We rented a facility that is part of a small local park for Clark's birthday party. It's actually kind of a weird building, because it was plainly somebody's house once upon the '70s and is now on county park property. There's two largish rooms and a kitchen. We set up a receiving table, a food table, and a Clark table in the main room... and used the other room for eating seating and to run the looping slideshow.
Yes, I used iPhoto + iMovie + iTunes and made a Clark slideshow. I'm not proud of being some kind of Apple iLife toady, but it happened. More on that after the pictures.
This is the Clark table, where we formally greeted everyone and performed the toljabee ceremony. In Korea, there would have been a ton more food piled here, but we split most of the food off onto another table. The candy towers, stacks of sweet rice cakes, and the pile of fruit are very typical for a child's tol.
On the left side of the table, we placed a picture of Clark and his foster mother, Grandma Choi. We also burned a candle with four wicks, one each to represent Grandma and Grandpa Choi, and another pair for his birthparents.
The other side has his actual toljabee gear. This is for a traditional fortune telling event, where you put some objects in front of the child and whatever he grabs indicates the path of his life. We had a spool of thread (long life), a Korean 1000 won bill (wealthy), ruler (creative), book (scholar), rice cake (prosperous)... and the last one is usually a bow and arrow or something like that, to indicate that the child will be a great warrior. We used a Nintendo WaveBird controller.
Without any hesitation, Clark went for the thread. You'll notice my hands haven't even left the tray I placed in front of him. You'll further note that I didn't try to influence fate by placing the WaveBird directly in front of him.
And he went for the controller second! So, according to the auspices of Korean tradition, Clark will live a long life and be a great warrior. Game on!
Then we did the American tradition: singing and blowing out candles.
And then we changed him out of his hanbok and set him loose on a cupcake.
Now, about that slideshow. We thought it would be great to compile a retrospective and run it from Rhonda's iPod into a projector. So I started working in iPhoto, starting with paring down our Korea trip collection and adding on Clark photos month by month after that. I used Photoshop to make some title slides and inserted them at logical dividing points. When I ventured into iPhoto's slideshow soundtrack feature, however, I learned that you can't choose start points for songs in the iTunes playlist... and I wanted to fade out some tracks at certain points so I could bring in other music. So I exported the whole slideshow (about nine and a half minutes long) as a Quicktime file and opened it up in iMovie... where you can perform minor clip edits. There I dropped in all the music selections and chopped them up to match. Took a couple hours, and I only had to re-export the video portion once for some minor changes.
Had I been doing this at work, it would have been 100% different. For one thing, since iPhoto's crappy soundtrack feature threw me off, I ended up putting the music in after organizing the photos, which is ass-backwards. And it could certainly be tightened up in about a million places, and the sections really should have been re-structured and evened out. But what the heck, it looked fine and looped often enough that anybody who wanted to see it didn't miss a slide.
And I used Katamari music in it, among other things. Here it is.