Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photos_Robbirthday Weekend

A weekend of birthdayness celebrating the one and only Robbey with baseball, brunch, booze and best friends!

Perfect Sunday morning setting by Woodberry Kitchen.

Friends and family

"The Full Monty" Bloody Mary with Natty Boh chaser - Delicious!

The Breakfast Burger. Yes a burger is hiding under that egg. Double delicious!

Rebekah, Andy, Robbe - Game #2 O's vs. Nats; O's win again!

The best mint ice cream I've ever had. Period.


The Warrens. Asher (right) "enjoying" his first O's game.

Federal Hill post-win after party

Mojitos all around

Happiest birthday to my heart and best friend Robbe.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Words_Come and Knock on Our Door - Part One

Part One

For the first time in seven years, Robbey and I live, yes live--not visit together, not share a laugh with, not hold each other for ten minutes--but live in the same state. Not province, not capital--just kidding I won't put you through that dead end of a joke. But I will put you through a joke that ends in you being dead. I know, not funny. Because I don't even know who "you" is.

So, Robbe made history in a couple of ways these past two weeks. He not only made the fastest successful house-hunting time in the history of histories but made the best house-hunting deal, which makes him--drum roll please!--Lord of the house-hunting land! (He makes me call him that now which is getting a bit tiresome with all the bowing I have to do every time I see/leave him. Help!)*

Before this official and deserved title, he visited two other places, one of which I was lucky enough to check out with him. And by "lucky" I mean, "out of my mind." Let me set the scene for you.

Charles Village, Baltimore.

Baltimore = home to Bubbles, The Wire, street rats (literally and figuratively), John Waters, Ray Lewis, the most unattractive use of the letter "o".

Charles Village = Johns Hopkins, hit or miss area blending livable, non-livable, and are there bodies in this basement?

We visited the latter.

We knew as we approached the steps leading up to the house that it was bad news. The small porch area had an overturned chair that had probably been collecting dirt for oh, approximately two thousand years. The random bits of fast food trash surrounding the historical piece detracted from its ancient authenticity but not its statement. The statement being: Robbe and I were going to die. And when you know you're going to die, the only thing left to do is to knock on death's door (which was a little wobbly by the way). So Robbe knocked. And Death answered...

*Non-death joke

Monday, May 16, 2011

Words_(Humble)Brag of the Day

People on Twitter might call this a "Humblebrag."
I'm calling it a "brag" because I like to be honest about all of my amazing accomplishments.

We all know I have blogged about GEL about a thousand (3-4) times in the last month.

One of you is nodding her head in agreement (thanks Misie).
Five of you are just nodding off.
Three of you are wondering how you got to this page by googling "Kim Jong Il."
And the majority of you can't actually read because you're under the age of 3 and arrived here by chance because Mommy forgot to close her laptop.

All this to say that my recent posts surrounding GEL and NYC and hating pretty talented people and realizing just how how dumb I really am has finally paid off.

The creator/MC/host behind GEL, Mark Hurst, read my GEL recap and well, let's just say, he and my post are going steady now. OK, not true. But he did like it and posted it to his Twitter and also to his GEL recap page. So, I'm pretty famous now. So famous that if you go to his recap page, you'll notice I'm listed as "Kimi." Just "Kimi." I don't need a last name. That's the kind of status I'm reppin' these days.

Oh, Madonna? Cher? Move a little to the left, please; you're in my light, thanks....mm...what's that? You want me to get you a medium 2-pump vanilla 183-degree no foam latte double-cupped? Right away!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Words_NYC Part Two

And the superlatives just keep on coming...
If you missed NYC_Part One, oh, it's right here.


Worst Friday Night Plan - "We're going to see The Kills but it's sold out and we don't have tickets. So I'm just gonna pray that we get in somehow." -- Nichole
Translation: We hung around Terminal 5 getting harassed by ticket scalpers; I somehow volunteered to start buttering up the bouncers (Stefan and ?) eventually asking if it was possible to let me and my friends in, to which Stefan responded: "Not now" (so, you're telling me there's a chance...); one of the ticket scalpers and I got into a bit of a verbal scuffle where it ended with him yelling "F*** YOU!" at me while walking down the street because I refused to buy a ticket from him (I had no idea ticket scalpers were so fragile these days); this made me feel oddly proud (and scared!) that I had so unwittingly pushed someone's buttons by 1. refusing a ticket (he responded by saying: "I wouldn't take your money anyway") and 2. responding to his "I'm a businessman" claims by reminding him of where he was and what he was doing: "Just remember that you're on the street. Trying to sell a ticket that no one wants, so..."; he probably could have cut me right then and there, would have gotten away with it, and sold my Asian hair to some rich housewife on the upper east side, but thankfully, that didn't happen; what did happen is that we ended up making one last valiant effort in charming Stefan (major fail) and took a walk of shame to the subway.


Best Morning Tour - High Line/Chelsea Art Galleries, NYC
High Line history
Favorite High Line photo

Best/Worst Picasso Quote in Gagosian Gallery ("Best" because it's outstandingly beautiful; "Worst" because it's to his mistress Marie-Thérèse)
"I see you before me my lovely landscape MT and never tire of looking at you, stretched out on your back in the sand, my dear MT I love you. MT my devouring rising sun. You are always on me, MT mother of sparkling perfumes pungent with star jasmines. I love you more than the taste of your mouth, more than your look, more than your hands, more than your whole body, more and more and more and more than all my love for you will ever be able to love and I sign Picasso."


Best Sushi Happy Hour - Jin Restaurant
A full menu featuring $3 happy hour items; amazing sushi; amazing avocado salad; all around amazingness.

Best Hookah Demonstration - Horus Cafe
(Sir) William, our kind hookah preparer, gave an impressive hookah demonstration where I was afraid he was actually on fire from all the smoke emanating from his body. He wasn't. It proved to be a valuable lesson as Emily's, Misie's, and my hookah technique were forever changed. I can proudly say my smoke level went from "candy cigarette" to "Care-A-Lot clouds."

Most Embarrassing Moment
Maybe it's because of his daily hookah demonstrations or years of perfecting the hookah smoke alphabet that impaired his vocal chords but I could. Not. Hear. What. William. Was. Saying. His voice was so quiet in the midst of surrounding street noise and other table conversation. I tried getting closer, cupping my ear, squinting/closing my eyes, but nothing worked. Once he left, I announced loudly, "I cannot hear anything that guy is saying." Misie and Emily's embarrassed faces quickly revealed to me that he was, of course, standing behind me. I turned and there he was, yes, right behind me, probably whispering, mouthing, or even miming words to another table. Please forgive me, Sir William.

Best Introspective Quote 
Our conversation naturally turned to Newsies (because that's normal) and who our favorite character was in the 1992 Disney musical (is this the bane of Christian Bale's existence?) Mine of course was Spot, from Brooklyn. Christian Bale (Jacky boy) was Emily's to which she shared this poignant and thoughtful observation: "I feel like Newsies was the point in my life when I became sexually aware." I take this quote with me until the end of time.


Best (And Only) Celebrity Sighting - Ty Burrell
AKA Phil Dunphy from Modern Family with his wife and baby near Union Square

Best/Worst "I hope this isn't my future" Moment 
Misie and I were rounding a corner near Union Square and the first thing I see is this fleshy blob that kind of resembles a human butt. Then I realize, it is indeed a human butt. Then I realize, it's quickly disappearing under brown pants. And then I realize it's a lady, an older Asian lady, who decided to use the sidewalk as her pit stop evidenced by the puddle of liquid left in her wake. She hurried away from it and glanced back at us, nervously, and then proceeded to her destination. Misie and I just looked at each in disbelief. She summed it up best by saying: "I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go." 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Words_NYC Part One

Take One
Let's talk about NYC. No, not New York and Company, although they do have a decent selection of business casual attire but let's be honest, it's a bit overpriced, don't you think? I'd much rather be blindfolded and pushed into Forever 21 forced to feel my way to a decent outfit than to pay anything on NY&Co.'s clearance rack that was probably up-priced first and then glossed over with a deceptive sale tag. Also, everything I just said might be (and probably is) entirely false.

Take Two
Anyway, back to New York City, the city that never sleeps. P.S. I adore sleep and think it's depressing that a city prides itself on refusing a fundamental necessity that keeps people sane, level, alive. Don't get me wrong, I love the city despite this minor flub, but how about something more like: "New York City, the city that naps like hell to stay up all night." It's a win-win, right? People love naps and they love to party so I guess what I've just done is I've spoken for the people. You're welcome, people.

Take Three
I went to New York City to attend GEL for the third time. A huge congratulations to Mr. Mark Hurst who put on another fine show of inspiring, intelligent, thought-provoking speakers who made your heart swell with adoration, which then turned to jealousy, and then finally depression because you realized your life pales in comparison to their awesome genius and creativity. So...thanks? But seriously, I truly had a great time and really enjoyed soaking in every detail, every experience, every nuance I could to take back with me to Maryland (to share with Carebear). With that said, I wanted to take some time to deliver some personally-a-la-Kimi-crafted GEL 2011 Superlatives, yearbook style, of course.

Best MC - Mark Hurst
I echo everything documented by this GEL attendee and additionally appreciate Mark's natural gift of speaking, his delivery, and his comfort in engaging a diverse crowd of people in such concentrated creative experiences.

Best Improv Performance - Paul Hurst (Mark's dad)
On GEL Day #1, I attended the Improv workshop with Cathy Salit from "Performance of a Lifetime". Eight people volunteered to perform their life in one minute in front of the large group. Paul gave a very charming and humorous performance depicting him as a midshipmen at the Naval Academy, graduating, yet just as green to take on life as he was the first day of his induction.

"I'm not crying, I have something in my eye" Speaker - Daniel's Music Foundation
An amazing story of 26-year-old Daniel, who suffered a brain aneurysm at 12-years-old, was confined to a wheelchair for two years, and now walks on his own. Music played a huge part in his rehabilitation which prompted him and his family to start Daniel's Music Foundation. Daniel's "Thank You" song had me gulping back tears.

Best Take Away Message - Nell Minow, Film critic, Corporate governance expert
I love failure stories because they imply mistakes and room for improvement. And they make me generally feel better about myself.

Best Slide Show Presentation - Anil Dash, Expert Labs

Best Videos Used in Presentation - Perry Chen, Kickstarter
Allison Weiss

Most Interactive Speaker - Nicola Twilley, Author
It's funny to think that for a group largely introverted, we shared pieces of paper with each other that we had previously smashed our noses against. I think that's how you really get to know each other.

Most Ridiculously Good Looking Couple - Johnnyswim, Music artists 
Seriously, do you have to be this good-looking? C'mon, that's just not fair.

Most Ridiculously Good Looking Couple with Ridiculously Awesome Talent - Johnnyswim
Oh, so you're hot and you're talented. Let me guess, you turned down a modeling contract to pursue your dream of performing. Oh. You actually model on the side when you're not on the road? Well, that's just perfect.

Worst Audience for Johnnyswim to Perform in Front of - GEL (all white people with sprinkles of ethnicity)
Think high energy, Latin-infused, hip-swaying caramel-toned goodness playing to a crowd of paralyzed nerds. Can I get a clap, people?

Best Speaker Thumbnail Photo - James Chan, Venture Capitalist and Entrepreneur
Because it looks like he was in the middle of talking when someone snapped this photo and hit send right before the GEL speaker photo deadline.

Most Mind-Blowing - Vi Hart, Inventor, Author, Mathematician
I tried really hard to walk away from Vi's mathematically-composed music presentation enlightened, intellectually stimulated with hopes of maybe developing a pretentious English accent, but I quickly realized after my brain exploded a little that I'm just, well, dumb.

Presentation that Reinforced my "I'm Dumb" Theory - James Chan

Most Endearing - Alicia Hansen with Devin and Christian, NYC Salt
I met Devin, one of the NYC Salt's photography students, during GEL's lunch and was immediately drawn to this bow-tie-wearing, baby-faced high schooler. He's only 17 and has accomplished more than I have in my almost 30 years. I'm not jealous at all that he's going to SCAD with a more than handsome scholarship, or that his photography portfolio was one of a select few that was nationally recognized. Soooo not jealous. (Seething with jealousy.) What's truly amazing though is that he and Christian are the first in their families to go to college, so seeing him on that stage sharing his story made me feel like a proud blubbering mama desperate to shout out, "That's my baby!" Thankfully, that didn't happen.

To view all the speakers and contributors to the conference, check out GEL, as I didn't reference all of them here. Also, check out more refined reviews here and here, and my photos here.