Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Business Anniversary

Over the weekend, I received a Thank You card from my bank. It was one of those form letters to say 'thank you for your business', but at the bottom was this in handwriting: "Thank you for trusting us for the past thirty years." Thirty years? Really?

When I first moved to Boston in January 1991, I knew one of the very first things I needed to do was get a bank account. Some of my co-workers at the time recommended Cambridge Trust, because it was near the office. Back then it was next to the train station (Kendall Square, inbound) that I used to go home. If I close my eyes, I think I can remember the tellers there, back when everyone used to regularly step foot inside banks to make deposits.

I opened a safe deposit box with Cambridge Trust a few years later, in their Harvard Square location. I stuffed the box with my "important papers". Mostly I liked the ritual of visiting the box inside that large musty safe. The attendant would usher you into a little room so you could examine the box contents. When I was done, I'd stroll around Harvard for a bit, feeling grown-up.

Thirty years is a long time. I've worked for seven companies and I've given all of them the same bank account and routing number. (Three of those companies have since dissolved.) I've stuck with the same design for my checkbook even though practically every financial transaction is electronic now. A lot has changed in thirty years, so it's nice to be reminded when things stay the same.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

My 2020 Books and Movies

In 2020, I watched 48 movies (Letterboxd) and 18 books (Goodreads).

My favorite book last year was Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel (2014). It's about the world after a deadly virus wipes out nearly all of the population. How does a society survive? How does a society rebuild? A fitting fiction for 2020. Also check out: The Three-Body Problem.

My favorite movie last year was American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood (2014). This is a modern war movie with high patriotism on display, but Cooper's powerful and poignant depiction of Chris Kyle sends it to the top for me. Also check out: Safety Not Guaranteed.