August 30, 2008

Me in Make-up

Check it out! I am not at all use to wearing makeup and my eyes felt so heavy with all this stuff on them. Nicole assured me that the shading "allured" people to me. Who knew there was a secret language to makeup?

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Nicole Owns The World

On top of Russian Hill Nicole looks out over San Francisco at sunset.

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On Top of San Francisco

Rooftop in San Francisco. We had a "girly night" to celebrate the birthday of Miriam. We started in San Francisco's Russian Hill with a potluck dinner. Then Nicole and Beth "helped" us with makeup followed by dancing until 2am.

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Toe Beauty

Here are my toes after their pedicure. Looks more like they're recovering from plastic surgery. I had the pleasure of not splurging on the pedicure because my friend Geneve sent me an e-gift certificate for O Spa in Alameda which is O sO wOnderful.

The stylist put so much love and energy into my feet. She is the first person ever to say that I have beautiful toes, which is fine with me, even if she is paid to say it.

Stephen loved my toes - at least in his effort to make them straight. I'm sure he would enjoy this photo. The stylist also gave a nice twist to the crookedness saying that my toes love each other and just want to be together.

Today is officially toe love day.

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Breaking Through: Building Capacity in Arts Organizations

As part of National Arts Month I am presenting the following free workshop at The Foundation Center in San Francisco.

Breaking Through: Building Capacity in Arts Organizations

Thursday, October 16, 1:00-2:30 pm

Are you ready to move your arts organization to the next level? Using models of organizational development, this workshop will help you identify the key next steps that can help you break through to the next stage.

More info.

Thoughts on McCain-Palin Ticket

Reflecting on the McCain-Palin ticket I am reminded of relationship insight received from my friend and photographer Peter Tepper. He said that the next person you date after a break-up has many of the opposite qualities of your former flame.

The McCain-Palin ticket may be a response to the Bush-Cheney relationship: weak President and a behind-the-scenes-pulling-the-strings Vice President. We're living out the negative impact of that mixed-match partnership. Perhaps this VP choice is a signal that the voice and direction are coming from McCain. Too bad it is the same old same old.

Obama = Change.

August 29, 2008

Budweiser and Clamato in a Can?

Yes, it appears to be a real product. Check out this billboard in the San Francisco Mission District.

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August 27, 2008

Transamerica Pyramid

My first walk from the Financial District to San Francisco's North Beach since I've been back and I feel like a tourist.

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August 26, 2008

Commuting Buddy

On my Bike-BART-Bike commute today I had a wonderful surprise - my co-worker Theron and I were in commuting-sync. It is funny enough that Theron lives just 10 houses away from me here in Alameda. Even stranger that he has the same folding bike - the US version (hum, does it have a cool name like Ike? I'll need to find out.)

Riding back home in the dark with our flashing safety lights we took an adventurous route along quiet back streets in Alameda. It was like being a twelve-year-old again. We did all kinds of silly riding, speeding up, slowing down and making crazy eights. Really a fantastic way to cap a commute.

August 24, 2008

2012 Olympics

A goal I've always had is to attend the Olympics either as a spectator or volunteer. I am pledging to be involved in 2012 in the UK in some way.

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Self Portrait on the Beach

Here I am laying on a Beach in Santa Cruz.

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August 23, 2008

Fruity Dreams

Last night I dreamed that I was back in school and that I couldn't remember my classes. Not an unusual dream. I went to get the info off my BlackBerry and it was smashed into pieces. I was almost able to out it back together but someone had stepped on its face.

Analyze that!

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August 22, 2008

Christina Applegate is Brave

Learning about actress Christina Applegate's diagnosis of breast cancer I was totally shocked. Her treatment was even more shocking.

Here's an excerpt from the ABC Good Morning America report:

To be sure the cancer would be completely excised, and that there would be a reduced chance of it returning despite Applegate testing positive for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, the actress opted to have both her breasts removed in an operation known as a prophylactic double mastectomy, even though cancerous lumps were only found in one breast.

"My decision, after looking at all the treatment plans that were possibilities for me, the only one that seemed the most logical and the one that was going to work for me was to have a bilateral mastectomy," Applegate said.

Watch the interview here (warning- turn down the volume for the pre-interview commercial which is blaring).

Her choice of treatment is brave, especially for a 36 year old, single woman. I am amazed that she is capable of conducting an interview three weeks after the surgery. A good actress or just totally grounded?

August 20, 2008

Post Sailing Hair

I think I'll try the curly hair look more often. My friend John says I look windswept an sexy.
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John, Morgan, Thelma and Walter on the San Francisco Bay.
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Sailing on San Francisco Bay

Okay, I've got my winter gear and I am ready to go!
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A ReGenXer Contemplates 40

A few months ago my aunt asked me how I was planning to celebrate my 40th birthday next year. The question took me by huge surprise as I hadn't even been thinking about my "big 40". Gosh, I was just settling into being 39.

After getting over the initial shock of the question I started experiencing a series of emotions. Disappointment came up. My dreams of starting a family had been derailed, temporarily, with the end of my marriage. But that feeling of loss was soon replaced by anticipation. What would my life look like in 6 months?

Now I am seeing my March 8 birthday as a benchmark. It is a start, end and continuation date. This relates to the articulation of my personal and professional goals. What drives me forward? What gets my mojo pumping?

Ultimately I am working towards a huge and ongoing celebration of me and my friends who are, in bulk, also turning 40 next year. I propose that we embrace the year, savor our friendships, rejoice in our evolution and reaffirm our dreams.

Bring it on!

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August 18, 2008

The Sky is Falling

Looking out the window this morning I gazed curiously on a mysterious occurrence. Flecks of something were moving across the sky. It actually took me a good 30 seconds to recognize rain! To think that I've only been back in California for almost eight weeks and rain is already unfamiliar.

My first thought was that the fog was super thick and making rain-like drops. Then snow came to mind, followed by sleet. The rain only lasted a few minutes which is a shame since we are in a drought. However it was good news for my commute-by-bike.

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August 17, 2008

Living With Kids

There is a significant amount of sharing that you do when living with housemates. in all the many cities and homes I've lived in over the years very few have been with housemates. Usually it has been with significant others which has a different sharing expectation. My current living arrangement brings a whole new set of experiences considering that two of my housemates are under the age of five.

Sharing does not come easy to four and two year olds. In fact, they run the house. Adults are really just there to setup barriers or provide access to all the things that border on danger. Reaching that danger point is the ultimate triumph of little folks. I witness this scenario every day.

In our house the couch is not for sitting. No. It is a launch pad for jumping, crashing and throwing. Only after the exhaustion of total blissful destruction can the couch be considered for resting. There have been many a weekend afternoon when I've come home to a scene of total anarchy and amongst the piles of pillows sleeps a little boy who has, mid-adventure, fallen into lala land. The first few times I was not sure if it was sleep or a concussion since the boys are in positions that look like they literally just fell over mid-crash.

The two year old loves to run in circles around the house. In this old Victorian every foot fall makes the building shake. I imagine he gets quite a bit of satisfaction from the echoing noise and vibrations as he runs. It is amazing how much focus and determination he puts into the running which always ends with some kind of tearful mishap.

My part of the house is way above the wildness. I do hear and feel the jumping but it does not dominate my peaceful space. Instead I find myself wondering - when do we grow out of this passion and immediacy and become self-controlled adults. More important - how do we get some of it back?

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August 14, 2008

Peek a Boo Elmo

Oh the things that people will wear for Burning Man. Here is my crazy friend John in his very scary homemade Elmo hat/head and Woodstock on his chest. His entire apartment is in shambles as he prepares for Burning Man. But he was able to pull together this outfit. John's also created a loin cloth of stuffed animal pelts. Need we say more?

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Painting with Sound

I am taking a fantastic Buddhist meditation course at my favorite yoga studio, Alameda Yoga Station, and it is fascinating to explore all the different ways to relax your body and mind.

The traditional way to relax in meditation is to follow your breath. Our instructor Martina Schneider is having us try some other approaches such 4 listening to all the sounds that surround you. The challenge, although if it is meditation you shouldn't think of it as a challenge but rather a practice, is to not attach any thoughts or judgment to the sound. Just notice it.

What I am discovering and really enjoying about the sounds is that they are painting a picture with their different qualities. A short, high-pitched sound sounds like a dash of bright color whilst a long deep sound is like a long rich and wide brush stroke of dark, deep color.

As the different sounds play across the landscape I find myself searching and craving for more. As a visual person I appreciate the non-use of my visual senses and instead tuning into what my ears are "seeing".

I am also discovering from this practice that I am enjoying the qualities of sound in my everyday interactions. Last night was a total sound feast as I merged with the excitement of the music at my cousin Michael North Beach jam session. I smiled and laughed all night as the band played around with sound. It was one of the most visual aural experiences I can recall ever having.

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August 13, 2008

Cafe Trieste North Beach

My cousin ZBo (aka Michael Zisman) and Ned Boynton at their regular Wednesday night gig at Cafe Trieste. Their band is called Cafe Americain.

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August 12, 2008

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus

Their train passed through Oakland on my bike ride home. When the horse car passsed it made me think of th novel Water for Elephants.

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August 11, 2008

To Herb With Love

A shop in Alameda that had my grandfather Herb Kweskin in mind. Made me think of my grandmother Minerva.

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The Latest Headshot

Another self portrait trying to look professional yet artsy. This is with the Blackberry.

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August 10, 2008

Cousin Ben

More images from our hike. Inside the old military hospital on Angel Island.

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Those Sewage Again!

Oops - I mean segway. How funny that I spelled it that way. These folks were being instructed how not to "freak out" going down a hill. We freaked out for them as the descended into the San Francisco Bay from the Angel Island Nike Missile site. Surreal.

More Angel Island

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Taking a Hiking Break to Enjoy the View

Here we all are taking a break from our hike on Angel Island to enjoy the view of San Francisco. Ben set the pace by taking a seat every time we found a place to take in the view. At one point he pulled out a handy dandy sheet and took a nap. Ben is all about leisure.

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Ike the Bike on the Angel Island Ferry

I took Ike the Bike on an Angel Island hike today with some friends and my cousin Ben. (Say that ten times fast). Angel Island sits in the San Francisco Bay very close to Tiburon on the Marin coast. Our little group met at the Oakland Ferry which we took to San Francisco Pier 41, then switched ferries to take us to Angel Island. We managed to then hook up with some of my parents friends who were visiting from Stamford, Connecticut. The most amazing thing about this day was that I only knew Ben and by the end I had six new friends.

Here's Ike on the ferry. He is just loving the views. Can you see him smiling? When we got to the Island I left him by the ferry so that he could admire the other cyclists as we hiked.

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Paris Hilton for...President?

I heard about this video yesterday from a group of folks who would, frankly, probably be voting for McCain. Call me crazy, and I know you will, but I think Paris is secretly very smart.

I have to send you to the link because the video is loading posted here. Click on this.

August 8, 2008


Today's date took me by surprise considering that it is filled with my favorite number! I remember 8/8/88 clearly as I was waitressing at Brock's Restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut, home from college for the summer. I had to write 8/8/88 on all my food order slips. Wouldn't surprise me if I thought, "the next time the date will be filled with 8s will be in 20 years" and then I probably laughed at the thought of 20 years from then because I was only 19 at the time!

Sadly Brock's is now closed.

So here we are 8/8/8 and I plan on having a fantastic day.

Amy's Shrine

I have a tendency to make shrines. Here's the one I currently have in my room around the fireplace.
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August 6, 2008

Small Worlds Colliding

Tonight I attend the most amazing event at the house of my boss. She and her husband have a wonderful home in San Francisco in which they love to host events. This evening they invited 20 or so friends to a private performance by the jazz vocalist Dena Derose What a treat. Dena and my cousin Michael Zisman have cut albums together which makes me less than six degrees from cool. Dena was presenting a new sound and so the performance was videotaped for Promotion of her solo tour.

The other cool feature of the evening was that my cousin Carma, Michael's wife, was also there. Our worlds are colliding as Carma is also an arts management consultant with her specialization being donor development. She has been a guest at my boss' house for these performances for many years. To top that her boss is the former Director of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce when I worked there. Guess what? He was also there tonight. Small worlds colliding.

Dena had me in tears with her soulful singing. Something about the arts makes you see and feel all your pain and pleasure in technicolor. Makes me remember the time when I had a life partner who loved to share these wonderful events with me.

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Billable Hours

Working as a consultant for a firm is teaching me a whole new business concept - Billable Hours. When you work inside many companies there is little sense that time is money. Heck, there are many days when you just waste time to make the day pass.

When you work for yourself the concept does apply, however, so much of your time has to go into general operations and business development that billable hours are really just an ideal.

I have to say I, digging the concept. It is keeping me quick on my feet, focused and direct in meetings with clients and focused on getting to the point in my writing.

Perhaps at a later point it will feel different but for now it is giving me a business discipline that I much needed.
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August 4, 2008

Robot Tour

What do you call these things? Why am I posting this while riding my bike?

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August 2, 2008

Shout Out from The Artful Manager

Check it out, the Artful Manager, Andrew Taylor gave me a shout out on the Pecha Kucha post I wrote for the Arts Blog at the Americans for the Arts convention in Philly.

Wondering what the heck Pecha Kucha is? If you're into creating PowerPoint presentations I recommend you check out my post.

August 1, 2008

Commuting by Ike

Today marks the official close of my first week at work. I've been riding Ike the Bike for a portion of my commute. The first three days I parked Ike at the Valet Bike Parking at Fruitvale BART. However, yesterday and today I had dinner dates in the Mission so I took Ike all the way into San Francisco, parked him all folded up under my desk at work and then biked to my dates. How cool is that?

I think I'm getting stronger at biking too. It is so easy to just tootle along since most of the ride is flat. Plus, I'm working my large Gluteus Maximus muscles which are no longer on a holiday. Since I have to carry Ike up the stairs at BART and various other places I think I'm developing some rather good shoulder muscles too.

By the way, my new title is Manager of Consulting Services. Really cool.

Food Time Bomb

My stomach did a "special dance" for me last night and I thought it was perhaps the carrot cake. But then this morning when I packed my lunch - two salads that I had prepared on Sunday for the week, I had an inkling that perhaps they had gone bad - yesterday.

So what did I do with the leftovers? Packed them for lunch. Just took a bite and sure enough I had poisoned myself on my own cooking yesterday. Now I am just waiting for that bite to kick-in.

Well of course I now have to buy my lunch. What to eat for an upset stomach? Tamale, chili, beans and rice, and I have a Mexican dinner date scheduled. Sounds like I'll need to detox tomorrow.

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