January 27, 2012

The Best of Macworld?

Running into a former student who now works for a tech company. He is happy, relaxed and has found his niche. Success.

I lasted 29 minutes in this crazy place and now I'm heading back to Oakland.

The previous post image was of a skier doing a flip in the middle of the show. Between him and the nearly-naked promo girls, I get the picture that this is about catching men's eyes.

What Does This Have to do with Polk Audio?

Crazy Speakers

It seems contrary but my eyes are able to rest on bling at this information-overload show. These are speakers by Alljack.

Macworld Bling

I'm at Macworld takin in all the noise. Here's rev350's blingiest iPhone cases.

January 24, 2012

On My Own versus Alone

Today I had a personal messaging realization - that I live life on my own versus alone. It may seem like an issue of semantics but the meaning makes all the difference. Alone to me says lonely. On my own is about being individual, strong, independent, and making a choice.

January 23, 2012

Old Video

Check out this old video of me at the Americans for the Arts Conference at least two years ago. Wow, I look different now.
Messaging the Mission from Americans for the Arts on Vimeo.

January 21, 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I'm at the Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco and to kick off Burns Supper I made a full meal for my friends. We had fish pie, miner's stew, haggis, and sticky toffee pudding gluten-free no less. My Scottish friends would be proud of me.

What is the future of marriage?

The New York Times has created a forum for the debate on open marriage framed around

The Gingrich Question: Cheating vs. Open Marriage. This topic has had much discussion and exploration amongst my circles of friends. The following commentary by Professor Ralph Richard Banks best describes my point of view. 

Reprinted from the New York Times.

The Perils and Promise of Openness

Ralph Richard Banks
Ralph Richard Banks, the Jackson Eli Reynolds professor of law at Stanford Law School, is the author of "Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone."
JANUARY 20, 2012
Many couples do not always practice the sexual monogamy they promise. Sexual affairs and the accompanying deceit often lead to spousal discord and eventually divorce.
Yet, some people think that extramarital sex may bolster marriage. They believe that some couples, rather than chase an arguably unrealistic ideal, might fare better with an open marriage, an arrangement that supposedly would leave the couple both more sexually fulfilled and better able to maintain the trust that illicit affairs destroy. Could infidelity, often cast as the downfall of marriage, in fact be its savior?
Most single Americans want to marry their soul mate. But the surest road to discord, sexual and otherwise, is to expect your partner to complete you.
For most couples, in our society, no. The same expectations that leave people dissatisfied with their relationship also make it difficult for an open marriage to thrive.
Contemporary marriage revolves around the ideals of emotional intimacy and interdependence. More than simply an economic arrangement or a parenting partnership, marriage is also the relationship that people hope will satisfy their most intimate emotional and psychological needs. Most single Americans,according to survey data, want to marry their soul mate, that one individual who most complements, completes and fulfills them.
Sexual exclusivity is at the heart of marriage in part because sexual intercourse implicates the sort of emotional intimacy that animates marriage. Even those who claim to want an open marriage are often less than enthused about their spouse taking advantage of that sexual freedom.
The paradox of marital satisfaction is that people would almost certainly be happier if they expected less. The surest road to discord, sexual and otherwise, is to expect your partner to complete you, to make you whole.
If couples relaxed or relinquished some of their emotional expectations, marriages could better accommodate extramarital dalliances. But then, there would also be less need for them.

January 16, 2012

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

For the past few months my posts have been a bit skimpy. That's because I have a lot on my mind that has been quite private. Yes, there is a private side of Amy. I've been thinking a lot about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, something my students and I discussed at the end of last quarter in Executive Leadership. We had a good conversation about what exactly this means - I equated it with extroversion-extrinsic and introversion-intrinsic being personal touch points. The exploration encouraged me to again ground myself in the Year of Being Present.

What I am recognizing is that extrinsic motivation keeps me from being present. It is that desire for recognition which often leads to my fantasizing about past scenarios that did or did not "go my way". Of course this is primarily love, near-love, imagined-love, and lost-love. I noticed that I have a physical "tell" when I am in this lala love zone - my eyes tighten, my brow furrows, and if pursued long enough, I get a headache and heartache.

A new technique I am using to pull back to the present is to relax the inner corner of my eyes and my inner ears. Two yoga instructors inspired these exercises - Gay White and Vickie Russell Bell. I equate them with Neuro-Linguistic Programming - and they work instantly to pull me into the here-and-now.

Intrinsic motivation is highly abstract for me. What I've discovered is that focus on my breath keeps me in the present. Yes, fantasies sneak in and pull me outward but then I realize that my head and my heart are all wrapped up in an emotional soap opera far from the current reality. It is like searching for little points of pain that I can massage for meanings that were previously unclear. But wait, that's not living in the present. I release my eyes and ears, notice my breath and then I am back to the present moment.

Grounding in the present is new for me. I suppose that being a pisces somewhat explains my fluidity. Focusing on anchoring my breath in its full pathway, through the diaphragm, is helping me have internal touch points. Also, recognizing that this is a process of new-learning is helpful in giving myself permission to be present without judging. I am also taking the time to make deeper contact with people by really looking them in the eyes, listening with focused ears, pausing to give them space to talk and for me to listen, and feeling their touch.

On Saturday I had two interactions with Michaels who gave me opportunity for grounding. One is a Michael from yoga. He and I have been in yoga classes together for years. At our regular Saturday morning class we assisted each other in preparing for bridge pose. As he put his hands on my triceps and helped me stretch, and vice versa, I closed my eyes and noticed the touch instead of worrying about being touched. I felt the release of muscles, the fluttering of fingers and the intention of being supportive.

Later that evening I was at a play in San Francisco and ran into another Michael who has been part of my arts management life for years. We do not see each other very often and when we do I instantly feel his calm and warm presence. He is solid, grounded, joyful, smiling, and supportive - by being present and in-the-moment. In the few minutes that we talked he recalled exactly the last time we had seen each other six months earlier - me in a red convertible riding through the Mission yelling and waving "Michael!" He told me on Saturday, "I got the point". That made me laugh. What was the point?

January 10, 2012

Oakland: Top 5 Place in the World to Visit in 2012

According to the New York Times, Oakland ranks just after London and before Tokyo in the 45 Places to Go in 2012. The secret is out!

5. Oakland, Calif.
New restaurants and bars beckon amid the grit. 

Tensions have cooled since violence erupted at the recent Occupy Oakland protests, but the city’s revitalized night-life scene has continued to smolder.
The historic Fox Theater reopened in 2009 and quickly cemented its status as one of the Bay Area’s top music venues, drawing acts like Wilco and the Decemberists. Meanwhile, the city’s ever more sophisticated restaurants are now being joined by upscale cocktail bars, turning once-gritty Oakland into an increasingly appealing place to be after dark. James Syhabout, the chef who earned Oakland its first (and only) Michelin star two years ago at Commis, followed up in May with the instant-hit Hawker Fare, a casual spot serving Asian street food. Big-name San Francisco chefs are now joining him. Daniel Patterson (of two-Michelin-star Coi) opened the restaurant Plum in late 2010 and an adjacent cocktail bar later, and another restaurant, called Haven, in the recently renovated Jack London Square last month. INGRID K. WILLIAMS

January 5, 2012

Easing Back into Reality

After nearly three weeks of vacation, I am revving up to start my teaching quarter. Today was filled with syllabus development. I tend to get complicated with my assignments and rubrics so I keep reminding myself to keep it simple sister. All these great ideas turn into endless hours of grading.

This quarter I'm teaching In House Promotions, Principles of Marketing Research, Business Ownership, Public Relations and Promotions and my favorite, Executive Leadership. My intention is to run these classes like a business operation where I am the boss. This is going to be a stretch since I resist authority. So, both my students and I will be working hard this quarter.

January 4, 2012

Kayaking on the Oakland Estuary

New Kayaking Outfit

Here's my new wetsuit for kayaking. Very excited to be an all-weather gal. I like how this photo makes me look like I'm in my dresser.

January 3, 2012

Jury's Out

Thankfully I do not have to report for Jury Duty and have fulfilled my obligation for one year. Now I can settle in to my last week of vacation. Although, this week is actually filled with preparing syllabuses.

January 1, 2012

New Years with the Cousins

How lovely to start 2012 with my cool Zisman cousins. Good sign for things to come.