Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alyssa Recommends

Time Warp, on Discovery Channel. It's insanely awesome. They film stuff like a mouse trap going off on someone's tongue or a plank of wood going through tempered glass on high speed cameras and then slow it way down so you can see all the details.

Today's episode featured a dude using a chainsaw to carve a hummingbird out of a tree, cut open fruit as it flies through the air, cut the tops off of a row of beer bottles, try to slice through a radiator, and carve the phrase "Time Warp" out of a block of ice Also, Metallica came and played in that special way they do for the show. If you've never seen the cymbals being played from a high speed camera, you haven't lived.

Basically, Discovery Channel is just plain high quality. Today's episode of Mythbusters featured viral videos from YouTube. Like, have you seen the one with the huge Lego ball rolling down a street chasing a wannabe Indiana Jones until it runs into a car, leaving behind no damage? Yeah, me neither. But I don't get YouTube on campus, what's your excuse? Anyway, the video claimed they used 5 million Legos for the feat. But the Mythbusters busted it wide open. A Lego ball of that size takes only 1 million Legos. Also, it falls completely apart in an amazing way (which they
showed a la Time Warp) shortly after it starts rolling.

(By the way, if you want to check out some amazing Lego art, visit Nathan Sawaya's site. He lent the Mythbusters another 500,000 Legos, when they ran out of the ones Lego gave them)

Pretty much, you should be cool like me and watch these shows.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


A very happy anniversary to my parentals: bringing awesome together since 1981.

And a belated happy anniversary to Stuart and Benjamin too.

Things I Learned at Lagoon

1. Disney has not yet noticed that Lagoon ripped off one of the lines from Pirates of the Caribbean for their Terroride.
2. If you are bleeding from the head profusely, you should sit down.
3. Teenage girls who leave the line right before getting on the free fall Rocket ride will be made fun of by complete strangers.
4. Funnel cake doesn't really change its shape during digestion. Just its color and viscosity.
5. I don't care if Kanye and Paris wear them. Shutter shades are stupid.
6. When you go to check out the pair of tigers Lagoon has in a cage for your viewing pleasure, they roar at each other in a menacing fashion, and almost get into a real cat fight, you will worry when you come back and they are gone.
7. The first aid station gives out band aids with Taz on them.
8. Lagoon really ought to properly train their employees on the credit card machine before leaving them to man the ice cream shoppe on their own.
9. If you are dumb enough to go on the Rattlesnake Rapids in 40 degree weather, you deserve to be shot by a 25 cent water pistol. Lagoon should understand this and make sure their 25 cent water pistols are in good repair.
10. It's rather pathetic when your hands are so cold that you turn mood rings and necklaces black. I could only get my old mood necklace to go black when I put it in the freezer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


SO! I'm done with the semester. I can't tell you how pleased I am. Pleased as punch, really. Right now, I'm sitting in the McKay Building Tec Lab while Lewis studies. He's ignoring me, but for some reason he said I should stay. Some of that quality time married couples always take part of or something. Whatevs.

Anyway, I noticed something today, as I was taking my last exam. First, though, a small sample of background information: I've always been a little obsessive-compulsive. Maybe not enough to call it a disorder, per se, but still. A little.

So back to my exam. It was one of those tests where you're given x number of topics and you're supposed to write everything and anything you know about them. For this particular test, we were given a list of twenty or so topics beforehand, and we got to pick whichever five we wanted to write about. Most people aren't big fans of this method of assessment, but I don't mind it. I seem to do pretty well on it anyway. My biggest problem, however, is remembering the specific names of the people involved in the topic, in this case, the experimenters. To combat this, I took one last look at all the names right before the test started, and then typed them all in at the top of the page (my professor lets us use our laptops for the exams). With the names, I included a word or two indicating which experiment went with each name.

This is what I wrote:
Repacholi and Gopnik - food preferences
Chandler, Fritz, and Hala - deception
Wimmer and Perner: hidden treat
Meltzoff and Moore - neonatal imitation

And so on.

But then I noticed that for Wimmer and Perner, I had used a colon (:) instead of a dash (-). I know what you're thinking. Big whoop! Who cares? Well guess what, you insensitive jerk! I do. I care so much that I had to go back and replace that colon with a dash, even though I was going to freaking delete that whole section of information when I was done with the test. I care so much that I am considering deleting this whole post because I can't stand to see such an incongruity, especially when I know I caused it. I care so much because I'm freaking OC if not D!

That's right, Lewis. You married a crazy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snow Day

Tuesday night Lewis and I enjoyed each other's company listening to the pouring rain with the window open. It was delightful! And also quite relaxing.

Wednesday morning we continued to enjoy the rain as we lay in bed well past the time we should get up.

Wednesday afternoon the rain turned into wet, sticky snow.

Wednesday evening we went over to Lewis' parents' house to watch Flash Gordon with his brother. Throughout the duration of the movie, the snow continued to fall and began to accumulate quite rapidly. By the time we left to go home, the roads were so bad we decided to turn around and go back.

Wednesday night we slept at Lewis' parents' house.

Thursday morning we woke up to a foot of snow on the ground.

Thursday is today, April 16th. Almost a month after the spring equinox.

Whiskey. Tango. Hotel?

Okay, Weather. Fine. You win. Over the past few months I've been trying to tell you how you should behave, only to be met with steadily worsening conditions. Clearly you've been trying to prove a point. I mean, how dare I tell you how to go about your business? It's not my place. I should be bowing down to your magnanimous power, not sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong. I get it now. I've learned my lesson. You win, Weather. You win. Touché.

For my readers' delight, here are some pictures from this morning, taken by my cell phone:

My in-laws' deck at 0700 hours.

The tree in their front yard. Lots of snow and
blossomed trees do not a good combination make.

See those little bits of yellow poking through?
Probably not. This is where my father-in-law
planted his now poor, frozen daffodils.

A slightly more fortunate tree across the street.

And for my own delight, here's an absolutely charming picture of Lewis:

After taking out his contact lenses for the night and
subsequently becoming blind, Lewis discovered that
his dad's eye prescription is quite similar to his own.

In other news, does anyone else find it heartily hilarious that the one day of the school year that could qualify as a snow day under Provo School District standards (a foot after midnight) happened during spring break?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Silk Tie-Dyed Eggs

When the time came to dye Easter Eggs, we decided to do something different. Instead of using the Paas dye tablets dissolved in vinegar, we used neckties. Silk neckties to be exact, cause other materials don't work.

Step 1: select a necktie.
Step 2: cut a piece of the necktie, big enough to completely cover the egg.
Step 3: wrap the egg in necktie material (print side down), and wrap that in a piece of white cotton fabric (such as a pillowcase or sheet). Secure with a rubber band or twist tie.
Step 4: put wrapped eggs in a pot, fill with enough water to cover the eggs plus two tablespoons of vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 5: do NOT smell the boiling eggs, especially if you purchased the ties at DI, because they will stink. Really, really bad.
Step 6: wait patiently.
Step 7: unwrap and enjoy!Jealous?

The End.

Today is the last day of my internship. To say goodbye to all of my kids has been pretty sad. As far as some of them go, I am really quite ready to say goodbye. But for a lot of them, I'm not happy at all about leaving.

On Tuesdays, I meet with this one student who, when I started meeting with her, had absolutely zero respect for anyone around her, especially those in authority. I don't feel like I've made a lot of progress with her, and we've definitely had some hard times together. Like how every time I go to pick her up she flatly refuses to go until I or her teacher tells her that she can go to the principal's office instead. Or like the time we made each other cry. But today, in our goodbye party, she did something that I never would have expected from her. She apologized. She said she was sorry for her bad behavior and that she is trying to be good. I was floored. Suddenly saying goodbye to her was a lot harder.

Another sad thing about my goodbyes is the number of students who haven't been here on our last day. One of my kindergarteners was sick, so no goodbye there. Two of my younger friendship group students just didn't show up for our meeting yesterday. And I just found out that the fourth grade is on a field trip today, so three-fifths of my older friendship group will be gone. It almost makes me wonder if my philosophy on goodbyes was right after all.

I hate saying goodbye. My family moved all the time when I was growing up and every time we left an area, I would resist saying goodbye to my friends at all costs. I'd rather just spend time with them like I always do, without any differences than have a drawn out sadness over a goodbye. I hate it so, so much. But my kids at this school are different. Many of them depend on me to be there at the same time every week. I wouldn't say that I don't think they would get along just fine with an Alyssa-style goodbye, but I do feel like I would be betraying their trust somehow if I was just all-of-a-sudden gone. And the last thing they need is cause to distrust another adult in their lives. So I will say goodbye to as many of them as I can. And I won't cry. I will not cry.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Rumors Are True!

Remember back a year or two ago when you got an email that said Bill Gates was going to start canceling Hotmail accounts, so you better forward this email on to let him know you were still alive and kicking? Well (apparently) that day has arrived.

The scene: my laptop

The crime: a missing inbox.

Tonight, after getting back home from Comedy Night Done Right (NBC on Thursdays) I pulled out my computer to complete my nightly perusal of the internet. The first site I elected to visit was You see, I desired to check my email (shocking, I know). Much to my surprise, however, was when I logged in to Hotmail, instead of taking me to my inbox, I was told I didn't have an inbox...yet:

Really, Hotmail? Huh. That's strange. Then what have I been checking all these years? Cause I thought my inbox was that place where all my received emails were stored until such a time as I elected to delete them.

Trying to solve this conundrum, I followed the link to "Sign up for Windows Live Hotmail." It took me to a screen where I could "Create [my] Windows Live ID" that looked like this:

You'll notice at the top it says, "Already using Hotmail, Messanger, or Xbox LIVE? Sign in now." Okay, I thought. Seems strange that I have to sign in twice, but whatevs. I clicked that link and it took me back to the original sign in page. Something was smelling fishy, but I kept the faith and typed in my password. Again. And you know where it took me? Right back to the "You don't have an inbox...yet" page. If you think I was starting to get annoyed, you would be correct.

After trying to sign in every possible way, and getting steadily angrier, I decided the best thing to do would be to alert Hotmail and MSN to let them know that they were having some issues. So I clicked on help, thinking there would be a simple place to leave some feedback or - even better - a customer service number to call. And wouldn't you know it? There wasn't! Instead, I got to a very user unfriendly help table of contents with topics such as "How do I monitor my child's account?" Numerous searches for a helpful link yielded zero results and their customer support website was down (probably overloaded).

I finally found a place to leave feedback, and although it was for, rather than Hotmail, I decided it would have to do. I let them know how I was feeling about whatever the heck was going on in a clear and concise manner. Essentially, I cyber yelled at them. Hey! Sometimes the best remedy for a bad situation is nothing more than a swift kick in the pants.

But you know what? You don't have to fix anything. It's all good. I didn't need those pictures of the time I spent working for the Department of Commerce in Romania. I can get by without the contact information for my mom's side of the family. And my tax return? Pffft. It's not like there's a chance the IRS might come audit me or something, right? (In the interest of avoiding an unnecessary comment, don't worry, Mom, I have a paper copy of the return. You may direct your comment to another item in this blog)

The truth is, Hotmail, you've been steadily declining for quite some time now. I don't know if you're trying to be the new black or something, but come on. You're an email provider. Not a social networking site. Stop trying to be one. Every few weeks, the all new Hotmail comes along and the changes bug me every time. I've been with you, Hotmail, since the beginning. Those were happier, simpler times.

So here's the deal: you give me back my emails, I'll collect the information I need from them, and then I'll be on my way. I've slowly been using Gmail more and more anyway. The changes they make are actually improvements and - even better - they're optional.

Don't freak out too much, MSNBC. I'll continue to partake in Comedy Night Done Right.

And to all my beloved blog readers out there, it's aluissa at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


For dinner tonight, we cooked hamburgers over the barbecue. Do you know what that means? I mean, really, do you know what that means? Warm weather and happiness, that's what that means.

I smell like a campfire and I love it. So, so much.

Monday, April 6, 2009

People Who Have Annoyed Me Today

I've been trying to be less annoyed by stupid people. Really, I have. I forgave the person who insisted on taking the elevator down one flight while I was waiting with an overloaded cart of table tents that kept falling off. I decided the girl who filled up her water bottle at such an angle that made the other water fountain inaccessible was simply ignorant. I even refrained from throwing a dirty look at the guy who spat on the ground right in front of me as he walked past. That one was hard to do. It was really gross.

But today, I feel like being annoyed. I have the right, don't I? So, by golly, I'm going to do it! Also, I'm bored and wanted to post a blog.

To the couple making out on the lawn outside the HFAC:
Just because it's a nice day for once and you are technically under a tree doesn't mean it's okay to display that level of PDA. For goodness sake, the tree doesn't even have leaves yet to obscure you from the absolute plethora of people passing by. At least cut it out between classes when half the campus is outside.

To the fourth grader who tried to steal my cell phone:
"I was just playing with it to see if it worked so I could take it down to lost and found," is not a good enough excuse for putting your mangy paws on my phone. Also, I don't believe you.

To the girl who thought it was okay to take off her shoes and socks and leave the socks grossly on the ground in front of her while sitting in a very narrow hallway:
Dirty socks are sick, sick, sick. If you must be barefoot, at least stow the socks out of sight, like neatly inside your shoes or behind your backpack or something. Really, it is a quite narrow hallway and I do not want to be anywhere near your stinky socks. I got enough of that from an old roommate.

To the guy who left a stack of fliers at the front desk for me to put in the table tents:
Just because you told the front desk you scheduled a spot for your fliers with me does not make it true. And just because you left a professional-looking business card with your fliers does not mean I will think I made a mistake. When I said I didn't have room, I meant it.

To the people who made the mistake in the Daily Universe:
Actually, I'm not annoyed with you. Quite the opposite, in fact. Thank you very much for the laugh. Quorum of the Twelve Apostates, indeed!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools Day

I just had an appointment with a first grader. When he saw me, he said, "There's a booger hanging out of your nose. " Since I've been sick, this was entirely plausible, but as I touched my nose to check, he shouted "April fools!" He got me. He got me good.

In other news:

Dear Weather,

I don't know if you noticed, but it's April. Just thought I'd point that out to you, cause judging by the snow and ice I had to remove from my car this morning, you forgot.


Alyssa Young
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