Monday, December 31, 2012

oh silent night: a huge blog post for hugely awesome friends and holidays

foreword: i tried to keep the following thoughts and emotions in one paragraph (LOL, what a joke on my part). then i started writing and it kept going and i decided, imma just write dis for myself. i think these next paragraphs were written more to for me--not for me to read, but for me to write.

POST SCRIPT IN THE FOREWORD. after writing all this i have decided this makes no sense and you shouldn't read it because i think it's dumb. but at least you have some photos if you don't read it. heck i dont even know if you're reading this.


cousins, brothers, sisters. aunts, uncles, grandparents. relative seems to piece family back into place when it's the holidays. no matter what the cost, nothing stops family from getting together during "the most wonderful time of year." thanksgiving gets close to winning the award for best family-gatherer, but christmas gets me out of school for like friggin 4 weeks. thanksgiving? 2 days--the winner is obvious.

despite the obvi ness of family getting together during the holy holidays, for me, it's always been a rough ride. it's just the four of us--my brother, my mom, dad, and me. but we're all somewhere else. we're all up to something at different parts of the world. this year, i felt the distance, but more than the distance, i felt the brokenness that lies between the cracks that have always existed in our four piece puzzle.

after getting lost in translation with japanese stewardesses of Japanese Airlines, i traveled across continents to find myself planted in a christmas that was missing someone. whenever i go to korea, he's always there. whenever i pass customs and stroll my luggage out of the airport, he's always there. or at least he's supposed to be. but he wasn't. well, i guess it's more accurate to say that he was there for a second, he picked me up at the airport and put me down and then he left my mom and me. alone. in a quiet home. no tree. no promise. just broken expectations of what family means to me. of what i thought home was supposed to be.

on the day of christmas, mom and i sat around and listened to my "AHHHHHH" playlist (i.e. christmas playlist, because christmas is worthy of screaming AHHHH) on spotify while trying to find some decent american films on demand via korean tv--no success. i didnt mind nor really notice him not being there until i called him. hey its a holly jolly day so i should call my pops even if he is dumb and not home on christmas, or so i thought. i dial his cell to face a redundant obnoxious ring. that's when his absence began to burn. 

underlying that situation, is my mom. she's in a very keen, sensitive, complicated and not happy state. her hurt hit me when she broke it down--erin, the house is so empty, her voice fragile, as unsteady and as thin as seran wrap. and while i sat and listened to her telling me what's happening with our family, while as i listened to a situation so real, i felt a sense of quiet like some haunting heatwave--except it was cold, like the chill i imagine it'd feel in an old abandoned haunted house. like in that one poem, not a thing was stirring not even a mouse? it was kind of like that--i felt the houses' silence, the vacancy of a family. the sad truth that was our state of a "merry christmas." the emptiness makes a home here, it stays and haunts, quietly whispering devastation through the my mother's veins, seeping in like some awful nyc humidity.

while i realized our situation--i will spare you and myself of the logistics, i tasted what it was like for many people, many quiet people, who don't actually have a merry christmas. who don't actually get to instagram a festive family photo. who don't actually have friends to tag in their facebook photos for holiday polaroids and camera photos. the emptiness pierces. to the experience-ee it is a quiet fog, but as my mom relayed those words to me, the situation's sudden overbearing nature was miserable and sharp. i can't even say i tasted this emptiness because i know i can't feel what my mom feels. a white man can't become a black man. a student can't become her teacher. a daughter can't become her mom. but the emptiness was right there before me and it hurt to see it and to know that it was so real.


i thought about that emptiness that some feel during the holidays. nobody to share a gift with. or maybe somebody, but then the list ends there. merry christmas, to nobody and nothing. i remembered a contrasting experience related to silence/emptiness after a shindig i held a few weeks ago. after some friends and i pasted scraps of paper together to make holiday cards and after we consumed apple cider and chocolate wafers and verde salsa and after many smiles and happy feet walked in and out the doors of my humble soho abode, a mist of a feeling came over me. i sunk into a silence from the absence of my friends who had once illuminated my night.

the small space was full of such laughter that even initiated crying--laughs on me. a corner of camera posing, a dollop of shouting at our cards for not being perfect and living up to our artistic dreams ("where is MINTY MOOSE"), a brief revisit to ol' degrassi. my not so capacious space was jammed with joyful noises, enough so to inspire an RA to tell us to shut up before quiet hours--of all rooms mine... LOL, they dun know me.

then after all that, when we finally got tired from camera posing, and finally acknowledged that our cards cant be perfect, and finally finished talking about degrassi, i sunk into the quiet and finished the night: i moved the mosaics of scrap paper from awkward table crevices. i whipped out my laptop. i updated my facebook photo to one from the night's collection of many poses. i wrote some of what youre reading write now in my tumblr journal as i always do when i feel moody. then i closed my laptop. all was silent. everything and everyone had gone.

despite the banter, car horns, obnoxious drunken discussion--i.e. the downtown soundtrack that invites itself into my room to make it so characteristically citylike, despite all that, for that moment, i realized how quiet my room actually was.

but in that silence there was an unheard din--the beautiful melody that is friendship. i realized how awesome the evening was, for me. i realized--yet again--how lucky i am to have friends like these. there was maybe 10 people that passed in and out those doors that evening, not too many, and yet each one meaning so much and breathing so much life.

in that silence, i felt warmth. as i walked around my room i felt the laughs and excitement and smiles that wandered the same space. yes, it was silent, but my room wasn't empty.

in that silence, i felt life. i felt joy because that is the scent of friendship. as a few true friends study abroad next semester and judging from my dynamic check-in-history (born in jersey, lived in south korea, lived in seattle, now in nyc--had to move all da time errywhere, thus less stable friends), i'm never sure who my 'best friends 4 lyfe' are. i feel inseparable with some people. i think they're awesome. we've got to be friends ten years from now.' and yet who knows. i always think i do, but looking back, i know nothing.

in that silence, i felt the present. i didn't feel worried about friends not getting along with others even if they're new. somehow my friends are awesome in the way that they can be awesome with new people since they are all awesome. do you understand?! it's magic. it's an open heart. in these moments i didn't worry about anything because i knew they were all my friends, not the cream of the crop of my favorite clique-y groups or whatever. it was all about the moment. IT WAS A CIRCLE OF LIFE

in that silence, it felt like a postcard or a polaroid. i felt reality from a few moments ago and i was soaking it in. the moments were musky in my head because they weren't happening in front of my face, yet, thinking in that silence, i felt everything. i felt love. i felt the silence unwrap itself into life, into the present, into friendship.

i can never thank god enough for the people that he has placed in my life. and i have come to terms with the fact that many of these people, i will not be in regular contact with 10 years from now. 1 year from now. or next month. or ever. but in that silence i felt a gratitude for the fact that i have these friends that i do today.

in that silence, i knew the warmth that lingered invisibly in my room might fade. in the same way, these friends may not even see me again, but i also knew that in the chaos that exists beyond my quiet space, in the chaos that is the city, in the chaos that is the noise of facebook and in the chaos that is the way of life, in the chaos is joy, a hushed peace and happiness. and that is what makes the holidays. that is what makes every day a bit more worth while. and that is what makes up for the emptiness.

merry christmas. and thank you for being my friend today.

(and if you're not, then, thanks for...reading!....?) 

photos and gifs--that's right GIFS--from the night (oh that merry x-mas sign is cute ikr. well i guess i'll laud myself some praise for creating it. actually no that's really vain. well, too late, just did. don't even know if you can laud somebody but i just lauded.)


photobombing per usual

trying to recreate brooklyn fierceness

for added hip points, put a filter on it. 

EVEN THOUGHT CHRISTMAS WAS A FEW DAYS AGO. MERRY CHRISTMAS. AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. like i said, the holidays are about them universal themes like joy, happiness, warmth and all that jazz, so why should we only be excited to say celebrate the season during the month of december? celebrate christmas all year round. #ErinsTwoCents #ErinsFiftyCents

song of the moment/the night
merry x-mas - dragonette 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

bat to black

it's probably just me but i'm so proud of myself for posting three outfit posts three days in a row. winning! and of course, it features another purchase(s!) from the urban outfitters black friday sale. i tell ya, they got a good one. 

first things first, this cardigan feels uber soft, so when i saw it, the lapels kicked ass because lapels kick ass. and then i touched it and it had to be, i had to get it. and it helps that it was marked down to about $20. i like the big space under the arms. i feel like a bat when i wear it, i.e. super boss. and because it's so droopy, i felt like i had so many ways to wear it--close it up with a cool pin, tie it up, tuck it in, zomg so much to style so little time.

the button down collared shirt is also a fab friday feature. i think i paid $5 for that shirt at urban. the collars really spoke to me, and once again, super soft comfortable shirt. sparkle & fade knows their soft fabrics. 

speaking of sparkle, i'm also wearing my favorite sparkly tights. in order to combat the cold weather, i find it mandatory to layer up on tights, so i'm actually wearing two layers. and my legs were totally ok despite the city freezing my face.

i'm usually unconsciously a fan of colors and stripes and patterns but 1. i really wanted to style my new cardigan, 2. i really wanted to wear shorts with tights--i've been doing less of that combo, last year that was my jam. so i put this together, keeping it black, feeling like a bat, can't go wrong i supposes.


in other news, i'm so exciting to make christmas cards tomorrow evening. i went CRAZY buying paper and craft stuff since i decided that this year i'd like to avoid purchasing actual things. i thought i'd save money not buying actual expected gift-y items, BUT NO, i just spend my week's salary on paper and stickers and glitter and stuff. pearl paint mart on canal st. in soho is really great though; they weren't uber expensive, and the employees were really nice! I LOVE NICE PEOPLE. but anyway, HELLA looking forward to making some bomb cards that will blow your minds.

here is a subliminal message: have you voted on today? have you told all your friends to vote? yeah, didn't think so.

i really liked the geometric-ity that was happening.

cardigan and shirt - sparkle & fade, urban outfitters; shorts - armani exchange; boots - aldo

song of the moment
The Chipmunk Song

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

sometimes it's a dog

although many of my friends find me notorious for my cat apparel, this black friday (black fri sales make a cameo once again) i actually bought apparel pertaining to... dogs! i have been quietly wanting something dog relate and i finally found something fabulous. white yorkies all over my bod via casual black dress. you go urban outfitters, you go.

dress - urban outfitters, tights - ?, flats - south korea, scarf - south korea street store

song of the moment
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! - Joe Williams

p.s. vote on teenvogue =^.^=

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

just your typical mod 60s secretary

black friday is kind of dreadful for me but because the crux of it is shopping, well, i can't say no. ever since senior year when i discovered urban outfitters "50% off the sale" sale for black fri, i have not turned back. i'm still a newb to black friday and i dont intend on ever becoming awesome at black friday-ing because honestly the sales after christmas are way better, just less hyped. 

besides buying about 6 awesome pieces of apparel from uo for a grand total of $60-70, i also hit up jcrew despite their wompy sale of extra 25% off sale. sure that's a sale but nothing that makes me drool or punch another person for. despite expected wompyness, i found love in a hopeless place in the kids section. that's how it always turns out. i got an awesome turquoise sweater from crewcuts boys and i love it. most of my sweaters have stuff on it--i.e. patterns, foxes, cats, prints, stuff; but this one was basic, soft and oh so versatile. WINNING/WON! i've already worn it three diff ways since buying it. here's how i wore it to work! and i look like a 60s secretary, yes i do.

when i wore this outfit + did my hair, i felt very much like schwurlie particularly with this look--but obviously she firmly maintains the title of queen of cool. kate is, by the way, hosting a fabulous sheinside giveaway (it's like shiseido but not).

sweater - crewcuts, boys; shirt - banana republic; skirt - h&m, tights - banana republic, flats - cathy jean; brooch - brooklyn flea market

i took this photo while trying to hide from floormates. i thought it looked very film noir-y, damsel in distress-y. 

i lost my school id for the third time--go me! i thought the second time i lost my id, i would have learned my lesson. and i did! but somehow i misplaced it somewhere in my dorm. i picked up delivery in my lobby AND BAM IT WAS GONE FOREVER AFTER THAT NIGHT. so i got a new one, and i look so costume-y. also i have never really felt comfortable with sharing what school i go to, but screw that, NYU LOVIN FOR DAYS.

an extra bonus: i wore this sweater yet again for class so it's a bit more casual. comfy button down under a sweater = good 2 go. also i am a total advocate for cuffing jeans/pants, esp if you have cool socks. 
shirt - hollister, sweater - crewcuts boys, jeans - banana republic, shoes - aldo, coat - urban outfitters

song of the moment
michael buble - cold december night

p.s. check out teen vogue's snapshot 2012 voting gallery, and if you like my look, vote/comment/share it to the whole world and eat some cake. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

getting lucky

one fine evening after .25 second eye-lock with zooey deschanel and a quick shoulder brush with vampire weekend's ezra koenig, i find myself in my documentary class, watching Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry--great great film and awesome dude by the way, watch it if you ever can. after the film has rolled through its credits, i slide my index finger on my phone. what time is it. oh i have a text, and before i even remember i shouldnt be looking at my phone in class, my eyes are locked on the text that is a tweet that Kenzie Faith spotted me (or a potential twin) in her inbox via TeenVogue. and i was like WHATTHEFREAKINGAWESOMEWHAT 

couple weeks ago, or i dont even remember when, i had submitted some pics to teenvogue's annual snapshot contest, because hey, i like clothes, i like how i wear my clothes, i like photos and i like teenvogue, so it makes sense. and there were pages and pages of photos so i didn't even think about it, but hey, somehow i made the top 10 and i found myself alongside one direction and dior ads on teen vogue's homepage. 

considering that i've wanted to be a teen vogue click blogger, and have followed other bloggers through teen vogue's click thingy (no pun intended), this didn't seem that devastatingly cool, since i'm used to seeing other bloggers on teenvogue's site, but nonetheless, no lie, this is pretty freakin awesome. 

the other looks among the 10 are awesome too! i think it's a nice eclectic mix although i do not see much east coast! c'mon new england! so i suppose i can represent for the east side, and also for all them Asians. I checked out previous Snapshot winners, and they have mostly been gorgeous, charming, blonde gals, which i am not, so i'm pretty content in just being on the homepage for a few days and not winning an actual shoot in the magazine (omg just typing those words out reminds me of how awesome that would), but i really have to admit, i would love this opportunity more than a lot of things in this world. 

if you do like the look, go ahead and vote--you can apparently vote every single day until jan 6th. i dont expect anyone to do that for anybody--honestly, that's kind of a ridiculous policy. this should end in like two weeks instead of two hundred years, and why would people be able to vote every day, that's just a scam, ugh life and ethics. anyway, feel free to vote every day, every week, every month, every just right now, and maybe i'll get lucky. :) 

p.s. these photos aren't the newest, but that's ok.

i actually am terribly embarassed by this hoto, but it's a good moment, so i share it for the moment. i hope you feel good because i'm sharing this good moment with you

shirt - capitol hill block party, seattle 2011, collared shirt - nordstrom rack, cardigan and shorts - urban outfitters, tights - american eagle, shoes - uncle in south korea

song of the moment
otis redding - try a little tenderness

Saturday, November 10, 2012

a morbid attraction

Some weekends you just never know what's coming next. This weekend was that kind of collection of events. 

1. I bought a pair of kick ass ankle booties from Aldo (on sale forever and always). They're black and suede so they're chic enough for most occasions. They have some heel so I don't feel as short as I actually am when I wear them. All around, they kick ass--hopefully I won't run into a situation where I will literally have to do so. Here are some photos and then I will tell such an enchanting tale to sweep you off your slippers.

I can never take myself seriously

2. I "went out." This semester I think I have fulfilled society's definition of that phrase about thrice or maybe fivce-ish. None of them were really going out though. I never actually really do. So I didn't actually fulfill society's definition of it. So nvm, according to society it would then be zero. Which is fine by Erin Kim. Ok, you'll see what I mean. So I "went out" to a creative writing party of sorts held at the very classiest of New England sites, The Players Club, which housed the late Sir Edwin Booth, brother of the man that is known for killing Abe. I imagined this gathering to be much hipper and trendier than it turned out to be--I mean they said there'd be polaroids, so you know. But I freaking loved how it turned out. I am such a grandma, it is unreal. 

After I took a cheeseball pic with my beloved Jimmy Fallon (he gets mentioned two blog posts in a row, now that's love. Also, why he has a painted portrait, I do not know, but I would steal it.), I realized there was also a tour going on and apparently Edwin's crib is just the same as it was since the day he died. FREAKIN AWESOME! It's like I'm standing there with him, watching him sleep, holding his hand, breathing the air he breathed, touching the hand rail he touched, stepping the steps he stepped, living the life he lived!!!! I have no idea why I loved it so much, but I was enamored. I think I have some innately wry fetish for death and classy/antique-y homes. I have no doubt it relates to my appreciation for garage sales held by elderly people. 

some last minute foolin' around at edwin's place. i got cozy there. i could sleepover. 

"polaroids" at the "party" (this is at the beloved restaurant that is Chat n' Chew) 

coat - free people (on loan from sherry), blazer - urban outz, top - anthropologize, boots - aldo, sass - you'll never know (p.s. i guess this is now "my spot")

song of the moment
phoenix - girlfriend (you have no idea how excited i was to hear them play at the diner--after partying with edwin's ghost obvi)