It's Official: IKEA coming to Utah!!!

Okay, so it's no longer just a well-publicized rumor. IKEA officially announced yesterday that they will be building a 310,000 s.f. IKEA store and restaurant in suburban Salt Lake City. This will be the first IKEA in the Rocky Mountain region and one of very few away from the U.S. coasts. HURRAH for UTAH and IKEA!!!

The store, scheduled to open in early 2007, will be built near the junction of I-15 and Bangerter Highway in Draper, Utah (about 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City). This is a rendering of what the Utah store will look like.


Her Majesty Queen Noor

I just got an email from Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. It was in response to an email I sent her. They had those bombings over there in Jordan a couple of weeks ago and I felt bad.

I have a degree in International Relations with an emphasis in the Middle East, so I already know quite a bit about Jordan, but I had just finished reading Queen Noor's Book about her life with King Hussein. Queen Noor was an American and met her husband King Hussein while working in the Middle East after college.

Anyway, I decided to send her an email with condolences on the recent bombings in Jordan. Most people don't realize this, but this is probably the first time they've had bombings in Jordan. Jordan has been an oasis of calm in the Middle East...partly because historically Jordan is the protector of Palestine.

Queen Noor emailed me back to say she was most grateful for my kind message regarding her deceased husband, that she appreciated my kind words about her book and was most touched by my words of consolation and support regarding the recent bombings.

I almost deleted her email because at first I thought it was spam. You know, I thought it was one of those, "Dear Mr... I inherited 10 million dollars from my warlord husband in Africa and I would like to arrange a business deal with you..." Fortunately, I noticed in time that it was legitimate.

How nice of her to reply. I didn't really expect any response because I'm sure she's quite busy.



FINALLY! IKEA has bought land in Draper (suburb of Salt Lake City) to build an IKEA store! There have been rumors swirling around for 2-3 years that IKEA was coming to Utah and finally it looks like it's happening.
I used to pass by the IKEA store nearly every day when I lived in the suburbs of Oslo, Norway (the store that was only the world's 2nd IKEA store ever after the first one in Älmhult, Sweden...and yes, Oslo had IKEA two years before Stockholm, Sweden!)
IKEA is such a cool company. Did you know that IKEA charters planes from Tromsø, Bodø and Harstad in northern Norway for shoppers to fly down to Trondheim to shop at IKEA?
And I thought it was great that they had a bus from Manhattan (where I lived for two years) to the Elizabeth, NJ IKEA.
Once while on a vacation to Los Angeles, I went shopping at IKEA and wrote in their guestbook that I wished they would open an IKEA in Utah. Before I even arrived home from my trip, they had mailed me a letter thanking me for my comments in their guestbook and said they were forwarding my request to their real estate manager. How nice that they not only responded to me, but that a letter from IKEA was waiting for me on my return from vacation!
Rumors of an IKEA in Utah have been swirling and fomenting for years and finally reached a fever pitch in the past few months. Every day I would look up the local newspaper online expecting to see news of IKEA coming to Utah. Yesterday, the news was finally in the Salt Lake Tribune:
"Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA, which has been scouting the Wasatch Front for its first Utah location, appears to have found a site for a new store in Draper near the intersection of Interstate 15 and Bangerter Highway.
The commercial real estate industry is abuzz with news that the company, the world's largest home furnishings retailer with more than $18 billion in sales a year, is purchasing nearly 40 acres of prime commercial property with freeway visibility at approximately 13350 S. Pony
Express. In fact, those with knowledge of the deal say the transaction could close within weeks, which would pave the way for a new store within a couple of years.
Commercial brokers say a new Ikea store would raise the state's profile among retailers nationally, perhaps even attracting other retailers that don't yet operate here."
Another retail store that I've been looking forward to here, the Apple store, is opening at the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, 19. November 2005.

Now if only we could get Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters and maybe Hennes & Mauritz to open stores here... oh and Crunch gym. Then we'd be set.



There are too many services out there competing for my attention: Friendster, MySpace, Connexion, Wink, Tickle, Digg, Technorati, Flock, ad nauseum.

Everyone just needs to visit my Sissel website and buy my T-shirts. Then the world would be a better place.

Check out my Technorati Profile! :P


Closet Cases

All the swirling debate over gay marriage lately made me think of some Norwegian words around marriage. (I lived in Norway for a couple of years and am fluent.) I don't get why people are so upset at the idea of gay people getting married.

The Norwegian word for poison is "gift." Not a gift I'd want to receive, but the word for getting married" is "gifte seg." It's the reflexive form of the word. "Seg" means yourself. So, if you "gifte" someone else, you're poisoning them, but if you "gifte" yourself, you're getting married. What does this say about marriage? Marriage is to poison oneself?

The Norwegian word for marriage is "ekteskap," a compound word. If you break down its parts, "ekte" means "genuine." That sounds like a good thing. You're doing something because you genuinely love someone, but the word "skap." means "closet." So, to Norwegians, marriage is a genuine closet!

So, if gay people want to poison themselves to get back in the closet? Why should anyone care??? ;)