Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Resolutions

Well, it's time for 2010 to begin. And you know what that means: New Year resolutions. Normally, I just think of a resolution and then I forget about it until the next New Year. And even then, I usually don't remember what it is. So, in order to ensure increased accountability (sort of) I am hereby writing my resolutions down and publishing them on the internet.

Initially, I decided that my New Year resolution would be to learn how to solve a Rubik's cube. But then I did that before the New Year. So maybe I'll pretend that was my resolution from last year and I fulfilled it in the nick of time. Whew!

In either case, I had to come up with a new resolution(s). So here they are (drumroll, please) the Alyssa Young 2010 New Year Resolution docket:

1. This New Year, I resolve to read the scriptures every day. Lewis and I read our scriptures often, but not as often as we should. And that's just silly considering how easy of a habit it is to make. At least I think so. No excuses!

2. This New Year, I resolve to keep our apartment clean. Specifically, this means
a. Dishes are to be cleaned right after they are used.
b. The living room/kitchen table is a clutter-free zone.
c. The bed is to be made every morning and dirty clothes are to go in the basket, not in front of it.

3. This New Year, I resolve to pack lunch for school in the morning and actually make dinner at night. Snacks are not suitable meals, even when I'm really tired. This also means I need to
a. Get in the habit of removing meat from the freezer to thaw.
b. Plan a menu and actually stick to it.
c. Not be afraid of leftovers.
d. Use the food we buy before it is gross.
Also, I have an indecent amount of kitchen appliances/gadgets/tools for someone with a kitchen my size. I should actually use them. I finally got an apron, so now I don't have an excuse.

4. This New Year, I resolve to exercise regularly. I like to exercise and I like how it makes me feel. I don't know what my problem is that makes me not do it regularly. I mean, we own a Wii Fit, and although you may scoff, I've gotten some pretty good work outs with that thing. In any case, it's better than nothing and I can do it in the comfort of my own, warm home. I'm also considering investing in a set of small hand weights to use with the Wii Fit. My resolution is to exercise at least 5 times each week. It doesn't all have to be on the Wii Fit, but that is a handy start.

Basically, my New Year resolution is to be more healthy. Healthy in spirit through reading my scriptures; healthy in home because it will be clean; and healthy in body because of eating better and exercising. Sounds stereotypical, right? Well guess who has two thumbs and doesn't care? This lady.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

12 stocking stuffers
11 slamm-ed tim tams
10 cups of ketchup
9 hours of daylight
8 Christmas carols
7 guns a-shooting
6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm!

Whew! I did it. All twelve days. When I first began this endeavor, I only started because "mid-Atlantic winter snow storm" fit so well with "partridge in a pear tree." And then I was stuck. I couldn't start something without finishing it, could I? There were many, many times throughout the twelve days when I thought, "what was I thinking?"

In any case, here's the twelfth day. Stocking stuffers. Lewis and I went to the store today and got a variety of candies, nuts, and fruits that Santa can use to fill our stockings. We may have gone a little slap happy with all the treats, but apparently Smith's decided to put all their Christmas candy on sale the day before Christmas, so it all worked out so well.

I am really excited that it is Christmas. I love Christmas and everything about it. Even though not all of my true love gifts were Christmas related, this project was very useful in getting me in the Christmas spirit. I'm so happy that Christmas Eve is finally here. It's such a beautiful holiday. True, it makes me a little homesick, but I'm so grateful that I get to spend the holiday with my great husband. I like him lots.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

11 slamm-ed tim tams
10 cups of ketchup
9 hours of daylight
8 Christmas carols
7 guns a-shooting
6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

Ever had a tim tam? Ever slammed a tim tam? Well, you should. It's absolutely delicious. Tim tams are a cookie that are popular in other places, but only recently made it across the Pacific pond to the United States, courtesy of Pepperidge Farm. Lewis enjoyed tim tams all the time on his mission.

The official tim tam slam involves a hot liquid such as hot chocolate. While I'm sure that would be very tasty, my only tim tam slamming experience involves 1% milk. What you do is you bite off one corner and then bite off the opposite corner and suck up the milk through the cookie like a straw. Or, if you're like Dallas, you can just eat the cookies "straight."

Conveniently enough, Pepperidge Farm packages tim tams in groups of eleven. Normally, this would be something that would annoy me. I tend to prefer numbers when it comes to prepackaged foods. But not today. Today, I thank you Pepperidge Farm. When I started the twelve days endeavor, I figured eleven would be my most challenging day.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Tenth Day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

10 cups of ketchup
9 hours of daylight
8 Christmas carols
7 guns a-shooting
6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

Today Lewis, his mom, and I went to lunch at Burger Supreme. And we got ten cups of ketchup for our French fries. And a few things of fry sauce, but that is neither here nor there. Why did we need ten cups of ketchup to share among the three of us, you ask? Because it's the tenth day of Christmas and it works. Shut up. I took dipped a French fry in each one, so it counts. Thankyouverymuch.

On the other hand, the fry sauce was apparently too heavy on the mayonnaise, so the abundance of ketchup came in handy.

Two days left. Just two days left.

And then it's Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

9 hours of daylight
8 Christmas carols
7 guns a-shooting
6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

Today is the Winter Solstice, meaning it is the shortest day of the year. Strictly speaking, we will have 9 hours and 18 minutes of daylight today, from sunrise to sunset, but I decided it was okay to round down to 9.

According, to Wikipedia, "the Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. Though the Winter Solstice lasts an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midwinter to refer to the day on which it occurs. For most people in the high latitudes this is commonly known as the shortest day and the sun's daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. The seasonal significance of the Winter Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. The Winter Solstice is also the shortest day or lowest sun position for people in low latitudes located between the Tropic of Cancer (23°26'N) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23°26'S). Depending on the shift of the calendar, the Winter Solistice occurs some time between December 21 and December 22 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and between June 20 and June 21 in the Southern Hemisphere."

Today, the Winter Solstice officially occurred at 10:47 am.

This is very good news for me. I was getting steadily more depressed as the days got shorter and shorter. I never made it home before the sun went down. Even Sundays have been stinky because we don't get out of church until 5 when the sun has already started to set.

But now the days will be getting longer and longer, a fact that is ever so pleasing to me. I'm a fan of the sun, even if it is bitterly cold outside, which I'm sure it will be again soon. Brr.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Eighth Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

8 Christmas carols
7 guns a-shooting
6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

One of the benefits of living in a student ward in Provo is that over Christmas break, we only have 1-hour church. However, Lewis' mom was singing in the choir for their ward Christmas program, so we went to one hour of their church instead.

For the program, eight carols were sung:
-A Tiny Child Will Come
-Picture a Christmas
-Away in a Manger
-With Wondering Awe
-We Three Kings
-Tidings of the Newborn King
-Praise the Newborn King
-Silent Night

I love singing Christmas carols and I am always bummered out that the ward I'm in never sings them for as many Sundays as they could (starting with the Sunday after Thanksgiving, of course). I was excited for the opportunity to listen to so many at this program, which was lovely. Their ward choir is about 4 times the size of ours.

Although Lewis was saddened that they didn't sing Angels We Have Heard on High. It's his fav. I think he likes the glorias.

Also, we ended up staying for Sunday School, so I think it's fair to say we went above and beyond our religious obligation. Jay kay, I like church. No, really.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Seventh Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

7 guns a-shooting
6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

Lewis family has a tradition that I believe only started a few years ago now (Christmas before last, right?). On Christmas day, after all the gifts are open and the thank-yous are exclaimed, they lay each other out with guns. Now before you get your cyber panties in a twist, these guns are merely of the Nerf variety.

I participated in this great Nerf battle last year and I am happily anticipating the impending doom that will arrive this December the 25th.

While we were out shopping today, Lewis' parents purchased seven new Nerf guns for this year's belligerence. I'll let you decided for yourself why we only picked seven, when there are more than seven people in the family. Alls I know is that it's beneficial to me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sixth Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

6 Lewis kisses
5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

I couldn't think of anything for the 6th day, so Lewis helped out by pointedly giving me six quick pecks. It was very sweet and not at all cheesy like you'd expect. I don't know what I'm going to do for days 7-12.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

5 bags of wings!
4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

My boss is hosting a party on the day after Christmas for all the international students who aren't going home for Christmas. For that purpose, we took a trip to Costco today to get supplies and pre-packaged food items for the event.

Boy oh boy, it was a busy day at the Costco. Apparently, Thursday afternoon is prime time at Costco for all the retirees in the greater Provo-Orem area. HOWEVER, it was a great day for samples. And if there's anything I love, it's free samples. Whoever invented the program of handing out free samples of various foods/drinks/candies was a genius. The lunch of Lewis and me (he came with us) was provided by Costco today. For free.

We sampled, among other things:
-Drinkable yogurt (but actually good)
-Diet soda that looks deceivingly like water and tastes gross
-Costco brand's knock-off Vitamin Water
-Egg nog ice cream sandwiches (it was just okay)
-Multi-grain toast
-Orange chicken
-Dark chocolate truffles (they were brushed with cocoa powder which was weird and bitter, but overall I liked them. Lewis did not.)
-Pocket pizzas
-Mashed potatoes
-Veggie chips (which are really quite good)
-And other stuff that was apparently less memorable

Like I said, it was a great day for samples at the Costco.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

4 calling phones
3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

As far as cellular service is concerned, I've been with T-Mobile for five years now. And it has been adequate. I've had my share of faulty phones replaced, but who hasn't? Well, my contract with them expired last week. Lewis and I were planning on having me pay month to month until April when his contract expired and then join AT&T together so we can (eventually) get iPhones. But then circumstances facilitated the need to save as much money as possible, so we decided that the best thing to do would be for me to join the cellular telephone plan belonging to Lewis and his mother when my contract was up (they're with Verizon).

As a bonus, Verizon said it was time to let Lewis upgrade with a new agreement, so we could get it so our time in their hands expires together.

So today, we headed over to our neighborhood Verizon Wireless store to check out the phones. While there, I narrowed my selection down to these four:

Lewis and I actually walked into the store with the plan to each get this phone. It's a pretty basic phone, no special bells and whistles (which is all we really need). It has a slide out qwerty keyboard, which is cool. However, as we discovered when we got the chance to actually hold it rather than just look at a picture online, it feels flimsy and like it will break with one fall. And if you know me, I have a bad habit of either dropping my phone on accident or throwing it across the room when I'm angry. Although I don't do that as often as I used to.
Plus it was hard to type on the keys at the top of the keyboard.

We spent a lot of time looking at this phone. It's what Verizon wishes was the iPhone. It's a touch screen with lots of applications (or "apps" as the kids call them). Overall, it's a pretty sweet phone. However, it's a smartphone, which adds 30 bucks a pop onto our bill, and that just didn't seem too practical considering the whole point of this is to save money. And the good graces of Lewis' mom. So that was a no.

I looked at this one mostly just because I found it to be intriguing. If you open it like a regular flip phone, the keys are one way, but if you open it on its side, the keys change. And then they change again if you want to send a text. It's pretty neat. (And if none of that made sense, just watch the video from the link). In the end, though, I decided that the changing keys were just too confusing. Cool idea, but meh.

This one was our winner. Lewis has an enV right now, which he admitted is a quality phone in spite of the fact that it likes to shut itself off randomly and without notice. As far as design is concerned, the enV3 seems to be a good improvement from the original enV, so that's good.
The only trouble now is how we are going to tell our phones apart. We both picked the phone in slate blue because the other option was red and well, you know... red. Blech.

So that's that. Actually, we ended up stressing ourselves out about the lack of desirable phones while we were actually at the store, so we ended up going home and just ordering our phones over the phone, interestingly enough (I'm convinced that the reason we didn't just end up getting the enV3 in the store is because the one they had on display was of the red variety. That and the fact that you had to mail in a rebate to get the upgrade discount at the store whereas it's instant online or over the phone). They will be here on Friday. Which is great news for me especially because I haven't been texting since October, so basically my phone has not been used much at all. I realized that I don't get very many calls. But that's okay. It's been a busy few months at school, so the lack of cell phone usage is probably a very good thing.

Happy fourth day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Third Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

3 final tests
2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

Today, I took three finals. And they were my last finals for the semester! It was a very happy feeling to get everything done, and to be done with school.

The best final I had was probably my Family Law exam. And that's because I took the final while at my in-laws' condo up in Park City, sitting on an extremely comfortable couch, in front of a cozy fire, typing on a keyboard that was connected wirelessly to Lewis' computer, which was connected wiredly to the big screen TV. It was delightful! If any of my future teachers are reading this, I would sincerely appreciate it if you would format my exams so that I may complete them in this manner. Mucho gusto.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

2 Praxis scores
And a mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

True, Lewis and I both already got our Praxis scores. But then we also both got certificates saying we were in the top 15% of all test takers. True, the letters that came with the certificates said this was the case for the Praxis II test and we took the Praxis I, but still. The certificates got it right.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

A mid-Atlantic winter snow storm

The conditions outside right now are similar to those that would, in Virginia, close school for a week. Snow was falling for most of the day. Thick, wet snow that accumulates to form slush. Slush is a winter staple out east, although they don't usually get it this early in the season (i.e. before Christmas).

-This kind of snow is PERFECT for building snowmen. It sticks together like you wouldn't believe.
-Until (potentially) the middle of the night, the temperature never actually dips below freezing, so driving isn't quite so terrifying.
-It's really easy to clean off a car, and driving through banks of this stuff looks awesome as it sprays off the side.
-Seriously, there would be no school tomorrow if we were in VA.

-The slush splashes when you walk through it, gets in your shoes, and promptly melts.
-It is slippery to walk through.
-Virginia driver suck and think they are being cautious, when they really aren't. So driving really is still pretty terrifying.
-If the temperature does dip below freezing, forget about it.
-I live in Utah, so I still have school tomorrow and it's finals.

So that's what the first day of Christmas has brought to me! Memories of winters past. Memories that are in no way associated with Christmas, because it would take the miracle of the century to have a white Christmas in Virginia, but still.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Novembah to Remembah

This is what November has been like for me:

-Writing lesson plans
-Getting stressed out about being observed
-Being observed
-Family law
-Swine flu avoidance
-Little kid hugs
-Hand sanitizer
-Guess what?
-Packing lunches
-Apprehension about touching pencils
-Early morning meetings
-Finding books in the library
-Cold weather
-High fives
-More hugs
-More hand sanitizer
-More germs
-The Practicum.

Pretty much, this month has been the busiest month of my existence. And I've loved every second of it (almost). But it'll all be over on Monday. I'm glad because that means it's Thanksgiving break and almost Christmas break and if there's anything I need, it's a break.

But... I love those kids. I think I'll probably cry on Monday.

These posters are all over my school.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Is it weird when someone you dated is dating someone that dated someone else that you dated? And you don't actually know the girl they both dated/are dating, you just notice this because you're friends with the two dudes on the Facebook? And the two individuals you dated don't know each other, their only common link is you and this other girl?

Cause I think it's weird. Maybe me and this girl just have similar tastes. Except not, cause Lewis is not anything like either of those guys and I'm grateful for it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween: Cajun Style

I smell like costume make-up and mothballs and I don't even care!

Today is Halloween. Well, it's Halloween at elementary schools up and down the country anyway.

I've always loved Halloween. But now that I know what Halloween is going to be like every year for the rest of my life, I love it even more. The elementary school is the hip hop happenin' place to be for Halloween. I'm so glad the month I'm spending in an elementary school this semester includes Halloween.

At the school I'm at, the kids weren't allowed to dress up until after lunch. However, if their costume included face paint, they were permitted to wear it to school. So we had one kid show up to school with a white face, black eyes, and blood dripping from the corners of his mouth. Also, his hair was slicked back and sprayed black. It was amazing.

The kids in my class were dying to put their costumes on all day. They each asked the teacher about twenty times when they could go change. During lunch, while all the kids were at recess, my partner and I were standing in the hallway, outside our classroom while our mentor teacher changed into her costume. At the end of the hall, there was a door to the playground where about thirty kids were sitting on the steps, looking longingly inside. I bet recess never lasted longer.

And then, it was finally time for them to get dressed up. I helped out the kids who could just put on their costumes over their close. I also painted another kid's face white with black eyes. He went without the blood, though, because he wanted to save it for tomorrow.

In my class, there were 5 witches, 4 ninjas, 3 storm troopers, 2 vampires (the kids in the face paint), 2 Deaths, 1 Batman, 1 army guy, 1 vet, 1 tool girl, 1 devil, and 1 "sweetheart bat."

After everyone got their costumes on, we went out to join the parade. I went to seven different elementary schools as a child, and yet I have never experienced a Halloween costume parade. It was so great! We marched all over the school and into the gym where all the parents were waiting. I loved it so, so much. All the students looked amazing. My favorite part was the grumpy face on a 1st grade boy dressed as Spider-man next to the smiling face of a 1st grade girl also dressed as Spider-man, but a more muscular one.

Anyway, my point is, today was incredible. The whole day was a lot of fun, and I didn't want to leave when the time came. To be honest, though, that's what it's been like every day this week. When I first started at this school on Tuesday, I was really nervous. And then all the students showed up and I realized how much fun I am going to have as a teacher. Of course, I still haven't really taught anything yet... that's happening next week. We'll see how it goes.

In other news, I'm a winner! I went to an office supply fair last week and I entered a drawing for a kayak! I didn't win the kayak, but I did win a set of six super magnets! Of course, I haven't been able to pull them apart as of yet, but winning is still fun.

PS: I dressed up as Giselle from Enchanted today. I made the kids guess who I was and they were all really excited when they got it right because it was from a movie they've seen. I love how little kids get excited about little things. More people should be like that!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Little Things In Life

Some good advice I've heard is, especially when times are tough, it's important to enjoy the little things. So here are some little things that I enjoy:

1. Crunching leaves (although I get mad when they are soggy)

2. Tackling Lewis and being astonished every time he is able to stand up with me dead weighting trying to hold him down

3. PB&J or just J sandwiches, pigs in a blanket, Kraft macaroni and cheese, tomato soup and grilled cheese - tastes like childhood! (PS: Lewis, I just thought of what we should have for dinner tonight)

4. Lewis said he likes me cause I'm just as big a dork as him - how true that is!

5. When we walk to school together, even though I am glarey cause it's cold (glarey does not equal grumpy)

6. ESPN Game Day will be in Provo, Utah, at LaVell Edwards Stadium: This. Saturday.

7. One of my classes finished today

8. Last Saturday, we shoot our nephew, Caiden, with Nerf gun darts over and over again while he ran around in circles over and over again

9. Sometimes Lewis starts singing the very song that is in my head - it's weird.

10. Waffles with two different kinds of homemade syrup for Sunday dinner (we have three recipes for syrup now - maple, buttermilk, and blueberry)

11. We tried out a new cookie recipe - straight from the introweb - and it was actually really good - in both dough and cookie form! Thanks, Kitchenaid and internet.

12. Yesterday I figured out why the division of fractions algorithm works (I'm turning into my dear aunt Holli)

13. Google Voice

14. Our insanely comfortable bed, especially when it's cold because I can snuggle up under all the covers (sheets, duvet, and quilt) and make Lewis complain that I hog the bed

15. The smell of Lewis' deodorant and/or cologne

I could go on, but there are probably at least a million little things I could think of that I have started to enjoy more since really taking that advice to heart. At least! It certainly makes life more fun. I like it, anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Think I'm a Mac... Trapped in a PC's Body

Know what's annoying? The fact that I am clearly and indisputably connected to the internet, yet my computer thinks I'm not. Yeah, thanks a lot, Vista, now I can't finish my technology homework. Effing technology.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Don't Have Friends at NASA... Bunch of Nerds

Dear NASA,

Just so you know, I woke up at 5:26 this morning so I could watch you guys bombing the moon. I couldn't tell if it was lame because I was so tired or because it was actually lame. Would you please let me know?

And if it was lame, could you please put up a video of the event that is cool? I might even get up at 5:26 again to watch it. Just let me know.


Alyssa Young

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Does it make me a total cheese-fest loser that I loved the Office tonight? It touched me. It touched me in my heart.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Never Knew I Used My Middle Finger So Much...

... Until I couldn't use it anymore.

Okay, that's not entirely true. I can use it. It just hurts.

You see, I jammed it yesterday in PE (that's right, I'm taking a PE class). In truth, I should have seen it coming. We were playing basketball, and I always hurt at least one finger playing basketball (that's not an exaggeration). I hit the ball funny while I was stealing it from someone else in the course of a game, said "Frick" because it hurt, and wondered if my "Frick" sounded like another yet more vulgar expletive that starts with the letter F based on the look on the face of the girl from whom I stole the ball. Anyway, it swelled up all day yesterday until it was a great big fatty fat fat with some gross looking coloration.

I figured it was no big deal, it's just the middle finger, and on my left hand no less! The only real function my left hand has is for eating, and I can use my right hand for that no problem.

That's when I remembered the fact that I am an avid laptop in that I use it to take all my notes at school. And that's when I discovered how very much involved the middle finger on my left hand is in the typing process. Taping and/or splinting the finger was suddenly out of the question (tried it... didn't work and I had a paper to type).

So, yeah, it hurts when I type. I'm sure you are all now wondering why on earth I am bothering to blog at this time if I am in such pain. Well, why don't I tell you?


It's all for you, my dear readers. Because I know you're out there. I do. I have Google Analytics.

To be honest, it's not actually that bad. Typing my paper yesterday sucked, it's true, but my finger is lots better today. It's still a great big fatty fat fat and it still doesn't bend all the way, but it doesn't hurt nearly as much. Just when I bend it or straighten it all the way. Plus, most of the gross coloration has cleared up. No biggie, yo.

I think it would have been funny if the ring finger on my left hand got hurt instead of the middle. Then maybe I would get my wedding ring stuck on it, and it would look all unattractive and weird. I don't know why that idea amuses me, but there you go. It would be a yin-yang of aesthetics with a pretty ring on a elephantine finger. El oh freaking el.

Here's what my finger looks like right now. I think the best part is that it's only the middle knuckle that's swollen, so the whole finger looks kind of like a large body with a really small head. You know the type.
The other side where only a small semblance of the gross coloration remains.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Have you ever been completing a really tricky sudoku? And it's taken you forever to get as far as you are? And you're on a roll? And you're almost done? And you're so proud that you've solved this challenge, you're ready to yell it from the rooftop so everyone will know how awesome you are?

... And then you find a mistake. You try to correct it, but to no avail - the mistake runs deeper than quick surface corrections.

So you can't finish the sudoku... You sadly place your newspaper in the recycling bin... You feel like crying, but you hold it in, because really, it's only a puzzle.

But on the inside, you're really, really sad.

Yeah... That sucks.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tents for Tables

One of the less fun and more gross aspects of my job is my responsibility over the advertising that goes on the tables in the terrace of the Wilkinson Student Center. The advertising is in the form of clear plastic table tents that can hold up to six fliers at a time.

You're probably thinking, "That doesn't sound gross, Alyssa. You're just a baby." But, no. Believe me. It's gross.

You see, during the day, the terrace is used as an extension of the Cougareat, BYU's food court. People come to the terrace, sit down at tables and enjoy greasy burritos from Taco Bell or messy sandwiches from Subway. As they eat, they can enjoy the various advertisements in my table tents. And they can touch my table tents with their oily and sticky fingers. And spill nasty orange, brown, or blue drinks all over my table tents. And stick their nasty rubbish inside my table tents. And sometimes break my table tents.

I've been working at this job for three years now (almost exactly). When I started, I had between 60 and 70 table tents. 50 can go in the terrace at any given time. Now, three years later, I'm down to 19. A bit pathetic, right?

I don't have an explanation for the disappearance of all my table tents. I do know that several have broken, but not 51 of them. My only theory is thievery. People (freshmen, likely) have thieved my table tents. Why? Beats me. I just explained that they are gross.

A typical Friday for me consists of the following.
1. Search for a cart.
2. Take the cart to the terrace.
3. Track down all the table tents.
4. Load the table tents on to the cart.
5. Bring the table tents back to my desk.
6. Remove all the trash from the table tents (I've seen everything, from twist ties to lolly pop sticks)
7. Remove all the unauthorized fliers from the table tents.
8. Remove all the outdated fliers from the table tents.
9. Put in the new fliers from the table tents.
10. Soak my hands in sanitizer.
11. (Only if I'm particularly annoyed) track down the person/group who stuck unauthorized fliers in the table tents and tell them they can't do that and if they would like to advertise in the table tents, they must schedule them with me.

Sometimes I genuinely dread table tent time on Friday. And by sometimes, I mean always. They are just so, so gross.

But now - oh now! - it's all changed. At least for a few weeks. You see, I just received a shipment of brand new, crystal clean table tents. Finally, all the tables in the terrace will once again have a tent. I'm actually kind of excited to go pick up the table tents tomorrow evening (the terrace closes on Tuesdays for Club Night) so I can add the new ones to the rotation.

The sad truth of the matter is, I halfway don't even want to put these new table tents out. I know exactly what is going to happen to them out there. It's a crazy and gross place. And these ones are so pretty and so clean.

Ah, well. I still have my trusty, jumbo-sized bottle of hand sanitizer.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

PC: Politically Correct, Personal Computer, Park City

We're in Park City.

It snowed.

Conference was grood.

Lewis made me pumpkin pie.

We're going to take the Alpine Loop home.

There's a fire in the fireplace.

Austin Collie caught a touchdown in HD.

I'm going to take a snap.

I love life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How Was YOUR Birthday?

Cause mine was awesome.

Warning: if you don't like me, you probably won't like this post. It's braggy.

On top of the glorious silver Kitchenaid, Lewis gave me season 1 of 30 Rock and a gift card to Shade clothing (which I will be spending today, cause they're having a sale. Or a sell, as they might say. It's a Utah store). Pretty much, my husband is the best husband of all the husbands.

Even school and work were great for my birthday. I only had one class, and it's a really good class. We had a hunger banquet (because my teacher does cool activities like that), and I was part of the second world. Us second worlders got to eat oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon. I haven't had oatmeal for years and I remember absolutely loathing it when I was little. Turns out, it's not that bad. It certainly fills you up.

Maybe this is the vicious cycle of oatmeal. Parents give it to their kids, who hate it, and then the kids grow up and discover it's not actually that bad so they decide to give it to their kids because it's easy and nutritious. And the kids hate it, just like the parents did when they were kids.

Anyway, after class I went to work where I was surprised by a bag of mini-Toblerones by my good friend Paul. I love Paul. Thanks, Paul.

Also, my great boss, Jim, gave me a stylish BYU t-shirt. And a coupon for a free Jamba Juice. I have several of those. I haven't had to pay for a Jamba Juice in a long time. It's great!

My fantabulous parents sent me a bunch of cards with animals of Africa on them (all pictures taken by my talented mother, Mom) and some money. I might take that money with me to the mall today when I go to spend my gift card. I could use some new clothes. Thanks, parents! And grandparents, too, for the card from you!

While the gifts were great, the second best part of the day was getting to talk to all my family! My parents and brother called from Kenya, my sister called from Oklahoma, my brother called from Provo, and my other brother texted from Salt Lake City (we're diverse). And that's just my immediate family! I also got a call from my auntie dear in Idaho and boundless facebook love from a bunch of friends and family members. I'm not very good at calling my beloved peeps as often as I should, so I was really grateful they all thought to contact me. Hugs and kisses all around!

The best part of the day, however, was watching BYU beat Utah State. For having only won one game so far this season, Utah State is actually a pretty decent team. It was an awesome game to watch. We had extra room around us, so several of our friends came to watch with us. I really, really, really love football.

When Lewis would tell people that we were going to the game on my birthday, they would get kind of shocked and say something like, wow, that's so nice of your wife letting you go to the game on her birthday. Yeah, right, like I'd rather be anywhere else.

The game was less fun for Lewis. He bet a friend of ours, Matt Tison (a freaking Utah fan), that BYU would win by more than 24 points. Loser buys the winner lunch at Bajio. Well, Lewis thought he had the bet in the bag. We were up 35-10 until 2 seconds left when Utah State scored another touchdown. Sad day for Lewis.

The birthday greatness has just continued today. We got up early to go get two-for-one massages. I'd never had a real massage before. Oh em gee it was so great. I think I'm going to lobby for my future school district to provide massages for its teachers at least once every other week. They need 'em. I just decided.

Later tonight, Andrew is taking me to a movie. We're going to go see "Cloudy, with a Chance of Meatballs." Should be good times.

Speaking of Andrew, he read my blog about the weather from the other day really quickly and gathered from it that I wanted it to snow on my birthday instead of be nice and lovely and warm (PS, Weather, you were delightful yesterday. Thank you). Because of this, he planned to go find me some snow somewhere and surprise me with it after the game. But, he didn't get off work in time. I was really touched that he planned to do that, even though it wasn't actually what I wanted. It's still really sweet. I've got some swell brothers, I do.

Well, this post about my birthday awesomeness is long enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who made it such an amazing day. You're collectively the bomb-diggity.

(PS: did you know that Red Robin'll give you a coupon for a free burger for your birthday? Just sign up online. It's great! Lewis ans his mom and I went and cashed in on that benefit yesterday.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want to...

...But I don't want to!

I love birthdays. It's when everyone calls and tells you how much they love you and it just feels so nice to be loved. I love love. And, apparently, attention.

Speaking of love Lewis and I love surprising each other and birthdays are the best opportunities for doing that (scaring each other in the shower with cold water is equally opportune). I was really sneaky a week and a half ago with all of his birthday presents and he has been equally sneaky this week. As much as we drive each other nuts taunting each other about the upcoming presentations of gifts, it's a lot of fun. I like us.

Anyway, he gave me my "big" gift last night because it was from him and his parents and since there's a home game tonight, I don't think we're going over to their house again. (PS, how lucky am I that I get to go to a BYU football game on my birthday? It's the bomb-diggity.)

So the gift was.... a Kitchenaid! Dum dum da dum!!! For the past year or so, I've been using my sister's mixer, but she asked for it back so we were left without. Also, Kitchenaids are amazing. I am so excited to use mine and to bake and bake and bake. (Of course, with my workload the way it is, that baking might not occur until Christmas break.) Lewis is especially excited because A) he gets to reap all the benefits of my baking, and B) he can just get me attachments for my Kitchenaid for every birthday and Christmas from here on out. Win-win-win.

(This is my Kitchenaid, bowls, digital timer, and all!)

'Smatter of fact, my Kitchenaid came with a freecv attachment, but I have to pick between a meat grinder and a vegetable slicer (which I found out can also slice hard cheese). Any suggestions from the peanut gallery would be welcome. Although, I did get some monies from my parents for today (thank you, thank you, thank you) so maybe I'll get both.

Pretty much, this is turning out to be a fantastic birthday. I got to talk to my parents, brother, sister, and niece (who shares my birthday - she's three!) today, and I loved it all.

So... yeah. If anyone wants to come over for some baked goods OR if you have a recipe you'd like to share (I love recipes. And cookbooks. The Kitchenaid came with a cookbook, which was almost as exciting for me as the Kitchenaid itself) OR both, please feel free.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October, October, October!

It's October! Even though the weather is being less than cooperative, I won't let it get me down because it's October! Do you know what October means?

Pumpkin is in style. That means: Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin carving, pumpkin seeds, and more pumpkin pie!

Tackle Football is on TV, Thursday-Monday.

Lewis warms up my side of the bed when it's cold at night.

Crunchy leaves that you don't have to go out of your way to step on.

My effing birthday. And Evie's! She'll be three tomorrow!

Lots of apple cider and hot chocolate. I need a kettle.

And last but far from least: Halloween. And everything that goes with it.

(Speaking of which, I need costume ideas. I'm going to be doing my practicum during Halloween, and I need ideas for an appropriate costume for the elementary classroom.)

The only downside of October is the fact that it is when it starts to get really cold. I say all the time how much I hate it, but (this is off the record, m'kay?) I actually do appreciate the changing of the seasons, and sort of a little bit like it when it turns cold. Shhh.

To commemorate the blessedness that is October, here is a picture of Lewis, on the night we met (Halloween '07) and Luke, who hosted the party we met at. I mean, how could I not fall for that?

Yeah. I love October.

PS: Everyone should go here to watch the video I made for my technology class, and then validate me. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too Short

Dear Weather,

I would just like to politely point out that it has been less than six months since the last time you snowed.

I saw the weather forecast for the next few days and felt it necessary to point that out to you.

On an unrelated note, Friday is my birthday and my favorite birthdays are the ones with nice, warm, lovely weather.

Love from,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Anti-Tag

Name 5 things you hate:
-Water chestnuts
-Asylum Films. They're not even so bad they're funny. They're just bad.
-Charlie horses

Name 5 pet peeves
-When people take forever filling up their water bottles in the tall water fountains. Especially when there's a line and the people in front of you refuse to use the short water fountains and you'd feel weird if you cut in line to use the short one but you're really thirsty.
-When people touch/put things on my desk. Dude.
-The faces Megan Fox makes in every picture ever taken of her. What's with the mouth hanging open thing? Is that supposed to be sexy? Hows about a smile, once in a while?
-Pedestrians who don't pay attention
-Drivers who don't pay attention

Name 5 names that you once considered for your future children, but that have now been ruined for you

Name 5 things you never considered studying
-Political Science

Name 5 things that give you the willies
-Fingernails on a chalkboard
-Mannequins - especially the ones in the Old Navy commercials
-Meal worms

Now, I tag....... no one. Especially not you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Thrilling Conclusion

Remember the cab driver who tried to stiff us? And then I thought he had gotten a hot, stinking plate of karma stuck under his nose? And then it turns out he did stiff us?

Well, when we discovered the $87 charge, Lewis called the bank who told him to call the cab company and record the conversation if he could. The cab company was really nice and told him that they would investigate the allegation (is that too strong of a word) and give the cab driver a chance to come in and tell his side of the story and then they would get back to us. Well, it's been almost 3 weeks since Lewis talked to them, and we were wondering if we were ever going to hear from them again.

But then yesterday, a check for $42 came in the mail, along with a letter that said:

"Dear Mr. Young;

Than you for letting us know about the problem you experienced. This is how we know that problems exist. It gives us a chance to take steps to correct them and improve the quality of service to our customers. I apologize for the problem you experienced on August 17, 2009. I am mailing you a money order for $42.45.

We look forward to the opportunity to provide service for you in the future.


Joyce Last Name"

I was touched, really. Especially since the cab driver did give us $20 back in cash when we told him that he had charged us too much in the first place. So that means we paid only $25 for the ride! Boo-ya. (I did feel a little bad about that for a minute, but then I thought about the whole debacle and I stopped. Feeling bad, that is.)

Lewis got really excited for a minute when he looked at the money order because he thought it was signed by the actual cab driver and that made him laugh. But then I looked at the signature and said I thought I said "Joyce" (I hadn't read the letter yet). Lewis said, "Oh. That makes more sense."

In other news, it's the first home game of the season today! Rise and shout, Cougar fans!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Is it weird that one of the reasons I want to be a teacher is so I can eat school lunches? Maybe it's because it was so rare for my mom to give me lunch money instead of a packed lunch, but I LOVED eating school lunches. And I get to do that for the rest of my life. Seriously. Little cartons of chocolate milk that I never got the hang of opening properly, every day.

It's only elementary school lunches, really. Lunch at my high school tried to hard to be hip and give the people want they wanted, or what the Prince William County School District believed we wanted, anyway. What I actually wanted was frozen lasagna and fruit churros, not underbaked pizza, thankyouverymuch.

Also, the smell of baking bread in the morning at schools makes me happy. When I was doing my internship for MFHD at Farrer last winter, I would smell the bread baking in the hallways and my mind would be flooded with memories of happy times in elementary school. And then my mouth would water and my stomach would grumble and I'd get really bitter that I was only at Farrer in the mornings and had to go back to BYU before lunch. Lame-o.

Yeah, go 'head and said it. I already know I'm a nerd.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Dear girl sitting at the table across from me,

You don't bug me, but if I can clearly make out the lyrics to the song you are listening to on your iPod from all the way over here, you might want to reconsider the volume you've selected. Seriously.

Honestly, we'd all win if you did that. No one in this room would be subjected to your annoying teenybopper cheese fest anymore and you would save yourself from going deaf in the next five years. And I'd have one less thing to complain about!


Thanks. You're a pal.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

SO! The new school year has begun. Campus is especially full this week as everyone buys their textbooks, participates in Welcome Week events, and figures out which classes it's okay to skip the rest of the semester. The Wilkinson Student Center (where I am gainfully employed) is particularly full as it is something of a central hub for campus. The Bookstore, Cougareat, and BYUSA office are just some of the many things found in this building, all of which seem to attract an abnormally large amount of students this time of year - especially those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed younglings we all know as freshmen.

With the new school year comes new year's resolutions, the evidence of which can be found all over campus. The past two mornings as we've walked to school, Lewis and I saw dozens of joggers out. Normally we see maybe four or five, but dozens?! Similarly, the Bookstore sold out of salads in record time yesterday, leaving only pizza and fresh baked cookies for those who came seeking lunch later in the day (darn it!). Clearly, there are many who have resolved to live healthier lifestyles this year.

Likewise, I am sure there are many students who've resolved to study harder this year to get even better grades. Have you ever noticed when you purchase a used textbook that the first few chapters are diligently highlighted and marked up, but there is nary a tick mark on the last few chapters? Yeah. That's a harder resolution to keep.

Today, as I was running the gauntlet this afternoon through what is known as the third floor of the Bookstore (textbooks and computer) on my way to work, I found myself getting annoyed. How dare all these people be in my way! Why can't they spend hundreds of dollars on pricey texts and fancy electronics when I am not headed to my office?

Similarly, I found myself inwardly groaning during my first class yesterday. I just started my first semester cohort in the elementary education program. As you may be aware, the elementary education program consists of mostly girls. As in, it's an anomaly to have even one boy in a class. This is particularly problematic for me as I don't get along with girls as well as I probably should seeing as I am, you know, a girl. They tend to bug me with their fashion accessories and their voluminous hair and their general perkiness. Especially at 8 o'clock in the morning. Gosh!

And then I realized... It's easy to be bugged by freshmen boys who stop dead right outside a high-traffic door to put something in their book bag or peeved at the girl who giggles rather shrilly at a lame joke the teacher tells to grab everyone's attention. It's really, really easy. But what's the point? It just makes life harder for me. It's not like they know they're doing anything wrong, even if I do occasionally shoot them a dirty look (I don't).

So I decided to take a leaf out of my jogging and salad-eating and study harding peers. I would make a new year's resolution for myself! Here it is, all official-like:

I, Alyssa Lucille Young, resolve to stop being bugged by the people around me.


I once had a religion teacher who told us that a good way to live more like Christ is to say in your head about every person you meet, "I love you." Now, I don't think I'm quite up to that level of appreciation for the people around me, but I think "You don't bug me" is a nice start.

Don't worry, dear readers. Whether you like it or not, I will be updating you on the successfulness of this resolution. Unless I forget.

Monday, August 31, 2009

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Well, it looks like summer is over and school has begun. I've already had two whole classes so far and they both went very well. So far, I am enjoying this semester.

I figured I should write a post to tell you all about our summer vacation. All two weeks of it. Now, as far as you faithful readers are concerned anyway, you already know that we spent the first week of our sum vac (briev lang) at Disneyland. But that still leaves a whole nother week (that's right. I said it, Lewis). And I'm sure you are all just dying to know what we did. Well, here it is:

Yep. We watched 24. Season 3, to be exact. That's it. That is how we spent our summer vacation. Now you know, the tension is over, you can breathe normally again. Clearly, we capitalized on our time off.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Spoke Too Soon

It looks like I jumped to conclusions. Yesterday we checked our bank statement and discovered that $87 had been taken out of our account from the Long Beach Yellow Cab Company. Where the number 87 came from is beyond me. Alls I know is that I am beyond angry about it. Frankly, I'm appalled at how dishonest that little twerp of a taxi driver is. Appalled!

Lewis is working with the bank and the cab company so we can get our money back. Hopefully it'll all work out. Cause for reals, yo. I'm really, really mad.

In other news, we figured out what that mysterious seven dollar charge was, that I had previously attributed to the taxi ride. We got a locker for our stuff on our first day at Disneyland and I didn't write down the charge because I was just keeping track of our food budget. My bad! It was a great moment when I solved the mystery of the seven dollar charge, though. I was ready to run out of the shower, soaking wet and with my hair all shampoo-y to tell Lewis because I was so excited. But then I listened to the reasonable side of my brain.

But seriously! What a jerk of a cab driver. He may have made me lose my hope in humanity for his dishonesty. Okay, not really, but still. I hate to say this but I kind of hope he loses his job over this. Maybe I didn't mean that. Maybe I did, but I would feel a little, tiny bit guilty if that actually happens. More'n likely we'll just be out the money he charged us. For now, I'm just sending bad karma vibes his way. Or angry thoughts anyway. Gosh!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


You may be surprised to find out that we ended up with a surplus after our Disneyland trip. We decided that the best thing to do would be to keep the surplus where it is and start saving for our next grand adventure - wherever that may be. True, it helped that Nancy from Cleveland, Ohio saved us $60, but we actually ended up with a surplus larger than $60. The rest of the surplus came from our food budget and potentially from our transportation budget. Allow me to explain.

As I mentioned in my previous post, our taxi driver tried to stiff us. And, if you recall, I said that the charge for $72 has not gone through yet. Well, last night, we were balancing our checkbook from the trip, and marking off all the charges that had gone through. Everything was checked off the list except for the cab ride, but there was also an unknown charge for $7. All we could tell from the charge was that it came from somewhere in Anaheim and was paid on Monday, August 17th. We googled the name on the description, but nothing came up.

I got just the teeniest bit worried about it because what if someone had stolen our credit card? But then I thought about how absurd that thought was. We were both still in possession of our cards, and I suppose someone could have gotten a hold of the number, but, really, who steals a credit card to spend seven dollars? I mean, if you are hurting that bad for seven bucks, I'll give you seven bucks.

So we called the bank, thinking that maybe they would have more information on who exactly charged our card. They didn't, but they did tell us that the charge went through at 10:54 Utah time, which would be 9:54 California time, which was right about the time we paid the taxi driver.


I guess that's the best answer we have right now. The cab driver meant to charge us $72, but he only charged us $7, which means we actually made $13 from the transaction because he gave us $20 back in change. I hope that's what happened. It would serve him right for trying to stiff us.

The bank also told us that there are some extra hoops people have to jump through when they try to charge a card more than a week after the card has been swiped, so we'll know if he tries to charge us the full amount. Just in case, though, we'll be sure to always keep at least $72 in that account.

In any case, don't you just love it when karma works in your favor?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Disneyland 2009 - the Good, the Great, and the Ugly

As you all know, no doubt, we just got back from our anniversary celebration at Disneyland. In a word, it was awesome. In several words, here are the highlights and the lowlights:

Highlights -

*Nancy, the lady at the ticket booth from Cleveland, Ohio got us a great deal on our tickets. We got two-day passes from Lew's parents' credit card reward points and we wanted to upgrade them to four-day passes. Well, Nancy pulled some strings, saved us sixty bucks, and gave us a Magic Morning (meaning we could get into the park an hour before it opens officially on one of the days).

*Pirates of the Caribbean was the very first ride we went on and it just may be my favorite of all the rides. I love me some pirates.
*Minnie Mouse ears for me and a backwards Pluto hat for Lewis.*The fact that fastpasses can be used any time after it says to use them is not understood by many people, but is understood by Lewis and me.
*We met several really neat people while we were in line including
-Blake, a little kid going on the Indiana Jones ride by himself, while his parents waited at the exit. We rode in the same car as him and Lewis screamed the whole time. After we got off the ride, Blake informed Lewis that he shouldn't do that next time because "you spooked me!"
-A Canadian family that was comprised of some of the most polite people I've ever met. We were surprised when they told us they were from Canada because they had Indian accents/looked like they were from India. But I've never been to Canada.
-A group of little kids that rode the Grizzly River Run with us. Our boat was so light, we just spun in circles the whole ride.
-A UCLA fan who we joked with about the "schlacking" BYU gave UCLA at the football game last year. His words, not mine.
-The little girl in front of us on Star Tours who asked her parents if it was really just a movie. They said yes, but then she asked, rather fearfully, "then why are there seat belts?" Apparently, she had just ridden, and was less than pleased with, the Tower of Terror.
-TONS of BYU fans. We're everywhere you want to be.

*We went to Mickey's house. And only stood in a five minute line to meet him. And we got a picture with him. And an autograph. And then Lewis did an impression of him and he got mad and gave Lewis a surprisingly dirty look considering his face can't change expressions so well. But then he forgave Lewis when he told him it was our anniversary. Then Mickey gave me a hug and all was well.
*Most of the cast members we passed wished us a happy anniversary (we were given buttons to wear, so they knew). If they could, they asked how many years we were celebrating. After we told one cast member that it was our first anniversary he snorted and said, "For our first anniversary, my wife and I went to In-N-Out Burger."

*The happiest (and tastiest!) corn dogs on earth. Also, a really good caramel apple with white chocolate and cinnamon.*Fantasmic and fireworks. 'Nuff said.

*Riding Splash Mountain seven times and riding Indiana Jones at least that many times. Have I mentioned that I love fastpass?
*Paying attention to the Ridemax tip that told us to hover by the Magic Morning entrance (on the day we didn't use it) (Magic Morning is only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays) because it changes over to a regular entrance at 8 o'clock. Best. Advice. Ever. We showed up at 7:57 and the lines to get into the park stretched almost all the way over to California Adventure, but we were first in line and hence got on Space Mountain at 8:06.*Our hotel was less than a quarter mile from the main entrance. We went home every day and took a two hour nap, no problem.

*Jedi Training Academy. Just for Lewis.*We stood in the single rider line for Toy Story and then got to ride it together anyway. Thank you to the nice lady in front of us who let us go ahead when they were looking for two single riders.
*Also, Toy Story Midway Mania is a freaking sweet ride.

*Getting stuck on the Indiana Jones ride right at the end and then getting to ride it all over again without getting off.
*Getting a private cruise around the world on It's A Small World. When the cast member said she was letting us go by ourselves, I thought she meant we would be getting our own row on the boat. But no, we got our own boat cause it was our anniversary. Less awesome was the fact that they started adding more boats throughout the ride while we were on it. Imagine seeing the boat in front of you, full of happy and laughing people one second and then the next second the boat in front of you is empty and so is the one behind you. Where did all the people go? Are we next?
*Did I tell you that we met Mickey? Because we did.

*We saw these two people.

*Finding hidden Mickeys on all the rides and all over that park. That was fun.

*Getting to ride in the ONLY boat in the Jungle Cruise that has a hidden Mickey in the first place.

*We rode Autopia the only time that it's not lame - right at 8 o'clock, before the line grows to ridiculous.
*We rode all but four rides in Disneyland (not including California Adventure, because we didn't care about a lot of the rides there): Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Astro Orbiters, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, and Gadget's Go Coaster. The only one of those we even considered riding was the Astro Orbiters, so we're good.

*Peter Pan was the last ride we rode. This is especially cool because it was the first ride we rode last year when we came with Daniel, Mary, and Becca. And the next time we go to Disneyland it'll probably be A). a long time from now and 2). when we have kids, so it won't be the same. Peter Pan opened and closed an era, really. Unless we go next year with all the Youngs. In that case, never mind. Maybe we'll ride it last then too.

As we all know, there is opposition in all things, even in Disneyland. The lowlights -

*Our cab driver from the airport to our hotel tried to stiff us. He (and the guy assigning people to taxis) told us that it was a flat rate of $45 to get from the airport to Disneyland. Also, there was a sign in his car, located right in front of my face that said that same thing. And then we got there and he ran our card for the $72 racked up on the meter. When we cried foul, he tried to tell us that the flat rate was for cash only. We told him, no, that's not what the guy at the airport said and that there was a sign right there that said different. He acted all confused like and then asked if it was okay to give us cash back as a refund. And then he had the nerve to ask us how much we wanted to give him as a tip! I was about to tell him zero dollars, but we really wanted to get in the park so the jerk ended up getting a $7 tip cause he "only had a 20". Yeah, right. However, the $72 charge has yet to go through, so maybe he did that wrong and it'll never go through. Would serve him right, the scammer.

*Zicam did me nothing! I got the cold on Monday and was technically sick all week. I didn't let it hold me back, though. I mean, it wasn't that bad of a cold, but that freaking Zicam was worthless. Don't worry, I'll be getting the best of Zicam yet.

*We thought we got away from EFY by leaving BYU. But then an enormous group of EFY counselors showed up at the park together, doing the same cheers as they did back in Provo. What the what?

*It was the first week that annual passholders could use their annual passes, so the park was filled to the brim. I shouldn't complain too much about that, though. We never stood in a line longer than 40 minutes, and only one that was that long. It was Toy Story, if you're wondering, but not the single rider line.
*A lady ran over my pinky toe with her stroller.

*I dropped my bag on Lewis' foot on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but he got me back by raising his arms right before we went around a sharp corner and thus sliding into me and squishing me against the cart wall. Touche.

*The Blue Bayou stopped serving key lime pie. Their key lime pie was the only reason we even went to the Blue Bayou! Also, I learned that I don't like creme brulee.

*We had to leave.

When all is said and done, I don't really have much to complain about. It was a ridiculously awesome, fantastic - nay, fantasmic! - trip that we will remember forever and tell our kids about when we can't afford to take them to the park, just to rub it in. I'm sure there were even more great things that happened on the trip, but this is a mighty satisfaction list, isn't it?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh Zicam, How I Loathe Thee

As I'm sure you all know, because we've been talking about it for nine months or so, we're going to Disneyland. Like, tomorrow. Well, okay, not until Monday, but still. Really soon. And we're really, really, really excited about it. Really. We've got everything planned out and we even purchased a cool little program to help us maximize our Disneyland experience (details on that program are forthcoming, after we decide if it was worth the $15 or not).

So, naturally, when Lewis started feeling sick the other day, we got a little worried - how would a cold effect our Disneyland experience? We have literally been planning this trip since we got home from our honeymoon. It had better be the bomb-diggity.

Nevertheless, Lewis was sick. Not so sick that he couldn't do anything, but sick enough that he was somewhat miserable. And what's the best way to get rid of a cold? Self-medicating, of course!

Lewis had heard some good things about Zicam, and how it's supposed to minimize symptoms and help you get over colds quicker. When Lewis told me he was going to purchase some, and that I should take some too, just in case, I was all for it. No problem, I thought. I can swallow a pill and be a-okay.

Well, apparently, Zicam doesn't come in pill form. No, no. Zicam comes in the form of nasty strawberry hate chews.

Seriously, those things are gross. They look all innocent and Starburst-like. They even don't smell half bad. You know how sometimes cough syrup smells like wintergreen but then tastes like death? That's what Zicam cold remedy chews are like.

You put one in your mouth and start chewing. The first couple chews are okay, it tastes like a cheap Starburst substitute, that some people give out on Halloween because they didn't buy candy until the last minute and that's all that was left. But then you have to keep chewing. And that's when the gag reflex kicks in, because no one in their right mind would want to swallow the taste that has now overwhelmed their mouth. If people made chalk into a chewy candy, I imagine it would taste like this. Or, if you have ever held a pill like Tylenol on your tongue for a bit before swallowing it, it tastes like this. Except worse. Oh, so much worse. Because Zicam is chewy, it's little chewy nastiness get stuck in your teeth. And lots of saliva is produced that you can't just spit out, no. You have to swallow. And all the while, you have an overwhelming desire to spit the whole lot in the toilet.

The first time you take a Zicam, you think you can now guzzle down a whole pitcher of water to expunge the wretched taste from your palate. But then your husband tells you that you're not allowed to eat or drink anything for fifteen minutes after finishing the chew. And that makes you want to punch Zicam in its little orange face for punishing you further. Why can't you eat or drink anything for fifteen minutes, you ask? Because Zicam is sadistic and hates you.

On their website, Zicam describes this product as a "Cold Remedy Chewable that comes in a delicious strawberry flavor chewable square and shortens the length and severity of the cold." Now, if it truly does that (shortens the length and severity of the cold) and we can have the wicked awesome Disneyland trip we've been saving for for so long, I won't say another word against it. But if it turns out that all this taste bud suffering was for naught, it'll be time to lay the smack down on Zicam. I'm thinking toasting the chews over a fire and then squishing them in the dirt will be sufficient.

Monday, August 10, 2009

This Is Why I Like My Boss

So, a guy (named Jamie James) in my office came walking over wearing a freaking Utah hat. My boss, Jim, who is, like me, a die-hard BYU fan, tried to flip the hat off Jamie's head. A conversation about wearing a freaking Utah hat at BYU ensued. Here are some highlights, for your enjoyment.

Jim: "Wearing that hat at BYU is like wearing Catholic robes to the temple."

Jim: "It's not just that everyone hates it. It's distasteful. And disrespectful."

Jim: "How about you come with me when I go visit football practice in an hour. You can stand right outside the locker room before they all run out. I guarantee at least one of them will punch you in the mouth. Yeah, come with me!"

Jamie then called Jim an instigator, saying he just likes to start fights.
Jim: "You call me an instigator when you're wearing a hat like that? That's like me calling someone fat!"

Jamie explained that his brother is going to play football for Utah, so that's why he was wearing the hat. Jim asked if his brother ever beat up on him.
Jamie: "Please. I'm Jamie James!"

Basically, it was one of the more better conversations I've participated in at my job (this all happened at my desk. Lewis was there too). It's even better if you know who Jim and Jamie James are.
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