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.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This Is Why We're Like This

"I'm really glad we park next to a Lexus. Cause anyone who is going to break into a car will break into a Lexus before a 4runner."

"I wish we had a motorcycle to ride around the country on. But I want a bus more."

Lewis said both of those things as I drove him to Home Depot today. They were a nice reminder of why I married him.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Tale of the Defrosted Food

Recently, my life has been pretty boring during the day. Summer classes have ended so I spend eight or nine hours at my desk every day just, you know, doing my job. It's good times, but it can get a bit tedious after a while. Basically, I just spend my time counting down until it's time to go home and the excitement can begin. Or whatever.

Usually "the excitement" is a positive thing. Like taking a hike or going out to dinner. Those are positive things we have done in the past when I get off work. But yesterday, "the excitement" was very, very negative. Oh my, was it ever!

First, some background. The last time we went shopping, we got a big, val-u pak of Hot Pockets. We stuck the box in the bottom of our freezer, with the opening out, for easy access to the sandwichy goodness. I have been taking the Hot Pockets with me to work every day, to enjoy for my lunch. Yesterday, I took the last Hot Pocket in the box and, feeling it unwise to leave an empty box in the freezer (why does cardboard need to be frozen?) I took the box out and put it in the trash. Please remember that I said we had placed the box in the bottom of our freezer.

Nine hours later, I have ten minutes left before I get off work and I get a call from Lewis. "Did you get something out of the freezer this morning?" he asks. "Yes..." I say. "Why?"

As it turns out, when I shut the freezer, it didn't close as tightly as it should have. And since I had pulled a big box out of the bottom, the other contents of the freezer had shifted around a bit, and a carton of ice cream had tumbled to the front, pushing the freezer door open further, and making it stay like that. For nine hours.


I get home a little while later, and survey the damage. The good news was, most of our stuff was either frozen enough that it stayed frozen all day (like all of our ground beef, thank goodness) or could be refrozen and be just fine (like our butter and pre-cooked hot wings). But there were a few items we had to throw out (like the solitary creamsicle, sitting in the door) and a few we needed to eat ASAP (like our (luckily) almost-empty bag of chicken and our frozen dinner rolls) (there were twenty rolls left).


First thing first, I got the dinner rolls ready. They are supposed to rise a bit before baking, but I was in a bit of a bind. They normally take three or four hours to rise (it was probably 5:30 by now), but there is a quicker method that takes one and a half hour. However, things were complicated by the fact that the rolls were already defrosted. So I decided to do the quick method, but just keep an eye on the rolls so I knew when they would be ready to bake.

The quick method involves preheating the oven to 200 degrees and placing a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven. Sounds simple, right? Well, after I poured the boiling water from the pot into the pan, I picked up the pan to put it in the oven and the pan slipped, sending boiling water all over my hand and the dish rack of drying cups. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Miraculously, I escaped the incident with only a few small burns on my hand (which don't even hurt any more), and none of the glasses cracked. However, I was already really ticked off at myself for leaving the freezer door open all day and that combined with my seriously overactive tear glands, I started to cry. Luckily, I have a great husband who just gave me a hug while I sniffled and tried not to laugh at me, which was very nice because I'm sure the whole incident was hilarious to watch.

With Lewis' help, the rolls were placed successfully in the oven, and I turned my attention to the chicken. I got a new cookbook last week (Hershey's Recipe Collection. We're going to get so fat), and I hadn't had the chance to try it
yet, so I pulled it out. There were some recipes for dinners that use cocoa, one of which involved boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (what we had), so voila. However, the recipe also involved some ingredients we didn't have. So, I charged Lewis with the task of keeping an eye on the rolls and off to the store I went!

I decided to just go to the Creamery on 9th, because it's closest and if they didn't have everything I needed, I would just have another excuse to continue in my bad mood. Plus parking there sucks, so that's one more point for bad mood Lyssa. Sho 'nuff, none of their six spots were free so I had to park in the lot across the street. Check one for the mood.

Amazingly, they did have everything I needed and it was all relatively inexpensive, so that actually made me pretty happy (although, if anyone is in need of some cilantro, we've got a ton. It was 50 cents for a bunch, and apparently one "bunch" was their entire stock). I also got some chili powder, tomatoes, garlic, an avocado, and green onions. And then I went home and started cooking.

I began to combine ingredients, but when I got to the chili powder, I noticed that there was no safety seal. The seal had been tampered with. And everyone knows you're not supposed to mess with food that has a tampered with safety seal. It could be poisoned.

Every time I've opened a safety-sealed food container, I've thought about how exciting it would be to purchase a food item with a tampered with safety seal. Maybe a hazmat team'll come swooping in and destroy my safety-sealless food item like they destroy the sock in Monsters, Inc.

But it wasn't exciting. It sucked. I had to go back to the store.

As I was driving home again, I got to thinking. The only thing I had purchased that would have a safety seal in the first place was the chili powder. None of the vegetables were safety sealed. Who's to say they're not poisoned? So far, it would appear that they are not, but I'm sure I'll be eating more vegetables in my life.

Anyway, Lewis and I finished making dinner, and it turned out okay, although I have some changes I will be making to that recipe. Nothing needs a whole tablespoon of salt, I don't care if you are a Hershey's recipe.

The rest of the day was good. We went to Sundance with Lewie's parents and took a full moon ski lift ride. And then, when we got home that night, and I was doing my Google Readering, I came across this article, which reminded me that as stupid of a mistake I made with the freezer that day, at least we didn't get scammed by someone in Nigeria. Also, I've never written anything in my educated life that involved spelling a pluralized last name three different ways (if you take a gander a the article, you'll find that KSL spelled the last name of the family involved "Coxes" "Cox's" and "Coxs'," - all when "Coxes" was correct). Way to go KSL. Thanks for making me feel good about myself and the successfulness of my education. I may say things like "sho 'nuff" and "successfulness" but at least I know how to pluralize a proper noun.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I cannot begin to express how very thankful I am that I have such a diligent husband. He didn't listen to his friends who just said he should get them another day. He didn't give up and come back later when the server was overloaded and no one could get on the website. No... he hit refresh over and over and over until let him on to buy our All Sports Passes.

Without which we would be lost forever.

Because the tickets sold out in just three and a half hours.

And now there are loads of angry people stuck with the crappy nose-bleed tickets (better than nothing, though!).

And we'll have great seats at every stinkin' home football game this year. Florida State, TCU, freaking Utah... we'll be there.

I love you, Lewis.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All or Nothing

Last week, my nephew Max did something for me. I don't remember what it was, but I do remember that I offered him a dime for doing it.

Tonight, I remembered I owed him that money. But all I had were quarters, so I decided to give him one of those instead. He got really excited when he saw the money and grabbed for it eagerly.

But then his mom said, "That means you have to pay two pennies for tithing."

Max thought it over for a minute, and then handed the quarter back to me and said, "Never mind." If he was going to get money he most certainly did not want to have to give any of it up. I tried to explain to him that he would still have 23 pennies left over, but to no avail. He wanted it all or he wanted none of it.

Basically, I can't wait to have kids. It'll be great. Just great.
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