angelina ballerina

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i’ve recently started prancing to (and in) adult ballet classes.

i love the names of the different movements – pas da bourree, demi-plie, and even fondu(e). that last one makes me laugh (and actually goes with this whole ballerina mouse concept).

i feel (and look) more angelina ballerina (pictured above) than black swan or center stage, but i love it.

things that crack me up

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i laughed for like three minutes straight at this picture (is any other reaction warranted?).

scrolling through one of our wedding photographer-to-be’s albums, i paused the slideshow at this one.

dear overly pumped up wedding guest: regardless of how much you’re enjoying yourself, please do not throw toddlers (who my fiance mistakes for little people) into the air.

some questions i can’t help but wanting answers to:

  • does that toddler have a mullet? or is the child’s head on fire?
  • why is that toddler wearing a onesie? don’t they make mini tuxes for such occasions?

i suppose these questions will go unanswered.

childhood chronicles: my parent’s place

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whenever i return home, i drift, without fail, to my shelves of childhood books. and by home, i don’t mean my apartment in new york where sirens and incessant car horns invade the tiny space. i mean my parent’s place.

it is here that i can find rows upon rows of my childhood books. my first thought is, always: i’m thankful to my parents for having kept them all these years. i open one up to see “susan” written in thick black sharpie on the front flap. the writing is round and childish. fourth grade? maybe earlier.

i love flipping through the roald dahls and remembering the first time i read matilda. the boy i’d had a crush on at the time (this was in third grade) pointed at the cover and told me i looked just like matilda who was perched on a bookshelf, surrounded by piles of books. i remember not knowing whether to feel flattered, annoyed, or amused. i don’t really remember his face, but i do remember this matilda incident.

i love the anne of green gables-es too.  anne of the island – third in the anne series. i’ve reread this one countless times – mostly in the fall. it’s been years since my life has been tethered to the start of school years and winter and summer breaks, but most falls, i’ll seek out this third in the series. it’s the one where anne goes off to college. she leaves home, shares a house with friends, expands her intellectual horizons in lecture halls, dances at soirees, and misses home. it may take place in nova scotia in the early 1900s (omg), but the emotions are the same. and i love re-reading it in the fall – close to the start of a “school year.”

bridesmaid-ing (in queensland rosewater)

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one of my favorite people in the world got married this past weekend. every detail down to the senorita teapot and the pink sequined tablecloth for the ginormous (and fabulous) five (or six?) layer cake screamed sheenie. the cake was my height.

i love how weddings resemble their brides (the grooms too, but mostly the brides). the flower girl, little kiki (pictured above), looked like she’d jumped out of a storybook, full of spunk and charm. her antics during the group photos (hair pulling, face contorting, and peals of laughter) were textbook adorable.

i’ve always loved sheenie’s open sentimentality – uninhibited, free-spirited, and thoughtful. it made me smile to see that reflected in little details throughout – from mentions of her childhood in her speech to the choice of the father-daughter dance song.

this was the fourth bridesmaid dress i’d donned. it was queensland rosewater (that’s the color), long, and flowy. it’s almost expected that people complain about bridesmaids dresses, but i’ve loved all the ones i’ve worn. there was the long, satiny powder blue one for theresa’s, the pale pink, knee-length one for sarah’s, and the flouncy blue one for bee’s (well, that one was of my choosing, but still). i’ve loved them because they reminded me of the respective brides. if you put them all in a closet and asked me to guess which brides had chosen them, i’d bet that i’d get em right (assuming this is all happening before i wore them).

stop and stare (xo, rager)

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i stopped and stared the first time i saw this cover at the bookstore.

what’s inside is even more awesome and hilarious, if that is possible.

[A] culturally specific, ultradistilled form of rage, which Koreans call han … By definition, only Koreans have han, which arises from the fact that the universe can never pay off this debt to them, not ever. (Koreans are not known for being forgiving) … One enduring example of the persistence of han is Korea’s emblematic song – not the national anthem, but the song that represents Korea more than any other: a folk song called “Arirang” … What is this song about? In one verse, a spurned lover says, “Ye who has tossed me aside and left me, I hope you get a foot disease before you have traveled ten li.” … And it speaks volumes that Koreans have used “Arirang” as their international ambassadorial song, without any discussion about changing the lyrics. They don’t question whether it’s okay to air this kind of hostility in public.

i’m usually not one for non-fiction, but i couldn’t resist. and this one hasn’t disappointed (though i’ve just started devouring its chapters). much of it is quote-worthy. even more of it is just downright hilarious. and it’s startlingly accurate. almost like someone described your family (including yourself) to you and made you think, “how did they get it so right?” recommend.

wedding planning ~ our part one

much of our wedding planning has taken the form of davey and i peering at a glowing laptop screen, clicking through results google has spit out for us.

some of the results have been cringe inducing (slow motion videos of couples set to overly dramatic music), some useful, some engrossing, and some downright hilarious. the last category has been my favorite (of course).

take this site, for one: the top 20 inappropriate wedding songs. not quite taking the wedding cake, but up there at #12 is i hate everything about you by ugly kid joe:

“I don’t really care about your sister,
@&!! the little bitch ’cause I already kissed her.”

holy cow. that made my day.

hint: none of these songs will be played at our wedding.

the nypl children’s books exhibit: an oasis in a city of puke

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despite smelling like some giant puked all over it this time of year, nyc does have a super high density of neat exhibits. like this children’s books exhibit at the nypl that i recently waltzed through. i say waltzed because i love all things related to children’s books (except for actual children, maybe. okay, that was a joke. a semi-joke).

this one was nicely curated. you’d recognize that shape pictured above anywhere – one of the wild things leaping off of maurice sendak’s pages. its life like size made me smile. they also had a section on lewis carroll’s alice, with a giant alice figurine whose mechanical neck stretched to the sky and stretched back down (somewhat creepy). and of course harold with his purple crayon scribbling across one of the walls.

nyc, you do have some redeeming qualities, after all.

Posted in NYC

trash storm

so this is really a thing. like, i was stuck in one the other night. with davey.

only in new york, in my experience.

giant gusts of wind will lift pieces of trash – from tiny, sharp bits to larger, random objects (one time it was a sock, another time it was a styrofoam container from some food truck) – high up into the air and hurl em right at you. like, it actually hurts when you’re stuck in one.

i started shrieking when the wind screeched and shot tiny shards of god knows what at us. davey couldn’t stop laughing. it wasn’t funny. it’s actually pretty scary. like, you can’t open your eyes for fear of trash flying right in.

when i pull up the weather on my iphone, i expect this to be an actual icon. like, they need to have a tiny trashcan spinning in gusts of wind icon so i can know to NOT go outside.

“the cat”

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the cat. that’s the name of a radio station, apparently. your [rental] car radio will tune into that station when you’re in the catskills. it’s a sign you’ve made it out of the city. that’s what we listened to on our blissful J4th weekend.

the riverloft. that’s the name of the place we stayed at. a loft. riverside. also creekside. with ducks and ducklings bobbing down the creek. straight out of a coastal living magazine.

the culinary institute of america. that’s where we wandered the halls of and feasted at – more hogwarts-esque than culinary school. me: “why do we only see people walking on the freeway near the culinary institute?” d: “they have no money left for a car after their tuition.” we gobbled up halibut, truffle fries, and giant cookies, courtesy of the culinary institute students.

the rain. that’s what we drove through and reveled in. even the rain was beautiful. non-city rain casts a spell when it sweeps across vast expanses of uncluttered landscape. when you’re driving through it, it’s exhilarating. especially when enveloped in giant trees. again, unlike city rain. city rain is just gross.

we were sad to return to concrete.

the little mermaid

they don’t make children’s stories the way they used to. when i was four or five, my mom and aunts read me the little mermaid. the hard core, hans christian andersen version. translated into korean. the version where the little mermaid turns into white sea foam at the end because she can’t stab her prince in the heart with a dagger. they told me years later that i’d cry on cue at that part – after reciting much of it with them. a feminist from an early age. [i’m assuming i was heartbroken that she’d put some self-absorbed loser she’d rescued above her own life].

a few years later, the disney version came out. my youngest aunt took me to see it at the movie theater – twice. i loved it that much. the disney cast of characters was raucous, silly, animated (literally). i loved sebastian the lobster (or crab?). a far swim from hans christian andersen. i still love that disney version and always will. the disney fairy dust – sterilizing and prettifying everything.

i think there’s something to be said for the original HCA version though. for one, it’s the original. and two, it’s good to expose children to a range and depth of emotions. yes, the little mermaid felt as if she were walking on daggers every time she took a step with her human legs. there’s value, i think, in exposing kids to that in a story. to all the complicated layers of life that fall short of being disney moments. and all for the better, likely.