Category Archives: all of my friends are prettier than i am

A Day in the Life

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I’ve been expectedly terrible about writing my weekly life recaps, but here are some of the importanter events:

• My bedroom is teeny, so I bought a bed frame without an attached headboard to save room, but after two years, I’ve been craving something to bang my head against while listening to angsty music. Thinking a mirror would help make the room appear bigger (and allow me to judge how pretty I must look while sleeping), I set about finding one that was tall enough to be wider than my frame when set on its side but also wide enough to stick up over my mattress to give me something to lean against. Basically the only one that fit the bill remotely was the IKEA Mongstad, but it happened to be perfect. There’s an IKEA in Brooklyn with a free shuttle that leaves from my neighborhood, but thinking it’d be even easier to just toss it in a cab, I bought one off of craigslist from a guy on Wall Street and convinced Kamran to help me move it.

I knew it was going to be big, but I might have underestimated how unwieldy 66 pounds (and 2 ounces) of 74″ tall, 37″ wide mirror is. Kamran and I had no problem carrying it downstairs, but the wind was blowing so much by the time we got to the street corner that I had a hard time staying upright with it resting against me while we waited for one of the big minivan cabs to drive by. Ten minutes later, we had seen a couple of them up the street, but they were snatched up by other people before they got to us. In the meantime, we had tried to hail some of the SUV cabs, but drivers were literally turning around in the middle of the street and going back uptown when they spotted the mirror. We thought about hiding me around the corner and trying to trick someone into stopping for just Kamran, but eventually a nice driver in an SUV stopped out of the goodness of his heart and helped us load the thing into his cab. Of course it didn’t fit. Once it hit the plexiglass partition that separates the driver from the back seat, a foot of it was still sticking out the back of the car. So we gave up, turned back the way we came, and took the thing on the subway.

We hadn’t brought gloves, and we hadn’t drank our protein shakes, so our hands were aching and our biceps were shaking by the time we loaded it onto the 2 train. I was saying things like, “If I have no problem carrying it this way, why can’t you just stop being a pansy and make it work?” And he was saying things like, “I’m a physicist. I’m pretty sure I know the best way to distribute the weight.” It was only two blocks to my apartment from the subway, but we probably stopped five times to yell at each other, but once we got the thing in place behind my bed frame, we were like, “Yeah! Teamwork!” And then we went out for bubble tea.

• My cousin, Ethan, and his wife, Katherine, stayed with me this week while visiting NYC for the first time. They drove to Pittsburgh from Ohio and then took a bus the rest of the way, arriving in Brooklyn at 3 a.m. Thursday. I had signed our spare key out for them with the doorman earlier in the evening, but the overnight guy somehow didn’t understand which of the exactly one keys he was supposed to give to them, so he ended up calling not me, whose name was on the sign-out sheet, but the owner of the apartment, who is my roommate, Jack. At 3 a.m. Having them here reminded me so much of my early days in NYC, lo those nearly eight years ago, when I would get on the subway going the wrong way and when walking anywhere seemed like such a hassle. I remember my first week here, when my boyfriend at the time, Todd, and I were trying to move out of the student housing at NYU he’d been in for a year and get our own place in Chelsea, and I felt like the walk from the subway to the realtor’s office could have taken two hours in the July heat. I later realized that it had been two avenue blocks. Which are admittedly equal to four or five street blocks, depending on who you ask. But still. Two.

• Kamran and I took our friends Nik and Jack to Momofuku Ko for lunch on Saturday. It’s our favourite restaurant in NYC. Period. We sat in the same place at the counter as the last three times we’ve gone, and the same chef we’ve had the last three times served us, and the soundtrack was The Beatles and LCD Soundsystem and The Beta Band, and I got tuh-RASHED on the wine pairings, and Jack and Nik didn’t complain about having to eat an oyster, and I’ll always remember that lunch.

“Momofuku” means “lucky peach”.

• “Game of Thrones” started up again. Like you haven’t heard. Kim has been coming over every week to watch it, along with an assorted cast of characters who have seen somewhere between all of and two of the past episodes. As I sat watching it last night in my thrifted orange damask armchair, I looked around the room at Kim and Jack and Nik and Chris and thought about how crazy it is that I was just, like, hanging out all normally in my NYC apartment with my NYC friends. I’m 99% sure Joffrey is going to die soon.

• My friend Jessica was in town from Germany a couple of weekends ago. She was an intern at my company for a year, and there’s absolutely no other way we ever could’ve become friends. We ate queso fundido and sang karaoke (Jessica likes to do the Ken part of the 1997 hit “Barbie Girl” while our friend Jeff does the Barbie part) and one friend developed a crush on another friend while that friend was busy developing a crush on a third friend, and it made me sad that our group of friends is probably legitimately too old to be hooking up with each other with abandon and without consequences.

• My friend/former co-worker Chantee was in town yesterday after having left NYC a few years ago, and we met up with Kamran, Jack, and Jeff for the whole duck at Momofuku Ssam Bar. They take a Long Island duck, stuff duck sausage under the skin, confit the legs, and serve it all with hoisin sauce and fried shallots and greasy chive pancakes and rice that soaks up all of the duck juices. There’s a reason the place appears on “best of” lists along restaurants like Per Se.

You wouldn’t know it from Jeff’s face here, but Chantee is one of those people who’s hilarious but never at your expense and only makes you feel good about yourself when she’s around. I wish my sense of humor was more that and less naming-all-of-your-faults-in-front-of-everyone-we-know, but my mother died when I was 18, and I’ve never recovered. Just kidding. Well, sort of.

• My stomach is tired.

Tonight, We Are Young

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It was my roommate/landlord/co-worker/friend, Jack’s, birthday on Sunday, so I took it upon myself to throw him a “party” on Friday night. I wanted to reserve a private room somewhere so he could “mingle” and “work the room” and “network” and “invite hot girls in to enjoy his bottle service, ifyouknowwhatImean”, but I couldn’t get the bars in our area to agree to give me one unless I promised to bring a hundred people and buy a buffet for them. So I gave Jack two non-reserved-room options:

1) a divey Irish bar that my friend Jeff said Jack would like, with a pool table and ping-pong and darts and, like, 1.5 stars on Yelp, or

2) a stylish 1920s-style speakeasy with artisan cocktails and small plates that promised to not have a wait to get in despite the super-high rating on Yelp.

Of course he picked the dive. I hemmed and hawed and suggested that maybe we should just go to dinner instead, but he said it was his birthday and going somewhere nice was going to make him feel old. I said, “Do what you want. People have to pretend to like it,” but I really meant, “I know I’m supposedly planning this party for you, but there’s not a chance I’m going to stay for more than a half an hour.”

But it turned out to be this toooootally not-horrible bar that was not tiny and not crowded and not sticky, and people who said they weren’t going to come came, and everyone played games and caught up and ate wings, and no one got celiac disease, which is apparently common among the Irish, along with small penises. I don’t know. Google it.

Our friend Nik and I left and slogged through the ice and snow to pick up Kamran at his apartment and then took a cab to a sushi buffet in Koreatown called IchiUmi that’s as big as a football field and always full. On the way, the cab driver–who was Southeast Asian and may hold different ideas about hilarity than we do–told us a long-winded joke about three men who were 86 years old. One of them died, and the other two went to his son’s house after the funeral. “How old was he really?” they asked the son, and he replied, “92.” The two men looked at each other and said, “Should we go home?”

And then the cab driver laaaaaughed and laughed and said, “Do you get it?” And the three of us laaaaaughed and laughed, and Nik said, “Do you stay or do you go, right?” And we all laaaaaughed and laughed.

No idea.

Jack and the others didn’t make it to the sushi buffet before it closed, so we met them at a nearby KyoChon that had pretty walls:

Jack is making an important drunken point

Kamran is moody

The guys really love CVS

It was one of those nights where everything worked out just fine and we felt young and unstoppable in New York City. I didn’t give Jack a hard time for not making it to the sushi place, and I had nothing bad to say about the bar that I expected to hate, and I didn’t get stressed about running around with snow-soaked hair. But then we went home at midnight, because we actually are old.

Happy birthday, Jack!

Totally Legit Wedding Photographer

Filed under all of my friends are prettier than i am, everyone's married but katie, photography
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This is how behind I am in my blogging:

Last October, my very excellent blogfriend Cassie‘s sister got married and invited my very excellent blogfriend Jessica to photograph it. Not to be left out, I somehow weaseled my way in to the shenanigans as Jessica’s second shooter and scored myself a weekend of being taken care of by Cassie in Pittsburgh.

She and Jessica picked me up at the airport–and by that, I mean they parked in the parking lot and came and met me–with pumpkin-flavored treats from Oakmont Bakery in hand and drove us to her sister’s house to start the festivities. Jessica, who is from Louisiana and only sees one season per year, was almost breathless over the rolling hills flooded with fall colors:

Carly's Wedding

And if she loved the trees, she loved the country barns even more. So much so that we went out in the rain to get a picture of her in front of one of them:

Carly's Wedding

Cassie’s sister, Carly, is one of those down-to-earth people you feel close to as soon as you meet her, and she wasn’t freaking out about anything, which made this, my first time photographing a wedding, so relaxed and fun. And having Jessica there as the first shooter couldn’t have been better: she knew what she was doing, she didn’t mind a zillion questions from me, and she never made me feel like I was in competition with her for the shot. She also took the responsibility of all of the important pictures so that I could focus solely on Cassie having a hissy fit at the hair salon at 8 a.m. the day of the wedding:

Carly's Wedding

No, just kidding, she was hitting the bottle hard to keep herself calm:

Carly's Wedding

No, just kidding, she’s pregnant. And this was the kind of classy affair where pregnant women stayed sober and everyone else drank champagne out of McDonald’s cups:

Carly's Wedding

Cassie’s oldest daughter, Claire, was a total delight despite being a child and spent all of her time either entertaining the adults or taking care of her brother and sister, although I have no idea where she gets her good manners. I was in the back seat of the car with her as we were leaving the salon, and she asked why I didn’t get my hair done like all of the bridesmaids; Cassie turned around in the driver’s seat, gave my hair a disapproving look, and said, “Katie will . . . brush hers . . . before the wedding.” Harlot! Brute! Meaniehead!

Carly's Wedding

I kid, I kid. Cassie, aside from hating my hair, was as good a host as the first time I met her and super-generous to boot. The weekend was a great mix of Cassie, Carly, and their charming mother enchanting us with stories from their childhoods and Jessica and me sharing a hotel room and having important conversations about politics, religion, love, books, and her hot husband. Thanks for the memories, ladeez.

Here are a few of my favourite shots from the wedding reception:

Carly's Wedding
Jessica at work

Carly's Wedding
Cassie in front of the awesome-for-photos light wall in Carly and Ben’s reception hall

Carly's Wedding
Cassie and Jessica, being adorable

Carly's Wedding
Carly and her bridesmaids

Carly's Wedding
Cassie, blowing bubbles

Carly's Wedding
Ben and Carly and a whole lotta Photoshop

Carly's Wedding
I die.

Christmas in Ohio

Filed under all of my friends are prettier than i am, holidays don't suck for me, no i really do love ohio
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My BFF, Tracey, picked me up from the airport on the Tuesday night before Christmas, and we touched boobs while modeling the new chevron necklaces she bought us:

This is us trying not to smile.

My parents were out of the state until Sunday, so I spent the rest of the week at Tracey’s, watching “Sex and the City” for the first time, finding out that it’s teeeeerrible both fashion-wise and supposedly-portraying-women-as-independent-but-actually-portraying-them-as-lonely-and-shallow-wise, cleansing my palate with the muuuuuch better “Girls”, crying over every episode of “Enlightened”, taking pictures of Tracey’s cats, eating all of the fast foods, reliving our childhoods with Return to Oz, The NeverEnding Story, and Labyrinth, wishing we had the RiffTrax version of Twilight, and making fudge. Cake batter fudge.

I got to do a photoshoot with Tracey’s brother, his wife, their toddler, and their brand new baby at the Franklin Park Conservatory. This is not a picture of them but of a piece from the Aurora Robson exhibit made, basically, of trash:

We tried the famous meatloaf at Cap City Diner and ate ice cream at Jeni’s partly because it’s splendid and partly because every food blogger on the Internet is obsessed with it, and I can make them jealous since Jeni’s only has physical locations in Ohio and Tennessee:

My first Christmas party began on Sunday afternoon with my cousin Bethany and me making chocolate peppermint rolls and ended with my cousin Keith and uncle Bob flashing me while I was innocently trying to take a family picture:

My dad’s side of the family gathered on Monday night, and chaos ensued when we moved the festivities to the basement, where the children were allowed to don their Iron Man masks and take boxes for hands. We used to hand out gifts one at a time, with the youngest person unwrapping a present first while the rest of us sat on our hands and so on until the oldest person had opened a gift and then back to the beginning, but it’s a free-for-all now, as the wrapping paper shreds on the floor would indicate:

Tuesday was lunch with my stepmom’s family, where all of the food used to seem so strange to me (corn pudding?) but that I now look forward to all year. I swear my stepbrother Josh and my stepsister’s twins, Hanna and Hope, were displaying this much familial love without me having to prod them:

Tracey and I and her husband, Dan, went to play cards with our friends Erin and Jenn as an excuse to see their new house, which is actually a very old house with tons of tiny, hidden doors leading to nowhere. They found the plans for the house in the basement which included a provision for only allowing white people to live there. Unapologetically racist!

We also saw our other-best-friend-from-high-school, Katie, and her kids, Maria and Evelyn:

We’d been trying to convince Katie to leave the girls with her husband so we could all get crunk and hit on boys at The Cheesecake Factory, but Katie somehow tricked us into coming to her house instead. I wanted to be mad at her, but dammit, I like those kids:

It snowed on Christmas Eve and was frosty enough that the snow stuck around the entire time I was there, creating some annoyingly picturesque views from our house:

Less annoying once my dad got out the Bobcat and found our driveway again:

My stepmom keeps the loveliest, most comfortable home full of antiques arranged in ways that would make magazine editors pee, and even her Christmas tree is always a sight to behold:

But it ain’t all classy:

My parents were about to have the floors redone in two of their rooms, so as I was saying goodbye, they were moving everything into other rooms. Not my dad’s hunting boots, though. They’ll construct the new floor around those. j/k. I’m just trying to lighten the mood light to keep myself from crying over the loss of the old floor.


And now I’m off to read every. single. blog post. you made while I was gone.

Shootin’ Photos of Some Ladeez

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Of course the point of my visit to Ohio last week was the Circleville Pumpkin Show,

but I also had the great fortune of setting up photoshoots with my friends Kim and Samantha in celebration of some pretty major moments in their lives.

My best friend Tracey met Kim when they both played flute at THE Ohio State University’s School of Music, and they’ve since started a dinner club together and see each year’s Oscar-nominated films together and go 80s dancing together on Thursday nights. When I agreed to shoot Tracey’s friend Dayna’s wedding next year, Kim asked me to shoot hers, too.

Along with their engagement photos, which aren’t remotely edited yet, I got to provide some new headshots for Kim, who’s a professional flute player and adjunct faculty at a college. Kim recommended the location, and it turned out to be the most perfect place for me to get my Ohio photography sea legs. I think the colors of the fall trees were doing about half of the work for me, but I won’t mind if you give me some of the credit, too.

I’ve known Samantha through Tracey for about half of my life and have loved seeing how Tracey can be so close with two TOTALLY DIFFERENT people. Where Tracey and I were staying home on Friday nights to watch David Bowie movies on repeat and writing letters to Gavin Rossdale, Tracey and Sam were out picking up boys at Arby’s. I couldn’t be happier that she found such a great partner in her husband, Sam, and the two of them were adooooorable this weekend.

Tracey thinks I made Sam look too sultry in this picture, but I love it!

Many thanks to Tracey for introducing me to Kim and Samantha, to Kim for choosing the location, and to Kim and Samantha for making it such a great experience!

And now I’m going to Pittsburgh to see Cassie of Sisters from Different Misters for the second time, to meet Jessica for the first time!, and to help Jessica photograph Cassie’s sister’s wedding. Duuuuuuuuude.