Thursday, December 23, 2010

Words & Photos_Blessed Are the Poor

Back in the fall, Raych Arles had the pleasure of meeting one of her idols: writer, comedienne, actress, and author of newly released book "Simple Times, Crafts for Poor People," a book that goes beyond the frugality of craft making and into some disturbingly bizarre yet hilarious approaches to life, love, and fornicrafting. She and Asher were one of the first fifty people in the meet and greet line post-Amy Sedaris Q&A in D.C. I had advised Rachel to come bearing one of her wedding invitations for Amy to keep (and rsvp YES to and perhaps be her impromptu maid of honor) but instead I believe they ended up trading some humorous conversation and this picture, which is a fair trade-off I suppose:

The other day, Rachel stopped by to drop off my Christmas present. And what do you know? It was Amy Sedaris's book! Robbe and I had just flipped through it recently and were blown away as each craft we read was more ridiculous than the one before (see Crafty Candle Salad and Doodie Dungeon). 

In the book, Rachel had placed a post it note, highlighting a specific page so I opened up to it and started to read her message she had penned out loud. 

I didn't even get to say "Amy Sedaris". I instead, dropped the book, flung myself into the floor of my closet, and pawed/threw all of my shoes like a cat while squealing like a 13-year-old girl who just found out she didn't have to wear braces anymore. It was such an amazing surprise and I could not believe Rachel had kept this gift for so long without telling me. 

Rachel said the book signing went something like this:

R: "Could you sign this book for my friend?"
A: "Sure, what's her name?"
R: "Kimi."
A: "What's something about Kimi?"
R: "Um, she's Korean."
A: "Okay." And without missing a beat, she wrote what you see above like she had known all along exactly what she would write to someone if she knew that they were Korean. Genius.

Rachel and Asher, I love you and am still floored at your impressive style of secrecy and generosity; Amy Sedaris, I salute you and your incredibly special slant on crafting that would put any Korean to shame. Happy fornicrafting, everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Words & Photos_Ba-ba-ba-ba-Bridesmaids!

In the beginning stages of wedding planning, any wedding planner or wedding planning guide will tell you the most important things to pin down at the start are: the venue, the budget, and the caterer. A logical progression, of course. So, it only made sense that I took a slight detour on this agenda and decided to start with what I thought was an important question: How am I going to tell my bridesmaids they're in my wedding?

It seemed too easy for me to just call up my bridesmaids and deliver the news. I wanted to give them something that was personal to each of them and something they could keep that was more fun than valuable. So, I decided to dig into the past and resurrect those personalized bracelets I (we?) used to wear as a kid.

This is the magic that ensued for my seven bridesmaids: Mandy, Shleigh, Misie, Stephmon, Katie, Raych Arles & Lars

Every bracelet was hand delivered in the same jewelry box (yes, I asked for it back after I gave it to them) except for Ashleigh who opened hers in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was so precious to see/hear their expressions of confusion then understanding then surprise then happiness. I highly suggest any bride-to-be to create their own element of bridesmaid surprise.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photos_Ho Ho Ho!

I met the real Mr. Santa Claus at Logan airport in Boston, MA.

Mandy couldn't stop talking about Santa's inappropriate hand placement and disturbing facial expression which ruined my whole Mr. Claus experience. I suppose it was weird looking back on it. I had approached him and asked: " I sit down...?" and he patted his leg and said--probably too zealously--"Of course!" And right when I sat down, wouldn't you know, the "battery died on the camera" which meant me and Mr. Claus had to small talk it for a whole two minutes. (He apparently had to work 9 hour shifts for 12 days with no stand in, or sit in. Whatever.) So, after smiling for three pictures (yes three) and being forced to say three different phrases (like jolly holly merry christmas sugar candy bows and ribbons!), I finally jumped off of Santa's lap, grabbed my free photo, and ran far far away. Which explains this reconstruction:

Ahhhh. Much better. And they all lived happily ever after.

Photos_Audrey & Justin

These are a few of my favorite things...

© Kimi Shoots People Photography | All rights reserved

Monday, November 29, 2010

Photos_Wow, Mom

Yep. The man I'm marrying is 'Robbe' below. I mean, seriously, how could any girl resist?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Words_The Life & Times of The New Lappy TT

As many of you know, Lappy T was sick for some time and doomed to die (read his story here). He eventually did die but not because of natural causes. To this day, after talking to the mailman and writing some stuff in my diary and trying to figure out how to play that computer game with those smiley faces that turn into bombs, I still don't know what happened that day I found him shattered into pieces in my driveway. I know that Lappy T would have wanted me to be happy with another Lappy T. So I went to the cyber store and picked out a brand new Lappy T, who, after much thought, I decided to name Lappy TT. (Because it's my second laptop and I added a T to the first T. Get it?)

Anyway, Lappy TT is a lot bigger than Lappy T. He is shinier and faster and has one of those built in camera mirrors. Honestly, he doesn't talk that much. And when he does it's in a weird high voice with all these big words I'm not really used to but I want to make a good impression so I just tell him 'sure' 'yeah' and 'anything really' whenever I don't understand what he's asking. (My mom always taught me that the customer is always right.)

One day after work, I decided I wanted to try out the camera mirror to take a picture of my new haircut. I hadn't talked to Lappy TT in awhile so I decided to strike up a conversation.

"Hey, Lappy TT." I said.
"It's Veronica," Lappy TT said.
"Sure," I said.
Lappy TT let out a long irritated sigh.
" you like my hair?"
"Hm," Lappy TT paused. "It's a little eccentric, don't you think?"
"Uh, yeah," I said. "Anything, really."
"Excuse me?"
"Nothing. So I wanted to take a picture of myself to send to some of my friends. Can you start the camera mirror?"
Another long sigh. "I suppose," Lappy TT said flatly.
"Great!" I smiled as the camera popped up onto the screen. "Wow, I look awesome!"
Lappy TT snorted. "Oh, really?"
"Yeah!" My eyes were wide in amazement drinking up the screen.
"You're being facetious, right." Lappy TT  said. When I didn't answer, he continued, "You know, you aren't actually looking at yourself, right? It's just a sample picture that the web cam provides."
"Web cam?" I repeated.
"The camera built into me. It's called a web cam."
"Sure." I nodded.
"Anyway, that sample picture is of Taylor Swift. How on earth could you think that was you?"
"Oh yeahhhhhh...I thought she looked familiar..." I trailed.
"You're completely serious right now. Wow." Lappy TT's voice had grown softer.
The picture on the screen finally switched so that my own face appeared.
"Ah! I see what you were saying just a second ago." I affirmed. "This is definitely me this time. I see because as I'm saying this I can see my own face saying the same thing back at me. This is awesome!"
"Let's--just--get this over with," Lappy TT said.
"Oh, you have somewhere to be, huh," I looked at him with a smile. "Hot date? Who's the lucky girl?"
"Who's the lucky girl?" Lappy TT repeated.
"No, I just asked you that."
"Smile." Lappy TT commanded. So I did.
Lappy TT told me that after he took the picture, the camera no longer worked. I told him I would do some research on fixing it. He said, "If you find a resolution, then admit me into the nearest insane asylum." I told him I don't traditionally make resolutions for the New Year but I'd think about it. In the meantime, I made the only picture he was able to take (see below) as my background image so we can look at it all the time and be reminded of this great memory we experienced together. Sometimes I'll come home and a different picture is there instead and I'll find the one he took in the recycle bin somehow. I always get it out of the bin and change it back to the same one. Always. Until next time...

Photos_Chop Chop

Cut by Misie

Friday, November 26, 2010

Words & Photos_Thankfulness

I, Kimi, am thankful for:

People who love me in the best and worst of Kimi-times

My job = Income

Chevy's Happy Hour and all other happy hour locations  (Brio, Yellowfin, P.F. Changs) that have so generously catered to my mental and emotional needs

The House of Gryffindor for being an example of strength, bravery, intelligence, and courage

The 'Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust' album by Sigur Ros, which, to me, is wonderfully flawless

Peekaboo. Without this, so many babies would hate me.

I think this book started my love of reading. I must have read this book at least a dozen times as a kid. It lived under my pillow for a long time and I would take it out and read it when I was supposed to be sleeping (nerd alert).

And finally...
Friends and family
A mysteriously loving God
Dunkin Donuts
Sweatpants and hoodies
5th grade humor
Clear minds 
Full hearts

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photos_Gaygement Wishes & Congratulations

Thank you, Rachel and Biggie Smalls!

Thank you work friends!

Nothing says love like personalized keychains. 

Celebratory cat pawing at hanging paper dolls courtesy of Emily

And introducing: Ringo Starr

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Words & Photos_Engaged & Pregnant...with Joy

I might have joked with my Mom that I was pregnant over the phone on Thursday morning. Believe me, it was necessary. She, like my Dad, were the only ones of my friends and family who knew of my pending engagement, and when only your parents know and are anticipating this very announcement, I think it's fair for the bearer of news (me) to have the liberty of presenting that information any way he/she pleases with his/her own elements of surprise. And oh, surprise was served. But of course, not a second later I was delivering the real news that I was really pregnant with JOY over my engagement to my very best friend and love, Robbe Reddinger.


Quick last name pronunciation lesson: 
The "g" in Reddinger is silent like the word "singer." Or like the late Otis "Redding" and add "er" to the end.

Short related story about "Reddinger" pronunciation:
I used to think for a long time that Reddinger was pronounced with a hard G sound. I remember sitting at the Reddinger's dinner table and his mom was telling a story and she said, "I saw Mike today and he said, 'Hey, Mrs. Reddinger,'" and she pronounced it with a silent G and I thought to myself, "Why is Robbe's mom pronouncing her own last name wrong?"


So, pre-Mom & Dad and family and friends announcement phone calls, Robbe and I had woken up in Brooklyn at my dearest friend Emily's lovely apartment and decided to take a morning stroll to the Brooklyn Heights promenade which overlooks the BQE (Brooklyn Queen Expressway)--significant for other reasons (see Halloween 2009)--the East River, and lower Manhattan with the Brooklyn Bridge to the right and the Statue of Liberty to the left. Why I had never seen or heard of this before, I'll never know.

The morning was truly spectacular (as was every morning subsequent to our stay in NYC). It was nearing 60 degrees (in November, mind you!), sunny, a brisk fall breeze, great company. Before we left, we had debated whether or not to grab some food, which Robbe knows is extremely important to me after I wake up. When he suggested we walk first and get food afterwards, a bit of suspicion struck me as he usually could care less about making that kind of decision (I usually just ask to appear courteous) and also because he never passes up an opportunity to eat even if he's not that hungry. I quickly put the suspicion out of my mind as quickly as it entered as I was led to believe that nothing engagement-ish would happen for at least another six months. I knew it. He knew it. Friends and family knew it. Done. Suspicion deleted.

After taking a few pictures, we took in the view from a nearby bench and started to talk about our future together. It was more funny than serious as we exchanged some of our concerns of the other's idiosyncrasies compounded over time but it was of course, very sweet nonetheless. After affirming that regardless of these things, we would still love each other, he said, "I guess there's one thing left to do then." And that's when I think I froze, perhaps blacked out, stopped existing, peed without knowing, whatever, I'm not sure. There was some movement from his arm into his pocket but I didn't dare look down. I heard the words, "Will you marry me," and I covered my sunglassed-hidden face. I had just put on a fresh face of makeup and now I was about to resemble a Picasso. I think the phrases, "What?!" and "Are you serious?!" were quite popular right then and after wiping my face a little I finally looked down at the ring. Gasp! "Oh my gosh! What!" How did Robbe know how to buy a ring?!
"Wait," I heard him laugh. "You haven't answered yet."
"Oh, yeah, YES!" I cried. And then I cried some more. And then we both looked at each other with this shared understanding like: 'We have no idea what this means or what happens now (I guess marriage) and saying we're engaged is like saying we're cats or robots because it's so foreign and weird and unknown but I guess what matters is that we love each other and we're about to change each other's lives forever and we're okay with that.' Yes. It was some look.

Do we have that engaged look in our eyes? Or are we just gay? 

At Emily's apartment before our celebratory dinner at The Place, Greenwich Village

Thanks to everyone for all the amazing engagement wishes and love. It's all still sinking in (and probably will be for awhile) but I feel incredibly blessed and humbled to be in this place. And of course, a huge thank you to Robbey Reddinger for his love that is my present and future.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Words_Mary, Mary, Oh So Not Contrary

My friend Mary and I are becoming better friends as we both "attend" the same church and book club,* and by "attend", I mean, "she attends regularly book club and I don't". In a nutshell, Mary is friendly, quirky, charming, honest, and incredibly funny without even trying. If we weren't friends I'd probably hate her. Just when I thought I couldn't like her any more, I find out at book club (the one I did attend) that she has, in years past, watched Korean soap operas, namely: The Bizarre Bunch.

All subtitled of course, she claimed the soap opera cultured her enough to be able to detect the Korean language by ear. She recalled a time when she was settling into an evening of The Bizarre Bunch and, gasp! There were no subtitles! How was she going to watch and enjoy her stories? Any normal person would have probably changed the channel and opted for an equally riveting source of entertainment (like Real Housewives, whatever) but no. Mary is not the normal person. She instead, wrote the show's network company complaining about this hiccup and demanded she have a guest role in the Korean drama itself. That last part wasn't true at all. But she did write the network. And she did finish the soap opera eventually (which only lasts six months in Korean TV fyi as opposed to 20 years in America). I'm not sure if she ever received a response from the network but she, in her Mary-way, made an extremely almost microscopic dent in the network Korean-subtitling industry. And for that, I am proud--nay, 난 니가 자랑스러워 "Nan ni-ga ja-rang-seu-reo-wo" to be her friend.

*Bible Study

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Words_The End of Rocktober

It's the last day of October 2010 (seriously, how did that happen) and I'm shamefully dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie sitting in the crack of my couch drinking the last of my $10 sangria bottle from my burpday. This is what I chose to do over decorating myself from head to toe in some humorously thoughtful alter-egoish Halloween outfit while carousing with other humorously-decorated friends eating ridiculous amounts of candy, being endlessly entertained, and serving up one priceless Kodak moment after another. Your feelings of jealousy right now are completely normal.

Although my participation in Halloween 2010 has been absolutely pathetic, I found some other relevant outlets that I'll leave up to you to 'yay' or 'nay' as acceptable alternatives.
  • This past Saturday, Robbe and I specifically walked through the Harrisburg Mall for their annual "Zombie Walk" which, according to reputable sources (Robbe), has attracted up to 300 zombie-fied participants in recent past. The idea is exactly what it sounds like. Patrons arrive at the mall in their best zombie-esque transformation and walk--or should I say painfully limp--around the mall, mouths agape, sometimes a throaty moan here and there, offering a PG-13 terror for anyone who happens upon them. It was a bit humorous to see some participants, completely bloodied and damaged looking, standing and talking normally, waiting in line for an Auntie Ann's pretzel. I suppose even zombies have the right to veer from their human flesh diet for a cinnamon soft pretzel, am I right?
  • Friday night, in lieu of any legitimately cool Halloween festivities, Robbey and I opted for watching a scary movie with our friends Andy and Bep. The movie? Shutter Island starring Leo DiCap; directed by Martin Scorsese. I knew from the moment I saw the preview (which was months ago) that I was Never. Ever. Going to watch it. I really don't enjoy any kind of creepy, graphic horror film but for some reason I think my conscience felt a penance was due for my Halloween 2010 fail. So, on Friday, that debt was paid in full. It didn't help that Andy, who had already seen the movie, compounded my fears saying "I told Bep not to watch it; it's seriously one of the scariest movies. It's pretty bad." Hey, thanks Andy. So needless to say, I sat squirming for over two hours, downing as much wine as I could to numb any graphic details that could possibly cling to my conscience to haunt me later. After it was all over, the fear, the stress, the blurry vision from squinting so much; I realized, Andy was completely wrong. It was hardly the scariest move ever; sure there were some squinty-eyed, peek through the finger moments, but as a whole, it was a really great, intriguing movie; more of a thriller than a horror film. And I could have really enjoyed it if I wasn't so freaked out to begin with. So, for those who have not seen it yet and you don't mind being spooked a bit, definitely give it a chance. Leo is great in it as well as Mark Ruffalo.
  • I finally finished reading the Harry Potter series this month, which I thought was appropriate timing right before Halloween and the debut of the last movie. My respect and admiration for J.K. Rowling is off the charts. Anyone who refuses Harry Potter without even attempting to read it first, well, I can only assume you have no taste for imagination. The world she creates is truly fantastic and to delve further and further into the character's worlds and adventures from book to book has been awesome. I just wish my memory wasn't so terrible as all the books sort of blur together and I'm unable to distinguish if something in a movie really happened in the book. The countdown for November 19 begins tomorrow...
  • Speaking of Harry Potter, Robbe and I talked about dressing up as Harry Potter and Cho Chang this year, which would have really been perfect with the new movie coming out (is anyone still reading this?) but alas, it was all talk and no walk so does the saying "It's the thought that counts" count here still?
  • I love looking at everyone's Halloween costumes, particularly on Facebook or Twitter. My favorites I've seen so far have been: my married friends dressed up as Brett & Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords, a girl dressed up as sushi, Christian Siriano and Brad Walsh as Lumiere and Babette from Beauty & the Beast, candy dots on paper, and a friend's husband dressed as Russell Brand.
Thus ends my Halloween alternative outlets for 2010. I guess I'll start planning Halloween 2011 now so I won't look lame next year, but I must admit, these sweatpants are pretty darn comfortable.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Words_Another Day, Another Harry Potter Conversation

Robbe: "You need to finish Harry Potter. November 19 is almost here."
Me: "I know. I just need some momentum."
Robbe: "Uh...I have no idea what that means. Your momentum is YOU'RE READING HARRY POTTER!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Words & Photos_A Birthdaylicious Weekend

I'm currently writing to you with a bit of a fever ("Bieber fever?" Robbe asked.) and a queasy stomach--all (thankfully) post birthday weekend 2010, which was, by the way, truly so much more than I could have ever asked for (because I probably would have never asked it to be ghetto, creepy, or full of "wtf" moments).

Firstly, I must pay tribute to those who fantastically crafted original birthday art for me. Apparently, I have some kind of Sufjan Stevens obsession.

by Diane
I like to call this piece of art: "Sufjan Cheers It Like It's Hot." And by "it" I mean "me."

by Misie
This one, I like to call: "El Sufjan O(da)Le-Hee-Hoo"

by Cara P.
This one I like to call: "29 Balloons for 29 Kimi Years"

by Heather (my roomie)
A true a la Kimi cake!! Amazing and delish!

A huge thank you to these artists and their amazing birthday artwork!

OK, so let's talk about Friday where my dearest love Robbey gave me:
1. a Charlie Brown birthday card (amazing) and
2. Jonsi tickets at the 930 club (how do I count the ways...)
We joined some of my favorite people for a Mexican happy hour and, oh, las margaritas did flow. At one point, all the lights went out and there was instant silence--that is until someone started banging a pot (right next to Robbey's ear--pobrecito!) and the lights flickered on and a handful of staff came out singing Happy Birthday. I felt like I was in a cartoon where everything was happening in quick colorful seconds. I blinked and someone had placed a plateful of dessert in front of me. I blinked again and there was a spoonful (like a serving spoonful) of whipped cream suspended in front of me. I thought it was there because they wanted me to take a generous bite, so after some hesitation, I leaned in. My face was instantly smothered in--what everyone told me later was--a coffee filter full of whipped cream (thanks Misie for documenting). Seriously, I look like an Asian Santa Claus gone terribly wrong.

Post-whipped cream face, I spent the next three hours around a bonfire with my family, friends, and Mr. Vincent Van Gogh double espresso. It was probably one of the most memorable times of my life where the kindest of words were shared and life couldn't have been more meaningful in the company of such amazing people.

Sushioke 2010
The next evening was full of sushi and close friends and family from near and far. Those who preferred a little suspense to their adventure came out to karaoke afterwards, which was around 15 of us. We had the "privilege" of trying out a new karaoke place (since our tried and true locale didn't karaoke on Saturdays) which I was a bit skeptical about after Rachel described it as being "run by Nazis." Besides that, I wasn't sure what to expect.

Rachel and I decided to take one for the team and sign up first for karaoke. Song choice? "Hey ya" by Outkast. DJ Ricky gave us two mics and told us we had to stand about 6 feet apart to avoid mic feedback. After a few failed attempts at this, I found myself sitting in a booth next to a stranger and her down-syndromed child eating dinner. "Excuse me, ma'am?" DJ Ricky said to the stranger. "She"--gesturing at me--"is going to have to sit here for a second okay? Just until this song is over." The woman didn't even look at me, she just nodded her head and threw a fry in her mouth. I sat there blankly as the song was already 15 seconds in and there I was expected to karaoke while sitting ten feet away from my co-performer in a booth with strangers eating dinner. Something was terribly wrong. I ended up turning off my mic and sharing with Rachel. Why we didn't think of this in the first 3 seconds of the song--I'll never know.

The rest of the night just got weirder and more hilarious. My friend Katie best summed in up by repeatedly asking me, "Seriously, where are we?" There was a fight that nearly broke out between two patrons at the bar, there were children under 11 there until 1 in the morning, there was smeared poop on the bathroom floor, there was a younger woman who danced like we should have been throwing money at her (see photo below by Misie), and an older woman who not only danced equally trashy on everyone (gender didn't matter) but also shared her gut with us every time she put her hands up. At one point, she was grinding on Rabbit and she paused to ask: "Is this anyone's husband?" Once she got her answer, the grinding resumed. Oh, did I mention that this older woman was DJ Ricky's mom?
The complete karaoke list went like this:
Rachel + Kimi - "Hey Ya" by Outkast
Mandy, Kimi, Ashleigh, Steph-poopth - "Like a Prayer" by Madonna
Robbey - "Freshman" by The Verve Pipe
Meeker - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
Andy + Rabbit - "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel
Robbey - "99 Problems" by Jay-Z
Kimi - "Shoop" by Salt n Pepa
Andy - "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
Rabbit - "You Make Me Wanna" by Usher
Rachel + Asher - "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners
Rachel + Kimi - "Big Poppa" by Notorious BIG

Needless to say, we completely took over that karaoke bar (except for one Nickelback performance by a bar patron) and probably gave the Bayside Inn its best night they ever had, and as weird as it was being there, I have to say they probably gave me one of mine that will certainly go down in the history of birthdays.