Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 274


Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I read an article about a fake university in Michigan. It was called ‘Farmington,’ was set up by the US Government, by ICE, and was designed to find foreign students who were looking to exploit college-based exceptions to immigration laws to retain stay in the country. That’s the propaganda, anyway. There’s more: it had an ad budget. ICE took taxpayer dollars to fund recruitment campaigns. They targeted Indian immigrants and current people on US soil whose visas were close to running out. They touted Farmington as a career-focused option, a way to move forward, a few breaks of light behind a long tunnel. So people signed up.

The funny thing is, there weren’t any classes on campus. Everything was online, and even these courses were taught sparingly. Some students thought this was strange, others rolled with the punches. Those that were worried reached out to the administration (read: secretly ICE) who ducked and dodged their questions and encouraged them to stay on. Fears were abated, worry turned into the most common of emotions, a resigned disappointment, and the young men and women trying to better themselves in America carried on.

That’s when the trap sprung. ICE cut off the veil and sent in the troops. They arrested dozens of the students, deported more. When the students asked why they were being deported, ICE told them their student Visas were invalid because they were not attending a real school. When the students asked why they were being put into prisons the ICE agents told them they should have known better, and locked the doors.

Amidst all this, at least, us taxpayers recouped some of our money – ICE charged the immigrant students $12k a semester tuition to attend; the students all paid; no news yet about them getting their money back.

There’s a thin margin between a modern government and the mob.

Currently Reading: Another Country, James Baldwin

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

‘It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.’ ‘A melancholy conclusion,’ said K. ‘It turns lying into a universal principle.’

Kafka, The Trial

Coffee Log, Day 346


Coffee Tea: Black Tea; I got home late last night and didn’t feel like getting the coffee ready. So I didn’t have coffee this morning. I microwaved a cup of water for two minutes and popped in the tea bag. It was sweet, a little nutty. It was just fine.

I had to work today, despite it being Saturday. I spent the morning listening to a young Colombian talk about getting engaged.

My cousin posted a video of him doing a penguin dive in Montana. The lake was frozen so they’d cut a square off the ice by the shore. He walks out in shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt, stands in line with a lesbian couple in matching tu-tu’s, and jumps. He does a cannonball. Spoosh! I’m a little worried when he hits the water, but then again, I don’t really know the guy.

In high school, I used to joke with R that his brother didn’t exist. At that time, his brother was off in college so he didn’t come around too often (at least that I could see). But if anyone had made the same jokes with me – that whatever aunt or uncle wasn’t real – I’d be hard pressed to prove them otherwise.

My family keeps the four corners of America. That’s a busy enough job that no-one ever visits each other. There’s a sliding scale of bad blood between them. And even when the blood’s decent, no-one feels like they have much to share.

The older I get, the more it sticks with me that I don’t have an extended family. Sometimes that’s a sad thought, other times liberating. It makes you feel like there’s just no chance that you’ll walk outside and see someone who shares your DNA. A tourist in your own home town.

I’ve got another cousin who came by last summer. He’s a big guy, friendly, a little drunk on fancy words. He makes movies. Or really, experimental film. He’s been posting snippets of a video he did on cow auctions. They fix the cows in a vice so that they can only face forward. Cattle all around, belting and hollering, but try as you might, you’ll never get your eyes on them.

Novel Count: 21,067

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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

What are they, Dad? Cows, son. What are cows, Dad? Cows are cows, son.

Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

Coffee Log, Day 96


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s brand

The last time I was there, Bond Lake was frozen. Thin ice – so thin it looked like tissue paper – but ice all the same.

Today was different. The greens were greenest and the sun bled us all sweat-dry. It wasn’t pretty. Well, in the shady places it was. A few dogs were barking across banks. Some ducks swam through.

In the deepest stretch of forest, I heard something cut a path over dead leaves. I thought it might be a squirrel. Then I thought it might be a snake. I’ve seen a lot of snakes in the triangle. Most often, I see them on the verge of losing something. People, places, what have you. I thought hard about what I might lose today. I didn’t see the snake, so maybe I’ve got some time to prepare. Hopefully, whatever goes will fall off like birch bark. It’s not always a bad thing to lose.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

“I am working on a new book about a boa constrictor and a litter of hyenas. The boa constrictor swallows the babies one by one, and the mother hyena dies laughing.” – E.B. White