Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Men Who Wear Necklaces...

... please stop.

Picture of the Day

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

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

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.


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:

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

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

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.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Multicultural Education

As you will know, dear blogfriends, my very lovely friend Ashley and I have just begun a multicultural education block class. Let me take a moment to praise teachers like Clifford Mayes, who are student friendly and passionate about what they teach. Teachers who have neither of these qualities are in the wrong profession.
This week I learned about Little Rock, AR., which was rather dramatic and appauling. Watching footage and interviews from the actual experience was enlightening in ways that I had never really considered. I am more than aware of racial hardships and discrimination in the world today. I got to thinking- at what point would these people stop and look at themselves and be ashamed? I think it's hard to do so when you believe whole heartedly that your ideas and opinions are genuinely and evidently true.
I am still trying to figure out how my own multicultural though processes developed. In all honest, I cannot think of a single instance wherein I actually became aware of race, and the fact that society considers different races in different ways. Perhaps this is due to good parenting? I just can't seem to get a grasp on it. Perhaps one day I will figure it out. And of course, I'll let you know.
Anyway, go ahead now and wikipedia Little Rock and the Little Rock Nine. You know you want to.
On another educational note, my roommate Karem educated me on calcium this week, which brought back haunting memories of when I was about 8 and happened upon a documentary that made me scared to death of osteoporosis and the fact that I hated milk. I used the past tense there when I should have used the present: I hate milk. Yeulek! Anyway now my fears are being revisited and I just hope you all know that if ever i DID get osteoporosis, I hope you all know that as my avid fans, you will be responsible for the life I have become accustomed to.

Monday, 8 March 2010

PS. I really do love you

... really. I have the best friends ever. Corny blog post over.

American Culture: I Don't Understand You

To my American friends: I love you. But there are some things I can't fathom/ stand.
Last night there was a knock at my front door, which was followed by the squeak of the front door as it was pushed open. The knocker/ intruder waltzed in and plonked himself on my couch while I sat on said couch in my pyjamas, bewildered. Said intruder then sat, wordless, waiting for us to entertain him. While waiting, he flipped open my phone, tried on my watch and rifled through my papers that I had placed in order to study from.
Did I mention I was in my pyjamas?
I should, perhaps, mention that as he wandered from the door to the couch (where I sat... in my pyjamas) he aimlessly said, "did you guys say 'come in?'" Despite the fact that neither of my roommates or myself are "guys," we responded that no, we had not invited the knocker to "come in," to which the intruder snort-giggled before sitting, waiting, and rifling.
On the couch where I sat, in my pyjamas.
I hope my neighbors and friends know that I am always there for them if they need to talk or want a visit. I just don't like being caught in pyjamas!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Things This Week

This week has been a blur of all sorts of preoccupations. Here are a few highlights/ memorable notes. Firstly, I should remind you, my blog fans, of my upcoming life celebration. Yes, I'll be 22 next week. Which in and of itself is a ridiculously intimidating thought. I have come to the conclusion, however, that I at least have a lot of accomplishments, adventures and unique stories to show for my years. To celebrate, I hope my parents guessed that the above is what I hope to be wearing by the time I am 23. This will probably be considered a hint for Christmas.
Secondly, I admit that I am so very upset that I no longer have the time, it seems, to cook. The people in my ward are practically famished. Just kidding, I don't cook for everyone. BUT I am rather irritated that I seem to be eating oatmeal for dinner every night because I just get home too late or have too much reading and writing to get done. In reality, I should get up an hour early and prepare real lunches for myself or something. But let's face it: who actually hears that awful alarm sound and thinks "yes! I am outta this cosy bed, let's go go go!"?? Not me. When I hear that sound, I hit snooze. at least three times.

My next week event concerns the most ridiculous grammar book I think I have ever laid eyes on. Rodney Huddleston, If you're reading this, please consider burning this book or dis-associating yourself from its publication. I realize that a lot of text books are written by very knowledgable people who must at least be interested in what they are writing. However, I am truly of the opinion that many of these authors forget who they are writing to. No college kid in their right mind would get excited about reading this book. And I am certain that most professors of the same caliber as Huddleston himself and screamin inside for something a little more appetizing to read after a day of their own hoyty toyty consumation. Text book authors, do us a favor: at least pretend to be passionate about what you are teaching! be a little loquacious! If your reader has to resort to caffeine in order to make it through another page, you are going wrong somewhere.
Especially if that page is the introductory page.
Lastly, Ke$ha. I have been hearing about her tik-tok song for a while now and finally decided to give it a listen while at work. My judgment (I'm sure you are all excited to hear about it): overrated. I don't find anything unique about her music, though it is of course catchy and upbeat and probably something I would quite happily run to. I WILL say, however, that her appearance distresses me. I want to brush her hair, wash her eyes and give her a dollar to make her smile.

In the News...

U.S. airports expand passenger full-body screening
Ross Kerber BOSTON

BOSTON (Reuters) - Airport officials on Friday showed off new X-ray scanning machines they will use to screen more passengers with full-body imaging as called for by security advocates, a step that has alarmed civil libertarians.
The $170,000 machines made by a unit of OSI Systems Inc show guards images of passengers' bodies through their clothes to reveal hidden objects.
Three to be activated on Monday at Boston's Logan International Airport will be the first of 150 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials hope to deploy in the next few months using funds from last year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus.
The agency aims to have 450 advanced scanners at airports by the end of the year.

to read the rest of this article, visit

Here are my qualms with this whole situation.

It is bad enough that it takes a ridiculous amount of time inching forward in line so that all of my personal items can be examined. Then, I have to take 5 minutes taking off shoes, belts, jewelry and dismantling cameras, cell phones and lap tops. THEN, I somehow still manage to make the machine beep, meaning I get to have the fabulous experience of being physically accosted by an over zealous security guard. This happened once in Germany and was the most invasive experience of my existence. Imagine myhorror when, after siad feelage, I was led to a small area of the room that was curtained off. I was more than ready to execute a few self defence moves. As it turns out, the search of my PERSON was complete, but they demanded I open up my lap top for inspection. That's right, of my FILES. Because we all know what murderous capacity my FILES have.

Considering how expensive these new machines are, I can only imagine the more intense queing I will have to do. Which, by the way, I am NOT down for, especially when the end of said que involves ex-ray capacity the likes of which only Superman previously had the privelege of.

Of course, I believe that we want to be as safe as possible on these air plights. But surely the criminal master minds behind these morbid attempts have realised that if they really want to do that sort of thing, armina passenger is not the way to go? Especially with how tight things are getting these days. In short- I think these new machines are invasive, expensive and time consuming excess. You'd never believe the world was in financial crisis.