Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Off the Crunk

Before I get started, I want you all to know that I just looked up "crunk" on urbandictionary.com to make sure it doesn't mean something filthy, offensive, or is in any way a swear. I've heard it lots before, but it never hurts to be careful, right? Turns out it's a mixture of the words crazy and drunk. While our Christmas was only one of those things, "Christmas Off the Crunk" sounds better than "Christmas Off the Crazy."

Now, to business: Christmas. What a great holiday. I love that it's one that you can celebrate for a whole month. We've been celebrating since the Saturday before Thanksgiving, when we got our tree. Before you judge me for putting up my tree before Thanksgiving, let me explain. First of all, Thanksgiving was later than normal this year. It wasn't until the 27th--last year it was on the 22nd! So technically we put up our tree at just the right time. Secondly, Lewis and I made a promise that this would be the only year we would put up our tree early. It was just a novelty this year; doesn't everyone want to use new things as soon as you get them? That's why I'm wearing the sweater I got for Christmas right now, and why we had waffles for breakfast yesterday. It's just how it works. From here on out, though, the tree goes up on Black Friday, no exceptions.

But seriously... look at that tree and tell me it wasn't worth it to put it up a tad bit early. It's beautiful!

So the tree went up early, the world did not end, and the season of Christmas began. Beyond my need to continually rationalize putting the tree up early, this post is not really about the season, but about the holiday specifically. That picture of the tree was taken on Christmas day, so it's alright.

A few weeks ago, the MTC called Lewis and asked if he would translate for their Christmas devotional. Since he needed to be there at 9:45 to do that, we made sure to get up early enough to do that. I've had trouble sleeping in anticipation of Christmas since I was a little kid, and this year was no exception. It was not hard at all to wake up on time yesterday morning. We planned to have Rhode's Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast; we even had a test run on Sunday to make sure they were good enough to grace our kitchen table on that special day. Unfortunately, Macey's was out of the variety that come in a pan (which we had had before), and we figured the bagged selection worked the same way, so that's what we got. Turns out you have to let those ones rise for five hours, and then bake for another half an hour, putting breakfast at about 1 PM. Seeing as brunch can't even be justified at that hour, we canned the cinnamon rolls idea. Luckily, Lewis gave my a swank waffle iron for Christmas, and this crisis of the breakfast foods was the perfect opportunity to test it out.

Other gifts from Lewis include: a set of springform pans (I got that one early, so I could make a cheesecake for Christmas Eve), Rock Band (we bought that for each other), two new sweaters (one of which is 5% Angora rabbit hair [look out, PETA], both of which are very comfortable), and new tablespoons and measuring cups (the handles have broken off all of our old ones. That's what happens when they come with really cheap knives bought at Big Lots). My parents sent us food storage (desperately needed), a $100 gas card, and some papyrus from Egypt (I'm still jealous that you and Joseph got to go there, Mom).

After our aforementioned waffle breakfast, we bustled off to the MTC for Lewis to translate. Elder Holland was the speaker. Before his talk, he had a bunch of his grandkids sing "Away in a Manger" and "I Am a Child of God." I bet stuff like that just tickles grandparents. You could feel the love he has for all of them. I like Elder Holland a lot. He talked about Joseph, Mary's husband, and about what a great man he must have been. He kind of gets overlooked a lot when we think about men from the scriptures, but he must have been an incredible person. While not the actual father of Jesus, Joseph was given the responsibility of raising the Savior. Christ wasn't born knowing everything; he had to learn, so God must have ensured he had the best teachers possible in selecting Mary and Joseph. Elder Holland then talked about the many names of Christ. He challenged the missionaries to pick 12 of his names, and to study one of them a day for the next 12 days. This might not be a concept that translates so well into 0ther languages. There are over 200 names for Christ in English, and of the 12 Elder Holland picked for himself to study, at least three of them are the exact same word in Thai.

The MTC offered Christmas dinner to us, but we turned it down so we could get over the Lewis' parents' house sooner. Once everyone in the family had arrived, we opened all the presents. I thought all that was under the tree for Lewis and me was a couple of Wii games, since his mom gave us a new couch for our birthdays and Christmas, so I was very pleasantly surprised when we opened this:

My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, Monica, put it together. I knew they had done something with the flowers from my wedding bouquet, and I just recently had wondered what had happened with that. I never imagined anything like this, though. It's an absolutely gorgeous keepsake to preserve the memories of that day. Thank you to both of them for making this for us. I love it.

Last year for Christmas, Lewis and his siblings got their dad the leg lamp from "A Christmas Story." They went all out, even building a crate and stenciling "Fragile" on to it. This year, they went with the same theme and got him the bunny pajamas from Aunt Clara. Please enjoy:

video

Once all the gifts under the tree has been opened, there was one last present for everyone to enjoy: brand new Nerf guns and darts. This was the second year running that Nerf guns were gifts for everyone, but I wasn't there last year, so basically it doesn't count. What followed was an epic battle. We had the works: suction cup darts, velcro darts, whistling darts. The velcro darts stuck particularly well to Guy's new cashmere sweater, and also Dallas' hat. It was a beautiful sight, sitting there among our Christmas wrappings, the air thick with flying orange tubes.


The rest of the day was spent playing Rock Band and enjoying each others' company, with a few more Nerf battles in the between times. The day ended with a Christmas miracle: the exact same song that was playing when we got to Lewis' parents' house was playing when we left.

I hope everyone else had as good a Christmas as we did. But I just don't know if it's possible.

Welcome to My...Blog

The time has come for me to swallow my disgust, and willingly adopt the word "blog." I've enjoyed using "thingy" and all its forms, but it is confusing to new readers, and, in the right context, can sound slightly dirty. As much as those issues might amuse me, it is in the best interest of my... blog... to be just that. A blog. And not a thingy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String


It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally going to thingy about something very special to my heart - the perforated line. Seriously, I believe the perforated line is one of greatest inventions known to man. It makes so many thing so much easier. But, amazing as the perforated line is, a thingy simply about that lacks the substance I require to maintain the high quality standing of the thingy I've created (har har). So here is a post about not one, but ten of the greatest inventions OF ALL TIME. These are a few of my favorite things.

1. THE PERFORATED LINE: we've all been convenienced by it. It is a invention for one singular purpose - to make our lives easier. Movie tickets, paychecks, and report cards are just a smattering of articles chosen to utilize this beautiful thing. Not only does it add convenience, but the feeling of ripping down the perforations, and the neat little line they leave behind are oh so satisfying. BONUS: "perforate" is an immensely appealing word.

2. THE WELCOME MAT: this is one of those objects that you don't really appreciate until it's gone. Something that doesn't even come to mind until particularly rainy days when the best path from you car to your front door is traipsing through the muddy grass. Especially in the Fall when wet leaves enact revenge on those feet who have spent the preceding weeks crunching their dry and crackly counterparts by sticking to the soles of shoes and falling off the moment they cross the threshold into a home. That's when the lack of a welcome mat truly comes to the forefront of someone's mind. Mopping every day sucks. BONUS: if anyone needs an idea of what to get us for Christmas (here's to you, Andrew), this is one.

3. THE PRE-LIT TREE: Christmas lights are an anomaly. They have the magic ability to twist and tangle into a ratty mess as they sit untouched and unmoved in a box for eleven months of the year. You can buy whatever contraption or device you like to keep your lights nice and neat and orderly, but your effort is worthless. The lights will still be impossibly tangled when you're ready to decorate for Christmas. Solution? A pre-lit tree. They're incredible! The lights are evenly distributed all over the branches of the tree, and no one had to emit some unnecessary swears in the process. I think it's high time real trees come pre-lit. BONUS: the little light on the top of the highest branch is a simple and lovely substitute for a star or angel you cannot afford.

4. THE BISCUIT CAN: while they tend to not be as tasty as the homemade variety, biscuits from a can are full of their own charm. And by charm, I mean, dang I love popping those suckers open. You know what I mean; peeling the wrapper back until you hear that all too familiar sucking sound and then - pop! - dough pre-shaped into biscuit form bursts forth, ready to bake. BONUS: you can scare small children by letting them open the biscuit can. But only if they've never done it before. Duh.

5. THE EGG AND TOAST TOASTER: say you have a midday craving for an Egg McMuffin. Unfortunately for you, the closest McDonald's stops serving breakfast at eleven and also is gross. Problem? Solved! With this contraption you can toast your English muffin, warm your ham, melt your cheese, and - that's right - cook your egg all at once. BONUS: it's a lot less greasy than McDonald's.

6. THE CANDLE WARMER: try this impossible situation on for size - you live in an apartment that shares a heating device with the next apartment over, creating an air flow between the two. On top of that, you have Asian neighbors who are rather fond of their native cuisine and hence cook it regularly. On top of that, their cuisine of choice happens to be, to put in bluntly, stinky. On top of that, air fresheners make your apartment smell even weirder. On top of THAT, you're not allowed to burn candles to cover up the stench in a pleasant cinnamon apple scent. Luckily to you, your husband has a candle warmer. All the scent, none of the flame. BONUS: finding where the wick ended up when the candle re-hardens can amuse you for about five seconds, if you're bored.

7. THE BLUE STAPLE: need something to jazz up a boring paper? Your standard gray staple ain't gonna do it. You'd be surprised at how much a little sliver of metallic blue in the top corner can do for a 1 inch margin, double spaced, font size 12, Times New Roman paper. BONUS: it comes in two shades!

8. THE ICE SCRAPER WITH ATTACHED GLOVE: here's to no more frozen hands early in the morning. BONUS: warm hands make a cheerful Alyssa!

9. THE CREST WHITENING PLUS SCOPE TOOTHPASTE: nothing gets your (read: my) breath fresher. I already enjoyed bushing my teeth, but when I have this toothpaste, I absolutely love it. BONUS: if anyone needs an idea of what to get me for Christmas (here's to you, Lewis), this is one.

10. THE PILLOW TOP MATTRESS: after spending four years in furnished apartments with rock hard and lopsided mattresses, I didn't even know what I was missing out on until spending my first night in our new bed. You just sink right in as the softness wraps around you and warms your soul. Combine that with a down duvet a pillows and you've got heaven on earth. BONUS: it's a great bed for lazing on Sunday mornings when you don't have church til noon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Morphamology

What do you get when you cross Lewis LeGrande Young and Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson?



David Bowie.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Peeple R Stoopid!

Tuesday morning.
10:45.
Class has ended.
Work starts at 11.
I head in that direction.
It's cold outside.
I wish I could cut through the bookstore.
It's closed.
Devotional is about to start.
I go around the side of the building instead.

In understanding this concept, I am in the minority.

Seriously, every Tuesday morning at 10:45, I see a flock of people standing in front of the Bookstore doors, pulling on the handles, trying to get in. And it makes me wonder, how did these people get into college? Because even if they can read, they seem to lack skills in reading comprehension. Which is a very integral part of higher education. They also appear to have collective problems with their memories.

You see, every Tuesday morning at 10:45, campus shuts down. It's devotional time. Almost everything is closed to A). encourage students to go to devotional and B). give student employees the opportunity to go to devotional. Among the campus entities that shut down at this time is the BYU Bookstore. Yes, every Tuesday morning at 10:45, the Bookstore closes. They lock the doors and they put up signs that say "Closed." Seems pretty clear, right? And yet, every Tuesday morning at 10:45, students still try to get into the Bookstore. And it's the same students! I've seem them at it! The same people every week! Do they each have something in their weekly routine that causes them to collectively lose their memory of the events that occurred on Tuesday morning at 10:45? I don't know. It's a mystery.

More than likely, they're just stupid. It's like they have a never-failing hope that maybe this Tuesday morning at 10:45 will be different, maybe the Bookstore will be open this time. I admire their tenaciousness. They never back down, never give up. They must have a very optimistic outlook on life, giving the Bookstore the benefit of the doubt as they go back there every Tuesday morning at 10:45 to try, the idiots.

I can't even pretend to understand about them missing the "Closed" signs every Tuesday morning at 10:45. Not only are the signs on every door, them suckers are BIG.

On an unrelated note, did you know that there are still people that believe that "A.D." stands for "After Death"? And not just any people, but college students! I thought the only people who believed that were elementary students before their first world history class. Clearly, I was wrong. I have no faith in the future of humanity.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

Guess who was put in charge of making the rolls for this year's Thanksgiving dinner? And guess who lost a fingernail in the process?





Don't worry, we found it on the floor.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ten Surprising Things About Alyssa...That You Probably Already Knew


1. I always check behind the shower curtain whenever I go in the bathroom. I don't know when I started doing this, or why, but I do know that it has nothing to do with the movie "Psycho," mostly because I've never seen it and also because I was doing it before I ever heard of the famous shower scene in that movie. Do I think there could be an ax murderer in there just lying in wait to do me in while I take a leak? Maybe. Or also possibly my husband, trying to get me back for putting the salmon pillow under his sheet. Who knows? Who really knows?

2. I have an irrational fear of dogs. There's no real origin of this one either. When people ask me how this phobia came about, I'll tell them about when I was chased by a dog on the paper route we all shared when I was a wee one. That story is true, but I was terrified of dogs well before then. People also always ask if I'm afraid of big dogs or little dogs. That question is stupid. All dogs scare me. Except one. His name was Ralph and he was adorable. Then some jerk adopted him right out from under us.

3. I have a love/hate relationship with Starburst jelly beans. Normally, I hate jelly beans, no questions asked. They all have weird flavors, and the texture gives me the willies when I chew them. Starburst jelly beans, however, have quite pleasant flavors. But their texture still sucks. So I love them but also hate them. Usually what I do when they are near by is suck on them to enjoy the flavor and then spit them out before I have to chew 'em. Seeing as that is gross, and the flavor is the same as original Starbursts, I generally stick with those.

4. One of my favorite things to do is to watch people and figure out what their story is based on how they act and interact with others. It's a really fun thing to do at the mall or pretty much anywhere on campus. Something interesting about it, is that you can often get enough information to go on through just a glimpse. Case in point: the other day, while Lewis was waiting for me in the parking lot, I passed a guy and a girl having a conversation right outside the Wilk. From what I heard as I walked past them, they were having something of a DTR. The girl was apologizing and also giggling (she was clearly uncomfortable), and was basically telling the boy, "It's not you, it's me," although maybe not in those words. The guy was obviously upset, as the conversation was not going at all like he hoped. You could tell from their body language that the guy was really into the girl, and she was completely clueless about it, and also lacking in the sensitivity to let him down easy (remember the giggling). When I got in the car I pointed them out to Lewis and we made up their story. It was great fun, and no one got hurt, right?

5. I'm probably one of the most competitive people you will ever meet. No, seriously. And I hate to lose. But I can't stop myself from making everything a competition. And Lewis knows that about me, and capitalizes on it. For example, we can't walk up or down stairs together anymore without it being a race. Nor can we hold hands without it turning into a thumb war. It's a sickness! But I love it. And I have become better at losing. Sort of. I don't cheat, though. Not unless it's really obvious that I cheated, so we all can laugh about it. Besides, Lewis cheats all the time.

6. My all time favorite book is "To Kill a Mockingbird."

7. I hate chick flicks. I have seen many a chick flick, and they all end the same way: the nice girl and the nice guy with flaws end up together, oodelaly. I don't need to see anymore. I will (and have!) watch many a chick flick with friends and family members cause I like the time spent with the person in question, not the movie. And if it's a really dumb one, that person will make fun of it with me! That being said, the only person with whom I will seek out to watch a chick flick is my mom. I don't know why, but it seems the chick flicks I've watched with her tend to be one of two things: either they are of a higher quality that you don't mind (or notice) the chickity flickity formula, or she recognizes the stupidity of the majority right off the bat and then the crisis is averted.

8. I am a published writer. I know, right? Back in the day (I can say that now, I'm married) I was a critic for high school theater. And let me tell you what, high school theater has the unfortunate habit of sucking. At least in the National Capital Area. Now, now, there were always exceptions to the rule to be found. But these were few and far between. And the critic programs I worked for had a rule: any actual criticisms in our critical reviews had to be general. And even then, we had to phrase it nicely, and qualify it with a compliments. Like we could say, "A few lines were forgotten, here and there, but these instances were forgotten with the magnificent costumes!" and not "Mandy Jo stunk on ice! Did she ever even look at the script, or did she think it would be available on stage for reference?" Not that any professional critic would say that. But still. It was hard to write those reviews. But I did it every week and even got three of my reviews published in local papers. They were available for reading online for a while (they even used to come up first when you googled my name), but I can't find them anymore. If I ever find them, I'll post them and you can read for yourself my awesomeness.

9. I have a weird memory. I can memorize things really quickly. I was the scripture mastery queen in seminary. Yes, I know that's really, really, nerdy. Don't judge me. I also have been known to memorize a part in a play in under an hour (I'm no Mandy Jo!), and I memorized the entire NATO phonetic alphabet the other day - just for kicks and giggles (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot, golf, hotel, india, juliet, kilo, lima, mike, november, oscar, papa, quebec, romeo, sierra, tango, uniform, victor, whiskey, xray, yankee, zulu - it's a sickness!). The other weirdness about my memory is that I remember really strange details. Like, I'll forget where we went the other night, but I'll remember exactly what we were wearing. That sort of thing. Or I'll remember what someone said at some random time, but I won't remember the names of the six stages of morality that were pounded into us in my moral development class for a week.

10. My roommate once told me, after I had taken some drowsy cold meds and felt like I was on a high, "High Alyssa is Extra-Strength Awesome Alyssa." So now you know why my thingy is named what it is. Because of that once-said statement. Not because I'm always (or ever) high. Just thought I'd clear that up.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ci-ci-ci-cinnamon Lips


It has recently come to my attention that I no longer use Covergirl make-up products. Not like it's a big deal, it's just that I always assumed I was destined to be a lifelong Covergirl girl. See, I grew up watching my mom put on her Covergirl make-up everyday, and I was under the impression that since she used it, it had to be the best brand of facial beauty products available. In truth, I did begin my make-up usage within the Covergirl family, but over time I've switched over, product by product, to Maybelline New York. True, not all of the contents of my make-up bag fall under the Maybelline umbrella, but that line definitely holds the majority.

This switch got me thinking about all the things about the world of make-up that I just don't get:

1. Referring to new types of mascara as "technology." I'm sorry, but a little brush that delivers black gunk from a tube to your eyelashes is not technology. It's not like I'm saying that word technology is limited to stuff like computers and toaster ovens, but...no...actually, that's exactly what I'm saying. An ipod is a piece of technology. Mascara is not. With, of course, the obvious exception of Akasha's new product, the Spinlash: The World's First Mascara That Revolves Around You!

2. While we're on the topic of mascara, has anyone noticed that all the different types of mascara do exactly the same thing? Each new product that comes out claims that it will extend your lashes, or make them thicker, or reduce clumps, or make you look like a superstar. It's all crap. They all do the exact same thing, no matter the "formula" or brush type. Maybe some brands dry out slower than others, or more sticks to the brush. But it doesn't make that much of a difference. And honestly, do you really think a curved brush will make your eyelashes suddenly curly, through osmosis or something? Cause it won't. Know why all the models in the mascara commercials have long, thick eyelashes? They were genetically predisposed to that particular feature. Or their eyelashes are fake.

3. Covergirl Outlast lipstick. They might have other products included in the Outlast line, but I only have experience with the lipstick. And let me tell you, when they say outlast, they mean outlast. Seriously, that stuff does NOT come off. Which is the point, I know. But you'd think they could come up with a formula that stays on through food and drink and kissing, but not to things like make-up remover. Cause this stuff definitely does not come off with regular old make-up remover. The only way I've found to get the junk off is through peeling off layers of lip skin with it. I do not recommend this method.

4. Make-up companies' slogans. More specifically, Maybelline's slogan: "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." Translation: "maybe her beauty is natural. Or maybe it's just the because of some 'product' she smeared on her 'face.' She's really not that great looking. Luckily Maybelline is here to save the day and make her attractive!!!!"

5. What's up with one-night stands? TV makes 'em look glamorous and stuff with the woman waking up with perfect hair and flawless make-up. But really. Sleep does horrid things to a person. I'm talking the whole bright-eyed and bushy-tailed package: bed head, morning breath, sleep farts, puffy eyes, the works! And don't even get me started on what happens to a made-up face that is slept in! Nothing good. Add a hangover into the mix and you will realize how literal the walk of shame really is.



Thursday, November 6, 2008

What do you call them...please-men.

My absolute favorite feature in the Daily Universe (BYU's newspaper) is the Police Beat. It's a weekly column that informs students of all the crimes that are reported on campus. However...it's BYU. Not very many crimes occur. The majority of the reported crimes fall under the heading of "Suspicious Activity." Usually these incidents are of the bearded men and singing as they walk variety. Honest-to-goodness, last year there was more than one report about a certain character who wore a cloak and sang to himself outside the Joseph Smith Building every day. A real hoodlum, that one. Thank goodness he's off the streets. Seriously, though, the police got so many complaints about this "creepo," they had to ask him to stop. Singing. Next thing you know, they'll be carting Dancing Guy off in handcuffs.

It's a goal of many students (myself included) to get into the Police Beat. There was an article about it a while back, about the stunts students pulled to try and get reported. See, it's an actual crime to lie to the police, so you can't just call in and make something up (although some of those reports might fall under that category..."the suspicious crazy was no where to be found", and all), so you really have to commit a sort of crime. I know one miscreant put on some gangstah clothing and walked into the back of Jamba Juice, demanding a free smoothie. All for the sake of PB fame. Lewis and I keep hoping we'll get reported for a domestic disturbance. We're kinda loud sometimes, and we often have the window open. One day, our fake fights will pay off.

This past week
, there was a real gem:

"Nov. 1: Police received a call concerning screams and pounding coming from a room in the Maeser Building. Police investigated and discovered the screaming man was a custodial worker watching the game between Texas and Texas Tech, and was upset about his team's loss."

I totally understand. That game had a spine-tingling end, involving a last-second touchdown, three field rushes, and a kickoff at the seven and a half yard line. Yeah.

Takeaway message: don't be root for Texas.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Let Me See That Pong!

Halloween was grood. We were Pong.




Thursday, October 23, 2008

Extra-Strength Credit

I am currently sitting in my infant development class, and my professor just introduced an extra credit opportunity to us. It's for ten points, which isn't that much (there are 430 points total in the class), but it could make the difference between letter grades (like between an E [BYU doesn't like the letter F] and a D). Pass-fail, right? (Not that I'm anywhere near that line...) Sounds simple. Do the extra credit, get ten points.

By now I'm sure you're all wondering what exactly this extra credit opportunity entails (or maybe not. Maybe you don't care. Well, you should). My professor decided to take a leaf out of a University of Utah professor's book (difference: the Utah professor requires this. My BYU professor is giving us extra points for doing it. Utah sucks). Well, what we have to do is spend four hours pretending we're a six-month-old baby. Yeah. Yeah. We have to crawl around on all fours, have difficulty sitting up without support, and put foreign objects in our mouths (okay, maybe not the last one). Also, we have to limit our communication to babbling. And then we have to write a summary of our experience. My professor says that the purpose of this exercise is "to re-experience life again before upward mobility and better understand the dramatic transition that between crawling and walking." My personal opinion is that that may be a secondary purpose, but the primary one is for him to get his students to look like idiots. Professors can do that in my major.

I'll probably do it. I mean, four hours is a long time, but we're allowed to break it up into two segments, and he did say we were allowed to take a nap while we did it (not for the whole time). And this could come in handy in nine months or more from now (read: I'm not pregnant) when we have a kid. My professor said this was the best way to see how you need to baby-proof a place - being on their level and all.

I'll just have to do it when Lewis isn't around...yeah.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloweeny

As Halloween is fast approaching, it's time to consider that all-important question: what should I been? Here are a few things I've considered:

1. A Trophy Wife. I thought this one might be funny, but a little hard to pull off. There's just not a good description out there of what a trophy wife is supposed to look like. A matching track suit with overdone make-up and hair? A fancy evening gown with jeweled and painted nails? I don't know if people would get it. Plus, I was a Stepford Wife for a costume party a few years ago, and heaven forbid I be unoriginal. Did you ever notice that cougars (not the variety found at BYU) and trophy wives tend to be very similar, except their end goals are different?

2. Sarah Palin. I already have the glasses. All I'd need is a swank business suit and a beehive, and I need to wink a lot and talk in an Alaskan (or whatever) accent.

3. A Hippy. My sister did give me a shirt with a peace sign on it for my birthday.

That's all I've come up with so far. I don't know if any of them will be quite good enough. If you have any ideas for a costume, or if you can think of any ideas or improvements for the above, please to let me know.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tagged? What Does That Mean?

Apparently, I was tagged by my dear friend Laura. I'm not entirely sure what that means. I think I'm supposed to fill out the same questionnaire she did and then tag some more people at the end. I wasn't going to participate, but since I have an article summary I'd rather put off til later, I might as well. Most of these I don't know the answers to, but I will dutifully fill them out anyway, while changing the questions to fit what I want to write.

The 8 Things Tag...in no particular order.

8 TV shows I love to watch OR shows I have watched occasionally
1. The Office
2. Law and Order
3. CSI
4. The Amazing Race
5. House
6. Looney Toons (if it was still on)
7. Animaniacs (if it was still on)
8. SportsCenter

8 favorite Restaurants OR restaurants I remember eating at somewhat recently
1. Ottavio's
2. Cafe Rio
3. Zupa's
4. Joe Vera's
5. Red Robin
6. Shoots
7. Winger's
8. Pizza Hut (we had that just last night! But it was delivered...does that count? Remember when Pizza Hut was a sit-down restaurant too?)

8 things that happened today OR probably will at some point
1. Got up two hours earlier than usual (for a Tuesday)
2. Observed one of the BYU preschool classes
3. Dozed of in my marital relations class
4. Wished that class was actually about maritime relations
5. Hung out with Lewis for a little bit and talked sports
6. Went to work
7. Do the laundry
8. Go to the DMV

8 things that I look forward to
1. Going grocery shopping (sort of...we need more food, so...)
2. Getting a new hoodie for $10
3. Halloween
4. Thanksgiving
5. The Christmas season
6. Christmas
7. My dad coming to visit
8. The Egyptian souvenirs my mother had better bring me cause I'm so freaking jealous she's there right now

8 things on my wish list
1. Beat Lewis at Mario Kart by hitting him with a red shell right before he crosses the finish line
2. A butter dish and more hot pads
3. An awesome Halloween costume
4. Some nice sweaters. I have none, and it's time to stop wearing t-shirts and short-sleeved blouses to church
5. To be on the Amazing Race
6. And/or Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader
7. To get into grad school
8. To scare Lewis...again.

8 people I tag OR 8 people I know have at some point come across my thingy and have probably not already been tagged
1. Lewis
2. Jennifer
3. Mary
4. Paul
5. Cassie (PS, where did your thingy go?)
6. Andrew and/or Ben. Neither of them has thingyed recently, though.
7. Um...Mom? You'd have to start one...but that's okay.
8. Joseph. He should start one too.



Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Has Flung

Today has been the first truly cold day of the season. I mean that in the sense that when I got out of class today at eleven, putting my sweater back on was necessary - nay, vital (I shouldn't complain. My boss just called from Idaho, and it's below freezing there. In October). There have been mornings that have been quite chilly, but by midday the sun is out and warming up the world. Today, this was not the case. It got me thinking (somehow) about the vast variety of words associated with cold weather, and how some of them are quite pleasant to say or hear. And some are not so great. Let's discuss.

1. Brisk. For some reason, words with that ess sound in the middle always seem to sound better with a good hard "kuh" right at the end. Bris? Lame. Tsk is another example. Only words with ess sound qualify for this level of satisfaction. Mink is a crappy word.

2. Crisp. Maybe I just like the pairing of kuhs and esses. Or maybe that pairing is just the right kind to describe cold weather. However, while I like this word in the context of weather, I'm not its biggest fan when we're talking about snack foods. As you may or may not know, those crazy British cats use this word when referring to potato chips. It sucks. They seem to be under the impression that chips are French fries. I know the French are lame and all (goodness knows we Americans even tried to switch them to freedom fries, but that never quite caught on), but let's look past that and call French fries by their proper name. They are not chips. And chips are chips, not crisps.

3. Nippy. Now we are into the realm of cold words Alyssa does not like so much. Nippy reminds me of either boobs or little dogs nipping at my ankles. Seeing as I am not so well-endowed and I don't like dogs, big or small, these are not good associations for me. Nippy is out.

4. Chilly. I take the opposite view on chilly as I do with crisp. Chilly is fine when you actually mean chili, a delicious concoction that can include (but is not limited to) bean, beef, and peppers. How did something so warm become a homophone of something so cold? I don't approve.

Other synonyms include biting, cutting, and sharp. I have no opinion on these words. That could be because they are just not used that much. I mean, seriously...when's the last time you said something along the lines of, "Boy-oh-boy, it sure is sharp out there today! Better wear some mittens!" Don't remember? That's because you never have. Although I bet Lewis will say that sometime soon just to prove me wrong.

On an unrelated note, I went to the vending machine to get a snack today, and I picked a Peanut Butter Twix. Now normally, if I'm in the mood for peanut butter I try to stay in the Reese's family with either a Peanut Butter Cup or a Fast Break, but I saw that someone had tried to purchase a Peanut Butter Twix and it got stuck, so if I was to select that particular candy bar, I'd get two for the price of one. Heck yes, says I. Sucks for whoever tried to get a Peanut Butter Twix before me. Buyer beware.



Monday, September 22, 2008

Pumpkin Pie


Each season has its benefits. Winter allows for snowball fights and warm blankets and hot chocolate and skiing (I'm told). Spring is the time for everyone to jump the gun at the first glimmer of warmer weather by running to play outside the second they can and ending up knee high in a mid-April snow storm wearing nothing but basketball shorts and a t-shirt (good times). Summer is the over all seasonal winner for me. It's the time to be spent outside with chilled lemonade and a frisbee. The time for swimming and lazing and just overall enjoying. But Autumn has something to which the other seasons cannot compare...

Sure you can ooh and aah over the leaves as they change color. You can let out a sigh of relief as the weather finally cools down, because even the blistering heat that is a summer staple can get old. You can cheer as our nation's greatest sport which we all know as football kicks off. You can even enjoy as a new school year gets underway (if you're into that sort of thing). But nothing, NOTHING, not even FOOTBALL can beat the wonderful joy that only Fall can provide: and that is the yearly crop of pumpkins.

But, my friends, there is something even better than just pumpkins. Pumpkin bread is delicious and pumpkin cookies can be good and heaven knows there's nothing like a good Jack-o-lantern, but that is not what I am referring to, no it is not. The thing to which I ode is the glorious confection known as the pumpkin pie. It is, without a doubt, the most amazing, wonderful, incredible, best thing in the world. You have no idea. I love it so.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wedding Pictures

For those of you who aren't on facebook, here are links to our wedding pictures:

Temple Pictures


Reception Pictures


More Reception Pictures

Let me know if the links don't work. I hope they do. We're freakin' adorable.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

All Stitched Up and No Where to Go

Yesterday, for the very first time ever, I got stitches. Well, I got a stitch. But still, it's a pretty big deal since I've been a klutz my entire life and have had more than my fair share of accidents and mishaps, and yet I've never needed stitches until yesterday. Let me explain how it happened.

Today and tomorrow, nearly everyone in my office is on their annual "Adventure Experience" (some sort of "exciting" trip as an initiation for this year's new officers). We spent pretty much all of yesterday getting stuff ready so that they could go on this trip. My boss went shopping for all the food they needed to bring with them, and when she got back to campus, she asked us to help bring the stuff in. So we went down there with our carts and loaded them all up. I didn't have a cart to take back up, so I was trying to help by holding the doors open for the people pushing carts. As I was running around doing this, I tripped on someone's foot and slammed my face right into the metal edging of a door. I thought I was fine, and told everyone that, but someone said, no you look like you might need stitches. I was confused, cause it didn't hurt that bad, but then I touched my mouth and my fingers came away all bloody. I went up to the bathroom to clean myself up and discovered quite a deep gash in my lip. So, someone took me to the health center and I got myself stitched back together, and we filled out the worker's comp form.

All in all, it could have been a lot worse. Sure, it hurts to smile and eat and rub my lips together, and I can't lift weights til it's healed (you'd be surprised at how much you use your face muscles when you lift weights...I've noticed it before, and I wasn't about to risk opening up my wound again, not with my wedding in seven weeks), but I'm still really lucky. I could have banged up my entire face or even knocked out a few teeth! A cut in my lip isn't that bad. Now, if it happened a month from now, with just three weeks til my wedding, I'd be worried. As it is, I've got more than enough time to heal up and I shouldn't get much of a scar if I get one at all. I get the stitch out on Monday, so everything should be a-okay!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Possibilities, possibilities

Our friend Luke took our engagement pictures for us. Here are the ones I like the best. Not all of them are candidates for announcements, but they're still fun to have.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Apparently Unfeasible

I've been getting a lot of people telling me that I should thingy about my engagement. This doesn't entirely make sense to me, since the people who read my thingy are already all very much aware of what went down and how. But, in the immortal words of Rebecca McPartland, "whatevs."

So...the facts are these: I'm engaged. How did it happen, you ask? Well, pretty much it was the most perfect proposal ever. That sounds cliche, but for shiz, it's the truth. Everyone has a different perfect, and this was mine.

First, some background information: Lewis' parents own a condo up in Park City. All winter semester while he was working at the Canyons ski resort, he would stay at the condo during the week. A few times over the semester, I went up there for an evening to spend time with him and we would make dinner together and enjoy each others' company and stuff. It was good times.

Anyway, Lewis has been saying for a while that doing that was a lot of fun and that we should do it again some time. So, we made plans to do so this past Friday, the sixth of June. Now, when we did the Park City dinner thing before, I would bring my cookbook with me and we would choose something and head to the grocery store to get the stuff we needed to make it. Shortly after we left my apartment on Friday, I realized that I had forgotten my cookbook at home. Lewis said, no problem, we could just figure out what to make when we got there, but that we should go ahead and stop by the condo first to see what's already available there for eatings. So we did.

When we got to the condo, Lewis opened the door and had me go in first. I entered to find some music playing and roses on the table with a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider in a bowl of ice and the table all set up for dinner for two. I asked, "what's all this?" just before I turned around to find Lewis, down on one knee, holding an absolutely gorgeous ring. And then he proposed. It could not have been better.

We spent the rest of the evening making and eating dinner and then just chilling together. It was really nice just enjoying being together rather than rushing off and making a million phone calls to tell everyone (that's what I spend the next day doing). I did call a few people who I knew would not forgive me if I didn't tell them that night and I also sent a text to a few people (responses are easy to ignore), but that was it. It was so great just spending some relaxing time together before it sunk in that we were getting married in just ten weeks, and we really needed to get our rears in gear to get everything done in time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

J.D. Beans



My little brother, Joseph, turned eight on Sunday. He had what was apparently a really cool party the day before. I don't know all the details, but I do know that it involved a bouncy castle, a pinata, and large piles of rocks and sand. Those sound like the ingredients of a good time to me!

Joseph was baptized on Sunday. I wish I could have been there; I'm sure the whole thing was amazing. The best part about his birthday (for me anyway) was when he woke me up early Sunday morning (my time anyway) so that I could wish him a happy birthday. For his birthday I emailed him and promised to take him out for a day when he gets here later this month. That's what I did last year for him, and we enjoyed ourselves, so I figured why not have a repeat performance. Last year I also took him to the store and bought him a toy. I was planning on doing that this year, but it was going to be a surprise. Joseph, however, making sure he was getting his money's worth. When he called, he said "I got your email. But last year you also took me to a shop and let me pick out a toy too. You should do that again this year." Little punk, ruining the surprise.

Anyway on his birthday, I got to thinking about him and what an awesome kid he is. Everyone who meets him thinks he's pretty much the neatest kid in the world. And he is, so it works.

In honor of his big oh-eight, I decided to thingy about ten super-sweet memories I have of him. I would have done eight, as it is his eighth birthday and all, but I worried that I might be expected to do an encore next year with nine things, or that I might have to do the same thing for other family members' birthdays, and those lists could get long. I just don't have that much brain power. I could do it, I'm sure, but that's a lot of expectations guys, gee whiz! Anyway, here are ten great memories of Joseph, in no particular order:

1. When Joseph was two, we hid in a pile of stuffed animals with only our faces sticking out to scare Cassie.

2. When he was six, we were eating lunch at restaurant and for some reason there was an uncomfortable silence. To fill the void, Joseph sang "Awkward, ever awkward," to the tune of "Called to Serve".



3. At my sister's wedding, Joseph (who was five) slow danced with our cousin, Olivia (who was probably two at the time).

4. Just last fall, Joseph decided that he had to be a Utah fan (as in the U of U) because he lived in Utah. He made a "Go, Utah!" sign and put it up on the door of the apartment he and my mom were then living in. Mortally ashamed of his behavior, I took the sign down, threw it at him, and stationed myself at the door so he couldn't put it back up. Seemingly offended, he locked himself in the bedroom, planning on decorating the whole place with "Go, Utah!" signs. However, he was also carefully watching under the door of the bedroom for me to move. The second I did, he came pealing out of the bedroom, cackling like a maniac, racing to put the sign back up. I tackled him from halfway across the room. We then compromised. I let him put the sign up on the safest place he could think of: the toilet. He has since seen the light and become a true blue cougar fan.

5. Right after Joseph learned how to walk, we taught him how to sumo wrestle. We would zip up a couch pillow into his footy pajamas and let him run into us like that. Of course, he would fall right over. The great part was, with the pillow in, he couldn't get back up again. Don't worry, he thought it was funny too.

6. He got one of those jumper things that hang in doorways when he was a baby. One day after grocery shopping, we put him in there and as we were putting the food away, someone stuck a package of crackers in the jumper behind him. Joseph could see the crackers just out of the corner of his eye, so he would try to turn around to get them. This would cause the whole jumper to turn and he would spin around and around chasing the crackers like a dog chases its tail.

7. When Joseph was six, the center of his life was a series of toys called B-Daman. He would talk non-stop about them. At this time, we were having the missionaries over for dinner every Sunday night. The goal of everyone at the table was to get Joseph to talk about something else. We failed every week. He would start up talking about B-Daman and if would only stop if someone spoke directly to him, when he would pause and "listen". Instead of responding to whatever was said to him, however, he would carry on with the B-Daman train like he never stopped.

8. Last summer, Joseph informed me that the only way he would like my future children is if I had triplets and if they were also ogres, like on Shrek.

9. When he was an infant, we taught him how to kiss people. His version of a pucker was to open him mouth as wide as it could possibly go.

10. At age three, Joseph declared our friend Paul to be his favorite brother. Shortly thereafter, he deemed Paul his favorite sister as well.

If you don't get some of these stories, I apologize. Most of them are probably "you had to be there"s. Luckily, most of you who read my thingy were there, at least for some.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Hardy Boy

Certain people have reminded me that I haven't thingyed in a while. Certain people should keep in mind that it has also been over a month since their last thingy and certain people should fix this grievous misstep. You know who you are.

Anyway, to business. Today's thingy tells the tale of a casual trip to the local Wal-Mart that ended up being a surprisingly delightful outing. Lewis and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some items that I needed. After collecting all of the necessary particulars, we got in line behind and elderly couple. As soon as we walked up, the male half of the pair turned around and asked Lewis what on earth he was doing walking around with such a beautiful young lady! Of course he won my heart right then and there. We enjoyed talking with this fellow, named Mr. Hardy, learning that he was born in 1918 and that he'll be 90 next month ("What month is it today?"), which we were shocked to learn (he looks great for his age). The whole conversation was thoroughly enjoyable. He approved of Lewis's Utah Jazz hat and his blue shirt. He told us about how beautiful his wife is. It was a gem of an encounter.

Mr. Hardy and his wife have been married for 69 years. Upon learning this, we of course were curious to know what their secret was; how they made a marriage last for nearly 70 years. When Lewis asked him this, I was expecting the answer to be "patience" or "kindness" or maybe "selflessness". But instead, Mr. Hardy proclaimed that the secret is "to have a good last name!"

So there you have it. Mr. Hardy's got it made. All you Sicks and Deads out there? (those are real last names: I checked) You're screwed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Redefine Service


I'm a secretary in the Student Leadership Office. It's an awesome job. A lot of people think my office is just the BYUSA office, which is the closest thing we have to a student government on campus. BYUSA just started this new promotion called "Redefine Service". They're going all out with this one (as opposed to everything else) (that was intended to be sarcastic. They go all out on everything); they're giving out buttons, they're having volunteers give presentations in class about it...they even made a commercial! But that's not the point. The point it, I really, really like this program.

The premise behind "Redefine Service" comes from something President Monson said at a devotional, "To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves". Everyone to find opportunities to serve those around them every day. The commercial shows students and teachers employing this idea; one girl goes to talk to someone sitting alone in class; someone helps a guy who dropped a big stack of books; a teacher gives a word of encouragement to a struggling student. We hardly have to go out of our way at all to serve others and in doing so, we can become more Christ-like. We can serve just by being nice to the people around us.

Sometimes it seems that everyone on campus is caught up in their own little worlds. Everyone is just hurrying to class with their heads down, not paying attention to anything. Not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing. Heck, I'm willing to bet I just described myself to a T! (Side note: where did that expression come from and what does it mean?) But I know I, for one, could do a lot better to be a nicer person. Instead of rushing to class like I'm the most important person in the world, I can take the time to smile at people passing me. I can hold open the door for the person behind me. I can help someone struggling with a heavy load. I'm willing to bet that none of these things would inconvenience me in any way, shape, or form. And even if they do, so what? At least I was able to help someone: the benefits far out way the cost.

My New Testament teacher last semester challenged us to develop Christ-like love. He said that in order to love others as Christ does, we have to love. We have to love everyone. That means our classmates that share their life story as an answer to any question. That means our roommates who eat all our food. That means our boyfriends who break our hearts. That means the stranger who bumps into us walking down the street. Everyone.

(A note to my readers - all two of you. Maybe three now...: the above examples are not referring to anyone specifically. They are all completely general cases that could apply to anyone. Thank you.)

This teacher told us to say in our minds to everyone we see, "I love you", and to mean it. It takes a ton of effort and it's truly exhausting, but it's well worth it. I imagine you'd eventually get used to doing that and you could develop a genuine care and concern for everyone around you. Then, I think, you'd be on your way to being more Christ-like. Again, the benefits far out way the cost.

So I'm going to try this. I'm going to try and seek out ways to serve other people daily. I'm going to try and love everyone around me. I'm going to try and just be a better person. Even if there's someone who bugs me, I can and should be a nicer person towards them. Who am I to judge? I am far from without sin, so I should not be casting any stones.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Won The Superbowl

In just ten weeks, ten short weeks from this very day, I will be on my way to the happiest place on earth to spend two days of pure joy and blissful merriment. It's gonna be off the heezy.

In the immortal words of many an NFL player after scoring a victory in the Superbowl: I'm going to Disneyland!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Paul Joseph Epperson


As my dear friend Paul was kind enough to remind me, it's been sometime since my last post. He updates his Pizzy Proverbs quite frequently (to which I owe him thanks since said proverbs have provided me with hours of entertainment) so I decided to oblige and update this lil blog of mine.

First order of business: the word blog is hereby eradicated from this my...blog. Henceforth the word 'blog' shall be replaced with the word 'thingy' to acquiesce to the word-tastes of my the thingy-author. I hate that word. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Anyway, back to the thingy update. For quite some time, I was at a loss for what I should write about. Turns out I'm kind of boring. But then I connected the dots and come up with the subject of this post. See, Paul was the one who reminded me to update. And Paul's the only one who reads my thingy. And yesterday was - wait for it - Paul's birthday! So here's to you, Paul! This is your life...insofar as it has concerned me, that is.

My family moves a lot. It's a fact of life. Honestly, knowing that is like knowing that sky is blue or that grass is green or that celebrities do drugs. Pure fact. So how is it that Paul and I have known each other since we were six freaking years old? Huh? Answer me that one, Einstein! (To be fair, Paul was probably seven when we met. He's old. Unimportant.) (Paul's not unimportant, that fact was.) So yeah. Long time knowin'. Me and Paul are like this. That's me, that's Paul.

When we met, I was, apparently, wearing a green dress. (See, Paul has a fantastic memory for random details. Just one of his many charming characteristics.) I like think that we were close friends from the start, but we probably thought the other was really weird. We were forced to friendship anyway, mostly because my older brother, Andrew, was less inclined to appearance-based judgement and invited Paul over. Another Paul memory test: ask him to describe my family's basement at the time of our meeting. It's incredible! Of course, no one else remembers what it looked like, so we are all forced to believe him. Huh. What power!

Lacking such memory skills, I myself recall very little from the conception of our friendship at suck young ages. Fast forward to the eighth grade when my family moved back to Paul. At our middle school, each grade was divided into teams that you take all of your classes with and did competitions with and stuff. Eighth grade had the Suns, the Comets, and the Star Trekkies (Go ahead and judge). I took Spanish every morning at the high school so my schedule was all kinds of messed up and my classes were split between two teams: the Comets and the Star Trekkies. My loyalty was split, but I was fortunate enough to reap the benefits from both sides
of the line. (Most unfortunately was the fact that all the over-achievers were Suns. Jerks.) Amazingly enough, the same mistake was made to Paul's schedule and we had all of our classes together. Maybe not all. But several.

That year (and maybe still today) Paul had a thing for Shock Tarts. I enjoyed them myself, so on occasion we would share a roll. Christmas came around and Paul moved from Shock Tarts to candy canes. You should know that Paul is sharey. He loves to share and he is dang good at it. This translated into Paul bringing Alyssa a candy cane every day for probably all of December. January rolled back around and candy canes turned to Shock Tarts. No more did we split a roll between us, but he would bring me my very own roll. On February 13th he brought me an entire case of Shock Tarts for my 13.somethin'somethin' birthday. I was up to my elbows and possibly my ears in Shock Tarts. Luckily, my mother was at the time pregnant with my little brother and Shock Tarts were the only thing that would settle her stomach. So it worked out well all around.

Now, you should know that while I tease Paul a lot for doing this, it was super happy. My day would be made every morning in Algebra when he would zip open his bag and pull out a roll or two for me. Paul's awesome.

Now we move on to high school. Paul and I went to the same school once again, which was a relief since they switched up our wards and we weren't in the same one any more. Paul didn't bring me Shock Tarts any more which was a-okay with me. I was pretty much Shock Tartted out. I don't think we took very many classes together, if any, in the first three years of high school. We went to a lot of stake dances, though, and the highlight of those most definitely involved Paul and NSYNC. See, Paul is a dang good dancer. In every sense of the word (I don't know what that means either). He taught himself and my brother and our other friend Benn three of their dances. They were intense. And awesome. Intensely awesome and awesomely intense. There would be girls screaming, clothes flying, and boys rocking. Stake dances suck. Stake dances with these boys rocked. For the duration of the song anyway.

Senior year, Paul and I took Government together, along with our other friends Adam, Marisa, and Brindy. Mr. Peterson was our teacher and he was just great. We had a fantastic time in that class! As great as he was, however, Mr. Peterson had a bad habit of not noticing when Paul and Adam were bugging me. Paul sat behind me and Adam sat beside me and some of their favorite things to do included poking me and pulling my hair and smacking me and tickling me. Peterson saw none of this. But as soon as retaliation came, he was right there to defend the safety of his students from the likes of me. Freaking Peterson. Freaking Adam. Freaking Paul.

When we graduated, Paul and I both did the Mormon thing to do and came out here to Brigham Young University. We didn't see much of each other the first semester, but we were in the same Biology lecture in Winter. Paul liked to laugh at me every morning when I would get yelled at for reading the newspaper in class. Good times.

After sending in his mission papers, Paul offered a prize for he or she who could correctly guess his call's destination. No one ever does this so he didn't even bother coming up with a prize. Little did he know of my incredible intuition and sense for those kind of things. And also luck. I got it right and I got a dollar. Go ahead. Be amazed.

So Paul went on his mission and now he's back and he comes over to visit all the time. It's wonderful. I may make fun of him a lot, but Paul is one of my best friends. He's always been there for me, even when I said no when he asked me to Homecoming because I thought he was joking. He's one of the best people I know. I am so grateful I've always been able to count on Paul, even when I haven't been a good friend. Just like the time he showed up at my door after going to three different grocery stores until he found a specific kind of ice cream I really wanted. I don't think I ever said thank you for that. Thank you, Paul. I hope we will continue to be friends for the rest of forever.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Names Are Cool!

Names are really interesting to me. I like learning the meaning of names and finding out why parents name their children what they do. Tonight, we were looking up our names to find out the meanings of them. It is generally agreed that my name means "of good cheer" or "noble/of noble birth". Other definitions include "wise" or "logical' or "rational". Makes perfect sense, no?

Then explain me this:

LYSSA according to Wikipedia:

The Greek goddess of rabies and mad rage, Lyssa was one of the Maniae (madnesses), a nurse of Eros and a daughter of Nyx, who was impregnated by the blood from the wound of the castrated Uranus. Lyssa's most famous (if not only) mythology is that she was the goddess who drove mad the dogs of the youth Actaeon to kill their master, after the hunter had glanced upon the nakedness of a bathing Artemis, and did not look away. Lyssa is commonly referred to as the Greek goddess of craziness, but this is untrue.

So basically my name is just ironic.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane...Or Perhaps Dark and Dank Memory Alley

When someone asks me what my most embarrassing moment is, I don't really know what to say. It's not that I've never had an embarrassing moment. Goodness knows I've had more than plenty. But it's hard to pin down what would be my most embarrassing moment. I usually share the following story, which I find to be quite humorous, and it's generally well received, so maybe I'm right in my opinion.

When I was eight- and nine- years old, my family and I lived in London. While we were there, we had many opportunities to see different types of theatrical performances. One of our favorites was that of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). We loved this show so much we went back and saw it a second time, bringing with us some of our visiting relatives.

After the play, my family stayed behind to talk to the cast and get autographs and such (it's possible I made that up. They were taking their time leaving for some reason). While my family did this - whatever it was they were doing - I excused myself to use the restroom. I had some difficulty locating the bathroom facilities so I asked a passing usher for assistance. He pointed me in the right direction and I soon found myself facing two identical doors. To my nine-year-old mind, it seemed logical that there would be signs indicating which door led to the ladies' room and which led to the mens'. Call me crazy, but signs such as these seem to be something of a standard in most public places. However, I had no such luck in locating anything of the sort. And I really, really had to go. So, putting my trust in all that was holy, I picked a door and dashed in.

Once inside the bathroom, I noticed several odd porcelain objects along one wall. They looked somewhat similar to toilets, but they were not in stalls and they certainly didn't have any place to sit. I brushed the oddness aside, however, mentally noting that I was in Europe and, well, let's face it: those Brits are weirdies. It was not too long after this experience that I learned what a urinal was.

After I had finished what I came to do, I washed my hands and prepared to make my way back to my family. As I exited the WC, I heard a great burst of laughter. Down the hall a ways was the entire cast and crew of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), laughing their heads off at me. Don't be too shocked. The cast and crew only had five, maybe six people total. But still. They were laughing at a nine-year-old. And then it hit me. I chose the wrong door. I turned around slowly and sure enough. There it was, clear as pie. The sign I had somehow missed in my quest to fulfill social norms and use the loo allotted to my gender. I had used the Mens' Room. I froze, unsure of what to do, but positive that I could not allow my untainted image and innocent visage to be marred in front of all these highbrow sorts. Thinking quickly, I came up with a rational and well thought-out solution.

I pretended I was blind.

That's right, I slapped my hand on the wall and shuffled and felt my way back to where I had left my family. No doubt the cast and crew were convinced of my invented handicap and felt bad right away for chortling at the disabled. Had they known I was feinting, they would have offered me a part in their theatrical production right away, no doubt. I can't believe they laughed at a little kid. Jerks.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ah, Air Travel: the Pretentiousness of the Business Class Lounge

As many of you know, I am currently en route to Nairobi, Kenya to spend the Christmas holiday (for those of you who don't know, guess what! I'm going to Africa! Cool, huh? Sorry you're not on the in list to already know that. I guess I don't like you that much). The government is paying for my family to fly out there, mostly just because they think we're cool. Since Kenya is so far away (Becca can back me up on that one, she took Geography. As it turns out, it's on the other side of the world. Who knew? Becca, that's who.) those of us who were traveling "on orders" (aka those of us under twenty-one or married. They're not as nice to the single twenty-somethings. Mostly we get classified as "crazies" or "weirdies". Fascists.) get to fly in business class. And subsequently get to use the BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE. This is also known as THE MOST PRETENTIOUS PLACE ON EARTH.

[At this moment, you may be thinking, "Dear, idiotic Alyssa. You are twenty-one and far from married. I could name a boatload of people who would consider you a crazy and even more that think of you as a weirdy. There is no way you have a business class ticket. What in the name of all that is good are you doing in that lounge?" The answer is simple: out of the goodness of her pure, pure heart (it's almost Christmas, folks) my mom bought me a two-month membership, which means I can get in and so can anyone I'm related to. Luckily, diseases like pretentiousness are not airborne, so I'm safe. (Speaking of Airborne, they give it out free here!)]

As I write this note, I am sitting in the business class lounge of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. The layout of the place is simple: off to the right we have a slew of desks with high walls for people to use their laptops and phones and to use the internet and to conduct business (funny how that works, huh? Conducting business in the business class lounge). Moving along there are a gaggle of chairs to lounge in (this is the lounge part of the title) with mini-tables, magazine racks, and potted plants scattered throughout. Up a ramp there is something of a finger food and drinks bar where you can eat cookies and apples and mini crackers to your heart's desire. There are also several different forms of alcoholic drinks to choose from. There might have been a soda fountain and a hot chocolate machine, but you know me. I only have eyes for Bloody Marys and ice cold Bud Light.

Anyway, all that description is well and good and probably somewhat boring, but that's not the point of this note. The point of this note it to make fun of the place! Cause goodness knows I can, so very easily. There seem to be several requirements to be socially acceptable in a place like this:

Requirement number 1. You must own a Bluetooth Headset. I swear, with the exception of my family and a kind-eyed, bearded, old man off to my right who looks remarkable similar to one jolly old Saint Nick, everyone here has one! And I don't care who you are, unless you are driving a car, you look absolutely retarded talking on a Bluetooth Headset. Especially when you're just standing there with your hands in your pockets. Goodness me. It's like these people purchased the headsets just because they were expensive.

[This is not a picture of Joseph, although he is displaying something that is completely taboo in this place, a Push Pop. It is a picture of the man behind him, with the Bluetooth Headset in this ear, simply to validate my point that everyone here has one (don't ask questions). Note for the future: I need validation.]

Requirement number 2: You must be dressed like you are going to an expensive restaurant or to a stuffy old art show. Clothing items such as basketball shorts or hoodies are punishable by dismemberment or death. Funny side note 1: I'm dressed in basketball shorts and a hoody. Funny side note 2: if you buy a shirt with an interesting (read: ugly) pattern at Wal-mart, no good. If you buy a shirt with an interesting (again, read: ugly) at Barney's, you're in. Ah, capitalism and brand-name labels.

[Me, soon to be maimed for my unsightly attire. As it turns out, I am approximately one hundred times as comfortable than one hundred percent of the people here. Boo freaking ya. Ironically, the look on my face is remarkably similar to the looks on the faces of many a person in this lounge as I walk by. Such looks were responded with hearty winks and cheesy smiles. See if they try to oppress me again.]

Requirement number 3: you must be on your laptop at all times. I can't really make fun of this one without appearing hypocritical, but I'm going to anyway. Come on people, get off the net and join the human race (I first typed that "humor race". I might like that better). Talk to your travel companions! Meet someone new! Smile back when I wink at you! Okay, I'm done with the hypocrisy.

I'm really enjoying writing this note from ground zero of pompousness. No joke, I just looked up and a fifty or sixty-year-old man, Mimosa in hand, gave me a withering glare. Get off your high horse, you pansy.

Point is, this place is stuffy. And it makes me feel like a grungy ol' rebel. Which is a feeling a don't entirely dislike. I just can't wait until we get to Amsterdam. From what I've heard, their lounge is even nicer. And as we all know, Europeans are even better than Americans at snobbery.

[The Business Class Lounge: Where your drug habits are facilitated.]

[The Business Class Lounge: Where even the fake flowers in the bathroom look more ostentatious than me.]
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