Posts filed under Culture

Cat's Out of the Bag

Originally posted on the Third Wave Collective blog on July 15, 2016.

Oh Facebook, you blabbermouth, you.

Considering how unpredictable the new Instagram updates have been, I expected something like this. But I really thought that not connecting the @thirdwaveco Instagram profile to the Facebook platform would avoid the unavoidable, "Your Facebook friend Jinah Kim is now on Instagram as @thirdwaveco," notifications. Here's what happened: Instagram/Facebook wanted to share the latest gossip with you anyway, despite my protests, so here we are.

And here it is, publicly announced before I wanted it to be. This is my pet project, and where many of my hopes and dreams have come to fruition. Why the waiting period? Well, the kinks and weird issues with launching any site are still being addressed. We're still in the testing phase.

Before anybody begins to wonder, Why a shop? Isn't that kind of random?

To be honest, no, not really.

If we're keeping track, this would actually be online venture number eight for me. Over the past twelve years, I've peddled everything from vintage dresses, handknit scarves, jewelry with an attitude, and computer science textbooks online. We're talking eBay-ing everything in sight, three different Etsy shops with varying degrees of success, and a surprisingly rewarding foray into the world of Poshmark.

I've realized I love selling the right things to people who will love them, and the process from perfecting product photos and descriptions to packing it all up perfectly really gives me a buzz. Hey, here's something that's exactly what you wanted, headed right to your doorstep. Hey, get ready to open up a present from you to you.

So inspired by the meteoric rise of folks I've followed since the eBay days, and the emergence of exceedingly approachable creative directors for brands I love, I realized I can do what really lights me on fire for a job. The official launch is August 1st, and I'm strapping in now for the most exciting side hustle I've had to date. 

Posted on August 27, 2016 and filed under Culture.

I Got Broads in Atlanta

In response to my own unease about the winds of change in the city: everything has turned out just peachy. 

I haven't been run out of my own town by pod-people I cannot relate to. In fact, the experience has been something of the opposite. This is the year I've seen the food scene really blow up. Two years ago I got to meet one of the lady entrepreneurs I admire most. Between that last post and now, I worked for the most Atlanta-iest of companies, one that is a household topic of conversation, known by all of the locals. I even sat next to one of the fine individuals behind that whole believing in Atlanta thing every single day.

So I'm here, reevaluating how it all went down before. And it really ain't so bad. In fact, there's not really a "bad" in it at all. The new discoveries feel authentic. That rebuilt market and this other newly opened market have become parts of my daily routine. The folks flocking to my humble town are actually my "people." 

That's probably the most exciting thing. The goodness is coming here, my tribe is magically coming to me, as if I was able to manifest everyone into being in Atlanta. And now I'm ready to put down roots, grow where I'm planted. Here is my city, and I am here with her, still, more than ever.

Posted on August 20, 2016 and filed under Culture.

On My Southern Drawl

I don't know when or how it started to happen. Words that are one syllable have been drawing out into three, or four.

"Ohh way-eh-ell." [Oh well.]

"Thaa-yat looks soooo ba-yad." [That looks so bad.]

"Aww ma-yen." [Aww man.]

To the point where everyone I meet giggles and repeats whatever charming thing I'd say to them.

"Eat a bayag of diiii-ucks." [Eat a bag of dicks.]

But at 29, something I'd been denying my entire life suddenly appeared. I developed a bizarrely thick Southern accent that would insert itself into my daily speech without warning.

This is especially pronounced by the fact that I am Asian-American.

It's worth mentioning: English wasn't my first language. I didn't learn a lick of English until I was nearly four. And most of that was from television. 

So I had always assumed my accent, if any, was broadly American. I talked like Sesame Street puppets. Like Nickelodeon cartoons. Clearly, I would be immune to the influence of the lazy tongue, the elongated syllables.

Yeah, nope.

One of my more spendy hobbies is traveling, venturing to different parts of the South, island hopping, practicing my French language skills, but this strange affliction has started to kill my usually large sense of wanderlust.

Georgia, and the thick Southern country accent, are associated with backwards, uninformed and unintelligible stereotypes. I'm really not sure if I can feel worldly, if everyone I talk to might think I'm dumb as bricks.

But at the same time, it's deeply satisfying. Sometimes I'll be chattering away, not even realizing I've slowly started sliding until I am already halfway in, and since I've gone so far, I might as well just really dig into it. Take that leisurely, deliciously slow pace and really stretch out every single word.

"Fuuuhk yoo four-ehv-urr." [Fuck you forever.]

Hmm. Now that I think harder on it, maybe it's how I soften rude things I say. Swears are cuter when drawled out, real long, right?

Posted on March 27, 2015 and filed under Travel, Culture.

That Time I Killed A Bird With My Car

"What kind of ungodly creature shits white?"

- Keiko Green

It was snowing, hard. Having grown up in the Deep South, driving through a snowstorm in pitch blackness was never a situation I had ever encountered, much less planned for.

I was worlds away from home. I was in almost-Europe with my best friend and world travel partner-in-crime. It was our second full day in Iceland, and the natural wonders did not cease to disappoint. Like the sun setting at 5 p.m., and a bright clear day transforming into the inside of a snow globe.

As we were both well-traveled and turned our noses up at group tourism, we were on a self-guided choose your own adventure tour of the country. That day, we drove halfway around the island to see a lake. The drive was long, but far from boring. The landscape glimmered and shifted in the distance, transforming every few minutes. 

Endless wonder is exhausting, sometimes.

Hours later, we arrived.

Jökulsárlón: a lake filled with glacial icebergs

But a quick looksee and hot chocolate later, we were done. Which meant we had to go back the way we came. An hour later, the sun went down.

For hours, we drove back through winding roads with no lights. Just little dots of reflectors guiding the way. And then it started snowing. Hailing. Times-Square-pillow-fight-proportions-of-down snowstorming.

So we were driving blindly, slowly, not knowing if the dark outside of the reflector strips was a vast plain with frozen cattle or a steep cliff leading to certain death.

Then it came out of nowhere--a gull-sized bird tried to stream across the road and slammed into the windshield.

And that's when it spilled out of my mouth.

"I hate birds."

Startled by the thwap, my copilot was already bewildered.

"...what?! What the fuck?"

"I hate birds," I said again, slowly, calmly.


"They shit white. And their bones are hollow. If you see one run over on the road, they're COMPLETELY FLAT. What is this witchcraft? And they look like dinosaurs. I just don't like them."

We kept driving, finally cutting through the storm into our lodging for the night.

Every now and then, she laughs, out of context, "I still can't believe you hate birds."

Posted on January 13, 2015 and filed under Culture, Travel, Photography.

Where Have You Been? Or What It's Like To Be Boo'd Up and "Busy"

Photo by Liz West on Flickr:

Photo by Liz West on Flickr:

On being not-single and having a social life. Or not having one, due to factors out of your control.

I've never really been somebody who has anything even close to FOMO. I focus on being too busy planning things other people wouldn't miss out on to notice I'm missing anything.

But I was haplessly whizzing through my Instagram feed this morning and noticed, oh. This annual event I usually attend occurred on schedule. And oh, I wasn't invited this year. And this time, I took notice.

It's funny. I feel like this ties directly into a recurring phenomenon that emerged when I became not-single. Friends I've only seen sporadically in the past few months have commented, "Where have you been? I never see you anymore!"

To which I respond, "I know, let's hang out soon!" but I really mean, What do you mean? Where have you been? I'm still doing the same things we used to do together.

Yes, I'll admit, I did serve as the baton twirler in the singles parade while I was marching in it. I was the party planner, the instigator, the friend who always came back from the bar with another round of shots.

Sure, some of my days are now otherwise occupied in a party of two, but that doesn't mean I don't know how to Turn Down for What, or make a party playlist, or help cut out construction paper decorations, or whip up a mean cheese-laden potluck dish. The status change didn't destroy all these social skills cultivated for any occasion.

My Significant Other and I were recently surprised to discover we had this same unspoken goal. We both made promises to ourselves that we wouldn't lose touch with friends. And darn it, if I haven't kept up my end of the bargain–some of my friends I talk to every week, if not every single day. Anyone I haven't seen?

Well, I follow a rule of 3. One of my girlfriends came up with it–if you are invited to spend time with somebody, and you would like to continue to spend time with them, you'd better not decline their invitations, at least not three times in a row. I'll do you one better. I am a persistent follow-up-er. Some folks I asked up to six times before I stopped asking. A combination of work's-been-so-busys and I-forgot-to-responds and a surprising number of no-response-at-alls later, I'm just confused.

So yeah, guys, where have you been?

Posted on November 24, 2014 and filed under Culture.

Happiness is Change, But I'm Not Happy About This

I'm never happy.

That is, I'm always pushing for more. I want more. I want everything in my life to be better in all ways, at all times. I lay out the potential paths my life can take and examine them, constantly. Friends can confirm: I've thought about moving across the country, taking up any number of hobbies (aerial silks, calligraphy, rowing, mountain climbing), and (always) traveling, all in the pursuit of happiness.

I crave change, and my personality demands that I am always growing, stretching, aspiring to be greater.

So people that come into my life and strip into that layer? Those who manage to get close enough to me that I reveal that side of myself? They don't always have it very easy.

So if change is the constant, whose and what can't I accept? One of my first loves': my city. 

A lot of folks are now saying they "Believe in Atlanta."

But for me, if that means the winds of change result in a Starbucks and Ann Taylor Loft on every street corner, a continually skyrocketing rental market, and an influx of the button-up-shirted brotherhood, I kindly decline. Not interested. That's not a future I can believe in.

One thing I've struggled to find and both yearned to cultivate here are the little pockets of subculture in town. What happens when we move into a phase of wild over-gentrification? Will that automatically take us into a (not-so-wild) period of sameness? And I don't mean in the 2050 new breed of human way.

When the slaughterhouse-cum-apartment-cum-party loft-cum-S&M club on the Westside went through a major facelift, I was furious. The backdrop for wild rooftop fetes, pop-up shows for friends' bands, and wild nights of indoor pyrotechnics was transformed into a place to purchase $1200 chairs. To play bocce ball and drink only while wearing a popped collar.

But given time, I got over it. 

But this is on a bigger scale. 

There's change a'comin. And especially if the more weird, the more cherished cultural oddities, my favorite local and singular businesses are quietly snuffed out, then I'm out.

I'm never happy with the status quo, being stagnant, no. But the swift change from the city I love and have gotten to know intimately to something new and unrecognizable? I just want to keep it weird, here.

Posted on May 28, 2014 and filed under Culture.