it was to look back one, two, three weeks previous at the same property. Soon I began to lose track, and that fascinated me. Time itself, I realized, passes faster than I ever realized it to.
Imagine, for example, this essay. You have read three paragraphs so far. You may be able to look back in your memory to when you were just reading the title, or the first paragraph. At the time, you had no idea, perhaps, what the rest of the essay contained, but at this time you are finished with nearly half of it, and soon this entire paper will be nothing but a memory in your head.
It was these sort of past and future observations that I came to think about, and they caused me to look at the world (and my life) differently. I decided after awhile that there was barely any “present” at all, but rather the past quickly consuming the future with a little bit of time to react and control it. This concept was overwhelming to me more than once, especially while mowing. I thought I was going insane, that my life was passing too quickly. At this rate, I thought, I’d be an old man looking at my gargantuan past, with little future left, in no time.
Fortunately, I discovered as well that time could be useful. For example, the summer was hot most of the time, but every once in awhile a cold, brisk, rainy day would present itself. I much preferred to be hot than freezing cold, at least at the time, and these days were miserable, to say the least. But I used my perception of time to manipulate my mind. “It’ll all be a memory soon,” I told myself. And it was. And it is. Those rainy, cold days are over now and in fact at this moment I am quite comfortably warm. Perhaps when this essay is read I am not, or I am sick or in some other way inconvenienced, but those problems will pass as well.
Time indeed passes quickly, as is proved my writing this essay in the first place. My summer is a memory, and soon will my time at Brigham Young University, and everything else. It is important, I’ve realized to write in my journal and record these swiftly-passing moments so that I can learn from my fleeting past and prepare for the lunging future. And when an unpleasant day shows itself, it will pass soon enough, and hopefully not without a lesson learned.

Oct 9, 2010

Theater #1: The Vending Machine

(Cut to a police station. Inside is a vending machine that has a note on it. Enter Sheriff, looking disgruntled.)
Sheriff(reading): “Out of Order… please leave money in slot and take what you want.”
(He turns around) Hmmm… two sandwiches are missing. And there’s only enough money in here for one. And I’m the only one who works here, and I didn’t eat it
(The sheriff turns around; cut to a man eating two sandwiches)
Man: What?
Sheriff: Throw him in the brig!
(Two cops appear and throw him in jail)
Sheriff: I’ll take that. (Takes the sandwich. Takes a bite of it)
Man: That one was for my wife! She’s the one who didn’t pay for it!
Sheriff: Tell it to the judge. (Finishes the sandwich)
(Lights fade. Applause.)

Oct 5, 2010

Oct 3, 2010

Poem #1: Time Marches On

Time Marches On
Austin Ballard

Drinks get warm
Food gets cold
Crackers get stale
Bread gets hard
Cereal gets soggy
Soda gets flat
Fruit spoils
Vegetables wilt
Ice cream melts
Gravy lumps
Cheese molds
Milk sours
Meat rots
Time marches on.