Sunday, November 30, 2008

snow baby.

my nephew, samuel, is growing up in the snow.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

milk: it does a mind good.

no, not the beverage you drink after a warm chocolate chip cookie. i'm talking about harvey milk, the first openly gay politician elected to office. the movie opened nationally on friday and i enjoyed every second of it, all by myself in the packed out theater.

i urge you to see this movie: the history of harvey milk's (and mayor moscone) assassination and all that he stood for as a politician is extremely important and vital to history. sean penn was brilliant (as usual) and gus van sant (director of my favorite movie of all time) rocked it. it was especially interesting to see the similarities between prop eight and prop six, even though it's been thirty years.

watch the trailer:

listen to senator diane feinstein's thoughts on the thirtieth anniversary of milk & moscone's deaths:

Friday, November 28, 2008

she wouldn't do well with my no caffeine plan.

"if i'm eighty three and going to die soon, why not die happy? give me my damn starbucks frappuccino."

well that's one way to look at it. i love my clients.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

because it's what you do on this day.

if i had to just pick one thing:

i am thankful for my sibs, who i can have hard conversations with and still sit around the table and realize that our love is bigger than disagreements.

love you, brothers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


the white house social secretary. details of the new appointment here.

totally what i want to be doing for a second career.

[side note: can you believe she's only forty nine?]

full disclosure: come on down.

i was on the price is right. it's true. november two thousand and two.
here's how it went down:

long long long line.
i bonded with the nametag people.
i wrote lots of nametags in price is right font.
i have many different fonts, did you know that?
i digress.
finally. my turn to talk to the producers.
stand up on the pole and shake the producers' hands.
"hi. my name is emily. emily katz. not dogs. and don't worry, i've been spayed and neutered."
no response. no laughter.
"and i'm a freshman in college. YEA!"
i thought i lost my chances.
waiting. waiting. waiting.
joe schmoe. sally sanders. emily katz. billy bob.
did they just say my name? NO WAY.
trip. fall to the ground.
make it to the bidding chair.
bid on stemware.
over bid.
bid on an electric guitar.
an epiphone. nice.
i was last. so i bid one dollar.
i won.
holy shit. bob's face is orange and rubbery.
i don't think i kissed him.
they showed me a prize. a camper, i think?
i played my game.
and lost. that sucked.
i waited. and waited.
time to spin the wheel.
spin. trip. spin. trip.
(three total times falling on national television.)
eighty five cents.
i won. i won. i won.
i'm going to the show case showdown.
wait. wait. wait.
show down time.
prize number one.
a trip to china and a grandfather clock.
she passed it to me.
i bid twelve thousand five hundred dollars.
prize number two.
a new car and something else fancy.
she bid something outlandish.
commercial break.
wait. wait. wait.
revealing time.
my prize total first.
i underbid! i could win.
her turn.
the tension is thick.
she underbid. she could win.
but who is closer to the correct dollar amount?
hesitation from the announcer.
her. she won.
she won by nine dollars.
bob said, "i don't think i've ever seen this in twentyfive years"
[thanks bob]
she was nine dollars closer to the correct answer.
than me.
i lost the show case show down by nine dollars.

by the way: i can't find the video. does anyone know where it is?

Monday, November 24, 2008

let's save some money. part three.

all credit goes to nathan for clueing in dillon who clued in me [thank you, boys]. is my new financial best friend. one of my new year resolutions was to budget my money better. i didn't really have a plan in place, i just thought i would start and it would all work out. WRONG! i've totally sucked. and then i was informed about mint, the best free way to manage my money. and i still suck at it, BUT I'M GETTING BETTER!

why is it so cool, emily? well, let me explain. mint takes ALL of your accounts (credit cards, bank accounts, investment accounts, etc.) and automatically pulls together your information. so, for example: say you spend forty dollars on groceries at safeway with your bofa debit card and you spend twenty dollars at tj's with your amex. it will pull the info together and tell you what you're spending on groceries all together, from all of your accounts. same thing goes for a ton of categories (eating out, shopping, beauty, car, etc). think quicken but better looking, faster, smarter and more efficient. and you get to set your own budget! it has pretty little graphs, too. i love visuals.

my account information is updated daily and it automatically categorizes all my purchases, showing me how much i spend on gas, groceries, parking, rent, restaurants, etc. it even tells me when i have low balances, unwanted fees and charges, and upcoming bills. I LOVE THAT!

BUT EMILY, WHAT'S THE CATCH?! you're right. there IS a catch. "mint constantly searches through thousands of offers from hundreds of providers to find the best deals on everything from bank accounts to credit cards; cable, phone and internet plans; and more. mint’s suggestions are “unique to you” based on your individual spending patterns. for example, if you have $20,000 in a bank account that’s earning no interest, mint might recommend a high interest rate savings account from ING or HSBC. acting on that suggestion would give you an extra $900 in interest income over a year." THAT'S IT. you have to see their suggestions. i imagine that's how they make their money BECAUSE IT'S ALL FREE!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

you've got my attention lately.

behavioral and cognitive family systems.
extremely large martini shakers.
disco roller skating.
entertaining family emails.
schemas and roommate sessions.
rosie thomas concerts with bo. and hopefully julie and nathan.
a stupid cavity. no more candy.
forty nine dollar tickets to seattle.
mango, avocado and black bean salads.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

polar opposites.

in case you wanted to know about obama's faith: this interview took place BEFORE all the hoopla. (back in two thousand and four!)

AND, if you want to read why barack obama as the next president is NOT of the will of God, check it out.

[isn't that entertaining?]

Friday, November 21, 2008

tangible help needed.

he might be embarrassed that i'm posting this on my blog, but the house my friend nick (aka davis) was living in burned down in the fire last week. he made a list of things he lost and i have a feeling some of you might be able to help. contact me to get his address.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

refrigerators were meant for couples.

i had a moment of sadness when i was at my dad's last weekend. his refrigerator had an individual photo of all my brothers, with their wives. and it had a photo of my step-mom's nieces and their husbands. and that was it. i didn't make the cut. well, i take that back. i did make the cut: i was nine years old and with my brother [daniel] who is eighteen months older than me. we were children.

now, this is no slam against my dad and step-mom. this is just the nature of their refrigerator photos. the message that was sent to me was "you don't make the fridge unless you are married or coupled, with someone. anyone."

and of course my dad said to me, "i've been bugging you to send me an updated photo for months!"

and to that i say: how embarrassing. send you a photo of me, by myself? i mean, i guess it would make sense if it were me as a missionary, asking for money and prayer. or me, traveling in china, standing on the great wall. or a seventeen year old senior in high school. but i'm none of those.

so i am a mystery to those who walk through my dad's kitchen and wonder to themselves, "i thought he had four kids?" and all because i refuse to send a photo of me, by myself. i've just always thought pictures of people by themselves are ridiculous. 

am i alone on this?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

full disclosure: i regret my tattoo.

my family must be rejoicing with a title like that. it's absolutely true, i one hundred percent regret intentionally sticking a needle filled with ink into my body. and i am totally resorting to outting myself on my own blog instead of calling each and everyone of you and saying "you were right. i was wrong."

some of you probably had no idea i even HAVE a tattoo. well, i do. it's on my left hand, between my thumb and my pointer finger. ya know, in that little area that is hide-able if you bring your thumb close to your fingers. i used to write reminders there all the time, including the bible verse, john three:thirty. so i wrote it there and went into a shop in the haight and made it permanent. on my birthday, five years ago.

why did i do it? well, i wanted to be reminded of that verse. i wanted to be rebellious. and i wanted to do something unexpected of me. 

i got all that. and i got awkward encounters in professional situations. or people asking, "who's john?" 

but the reason i regret it the most? because it doesn't serve its purpose: i don't see it anymore. it has become like a freckle on my skin. it doesn't serve as a reminder unless someone else asks about it. it's useless.

so. there. i said it. i wish i didn't make a decision to get a tattoo on my nineteenth birthday. HELL! my prefrontal cortex wasn't even fully developed. again, what was i thinking?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

westmont men's soccer on the front of la times sports section.

reading this article made me so proud.

it was especially cute when my grandpa called me at six am this morning to tell me about the article and how it made him cry. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

let's save some money. part two.

last week when i told you about how i've managed to save one hundred and eighty six dollars by shaving with water, anna left me a comment saying her husband, kiah, would recommend i read "smart women finish rich." i immediately looked on amazon dot com, put it in my shopping cart and ALMOST clicked buy. then i remembered that i was TRYING to save money. so i walked myself to the usf library and searched for it. they didn't have it. but i knew they could get it for me. FOR FREE. and that they did. it arrived friday and i got a friendly message asking me to come get my FREE book. 

so here's to utilizing the library more. i always knew you were there, i've just been neglecting you. forgive me?

money i'll save: fifteen dollars by not purchasing this book and at least one hundred and fifty dollars by renting my school books for the spring semester (if i want to keep one of them, i'll buy it after i know for sure that it's a keeper). totally worth it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

who celebrates thanksgiving two weeks early?

well, i do. along with twentyfive members of my family. not even kidding.

why? well, let me explain. efrem turned ninety so grandma and grandpa flew in from kauai, which was an excuse in itself for all of us to get together. and the original plan was to have a legitimate thanksgiving feast but then somebody (who will remain nameless, MOM) decided we needed to go to the law firm and work work work so turkey turned into pizza which turned into chinese food. but really, is thanksgiving even about the turkey? nah. it's about the people, duh. and i guess it was sort of a christmas celebration too, because we had a gift exchange. what the hell, why not.

i'm not sure i could ever fully explain my family. it's another one of those things you have to experience to understand (like the westmont community). EVERYONE says their family is crazy, but really, mine ACTUALLY is crazy. (just ask kristy, sarah, dan or dillon) here are a few events that might make your jaw drop.

-my brother pantsed my uncle. and his step daughter might have seen. his son responded, "don't worry nikki, they're not all that small."

-my aunt got her face drawn on, like a pirate (she might have been intoxicated, it's unclear).

-my other uncle pantsed my uncle, again.

-poker. poker. poker. my aunt won showdown on a flush. i couldn't believe it.

-my three aunts and i hid from everyone in the pantry closet that measures two by three. they found us. damn.

-we went on a morning hike and everyone had different interpretations of growing up. my mom thinks she took care of all the kids and my aunts and uncle think she's crazy. i think they're both right. 

-we tried to get my grandma to stop reading and play the game. she wouldn't so my uncle tried to take away her book. so she bit him and somehow there was blood drawn.

-my cousin has carpal tunnel in his thumbs from texting so much. and he got mad when we took his phone away. "it's for your own benefit- we're trying to save your thumbs!" he didn't like that response.

-in the middle of the gift exchange there was this weird groaning sound. i looked up to see my grandpa getting his bald head and hairy back scratched. he was so happy. dork.

so, we are REALLY dysfunctional... and I WOULDN'T TRADE THEM FOR THE WORLD. they are the best thing that's ever happened to me. our dysfunction has taught me more about life and how to live it than any thing else. and in the spirit of early chinese-should-have-been-pizza-thanksgiving-dinner-slash-weekend, i am so thankful for them. each and every one of them.

most of us, looking semi-functional:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

from beauty to ashes. literally.

how do you describe the community of westmont to someone who wasn't a student there? i really don't think it's explainable. when i try, i get the same odd looks that i do when i tell people i live in a house with westmont alums AND WE SHARE ROOMS-- "why in the world would you share a room WHEN THERE IS AN EXTRA ROOM IN THE HOUSE? aren't you out of college?" they sort of freak out. yes, it's strange, i know. but people who went to westmont seem to understand, so it can't be that odd? right? right. it's all about the westmont culture.

westmont is hurting right now; there's lost buildings and dorm rooms and faculty houses. no one is physically hurt but the loss is huge. two of my most favorite friends in the whole world have lost their homes. "i lost my journals... i lost my photos from growing up." sarah said to me. she doesn't care about the clothes or the furniture or the building itself. it's the memories that can't be re-made. the words on that journal that tell who she was at fifteen. gone. and kristy said "you could see my mom's china in the ashes." my heart melted. i try to imagine what their houses looked like and the things they've worked all their lives for. gone. i try to be optimistic when i call them. all i can do is pray. sarah made me laugh, "i guess there's good news: for the first time ever, we won't have to ask ourselves what to get our parents for christmas. we can go into any store and buy them anything. cause we know they won't have it."

my heart is heavy. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

no, this is breaking news.

the college i went to is on/surrounded by fire.

all the students are safe in the gym.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

this is breaking news?


what do they put on the banner when there ACTUALLY is breaking news? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

full disclosure: the hottest place i've ever been.

i am quite embarrassed to write this but i figure i should argue for the importance of teenagers working, no matter what the work (um, within reason. no slave labor, please. or child soldiers. i'm talking the food industry or retail). IF i ever have children, they will be working at driving age. i would argue that's the best thing that ever happened to my work ethic, among many other things like learning responsibility, customer service, etc.

so. the hottest place i've ever been was in a chuck e. cheese outfit. yep, i was chuck e. at least once. maybe more than once, i can't remember. and that was, hands down, THE hottest place i've ever been. especially in the middle of a one hundred and five degree visalia summer. 

give me a break, it was my FIRST job and i was ACTUALLY the birthday party hostess. and a damn good one at that. it was just when the regularly scheduled chuck e. called in sick i would have to occasionally suit up.

so here's to teenagers working. oh the memories. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

let's save some money.

i've decided i need to capitalize on my student-who-is-working-for-pennies fund and share with you my wealth (haha, get it?) of knowledge regarding saving money. THAT'S A LIE: i'm a horrible spender and budgeter and all i can do is try to get better. so, this is me trying. in this economic crisis, that oddly enough is effecting me, i'm going to be more intentional with my funds. and i thought i'd share with you (or mostly, putting it here makes it feel like i have to stick to it more cause it's in writing) all of the corners i'm cutting. yesssss. get ready.

today's cut corner: shaving with water. NOT EVEN KIDDING. i've been doing it for the last seven years, and if my calculations are correct, i've saved: $168. don't you want to save $168?!?

i'm not sure i recommend it for the boys, but all the ladies: try it! you MIGHT get razor burn after the first time but after that, it's all downhill. or flat. it's all flat, cause downhill hurts my knees.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

let's prepare. now.

during training on friday, patrick asked us what's the most unexpected thing we've learned with our clients-- it wasn't that long ago that we started in august and we didn't know a thing about the aging population. right when he asked, i knew my answer.

"patrick, i need to prepare. i've learned that i need to prepare now and create my own preventative care plan. [the group laughed a little at me; i'm the youngest in the room] i know i'm only twentyfour, but if i don't do something now, it will be my own fault. i will end up just like my clients. they are hurting. lonely. depressed. demented. scared. alone. i need to plan for my future. i need to be ready. i need to prepare. that's the most unexpected thing i've learned. i never thought i'd think about some of these things at twentyfour. maybe fiftyfour? but definitely not now. i never expected to think about my own death and aging, just my clients'. and even though i didn't expect it, i think this will be one of the healthiest things i face this year."

now, i'm not talking about wills and estate plans. i'm talking about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. what can i do now, on sunday november ninth to prepare for my life at age sixtyeight? and what about eightyone? this is hard to grasp as we live in a society that fears death. a society that is ageist. a place where the worst thing to be is old. and we deny death. we never talk about dying. we don't want to look ahead that far. we're scared.

as i see my clients weekly, they are declining; it's all getting worse. the dementia is slowly increasing, the pain is hurting more and the family and friends that didn't surround them before still aren't there. i don't want to be them. thinking about them before i go to bed makes it hard to sleep. leaving sessions with them is sometimes unbearable; i am the only human contact they might get that week.

and so i ask myself: what could they have done differently? and what can i do differently now? asking these questions isn't for them- it's purely selfish: because i'm the only one that can control what my life looks like at eightyeight.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

losing my yoga virginity.

i attended a yoga-for-runners workshop today. thank you for your helpful commentary; i went to a studio instead of a gym, told the instructor it was my first time, had a great mat, worked my it-band and even said namasté. except, anna! i forgot to wear a tight shirt and that was, indeed, a problem. oh well.

anyway. that might have been some of the most challenging three hours of physical activity i have ever encountered. going from downward dog to the plank to this that and the other thing is some tough stuff. AND THE BREATHING. i knew it. i knew i would struggle with the breathing. and that's supposed to be the most important thing. again, oh well. it will come with practice. right?

what i learned:
child's pose is my favorite.
i should take a basics class next time.
a tight shirt is a must.
the word yogi makes me smile.
yoga makes me sweat more than running.

Friday, November 7, 2008

friendship crush: tim wise.

he also likes the running metaphor! we were meant to be friends.

"For we who are white it means going back into our white spaces and challenging our brothers and sisters, parents, neighbors, colleagues and friends--and ourselves--on the racial biases that still too often permeate their and our lives, and making sure they know that the success of one man of color does not equate to the eradication of systemic racial inequity.

So are we ready for the heavy lifting? This was, after all, merely the warmup exercise, somewhat akin to stretching before a really long run. Or perhaps it was the first lap, but either way, now the baton has been handed to you, to us. We must not, cannot, afford to drop it. There is too much at stake.

The worst thing that could happen now would be for us to go back to sleep; to allow the cool poise of Obama's prose to lull us into slumber like the cool on the underside of the pillow. For in the light of day, when fully awake, it becomes impossible not to see the incompleteness of the task so far.

So let us begin."

read the whole article here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

haiku: calm.

i am calm today.
perceptive. present. aware.
consistent is best.

smells like intolerance.

all this talk post prop eight has stirred up interesting conversations for me-- different view points, different ideas. one consistent thing, however, is that i keep hearing people say some of the following:

"it's not that i don't like gay people, it's just that.."
"i am completely tolerant, but.."
"..and please, i have a gay aunt.. i am very tolerant!"
"being tolerant of others' sin is not what we are called to do. we are called to love."
"i have plenty of gay friends, but.."*

i am no expert: that's for sure. however, a thought for the wise (that's us!): perhaps we want to adjust our language choice a bit? find a new way. reframe what we are communicating. take these words and sentences out of our conversation. it might, just might, actually seem like we are tolerant. which in turn, might lead to tolerance. self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone? and, just out of curiosity, what is the problem with admitting our intolerance? fear? embarrassment? or are we blind to it? i have a feeling i am blind to it.

*by the way, if any of you got your underwear (because i don't use the P word) all bunched (or twisted) up when you read this: i AM NOT grouping together or exclusively referring to people who voted yes on eight-- these conversations included even people who voted no. what i am talking about, however, is language choice. okay, moving on.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

relief. excited. hopeful.

those are some of the words i keep hearing people say regarding obama's win.

i feel none of that.
in fact, i feel pretty normal. you'd think i'd be bouncing off the walls or writing some ridiculous post saying "i told you so" or "i liked him first." please.

for me, this journey is most comparable to training for the half marathon. when i finished, i was glad to be done. overjoyed with the outcome. but it wasn't about that one day, that one morning. it wasn't about those two hours and twenty two minutes. it was about everything that came before. it was the countless hours and rearranging of my schedule to get a run in. the extra loads of laundry washed because of my lack of running gear and the way running sweat makes the rest of your laundry reek. it was two hundred miles logged. it was learning that i don't need music to run, instead, i could have countless vulnerable conversations with julie and make it to the end. and it was the spiritual encounters i had with God; learning more about creation and the way i was created.

and i believe it might be something similar for mr. obama. perhaps that's my narcissism kicking in, to think that barack and i have something in common, but really. i don't believe that yesterday was about the win for him. it was so much more, and all that came before. [cute rhyme, emily]

so. relieved, excited and hopeful are not something i feel. perhaps content and exhausted are better descriptors. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i love socialists.

for the first time in my life, i feel i am a human being.

thanks to michele for passing this on.

you can vote, no matter..

..what you wear. how you look. what you think. even my clients with dementia can vote.

taken from the new york times.

Monday, November 3, 2008

this has REALLY been a long road.

this night is so significant. barack obama is probably smoking like a chimney and john mccain probably won't be able to sleep. i'm sitting on a bar stool at the huge island in my kitchen, listening to the new snow patrol. my heart, literally, feels weighed down as i think about the impacts of this election. the impact of this year, really. the conversations had, the countless youtube debates watched, the thoughts and the attempt at articulation, the baracklava made, the prayers prayed, and the sleep lost on those nights when i sat in the tension of my responsibility. my privilege. my honor.

things i won't forget:
-starting informedin08 with five other women. we stood up together and challenged each other to be informed and to be prepared and ready to vote on november fourth. i can honestly say that this has been one of the most important aspects of my journey and my decision making process.
-being completely misunderstood by one family member and responding in anger instead of love. still healing. but time is helping.
-a constant email war with my dad. me receiving mostly ridiculous conservative emails that have no empirical evidence for the "facts" and me sending him liberal propaganda, hoping he'll remember that back in january he said he would probably vote for obama. the whole thing was really fun because i'm a better arguer than him. i mean, i'm better versed and researched than he. i mean, uhhh. i'm funnier than him? haha. hi pops.
-exchanging emails with my aunt about the importance of communication.
-sharing moments of frustration with dan and dillon; listening to their thoughts.
-receiving text message updates on march fourth from anna because i was in class and couldn't wait until i got home to hear the results.
-intense talks with my brother who moved his family from kansas city to san diego to pray for this election.
-conversations with other family members where they've questioned my faith.
-feeling unsafe in conversations and not heard. but more importantly, feeling respected in the end.
-letting my feelings govern my thoughts and having to reframe many conversations.
-being sick of politics (that only happened twice that i can remember).

in the end, this journey is not over. my passion for politics and social justice will continue to take precedence in my life. but the chapter of the two thousand and eight election is coming to a close. [thank God- a lot learned, but at great cost].

ready for this to be over.

my current political thought: if proposition eight passes tomorrow and mccain wins, the religious right might be yelling, "this is God's will for our country/state." but if proposition eight doesn't pass and obama wins, what might they be yelling?

my current political mood: on edge. i just received ANOTHER (one of ninety-two) fear based political emails.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

full disclosure: my most embarrassing vote EVER.

it was four years ago, to the day, that i made the most embarrassing voting decision EVER. and i don't think i've ever told anyone this. to come out to the Internet on this one is a pretty big deal... are you ready? be gentle with me. okay. here goes. in the two thousand and four presidential election i voted for. george bush. can you believe it? me, a raging liberal, living in, HOLD YOUR BREATH, san francisco?! 

things were different back then. it was two thousand and four. i wasn't very smart and i loved to follow people like my brother, daniel (whom i still love and adore). i didn't do so much thinking for myself, and i certainly didn't spend time researching platforms and thinking about specific political issues. i used to think abortion was the only reason to vote for a president and i felt guilty for voting anything other than republican. i lived by the politics of fear.

and now this is me just making excuses. the reality is: the worst decisions i've ever made are the ones i've learned the most from. four years ago i was dumb and young and had nothing to lose. and now i'm still dumb and young, but i'm pretty sure i have something to lose. 

the embarrassing part is not the voting for george bush thing (though, in hindsight, that was REALLY dumb). but it was my being uninformed and following the herd (of the religious right?). it was not thinking for myself. 

well, it's a new year. a new day. a new hour. here's to two thousand and eight where I AM INFORMED (thanks in part to some very lovely ladies) and to making my own decisions, thinking for myself and hoping for change.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008

proposition r.

this is a san francisco prop that moves to change the name of the city's Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W Bush Sewage Plant.

on one hand, if we (the city of san francisco) pass it, i think it will continue to define us as crazy liberals.

and on the other hand, i'm not sure that what people think about san francisco will change anytime soon [or ever]. 

and on one foot, it's pretty disrespectful. 

and on the other foot, it's sort of funny.

what should i do, Internet? yes or no on R?