The Starbucks Planner Dilemma

Some people by now have already started coming in and out of Starbucks stores. Some in a rush to complete their sticker booklets while some to redeem their own Starbucks planner. Well, not me but however late it may be, this time I seem to reconsider the idea. The dilemma ‘to planner or not to planner’ strikes once more.

That’s because I just realized that after a long time, this year appears to be the year when I should’ve had a planner of some sort.  Stuck in my car last Friday and having finished a heavy rice meal right after I parked at work three hours earlier than usual, I found myself pondering on things that have happened this year. Everything was overwhelming since 2016 started.

Events came in faster than I would have imagined. Marcus got his US visa against all odds; we transferred house on a tight budget and in a short timeframe; I unexpectedly got a new role at work; and everything else—good or bad—in between. It was like a smorgasbord served in front of me all at the same time and the no leftover rule applies. (Ah yes, not close to any Japanese buffet but it’s like the pack of lauriat I found in the backseat that my sister was supposed to take with her when I dropped her back in Alabang. Everything in the paper bag was cold by then but good enough.)

That Chowking meal made me last until the end of the day’s training. A training that had me cancel a vacation I planned long before I got myself in this new account, in this new culture. Oh, and a plane ticket to be rebooked in the process. I now owe wifey Php 6000 more.

So maybe yes I need a planner this time. Maybe I should start using one again to take note of schedules, list of people I need to meet (and avoid), and maybe to doodle while stressed in the parking lot. Assuming I spend a venti everyday until the 30th I think could still get it. But then again that’s almost 2000 pesos for a planner so maybe not—not until I start to realize that I actually need to plan an itinerary in the weeks to come. A cheap notebook seems more appealing for now.

From the PAL office to Acacia. We dropped by to say hi and take a dip in hotel’s pool.

***

Mood: 6/10 Honks! (Rebooking sucks.)

Instant Coffee

Coffee and Donut

Glad to Wake Up Still At Home

It’s one of those days when I prayed like never before and this morning was proof somehow that God still answers fervent prayers. I woke up still on the same bed with my wifey and kid beside me and not somewhere else. Last night, I slept with an uneasy feeling thinking that a typhoon with a strength that was never heard of before in the Philippines will be passing by or worse, make landfall. Again thank God, he listened to us Filipinos who for sure don’t want a repeat typhoon Ondoy did and to think that another typhoon will happen just within the same week.

***

Another good thing this morning is the arrival of another set of bags of Tully’s and Peets coffee beans coming from a relative in the US via her friend in Bacolod. That domestic stopover added something more to the package which is a perfect match for a brewed coffee, piaya.

Thanks again Keren and Gary for filling my cravings for caffeine. I’m quite sure that I’d be Starbucks-free at least for a month or two.

***

Just a thought: Aren’t typhoon Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng God’s own warning shot for us to stop and think what we’ve been doing to our environment? Weren’t we taught that cleanliness is next to godliness?

Think about it my friends. Let’s make a lot more effort to take good care of the environment. It’s never too late.

***

It’s about time I promote another blog I maintain just to catch and record litterbugs and smoke belchers. This is my own way to help drive environmental consciousness. Please check and contribute to Planet Trash Can.

***

Mood: 4/5 Honks! (Sleepy and tired…and anxious.)

Pancake and Peets day

 

Today must be a good a day. I started with a hearty breakfast of pancake (courtesy of wifey) paired with a hot instant coffee.

Its leaning, its oily...its delicious.

It's leaning, it's oily...it's delicious.

As if there’s one coffee god watching while we ate and who finds it pathetic that it could have been made better with a good brewed coffee, he sent over someone from the courier company, LBC. The delivery man handed on to me not 1 but 3 packs of Peets coffee from Vegas (via Bacolod). Wow, isn’t that great?

Dad, the package looks familiar but the brand doesnt.

"Dad, the package looks familiar but the brand doesn't."

 

Can I have this one tomorrow instead of my boring formula?

"Can I have this one tomorrow instead of my boring formula?"

Pure caffeine pleasure days are here again. Hahaha. Thanks again Keren.

***

The package was sent via my cousin’s friend (who also got some of this Peets) who is in Bacolod. I soon learned that he’s an elder brother of a schoolmate back in high school. Small world, huh.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

  

Rain: love and hate

 

Rain, rain go away. Come again another day,” goes one of the most recognized nursery rhymes. There’s just something about the rain that makes most people love and hate it at the same time. I for one is among those who share such mixed emotions every time the dark heavens open up.  

Here are some of the things I find annoying every time it rain cats and dogs (sorry, I can’t help not using the expression):

  • Bad drivers. Someone who has taken defensive driving lessons will know that continuing to drive with the hazard lights on is a no-no. Why? Because it doesn’t allow other drivers, especially someone driving right behind, to see when you’re signaling a turn – that is, if one even cared doing so. If one finds it necessary to turn on the hazard lights because he sees it dangerous to drive under the heavy rain, he must instead pull over the shoulder and remain there until he thinks the road if visible enough for him to continue.

  • Pretentious road improvement projects. One doesn’t need to listen/watch/read the news to know that the Philippines ranks high among other nations when it comes to corruption. All it takes is for one to go out during the rainy season, take either a public transport or his own car, observe the roads he/she pass by and presto, he’ll know that those road improvement projects that most of the politicians bragged about in summer are something they should be ashamed of come June when rain pours hard and seeps in the meringue-like asphalt pavement. It wouldn’t even take a couple of days of continuous rainfall to expose these potholes that as an immediate effect slows down traffic flow to almost a standstill.

  • Bad house construction shows. Just like our “well-paved” roads, the rain too exposes bad workmanships of self-declared carpenters and construction workers. In fact, someone gave me a tip before, that it is best to check for a prospective residential place during the rainy season because this is when house leaks become very obvious at the very least. Other things such as clogged village drainage and poorly waterproofed walls appear even under a novice’s eyes. Unfortunately for me, I heard about that tip years after we settled in our current house which is now leaking as if some adult with incontinence.

  • Diseases come out. This is what I hate the most about the rainy season because it’s not just colds and flu that becomes almost unavoidable but it is the risk of getting mosquito-borne disease like dengue that scares me the most, especially now that we got a baby boy to look out for. Come to think of it isn’t this part of the task that our good mayors and village officers should have taken cared of? Ti abi.

To be fair, the rain of course has its own appeal and good effect:

  • I’m sucker for movies of any genre with scenes where it rains except for cliché love scenes where lovers meet, hug and kiss as if being wet doesn’t matter doesn’t count – it’s so overused and needless to say, I hate it…well most of it, anyway;

  • Likewise, I love being inside the cinema watching a rainy scene while it is raining hard outside at the same time.

  • The rain is a perfect match for coffee whether it’s from a 3-in-1 sachet or a Starbucks brew, it doesn’t matter.

  • I don’t know if this is weird, but I love the sound of the rain hitting the steel roof top, more so if it doesn’t leak. I’m so amused by it that when a real estate agent once proudly mentioned that the concrete-tiled roof insulates the sound of the rain, I for a moment thought that it’s a turn-off rather than an appeal.

  • And how can I forget that the rain makes it great excuse just to snuggle together and enjoy the cooling effect of the heavy downpour. Hmmm. Got to hit the sack. Good night!

 

Photo credits: 

Albert – car splash

Marcelgermain – man with the colorful umbrella

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

A Week of Interviews (Part 1)

                                    

I’ve said it several times either to myself or to someone – Time flies so fast. And so today I was surprised to see that the last time I did a blog was on August 31 and fifteen days after that, I’m still wondering what I’ve been thru since then. Now I’m in the middle of the much waited months for us Pinoys – the “ber” months.  And being the 15th which is the payday for most employees, I can just imagine the throng of people in the mall, in the clubs, and those in the beer bars – all of which probably enjoying at least a couple of Christmassy tunes in the process.

In spite of having lost track of my activities, the freshest memory that still lingers in my mind is the things that we did last week. In work terms, work week 37. Last week, my wife and I underwent a couple of separate exciting interviews amid my untimely colds that was made worse by the enduring rainy week.  But having prepared for these interviews for so long, not to mention that the stakes are high, we proceeded undeterred.

The first one was in the US embassy in Manila. It was actually my wife’s idea to try our luck in getting a US Visa (tourist). Although, I’ve been thru this before for my week-long Wisconsin training trip, I was a bit pessimistic in acquiring a new one as I’ve seen a couple of times the disappointment it gave my parents upon every denial in their quest to visit my sister abroad. Lately though, according to wifey, a lot of her peers got theirs without much ado. And true indeed, after a couple of anxiety-filled hours inside the embassy, our visa application got approved as well. My wife went out of the hallway skipping like a kid promised with a weekend beach picnic. “I feel like I’ve just won the American Idol audition”, she quipped. Well, that probably puts me in William Hung’s shoes when he got the record deal. (What made it greater was that our Visa expires in 2018 but the news today regarding the end of validity of the green passport by 2010 looks trouble to me.)

One thing that my wife and I are totally in synch with is that both of us agree with rewarding ourselves with every success that we had; more often than not, we love having food treats. And this time we dropped by MOA (Mall of Asia) looking for something new. Then we saw Cheesecake Etc. Inc. It is a small (approx. seats 10-15 person) restaurant but with cozy feel to it. Obviously, we ordered a couple of cheesecakes and coffee to match it. What we got were nicely presented (lovely shape and plate decoration) and were fairly priced. I recommend this place as an alternative to Starbucks.

After satisfying our sweet tooth, we headed to the cinemas just in time to catch the movie Wall-E – this time to feed our craving for comic relief. And like any other Disney movie we’ve seen, this movie didn’t fail us. The scenes in the movie despite being subtle and comical packs a serious message of what our (humans) future awaits if we lose the awareness on our environmental obligations. It also sends a strong warning to everyone who tends to entrust our lives to technology with the belief that it is there to give us convenience. Convenience that if not controlled will eventually produce more bad than good effects in the end. Do garbage problem and obesity sounds familiar? If there’s an animated counterpart to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth movie, this is it. This is a must see movie for both young and old alike. (I love this one so much that I can’t wait to get its DVD.)

(to be contintued…)

Ref:

http://www.pinasgift.com/cheesecake_etc.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WALL-E