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 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:

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


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.
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.
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