Monday, December 17, 2007

I spit, you spit, we all spit for pomegranate

Many of you may have heard my questioning of the sudden abundance of pomegranates in our society. What the heck is up with all the Pomegranates!?!?! Where did they come from!?! Why does everything suddenly come in "pomegranate"?!?! My inquiry began a couple of summers ago when my favorite lotion from B&BW came out in a "Pomegranate Martini". I realized then that I had no clue what a pomegranate was. I have therefore decided to embark on a quest to uncover the truth about pomegranates and to dedicate a blog post to my investigation on the famous fruit and its rise to stardom.

In searching the internet for information on the pomegranate, I found that I am not alone in my observation of the newness of its popularity. One online source cites that 190 new pomegranate flavors have been introduced in the US since 2005 - to include the Pomegranate Frappuccino from Starbucks. The US company of POM Wonderful fully launched it's campaign in 2003 and has continued to be the top distributer of pomegranates in the US.

I love useless facts so here are a few of the more interesting facts on pomegranates that you may not have known:
  • Pomegranates were displayed in Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7:17-20).
  • Some even suggest that is was a pomegranate, not an apple, that was consumed in the Garden of Eden.
  • Historical evidence also suggests that pomegranates were one of the first five domesticated crops, along with olives, grapes, figs, and dates. The first evidence of them was around 3000 B.C. in Jericho.
  • Romeo and Juliet:
    "Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
    Believe me, love, it was the nightingale" Act 3 Scene 5
  • A pomegranate is found in the coat of arms of Catharine of Aragon, first wife to Henry VIII.
  • Pomegranates are known for many symbols: health, fertility, eternal life, and rebirth; with references in mythology, various legends, literature, and works of art.
  • (this one is my favorite)
    The pomegranate gave its name to the hand grenade from its shape and size (and the resemblance of a pomegranate's seeds to a grenade's fragments). In many languages (including Belarusian, Spanish, French, Polish, Russian and Hebrew) the words are exactly the same.
  • In China, the pomegranate symbolizes abundance, prosperity, and numerous offspring, making it a popular wedding gift. They also opted for covering the floor around the wedding bed with pomegranates instead of the typical rose petals.

And some of its medicinal benefits:

  • The antioxidants found in pomegranate juice reduce low-density lipoprotein oxidation and lower blood pressure in hypertensive humans.
  • Pomegranate juice has more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, and orange juice.
  • Pomegranate juice may be effective against prostate cancer and osteoarthritis.
  • Ancient uses include: treatment of inflammation and aid in digestion, bronchitis, and dysentery.

Though I doubt that my luscious lotion has any medicinal value or makes me immortal or more fertile, I am still appreciative of the influx of pomegrantes in our society. It's a very yummy smelling lotion. So it seems that we Americans were late to jump on the band wagon in figuring out just how cool the pomegranate really is. If all the US ends up making out of the pomegranate craze is a new flavor at Starbucks and yummy lotion for Kelley, then I say the jump on the band wagon was worth the wait... for thousands of years... Now that I know how great the pomegranate really is, maybe my next goal will be to try the pomegranate option wherever possible.

Friday, December 14, 2007

mobius strips of our lives

This was my Daily Dilbert today. Every now and then I get one that really fits the office life in my world. Pretty much anyone who has to work with and rely on others to complete tasks or that has anything remotely complicated in their job can relate to this feeling. There's nothing like getting jazzed and rolling on a project only to have it derailed because you're waiting on a phone call or document in the mail. Unfortunately, not all individuals in our lives understand our lack of completion - in whatever applicable area of life - due to circumstances out of our control. I often feel that life is very much like a Mobius strip - one aspect is influencing another, that's influencing another. Ok, now I feel like I'm talking in a Mobius strip.
Client case study number 257:
"can we see a paper trail of the phone calls you've made regarding our case?" "No. They were phone calls." "How do we know you've been working on our case?" "B/c we were" "We didn't see that" "That's b/c we file at the courthouse" "Could you have updated us?" "We did." "That wasn't the whole truth. We didn't know there were problems with our case." "There weren't" "Then how come our case isn't done." "B/c it's not time yet" "but you haven't done anything yet" "Yes we have" "Why didn't we know? Could you have sent us updates?" We did" "What did you do to fix the problems?" "There weren't any problems. We called to ask questions to move it along in it's proper time" "What time was that?" "Six months" "What were the problems to make it take so long?" "Six months isn't long" "Why was the case in a holding stage and incomplete at the courthouse then?" "Because all cases go there until they are finished" "How come ours isnt' finished then?" "Because it's incomplete" "Then what is the problem" "There is no problem" "Why didn't you tell us you needed more paperwork?" "Because it wasn't paperwork from you" "But why didn't you tell us?" "Because we had it taken care of" "What did you do about it" "We called the courthouse" "Why didn't they call you back, but they called us back and that's when things finally started getting fixed." "I thank you for making that call b/c it got things taken care of for us." "Why did'nt you make the call" "We did" "Do you have a paper trail showing that" "No." "Why not" "Because they were phone calls" "Why didn't our case get done in 2 days?" "Because that's not possible" "Why didn't you let us know there was something wrong" "There wasn't anything wrong" We've been here before... I recognize that tree.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I've finally gotten around to posting updates from Thanksgiving, etc.

I finally got a trip planned out west to see my brother and his family for Thanksgiving. I flew out with my parents for about a week. We ate an awesome dinner and enjoyed the leftovers for days after!! My mom, Elisa, and I along with the kiddies were swallowed up by IKEA for a couple of hours. I love IKEA. I always feel inadequate about all of my housewares when I go there.

We went to a family night Christmas celebration for the town of Riverton. It was sooooo cold and I was reminded why I don't want to have 200 children. It snowed one day! Probably the most snow I'll see all winter since it's 70 degrees in Raleigh. It was so great to hang out with my family and play games and chat. Too bad it only happens about once a year... :(
For more pictures and info, see Scotty's blog.

Here a few of my favorite pics from the week:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fireless Camping

A group of friends and I went camping at Umstead Park last weekend. Because North Carolina is under a state-wide fire ban, we couldn't have open flame. We were restricted to using only charcoal as well as covering the hot charcoal with aluminum foil. So no traditional s'mores sadly.

Friday night we cooked up a couple dutch oven cobblers: apple and cherry around the fireless fire-ring. Before that, we ran around the woods for a while playing capture the flag. It was pretty uneventful for a time because it really didn't seem like anyone was moving, then we had to stop about 3 times in order to reposition the flags. It finally ended with Christian climbing trees and stealing my team's flag while I sat helpless in jail.

For breakfast I made us a dutch oven breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and cheese. It took a while to cook because the charcoal doesn't heat up as much as a real fire. Good thing the planes flying over the park at all hours of the morning woke me up early enough to get started on it. Oh the joys of being able to camp five minutes from my house.

We made it absolutely clear that the boys and the girls were camping at separate camp sites. We even separated the sites with a "chastity rope". The boys had one small tent and all the rest slept outside in little Coleman cocoons. It was a toasty 40 degrees that night. The girls had two giant tents but somehow Mary still ended up sleeping on the table.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Me in six splendid bullet points:

I got tagged a while ago so I figure it's about time I come up with six tagable things about me:

1) I hate shoes. I know... how can any woman HATE shoes?!?! I feel so cramped and icky when I wear shoes. People in my office think I'm crazy when I show up to work in flip flops when it's 50 degrees outside. Is there snow? Alright then, bring on the sandals. I never feel in style enough with the shoes I do own and anything in style is clearly never made to be walked in. Also, I hate nylons. I'll add that to this one just for fun. I don't own any. I think they are of the devil. For these two reasons I could never be an attorney. Who was the last attorney you saw with sparkly flip flops and bare legs in a courtroom?

2) I want to live in a foreign country for at least two years at some point in my life, preferably with my children/family. I've always wanted to see the world but not as a tourist. I want my children to see a world beyond the United States. I love the US, don't get me wrong. I think acquiring appreciation for other people and cultures is a very valuable attribute that not enough Americans have.

3) I look horrible in the color pink. Which is fine by me because I hate the color anyway. People in the past have disagreed with me and proceded to dress me in something pink, then back off when they see it is true. I'm not sure if this hatred started as a result of my Tomboy-ness at a young age or when I got old enough to associate pink with giggly, lip-glossy girls, but nevertheless, I have yet to own pink clothing.

4) I fear being just like everyone else. I hate bandwagons or feeling like I'm blindly following a popular notion. I'm not trying to make myself into a human billboard of opposition and independence... I'm more just focused on the awareness that I do what I do because I made the decision all by myself. I started out my adolesent life feeling that the only way to be accepted was to be just like everyone else. I realized how annoying and boring that was about the time I got to college and thus sprung the Kelley 2000... a new, improved and slightly more tanned version avaliable as of 2007. (*I am aware that this statement is a contradiction since I'm writing on my blog-one of the more popular trends today. oh well, can't win them all*)

5) I have a mental list of sporting events to see in my lifetime. I won't name them all but the list includes: a Duke-Carolina basketball game, the Super Bowl, a baseball game at Wrigley Field, a futbol game in Europe. If anyone has any suggestions to add to my list, feel free to let me know.

6) I am, and always will be, a night owl. Though I guess I can't say "always" because that may very well change when a family starts. There's something about doing normal things late at night as opposed to during the day light that is much more interesting. Eating chocolate cake at 2 am is so much more exciting than at 8:00pm immediately following dinner. Or who can deny the midnight Wendy's run? In college (in the thriving metropolis of Rexburg) there were only about 40 stations on cable, and only about 2 of those played something other than informercials after midnight, that something other was often dating shows like "Blind Date" or "Elimidate". No self-respecting person would watch them during the normal hours of the day, but at midnight, much more acceptable. Plus, I just hate going to bed. Call me a 9 year old but I really do stay up for the sake of staying up.

So there's a little bit of me. If you want more, the expanded version will be avaliable for an additional $3.98 per blog page. A total of $14,635.32... I have a lot of thoughts and a lot of journals.

Now I get to "tag" others!! I hereby tag Erica, Lydia, Kristy, and Jessica. That means when yall read my post... you post 6(ish) interesting facts about you on your page. Yay!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NC State Fair 2007

This posting is a bit delayed because I had intended to add pictures of my wonderful experience at the fair but my camera and computer and me, as the third-party instigator, got into a fight and I lost the pictures. I have just now gotten over it and forgiven technology for losing my pictures.

Jericho had never been to the NC State Fair (!!) so I took a half day off of work and went on military appreciation day (because we got free admission thanks to Jericho's National Guard status). We, thankfully, didn't ride any rides but toured around all the exhibits and looked at all the freaky people. (Do they dress like that normally or does it all just come out for the fair???) Oh, and let's not forget the food! I had forgotten how food-focused the fair is. I ate the following artery-clogging items: Nathan's hotdog, NC State ice cream, Methodist church's famous ham biscuit, and a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, that's correct my friends, a deep-fried PB&J... doesn't get much better than that. Although hot peanut butter seems even stickier than normal. It was a tossup between the most yummy and most disgusting thing I've ever eaten.

Overall it was a fun trip. I was glad I got to take Jericho on his inaugural State Fair experience! This post would be sooo much better if I had actual pictures from my trip. Boo on that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kelley vs Halloween

Many of you that know me well are familiar with my aversion to Halloween. I didn't much like it as a kid, mainly b/c I was too self-conscious to draw attention to myself by wearing a costume. Now, as an adult, my main dislike is that it seems to be the only holiday that carries a negative connotation. Ever hear of a horror-movie-Valentine's Day-marathon? Haunted houses don't scare me, candy makes my tummy hurt, and I still look awkward in a costume.

But this year I finally realized that Fall is my favorite season. And with that, comes Halloween. I am therefore going to embark on a reconciliation with the Halloween holiday. I intend to find all the fun, good, happy things and make those my references and not the stupid media and it's demonic celebrations.

My first task is one that I wish to share with everyone. (This will come as no shock to my parents that I remember this). When I was in elementary school, Mrs. Benton, our music teacher, played us the same classical music piece every Halloween. I still remember very clearly having her turn out all the lights while we layed on the music room floor and she would explain to us exactly what was happening in the story that the music was telling. But of course, I couldn't remember the name of the song. I could still hear the music in my head so I figured I could eventually find it on the internet. And I did! This has remained one of my favorite Halloween memories to this day.

So this dear friends is the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) by Camille Saint-Saens. It is based on a poem on a French superstition about Halloween.

Zig, zig, zig, Death in a cadence,
Striking with his heel a tomb,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zig, on his violin.
The winter wind blows and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden trees.
Through the gloom, white skeletons pass,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking,
The bones of the dancers are heard to crack—
But hist! of a sudden they quit the round,
They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.

According to the ancient superstition, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death has the power to call forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (represented by a solo violin with its E-string tuned to an E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning). His skeletons dance for him until the first break of dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


My parents don't have a blog yet so I decided I'd post this update. They now have a new addition to the family. Welcome new kitty! A name has not yet been decided so we welcome any suggestions. We're pretty sure it's a "she" but we might need to wait until confirmation from the vet before settling on a name. She is all white with three little black smudges on her forehead. She's sooo sweet and likes to hide behind and underneath stuff. I think my parents will have fun taking care of another youngin in the house. We're not sure yet how their older cat will respond to her. He's old and lazy now so he probably won't care.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Political Analysis 101

Many of us are familiar with the terms "armchair quarterback" or "backseat driver". I would like to introduce a new breed of psuedo-participatory individual. I call it the Paraphernalia Politician.

The other day I passed an SUV with the bumper sticker: "Support our troops. End the war." My first thought was... Isn't that kind of the purpose of a "troop", to end a war? I'm no militarist but I kind of assumed the ultimate goal of fighting a war is to eventually end it, some may refer to it as, "winning."

This wonderful catchphrase is actually a website run by Johnny Edwards. I find this fun: "As patriots, we call on our government to support our troops in the most important way it can - by ending this war and bringing them home." THE most important way? Very thought provoking... something about tail and legs comes to mind...

I agree that war is a terrible thing to have to live through and that bringing all of our troops home would be a wonderful thing for this country. But if we didn't need it, we wouldn't have troops in the first place. I agree with this so-called patriotic view, but disagree that wanting to bring the troops home is "supporting" them. It sounds more the antithesis of support.

Lets look at our friend the armchair quarterback: How often does he, in his vocal sparrings with the TV, say something like "I don't care if you look like a total fool!! Walk off the field right now! Think of your health! Think of your family back home! Think of yourself and not the team! Just quit the game! It doesn't matter the outcome or the consequences! Just leave!"

Anyway, the point of my rantings is that I wanted to roll down my window and ask this guy: Really, homeboy, what are YOU doing to support our troops? More importantly, what are YOU doing to end the war? Did the $2.95 plus tax and shipping go towards the End the War Piggie Bank? Or, given that it's part of a campaign, go directly into Johnny's pocket? I guess if he's elected and he ends the war (b/c politicians by nature fulfill all gaurantees) then you can pat yourself on the back for spending that $2.95 to bring our troops home. Then all is right in Who-ville again. And if Johnny doesn't get elected, at least you know you may have supported a great hair cut...

I have a few political passions. I have some opinions and view points, like most people. I have also slapped campaign stickers on my car during the elections. We are all victim to being Paraphernalia Politicians every now and then. It's our nature to feel that because we have an opinion, we therefore have the need to express it in any way possible. I, myself, have a t-shirt that expresses a subject matter that I am very passionate about. And I have gotten questions and remarks so I guess the paraphernalia does serve it's purpose is some ways. So let the bumper sticker reflect, I, Kelley Smith, know how to solve the problems of this country and it's a good thing I have this sticker or else nothing good would ever come to this world.

The only thing that I feel comfortable displaying is this: I support carbs. I truly do. I hereby pledge with this car magnet to side with any candidate who promises me more carbs.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Diagnosis: Routine

One of my favorite projects I did in college was an analysis on the daily routine of Napoleon Bonaparte. Very fascinating man. Very misunderstood. I'd like to think that my daily routine is a glimpse into my genius. Who knows, you may see such writing in my memiors...
For the most part, every day is very predictable. I get up at the same time every morning... or rather my alarm clocks (yes plural) begin chiming and slapping me in the face at about 6:30. 6:30 does not welcome me out of bed but rather merely begins the prioritizing thought process of "what part of my self-beautification process can be sacrificed today?" "Can I get away with wearing my hair up again?"(+25 min sleep time) "If I wear pants I don't have to shave my legs" (+10 min sleep time). You see how this can become quite a lengthy process which inevitably ends up with me getting out of bed somewhere around 7:30 and about 15 minutes late to work. It's ok. I'm salary. I don't take smoke breaks so that's my retribution.
Once I'm at work, again the routine begins. I bring my yogurt and string cheese to my desk and check emails (personal and work) and any voicemails. I create a checklist of the things I want to do that day and finally start on the projects for the day by about 10:00am. Sometimes clients come in. Sometimes we have adoptions. Those are the exciting days. Or the days when we get calls from the hospital about a last minute mommy that didn't quite understand the weight of the decisions she made 9 months prior to this wonderful day in the hospital. "WTH! I'm having a baby?"
I break for lunch routinely at about 12:30. Although it should probably start at 12:00 every day b/c that's when I technically stop doing work. Also the same situation from 5:00-5:30. Who wants to abandon mid-project? I usually use that time to organize my work inbox and create outlines of every possible conversation I had that day with anything related to a client/work. Attorneys keep track of everything. We are required to bill our time by the tenths of the hour. I keep relatively good track of what I spend my time doing (except when it's nonwork related, that is). I wonder if anyone ever reads my time? Maybe my next project should be to see if anyone ever catches on that I've been logging my bathroom time.... (10-100, .1 hour)
The busiest parts of my daily routine are usually around 2:45 and 3:45. The courthouse run is at 3:00 so anything I needed filed that day must be ready by then. And the mail gets taken down at 4:15 so anything I need mailed must be ready by that time as well. These times sometimes sneak up on me in a waive of "oh crap, I need to copy this, get that signed, print this, draft this, serve this..." Anything that gets missed just gets added to tomorrow's to do list...
As previously mentioned, my day slows down at about 4:45/5:00. I would hate to be so busy that I miss the clock hitting 5:30. Jill, our receptionist, routinely calls me at 5:30 to see if I'm leaving on time and we walk out to the parking deck together.
Now there are variables in my days. We hit a busy season, much like accountants. But ours often coincides with the Holidays, Valentine's Day, hurricanes, ice storms.... plus nine months. You get the idea. The next month is looking to be quite busy so that may make for some interesting days of tracking down men throughout the state/country who may or may not have knowingly sired a child in North Carolina.
And that is my routine. There are other routines to follow once I get home as well. As of late, I have started to feel like Tom Hanks in Joe versus the Volcano before he learns he has the "brain tumor". If you haven't seen it, go rent it, great movie with a low budget since Meg Ryan plays three different characters. My recent remedy is quite simple but has done wonders to break the monotony of routine. Most of my day is very quiet. Emails make no noise. People dont talk in the elevators. We spend most of our time devoted to our desks and computers which obviously never talk back. As soon as I get in my car in the morning and in the evening, I crank my stereo up as loud as I can tolerate. I instantly feel as though cold water has been thrown on my face. I am in control in my own little Mirage world. I rejoice in the guitar riffs and embrace the drums as they transport me out of ho-hum world and on to rock steady. The moral of the story kids, is that no matter what genre you choose, never underestimate the power of really really loud music. I only wish I had a better sound system in my car...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I will not be taken down so easily!

One of my most recent endeavors is playing on a city league soccer team. It has been a good many years since I've played on an organized outdoor team. A group from church decided to get a team together and let me tell you... we are fabulous! We named ourselves Jock Jams after the beloved ESPN sports soundtrack. We have played four games so far and finally won our first game!! We're pretty proud of ourselves for our win considering only a handfull of us played competively in high school/college. We get a nice crowd to come out every week... to include my parents. My friends think I am so cool because mine are the only parents to come to the games... and bring oranges! Funny how that kind of stuff embarrasses us ten years ago...

I am realizing now that though 25 is just a mere child in biblical proportions, my athleticism is not quite the same as it was 10 years ago. In a recent trip to the ER (elbow to the mouth/jaw), I took the opportunity to inquire about my other recently acquired injuries - sprained ankle (4 months and still sore) and a seriously huge bruise that's about a month old. The Xray tech proceeded to give me a lecture about young people my age that still think we're teenagers and indestructible so when we get injured we don't take the docs seriously when they tell us to "rest". That's why it takes us four months to recover from sprained ankles. Oh pish posh... needless to say, I am still playing soccer once a week and basketball often twice a week. The bumps and bruises are all part of the game right?

The lovely part about my soccer league is that we're co-ed a/k/a girls havin a good time with 20-something men trying to relish the 18 year old soccer stars they once were. In the most recent game, one player in particular ran me over harder than I have ever been run over before by a guy - TWICE! The first time he belly-ached to the ref that I was in his way (hello, defense? ever heard of it?). The second time he again belly-ached but this time with me and my fellow lads on my team yelling in his face. Its the closest I ever came to fighting on the field. I was instantly reminded of something my dear friend Jess told me when I started playing basketball at BYU-I. She said that she'd want me on her team b/c if she were playing against me, she'd be afraid of me. Well clearly I instilled no fear is this guy. Maybe next time.

For my non-Facebook friends

I realized that much of my internet-broadcasted life is only available for those that are on Facebook but there are many loved ones in my life that I would like to have the opportunity to read all the interesting and fantabulous things going on with me via the ease of internet. There are people NOT on Facebook? What? No! Really? It is true. So the non-Facebook crowd, this page is dedicated to you.

What is Facebook anyway? Some of you may ask. It's a watered-down not so pornographic Myspace-ish website. It was originally started for college-age kids as a networking device. It still is made up of mainly college-age kids but has recently been made available to any and all that wish to broadcast their everyday activities to the world, the Facebook world anyway. Most of my friends that I see on a regular basis are all on Facebook and we will still use the site to write notes, make "groups", create events. All in all it's a great way to stay in touch with people from years past but I feel that in my life and circle of associates, it almost facilitates laziness and not as much face-to-face interaction. I was thinking of using this post as a soap box on the deterioration of social skills amongst young people these days b/c of the popularity of internet communications, not to mention overall laziness of all members of society.... but alas, that is for another day.

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