mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Thursday, 11 September 2003
Tonight I went through three shoebox-sized boxes of “miscellaneous important stuff” that followed me here to the new digs. These seem to be functioning as a time capsule of sorts. Among the items I have stashed away in these boxes over the years:
  1. The San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, May 30, 1996, the front page of which uncharacteristically sported Herb Caen’s column. This was the day Caen told his readers he was dying.
  2. A printout of a job posting on, dated 11/10/98, for “Associate Editor, Here’s How Online / PC World, Online Services Group.” In pencil is my shit-I’m-excited scrawl reading 11:00 A.M. FRIDAY. That must’ve been the interview.
  3. A $98 credit at Fry’s Electronics, dated June 11, 2001. I was issued this as a result of the Fry’s Low Price Guarantee, but after receiving it, I went through a long period of buying no goodies at Fry’s, and I forgot I had it. Then I remembered I had it, but by then, I didn’t know where it was anymore. Now here it is. It has no expiration date on it. They should accept it, right?
  4. The New Yorker, September 24, 2001 issue. Front cover: Black towers on a black background. Two years ago now. Heavens. There is a mailing label on the cover. It lists a place where I no longer reside.
posted to /life at 12:11am :: 2 responses
Monday, 08 September 2003
I have never had to wash my dishes by hand. Every non-dorm place I have ever lived in has had a dishwasher, until now. This makes for an interesting adjustment.

Luckily, I have a sink that is very conducive to quick and efficient washing, if you feel like being serious about things. It’s a small double sink, so you can very quickly flood one of ‘em with soapy water, dump the dishes in, go at it all with a brush or whatever your own favorite implement of destruction is, then rinse in the other sink, and then dump everything into the drying tray on the counter next to the sink.

I did some semi-serious cooking this evening, so it called for some semi-serious dishwashing. I was in the middle of the aforementioned procedure when I flashed back to when I was sixteen. I used to work eight hour dishwashing shifts at San Diego’s Sea World. In the summertime, during tourist season. Back then, I had three very large sinks in my arsenal, along with a dedicated garbage disposal that had its own mini-sink. Plus industrial soap, and bleach that I could use for sanitizing things in the third sink, if protocol required it and I felt relatively un-mistreated by my employer that day.

So tonight I was scrubbing a small sauté pan when some long-forgotten muscle memory kicked in, and my hands awakened and reminded me that years ago, I would scrub ten-gallon copper caramel pots and such for days and days. I tripped on that for a bit, standing there in my tiny kitchen here at the new digs, washing dishes by hand for the first time in a dozen years.
posted to /life at 11:08pm :: 2 responses
Thursday, 04 September 2003
So one dear friend gives me a copy of the movie poster for Gigantic (a documentary about They Might Be Giants, New York band extraordinaire) as a housewarming gift. And I realize that it needs to go on the side of the fridge, a very visible spot in my new digs. Now, how to affix it there? Oh, how ‘bout with the handcrafted New York subway magnets that another dear friend gave me for Christmas last year? Perfect!

It’s interesting how various possessions are playing entirely new roles here at the new digs. Magnets that never before had an important function now have one; a bedroom bookshelf moves out of the bedroom; a phone that has not been used for years suddenly comes in handy because it fits where others will not, and I realize for the first time how pleasing its real-bell ring is compared to modern electronic chirps. Anything is possible when even an object as mundane as a lamp suddenly takes on a whole new and exciting and fantastic function.

There is rebirth all around me, everywhere I look. I am living in easterland, and I feel it warming me from within.
posted to /life at 11:04pm :: 1 response
Wednesday, 03 September 2003
You cook dinner and melted cheese drips onto the oven floor for the first time. You put a scratch in the wood floor. You replace a lightbulb with another of lower intensity. You learn where the floor squeaks, and how the breeze comes in most strongly through a particular window. You cart people over and ask them what they would do with a problemmatic room. You make your house a home.
posted to /life at 12:03am :: 2 responses
Saturday, 30 August 2003
Today is the first Cal football home game of the season. GO BEARS! Tomorrow, I move for the first time in six years. GO ME! Updates may cease for a bit if there are connectivity issues at the new digs. Happy long weekend to everybody.
posted to /life at 10:30am :: 0 responses
Friday, 22 August 2003
Someone keyed my car last night. Not horribly — I think it will mostly come out with a good strong buffing — but still, this just stinks. I didn’t do nothing to nobody: didn’t steal no one’s parking space, didn’t mouth off to nobody, nothing. Nothing, I tell you. But out of the blue, this. Some people just suck beyond belief.

And yet, this cannot ruin my Friday. I move in just a week and a coupla days. Last night I bought rugs for the new digs. Tomorrow there is some serious freaking A/V shopping on tap. Life is wonderful, and nothing’s going to convince me otherwise today.
posted to /life at 10:22am :: 1 response
Wednesday, 20 August 2003
1) So I’m watching Letterman tonight, and suddenly the video is replaced by a screen of text, white on a red background, looking like something produced by an oldschool TV-studio character generator, the sort of crap they had for the video productions class at my high school, and it says:
Emergency Alert System
Tune to Channel 20 for Emergency Instructions
Child Abduction Emergency
posted to /life at 12:20am :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Tonight I saw Gigantic, a well-crafted documentary about one of my favorite bands, They Might Be Giants. The film kicked much ass and had some great footage of TMBG’s John and John and the Band of Dans, but I think my favorite shot was a brief glimpse of the New York subway. The screen was suddenly filled with the unmistakable tile, a station sign in the unmistakable font, and then, the unmistakable shining silver behemoth, barreling into the station like something terribly out of control.

I arrived home to find that Gothamist (one helluva four-star blog that you must start reading if you love New York) had a posting about the subway, and a nice little picture. Sigh! Perhaps the universe is telling me I need to visit New York. After all, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve been down below with my beloved silver trains. Or had decent deli. Who wants to go to New York with me?

(Alternatively, perhaps the universe is telling me it is time to return to and finally finish Major Art Project #2, which is intensely subway-related and has been on the back burner for so long that Major Art Project #3 has since been conceived and completed.)
posted to /life at 12:13am :: 1 response
Tuesday, 12 August 2003
Sometimes life gets busy, and in a good way. Something clicks in your brain. Things seem different. More possible. Inertia decreases. Momentum increases. Fog: Now gone. And if you’re me, you suddenly find that you’ve found yourself a new place to live. My days in this place where I’ve lived for six years — six years! — are now finally, officially, numbered.

[Thanks to the_lucky_duck for this entry’s title.]
posted to /life at 1:12pm :: 5 responses

posted to /life at 1:12am :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 05 August 2003
You see the damnedest things on the streets of San Francisco.
posted to /life/bayarea at 11:05pm :: 31 responses
Sunday, 03 August 2003
I’ve had a two-concert weekend, and lord, how it has soothed my soul. Friday night I saw blues legend B.B. King play out at Chronicle Pavillion. What a fantastic treat. I was never much into the blues until this past year, and now I just can’t get enough. I’ve discovered there’s nothing better to listen to when you’re down: The blues doesn’t hold you down in your depths; they make you realize that we all hit rough spots, that overall things aren’t so bad, and that even in the midst of adversity, you can still let your light shine, and you can still create something breathtakingly beautiful. I feel blessed to have seen B.B. play. He’s getting on up there in years, and we may not have him around for too much longer, although he looked and sounded awfully good to me. I’d bet my last dollar he keeps performing till the day he leaves us. more...
posted to /life at 4:03pm :: 2 responses
Thursday, 24 July 2003
One of the highlights of my recent week away was getting to make friends with a dog named Dutch. He is a golden retriever / german shepherd mix. Last night I hung out with a friend and Cinnamon, her energetic mutt. And for the next couple of days, I am caring for Henry, a camera-shy feline who very nearly got me thinking I need a cat. (I don’t. Do I?) What I really need is a dog, but that’s not going to happen until I have a house and a yard someday. Dogs need yards.
posted to /life at 11:24pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 16 July 2003
One rule of vacations is that sometimes the weather does not cooperate. But, even with the clouds, does this look so bad?

(Besides, the Bay Area has gotten me used to skies like these.)
posted to /life at 11:16pm :: 4 responses
Monday, 07 July 2003
The Web can teach you wonderful things. Like how to take good pictures of fireworks. I really wish I’d read that last week. more...
posted to /life at 7:07pm :: 0 responses
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