Sunday, October 28, 2001

Oh so that's who this is (thanks Justin).
I woke early today and spent the last two hours participating in's Coloring Contest. I'll never in my wildest fantasies have my picture submitted by the November 1 deadline but I don't care. I'm using this as an opportunity to learn Photoshop, a skill I should probably have in my quiver by now.

So I getting smarter, one pixel at a time.

Friday, October 26, 2001

I went to the monthly dinner of ex-employees of the Film Yard Video store, my first job in San Francisco and heard perhaps the greatest movie question ever: What movie did you see, know was a great film, but hated because of your own issues? My answer: Diner.

What's yours?

I wrote about Oprah v. Franzen in my column this week, digging a bit deeper into their childish behavior and why his getting yanked from the show was probably inevitable.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Jonathan Franzen, whose novel The Corrections is Oprah's Pick this month has been uninvited from the show, after making some nasty remarks about O and her brethren. I think they're both acting like children.
I really need to learn learning how this Dreamweaver thing works. It's depressing to read so many well designed blogs each day and think of how similar mine looks to so many others. I know it's supposed to be about the content. I'm just having envy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Now that I'm, like, a member of the media and all that, I suppose I'm entitled to attend events thrown by Media Bisto, which I did this evening. Ran into one of my officemates from the Grotto (Connie, thanks for being you) and saw the back of Alan Deutchman's head. Even though I could say truthfully that, yes, I write book reviews for the Chronicle and yes, I publish a content-heavy Web site that's still alive, a little lesion on my confidence makes me wait for some goateed fellow named Kirk who started writing for Vanity Fair at 13, to say "Hey, kid, go home. This is for real writers."

Insecurity, what would I be without you?

Monday, October 22, 2001

I need to take more road trips. There's too much cool stuff out there.

Sunday, October 21, 2001

It's been six years since I've bought a mattress and the sack of newspaper I'm sleeping on now has had its day. If I drift too close to the center, it buckles and I end up like the filling in a taco shell. "When you sleep like guacamole," my friend Laura said this morning, "it's no good."

So off I went to European Sleep Works in Berkeley yesterday. The store underwrites several programs on KQED and in their spots, recite a bunch of scientific who-ha about "coil depth" and "independencing sides." I planned to gather some expert opinions and then shop around. I left with a rediculously expensive mattress and an elaborate justification: I'm investing in good sleep over the next 15-20 years and avoiding taco rest around 2007. If it means raman noodles for the next 8 months then, eh, it means raman noodles. With pepper if I can afford it.

They're very good salespeople.

Friday, October 19, 2001

Last month marked the the 30th anniversary of the Attica Prison Rebellion. In September 1971, the inmates of Attica prison near Buffalo, New York seized the facility with demands for better living conditions and vocational training. After a four day standoff, Governor Nelson Rockafeller refused negotiation and sent a strike force of 1,500 state police and national guardsman to the prison yard, who mudered the mostly-unarmed inmates in the name of maintaining law and order. 42 people were killed including 10 correctional officers and nearly 1,200 inmates were beaten, tortured and starved by employees of the State of New York end the government of the United States of America. In the years that followed, the State of New York would send bulldozers into the prison yard to wipe out any evidence of wrongdoing. It was one of the most shameful events in the history of American law enforcement.

I think of this now, in this very scray time, in this country I love. I see us giving virtually unchecked powers to law enforcement officials to question, arrest and detain those "suspected" of illegal activity. I see us willing to look at whole swaths of Americans as potential criminals and I'm reminded of Dostoyevsky, a prisoner himself, who said that "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering the prisons."

I look at how we treat those we suspect of wrongdoing in America, the power we give to those appointed to protect us. And it scares the hell out of me.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Column done. Thank God.

I'm thinking this little site might be outgrowing its Blogspot roots. I've got bigger plans and, of course, little ability to do anything about them. But I would at least like to link to another page and give myself room to write longer essay pieces. For example, I just read an essay by Derek Powazek (whose work I respect a lot) who mentioned what he desired of weblogs, "I always wanted to see people make things. Big, beautiful, daring things. Not yet another pointer to yet another Salon article."

I wondered if I was doing that, merely giving a shallow tour of my existence and where I surf on the web. Maybe because I came to blogging through the paralell yet segregate world of online journaling, I always envisioned a blog of as a challange to myself to live a dynamic life, not a list of cool stuff I've dug up on the web. There are other blogs out there that do that better than I ever could. And the truth is, I don't live online and don't want to. I communicate here, exchange ideas, create a little, even make friends. But my life happens in the real world. The record of it happens here.

I guess I'm ok with that now. I'm just thinking about it a lot today.

I don't want to write my column today.
Finally found "This Year" by Chantal whatever-her-name-is on WinMX. Sarah Hatter was kind enough to email me with advice on how to find it. Thanks Sarah!

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Robert Scobble of Userland put together the first Bay Area Webloggers meeting this evening and blogged the whole thing. It may look like a dry gathering from here but that was about the size of it, really. Everyone was very well intentioned but really wanted to be there to meet and socialize and futz about protocol later. When that got started, so did the fun.

Matt Haughey (who generously gave me a ride home) pointed out that there needs to be strong leaders for any collaborative project to actually, uh, work. Agreed but I'm not volunteering myself (Matt wasn't asking me to. I'm just sayin'). I'm too new to the world of personal publishing to have anything to add. I'm here to learn.

My friend Kristin did an excellent job of organizing us all for dinner. I had a great train ride down from SF with Evan Williams, Sondra Nelson from C|Net and two very smart fellows down named Jeff and Anthony. At the event, I reconnected with Kevin Fox whom I hadn't seen in many a moon and met several bloggers I had read but not really met. Since I had few expectations, none were let down. A blast.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Brill's Content and are finished. You know you're getting older when you can see a magazine born and then die in your lifetime (via Fud).

Monday, October 15, 2001

One lesson away from finishing Web Traffic School thank God allmighty. I bailed on a movie with my friend Laura for this stupid thing.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

My friend Jo is moving back to New York next month. Very sad. We're going to put together a Geocache with all her favorite San Francisco stuff and hide it at one of her favorite spots in the city. I found my first cache with her about a month ago so the "Farewell Jo Cache" is a fitting tribute.
Oy God. A flame war has errupted on the Bay Area Webloggers Bay Area Bloggers newsletter. It only took 24 hours. I hope we can quell this one fast and realize that this is supposed to be about community, collaboration and an exchange of ideas, not a bigger-dick match over who knows more about the software industry.
I've just signed up for the Bay Area Webloggers newsletter and receive several postings a day about content syndication, self-hosting, and whether is a crock. It's thrilling to feel part of a community, even with the little ghetto-ass blog I got going here. But I'll be the first to admit I don't understand much of the conversation at all. That's why I'm hoping to get a lot of questions answered this Tuesday down in Mountain View where the group is meeting for coffee and klatch. I've spoken to Evan Williams, the man behind Blogger about a convoy of us from San Francisco meeting at the train station and heading down en masse. He liked the idea.

Saturday, October 13, 2001

I've been trying for the last week to download "This Year", a song by Chantal Kreviazuk from the Serendipity soundtrack. It's got those burnished chords and harmonies that leave me breathless.

WinMX lists hundreds of songs by this artist but no sign of "This Year." I know it's a new soundtrack but back in the days of Napster, my fellow music thieves would have mp3's ready for download the minute an album hit the shelves. C'mon people, it's the digital age! You don't expect me to actually wait for something...

Do you?

Just got home from my friend Rick's stag party. He has a group of male friends who've gotten together once a week for about nine years now. He told me as I was walking out how special they all were to him. After tonight, I can see why.

I'm kinda interested in the way men spend time together as adults, apart from beer, sports, and golfing widout the womn' folk. However, if a few google searches are any indicator, it seems pretty uncharted territory at this point. But I did find out a bit about the first stag parties.

No wonder I felt all ancient Spartan today.

Friday, October 12, 2001

It's Friday. This of something beautiful that happened this week....

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

On my way home from work today, I started saying "Hoi Polloi" over and over again. What a fun couple of words. I think I learned about it reading the posts about Fray Day 5, which I attended this year, but I'm not sure.

So that's the word of the day. Hoi Polloi

In book news, Jenny Egan's new novel Look at Me was nominated for a National Book Award this morning. Her first novel, The Invisible Circus, was a favorite of mine. She's also a very nice person. Congratulations Jenny!

Oh, and V.S Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I called him a jerk in my last column. Now I guess he's a Nobel jerk.

Jeez I'm sweaty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

I'm trying to be cool about this but the other day, I saved Blogger. Well not really but it sounds neat, doesn't it? My favorite pleasures are small.

Story goes like this: My friends Kristin and Dinah invited me to dinner with several of their friends, many of whom were webloggers I knew pretty well, some not as well, some I hadn't seen in ages, and a few I really wanted to meet. We hooked up at the Sticking Rose in my hood in North Beach where hilarious conversation spiced up the pathetically flat food. I sat next to Evan Williams who invented this whole thing called Blogger. Few minutes into dinner, he got a page indicating something was awry with the Blogger servers. I had already mentioned that I lived up the street when he said he had gotten a similar warning earlier in the evening. I let him use my laptop and perched on a stool while things got fixed. He worked fast.

So I'm saying I saved Blogger because it sounds cool, even thought I just let Evan do his thing. But he laughed when I started bragging indescriminately and it's his program anyway so I'm sticking with it.

Interviewing interns for Central Booking today. God I suck at this.
New template. An overkill solution to a minor problem.

Sunday, October 07, 2001

I miss my Uncle Barry today.

Friday, October 05, 2001

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Suzan and I went to see a movie at The Castro Theatre, breathtakingly beautiful like an old sultan's castle. It made me homesick for the old Michigan Theatre, right down to the organist that warmed up the crowd before the show.

The historic theatre is such a rare treat. I'm reminded of how special they are everytime I step inside.

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Happy Birthday to Mohandas Ghandi. We need you more than ever now.
Let's just admit we judge a book by its cover.

Monday, October 01, 2001

My wrists are killing me. This can't be good.

Consulted the master of my online universe, Metagrrrl, who sent me a guide to good hand care courtesy of Jamie Zawinski.

I'm so on it. I hit a punching bag today at the gym and felt like someone had shot up my hand with a cattle prod.

Had to have been 100 degrees in San Francisco last night. My apartment felt like a kiln.
Severe lack of sleep. So. very. tired.