June 29, 2009
Last night, unfortunately the woman in front of me leaned forward for the entire performance so that I had to constantly dodge back and forth to see the action. I wanted to gently take her shoulders and pull them back. This is what makes live theatre so different from sitting on your couch.
The beauty of live theatre, audience and all, is that potential for spontaneity. Each performance is different because of the chemistry between actors and audience. Last night's show had a particularly wonderful moment when the Knights Who Say Ni changed to the Knights Who Say Mama-se, mama-sa, ma-ma-coo-sa, the famous chorus from Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Something." The audience took a collective sigh and the actor then said, "it is so hard to say good bye to the King of Pop. He touched so many people." This made us all laugh. It was the perfect adieu to such a theatrical and mysterious pop icon.
June 28, 2009
Writing about this because the BART train re-opened it's doors just now for a lady with a baby carriage. She was overjoyed.
Earlier this week I used City Car Share twice and unfortunately the second time my special key wouldn't work when I was leaving the Marin Headlands. This meant I was stranded for a few hours and ended up getting home at 10:30pm. The lock didn't work because of the keys getting run-over last week when I dropped them. This experience in combination with the bike fall on Monday are pointing me towards getting a car. Also, showing up at meetings all sweaty and bike-greasy.
I'm thinking a used Miata - cute an sporty! Probably some good deals out there.
June 25, 2009
Yesterday I had a fabulous client meeting and rewarded myself with the world's most delicious slice of Tres Leches (three milks) from DeLessio Bakery on Market Street. Ironically, this huge slice of cake cost me $3.95 and last week I had the worst bowl of oatmeal there and it cost me $10.00. Clearly, Tres Leches is the new breakfast food for price and taste factor.
June 22, 2009
My "stuff" that has been stored in Houston for three years arrived in the Bay Area last week. Saturday I went to check it out. Although I was able to open the lock on my storage crate it was drilled shut on the top of its door. On the front was a handwritten note saying, "you may want to consider upgrading to a new crate that is in better condition." Just then a man on a forklift came over and I told him that I couldn't open the crate. He took a crowbar and was able to pull most of the door open and then used a drill to remove the screws that were holding the remainder shut.
Finally the door opened and the inside was filled with boxes and boxes of stuff. I instantly felt overwhelmed, having lived so simply for the past three years. The one and only box I opened was filled with memory boxes - memories I had hoped to forget. Some of the storage boxes were crushed.
The helpful man said that I could change storage containers right then and there. But that meant that I would have to unpack this giant crate, the size of a small bathroom, and pack all the stuff up in a new crate. No thanks. He offered to keep this crate near the front door so that it wouldn't fall apart in future moves if I needed to access it again.
It wasn't until I stepped outside that I understood what he was saying. As I walked to the pickup truck I had borrowed for the visit, I noticed some strange papers here and there on the parking lot. They were there when I had arrived but I didn't give them a second look. Now that I did I noticed that they were my photographs and artwork - images I had made in college. They were run over. What was going on? I picked up the various piles and put them in the truck. All I could feel was shock. As I drove out away I noticed another pile of my work several parking lots away. I retrieved that one too. What had happened? How long were they out there?
Telling Rene about the story he helped me figure out what probably had happened. We put all the clues together and realized that the crate probably fell apart in transport and perhaps my stuff started to fall out. That's why the door was drilled shut in places.
The experience was like having my most private thoughts exposed to the world and run over. The only spin I could put on it is that these are the objects that wanted to be with me and therefore made themselves visible. The rest of my things can just go in the dump.
One: Keys run over
Two: Photos run over
Three: Me run over
Enough of that.
June 19, 2009
This morning I was up at the crack of dawn because last night I lost my keys and I had to find them. They were in my hands when I locked up my City Car Share vehicle. Then I went to Alameda Bicycle to get my tires filled. From there I cycled home from Fruitvale BART. Arriving back at the house I went to open the storage room door to park Ike the Bike for the evening...no keys! I didn't fret. What's the point. They're only keys.
As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I called Alameda Bicycle to see if they found my keys. Nope. Okay, I pulled myself out of bed, put on my sporty biking clothes (what a nice change from biking in fancy business outfits) and started retracing my route back to Fruitvale BART. I figured the keys could be anywhere along the route or even on the fender of the City Car Share vehicle - hopefully.
Just a few blocks into my ride I stopped to adjust my seat and when I looked down at the ground - there were my keys! What were they doing on this side of the road? If I hadn't stopped I certainly would not have seen them. They were run over by a car and a bit mangled but most of them still work and just one was lost in the accident. Ah yes, another lesson in not fretting and just getting on with the search.
Took advantage of the beautiful morning and did some bike riding along the beach. Alameda is so beautiful. This image got a bit weird because I moved the iPhone mid-shot. But I'm liking the effect.
June 18, 2009
June 17, 2009
After finishing the book, which was centered in 1961 San Francisco, I had a realization that Jim Kweskin was probably some how connected to this work. Searching the web I found this fantastic map called Humbead's Revised Map which mentions both Jim Kweskin and Richard Brautigan.
I can only imagine the stories these two men could tell about life in San Francisco in the 1960s. Luckily Jim Kweskin is playing July 11 at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. We have tickets. This is the first time I'll have seen him perform live.
June 16, 2009
June 15, 2009
Shell station at sunrise.
The Oliver vise we picked up as an aside purchase to the "machine" purchase. Here's the machine on its side getting lifted into the pickup truck.
We visited Cal Poly Pomona. It happened to be commencement but we found our fun in visiting the working farm.
This dog was showing us how easy his job was hanging out with sheep. In fact it was so easy, he was bored.
Cal Poly Pomona is home to the W. K. Kellog Arabian Horse Center. This was a foal who was super friendly.
Back in Oakland I took Lilly and Joaquin for a walk and they jumped into the fishing ponds used to practice casting. How posh is Oakland to have casting pools in a public park?
Despite the dogs' bath earlier in the day they couldn't resist getting wet again. Lilly kept dropping her stick in the water so that she'd have a reason to go swimming. Joaquin, ever the jovial friend, happily followed her. In this photo Joaquin taking the lead on their third dip.
June 13, 2009
Actually, it is a fun adventure. The best part is that I am resting on my pillow out here on the sidewalk, after breaking out of the house, and Rene is running late. Can we say over-achiever chica? Give me an assignment and I'll get it done on time.
June 11, 2009
Going to the dentist doesn't scare me because growing up my grandfather was our dentist. I associate good feelings with being in the chair and even hearing the drill. However, I have had some very traumatic experiences with getting my teeth pulled. For some reason my baby teeth wouldn't fall out on their own and on one unforgetable occassion I had ten teeth pulled at once. On that visit the doctor used Novacaine injections and it was so painful I screamed and my friend Lori, sitting in the waiting room could hear my cries.
So, when my current dentist said filling I said, no Novacaine. The dental hygienist shook her had and said don't do that. The dentist said good idea, the current filling is hardly below the enamel and you'll probably just feel a little push.
I made a date a month out for my return visit, which was today. Over that four weeks I barely gave it any thought. Then today I was telling Rene about my impending appointment and he proceeded to share his frightening story about getting cavities replaced and how he couldn't get enough Novacaine. Oh great, clearly the dentist and I were being dillusional. But then I recalled that my last filling, which I had done in Houston, was filled without painkiller.
Arriving at the dentist this morning for my appointment I was very quiet, working on staying calm. I was dead set on going without the injection. We got down to business. He drilled for about 60 seconds and I did feel some jolts of pain but I had actually been experiencing those with that tooth for a while. Clearly this replacement was needed. When it was done the dental hygeinist said I was very brave. My next question was, "do I have any more silver fuillimgs in my mouth and can we replace those now too?"
I am very lucky that I've only had three cavities in my life. I'm sure this reflects on my grandfather's good dentistry, my parents teaching me good hygein and those blasted floride treatments we took as kids in school. Memories of cold weird tasting liquid that we swooshed I'm our mouths for 60 seconds and then spat back into the paper dixie cup. It was worth the grossness.
Needless to say we went for replacement of the second filling. Now I kept thinking that I was pushing my luck with the lack of pain. In fact, this little tiny filling was very painful to remove and I kept inching my head up in the chair trying to get away from the drill. The dentist practically had to chase me but we got it done in about 30 seconds! Yippie, no more silver in my mouth. Then and there I swore I would brush seven times a day to avoid future cavities.
As an added bonus the dentist charged me half price on the second filling since he already had all the equipment ready and it was so quick. Now the dental hygeinest was pretty much blown away by my bravery and said as much.
Each time I got my teeth pulled as a kid my mom would take me out for ice cream or McDonalds, a real non-Kosher treat. There I would be with a numb face, chewing happily on a fish sandwich, forgetting the trauma of the pull. In the comfort food tradition I am sitting here writing this post in Julie's Cafe, eating an oatmeal raisin cookie and sipping my roobios chai latte and breathing deep.
1509: Henry VIII marries first wife
King Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon, the first of the six wives he had in his lifetime. When Catherine failed to produce a male heir, Henry divorced her against the will of the Roman Catholic Church, thus precipitating the Protestant Reformation in England. Henry went on to have five more wives; two of whom, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, he executed for alleged adultery after he grew tired of them. His only surviving child by Catherine of Aragon, Mary, ascended to the throne upon the death of Edward VI in 1553.
2004The state funeral of former US President Ronald Reagan takes place in Washington.
2001Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, is executed by lethal injection in America.
1987Margaret Thatcher leads the Conservative Party to a third successive general election victory in Britain.
1976Angolan authorities put 13 mercenary soldiers, 10 of whom are British, on trial, accused of fighting for the opposition during the country’s civil war.
1963A monk, Thich Quang Duc, sets fire to himself in Saigon in protest at South Vietnam's treatment of Buddhists.
1963In America, Alabama Governor George Wallace ends his blockade of the University of Alabama and allows two African American students to enrol.
1962John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Lee Morris attempt to escape from Alcatraz federal prison. Whilst they do escape from “the Rock”, it is thought that they drowned in the surrounding water.
1959The Hovercraft is launched off England’s south coast.
1955At least 80 people are killed and another 100 injured when three cars crash on the Le Mans race circuit in France and smash into a crowded spectator area.
1944The Second World War: Five days after the D-Day landing, the Allied landing groups link up in Normandy to form a single solid front.
1943The Second World War: Britain lands its troops on the Italian island of Pantelleria, off the southern coast of Sicily, in Operation Corkscrew.
1837In America, English and Irish residents of Boston clash in the Broad Street Riot.
1788The Russian explorer Gerrasim Grigoriev Izmailov reaches the Alaskan coast.
1429The Battle of Jargeau, Joan of Arc's first offensive battle, begins in France.
June 10, 2009
I keep flirting with the idea of buying or leasing a car. As an independent consultant I believe I can write off at least a portion of my rental lease. Each time I mention going four-wheels to family and friends they say "don't do it". Interesting, they all have cars. But then they remind me that there are so many hidden costs: payments, insurance, repairs, and gas.
My concern is that I am using City Car Share more often each month and the money I'm putting into that company be paying for a lease and providing me with four wheels 24/7. Then again, I nearly always use City Car Share for business and that in itself is write-off.
Cost-benefit-analysis in process.
Gladwell writes about the Jewish immigrant Louis Borgenicht who was able to first survive and then thrive in NYC because he and his wife Regina had expertise in sewing and the business of making dresses.
"When Borgenicht came home at night to his children, he may have been tired poor and overwhelmed, but he was alive. He was his own boss. He was responsible for his own decisions and direction. His work was complex: it engaged his mind and imagination. And in his work, there was a relationship bet wen effort and reward: the longer he and Regina stayed up at night sewing aprons, the more money they made the next day on the streets.
Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us. If I offered you a choice between being an architect for $75,000 a year and working in a tollbooth every day for the rest of your life for $100,000 a year, which would you take? I'm guessing the former, because there is a complexity, autonomy, and a relationship between effort and reward in doing creative work, and that's worth more to most of us than money."
I agree with Gladwell's assumptions and am certainly have chosen a career that lives out those beliefs. However, I do not believe that everyone would agree with these values. Gladwell is speaking to a particular market/audience that is attuned to his research and "fans" of his analytical approach to the "every day". However, there are certainly people out there who are working in jobs they hate but do it to bring home the pay check. What I am appreciating is an understanding of my values and why, although I do not make a large income, I have chosen to be a consultant in arts and non-profits. Autonomy, Complexity and Connection.
June 7, 2009
Got a shot of this very strange setup. Reminds me of Cadillac Ranch in Texas. Here's a link to Jingletown's history.
June 6, 2009
This City Car Share is good and also a bit bad. Good because it gives me wheels, bad because at this point I could probably buy a car for what I'm putting into these rentals. Should I get a car? Ike the Bike is keeping me in superb shape. I don't even get winded doing some extraordinary hills. But, as I feel more settled I am missing the freedom to travel far and wide in the Oakland flatlands and hills.
My possessions arrive from Houston next week and I'm starting to make more significant "purchases" if yard sales count as major shopping venues. Two weeks ago I bought a ceramic painted sink for some future bathroom I hope to have. Today I purchased downhill skis, boots and poles. Clearly, I'm committed to being here.
June 4, 2009
It is 9am on a Thursday and so far today I've used 20 beauty and personal hygiene products:
Face wash (Burt's Bees)
Face moisturizer (Burt's Bees)
Facial suntan lotion
I highlighted the Burt's Bees products because perhaps they are more healthy than the other stuff I'm massaging into my skin.
On top of this I use a hairdryer and straightening irons. When Rene and I went down to LA last month I brought a very heavy backpack that was not weighed down with clothes but with a hairdryer and irons. It felt girly, which I like, but also way over the top hair-focused. Lately I've let my hair go curly for a day or two and it is starting to again become familiar and comfortable. That immediately eliminates two beauty machines and four products.
June 3, 2009
So here's what's on my mind:
Doctor of Business Administration
I recognized that I am very happy with my career, which challenges me every day to work harder, think smarter. The stretch goals I've set for myself are within reach and when I need to develop specific skills I will attend programs, workshops, trainings, read books and share best practices with colleagues. Conclusion: enough schooling.
Hands On Creativity
I need to express my creativity, artistically. Getting back to photography is essential for nurturing my creative heart. More work with my hands such as felting and cooking need to be higher on my list of creative outlets. This is now a personal priority.
Most of my time is spent up in my head thinking for a living. Recognizing that I need to get creative I also need to get more physical. Yes, I ride Ike the Bike nearly every day which keeps me in-tune and tuned-up. I also want to ride Ike for pleasure, continue to practice my yoga, meditation and take some walks along the beach, hike, and dance.
My tendency is to start-up ventures such as the www.meetup.com/BizArts and over-commit myself to all kinds of social-pseudo-professional projects. Even though I'm good at this I actually do not derive personal pleasure - just stress. The Arts Management Consulting Community of Practice is a better focus of my time as it directly speaks to my areas of interest, expertise and builds community and collaboration. So, working on cutting back on these distractions to make more time for Hands On Creativity and Physical Experience.
Quality Time with Friends and Family
Yes, I'm making time for myself, and with that I am recognizing that key relationships with friends and family also must be nurtured. Identifying the relationships that are mutually-wonderful is becoming a personal practice of selectivity. This may sound hoity-toity but it is more about quality time with the people I love; celebrating, enjoying and savoring these relationships.
Perhaps this is a vision statement in my personal strategic plan.