Monday, April 9, 2007

Weekend Round-up

This having been a birthday weekend for me (32!), the days between my last post and today have been filled with fun, frivolity, friends and family--all in all a pretty perfect weekend. Friday night was spent celebrating someone else: Jessica's friend Lynne threw a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend Rob, and the party was great--partly because the catering was divine (tiny little passed hors d'oeuvres ranging from beef carpaccio on itty bitty buns to minuscule lobster rolls to bite size burgers accompanied by a small cone of perfectly crisped french fries), and partly because it was nice to see someone completely surprised by the gathering of people who had come to celebrate him. Oh, and those bite sized ice cream sandwiches were pretty legit, too.

Then on Saturday, Jess and I spent much of the day lazing around: doing brunch, shopping at H&M for a birthday outfit for me, hitting Whole Foods to pick up more dog food for Jack (preservative free!), napping, and then finally preparing for my b-day dinner with friends. We chose Le Pere Pinard as the place to hold the dinner; I've been going there for years and always have a great time--though I noted that my old friend, the maitre d', Fifi, was no longer in the house. Still, it was a good pick, because even though the chefs that night went a little heavy on the salt for my taste, they have a great big looong table in the back room that fit the 13 of us nicely. Plus, magnums of good red table wine, which we polished off quite nicely before heading for drinks at The Magician, around the corner. Another highly recommended place in my book, because there's nothing better than walking into a bar at 10:30 on a Sat night, with 13 people and more on the way, and being able to find a place for all of us to sit. Definitely worth checking out.

Yesterday, the actual birthday, was spent with the family. We did Easter mass at St. Barts--though Jess and I were so late that we ended up having to stand through the whole service--and then followed that up with a jazz brunch at Le Bateau Ivre. I got wonderful gifts including multiple giftcards to Barnes & Noble--which is pretty much the best thing ever for me--and, from Jessica, a miraculously supple Marc Jacobs bag that I haven't stopped thinking about since I took it out of its box. So suffice it to say, I had a phenomenal birthday, and feel so lucky to be surrounded by so much love.

But enough about me--here's what happening in the rest of the world:

Answering Imus: I haven't addressed this before now not because I didn't think the issue was important, but because I hadn't yet come across an article that delved deeply enough into the forces that allow Don Imus to rant in his racist and bigoted way to make it worthwhile. Now I have, courtesy of the Women's Media Center. If ever there was a case to be made for why it is important to have women on the deciding lines of media, this one is IT. Imus is scheduled to appear on Al Sharpton's show to apologize any minute, but this "nappy-headed ho" is tired of apologies. Maybe Imus and Ann Coulter can team up for a Tour of Hate--and least then they'd be conducting their business out from under the cover of "journalism."

Saving--or Stigmatizing--Black Boys: In Ossining, NY, the school district has started a program that pairs black boys with black teachers who act as their mentors after, and in, school, to try to address the issue of why young black men under-perform their peers academically, and find themselves in more hot water than their peers do when it comes to behavior issues. On the one hand, how excellent that someone has decided to step in and address what is a very real problem. On the other hand, how can we not worry that by doing this, you're isolating and stigmatizing children on the basis of their gender and skin color? Would I, would you, want our sons so be tracked into this program? Or would we just be happy they were getting special attention? And meanwhile, what about the black girls--who may not perform quite as badly as the boys, but are still struggling compared to their white peers? Seems to me that this is a program that just about every child could use in some way or another...

A Baby Story: I've been reading this series on fatherhood by the wonderful Michael Lewis (author of a book that recently hit my "must read" list, The Blind Side) for a while now, but only by way of the latest edition, which discusses his infant son's battle with RSV, did I realize that he's married to Tabitha Soren, formerly of MTV fame. In any case, the series is well worth keeping up with, partly because their kids are cute as hell (and each article is accompanied by a few photos) and partly because Lewis' honesty about the highs and lows of parenthood, from a male perspective, is truly without peer.

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