Sunday, 13 December 2009

Mistletoe

(mum) Hollie! Are there boys in your apartment?

(me) Yes, mum.

(mum) Do you have mistletoe up?

(me) No, Mum!

(mum) well... Go and draw some then!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Finals are Nigh

There is one more day left of school, then on to finals! Of COURSE, I am far from prepared, having spent a lot of time preparing for Christmas and Germany and just life in general. I wonder what it feels like to truly be on top of everything?
I will take a minute to express to you how utterly excited I am to hop on that plane and touch down in Europe! I am SO excited. You know how when you like a boy a ton and every other minute you think of him? It's like that. I am SO excited to be done with exams and be with my family!
This year I have handmade my wrapping paper. I painted it all. My roommate laughed at me, but the joke was on my when I finished and they looked rather fantastic. Christmas is my ultimate favourite time of the year.
The other breaking news is that I AM IN CHARGE OF THE CHRISTMAS DINNER THIS YEAR! Mum said I could cook it this year- so I am thrilled. I can't wait until I have a spare moment to surf my favourite cooking sites for delectable recipes and tips. Also this will be my first time cooking a turkey from scratch. So... wish me luck! Also, please comment/ email me any good recipe ideas.
peace out.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Thanksgiving week: A Synopsis

My current mood is pensive- mainly due to Ingrid Michaelson, whose subtle tones and thought provoking lyrics are currently swimming from my earbuds at this moment in time. You know how some songs or kinds of music can just put you into one of those frames of mind? You find yourself sitting, thinking- what did I do right today? What didn't I do? What could I have said better? What could I have left unsaid? Did I have the courage to do something brilliant today? Anything so magnificent that maybe, just maybe, someone might remember it forever? I don't know why I don't live every day by asking myself these questions every morning. Perhaps I should begin such a practice. In the mean time, here is a very eclectic [as usual] accounting for some of the thought processes/ events that have happened lately.
Number one: I considered this week all of the photographs that I could be in- in the background. Not MY photographs, or my friends, or ones that I could end up being "tagged" in on facebook. But the ones that strangers take that you end up being in regardless of your concern or permission. What incredible number of family photo albums could I be in, on dusty shelves across the world? It's a scary albeit ridiculous thought to consider, yes, but... for a moment at least, humor me and consider it.
Secondly, the art of giving thanks. For it is an art, I hope you know. That was a trick- the world would have us believe that being grateful is an art- something that only talented and often educated peoples are granted. Not so. One ought to practice being grateful at every given opportunity. It is one of those moments when you will be as human as possible: in the good way, of course. Let me take the opportunity to tell you all that I am grateful today for the following: my family, as wonderfully different and genuine as they are; my brother Alastair in particular, who is serving the Lord on a full time mission. I don't know if you out there reading realize how great that kid is. I'm thankful that I have at least some inclination. My friends. Experiences good and bad and the lessons I have learned from both. The gospel of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon- an incredible book that I learn from every day. Every page is as real and true as I sit here typing. If you don't have one, you NEED one in your life- contact me and I will send you one for christmas. No joke. I'm also grateful for christmas trees, my crock pot and pancakes today.
Thirdly, christmas. Christmas shopping is perhaps the best activity on the planet. University mall just opened an incredible christmas shop that is very inexpensive, has an overwhelming cinnamon air and is officially my new happy place. We decorated our tree last night. If you live close, forget Temple Square- visit MY APARTMENT for a christmas light experience. It's beautiful. Rumor has it that if you make a wish while touching our christmas tree, it will come true. So come visit. Unless you are boy- you can come later this week, when we finally get mistletoe (wishing is something, but mistletoe might help your chances).
That's about all I have time for right now. And no photograph- sincere apologies- because I can't be bothered to locate my cord and plug it in and download and upload etc. Next time, I promise.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Movie of the Month

I'm sure I've mentioned this before- there are certain movies out there that are just inspirational. This is one of the few that makes my fingertips tingle, and writing is all I want to do. I appreciate this movie for a number of things. Firstly, it's superb writing. I have said it time and time again: there is a lot of crap out there that is in no way worthy of remembering. This script is not one of them. It is genius: realistic and optimistic of the goodness in people that we tend to forget. I appreciate the dynamic of the family: how it is focused and celebrated. The characters- each one- are beautifully sculpted and relatable. And lastly, the music is refreshing and enjoyable (props to Sondre Lerche). If you haven't seen this movie: go get it right now- pay full price if you need to, you won't regret it. If you HAVE seen it... watch it again!

Brushes With Death

I'm going to level with you, blog fans. I am quite helpless these days! Fate seems to have it in for me- and if I believed in fate I suppose that fact would scare me. I have had 3- yes, THREE- brushes with death in the recent present. First of all, in the form of an electrical scare. I was drying my hair one night, getting ready for a night out on the town with the girls. It was hot in the bathroom and I was feeling sort of dehydrated, so I ran myself a cup of cold water and proceeded to sip on said water as my head was angled in a manner that accommodated the blow- dryer. As such, water spilled directly into the mouth of the dryer, prompting very scary electrical noises, sparks etc. I fumbled frantically to switch off the dryer and flung it across to the other side of the bathroom (yes, toward the damp shower- again note my hopelessness).
The second brush with death isn't really a brush with death, but merely a brush with the thought of death. I had a bit of a health scare when certain symptoms prompted me to consider the possibility of breast cancer. Although I am very young (despite what Provo Culture tells me), I panicked a little when I considered family history of breast cancer. I got myself checked out, which was in and of itself a rather traumatizing ordeal. I had always hoped the first person to explore that territory would be a husband. Nevertheless, I chatted a mile a minute as it happened, and through ultra sound tests etc. The results of my tests were normal, and it seems that I have nothing to worry about- which is a huge relief. You might wonder why I have plastered this information all over my blog. My reason is simple: to urge you female readers to be careful and check yourself regularly! Women should check themselves at least once a month. It should take no longer than 15 minutes and is a cautionary way to make sure to stay smart. For information of how to do this, visit http://www.arimidex.com/self-exam.aspx
Thirdly, today on the way to church (giggle at the irony), the car I was in took a pretty hard hit. As sheer typicality would have it, I was the passenger to be sitting at the point of impact and, as such, am sporting a cartoon-esque bump on the head. After a quick google, I can determine that I only have a mild concussion right now- hopefully it won't get worse! The real sympathy must be lent to both drivers. I would feel awful if I hit a car, I know it!
All of this being said, you will be happy to know that I live to blog another day, as it would seem. And while we are on the subject: I realize that there is much catching up that must be done. So in a bid to keep myself from sleeping, which might not be good for me right now, I will do just that!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

In the News...

Solmali Woman Stoned to Death for Adultery
BBC World News

A 20-year-old woman divorcee accused of committing adultery in Somalia has been stoned to death by Islamists in front of a crowd of about 200 people.

A judge working for the militant group al-Shabab said she had had an affair with an unmarried 29-year-old man.

He said she gave birth to a still-born baby and was found guilty of adultery. Her boyfriend was given 100 lashes.

It is thought to be the second time a woman has been stoned to death for adultery by al-Shabab.

The group controls large swathes of southern Somalia where they have imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law which has been unpopular with many Somalis.

You Can Have Whatever You Like...

Conversation at work this morning...
Me (singing along to my ipod): You can have whatever you liiiiikkeee...
Lacey: Oh my gosh, no you can't
Me: Yes I can! T.I. says so...
Jordan: He wasn't talking to you!
Me: SHUT UP, yes he was!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

In the News...

Deputies Search for 2 Fugitives
My boss came in this morning and told me about this: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=8702655 which went down on his street last night. If you live in the nearby area, lock your doors and BE CAREFUL!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Find of the Day

Many thanks to Lacey for this one! In case you can't see it, it says "Eat, eat eat! And always stay thin! Fat- the enemy that is shortening your life- Banished! How? With [sanitized] Tape Worms (Jar packed)... Easy to Swallow!"
Hail the fifties!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY

What is the point of the Penguin? I know they're cute and all, but WHAT DO THEY DO for the good of humanity? What do they provide the human race with (because honestly humans are the superior species- and don't give me that animal loving crap. If you donate money or time to animal charities and not human charities, consider yourselves undeniably wicked)?

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

In the News...

MAN STABS HIMSELF TO AVOID WORK

We all know there are some days when you just can't face the thought of going into work. But one man in Denver took a rather extreme approach to throwing a sickie, local police say - he stabbed himself and claimed to have been attacked by three men in a ploy to get off work...

To read the rest of this story, go to http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?Man_stabs_himself_to_avoid_work&in_article_id=762403&in_page_id=2

Reminiscing... Because That's All My Mind Will Allow for...

I know that you will all think I'm lying for sure, but I will admit that lately my thought processes have revolved around me me me, and as such, my writing capabilities are restricted to, well, me.
Case and point: while writing a paper yesterday, I defined the word (as was the assignment) "spank". Today, my professor emailed me to tell me how much he liked my commentary on the different household applianced that could be used for a good hiding, including the slipper- my mother's weapon of choice.
The Americans have a saying (and as it usually goes with the Americans, it's short and leaves the unsuspecting foreigner quite puzzled): TMI. Which means, Too Much Information. Apparently my filter is not functioning.
Anyway, I am sitting here with the intent of writing a few children's book manuscripts that do not, preferably, include abduction, terrorism, poo and lying, but all I seem competent of is revisiting my childhood.
And so, it's story time!
HOLLIE'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. EVER.
Before I begin, I would like to make you all aware that the day I will soon recount marked the first day of my near seventeen year love affair with education. If I'm honest, the last year has been rocky and we're thinking of breaking up (but we probably won't, for the sake of the degrees etc). Regardless: this "first day" was the first of nine first days- and that's nine schools, not nine grade beginnings etc. Are you sympathetic yet?
I don't recall the weather or anything like that. I wasn't nervous, as most other "first day's" seemed to go, just excited. Mum did my hair as she always did, but the vibrant and pretty bows were put away for less serious matters. I had a uniform. I wore knee socks, a grey skirt, a pale blue button up shirt with stiff cuffs, a navy blue striped tie and a cardigan. My shoes were new: black and polished from Clark's. Daddy helped my with my tie and Mum took a barrage of photographs, standing by the stone fireplace, and outside too.
I didn't let go of my lunchbox until I arrived at the cloak room at the school. It strikes me how funny it is that they call it a cloak room. I guess the British cling to the old more than I'd expect. My peg had my name above it. I hung my coat (which was long and made me feel like an elegant lady) and placed my blue plastic lunch box on the bench underneath it.
The Mums stayed with us for a while as we all got our bearings. I can't say that I remember too much about this chaotic part of the day, except for a very brief flash of panic when she bent down to tell me had to go now, and I should have fun and make friends. My attention was on the sand pit that my hands were buried in.
My teacher was Mrs. Booth, which made Alastair laugh because it sounded to him like "boob". We sat on the carpet around her chair and of course I can't remember what she said or taught or read. I can just tell you that the letters of the alphabet were pasted to the wall above her head and I sat next to a girl named Janine Brown. She had a thick fringe and her blue shirt collar was askew. She wasn't as neat as me.
I wonder if elementary school teachers have the ability to see a child and just know how they will turn out. I suppose that's a very rude and insensitive thing to say- especially as, when I think about it, the likelihood of that teacher truly knowing how their little students turn out is not very great. So I guess my question is- how judgmental do you reckon these grade school teachers are?
St. Chads Primary School lasted a year and a half- the highlights of which include me playing the Queen in the class presentation of Dick Whitington and His Cat (my lines were "A cat? What is a cat?!" and "Oh, Captain! We MUST have that cat!"), my first boyfriend by the name of Christopher (or something like that), beating everyone in running on sports day, painting a blossom tree in Mrs. Faulkner's class, and remembering that the floor in the assembly hall was made of wooden slabs. I also remember playing the letter "L" in another class play which was all about the alphabet- which I praise my parents for sitting through.
It was probably the best of all the "first days". The worst was John Bamford's Primary school, when Melanie Burton, surrounded by the other girls in the class, smugly looked around and announced "all those here who have been at John Bamford's since Reception class, raise your hand." Yes, I was the only one who couldn't raise my hand, and yes, that made me feel like I was the most tragic girl in the universe. But That's another story.

A couple of disclaimers: firstly, my mother very rarely used her slipper. She just threatened us with it, really. I don't think Logan or Connor could tell you a single time they ever saw it. Alastair could probably tell you some stories though! Secondly, Melanie- if you're reading this, please know that I really don't care about how rude you were to me on my first day of school. I mean, I cared a great deal then, and it made me not want to go to school ever again, but I'm over it now. Completely.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Vent (verb)

I would just like you all to know that the purpose in my writing presently is to chastise myself sorely for my un-productivity today. I have sat in the same very hard chair in the library for close to 6 hours today, staring at my computer wondering how on earth to execute a paper and am appalled at both my lack of progress and my ability to squander away time as though it were nothing but blades of grass that nobody ever cared to walk on, look at, pick or do anything with.
And while I realize that that last sentence makes no comprehensible sense, I must go on: why, oh why, am I here, doing this, if my head is not in the game? I would very much like to have the same resources that rich time wasters have: if such were the case, I would not worry that I did not have the money to do what I wanted, when I wanted. Isn't it disgusting that you need MONEY to do STUFF these days? When did life get so complicated? I have half a mind to quit school and sit at a desk and write until I make my million in something as brainless as the Twilight series.
But then, we all know that that would be impossible because at the rate I'm going it would take me three hundred years to write even a chapter of ANYTHING because I seem to have lost my brain.
I would also like to point out to the world that one good thing happened today: I was asked to read a part of a paper I had written in class.
In retrospect, I will write to you all this time next week and say "wow. crazy week. it's over. life's good."
So really... what's my point?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

What I'm Listening to

Come Thou Fount. Alastair asked me to collect an array of different versions and whack 'em on a CD for him. It is a beautiful song.
Dream by Priscilla Ahn. Fast becoming one of my favourite songs.
The Ghost Busters theme song. Do not pretend you've never gotten down to it.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Crock Pot Love, and Other News

I know I have been atrocious and have not written in quite some time. It's not as bad as my aunt, who for the past 3 or 4 months has been insisting that a new post on her blog is just around the corner. What LIES (yes, Jules, I am now publicly reprimanding you. I am THAT sick of reading about SeaWorld, which happened a HUNDRED years ago).
Anyway. In my absence let me tell you all that I had a mini crisis/ breakdown/ what am I doing with my life type situation. My fabulous friend Haili calls it a mid-college crisis. I will spare you the details and just tell you that I stole away for the weekend, out of Provo, away from school, to recoup.
While recouping (which entails a huge bed, no alarm clocks, hallowe'en movies, my own bathroom, trick or treating children, hershey's kisses and some tragic lifetime-hallmark movies) I will say that the only complaint I did not cook. For 4 days. FOUR DAYS without cooking. I didn't cook. No cooking.
And so, when I got home on sunday night- well, I was too tired from recouping, so I didn't cook on sunday- on MONDAY night, I got straight to it. I did a pot roast for the very first time in my entire existence using the genius of the Crock Pot (girls- don't wait to register. go get one right now. Or borrow one from Lawrence Palmer, apt. 97- he has like 3). I also made pumpkin spice cookies.
Right now (wednesday) I am cooking potato soup in the Crocker. I am going to leave it on while I run out to a review for one of my classes.
Advantages of crockers: they make your house smell like a HOME. You could walk into my apartment right now and half expect your mother to walk into the kitchen. It's THAT good. Also, you can just throw whatever the heck you want in there and it will magically be done in 5 hours. Whereas this may seem like a negative aspect of the crocker, it develops a sense of patience, which I think we all need. Moral of the story: Crockers enrich both diet and humanity.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Fact of the Day

ANATIDAEPHOBIA- The fear that you are being watched by a duck.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

On My Mind

1. Snow. It finally happened. And I still need an umbrella and rainboots. Come on blog fans!
2. How wonderful my bed is. Dark Purple sheets with tan/gray linnen sounds ick, but it's really so classy. I'll post a picture soon.
3. How embarrassing it is to break down in the middle of the library. Snot, everywhere. Puffy eyes. On the plus side, I finally cried since April! Still more than I'd care for, but still. The Ice Queen is melting.
4. My strange dream that came to me last night. Devon and I went to a laundromat owned by the Mafia. They made us buy hallowe'en costumes so that we could chaperone a pool party. The Devon's mom got mad at us for going to that laundromat instead of the one she uses which is run by elves. You can see why this is STILL on my mind...
5. The monster midterm I have tomorrow.
6. Haili Gregson's musical genius. She made me a special mix CD (don't bother asking her for one because she only does this for special people... me) and I LOVE it.
7. Sweatpants. For the first time in Hollie History, I shall be attending classes in sweatpants today. I really hope I don't run into you.

Monday, 26 October 2009

A Renovation of the TV Innovative

Just a thought: it seems to be wide spread thought that there is a lot of, for lack of a better word, CRAP on TV. Having said that, let it be known that there are some shows out there that work toward ameliorating the couch potato- or at least his mind. Shows like House and Bones and Greys challenge intellectual processes as well as prompt their audience to consider ethical situations. Perhaps there should be "thought time" after such shows- a period of say 7 minutes wherein the audience may contemplate what they have seen, form an opinion on the social aspects or make goals to further understand a procedure that they saw and may not fully understand. I think we underestimate the nations natural curiosity. Shows like this cannot get such great ratings and numbers merely because of the interchangable relationships that may occur- or perhaps I am expecting or hoping for too idealistically (at least in an educational sense).
MY POINT- it's easy to vege out on the couch and be mindless about what we watch. However, it is far more productive to use such time to educate and exercise your mind.

Issues: Fat Barbie

Barbie Doll - The Perfect Figure? by: Terry Edwards

While no one will argue with the popularity of Mattel's Barbie Doll, one area that has raised its fair share of controversy over the years is her figure. Many parents from around the world have argued that Barbie's ultra-slim figure represents a ridiculous standard for a body shape. They say that many girls grow up thinking that they must have the same figure as Barbie or there is something wrong with them. While I don't take that radical of a stance, I will say that it would be quite difficult to measure up to Barbie's standards. If you take the measurements of Barbie, she would be over 7 feet tall, weigh around 125 pounds, and have a shape of 32-20-42. Of course, no woman could maintain a figure like that, but this is where the controversy stems. In addition, Barbie has a very long neck. In fact, her neck is nearly twice the size of the average woman. Her feet are also another source of criticism with many saying that Barbie's feet are only half the size of a normal womans due to foot binding. That is the practice of preventing your feet from growing by constricting them. Some have went as far as saying that the Barbie doll has caused their children to become anorexic from trying to maintain Barbie's figure. I think that may be a little extreme, but I can see both sides. In recent years, Mattel has given in a little bit on this issue and widened Barbie's waist a bit. This took place around the year 2000. Barbie now has a more proportioned waist. Regardless of what Barbie's figure looks like, or who is right or wrong on this issue, the real winner in this debate is Mattel. The added controversy and publicity only helps to fuel sales. I wonder why no one talks about Ken's figure?

Friday, 23 October 2009

This is Not a Joke

I just don't understand what kind of Editor a) hires a "writer" such as this and b) publishes and article like this...

Life

Blog fans, I have neglected you for a short time. Not the best of habits, I know. I apologize profusely. Lately I have been experiencing something not unlike senioritis- only I'm not a senior... and I'm not in high school... so my claims to this "disease" are quite unfounded. Life has just been catching up with me! Am I in the right major? Am I doing the best I possibly can in my classes? Am I balancing my time appropriately (a 3 hour nap on a Friday afternoon says "no")? Am I doing everything I should be doing right now?
I think we, as humans, like to throw ourselves into ruts every now and then. I say "throw ourselves" because, really, we cannot expect to presume that anyone other than our own selves are responsible for how our day turns out, our thought processes and our priorities; especially when we live in the sorts of societies that we do.
I feel a tremendous amount of inability and inadequacy. Why? Because I allow myself to have this small moment to wallow in before I know that I will pick myself up, brush myself off and get the heck on with it. Why then, if I have this knowledge, do I allow myself to wallow? My only answer is a feeble excuse: I'm human. If I didn't, this world would not be enough for me and I'd have surely fulfilled my life's purpose and be on to bigger and better things than humanism.
Allow me to take a detour (for your own sanity, I presume) and tell you about some other things that have happened recently.
BIKING. One glorious Sunday afternoon, after a glorious morning at church (kudos to Keith Evans for a fantastic sunday school lesson), I decided to get out of my teensy couple-filled apartment (couples aren't my favourite thing right now. Only because I'm not one...) and hopped on the bike. I found the Provo trail and followed it to the very beginning. I followed Julie Andrew's advise and started at the very beginning (it actually is a very good place to start).
I had my ipod going, and soon Iron and Wine, Busta and Coldplay had joined my feast of nature. A thousand storylines and plots came to me and life was good. I hit Utah Lake shortly thereafter. When I say shortly I mean trillions of miles later (about 10).
By the time I got home I could not feel my butt. 5 minutes later, I could feel it, and it was in major pain.
Why did I do it all again on Monday? My butt has no idea.
In other news, Haili and I spent some quality time together this week- long overdue I might add- but only after we went on a BIKE RIDE (my butt hates me). Anna and also had a friend date this week.
Work is the one thing that I quite enjoy in my day. How odd is that? I took a few escalated calls for fellow workers this week, and a few escalated emails. It used to be that escalated calls (which is a polite way of saying "customers who have their knickers in a twist") would make me shake make palms sweat. Now, however, I get excited- I crack out our list of policies and rules and hit my customers over the head with it! Just kidding. I am very polite, but very unwavering. They call me the iron fist. They don't really, but it would be cool.
And that's it. For now.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Worthy of Posting

Brought to you by Erika and the mac-a-lac.
If this picture were the last thing I saw before I died, I'd have a smile on my face until resurrection day.

Friday, 16 October 2009

'Nuff Said

http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/10/05

Thursday, 15 October 2009

On the Run...

Just a quick one while I am sitting here "studying" before my battery dies on me (though, 8 hours- nice going my young mac-a-lac)- So I am sitting here and this girl comes up to me and says "Hey! don't think this is creepy or anything but would you be interested in modeling for a face class right now?"
BLESS HER HEART I nearly hugged the little mite. However I had to tell her no because I have American Lit. in about 20 minutes. Too bad!
Wait... was this a big compliment or a big insult...

This Happened Yesterday

As is usually the case, the picture does not not do this natural miracle justice. It was probably the most vibrant rainbow I have ever, ever, EVER seen.

In the Kitchen...

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
This was tuesday night, along with green bean casserole and greek toasted sandwiches (which means you glaze the bread with vinegar and herbs). I stuffed the tomatoes with spinach, red pepper, garlic, onion, bacon, basil and sour cream. Whack it in the over, as Jamie Oliver would say, and bon apetit! (as those frenchies say).
Last night was Left-Over Night. Wednesday is the day that I don't get out of class until 8pm- hence left over night. BUT last night I had to walk home in the RAIN. Left-overs just wouldn't cut it, so I cheated: I made Cupcakes. Thanks to cupcakeblog.com I was relatively inspired.
I added chocolate pudding to the batter, along with chocolate chips. Then, once they had baked, I stuffed the centers with chocolate vanilla creamy goodness. In a word: epic.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

For Your Entertainment...

Just so you all know: I'm famous. At least, my opinion is.
Check out my slight comment in the Daily Universe:
http://universe.byu.edu/node/1640
PS. I lied.
PPS. Well, alright it wasn't a lie because AT THE TIME I was biking to school every day.
PPPS. That little reporter manipulated the heck out of my comments. I feel violated and know exactly how politicians feel now.

Bedtime Reading

It strikes me that I have not told you, my blog fans, what I am reading lately. Let me kill the suspense (I know you were all concerned about it): Due the the pure volume of reading my major requires of me, I am not currently reading anything too spellbinding for pleasure.
However, tonight I shall be reading "Aiding Developing Countries through Non Governmental Organizations, as Opposed to Directly Supplying Corrupt Governments," an essay I wrote in my freshman English 150 class. Why?
I'll admit to you all that lately I feel like I am sinking away [albeit subconsciously] from the things that once concerned me intensely. This is a tragedy of the highest degree! And so, as tonight is a non- cooking night (left-over wednesdays), I plan on re-reading past papers and essays, in order to re-evaluate my progressive mindset.
I'll give you the cliff's notes later.

Literature for the Day

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind---


Emily Dickinson speaks to me.

In the News...

Top Rwanda genocide suspect pleads not guilty

Idelphonse Nizeyimana, a former Army General and intelligence officer, is one of the top suspects for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. He pled "not guilty" in his first appearance against a U.N. court in Tanzania today.
In 1994, ethnic Hutu soldiers massacred 800,000 minority Tutsi's in just 100 days. Nizeyimana is said to have ordered the execution of the Queen of Rwanda as well as preparing the names of the 800,000 murdered.
Read the update
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE59D3JE20091014

Monday, 12 October 2009

Awkward Family Photo of the Day

Words cannot express how this photo entertains me.

Announcement!

I hereby propose offering a reward for any information about mystery fan X. If you know anything, send me an email or comment. And as I am a starving student, rewards offered will probably take the form of baked goods (don't let that desuade you- my baked treats are epic).

Friday, 9 October 2009

Movie of the Day

The Transporter. Before the bashing begins, let me just say that I utterly LOVE Jason Statham and generally, these movies entertain me no end. Partly because of the following, I won't lie.
Firstly. The sound track. The tacky, tinkly and very obvious "love" theme that slips into the scene whenever the [awful] female lead is on screen is incredibly irritating.
Secondly. The female lead. WHY is Jason, this all hunky, fast driving, mean fighting machine, going for this nasty brat??
Thirdly. The Asian villain. Does anyone else think he looks like the lunch lady you were afraid of?
Things I like? The fitted shirt he wears, and the fight scenes. And the tackiness, let's face it.

In the Kitchen...

Today was not particularly fun at school. However, I came home to Johanna and her very incredible kitchen skills! She had embarked on one of her mother's recipes: chicken enchiladas. They. Were. Spectacular!
She made them with cubed chicken, sour cream, corn tortillas, green chili's, cheese and cream of chicken soup. This is the second dish we have chowed down this week that has involved sour cream. As such, I am feeling the effects and am longing for a good work out! Regardless of the calories that we refuse to calculate, it was incredible.
As it was a friday night and we were [somehow] home alone slash dateless, we thought it only appropriate to involve chocolate and [more] creamy goodness. Enter the cheesecake plan.
We created cheesecake mastery with the help of our friends at JELLO. However, we added our own little touches. After the traditional graham cracker base, we put down a chocolate fudge layer, then the cold cheesecake, then a chocolate mouse layer that we concocted.
Do I need to describe to you how utterly delectable our cheesecake was?
Didn't think so.

In the Kitchen...


Last night Johanna and I were in the mood for potato goodness. We opted for potato casserole. It was not quite as wonderful as we would have hoped- I don't think we cooked the potato long enough- but it had potential.
6 potatoes, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1 cup chopped onion or leek (we did leek)
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
1 tsp salt
1 cup crushed cornflakes
425 degrees, 25 minutes (longer!!)

Haha of the Day

Advertisement for footsie PJs. Alastair wants some of these so I am searching for them. Thanks to Sydnee at work for sending me this link!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

In Memory of Anna...

... who is NOT dead. I just saw these and thought of her.

Breaking News!

FINALLY, someone is going public with a Twilight spoof. Get excited for Nightlight, in stores Nov. 3rd. I will be saving my pocket money for one. as well as the movie The Proposal, which comes out on TUESDAY (do the wave, wherever you are. I am serious. Do it.)!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Medical Fact of the Day

Have you ever been drifting off to sleep when suddenly your body jolts itself awake?
Basically this is the body checking that you are alive. As you fall asleep, different body processes slow down, and the brain just needs to make sure that you aren't dying.
And they say Dr. House is just a silly drama...

This is my Favourtite

My ultimate favourite book as a child. Now that I finally found it at amazon.com, I think I realize it was my favourite because of the way my mother read it to us. The storyline is really quite dark for a children's book, and would probably never get published today! However, I love Rob Lewis' work. He is truly one of the most imaginative children's book writers/ illustrators around.
Anyway, having said that: I suppose it makes sense now that my first attempts at writing for children have ended rather... violently/ disturbingly/ horrificly. Horrificly isn't a word. And now I'm rambling...
Go read this book, blans!

Song of the Day

Human, by the Killers. Turn it up.

In the Kitchen...

So my lovely new roommate, Johanna, and I have been feverishly cooking lately. On Sunday, we decided to make my mother's famous and very yummy Spaghetti Bolognese. We combined our efforts in dicing and sautéing onions, plum tomatoes and garlic, to which we added some Prego (baby steps, blog fans, baby steps!), minced beef (it's worth it to get the lean stuff- ask your butcher), and some other hebishness including, always, chives (Mum, this is my contribution/ addition).
THEN, believe it or not, we added SUGAR. Because all things nice include sugar and spice.
It was an epic attempt. The lovely Erika came over for dinner, bringing with her some wonderful sesame seed bread rolls, and we wolfed down our dinner with Parmesan Cheese which, I admit, I have finally given the "thumbs up". As long as you don't heap a whole pile of it on top of your food, which I have known people (/person) to do. It is an atrocious habit that robs the food of its original zest.
Last night, Johanna and I copied a little trick that one of our friends, Paul, attempted last week: fried slices of Zucchini! We didn't stop there though: we also scalloped some sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, salted them lightly and ate them all together. It was wonderful! We decided that the sweet potatoes tasted the best. And that was our monthly intake of olive oil.
Next, we made one of my personal favourites, Apple Dumplings. I cannot describe the method in which we created such a masterpiece as it is HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL and very sensitive material. I'm sure you all understand. I swore Jojo to secrecy, so don't even bother trying to squeeze the secrets out of her either. Apple Dumplings are, quite frankly, one of the greatest deserts. They are a staple: like pie, but a little fancier. We had tons left over, so I made up a tray for Devon because he was a hero that morning (Sydnee, my work buddy, and I had trouble getting her car to start, so Devon came out and gave us a jump at 6.50am. Seriously, "San Devo" or what?)
THEN (yes, there's more) Jojo and I finished off the night by making orange/lemon jello- wait for it- with SODA. YES, our jello is FIZZY. We are desperately tying to get jello to successfully take on the shape of this jello tin I got at the DI. So far, no success, but we have our fingers crossed for this one. We'll let you know.
Any food requests? Make them now, while we are enthusiastic about trying/ following new recipes!

Breaking News!

1983 Classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation-- the SEQUEL! Word on the street is that the story will follow Rusty's new family... watch this space!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Haili at the Muse

Quick heads up to you all- Haili has a show at Muse Music in down town Provo this week, on thursday the 10th from 8pm to 10pm. Her lovely roommate, the beautiful Morgan, will also feature.
Haili's demo will also be on sale so buy one because it rocks. See you there!
PS. seriously, who sent me the scarf? I need to thank you!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Reaping the Rewards of Blogging

Something of the most curious nature has occured.  And now that I have your attention with my most Conan- Doyle mysterious tone, here it is...
You may recall (you, my faithful blog-fans... or "blans" I think I will call you...) that I posted a comment last week featuring a ridiculously beautiful scarf that I [jokingly] invited you all to purchase for me.
Some bloggers get movie deals: some bloggers get book contracts, slogan t-shirts etc.  Yours truly?  I get gifts from fans.  Yes, one of you lovely stalkers sent me a beautiful burnt orange pashmina today!  The package was completely anonymous, but tissue wrapped in a very exciting manner!  Well, the excitement was all me, but still.  Whoever you are (feel free to name yourself and I will feature you on this here blog), my deepest thanks!  It was the BEST suprise to come home to after a long day of work and school!
To my other fans: I guess mystery fan X beat you to it this time.  But in the interest of being fair, I'd could use an umbrella right now.  Also, an apron for all of my cooking exploits.  And sure, why not?
Diamonds from Tiffany's.  

Funny of the Day

If Rich and Haili were Pixar newly-weds, this would be it.  Many thanks to my mac-a-lac for the good times.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Picture of the Day

Elder McKee (right) and his new companion, Buffalo, NY.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

My beautiful roommate Karem got engaged last night!  The [very] luck man, JT Ryker popped the question in a helicopter as it flew over the Salt Lake Temple.  Karem, overwhelmed by the view, didn't quite realize what was going on- but when she came to, the answer was Yes!  Of course!  Congrats to both of you, I'm so excited!

Friday, 25 September 2009

You Know You Need to Start Acting Your Age When...

... all of your friends are thinking about what clubs/ parties to go to on a Friday night, and YOU are surfing MarthaStewart.com for scrumptious recipes [insert rocking chair, six children, frumpy mom hair-cut here].

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Carrot and Coriander... Minus the Coriander...

I made carrot and coriander soup tonight.  Except right as I was finishing up I realized that I didn't have coriander which, considering the nature of the proposed soup, was not a good thing.  So I made a mad dash around the apartment complex asking after coriander and spent far too much time explaining what coriander actually was before giving up on this sorry bunch of American Little- Ceasars eating scallywags.
The soup was delish, but not as good as my mother's.  Which is usually how the story goes.

Those Lads of Mine!

Moment if sisterly pride!  Get ready for it!
Above is the talented Connor T. McKee, somersaulting through the air while diving at the Freibad in Oberursel, Germany.  Yes, that's right.  While the Utah air gets chilly it looks as though summer is staying in Germany for a few more weeks!  Am I jealous?  Well, what do you think?

Meanwhile, Logan made the soccer team and spends all of his time swanning around Europe playing other international and private schools.  it's all very fancy.  And he is a stud.  The end.
Alastair is my lovely missionary and he is doing so well in Buffalo.  His new companion is a greenie, so he is training him and helping his with his spanish.  It's flying by, and he'll be home soon!

Glee

Here's where I tell you that there is a lot of crap of TV.  But you already knew this.  So I don't really need to go on about it.
But every once in a while something magical comes along that seriously impresses.  Glee is one of those shows.  It's fresh, it's different, it's never been done on TV before: it's hilarious.  Every member of the cast has incredible talent and comic skill.  There is a moral heart of the show, which I think is something the entertainment industry is lacking of late, and a feel-good, positive energy drives the plot.  I watch it, but don't even own a television!  Which is to say: I approve.

Turned Over a New [Basil] Leaf

Alright, food junkies.  While in the airport this summer I picked up a copy of the Julie & Julia Project by Julie Powell.  While I found some of the backstories to be a little irrelevant I have to be honest about what really counted:  the FOOD.  Read this book if you need to be inspired to do something more than just the daily habits of life.  Also read it if, like myself, your kitchen needs a shake up (regardless of how cute your oven mitts and utensils are).  
I decided, at 9pm last night, to take a leaf out of Powell's book and for once in my life follow a recipe [insert video clip of my mother rolling her eyes here.  She hate's when I don't follow a recipe.  Even though she comes along with her little fork when I'm done...].  Anna and I ran to the supermarket and grabbed the basics for tomato and basil soup.
At 10.30pm ish, my first soup ever was created.  It was a tiny bit acidic, but nonetheless, breathtaking.
And so, the joy of cooking has stirred my soul once more.  I don't think I've been this excited to cook since that cookie phase I went through in middle school when I baked, honestly, all the time.
Tonight, I will try my hand at carrot and coriander soup.  The "pros" of soups: inexpensive, not so calorie slash fattie ridden, fun to make and experiment with.  Even though I am promising to follow recipes.

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-fresh-tomato-and-basil-soup

Thank You Erika!

Many thanks to my good friend and neighbor Erika, for recommending a funny new website: peopleofwalmart.com. Enjoy.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Fall Cravings

A mustard colored scarf. Feel free to buy me one and send it to me. No hard core wool- think pashmina. That'd be great, thanks.

Picture of the Day

FYE (For Your Entertainment)

Swimming just isn't worth it like this...
Hi readers. Apologies for abandoning you all- I know you have all been itching to hear about me me me. Of course I am joking, but as is the case you shall hea all about it!

Life has been rather hectic since coming back to Provo. How many people thought I could utter my distaste for school? Well, it happened: I am officially perturbed with the fact that I must continue with this charade. Of course you all know that really, deep, deep down, I love it all. But for now, today, I just despise the fact that I must pull myself from my comfortable bed (thank you memory foam) and haul myself to a physical science class. Why, may I ask all american educators, must I (an English and Editing major looking to go into publishing) take a physical science class? What must I care about gravity other than the fact that my feet remain planted on the ground?
Physical science just isn't working out for me, you guys. There might have been a "plus" in the fact that it is typically a "man" class- meaning that unlike my english classes which are full of girls and married men (seriously tragic) there was a shred of hope that I could get a couple of dates out of science. However, being a core class, I quickly found myself helplessly surrounded by freshmen. NOT the way to go for a 21 yr old in Provo. Secondly; I'm just not capable of understanding physics. We have interactive clicker quizzes in class and the number of people who click on certain answers shows up on the screen. There is always one person who clicks "E" or "C". That ONE person, that one sad individual who never clicks the right answer- that's me. Every time.
Meanwhile, the weather is getting chillier. My roommate seems to be incredibly warmblooded these days- and as such we had our window wide open last night. I had my winter duvets on, frozen, while Anna only had ONE blanket! HOW?!
Speaking of Anna: I love her. This is our 3rd year rooming together! On saturday we took a quick trip to Park City. It was nice to be out of Provo- and to use Anna's newfound freedom on wheels.
My new calling in church is on the Publicity Committee. I think that will be good fun- and a great opportunity to flex my editing skillz. I spelled skillz with a "z" because it makes me feel like my chosen field is hip slash cooler than it is. Editing, however geeky you may think it to be, is one of my favourite releases. I have had a few people hand me papers and manuscripts to edit this past week and let me tell you- there's something about clicking open my red pen that just gets me excited! Editing is like justified scalding- a legitimate excuse to be incredibly mean without the hurt feelings. I LOVE IT.
On another note, I am sorely ashamed that I have no new pictures to show you concerning my life- I have been so consumed in things that I can't really name (which means I know I've been busy but with what? The answer escapes me...) but here are some funnies from the good old internet (which began in 1991, FYI). See, I learn stuff.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Today I'm Homesick

This is where I want to be. Instead, I am ploughing through hundreds of emails, while trying to read for my Lit. class, worrying about Physical Science (more about that later) and feeling guitly about not blogging in a while. PLUS I have homework to look forward to.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

WANTED: STROOPWAFFELS!

I have been searching the WHOLE of GERMANY for stroopwaffels- to NO AVAIL.  Seriously, whatever happened to these sweet tasting guys?  I thought they were supposed to be all over the place!  THEY SHOULD BE!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Movie of the '90s

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York City
What a legendary film.  Whatever happened to Macauley Culkin (who knows how to spell his name?), we will never know-- but seriously: this is the movie that Alastair and I would watch with the remote because there were so many funny bits we had to rewind, rewatch, and rewind again!  The just don't make them like this anymore.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A Few Thoughts...

a) The Mummy movies.  Remember when the first one came out?  It was awesome- the graphics were ahead if its time and we watched it with our parents, with our girlfriends at sleepovers (Brendan Fraser had it going on back then) and we watched it with the dudes when we were just happy they had finally switched of the Nintendo's and PlayStation's.  But then the second one came out (its on the TV right now, hence the thought) and it's just awful.  Cheesy lines, hideous plot... just tacky.  Not watching the latest one is one of my most wise decisions of the past two years.
b) Chocolate for breakfast: poor judgement or an ideal way to kick start the day?
c) Speedo's.  European men wear them all over the place.  Why, why, why???

I'm in Germany

Well, readers: here I am in Germany!  So far my stay has been positively "wonderbar"!  I was here for a couple of days before my Uncle Tony, Aunty Tricial and cousins Beth and Josh came out to visit my family also.  The house is full!  Mum says she likes it that way.  The boys are all crashing in the basement and Beth, U. Tony and A. Tricia are on the 3rd floor: for the first time I haven't been couch-bound because of guests!  Josh, Logan, Beth and I have take the subway into Frankfurt and enjoy some German sights... a very old car and some old town streets.
My family live outside of Oberursel, a small town in a forest on the outskirts of frankfurt.  It is the last stop on one of the main trains out of Frankfurt.  The town is very quaint and has one of the best italian ice cream and gelato shops I have ever been to!  Oberursel is a cobblestoned town centered around a beautiful church that sits in the top of a small hill.  The buildings are mainly original, dating back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.  It is very european! 
German word of the day: Schloss (castle).  We went to Heidelberg yesterday- one of the most incredible towns on my list of "incredible towns".  Sitting on the Rhine, Heidelberg is a hilly town with old cobbled streets, terra-cotta roofs and the most impressive castle ruins of all time.  
Heidleberg has a wonderschon cable car system that takes you all the way up the foresty mountainside.  Yoddle- yoddle and all of that.  We took the rickety carraige along with a handful of other tourists.  The weather was insanely hot and one of the old man- tourists let one go in the confined cabin.  Needless to say, the journey upward was a little stifled.
Regardless of such hardship, the view from the top was breath- taking.
Frankfurt itself is a great town.  There are 3 H&M stores on one street.  There goes my last pay check.  It is interesting to see such a defining difference between the old town and the new built town.  It is very much a hot spot for talent and culture.  And of course, great gelato.  Who would have thought?

That's it for now.  Stay tuned for more deutsch fun.  My language skills are improving by the way- I know you were all anxious about that.  Tomorrow we are going to some place that has a ton of vineyards- and of course you all know how I feel about that!  I fear I may be heartbroken to leave this place.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

FYI: The Sandwich

It was brought to my attention that I had not followed through on one of my promises to wikipedia "the sandwich".  This is most regrettable.  The smartie pants who informed me of my neglect went on to explain that sanwiches are called as such because, back in the day (in England no less) there was a certain Lord Sandwich who, like many an aristocratic brit, had a little gamboling problem.  Obsessed with the game and finding little time to eat, Lord S asked his servants to just bring him a couple of slices of bread within which he would put food for a quick snack on the go.  Rather  convenient for the avid gambler, wouldn't you say? 

Friday, 14 August 2009

FYI From Afar

A little update for you, my fans.  I am here in Germany after a number of incredibly irritating delays including exploding toilets and re-routing to locations such as Great Britain (wasn't planning on that little detour...).  Today my luggage finally arrived.  
It is an incredible feeling to be back with my family for a couple of weeks!  I'll try to keep you all updated on my adventures!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Haili and I: Sunstroke in Santa Monica

This is Not a Joke



The following was a letter sent to The Daily Universe, our school newspaper.
Letter: Swimming pornography
Wed, 08/05/2009 - 21:15

I was horrified by the photo of Michael Phelps that appeared in The Daily Universe on Monday. Phelps, a rather muscular and good looking man, was shown shirtless along with another attractive swimmer.
Doesn’t The Daily Universe understand the women of BYU’s campus cannot lead virtuous lives with clean thoughts when they’re presented with pornography at every turn?
What makes this problem even worse, though, is the fact that male sports teams all across campus routinely practice with their shirts off. Perhaps men, in their own purity and innocence, don’t understand how the female mind works. Seeing a woman in a bikini has no effect on a man, so he doesn’t understand what it does to a woman when she sees a topless man.
Let me explain: unlike men, we can only control our thoughts to a point. When men walk around half-naked, they turn themselves into pornography, and thus they tempt us.
So, out of my deep love and respect for the men on this campus, I beg them: please stop turning yourselves into pornography. Show yourselves enough respect to cover up and save the sight of your naked torso for your wife. Besides, women need you to be the gate-keepers of chastity.
Emily BelangerLee, N.H.