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!
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