Of closing cycles, stopping being who I was and changing into who I am

This is me trying to say my piece, even though I’m clearly not in the position to even have the right to defend myself.

***

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.

Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.

Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.

This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

(Republished from Paolo Coelho’s blog.)

***

I want to say something else but I wouldn’t want to risk digging myself a deeper grave. I suppose this would do for now.

Of benchmarks, foie gras and the best burger I’ve ever had (World of Hamburgers, The Oakroom at Joy~Nostalg)

Remember this post?

I believe I’ve found it. I finally have my best burger.

The Oakroom's World of Hamburgers.

Last Friday, my teammates and I went to Oakwood Joy~Nostalg’s Oakroom for their May promotion: A World of Hamburgers. Had we known what we were up for, we wouldn’t have delayed it to too late in the month!

Excited much!

My lunch partner, Rach, and I have earlier agreed to order two burgers and one of them had already been decided to be the French variant. Upon inspection of the menu inside the restaurant, we decided the Argentinean one would be the second.

Listed in the menu as “Pan fried Cognac flamed beef patty with foie gras, Perigourdine sauce on a crusty bun served with truffled fried potatoes”, the French burger wasn’t really a looker. It arrived at the table looking like this:

Doesn't look like it, but that patty was thick!

A bit boring and colorless, no? Now look at the autopsy shot:

Crust? Check. Pink meat? Check. Coarse grind? Check. Devilishly rich topping? Check. Perfect.

*drools* Medium rare perfection!

Let me tell you this: the burger was worth its premium price. I mean who pays for almost a thousand bucks for a single burger right? With a burger of that quality, I would! That, my friends, deserves the title of best burger I’ve ever had. It now is the benchmark of all the burgers I’m going to devour in the future. (ahem Lusso’s…) The beef was coarse grind, thick, juicy and amply seasoned. The foie gras was creamy, rich and added a totally welcome and new dimension to the whole flavor profile. I didn’t quite get the truffle-ness of the Perigourdine sauce, and the bun was standard issue, but I didn’t mind. The patty and the foie gras alone got me in Rach in food coma, the good kind.

Have the patty with the foie gras. You can thank me later.

If I would be required to nitpick, it would have to be on the fries (and I think this was an issue for all the spuds that were served that day). I know it’s the fancy kind, being truffled and all, but they arrived limp. It was tasty, but I would’ve preferred for it to have had a nice crunch. It was a good thing I enjoyed the burger soooo much. It was easy to overlook the failure that were the fries with an accompanying burger like that.

We then moved on to our second burger: the Argentinean. By the time we started on it, Rachel and I knew we’ve made a terrible mistake.

Not bad at all. I suppose you can't really melt manchego?

The burger described as “Beef patty, chimichurri sauce, manchego cheese and topped with an egg” is not lackluster by any means, in fact it was impeccably executed at medium-well done. It’s still very juicy in spite of the requested doneness and the accompanying toppings were also spot on (I loooooove runny yolks! The chimichurri sauce I didn’t quite feel though.). It’s just that it paled in comparison to the one before it. On hindsight, we should’ve eaten it first. That and that we should have just had one French burger each instead.

Yup, that's medium well-done. Awesome right?

And what do you have with stellar burgers? Ice cold beer of course!

Lunchtime beer. Courtesy of the Boss. Haha!

Unfortunately, Oakroom’s World of Hamburgers is only on a limited run. One month to be exact, I learned from Rach that they had the same promotion last year. I can only hope that they bring it back next year. Or sooner. I want me my French burger again.

That would've been two thumbs up dapat. Kaso I had to hold the plate. :-P

Oakroom Restaurant and Bar
Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila
17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Direct Line: (63-2) 719 1160
Trunk Line: (63-2) 637 7888 / (63-2) 910 8888 ext. 8604
Hours of operation: 6 am to 11 pm (restaurant)/up to 12 mn (bar)

Postscript:

1. Other stars of the show included the Trilogy of Burgers, which were mini-versions of the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Italian. I heard the Italian was the best among the three.

From left to right: Mediterranean, Italian, Caribbean.

The towering beauty below was the Classic Double-Double. Obviously not meant to be eaten by hand, it required some effort to be maneuvered. The patties weren’t as thick as the stand-alone burgers, but I heard this was good too.

Don't even bother attempting to eat this as is. A plate, a fork and a knife are must-haves.

2. Don’t skip on the bread basket! Those were some good baked stuff! The butter’s awesome too. :)

Real butter for the win!

3. I believe Italian is Oakroom’s theme for June. Will check that out for sure.

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