Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Updated list

As I've start putting things away and "moving in" (slowly but surely), I'm going through this first wave of donations (I know some people are waiting for the update to see what I still need), here's the updated wish list of things I still want/need:

Tools - Bought a basic tool set at Target. But could use a drill eventually. And maybe a level and studfinder since I need to install some shelving in my kitchen.

Gardening tools - I've got a small yard that I'm responsible for keeping up. But no tools. Maybe I just need to get the kid a small electric mower and have him get to work. Or if you know of anyone who'd do the upkeep for cheap, let me know! I do NOT have a green thumb.

Dining room table and chairs (preferably a rectangle shape in a dark wood) and buffet/sidetable. My pantry and cabinet space in the kitchen is fairly limited, so I'm going to need some sort of china cabinet or bar or something to keep all my dishes and glasses, etc.


Musical instruments - I'd been teaching myself to play guitar, so I bought a basic Epiphone acoustic guitar about a year ago. Had a small keyboard as well. Would love to get the music back into my life.

Computer and printer
- saving for a new Mac and currently using a loaner laptop from work, but will need my own eventually. And probably sooner rather than later.

Basic desk - nothing fancy, just a place where Ricky can sit and do his homework

CDs and DVDs - THIS is something that I didn't think of at first. But losing 10,000 songs on my iTunes is going to take a really long time to replace. Thanks to all who've been burning CDs for me!

A TV or computer armoire
(debating for Ricky's room or playroom)

Futon - for the playroom/sleepovers

Bunkbeds - for Ricky's room. We've got a great twin bed in there now, but we frequently have a schoolmate staying with us as well, so the extra bed would be ideal . . . although that might just give me an excuse to take a trip to Ikea (who's got a big enough trunk?)

Kitchen stuff
- George Foreman grill: easy dinners? Yes, please. Toaster. Blender.

Clothes - Ricky is set for the school year, but I've still got a ways to go in terms of rebuilding my wardrobe. I've gotten some great stuff, but still need a lot more. And women's bodies are so different, that some of the donated stuff didn't fit and I'm still searching for skirts and such for work.

- We live half a block from the Canal and a few blocks from the Monon. So we'd love to start taking advantage of these and being more active. I believe Ricky's got a new bike coming from a bike company out west, but I'm going to need one too. (A skateboard might be nice for him too.)

Outdoor stuff - Porch swing, small grill, small porch table and chairs.

Again, thank you to everyone who's donated cash, sent gift cards, given us furniture and/or manpower to move that furniture, etc. I feel greedy and ungrateful asking for more things when I've already received so much. And really, these are all things we can do without because we've got all the basics!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

RIP Roxy

The only pic I have of my little Roxy, who thought she was a lap dog/cat and liked to lay on the back of the couch and lick herself clean. What a sweetie. She's certainly missed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What a girl wants . . . and needs

This whole ordeal has been quite an enlightening experience. The basic update is this: Ricky and I are on our feet. We’ve moved to a great little house in the heart of Broad Ripple. All of our basic needs taken care of -- a place to sleep, a roof over our heads, food to eat, a place to shower, etc. and we're settling in nicely. In fact, I think we might be better off now than we were before. We certainly have some nicer things and there isn’t a whole lot that we were super disappointed to see go (at least, that’s what I keep telling myself, despite the numerous items that continue to pop into my head realizing that I've lost -- creative writing works, all the data on my computer, yearbooks, vintage sofas, my guitar, etc.) . . . it really WAS just “stuff,” and while some things can’t be replaced, I’m trying to think of the whole situation as a great cleansing, allowing us the opportunity to move forward and make a brand new start.

The outpouring of love and support that we’ve been receiving has been the greatest blessing of all. So thank you all SO SO much. It's really quite amazing to look around and see all of the people who have been willing to help. It's quite a wake-up call to see just how many people we actually know, and that these people -- some from college, from former employers, etc. that I haven't seen or talked to in several YEARS -- are collecting money from coworkers to send our way. If ever I doubted the human spirit, this has certainly restored my faith in people. Plus, I always try to see life experiences like this as fodder for my writing. I haven't drawn upon a lot of my experiences yet, but I've always been of the opinion that you have to experience life to write about it. And I've certainly experienced some things that many other people have not. I'm sure I'll find use for these in the future.

All that said, now that the initial wave of donations has come in, several of you have been waiting for an update of what's still needed. At this point, I can't say that there's anything that I actually NEED. I've got enough paper towels and toilet paper to last me through Christmas. And thanks to the thoughtfulness of so many, I've got many of the things I would have never thought of -- like measuring cups, an egg timer, lint brush, scale, makeup and hair products, tequila, toys (Lindy!), etc. and some very special items that will bring wonderful, positive energy to my new home, as well as a decorative spice. I've also received numerous gift cards (which have been a HUGE blessing during the seemingly daily trips to Target for basics like socks and underwear, skirt hangers, Brita water pitcher, hose nozzle, etc.)and cash donations, which have gone to groceries, replacing some of our DVDs, etc. (replacing a woman's undergarment collection is quite a costly endeavor, I assure you men out there . . . you women know how much bras are these days!).

So, it's all a wish list now of things that I'd love to have but can live without or can purchase in the near future.

Bedroom furniture for my room -- medium/dark wood nightstand and chest of drawers (tall dresser or armoire - since the rooms are small, a long dresser won't work)

Tools - drill, screws and nails, screwdrivers, etc. Things to just do minor things around the house like hang pictures and assemble the Target furniture I've bought, etc.

Dining room table and chairs (preferably a rectangle shape in a dark wood) and buffet


Acoustic guitar


PS2 and games

CDs and DVDs

Possibly a TV or computer armoire (debating for Ricky's room or playroom)

Other things will probably pop up, but I'm not trying to be greedy and I really do have more than I NEED. I've been more than provided for and I cannot express my immense gratitude for the outpouring of donations that we've received. It means so much. And I hate to be a charity case, but I really could not have done it without you all. So thank you.

Benefit update and thank you's

Thanks to everyone who came out to the party at Rock Lobster!

We raised $500 (on the dot, can you believe it?!) at the door and another $150 or so from the raffle. Additionally, IndyMojo raised another $250 from online donations, thanks in large part to this video that Hup did. It might not have been the $5k that they were hoping for, but every dollar helps when you've got to replace all the contents of your life (especially on little things like spices and baking dishes and cleaning products and such . . . it all adds up!). I'm sure that number would have been much higher had the donations that friends and family -- including a very large chunk from coworkers at the Indiana Historical Society and former coworkers at the Indianapolis Star -- been included. It was the donations of these people that put cash in my hands the day after it all happened to make sure that I had the means to be on my feet, have clothes to wear, etc. right after the fire. I am forever indebted to those people who gave so freely to make sure I was taken care of.

I must say that I was truly touched and overwhelmed by the number of people who came, brought friends, etc. Many of you I haven't seen in awhile and there were so many people around that I felt bad that I couldn't circulate enough to say hi to all of you, but I truly appreciate you being there and giving and supporting me through all of this.

Additional thanks goes to:
Jer Gregg, who provided us with a great acoustic set. I love listening to his voice and staring into his loin-melting eyes. Jer's a doll and if you missed out, please click here to check him out on Myspace.

Rock Lobster, for letting us use their space to hold the benefit.

Beth and Hup for helping to promote and organize the event.

And my best friend Nicole for having the idea to hold a benefit and coordinating the raffle -- making numerous phone calls and getting local businesses to donate items/gift certificates/etc. While she might not be able to donate $1,000 to the "Kimiko needs new stuff" fund, she gave me a place to stay when I was temporarily homeless, she has fed me, cried with me, gone back to the house with me and been a rock for me through this whole ordeal. I can't express how thankful I am to have a friend like her who loves me like she does.

Also, although he had to work the night of the benefit, I have to thank my main man JDub), with whom I was out at karaoke before all of this happened. He stood by me all night as the chaos of fire trucks, police, neighbors, etc. all went down and hugged me and held me as I cried my eyes out and tried to make sense of everything that was going on. He has my heart and I'm so thankful for his love and friendship.

Special thanks to my former employer Naked Tchopstix, as well as Yats and Savvy Salon (two of my favorite places in town - and some of the greatest people you'll meet!), who donated to the raffle.

Yats - Joe is awesome. If you don't know Joe, you're missing out. Aside from being a cheery breath of fresh air, he also gave a personal donation to HomeGoods to continue rebuilding our home.

Savvy Salon - Major thanks to Katie and her crew, who not only made me beautiful the night of the party (as they always do), but also collected $5 from every haircut the week of the fire and gave me a fat check for $505 so that I could go buy groceries and clothes and such.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Rising from the Ashes benefit at Rock Lobster


Rising Above the Ashes Benefit Party

7 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 3

Rock Lobster, 814 Broad Ripple Ave.

Rock Lobster will allow us to charge $5 at the door and all proceeds collected will go to Kimiko, Micah and the other family! We will have access to the front and back bars and the event will be open to the general public.

Featured drink specials:

$3.50 Any Drink, Any Shot, Any Beer - U-Call-It

$2.75 Miller Highlife

$4.50 Smirnoff Flavored Vodka Drinks.

Pass it on. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Arson, insurance, etc.

I spoke to my ex-boyfriend, Micah, last night and there are a few updates.

1. From his conversation with investigators, it was almost certainly arson. A random arson that they don't think they'll probably be able to solve since there is so little physical evidence.

2. From his initial discussions with the insurance folks, nothing of mine will be covered by insurance. So that's a bit of a blow and something I'm going to have to look into with my attorney.

3. As we thought, absolutely NOTHING will be salvaged. The house is a complete loss and will likely be bulldozed. Everything inside, of course, was incinerated, and the few things that weren't will have too much smoke and/or water damage to salvage.

Still no update on the other family (what their situation is -- I know they were renting and I doubt they had renter's insurance; what they need, where they're staying, what size clothes they need or anything like that).

As for those of you who would like to help out, please contact one of the following people:

Anne-Marie Dezelan at annemarie@annieos-events.com
Jeanne Scheets (my boss at the Indiana Historical Society) at jscheets@indianahistory.org
or Mary Garrison at mary.garrison@intakeweekly.com

Officially I can begin moving into my new place in Broad Ripple this Wednesday, Aug. 1. Furniture donations can be dropped off there on or after that date and if you have anything that you'd like to be mailed there, that can be done as well. Just contact one of the people above for the mailing address.

Again, please keep the positive energy, thoughts and prayers coming my way (and toward my neighbors and Micah as well).

Massive thanks to all who are helping and giving support at this trying time. I'm still not sure it's even hit me yet, but I'm powering through.

My house burned down

Wednesday update after a very long, sleepless, anxiety-ridden day.

From: Kimiko: Beautiful, intelligent child of royalty
Date: 25 Jul 2007, 07:18 PM

As many of you know by now, my house burnt down last night.

Click here for the news story, pictures and video (just keep in mind that it is NOT known whether it actually started at my house or not, according to the public information officer I spoke to, so that's misinformation. The rest, though, gives you an idea of what happened.

Now, 14 hours later, I still haven’t slept and am stuck in a bit of a state of shock. But I am absolutely counting my blessings. Luckily, I wasn’t home at the time, my son was in California, and everyone in the house next door got out safely. Nobody was hurt, although my dog and cat were both killed (and that’s the one thing I’m rather emotional about).

Still, it could have been worse and what it all boils down to is that stuff ­– furniture, clothes, etc. – can be replaced. My animals, of course, cannot. Things like yearbooks, photos. momentos and memorabilia can’t either. But it’s all still just stuff, and I was trying to purge anyhow as I was scheduled to move to Broad Ripple a week from today (Aug. 1).

As overwhelming and surreal as this whole ordeal has been, I am even more overwhelmed by the support that I’ve been receiving from all of you. Many people have called or e-mailed to check on me, to offer a place to stay, to offer items (couches, dishes, silverware, artwork, etc.) so that I can rebuild my “home.” Many have donated cash so that I can go get things like toiletries and basic clothing to get me through as I enter this “rebuilding” phase. And the response has been so great, and I am just SO touched and SO appreciative of all that you are offering and doing for me. I am the type of person that has a very hard time asking for help, but there has been such a tremendous outpouring of support and I know that I don’t even have to ask because whatever I need will be provided.

I know that with all the offers of support and housewares, that Ricky and I will land on our feet. The place we’re moving into next week is significantly smaller than the homes we’ve been living in the past few years – it’s just a small, two-bedroom bungalow that won’t require a whole lot of furniture to fill. I will need to start from literally from scratch ­–towels, dishes, bedding, bedroom furniture, living room furniture, etc. – as NOTHING in the house will be salvagable. This isn’t the best picture, but it’s a phone pic from the backyard looking in:

In any case, I know that I have offers for various items that I will need and I extend the biggest, sincerest THANK YOU to you all.

I’m not sure exactly how to coordinate this yet, but I will keep you all posted as I figure out how to best deal with this mess. Additionally, for those who are wanting to contribute, I’m urging that you also consider that three families were actually affected in this blaze – myself and Ricky, my ex-boyfriend Micah Faidley (who also lost all of HIS belongings), and our next-door neighbors – a mother and father with three little boys and a grandmother, who most certainly don’t have the extended support network that I have with all of you. I have yet to speak to them to see what their needs are and how they’re going to proceed, but I would love to be able to offer them superflous housewares and furniture that I won’t be able to use, for those of you who would be up to offering.

On that note, I DO have a place to stay for the next few days. I DO have a car and a couple of changes of clothes. I DO have cash (thanks to all of YOU) to go buy some necessities. And I DO have hope that all of this is somehow a blessing in disguise.

Again, THANK YOU ALL for all that you are doing for me and are continuing to do on my behalf. I am positively overwhelmed by the support. And as a single mother who is far, far away from any family, this support network is truly touching and I can’t express just how grateful I am.

Continue to keep my family, Micah and my neighbors in your thoughts and prayers.

~ Kimiko

p.s. Basic answers to questions I’m being asked:

- Ricky wears a size 10.

- He’ll need shoes (no clue what size he is right now, maybe a 3.5 or 4?) and school uniforms and winter clothes eventually.

- He’s really upset about losing his manga book collection – Naruto, O-Parts Hunter, Battle Angel, Black Cat, Bleach, Dragonball-Z, DNAngel, Chibi Vampire, Full Metal Alchemist, Flame of Recca, Getbackers, Grenadier, Haunted House, Mar, Samurai Champleu, Trinity Blood, Yuh-Gi-Oh.

- I wear a size 8.5/9 shoe.

- Size (a woman doesn’t like to disclose this, so if you think you have things that would fit me, just email me!)

- Toiletries: I’ll go buy some now, so don’t worry about those things.

- Furniture (This list feels like a wedding registry!):

Living room and den/playroom:
Couches, coffee table, entertainment center or TV stand, TV, DVD player, CDs, DVDs, board games, stereo, media storage, etc.

Bedroom: Full or queen bed, twin bed or bunk beds (we had two twin mattresses and were planning on buying a bunkbed frame – but beggars can’t be choosers!), bedding for twin and full/queen, dressers, nightstand, etc.

Kitchen: Dishes, silverware, microwave, dish rack, seasonings, table and chairs, cups, glasses, wine glasses, barware, pots and pans, bakeware, cutting board . . .

Dining room: Table and chairs

Office: Desk, hopefully insurance will replace my beloved Mac, printer, etc.

Etc: Bikes, skateboard, artwork (a true loss), whatever else you can think of that I’m too tired to think of now

Thank you.

From flaming to flames

Had to say it, because I think it's funny, and I'm a hag so I'm allowed.
Came from the Metro (karaoke night with Dannon and the rest of the regular crew) celebrating Leah's best friend Michael's recent success (record deal and moving to L.A.). Came back to a blocked-off street and finding out that my house and the house next door had essentially burned down.
My first email on the subject is below:

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 6:34:27 -0400

I don't know how I keep getting these things thrown at me, but it's 6:15
a.m. and I haven't slept yet.
The basics
I came home from karaoke to find my entire neighborhood blocked off by
police and at least six or seven fire trucks. My house and two others
caught fire. Mine and the house next door were completely gutted.
Everything I own is gone. My dog and cat were killed. They're
investigating it, obviously, and arson is a possibility. Luckily, I
wasn't home at the time, but I am pretty devastated, more about my
animals than my stuff. It's truly horrible and I feel terrible.
Anyhow, all of the fire stuff wrapped up around 4 or 5, I don't know,
because we got ready to leave and found out that there was a police
chasing a suspect on foot, with police dogs, and the neighborhood was on
lockdown. We got pulled into a newsvan and pretty much have had nowhere
to go since.
So I'm now at starbucks, waiting for daylight so I can go back to the
house and see what, if anything, is salvagable. Then I will likely,
finally, go to sleep. So I'm not sure at what point I'll be in. I know
Kris has some things that need to be looked at pretty immediately. I
might try to swing by before I go to sleep.
My whole world is turned upside-down, though, right now and I really
can't guarantee anything.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know what was going on. That's all I know
right now. Please keep me in your prayers.
Thank you.