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!

Monday, 02 March 2009
I learned many-many things from “The Unfinished,” a piece by D.T. Max about the late David Foster Wallace in this week’s New Yorker, but I want to focus on one. I learned that Wallace in fact knew something about true happiness. He was writing about it. It was the subject of his incomplete novel. Quoting:
A typed note that Wallace left in his papers laid out the novel’s idea: “Bliss — a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious — lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.”
more...
posted to /wisdom at 2:02am :: 3 responses
Monday, 13 October 2008
It’s election season, which means the people of California once again have the chance to inflict grievous harm upon their beloved state via the initiative process. As I explained in the first edition of Mad Props, as a native Californian and lifelong student of politics, I’ve come to view statewide ballot measures as something of a menace. In several elections, I’ve voted NO on every single proposition; any given measure has a very steep uphill climb to convince me it’s worth a YES. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 2:13pm :: 8 responses
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
the Burning Man The Burning Man 2008 gallery is now open in the museyroom: Visit the index or begin with the first shot.
posted to /site at 1:10pm :: 2 responses
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Esquire’s list of The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master is surprisingly good. (Also surprising: They present it all on one Web page.)

It seems I score a 53, or 70%. A few data points:

Things I am proud to be able to do: score a baseball game, recite a poem from memory, build a campfire, iron a shirt, give advice that matters in one sentence, cook meat somewhere other than the grill, dress a wound, caress a woman’s neck, and know my poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope.

Things I have not mastered (or have not tried) and am ambivalent about: play gin with an old guy, deliver a eulogy, throw a punch, and understand quantum physics well enough to accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped.

Things I wish I could do: tell a woman’s dress size, hit a jump shot in pool, and make one drink, in large batches, very well.
posted to /misc at 11:13am :: 0 responses
Monday, 05 May 2008
Kauai, the Garden Isle Pictures from my recent Hawaiian getaway are now up in the museyroom: Visit the index or begin with the first shot.
posted to /site at 3:05pm :: 1 response
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Yesterday: Laid off by my employer.

Tomorrow: My first-ever trip to Hawaii.

In between: Completely reacquainted myself with the unstoppable combined powers of the dharma, meditation, and the deep and abiding love of many wonderful people who care for me so much it’s beyond humbling.

New chapters await. An overdue reshuffling of priorities. Already, this soon, excitement is overtaking fear …

(Ka is a wheel!)
posted to /life at 11:15pm :: 7 responses
Thursday, 13 March 2008
silly old bearIt seems that in Macedonia, you can sue an animal. So when a bear ransacked a beekeeper’s hives, said beekeeper took the bear to court, suing for damages. And won. You may ask: Uh, who will pay? Don’t you worry, Macedonian courts think of everything:
A court in the city of Bitola found the bear guilty, and since it had no owner and belonged to a protected species, ordered the state to pay the 140,000 denars (1,726 pounds) [roughly US$3500] damage it caused to the hives.
[more Bears In the News]
posted to /news at 4:13pm :: 1 response
Monday, 04 February 2008
There is a ‘politics’ category on this blog for a simple reason: I am a lifelong student of the subject. This is partly due to circumstance. My father is a professor of political science — meaning, for instance, that back in the 80s, when I was wee, come a Friday night, the household’s singular television would spend half an hour tuned to PBS’s Washington Week in Review before we could move on to the “good stuff” (like Night Flight). But over time, dammit, political and current-events programming became the “good stuff” as far as I was concerned, and so it was, when I got to college, that studying literature wasn’t enough; I had to study literature and political science — thus leading to the unforgettable moment on the phone when dear old dad laughed and noted that I had chosen “not one, but two completely useless majors.” Ahem. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 12:04am :: 7 responses
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
The “Can a plane on a treadmill take off?” debate returned to BoingBoing yesterday. More than a hundred comments so far. Everybody thinks they’re right; some of them are certainly wrong. Luckily, we get to find out who’s wrong Wednesday night on MythBusters, a show I’ve never seen on some cable network I never watch — but I will, because I want to see happen what I know will happen: The plane will take off. Why? Because Cecil Adams says so.
posted to /misc at 1:29am :: 0 responses
Thursday, 17 January 2008

Dale Cooper“Harry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just … let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or … two cups of good, hot, black coffee.”

— FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper

posted to /wisdom at 2:17pm :: 0 responses
Friday, 11 January 2008
  • ITEM: James Joyce gets namechecked in this lovely report of snow falling in Baghdad for the first time in living memory.
  • ITEM: How to Read The New Yorker in 10 Easy Steps
  • ITEM: Best Blogs of 2007 That You (Maybe) Aren’t Reading (this list introduced me to the wonderful bookforum)
  • ITEM: I wish this Ask MetaFilter thread on cooking for one were longer, but it’s got some nice ideas.
  • ITEM: Answers to the questions Cecil Adams refuses to answer. (Not bad!)
  • ITEM: For the geeks: Richard Stallman gets flamed. From the comments: “On the whole, RMS comes off as the most reasonable participant in the discussion. For all his reputation of extremist dogmatism, he’s not the one slinging ad hominems and resorting to hyperbolic fallacies. Indeed, his patience in the face of such is almost eerie.” I would say “zen-like.”
  • ITEM: For the geeks #2: Mark Pilgrim switches his parents to Linux. (My parents are scheduled for a similar conversion this year…)
posted to /misc/items at 10:11am :: 1 response
Wednesday, 09 January 2008
me @ 33Last year, I took my birthday off from work. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you can, you should take your birthday off. Period. And do what you want to do. Which, today, I did. And it was wonderful.

Among a great many other things, I returned, for the first time in years, to a place that fills me with great wonder and great emotion, a place that is, in many ways, my own personal Dark Tower. I stood at the gate today and I commanded it to open to me. It opened. And the end of the story is one that I keep to myself, but I tell you this: As with any really good ending, it was really more of a beginning.

Ka is a wheel.”

— Roland Deschain, of Gilead

To all who showered me with gifts and great, great love today, I say thankya.

[In late 2007, I read Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, all seven volumes, in very quick succession. It continues to resonate in my consciousness. It is a stunning work of art. More on this to come. There will be posts. Aye, there will be posts again soon. Happy New Year to all!]
posted to /life at 11:09pm :: 4 responses
Friday, 14 December 2007
  • ITEM: News so happy, I’m verklempt: New York’s 2nd Avenue Deli finally reopens next week (just off 2nd Ave). Time to book a flight!
  • ITEM: Jon Carroll’s yearly pitch: This holiday season, won’t you volunteer for the Untied Way?
  • ITEM: Fan reviews of Tuesday night’s Tool concert at the Civic Auditorium. It was, of course, an absolutely transcendent experience. We should be erecting statues of Maynard James Keenan in all the major cities. :)
  • ITEM: You know how there’s that stretch of road in our beloved East Bay that is both I-80 East and I-580 West, while the other side of the road is both I-80 West and I-580 East (all this despite the fact that the road runs mostly north-south)? Turns out there’s a cracktastic term for this.
  • ITEM: I worked a fifteen hour shift yesterday to help launch this … the new Macworld.com!
posted to /misc/items at 3:14pm :: 0 responses
Friday, 30 November 2007
  • ITEM: I ordered an XO laptop and cannot wait for it to arrive. Are you a geek? Perhaps one with a child in your life? Here’s why you should follow suit (the Give 1 Get 1 program has been extended till 12/31).
  • ITEM: John Carroll wrote two amazing columns this week. First up, his take on the rich fucktards in Seadrift who think they own the beach. (Are you a transplant to California? Then listen the fuck up: In this state, the people own the beach.)
  • ITEM: John Carroll #2: At his funniest, on what can happen come a Tuesday.
  • ITEM: Just another lie: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
  • ITEM: Stanfurd 13-point favorites for tomorrow’s Big Game. “I have a bad feeling about this.” GO BEARS!
posted to /misc/items at 2:30pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
It doesn’t get much better than when one of your favorite musicians gives you a sudden and unexpected dose of the spiritual truths you hold dear:

autumn leaves And she spoke unto me, saying:
‘Fear not the movement of the heavens above
Or the earth below
For change is what we are, my child!
Righteous are those who look up and sway with the wind,
Who look down and dance with the shifting of the soil,
Who swim with the movement of the tides,
Who seek the truth around them and discover,
We are and have always been in paradise —
The reflections of heaven on earth! Amen!’


more...
posted to /wisdom at 3:14pm :: 1 response
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