Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 298

Hi.

Coffee: House Drip, McDonald’s Drive-Thru; The branch I’ve been studying at doesn’t drink coffee. They make tea in the mornings or some kind of faux-Tibetan energy drink. The manager is a body cleanser. The tellers are in no more need of caffeine. But I’ve been doing this too long to start my day without the stuff, my brain knows to expect it; ages ago, in neuroscience class, I learned that the mind is plastic, and adjusts to substances and circumstances; that’s why opium addicts only tend to die of their addiction outside the opium bars – their bodies can handle the stuff when they’re in the atmosphere of the dens. If I’m going to study, I’ll indulge my minor addiction; McDonald’s coffee is bathroom towels on the way down, ones that have been sitting around too long, but has a nice aftertaste

I’ve been nose-deep in books this week (not the fun kind, but study guides). I learned about IPO’s. Initial corporate stock offerings. And today, Goldmann Sachs says they won’t take those IPO’s to market anymore for companies whose Board of Directors is only straight, white men. That means two things: 1) that there’s a price tag on diversity; 2) that price is pretty high. Good news, though like any capitalist action it’s hard to know how long it will last. Progress only happens when it pays, no telling if it’ll stop paying.

But it got me to be a bit introspective – about the work I’m doing, or will be doing once I’m licensed. And it made me hopeful, there’s good here, or at least the opportunity for it. It’s good to see a bit of silver lining alongside the harder storms of the day.

Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

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

The corporate board has become a rare bright spot for gender and racial diversity at the highest echelons of corporate America. Almost half of the open spots at S&P 500 companies went to women last year, and for the first time they made up more than a quarter of all directors. In July, the last all-male board in the S&P 500 appointed a woman.

Jeff Green, writing for Bloomberg – Goldmann to Refuse IPOs If All Directors Are White, Straight Men

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 249

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Two Greeks walked into my office. Old, retired, they used to live in Thessaloniki. They needed some help setting up ownership, planning for probate, one was the daughter, one was her father, her mother had died. She sounded like peanut butter when she said it, ‘Mom’s gone.’ On their way out, I dug up an old travel memory and said ‘thank you,’ efharisto.

An older woman sat down across from me and raised her hands. “I’m bringing you trouble,” she said, drawing out the ‘t.’ Jewish. She was having issues operating her online banking. I talked to the woman for half an hour and thought we had the problem solved then she came back. We called the hotline and tried different things. She said she’s bad with technology. She said she’s bad with computers. She said she doesn’t understand why something so simple gets complicated, and I remembered all the times I ever said ‘this is easy,’ and felt bad. Later, when the day was done, packing up, she calls, I answer, and she says its working, and that she was so excited she had to tell me. She said I must be happy to be through with her and I tell her I’d be happy helping anytime. I meant it.

I talked to an Indian doctor who tells dry jokes. I ask him how he’s doing, he says awful, as always. He tells me about all the relatives coming down. Then we get to business and I help him send a wire. It’s international. It goes out, It comes back. Our bank needs clarification on the address. So I call him, the doctor, and try to get the address. He talks so soft and fast it’s hard to understand. I have to ask him to repeat it and by the end we’re both laughing. I don’t know why I’m laughing, I don’t know if he knows. Everything works out in the end.

America sounds best in many accents.

I have never lived anywhere but New York or New England, but there are times when I’m talking to you and I hit a Southern vowel, or a word gets caught in a Southern truncation, and I know it’s because I’m swimming in your cadences, that you permeate my very language.

David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary

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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