Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 273

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee

Everyone was out even though it was raining. The temperature had warmed up and wet roads looked like the beginning of something, the first lap of a race. I got my coffee from Caribou like I always do then went grocery shopping. The lady in check out was flustered, but said she’d had a nice Thanksgiving.

The weekend’s been Christmas shopping. Picking around in crowded stores, not finding what I wanted, searching more online. I like the dynamism of the holidays, the ‘I’ve-got-to-get-out-in-the-world’ sort of feel. I like the kind of celebration that shows we’re all dead-broke and dead-tired but obligating ourselves to do good for our loved ones anyway. It doesn’t matter if your gift’s a hit as long as you’re the one giving it. It doesn’t matter if next year is going to drain a bit more spirit out of you because you’ll get it all back giving something special away.

At a different store, a man with a big dog walked in and the cashier told me he’s the owner. She seemed bothered by him, on edge, and the dog noticed because it sniffed her and wagged its tongue and tail. That was his christmas present, a big wet nose, a bit of kindness when someone needed it.

Currently Reading: Another Country, James Baldwin

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

Baffled and disgruntled, I fill my Woolworths trolley with dead turkey and lamb, and wonder when Love was lost, among the Christmas crowd.

Judy Croome, A Lamp at Midday

Coffee Log, Day 305

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee; simple, classic stuff. I had a talk with the barista about holiday travel. She’s headed three hours in heavy traffic after the sun goes down. But when she talked about getting home, her eyes lit up like high-beams. It was the warmest cup of coffee I’ve had in a while.

I got up and shaved and took a shower even though it’s a Sunday. I wanted to get ready for something, though I hadn’t worked out exactly what.

I drove to the Caribou for coffee and lemon bread for breakfast, took it home, and instead of setting up my spoils in the single room that’s mine in this shared apartment, I took the food to the dining room where we’ve got two picture windows that let whatever light in. It was still early, not quite nine, I was the only one awake. I ate the pastry and sipped the Americano. I read a book a friend had given me. Slowly, the sun crept up in the window and got hot on my neck. It was a simple, lovely morning. For once, I didn’t check the time.

And so Sunday rolled out like an old carpet. Christmas is coming, I’m starting a new position at work tomorrow, but that’s all just birds on the horizon diving for the ocean – I was comfortably on shore today.

I finished the book and started another. I pulled out an old laptop that my mother gave me (mine died a while ago) and got some writing done. Like things you’re pinning to a clothesline, my roommates came in and out. L came over. We talked and played a couple rounds of Mario Party. When the sun was setting, I had dinner with R at this Mexican joint before he headed home.

Holidays are buzz and bustle. But they’re also time to take the batteries out of the clock. I’ve been running a lot lately – sometimes in the most literal sense – and it was nice to have a day to settle down.

Novel Count: 7,442

Currently Reading: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, Kabi Nagata; A short manga, a gift from a friend; direct and emotional; a catalogue of depressive tendencies; endearing; pink and white art, overly cute, intentionally so; so specific it became universal. I recommend it.

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

Now this relaxation of the mind from work consists on playful words or deeds. Therefore it becomes a wise and virtuous man to have recourse to such things at times.

Thomas Aquinas


Coffee Log, Day 159

Hi.

Coffee: Americano from Caribou Coffee; it was lukewarm but the summer day made up for it.

A busy day. I took work off, planned PTO. There’s a wellness program that gives a credit on insurance. It requires a quick physical – just some measurements, a blood sample. I scheduled the physical for today.

The place was hard to find. It was a diagnostics shop, a number in a big office building. I circled the building a few times without finding it. An old couple almost backed into me. Finally, I took a chance on an unmarked door. It took me to a foyer, some elevators. The diagnostic place had a name marked on the second floor.

I don’t like getting my blood drawn. Something about a needle in my veins, my own heart pumping the blood away. In high school I donated, I guess I was tougher then. Maybe age has made me squeamish; maybe I’m too aware of all the ways my heart could stop.

Otherwise, the day’s been good. I finally saw a thunderstorm. It didn’t last long, but it was good company as I put the finishing touches on a short story. I’ll be submitting it to journals so I can’t post it here for a while, but something to look forward too?

I’m off tomorrow too. Vacation, vacation, the days pump out voluntarily.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.” – Clive Barker

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Coffee Log, Day 99

Hi.

Coffee: Hot Americano, Caribou Coffee

I read a long article about a 1950’s program to deculture native Alaskans by shipping them to White/Western boarding schools. It was well written. I think it was on Politico?

Unrelated, except maybe on a subliminal level, I took lunch at China Chef in Apex, a teensy spot two blocks from the bank. It was busy. Every booth was taken but one – a weird half-thing with plush on one side and tables stuck to the windows. I was the only white face. The other customers were all Latinx and most had Sherwinn-Williams shirts. The staff was Asian.

I like to feel uncomfortable. I feel most comfortable being uncomfortable. There’s some good in this, I think – I like the America who weaves every culture into her dress (or pants, take your preference). That said, I try to check my tourism.

The tofu was great today. It was crispy. The rice was good too. I remember cracking natto on breakfast rice bowls in Japan. The kids’ eyes go wide at the stuff – some love it, some don’t, but none of them thought an American would give it time. I did, it was fine, and secretly I liked the attention. They laughed a lot so I think they liked to give it, too.

We need the familiar and the different to define ourselves and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just have to be vigilant that when you look her in the eye – whoever she is, wherever she comes from – you’re giving back as much as you take.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

“Read. Read. Read. Just don’t read one type of book. Read different books by various authors so that you develop different style.”- R.L. Stine

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Coffee Log, Day 93

Hi.

Coffee: Hot Americano, Caribou Coffee; I woke up too late to brew a pot and I’ve lost my thermos so I rushed to Caribou. There was a line in the drive-through and I thought I might be late to work. Better late than lacking coffee.

Summer says ‘vegetable’ like ‘tomato’ or ‘to-mah-to’: vibrantly wrong-headed and self-assured. The storms broke today and it was sun and blue and green, few clouds, less of that humid trudge, the kind of heat the gets under you. Kids everywhere scream ‘recess’ and fading malls pray for freed-up allowances.

I walked to my new car and felt free. It was a strange feeling, not quite good, and the only thing it led me two was an extra-long exercise and a night cooking dinner. The kitchen was hot as death but the only things that died for me were roots and fruits and tubed-up soy shoots.

I read an article today claiming Humanity has successfully eliminated 83% of wild mammals from the Earth.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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