Wednesday, September 17, 2008

family comedy hour

At the breakfast table this morning:

Dad: there were a lot of orientals1 at the gym this morning.
Mum: you should tell her
Dad: no, YOU should tell her
maisnon: ??
LB1: What's funny is that you BOTH immediately know what you mean, riffing off of the gym thing.2
Mum: did you call and leave a message yesterday?
maisnon: Yes, when I was getting ready to head to the airport.
Dad: Well, when I came home from the gym, Mom said there was a message
Mum: .... I said some Chinese lady had left a message. In Chinese!
Dad: I listened to it and said, "No, that's [maisnon]!"
maisnon: WHA?! How in the world could I have sounded like I was speaking Chinese?

[entire family troops to answering machine]

maisnon (in recording): Hi, it's me. I'm leaving for the airport now. I'll see you in DEPARTURES at 8!

1 Nice, Dad, nice.
2 I suppose this is what happens when you've been married for nearly 40 years.

secret shame

Until yesterday, I thought the name of the Bowie song was .... 'Sulfur Jet City.'

Yeah, I rock.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I'm finally, finally coming back to DC. I just booked tickets on Wirgin. (Dude, United, get with it price-wise or I'm going to break up with you!) I'm coming "home" for a week. I'm looking forward to some Mom-cooking, and seeing DC peeps. I'm a little ... concerned because both of my parents will be home. The whole time. My parents are wonderful people, and the funniest act around, but I can not be around them solidly for a week. That is unpossible.

Visiting DC is always a little dance, a delicate balance between spending time with my parents and with my friends. If I don't spend enough uninterrupted time with my parents, my mum gets a little passive-aggressively snippy about it. But, if I don't interrupt the time with friends, I lose my patience and my ability to deal.

I think I'm going to start a list of things I want to see and do while I'm there. Amsterdam Falafel/Tryst, cruise around my law school haunts, etc. etc. As always, I'm hoping that making a list moves me from anxiety to excitement.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I was parked on the couch, reading something. I reached for a glass of water on the coffeetable and the windows started rattling. This isn't an unusual occurrence in my apartment, but my cat had "the look" .. and then the rattling lasted for too long. Earthquake, people. A minor one, but still. It basically feels like a REALLY big truck driving past your house, all rumbly. I put my hand on the wall to feel it and it was over.

I immediately IMd a friend, and .... twittered it. Then, I tried to find info on the quake. Nothing. I finally found the USGS site, which has a "Did you Feel It?" survey page. Tres cool! Apparently, the quake was a 4.0 centered in the East Bay. The survey page asks you a number of questions about where you were, what you felt, what you noticed, etc. When you submit your information, it gives you your rating of the magnitude of the quake in your 'hood, and what the USGS is rating it for your zipcode.

I can only feel this way because it was such a minor event, but, HOLYSHITTHATWASCOOL! It was a little jolt of excitement, a reminder that I live in an active area, that the world is bigger and more complex than you can imagine, and that things can change on a dime.

Friday, September 05, 2008


At my law school, there was one guy who was considered the most arrogant, and the most grating (and in a law school setting, that is really saying something.) He was a year ahead of me, and was part of the Law Review Board that welcomed me when I got onto law review. Well, the others welcomed me. What he had to say was essentially, "You are all just candidate members of the law review. The emphasis is on the word candidate - we're not afraid to say 'buh-bye'!" Then, he went into a moving speech about how much work it was going to be, and how we were going to have to prove our worth before we could move from being candidate members to the superexalted position of MEMBERS. I started calling him Debbie Allen behind his back because he reminded me of Debbie Allen in the opening to the television show "Fame!" The show was about the N.Y. School for the Performing Arts. In the opening sequence, Debbie Allen pounds a cane into the dance room floor and tells her students "You want fame? It starts right here!"

As I continued to work with 'Debbie Allen', I came to see just how annoying he could be. And that, somehow, I got along with him just fine. Finally, one day he was trying to give me shit about something, and I said to him, "Okay, fine .... DEBBIE ALLEN!"

There was a moment or two of open-mouthed silence as he looked at me. He finally said, "... are you calling me ..... BLACK?!?!?!"

Yes, because there's no question as to why, in the tens of millions of African Americans (let alone actual Africans), I chose a woman. Or someone who is most easily identified and associated with dance. Awesome.

So, here it is: the first episode of the show "Fame!" Check out that 80s wear!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

sing . song . sung

The one thing I promised myself when I was laid-off from my stereotypically startup in 2003 was that I would never again make the mistake of populating my friendship circle exclusively with work peeps. I wouldn't say I made that mistake again, exactly, rather that it was unavoidable. With the hours I worked, and the unpredictability of my schedule, work peeps were the only people who understood, respected, and were willing to flex around my work schedule.

And now, I am revisiting some of the friendship-based heartache of 2003. On a logical level, I can be dispassionate about it: we all have lives, and priorities, etc. Not hearing from someone with whom you were once on a daily/hourly contact basis is just what happens when you're not in physical proximity anymore. But, emotionally, "out of sight, out of mind" stings.

I have wonderful, wonderful people in my life. And yet, I'm mourning my losses a little. I don't blame anyone, not even myself, for once. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to continually replace people in the circle as we outgrow our friendship, move, settle down, etc. So much effort. It's the friendship equivalent of kissing a lot of frogs. Realistically, that's probably how it is for a lot of people, but right now it smarts. I feel like I'm revisiting lessons and ideas I thought I had learned.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I locked you out/you cut a hole in the wall

Conversation with a former coworker. Joe and I worked together circa 2000

Joe: Do you know this person? harish.majithiya
me: um, no
I assume you thought i might b/c he's indian
Joe: mmm. He wants to Chat with me???
me: i don't
me: but agree to chat with him
and ask if he knows me :D
Joe: lol
Joe: oh, you think you're so funny!
me: some things never change!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

labo(u)r day

Labor Day - view from the roof, originally uploaded by maisnon.

Weekend update, y'all!

And, it's a LOOONG one! (Yes, my lame sense of humour knows no shame!)

Let's just hit the Labo(u)r Day BBQ. So, I'm not working. You wouldn't think a three day weekend would mean much to me, but ... it was really nice having my (working) friends around for an extra day It DID feel different, although it shouldn't.

I went to a party on a rooftop (at Cesar Chaves + Valencia), and that's the view you see here. The weather, to start, was absolutely perfect. And then ... it became a blustery day, Pooh. We had to fold down and remove the patio umbrella because there was a serious risk that it would make like Mary Poppins and fly away.

I got to hang out with a friend's fiance (he just moved to town), and a *very* recent transplant from DC (like, it was his first actual day in SF.) Listening to them talk about the things they left behind, and the things they are searching for here made me wonder about when we switch our "homes." When do you stop thinking of the last place you lived in as "home"? Is it when you open your front door and realize you can't remember the last 15 minutes? Is it when you think of something you want and you know just where to get it?

Finally, the blusteriness got the best of us, and we retreated in search of more friendly eats. (BBQs are notoriously harsh on the veg, pseudo-veg, and pescetarians.) We ended up at Beretta. Super-peppery arugula salad (food of liberals!), wine-stained risotto, and a pizza burrata. Delicious and totally all-American.

Monday, September 01, 2008

book covers

I'm fascinated by David Drummond's Covers blog. Each post is a book cover Drummond designed, usually along with a few outtakes, and a brief explanation of the interaction between the design and the book. The blog appeals to me because I love books (of course!) and also because I've been indulging my interest in design.