Yes, it’s just a viral ad gimmick to get you to go to But damnit, if they’re going to put this much effort into being nifty, they deserve the traffic. I am über entertained.

I was thinking, “Gee, I’d really like some good hot and sour soup today!” So I Googled my favorite Chinese restaurant for their details. Out of habit, I clicked the first link (I really should just be hitting “I’m feeling lucky” at this point with Google, but we all know how habits prevail). Then I saw where I was going, and became immediately concerned.! Back button! Back! Go back! I don’t want to buy a book! I just want an address and phone number! Back!But my overexerted RAM didn’t hear my cry in time, and before I knew it, I was here:None other than Amazon White Pages. Surprise! Somehow they managed to move to the top of the Google results before I even knew they existed. And somehow, that part doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is how cool they are. They combine local photography (local photography?!) to show you the area you’re going to. (Or is it super-close-up satellite photography that’s also watching you take a shower?) They’ve also got mapquest maps (to be expected), and a place for you to enter your phone number so that the business will call you. Weird.My commentary? The good news is, the cool stuff on the web is evolving and exploding. The bad news is, it’s still being dominated by the same four companies: google, yahoo, amazon, and ebay.Tell me. Really. Why does Amazon need its own white pages?p.s. Thanks to grokfairy for the recent fascination with snowclones. White pages are the new black.

Things like this make me want to lie down in wet grass and scream at the sky in elation. That magical (and sometimes mythical) advancement of internet technology we ambiguously refer to as Web 2.0 is even closer to our fingertips: Everything Web 2.0: “The List”. Everything you never knew you wanted to be able to do on the web, and now can. Categorized and listed for your easy perusal.I’m still following Emily Chang’s eHub, which is quite organized and constantly updated — another directory of way-cool web 2.0 gadgets and goodies. And it’s just so exciting to watch. You literally can’t know about all the neat stuff out there that’s being developed every day. We’re simply immersed in it. Oo-ooh… doesn’t it give you chills?Thanks to E for passing this on via the WoolfCamp Blog. She got it from BlogHer, which kicks a bunch of ass on its own.

The brilliant KingNixon writes:

Notice:i declare myself to be infallable. if i make a mistake, it was the correct mistake at the time.”

He was met with sarcasm, rebuttals, and laughter. But I agree with him. I think we’re all infallable in this sense. When I’m struggling with dillemmas or regret, another good friend of mine reminds me, “You only do what you really want to do.” If you were caught in a dillemma, and you made a choice, it was based on what was more important to you. There’s no sense in worrying or regretting. Even if it seems selfish or crazy or thoughtless at the time — you had a reason. And if you realize after the fact that your priorities were off, well, you just corrected them. And if you suffer horrible consequences for your actions, well, you’re learning (and it’s how you learn best). And you’ll make a different choice in the future. But you can’t change the past, or what your priorities were at the time. That’s just the way it went. Regret is a waste of energy. Move forward, grow, and remember you’re whole and perfect. I declare myself to be infallable. If i make a mistake, it was the correct mistake at the time.(Okay, now argue with me. I know you want to.)

My cousin, Katie is in Ecuador this year. She writes:

I couldn’t leave Quito this past weekend because of blockades on all roads leading to the capital. I also couldn’t walk to work because I have to walk past the presidential palace, which was completely guarded by tanks, soldiers, and lots of big GUNS! There were protests in high schools, many of which got out of hand and suppressed by the police with gas. It’s REALLY big news here. One of my students told me today that he wanted to start a huelga de los estudiantes (a student strike). He then chanted,”Viva el paro!” (paro=strike) He’s in 3rd grade. It would be a lot different to grow up in an unstable place with lots of political activity. They are learning from a very young age.Here are the articles about what’s going on…Ecuador Quells Indian Trade ProtestOffer Made to Settle Ecuador Oil Dispute

In the first article, the New York Times tells us:

Police fired tear gas at dozens of Indian demonstrators trying to reach the government palace Monday to protest free-trade talks with Washington this week that are expected to draw thousands of opponents to the capital.

And Katie adds:

ALSO,It’s not “Indians”; it’s “indigenous”.They’ve asked to be referred to as this and here that’s all people say…so we should probably start referring to them that way.

I’ve bought my plane ticket. Dabetswe Natasha (and hopefully Courtney Ann Smith) and I are flying from San Francisco to New Hampshire (where the Editor-in-Chief and most of the staff lives) for a weekend, bringing the leaders of the great literary community together for a rare opportunity to collaborate in person. For the span of April 8th and 9th, The Writ Team is having a weekend of meetings, brainstorming, and good wholesome Dover Soul fun. I have so many ideas for the site, and our hands have been tied because of funding and technology. We’re rounding up enough energy and support, though, that I believe we’ll be able to make it all happen soon. But, oh… it will be just 34 hours in New Hampshire for me. And of course I want to see my family, too. I don’t expect to sleep. And I will be back at work Monday morning, so this could all go under the category of “one of Sarah’s less intelligent and more impulsive” ideas.But it will be so worth it!

I should mention this. I withdrew from the university this week and ended my semester. Those who know me, affectionately refer to this move as “dropping out of school,” and we’ve all seen me do it before. To my credit, however, I always go back. Also to my credit, I have a 4.0 GPA from all six colleges I’ve attended (yes, SIX). I just haven’t attended for more than two semesters in a row without getting distracted and doing something else. Going to China, starting a nonprofit, starting a business… I guess you could say I put my life first. So what happened this time? I got a job. No, not a real job. Sarah doesn’t do crazy-stable things like THAT. No, I got contract work at a design firm in downtown San Francisco. My work is to take beautiful, professional designs and turn them into website-ready HTML templates. In other words, I get to arm wrestle with graphic designers over font size and try to trick multiple browsers into displaying a website in exactly the same way. It’s fulltime, it’s fun, it’s challenging, it uses my skills, it pays at industry standards (read: enough to support me for the next semester or two of school), and it will probably end mid-May. So to all the little kiddies out there looking for a role model… Yes, it’s okay to drop out of school.Now go read your HTML primers like good citizens of the Information Age.p.s. Don’t worry. As my governor so famously used to say, “I’LL BE BACK!” (Trust me, we’ve been through this before.)

Hailstorm in San Francisco

It’s hailing AGAIN!

Hailstorm in San Francisco

I was just finishing up a long and difficult week by taking myself out for a sushi dinner, when there was–at the exact same time–a flash of bright light and a BOOM! The whole restaurant jumped out of its chairs and ran to the window. I thought there had been an explosion on the roof, but the waiter assured me it was just a clap of thunder. Two minutes later, FLASH-BOOM! again. Frazzled, the clientele scampered back to their seats.

Five minutes later: “It’s raining!” “No, it’s snowing!” “It can’t be snowing! This is San Francisco!” “No wait! That’s ice! It’s hailing!”

Hailstorm in SFAnd white marbles proceeded to fall from the sky. I ran outside to dance in it while the waiter ran my credit card, and little children stood at the window to point. There was an exodus of camera phones from pockets as everyone tried to capture the event–but who can really capture falling hail with a camera phone? (I tried.)The storm lasted about ten minutes, and then it was over. Twenty minutes later, the white crunchy streets were back to their regular soggy black. The firetruck sirens are still blaring.

This was way better than an earthquake. Hands down.

bus folk are cool

I saw an elderly chinese woman on the Muni yesterday wearing a baby blue patent leather hat.

“When I am old I will wear purple…”