Monday, 22 November 2010

The Holliedays

this blog has a new home! L. Hollie McKee is now The Holliedays and can be surfed at theholliedays.com

thanks!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

It's Late Night Class Period... Which Means...

... a massive blog entry. It's not that I intentionally will not listen in lecture. It's just that having a class this late in the day in a windowless basement classroom already spells disaster. For some reason- of which I have not figured out yet- it is particularly difficult for me to process anything scholarly at this time [every week]. Do not be discouraged: all evidence points to me being a rather-good student. But I have made my peace with the fact that we cannot win them all. Moving on. Here are some thoughts circling my little existence of late.
TOPIC 1: 80s week at me house. Jordan, Melissa and I decided to rule this week "80s week," wherein we settle down to an 80s movie every other night. Despite the fact that our schedules demanded that we attempt to study WHILE tapping our feet along to FOOTLOOSE, wiggling our hips along to DIRTY DANCING and tugging on our hair awkwardly as what's-her-name does in SIXTEEN CANDLES, we have thoroughly enjoyed simpler times as of late. My personal favorite of the week was watching Jordan mimic her mother's smooth 80s dance moves, full throttle, putting Kevin Bacon himself to shame.
TOPIC 2: The Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial is in full swing. Unless you have been living under a rock this month (at least for those of you in Utah), you will know that this trial is receiving ridiculous amounts of coverage. I for one am hooked. My friend Brittany (from work) and I have been religiously following the trial, reading trial transcripts and interviews. My thoughts? I have a couple. Firstly, I respect and admire that girl. The things she has been through are things that no young woman should- and her poise and elegance seem godly. Secondly, the professionalism of the prosecution is to be commended. Their strategy is flawless. As an english major (yeah I'm pulling that line out), analyzing their language has been fascinating. It is interesting to see the difference between the prosecutions use of language as opposed to that of the defense. The defense are long winded, their questions are leading and they allow for lengthy answers that lose the jury. The prosecution are quick, leading their witnesses and the defenses witnesses in a basic direction that is simple and effective. The best part of this entire trial so far? Elizabeth's testimony. The Smart family have kept relatively private concerning the events that actually occurred during Elizabeth's captivity. For 8 years not the world has wondered- was she raped? Was she abused? If the Smart's had publicized this information from the beginning, the world- and the jury- would have had 8 years to digest this information. However, after 8 years our questions have been answered in trial- Elizabeth's testimony is shocking- the reality of her abuse and mistreatment has utterly shocked the world and the jury. Mitchell's punishment will surely be as harsh as it could be. The defense's case- that Mitchell was not of sound mind- is laughable:their tactics are transparent and his performances in court- including bursting into song and being in contempt of court- is a shameful display.
TOPIC 3: SNOW. It used to be that snow excited every cell in my body: we'd sit up, poised on the edges of our seats as we listened to the radio in the hopes that our school would be named one of the few experiencing a "snow day" (happened maybe 3 times in my existence). We'd spend hours outside, building igloos (that always ended up reaching our knees but that was it- we'd get bored and move on to sleding). So, I recognize it as a sign of my age and awful sensibility that I no longer enjoy powder sugar frost days. In fact, I find them rather a nuisance. You may not know this but snow days do not exist in the skiing capitol of the world. Anyway for my friends abroad (meaning not in the US), the above is my back yard, and though it's pretty, the cold almost doesn't make it worth it. Also, snow doesn't taste half as good at my age. Why did I ever spend so much time eating snow?
TOPIC 4: Buskers. I was in Wal-Mart the other day, and came out to the sound of a busker or two. Initially I rather enjoyed it as it reminded me of the European blood running through my veins. It seems that buskers pop up on every corner in an English town. HOWEVER, I found myself oddly loathing the idea of a couple of tatted-up ruffians busking outside of a WALMART. I haven't quite decided my reasoning for this discomfort- which enables you all to agree that I am awfully judgmental and rude. Really I have no defense prepared, so I'll move on.
TOPIC 5: ETSY. I don't understand what ETSY means, or IS- if anyone can explain this to me, I'd be grateful. BUT My friend Lacy sent me a link to a wonderful section of ETSY that included an english major-esque gifty selection of things including the above. I LOVE the idea of a bookish tree and am contemplating following through with the idea this christmas season. HOWEVER, my sensitive mind is torn between the idea of original-tribute-to-literature-i-love and the idea that that would require slicing up what I consider almost sacred. Take the above. as cool as it looks, could that justify snipping out paragraphs of a dickens novel?! Moments like this make me feel like I focus on trivial things... so I will yet again change the subject...
PICTURE OF THE DAY, from stumbleupon.com-- I really enjoy this. If you happen to know me when I have my own male offspring, you will notice that their shirts are ALWAYS tucked in.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

stumbleupon.com Turns Up Gems Like This



People are awesome. Many thanks to myself and my stumble-ing-upon-web-surf-session that I engaged in rather than studying. I watched this and studied my cushy surroundings and came to the conclusion that it has been a while since I dove 10 stories into a paddling pool, or since I dirtbike-jumped the grand canyon blindfolded, carrying lit matches between each of my fingers and holding a pirana between my teeth.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

M.I.A.

Those of you who know me on a daily basis will know that I have been M.I.A. for the past 2 weeks or so- the reason for my social absence is the above. My mother came to visit! Waving good-bye to a successful semester GPA (just kidding), I hosted my lovely Mum for a while. I took her shopping, out to lunch (most days), to the movies, on walks and a few road trips. What a wonderful lady! Having Mum around made me feel somewhat grown up: I was actually HOSTING. SHE was the guest this time. When I was a kid I used to think about it- no really I did. What weirdo kid ponders the moment her mother will actually be HER guest?! Strange. Anyway I rather miss her now that she's gone. Then I remember there's only 5 or so weeks before I fly to Germany to be with her again for Christmas-- Brilliant!

Oh, and you will all be pleased to know that after almost 2 years of whining about it, Mum treated me to an umbrella- which you ALL know I needed. Thanks Mum!

Whatever Happened to All the Fainting?

I am currently in my American Lit class and we are talking about the drastic changes in society between then and now. My professor just stopped us all and asked "Whatever happened to all the fainting? It used to be that something diabolical would happen in literature, and the character affected was so traumatized that they would faint. Why don't we faint anymore?! Have we lost this ability to be traumatized enough??" I thought it was rather humorous. Whatever DID happen to all the fainting?

Proud of Them British Learning Folk

Thanks to Lacey, who sent me this fabulous article on the proactive and conscientious minds of the people of Westbury in the UK. When their small mobile library was shut down, the citizens banded together and created a bookswap, which they now run out of an old telephone box! Marvelous!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

A Li'l Emerson for Ya

You'll all love me for providing you with intellectual inspiration. Emerson is, thanks to the passion of my roommate Ashley, and the required reading of my American Lit class, becoming one of my favourite thinkers. I like the following because his approach to learning is so honest and simple- and his description of enlightenment is something that I can relate to. Enjoy his pleasing diction and insightful passion.

"Do but observe the mode of our illumination. When I converse with a profound mind, or if at any time being alone I have good thoughts, I do not at once arrive at satisfactions, as when, being thirsty, I drink water, or go to the fire, being cold: no! but I am at first apprised of my vicinity to a new and excellent region of life. By persisting to read or to think, this region gives further sign of itself, as it were in flashes of light, in sudden discoveries of its profound beauty and repose, as if the clouds that covered it parted at intervals, and showed the approaching traveller the inland mountains. . . . But every insight from this realm of thought is felt as initial, and promises a sequel. I do not make it; I arrive there, and behold what was there already. . . . I clap my hands in infantine joy and amazement, before the first opening to me of this august magnificence, old with the love and homage of innumerable ages, young with the life of life, the sunbright Mecca of the desert. And what a future it opens!"

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Two Thoughts

Thought one: Today was the day that I looked in the mirror and noticed that reality is in fact not at all what is going on in my mind. In my MIND, I am still pre-adolescent both in features and in thought. Sometimes I wonder if people think like kids still. Lots of "grown up" things freak me out and I feel like a kid picking through them. The reality is that I look light-years different, and it sort of caught up with me. How odd that human beings can change so much.

Thought two: I feel like a lot of people think it is a tragedy that there are single 22 year olds out there. To defend my kind (or perhaps just put in a plug for those of humanity OUTSIDE of the P-town bubble): I can think of only TWO disadvantages of not being married right now, and ONE of those reasons involves taxes. So... yeah.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Luis Vuitton is a Journey

I struggled to comprehend fully the relationship between high end fashion and seemingly third world travel, but this commercial was uniquely enticing and admittedly inspirational. What journey are YOU on?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Listen to This


This weekend I took Kip shopping because quite frankly his D.I./ hallowe'en image was starting to get a little TOO interesting for public outings. While driving to the mall in Draper, he introduced me to this song which I instantly agreed with. Kip says that if/when he gets married, he will play this song and everyone will dance and have a good time. Now whenever I listen to it, I imagine Kip in his new corduroy pants, doing the chicken dance at his wedding.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

I'm in Jail

I am currently nearing the end of my second hour sitting in the same seat, in the same basement classroom. There are no windows, the walls appear to be pressing in on me and I am pretty sure my eye sight is blurring everything but this computer screen together. My head feels like it is full of cotton wool. It is during these moments when I question the caliber of the human brain- quite frankly, after 12 hours already of being on campus today, I don't know how I am not gnawing on the the shoulder of the guy in front of me right now. How do prisoners manage to survive a sentence? I think I am just now learning to appreciate the design of THE WINDOW. Now I am starting to feel depressed at the thought that when I finally DO get around to leaving this cave, it will be DARK. Somehow, I missed the whole day because I was holed up in a concrete cell. In fact, the ONLY time I have spent outside today is the time it took to walk from my office to the Jesse Knight Building- and you all know how I feel about that building.

ALSO, in an email, the professor who stands before me right now promised that we would get out of class early today. I feel brutally cheated.

Quote of the Day

This is my littlest brother Connor. Let it be known that he is a substantial dude in my life. Among my favourite quotes from him is the phone conversation we had (when he was 11) which went:
"Hey Con! What's new?"
(Connor clears his throat and rumbles) "Puberty."

This past week my facebook status read: Dear red grape juice, I love you! -- this was referring to my new found love of fresh grape juice which, apparently, is good for the heart (whatever, I'm just looking for an excuse to spend money on hydration rather than just downing boring old water). Connor commented:

"No, Hol! That's WINE!!!!!" to which I responded, "haha, it's juice!" Connor then commented:
"Well, it can lead to wine... From now on a strict water and milk diet ONLY!"

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Quote of the Day

Last night Royce pretended like I understood Spanish. I told him, Royce- I don't know spanish. He then explained that he was actually using Castallano. I asked him what Castallano was. He said it was like Spanish... For men.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Photo of the Day


Quote of the Day


"I can't remember the last time I sucked on a lollipop and said 'yeah, that was a good idea!'"
- Thornton D. Simnitt, on sucking lollipops.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Metaphorically Speaking

... this is me right now. Interpret as you will.

Find of the Day

... or you could take up praying. Just a thought.

Did You Watch General Conference?

Last weekend was a semi anual session of General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Did you watch? If not, you can watch or read conference talks at lds.org/conference

I especially liked President Monson's comments on humility and gratitude. I think the world really needed this message right now. I can feel- even in the phone calls I take at work- that the world is forgetting to be grateful to one another for small acts of kindness. It doesn't seem tobe the priority of many people to be polite and good natured. This is the most base form of courtesy and peacemaking that we need more of. A lack of humility inevitable creates a surplus of pride, which is the ultimate downfall of man. You do the math.

The challenge I have taken up is to be more thankful. Even in my head- which I have to admit is something I need to work on. I am one of those people whose mind is ridiculously unfiltered: I lit my brain run riot! Judging left right and center despite my mouth not betraying me. I have decided that turning my thoughts in a more positive angle will help me to be more positive- and all together more humble.

Al Qaeda Attacks Possible In Europe

CNN reports that countries within Europe are on alert. Citizens have been warned about travelling throughout Europe as terrorist attacks are a possibility in major cities. The most substantial warning was that of French officials warning their citizens to steer clear of the UK.

Pushing my education aside, and the economical and social explanations that come with such an education, I have to admit that this sort of news makes me sick. I suppose at the core, I just don't understand how any human being can justify the deliberate destruction of other humans. How is this even a capability of human reasoning? It strikes me that this is a sign of a huge lack of humility. How does one reach the point where they believe that their logical opinion and power is superior to that of another's?

Glee Not So Gleeful

I have been known to sing this shows praises: mostly because I can actually see just how hard the cast and crew work on each episode. the quality of its production is absolutely stellar. For the most part, song choice and the actual script are remarkably polished. It is entertaining, it is hilarious, it is creatively inspirational. So note my disappointment when I declare that last nights "Grilled Cheesus" episode was, well, disappointing. For those of you who did not tune in, the episode centered around the question of whether or not to value faith and religion. Though one or two characters put in a plug for religious worth, the overall tone of the episode was sacreligious and quite frankly hopeless. It seemed the message was that religion is a foolish endeavor and ultimately relates more to superstition than logic. Whereas I believe the writers are certainly within their right to produce such a storyline, I can't help but feel like this was a thoughtless move. Putting my own religious preferences aside, it is an undisputed fact that The Bible has beed the number one best seller publication every week since the beginning of publishing history, and continues to be so today. The number of atheists in the United States is a teaspoon compared to the quart of the population! Do we really need to eliminate the thought of something greater than this existence? The whole episode seemed unneccesary and unwise from a marketing standpoint.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Walk, Walk, Fashion, Baby!







Just thought you'd all like to see what constitutes couture these days.


Ecltectic Thoughts of Autumn

Some random things I have been thinking, which I happened to take the time to write down yesterday afternoon as I waited for the rain to ease up enough that I could vacate the building and go home. First, Lady Gaga. Let it be known that there are very few of her practices that I admire. Despite this, Haili threw a Gaga party to which I came dressed as the following:

Scary, no? We actually ended up crashing a huge party that was going on in Provo. Yes, the strange gaga-esque group of girls amongst the other 600 normal-looking people included me. Though I was absolutely petrified to totter through the crowds in ridiculously, well, ridiculous shoes, I have to say that it was the most liberating experience of my life! There's something wonderful about feeling very anonymous despite hundreds of glances and the same repeated reaction of shock. About 50 people came and told me I was their hero, to which I replied, "naturally," and a great number of people insisted upon taking our photograph. wonderful.

Next random thought: It appears that 90% of my brain is made up of procrastination components. Why? What happened? Do I qualify as athe expert procrastinator yet- and could this, in any anthropologically cultural setting, be conceived as a "good" thing? Despite my efforts to be ultra organized this semester, there's only so much a Moleskin can do for me.

Which brings me to my Moleskin. HOW I ADORE THEE. There is something innately prestigious about whipping out a Molesking in the middle of class. I quite enjoy the idea that perhaps everyone is guessing that I am ultra sophisticated in the organization department. Honestly, it's probably the most ridiculously expensive act of brand-conformity of my life. To this truth, I say: "sue me. I love my leather bound paper friend." Emerson is amongst the many who swore allegiance to the Moleskin. That makes it okay, right? Moleskin, welcome to the family. Next query of the semester: How is it that my memory is this terrible? If i had the time/ patience/ really cared I would find out the scientific reasons as to why my brain cannot handle things that I would like to remember. I suppose I just want to complain at the fact that my iTunes play count of "The Only Exception" (Paramore) is almost at 100, yet the only thing I have memorized is the chorus ("You are the only exception" x4)

Next, TV. WHY is it that good tv season happens to fall on back-to-school season?? This is unacceptable! Why can't it all happen during the summer, when I have nothing better to do with myself than watch countless hours of medical drama, musical comedy and such?

The Jesse Knight Building, where I happen to spend most of my school life these days. What architectural sense does this building make? It is inconsistent, maze-like and inconvenient.

Next thought of the day: I realized, as I was taking my seat in the Physical Science lecture hall, that I had double booked science with another appointment- how tragic for science, because as you all know, pretty much ANYTHING takes precedence over physics in my eyes. So I quickly slipped out of the hall and rushed out into the rain. While making my great escape I suddenly felt like one of those men who get fired and are so embarrassed that they don't tell their wives and instead, they get dressed up every day and "head off to work" when really they wander around aimlessly all day.

Next, Why would I wear a rain coat to school, but still be wearing open toed shoes?

Also, why don't I own Wellies or an umbrella? As for a note on this beautiful Fall season: Utah is handling it very well: the colours are beginning to change beautifully, and God saw fit to remind me of Home with plenty of rain. I love my life.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Self Reliance

That voice in my interior, which I believe, and for the sake of which I believe all else that I believe, commands me not merely to act in general. That is impossible . . . This voice of my conscience prescribes to me with certainty, in each particular situation of my existence, what I must do and what I must avoid in that situation. It accompanies me, if I will but listen to it with attention, through all the events of my life, and never refuses its reward where I am called to act. It establishes immediate conviction.

man is not a product of the world of sense; and the end of his existence can never be attained in that world. His destination lies beyond time and space and all that pertains to sense. He must know what he is and what he is to make himself. As his destination is sublime, so his thought must be able to lift itself up above all the bounds of sense. This must be his calling.

-- Fichte, from "The Destination of Man"

This week I have been reading a lot of Emerson, Fichte, and Kant. The primary focus of my reading was the idea of "self-reliance". Emerson describes the natural tendency of man to glide on the ambitions, thought and passions of others as "suicide". How intensely do you consider our own personal philosophy and progression? Do you invest time in developing intellectual freedom? Do you consider your beliefs- the things you know to be absolute truths- to be a part of who you are? To what end would you go to defend these truths?

One of the things that sincerely irritates me is hearing of someone who removes themselves from their daily life, their responsibilities and calling, in order to "find themselves". I think the idea is preposterous! You know the people: the ones who call emergency vacations in order to collect themselves. I silently beg them to be truthful, and admit that they are vacationing "in order to get some thoughtless R&R!"- there's no shame in THAT, because it's truthful! The moments in which one truly "finds" ones self are the moments in which one is immersed in the day to day happenings of life. Opportunities to react to every day situations are too valuable to avoid: THAT is "suicide"!

So, reader. Devote yourself to the progression of your own character: your "truths", your philosophy, your passions; and be mindful of how you present your "self". Self-reliance is one of the most valuable pursuits of this lifetime.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Monday, 2 August 2010

I WANT ONE

I want one of these! It is a scanner pen- it picks up on a colour you see and lets you DRAW IN THAT COLOUR. Holy ridiculous! It is days like this when I stand, hand on heart, and salute the sky: I heart technology, thank you for allowing me to live to see this!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Word of the Day

CRYPTOMNESIA- occurs when a forgotten memory returns without its being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new or original. It is a memeory bias whereby a person may falsely recall generating a thought, idea, song or joke, not deliberately engaging in plagerism but rather experiencing a memory as though it werea new inspiration.

Thanks to wikipedia for this excellent insight to something my mother seems to suffer from an awful lot. (I did NOT steal your tweasers)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Tips for Single Ladies

It seems to be blaringly obvious that Provo is no place for the single female undergrad senior- unless of course she doesn't mind the constant reminder that she has hit the expiration date for "the bubble." This week 2 of my favourite friends thought they would surprise me with the most hilarious self help guide for women: "How to Get Along With Boys," not surprisingly, written most seriously in the 1940s. Whereas I love them for it and it will keep me delightfully amused for the next few days, I began to wonder what was going on when a couple of other links and pieces of advice came flooding in from other members of the (mostly married) office. Apparently I have been painted the tragic Bridget-Jones of the office. Thank heavens I have a semi decent head on my shoulders, because rather than sob about it (i heart singledom), here is my favourite link of wisdom, brought to you from the past:















Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Watch This

It is ridiculous how funny I fund this. Do YOU know what it means??

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Moment of the Month

Kaley and I went to JCPenney's this week. The circumstances of the week begged the occassion. On Monday I went to a natural Hot Springs in the mountains in Heber, near Park City. Knowing me, the event was filled with disaster, and I slipped and fell into the scalding water, cutting open a toe and scratching my wrist. So, limping and looking quite frankly like an emo cutter on Tuesday, my day was already off to a bad start. It only got worse when I had a tiny texting-tiff with one of my favourite friends (yes, I'm still annoyed with you, Kip). Cue Kaley: "I LOVE jcpenney." Enough said. I hadn't been to Penney's in about 3 years. I was game.

My father would point out that it is the mark of a Shopoholic when one turns to retail therapy to feel better/ get a rush/ think deep thoughts/ relax. I am currently looking into a support group.

Anyway kaley and I had a blast, trying on different things, prancing around in the business section in fancy suits and skirts.

Cheesecake for Breakfast...

... Bad choice.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Currently Reading...

Eats, Shoots and Leaves
By Lynne Truss

A ridiculously funny commentary on punctuation and its misuse. Will review when finished.

To The Girls

This happened in Provo this week. Girls, please be so careful when you are by yourself- even in broad daylight, even in the quietest of towns.

http://www.deseretnews.com/mobile/article/700039364/Provo-police-looking-for-attacker.html

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Mulling and its Outcomes

True to my word, you find me slumped in a corner of my room ("my room" being the room my parents call "Hollie's Room," which is, while I am not with her, my mother's long awaited secret place where she stores her shoes, nick nacks and other momish things. All of which she hides in OTHER secret places before I get here, lest I steal things I like).

Thought processing ADD: When I bought my mac-a-lac, it was supposed that, on a full tank of battery power, I might have 8 hours of battery life. How, then, can it have been on charge all day and now read 2.38 hours of battery left? Y0u may now picture me in the corner of my room, wedged between my bed and radiator, shaking my fist. I actually did it so that you wouldn't be mind-lying.

Attention regrouped. Song on repeat.

Germany is just as I left it in December: only instead of snow, I have seen a little rain and mostly beautiful blue skies. Anyone who knows me will know that I despise grey skies that do not release rain (why? what is the point of a heavy looming sky that just sits there, not raining?), and adore cloudless, perfectly blue skies. When people consider their favourite season, I always take the time to mull over different seasons and my deeper appreciation for each one: spring time, and its symbolism to life beginning and blossoming; fall and it's beautiful color and recognition of change and age; winter and the miracle of snow fall and yuletide bliss. But no! Sign me up for summer with endless nights, popsicles, tan lines and sticky attire! Forget symbolism and take me as I am!

I promised myself I would think seriously about my future- what I am doing with my life- while I was here. But when I actually got here, and beginning to think about it put me into cold sweats in the first thirty seconds, I thought- really quite simply- "no." I know you expect more from me. Anyone reading from my high school years might be astounded by that confession. To them I say "People Change": another simple and un-satisfying explanation, I'm sure.

Back to blogging (which, I am sure you can tell by now, has no real thesis). One thing I am feeling rather upset about at this point in time is my lack of blogging lately. Cliche (as outlined in the previous post) I know, but as my blog-lacking aunt Jules can attest to, it has rather spoiled my already diminishing sense of organization. Especially so, as I try to convince myself that writing a journal is unnecessary if I blog. My recently returned missionary brother declared that blogging, he thought was a crude and public excuse of exhibition. I did not bother explaining how a lot of employers now ask for any blog addresses. That's my only real excuse with merit. Not that entertaining you blans (or bleaders- blog/ readers. get it?) isn't reason enough for writing.

Moving on (finally, I hear you say): some things I have been pondering lately (besides my mac and its diminishing battery power, my not- pondering future, my blogging and my selfish symbolic-less favouritism of Summer).

a) Gilmore Girls. It took 10 years, but finally they have my undivided attention due to excellent, witty writing, and flawlessly flawed characters (that makes sense, in my mind at least).

b) Double beds and why I cannot for the life of me commit to staying in the middle. Why is that? Logically one would surely bask in the space and enjoy taking up the whole thing. Perhaps it is a subtle way of the universe telling me that I am just not selfish enough to take what I do not need. I just know if my girlfriends and I were having this conversation they would come up with an ulterior conclusion, which I do not wish to embellish.

c) My new running shoes, and how my fear of dirtying them is holding me back from actually using them for working out. Also the anticipated conclusion that working out in flip flops or driving mocs has results that I do not care for.

That said, consider me sorry for not offloading this codswallop on you sooner. Stay tuned!

Discovery: Angus and Julia Stone


The audacity of leaving you all anecdote-less for a while and then attempting to remedy that with a youtube video of a new musical couple I have been impressed by. Rest assured that the situation is under consideration- the situation being my blogging absence. Also, rest assured that you may still actually appreciate my outlook on the world when I admit that I despise people who blog that they have not blogged "in fooorreeevvveerrr"- it is quite seriously one of the most annoying things I come across, and yet find myself doing quite often. Therefore, accept my apologies and please DO enjoy this song, which I have spent the last couple of days in delight over. It is one of those "alone time" songs that leave you sitting in the corner of your room, staring- not blinking- at nothing in particular, mulling over life. Which, in my opinion, is something one out to do often. My reasons are none in particular... though I commit to pondering over some potential reasons and getting back to you. Now that you are confused by my awkward expression of thought, hit play already.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Blogger Bah Humbug

Every night I have told myself that now would be a very good time to end my non- intentional blog fast. Alas, you will have noticed that I have ignored every such impulse and instead gone on with my strange existence. I am now in Germany once again, and as you can tell from the above picture, the weather has been foul. Raining off and on, ridiculous grey skies: it's a downright outrage. Having said that, today has been lovely, and I currently write out here in the garden, under the awning because it's so bright and sunny. Currently the parents are in New York, picking up Alastair from his now completed mission- they are thrilled, of course, and we in Germany are just itching to see him! Meanwhile I have been showing my college roommate Anna Frankfurt, Bad Homberg and Heidelberg (mainly I've been giving her tours of the shops. What more can I say?). It has been great fun having her here!

I am rather fond of the public transportation system here. What a miraculous system. Not only do I feel rather proud of myself for assisting in maintaining such a healthy and much less polluted environment, but I am constantly supplied with people watching opportunities, which of course is one of my favourite things. More about that another time. Heidelberg, while we are on the subject, provided me with an opportunity to exercise patience with the german people. One in particular. Who knew one could reserve seats on a 30 minute train ride in second class. Who knew one would be so adamant to sit in such a seat even though 90% of the carriage was completely devoid of other persons? Who might have supposed that someone else sitting in ones supposed reserved seat might be so infuriating?? You will all be happy to know that I refrained from popping such a man square in the eye. Instead I quickly removed myself and spent the 30 minutes loudly denouncing such childish and arrogant behavior.

That said, Germany is quite lovely- while the sun lasts, that is. I shall try to write a little more later!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Funny of the Day

Hannah Davis, on childbirth.

"Ew. Babies come out looking like aliens. I don't wanna see mine 'til it's clean."

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Picture of the Day

Hello blog fans. There is no excuse, really, for the lack of my internet presence these past 2 or so weeks. Life has been pleasantly tranquil- if you consider 28 calls in que at work for 8 hours a day "tranquil." Finals finished and I became busy with moving out roommates, moving in another roommate (Welcome, Coleman!), organizing my house, building a garden on my porch (I am officially my mother), setting up a new team at work, actually going to work and training new employees (Welcome, Thorn, Jennifer, and Peter!), scouring used bookstores for good books (officially my new favourite thing to do) and finalizing my book. Now, all of a sudden, I have but ONE WEEK before I'll be heading back to Europe for a fabulous break that, I will admit, I am not at all prepared for. Anyway, that's it. What's new with you?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Oh No

The irritation of my day would be the above. No, this is not a picture of my exploding brain due to finals (curse you, geology). Nor is it a pitcure of my exploding brain due to panic/ cluelessness concerning my future. It is actually a picture of the volcano in Iceland. I am considering whether or not I should tell you the real reason that I am irritated... I could tell you that I am very anxious to know that the people are safe and well- I am, I really am... But mainly... alright fine, I'll admit it. Mainly I am anxious about my spring plans. Will I wever get to Europe next month?!
Now that you're all positive that I'm extremely self-obsessed and selfish, let's move on. My favorite used bookstore in Provo is MOVING to Orem and I am terribly unhappy about it. Who wants to poke into a bookstore on State St in Orem, where, let's face it, could easily be Reno for all of its aesthetic let- downs. I very much dislike State St in Orem.
I think it's a good thing that I can identify with the fact that right no I am being a Debbie Downer. Care to make my day?

Friday, 16 April 2010

You Think Your Life is Tedious?

Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie

Can you only begin to imagine how long it took to take this music video?!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

BANE OF MY EXISTENCE

Taxes. I hate hate hate this process. I don't understand it AT ALL. I just filed my taxes online- have no idea if it's right or not- but apparently they think they need to give me $1600. Which is fine with me. I just have to wait and see if the IRS accept or reject my claim. 3 guesses how I want that one to turn out. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Clarification of the Day

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Today Will Be Beautiful

Hello blans (blog-fans. I like to pretend you exist.)! I got to bed late last night after spending the entire weekend, it seemed, cleaning slash organizing my teeny tiny apartment. I will not pretend that it took less than 7 hours to organize my showes and clothes. I will also refrain from lying about the fact that my desk is still a disaster, untouched. The living room, however, looks great. On saturday I found a bookcase on [serious] sale so, after ploughing my way through the most foreign looking instruction manual of my life, my roommate and I managed to set it up. It's amazing what a bookcase can do to a room. I feel ridiculously distinguished! Anyway. Other things that made my weekend a ball of sunshine:
Indian food
The hot sun (hello Utah desert)
Random blogfans adding me on facebook (yeah, you!)
Walmart
Stake Conference
Clean sheets
Chatting with silly brothers on the phone
This week, being the last week of classes, promises to be stressful and panic- filled. But... Waking up to the sunshine, a cancelled class, and She & Him really clears that right up!
PS I realize that my chirpiness is nausiating... but get over it! Today rocks!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

In the Sun


Reasons why today will suck: a test; solid classes 'til 3, then solid work 'til 7pm; no hug from Mommy as she's trillions of miles away; snow on the ground; geology class (theres only so much one can care for rocks); the thought of finals

Reasons why today will rock: "geology rocks"; watch me ace my test; the promise of 50 degree weather and clear skies; my book arrived (!!!); sweatpants

And if that isn't enough to make YOU excited for today, the above is a gift to cheer you up.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Picture of the Day

I took this picture in Heidleberg, Germany last August. It makes me SO excited to go back in MAY!!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!


This week is conference weekend- Which is the best way I can think of spending Easter! When we were kids Mum would hide sweets and chocolate in the garden and we would go hunt for them. And of course- English tradition alert- we would get a chocolate easter egg, which would consist of a huge chocolate egg designed in accordance with our favourite candy bar. Mine was usually Rolo's. It was spectacular! What are YOUR traditions?

Enjoy this youtube video from Mormon Messages. Yes, I got all techno-savvy and posted a youtube video. Which has opened up so many doors for me that I feel like a pro. You can expect to be enjoying lots more where that came from!

I want you all to know, in this Easter season, that I know that Christ lives. He came to this earth in the most humble of circumstances, but led a perfect life, being the perfect example. He healed the sick and taught fundamental lessons and principles. He atoned for each of our sins and willingly was sacrificed. And he was resurrected! Which is what we celebrate today. I know that He lives and loves us. I can testify that he knows me personally. I hope that you watch the above, and ponder the role of Christ in your lives.

While we are on the subject of churchy things, I have to share an experience (be excited)! Last weekend I had just gotten my little paycheck and some money from my parents. It was wonderful- I thought, Hurray! Now I can pay all of the bills I have been procrastinating! I looked at my money and counted it thoroughly. I realized that I was looking a little low and considered paying my tithing next week instead. In my religion, we have made the decision to donate ten percent of our income to the church. In the scriptures we are promised that if we do this first and foremost, we will be blessed. I contemplated this decision and finally decided to have a little faith and pay my tithing. The next day I checked my bank balance and to my utter horror, I didn't have enough money to pay rent! I was so upset. I panicked and wondered what on earth I could do? I knew that I had a 20 dollar note in my purse, so I decided to deposit it at the ATM. When I got there, I considered the fact that I could have some extra funds in my British account. I checked- there was a hundred dollars there. So I withdrew that, still sad because rent is far from being $120! Regardless, I began to deposit my notes into the ATM. And they kept coming. $120: deposited. $220: deposited. $320: deposited. $420 deposited. The 20's kept rolling out of my wallet, every time I stuck my hand in there for more. I stood, astonished, as I checked my final balance. I have heard of similar stories of those faithful people who pay their tithing- but never did I think I would be blessed with such a tangible experience. I know that it was a blessing for paying my tithing!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

What I'm Listening to...

... Relator by Scarlet Johansson and Pete Yorn. Actually I'll admit to being so completely surprised by it. Scarjo is the last person I thought I'd enjoy coming from out of a speaker system- but she's pretty good! This track in particular is the perfect springtime tune. I appreciate it. Listen to it at playlist.com!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Men Who Wear Necklaces...

... please stop.

Picture of the Day

NNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA- si-vennnn-yyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
slododovidodowwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh
vennnyyyyaaaaadooowwweeennnnyaaaaaaaaa.
Don't pretend like you all don't remember the Lion King song.

[french] Onion Soup

Well, I managed to find SOMETHING that the french did right.
On Sunday I finally got around to cooking Onion soup. For my birthday, my lovely roommate Anna got me a cookbook with the most glorious picture on the front. I did what I'm not supposed to- I judged.
I know that pride is a sin, I really do. And I know it's conceited to blow one's own trumpet, but by george: I was the most proud of myself than I've ever been when I served up the above. I made the worlds best soup. Despite its french-ness!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Today I Published a Book

The following is a link to my very first book! I had to do a project for one of my usage classes, and while others decided to intern edit or write papers, I decided to write a terminology dictionary! It is available for purchase at http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1257610

Pardon Me
The American's Guide to British Terminology
By L. Hollie McKee

To the Americans, the British continue to be a fascinating selection of the Earth’s population. Whether the influence is The Beatles, Harry Potter, or Mr. Darcy: Americans giggle and coo over British vocabulary and diction. Therefore, I submit a condensed translating dictionary of British terms and usage for the American convenience. May your eyes (and minds) be opened to the fruits of our intense and varying language- which was your language until you simplified the laws of spelling.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

In the News...


TAPILI, Congo — Depleted by an American-backed offensive and seemingly desperate for new conscripts, the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most infamous armed groups in Africa, has killed hundreds of villagers in this remote corner of Congo and kidnapped hundreds more, marching them off in a vast human chain, witnesses say.

Read the rest of the story at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/world/africa/28congo.html?ref=todayspaper

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Doing Our Part

Dear Blog Fans,

It will no doubt make you sad to know that I am having a poo day. I sat here in bed, wallowing (because let's face it, we all wallow every now and then) over my woes, and felt a ridiculous feeling of guilt. And so, I decided to make a tiny change. I have resolved to every now and then put in a little plug designed to aid the world and make us better people (yes, I'm taking my blogging responsibilities very seriously). So now you know that whenever I post said tips, it's because I am realizing how selfish and tedious I am.

We'll begin with the Red Cross who, despite spending money on their own leaders and teams, really do a good job aiding the needy in substantial projects.

TEXT 2HELP


The national Text 2HELP Initiative is a partnership between the American Red Cross and The Wireless Foundation that allows customers of participating wireless carriers to send a text message to the Red Cross and make a donation to support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This Fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, cots, counseling and other assistance to victims of U.S. disasters.

Subscribers of participating wireless carriers can donate $5 to American Red Cross disaster relief efforts simply by text messaging the keyword "GIVE" to "2HELP" (24357). Donations will appear on customers' monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. Message and data rates may apply. To opt-out, send "STOP" to 24357.

Participating Carriers:

Alltel
AT&T
Sprint-Nextel
T-Mobile
U.S. Cellular
Verizon Wireless

Text 2HELP Frequently Asked Questions

Privacy Policy


You can help people affected by disasters, like the recent floods and tornadoes, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. You may also call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or mail your donation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

In the News...

Tracing the bitter truth of chocolate and child labour

Reporter Paul Kenyon with cocoa beans in Ghana
Paul Kenyon posed as a cocoa dealer to find child labourers

This Easter, Britons will eat their way through 80m chocolate eggs without the slightest taste of how the essential ingredient in our favourite treat is harvested.

The truth, as BBC Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon discovered when he posed as a cocoa dealer in West Africa, leaves a bitter taste.

In an investigation into the supply chain that delivers much of the chocolate sold in the UK - more than half a million tonnes a year - the BBC found evidence of human trafficking and child slave labour.

Panorama also found that even chocolate marketed as Fairtrade cannot rule out that that, despite having standards and auditing in place, there may still be a possibility of child labour - as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in the supply chain.

Dangerous tools

By the time it hits the High Street, cocoa becomes increasingly hard to trace.

As it passes from farmer to buyer to wholesalers, exporters, importers and manufacturers on the journey from cocoa pod to dried bean to chocolate bunny, it becomes more and more likely to have at some point in the chain included the labour of children who have never so much as tasted a chocolate bar.

The ILO defines the worst kind of child labour as "labour likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children" and includes the use of hazardous tools - such as the machetes needed to chop the cocoa pods free from trees.

Read the rest of the story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8583000/8583499.stm


This is one of those things that we neglect considering. Where do our luxuries come from and how are they obtained? Are we okay with the fact that they are obtained this way? Is knowing enough to make us do something about it? WHAT can we do, as the mere consumer?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

In the Kitchen...

Avocados stuffed with tuna, onion, tomato and basil.
YUM. This is an official shout- out to my very dear friend Clayton Welch, who in ridiculously good taste and class, packed me a lunch one day that consisted of a delectable salad sandwich and one of these (sans tomato). Since that day (last week), these sensational snacks have been on my mind. I finally couldn't take it any longer and headed down to Smith's in order to do a little DIY. It will hereby be my favourite meal/ snack for all of time.
Clay- you inspire me.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I thought I'd take a break...

... from my midnight studying which has been catered by my lovely roommate Johanna. Which reminds me: sour cream and onion pringles always make me smile because when Alastair and I were maybe 7 and 8, we had our cousins Ben and Jordan over for the weekend and happened to eat a box of them. Jordan- who is now a studly Durham graduate with a hottie wife and adorable baby girl- had maybe twice as many pringles as we did and and consequently let out a humungous "blow off" which we all thought was hilarious- because lets, face it: to a 7 or 8 year old absolutely nothing is funnier.
I feel like my blog is taking a strange turn now that I'm plastering old fart stories left right and center.
To prove to you that it has just been "one of those days," may I relate to you what happened to me during my English Language Editing exam today.
Question one had me stumped. And when you're stumped on question ONE, you can pretty much expect life to take a downhill course. To be fair, I think I quite rocked the remainder of the test, but as of ten minutes before my time would be up and points would be lost forever: I was stumped.
I spent 8 minutes cursing the skies and whomever it is in my ancestry that thought it would be funny to make sure I was the one who would get their awful memory retention skills. Finally, in the last two minutes, I wrote the following in place of the essay that ought to have accompanied the carefully penned "Q1:"
"As my luck would have it, my mind has escaped me. Consequently I feel stupid [here I drew a frowny face]. Heavenly Father loves me though."
Quite frankly, if that doesn't get me a point it will be downright un-Christian.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Picture of the Day

Anna and I, Park City, UT. Winter 2010.