Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 142


Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I’m constantly having to tighten the screws on my table legs. Maybe that’s because I’m always pressing down on it. I type and eat and drink and read at this table. Like I said – weights of every day, always pressing down.

Sometimes, the table gets so wobbly I think I’m on a boat. Greece – a complicated Aegean, with her pink sunsets and ferocious storms. She rocks you one morning then drives you headlong into Scylla the next. It was nine years ago, I was studying abroad, living on a yacht.

When I tighten the washers, I do it without looking. I reach under and anything could be there. So far, the worst I’ve gotten is an old cobweb asking to marry me, forcing itself on my finger, wedding ring. But the point is, anything could be under, like the time I was three years old and found a black spider in my parents’ kitchen, followed it on all fours as it danced as well as four ballerinas, then, when I got bored of watching, fitted the whole black body in my hand and transferred it to my mouth. What I’m saying is, I ate it. So now, when I’m tightening screws, I get a little nervous, and start thinking about the next meal.

My table’s been adjusted – success! It’ll stay fixed and upright at least this evening, though there’s no telling what wonky wobbles I’ll find tomorrow.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 86


Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

One of my Japanese friends had her birthday this week and is posting pictures on insta about it. There’s a cake, a mother, and a lot of white roses outside a restaurant somewhere, probably Tokyo. I didn’t know this friend too well five years ago, don’t know her any better now, but I like seeing her happy pictures. The same feeling as your father reading you that picture book before you went to bed: there’s all these beautiful stories happening while you sleep, keeps the nightmares away.

I had a long day of doing pretty much nothing at work. Well, I tried to do something – making calls, setting appointments, canceling appointments – but it didn’t go anywhere. There are days like that. Now I’m home and drinking white wine thinking to myself about a lot of different things, but mostly about stories.

I watched the last episode of Game of Thrones. Before that, I’d only seen the first. So now I can say I’ve book-ended that series, which is kind of a good feeling, engaged but guiltless, like 100 calorie angel food cake. There was only one moment that stuck to me in the finale: Tyrion says (and I’m paraphrasing) “Nothing is more powerful than a story.” The monologue surrounding that concept came off a little cheesy, but most obvious, true things are cheesy when you come out and say them.

I talked to an old friend tonight. She sounded the same and not the same, that time-traveling spiral that all old friends get caught in. She’s working at a museum, and more specifically on a project to give tours to the visually impaired. She said a big part of it was telling stories. “You’re still supposed to talk about color, talk about yellow like being out in the sun.” It was poetic. It made a lot of sense to me.

Currently Reading: NOTHING! Couldn’t get back into Bourdain, no matter how much I tried; will pick a new book soon

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She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”

A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 57


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro, Trader Joe’s Brand; a dark roast, ‘dark as my soul’ as I like to say when I’m making small talk with co-workers; slick like melted butter; bitter like accidentally eaten grass.

The dog’s still with us. Right now, she’s sitting on the back of the couch. The house has a different feel with a small brown animal around.

Easter Sunday’s never meant much to me. I grew up secular and have continued to be. Maybe it’s better to say: the things I have faith in don’t often get labelled ‘religious.’ Anyway – today was Easter.

The most vivid memory I have of this holiday is painting eggs. After that, it’s wondering if the chocolate bunny will be hollow inside. I used to dye eggs with my mother the night before. This was an elementary school tradition, though I carried it on a little longer because I liked the bright kinds of colors the dyes made. We’d try to get creative. I had a wax pen I’d draw over the hard-boiled shells. The wax kept the dye lighter in spots so you’d create designs. The easiest designs were geometric, but I’d often make a heart, a house, a face. Rarely did my efforts turn into anything but a mess.

Today, the only thing I did to celebrate was go to the grocery store. I didn’t shop for holiday items (I came home with veggie ramen and laundry detergent) but there’s something festive about food stores anyway. Jesus dies, a bunny gives birth, you wait for the egg to hatch in a beautiful grass-laid basket – it’s all about new life. The other part of the story – the one they don’t talk about – is how something else dies to feed that life every single time. So I think it’s fitting to go food shopping on Easter.

I’m back to work tomorrow. Vacation over, I can’t tell whether I’m better for having taken the days off. Either way, I’ll wake up tomorrow and try all over again. A fitting holiday to end it on – rebirth.

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes (FINISHED! Will share thoughts soon)

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“Hallo, Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?”
“Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Coffee Log, Day 342


Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee

Two more weeks and I will have been posting coffee logs for a year. I’ve been posting daily, though I did miss one day. Still, 364/365 ain’t bad.

When you’re a kid, people tell you to journal. They want you to write but only so that you can become proficient. You’re supposed to know how to put sentences together. You’re supposed to present yourself professionally.

I always hated those assignments. They seemed silly and inconsequential. And to be fair, they were silly. Given a weekly prompt, keep your daily log. There’s no soul to writing something because you have to. No different than signing your name on a receipt.

But somehow I’ve come full circle and started daily blogging in my later twenties. Of course, no-one told me I had to do this. That helps. And the topics change based on whatever I happen to grab. But it’s still a journal, of sorts. There’s no way around that.

Today’s been rough. Nothing in particular has happened to make it so, just a feeling. Sometimes, sitting in your desk at work and looking at the world through the office windows makes you feel insignificant. It’s like a terrarium: you see all the acrobatics you’ve gone through to trap yourself. I’m happy, in a way, and that’s the saddest thing of all.

But at least I can take the time to write about it. A little bungee bouncing me back to some sort of center. And here you all are reading this, every day, for a whole year. Thanks. You must be very patient.

Novel Count: 19,974

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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By the time it came to the edge of the Forest, the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner