Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

10 Sep 2001, 3:25 a.m.

Sunday, Sunday

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I had a terrific time on Sunday. I've written a bit here about my brunch and parental interaction and party on Sunday, and on my handball improvement and general viewpoint shift re:skill-learning.

And --does anyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area want some veggieburgers?

Brunch. I had brunch with friends.

Parents. My parents came over and we socialized somewhat and now I have FAR MORE frozen dinners and veggieburgers than I can eat. Anyone want some? Especially the veggieburgers?

I'm serious. I have something like ten boxes in my freezer, each of which contains six or eight veggieburger patties. Take my burgers! Please! (Henny Youngman died during my senior year of high school. Micah Roy, who was in my AP English class, complained about the way that most people delivered the joke, which did not make "Please" into the punchline it's supposed to be. That was the first time I had ever gotten why that joke was so funny. Micah is now, I think, at some California State University studying towards the law.)

Surprisingly enough, we all got along. Freaky.

Party. This was really neat. So many people came over and had fun! Leonard, Steve, Zack, Alexei, Jeana, Vinay, Adam, Matt, Seth, Aaron, Bem, Nathaniel, and Shweta all were over at various points between 5pm and midnight or so. I'll have to list the presents I got at some different time. I got calls from Dan, from my sister Nandini, and from John. Thank all of you!

Scrabble, Set, and "Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond..." were played. The latter is a Cheapass Game and, as such, is fun. I remember liking "Lord of the Fries" and "Give Me the Brain!" more, but that was over a year ago.

Music played included Moxy Fr|vous, Everclear, Naif, and Chaif. Stuff read included Amar Chitra Katha, Big Science (science cartoons), and The Comic History of Rome (just looking at the pictures of this book from the 1850s).

I played host and laughed a lot. I think other people had a pretty good time, too. One of my most successful parties to date! Of course, now I'm rather fogged from lack of sleep. So I can't give too many specifics. But trust me, it was a good time.

Redecoration. I put up some more posters and things, including:

  • A clipped article about Dmitri Sklyarov from the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • A Yuri Gagarin poster that has his words in Russian.
  • A "Hail to the Thief!" bumper sticker.
  • A postcard with freaky Russian propaganda -- looks like a painting of kids with weird-shaped heads agitating at some sort of protest rally.
  • A DeCSS sticker.
  • The "COFFEE, TEA, OR DEATH?" headline from the San Francisco Examiner that Seth spotted for Leonard and me while I was in Russia.

Handball. Today I discovered the secret to the backwall shot. One really must hit it when it's rather low to the ground. I'm not sure why. It probably has something to do with the fact that such a position makes me bend over and put more power in my swing, or gives me greater accuracy somehow. In any case, after much frustrating repetition, I Got It. That's the main thing I like about sports. As long as I'm not inconveniencing anyone else with my slow learning curve and general lack of ability, I enjoy that process a lot.

Skill-learning in general has become much more enjoyable and productive for me since I started learning to not mind making lots of mistakes. Going to Russia helped with that a great deal. There, I just had to go ahead and make mistakes and just work on making people understand me. I learned to accept the "good enough." Parents should teach their children about the joys of satisficing, don't you think?

Originally published by Sumana Harihareswara at

Oh yeah, the painting

Mon Sep 10th, 2001 at 03:46:37 PM PST

Yesterday, at the party, Steve, Leonard, Zack, and I painted. That is, we used watercolors (a little box I picked up for less than a buck at some garage sale, I hope) on binder paper with a tiny brush, generic cotton swabs and cotton balls to Make Art.

Steve's looked the best, but he took it home. Zack left his behind when he left the party and we ended up using the back of it to score the Scrabble game.

I recommend having watercolors around the house. You never know.

Originally published by Sumana Harihareswara at