The Last Brew

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b3f71dbee225528f1e1a35d03b8be2d8TIME FOR one last cup.

I still dream of coffee. I still dream of dipping my fingers in eddies of swirling froth and suffer the distant warmth fading with the passing of time. I still jump out of bed with a start, disoriented, roused by a whistling kettle that’s never there, struggling with tangled sheets, hoping to catch a whiff of an exotic phantom brew.

How long has it been?

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I find no sense, no rhyme, why unwelcome thoughts linger. How the mind always forgets what it yearns to remember and retains the things it needs to forget. This is how it has been, my dilution to a fragmented whole – my decaffeination process. But there are days I wish we had shared one more cup. One for the road, they say. One for the olden days and how they speak so much of how times have changed. How complete realization had regressed to ambiguity, to more questions why some cups are
always half empty, like ours. We were scared.
We often sat in a corner, discontented, ever shy to ask for a refill.

photo_-_1971Does it matter now?
For months I have kept watch over your mug teetering on the edge of my oaken coffee table, reflecting a skewed portrait of everything it sees, perhaps holding me in contempt for leaving it frothing, dying in its gaping, lipstick-tainted mouth. I wonder.
Does it still bear my name? Does it reek of disdain and envy for being replaced, unthinkable once, now thick as the cream that had made our blend larger-than-life? Do you ever wake up every day to the same choices – whether to bathe in the morning sun or seek comfort from an inanimate cup?

A+business+man+drinking+coffee+in+the+canteenIt is unfair to compare what we had to a morning beverage and an
enduring piece of china. But if there’s anything I learned from all these
is that nothing is unbreakable. What we have striven to live for is what
eventually did us. And there’s this certain inevitability that, one fine day,
I would wake up with the steely resolve, the heart, to finally put matters in order.
I wouldn’t let anything kill it, not even hope.
Today is as good as any day, I guess.

Geekation_Starbucks_Girl (1)I still dream of coffee. But today I will be putting back your mug – your Holy Grail –
high up the cupboard behind the looking glass where it will sit alone,
unrivaled for now, looking down on me from a revered place where it truly belongs.
And for the briefest of moments, I will remember the last significant time you held our cup, smiling, beautiful and radiant in the dying afternoon sun, the summer breeze blowing tufts of your golden hair, your eyes saying everything’s going to be alright.

rain with cupIt all ends here, not because there’s nothing else to say, but because nothing else matters. Remember our attempt at definition. Deja Brew: The feeling that we’ve tasted this coffee before. This has ominously become our definition of fate, our destiny. But when that time comes, this I pray – the next time you look down your petit noir, face-to-face with that bottomless black, feeling that old familiar feeling, I hope that every once in a while you’d still see my reflection looking back at you, reminding you how brave we’ve once been to throw it all into the mix and how we’ve given it all we’ve got.

downpourYou know I’ve been under the rain for too long.
I love the rain, but sometimes I miss the sun.
So here I am looking out the door with my final brew – a piping-hot cup of decaf –
its steam rising, floating, thoughtfully dancing to the wave of a last goodbye.

(because nothing else matters)

The Scent of Cinnamon and Coffee on My Hair

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IT IS official. I have forgotten how to write. It didn’t take more than a sentence to know that I won’t be getting anywhere. My thoughts could no longer command these brittle fingers to pry themselves open. Perhaps they have gotten so accustomed to wielding a pen that jabbing at a Chiclet keyboard seems so alien, unnatural.

Even if my thoughts could churn out a few writing points, what shall I write about? Should I finally write about my father, which I have so long yearned to do? Should I spew details about the boring daily grind of my uneventful existence? Or, maybe, I should write about something I was once accused to be incapable of when I was much younger. Maybe I should write about Love.

But I know better. The subject of love is a cob of corn in the middle of a minefield. Readers will cringe and laugh at “You will always be my only love,” yet swoon like docile bamboo stalks at “I want you to bite my lip until I can no longer speak, and then suck my ex girlfriend’s name out of my mouth just to make sure she never comes up in our conversations.” Could somebody tell me about the protocols? I was never good at this. Shall I just, for example, write something along the lines of…

“You manipulative bitch! I detest the manner by which you played upon my sympathies; how you coerced me into cradling you in my arms all day for the last 2 months; how you kept ignoring me afterwards as though I am but an insipid figment of your imagination; how you left me crumpled and dejected before your feet that Friday afternoon; how you made me lay fresh flowers every morning at your bed or light sweet-scented candles during the brightest times of day; how, in spite of all these, you possessed the audacity to conspire against me and let well-dressed men, folks you barely knew, carry you in a box and whisk you away from me.”

Love, regardless of what we believe in, is morbid in the end. Believing that, can I still write about tender embraces without sounding brash like a filibuster in a pulpit or callous as a celebrity’s Facebook page? How could I when I have forgotten how it feels to crown a song, a prose, a sonnet, haiku, verse or metaphor upon someone’s head. I have forgotten the marvelous patter of rain on the skin. I have forgotten the warm, electric sensation of a loving gaze. Alienation. God knows how I long for the scent of cinnamon and coffee on my hair.

I have forgotten how to write. That’s the truth. Either I have fallen into an abyss or the abyss has fallen upon me. To say that a writer will always be a writer is to deny the obvious — brain cells have no muscle memory. And to believe that I am a writer in the strictest sense of the word is to believe in striped unicorns.

(discourse over cinnamon-spiked latte)

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For Loss of Words — Read by Christina Brownlee

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Somebody said pictures speak more than a thousand words. This poem is about love, loss, the art of photography and a million words.  Here is “For Loss of Words” as read by an amazing voice talent and an even more amazing woman, Christina Brownlee. I am truly honored, Christina, for lending me your voice to breathe life into one of my favorite works.

(you made my day)

* Amplification or headphone required for best listening.

For Loss of Words (Sit Beside Me Still)
from The Caffeine Chronicles, My Pretzel Logic

 

For Loss of Words (Sit Beside Me Still)

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“…and if these pictures have anything important to say to future generations, it’s this: ‘I was here. I existed. I was young. I was happy. And someone cared enough about me in this world to take my picture.’” — Robin Williams, One Hour Photo

For Loss of Words (Sit Beside Me Still) — “The Caffeine Chronicles” Number 4.

This is my portrait of you.
It speaks to me in strange, colored verses,
in whispered codes of ancient languages.
I often get that illusion.  You are not easy to ignore.
I’ve long studied its dog-eared corners, one by one,
pressed against the fluorescent light.
I’ve made its hidden legends my own and let them float
with gray-streaked butterflies in olden seas of remembrance.
Does your sadness speak of me?
What is it worth – this picture,
your tender dedication that peers through splintered glass
from which I see myself?
Have my hands trembled so hard it shook your world?
Will you ever see why this picture is all about you?
The shadows adore you, the sun-kissed curves,
the wayward tresses that define you, your omnipresence –
the magic of always being where the sun wants you.
Even the moonbeams seek the darker side of your afflictions.
Those rarest of moments your eyes find my lens tell me
that ships have finally come to berth,
that there are no more worlds to conquer.
But life has a way of fading out-of-focus, like snapshots.
Haven’t I reminded you enough where to stand, when to smile,
whether it’s time to look at me or turn away?
We were younger then.  We are no older now.
We never bothered about bigger things,
only details that mattered enough
because they can be hung in frames.
Our ponderwall.

I did not listen before.  But I am listening now.
Sometimes I wonder whether I have loved you enough
beneath the sound of closing shutters and flashing strobes.
I’m sorry I have given you nothing more than space.
I’m just seeing now the side of you I’ve never known.
But never think that I have taken your pictures
merely for loss of words.
Millions of them dwell in portraits,
within forgotten corners, within their breadth.
But this empty house tells me words cannot be uttered.
For now, let me savor their untold tales.
Let me recount the ardent hopes in sublime passages
and spools of thoughts.  Let august winds permeate the soul.
Then remind me that, in a digital world, it is never the subject.
Today my universe had gotten bigger.
I won’t be asking for anything more than clear skies
of purple hues with pulsars beating their science of light.
It’s just that every time the curtains go down and a journey begins
I’d know a previous journey had ended.
But isn’t this the way of the world?
From now until then, all I will have is this picture.
I look at it then close my eyes.
I see gray-streaked butterflies in cupboards.
I see some distant night two people danced
before a window of stars,
behind the soft drapes of Coltrane.
I see shades of days underneath the molave tree.
I see you smiling the day we first met.
My sadness makes you immortal.

(be still)

Photo credit (top photo): Thanks to Jessie Couture Manansala

Four Years Ago: The Friend I No Longer Have

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I originally drafted this as an informal written testimonial for a female friend, as per her request.  A few months after this was “published,” I lost her friendship.  I’m not sure but it well could have been the Karaoke comment :)  Four years and a few tweaks later, the piece still remains her, the friend I no longer have.

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IT’S BEEN ALMOST a decade since I first met her and I still haven’t figured her out. There’s something in her I can’t seem to put my finger on (figuratively, of course). Whenever you’d try to get to know more about her, you’d always end up knowing more about yourself. The moment she starts a sentence with “You are . . . ,” be prepared to take a scenic tour of the dark recesses of your own tormented soul. Her spontaneity and utter lack of pretense, a virtue by any standards, may never cater to one’s egotistic indulgences, but she always manages to temper it with this unique, disarming earnestness. Part of her charm, really, which we have all come to admire and love.

Her one recurring quibble: she leads – in her own words – a mundane existence. She would slouch all day, munch on anything that doesn’t move while watching the latest Buffy re-run. She would walk to multiple job interviews in a single day in compliance with a self-imposed slimming regimen she doesn’t need. She could tear down the walls and ceiling of her dorm with one long stony gaze. Trivial one might say but certainly beats torturing the neighbor’s cat. She loves to read what friends write and writes what friends love to read. But man, when she picks up a pen, she wields it well. Consider this equation: Her spare time, DIVIDED by the number of close friends, further DIVIDED by the amount of cash in her pocket EQUAL the number of hours in a karaoke bar. Such is the arithmetic of her life – a progressive continuum of time and friends, always divisible by Music 21’s hourly minimum room rate.

She is a Marilyn vos Savant and qualifies for Mensa International membership. If you’re smart enough to keep with her, you won’t find a more intellectually-stimulating chat anywhere else. Her self-discipline is legend. She loathes cigarettes, alcohol and coffee – they make her heart palpitate the same way men do. “So dark the con of Man,” goes her favorite movie quip.

She was one-of-a-kind.  She understood the arcane. She made me smile with her staccato bursts of laughter. She propped me up when I was down. She told me about the hope I never thought remained when I dreamt, lost, got back up and surrendered and thought that nothing more was possible.

I’ve always told her, “The taste of coffee is only as good as the company we keep.” Go dear friend, keep on drinking your fruit juice and I’ll be happy sipping my coffee, watching you from a distance, cheering you every step of the way. Because I still am what you no longer think I am. And you are what you never thought you could be. I will always remember you as a good friend, a tuning fork, a summer rain, a breath of fresh air, an aspirin, a light at the end of the tunnel, a beloved sister…

… a Sarah McLachlan song.

(the heart of east)

Pretzel Greetings

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!”

- Dave Barry

Sometimes When You Look at Me

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Sometimes you look at me and it’s like all the bullshit gets stripped off and I’m left with what’s underneath and I kind of like what I see. Someone who actually fails. Someone who has absolutely no self-control. Someone who says real dickhead things like ‘this is complicated.’ I like that part of me, you know. I like the fact that I know I can’t control you or how I feel about you and that doesn’t freak me out. — Melina Marchetta, Saving Francesca

Boracay 2013

I WAS ON vacation in Boracay Island, Philippines a week before Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda (widely believed to be the strongest typhoon to ever hit land) damaged it. The good news is that the island was able to recover quickly from the destruction.

I took a few photos of the calm before the storm, my first attempt at trying to learn photography — something I’m not really good at.

sss

FOR RENT

FLAGGED

KOREAN BOY

RIDING THE WAVES

PARAW copy

SUNSET BORACAY copy

WILLYS ROCK

B2 sharper

Took some pics of our amazing hotel suite too, which was located at the highest point of Boracay. The nearly 360 degree view of the island from our unit, aptly called The View, was just breathtaking.

LIVING ROOM

HOTEL 1

HOTEL 2

HOTEL 3

TERRACE VIEW

Hope I can resume my regular posts soon. I’m missing all of you.

Neil

Courageously Black

pretzellogic:

If you’d let me gloat even for just this once, would you think for a second that I won’t? I woke up today to this wonderful post, Courageously Black, by WHERESTORYMATTERS BLOG about a video piece I did last year for the occasion of my birthday titled “Deepest Black (My Pretzel Logic II).” Deepest Black talked about hope, inner strength and courage (or the lack of it) and I was honored by how the blog looked at its significance from the perspective of a creative person, which I’d like to think I have been for my whole professional life. As I gloat and re-blog this, I am deeply humbled by WHERESTORYMATTERS BLOG’s (Jenn’s?) thoughts, the very same way I have been humbled by the inspiring comments made by readers last year about how Deepest Black touched them. Trust me, it is truly amazing to know that I have, in my own little way, successfully re-channeled the inspiration I derived from watching the video of the extremely talented young men of Jubafilms. In a blog interview two years ago, I was asked why I blog. I answered that I do mainly to have the blogosphere serve as my repository, a permanent hosting site of my thoughts and folly. I think about that now. If asked the same question again today, I’d say I was wrong. This is why I blog.

Originally posted on WhereStoryMatters Blog:

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The colour of COURAGE and RED. Yes, it does take a whole lots of “blood” and sweat to be courageous and relentless in pursuing what you believe creatively is possible, even the rest of the world may think it is unattainable. Love the juxtaposition of sadness, amidst positivity in this video, which we find extremely creative and mesmerizing. A story unfolds. The words are powerful, the dance is fluid, the music is enchantingly heart-wrenching at some points, but nonetheless, after all that is done, the last note is played, the last word is written, you feel a sense of relieve, a feeling of liberation and most of all, a sense of HOPE, knowing that in the vast universe of creative world that you choose to work in (here at wherestorymatters too), and live by, your dreams will eventually see the light of things. It is only a matter of…

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Not That Kind of Love Poem (A Reading of “5-7-5″)

SOME OF YOU, dear readers of My Pretzel Logic, may know by now that I wrote the love prose poem, 5-7-5 (you can find the full poem here), while chewing gum in a crowded food court at lunch time with a girl in mind. Last night, something happened. I merged Christina’s audio reading of the poem with a photo of a boy and some background music. The result was something unintentional yet wonderfully and indescribably different. I will never see 5-7-5 the same way again.

For mothers who know, live and breathe unconditional love.

(neil)

PS: A trillion thanks to Christina Brownlee for this 3rd collaboration.

*You might want to don those earphones to hear the achingly beautiful theme from the movie Definitely, Maybe.

5-7-5

R

I SEE HER for what she is — uneven, a runaway three-line poetry.  Lesser minds have plunged her depths only to break the surface with questioning faces.  All these years they never understood for they saw her differently, an odd number in the realm of pairs and parallelisms. She was often measured, but in their eyes she never rhymed.  Her posture recited no theme, her voice sang no song.  In the company of tall tales and verbose prose, she fell short of how they wanted her to be — like a radiant flowing verse in a river that rises and fades with the tides.  I still crave for the right word to define her meaning.  She has defined mine.

But I will hold on to her poetry for as long as these aching bones and weary heart will allow.  I will hold on to her even when I know she will never fill me the way others can, because every word she speaks justifies my being.  My fibers ache to be emblazoned by her name, her brazen self, and dream that history will read her for what she is and not for what she ought to have become.  Help them read between the lines.

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Indeed, all that’s good in life is brief and apart, like the prominent lines of the heart of a poem, disjointed yet mysteriously connected, defining and, therefore, expectedly alone.  What the heart pours into words and when words turn into sword, she will never bleed to my sharp edges.

I see her for what she is to me.  She is my Alpha and my Omega, my quiet night and my glorious day.  She is the sunshine on my shoulders, the rain on my hair, my seasons of the year.  And with all the labors of her birth and rendition, I bear the scars of her completion.

For she is forever my haiku, my 5-7-5.  And I, the paper that enfolds her.

(for a most beautiful rose)

The_Writer_by_petebritney

A Movie Monologue to Die For

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In the movie Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams’ character tries to break the shell of a genius played by Matt Damon. This is one of my favorite movie monologues of all time.

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“So if I asked you about art you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that. If I asked you about women you’d probably give me a syllabus of your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. I ask you about war, and you’d probably, uh, throw Shakespeare at me, right? “Once more into the breach, dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap and watched him gasp his last breath, looking to you for help. And if I asked you about love you probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone could level you with her eyes. Feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you…who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel and to have that love for her to be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. You wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting’ up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term visiting hours don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you; I don’t see an intelligent, confident man; I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine and you ripped my fuckin’ life apart. You’re an orphan right? Do you think I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what? I can’t learn anything from you I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t wanna do that, do you, sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.

: )

My friends say I smile for all the wrong reasons.

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Most of the time, I smile for no reason at all.

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Maybe I was born with a stupid smirk on my face.

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But whenever I walk into this cafe.

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And wander into her perfect world.

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This meaningless smile is a noun…

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…wanting to become verb.

15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Arrivals

(strumm)

Why I Keep Coming Back

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THE DOOR HAS never swung shut ever since we left it so, creaking on its hinges, slightly broken.  We kept it leaning out a little, as if we agreed its openness was an invitation we would take up when we felt braver to explore the house of our separate strangeness and particular fears.

We had run back to the trail whence we came together and looked at the house in proper perspective.  From a distance it looked small, the whole of it encompassed within our vision.  It even looked quite charming: a little summer house where open windows breathed of light and sea spray, the porch generous with space, and inside, a comforting emptiness.

We had stood once at the threshold and as we looked in, smelled the salt of older seas.  But we wouldn’t enter or fill the space with our presence.  Up close, where we could make out the vague interiors, the filtered sunlight looked too precious and the cleanness too closely matched our souls.

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What would we like to know about this house?  That we once lived here and loved the conversation, the tongues of my skin and yours speaking strange languages?  Do we want to sit near the kitchen fire and catch the sounds of words feeding the flames with which we see how our separate selves commune?  Do we want to touch the bare, clean walls of our home and say: this corner of your brain feels familiar and the way your blood beats is an old rhythm?  Or do we simply want to say the story all over again, starting with the way lovers are born, individual and alone, in time and space, dancing the music of the fates?

I did not know then; nor did you.  We did not have the words with which to define the dimensions: time, space, truth – the breadth of our walls curving into each other, the depth of our foundation stones with which we mark the earth, the height of our roofs reaching treetops or birdflight.  We simply knew the house was there.  In our mind we calculated its age like a strange recurring dreamtree.  It is as old as I am and as weather-grained.  But it has an eternal, young, fresh look like the way your eyes are leaves greening in resonance to a clear note or a well-turned phrase.

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But I am learning now the language of care or waking.  I could never live there with you because there are pieces in myself that do not fit and yet are also mine.  I am stranger to myself than you will ever know: how my skin pores dream the ancient languages while my braincells protest the ill logic of its structuring; how my eyes stream with unlived grief while my hands shape the sounds of the moaning, gnashing sea in me.

I have run from the sea and turned back on this trail alone, still feeling the old strangeness.  There, just beyond the mind’s bend the house stands still, the door slightly ajar and beckoning.

(a first attempt at definitions)

by: Marjorie Evasco
      Guest Entry, The Caffeine Chronicles, My Pretzel Logic

by elod horvath

Playlist # 2 (Revenge of the Turd)

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Three fast facts about men and their music playlists:

1. You don’t really know a man until you’ve heard his music playlist.
2. Women generally get their mp3s from iTunes, CDs or from friends; men from The Pirate Bay.
3. You can always copy or steal a man’s playlist. But it will never be yours. The special sequence of songs makes it his own.

The list below is my reply to Julia’s awesome 2nd playlist (can I really compete with a gal who shares her family name with a famous brand of upscale loudspeakers?). She leads 1-0 in our playlist face-off. This is my revenge. Are you listening, Julia? :)

My favorites are The Maine’s “Into Your Arms” and John Mayer’s “Edge of Desire” — “Don’t say a word, just come over and lie here with me. ‘Cause I’m just about to set fire to everything I see,” is a pyromaniac’s dream yet it’s honest.  But what I love the most about the song is Mayer’s deliberate and layered guitar picking all throughout. Easily one of my favorite Mayer songs.

man_headphones_music_sony_desktop_3008x2000_hd-wallpaper-50157If I’m Saying Nothing - Landon Pigg

I Think of You - Ivy

Falling - HAIM

Under Your Charms - Josh Rouse

Into Your Arms - The Maine

Need You Now - Lady Antebellum

Never Gonna Leave This Bed - Maroon 5

Soul Meets Body – Death Cab for Cutie

Nice & Slow – SoMo (Usher Cover)

Edge of Desire – John Mayer

Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez

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Hope there’s going to be a # 3.

Come Back To Bed

pretzellogic:

lazy days bring out the music lover in most of us. a song playing on the radio on a tuesday does not sound nearly as good as the same song played on a sunday afternoon. somehow it is a little more soulful. i think julia strikes a chord here in her 2nd playlist, bringing to mind K of C’s album title “quiet is the new loud.” the songs in her playlist, when taken all together, tells a story. from mayer’s palpable longing in “come back to bed” to greg laswell’s beautiful rendition of the cyndi lauper hit “girls just want to have fun,” a song i’ve been hoping to play & sing with the boys since the late 00′s. i love this list more than i did the first. it doesn’t get better than this.

Originally posted on Julia Linn:

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Tempest In My Coffee Cup

don__t_look_down_by_chris regan

YOUR COFFEE MUG still sits where you left it, half-empty, atop your favorite porcelain, brim smudged with a curious combination of dried froth and pink lipstick. It’s my little testimony, you know, to a life well led and a union I thought was blessed. I never had the heart to move it even as it perches precariously on the edge of our coffee table.
That’s how we always liked it, remember? Leaving things the way they were.

by shawn campbell

Our friends say that what we had was the perfect blend and that our lives revolved
around each other, in rhythmic circular dance, like the deliberate cycles of a blender.
How little they know about us – about the late night bean roast experiments
that have gone awry; about the times we stoked the fire stark naked, enrapt,
underneath the haunting aroma of espresso; about the times we argued,
silently yet fiercely, in our caffeine-induced haze.

Perhaps it’s too late now.

Spilled_coffee_by_GossiGo

Looking back, I wonder what did us.
Did we drown in those fixes of Irish that have come between us oh so often in the dark of night? Did our hearts lose steam sampling the products of our coffee-making adventures? Or could it be that we simply tired of the radical mood swings, the never-ending choices of whether to wallow in creamy foam or succumb to the murk of black?
It doesn’t matter now, does it? Issues like these were never our cup of tea.
Perhaps that explains why our unique blend sometimes left an odd aftertaste.

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You left in such a hurry. I wish I had the chance to tell you that it was not just ground beans we have been throwing into the mix, but our strengths and weaknesses as well –
our humanity; and that should things not work as planned, we could always devote our energies on some other new potion to constantly keep us up and about.
But you must have gotten tired of waiting. From where I sit, I can still see your teaspoon stop mid-stir, thin wisps of steam rising from your mug – your Holy Grail –
and then you’re gone. You never said so much as a goodbye or thanks.
You just went ahead, choking on either the teaspoonful of cappuccino
or the bitter words that came out of our mouths.

img_8737scold by s marsden (1)

You used to say in jest: “There’s no sense crying over spilt coffee.”
I try to keep that to heart. I try to do with my current fare.
But the taste of coffee is only as good as the company we keep.
I believe that, for, now, sipping at my saccharine-sweetened frappe,
I’m as empty as the chair before me. But here, for the first time since you’ve gone,
things have started to make sense. I guess this is my curse – to remain fixated on your mug and its stale content. The steam from it long gone, I cling to the tiniest sliver of hope that your mug and its memories will afford me even a semblance of warmth
against the biting cold outside.

by ann teegen

For what it’s worth,
I think I’m going to wait awhile,
keep the pot boiling all night . . .
wide awake . . .
even if the sun does not come out for a long time.

(over a cup of capp)

5 Ways to get fit like Superman

pretzellogic:

dreaming of having that henry cavill physique? rachel, posting via manila, lets us in on a few secrets courtesy of director zach snyder and henry cavill himself.

Originally posted on Oh my goodness goddess:

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Movies are a great source of fitness motivation. It’s exciting to think you can learn the moves that gave Chris Evans his Captain America body, or gave Angelina Jolie her killer legs in Tomb Raider. You’ve probably heard of the famous 300 workout which is still being talked about years after the movie was released. Right now everyone is talking about the new Superman movie and actor Henry Cavill’s rock hard physique. It seems like whenever there is a blockbuster action hit, there’s a workout to follow. So, how can we “mere mortals” mimic the Hollywood training effect? Check out my 5 steps on how to train like a super hero:

 1.Watch this kick-ass video :   I was surprised to learn that the director of Man of Steel; Zach Snyder also directed 300. He had some interesting things to say about the workouts he requires…

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The Caffeine Chronicles and Dancing the Night Away

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I HAD THE night of my life earlier dancing with blogger friends Ese, Alastair, Yashie, Amber, Daile and Christina, along with a few others. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the guts (and the balls, Alastair) to go out of your way just to humor me during my little shindig last night. You have no idea how I enjoyed every minute of it. The music is still playing and the dance floor still open as far as I’m concerned and I will be thinking of each and every one of you as i do another round of Cornelius and Hot Hot Heat tonight.

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“But I am learning now the language of care or waking.  I could never live there with you because there are pieces in myself that do not fit and yet are also mine.  I am stranger to myself than you will ever know: how my skin pores dream the ancient languages while my braincells protest the ill logic of its structuring; how my eyes stream with unlived grief while my hands shape the sounds of the moaning, gnashing sea in me.” – from The Caffeine Chronicles

I will be reposting old The Caffeine Chronicles entries in the next days. I’ll be adding more pictures and will be editing/rewriting some of them (especially the middle entries) in preparation for future TCC posts I have started to write. I plan to devote some quality time to the anthology and hope to reach at least 30 entries by next year. To those who have already read TCC, I apologize in advance for the reposts. And to those who have not read the first 8 or 9 entries yet, I will be delighted if you could do so as I post them and will be glad to receive your feedback, which will help me decide how to shape the future of the anthology. Lastly, I will be honored to feature a few guest entries in TCC, so I hope you won’t mind if I approach some of you soon.

“My friends tell me I smile for all the wrong reasons.
Most of the time, I really do for no reason at all.
Maybe I was born with a stupid smirk on my face.
But whenever I walk into this cafe,
and wander into her perfect world,
this meaningless smile is a noun
wanting to become verb.”

– from The Caffeine Chronicles

Much love,
Neil
My Pretzel Logic

 

Will You Dance With Me?



TODAY ISN’T exactly a good day. We’re moving to a new office. That means an extra 12.5 mile drive. They say the new office will be better but not necessarily bigger. I’d say bigger is better. I will miss my old room, which exudes a scent of pretzels by the way, as well as its close proximity to malls and coffee shops. Another claim is the new office will serve all types of hot brew. That remains to be seen.

Today isn’t exactly a good day — ergo, a perfect day to don the headphones and drown myself with some PL music. I’d caffeine myself, indulge in this Kings of Convenience Remix and put on the groove.

Will anybody dance with me? Please?

(running on empty)

PS – And what do you know, I even take requests! Talk to me, dance with me, Daile…

Let`s Get Loud

pretzellogic:

swapping playlists is a great idea. i think julia’s list is pretty awesome! it has a little bit of everything — rap, hip hop, pop, rock… i kinda like mick jagger’s slitherin moves in “start me up” (i still remember the video) or good will, hook n sling’s sexy undertones. jack johnson’s girl i wanna lay you down could very well be a great track for one of the videos i’m planning to shoot. love it!

Originally posted on Julia Linn:

Julia Linn

I love to share music with others and Im always curious to hear people`s music style and this subject is something I can talk about for hours.

One of my favorite music genre is rap. Chiddy Bang, Wiz Kahlifa, Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Warren G and Tupac is some of my favorites. What I like about rap is the poetry and that the words often has a completely different meaning. They often tell a story, a moment or a feeling  in their lyrics and they often have hidden messages and/or meanings.

I really think music can make people come together and it`s definitely an amazing way to reach out to people and I think music events can be so amazing. Right now Im really looking forward to hear Kanye West`s new album Yeezus and all the summer festivals.

Julia Linn

I made a mixed playlist below and I…

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Songs I Sing in the Shower. Well, Except One.

Snow Patrol

THIS IS MY part of the deal with gorgeous Julia Linn. I loved the songs she posted regularly in her blog and eventually we thought swapping playlists would be cool.  Needless to say, she beat me silly with her awesome and diverse selection. I mean, how can you top the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” or Tupac’s “Changes”?

I’d have to agree that one playlist is not enough. I rocked hard during my teens, but I’m hard-pressed to choose heavy songs that I liked for this batch. So what I included here are mostly recent songs (in music, “recent” is a very relative term) with a few “oldies.” The guitar is my favored instrument so naturally guitar-driven songs will comprise the bigger slice of the pie. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody is my long-time idol, hence, they get 2 songs here. So does the Norwegian tandem that is Kings of Convenience (watch out for Erlend’s dance steps in I’d Rather Dance With You).

There are a thousand songs in my iPad playlist and they span countless genres. But here’s what’s at the top of my head — songs that I enjoy listening to or played before. Pardon me if some of them stick out like sore thumbs.

KOC

Poor Boy - Mat Kearney
I’d Rather Dance With You – Kings of Convenience
She Makes Me Fall Down – Buva
Comin’ Home
– City and Colour (thanks to wittyburg)
Coffee Girl – The Tragically Hip
If You’re Never Gonna Move (110%) – Jessie Ware (just love that bass line)
Let Go (Frou Frou Cover) – Cass Lowe; warning: this may cause ear-fatigue, volume down
When I’m Done – Frank Ocean
Could You Be the One – Stereophonics
Chocolate – Snow Patrol
Ultraviolet – Stiff Dylans
My Place – Nelly
Devastation – Omarion
Big Yellow Taxi – Counting Crows
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Falling – Little Children (thanks, julia)
Covered in Rain – John Mayer (one of my favorite guitar solos)
Sparks – Coldplay
Mrs. Cold – Kings of Convenience
You’re All I Have – Snow Patrol

Looking forward to Part 2.

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A Reading — Tempest in My Coffee Cup

“From where I sit, I can still see your teaspoon stop mid-stir, thin wisps of steam rising from your mug – your Holy Grail – and then you’re gone. You never said so much as a goodbye or thanks. You just went ahead, choking on either the teaspoonful of cappuccino or the bitter words that came out of our mouths.” — The Caffeine Chronicles

THE FOLLOWING audio clip is my second collaboration with fabulous Christina Brownlee. Once more, thank you, Christina!  Tempest in My Coffee Cup, like all my other works, was written from a masculine perspective. Having it in sound bites and in feminine POV has given the piece a fresh new meaning. The character that swarmed then settled deep inside my head long ago is now gone.  In its place is someone who may not exactly share my thoughts, my particular fears, my place in the world. The mind no longer owns the words. But you know what, that is exactly why I like Christina’s reading so much.


The Caffeine Chronicles # 1

My Pretzel Logic

pretzellogic:

i love this alane rollings poem so much that i had to dig it from my archives and reblog it.

Originally posted on My Pretzel Logic:

Three years ago, I stumbled upon this brilliant poem.  Written by a relative unknown, it’s breathtaking imagery lingered long enough that it became the inspiration for “For Loss of Words (Sit Beside Me Still).”

Light Years and Love Lost in the Oleanders
By Alane Rollings

Does my voice reach you? You are
as silent as a star and as incompanionable.
And I have done my research on these things.
I have spent many hours with the delicate turquoise amphibians
who live under sundials. They outnumbered me.
I was barely in touch with the sky, then.
I spent my days waiting for that one bit of good news
that would turn my life around.
You. Your charms, your hesitations. No one needs to tell me
how well everyone remembers you.
But have I told you about my arms, my half-healed embraces?
The disarray of my life is no longer too personal…

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Quotes for my Friend Jay: On Leaving and Brotherhood

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” — Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

———————————————————————-

Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remember’d; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.” — Henry V

Here’s wishing you and your family all the best! Bon voyage dear brother! Will see you Down Under.

* Special thanks to Sabrina Yu for leading me to Azar Nafisi’s quote.

pretzellogic:

“Make room for the parts of you that write
with hurt and nostalgia and fear. Hold up these parts and turn them inside out so that the world can feel them and feed them with their own broken parts.” this one’s worth sharing.

Originally posted on Fragments.:

I am in love with the  irrevocable scars of sin that burn burn burn blue into your skull. I am so transfixed with the way your ribs tangle into each other when  the laughter burns through you and you have no choice but to let it out. I am perplexed by the ancient little strands of your hair that you tuck and tuck behind your ear until you just let it dangle, beautiful and golden. I love all of your ripening flesh particles; I have let them infiltrate every corner of my memory where I will lavish them until my last day. I beam, beam beam with luminous ecstasy at the way you bend into everyone you meet, leaving traces of your soul lingering in even the thickest of air.

This is for you. and you and you and you. I  am fully convinced that I am undeniably in…

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