July 31, 2010

Temporary Print Shop

Levi's Workshop on 580 Valencia at 17th is open to the public every day but catch it before it leaves in a month as it is only temporary.

Sun Worship in Dolores Park

Re-Learning Yoga

Eight years into practicing yoga (a surprise to realize that I have been practicing for that long) and I am re-learning the poses. This has been prompted by a shoulder injury that is now going on two years.
Although I have been in physical therapy for the past three months, last weekend was the first time I started to understand the bones, muscles and ligaments of my shoulders. This was learned in a yoga workshop I took with a local practitioner, Ada.
Now I am fascinated with anatomy. Previously, I honestly had no idea that there was anything beneath my skin, I was that unaware. This week I ordered an Anatomy of Yoga book from Amazon and am eager to learn how each pose impacts my infrastructure. As I practice each familiar pose I now find myself moving slower, more deliberately and using new muscles. The result is that I am re-inspired in my practice.

July 30, 2010

Stand Tall

I surprised myself when I looked over at my "teacher tools" and noticed that I had lined them all up. What does this say about me?

July 29, 2010

Ode to Megan and Dallas

Thank you to my twin-sister Megan, who moved to Canada on Wednesday, for her and her husband Dallas' generosity in bequesting me this amazing wall unit. It took two neighbors to help me get it in and setup. I still have re-arranging to do but love how it is "real" adult furniture.

Note to other friends: I prefer if you do not move away as a way of expressing your generosity.

Great view of the fog up here!

Now I'm on the Building!

Men Watch Flying Women

Once again I am at a Flyaway Productions rehearsal at the Women's Building in the Mission. So interesting that there are eight people watching the rehearsal from the street and all of them are men? Is this performance considered strong, sexy and dangerous? I'm loving it!

San Francisco Fog

This time it is emerging from the bottom!

July 25, 2010

Hidden Selves

Last week I substituted for the Consumer Behavior class at AiC-SF and learned so much, even though I was teaching the class. My colleague is using Consumer Behavior for Dummies as one of her required readings and although this wouldn't seem like a good college text to adopt, it is a useful book.

We discussed the Hidden Selves that consumers tap into when considering their needs and how this influences their consuming behavior.

Real Self
Ideal Self
Public Self
Private Self

Our class inspired me to think all week about what is the Real Self vs our Ideal Self as we may believe we are projecting one but actually living the other. To whom do we reveal our Real Self? Sometimes not even to ourselves. Most often I find that my Real Self comes out when I'm having a deep conversation - one that goes beyond the surface. This can be with a dear friend or even a stranger. Although I always hope to be authentic, meaning true to myself, there are so many Hidden versions of who I am.

The Ideal Self and Public Self can be how we package ourselves - the clothes we purchase, the foods we eat, the books we read, the statements we make, and the actions we take. This is particularly the case in urban areas, I believe, where there are so many communities and cultures that people try on both in our actions and our beliefs.

Dare I say that this blog presents one version of my Real, Public and sometimes Private self. Of course I don't put everything here, but I am willing to "live out loud".

Last week I was particularly Private after teaching for so many hours. I was "on" for 16 hours in classes and to re-charge my batteries I needed intense Private time. As a new teacher the Public and Ideal Selves I am presenting are quite draining. As the quarter progresses I will find balance and the ability tap into the Public Amy that my students need as their Professor. At the same time I need to identify how to nurture the Private Amy.

July 23, 2010


Meeting up with my cousin Ben at Speak, this bar on Lakeshore that I've overlooked for years and now know is a fantastic scene. Bouncer is also 41 and we agree that this age is awesome!

July 22, 2010

Making Music at BART

This guy actually brought a piano to the MacArthur BART. He was grooving!

Define a Process and Teach it to a Friend

For tomorrow's Career Development class I just developed this assignment. Since the students are from all different arts majors (although at least a third of the class are Graphic Design majors this quarter) I am going ask them to pair up with someone from a different major to explain a process they use in the creative work.

First, we will discuss Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and share the results from the "test". This will help us understand out preferred communication styles and also help understand how the "opposite" types take in and process information. Then we will watch a short video of where George Lucas explains his process of previsualization (thank you Janice Levy for teaching this concept to me way back at Ithaca College). From here I will have the students identify and define a process they use in their creative work.

Now the fun begins as they follow theses steps:
1. Get process down to 3-4 steps.
2. Explain the process to your partner.
3. Provide an example so that the process is memorable.
4. Have your partner explain it back to you.
5.Your partner will then explain the process to the class.

This is great preparation for interviewing as well as management, team-building, instruction, and mentoring. We'll see how it goes.

July 21, 2010

Balancing My Introvert, Extrovert, Judger and Perceiver

This week I am teaching four classes at the Art Institute of California, three in San Francisco and one in Sunnyvale. The fourth class is just for a week, as I substituted for my colleague's Consumer Behavior course. Being "on" for each of these four, four-hour teaching blocks, takes great amounts of preparation, energy and focus. Students need precise information and very clear directives in every way that I communicate - by voice, with movement, in handouts and on their written assignments. Each class session takes hours of preparation.

Getting into the teaching "zone" and then re-charging my batteries in preparation for the next class is changing my weekly schedule. Previously, I had many meetings scheduled and countless mini-projects. Now, I have streamlined my calendar and even my social life. It is quite a change for me, the person who usually generates projects, leads community discussions and loves to meet.

In three of the four classes I am teaching this week we are discussing Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Each time I present the content I gain a clearer understanding of the personality types and reflect on my ENFJ. Slowly, but progressively, I am balancing out my first and last letters with their "opposites". My extrovert is allowing my introvert to emerge and similarly, my judger is giving way to my perceiver.

With all this change, I actually feel more inner peace, or perhaps it is better balance. Yes, I am always running the show in my Professor role, but I am also allowing room, space and acceptance for others to find their voices. Students need to step in and step up if I want to help them learn and grow. In that space emerges all their personality types and also their daily dramas. I am like the captain of a pirate ship who pulls and pushes forward towards our hidden treasure while the crew attempts mutinees. They need the captain's leadership but also battle it all the way.

After teaching each class I meander back to my house, feeling no need to rush. I feel relaxed, if tired, having taught another day and managing to keep the ship afloat, avoiding capsizing, and being challenged along the journey by my curious students.

I am at a new point in my career and the change is welcome. Perhaps I am fearless in my willingness to continuously evolve my path - no two days alike, except for as much of my class plans as I can overlap into Human Resources Management, Executive Leadership and Career Development. Also, my new growing ability to ride the wave and not battle it for control.

July 15, 2010

HeARTist Video

Searching for a video to show my Career Development students during tomorrow's first day of class I came across John Kraft Hearts in SF Project V artist's video.

So fantastic to see this project continues as an inspiration for artists, audiences and the SF General Hospital Foundation. 


Part of the mural on this amazing building.

Fearless Fliers!

Jo at Work

Here's the choreographer at work.

Flying Away!

Flyaway on the Women's Building

I'm working with Jo Kreiter on the public program events for Flyaway's aerial dance performance being staged on the side of the Women's Building at 18th and Lapidge in The Mission. Singing Praises Centennial Dances for the Women's Building takes place on Sept. 10-18 and you can meet the dancers at Open Rehearsals on Aug. 12, 19 and 26 from 5:30-6:30pm. All is free. Check it out at www.flyawayproductions.com. Never a dull moment in San Francisco.

July 14, 2010

First Day of School

Just arrived to tour the Art Institute of CA - Sunnyvale and prep to teach my Human Resource Management class at 1pm. How cool that this is what you see when you enter the lobby. Also found out that the Culinary School runs an organic, green restaurant. I'll certainly be dining there.

July 12, 2010

New Legs

Fionna, my lovely car which is getting so abused by Oakland, is getting new tires today. Re-joined Costco just to save some bucks and as a bonus was able to use a fantastic coupon.

July 11, 2010

Honey Bear

Marshall's Farm honey at my favorite farmers' Market in San Rafael. This photo is in honor of my little cousins Darina and Bear with whom I shared a honey-filled breakfast this morning.

Tell Me About Your Dream Cafe

What would be your dream cafe? Tell me about the setting, food and people. Share your vision here or at Amy's Dream Cafe.

July 9, 2010

Grease Sing Along

Now at a theatre near you. I'm seeing it with cousin Diana and friends.

July 8, 2010

Louie C.K.

I heard Louie C.K. being interviewed about his new comedy show called, Louie, on Fresh Air yesterday. Yet another 41-year-old addressing change. This guy is hysterical. Divorced, father of two girls, trying to date. You just know he's the kind of guy you'll meet online. When he does his standup routine he's so appealing but then when the real life scenes are inserted you appreciate that he is doing his best to make his confusing life work - and living out loud in the most outrageous sense. Worth watching.

Ike is Back

Ike the Bike is back and he's beautiful.

Teaching at Another Art Institute!

Fantastic news! I've just been hired to teach Human Resource Management for the Art Institute CA - Sunnyvale in their Fashion Management Department. Yippee! Class starts Wednesday. I'm now up to three courses this quarter. The two AICASF ones are Career Development and Executive Leadership.

New Altoids Flavor

New Honey and I have a New Addiction.

July 7, 2010

Dream House

I was walking past this house thinking, that's my dream house and it turns out it is for sale! Anyone have $599,000 they want to invest?

Self Portrait Day

Me in Rockridge digging my new hipster jacket that I bought in Maryland with Rachel.

Summer Too

Summer Outfit

Very summery!

July 6, 2010

New Bed Buddy

Eduardo, my traveling companion, aka my new laptop, is now spending his first night in bed with me. The blackberry use to be the last electronic I checked before bed and when I first opened my eyes in the morning. Now it is Eduardo. This habit started over the past week in DC and each morning I easily tootled away three hours typing, searching, thinking. That's how Amy's Dream Cafe was born!

Seeing Home Through Different Eyes

I arrived home to Oakland just now from DC/CT and my apartment feels...organized, small, clean, well-designed, my personal love nest of all-things-Amy.

Fionna had a bit of a dent accident while I was gone. I can't tell if someone tried to break into her or if they smashed the car door with their car door. Poor girl. She's just so bootiliscious.

Happy Birthday Frida!

Thank you Google!

Kitty Love

My brother's cat, Kitty, is saying goodbye to me as I leave DC and head back to Oakland.

July 5, 2010

Curly Hair Amy

Going natural in the DC heat.

Scott Belsky Inspires Me to Capture Evernote

I'm reading Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky and every page has fantastic ideas and resources for being creative and productive. Belsky has recommended Evernote which is a cool application that allows you to capture images and text that are your inspirations.

Thank you Nancy Hytone Leb for recommending this book! Nancy is the catalyst for many of my ideas and dreams becoming reality.

July 4, 2010

Fourth of July in our Nation's Capital

Matt, Rachel and I are watching the DC fireworks on TV, even though we are only 4 miles from the National Mall. The finale is blasting and we can hear it from their house. I've never before watched July 4th fireworks on TV. Matthew calls it Fireworks Porn.

July 3, 2010

Amy's Dream Cafe

My brother Matt inspired me to follow my dream of starting a cafe. So far Amy's Dream Cafe is virtual but some day it will become reality. Visit the cafe!

July 2, 2010

Obama Serves Up Ice Cream

How may he meet your ice cream needs?

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Ice Cream with Obama

My sibs and I are out at Island Style organic ice cream in Mount Rainier, MD and look who showed up...Obama!

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Who Wants Prosciutto Ice Cream

Another New York Times article about an inspirational artist following his dreams at the age of 41. This time it is ice cream where this hipster entrepreneur derives his inspiration. I'm sensing a theme in these posts which are stirring up the permission to release, or perhaps ignite, my inner creative.

Link to article.

July 1, 2010

Creative Capacity Fund Featured Article

I now officially have my 15 minutes of internet fame http://www.cciarts.org/ccf/.

Surer, Stronger and Safer

Ever have a life-changing moment that has made you more certain about your heart? That's occurred with me in the past 48 hours and it has altered my reality - for the better. Makes you recognize what and who is important in your life. In fact, I would say it has helped me define my personal vision and mission. Powerful.

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Stamford Shoreline

Mom and I went out for crab cakes at the Crab Shack overlooking the Stamford cove. We are living the good life.

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Designers as Constant Arrangers and Vignette-Builders

Today's New York Times' Home section has an article about Best Made Company's Peter Buchanan-Smith and his change of career from graphic designer to ax designer. I found this piece hugely inspiring as it is about living your dreams - taking all of the seemingly-random experience in your life (at least that's how my life feels) and building up to something so simple and satisfying as designing a useful tool.

I especially like one of the article's photo captions which states, "Designers like Mr. Buchanan-Smith don't just have 'stuff'. They are constant arrangers and vignette-builders. One a window sill: a plumb bob, a bottle of cogne, a moth." Sounds a lot like my design aesthetic.

Buchanan-Smith is also brave to publicly share his many life-changes including divorces from his wife and also his business partner. Out with the old and in with the new.