s m o r g a s w o r d

Archive for November, 2014|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on November 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm

THE LAST night spent in Montreal was something for the books.

IN THE convenience of our Upper East Side loft and a bottle of wine, I will try to recall what happened.

EVERYTHING started with us heading home after going to a market or marche as they say in Francais in Jean Tolan. The name itself lends to much hilarity but during the trek back to the metro so we could go home was anything but hilarious. We are talking about negative temperature plus wind here plus 10 blocks plus an unfamiliar locale.

EXHAUSTED WHEN we got back to the hotel, I dozed off for about 5 minutes. Rica, who is pregnant and walked the same calvary as us, dozed even longer. Joy, who knows her mind too well that sleeping for a short time would only make her cranky woke me up and we explored Montreal’s well-lit, well-heated underbelly: the CBD that is interconnected by tunnels that leads to sorties in either the nearest metro or the nearest mall. We chanced upon a food court that is at par with Asian food courts: real food, real chefs, real prize. We settled for pho and ordered two small ones plus the best Pepsi I’ve ever hard. Heated with the soup, we went out and then went back to the tunnels again and just retraced our way back to the hotel. We settled for couple of drinks at the bar and waited for Rica and JC.

A PISS at the room and we headed back out. Time and temperature is of the essence so after emerging from the metro, we cabbed it to the dining place where on the way, we passed a horde of young people chanting “No Justice, No Peace” in both Francais and Anglaise of course. Very charming, this scene of youth in revolt being faced by the polizie in full batter gear.

THE DINING place is one of those transplants from Brooklyn that is everywhere in the world now from Dublin, Berlin, Amsterdam, Manila, and these are just the places that I’ve been too and remembered seeing something similar. Dim lights of the filament kind, reclaimed wood, exposed brink. Beards and manbuns and the words “mixing department” on the mirrored bar. Artisanal pilsner on tap. Not quite American, not quite Indian (insert a different cuisine here) on the menu. Introductions were had and then the night begins.

I TOOK notes with my ears and my eyes and my mind wide open because the person that reserved the place — Madam Rica’s friend — is a character. Tales of being in a band, unemployment, open relationship were had. My only contribution was the name Sam Rosenthal of Projekt records when dark wave wove itself into the conversation. Anyway, more artisanal pilsner were ordered and then it is time to go.


WE ENDED up in a real Montreal apartment with a cat.

A JOINT was lit. (I excusie moi myself having the self-awareness that just one toke would get me back on the habit.)

“MY GIRL” was played on the turntable (but of course!).

FIRST EDITIONS of books were discussed and I saw an Orwell and a Vonnegot.

A WHITE chick came in.

I GOT high on second hand smoke.

THE CAT started to ignore us all.


I DRANK bad hotel coffee and finished a leftover chocolate muffin.

NOW, HOW often do you have this kind of experience. Something that you only see in films, the smoke, the books, the dingy apartment, the cat. The fucking cold of course. Getting stoned on second hand smoke of lethal marijuana. The white chick that could have bordered on underage. The list could go on forever and I am sure, in the days to come, more details will come in as my mind clears.


In Uncategorized on November 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm

WE ARE in Montreal. Escaping Thanksgiving. But wasn’t able to escape the consumerism of America as the missus bought 3 pairs of suits on my moolah & I bought a winter coat. Tomorrow night, I might purchase another pair of winter boots. Plus that font that I have been lusting on.

MONTREAL is different from Toronto and Vancouver and an experience unto itself. Very polite Canadians of course doing the par les vous and merci. Diverse cuisines. First world public transpo. A city under a city with heated tunnels that connect the whole downtown through malls and metro sorties. Did I mention very polite Canadians?

LIST OF things to be thankful for:
– health
– my cardiologist
– being in NY legally
– work with them beautiful hipsters
– family
– real friends
– small change in the bank account
– the novel finally published (buy it you fuckers!)
– the other novel that was finished before this one
– the next novel halfway through
– the loft apartment with its 1.5 bath


In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

THIS WEDNESDAY, the award-winning novel will be released worldwide.

ALL YOU have to do is to request a copy from you nearest bookstore via the ISBN: 978-1502429377

OR, IF borrowing from the library, use the LCCN: 2014918455

BUT IF you love me, please make your purchase via amazon (dot) com as the royalties are bigger and the the dolyares appear in my bank account in real time.



In Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

DEEP THOUGHT number 1:

The book industry is just beginning to learn what the musicians and film makers have learned long ago. That you can make your shit without compromising, that executives are there to leech off your income, that corporation cannot take risks.

DEEP THOUGHT number 2:

Everything starts with being local.


In Uncategorized on November 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm

WINTER ARRIVES today with the temperatura in the 20s. Superdry and beanies and gloves. Lots of lotion. Lots of hydration. The DMs will be taking the back seat as we both have score our very first UGGS. At least the men’s branding is not so obvert and could be hidden inside the seams of my 514 — I am the only one in Brooklyn that isn’t wearing skinny jeans.

I HAVE just approved the galley proof of the novel making the last week of this month as the release date very doable. Again, I would rather have it to be the Fugazi of novels than Maroon 5. The very few people who manages to read it will write their own novels the way I wrote one when I read that one life changing novel. So far, people in Dublin, Brooklyn, Stockholm, and of course Manila, are waiting for it. That is a good crowd, IMHO. Critical success over commercial success anytime.

TV ON the DVR: The Newsroom, The Affair, MasterChef Junior, Homeland. The stumbled upon sitcoms but very rarely. Lots of Netflix for excellent foreign films and mediocre domestic ones.

WE ARE tripping on Fairway baguette and jamon serrano from fairway. All that is needed is my pasta and a very inexpensive but heavenly dinner is upon us. We have our suki Korean of course. Plus the ramen place near our home. The server of the former and the chef of the latter will be getting cash bonuses plus a couple of cinema tickets come Christmas. Just a token of appreciation for the many excellent meals that has been had.


In Uncategorized on November 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm

SNOWFLAKE ON the iPhone’s weather app. As temperature plummets so does the mood. Cloudy skies and all that. Tonight we sleep with the windows on and the heater on, at least downstairs.

HAVING A go to neighborhood ramen joint rules. Tantan plus veg gioza plus Sapporo beer rule.

MORE CALLIGRAPHY exercises before sleeping. Then reading.



In Uncategorized on November 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm

TODAY IS a holiday. Veteran’s day when the United States honor those who fought in the wars by offering mattress sales. Also known as the soft opening of the holiday sales know as Thanksgiving that accounts for 60 percent of total retail sales for the year. The missus is working as the corporate world have real holidays–they don’t celebrate fall and winter holidays but get an extra day off during spring and summer holidays which make perfect sense. Me, I am working in hipsterland so I get a day off.

DAY OFF means, kurobotasilog for breakfast plus a Starbuck since we still have that preloaded card since given by a guest last spring. Lunch might be ramen or pho depending on how hungry I become.

BEEN PRACTICING my calligraphy skillz as this might come handy at work as I always pester real artist to do some lettering for gift orders. Here are my first attempts. I hope to get better in time.







ALMOST ALL of my uncles and cousins in the mother side are great at these. My father is also great at this, even getting paid to do some calligraphy work to supplement his income as an RCPI messenger (remember telegrams. stop. those analog sms. stop.) while completing his PhD in Sociology while raising a family of two kids and one wife. I dabbled when I am bored but that is about my training. If I only knew then.

READING THE new Stephen King. Also aiming to finish the New Yorker magazine and the weekend’s New York Times. No writing today, no writing until the book gets released which is literally days now. Just waiting for the final galley proof and that is it. Oh, here are the blurbs:


WE’VE GOT 5G wifi at the house and I couldn’t be happier.


In Uncategorized on November 8, 2014 at 7:11 am

ANOTHER iPHONE entry written in bed.

THE COLD offensive is gearing up. A consistent 40s which is expected to take a plunge this coming week. Coats and mountaineering jackets will be worn. Yesterday I wore my beanie for the first time since last winter. Fleece pjs in bed, heater on auto. We’re glad to be having an AC unit that we can control not a centralized heater via eyesores of a radiator.

SO WINTER. The drinking will continue until the weather improves. As well as the reading. And the writing.

INTERSTELLAR IS on the schedule for the day. I really hope this would not suck. There is a theater in midtown Manhattan that offers 70 MM screening and we could only hope to catch it before showtimes sells out. It has taken so long for filmmakers to realize that the word filmmaker means you have to make shit in film.

A NEW book by Stephen King, praised as a return to form, hits the shelves next week. This would be my last major read for the year discounting accidental purchase from the neighborhood secondhand bookstore in Brooklyn where I go every Friday lunch. The bests of the year is already drafted in my mind.

NOW I decide between home cooked hotsilog or a bagel baconeggcheese at the park.



In Uncategorized on November 6, 2014 at 4:18 am

ALL I want for Christmas is a Nitti font on my antediluvian mac. The Moscot could wait until the New Year when our eye insurance resets and then I can have a new frame with lenses included for peanuts. Back to Nitti. It would be really cool to have it on both Pages and Word. Serif monospaced fonts are the way to go. Especially now that Mac has gone Helvetica (oh, how they easily forget Job’s love for typography.)

COOKED THREE days in a row and eaten whatever was cooked five days in a row. Tomorrow night, and maybe Friday, we eat out. Ramen is on the list although pho is a very close second. The weather calls for soup based dinner. During the weekend, chicken pospas shall be had, complete with garlic bits and spring onions and kalamansi (by the bottle or sachet at Pinoy stores). Lots of ginger. Simmered on broth from real chicken bones and not from stock. This is winter prep for us.

YEP, DREAMS of fresh fish at the wet market continues. Maybe if I am on therapy this would make more sense. Of course, carinderia favorites also appear.

VERY EXCITED to see Interstellar. Avoiding reviews but going straight to the comments from NYTimes, the Guardian, and the AVClub. The Brits win everytime.

NOW I attempt sleep before showering and shaving for work. Brooklyn, hello.


In Uncategorized on November 1, 2014 at 7:52 am

ALL SOUL’S day to all. Do we add happy? Do we celebrate? Do we just remember? I have never spent the 31st of October outside a cemetery before I went to New York. Never as never. This day for me means candles and flowers and personal prayers in the graves of dead family members. Mostly done before the sun sets. And then as the night deepens, I move on looking for family and friends around the cemetery similarly paying their respects. Candles and more candles. Stories, jokes, mostly a mini-reunion. This would last literally seconds before daybreak and everyone goes home back to the land of the living.

THESE PAST few years, this day is about costumes that I don’t wear and parties I don’t attend. I understand that in rural America this is a festival for kids and in densely populated cities like New York, it is a festival for adults. Every kid has an almost unlimited access to something bad and every adult has a chance to play dress up. If only I get a dollar for every slutty costume I see on the way home. Last night at around 1 AM, the noise level outside the window was in the neighborhood of St. Patrick’s Day. In the corridor, I can hear parties in full swing: games and bad music.

THE OCTOBERNESS of October is dead. What I have always imagined this day to be in all my Ray Bradbury readings has not yet happened. Maybe when we get real old and move to Rhode Island or upstate NY.

ANYWAY, FROM now onwards, it would be the same crass commercialism until we hit the New Year and the USA will start the year again in debt. Really sad that we are not going home this Christmas. My mind is starting to calibrate itself and I find myself waking up earlier than usual (like today) from a dream of going to the public market to buy what I would need to cook breakfast and lunch. At least there are still these dreams. I will miss family and friends this whole December.


WAITING FOR the final galley proof of the novel. Thinking real hard of getting it a very limited release. The idea is to be the book equivalent of a garage band’s first album whose limited pressings are sold sporadically in virtually unknown record stores. To find the right audience who are into it, are really looking for it, will really get it. A few people in Dublin (friends met during our stay) and then of course Brooklyn (the people from the Brooklyn LaunchPad Renegade Reading Series and maybe from work) and real close friends from Manila. Family, of course. The few Palanca winners that I know.


WE ARE getting 300 mbps and 5g internet speed from Time Warner next week. Huzzah for the internets.


BIRDMAN WAS really good. I love any work of art that can poke fun upon itself. And where elements of the speculative appear but are not explained. The soundtrack, if you could call it that, was superb. The lines were brilliant, and ever actor really was just beyond. Edward Norton killed it.


I WANT a new Moscot Hyman for Christmas. And peace for all mankind.