# 01 Feb 2005, 10:35AM: Robot Dreams:
Last night I dreamt that I met Daniel Asimov, a son of Isaac Asimov who looked exactly like his father. Daniel's brother Eric writes about cheap eats for The New York Times. How much of this is true or plausible? I have no idea.
Update of March-May 2005: I got an email telling me that Daniel Asimov does exist and is Isaac Asimov's nephew, as is Eric Asimov. Also, "Eric *formerly* wrote about cheap eats for the NY Times. Since about one year ago, however, his column in the Times is not about eats but instead about wine."
# 01 Feb 2005, 10:57AM: Salon Shirts:
If anyone wants a large white shirt with a Salon logo, let me know and I can grab you one. Pocahontas, I'm already saving one for you.
# 01 Feb 2005, 10:59AM: "Cooking, Juggling, and Getting Hurt":
Recently I met Eric Fischer, who probably knows at least one of my readers through the geek network. In fact, I know he knows Mike Popovic. Hi, Mike!
I met Eric through Valencia Street Books, one of those funky San Francisco bookstores that has a store cat. I bought a gangsta rapper coloring book for Steve there. Eric alerted me that there is now Zachary's-level deep-dish pizza in the city of San Francisco and we visited Little Star Pizza, which doesn't deliver, just like Zachary's! And indeed the pizza is great.
Also, I got to evangelize Eric, as well as former flatmate Michael Constant, into seeing Scott Nery's Crash Course, a cooking/juggling/standup show that makes me laugh very hard. I highly recommend it, and would probably go to future Crash Course shows (they change every week) in case you'd like a companion.
# 01 Feb 2005, 05:16PM: Recommended Artist:
Musician Jonathan Richman plays the Rickshaw Stop on Fell Street in San Francisco in a few weeks. I am probably going on the 14th.
# 01 Feb 2005, 06:40PM: Ace of Base, Eat Your Heart Out:
As a sucker for Beatles and Beatles-esque music, I have now listened agape to a mash-up of several Beatles songs and this video for a "Paperback Writer"/"I'm a Believer" mix.
By the way, the only hip-hop I can stand is the nerdcore of MC Frontalot.
# 02 Feb 2005, 01:02PM: Phew And Yay:
Thank God (and the Iraqis) that the Iraqi elections seem to have gone okay. I tear up when I see people voting or when I think about voting. I hope this takes some steam out of the anti-American violence there.
# 04 Feb 2005, 08:43AM: Conversation:
"I was just pointing out another reason that I'm right, and I think you should take that in the spirit in which it was intended."
"I think I did!"
# 06 Feb 2005, 09:06PM: Cleaning Service RFC:
Request For Comment. I'm considering hiring a cleaning service to thoroughly clean a one-bedroom apartment - a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, a small bathroom and a tiny foyer. If you have any experience with San Francisco-area cleaning services, then please email me recommendations and tell me the reasonable price range. I could imagine reasonable vendors charging anywhere from $30 to $100 and could stand some guidance.
# 06 Feb 2005, 09:48PM: The Flesh Is Weak:
I neither wanted nor needed to keep the mannequin limbs, so I gave them to a friend of a friend and they will probably end up decorating a nightclub.
I kept the legs covered with my spare clothing until I put them into the car. I enjoy seeing the human form celebrated in art, but I don't feel comfortable carrying nude fake body parts on the street, be the medium plastic or marble.
Yesterday evening, while reconnecting with old acquaintances, I watched a belly dancer and joked that an authentic Middle Eastern belly dancer would wear a burqa. Hours later, I saw several women wearing very low-cut shirts. I actually warned one of them that her right breast was threatening to escape its minimum-security prison. She thanked me and adjusted her display levels. In my memory the red of her tank top arrests my vision. It seems bad user-interface design to make a tank top that can't hold in a woman's chest, but the tank top does implement good UI for the rest of us; we understand and quickly process the wearer's self-labeling as sexually available.
When I read What They Did to Princess Paragon, before anyone had ever told me I was gorgeous, I agreed with one character's argument that Amazonian superheroines would either go nude for comfort or dress warmly. As a binary-minded pragmatist, I welcome the victory of form over function in women's clothing. But now I also want to attract glances, once in a while, and can clumsily calculate the signals I send in draping different cuts of fabric over my flesh. I know that eros comes from stimulus and mystery, that desire can be like a spark that only catches fire if I act the miser with its kindling.
# 07 Feb 2005, 09:57AM: Tons Of Cocaine:
Today I decided that I should start every workday with the Evolution Control Committee.
# 07 Feb 2005, 02:13PM: Don't Wish For A World Without Zinc:
Life Lessons in Literature by Margaret Berry makes me happy.
I feel mildly ill so I went to Whole Foods and got a pharmacy's worth of placebos and symptom reducers. I got slippery elm lozenges, echinacea-zinc lozenges, Emer'gen-C, and Vitamin C-licorice root herbal tea. Surprisingly, only the tea carries the "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration" disclaimer.
Whole Foods doesn't carry Airborne, Sarah's panacea. I suspect snobbery or a vendetta.
# 07 Feb 2005, 03:12PM: So What If It's In Kenya:
I see from the Apple.com trailers site that I can expect Duma to come out soon. It should be about the Russian parliament, but it is not!
# 08 Feb 2005, 12:32PM: Science!:
Consumer Reports has put out a compare-and-contrast report on the various types of contraceptives on the market today. If you are in a committed, monogamous relationship and you want to prevent pregnancy but don't have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases, you have a plethora of options!
It is kind of weird that we still don't know why the copper IUD works.
# 09 Feb 2005, 02:55PM: My Folksonomic Tag For 43 Things: Deceivers:
My colleague Katharine Mieszkowski wrote about folksonomies a few days ago. She mentioned the group goal-setting site 43 Things. A reader told her to look into the relationship between 43 Things and Amazon.com, a huge company with a big interest in collecting personal data. She wrote up her findings: the 43 Things site did not mention anywhere the fact that Amazon is the only investor in "The Robot Co-op", which produces 43 Things. Pretty misleading.
Business Transfers: As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy additional services or business units. In such transactions, user information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Notice (unless, of course, the user consents otherwise). Also, in the unlikely event that 43things.com or The Robot Co-op, Inc., or substantially all of its assets are acquired, user information will of course be one of the transferred assets.
"Unlikely"? Again, misleading.
Anyway, today I see the Robot Co-op has blogged about their relationship with Amazon and has called the Salon article a distortion. How in the world is the article a distortion? First they start making a deal with Amazon. Then they launch their site that doesn't mention Amazon at all. Then they blame Salon for the article that they won't even link to (maybe because it has an embarrassing quote from a Robot Co-op officer: "Nobody's supposed to know that"), and say the Salon article distorts the story. Who's doing the deceiving and distorting here?
# 14 Feb 2005, 11:15AM: Salad Days:
Tonight I am going to a Jonathan Richman concert with a male friend while Leonard works on an Ultra Secret Project. This is in keeping with the "February 14th is just another day" philosophy I have held o these many years.
Leonard gave me a beet, arugula, and chevre salad to eat today. One of the pieces of beet is carved into a heart. This makes me gibber and moon. February 14th is indeed just another day; he does things as sweet as that ALL THE TIME! Leonard, thank you.
A fun Valentine's Day musing from Ze Frank.
# 15 Feb 2005, 07:53AM: Recommendation:
Last night Eric and I saw Jonathan Richman and Dengue Fever at the Rickshaw Stop. Jonathan Richman was vulnerable and wacky and touching as always, and made an endearing joke about stars. He played songs from his new album, I think, and each song lasted perhaps ten minutes. Lots of riffing and grabbing of percussion instruments. He loves the jingle bells.
Dengue Fever and the Rickshaw Stop are more awesome than an opening act and a venue have any right to be. Dengue Fever showcases a Cambodian woman singing in her native tongue to highly rockin' rock/pop. There's a sax! And an organ! And sometimes a flute! And the Rickshaw Stop is only a short walk from Van Ness Muni station, and features a friendly staff, three floors of comfy chairs and couches, and actual food! Like soba noodles!
Dengue Fever and Jonathan Richman play the Rickshaw Stop tonight and tomorrow (the 16th) and I urge you to go.
# 16 Feb 2005, 01:04PM: The World Renowned New York City Public Library:
"The public library? Are you insane?"
Nandini: what did you think of the advice he gave?
Sumana: I thought it inspiring, witty, and incisive
Sumana: unless you did not
Sumana: in which case it was wildly off-base and likely to send the advice-requester into spirals of turmoil
# 20 Feb 2005, 04:44PM: You Can't Fire Me, I'm Water:
Via Leonard, a bunch of jokes. Speaking of jokes, I'm seeing Will Franken on Wednesday at 8 at the Marsh on Valencia here in San Francisco. I urge you to come for his new one-man show.
Tonight some friends and I will possibly go to The Make-Out Room, also in the Mission, to watch other people dressed up as Presidents, First Ladies, and assassins for a Little Fuzzy concert there. Evidently Little Fuzzy is like an early They Might Be Giants but less lyrically gimmicky? I don't know. If we end up there it will be after a dinner and a show at the Hotel Rex -- the show being, of course, "I Look Like an Egg, But I Identify As A Cookie," which Heather has just extended through March.
# 25 Feb 2005, 12:03PM: I Relish The Experience:
Salon's office has moved to Rincon Center near the Embarcadero, nearer the northeastern tip of San Francisco. My commute has therefore lengthened slightly, but I get an obscure pleasure out of maximizing my usage of the BART/Muni FastPass. [The FastPass covers all transit between Balboa Park and Embarcadero stations (the southernmost and northernmost BART stations within the city of SF).]
One Rincon Center hosts about twenty restaurants in its food court, and the Mexican and Thai places are surprisingly good. There's also a hot dog place downstairs, which surprised me by offering a vegetarian dog. I've now eaten there three times in the past week, including for breakfast today. There's nowhere else in the Center to get vegetarian protein (eggs or something) at ten in the morning. Also, I can pretend I am at a baseball game.
# 25 Feb 2005, 04:12PM: CJ Cregg Is Nicer:
Jokes from the press gaggle. The White House reporter pool and White House press secretary possibly like each other but also feel very bitter about their relationship.
# 28 Feb 2005, 12:47PM: Call Me Frederick W. Taylor:
I use an RSS aggregator to keep track of the weblogs I read. The aggregator updates once per day and I read stuff it's cached throughout the day when taking breaks from work. Somehow this makes me feel as though I don't need to "catch up" on the blogs because something else is doing it for me.
I use headphones to listen to radio streamed over the Internet. My favorite stations: KXPR, KSCU, KZSU, KEXP, and TurnUpTheSka.com. The music distracts the part of my brain that hates repetitive labor.
I rigged a SQL query to find out how many help requests I've answered that day. The more I've answered, the more proud I feel!
My e-mail client checks for mail only once an hour. That way spam doesn't constantly interrupt my work but I receive important messages within a reasonable period.
Rincon Center makes it easy for me to make up little tasks to perform as breaks from my normal work. I can go downstairs to buy special stamps from the philately room of the post office, or to buy the BART/Muni FastPass from the giftshop.
Cogito, Ergo Sumana by Sumana Harihareswara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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