April 29, 2010

Selling Out

On Piedmont Avenue, where I live in Oakland, there are at least five cafes within a block of each other. I regularly frequent one, Caffe Trieste, for meet-ups with friends and indulging late night snack attacks. Sometimes I head over to Gaylord's for a decaf chai but always regret it because the taste varies from gross to disgusting. Plus, they don't take ATM cards.

This morning the sun is out and so I am inspired to take a walk and then actually splurge on breakfast. It started out as an intention to purchase breakfast staples at either my favorite grocer Monte Mart or the uberly expensive Piedmont Grocery. It is so early that both aren't open yet.

As I went from cafe to cafe, looking for granola and yogurt, I noticed Starbucks which is pretty much shunned on our progressive street. Oh what the heck. I'll go in. Peete's has a line out the door but Starbucks is totally empty. Now I know why, soulless. I bought an overly packaged instant oatmeal, when I could have made a delicious bowl of organic steele cut oats at home.

Well, I had to give it a try.
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April 28, 2010

Twittering and Tweeting

OK, so I'm trying to tweet and I am in information sharing overload. Where do I post the most updated Amy activities? Facebook, this blog, Twitter? Yes, I may be extroverted but even all this transparency is becoming too much.

My conclusion is: 
  • Tidbits about what I'm doing on Twitter. 
  • The blog is for deeper thoughts and images from activities. 
  • Facebook is where I focus on what I'm eating. 

Good to have all that cleared up.

Follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/kweskinreport

April 25, 2010

Backyard Mural

At the Julia Morgan home.
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Julia Morgan Garden Party

I'm at a lovely Berkeley home designed by Julia Morgan. My friend and fellow C2Arts consultant Belinda Taylor is having a fundraiser to support the production of her play about Julia Morgan.
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Theatre Bay Area Glickman Awards

Starting to really connect with the theatre community in a big way. Lots of folks I know.
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April 24, 2010

Trees in the Forest

Berkeley hills!
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Hiking Berkeley Hills

Trevver, Hisun and I are hiking the hills of Berkeley before we watch the Project Runway finale.
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Letting Go and Holding On

This has been a week of letting go and holding on. Seems like a reverse sequence of events, but it makes sense. In canceling my UK trip I had an unexpected feeling of "letting go". The past was suddenly in the past instead of so closely tied to the present. I took notice and realized I was feeling more settled into California and the US when I let go of my trip. My apartment became more welcoming and my my eagerness to do what is right for me became more of a drive. I had been floating down the river, still lightly tethered to the past.

Then today, in our Saturday morning yoga class with Nancy Leigh-Smith at Alameda Yoga Station, I experienced healthy holding-on. The yogis in this class are a welcoming pool of support, providing an anchor for me whenever I am lost at sea. We practiced a stretch where we held hands with a fellow classmate and stretched as far back as we could while holding our joined hands in front of us and our other (deliberately not calling it free) hand behind us. Nancy asked me to demo it with her in front of the class and I instantly felt like we were figure skating partners. It was so much fun. She kept saying, I think you can go back further, you can pull harder.

Next I practiced the stretch with a partner and while I reached my hand back, another partner team, Jeff and Andy, were right there. Jeff and I instantly clasped hands and it became a four person stretch halfway across the room. It made us laugh and smile. We looked to see if we could include more classmates but we were too far away. However, we were all connected through our grasp of California.

April 23, 2010

Happy Endings

I am at the airport to get my London ticket refunded from Virgin Atlantic. When I told the ticket counter manager that I wanted a refund, he was thrilled that my seat would be made available for some poor soul who is trying to get home.

Now that I'm here I am seeing all the people who are still trying to get home. they are trickling onto the flights. Everyone is in good spirits at the counter.

Would you believe that Virgin Atlantic actually called this morning to confirm my flight? So professional.
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April 21, 2010

Slowing Down

For the past three months I've been going at full throttle and the intensity is finally taking its toll. I'm craving a slow-down. The UK trip, that I was planning on starting this Friday, would have kept me going at breakneck speed and the uncertainty of it moving forward was becoming quite stressful. I've decided, or perhaps the Volcanic Cloud and British Authorities have influenced me, into deciding to call off the trip. I haven't been able to refund my tickets from Virgin Atlantic as of yet. I may just have to head out to the airport and do it at the check-in desk hours before the flight.

This past weekend I produced an gala dinner for the organization for which I am the Interim Director of Operations and Communications. It went extremely well. Out of 100 points I would give it a 95, which is an A in my grading book. But preparing and presenting that event, in combination with teaching two 8am classes, for which I keep getting up at 5am, has put me in the zombie zone. Plus, an extended evening of unexpected fun the night before the event was wonderful, but it added to the sleep deprivation.

Today I have taken it easy. Took a long mid-morning nap and feeling the benefits of fifty extra winks. Plus, I've scheduled a day at the Calistoga Spa and Hot Springs for myself next week. Yes, I am disappointed about not getting to the UK, London and Scotland, but I am feeling blood start to recurlate in my brain as I slow down the speed boat and get back onto my current time zone.

April 19, 2010

To Fly or Not to Fly, That is the Question

I am supposed to be flying out to London on Friday afternoon. The big mystery, and I'm not alone in wondering the outcome, is if my flight will be canceled or commandeered for stranded passengers trying to get home. For the past four days I've gone back and forth with the question - should I change my travel plans, or should I not?

Virgin Atlantic's website advice changes every couple of hours. I finally took the plunge this afternoon and attempted to call to change my flights, thinking that that would be the kind thing to do, giving up my seat to those who are stranded. Unfortunately, the automated system hung up on me. So, time will tell. Watch this air space.

April 18, 2010

Feeling the Love

This week in my classes I've been teaching students about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). After watching this video six times, I am really starting to appreciate my type - ENFJ - and apply the types to people in my work, personal and teaching worlds. I wonder if Pisceans, like myself, tend to be ENFJs - Extroverted, Intuition, Feeling and Judging?

The inspiration for writing this post was today's early-morning phone call with Hisun. She has a tendency to call me at 8am on Sundays and usually I am still in day-dream land and not in the mood to talk. Today, I surprised her and called at 8am and she didn't pick up! A switch of roles. When she called back you could hear the amusement in her voice, "you called me on a Sunday morning!" She was thrilled that I reached out and thought of her.

I'm realizing that you know true friends, those who you want to wrap into your world blanket by the warm-fuzzies you get when you connect. As I know more about my type, and appreciate other types, the more I can make room for people who are warmth generators. Sometimes you just have to re-mix your letters to make sure the Judger doesn't take over the feeler.

April 16, 2010

Human Color

I just helped an older man on BART find his stop. We started chatting and he told me he was born in Africa. He told me my name, Amy, means "woman" and I said it means "love, like amore," to which he responded, "your parents knew what they were doing when they named you."

My new friend then said, "you are not white and I am not black. We are human color". I agreed and said "we're like a rainbow." He liked that idea.
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April 13, 2010

Fashion Forward

This quarter I am teaching Human Resource Management for Fashion Management majors at the Art Institute of California - San Francisco. We are using Zara stores as a case study and today my class, divided into three teems, created value, mission and vision statements for the company.

I've learned a few terms from them such as RTW which means Ready to Wear, fashion forward and runway inspired.

Now to work on my attire for the next 10 weeks of class. Good thing I shop at H+M as it certainly is RTW.
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April 12, 2010

Swinging at Scott's

My friend's Theron and Elizabeth are having a going-away party at Scott's Seafood in Oakland. Here's Elizabeth swinging up a storm, dancing with a friend.
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April 10, 2010


Last night I had the most wonderful dinner with my consulting partner David, his with Christine and their two small children. We sang shabbat songs and chatted for hours.

Tonight I'm with my cousins Michael, Carma, Julie and Ben as well as my Aunt Patty, Uncle Nolan and Harriet Zisman my adopted Step Aunt. We're singing and having a wonderful party.

I love being with these new and extended families.
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Julie Turns 40

My cousin Julie is turning 40 and we're celebrating with Cafe Americain at Michael and Carma's house. Phil Collins acoustic is beautiful.
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April 9, 2010

No Veg

Wow, no vegetables, not even a pickle or relish on this burger. I can only hope their is extra soy in the burger and cheese.
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Carl's Junior

Having my first ever Carl's Junior fast food experience and I am going whole hog with bacon cheeseburger and fries. What an unhealthy way to celebrate completion of teaching week one of Career Development and Human Resource Management.
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April 7, 2010

Zismans and Kweskins

Cafe Trieste with Cafe Americain.
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April 6, 2010

IPad Coolness

Andrew, a fellow Pro Arts Board member, is taking notes at our Board meeting with the iPad. I want one too.
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April 3, 2010

Soup Sensation

Diana displaying her empty pot of Matzoh Ball Soup.
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Rachel made a Pagan dessert called Pashka for the Sedar.
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Potato Mixup

Why in the world does Safeway have their organic potatoes individually wrapped in plastic?
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April 2, 2010

Traffic Memorial

This is another installation now on exhibit at Pro Arts Gallery as part of the 2x2 show. This work displays, in real time, all the traffic accidents in California, as they are reported to the California Highway Patrol. The water has five heights, based on the severity of the accident.

As I was talking to the artist, Luther Thie, the water hit its highest level and the lights turned blue. He said that this is the rare occurrence of witnessing the memorial of a fatality. It gave me chills.

This image I'd protected by creative commons.
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Foggy Art

This is an image of an art installation of photos projected on fog now on display at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland. The artist is Elisheva Biernoff and the Curator is Cicely Sweed. I am so proud to be Board President of this rocking organization.

This image is protected by creative commons.
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Parking for All on Behalf of Kaiser

I finally, after having Fiona for two months, have obtained my parking sticker. Now I can park my sweet car and not move her every two hours. Yes, that was the status quo for way too long because I couldn't find the two hours to get to Oakland City Hall to get the permit.

The best news is that the permit was free because Kaiser Hospital, my neighbor, pays for all our neighborhood permits. To think that all this time I had been denying them the opportunity to pay for my needs. Especially ironic now that I no longer use Kaiser as my health services provider.

But wait, it gets better. My neighbor Alina informed me that I can get visitor permits for one day blocks and two week periods. So now I have ample permits for friends and family.

Fiona now holds on to her gas, with the locking gas cap, and she gives away visitor parking permits. What a hostess.
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April 1, 2010

Oakland City Council Meeting

Excellent turnout to speak out against the proposed 50% cuts to arts funding.
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Topeka Google

How cool that Google changed its named to Topeka in honor of Topeka changing its name to Google.