It's the 18th of the month, and I haven't written anything on here. Well, actually, I haven't written much I can truly be proud of these past few weeks. Perhaps this is what you'd call a "writer's block", but seeing that I am still writing something, it's better of referred to as a "writer's slump".

"Too busy" is too convenient an excuse, to be honest. I've been able to write while doing more than what I'm doing now. Perhaps it's because I know I am doing more than I used to which leads me to that conclusion, but then I quickly go, "well, it's not just that."

I was at a coffee shop last week, doing some work. I'd usually be people-watching, sort of, in between doing the work, or after doing the work, but it was soon clear I gave myself three hours because it took three hours. Granted, I was punching up a flyer and everything else that went with it - social media updates, website updates, you get the idea - and that takes a while because I tend to do everything before I pull the trigger at the designated time and everything goes live. But that can be tedious, so sometimes my mind flies, but this time it only flew towards the idea of me, alone, occupying a table for four.

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One a week, ideally

Twenty-four hours is not enough, not at all, for the things I realize I had to do today.

Apart from the work I already do - juggling, with varying degrees of success, several events on the horizon - I have to pack for a trip to Cebu tomorrow. I have to make sure I don't forget anything, even if I already have a good idea what to pack, to the point that I've done a lot of pre-packing, but not the actual packing itself. Does that count as packing somehow?

And then I realize I have to do a short presentation for that event in Cebu tomorrow. I would've done it today, but I was swamped. I can do it before the event itself, right? Unless they've scheduled me to talk at the very beginning, in which case, there goes my opportunity to impress.

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Blame the yellows for everything that's wrong

Okay. In this case I did have something in my head that I want to write down, but it's about politics, and, believe it or not, I don't feel like writing about politics anymore.

Is it because thinking about politics, especially at this point in time, has gotten really tiring? Perhaps. But I'm not the guy who's promote escapism. I mean, I'm the guy who riles against excessive positivity everywhere, against how it minimizes, if not denies the existence, of any other emotion, about how you can't be sad, or angry, because all it takes is to be grateful, that kind of shit. Yes, thinking about politics has gotten really tiring, but then it's the sort of thing you still cannot escape, if only because you follow people who can't stop talking about it.

I don't like to be put in an echo chamber, so I have made it a point to not unfollow or unfriend people because of what they believe. Sure, there's this whole "their political beliefs reflect who they are as a person" bit, a nugget of supposed wisdom that applies both to the Philippine and American settings - and I say this because my American contacts post this more often. But already we know that part of the problem lies in how the algorithms that define our lives, for better or worse, tend to only show us the things it thinks will appeal to us. So, in my case, there's that set of contacts (let's not call them friends) who fashion themselves to be critical enough of the current president. Maybe I'll like it because I've been critical of the current president, it assumes.

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Another Toby's Estate branch, but one inside a mall (Aura, in this case), and one that's more of a kiosk in the middle of a corridor rather than a space all its own, which means a limited menu. It's fine. We go there for the coffee - in this case, the chai, because I absolutely cannot have coffee after two in the afternoon - and the carrot cake.

There are nine tables, three in a row, like a tic-tac-toe card, if we're to belabor the metaphors. Shalla and I are seated in the middle table, enjoying the cake - around PHP 250 or a little less, I think, but good for two, and definitely worth the price - and our drinks.

On one of the other tables, an old woman - I'm not saying really old, just relatively old - came to a table occupied, it seems, by her daughters. She was holding a Power Mac shopping bag. Inside were two newly-bought Apple Watches. She bought them for her daughters.

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Hi David! Heart heart heart heart.

Want to feel like you're in a different crowd than you really are? Work in a different coffee shop. It helps that the coffee at Toby's Estate - or, knowing me, it's just a chai latte, because it's two in the afternoon and any caffeine past that time means falling asleep the next morning - is priced the same as Starbucks. It also helps that there's a much better chance there's a spot there with a plug, unlike in the nearby Tim Hortons, which gets full for no reason.

Don't get me wrong. This particular branch gets full. I've worked here a bunch of times - "worked", really, and also, there's no wifi in the place, so you can only do so much - and there are many points in the day when a relatively long queue forms. Mostly take-out orders, though. Not that unusual. Sure, the coffee is better than Starbucks, but, well, we are what unites us, or whatever that is.

But then you realize you're really out of your depth here. Sure, you're wearing an almost full-on business outfit - long-sleeved shirt, coat jacket, no tie - and you're in front of your laptop punching emails about genuinely, I think, important stuff out. But you realize - and you've had this realization before - that you're the only one with a Windows laptop. Everybody else has a Mac, and the looks of that alone make them look like they fit in more.

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