Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

22 May 2001, 12:40 p.m.

Fun, fun, fun, till daddy takes my independence away.

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 So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it!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.

"So puns have a slight aphrodisiac effect on me."
"You mean they turn you on. Come on, use street language."
"No! We are not on the street. The street is over there, beyond that plaque that says, 'You are now on UC property.' And so we are still on campus, and so I will use academic language, not street language, and so I will say that it has a slight aphrodisiac effect."

All the fun and sadness I've had for the past 72 hours or whatever. Marketing that makes me shake my head in shame. P.G. Wodehouse. Oh, and candy.

Some people don't like Red Hots! The sweet and spicy little cinnamon candy. How can this be? Red or black licorice, I get. But Red Hots? Goodness. Well, at least I haven't run into too many people who dislike chocolate. Yet.

Hogwarts, the academy of witchcraft and wizardry in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter universe, apparently (according to merchandise I saw over the weekend) has some sort of pseudo-Latin school motto. Hey, Latin scholars! What does Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus mean? Which, of course, reminds me of a ad I saw in a BART station (the SF Bay Area Underground/subway/metro) on Sunday. "Carpe better jobium." Aaargh!

If you pass by a Barnes & Noble's, such as the one on Durant and Shattuck in Berkeley, and you resist your natural urge to resist this manifestation of the homogenization of middlebrow culture, then you might go in and see a Scholastic (kids' publisher) book display. And you might see the abomination that is T*WITCHES. Combining the teen-girl wish for a twin and the trendiness of superficial Wicca rebellion! The slogans are:

Radically Different. Identically Powerful.
Twins. Witches. Exactly.

Exactly what? As Leonard said, "Twins. Witches. (That's a stupid idea!) Exactly."

Note that I am not calling Wicca superficial. I'm just saying what you probably already know, that for a lot of kids the idea of Wicca is a trendy little tool for rebellion, and not a really sacred way of life. They wouldn't know what the Rede was if you beat them over the head with it. It's not superficial, but some people treat it superficially, and I'm pretty sure that this wannabe kids' series is trying to ride that wave.

Again, Aaargh!


So I've been reading Wodehouse off and on for a few years now. As with my new favorite band, I wish I'd discovered Wodehouse seven years ago. Wait, maybe I did. Anyway. I finished Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves over the weekend, and found it good, but not as virtuosic and enjoyable as Right Ho, Jeeves, the other Jeeves and Wooster novel I've read. I have recently realized that, in everyday life, I talk more like Jeeves and Wooster than like any other characters in literature. I'm not sure where the causality is there. In any case, I'll be starting Bertie Wooster Sees it Through as soon as I finish or get bored with The George Orwell Reader, which I got over the weekend and which, coincidentally, contains Orwell's essay, "In Defense of P.G. Wodehouse."

OK, "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" is going bye-bye, Moxy Früvous is sliding onto the acoustic deck.

I got back that research paper of which I wrote here about three weeks ago, the one about naturalization rates among Indians in Silicon Valley. It's always great to have your grader tell you that you understated the strengths of your methodology.

A day or more after the final:

"So? How was the test?" -professor
"The test was fair. You, sir, are not." -me

I suppose I've been delaying talking about my emotional state. Well, it's changed. I kept really busy this weekend -- lots and lots of socialization. And, to quote Calvin of Bill Watterston's Calvin and Hobbes, The Days Are Just Packed! And I didn't really feel sad at all, except for brief flashes and memories. But then yesterday I talked on the phone with the person with whom a relationship recently ended, and who told me that I am still a good person, and that triggered something, and I cried for the first time since that dissolution.

I guess I was blocking the pain, and now it's arrived, and George Orwell wrote about the experience of poverty from his life in Paris. From Down and Out in Paris and London:

And there is another feeling that is a great consolation in poverty. I believe everyone who has been hard up has experienced it. It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs -- and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.

And, from Moxy Früvous's quill, in a song about heartbreak and getting over a breakup:

He thought about his life, his heart began to rush
He buried the crown, found a bucket and a brush
BJ paints town!

Perhaps I did things backwards. What else is new? Sun Rises, Analysts Stunned, as Segfault will say someday.

Poll: I want x in my life, where x equals

  • Jeeves (P.G. Wodehouse)
  • Data (Star Trek)
  • Marvin (Douglas Adams)
  • Jane (Orson Scott Card)
  • Daneel (Isaac Asimov)

Originally published by Sumana Harihareswara at