Sunday, June 29

Vacation - Part I

Yesterday, Amanda, Danielle and I drove from Utah to Washington. Today we're going to drive from Eastern Washington to the Oregon Coast. That's a lot of car time. We left my house at about 7:30 in the morning and drove to SLC to pick up Danielle - downtown SLC. As we arrived at the prearranged meeting spot, I remembered we were supposed to call Danielle when we were 5 minutes away. Oops! I reached for my phone to call her right then - um, where's my phone? Yikes! I had it in my purse earlier in the morning, but then Amanda called to give me an ETA, and I left the phone on the couch. I can't NOT have my phone for the next week, so we had to drive back to Orem from downtown SLC, and then back up again. I guess it was better that I found in in SLC than in Boise, or in Washington itself, huh?

Danielle brought a box of Trivial Pursuit questions to keep us entertained during the long drive. How entertained? At first we thought the cards were from 1988, but by the end of the drive we had discovered that the Trivial Pursuit questions predated 1986. It was awesome. We had questions about "current events" such as 'What's the capitol of West Germany?,' 'Who is the ruler of Yugoslavia?,' 'Who is due to be released from prison in 1986?,' etc. It really is amazing to think how much the face of the world has changed in a mere 20 years, though.

More to come...

Thursday, June 26

What happens when your ringtone is a song from your iTunes

I love my individualized ring tones – when my phone rings, I want to know that it’s my phone. I don’t want to be one of 10 people who look to see if it is their phone ringing. Ever since you could customize your ring tones, I have done so.

When my family calls, I hear the theme song to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (it’s been this way for years).
When people from work call, I hear the theme song to The Office.
My generic ring tone is the theme song to Angel.
When friends call, I hear the theme song to Veronica Mars ('We Used to be Friends').
Are you seeing a pattern here? I’m not sure what this says about me, but anywho.

I have a new obsession with the BBC series Doctor Who, so I wanted to use the theme song as a ring tone. I've only assigned it to a couple of people, so I know exactly who's calling when I hear that ring.

This morning before work I was listening to my iTunes, doing laundry, eating breakfast, etc. All of a sudden, I hear the sound announcing my favorite time lord (theme from Doctor Who). Yikes! A phone call early in the morning means one of two things – a personal or work emergency, or a mistake. I felt that sudden quickening of my heart rate as I wondered “what happened.” I rushed around the house looking for my cell phone. I followed the sound of my ring tone, but couldn't find my phone. What the? All I see is my laptop. Maybe my cell phone is under my laptop – my laptop playing my iTunes. So, I pick up my laptop to look for my cell phone. Nope, not under there. Where is that dang cell phone? And why is it still ringing instead of going to voice mail? Ah, shucks, it’s the theme song playing on my laptop. Heart rate decreases while laughter increases. What a moron.

Sunday, June 22

Look ma, no hands!

As stated earlier, last night I took my mom to see my nephew, Kris, play soccer in Salt Lake City. He plays for the University of Utah. The game was enjoyable, even more so because we were sitting on the shaded side of the stadium – it was a whopping 98°. Highlights of the evening:

• Kris playing goalie
• Harold yelling at the refs
• Lupita, McKenzi and Noah squirting everybody with water from squirt bottles – which no one minded too much because of the aforementioned 98°
• My mixing and matching of sports terminology (i.e. can’t they get a rebound, if they shoot a goal from mid-field does it count for 3 points, and if anyone had scored I would have yelled “touchdown!”).

But the #1 highlight of the evening goes to my sister-in-law, Kathy. In a rare moment of sports seriousness, I asked the difference between throwing the ball and kicking it, of course, referring to the goalies. Kathy turned around to explain to me that only the goalies are allowed to touch the ball with their hands. She was so nice about it, and I was so shocked that she thought that was my question, I couldn’t even respond sarcastically with “Really? That’s how you play soccer?” Maybe I should have rephrased my question to be more specific, but I understood what I was asking, AND I did ask it right after a goalie chose to throw the ball instead of kick it. After we all started laughing about it, and I explained that I really did know at least THAT rule, my cute niece Amber said that she was going to say something sarcastic but refrained just in case I seriously didn’t know. Maybe somewhere in my mixing and matching of sports terminology, some people missed that I was joking?

Kudos to my mom!! Her health isn’t too great, and walking around too much is very painful for her. To get from where we parked to our seats about did her in, but then when we left, we had to hike for awhile as well. Good thing she wore here tennis shoes and not her 4-inch spike heels.

I took some cute pictures (it helps having such a cute family), but somehow missed a picture of Kris playing soccer – I’m a bad aunt.

Amber (niece)

Cory (nephew) sitting by Harold ("dad")

Kathy (sister-in-law)

Keith (nephew-in-law) and Noah (great-nephew)

Crazy Keith?

Lupita (niece)

McKenzi (niece)


How adorable is Noah?

Saturday, June 21

Addendum to 'Who's your daddy?'

I just got back from watching my nephew Kris in a soccer game up at Rice Eccles Stadium (I'll post more on this later). Kris is Harold's oldest son. Anyway, here's a conversation I had with Harold.
Harold: "You know, this past week was our annual stockholders meeting."
Me: "Was that reporter there?"
Harold: "Yup."
Me: "He didn't ask you how your daughter was doing, did he?"
Harold: "Yes he did."
Ugh - some people just don't get it.

Thursday, June 19

Destination Panera

I’m in Albany, New York this week – which is a story in itself. But, don’t worry, I won’t share it here. Yesterday I had 20 minutes between the ending of my 2nd conference call and the time we had to leave for the newspaper. So, I just have time to quickly grad some lunch. I LOVE Panera Bread:

We are bakers of bread. We are fresh from the oven.
We are a symbol
of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure, honest and genuine. We are a life story told over dinner. We are a long lunch with an old friend. We are your weekday morning ritual.We are the kindest gesture of neighbors. We are home. We are family. We are friends.

There are no Panera’s in Utah, so I try to go whenever I’m in a city that has one. So, 20 minutes. I was sure I could drive to the Panera near the hotel, order something, and drive back to pick up Blaine and Patrick. Now, I’d never been to this Panera, but Blaine said it was down Washington by Crossgate Mall (I think it’s called Crossgate). So, I get in the car and drive.

Let me pause here to mention that I am, simply put, directionally challenged.

I see Crossgate Mall, so I turn off Washington. I drive all around the mall, but I don’t see any Panera. Sadly, that wasted all the time I had, so I decided to get back on Washington and drive back to the hotel. Unfortunately, I can’t find a way to get back on to Washington. Now, I turn off Washington to get to the mall, but there’s no way to get back onto Washington? What kind of crazy road system is this?

So, I get on another road driving in the direction (I think) of my hotel. If I can just see which road I’m on, that will help. I see street signs for each cross street, but I can’t find a single sign that tells me what road I’m actually on. How is that possible? I could call my co-worker Ken for directions, except it’s against NY state law to talk on your cell phone while driving, and even if I could call him, I couldn’t tell him what road I’m on NOR in which direction I’m driving. I could pull over and ask for directions, but I don’t think I’m in a very savory part of town. So, I figure that as long as I keep driving toward the hotel I’ll be able to figure out where I am.

Driving, driving, OK, I’m almost late, and I’m no closer to figuring out where I am, so I surreptitiously call Ken on my cell – thank goodness for speakerphones. Ken was trying to be so helpful, but he couldn’t figure out where I was either. Wait, I see an exit for Washington Ave. Whew.

After another 10 minutes, I find the hotel. Somehow, I hadn’t been driving in the correct direction (see, directionally challenged), and was at the opposite end of Washington Ave. Poor Blaine and Patrick were worried about being late so they were in Blaine’s car leaving just as I drove into the hotel parking lot –10 minutes late.

All I wanted was a yummy Panera sandwich instead of the normal Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Subway fare. Not only did I make us late (only a little) for our 2:00 meeting, but I didn’t get any lunch, either. Woe is me.

Monday, June 16

Note to self...

When setting the alarm in a new hotel room, verify that it's set for a.m. and not p.m.

Saturday, June 14

Movie Weekend

The Happening wasn't very happening. It was horrible. Don't even bother going to see it. The acting seemed forced, which is disappointing because I really like Mark Wahlberg - The Italian Job, Zooey Deschanel - Tin Man, and John Leguizamo - To Wong Foo. The script didn't seem to flow - you know, like real conversations would never sound like that. And the plot? SPOILER ALERT - I think it was a 91-minute political statement on how we're destroying the planet - and believe me, it felt longer than 91 minutes. Not that I don't want to be eco-friendly, I do, but I think this was a little extreme. For someone who had such promising movies, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, his last few movies have fallen short. And I'm really not sure why it's being hyped as "his first rated R movie." Jeff made the point - before Amanda and I saw it - that is was probably so bad that this was the only way to get people to see it. So, in addition to having forced acting and a silly plot, it was really gross, too. So, don't waste your time OR your money.

Kung Fu Panda was great. I LOVE Jack Black - School of Rock, Nacho Libre, and The Holiday - how can I pick just one movie to reference him? In the first 5 minutes I was entertained by Jack Black's use of the words "Legendary" and "Awesomeness." Whether these were intentional references to How I Met Your Mother or not, I can never hear those two words again without thinking of Barney Stinson. Although there wasn't an earth-shattering, existential statement, there was witty dialog (as with most animated movies today, a lot of it was directed towards adults, not children - not that it was bad, most kids just wouldn't understand it), a good message, and awesome animated kung fu scenes. The thousands of children sitting by me seemed to enjoy it, so if you have kids - take them.

Thursday, June 12

Aren't pigs supposed to like the mud?

My friend had this posted on her blog. This picture alone is so adorable, I had to include it on mine.

Cinderella, a six-week-old saddleback pig has conquered her fear of walking in mud with the help of a pair of bespoke wellies.

Where did the owners find these awesome wellies? Click here to read the full story.

The NBA Finals and the Lunch Lady?

I was watching the NBA Finals this evening - GO Celtics! I like the Celtics, but truth be told, my motto is "Go anybody BUT the Lakers!"

Anywho, Amanda and I were mocking the hair of one of the Lakers - Sasha Vujacic. Rude? Yes. Funny? Yes. He wears this weird head band thingy (I think that's what it is), I assume to keep his long, sweaty hair out of his face as he plays. It really can't be a fashion statement, can it? At some point in the fourth quarter, I had the strangest feeling that Sasha looked familiar.

That's it, his hair band makes him look like a lunch lady. You know who else looks like a lunch lady?

This is an inspiring story

Yesterday, the wife of a friend (she is also a friend) sent me a link to a story her husband posted on As I sat in my office at work and read this story, I started crying - it was such a touching and amazing story. It really made me think about what was important in life, and about how much determination I do or don't have. I asked Courtney if I could share this on my blog, and he said of course. So, here it is.

My 10 year old daughter has run in the Capitol kids race in Boise the last two years. It is a one mile race from the old Boise depot to the State Capitol building. But last October she developed a mysterious neurological condition that severely limits her control of her right arm and leg. So she now wears a leg brace and walks with a limp. She's been seen by doctors here and specialists in San Francisco but they still haven't been able to come up with a diagnosis or treatment.

One of the goals she set in her physical therapy was to complete the race again this year. So Saturday morning while a couple thousand other kids were running in the race, she walked. I walked with her, holding her hand to keep her steady. It was difficult for her, but she did it. At one point she said to me "I don't care if it hurts, I just want to finish."

With about a quarter mile to go the BSU
[Boise State University] mascot came and held her other hand and the three of us finished the race -- dead last. As we approached the finish line family, volunteers and spectators were cheering, and crying. It was incredible.

I've run three marathons in the past 13 months, but none of them even came close to the thrill of seeing my little girl walk that one mile. It takes a lot of guts to enter a race knowing that you will finish in last place.

Monday, June 9

A rose by any other name...

Yesterday (Sunday), some gentlemen from my church came by to visit me, I guess to see how things were going. First of all, I was expecting a friend for dinner, so seeing three older men at my door was a little disconcerting.

Anyway, at the end of their visit, they asked if we could pray together. I said of course, so I asked one of the gentlemen to give the prayer. I knew I was in trouble when he started out the prayer, "bless...
this house." Poor guy, totally forgot my name. I chuckled on the inside (I hope it was on the inside). However, that's not the end. He must have had an epiphany (or what he thought was an epiphany) because he started praying for Kellie at work, her travels, etc. Who's Kellie? Oh, he means me. More chuckling and smiling (again, hopefully on the inside).

Since someone at work today mistakenly called me Kallie (pronounced 'Kay-lee.' NOTE: he totally knows my name, he just got tongue-tied), I told this story to my boss. He summed it up best when he said "Kellie must be having a great day at work." Correctly insinuating, of course, that I'm not.

Saturday, June 7

Who's your daddy?

I spent a week working in Colorado Springs back in April. As I've said, my brother lives near the Springs in Monument. He's the president or CEO of some computer microchip company, or something. Anywho, in April, he was telling me how the business reporter for the Colorado Spring Gazette (the paper where I was training software classes) was going to interview him later that week, and how he had printed misinformation about my brother's company and employees on a previous occasion. As you can imagine, my brother didn't have many (if any) complimentary things to say about this reporter.

So, I'm sitting in my class one morning when this gentleman walks in, interrupting my class, and asks, "Is there a Blomquist in here?"

I raise my hand.

He says, "I just spoke to your dad on the phone." Wow, since my dad has been dead since 1992, that reporter must have a better phone plan than I do.

I gently correct him by saying, "My brother?"

"Yes, your brother."

Insert more small talk here. He then says, "I'm going to interview your dad later this week."

Another gentle correction, "My brother?"


More talk, then, "Your dad's the president of a computer company here."

Not so gentle, "You mean my brother?"


After he leaves, my entire class bursts into laughter. They don't have that high of an opinion of him either. Now, granted, if Harold had a love child at age 18, he COULD be my dad, but he's not.

I immediately call Harold to tell him. Harold laughs (in a disdainful way) and tells me that when the reporter had called him earlier that morning, Harold mentioned that a beautiful blond relative of his (I assume he meant me) was training classes at the paper. "Oh, your daughter?" "No, my sister."

Fast forward to this past week. When my friends/co-workers and I were having dinner with my brother on Monday, I had to tell this story, it was so funny. Then, either on Tuesday or Wednesday, this reporter sees me and comes over to talk to me.

"Blomquist, right?"

"Yes, that's me.

"How's dad doing?"

"He's fine."

I give up. Some people never listen.

Tuesday, June 3

Will someone explain this to me, please?

As many of you know, I'm in Colorado Springs this week - missing the second half of my Camera Smarts class. My brother lives in Monument, near Colorado Springs, and has just adopted an adorable 10-year old girl, Lupita. So, last night, my three co-workers and I met my brother and his family for dinner. Allen said it correctly when he described Lupita as "a delight." She's a great addition to our family.

Anyway, on our way back from the restaurant, Allen noticed this sign.

Please explain this to me. First of all, "Bayou BarBQ?" Is barbecue really the type of cooking that you associate with the Bayou? Secondly, "BarBQ Laundromat?" What in the world is a BarBQ Laundromat? Stick-to-your-ribs washers? Hickory-smoked dryers? I'm confused.

How do you like my new look?

So, a friend of mine told me that a friend of hers designs blogs. I contacted Sarah at Blogovers With Love to redo my site. She directed me to some websites to buy Digital Scrapbook Kits and stuff (imagine, digital scrapbooks). I picked a kit I like - called French Attic. Sarah did a GREAT job. I quite like the new look. Any donations given for their work go toward benefitting orphans in Taiwan and China. Thanks Sarah!!