Nobody escapes the taxman

Got mail from Massachusetts demanding excise tax on the car. Am sending them a copy of the paperwork showing that we were only in Massachusetts for about a week after buying it. Q: Why is the City of Cambridge office of vehicle taxation like a swan? A: They can both stick their bills up their asses. (Sorry, I guess I’m still a bit bitter about that unexpected $7,000 tax bill.)

San Francisco Part 4

On the Monday we went to SFMoMA. Much good stuff. There was a really wonderful Rothko painting; normally I’m not as big on Rothko as, er, sara… but this one had a wonderful ethereal translucency to it. Rather like San Francisco fog. I learned that Roy Lichtenstein actually painted all those little dots by hand. Later in his career he started using pre-made dots, but he still stuck them on by hand, individually.

Naming university buildings after crooks

Cambridge University Computer Lab sent me a postcard to announce the opening ceremony of the new William Gates Building they’re moving to. I trust that soon the School of Journalism will move to the Robert Maxwell Building. Then the Business Studies department can move to the Ken Lay Building on Enron Avenue, and the School of Design can move to the John DeLorean Building. Then, perhaps, Cambridge will consider whether it really wants to whore out its academic credibility to any rich head of a lawbreaking corporation.

Cambridge

NPR has a feature about Cambridge schools. Apparently they’ve been told they can’t use race as a factor when assigning children to schools, which they used to do to ensure diversity. So now, they’re using economic level instead. Of course, this makes more sense—economic level has much more of an effect on academic performance than race. They interviewed a Cambridge parent, who said that while she agreed with the idea of mixing different economic levels intellectually, nevertheless if her kid ended up in a school full of poor kids, she’d move house to put the kid in a different school.

Peace vigil

Last night we met up with some friends and went to the candle-lighting vigil in David Square. It was very solemn and tasteful, mostly. People stood around in a ring with candles, cupping their hands to protect the flames from the breeze. Every now and again someone would walk forward to the large stone compass in the center of the square, and place the candle there. There were songs. I didn’t know the words, and I can’t really reach the high notes anyway.