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A Good PR Story is Infinitely More Effective Than a Front Page Ad

Slowly but surely saving up bit by bit for the bistro…..I really don’t have much right now but like I said previous…it’s better than nuthin!

Also, I forgot to say that the other picture I included of the bamboo thing with a face is our piggy bank lol

Doming accidentally called it our ‘pork bank’ because he couldn’t remember ‘piggy bank’ so now we joke all the time that it’s our pork barrel fund.

Yesterday was fiesta for macaboo…er…makabu or however it’s spelled…..so we went to a million people’s houses and ate a trillion lechons and meatballs and ribs and drank five zillion gallons of coke and sprite….I was dying by the end of the day lol
Unfortunately no pictures, booo….god damn the ex for stealing my camera.
Literally EVERYONE was staring at me everywhere I went, it was sooo awkward, and as an anxiety-ridden basketcase, it makes socializing here sooo hard, because obviously, there ain’t no hiding my pasty pale white skin….and everyone always looks and wants to talk and so I’m learning my best to not have panic attacks and stuff when strangers talk to me and stare….

aaanywhoozy, I figured I would post here because there’s quite a few of you that read my bloggity….if you could, can you please vote for me to win a full PR campaign for the bistro?
And also maybe share with your friends?

A lot of people have been having issues finding where to vote, so here’s a picture:

lala
Andhere is the links for everything you need to know about the bistro!

Vote Here for the PR Campaign Contest
Here is the Facebook Page
Here is my Indiegogo Campaign for Donating

YAY! Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, I really appreciate the eyes and I hope someday it’s much more exciting of a read 😉

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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Best Way to Predict Your Future is To Create It

Oh yeah, forgot to add this yesterday…..if you can share the page, that would be FABULOUS of you…..if you can help even more with a donation, I’d be forever grateful, and there’s even rewards!

https://www.facebook.com/gruntshufflesigh

http://www.gofundme.com/ecrbs0

I also have a draft business plan written, as well as a sample menu & business card.
Here’s a preview:

menufrontsamplemenuGSS

An excerpt from the business plan:

My business idea for Bistro / Bakery ‘Grunt, Shuffle & Sigh’ is simply good food, at affordable prices, in an atmosphere that feels like home & makes you want to come back again and again.

I’ve been inspired by cooking my whole life…from watching & helping my Grandmother bake and cook for our family, to my very first job with a German chef, to my long career in kitchens, working with some of the best names in Canada, and being taught new ways to experience food, flavor, and cooking as an art form rather than just another job.
I am passionate, dedicated to my work, creative and able to take on a wide array of challenges with ease.

In a restaurant or food establishment, these are important factors, as you never know what’s going to happen…
One day can be perfectly normal, then the next day, your supplier is late, you have a rush of customers you’re unprepared for, the sound system isn’t working and someone doesn’t show up for work! For me, that kind of challenge is fun, and I live to solve difficult problems! I have also been working in the restaurant industry for more than 11 years, so I have seen my fair share, and have learned how to deal with most major problems.


The concept for our restaurant came after trying to find a simple, comfortable space to eat, while also retaining a feeling of ‘eating local’…a lot of new restaurants around Negros Oriental are very modern, and try to cater to foreign guests. This isn’t a problem, but we would like to have a place that serves high-quality Filipino food that is affordable to local citizens as well as foreigners, and an atmosphere that is comfortable for everyone.

Also, we have seen our menu items in other restaurants before, but with my 11+ years of experience in kitchens, I can confidently say we will offer a sensory experience like no other in all of Negros.

We are simple people, so our ambitions for the business remain simple as well.
Eventually, becoming involved in charity work will be a consideration, as it is highly important to give back to our community. If we do decide to expand, our choice locations are in Cebu, near Lapu-Lapu, as well as Bais, and Zamboanguita. This is due to family ties in each of these places, as well as an eye for future numbers as far as customer potential is concerned.

Please, please, please, please share!
I would love to finally be in charge of my own business, and it would be a breath of relief to be anchored to something….after 28 years of being a drifting pile of skin and bones, it’d be nice to finally own a teensy island in this raging sea of life.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Live To The Point Of Tears

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Gosh, what a month, what a month.
The above picture is from my FAVORITE comic/graphic quote-book-thing, ‘A Softer World’
Always cheeky, poignant, and reassuring…they used to be in The Coast, which is a free newspaper in Halifax, NS, and I used to cut them out every week. I still have them all tucked away in a box at my moms somewhere.
I found out later you could buy a full-color book version at Strange Adventures comic shoppe, but I found the process of cutting them out and sticking them into an envelope kinda kitsch and wonderful, so.
Yep.

Anywhoo, I guess I have a lot to update you on, so here we go.
I wrote down stuff as it happened to better remember, but it’ll be a bit spotty, my memory has never been great.

On God-knows-what day in Jan, Damon had been drunk for weeks, and I decided enough was enough for me.
I took a Jeepney downtown to Lee Plaza, got a bit of cash out, picked up smokes, and went to Coco Amigos.

I sat there chain smoking and crying, had every intention of sleeping outside, but it was raining and I had forgotten my umbrella. I was half-hoping Damon would show up and take me home but he didn’t. After a while, I was really tired and I just wanted to go home, so I got the last Jeepney back to Valencia and walked back to the house, and slept on the porch.

On the seventh of February, I again packed up and got ray to drive me to Coco’s. I had no money this time, and so I went over to the boardwalk across the street and sat there, smoking.
After a while, I curled up and tried to rest, but kids kept bothering me asking for money and stuff….that’s kinda an annoying part of downtown…..all the kids beg, and I’ve been told that the women sometimes lend their kids out to other homeless/beggar-people so they can have a better haul for the day…..people pity people with kids all around the world, I guess….and they cash in on that fact here.

Anyways, A man and a heavily makeupped Lady stopped eventually and started asking all kinds of questions…I told them my story, told them my visa had been expired since January, etc, and they told me I should go to the Mayor for help in the morning.
After they left, two guys stopped and asked to take my picture.
I was immediately creeped out, wondering why they wanted MY picture, and one guy said he was from Manila for the weekend and so he wanted a picture….My antennas were wiggling furiously, but let them take one..

After they left, the group of kids that had been hanging around told me to call the police because I was going to get taken.
I asked them if they meant kidnapped, and they said yes……so I didn’t know if they knew much English, and I don’t know if that’s what they really meant, but I went to Coco Amigos, and got them to call the police.

They eventually got there, and I told them I was pretty much homeless and my visa was expired….everyone was super nice, and they let me smoke….They took me to the copshop, let me use the computer, gave me hot chocolate….I answered questions and gave all my info and stuff….and then we basically just talked about our two countries, Canada and the Philippines, talked about jobs, food, education, etc until I got tired.

I slept in a bench in a back office, and the next morning it was kinda super rainy.
The day started a bit hectic, they were trying to figure out what to do with me.

We went to see a social worker in Valencia, who gave me P200 for food, but said there was pretty much nothing she could do for me because I had no money or tickets to get home to Canada, and they had no money either.

We went to the Immigration office, and they said I had to update my visa and obtain an exit clearance just to leave, and that they couldn’t help either. I asked about deportation, but since I hadn’t done anything wrong, they said it’d be impossible, and that it takes months anyway.

One of the Female officers bought me lunch at a little cafe and we had a bit of a chat, she told me she’s dating a female judge in Ontario, she showed me pictures, and talked about Canadian money, I pointed out that the toonie and the ten peso looks similar to each other and stuff, it was a really nice break from the stress of the past few days.

After a few hours of head scratching, I was taken to la Casa Esperanza, which is a crisis center for women and children in Dumaguete city. I was told I would be able to stay until Monday, this day being Saturday.

I was shown around, read the rules, and shown to my room, which I shared with a woman and her baby, and a little girl.
It wasn’t really all that different from being at Adsum House, which is a shelter for women in Halifax that I have lived at quite a few times in the past.

My stay was fine, all the girls tried to teach me Tagalog, and I managed to remember a few….I now know shark, water, plate, dog, cat, eyes, and bat…and I have a list of other stuff that I’ve yet to memorize.
I had to beg for coffee and to be able to smoke cigarettes outside out of sight, which had me a bit stressed out for a few days, but I got through it.

On Monday, I heard nothing, then on Wednesday I got really homesick, so I asked them if I could go back to the house and see if things were any better, to try to make peace and stuff.
Two officers and a counselor took me back to the house, and right away I could tell Damon hadn’t even stopped drinking at all.
I spent two days at the house before I figured everything was royally effed, and so I went to the Valencia police station, and told them I wanted to contact the Canadian Embassy about going home.

They cleaned up a little nippa hut on the property and told me I could sleep in it while we got everything straightened out.

It was awesome watching how fast they cleaned and fixed the hut, it was a wreck before I got there, and a team of about six or seven guys zipped around and put a tarp on the roof and all that.
So I lived there for about a week and a half, then Damon sent me a stupid message on Facebook saying my Lush package had arrived….I paid a lot of money for it and so I went back to the house to get it.

Stupid fucking idea.
Damon was sitting in my pajama pants, all contrite and resolved and told me he had stopped drinking and he didn’t want to drink anymore and it was too inconvenient and blah blah blah blah blah, long story short, I decided to give him yet another goddamned chance, and he lasted a week.
As SOON as his mother left for her job, he picked up a bottle and started in on me yet again.

I’m now back living in the hut at the police station, trying to get the Canadian embassy to help me, and being very hungry and frustrated and tired and depressed and suicidal and pretty much the lowest I can currently be.

Donations would sincerely be appreciated at this point.

The Bloody End for now.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Should I Kill Myself, or Have Another Cup of Coffee?

Man oh, maaaaaan.

Ha, How many times this month have I opened my bloggity posts with those words?

Well, great news is that Donna, Damon’s mom is gone for three days to go stay in her posh little hotels and teach again… So it’s wonderful to have an empty, quiet house to ourselves… No Piers Morgan yammering on the TV, no hearing about the cat pooping or the dog pooping or the pool she goes to having lazy workers, or that Filipinos need to be ordered around in order to get work done, or Jews and Israelis being no good liars and murderers, or other bloody boring and annoying conversations she initiates.

Just straight, plain peace and quiet.

Bad news, however, while making supper, Damon went out to grab some chilies from our bush, and lo and behold, it’s gone.
Apparently, Donna got Ray to spray it full of bug poison and cut it back… and when that didn’t work to get rid of the ants, ((That are literally everywhere, and all over the house, both inside and out… ))

She got him to dig it up.
Gone.
Whammo, no more beautiful red and green bush full of delicious chilies.

The last few days, I’ve been working on ODesk trying to land a job, and looking at the ESL Cafe thingy as well, so forgive my absence. It’s become pretty imperative to get a job and get the heck out of here, it’s getting so stressful that its starting to effect our health… Not to mention, I feel like every time I post, I’m whining and complaining about things, instead of describing beautiful things and letting you know about the country.

Well, I’ll tell you this at least: If you ever come to the Philippines, avoid Donna Flint. Ha.

Right now, I am way too upset to write about much or to keep my head on happier things, so I’ll leave you with a picture of our beautiful, dead chili bush. I posted it before, but it needs a re-post in memoriam.

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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Magically Appearing Title is Magic…Whoops

This is Hay Goat

Well, I was going to give myself a two-day break from writing, but I decided to only make it one day.
I don’t have anything better to do, really, so why not write?

My longed-for rain finally arrived today and spent the whole day hanging out…Ha
Damon and I were going to go to the supermarket to pick up a few things, but as soon as we were about to hop on Scoopy, the sky opened up, so I spent the day just surfing the internet, drinking coffee, and sitting on the porch watching the cats play.

Down the lane a little bit there are two goats that I adore, and every once in a while I go to say hello and smuck them in the heads… Nothing to hurt them, it’s a game for both of us and they love it, every time I walk up to them and say ‘Haaay Goooat’, their tails start wiggling and they put their heads down to smuck my hand.
One I’ve called ‘Hay Goat’ and the other is ‘Butt Goat’ because that one prefers its butt being scratched instead of its head.

I hope someday I can own goats, it’d be fun to run around and play with them… Goats here are usually tied on small ropes and they can’t really wander very far at all…and goat’s milk and cheese is SO GOOD, it would be fun to learn how to make it.
I also want chickens, so we can have fresh eggs… But I guess that would mean putting up with a rooster, they get pretty noisy, but I’m getting very used to them, I think the people down the lane have about ten of them, and every morning they go craaazyyy warbling and ‘AgghhhhUAAAGH-AH-AH-AAAAH’-ing.

Speaking of birds, that is one thing I definitely miss about Canada… The Crows.
I miss crows and their caws…Big, majestic, black-feathered gatekeepers of the Spirit-Side.

That is another reason, as well, that I want to go to Siquijor, I heard its the magickal hot-spot here in the Philippines, and I would absolutely love to sit down and chat with some of the local spirit-working types, I think their stories would be fascinating, even if no one believes in any of the stuff anymore.
I guess since the Spanish and American immigrants came here, most of the Philippine people have been converted into practicing Christianity now.

Which isn’t a terrible thing, it’s a nice religion to follow for the most part, on the surface, most religions are…I suppose as long as you’re practicing what you preach, and are a good human being, you can’t really go wrong.
I’m not very religious personally, I’ve studied pretty much all of them and I can find good in them all, so I’ve always just considered myself more of a Spiritual person… I have a close personal relationship to God, and I often pray. Back in Canada, I’d go to church any time the spirit moved me, and it was never the same church twice. I’ve got to meet a lot of really nice people that way, and while I was hitch hiking cross-country, I found churches to be really awesome places for refuge and recharging my batteries.

I’d like to find a nice church to attend here, there are so many! But I haven’t got the courage yet to go.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Price of Freedom? About Fifteen-Hundred Bucks

Damon and a huge green wall

Well, I did it again.
Though to my credit I woke up at five am and made French Fries with balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and Tabasco… Watched a bit of Remington Steele, then went back to bed at around nine am.

It is sooo humid today, I think we’re about due for a really good storm to clear the air, and the clouds are moving fast, but I honestly don’t think its going to show up.
It’s funny to look at the weather forecast and see – Windchill: 27 deg.C…In Canada it usually said something like Windchill:  – 20 deg. C

Yes, Negative Twenty, I one hundred percent do NOT miss that.

Damon says he misses snow, and I kind of sympathize… Watching a heavy snowfall from the window as you curl up in fuzzy pajamas and drink hot beverages is kind of a nice experience… But waiting for a bus that may or may not show up while you stand shin-deep in snow, ankle deep in slushy gunk with six bags of groceries that the bottoms are falling out on, while biting, brutally cold wind is ripping at your eyes and nose is pretty much the worst feeling ever.

To explain the title of this bloggity post a bit more…

I was trying to explain to my friends on the ‘ol Book of Face how cheap the cost of living here was, because I miss having people to hang out with, and I want everyone to come here and be as happy as I am… Every single one of them has an excuse about how they have a business to run, or rent to pay, or family they don’t want to leave behind, or they’re stickin’ it to the ‘Man’ or what-have-you…

While to a degree I can understand their situations, I know for a fact it only takes three or four months to save up a thousand dollars, and that’s about as much you need to get here from Canada.

Once you’re here, like I explained to my buddies:

Eggs and tomatoes are around seven cents each…
Onions are ten cents.
A pint of rum is 71 cents, and a pack of smokes is about a dollar.
Two giant lamb steaks are about ten bucks…
A can of coffee is about five bucks.
A pack of ‘mr. noodles’, Lucky Me noodles here, is about 21 cents.

With prices like these, I don’t know why anyone in their right mind lives in the Western world anymore.

For my Filipino readers, just as a comparison, in Canada:
Eggs – 12 for 147 pesos
Tomatoes – 42 pesos each
Onions – about 63 pesos for two or three
A pint of rum – 1400 to 2000 PESOS….FOR THE CHEAP STUFF!!!!!!!
a pack of smokes – 500 to 600 pesos
Two giant lamb steaks – 2500 pesos
A can of coffee – 630 to 850 pesos
A pack of ‘mr. noodles’ – 42 pesos

Isn’t that absolutely insane?
Even while I lived there I didn’t know how anyone could be well-off, and living here, I’ve just reinforced my belief that the western world is going down the tubes.

Anywhoo, Damon and I are still trying to think up business ideas and applying for jobs in other countries, though nothing is looking good for the immediate future… It may be super cheap to live here, but it still does technically cost something.

My ideal dream is for us to move to Siquijor and just live on the beach with all of our cats in a house we build ourselves.
He says he knows enough people that we could probably pay someone a few pesos each month to live on their land, which would be really nice.

Ideally, I would continue this bloggity, and start to design, create, and sell my own clothing and jewelry, which has been a goal of mine since childhood.

He’d go off fishing or hunting lizards or whatever he would do all day, and we would help our community by planting veggie gardens and teaching the local kids random stuff like English, or cooking, or Sports like Bordenball or whatever they needed or wanted…We’d continue collecting cats and keeping them healthy and neutered, and maybe someday even open a little restaurant from our home.

Someday all of it will be a reality… If I made it this far, those dreams aren’t far off the map.

 

 

Feel like funding the dream?

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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It Was The Myth of a Rainy Night

Well… More than a myth, it’s been a very rainy day and evening here.

I bounced back and forth between two titles today for the bloggity….this one, and a quote by Jack Johnson that says “Can’t you see that it’s just raining? There ain’t no need to go outside.” Because exactly the opposite was true… I had to go update my visa today at immigration, so I definitely needed to go outside. Either way, I decided to go with Kerouac, just because I like his writing, and I have no idea who Mr. Johnson is, beyond being some singer-dude.

On top of it, Damon is deathly sick, and can barely even hold water down, so it’s been a glorious morning, full of the sounds of pitter-patter rain on a tin roof, and violent bursts from Mr. Chucky McVomit from the other room, the poor thing.

Once Raymond, our helper/housekeeper/family friend arrived at the house, I asked him to drive me into town to the Immigration office and got all my paperwork completed for another two months.
I talked about driving being scary here in my last post, but rain-driving is even worse… I have zero idea how Raymond kept us alive today… I had an umbrella on us while we drove, but he said it got in his way and didn’t help at all, so I put it away… Once I did, I couldn’t even keep my eyes open, let alone on the road, so I’m pretty darn impressed we didn’t die.

I do love the rain here though.
One moment it can be calm and sunny, and the next, there becomes a downpour so heavy that you can’t even see the houses across the way.
There are static lightning storms practically every night, which is awesome to watch, but not very much thunder, which kinda sucks for me, I am absolutely in love with big, loud thunder crackling and booming… the kind that shakes your house when it erupts.

I got home safe and sound, Ray went home early because he was soaked to the bone, and I tried my hand at making a homemade ragu/marinara from scratch…it turned out okay, but still no comparison to Damon’s sauces.
It was very spicy from the Bird’s Eye chilies I threw in, only three tiny red chilies in a whole pan-full of sauce, but my mouth was on fire… we have a giant bush of them in the back yard, too many to ever use up, it is our best-growing plant in the garden, and they are mighty tasty little things… really darn good in burgers as well.

Now I’m curling up with a coffee and some writing, listening to the crickets and the rain, and occasionally going to check on Husby, and generally just relaxing.
Really not an exciting day at all, but then again, not every day can be a darn party!

The following video is the drive from our house into the mall in town…it wasn’t taken today, but a few weeks ago with Damon. Beware, turn your speakers down, as there is a lot of wind noise on the video, and maybe one or two swear words as well.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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