Tuesday, September 30, 2008

fifteen and sixteen.

MONTHS OLD! it feels like yesterday that these little guys were born. i can't believe i'm an aunt. aunty em. 



insight needed: prop eight.

[informedin08 excluded.]

i need your insight. prop eight is on the ballot and it's sort of a big deal to everyone involved. yes i live in san francisco and yes i am influenced by my surroundings... so that's why i'm talking to you about this. i've checked out the yes and no prop eight websites. please comment and tell me why i should vote yes or no. or tell me why you are voting one way or the other.

honestly, i expect no commenters. just thought i'd ask. 

Monday, September 29, 2008

that's dedication.

i was in a target parking lot on sunday and this is what i found:[i'm a little embarrassed for this person. just a little.]

ps. brothers and sisters was SO good. but i felt ridiculously stupid when some of my roommates were watching with me and i had to explain who each character is. i needed to remind myself that THIS MUCH DRAMA IS NOT A REAL LIFE OCCURRENCE.

Friday, September 26, 2008

did i just lose my free checking?

i have wamu AND bofa (don't ask) and as of yesterday, the thought of losing my money and my free checking crossed my mind. my roommates assured me that my measly checking and savings accounts will be fine and there is no need to worry about my money but my free checking might be goners.

HOWEVER. i can't help but wonder what the hell is going on out there in bank land. despite the fact that i have very little money, i still think it's important to know the gist of the situation. seven hundred billion what? fanny and freddy are pregnant? on again, off again, on again? will there be a freaking debate or what? (that's all i really care about)

and then just this morning my aunt came to the rescue with a succinct and clear explanation for yours truly. she is part of the corporate leadership council and the below information is NOT a joke, NOT political commentary, just plain language about what happened. read it and weep?

Six-bullet Analysis of What Transpired in the Financial Sector

1. The first five years of this decade offered the best opportunities in the recorded history of the banking industry. From 2000 to 2005, in almost every region of the developed world, deposit and loan growth more than doubled while fee income rose even faster.

2. To seize that opportunity, banks intentionally did three things which unintentionally changed the fundamental business model of the financial sector:
  • To capture share, banks spent extensively on distribution. After years of attempting to increase flexibility banks globally added 12 billion dollars of new fixed costs.
  • Much of the growth was driven by an astonishing volume of property lending. To tap that opportunity, banks changed their view of risk from something managed to something created and sold.
  • This transformation from Risk Managers to Risk Wholesalers fundamentally changed how banks got paid. Traditionally, banks earned money on risk management spreads. Risk wholesalers were paid one-time fees. By 2002, non-interest income had doubled to comprise two-thirds of total operating income.
3. Profits grew faster than ever before, but higher profits required higher risk.
  • Profits grew faster during the first 6 years of this decade (13% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)) than they have ever before. The new business model — high fixed-cost risk wholesaling for a fee — meant that banking earned more than any other sector in the world.
  • But that left one obvious question: If banks were leveraging new capital market vehicles to create risk, then who was managing risk? The answer was: no one.
4. Banks intended to pass on risk. But in real life, managing risk is the role of banks in the economy. In the first 18 months after this new model began to sour, reported profitability at US banks fell 98.5% in one year.

5. Recovery for banks will be difficult because:
  • Most banks have far less annuity balance sheet income.
  • Loans were made that would never previously have been considered. Banks ignored the people behind the "paper." As those people lose their homes, jobs, and businesses, banks will lose their trust.
  • An emphasis on fee-taking (over long-term value creation) has eroded customer relationships.
  • Even banks not involved in the crisis are held guilty by association. All banks must now rebuild trust and relationships internally and externally.
6. Four Activities are Essential for the Financial Sector to Stabilize and Rebuild
  • Ensure a mutually beneficial exchange of value with customers: prepare for different risk profiles and demonstrate value beyond price to prospective customers.
  • Deliver in "Moments of Truth" with Customers: Ensure your staff possesses the tools and skills to address customer concerns quickly and efficiently.
  • Build enduring relationships with Customers: Win your own customers, and then those of your competitors.
  • Foster enduring relationships with staff: Defend top performers aggressively while recognizing the opportunity to pick up talent displaced en masse.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

pee my pants excited.

for grey's TONIGHT. but even more excited for BROTHERS AND SISTERS on sunday.

who's with me?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

late shows.

as i'm guiding mike, a man who is recently blind, out the door, our conversation went something like this...

mike: well thanks young lady. how are you doing this morning?
me: well, it's real early, so i'm still a little tired.
mike: me too. it's those dang late shows that keep me up.
me: (david letterman and jay leno immediately enter my mind) oh yeah, which do you watch?
mike: well i listen to blah blah blah.
emily: yah, listen. that's what i meant.

WHICH DO YOU WATCH? EMILY! DO NOT ASK A MAN WHO IS BLIND WHAT HE WATCHES. and for that matter, the line "see you later" isn't helpful either.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

she said she wanted to feel known.

no, i am not a diagnosed narcissist (though it would be fun to work with one) and i don't have any legitimate delusions or hallucinations, no need to worry. life is just more fun when you ask the cupcakes, "who wants to hang out with my intestines?" i told my roommate he HAD to post on my blog for my birthday and below is what he came up with. well, i definitely feel known (and outed- thanks for telling the Internet about my secrets, dillon).

no, but really. thanks for all of your well wishes. phone calls. sweet thoughtful gifts. hugs (!?!). blog creations. new technologies. cards (LISA- IT CAME ON THE DAY AND THAT STAMP WAS AMAZING). etc.

more than feeling loved, i'm feeling known. thanks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

(That's what she said)

Emily Katz talks to herself.

Just this morning she was exhorting the Funfetti mini-muffins she had brought to life. It's one of the most interesting things I've experienced since we became roomies almost two months ago. While some simply mutter indiscriminately under their breath, she seems to have vibrant and inspiring conversations. At least that what it often sounds like outside the bathroom door.

What's makes this so intriguing, is that when [she thinks] no one else is around, Katz engages life in that same manner she's famous for doing in front of others. If you know her, you know she is passionate about her interests. If you don't, simply read anything below. In fact, the only thing I've seen her hesitate in the face of, is her own birthday celebration. Emily faces life, asks questions, forms opinions, and seeks to share herself with others. She's comfortable with who she is.

To live with someone is to know them in a fresh way. Inhabiting close quarters with another forces you to learn what might otherwise be impossible to learn: their idiosyncrasies, quirks, idle habits, personal hygiene, love language, preference of 1% or nonfat milk, etc. To live with Katz is to know that her desk is not quite as organized as you'd think, her energy is infectious, she likes those vegan blueberry fiber muffins from TJ's, she's careful about expectations, and yes, she does LOVE to cook. But most importantly, to live with Katz is to realize that she is an authentic individual. She is the same irrepressible girl you might meet at a Swell Season concert or at the Elbo Room. This is how those who know her, know her.

And since we know her, we're allowed to celebrate her. Thanks for being you Katz, we love it.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

that's enough celebration. thank you very much.

today is my last day and i'm not sure i'm ready. ready to give up twentythree, that is. i think i got really attached to it when tristan prettyman turned twentythree and titled her album twentythree. and from there on out i decided it would be a good number to be. she said so and i believed her. she was right.

lesley thinks everyone secretly loves their birthdays. i disagree... because i don't. my problem: i never "feel" special because it feels just like any other day (AND i might have unrealistic expectations about feeling known that never get met). so about six years ago, i decided that birthdays weren't for me. and then i realized that i don't enjoy the extra attention. in fact, i dread it. but as you can imagine, living with roommates makes it hard to escape a small celebration. so that's what we did.

we might have color coordinated our soccer attire. vote for katz, anyone?

everybody loves the elbo room. deb, dillon, me, nathan, julie.

the actual birth day post will be brought to you by a guest. in the spirit of me getting to hold the magic wand and say "what i say goes" i am asking (or forcing?) this person to write about something fantastic. we'll see what he comes up with.

also, my deadline to lend on kiva is tomorrow. it's priority number one after sleeping in.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

c is for conflict.

thank God for deborah dunn, who taught me everything i needed to know about dealing with conflict resolution and reconciliation. and thank God for michele mollkoy, who gives the most meaningful advice and guides me as i process conflict resolution and reconciliation.

go to the balcony. it seems like i'm ALWAYS at the balcony. being at the balcony is like being at the doubletree in santa barbara. looking down at the party (conflict) from up above on the rotunda. but really, the concept refers to removing yourself from a conflict and getting a different perspective. mostly, not reacting in the heat of the moment.

so i tend to do that a lot. i grew up in a family where we NEVER went to the balcony, so this has been a REALLY hard thing to learn. but it's definitely becoming a habit. again, thank God.

and then the REAL problem occurs. after i come back down to the party from the rotunda, i'm not what sure to do. how to act. what to say. where to go. what your comments mean. why are you giving ME the silent treatment? do i call you? do i bring it up? WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT THIS? ...and that's when i call michele.

everyone should have a michele in their life. she reminds me that when in doubt, i should just say nothing. and that other people's choices have nothing to do with me. they are about the person making them and they are their responsibility- not mine. and i have a responsibility in all conflict: ask myself what i can control (my own thoughts and behavior) and what i can learn. and then decide how i can make a better decision next time. essentially, make smarter decisions about not getting hurt when i could have prevented it.

and after our conversations?. i feel better. it's all about the process. and making smarter decisions, of course.

Friday, September 19, 2008

confessions... [number one.]

...of a girl who always sneezes in fours [or more].

not everyone needs to say "bless you" or "God bless you". it's a nice gesture. BUT SERIOUSLY. my sneeze ALREADY brings on enough attention. when in a group setting and six of you decide you need to say it, IT IS COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. i am ALREADY interrupting and now, we, together, are creating a bigger interruption.

moral: one "bless you" to represent a whole group is just fine.

ps. today someone said i look like molly shannon. really?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

birthday bird.

today a bird crapped on me. at 5:50 in the morning. shouldn't birds be sleeping at that hour? seriously.

there's a pre-birthday party tonight at the elbo room. i hope you can make it. in fact, if you're coming from sb, you should probably leave now. afrolicious will not wait for you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

have you heard me talk about white privilege?

i sort of refer to it a lot. or, at least, it's on my mind a lot. it really is inescapable.

i remember the day that i went from saying "can't we all just be colorblind" to the realization that i am privileged and it's my job to own it and do something about it. that day changed my life. it changed the way i think, the way i act, the way i see things. the way i vote.

so... don't read this article if you don't want to be challenged. AND don't read it if you are going to write me off as a commy liberal (thanks, grandpa, for that lovely saying). even though the article is about the [political] reality we are facing right now, it is MUCH MUCH BIGGER than that. i hope you get frustrated (with me, with tim wise, with the article, with our country, with the media, with the patriarchal society we're a part of, with democrats, with whoever). you can think it's a bunch of shit, but in the end, i hope that you can't deny that if you are white, you are... privileged.

Monday, September 15, 2008

those damn spinny things.

you know, the ones where you can only go one direction. you often see them at museums or airports. turnstiles, i think? anyway, kezar stadium has one and every time i go through it, it's always to ENTER. tonight was no different. as i was running over to it, pushing my way through... bam. me and the turnstile made out. as in, it gave me a fat lip. and knocked me over. i guess i was running pretty fast. who knew the direction on these things could just change over night? literally. shouldn't they have to put a sign up?

something like...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

we had fun.

more to come.

Friday, September 12, 2008

it's time for some rest.

i'm on my way to tahoe with twelve other rad people. shhhhh. it's going to be quiet in sugar bowl at the sugar shack. and sweet, of course.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

he needs to know if she believes in dinosaurs.

note: this is political. if you aren't into me and politics (which, by the way, my friend anna has pointed out to me that for this election, i am indeed... a democrat. [SURPRISE!] and i need to shut up and own it. and i should probably stop waving my independent flag. okay, okay, i've stopped. i'm owning it.) then you might not think this is humorous. or serious. or a big deal.

i first watched it on polichicks and laughed pretty hard. but he's totally serious. and when i think about it, i'm just as scared as he is.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


i am in a predicament. you see, i am not a "huggy" person. well, i am if you know me and i know you. as in, we are a bit more than normal friends. no, not in the romantic sense. more like somewhere between friends and best friends. you know, that whole range of people.

the hug is sacred. people think the kiss is sacred but i don't think so. or at least my track record doesn't prove so. hugs, however, are totally different for me. i can't just give them away. and here's the problem. if you hug me and hug me and hug me and i continuously feel uncomfortable i have to at one point stop you and say something like "i'm not a huggy person" which makes me look like a total ass. and then they catch me hugging someone. dangit!

and all of this contradicts the idea that i love physical touch. help. what is a non-huggy girl to do? especially when i am constantly surrounded by hugs. hugs goodbye. hugs before bed. hugs to welcome me home. hugs in class. hugs. hugs. hugs. i'm living a non-huggy person's hell. okay, okay, dramatic exaggeration. i know. i know.

ps. julie younger: please keep hugging me. remember that postcard i sent to your work?!

Monday, September 8, 2008

three cups of what?

tea. you know, the new york times best seller that's hot hot hot right now. well the author was a guest lecturer at usf today and i thought because i hadn't read the book i would feel out of the loop. NOT! TRUE!

from what i understand, this is a brief synopsis of the book: greg mortenson climbs k2, doesn't make it to the top and gets lost. on his way down he meets some pakistani village people who teach him a lot about life (and drinking tea: one cup = strangers, two cups = friends, three cups = family). from there he realizes a lot about this impoverished village and decides to help it by building schools to promote the importance of education. yes- i totally butchered the book, for those of you who have read it. forgive me.

some things greg said:

fighting terrorism is based out of fear. promoting peace is based on hope. (hmmm. seems pretty relevant.)

if you educate a boy, you educate an individual; if you educate a girl, you educate a community. [african proverb]

to really be able to understand poverty, you need to be able to see it. to taste it. to touch it.

interesting fact: in the eighties congress passed a bill that said from here on out one percent of our GDP will go to foreign aid. we have never fulfilled that. last year was the highest we ever achieved: .16 percent. sad.

the bad news: since 2007 the taliban and other jihadi groups have bombed, destroyed or shut down four hundred and eighty schools. the good news: in 2000 there were approximately eight hundred thousand kids going to school in pakistan and afghanistan. in 2008, there are over six million and two million of those are girls.

anyway. we should read the book. i think it's worth our time.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

keith and leslie got hitched!

i have done a few weddings before. and by "done" i mean, one officially, one unofficially, and tons working under someone else. i enjoy it. it's a fun treat that i get to do for my friends. this one was no different..

three highlights: leslie was so go-with-the-flow-not-stressed-out that it felt like just another day at the ranch house in napa. but this time we were dressed up and celebrating! and the photographers, gabriel ryan and carlie renee. FREAKING AWESOME. seriously, my new favorite photographers. talk to me about them when you get engaged. and the fact that keith and leslie were on the dance floor, dancing the night away made the night ten times more fun. AWESOME.

me telling trent (who played mc very well) what was happening next...

lis, dan, julie, james, dillon, me:

trent, me, dan, chris, dillon & hope:

the end.

Friday, September 5, 2008

the search..

..for the perfect recipe book started about a month ago. no, not the kind you buy with someone else's recipes already published inside. the kind where you write your own in and you have a binder/journal/book full of recipes in the end. you know, that kind. anyway, i searched bookstores and etsy far and wide and got nothing. so i decided to take matters into my own hands: i created a virtual cookbook

my recipes have been homeless for quite some time. and your recipes [in my possession] have too, for that matter. so virtualcookbook.blogspot.com was created because i couldn't find the perfect bound book. so hop on over and share your stuff. that's really what it's there for. you. and me.

the catch: you can only submit recipes you've made. i do not want to know about your mom's favorite chili unless you've made it and you are willing to stand up and say "hot damn! you should make this too! it's just that good."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

i am owning it.

i am young. that's what i'm owning. no makeup or pair of heels is hiding this secret.

the typical therapist response:
client: you look so... young. how old are you, anyway?
me: tell me, what makes you ask that question? and how will knowing my age affect you?

my response:
client: you look so... young.
me: well, that's because i am


i walked out of therapy today (yes. my own therapy. mind blowing: this girl has issues. duh.) and the quote board read:

"change is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." thank you winston [churchill]. good form.

can i get a little stand-up-sit-down action over here?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

this is the worst sales pitch ever.

i am asking you to do something that i don't even do. but there's a reason i'm asking: i know that some of you are already doing it, but i think you should collaborate.

what don't i do? loan on kiva. what do a lot of you do? loan on kiva. how can you collaborate? by creating a lending team.

in the past two weeks i have received two emails and read one blog asking me to be part of a lending team. ignored! i just didn't want to. for no particular reason. and then i remembered (not that i ever forgot, nick) that one of my favorite friends WORKS FOR KIVA and he is the genius behind the wheel. okay, maybe that's too much credit (i don't know, is it?). and then i have another friend working as a fellow in kenya (yah zack!). at least if i am too lazy to support the idea/good works/process of kiva, i can support my friends. literally and figuratively.

so i'm starting small. before my twenty-fourth, i'm going to join a lending team. i'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 1, 2008

i just want to show you.

what it looks like when the boys are over.

don't worry, i already asked for sundays at ten and thursdays at nine to be my special time to be alone with the tv. okay, maybe not alone. but with me and him, together, sharing moment after moment of meredith grey and kitty mccallister. we love those moments together.

happy september first. happy dear-God-i-start-school-tomorrow-day.