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 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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