December 30, 2008

Familiar Ceiling?

The enclosed courtyard in the Washington, DC National Gallery of Art looks a lot like the British Museum.


Getting the stands ready!

Obama's New Home

Are those moving trucks out front?

Present, Past and Future

Last night my folks, Matt and Rachel, her mom and I went to see the new production of West Side Story at DC's National Theatre. Climbing to the third floor balcony I realized that our seats were nosebleeds. As I stepped into the theater we had a direct view of the ceiling and looked down on the lights. As this was happening I remembered a dream from a few nights ago in which the Earth was falling away from me and I was unattached, disconnected. It took my breath away. I had awakened a moment later and couldn't shake the two words: unattached and disconnected. That's how I have felt for so many years; out of control, alone, angry, and damaged.

I tried my seat and then felt the need to get up and step back against the wall. As people shuffled to their seats I continued to stand against that back wall next too a guard/usher in his red jacket. He took no notice of me until I asked if I could take an empty seat in the back row because I was concerned about the height. He shrugged his shoulders and said sure. But as the theater went dark every seat was filled except for mine. On a scale of 1 to 10 of fear I was at about a 3 which was pretty good. The guard exited the theatre and I decided to sit down on the floor. Now I was down to a 2 and I could see the performance just fine. As the music and dancing started that 2 became a 1.5 and as intermission started I was sure I could take my seat for the second half. The fact that no one was making an issue of my fear was a huge help. In the past I felt like an idiot and embarrassment to everyone around me. Not this time.

As we re-entered the theater after intermission I took my seat and my fear was now a 1. I even got up to let my mom shuffle in to her seat after she braved the endless bathroom line. There I was, in my seat, enjoying the performance without fear. That was until the gunshot in the final scene, which is my other theater snaffoo. I'll work on that next.

As we exited the theater we asked some of the staff about the sound system and lack of supertitles which we had heard would be used for the scenes acted in Spanish. Their response over and over was that this was just a preview for Broadway and they were working out the kinks. We kept responding that that was good and fine for them but for us it was a "real" night out and not a preview. I suppose we were really saying that we were experiencing it in the present whilst they were looking at the future and to take it one step further I was letting go of the past.

December 27, 2008

Knit and Stitch

I have become a bit of a celebrity at Knit and Stitch in Bethesda, Maryland. The women in the store loved my crackberry cozy and then they insisted that I show them the felt skirt on my blog. They love it. So cool that they are supportive of my craftwork!

December 25, 2008

Flying on Christmas

The Jewish secret to holiday flying is to head out on Christmas day for the best rates. the only challenge in my case is that I am waiting for the bus in the dark and cold and rain. Once again I ask myself, "am I living simple or being cheap?" Maybe a little of both. At least I'll arrive at the airport refreshed. Here's the bus!

December 24, 2008

Chanukah Dance

Cousin Diana and Adela do the newly created Chanukah dance as Robin washes the dishes. Oy.

December 21, 2008

Asilomar Escape

Down here in Asilomar for the weekend with my friend Maureen to see Belinda Taylor's play Becoming Julia Morgan. The play was superb. Presented in the theater/chapel that Julia designed, it artistically presented the architect that was so much operating in a man's world.

Asilomar is a state park and conference facility in Pacific Grove located just along the ocean front. We had the pleasure of watching the sunset and following the pelicans on their fishing adventures along the coast.

I just noticed a deer resting a few feet away from me. Maureen and I were conjecturing during our ride up about where deer rest during our waking hours. Now I know - under small pine trees.

December 19, 2008

A Party Afterall

After my two posts about how much I do not enjoy planning parties - the happy hour turned out to be a success. We had 15 folks turn out, some familiar faces and new peeps as well. Now to get other people to organize the gatherings.

December 18, 2008

Good Use of Time Meter

I need to create a Good Use of Time Metrix Meter. Here are some thoughts:

Score each opportunity/idea on a scale of 1-10 (low to high):

- Makes me happy.
- reflects my values.
- Promotes goodness in the world.
- I am not losing money or time.
- There are more people involved than just me.
- I am doing this promote my goals and not someone else's.
- it fulfills a "moving-towards goal as opposed to running-away-from goal"

The good news is that two folks just showed up at the happy hour! I am no longer alone.

Event Planning is So Last Career

I admit it, I do not like being the organizer of events. At this point in my career I can advise folks on events and how to make them work for their business but I don't want to do them myself.

Why am I writing this "note to self - because here I am again, organizing an event. I dreaded it all week and then all day. Now I'm here and no one has shown because we had to move the location last minute. Plus, it is raining. Rain for Californians is like cryptonite. Plus, the bartender at this new location is super not friendly.

Okay, enough kafetching and now to make myself look like 15 people.

December 16, 2008

Grad School Here I Come

A week later and the acceptance into Golden Gate University's Doctor of Business Administration is finally sinking in. Received paperwork outlining the required courses and with it a copy of my previous grades from when I attended the university in 1997 when working towards my Masters in Arts Administration. I was shocked to see three A+ grades. My lowest was a B-, my only B, for accounting. I remember just not getting it and was doubly challenged by the coursework being taught online.

Now I'm motivated to learn everything business, like a sponge!

Freezing in San Francisco

Sleet, snow, hail? Am I on the East Coast? Nope, just some Northern California winter weather. My friends in SoCal and Texas are reporting cold weather as well.

Probably not the best temperature for bike riding. Went to a meeting in Oakland via bike and got a huge ear ache. Plus, our house is not well heated. But, I do have some fantastic new flannel sheets to keep me warm.

December 14, 2008

A week of Julia Morgan Begins

Tonight I am at a lovely holiday dinner with my friend Rachel, hosted at The Bellevue Club in Oakland. The building, designed by architect Julia Morgan, began as a womans club and is now a social club.

This weekend I am seeing the play Becoming Julia Morgan written by my friend playwright Belinda Taylor. It is being performed at Asilomar in Monterey. To work up to it I am going to spend the week seeing Julia Morgan buildings.

December 13, 2008

Yoga Log PSA

In our yoga class this morning at Alameda Yoga Station with Nancy Leigh-Smith we agreed that we need to broadcast a yoga moment on TV during the holiday season. A Public Service Announcement (PSA) moment of Zen. Something like a Yule Log but actually a Yoga Log.

Is a Yule Log uniquely American?


Andrew Tubesing, a friend of mine from when I was at Ithaca College, has just published a new book called ColitiScope. Here's info about the book:

More of an adventure story than an encyclopedia, this book weaves humor with introspection, offering an enjoyable way to learn about the difficult subject of life with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The tales and insights within this book chronicle the challenges common to sufferers of digestive illness, while also covering the symptoms, medications and procedures, from a uniquely entertaining viewpoint.

ColitiScope is the perfect book for patients to share with friends and family to foster understanding of this debilitating and potentially embarrassing disease. Sharp observations, handy tips, and hilarious anecdotes make it a must-read for every IBD patient and their supporters.

Learn more at his website

December 12, 2008

Self Portrait in Rocking Chair

Here's a shot of me sitting in the rocking chair in my office. I'm creating a reading nook.

Redwood Grove

Here's the redwood grove view from my office window. On top of the post, in the center of the image, is a birdhouse. We have many birds including humming birds and some very fat squirrels.

Home Office

In the past 24 hours I have become totally inspired to settle into my house. Stacey, Stefan and the boys live on the main floor and I have the upstairs. I've been slowly taking over this room and today I made it official by moving out their storage boxes. Instantly doubled my living space and now have a fantastic room in which to do my consulting and soon my school work.

After beeing a "squater" of sorts for six months I am finally committing to making this my home. Must be school that is helping me feel settled.

My plan is to spend most of my time in Alameda and only go into San Francisco when I have client meetings. That should be about twice a week. Alameda is so beautiful. We're two blocks from the beach and on from Trader Joe's. But the best feature of the house are the giant redwoods out back. Photo to be posted in a moment.

December 10, 2008

Strange Day Indeed

Today started out strange and became progressively weirder with a happy ending.

Starting with the end...I have been accepted into Golden Gate University's Doctor of Business Administration program! So very happy about this news. My focus will be sustainable social enterprise.

Previous to that was the meeting in which I was let go from my company and then contracted as a consultant at a far better hourly rate. Health insurance is going to be the challenge there.

So, spreading my wings and feeling more secure than ever in a certain uncertain set of circumstances.

More Cafe Trieste

Julie and Andrea do La Bamba.

Cafe Trieste

Here we are again on a Wednesday with the Zisman Clan at Cafe Trieste North Beach. Gotta love the cousins. However, these are not them - just a few avid fans. Cousin Michael Z aka Zbo is in the background wearing the black hat.

(had to severely edit this post - too much wine when written.)

December 8, 2008

The Garage

The Garage art space is a super secret and unexpected arts space hidden in SOMA (South of Market) in San Francisco. The outside is an assuming red door and inside is this 17 seat theater space. Talk about emerging alternative arts. "Stuff" like this is the reasons I love the arts. The secret is out 975 Howard Street!

Ike's Leash

To ensure that no one snags Ike's seat I've attached this highly unattractive but hugely practical seat leash. Now he can was his tail.

Bridge, Tunnel, BART Disorder

I've been resisting biking in the dark, cold nights of winter. Okay, dark but not too cold as this is California after all. I'm geared up with very good lights and warm clothing so all you worriers can worry a bit less.

Tonight I'm heading into San Francisco to see my co-worker Kay Hilton's play. The ride to BART was surprisingly easy. However, I think I'm getting the bridge, tunnel, BART disorder which many East Bayer's are afflicted with when considering expedition's into the big scary city. The only problem with my affliction is that I work there!

Time Keeps on Slipping, Slipping, Slipping into the Future

Something came down from outer space and sucked up my time last week. Perhaps a combination of now having a busy consulting schedule and full social calendar. Or, maybe it was a post-Tofurkey daze.

Had a fantastic visit with another long lost friend found on Facebook. This time it was Andrew who worked for me at CopyMat three lifetimes ago when I lived in Salinas. Reconnecting after all these years and catching up on our various adventures was fun. Plus, I exposed him to some San Francisco Bay arts and arts folks and he fit into the scene.

December 3, 2008

Indecision and Chronic Illness

Last night I had the opportunity to hangout with Liz, Nicole's friend who is a chiropractor. Last time we were together was in London when Liz was visiting from Barcelona and Nicole from San Francisco. Both Liz and I are now back in San Francisco and as with out first meeting this one was just as profound.

Liz is beyond a free spirit. I would call her a free radical. When we met in London she was bouncing off the walls, literally. But then she sat down next to me, put her hand on my back and I felt this unexpected surge of warmth. sometimes when all around me is chaos I imagine that warmth and instantly relax.

Chatting with Liz she bestowed another gem. "Chronic illness comes from indecision, causing endless suffering, but it can be reversed." This reminds me of what I am learning through Buddhist meditation. Trying to hold on to something or even pushing it away results in suffering.

I am working on letting go of the painful past which I keep revisiting over and over to figure out the clues that will help me understand what went wrong. I am doing the same with a few current situations as well. This causes me headaches and stomachaches. Is this really how I want to live my life, noodling over what I wish was or wasn't?

My goal is to be more decisive and to be present with the intention of living healthily in mind, body and soul.

Again with that Style

A homeless woman on the bus just told me she loves my outfit and that I have great style and a unique look. That's it, I'm signing up for Project Runway.

December 1, 2008

You've Got the Look

This morning my housemate Stacey gave me the most fantastic compliment. She said that I have a fantastic look and style that she loves and is impressed every day with what I wear. Wow. I thought I was cultivating, unintentionally, the frumpy shlumpy look.

To top off this upbeat Monday morning my co-worker Theron told me how much he loves working with me and how I inspire him. Theron also lives in Alameda and is my neighbor so maybe us island-based folks like to share the love.