caffeine chronicles | 01: communal coffee

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Meeting an Instagram friend IRL! @thisgirlnamedchristian
I used to think that coffee was gross. Back in the Philippines, I would always watch my mom make coffee in the morning and sometimes a second cup in the afternoon.  I never thought I'd be a coffee person; coffee was for the moms and dads, the titos and titas but not for me. However, like most adults I know, I started drinking this caffeinated liquid gold in college. It seemed a better alternative to Red Bull or Mountain Dew. Coffee kept me company throughout university life, my first two years of employment, our wedding planning, writing sessions, conversations with friends, and of course, my daily proclivity for introversion.

I regret not exploring more coffee shops in the Philippines but now that I'm living in a new country, I want to make sure I scope out my area better. I'm starting at North Park--a hip neighborhood teeming with local restaurants, craft brewery, and cafes here in San Diego. My first stop in this lifelong coffee crawl is Communal Coffee.

Communal Coffee is also home to a flower shop called Native Poppy. That's right, they sell flowers right inside the cafe, hence the bold wall you see in the photo above. Coffee + flowers together is a good combination--both can delight and perk anyone up!

Native Poppy also has an array of specialty items like stationery (including really witty and lovely-looking cards), artisan candles, and other quirky items. I read on the website that they also arrange flowers for special events.

My first drink at Communal was an extra hot honey lavender latte and dang, son, that drink was amazing. They serve coffee from San Francisco-based coffee company Sightglass. I've also tried their vanilla bean latte--try it iced for a hot day. I wonder where they get their almond croissants from because that was quite delectable as well. The dough was soft and moist with enough crunch on the outside and inside. They didn't skimp on the shaved almonds.

On my first visit to Communal, I met up with a lovely lady I connected with through Instagram. Her name is Christian. It was my first time doing an "instameet" and I'd say the experience was fun! Christian and I had a good talk over delicious coffee for about a couple hours, basking in the perfect San Diego weather.

Overall, I'd rate my experience with Communal Coffee 5/5 stars. Friendly staff, adorable interiors, quirky products, and flowers to boot.

Communal Coffee
located at 2335 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
Monday to Saturday, 6:30 am to 6 pm. 

everything in its right place*

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*A stream of consciousness entry. Title is from a Radiohead song.

I dream of a world where diets are no longer a thing,
where donuts are as healthy as broccoli.
Or we eat what we were designed to eat,
what we were designed to crave
so as to make
the invention of donuts

But what would such a world look like?

A world free from disease. Yes, I dreamed a dream. Free
from war, from pain, from loneliness. No elephants or donkeys
that lead a parade of fear, unrest, division.

I have a dream.

And then the Son of Man came and showed us
that everything
will be
in its right place
I opened my eyes

There is a place for the sick, the war-torn
the lonely, the outcast,
the dying soul

All our wishes to extend life
with all our poison
cut, stitch, (re)cover

All our experiments of life
from life birthed in a lab dish
a desire to echo our Maker in
weaving new parts into old machines
temporarily succumbing to decay

And death hurts and it paralyzes me to think
that all of this will be for naught? Surely there must be
something more than this
And there is
And oh, Jesus,
we can say "Death, where is your sting?"
Because you've given us
something more than this
here and now

Everything will be
in its

coffee date #1

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Honey lavender latte + almond croissant from Communal Coffee | North Park, San Diego, CA

If we were on a coffee date, I would order a hot vanilla latte or perhaps some unique latte like that honey lavender one. Extra hot, because we have the rest of the afternoon ahead of us. I would tell you that I saved my monthly doughnut allowance for today's coffee date, because I'm trying to cut back on certain things. I'd savor that doughy piece of heaven slowly and then ask you what your most recent highlights are. I would also ask you if you'd like to explore North Park with me a.k.a. San Diego's hipstertown.

If we were on a coffee date, I would recommend that you listen to King's Kaleidoscope's new album Beyond Control. One of their songs, A Prayer, is controversial for its original lyrics. The song is rooted in Chad Gardner's (the vocalist) own fears of death and separation from God. The words are strong, searching, and soberingFor someone who has had to deal with anxiety issues, the song brought me to tears as it echoes some of my own prayers. But just when you think the song is over, the second half of the song affirms hope that does not disappoint; it does not waver in the midst of our own instability. That hope is Jesus and he is a sure anchor.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you about my quest to understand myself better. I don't know if it's my INFJ-ness or Learner attribute--possibly both--but I always enjoy reading books with exercises for self-discovery. At this point in my life, I'm looking at changing careers and Richard Bolles' What Color is Your Parachute? has been helpful so far in this process. I would ask if you're also thrilled by self-discovery. I'd also be wondering what's on your summer reading list.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you about how I'm adjusting to life in the United States. I would express gratitude for being in a "First World" country with all its freedom, traffic system that's 10 notches better than Manila, toilet paper in all public restrooms, and other little things that I don't get to enjoy as much in the Philippines like authentic Mexican food. But I would also tell you how it breaks my heart to read the news these past few days and how it's driving me to ask questions to hopefully educate myself better. I would love to talk about how we can love other people in our lives better than today.

If we were on a coffee date, I would close our time in prayer and ask you to pray with me if that's cool. The Lord deserves our thanks and this sweet time together is also something to be grateful for. Often, all that we could do is pray while the world suffers labor pains before the Lord births it into complete restoration. There is hope and I'll sip to that.

What about you, my friend? Tell me all the things if we were on a coffee date.

Linking up with Amber and Erin for the Coffee Date link-up.

in nuce: june-july

Yours truly at Universal Studios
What's been going on lately? I decided that Squarespace was too expensive for me, blogging isn't as fun as when you're trying to market yourself (at least in my opinion), so here I am back to good old Blogger. Apart from this shift, here's a life update in a nutshell.

Lazy Butt Confessions

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This post brought to you by Perry the Platypus
I like to write.  (False. I like the idea of having written.)
I like to read. (False. No, well, I still do. It’s just that I get easily sucked into the social media black hole that endangers my time to read more substantial things.)
I like to exercise. (False. I like gathering exercise routines on Pinterest because I’m a boss at filing away things for future use.)
I manage my time well and I’m good at goal-setting. (False. I like to set goals but I always forget to make them actionable. Why? Because I spend way too much time experimenting with different bullet journal approaches that I have no time to actually fulfill said goals. Why? Because I feel the need to fill up my current notebooks which, once I’ve accomplished, gives me a good excuse to buy new Moleskines. Which is kind of sad but fun at the same time.)