Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This abandoned and run done old church in my neighborhood- which until now has been a huge eye-sore for the community is being transformed into community building center for The Arts for children.


TrICA was founded by this incredible guy Jon Swarthout, whom I've had the privilege to meet during one of the performances the kids put on every Saturday during the summer at the Market and he leads the classes teaching kids respect through fun activities like break dancing class and rock n'z roll lessons.  The performances are always a smash hit because the kids get really into it and you can see and feel their enthusiasm!  Jon brings that out in these kids.  Plus the kids L-O-V-E the programs! And doesn't the building just ooze cool now?!  I wish they had classes for adults too?  Can I be a kid again?!

Since I'm already asking for money for CCFA this week... it can't hurt to hit all of you generous people up for TrICA as well.  They have a lot of work to do to get the building up to code so they can open their doors and they are short about $600,000.00.  Every little bit helps!  I encourage everyone to participate... I know once David and I have kids we'll be signing them up as soon as they're old enough!  Check them out online

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nerd Alert!

I'm sure how many of you know this about me, but I'm a science fiction nerd.  I love the idea of space travel and then final frontier... its so endless.  The most recent Star Trek was AMAZING, however, my favorite is a little less know series called Firefly which was canceled after one season, but the fans were so upset that they producers made a movie called Serenity to follow-up the series.  Our first year in Boise together David and I dressed up as Mal and Inara, but only one other sci-fi nerd know who we were.

I'm also a huge fan of Contact, which spoke to me on both a scientific and spiritual level... which is why I also loved Angels and Demons... the book more than the movie of course, but the theories postulated were really exciting to me.

Which brings me back to the real reason I decided to confess my nerdiness... have you heard the news???  It appears physicists at the famous CERN Institute in Switzerland have officially broken the intergalactic speed limit... they've broken the speed of light.   Which also means Einstein wasn't as smart as everyone has believed him to be I guess... just kidding... he's still a smarty... but some of his theories just no longer check out.  The physics world is turned on its head!  But more importantly, do you know what this means for space travel?!  It's so exciting!!! Avatar here I come!

Check out the articles below for more (scientific) details.  But for now... "To infinity and beyond!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Suffering in Silence

Last night after reading the article below (which really spoke to me), I found out that the local chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America is putting on a fundraising walk here in Boise to raise money for Crohn's and Colitis research.  Of course, I immediately signed up and I am encouraging my local Boise friends to do the same.

To get involved in your area, check out the Walk website: and register a team of your own.  We are so close to a cure, and every little bit helps.  I was "lucky" enough to not show signs of the disease until I was in my mid-twenties, but more and more often children as young as one month old are being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), and I can only imagine what they must go through.  Childhood would be a very lonely road.

If you can get involved, do.  If you can't get involved, donate. 1 in every 200 people suffers with IBD and that number is growing.  And haven't you noticed, there's never a bathrooms when you need one?!

Today I am starting a new drug called Imuran.  It's very powerful and frankly, I'm a little bit scared of it, but its not Prednisone, which scares me even more.  Wish me luck! 

People with Crohn's, UC often suffer in silence
Midland Reporter-Telegram |  Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:45 am

Robin Kingham is real estate account executive for the
Reporter-Telegram and an ulcerative colitis survivor. She has
signed up for her second half-marathon with Crohn's and Colitis
Foundation of America's Team Challenge in Las Vegas on Dec. 4. She
has committed to raise $3,700; but her personal goal is $4,000 to
benefit the foundation. She is documenting her progress through a
column and a blog. To donate online, visit
Donations also may be mailed to Robin's attention at the MRT, 201
E. Illinois Ave. Make checks payable to CCFA.
Since becoming affiliated with the CCFA, I have met so many
people affected by Crohn's or colitis. I'm not just talking about
the people I've met through Team Challenge, I'm talking about
people right here in the Permian Basin. My co-workers, my husband's
co-workers, clients or their family members have come forward.
I bet you know someone who is affected by these diseases and you
are completely unaware. Those affected by irritable bowel disease
(IBD) don't necessarily look sick and most patients suffer in
silence. I went six weeks before seeking medical care.
Rachel Meyer, my Team Challenge teammate, looks healthy. She is
young and thin with beautiful skin; nothing on the exterior
indicates all of the turmoil in her digestive system. Her family
can tell, but someone on the outside wouldn't know.
And honestly, what 20 year old wants to have to explain
something like colitis? People have asked me how I am able to be so
candid, how I'm able to "put it all out there." My question in
reply is: How can I not? How can I not do something?
There is no cure, yet. The only way to find a cure is through
research. The way to fund research is through grants, donations,
fundraising and raising public awareness. A friend I met through
Team Challenge recently celebrated a birthday, a birthday his
doctors told him he may never see. Not only did he celebrate his
birthday, he is training for the Vegas half-marathon with Team
Challenge. If he can do it, how can I not?
I've been spending some time on the Crohn's and Colitis
Foundation's website, The CCFA is an amazing
organization. Any donations made will be put to good use, whether
it is patient programs, health care provider educational seminars
or research. The organization is looking for college students to be
a part of their National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). According
to the CCFA website, "the council works to increase awareness of
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis through youth-focused
advocacy and fundraising. Youth leaders become advocates for
patients through local and national campaigns. The council members
also identify new fundraising opportunities on their campus and are
responsible for meeting a minimum fundraising goal each year, while
supporting and increasing support for existing programs. Council
members will develop leadership skills and prepare for even larger
roles as advocates for people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative
colitis." If you are interested in applying or you know someone who
should, go to for more information and to download an
application. The deadline for application submission is Oct. 3.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cold calls and my new appreciation for telemarketers

Today I have been making cold calls for a really amazing program called "We Love Teachers."  You'd think it would be easy, right?  Wrong.  Even if its an amazing program that benefits all parties involved, like this one, people don't like to part with their money very easily.
That said, I'm not sure I'm really on "my game" when it comes to sales right now.  When I'm in the groove, my husband says I "can sell ice to an eskimo," but I haven't found my groove yet with this program.

I did find out that I don't think I will ever be rude to a telemarketer again.  Direct and to the point - as in "No, thank you," but never rude.

Not even half the day has gone by and I am exhausted... and a little bitter.  I'm not sure I signed up for door to door sales when I took this job in Public Relations... but at least on the plus side, I actually have a job right now, where I know quite a few who are out of work.

Ahhh.... shameless plug... if you know businesses who might be interested in participating in this amazing program "We Love Teachers" supporting CapEd's Teacher Grant program and Idaho teachers... send them my way!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BCS or just BS? A college football dilemma...

I'm not sure how many of you out there follow college football, but after having been with my husband for over four years now, I've truly come to appreciate the sport.  What I don't appreciate is the Bowl Championship Series.  I think its bull$hit.

I think it is representative of the current state of our country's political system- corrupt.  Point in fact,

Why is it that every other sport can have a playoff, but not college football... oh wait, its not all college football, its just Division 1-A college football (Football Bowl Sub-Division).  Apparently, the 1-AA schools (Football Championship Sub-Division) have a playoff... and the 1-A schools just get to have their winners picked by the polls... not the actual game.

What If Everything Worked Like BCS: The Spelling Bee from sanjeev tandle on Vimeo.

Now I grew up cheering for the Wisconsin Badgers... who I must say are kicking a$$ this year, and I went to NYU- which lets face it, doesn't really have an athletic program.  But now I live in Boise, and I did a year of graduate school at Boise State... so I've definitely become a fan.  That said, even if I thought BSU was crap, and I was cheering against them with all my might, I can still see the merits of a playoff, as its the only truly fair way to determine a winner of the national title.

Thankfully one organization is going after the BCS, its a group called Playoff PAC and quite frankly, I heart them.  I love that they are standing up against an antiquated system that is based on solely on subjective points of view and really nothing more.  The BCS is an organization who has basically laundered money through the colleges that participate in their programs.

Many ask, why don't the schools just choose to not participate?  The answer is simple... they can't do that to the players.  The school that chooses to back out of the bowl series would not get good players, and their programs would fall apart.  Being that college athletics are the number one fundraiser for colleges, this is not an option for most if not all schools.  It's a huge catch-22.  They're damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

Now, I'm sure my husband is going to have a thing or two to say about what I've written... and I'm sure one or two of my loyal readers will as well, but either way... it's time for the corruption to end.  (Now for my shameless plug)  Support Playoff PAC in their efforts to end (at least blatant) corruption in college football.

Friday, September 16, 2011

World Religions and the Story of the Old Turtle

Have you ever read the book Old Turtle?  It's one of my most favorite children's books... and quite frankly, the message is as much for adults as it is for children.  The moral of the story is about understanding (rather than arguing) other peoples beliefs in God because when it gets down to it, we're not all that different.
Being that I have always prided myself on being open-minded and loving of all of my friends of all different races, religions, and backgrounds, I got to thinking as I was talking to a friend of mine the other day.  Although I pride myself on being understanding of my friends' choices in religious belief, I didn't necessarily understand their individual religions or why they make the choice to believe in them.

As the thought grew in my head, I decided I would take the advice of the Old Turtle, and I would set out on a little mission of listening, and (more importantly) learning about others beliefs.  Over the course of the next few weeks I am introducing a new feature to my blog called "Why I Believe"  I will be asking friends and colleagues- from all different religious backgrounds to answer a few questions and discuss what their religion means to them.  I post them as their answers come in.

I hope you enjoy their answers and much as I know I'm going to!  Also be sure to check out a copy of the Old Turtle when you get the chance.  It's quite an inspiring book.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Autumn in the Air

Is it just me, or do you also notice the smell of autumn in the air?  It happened so suddenly on the first of September, and now its the 14th and I'm starting to see the leaves on a few trees change color.  It makes me want to go to a pumpkin patch and bake apple pies.

One of my favorite activities to do during this time of year is to go through a corn maze.  They are so much fun!  On my 26th birthday I got a group of friends together and we went through a corn maze in my home town of Lodi, WI at the Treinen Farms during the full moon.  It was awesome!  Spooky and giggly... we all had a blast!  I highly recommend checking them out in your area.  The biggest and best one here in the Boise area is at the Linder Farms in Meridian.

2011 Treinan Farms Corn Maze
During this time of year I also feel the need to go shopping for a new fresh wardrobe.  Right now I'm kind of obsessed with this company called Emerson Made.  I found out about them while reading the blog A Cup of Jo.  I want one of everything (if only I had that kind of budget!)  The pieces are timeless yet completely modern.  Here's a quick peek:

And did you hear about the Missoni for Target debacle?  Apparently they sold out in 2 hours.  I saw the stuff on line, and some of it was great and I was bummed to have miss out.  Did you catch it by chance? I wonder how long it will take for them to get more product in?

How does the season change effect you?  What are your favorite things about the beginning of autumn?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is it just me...

Or does this look a bit ridiculous?

Now maybe they always have 5 inch thick bullet proof glass between the president and the people, or maybe it was an extra precaution due to the anniversary 9/11 terror attacks, but if the guy shooting this picture was a sniper, they'd all be dead now anyway, so what's the point?  Just just saying...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Idaho Youth Ranch Outlet... an Experience in By-the-Pound Shopping

My friend and colleague Scott Phillips has been telling me for months about all the fabulous thrift store shopping he does, and the amazing things he's able to make with the stuff he finds.  It has always sounded interesting to me and I told him the next time he went he had to take me with him and he promised he would.

Well the next time was last Thursday.  I was just finishing up a press release for work and in walks Scott.  He has some paperwork for my boss which he gives to me to give to Mike who was out, and then he says, "Do you have time to go a quick little adventure with me?"  I say, "Sure," and the next thing you know I'm riding shot gun in Scott's cool old champagne-pink pick-up truck.

We get out to the Idaho Youth Ranch outlet, which is similar to St. Vincent's or The Goowill, but locally run and organized.  The "outlet" Scott explains, is where all the crap goes that can be sold in their stores.  After a while of it not selling in the store for various reasons (from purely unwanted, overstocked to broken and battered) it gets sent to this place where people rummage through it and buy it at even lower prices- most of it is sold by the pound.  It starts at $.50 a pound and goes lower from there.  The more you buy, the cheaper it is to buy by the pound.

We arrived just before its open and I am already in shock; the parking lot is completely full, and there is a line to get in.  I stand amazed as Scott further explains how it all works- pointing out the regulars and the guys who run the place.  When Zeke, the yard manager, opens the gate he calls out the rules of the place and then lets everyone in single file.  Again, I am in awe.

People rush around to the various bins like scavengers on a treasure hunt, only more ravenous- almost like looters, but not quite.  Scott is an old pro, and Zeke not only knows him, he sets up a little area from Scott to put the items Scott plans to purchase with a big "sold" sticker on them.

I wander around aimless for a few minutes trying to get my bearings.  Scott however, immediately finds the things he's interested in.  He's a woodworker and goes straight for the furniture that is made of real wood.  He finds a couple potentially nice items (with a little creativity, elbow grease and TLC).  After a few minutes of eyeing some things I notice two very nice thick mirrors.  They are priced at $5 each.  I decide to think on them for a while and when I look up it finally dawns on me to take a picture (or a few) for my blog.  Here they are:


I proceed to follow Scott around as he prowls the bins.  They seem endless, but its mostly just junk.  As I'm photographing a tall blonde and husky lady that reminds me of a rough biker broad yells out to Zeke asking why "that skinny bitch is taking pictures of everyone?" I quickly shove my camera in my bag.  Not that I was necessarily afraid because frankly I was with a tall strong protector who wouldn't have let that woman touch me, but I wasn't going to take my chances.

I stand a little closer to Scott from here on out.  He tells me not to touch my face after touching this stuff, and that once we get in the car he's got hand sanitizer to put on until we get to a sink to wash our hands with.  "Frankly, you never know who's been touching this stuff, and until its clean, I don't take my chances."  There are certainly people there from all walks of life, and I'm sure they were looking at me with the expensive handbag David bought me on our honeymoon and my cute work outfit and thinking, "what's she doing here?"

Anyway, we were in and out of the place in a half an hour.  Scott took his yard ticket to the counter and paid the lady, who knew him by name.  And then we drove the truck right into the yard to pick up his goodies, loaded them in the truck, slathered antibacterial hand sanitizer all over our hands and drove off.  I can't wait to see how the stuff turns out!

It was a great little adventure.  Thanks Scott!  Be sure to check out Scott's website:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today

Today is the ten year anniversary of the terror attacks on the United States.  When I think back on that time, it was like it was yesterday.  The memories are so clear.

I was living in New York.  I had just finished college at New York University, and I was trying to work in the film industry.  I was living out in Brooklyn in a neighborhood called Park Slope.  I loved it, but I remember wanting something else... something more.  I decided to fly out to Los Anegels, CA to check out the movie business there for a while.

A few of my friends had already headed west and in particular my good friend Megan was an LA native and had just moved back.  I was set to stay with her for a week.

I arrived at the airport and Megan met me at the gate.  I will never forget that she was the last person to ever actually be able to meet me at the gate where I departed the airplane.  Do you remember the last person who met you at the gate?   Such a strange thing to think about.

Over the course of the next week, I met up with various friends, had some interviews, checked out LA.  I loved the sunshine!  It was so nice to be in a place that didn't smell like garbage all the time.  I remember thinking it was really amusing how New Yorkers are always railing on Los Angeles for the smog (and everything else they can think of) when in fact, apart from the absolutely horrendous traffic, I found LA to be pretty awesome.  I could smell fresh flowers in the air everywhere and the sun was shining but the humidity was very mild.  I decided that was where I needed to be.

On my last full day in Los Angeles I woke up at 6 a.m. to my cell phone ringing.  I'd been sleeping on the floor at my friend Megan's and I was pretty annoyed that someone could call that early.  I rushed to the phone to get it before it disturbed Megan too badly.  It was my dad.  He had forgotten that I was in Los Angeles... he needed to make sure I was okay.... New York was "under attack." He was worried about me especially because he was having trouble getting through. I reminded him that I was in LA and I was fine and before I got to say much more, we got cut off.  It was crazy.

Megan had over heard me talking to my dad, and we were both suddenly very awake.  Since Megan had just moved into her apartment she didn't have any furniture and her TV wasn't even hooked up yet.  We turned on the radio.  It was insane... New York really was "under attack."

I think at some point Megan called her boyfriend.  He was watching it on his TV and describing it to us.  We were both in shock, and it felt like 1945 with us listening to it all on the radio.  After sitting in front of Megan's radio for like an hour, we decided to go buy Megan an antenna for her TV from the store so we could see what was happening. 

We got Megan's car out of the garage and got out on to the street we expected traffic.  It was a week day, school was in session, and usually at this time of day there were cars everywhere... Only, there was no one on the streets that day.  There was no one anywhere.  It was eerie.

When we got to Kmart for the antenna we just stood gaping at the TV screens all showing the attacks.  Again, it was unreal.  I remember thinking that I wondered what would happen next.  We rushed back to  Megan's as fast as we could and got everything set up, and then we sat for hours and hours just watching.

I was supposed to fly out the next day, but the news was reporting that they didn't know when the airports would re-open.  I was supposed to fly to Tucson, AZ to see my very ill Grandmother for a few days before flying back east.  What was I going to do?

I had a rental car, so I ended up calling the rental car company and worked it out for me to drive it down to AZ and check it in when I got there.  The best part was, due to the tragedy they didn't even charge me extra to do it... they just said "Go."

Toward the late afternoon we finally decided to drive down to the beach and take a walk.  There was no one on the freeway.  We got to the beach in record time.  I remember sitting in the sand with Megan reflecting on the events of the day, on life, on everything that came into our heads.  Whoa.

The next morning I got up and drove to Tucson.  There was still no one on the roads.  It made me uncomfortable and I know I was speeding at times.  I made it to Tucson in 7 hours.  My aunt Carolyn and my Grandmother were amazed.  I was so happy to see them.  Not that hanging with my friend Megan wasn't nice, but there was something about being with family that was reassuring.

The airports didn't re-open for a full week, so I was able to spend an extra long time with my Grandma.  She was pretty upset, but she didn't show it often.  Patty Kaeser was a very strong and proud woman.  She was also very beautiful.  It wasn't until the day after I'd arrived there that she broke down sobbing.  She cried for at least an hour and I just sat and held her.  It was her deceased daughter's birthday, and combined with the events of 9/11, I think it was all too much for her.

When I finally got a flight out, I was to fly into Manchester, NH.  My sister would pick me up and then I would drive my car back to NYC.  I remember going through security that day.  I remember it was the first time that everything was different.  I remember the Delta ticket guy giving me trouble because of my last name.  Manchester going to Manchester?  He made me show him more than one form of identification as a precaution.

The plane was empty.  I had an entire row to myself for my cross-country flight.  I figured even though everyone else was terrified of flying, it was now the safest time to fly since everyone was on alert and no one was getting through without a pad down.  The flight attendants couldn't have been nicer either.  It was like being in the first class section throughout the plane.

Funny enough, I remember thinking as I boarded my flight to Manchester, NH, how grateful I was the tragic events of 9/11 afforded me the opportunity to spend that time with my Grandmother.  I was able to be with her when she most needed me.  I was just very sorry it took such a horrible thing to make that possible.

I spent a day or two in New England with my sister and my brother and their families and then I drove back to NYC.  There were military trucks and soldiers everywhere.  A black soot hung in the air.  The normal New York buzz wasn't there- replaced by a sort of lethargic hum.  I was sad.

I didn't go near "the hole."  The closest I got was TriBeCa, and that was 20-40 blocks from Ground Zero... and it still smelled like death.  I remember at some point my brother Morgan and his girlfriend at the time came up to visit and wanted to see it.  I wouldn't go with them.  There was something about it.  In fact I even moved away without going near it.  I didn't see it until a visit to New York almost five years later and it was heavily under construction.  It is certainly something to behold.

On this day, ten years later, I hope we can all take a minute to reflect on how lucky we are.  To think about the men and women that died that day.  The firefighters and police that risked their lives.  The Soldiers that continue to fight for freedom.  Our family, our friends, our neighbors.  Thank you and bless you all!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Amazing Husband...

I have the best husband in the whole world!
My wonderful, handsome husband.  Photo by Krakora Studios
Saturday, September 3, was my birthday.  I'm still 25 if anyone asks (wink)!  On Friday afternoon when I returned home from work David decided he could no longer wait, and he just had to give me my birthday present a day early. (Smile.)

I was told to go into our bedroom and close my eyes to wait for him to get it ready.  I did as I was told (although I have to admit, I was super nervous!)  David came in and got me a few minutes later and carefully walked me into our living room where I found this beautiful set of images from our wedding blown up to poster size and ready to frame (he wanted me to pick out the frames):

Our wedding day, July 3, 2010.  Photo by Krakora Studios
Then, the biggest surprise of them all... David told me to pack my bags, "we're flying to Portland tomorrow morning at 6 a.m."  And so, David swept me off on a one night two day stay in Portland, Oregon.

We arrived at 7 a.m., took the train into town, and walked about two blocks to the Embassy Suites.  It was a fabulous hotel, and its in the heart of everything.  They had especially wonderful service, and we both agreed that we'd go back there next time we were in town.  They even let us check-in right when we got there even though it was only 8 a.m. and check-in really didn't start until 3 p.m., and they even gave us a free upgrade to a king suite with a beautiful view of the city.

We dropped our bags, freshened up, and went exploring.  We got coffees and then walked down along the river before heading up to Portland State University to hit the Farmer's Market.  What a beautiful Farmer's Market!  We did some taste-tests and people-gawking, and enjoyed the incredible vibe that Portland offers.

Later we did some shopping (mostly window, but it was fun anyway), and then we got to meet up with a good friend of mine from my days in Los Angeles, Astara Mink, who also happened to be in Portland visiting her family at exactly the same time I was there.  It was amazing to catch up with her!  She's been traveling the world for over a year, and she's stopped home to see her friends and family before heading off to Asia for a few months.  She's had a wonderful and exotic year and she looked fabulous and it was fun to catch up with her and introduce her to David.

After that, David took me to this Boise State Alumni party for the BSU Broncos vs. the Georgia Bulldogs football game.  It was a blast!  We met a bunch of really nice people... lots of BSU fans that weren't actually even Alumni and some didn't have any affiliation to Boise or BSU at all... they were just fans, and were only there to watch the game in a friendly crowd.  That was pretty cool to see.  We were at this great place called the Grand Central Bowl.

David lost his voice from all the cheering and excitement that night.   And the grandmother of one of the players from Boise State who the first touchdown catch was there watching... it was so cute to see how proud and excited she was.  Plus... we won the game!  Which was especially nice because now no one in the SEC can say Boise State can't "bring it" against the "big boys."

I've been so sick of hearing these big conference schools talk about how Boise State can't really compete, because they continuously step-up and win... on the road, and in hostile environments (i.e. Oregon, Virginia Tech, and now Georgia).  Not to rub it in to my loyal Georgia readers faces, but BSU didn't just win that game, they dominated!  And without the help of three of their starters.  So... like I said, it was fun to see the team win on my birthday!

Anyway... The next day, we did some more shopping and then we both got pedicures.  Back story: during our honeymoon I talked David into getting a pedicure, and despite his belly-aching about it being a girly thing to do, he quickly realized that it is heaven to get your feet and legs rubbed down.  For those of you of the male gender who haven't tried it and are about to make a smart-ass comment about my husband getting a pedi... I say, "Go now!" Your feet will look, smell, and even feel better, and you will quickly understand how amazing a little foot pampering can be.  Needless to say, it wasn't too hard getting David to go again in Portland.  It was divine, and an especially great way to end our trip.  David checked us out of our hotel while I was getting my toes painted, and we headed back to the train and off to the airport.

It was a wonderful birthday!  And I have the best husband in the whole world!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy first day of September... my favorite month of all...  
May good luck follow you where ever you may go!

John Tenniel's original illustrations of the White Rabbit
courtesy of

How is it September 2011 already?!  The time really flies!