Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bashing a Starbucks place for a change

Starbucks coffee shops have always been known for its warm, cozy, relaxing environment. But guess what? I found a Starbucks place that was so un-Starbucks-like that all Manong and I did the whole time was bash the place.

Robinson's Pioneer Starbucks.

On the outside, the store looks like a typical classy place. Unfortunately, it stops there. The crew, especially the barista who took our order, was not that courteous. Ross took our orders while eavesdropping on the conversation at the next counter. He didn't bother smiling at us, which was not typical of a barista 'cause as we all know, they are all smiles and pleasantries. He was even curt to the customer after us.

After we got our orders, we went downstairs to get a table - seats are found at the basement level. The ground level is just for taking and claiming orders. The layout of the place needs a major makeover. The first thing that you notice when going downstairs are the high beams. They didn't look so high, though, as they were part of the ground level. Then you'd notice, despite that there weren't that many people, the place was so noisy. It felt as if we were in a bar rather than in a coffee shop. Manong said, the place gave off a feeling that we were in a dungeon.

A crew was cleaning up a table and arranging chairs when she asked one of the customers to transfer table. What baffled me was the way she apologized to the customer for interrupting, "Sorry naman po." Was she trying to be cute or sarcastic? Either way, it sounded so rude. The customer transferred without saying a word.

It was a disappointing place to visit. I sincerely hope that the crew improve their attitude. We noticed that the tables and trays weren't that clean, as well. And Starbucks, please: have the place remodeled. I have high regards for Starbucks and it's just sad that this place mired that impression.

Here's to wishing I won't find another Starbucks place to bash. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! And I'm getting my planner tomorrow *wink*

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fifty Shades... Freed

I'm finally done with the Fifty Shades trilogy! My, but it was such a struggle to read the last book.

I appreciated the plot. It was typical wherein a guy has a dark past and along comes this girl who helps him overcome his struggles, but it was also creative because of its BDSM twist. It was the first time I read a novel involving BDSM. It was a world totally unknown to me and for the first time, I got a glimpse of how these things are interacted in private. This, by the way, totally spiraled me out of my senses 'cause I just can't fathom the sensuality this kind of lifestyle provides. Torture is fun? Since when?

The first few chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey was enough to get me moving. It made me curious how things were going to turn out. But as it progressed, I got bored with some of the details that could've been skipped. There were some parts of the book that had just a few paragraphs and then the subject was changed. You'd think, "ah ok, so...?".

During the pursuit, the exchange between Christian and Ana confused me. It got me to thinking, am I reading a Sweet Dreams novel? But I thought the plot is up to par with the likes of Johannah Lindsey's or Judith McNaught's stories? Am I really reading about matured people? It lacked the umpf! I was looking for in a romance novel.

The second book, Fifty Shades Darker, was comparatively, a bit maturish. It has more emotions and twists. The author should've combined this book with the first one, though.

And the third book - Fifty Shades Freed? I didn't see any sense of having it. Not at all. The author could've resolved the issues on the second book. Also, the sexy scenes were getting, well, a little boring. And my goodness, did the author really need to add Christmas stories?! In the end, I finished it for the sake of finishing the trilogy.

The writing style was amateurish, the details and emotions of the story are shallow. It was just sad, 'cause I really like the plot. On the other hand, I do think it will make a great script for a movie. It's just not novel material.

It was a wonder how this trilogy became a hit. If you're a romance reader the Fifty Shades flopped 100%.

An advise to EL James, read Harold Robbins; that's how erotic novels are written.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Zeke's Lego Designs - His Creative Side

I always take pride in Zeke's Lego creations. He lost the manuals a long time ago and played the Lego with his Dad and Tito by just setting up the pieces on their own. In the end, he just makes his own designs even without the supervision of Daddy and Tito.

It was just by accident that he got his Lego. Manong had to hunt a gift as I was too busy preparing for Zeke's birthday party. We decided at first to get him blocks for his third birthday because his blocks were all loose and some are already broken. When Manong returned home, I was surprised and admittedly a bit annoyed when he said he bought a 3-in-1 Lego creator instead which was beyond the budget we set. I didn't think Zeke can handle it because of the small pieces and the complexity of the designs.

As it turned out, I underestimated it. He was so attached with creating the Lego designs that his Tito bought him another set during Christmas. (Manong and Tito have ulterior motives to buying Lego's as they also liked playing with the Lego pieces. I think it's every boy's dream to own, or at least play with Lego's at least once in his lifetime) A year later, Zeke makes his own versions of Optimus Primes and other Transformer characters, Octonaut Gups, and heavy equipments such as bulldozers, tower cranes and backhoes.

A friend doubted Zeke's creations once and I was so affected by it but then I realized it's not everyday that you get to see a 4-year old design these stuff. Zeke is very lucky to have owned a Lego set at his age. Not every kid get to have this opportunity and luxury.

And because of this, I came to realize that if only kids have the same opportunities, I bet kids can show off their talents way beyond their years. It is a fact of life, though; we don't all share the same privileges. Some kids have to cope with hunger and poverty instead of catering to their talents and artistic side.

I just thank Manong for taking that risk of buying Zeke his Lego set. Good job, Daddy ^_^