Let’s Get Physical

In the past several years, my father has suddenly gotten serious about his health and fitness, something my mother has pretty much always been fanatical about. As a result of their newfound “team” efforts in staying in shape, I was therefore baffled when the issue of whether or not to transport their behemoth of an elliptical became a topic of debate at all. My mother, fearing for the 115+ temperatures in Las Vegas, insisted that the elliptical come along for the ride because indoor exercise could potentially be her only option. On the other hand, my father didn’t feel that it was utilized enough to begin with to justify the move of such a ridiculously heavy piece. Obviously at the end of the day, though, my mother won out, so along came the elliptical, which ultimately took three movers and a whole lot of huffing and puffing to put in place.

This looks like it could be Wall-E's neighbor

This looks like it could be Wall-E’s neighbor

A few days after starting to settle in their casa nueva, my dad wandered around to get the lay of the land.

My dad: Where can I exercise around here?
My mom: We have something called an elliptical in the house.
My dad: Yeah, but that gets repetitive and then it’s not as good.
My mom: Well it’s not like you’ve been using it so nothing about that is repetitive.


La Música de la Pandora

My mother has an insatiable appetite for learning about new cultures, which is only further fueled by her exponentially high interpersonal communication skills. For example:

  1. Amish society. The idea of living without electricity and getting around without cars FASCINATES her. As in, mind blown.
  2. Guatemala. One of her coworkers is Guatemalan and my mom loves to tell us how she learned that TOMS is not as well-received as we American consumers have been led to believe. She usually tells us this while she’s wearing her TOMS, and I’m wearing mine.
  3. Louisiana. One of her dream vacations is to visit New Orleans and see the home of Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and crawfish. The idea terrifies my father.

So when she and Papa Kim were getting ready to move to Las Vegas and she saw that the moving company they’d hired had sent a team of primarily Hispanic employees, she was right there trying to connect with them and utilizing the one phrase in Spanish that she uses on anyone who even looks Latino/a from the two semesters of college Spanish she’d taken:


That morning, I received an urgent text message from her following the arrival of our movers who were getting ready to pack up our house in California before trekking out to southern Nevada.

My mom: Which Pandora stations would you recommend to our movers?
Me: What? Adele obviously, the one you love.
My mom (in exasperation): No, SPANISH SONGS. They are all Spanish speakers!!!
Me: Alejandro or Vicente Fernandez, Jesse y Joy, Camila, Jenni Rivera.
My mom: I only know Shakira…anything else?

Since I was not there during the truck-loading process, I wasn’t quite sure if she had heeded my suggestions. A few days later when the truck arrived in town, however, I heard her iPad blaring from the kitchen. Correction: I heard her iPad blaring from the kitchen playing SPANISH SONGS. Looks like she did listen to me after all.

Individual stations for all of the artist recommendations I gave Mama Kim

Individual stations for all of the artist recommendations I gave Mama Kim, and then some

Home Is Where the Boat Is

As the littlest Kim, my brother Dennis, prepares to embark on a new chapter in life called college this fall, my parents have decided to take a colossal leap in faith in each other by gearing up for a move to Las Vegas, realizing that instead of being separated from three kids, it might be nice to be close to at least one (that would be me, FYI). Surprise!

Our family has not moved for close to 15 years, which means a decade-and-a-half of necessities, valuables, and also crap are sitting underneath one roof. To ensure this muy grande move goes as smoothly as possible, the parentals have already made several trips to their future home to begin planning where to place big ticket items such as furniture, appliances, and our commercial-grade elliptical that probably weighs more than the house itself.

During my first walk through with Mama and Papa Kim, we started indoors, eventually making our way into what should have been the formal dining room.

Me: 1…2…3…4. You guys have a lot of electrical outlets here.
My mom: But of course!
My dad: All of them will be well-utilized. How else can we run two hot pots and two Korean barbecue grills, all at the same time?

One outlet for each of my parents' children, our dog included

One outlet for each of my parents’ children, our dog included

Impressed at how much in agreement they were with each other and not at all finding myself in the throes of World War III, we continued our pleasantries through the rest of the house. Unfortunately, things started to take a turn for the worst upon our arrival in the garage, which has space for up to four cars, with the last one extending even further into the backyard.

Why is this garage space bigger than my bedroom?

Why is this garage space bigger than my bedroom?

My mom: What about putting the storage cabinets up in here? It’s hardest to reverse out of this spot, so we probably won’t be parking here.
My dad: No, we have to keep this spot clear. What if one day we decide to buy a boat?
Me: A BOAT!? What are we going to do with a boat, and when would we ever need it? Nevada is a landlocked state!
My dad: Ugh, I’m just using that as an example! But we will need to leave this space open, just in case we ever need to park anything big. You know, like a limo.