Archive for August, 2009

In Loving Memory of My First Grade Seat-Mate

This was actually written a year ago on the now defunct Anti-Social Networking site. Everything still holds true, and it’s something I want to share with you all. I’d like to think that Joey would be pleased that he’s reaching a larger audience through the internet.

For those of you who live in LA, you might have come across the story of the Santa Monica High teacher who drowned in a freak accident in Panama. Much to my surprise, that teacher turned out to be the boy who used to sit next to me in first grade.

The moment I heard the sad news, all I could think of was the two of us sitting next to each other in Mrs. Tomlin’s first grade class at El Rincon Elementary.

Somehow I had the misfortune of getting a seat assignment next to a boy. At the age of 6 nothing could be more unbearable for a little girl. All the other kids were sitting next to someone of the same sex; it wasn’t fair for me to have to sit next to a boy.

His name was Joey Lutz and was a bit goofy looking: big eyes that looked like he was half-asleep most of the time and big honking glasses. I tried to make sure that I kept to my half of the desk as much as possible. I mean, gawd, I was sitting next to an icky boy. A boy who would try and infect me with cooties when he had the chance. And we attempted to infect each other with cooties at every available opportunity. It got to a point where I had to resort to threats of kissing, which we all know is the ultimate form of cooties.

Even back then he had the traits of a nerd. On top of the glasses, he took Hebrew school and actively participated in Jewish events. (I most likely learned more about Hanukkah and Passover from him than what my Jewish neighbor told me.) His clothes always looked like they were a bit too big and he kept to himself most of the time. At lunch he would take out a huge PB&J sandwich from a lunch bag (his mom never cut his in half for some reason) and tear into it. By the time he was done, his shirt front would be a mass of crumbs.

Somewhere down the line we started to get along. His mom and my mom were active parental volunteers and became friends. It was through my mom that I discovered Joey was also an only child, something that was totally unheard of for me. He was the first kid I’ve ever met who also had a birthday in August and of whom I was ten days older. When his little brother and sister (twins) arrived towards the end of the school year we were both in shock: him at having sibblings and me trying to get readjusted to being the only only-child in my class.

We drifted slightly during the rest of elementary school, as we had different teachers. We reconnected on the bus back from a GATE field trip in middle school: once again getting stuck next to each other on the seat. In the span of an hour or two we managed to catch up to the current points in our lives.

High school prompted Joey to change and be a bit more outgoing. Suddenly he was involved in the school plays and was making himself known. Physically he was still the same nerdy Jewish boy I knew but socially he was expanding – with the other loud geeks in our grade. He was amongst a small group of us who knew Monty Python backwards and sometimes we’d yell out random references in AP class or in the halls. Sometimes we’d make up silly limericks or songs on GATE trips: everything from outer space to farts. And with him expanding, it lead to one of the greatest campaigns for ASB president that Culver High ever saw.

One quirk I remember during senior year was him coming up to people and singing, “Cinnamon…” from the Cinnamon Toast Crunch jingle (he was trying to get others to finish the song). I’d completely forgotten about it and responded with “Buns?”

College had us drift apart again but with the phenomeon that is Facebook we got back in touch. He found me and added me as a friend. It was great! Out of the elementary school people that had been adding me, he was one of the few I’d actually wondered about.

He still looked the same. A bit more toned, but still the same Joey. Still making silly poses. Still wearing his glasses. Still doing things with improv. And he was still geeky.

It was when I got back from my trip to SF, a friend from high school sent me an email: Joey had drowned while on vacation. A wave and a rip tide was the suspected cause. The memorial service brought together a huge crowd of people and was three and a half hours long.

Even though he was cut down way too early in life, I was extremely glad to know that he hadn’t changed much in the past six years. The people that shared their memories of him all had the same thing to say. And it was still the same Joey.

It’s been 12 long years. 12 years since I first sat next to you on the first day of first grade. I believe I can honestly say that you were my first and most long lived friend in Culver City. Or even in life. After first grade our contact lessened though, with the exception of random field trips, every year there was the same contact, as if we were never meant to truly drift apart. From Morty’s class in 10th grade to Gilbert-Rolfe’s class in twelfth grade, we were always making cameos in each others lives and renewing old acquaintances. Even our mothers were friends! I’ve always enjoyed talking to you. You have a certain subtle, understated charm that always amazes me. Whatever you end up doing, I’m sure it’ll end up amazing. Up ’til now life has dictated that we remain in contact, I believe we still will. The best of luck to you. Much love, your 1st grade buddy,
Joey Lutz

That’s the entry he put into my senior yearbook. Although I’m sure he got carried on the same wave of sentimentality we were all on, I do believe he was being sincere. And it’s from a fellow geek that you get a truly memorable autograph, as opposed to the usual “Stay sweet! K.I.T!!”

Happy 27th, buddy. I’m sure in the afterlife we’ll be sitting next to each other again, catching up. You are the geek I will aspire to be for the rest of my days here and I am pleased and privilaged to have known you and call you a friend.

Doggie Therapy

Every other Sunday of the month you’ll find me at the Healthy Spot doing volunteer work with the Bill Foundation. We set up, show some dogs, and try to find forever homes for everyone.

Sure, I don’t get paid. Sure, I get covered in dog hair, dirt, and grass. Sure, I get poo streaks on the front of my shirt (from somebody who stepped in a pile and then jumped on me). Sure, I get beat up in the puppy room (the space where everyone 20 pounds and under frolic) and come home looking like I ran through the blackberry bushes. Sure, I smell like a dog when I’m done. But you know what?

I am probably at my happiest when I’m with the dogs.

There are dogs of nearly every known breed that are up for adoption, from your scruffy mutts to purebreeds. Everyone has a different temperment but they all have one thing in common: they want to live with you and bask in your love.

Day 138If you have a ranch, please take Clyde home.

bill foundationThis goofball, Hector, is much cuter in person.

bill foundationMidge looks like a tough one, but deep down she’s a sweetie.

bill foundationHis name is Gizmo. It doesn’t get any cooler than that.

bill foundationStuart thinks he’s bigger than he really is.

We’ve got many more dogs who are hoping for homes, which you can find here. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge and adopt, there are other ways you can help Bill Foundation.

*cough*Like volunteer with me*cough*

My Favorite Part

You know what the best part of my birthday was, and has been, for the past 27 years?

Hearing my grandma say in broken English “Happy Birthday Kae-chan.”

What’s even cuter: the fact that she doesn’t realize that it’s the answering machine and is wondering why I’m not answering her.

I’ll Pass on the 27 Club Application

It’s my last full day of being 26! I’m not horribly worried about the aging process – Asians age well.

A quick recap on what happened since the last birthday:
1. Moved.
2. Started volunteering with the Bill Foundation.
3. Dropped $3200 on my Beetle.
4. Infamous car accident.
5. Court hearings for work and for the accident.
6. Got a new crush. (Y’all know what he kind of looks like and I don’t want to get too stalkerish.)
7. Got a [new] used car.
8. Moved yet again.
9. Inadvertently became part of a localized group of the Yellow Peril in the office.
10. [Wild card for you people to fill in.]

This coming year is the only time I’ll be eligible for the 27 Club. I’ll pass on joining; if I lived through my car accident, I’d hate to think of what I’d have to do to qualify for membership.

Born to Fit

In the city of Los Angeles, it’s all about who you know and the events you get invited to.

born to fit
Numbers only, no names.

You’d have to be an idiot or illiterate to turn down an invite from the Slackmistress, especially when it involves free pants.

How she managed to wing it, I’m not sure, but the lovely Miss Nina served as the hostess for a GAP Born to Fit denim event at a pop-up store on Robertson. An invitation popped up in my inbox, asking if I would be present for a “night of denim and delightful company” and promised I would not leave “empty-handed.”

Even though I used to be a Banana Republican, I wouldn’t say no to a private GAP event.

The clincher was that valet parking was included. :D

First off, the event was nothing like what I had imagined. In my head I pictured a room roped off for us at a GAP store with a floor person giving a demonstration of the different styles of denim. We would then grab a couple of pairs, lock ourselves in a fitting room, and then either squeal with delight or disappointment.

born to fit
What I thought it would be like.

My expectations were totally blown away. First off, the valet booth had a sign that read, “Private Event” (very classy!). The entrance to the store had a piece of paper taped to its glass door, advising customers of an early closing time in order to prepare for an invitation-only party. I walked in and was immediately greeted by a GAP rep. Within minutes I was offered a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres. And within an hour I had found the perfect denim fit in two different washes.

born to fit

born to fit

It was the perfect girlie evening. To top it off, I even have new reusable bags:

born to fit

born to fit

It’s not like me to promote things that come from GAP Inc., but the 1969 Jeans are an incredibly good buy. The price ranges from $59.50 to $69.50; for limited time you can get $20 knocked off the price.

This is a no brainer, for lack of a better phrase.

My thanks go out to the kind people at the Gap, and to the Slackmistress as well.

The only worry I have now is that I’ll be wearing the same pair of jeans at the same time as any of the attendees.

Fun stuff for you!

Submit an embarrassing clothing story to this post for the chance to win a $50 gift card from the GAP. The Slackmistress is a kind person and won’t laugh at your story.

Others, however, may not be so forgiving.

Wherein I (sorta) Take One for the Team

It only takes one line from a friend’s blog to get me going. This is the one that inspired me to start writing:

And Twitter, I never tried you because you just looked lame… but screw you, too.

I’m not mad. I hear this line a lot while I’m at work. I couldn’t even get my fellow Yellow Peril member (my own IT at that!) to open an account.

Twitter ain’t fancy. I get the fail whale and the fix-it robots more often than I’d like. It gets picky every now and load up similar to a free GeoCities personal website. You can only enter in 140 characters, which screws you if your friends have a long username. User pics have just as many restrictions as Livejournal (i.e. itty-bitty images that no one can see).

I like using Twitter. I’ve met lots and lots of fabulous people through this site. (Well, most of you through the Slackmistress and BeTheBoy, but we all have Twitter accounts.)

So, in my defense, I posted the following comment in my friend’s blog:

1. Facebook is blocked at work.

2. Twitter isn’t.

3. I’ve met a TON of great people through Twitter, one of whom hooked me up with 2 pairs of awesome denim.

4. I still blog and announce my blog posts on Twitter and Facebook.

So there. :P

theletterkae = asshole (?)

Last night I got together with a friend for dinner. We both were craving something heavy but still relatively healthy. To compromise, we dined at Tender Greens and followed up with a quick run to Cold Stone for dessert.

While we were digging in to our cups of ice cream, my friend brought up the picture I had used on a recent invitation. This is the picture:

Borrowed from

Me being my usual smart-assed self, I added “If we do cupcake shots, please be sober enough to blow out the candles before consuming” underneath the image.

This prompted my friend to look up the possibility of cupcake shots.

Which lead to the discovery of three drink recipes.

Which also lead to the discovery of the term “anal cupcakes.”

Which lead to my face looking pretty much like this:


(Y’all can look up “anal cupcakes” on your own time. I’m not going to link it to the first search that comes up on Google.)

Once she described what an anal cupcake was, I nearly spit out the bite of ice cream I had in my mouth for two reasons:
1. The ice cream was chocolate.
2. A combination of wanting to laugh and wanting to gag.

My friend couldn’t stop laughing at my reaction. (Maybe she was laughing with me?) Feigning wounded pride, I turned to her and asked:

“Is that what you think of me? ‘Oh, that Kathryn, she’s such an asshole!”

I can’t blame her entirely though (the discovery of the term, not for possibly associating me with the human anus). She got carried away on a Google search, much in the same way I do when I start a Wikipedia search.

And if you do link me with asshole, don’t let me know. :)

Quoth Margaret Cho: “I Ovulate Sand.”

My good friend Stephanie of Tales from the Gutter just posted a blurb about lacking the desire to have babies.


I am not graceful with children. My BFF jen0r can attest to this as the first time I held her second son: I almost dropped him because my arms were so rigid. I have a slight panic attack any time a small child stares intently at me. They must sense it, because they’re hesitant to come near me.

I think a spider would come to me faster than a child would, and you all know how much I love spiders.

But as Stephanie points out, it’s not that I don’t love them. I’m thrilled to know that Jen’s first boy automatically thinks it’s me whenever someone rings the front doorbell. I love that they call me “Auntie Kathryn” every time I come to visit.

Yet I’m not really looking to have children. Pets, yes (especially those of the canine variety) but kids are on the back-burner right now. You know, somewhere nestled between buying the house, finding a job I can sort of enjoy, and getting back into the dating game for reals this time around.

The only spontaneous reason I’d even consider carrying a child for 9 months out of the year is so I can pop him/her in one of these little numbers:


And to keep from “Idiocracy” from becoming true.

You Know, the One With Big Boobs?

I’ll admit it: I rarely do anything without the Yellow Peril at work. So when the IT manager told me he was going off property to pick up some laundry and then eat, I asked him if I could go with.

While we were eating, he mentioned that his photography models have been asking about his relationship status (i.e. why he’s still single). This has been asked every time he takes them out to dinner after a shoot.

“I had dinner with one of my models,” he says.

“Which one?” I ask.

“The Asian one,” he replies.

“Which one was that one?”

“You know, the one with the big boobs?”

“That takes out about 2 girls from your catalog.”

These are the types of conversations I have with my IT department. If we weren’t so strapped for cash, I’d have transferred down there months ago.

One to Grow On

Just before my trip to SF last weekend, I got a call from the delightful people of the Los Angeles Police Department that I would receive a subpoena in the mail.

This is the same subpoena that I received back sometime in May that was in relation to my car accident.

So off to the courthouse that’s cleaverly tucked away near the Imperial Freeway on South La Cienega on Thursday. The subpoena asked that I be there by 8:30 AM; I was a good citizen and showed up at 8:15 AM.

Too bad that didn’t help me out. I spent a near full day in court, only to walk out with loose ends.

Scary things that I encountered while I was there:
1. Child molesters.
2. Parole violators.
3. The other driver.
4. A potential witness for another case getting arrested for refusing to obey a judge’s orders.

I was ready to curl up in bed once I got home, but due to Murphy’s Law, the day wasn’t quite done with me just yet.

While I was wasting time waiting patiently in court, my grandmother had been rushed to the hospital. Congestive heart failure is to blame, along with an infection of the lungs. So I spent that evening (and most evenings since) on the 6th floor of the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.

At least the month prior to this was entertaining. I have photographic evidence to remind me.

jamison's $$$ birthday

dodgers v. reds