Tag Archives: coffee talks

My own fortress of solitude (Day 28/ Project 365)

Solitude in silence

Feeling a bit frustrated with the cards I am dealt with at the Grindhouse.
I have always taken my responsibilities seriously–even to a fault. I am committed to my job, and very conscious of my output.

So when someone accused me of being “slow” with my work, I took the remarks to heart. I took offense. Not because I can’t handle the criticism but because I know I work hard and I take my responsibilities seriously. So to say I am slow when I am juggling three things at the same time is not only insulting but also disheartening.

This feeling of sadness overtook me last Friday that I had no choice but to leave early and spend time guzzling multiple cups of bitter coffee at UCC, gloating to no one but myself. Imagine men knocking back six packs and beers on a deserted bar, shooting the breeze and maybe cursing whoever might be causing them trouble at work. Well, translate that to a coffee shop and yes, you will have me. I haven’t felt that frustrated in a very long time and for the first time, I decided to re-assess my current standing at the Grindhouse.

Do not get me wrong, I love the Grindhouse and its many crazy inhabitants, but like good ol’ Supes I also have a weakness. I may be always take charge of things and my thick skin might make me come off as a “take-no-prisoners” go-getter, but hey I get emotional too.

During moments like this, I’ve found out that I do well just seething in silence. Somehow, there’s peace in staying quiet, peace that is so elusive when you have a couple of friends giving you advice. For times like this, I automatically shut down and lose interest to any form of human communication. I do well handling rejection and criticism when I am on my own, guzzling coffee and staring in space. Silence — my version of Superman’s Fortress Solitude. Unlike the guy in blue who has to fly to North Pole, all I need is a corner space, newly brewed coffee and the company of myself to escape from it all.

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Day 24 and 25 (Project 365)

Day 24

smiley!

Day 25

it's not a newly-discovered type of supernatural being -- it's just my cat

The lack of a post yesterday is due to the weird internet connection we have here at home. The firewall kept acting up thus limiting access to the internet. And wow, did I tell you that I managed to be sick again following three days of being confined in bed? Yeah, good times indeed!

I had a great dinner last night with my good friend A at Figaro, our favorite go-to place after a harrowing day at work. Before that, we lined up to try our luck at the local lottery. Who wouldn’t? The pot was already at PHP130M (about 2.8M USD) when we placed our bets and I will be lying if that wouldn’t change our lives. A is the youngest in her family and the breadwinner in the family. At a very young age, she is already showing signs of stress due to too much work. And then, there’s me: more than a decade of being a corporate slave, married for three years, with a savings account that doesn’t really account to much. Imagine what PHP130M can do to change our lives.

Anyway, Figaro has always been our favorite go-to place to de-stress and take stock of our miserable working conditions. Recently we have come to discussing about the person who is revealed to be such a pompous ass it pains us to be even closely associated with him. We talked about how we are working ourselves to our early graves. The funny thing is, after our initial discussion, the waiter (and his adorable dimples) came over and gave us the smiley pin. We can pin that in the tab if we thoroughly enjoyed the service.

Thing is, Figaro has always been a favorite of mine. The Hubby and I went there on our very first date, and that was what thirteen years ago? It has been a part of my life ever since. The fact that it is quiet, no muzak and you can pretty much be in your own cocoon makes it my most favorite coffee shop ever.

The next picture is not a newly discovered specie of monster or supernatural being. That’s Sayuri, our adorable yet utterly crazy cat…sleeping the world’s worries away.

Stuff that I am made of…

Just one more day and it’s the end for me.
Somehow, I try to find any kind of emotion left for all the tragedy and agony I’ve experienced this past week, and the funny thing is I don’t feel anything anymore.

I guess I’ve always been the type of person who hates dwelling on the negative. As much as possible, I try to forget what I’ve been through, I am always in a hurry to move forward. Though you can bet I hold grudges and I don’t forget the people who made my life miserable. It’s one of the negative things about me–I don’t easily forgive and I tend to plan my revenge. That’s why The Hubby never failed to remind me that I have been purrrrrty blessed in my short life, and that I shouldn’t spend it holding grudges. Yep, The Grudge — that’s me 🙂

But in spite my shortcomings, I think it’s kinda safe to say that I am made of a lot of things. Not just black or white; sugar or spice; love or hate — I think revel in being the ball of complications that I am…

I. …I am someone that is (thankfully) raised well by my parents
I was born to middle middle-class parents who had to work in order to earn an honest living. I was not schooled in the top 4 universities in the Philippines, but I am a product of a state University. For everything that I buy, I had to work hard to achieve it. In short, I am not rich, I am not famous — but am lucky to possess the breeding that can be equated with proper upbringing.

During my time in the middle of the tempest last week, I had all the reasons to walk away and give the company THE finger. After all–in all intents and purposes–I have nothing to lose. I have an amazing job waiting for me, and I can get by even without the back pay (thanks to a Hubby who pledged support, and parents that are willing to lend me a quick buck). But I decided to swallow my pride and just let it be. I never once answered back or stooped to the level of my tormentors. I had a quick prayer for each time I was faced with harsh words and harsher treatment. As Bitchy C puts it, “It took a lot of courage to choose to take the high road…” and it did. And even till now, I am thankful cos it made me a lot stronger than I thought I was…

“…Sick of all this inertia
Won’t you mend me?

Lover, can you help me?
I’m a child lost in the woods
A black heart pollutes me
And I think

You’re a mountain that I’d like to climb
Not to conquer, but to share in the view

Pulled by a false inertia
Pushed out by circumstance
Pistol firing at my feet
That’s coercing me to dance…”

II. “Haaaaaaaay, Lani…”
That’s what actually Saintly J said (twice) while we were feeling posh and smug, buried chest deep in a late snack of vegetarian crepe (for J), plus a dish of eggs, bacon and crepe for me and Bitchy C (I can’t remember the names cos they were spelled in French). We were at Cafe Breton, celebrating the near-death of my career as a Senior PR Consultant for the Firm.

The food was good, the company was amazing (albeit foul-mouthed):

Bitchy C and I shared this amazing meal -- please don't ask me what it was. It was written in French
vegetarian crepe containing tomatoes, mushroom, tuna and cheese

We were discussing J’s apparent predilection for young, nubile females (unconfirmed — I value my life and I don’t want to die by J’s “eskrima-ing hands” and the apparent happy life waiting for me and Bitchy C away from the tempest that is the former company. We were, as usual, loud, uncouth and hungry — shoveling mouthfuls of food while we goad, tease, harass the poor J.

That’s one thing I am adorably made of: the capacity to meet people and fall head-over-heels-in-like with them. J, Bitchy S, Conservative A, Tattooed L — these were the people I fiercely value at the company-that-must-not-be-named. I was not lucky to find a career in public relations, but I was lucky to find people who accepted me: grammatical errors and all. I am happy and okay with that.


III. Apparently, I was (effing) dressed like Barbie: The travails of being fashion-hungry, and a blondie wannabe

I went to work today, dressed like this:

YES, I am wearing the exact same thing earlier: plaid skirt (pink and brown combo), black forever 21 shirt and heavy studded boots

Apparently, I was FUCKING dressed like plaid-wearing Barbie. I kid you not, I didn’t took pictures cos my face was too harassed to merit public viewing. I was wearing my thrifted plaid skirt (bought for 50 bucks!), my black blouse from Forever 21 and the heavy studded boots I’ve taken to wearing ANYeffingWHERE. Might go out with a bang, I figured…then fast forward at 12MN, I search the net and find Barbie wearing the exact same shit I wore. My fashion peg, ladies and gentlemen, is a doll. Gives you an idea on my maturity quotient.

Everyday, here are the two things that are constant with my life (and outfit):

my black polkadot bag (from Bench) and the studded and chained black boots

The black bag has been through hell and back and still sturdy. The boots is perfect for long walks and for giving the extra “attitude”.

Then, I had the brilliant idea to redo and fix my roots (they are now showing). I’d love to look like BOA:

I love you, Boa's hair!!!!

If only I’d start looking more like a human being (with the high cheekbones), and less like a chipmunk., my life will be easier.

Days in oblivion

It’s a full-blown countdown before I finally leave my work place of four months.
In four months, I managed to do find like-minded individuals whom I spent time bitching, asserting loser status and finally, the joys and blessing of finally finding the opportunity to move on.

Here’s my Friday night, spent together with the miserable kids club:

penne pasta - Seattle's Best

We hung out (like the smug kids that we are) at Boni High Street, lounging away like the tired and stressed yuppie slaves that we are. Our venue of choice? Seattle’s Best. Coffee shops are a dime a dozen here in Manila, but my top pick would always be UCC Coffee, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Seattle’s Best and Figaro. UCC because (as you know) I support all things Japanese; Figaro because this coffee shop is where the hubby and I first dated, and has played significantly in M and I’s dating and marriage life and finally, Seattle’s Best and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf because it is not crowded and noisy. What I love also with Seattle’s Best is that they have great pasta meals and their coffee also tastes great. The interiors at their High Street branch was simply awesome, like you were somewhere else: maybe in New York or London perhaps?

Anyway, the peace and quiet usually associated with Seattle’s Best was definitely ruined last night after my friend C started spewing bullsh*t and various obscenities in her usual perky little mouth. C has a loud personality, matched equally with her adorable “go-get-em” attitude. I love that she really doesn’t care about what other people friggin think and she will say what’s on her mind, irregardless of where she maybe.

While C is embarrassing the hell out of J (the only guy in the group, both to his advantage and misfortune):

my laid-back Friday accessories

I took pictures of my latest favorite, my “laid-back Friday” baller bands that I’ve taken to wearing each time I feel like the day will be slow, informal and laid back. The red baller ID with the funny chipmunk is the one I got from the Sanrio gachopon machine during me and my best friend’s Saturday day out. The white baller band is a (sort of) birthday gift from my dear hubby, which he bought at local lifestyle store, Bench. The One for Japan baller band reads: 日本 の た め に… when roughly translated, it can be read as “Nihon no Tame Ni/For the Benefit of Japan” (I hope my Japanese is still not as rusty as I think it was). While I don’t really like wearing rubber bracelets since it has a tendency to trap moisture and sweat, these two bands meant a lot to me so I wear them as much as possible.

Since we are getting sentimental, my best friend of 15 years gave me this cellphone charm during our Saturday gimik a week ago:

she's so me!

Ain’t she cute?

I love this picture of C and J cos it revealed their personalities:

the bitchy C and the saintly J

C with her bitchy smirk and J with his “aw-shucks-keep-the-volume-down” smile and shy demeanor. J is this big shot writer who managed to have a few stories out in the front page during his short tenure as a business reporter for one of Manila’s leading dailies. He is also the voice of reason in our little group, being the guy who had to keep the estrogen level down each time. Also present is model A, not to confuse with conservative A, who is equally as loud as C.

After the very loooooong coffee, we decided to have a bottle of beer each, to shake off the Friday night blues and help usher in a laid back weekend:

well, i had 2 and 1/2 bottles 🙂

I decided to throw in the towel and go home to the comfort of my bedroom at 1AM, meanwhile–the three decided to look for other hedonistic opportunities, elsewhere.

Good times, indeed.