Sunday, 31 January 2010

Goodbye January

January has been, on the whole, mild. The weather has been more like it ought to be in April, to be frank, meanwhile in Germany the above happens. My mother blogged (I am rubbing off on her I suppose) about the beautiful snow over there. I could blog about the nasty dirty slush in Utah, but I will refrain for the sake of everyone's illusions. To be fair to our creator, I will tell you that the weather we have been having is gorgeous- clear blue skies, warm breezes etc. I feel like a criminal saying it, but every once in a while I secretly give global warming a teensy thumbs up. No I don't! Who said that?! Not me. Global warming bad. Disney says so.
On a serious note: Haiti. Our ward did our part by throwing a bake sale. Which basically meant that we donated money and celebrated such my eating fancy treats. I used the opportunity to use my brand spanking new cupcake tier tray, complete with home-made (from scratch, thank you very much- none of this "add oil and eggs" rubbish) cupcakes, individually decorated. Flavours included chocolate orange, strawberry topped, jam filled, cream filled, chocolate chip, pecan topped, sprinkled, etc. Noteworthy baked treats include the above featured. A special shout out (yes, I am shouting out) goes to Sean Southerland who made HOME MADE ICE CREAM. Consider me officially topped in any sort of home-making. Though I did not congratulate him in person, I was impressed, to say the very least. And hope, if he reads, that he will one day show me how to made ice cream.
I went to the BYU/Utah Basketball game. BYU and Utah, for those of you that do not know, are perhaps the most rivaled schools in the Mountain West Conference. So this game was jam packed and quite a big deal. It was a close game and some fists were even thrown (the fists were, of course, those of the Ute's). Nevertheless, BYU players such as Jimmer Fredette (a personal fave) led us to victory. Of course. I was glad also, for personal reasons, to see the Utes defeated and humiliated. Which is probably not very Christ-like.
A couple of thoughts I had while sitting in the stands:
a) when the opposing team has the ball the crowd would jeer, which struck me as something relatable to the great and spacious building, spoken of by Lehi.
b) once upon a time, just as many people would get together and cheer/ get excited by gladiators killing each other and/or wild animals.
Both of my thoughts were not really entertained by the people I was with, but I really think they have merit, hence my blogging them.
Meanwhile in Frankfurt, Connor eats snow. The number of times I did this as a kid are uncountable- though I was never bold enough to get a bowl and spoon. Does everyone eat snow?
Also, you should know about Logan and Connor and their sportishness. Connor plays on the rugby team and took his very first "business trip" to Brussels to play the international team there. Logan continues to be the star of practically every physical feat at his school, this semester on the Basketball team. I bet he could play for BYU if he wanted...

In other news, We ought to all take a moment to recognize the passing of perhaps one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. J.D. Salinger passed away this week. I would post a picture but I think he would have seen that as an invasion of privacy. Salinger wrote a number of short stories and the ever unpopular (but ultimately VERY popular) "The Catcher in the Rye". It was the only novel published, after which he retreated to a life of relative solitude. Heaven only knows what treasures are in his New Hampshire home, waiting to NOT be published. The biggest disappointment I have is the nobody ever got a decent interview out of him. But perhaps this is a good thing: too many things are no longer a mystery these days. So. If you haven't already, read "The Catcher in the Rye" or at least Wikipedia it.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Technology Today

The western world is going crazy over this beautiful little piece of equipment. As thin as the screen of a Macbook Air, this product is ridiculously... well, ridiculous! AND I WANT ONE! It has all you could possibly need in a piece of equipment designed to put the world at the tip of your fingers- literally! Everything about the product is touch activated. It's the FUTURE at its most palpable. I was blown away with the laptop, way back when. But THIS makes the lap top look OLD- which in and of itself is incredible to me. I wonder at the possibility that the iPad could ever seem "old" in the future. Suddenly the technological world James Cameron portrayed in Avatar seems incredibly probable!
And this is the end of my nerd-attack excitement for shiny things.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Monday, 25 January 2010

Funny of the Day

Oh, the ways in which I can relate! As I am sick today (sore throat, I sound like a cross between Bette Lynch, a chain smoker (like Bette Lynch) and a lion of the non Disney variety), this cheered me up.

I Slept on a Slope

Last night I sky dove onto my bed and broke it. Yes. I'm a fatty. So last night (and probably for the next few nights at least) I slept on a hill, effectively. Which I am convincing myself isn't too bad considering most hospital beds are like that anyways. It's like I have an orthopedic bed, sans ridiculous price for said bed.
Onto other matters. Yesterday we cooked for the Bishop and his lovely family. Thanks to Martha Jamie Oliver, the Chili was fantastic. We served it with baked potato, salad, guacamole, fresh lime and had Apple dumplings and ice cream.
The highlight of my night was the Bishop's comment that he had heard a lot of good stuff about Hollie's cooking! I am sure you blog fans had something to do with that- so thank you!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Funny of the Day

Explaining to co- workers about crumpets...
Ryan: And... how often do you eat thsese things you call "crumpets"?

Martin Luther King jr. Day... A day of Dreams!

Martin Luther King jr. made his mark on the world changing the face of social America and the views of people all over the world. Of course, he should have his own holiday. As is usual with all holidays, I usually take the time to sleep longer than necessary and effectively waste 24 hours wondering what to do with myself. This holiday, however: NOT SO. I officially nominate this to be the best spend holiday ever.
Anna and I slept in until 8am (which is good for us on a school day) and made omlettes and fruit smoothies. We sat at our kitchen table and spied on the neighbors (nothing noteworthy to report) while enjoying a heart breakfast.
Then, after showers etc., we decided to head to Park City for some out-of-provo fun!

Then, after the scenic drive through the canyon, we hopped into the hot tub for a little R&R before dressing fancy and heading to the movies. We decided to see Sherlock Holmes which was, to our surprise, absoluetly fantastic. I was a little dubious about Downey as Sherlock, but WOW he pulled it off wonderfully. Go see the movie.
THEN, on our way out of the theater we saw a poster for AVATAR and thought, why not? Bravo James Cameron, Bravo. Avatar was quite simpley breathtaking. Logan went to see it when I was in Germany and I thought it was funny that he said he wanted to BE one of them- but he was so right. It was phenominal.
Cooking news- because I know you all miss my cooking news- on Sunday we hosted ward Happy notes in our apartment, so I catered the event with baked treats. Thanks to Martha Stewart, I made some great jame filled cupcakes topped with creamy nutella and Pecans. They were well received. Also, this coming Sunday, some friends and I will be cooking for our Bishop and his family! This si very exciting for me. Any recipe ideas are, as usual, welcomed.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Letter of the Day

Singer Kelis was verbally attacked by the PETA, who also sent her a letter condemning her decision to wear fur. Kelis responded...

On wearing fur:

"Btw it’s not just the look of fur. It’s warm as hell and feels glorious, ever rubbed faux fur on your body? Nothing luxurious about that. Then the letter proceeded to name artist and designers who don't wear real fur. Great! More for me! I don't judge them, don't judge me.

"If I started wearing endangered animals like polar bear or orangutan then talk to me. (Which btw for the record I would not - I do believe in the preservation of endangered species) But the minks and chinchilla that quite honestly are rodents and if weren't in the form of a coat I would demand they be put to death anyway are not an issue to me."

On eating meat:

"There is no humane way to kill anything, let me start there. It’s unfortunate but it’s part of life. With that being said, I would eat pterodactyl if you found some and you told me it was meaty and delicious…I eat meat, and in fact my mouth salivates as I type the word meat!"

On how PETA should find a more "worthwhile cause":

"If u want to preach do it about something worthwhile don't waste my time trying to save the dang chipmunk. Find a worthwhile cause like the women being maimed in these Middle Eastern countries. Or female circumcision. Or women's rights here in America, we still get paid less for doing the same jobs as men.

"Quite honestly if you hate the world so much go live in the forest where no one else has to hear you complain about the perfectly good food chain the good Lord created. Everyone has the right to an opinion, and that's mine on that! xoxo

There you have it. I posted this because it is a refreshing take on what Americans believe is important today. Kelis hits the nail on the head when she questions ones priorities- when there is human suffering in the world, poverty, and blatant violence against those HUMAN inhabitants of this world, DROP THE FUR/ MEAT ARGUMENT AND CONCERN YOURSELF WITH YOUR FELLOW MAN! I understand that there are poorly treated animals in the world, neglected animals and endangered species. But at the end of the day, I fully believe that animals are a resource. There are poorly treated humans. There are neglected humans. There are endangered humans. If we can't learn to take care of our own brothers and sisters, how are we going to CREATE our own one day? Just a thought.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Thursday's Child

I am actually a Wednesday's Child- but today is Thursday, and so there you have it.
Some thoughts for you: The UGG. While out with my good friend Matt, conversation turned toward these somewhat "scene" boots. While I have to admit their sheer comfort- as well as the fact that I do indeed (like the rest of the female population here in mountainous Utah) own a pair- Matt and I decided that they should most definitely be considered "out". Matt's somewhat pessimistic viewpoint was surprisingly heated, and stemmed from the idea that Uggs are lazy, sloppy and slobbish- troop around your house all day, but don't even think of wearing them in public: they are not classy, they are not professional and they just don't look like they ought to coincide with the AGE of most of their owners.
My opinion is not quite as adamant: but I will say that 2005-7 seemed to be the years of the Ugg, and while it is now 2010... well, that should be enough of a hint. Moral of the story: Laundry runs in the Uggs = OK. Class, mall, date in the Uggs = not OK.
Other news:
What I'm reading: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I was mesmerized by the preface alone, written by Wile himself, wherein he states, amongst other beautifully thought out and composed sentences, "Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope." My lovely roommate likes to get to bed early, and so lately I have found myself reading things by the light of my cell phone, huddled under the covers.
This is not something new to me- I grew up with a flashlight under my pillow. Looking back, I'm sure my mother knew I spent too many hours reading under my heavy quilts when I should have been sleeping- but regardless, I always felt so secretive and independent.
Other things I am reading: 1 Nephi (hello January), Genesis, Kontakte!, Ebbitt and Ebbitt's English Usage, and far too many other grammar books.
What I'm writing: nothing, this week. I know, I know. I'm awful. But next week I will pump out another violent children's book.
Nicest comfort of the week: remade my bed, PROPERLY, so the sheets were tight and cosy. Also cleaned out my desk drawer and chucked out a ton of old stuff, which just feels so nice and cleansing. I see why my Mother likes to do it so often. One time she even threw out all of our birth certificates!
Exciting news ahead: MLK day (so no school on monday!)
Find of the week: Notecards. Completely revolutionized the way I study.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

Before I forget: check out Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds by Katie Melua. She's a classy lady and I love her take on this classic Beatles tune.
On to other subjects. I am blogging tonight because I realize I have not done so in over a week, and if I am to successfully convince myself that by blogging I am in some way fulfilling my duty to write a journal, then so be it. I will tell you all that my poor journal writing is largely my brother's fault. I can't tell you the number of times I caught him poring through my silly scribbles, or the number of times he would coyly slip into public conversation the name of my latest crush. Humiliating. Don't get me wrong, I love the kid, but a snoop is every young girls nightmare. At one point I decided to develop a very sophisticated "code language". It was so sophisticated in fact, that now I have 2 months worth of my 13 yr old history that I can in no way decipher.
Anyway, here I am.
My semester is looking interesting. I have a couple of classes that I would rather not take, but am doing so in the name of graduation. English language 325 would be one of those classes. My Professor is an interesting character. If any of you have ever seen "spongebob squarepants" before, you will know what I mean when I tell you that he reminds me of Squidward. His voice is identical. He wears his too big trousers very low and wears the sorts of glasses that President Benson did.
I am taking a German class. I thought it was high time that I did so. I have learned that while I read and translate rather well, my oral skill is pretty much non existent. However, I am glad that I am in the class because there are some very interesting characters in it. I probably will not go into detail because knowing my luck I will become jolly good friends with them all and there could be some possibility of them reading this at some point.
Geology. I am giving Physical science another whirl. You will all know that the last time I tried, it didn't work out so well for me: yes, you may call me a "quitter"- go ahead. Judge. But this time it might be bearable. Rocks and stuff- I am rather pumped up for it. Either that, or I am SAYING I am pumped up because I know for a fact that one of you blog fans is related to my professor. Hi Matt.
My other classes include more Grammar classes than I thought possible and an INCREDIBLY interesting "Bible as Literature" class that I have heard immensely about.
My cooking feats as of late: Pork pot roast (very yummy), my lovely greek potato dish (email me for the details- it's simply marvelous) and macaroni cheese, martha stewart style. How I love her. Minus the jail situation of course.
Insult of the week- by none other than Sam Larson, of course: he called me his "Wendy" as I cooked for him and his "lost boys". Not at all impressed.
Movie of the week: Leap Year. Devon and I ran out to watch it (yes, Devon went to a CHIC FLICK, it happened)- it was rather adorable. Our favourite part, it seemed, was where Amy Adams explains to the Irish lead her intentions to propose to her man, and said Irish lead laughs his head off and tells her its ridiculous. You have to see it. For the record, I agree with the Irish lead- no girl should have to propose to any boyfriend she has for four years. Having said that, it appears we now live in a society where guys find it impossible to even ask a girl out to dinner so...
Ah yes- one more piece of news before I skip off to bed- I was promoted at work! Hurray for a whole extra dollar an hour and a tad more power.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Mansfield Park

Bravo BBC for another timeless depiction of Austen. The only thing that I disagree with is Billie Piper.

There's Egg on Your Chin!

new saying I learned today- origin: Yorkshire (apparently- feel free to correct)- meaning: your flies are undone.
On another note: Happy New Year! Christmas was wonderful- Frankfurt is snow-covered and chilly, but the house is warm and beautifully decorated. You will all be so proud of me: I stuffed my first turkey, all by myself (with a little help from Martha Stewart)! Martha advised me that my stuffing had to be piping hot as it went into the turkey- which confused me because she was shoveling it in with her hands. How was I supposed to do it with my hands if it was piping hot?! So I opted to do it with a spoon and fork. I crammed it in there and by the time I did, the turkey looked twice the size! I smothered the turkey in butter, arranged a bed of vegetables and dumped the turkey on top. It was sensational.
My time has been occupied with board games, far too much television and a disgusting but satisfying talent of sleeping in.
Of the aforementioned television watching, I must take a moment to rave about CRANFORD, a period series supplied by, of course, the BBC. Judi Dench at her finest, and writing at its most supple. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it to you all.
The New Year was okay. I feel it a little tedious to admit publically my disdain for feeling like a sore thumb, but I am sure we can all agree on the matter. I spent the new year on a dance floor (standing still- the awkwardness is already apparent) completely SINGLE whilst couples with at least 20 years of marriage under their belts jiggled and bopped around me sporting the best dance moves of the mid '80s. Coupledom. Jiggling. And me.
On the plus side, I learned a lovely Portuguese tradition: at midnight everyone ate 12 raisins and made a wish on each one. I used the same wish for at least 6 raisins because when it comes down to the wire and glasses are clinking and couples are kissing and everyone is hugging everyone frantically, it became stressful and I didn't want my wishing time to expire. in retrospect, I might suppose that 12 is a hefty number, and it is quite easy to get greedy with 12 wishes. 3 should suffice in the future.
My Resolutions of the year (I am writing them so that you may feel like you may scold me when I slip) are the following:
1. to study the Book of Mormon every day
2. to read the Ensign every month
3. to submit one manuscript to a publisher every month
4. to dedicate one day per week to only classical or spiritual music on my ipod
5. to read more
6. to learn how to better manage my money (or lack thereof).
Tomorrow I will fly back to the states, ready for another semester of school and excited for a new and hopefully eventful year!
My love to you all, and dear blessings for the year! Thank you for reading!