s m o r g a s w o r d

Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on January 28, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Exactly 8 years ago today we landed in New York’s JFK International Airport.

We’re still here today, legally as immigrants with a permanent residence status. Even more important, we are enjoying it here.

Only two thing make us happy to be living in New York, what the Western media has dubbed to be the greatest city in the world:

1.  We don’t have FOMO. Fear of missing out is what makes New Yorkers so miserable. We’re both very lucky that we don’t give a shit about the latest “in” thing. On the contrary, we laugh at the face of whatever everyone is so busy pursuing.

2.  We are both ready to pack our stuff and go back to Manila where there are family and friends and employment waiting for us.

But fuck. 8 years, baby!


In Uncategorized on January 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Friday. I went home at exactly 5 PM to a very manageable commute which could only be attributed to sensible New Yorkers going home earlier than me or having taken the day off in preparation of the blizzard. Dropped by at the supermarket and bought: a dozen eggs, wasabi peas, spring onions, and two huge curts of swordfish steak. I might have been the only who did not panic buy.

At home, I cooked the steak in olive oil, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, garlic, lemon slices, and white wine. Served with rice and that was dinner. After, we continued the telenobela and drank some wine and beer. Yes, we are that couple. I prepped my writing desk before we slept.
Saturday. Woke up as early as 6 in the morning and took a look around and saw the snow. Rescued the weekend’s NY Times and cooked breakfast. SpamSiLog and tuna omellete and Cafe du Monde beans for our coffee. Polished chapter 1, finished chapter 2, started chapter 3 as I waited for Joy to wake up.

We finished breakfast watching the news then as soon as I finished washing the dishes, we resumed the telenobela. Took a break after maybe three episodes to write as Joy did the expenses. The blizzard is now in full swing. Which means that we have to go outside. We trekked towards Central Park stopping every avenue to take photos. We roamed the park and settled for a round of drinks at the Boathouse where I got a doubles Jameson. That’s liquied fireplace for you. As we were keeping ourselves warm, we saw the blizzard gathering strength.

Thankfully, the trip home was uneventful except for avoiding a couple of near slips in cloud-soft snow. Dinner was arroz caldo: chicken backs grilled over oil and then added with stock and slow cooked till the rice was gooey enough. Added sea salt and served it with: garlic bitz, spring onions, white peppers, boiled egg. We saw the first episode of London Spy and resumed the telenobela. Over wine, of course.
Today, Sunday. A breakfast of toast using Irish butter and cooked on an iron skillet, scrambled eggs, coffee. Saw a refugee crisis debate via the BBC. We went to church and had lunch at an open Japanese restaurant. Shrimp tempura and miso soup and salad and what passes for California roll.

On the list today are: laundry, printing tax stuff and concert tickets, buying tomorrow’s breakfast, reading, writing. In between these:  watching the new X-Files, watching an HBO comedy, watching a B movie on Netflix, and more of that telenobela. No siesta. No time for siesta despite the cold.


In Uncategorized on January 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Quick updates:

  1. The Samurai bun is back after a year of not visiting the barber.
  2. I have a sort-of beard after two months of not shaving.
  3. I will begin chapter 2 of the new novel. It will be written to a glam rock soundtrack.
  4. Snow might fall this weekend but I doubt it.
  5. We haven’t seen a movie in over a week, amazing.
  6. What we are into are foreign films and foreign TV serials on Netflix.
  7. Now I heat up the arroz caldo and boil an egg and slice some spring onions and portion the fried garlic bits that we brought back last fall from home. Winter baby!


In Uncategorized on January 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Warm again. And let us not forget that we haven’t had snow yet the whole of winter. The whole joke is this: Winter be like, “I identify as spring”.

The normalcy of working in Brooklyn resumes. Reading during the 45 minute one way commute for a total of around 2 hours per day of reading time if I include my lunch break, artisanal drip coffee at the office, more work that involves marketing (woe unto me! — I got a raise and a bonus again, or as what Joy says: stop being pabibo at the office so you don’t get more load), taking notes with my eyes and ears of all the hipsterism and urban Americana.

The writing resumes as well. Really excited for all the writings so far.

The French book festival continues and I am thinking of moving to Germany after this, maybe Argentina. We shall see.

A long weekend for me as I don’t have work on Monday. It will be spent writing, doing the laundry, and if weather permits, a trip to Chinatown for some fresh fish if lapu-lapu or samaral or bonito could be had. Also pork belly for pancit and such.

We have a guest in the house, an Española that we met in Dublin. We love hosting, we really do.

Now back to writing and reading. Maybe a pint of Guinness from our local Irish bar. Gods, how I miss Dublin. Had I won the lotto, I would have been on the first flight out.

Later, friends. Let’s kick some fucking ass this year, yes?



In Uncategorized on January 4, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Back to the barracks. Except that I’ve been back since Saturday and Sunday doing some stuff. I get two days of paid vacation on top of what I am getting this year. A good trade, I say. We had pizza for lunch the first day and pho the second day. Not bad.

So far, we have seen:

• The Hateful Eight

• Joy

• The Revenant

• The Big Short

• The Lobster

• Anomalisa

We plan to boycott franchise films again and watch on video on demand all shitty films. Thank gods for netflix, amazon prime, and hulu.

Currently re-reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King. What a masterpiece. Next week the new book by China Mieville will arrive and I really can’t wait.

We discovered an eat all you can hotpot in Grand and Little Italy and will go there again the moment we near subzero temperature. Beef  tripe and fish balls can be had, my two must have in any hotpot.

Welcome to the year 2016 friends. May we be brave this year, as we all should be.