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Davis, California

Thursday, April 11, 2024



Dear Math,

It's me, Rachel. I know it's been a while since we last talked. I blame you. Seriously, Math, you've been a really big jerk to me throughout most of our relationship. I don't know why it had to be like that, especially since our first years together were so good.

We used to understand each other. Counting. Addition. Subtraction. Multiplication. You used to make so much sense. But then you had to get all long division up on me. Since fourth grade, I never knew what you wanted. I don't know how I got through those rough times, but I managed to pass Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II (I didn't understand why Algebra needed a part two), and Pre-Calculus. It was four years of hell. After that, I couldn't even stand looking at you anymore.

Apartmentally retarded

Does anyone else think the word apartment is an oxymoron? They are pretty close together if you ask me.

Okay. Bad joke aside, I promised myself that I wouldn't reveal the name of the shitty apartment I live in, but so many things have gone wrong there these past few weeks, that I no longer feel bad about scaring it's potential residents away.

The Willows: it stood like a cute relic of the '70s, manicured with white and sea-green paint, like an old boat docked in the San Francisco marina. On the corner of Lake and Covell, the place had vacancy for the upcoming school year, so my friend and I signed the lease. If I'd known that my signature would bind me to part of a student-munching corporation with no heart, I never would've put pen to paper.

Last writes

The time-delay between the writing and publication of these columns leads to some interesting situations. Today, for example, you're probably reading an article written by a dead guy. I'm typing this out on Tuesday night, making tomorrow Wednesday, Apr. 2. More importantly, this means Giacomo Casanova turns 283, Sir Alec Guiness hits 94 and I'll turn 21. Finally.

Plans are already in place for a proper weeknight celebration - I'll spare you the gory details, suffice to say I'm starting at 12:01 with a six-pack from Safeway and it's hiccups and hangovers from there. Quite frankly, I'll be almost disappointed if I live through the night, especially considering the outrageous amounts of free drinks the local bars offer for birthdays.

Editorial:Starbucks lawsuit

The Starbucks corporation is being hit with a $105 million lawsuit for breaking a U.S. law barring management from sharing a percentage of the tip jar. The reasoning behind the law is to keep managers who have fewer serving duties from hijacking tips from lower-level employees. Rightly, those managers should not be taking tips that are ultimately not intended for them. The lawsuit objected to Starbucks shift supervisors from taking a share of tips, because it considers shift supervisors to be managers.


With a nod to Rob Olson, for giving me a reason to live…

I once saw our chancellor Larry Vanderhoef at the ARC wearing a shirt that had a full beer stein on the front baring the words, Are you drinking enough? I'm happy to report that, yes, Larry, I am drinking quite enough.

To everyone who supported the Iraq war back in 2002 and 2003: I told you so.

I don't normally praise conservatives for their ideas, but last year's illegal immigrant capture the flag game was hilarious. If you disagree, you've died inside.

Leaf blowers, escalators, motion-sensing toilets and Hummers are fucking stupid.

Juno is a terrible movie; it's only possible for an upper middle class white chick living in gentrified suburbia. A black girl living anywhere whose parents make anything isn't getting anybody to adopt that kid.

A cutthroat education

Roger Cohen, the esteemed The New York Times columnist, recently proclaimed that Asia's ferocious emergence signals the end of the era of the white man. The declaration was extreme in conception, but he was perhaps audibly echoing the feelings that have been fermenting. It was reasonable in thought.

The reason for this outlook is Asia's ascent. Come to Asia and fear drains away. It's replaced by confidence and a burning desire to succeed, so suggests Mr. Cohen. Accordingly, with changes at multiple levels occurring at breakneck speed, it is only a matter of time before the aforementioned situation realizes itself. And he attributes this phenomenon to Asia's culture of education and achievement.

In a way, Mr. Cohen is both right and wrong. Because, simply said, the Asian culture of education is, to an extent, both constraining and rewarding.

A delaying action

The interminable presidential campaign is not a topic I generally find interesting. Obviously, it is the center of the political world right now, but I find the nitty-gritty of politics very repetitive and very tiring. As far as I can see, this column will be my last on the election of 2008. Good riddance.

Yet, word on the political street is that John McCain is not fundraising very well. Republicans I know on political campaigns tell of a party disheartened and demoralized, working without passion and without money. While the Democratic party has been in civil war for months, the GOP generally remains unenthused about its electoral prospects and its presidential candidate. Like an injured athlete, the party seemingly has neither the focus nor the happiness to get back into competition.


Editorial: Gang Injunction

   The community of West Sacramento is protesting against the need of another gang injunction. Imposing a gang injunction on the area to capture gang members does not get to the crux of the issue — it is a defensive approach lacking long-term effectiveness.
    The district attorney’s office asserts that there is a gang problem in West Sacramento, which calls for a second injunction granted by the State Supreme Court. Past cases, such as an injunction to eliminate the Broderick Boys gang in 2005, have been overturned. The new injunction is based on community members voicing how “safe” they feel in their neighborhoods, which is relative to where a person lives and visibility issues. If there is a problem, it is not being addressed using the right means.
    A gang injunction involves sending law enforcement into the community to patrol for suspicious persons that fall under specific criteria of a gang member. Only two of the 11 criteria must be observed before placing the individual under injunction and restricting various civil liberties, such as forbidding interaction between the accused and supposed gang members and instilling a 10 p.m. to sunrise curfew. Given the broad spectrum of possibilities of individuals meeting these criteria, which includes only one crime-related criteria, there is great potential for inaccuracy and ambiguous claims.

Old time religion

The students of the Sunday school class that I currently help teach are perhaps some of the most difficult I've taught in terms of behavior, attention span and attitude. They're a bunch of middle school aged students. That right there is enough. On top of that, we're talkingVallejo's middle schoolers. Added to the mix are about two handfuls of students that just really don't want to be there and see religion as another form of academia. It's a recipe for a test of will and devotion.

Three Sundays ago was Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday, the entire school goes to the gym to watch a dramatization of Jesus' crucifixion. After the play was over, a friend of mine fittingly named Rocky noticed my class' lack of reverence. Rocky, being Rocky, had to say something about it.

Music lessons

There are eight notes in an octave, five fingers on a hand, 86,400 seconds a day that I tend to waste on sleeping, eating or trolling the Internet. Zero seconds a day that I spend tapping out tunes on the keyboard in the living room of my apartment.

I'm a terrible pianist; I'll admit to that. This is not me being modest - trust me, trust me. I only picked up a musical instrument in elementary school because of my father, who is the kind of person who likes to dabble in every musical instrument possible. At last count, we had four violins, two guitars, a clarinet and a piano. I think there may have been some experimentation with a saxophone at one point as well.