A New Newness

Max station at sunrise
Credit: SBI

It is dark and cold. The moon is a perfect crescent just hanging there in the very early morning sky as a reminder that the night is not through with its hold. I am standing at the train station, my new mint green travel mug is in my hand warming it and filling me with hot Jasmine tea. I look around at my fellow commuters. It is Monday and their faces seem to reflect that. I see many yawns and tired eyes.
I am, on the other hand, grinning like a banshee. I couldn’t be more awake. I am on my way to my new job and it is the first day. I’m sure in time I will become as lackluster as these poor other souls here; shivering in the cold, dark and lonely train station at 6:13 a.m., but for now I am too excited and definately much too grateful to do anything but wear a smile as wide as the sky.
The job hunt took longer than I thought and I don’t have to tell anyone that times are harder than they used to be. I am looking forward to getting a reliable income. Despite my extra long commute, I can’t help but appreciate this opportunity that I have been given.
I’m sure that you remember me complaining about money being tight in the past but now things will ease up a bit. I couldn’t be happier about it. I think the economy is turning a slow and steady corner and my good fortune is a sign of that.
I am taking the train. In reality it’s called the MAX. It is a light rail that will transport me to a faraway land called Beaverton. I am leaving my comfort zone of good old Portland for the sprawl of suburbia.

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

The commute is long but it will give me a chance to think, scribble in my little blue notebook which I am doing now and catch up on my reading. I am glad that I had the opportunity of working at home in the past but I am also just as glad that I am able to work out of the home now. My children are growing up; they don’t need me as much and I need to get out into the real world. I’ve lived somewhat of a sheltered life and to be a decent writer one needs to be somewhat worldly….for now my expanded world includes Beaverton, but this is not forever. I am even more determined than ever to make a go of at as a professional writer.
I am probably telling you all of this because I won’t be able to visit you as much as I’d like, at least for now….I will be doing most of my visiting on the weekends and some nights and playing catch up as I’m sure many of you do already.
I think my frivolous activities such as tweeting and playing Scrabble online will have to be toned done a bit but I will make blogging a priority. My writing and contacts with you are important to me and that won’t change even if as I take on the wilds of Beaverton and slowly become a corporate killer….haha. really…I’m just a grunt in an office. The job that I really wanted at the nursery was not offered to me and I had to go back to what I am experienced in which is office work., oh well. I guess one must do what one must do.

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

I am fortunate enough to be able to work in a nice place that is in the middle of a natural like area with shrubs, trees and fields of green. Just the other day I spied a hummingbird on my break; so things could be worse. I am thinking of it as an adventure and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

I’m sure I will have much to share with you over the coming months…

Have an excellent day!

Strawberryindigo.

“In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.” 
~Kristian Kan

big-blue-skies1.jpg

“Perserverence is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” 

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Weekly Photo Challenge: There Goes My Neighborhood   (picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com)

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A Love You Can Bank On

bank heart_filled_with_love

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” ~ Henry Ford~

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It is late November, soon after Thanksgiving, a woman with a fake smile plastered to her face opens the door and welcomes me inside. The sweet inviting smell of gingerbread wafts out like a meandering tendril of affection pulling me in closer and closer. A giant stuffed pony sits at the ready, seemingly waiting for giant hugs…I must say that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; I can almost hear the carolers now but all I hear is “Welcome to Wells Fargo!”

I have been frequenting this bank for the last twenty years or so and I have never seen it quite like this: Ever since Occupy Portland staged a bank protest day the people at the bank have become seemingly friendlier and friendlier. To the banks this may seem like good public relations but it seems too artificial and it is unnerving to me.

I look for the cookies to no avail and I feel stupid for doing that…of course they must be practicing the popular trend of piping in the intoxicating aroma to lull us poor unsuspecting customers into a false sense of security… Trust perhaps?

bankster-trust-me-im-a-banker by teamster nation

Banks are big on trust. It seems those with the money and the power are desperate to get us little guys to trust them. I have a piece of advice on that: never trust anyone who keeps bringing up the issue of trust: who says “trust me” or really anyone at all for that matter (except for your family and me–you must trust me)

I see the poor nervous ones in the corner, waiting uncomfortably in comfy plush chairs arranged in a circle in a vague semblance of someone’s living room. They are waiting their turn to see a personal banker. (aka purse string holder)  These are the people who help you apply for a loan or help modify your mortgage.  Every one of these poor waiting people look sick.  One in particular, an elderly man in a frayed jacket with paint stains is visually shaken. I’ve been in that spot before; I feel sorry for them and relieved that I am not among their ranks–today.

banks make-money-public-domain

It is a strange event when banks won’t take cash from you…Yes cash, that funny green paper we mortals keep passing around, the dirty stuff you must wash your hands after using. We had an envelope of cash–around $300, not much to some but a lot to me.  MM hands them the wrong bankcard from another institution of banking and larceny. He receives a disappointed look, like he has been caught cheating. I add to the insult by writing the wrong number on the deposit slip. the teller who resembles Timothy Geithner asks for his ID. He hands it to Timmy but Timmy now squints and gazes at him sideways; MM looks different from the picture with his newish beard and that was that–Timmy refuses to accept the money, seriously. He tells us with utter contempt to return with the correct information. In the past no one has questioned us for such an offense, in my experience banks will always take cash but not today… we are perplexed.

Timmy Geithner

I say to MM:  ” I should write about this.” He gives me that “Oh no, not again” look but quickly tries to cover it with a placating smile.  I don’t know how he can put up with me sometimes and as the afternoon goes on I ask him and a few others if they have ever heard of any interesting stories about banks in the news lately…especially nice ones as I want to get all angles of this story–Happy bankers, heartwarming tidbits of gleeful giving, perfect for the upcoming Holiday season…I ask this with a straight face. I really want the banks to be able to redeem themselves in my eyes, really, I mean it! …I know what you’re thinking and everyone I talked to thought along similar lines and so all I get are the same placating smiles and polite “No’s”.

The internet knows all Kittycat

I then turn to all that’s fit to print: The internet. The Internet knows all, so when I ask it the very same question, it too gives me the same look and this time a very stern “NO!”

And this gets me thinking…

I felt like the long-suffering wife in a bad marriage; unloved and unappreciated.  I looked at myself hard in the mirror, I studied all the newly formed worry lines on my face. I took  way too long showers and cried myself to sleep. I binged on chocolate ice cream and listened to love songs and cried even more…well…no, not really but I did have some ice cream and I did do one other thing–for real:  I quit that bank. I realised that it really  “wasn’t that into me and I withdrew my little sum of money and marched straight to the arms of another love–The local credit union!

money on my purple lap

“Corporations have no souls but they can love one another.”

~Henry Demarest Lloyd~

money bags

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Occupy Portland: N17 Protestors move into downtown, go from bank to bank, police make some arrests    (oregonlive.com)

50 ways to leave your lover by Paul Simon (www.youtube.com)

How Traditional Banking Practices Can Make You Poor (wisebread.com)

Banks… 😐 (muddiedwater.wordpress.com)

A Very Rich Man, Indeed.

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...
Image via Wikipedia

Aesop once said the worth of money is not in its possession, but in its use.  I can think of no one person who exemplifies that idea more than Warren Buffett.  Some call him “The Oracle from Omaha.”, I call him inspiring.

Mr. Buffett has been in the news of late due to his company Berkshire Hathaway‘s $5 billion dollar investment in the troubled Bank of America and also Buffett’s recent piece in the New York Times.  In the piece he asks Congress to raise tax rates on him and his rich buddies.  What a piece of work this man is.

I had already thought the world of Mr. Buffett before his recent actions, not only for his investment and business prowess, his uncommon common sense and his personality, (Hey,the guy’s cool to me)  all of which I have to say that I admire greatly.

It is his record of philanthropy that I admire the most.  It is the reason why he is one of my heroes.  His pledge to donate almost his entire fortune to the good of others and his devotion to get billionaires like him to do the same is simply put; inspiring.

It is that attitude that can inspire us all, rich, poor and in between to give some of ourselves to help others.  It doesn’t have to be money, although that would help.  It could be your time, the most valuable thing of all.  It could be your expertise, or advice. Maybe it could be a kind word to a stranger who really needs it at the time.

This is what real magic is made of.  Love and care for our fellow human beings.  It gets around and believe me it comes back to you triple fold. It’s up to everyone to see how they can help.  We all have our individual talents and ways of contributing. I am not a financial titan like Warren Buffett, but my dream is to help in some way through my writing.

We as a country, actually we as a planet are facing unprecedented social,economic and environmental turmoil and this divided attitude we humans possess could spell much trouble down the road.  We can all do our part.

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.