Monday, June 29, 2009

Going backwards

There has been much talk in the news of late about a reverse discrimination case. The term has always irked me. As has "reverse racism." According to Webster's, the relevant definiton of discrimination is: "a: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually b: prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment."

So tell me, please, where does the reverse come in? Is not discrimination or racism against whites simply discrimination or racism? Something about that "reverse" has always struck me as unnecessary at best and arrogant at worst. Hey, white people, guess what? We're not that special. When people judge us because we're white it's not the reverse of making judgements about other, non-white people based on race--it's the SAME. And--surpise--we don't enjoy it any more than anyone else has ever enjoyed it. Yep. Ouch.

And anyway wouldn't reverse descrimination more accurately be acceptance? Maybe we should give that one a whirl.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our Town

In case you are unfamiliar with San Francisco:

1. It is June 25 and it is pretty much as cold out as January 25. Granted, that's not so very cold as Januaries go, but it is pretty fucking cold for June.

2. Today Michael Jackson died. There are many possible reactions to this news. One of them would be to call twenty of your friends and improvise a sort of Michael Jackson tribute bicycle parade. The guy on the lead bike would have a sort of bike trailer on which he'd tow a huge boombox; he would also fasten some very large speakers to the handlebars and then, at top volume, he would play a Michael Jackson mix. All the other cyclists would trail behind. Others would join you as you pedaled around the city.

That wasn't my reaction, but it was definitely someone's because that parade went past me twice on my way home tonight.


There's a new store opening in the Haight and, for a change, it is not a store that sells bongs. It is a store that sells grow lights. An entire store dedicated to grow lights. For all your, um, indoor urban gardening needs.

Don't worry, though. When your crop comes in you can buy a bong at any of five stores within half a block.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Breaking news

I am on an NPR music mailing list, and they like to keep me abreast of the latest news. Therefore, I am able to tell you that Bjork has a new album and that she seems to be as much of a lunatic as ever. Sort of comforting, really. No?

Incidentally, I'm not sure how long that link will be active, but even if it's only for the next three minutes, I think that'll be long enough for you to learn "Declare Independence" by heart. It appears to be comprised of one sentence.

In other news, I am told that John and Kate have broken up. I'm sure that's quite sad for them, but I was surprised that it was of sufficient importance to be discussed on the morning news. Who, pray tell, are John and Kate? Maybe it's a new trend in news. Perhaps newscasters now just choose common names and events and allow everyone to whom that news applies feel a greater sense of importance. Tomorrow, stay tuned for, "Steve and Jennifer announce their engagement" or "Matt and Stephanie file for bankruptcy."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Love stories

I have a big crush on a cafe. Is that wrong? My friend Mathew, who has a very keen eye for the aesthetically pleasing, took me to Corner a couple weeks ago and ever since, I find I think about it wistfully. It was so sunny there. And I love the wallpaper with the birds so much. And the tables are so pleasing. And the bathroom has all those candles in mason jars. I think about Corner all the time. If it had a locker, I'd slip it a note between classes. It's just that charming.

Last night at about 10pm, I took my friend Meridith there and found it was equally delightful at night. Mostly this was due to the fact that from the moment we walked in we were treated like regulars or maybe even friends. Our waiter (who I suspect may be an owner or manager or some such) told me it was good to see me. I really don't think he remembers me from the ONE other time I've been in his very busy establishment, but he made me feel as though he did. There was much bonhomie. When he came by to see if everything was all right, I told him that apart from very much wishing the reggae song that was playing (and playing and playing) (sample lyric: "We smoke the weed. We smoke the seed.") would end he called up to the DJ--"Hey. Can you turn it up? She can't quite hear the lyrics. Yes, her. Right here." That sounds kind of mean, actually, but it was funny at the time. He came by later and said, " I know this seems like the same song, but I promise it's different. This one is about the herb instead of the weed and seed." The DJ eventually transitioned to another genre and we were there for two hours or so without noticing the time passing. Not bad for a Monday night. I love feeling like an insider. Thanks, Corner. Do you want to go to prom?


On Saturday night I saw "Away We Go," a movie that is alternately hilarious and deeply touching. A movie that made me insanely jealous of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida--sometimes because they wrote a great screenplay and sometimes because they are married and presumably in love, but mostly both at the same time. Also a movie that made me cry copiously even after I got home.

Hot tip:
Maybe don't go alone to a movie about true love when you are:
1. Older than the characters who keep talking about how they ought to have their lives sorted out by their age
2. Single.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Note for the future

Dear Advertisers,
Please never make another commercial that employs either the phrase "in these tough economic times" or the phrase "dads and grads." Really. There's no need.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Friday, June 12, 2009

In praise of naps

It is the last day of school. The last day of the last week of school. A week that has kicked my proverbial arse. Lordy, but I am tired. Today involved emotional farewells; yearbook signing (yes, I get a yearbook even though I graduated from high school in 1988. I only let the cool kids [read: the five kids I actually know] sign it.); a delivery of pizza for 400 people; 27 more calls from parents about parking for graduation although I sent them DETAILED information about this very topic months ago; and, in a particularly dramatic finale, a request to purchase a replacement leather bag for a student since her chemistry teacher had accidentally set hers on fire in class.

I am ready for my nap.

The truth is, though, that I take a nap on most days, even days when nothing has been set on fire. I go home, set the kitchen timer, lie down on the sofa, and sleep deeply for half an hour. Then I am prepared to go out and do things at night during what I like to think of as my real life.

My neighbors get up much earlier than I do and manage to stay up all day without too much difficulty. In their house, napping is reserved for the one family member who is not yet two years old. Nevertheless, in an attempt to get their toddler to stop yelling in the hall outside my apartment, or knocking on my door/rattling my doorknob, they tell her that she needs to be quiet because I am asleep. "Shhh," they tell her in French (the father is French), "Kari fait dodo." This is basically equivalent to "Kari go night-night." Now, clearly, they have chosen to say this because it is easier than explaining to a baby that one needs to hold it down out of respect for the neighbors, but the truth is that at around 5:30pm, I am very aware of her little voice on the other side of the wall saying, "Kari dodo? Kari dodo?" because she usually wakes me up.

Shhhh Sabrina. Kari fait dodo.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


It's about 1am on a Tuesday night. Until an hour ago it was Daniel's birthday. And so, I spent the evening in a bar surrounded by jazz musicians (I think I truly am the only person he knows who is not a musician) among whom the birthday boy was easily the handsomest and also, unexpectedly, one of the people I love most in the world. I got to wear a good dress, drink some gin, eat some pizza, and speak some French. And then, when it truly wasn't reasonable for a girl with a day job to stay any longer, I stepped back outside only to find that it was raining. A light, warm rain such as we don't usually get in San Francisco. The air smells green. I walked in my loud boots and purple coat right down the middle of the glistening street, partially because it's less creepy than the sidewalk at this hour and partially because it's more fun.

Every so often your life looks just like you always hoped it would. When that happens, it's best to notice.