Find Your Happy Place

Sometimes, sure, it could be McDonald's.  The happy place I mean.  I go for the cheeseburger meal.  I love mustard relish - the tang and sweet and onion zing all at the same time.  But this is a different happy place.

It has been a tough week.  I haven’t been exactly fighting with a friend but it feels worse than that.  My friend with the good intentions is frustrated with me for not taking a road well traveled by the sane and the sensible.   She is frustrated that there is a job waiting for me to help me out in the mean time.  I see it differently.  I am reminded of a blogger who writes with such relish about “personal choices” and finding her own path.  We share a craving for doing something creative or having some form of art in our everyday (I am paraphrasing).  Now, responsible people always say that is not very smart, not very realistic, foolish even.

Like with this blog.  Certain people ask me what does writing stuff and posting it on the net get me.  Is it worth my time? Does it pay me anything? It pays, yes, but in a different sense far from monetary (could be, as others have done, but this isn’t all about that).
I get it, really.  Sometimes I want what other people want, often even more than they can possibly think of.  Sometimes, I don’t.  I deal with things differently.  I can be overindulgent but I am wary about consequences.    I’m a thinking person (very) so I would have conjured up all sorts of scenarios, dire or happy.  Any undue circumstance and consequences good or bad, I’d have thought it.  I wouldn’t have taken on baggage if I knew it would be hard traveling for me.  I’d go it alone. Almost always, I follow my heart.  Do or die trying.

Now I have my ways of dealing, as I’ve said, no matter how slow or how hard it would be for me.  It may not be something my friend agrees with but she is not me.  I am more frustrated that after all these years, she doesn’t know me.  So! I resolved to go my own way, manage my responsibilities as best I could and keep my burdens to myself.  While I am at it, I will have occasional pick-me-uppers at Stacy’s!

The minute I walked in, I was drawn to the powder pink SMEGrefrigerator.  I cut out a print ad for SMEG years ago (a page from Elle Decoration), favoring the candy colors and the British Flag skin.  I wanted one.  While friends are dreaming of a no frost, two door, and ice dispenser up front ref, I wanted a SMEG.  While people are looking at La Germania, I was dreaming up AGAs and LED ovens.  See what I mean? It doesn’t matter that I cannot afford the things; it’s that I am aware of the more extraordinary, even if I only read about it or hasn’t even hit local stores. 

I love the picture perfect coziness of Stacy’s.  Magazine perfect I should say, because one of the owners is a props stylist for one, with an eye for the stylish mismatch and Pantones.  The owners took the sugar and spice and everything nice bit literally, translating it into pastel colors and whites; a pink dresser with porcelain knobs to hold jewel tone bottles and jars of condiments, cutlery, linens and menus beribboned in blue and pink checks; a white window shutter;  a festive banner in tiny floral printed vinyl the same material as the Cath Kidston aprons hanging on a pegboard and bigger swatches for table covers outside; white picket fence on a fake lawn with a kiddie chair and table set with crayons and drawing paper; a white painted bicycle that’s really a planter for fake plants; a chalkboard menu; lollipop jar; and Keds sneakers with different colored laces worn by the helpful, perky waitresses.  They allowed me to take pictures, hooray!  It being Halloween month, there were pumpkin heads and straw and cloth dolls sitting on the fence and stuck in flower filled glass jars. Yey, country!

I told the friend who took me to Stacy’s that my inner little girl is happy and wants to live there.  The food is pretty good, too.  We thought we were staying for just coffee (us both) and cake (mine only) because we had tapsilog at Rodic’s (totally different, waaay) at UP before serendipitously taking the wrong turn and ending up on the road to Balara and Capitol Hills Golf Club, where Stacy’s is.  She’s been meaning to take me there but always forgot, Stacy’s is quite out of our way.
I got Sans Rival, the buttery rich indulgence I eat once in a blue moon, favoring chocolate any day.  But I was in a new place and chocolate is chocolate anywhere, Sans Rival is more like my “test” cake.  If they do it right -flaky pastry, cold (just right) and not too sweet butter cream and lots of nuts – it bodes well for the rest on the cake line.  I was happy enough with the Sans Rival and the little sugar biscuit that came with my coffee. I like my cake plate too, with the cherries painted on it.  Note: I take my coffee black when I eat cake.  Plus and minuses, you know, to manage the weight.  Works for me.

We ended up having a long lunch, dessert first.  My friend was recently diagnosed with borderline diabetes and has to go gluten free and watch her diet, but we needed fuel to brainstorm with (thankfully, I landed a project). Earlier she had some roast pumpkin soup, which I finished off for her.  It was creamy, smoky tasty (properly roasted squash I dare say) with parsley flecks.We thought after the cake and soup, light is better.  We decided on nacho salad and salsa with avocado.   I didn’t find much avocado but I munched away nonetheless, while throwing crazy ideas around and making my friend laugh.  We needed the breather.

We finally ordered a main course and moved to an outside table for a change of scenery - King Louie Farms’ huge pots of deep red poinsettias (on display for the weekend tiangge or mini market).  We ordered the caramelized Spam risotto cum omelette –basically semi fried rice with lightly glazed Spam tucked in a scrambled egg roll laced with Japanese Mayonnaise and ketchup.  Huge! Very filling.  We had most of it wrapped: I was still feeling the fiber weight (nacho-rally).  
I liked Stacy’s, despite the incongruity of men in golf duds with varying degrees of hair loss sitting comfortably at tables set up with vintage cut glass, pastel and white porcelain, and powder blue polka dotted linen, picking on complimentary candy colored popcorn with flower marshmallows out of  big, pastel blue and pink porcelain cups. The only other  adult touch in the decor are the American poster art (or should I say ladies) framed on the wall with witty and whimsy thought bubbles.
I am going back.  To try the other cakes.  To ogle  the SMEG again.  And to my well meaning friend, I am not dying yet. Please let me have my cake : )



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