Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Doggone days

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It’s sweater weather again. Though here in Manila that means only certain parts of the day when it’s raining (and not always, especially when it’s humid – and that’s often) and when it’s windy.


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The best days, of course, are those with friendly breezes and with the sun slightly drowsy.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Moody Monday

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So. To be outright and blunt, there’s no apparent theme for this week’s cameos (what I call my outfits). Last week was all about color after I bought all those shades of red and orange jeans and chinos. There were also the unavoidable greens and yellows. But this week?


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As I said my mind is blank. Or rather, I have begun it with my security-blanket black monochrome because I’m very busy with other things. Seems beguiling, no?


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I say moody, not because I feel melancholic – the sappy sadness others fall into when the rains pour hard. I’m wearing black precisely because I need to control all the colors.


What's in My Pouch: Victorinox and Leatherman pocket knives

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Unlike most office workers, I have it easy on Mondays. It is probably the slowest day of the week for the editorial production desk. A perfect time, I say, to reflect and retool. Makes sense that after cleaning my shoes yesterday, I spend time to dust off and wipe excess residue (from who knows where) left on my pocket knives.

I only have two, both given by my dad ages ago: my trusty Victorinox Tourist Swiss Army knife and Leatherman Squirt S4.

Though these should ideally be kept in one's pocket, I prefer to keep them in my ever-handy, multi-size nylon and net Muji pouches. This is the smallest in the set (the larger ones contain wires, external drives, powerbanks, etc), which I use not just for my pocket knives but also for my less than photogenic (read: not monochromatic) USB storage sticks and old SIM cards (don’t ask me why).


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Actually, I never knew that my Swiss Army knife bore the name “Tourist”. (I hope my dad didn't suggest that I was a dilettante.) I love that it’s black, but what I didn’t like was my father giving my older brother a larger “toy” – in red and with more thingamajigs that could be pulled out of it. I was so jealous then! (Then again I think he has already lost his.)

Obviously, the large knife has been the most useful. I don’t drink wine so don’t need to remove corks that often. The bottle and can openers, yes. And the small screw has been very useful for helping friends with eyeglasses. Don’t ask me though how I’ve used the tweezers and the (visibly overused) toothpick.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Red menace

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These pictures were taken last Wednesday, after the typhoon Rammasun (local name: Glenda) passed Metro Manila and headed north of the country. By this time the battery of both my phone and laptop had died and my only device that was working was my camera.


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The drowsy sun had succeeded to clear fear in our hearts, but by then it was too late - the lights were still out and it was getting dark.


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As many have said, it is during these times when we are cut off from technology that we are ironically able to reconnect – both with ourselves and with the people surrounding us. Some took a walk outside and around, while I read by the window.

Sunday reading: Coffee Table Mags

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Once I quipped that I was so sick and tired of those Instagram posts against white backgrounds displaying various objects (accessories, magazines, knickknacks, succulents, and the ever-present crema-designed espresso or cappuccino ), and the type of photography that typified such (either long or noontime shadows). My retaliation is based on my distate for a soulless display of objects that do not illustrate any story or at the very least start a conversation. Isn’t that what coffee usually does? 

But then I stumbled upon the Instagram feed of Coffee Table Mags. (You all know I have a weakness for well-designed and well-written magazines – those that I not only look at, but also read from cover to cover.) 

Coffee Table Mags is an online and brick-and-mortar store* run by Thorsten Keller, a freelance designer from Hamburg, Germany. Like me, and I know most of you, he is passionate about coffee, photography (and design), and magazines. He has transformed his frustration of not easily finding the publications he liked and launched the business to promote independent magazines from around the globe.

Above, Kinfolk issue 11: “The Spring 2014 edition of Kinfolk explores the meaning of home, what it looks like, how different people arrange them and the qualities that the best ones share. Whether you live with your best friend, partner, strangers or a lazy hound, your concept of home will change with every coat of paint. It’s what (and who) you fill it with that counts. This special 176-page issue features a 46-page Home Tours section with lots of images from around the world.”

*Public Coffee Roasters, Wexstra├če 28, 20355 Hamburg, Germany  


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Some or many of the titles may seem familiar to you, but for me, most have been a revelation. I have only held in my hands a few of them. Apartamento I have seen before but got really interested in when it was featured in Fantastic Man. 
Caffeine is a new magazine championing independent and speciality coffee in the UK and abroad.” The Weekender, unfortunately, is only written in German, while Noble Rot "is an alternative lifestyle magazine centred around wine, food, and music.”