Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Review of Bare

Review of Bare by Blue Rep

Review of Kwentong Bata

Review of Kwentong Bata by PHSA

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trawling through Children's Wear for a Frostings Cupcake

Whoever heard of putting a cupcake stand inside the children's wear section of a department store? That would make sense if the owners of Frostings Cupcakes had thought to inform the guards and the Information Booth of EDSA Shangri-la where they are, but since nobody knew they even existed, it took me nearly an hour of going up and down the escalators and going around the food court before I could find them. And that was only because I texted a friend for help and my friend texted another friend who had actually been there. Bah.

They need to put some more effort at in-store promotions. Not all cupcake buyers have kids, you know, and the children's wear department is the last place they would look. And the escalators of EDSA Shangri-la are freaky confusing. If it wasn't a slow weekend, I would have given up after 5 minutes of fruitless inquiries. I'm just saying.

For people who want to find them, I'm going to be helpful and post their whereabouts:

  • 3rd Level Jumpstreet West Wing, Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City
  • 3/F Children's Division, Shangri-La, Rustans, Mandaluyong City
  • 4/F Rustans Makati, Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Telephone numbers 983.3880 or 983.7064. Email info@frostingscupcakes.com.ph

Or you can go to their website at frostingscupcakes.com.ph. If you're like me, you will click eagerly at the Freebies link, only to find out that it's just an online flashgame of match the cupcake. What's worse, it doesn't have a continue game option so if you fail to match the cupcakes in time, you have to go back to start. One, do not call it Freebies if I'm not getting a free edible cupcake or a discount coupon, and two, I am not going back to start. Bah.

It seems like this company's only saving grace are their cupcakes. In fairness, the cupcakes were as good as they looked. On my frustratingly exhausting and escalator-filled visit to the Shangri-la stall, I ordered Smores Choco Caramel, Carrot Cake, Peaches and Cream, Strawberry and Cream, Lava and Braso de Mercedes. None of them was a fail.They weren't aggressively sweet, they were reasonably priced (where cookies can cost up to P25/piece and a loaf of Gardenia bread costs P55, yes, P35 for their regular cupcakes is reasonable. Premium is P50, Fruit is P65 and Extra-premium is P70.) and there were enough flavors to choose from. And besides, they look pretty.

Admittedly, Frostings is less of an effort to go to than Sonja's in far-away Serendria. But it's still an effort. And when I want to stuff a sweet cupcake in my face, admittedly, it's so much cheaper to just buy a 12-pack of Lemon Square's Dream chocolate cupcake. At P41 a pack (Admittedly, no pretty icing though).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Organizing in Pockets

My sister and I stumbled into this bag organizer from Pockets several weeks ago. She's using them now to keep her keys, MRT card, flash drives, lipstick and coin purse portable. It's a good thing for people like me who hardly change bags because it's such a hassle trying to figure out if I forgot anything, and my sister has been known to leave the house without her wallet because she left it in her other bag. The fabric seems sturdy but since the organizers are new, I will have to wait a few months to see if the material will fray. Their website also looks professionally done. I like it very much. I also feel heartened by the fact that they had their design patented which, to me, is another mark of their professionalism. Very few creators and entrepreneurs know their rights and I'm glad the people behind Pockets do.

They don't seem to have a stall but can only be found in bazaars, where we discovered them. This would be good if they were an impulse buy but now that I know about them and want more, I can't exactly plan into going to the nearest mall and picking up two or three. They have an online order form and they can mail one's orders, but I don't want to have to pay extra just to have one or two pieces shipped to me.

Lookit what we bought:

From their site:

Do you always find yourself forever digging into your bag for small stuff that you wish you had pockets to keep in? Do you have bags that just don't have enough pockets for additional storage? Our flexible and removable set of pockets gives your bag that colorful lining that creates space to handle almost everything you need.Our Pockets bag organizer, stands on its own and CONFORMS to the shape of your bag, making small items easy to find, giving your bag that bigger space for the larger items..like wallets, notebooks or planners.

Changing bags is made easier by moving the entire organizer from one bag to the other. We have different fabric designs added each month.

Pockets has other items, but what I liked most, next to the organizer, is the their tidy bag with its external pockets that can handily contain bottles of shampoo and conditioner and stuff. I plan to use it to hold chargers, adaptors and other electronic items.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Living in a Car

Watching all the news about the collapse of so many investment banks, I wonder how the middle-class and the barely surviving are coping with the sudden loss of their jobs and probably also their homes. With the mortgage due, rising debt, a depressed job market and no more paychecks to look forward to, how do they cope? Do they all pack up their belongings and live in their cars like this woman did? Her Wanderingscribe blog is a powerful introspective work about how she survived being homeless, jobless and living in her car.

Seems simple: get a job so that I can save enough to rent somewhere to live. Completely stupid that I can't do that. Would be hard to hold down a job when you haven't got an address, but not impossible. Because I could carry on living in car, parking in hospital carpark in mornings and using the showers there to get washed and changed in, until I can save enough to get place of my own. But because haven't worked for almost two years now, no-one will give me a job. Not even the type of job you don't need qualifications for. Suppose there must be too many people wanting those. Have been signed up to three email job search sites since September. Everything from vacancies for basic filing and reception work, to retail, to qualified solicitor comes through my inbox everyday. Fire CV off for all the ones I might have reasonable chance at these days. Try to be focussed and realistic, but always end up sending lots off. Some days feel like I could do anything, other days need to run back and hide in my car - days when I'm totally lost without the comfort of trees. Apply for mostly receptionist or call centre jobs, which would be perfect while I adjust back into things and try to get back on my feet. Have never even got to the interview stage yet though, not with a single one.
Can't go to job centre etc. because they don't know that I am homeless. The same with the Housing Advice people. They won't even switch on their computers or talk to me until I tell them my address. But I obviously can't do that, because they can't know that I don't have one. If they find out, I risk loosing my money, and then it's all over. Because to get benefit money in the first place I am using my old address. I know that is wrong, but if they knew I was living nowhere they would stop it. Immediately. Then I would be left to the wolves — or have to go in and register as 'of no fixed abode' and go queue up with all the other homeless people every week, or get nothing — which, at the moment, feels about the same thing to me. I just can't bring myself to do it. Whenever I think that I might have to, that I've got to the stage where I can't do it on my own anymore and can't put off getting help, and will have to swallow the rest of my pride and go and register as of 'no fixed abode' I just panic. Feels like one trauma too many.
Wandering Scribe
Peanut Butter and Photographs
16 February 2006

Wes Grueninger over at Motive Magazine has an excellent 12-point tip for living in one's car. And Romana S, in Australia, seems to have taken to living in her car as a choice. Over at her blog, she gives valuable tips for people who want to, or have to, live in their cars. I agree with her about the impracticability of maintaining a gym membership to have access to showers and toilets. Gym membership is money that is better spent towards food and gas. However, a lot of the blogs and forum posts made by car dwellers in America make this point. I suppose that's their former life talking, when they still had access to gyms and Starbucks and wall sockets to charge their mobiles and laptops with.