This New York Times article on the new David Foster Wallace movie triggered an afternoon-long binge reading fest of old articles about DFW.
What is the fastest that humans can run?
Good news. The cool kid in middle school who mocked your clothes is totally fucked as an adult.
Cool, new items from the IKEA catalog. I have one of their new wicker hanging lamps over my kitchen table.
This Sandra Bland story is super sad. I can’t comment on the race part of the story, which is obviously the most important part of the story. But I thought I would share a couple of experiences that I’ve had with cops.
If you drive often enough, you’ll deal with a cop now and then. The insane parking rules in New York City guarantee parking tickets. Someone once told me that it will cost you $200 in parking tickets before you get the hang of the rules. In the seven years that I had a car and lived in Manhattan, Steve and I probably had about $300 to $400 in parking tickets. Once we moved back to the suburbs, there were more issues.
One time, I was pulled over for speeding. I had an asshole cop that time. He pulled me over. I asked nicely what I did wrong. He said, “give me your license.” I asked what I did wrong. He said, “give me your license.” I did. He went back to his car, looked me up on a computer, wrote me a ticket for speeding, and walked away. I had to look at the ticket to figure out what I did wrong. Continue reading
Last year, one of Steve’s work friends decided to walk away from it all. The Wall Street job, the fancy Westchester home, the private schools. He rented out his house and sold some stuff. He bought a large boat. He, his wife, and his two kids sailed across the Atlantic. They are spending the year sailing around the Meditterean Sea with only vague plans about what happens next.
I have a weakness for stories like that. Radical departures from the middle class lifestyle with ADHD medicine, Kumon, nanny cams, mow and blow services, spin classes, salmon colored preppy shorts, lacrosse tryouts, keratin hair treatments, viola lessons, Hardy board siding.
I first started researching inequities in education in my pre-kid days. Now that I’m a parent, I see it even more clearly.
Jonah is taking a SAT prep class this summer. We can afford it. I am home and available for the chauffeur duties. It’s his only job this summer. And in two weeks, his scores have jumped up enormously. Because the SATs, like all school tests, are a game. Doing well is 50% knowing the material and 50% knowing the “rules.”
Ian is in a fancy camp for high functioning autistic kids. It’s a full day program where they foster social skills, while swimming and going to museums and taking art class. In two weeks, he’s improved a lot. Probably about half the parents are paying for the camp out-of-pocket. The other half live in wealthy school districts that pay for the camp.
I’m thrilled that my boys are doing so well, but there is a layer of guilt in there.
It’s been a strange couple of weeks. One minute overwhelmed and beaten by an article topic that took a strange left turn. The next minute, I’m doing the mindless work of summer kid carpool duties. When my teenager is temporarily captive in the car, I’ve been amusing myself by starting fun conversations.
“Jonah, did I ever tell you about how your head got stuck inside me, when I was giving birth?”
“Mom, I’m not enjoying this conversation.”
So, now I’m catching up on internet gossip.
Major wars on twitter and elsewhere about TNC’s new book, Between the World and Me. He and David Brooks got into it. The Atlantic is hosting a book club to discuss it. I haven’t read the book, because I’m curious if you could do a search of the word “black” and replace it with “women”, and it would still work. That was flippant. Yes, I will probably read the book for lots of other good reasons.
I think I’m going to order myself a pair of Warby Parkers.
And you can buy one of George Clooney’s vacation homes.
“And some, shrug, I assume, long pause, are nice people. Now, I’m not entirely sure of that. Dramatic eye squint. I’ve heard rumors that one or two Mexicans are good. But for the most part, they’re all rapists and drug dealers. That’s pretty much it. Those are your two choices if you’re a Mexican. You go to school and learn to be a rapist or a drug dealer. Two choices. Shrug. So, we need to devote all of our energy towards building big walls around our country. No Mexicans allowed. Except for the guys who mow my lawn for less than minimum wage. They’re okay.”