Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I am old(er) now


When I graduated from my undergraduate study, I remember I went to work feeling young and fresh, ready to take anything coming on my way with so much eagerness and curiosity. As a newbie, I was not alone at that time. I was admitted along with some others and I was the youngest back then. Having been almost always the youngest whenever I go (I was among the youngest people among my batch when I was in school and university), I took it for granted that this would always be the case when I'd go join any company.

But years go by and here I am, working for a company where among the staffs at the same level as me, I get to be the oldest. You see, one of the staffs is three years younger and the other one (there are only two staffs at the same par) is... five years younger. She's practically as old as my sister! Gosh. Sometimes it is unthinkable to do the same work with these youngsters. Mais, c'est la vie. A lot of times it is the unthinkable that is happening.

That's why I can't help feeling older these days. When usually I could call a lot of my female colleagues with nick name "Mbak", now it's me who get to be called that way.
What an irony.

Pretty soon, I'll be moving to another company, joining as a management trainee a.k.a. MT. That's another unthinkable, since many of my college friends are already managers now. I guess I will just put on the positive thought: Perhaps I will get to be named the leader among my batch... He-he-he. Talking about being old and (wanting to be) respected *smug


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gov't on the Tree Man Case:

Protect: OK; Solution: Null

Last week a friend forwarded an e-mail to me. In it was attached a picture of a man in his late thirties in one of the sorriest state I had ever seen in my life. His hands and feet seem to have grown into something like tree roots. No fingers were seen from those pairs of hands and feet. There were just "roots" as his hands and feet.

Really, it was a most terrible sight. But little did I know that the guy in that picture was actually an Indonesian. I thought the case happened in a neighboring country. Thailand, perhaps, since lately many weird things were heard from the country, such as the existence of a cow with a human-like face. So it came as quite a shock when I learned from the newspaper on Sunday that the poor man in fact lived in Jawa Barat.

It was started with a few warts on his hands and feet. They were so itchy that he decided to poke them so they would burst and self-heal. But instead of dying down, the warts spread even wider and worse. Soon his hands and feet lose their humanly form. Today those warts have even started showing up on his body and face.

If Dede, the Tree Man, lived a century ago, he might have been cast away by his neighbors AND family. Today, Dede may be rejected by his community but he has a supporting extended family behind him. That his wife left him because she could not stand living with such a weird person is something we all could well expect to hear about. What’s amazing is the fact that his closest relative - his father - has stayed beside his ailing son and taken care of him since the beginning, despite his (the father's) poor legs.

Another amazing thing is that despite the existence of people who mock him, there’s also another group of society who sees him not less than someone in real need of medical help. This, in my opinion, is something which we should be overjoyed with because it shows humanity of many has advanced. Indeed it is a major relief to find out that a big part of the society has grown more mature and less judgmental in seeing things unfamiliar to them.

Unfortunately, the Indonesian government doesn’t follow the good lead. Instead of figuring out the best treatment for Dede, the minister of health chose to fuss over violation of right by the US doctor who first investigated the disease, for not reporting to the Indonesian government of his activities of taking a sample of Dede’s skin and bringing that sample back to his homeland. She also accused the international media which had made a world-wide program out of the case (that is the Discovery Channel, for your information) for commercializing the case and not paying an appropriate amount to the ailing guy.

I don’t understand what good we can expect from such actions. Shouldn’t we thank the US doctor and the media for without them, Dede would not know up to this day that the strange thing happening to his body is a curable disease after all (which is caused by a virus called human papilloma virus) and not some wrath from God or jinx? And I think that the media has helped in the sense of making a publicity of the case to the world, and in the end “provoking” the world to help Dede. That alone is worth a lot more than money, as now all eyes all over the world have really turned to him. If no money or medical help is sent to him, at least he gets more prayer and I say it is as worthy as money and medical help. And she said she was acting for the best interest of the patient. Really.

Well, let’s just see whether the government will eventually offer help to Dede for curing his illness. For now, why don’t we extend our prayer for the health recovery of Dede.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another Weekend Full of Extravaganzas


Last weekend it turned out I couldn't make it to Butet's monologue performance, but I still made it to make a visit to Indocomtech and Indonesia Book Fair on Sunday. I did not make any purchase at all at the two exhibitions, yet the visit was a satisfying one in terms of the fact that I managed to attend to several agendas that day.

In a couple of days, another weekend will arrive and many exciting events already line up in the list of choices of activities to do in order to spend weekend in a different way. "Different" by my definition is doing something other than slugging into a chair and watching TV all day (and all night). Anyway, the events I'm talking about here is certainly limited to those living in the Great Jakarta area. So those of you who come from area outside Jakarta and happen to visit Jakarta this weekend, this information serves as a guide for you so that you won't have to regret wasting your weekend for "ordinary" activities.

Firstly, I must mention the JakJazz Festival, because the promotion has been under way since even before the month of Ramadan kicked in. The annual jazz music festival will start tomorrow (November 23) and end on Sunday, November 25. Jazz enthusiasts should come to this 9th festival which will be held in Istora Senayan, or regret for not watching the performance of great local and international jazz musicians. Of course you should be ready to pay for the ticket. It's only Rp300,000 for daily performance, but if you want to watch the special performance, prepare to dig
into your pocket for another Rp250,000 (for more complete information, please visit the JakJazz website). Jazz aficionados will say the price is reasonable, as to me I find it is disturbingly pricey. *sigh

Next on the list is Adira Kenduri Kuliner Nusantara. The event will be held on Saturday (November 24) and the following day in Gedung Arsip Nasional in Jalan Gajah Mada, Jakarta Barat. If you want to have a taste of almost all Indonesian delicacies there exist, this is the right event that you shouldn't miss. Not only will you see a tremendous variety of Indonesian culinary being presented there, but also you will get to see an exhibition of tea and coffee from all over Nusantara (another name for Indonesia) and traditional toys of Indonesia. A music band playing kitchen utensils as the music instruments will also perform to entertain the visitors. With an entrance ticket of ONLY Rp20,000, this event does suit me perfectly (and my budget, particularly). *grin

There will also be another wedding exhibition, after the Ragam Pernikahan Nusantara I mentioned to you last week. This coming exhibition will be held in Senayan on November 22-25, if I'm correct, so put it down on your agenda if you find this event worthwhile to go for.

Last but not least, I received an e-mail this evening which informed me of an event called "Free Market". It is held to celebrate the No Shopping Day on November 25 (hm, this is new to me). Come to Taman Sambas on Jalan Panglima Polim Raya at 10 AM if you feel like getting (and giving away) second-hand goods for free. Yup, you read my words right: for free.

Oh, one more thing. If you like Andrea Hirata, you should come to Gramedia Matraman this coming Sunday at 12 noon because he'll be there to meet and greet his fans. If you don't know Andrea Hirata, he's an Indonesian book writer who earns his popularity from his Laskar Pelangi tetralogy.

There, you have it. So where are you going to this weekend?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This weekend's choices of fun

This weekend the people of Jakarta will have more varieties of fun to pick as many interesting events are held and they are ranging from art to books and computer.

If you're a music lover, jazz especially, you would probably like to spend your Sunday watching several top notch jazz bands or singers performing at the annual Jazz Goes to Campus. The 30th event will be held in UI's Depok campus. That's Universitas Indonesia if you don't know what UI stands for.

If you fancy another form of art, dance and theatrical specifically, the Art Summit Indonesia V will most likely suit your taste. I myself have eyed on Butet's monologue bearing the title "Sarimin - Maunya Jujur Malah Ajur".

Meanwhile at the Jakarta Convention Center, two exhibitions are ongoing until Sunday, November 18. The exhibitions are Indocomtech (exhibition of computer and other IT gadgets) and Indonesia Book Fair 2007. I bet these two will be the center of attraction for the middle class of Jakarta, so if you plan to go there, make sure you're ready with the traffic jam going in and out of the exhibition area.

One agenda which shouldn't be missed out by those planning to get married soon (or much later, it won't make the difference, anyway) is the Ragam Pernikahan Nusantara exhibition at Balai Kartini. Drop in there and you'll find the extravagant of ethnic marriages in Indonesia.

I want to write more on this topic but I got to go now. Must get ready for tomorrow's actions of fun. Hope you have fun too!


Welcome ... (hell) traffic jams?!@#?


My, my. How time flies. It was in August the last time I posted something on this blog, and now it's November already! Surely many things happened during the interval. In September, came Ramadan, and in October, we said good bye to the month of fasting and welcomed the new lunar month with the grandeur of Eid Mubarak (or Eid-el Fitr) festival day.

And now we're already coming half way of the month of November. The rainy season has kicked in, along with flood in some areas in Jakarta. Today the storm made its way to the city, and gosh, you should look at the effect it made: TRAFFIC JAMS EVERYWHERE! Apparently trees AND billboards in different parts of Jakarta were unable to stand straight and surrender to the law of gravity thanks to the stormy wind. It's a memorable day indeed, because I had to travel from the Landmark building to my office in Sudirman Park (it's just behind the Shangri-La Hotel) in almost 45 minutes! On a normal day, it takes me as much time to travel from my home in Pejaten to my office.

What a crazy day, indeed!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Taking it up to another level

It's interesting to realize how much I've learned about life and things for the past five years. Just when you think you get a good grasp of something, something else is coming your way which forces you to repel your own confidence and gasp to find out that you actually know nothing. There are layers of sky to be found beyond what is seemingly the highest sky to reach. Ah, we humans are indeed ignorant beings...

While it is good to admit our limitation, it is better and much challenging to break that limitation. Didn't we as toddlers never fear of falling when we learn to walk? What would happen if we gave up trying? I for example might not have written this posting if I refused to keep on learning to walk.

This kind of confidence is what I'm trying to gather. To tell you the truth, I have long aspired to become a writer. I want to write articles on subjects (I think) I know well or familiar with. But too often I chicken out whenever I read someone else's writings. I keep thinking "Oh my God, I don't have as much as knowledge on this area as this guy does; What do I have to offer to the readers then?" This kind of thought combined with my habits of postponing doing things does not do any good to realizing my dream.

And as always, I actually know the cure to my problem: JUST DO IT! NOW!!!
But fighting laziness - the mother of all evil - is what's more important, really. It sure is the biggest fight for anyone, as Rasulullah PBUH once said. And the timing couldn't be more perfect: Ramadan, the high time for all confessing to be faithful to Allah to fight their nafs.

Who'll be the winner? We'll see. Happy Ramadan, everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Major brand faces business threat from local biz


Source: Unknown

A 101-on-Benchmarking case study

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Toll blessing

Senangnya pagi ini jalanan cukup 'sepi'. Thanks to the new toll tariff, perhaps?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blackle = Google ; Google ≠ Blackle


I know about Blackle <www.blackle.com> for the first time from someone's posting on a mailing list. It's the black version of Google. I'm not being a racist here, but that explains the searching engine quite literally. It is said that Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. There's even a theory saying that this Black Google would save 750 Megawatt-hours a year.

I (almost) always go for this kind of energy-saving action thing, but personally I don't think this one would work for me. Not with my desk facing the window and the sun glares to my face, making me twitch everytime I have to see the pitch dark Google in front of me. So, I can only wish the best to Blackle and any of you who go for it.

A letter to J.K. Rowling


Dear Ms. Rowling,

I've just finished reading your infamous latest novel, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows.
I know, thousands of people have been through with your novel for ages and they may have winced at me the moment they read my statement, but alas, buying a book in my country is a luxury to many (including me). I must wait for some time before I could lay my hands on your book and believe me, it's worth the waiting.

My praise goes to the part when Harry was bitten by Nagini and he and Hermione almost got caught by Voldemort. How the elder wand turned out to belong to Harry, you pulled it neatly in your novel. I even shed my tears when the image of people dear to Harry showed up as he drew the Stone.

Now that I've done with the book, I am entering my post-Potter depression* like so many people out there. I pray that you shall be enlightened to make another Harry Potter's adventure so that this burden, this misery, this pain, can be lifted from us all.

Sincerely yours,

Your fan in misery


*The empty feeling that comes from finishing the seventh book in the Harry Potter series and realizing there will be no more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bule-bule Pada Lieur

Hotels and bars on Indonesia's resort island of Bali have been hit by an alcohol shortage due to an import problem, officials said Monday. The tourism industry is worried that the shortages could impact the number of foreign visitors, said Djinaldi Gosana, executive director of the Bali Hotel Association.

We draw out the spirits and there goes the Bules in the state of mess. *wink

For details, read this.


Note:
bule = a calling name for white foreigners
pada lieur = going dizzy

Prime Minister to the rescue

Yuri Sato, a researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies of the Japan External Trade Organization on the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono:


"Japan and Indonesia can complement each other. By forming a partnership, Japan and Indonesia are trying to avoid the situation where their markets are flooded with Chinese electric appliances."
Yeah. It looks to me more like someone is just set on fire. Four Chinese companies have won contracts to build four coal-fired power plants in Indonesia with a total capacity of 2,870 megawatts out of 10,000 megawatts Indonesia's planning to have. Japan definitely has a problem.

Full article can be found here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ayo, Rek!

Menjelang libur akhir pekan yang panjang, tiba-tiba saya jadi kangen pada kota kelahiran saya. Saking kangennya sampai pingin nyanyi:

Rek ayo rek mlaku mlaku nang tunjungan
Rek ayo rek rame rame bebarengan
Mangan tahu jo' dicampur nganggo timun
Malam minggu gak apik digowo nglamun

Ngalor ngidur liwat toko numpak motor
Masih untung nyenggal nyenggol ati lego
Sapa ngerti nasib awak lagi mujur
Kenal anak'e sing dodol rujak cingur

Jo' dipikir koen podho gak duwe sangu
Jo' dipikir angger podho melu aku
Cah ayo cah sapa gelem melu aku
Cah ayo cah golek kenalan cah ayu

Sayang saya nggak bisa ke sana *sigh
Anyway, have a nice long weekend to you all!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Prospective Indonesian Movie Coming Up!



Pertamanya gara-gara baca novelnya Aditya Mulya yang judulnya "Jomblo", selanjutnya saya jadi sering sekali baca karya-karya yang diterbitkan oleh penerbit Gagas Media. Salah satunya adalah novel yang masuk kategori chicklit karya Icha Rahmanti. Tahu kan "Cintapuccino"?

Siang ini di radio saya dengar soundtrack untuk film Cintapuccino. Yup, novel laris itu sudah difilmkan dan akan tayang akhir Agustus ini. Lagu yang dipakai untuk soundtrack sebenarnya lagu lama. Itu tuh, lagunya Yana Julio yang berjudul "Selamanya Cinta". Tapi lagu itu diaransemen dan dinyanyikan ulang oleh d'cinnamons sehingga sekarang lagunya jadi bergaya akustik. Wuih, keren banget lho jadinya lagunya. Jadi sangat berjiwa. Soulful lah, kalau bahasa Padangnya :P. Pas banget untuk dijadikan soundtrack film ini.

Akhirnya karena penasaran siapa yang main di film ini dan sebagainya, dan sebagainya, saya search di Google. Ternyata ada website khusus untuk film ini lho. Dari website-nya saja saya sudah bisa lihat betapa seriusnya film ini akan dikomersialkan. Dan sponsornya itu lho, ck ck ck, berendeng euy! Cukup pantas untuk dimasukkan dalam daftar film untuk ditonton nih.

Catatan Tanggal 8 Agustus 2007

Election Day

Rabu, 8 Agustus 2007 menjadi hari bersejarah bagi DKI Jakarta karena hari itu merupakan hari dilaksanakannya pemilihan umum kepala daerah tingkat I DKI Jakarta secara langsung untuk pertama kalinya. Fiuh, akhirnya hari pilkada datang juga, setelah sekian lama Jakarta mengingatkan saya pada masa-masa kampanye ketua senat semasa kuliah dulu: Penuh spanduk dan stiker. Rasanya sumpek karena ke mana mata memandang, spanduk dan wajah-wajah para cagub & cawagub saja yang tampak.

Antisipasi pun telah dilakukan oleh Sutiyoso selaku gubernur dengan menyatakan bahwa tanggal tersebut dinyatakan sebagai hari libur, agar warga Jakarta dapat dengan leluasa menunaikan hak pilihnya. Maka Jakarta pun kemarin menjadi sedikit lengang. Sedikit, karena tidak semua kantor ikut libur. Kantor saya termasuk yang ambigu, alias tidak jelas apakah libur atau tidak. Berhubung ada pekerjaan yang harus saya kerjakan, maka saya pun berangkat ke kantor usai ke TPS (tempat pemungutan suara). Syukur tidak ada antrian di TPS. Entah mungkin karena saya datang siang atau memang tak semua orang ikut pilkada, TPS terasa jauh lebih sepi dibandingkan TPS pada saat pemilu.

Yang menyebalkannya, malam harinya saya ditanya oleh orang rumah bagaimana saya mencoblos lembar pemilihan. Saya bilang, yang saya coblos nomornya. Ih, saya ditertawakan karena cara saya mencoblos dianggap salah. Yang benar (menurut dia) adalah gambar wajah cagub/cawagub yang dicoblos. Ah, masa sih? Padahal alasan saya mencoblos nomornya adalah agar lebih terlihat dan lebih rapi. Waduh, ya maaf deh kalau ternyata saya salah. Tapi yang paling sebal, saya merasa seperti orang idiot karena tak tahu cara mencoblos yang benar. Sebal.


Gempa Bumi

Malam harinya Jakarta diguncang gempa! Sekitar pukul 00.04, gempa hingga 7 skala Richter terjadi dengan pusat gempa berjarak sekitar ratusan km saja dari Jakarta. Saya baru setengah jam tertidur ketika ranjang saya terasa bergoyang-goyang. Sontak saya bangun dan mencoba menyadari apa yang terjadi. Ketika goncangan gempa masih juga berlangsung, saya pun turun ke lantai bawah seraya memanggil adik saya yang masih di kamar. Yah, ada kira-kira satu menit guncangan gempa berlangsung. Vertigo saya pun agak kambuh karena kejadian itu. Mudah-mudahan tidak ada gempa susulan dalam waktu dekat ini.

Beberapa orang yang tanggap telah merencanakan untuk mengadakan pelatihan menghadapi bencana gempa Minggu besok (12/8) di pelataran utara Senayan. Hm, mungkin saya perlu ikut pelatihan ini. Kita tidak pernah tahu kapan musibah menimpa kita, bukan?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

To become a better person: Lesson 1

Anyone reading my blog must have wondered, what on earth I am trying to say here. Well, since most of the time I'm blogging I will need some time to arrange my words, I decide to have the illustration first. Today I feel I have to complete this posting immediately so I can move on to a newer one.

Starting from this posting, I will write about several aspects which have become, well, qualities which I am lacking of. I hope by writing them down, I am opening a way for myself to become a better person, thus at the end of my lifetime on earth I will have no regrets of what I've done.

And here's the first lesson: The road to a friend's house is never long.

So? Well, my laziness often gets the better of me, I think. There have been invitations I did not attend, or an acquaintance getting sick I didn't pay a visit, all was due to my selfishness for wanting to spend some more time for myself. Like I have never had enough of having my own time to myself. Spending 12 hour time at the office working, what do you call that if not having the time to yourself? Gosh, I keep forgetting that by coming to the invitation or visiting acquaintances who get sick or are in mourning, I am holding on to a bonding which at the end of the day when nothing's left of me, might save myself from terrible things; might help release myself from the state of fear and despair.

But as always, saying is easy. The next task left is to walk the talk. And the question is: Do I have bold enough intention to do it?

I wonder...




Tuesday, July 10, 2007

07-07-07


Ada apa dengan 7 Juli 2007?

Bila ditulis dengan angka, 7 Juli 2007 akan tampak sebagai "07-07-2007" atau cukup "07-07-07". Penulisan seperti ini berlaku tidak hanya untuk penulisan tanggal a la Indonesia, tapi juga a la British. Keunikan ini yang membuat sekian juta manusia di planet ini berusaha membuat momen spesial pada tanggal tersebut.


Tentunya yang paling populer adalah mengadakan pernikahan pada tanggal 07-07-07. Ini tidak hanya berlaku di Indonesia saja, tapi juga di mancanegara. Di Jakarta sendiri, lalu lintas hari Sabtu yang biasanya cukup renggang kali ini bagaikan lalu lintas pada hari kerja. Lebih parah bahkan, mengingat pernikahan diadakan tak hanya di gedung-gedung, tapi juga hingga di gang-gang perumahan. Entah berapa ruas jalan yang telah tersita hari Sabtu lalu demi pernikahan, baik untuk menampung tamu maupun untuk parkir mobil. Macet di mana-mana pun tak terelakkan, sehingga rasanya Sabtu lalu sejak pagi hingga malam serasa bukan hari libur kerja.

Dari radio saya dengar cerita para mempelai yang menikah pada tanggal (yang menurut mereka) sakral itu mengenai perburuan mereka untuk mendapatkan gedung untuk acara pernikahan mereka pada tanggal tersebut. Betapa bahagianya mereka yang mendapatkan apa yang mereka idam-idamkan, sementara para calon mempelai yang gagal mendapat gedung untuk tanggal 07-07-07 menyuarakan kekecewaan mereka. Hm, mudah-mudahan saja mereka yang berhasil menikah pada tanggal tersebut memiliki pernikahan yang langgeng. Kalau tidak, tentunya 07-07-07 akan menjadi kenangan pahit dalam lembar hidup mereka :)

Adapun bagi saya, 07-07-07 menyisakan kenangan yang cukup manis. Well, sebenarnya "manis" tidak cukup. Perlu ditambahkan kata "norak" setelah kata "manis" tadi. Lho, kok?

Mengapa "manis"? Sabtu kemarin setelah pada siang harinya saya menemani Om saya ke salah satu plaza perbelanjaan di Jakarta (atau lebih tepatnya, Om saya itu yang menemani saya), saya mengira saya tidak akan pergi mengikuti ajakan teman SMA saya untuk menonton Jakarnaval*. Tapi dasar saya orangnya lumayan mudah dikompori, akhirnya jam 7 malam itu saya pun berangkat juga.

Sumber: Koleksi pribadi


Akhirnya setelah berganti-ganti kendaraan demi menghindari kemacetan yang (kata teman yang sudah tiba lebih dulu di Thamrin) telah mengintai, akhirnya sampai juga saya dan teman saya di jalan protokol Jakarta tersebut. Awalnya kami berniat makan malam dulu di McD, tapi demi melihat antriannya yang cukup panjang dan keluh-kesah para pengantri tentang lamanya mereka mengantri, batallah kami makan di sana. Saya pun mengajak teman saya makan di Dunkin Donuts, tapi ternyata pawai telah dimulai. Apa boleh buat, rasa lapar pun harus ditahan dulu demi menyaksikan tontonan setahun sekali ini.

Seperti jamaknya orang Indonesia, kerumunan warga yang hendak menonton pawai melimpah hingga mengisi hampir separuh badan jalan sehingga hanya sedikit ruang yang tersisa bagi mobil hias yang akan lewat. Terpaksa para pasukan polisi berkuda menghalau warga agar memberi ruang yang lebih lebar. Tapi beberapa menit kemudian, arak-arakan marching band yang datang dari utara lalu berbelok ke Jalan Wahid Hasyim membuat barisan yang tadinya telah merapat ke pinggir menjadi berantakan. Para warga menghambur menuju arah marching band, mengira bahwa lintasan karnaval tidak jadi melewati rute Balai Kota-Thamrin-Sudirman-Semanggi.

Ternyata warga kecele karena tak berapa lama rombongan peserta karnaval mulai tiba dan menyusur Jl. Thamrin. Dimulai oleh kedatangan defile pengendara sepeda ontel, rombongan mobil hias yang ditunggu-tunggu menyusul di belakangnya. Maka warga Jakarta pun bersorak-sorak, melambai-lambaikan tangan mereka menyambut lambaian tangan para Abang dan None Betawi yang menumpang mobil hias. Yang tak ketinggalan beraksi adalah para Mat Kodak dadakan alias para warga yang tak ingin kehilangan momen ini dengan mengabadikannya menggunakan perkakas sekenanya yang dapat digunakan untuk mengambil gambar. Tentunya handphone menjadi perkakas favorit, disusul selanjutnya dengan digital camera, baik yang canggih maupun yang murahan (milik saya, contohnya).

Saya tak ingat persis berapa lama mobil-mobil hias tersebut lewat di depan saya. Sepertinya sih sekitar 40 menit. Karena dengar-dengar arak-arakan tersebut akan kembali lagi setelah melewati Semanggi, saya dan teman-teman pun mencoba mengisi waktu hingga rombongan karnaval tadi kembali dengan mengunjungi Bundaran HI. Apalagi yang dicari di sana selain berfoto beramai-ramai. Nah, di sinilah bagian "norak" dari cerita saya muncul. Karena jiwa "bonek" saya sedang muncul, maka ketika salah satu teman mengajak untuk berpose bak patung Selamat Datang, saya pun langsung mengiyakan. Alhasil... Yah, lihat saja foto di bawah ini.

Sumber: Koleksi pribadi


Setelah menunggu hingga pukul 10 malam, ternyata mobil karnaval tak kunjung kembali. Akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk pulang. Sebelum pulang, tentu saja... foto-foto lagi. Sesi foto-foto berakhir di depan Plaza Indonesia, dan 07-07-07 pun berlalu meninggalkan kesan yang dalam bagi saya dan... mengosongkan dompet (akibat terlalu banyak naik taksi, hiks).


*Jakarnaval ini adalah acara pawai mobil hias tahunan yang diadakan dalam rangka dirgahayu Jakarta. Karnaval yang tahun ini menginjak tahun penyelenggaraan kedua, dapat dianggap unik karena diadakan di malam hari.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fairy view

As I was browsing for the word "Edensor", amidst the heap of websites referring to a new novel by Andrea Hirata, this particular website stood up. I admit, my curiosity of Edensor is raised by the frequent mention of the place by Andrea Hirata in the first of his tetralogy, Laskar Pelangi, and ultimately the title he uses for his third novel. What beauty does such place hold that it is repeated again and again through his novels?


Source: www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/edensor.htm

Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility. Emma. As I read through Jane Austen's masterpieces, a view of beautiful sceneries constantly fills my mind: The lustrous green field, houses with smoking chimney, carriages, ladies in billowing dresses, and of course, handsome gentlemen coming with tall hat and riding their horse.

And so Edensor is really the true image of my fantasy. I am wondering whether the place will receive much exposure in Andrea's new novel. Well, that is for me to find out this weekend, if I'm lucky enough to land my hand on one. Other than that, I'm pretty happy that I gain new knowledge of such place's existence (although I think it only adds up to the numerous other junk information already bundling in my brain *sigh).

Bon weekend, tout le monde.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

July 21: The day to wait

This book is one among the things that I wish to have this year.

Source: media.movieweb.com


In the seventh or the last series of Harry Potter, two characters will die, as told by J.K. Rowling, the author. Hm, who will these be? Could it be Harry Potter himself? Or Ron Weasley, perhaps?

Another rumor from an acquaintance of mine who joins the Indo Harry Potter mailing list mentions about Snape. While in the previous series (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) Snape shows that he sides with Voldemort, in the upcoming book it will be revealed that he actually remains Potter's supporter. It's hard to believe, but such slick turn is always a nice surprise.

Well, that's all I know about The Deathly Hallows. The rest is to be learnt by guessing the story from the book jacket (US version above; Brit version below). That's a good luck, I say, because I don't want to end anyone's curiosity, mine especially, of the new book. The thing is, although I know I really really want to read the book, up to now I haven't made any early order yet. Keeping my sanity intact over such frenzy is something I would always like to keep (between you and me, the truth is a more reasonable price is way way worth the wait *grin).

Source: blog.pennlive.com

The Brit version for children's (left) and adult's edition of Harry Potter 7.
Which version do you like better?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sembilan Senti


Sewaktu buka email daily digest dari milis Alumni FE dan baca-baca subjek-subjek yang tertera, mata saya tertumbuk pada salah satunya: Tuhan Sembilan Senti. Tanpa saya membaca isi emailnya, saya sudah tahu, itu pasti judul puisi Taufik Ismail yang berkaitan dengan rokok. Dan memang benar. Begitu saya baca email tersebut, memang benar adanya, email tersebut berisi seluruh potongan puisi Taufik Ismail. Saya langsung berujar dalam hati, “Wah, kok bisa pas ya?”

Pas karena dalam beberapa waktu belakangan ini, saya sedang banyak berurusan dengan masalah rokok. Bukan, saya bukan sedang dapat masalah kesehatan akibat merokok. Saya bukan perokok dan saya benci sekali dengan asap yang dihasilkan oleh rokok. Jadi, sekali lagi, urusan rokok yang saya maksud di sini tidak punya kaitan dengan isu kesehatan.

Urusan saya dengan rokok ini awalnya terkait dengan pekerjaan. Ketika atasan saya meminta staf-stafnya untuk memilih industri untuk topik tinjauan, saya menawarkan diri untuk mengambil industri aquaculture dan rokok. Bukannya sok tahu, tetapi rasanya data dan informasi mengenai industri ini cukup mudah dicari. Dalam perjalanannya, ternyata hal itu tidak sepenuhnya tepat. Sewaktu saya ingin mencari data mengenai penjualan rokok untuk tahun 2006, aih, aih, ternyata sulit sekali didapat. Browsing di Internet tidak membuahkan hasil yang saya inginkan. Ketika saya menghubungi asosiasi perusahaan rokok (GAPPRI), mereka pun ternyata tidak punya data lengkap tentang industri rokok di Indonesia. Bayangkan. Asosiasi tapi tidak punya data? Heran saya…

Akhirnya saya hubungi teman-teman saya yang menurut perkiraan saya punya link ke sumber data tersebut. Ada dua orang yang saya hubungi. Yang satu meminta saya untuk mencarinya di CIC report*. Yeah, right. Kalau saya punya report itu, saya tentu tidak akan menelepon teman saya itu. Alhamdulillaah, teman saya yang satu lagi ternyata punya datanya, meski tidak terlalu sesuai dengan yang saya minta. Tapi kata teman saya itu, dia akan coba carikan data yang saya maksud dan tentunya ini saya sambut dengan suka cita.

Ketika urusan mencari data sudah (hampir) terpecahkan, tiba-tiba masuk sms dari kawan saya yang lain. Saya lalu jadi ingat pada niatan saya untuk meneruskan email mengenai beasiswa Sampoerna ke kawan saya yang baru saja berkirim sms tadi. Setelah email tersebut saya kirim, eh, ternyata kawan saya itu malah bertanya, “Met, mau nanya nih. Bukannya rokok itu haram ya?” Hm, saya paham arah pertanyaan itu. Karena saya merasa tidak bisa menjawab pertanyaan tersebut secara objektif, akhirnya saya browsing mencari artikel yang sekiranya pas untuk menjawab pertanyaan itu. Salah satu artikel yang saya baca memuat nukilan puisi “Tuhan Sembilan Senti”.

Memang keberuntungan saya. Ketika saya berniat untuk mencari versi lengkap puisi Taufik Ismail tersebut, hari ini ada yang memuatnya di milis. Maka inilah isi lengkap puisi tersebut.

Tuhan Sembilan Senti…
ole: Taufik Ismail


Indonesia adalah sorga luar biasa ramah bagi perokok,
tapi tempat siksa tak tertahankan bagi orang yang tak merokok…

Di sawah petani merokok,
di pabrik pekerja merokok,
di kantor pegawai merokok,
di kabinet menteri merokok,
di reses parlemen anggota DPR merokok,
di Mahkamah Agung yang bergaun toga merokok,
hansip-bintara-perwira nongkrong merokok,
di perkebunan pemetik buah kopi merokok,
di perahu nelayan penjaring ikan merokok,
di pabrik petasan pemilik modalnya merokok,
di pekuburan sebelum masuk kubur orang merokok…

Indonesia adalah semacam firdaus-jannatu-na'im sangat ramah bagi perokok,
tapi tempat siksa kubur hidup-hidup bagi orang yang tak merokok…

Di balik pagar SMU murid-murid mencuri-curi merokok,
di ruang kepala sekolah ada guru merokok,
di kampus mahasiswa merokok,
di ruang kuliah dosen merokok,
di rapat POMG orang tua murid merokok,
di perpustakaan kecamatan ada siswa bertanya apakah ada buku tuntunan cara merokok,
di angkot Kijang penumpang merokok,
di bis kota sumpek yang berdiri yang duduk orang bertanding merokok,
di loket penjualan karcis orang merokok,
di kereta api penuh sesak orang festival merokok,
di kapal penyeberangan antar pulau penumpang merokok,
di andong Yogya kusirnya merokok, sampai kabarnya kuda andong minta diajari pula merokok…

Negeri kita ini sungguh nirwana kayangan para dewa-dewa bagi perokok,
tapi tempat cobaan sangat beratbagi orang yang tak merokok…

Rokok telah menjadi dewa, berhala, tuhan baru,
diam-diam menguasai kita…

Di pasar orang merokok,
di warung Tegal pengunjung merokok,
di restoran di toko buku orang merokok,
di kafe di diskotik para pengunjung merokok,
bercakap-cakap kita jarak setengah meter tak tertahankan asap rokok…

Bayangkan isteri-isteri yang bertahun-tahun menderita di kamar tidur ketika melayani para suami, yang bau mulut dan hidungnya mirip asbak rokok
Duduk kita di tepi tempat tidur ketika dua orang bergumul saling menularkan HIV-AIDS sesamanya, tapi kita tidak ketularan penyakitnya
Duduk kita disebelah orang yang dengan cueknya mengepulkan asap rokok di kantor atau di stopan bus, kita ketularan penyakitnya
Nikotin lebih jahat penularannya ketimbang HIV-AIDS…

Indonesia adalah sorga kultur pengembang biakan nikotin paling subur di dunia,
dan kita yang tak langsung menghirup sekali pun asap tembakau itu,
bisa ketularan kena…

Di puskesmas pedesaan orang kampung merokok,
di apotik yang antri obat merokok,
di panti pijat tamu-tamu disilahkan merokok,
di ruang tunggu dokter pasien merokok,
dan ada juga dokter-dokter merokok
Istirahat main tenis orang merokok,
di pinggir lapangan voli orang merokok,
menyandang raket badminton orang merokok,
pemain bola PSSI sembunyi-sembunyi merokok,
panitia pertandingan balap mobil, pertandingan bulutangkis, turnamen sepakbola mengemis-ngemis mencium kaki sponsor perusahaan rokok…

Di kamar kecil 12 meter kubik, sambil 'ek-'ek orang goblok merokok,
di dalam lift gedung 15 tingkat dengan tak acuh orang goblok merokok,
di ruang sidang ber-AC penuh, dengan cueknya, pakai dasi, orang-orang goblok merokok…

Indonesia adalah semacam firdaus-jannatu-na'im sangat ramah bagi orang perokok,
tapi tempat siksa kubur hidup-hidup bagi orang yang tak merokok…

Rokok telah menjadi dewa, berhala, tuhan baru, diam-diam menguasai kita…
Di sebuah ruang sidang ber-AC penuh, duduk sejumlah ulama terhormat merujuk kitab kuning dan mempersiapkan sejumlah fatwa
Mereka ulama ahli hisap
Haasaba, yuhaasibu, hisaaban
Bukan ahli hisab ilmu falak, tapi ahli hisap rokok...
Di antara jari telunjuk dan jari tengah mereka terselip berhala-berhala kecil,
sembilan senti panjangnya,
putih warnanya,
ke mana-mana dibawa dengan setia,
satu kantong dengan kalung tasbih 99 butirnya…
Mengintip kita dari balik jendela ruang sidang, tampak kebanyakan mereka memegang rokok dengan tangan kanan,
cuma sedikit yang memegang dengan tangan kiri
Inikah gerangan pertanda yang terbanyak kelompok ashabul yamiindan yang sedikit golongan ashabus syimaal…?
Asap rokok mereka mengepul-ngepul di ruangan AC penuh itu
Mamnu'ut tadkhiin, ya ustadz. Laa tasyrabud dukhaan, ya ustadz
Kyai, ini ruangan ber-AC penuh. Haadzihi al ghurfati malii'atun bi mukayyafi al hawwa'i.
Kalau tak tahan, di luar itu sajalah merokok. Laa taqtuluu anfusakum…

Min fadhlik, ya ustadz...
25 penyakit ada dalam khamr, khamr diharamkan
15 penyakit ada dalam daging khinzir (babi), daging khinzir diharamkan
4000 zat kimia beracun ada pada sebatang rokok, patutnya rokok diapakan…???

Tak perlu dijawab sekarang, ya ustadz
Wa yuharrimu 'alayhimul khabaaith
Mohon ini direnungkan tenang-tenang
Karena pada zaman Rasulullah dahulu,
sudah ada alkohol, sudah ada babi, tapi belum ada rokok
Jadi ini PR untuk para ulama
Tapi jangan karena ustadz ketagihan rokok,
lantas hukumnya jadi dimakruh-makruhkan, jangan…

Para ulama ahli hisap itu terkejut mendengar perbandingan ini
Banyak yang diam-diam membunuh tuhan-tuhan kecil yang kepalanya berapi itu,
yaitu ujung rokok mereka
Kini mereka berfikir
Biarkan mereka berfikir...
Asap rokok di ruangan ber-AC itu makin pengap, dan ada yang mulai terbatuk-batuk…

Pada saat sajak ini dibacakan,
sejak tadi pagi sudah 120 orang di Indonesia mati karena penyakit rokok
Korban penyakit rokok lebih dahsyat ketimbang korban kecelakaan lalu lintas,
lebih gawat ketimbang bencana banjir, gempa bumi dan longsor,
cuma setingkat di bawah korban narkoba

Pada saat sajak ini dibacakan,
berhala-berhala kecil itu sangat berkuasa di negara kita,
jutaan jumlahnya,
bersembunyi di dalam kantong baju dan celana,
dibungkus dalam kertas berwarni dan berwarna,
diiklankan dengan indah dan cerdasnya
Tidak perlu wudhu atau tayammum menyucikan diri,
tidak perlu ruku'dan sujud untuk taqarrub pada tuhan-tuhan ini…


Dengan semua urusan yang cukup "menyebalkan" dengan rokok selama beberapa hari ini, sepertinya akan lebih bijak kalau Anda tidak merokok jika berada dekat saya. Sepakat?(!)


Catatan:
*CIC report = laporan periodik mengenai perkembangan industri-industri di Indonesia, diterbitkan oleh sebuah lembaga bernama CIC.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekend Euphoria


Hihihi, aku senang!!! Bos lagi keluar kota, Internet akhirnya jalan dengan lancar, YM pun terpasang. Hidup ini indah! Hihihihi :))

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bagian dari Perjuangan

Ceritanya sih saya mau berkontribusi mengurangi pemanasan global. Caranya: libur naik mobil barang sehari-dua hari, lalu naik kendaraan umum sebagai gantinya. Memang kalau dilihat secara holistik, apalah nilai kontribusi saya ini. Tapi saya percaya kebaikan yang dilakukan secara individual, kalau dilakukan bersamaan oleh banyak orang, jatuhnya jadi kebaikan berjamaah juga. Mudah-mudahan saja memang banyak orang di luar sana yang melakukan hal serupa dengan saya.

Tapi hari ini mungkin bukan hari yang mulus buat saya. Karena sore ini turun hujan yang cukup deras dan lama, maka lalu lintas di Jakarta menjadi... yah, sesuai prediksi Anda lah: macet. Ini imbasnya ke perjalanan busway
(mestinya sih, bis Transjakarta, tapi sepertinya rambu lalu lintas pun lebih mengakui nama "busway" ketimbang "Transjakarta") yang jadi lebih lama, terutama di rute-rute tertentu. Mengingat masih banyak kendaraan umum non-busway dan kendaraan pribadi yang sepertinya tak rela kalau busway bisa melenggang kangkung di jalurnya dan lalu dengan sesukanya mengambil jalur busway, busway yang mestinya mengambil para penumpang dari halte transit Dukuh Atas jadi terbatas karena tertahan kemacetan di daerah Arion (begitu kata petugas penjaga halte). Alhasil, para calon penumpang pun berjubel memadati halte yang tak seberapa luas.

Pertama-tama rasanya oke-oke saja saya menunggu di antara kerumunan orang di halte. Tapi setelah 15-20 menit, kok saya mulai merasa sesak napas ya? Duh, saya harus bertahan, harus bertahan! Sebenarnya tempat saya menunggu pas di pintu keluar menuju bus, dan karena postur saya cukup tinggi maka saya bisa cukup leluasa untuk menghirup udara dari luar halte. Sayangnya saya cukup claustrophobic. Kalau terlalu lama di tempat sempit, saya sering merasa pendek napas.

Syukurnya bus pun datang sebelum saya benar-benar pingsan. Dengan dorongan-dorongan dari orang-orang di belakang saya, akhirnya saya berhasil masuk ke dalam bus. Sesungguhnya aksi dorong-mendorong tersebut sangat berbahaya karena kalau para calon penumpang tidak melihat lantai yang dipijaknya dengan seksama, bisa-bisa mereka terperosok ke dalam rongga sela antara lantai bus dengan lantai halte. Tak heran kalau beberapa kali saya pernah membaca kasus penumpang busway yang terjatuh dan terjepit ke dalam sela-sela tersebut. Kapan ya orang Indonesia bisa lebih tertib, demikian saya membatin.

Sampai di halte transit mungkin sekitar pukul 20.10. Sampai di halte terdekat dengan rumah saya waktu menunjukkan pukul 21.15. Hmmph, perjalanan (atau lebih tepatnya, penantian) yang cukup melelahkan. Namanya juga hidup. Hidup itu perjuangan dan barusan ini adalah bagian dari perjuangan. Jadi: tetap semangat!!!


Friday, April 27, 2007

Dari JiFFest ke Festival Film Perancis ke...



Kepindahan saya ke tempat kerja baru tahun lalu memang membawa beberapa keuntungan. Jujurnya, keuntungan yang saya maksud bukan dalam hitungan moneter, melainkan lebih bersifat kualitatif. Seperti Anda dapat lihat dari aktivitas blogging saya, beda bukan, jika Anda bandingkan frekuensi antara sebelum tahun 2006 dengan setelahnya? Maklum, kalau di tempat kerja sebelumnya saya harus banyak wira-wiri, di tempat kerja sekarang saya ibarat paku yang tertanam di kursi saya - hanya tembok dan layar komputer saja pemandangan yang saya nikmati.

Efek positif lainnya adalah saya jadi bisa menyempatkan diri untuk menghadiri berbagai acara (baca: kesenangan) yang diselenggarakan lepas jam kantor. Dulu hal itu sulit untuk dilakukan karena begitu banyak pekerjaan yang harus saya selesaikan hingga jauh tengah malam, bahkan hingga hari berganti. Selain itu, rapat di kantor saya dulu banyak diadakan setelah Maghrib. Memang sih, di tempat kerja saya yang sekarang ini kadang-kadang saya perlu juga tinggal di kantor sampai malam karena tuntutan pekerjaan. Tapi ini bisa dibilang tak sering terjadi. Karena itulah, saya sangat bersyukur bisa "terdampar" di kantor saya sekarang ini.

Nikmat waktu yang tersedia dengan cukup melimpah tersebut berusaha saya manfaatkan dengan baik. Salah satu caranya adalah dengan melakukan kunjungan seni ke berbagai festival film (maksud saya, menonton). Petualangan seni saya dimulai sejak penyelenggaraan Jakarta Film Festival alias JiFFest 2006 yang diadakan Desember lalu. Kendati tak banyak film yang bisa saya tonton (budget constraint, uhuk) di ajang tahunan itu, paling tidak jumlah film yang berhasil saya tonton lebih banyak dibandingkan JiFFest sebelumnya dan semuanya saya suka.

Festival film yang terakhir saya kunjungi adalah Festival Sinema Perancis (baca: Once upon a time...). Untuk festival film yang ini, pilihan film yang tersedia menurut saya tak banyak. Dari empat film yang saya tonton, satu film saya beri peringkat "Memuaskan", dua lagi "Lumayan", dan satu sisanya "Bikin saya buang-buang uang saja!".

Sebenarnya peningkatan kegiatan menonton film ini tak terbatas pada film-film yang ditayangkan di festival-festival film. Gara-gara kantor saya letaknya satu kompleks dengan sebuah bioskop jaringan 21, tak dapat dielakkan saya jadi lebih sering menonton film. Di rumah, aktivitas ekstrakurikuler ini juga mendapat dukungan sejak hadirnya perangkat DVD player awal tahun ini. Dapat dikatakan, sejak paruh akhir tahun 2006, saya seperti sedang mengikuti parade film, karena banyaknya film yang saya tonton.

Dalam hal menikmati tontotan film yang belakangan menurut saya sedang bagus-bagusnya, saya sih merasa sangat tidak keberatan. Tapi ya itu tadi, ekstrakurikuler ini berat di kantong! Mana mulai bulan depan akan ada parade film-film hollywood keluaran musim panas yang sepertinya oke-oke. Coba lihat daftarnya berikut ini:

MEI 2007:
SPIDER-MAN III (Action. Tobey Maguire, Topher Grace, Kirsten Dunst,Thomas Haden Church. Directed by Sam Raimi) - Columbia - 3 Mei
28 WEEKS LATER (Horror. Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau) - Fox - 10 Mei
SHREK THE THIRD (Comedy/3D animation. Voice of Mike Myers, EddieMurphy, Cameron Diaz, dll.) -DreamWorks Animation - 11 Mei
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (Action. Johnny Depp, KeiraKnightley, Orlando Bloom. Directed by Gore Verbinski) - Disney - 25 Mei
DELTA FARCE (Comedy. Larry the Cable Guy) - 25 Mei

JUNI 2007:
OCEAN'S 13 (Drama/Heist/Action. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino,Matt Damon, dll. Directed by Steven Soderbergh) - Warner - 8 Juni
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF SILVER SULFER (Action. Ioan Gruffurd, JessicaAlba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian Mc Mahon. Directed by TimStory) FOX - 15 Juni
EVAN ALMIGHTY (Comedy. Steve Carrell, Morgan Freeman. Directed by TomShadyac) - Universal - 22 Juni
DIE HARD 4.0: LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (Action. Bruce Willis, JustinLong. Directed by Len Wiseman) - Fox - 29 Juni
RATATOUILLE (Comedy/3D animation) - Disney/Pixar - 29 Juni
NANCY DREW (Comedy/Action/Detective) Juni

JULI 2007:
THE TRANSFORMER (Action. Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight. Produced by StevenSpielberg. Directed by Michael Bay) - Paramount/DreamWorks - 4 Juli
LICENSE TO WED (Romantic/comedy. Mandy Moore) - 4 Juli
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF PHOENIX (Drama/Fantasy/Adventure/Action/Novel-related. Daniel Radcliffe, EmmaWatson, Rupert Grint) - Warner - 13 Juli
I KNOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY (Comedy. Adam Sandler, KevinJames) - Universal - 20 Juli
THE SIMPSONS THE MOVIE (Comedy/2D animation. voice of DanCastanellata,Julie Kavner, etc. produced by Albert Brooks, Matt Groening. DirectedbyDavid Silverman) - Fox - 27 Juli

Tampaknya saya harus siap-siap menguras ATM lagi bulan Mei ini. Alamak, alamat krisis keuangan jilid 2 nih...



PS.
Btw, akhir April ini ada festival film lagi, i.e. Korean Movie Week di Blitz Megaplex. Lagak-lagaknya saya juga akan ke sana. Kita ketemu di sana?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Once upon a time...

allocine.fr/film
"Il y a bien longtemps, deux enfants étaient bercés par la même femme. Azur, blond aux yeux bleus, fils du châtelain, et Asmar, brun aux yeux noirs, fils de la nourrice. Elevés comme deux frères, les enfants sont séparés brutalement.Mais Azur, marqué par la légende de la Fée des Djins que lui racontait sa nourrice, n'aura de cesse de la retrouver, au-delà des mers. Les deux frères de lait devenus grands partent chacun à la recherche de la Fée. Rivalisant d'audace, ils iront à la découverte de terres magiques, recelant autant de dangers que de merveilles..."

(Long time ago, there were two children who were upraised by the same woman. Azur, a blonde with blue eyes, was the son of a noble man, while Asmar, a black-eyed brunette, was the son of the nurse. Having brought up like brothers, the two children were then separated in an unconvenient way. However, Azur, mesmerized by the legend of the Fairy of Djin told by his nurse in his childhood days, had determined to find her in the land across the sea. The two blood brothers then embarked on a grand journey to find the Fairy. Their effort would bring them to the magic land, where danger and wonder awaited...)


Having a father who will tell his children wonderful stories of the adventure of Sinbad fighting the giant bird monster is something I am always grateful of. Until this very day, I remember the time when my father recounted bed time stories to me and my sister. When his words poured out of his mouth, at the back of my head an imaginary motion picture of a great hero fighting the evil would play.

That is why I love it when there’s someone able to narrate a good children story. Last Saturday, I got the chance to discover a very good children story, only this time, it is told in the form of a cartoon movie. The movie is a French-made called “Azur et Asmar”. It was among the dozen of movies played during the recent Festival Sinema Perancis.

Normally I would pick no cartoon movies during any film festival. I always think it’s a waste of money if I choose cartoon over regular movies. However, this one commanded an exception since I read a recommendation on the movie in a Jakarta Post article. And thank God I made this choice! Of the French movies in the festival list I chose to watch, I say this one is surely my no. 1 favorite.

The simple way “Azur et Asmar” tells the story makes this cartoon movie worth to watch for children. It injects moral messages on bravery and loyalty, and about making friendship without judging our friend’s physic (skin, eye color), native, nor religion, in no sense of preaching. What’s making this cartoon even better is the colorful quality it has. It is so beautiful that I need to share about it here. The only drawback to this movie is that part of the conversation that is made in Arabic has no subtitle (fyi language used in the movie is French and Arabic but it has English subtitle). So, if you have kids or if you yourself love watching quality children movies, this movie is definitely something you cannot miss!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No wonder

www.sudoku-of-the-day.com

Sudoku.

I learnt about this game when Republika first introduced it on its Sunday edition about two or three months ago. At first, I don't pay too much interest in it. I am the kind of person who doesn't like to follow fads without really knowing the joy beyond it.

However, curiousity and sense of competitiveness got the better of me. If everyone else can play this game, why can't I? So I gave it a try.

The instruction of the game says:
Fill the grid with digits from 1 to 9 in such a way that all rows, columns, and 3x3 squares have all digits.

Caution:
Repetition of each digit is not allowed in each row, column, and the subsquare.

Hm. Sounds easy. Yet, several first attempts to solve the game printed by Republika and the Jakarta Post did not bring satisfying result (meaning I couldn't finish it). I found the hardest sudoku to play was those on the Jakarta Post. Actually the newspaper has been doing a great job, posting new version of sudoku every day. I was fond of the Republika version of sudoku, nevertheless, because it was easier for me to solve. :P

About two days ago, when I once again tried to work my mind out solving another Republika's sudoku game, my eyes stumbled upon the instruction laid next to the game box: You must fill the cells in a such way so that all rows, columns and every 3-by-3 subsquare contains every digit from 1 to 9, with no repetition of each digit. And my mind was like crying out "Eureka!" All this time I had not read the instruction carefully and miss that particular part of the instruction! No wonder I got stuck when playing sudoku on the Jakarta Post!

Since then, I've been enjoying working on Jakarta Post's version of sudoku games (which are actually derived from this website). And what do you know, when I was browsing the Internet to search for a visual image of sudoku, I found out someone has made some illustrative strategies for solving sudoku. Actually I'd rather solve the game on my own. But hey, who knows one day I need some help to work on a helluva sudoku, a visit to the website might actually not do any harm.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bye bye

bangkokbiznew.com

As a big fan of the Amazing Race Asia show and also as someone who's never been going overseas before (*sigh), missing the opportunity to join the race is almost unbearable (a bit of exaggerating, that is). The deadline for application entries has been closed on April 13, so I can only say: Good bye, my golden opportunity!

Being someone at her middle 20th, the most likely thing one would be doing is working her butt off for some no-nonsense employer who just does not appreciate (and believe, I assume) the joy of being youth. What I'm saying is it's so so difficult to get anyone I know well to join the race, because they just can't leave their work for a month or so. Well, I guess the one who says yes to my offer is practically as insane as I am, what to leave our job for such a long period of time and later come back to... become jobless, definitely. I actually haven't deserved to get any sabbatical leave, to tell you the truth, since I haven't been in my current job for a year. So...

Dang it. I still crave for that surge of adrenaline pumping through my vein... And a sudden celebrity status ... well, let's take it as a bonus ;)

Anyway, a dream remains a dream. Bye, bye TARA (read: my youth). Whaaa :(

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Puas

Pada suatu malam, Tante yang baru pulang dari kantor mendapati keponakannya sedang asyik melakukan sesuatu di kamarnya.

Tante: (Eh, lagi ngapain tuh keponakanku? Aku samperin dulu, ah.)

Tante: "Halo, Sayang. Lagi ngapain kamu?"

Keponakan: "Eh, Tante. Ini lho, lagi lihat-lihat hp Bunda. Aku tuh penasaran, ini gimana sih pakainya?"
Bunda: (Oh no, hp gue dibuat mainan! Harus dialihkan nih perhatiannya!)
"Rashad Sayang, sini dong, Bunda kangen deh sama kamu (sambil buru-buru peluk). Eh, itu tuh, kita foto dulu yuk? Tante mau foto kita tuh."


Keponakan: (Aduh, Bunda nih, lagi asyik-asyik lihat hp kok digangguin sih?) "Eh, iya, iya Bunda (dengan nada agak-agak sebel)."
Bunda: (Yes, taktik gue berhasil! Dia mulai lupa sama hp gue!) "Eh, Rashad, bentar dulu, fotonya belum selesai. Ayo, ayo, kita foto lagi. Tante, fotoin lagi ya."

Keponakan: (mulai males senyum karena makin sebel sama Bunda).


Keponakan: "Apa, mau foto lagi nih? Udah ah, aku ngantuk nih, Tante. Aku mau bobok dulu. Foto-fotonya udahan dulu ya?"
Tante: (Nggak sadar kalau keponakannya lagi gondok, malah terus foto-foto. Ngegemesin sih, keponakannya ini). "Bentar dulu dong, Shad. Sekali lagi ya?"

Keponakan: "Aaarrgghh. Udah dong ah! Aku ngantuk nih, Tante. Ya udah, aku nangis nih ya! Puas, puasss?!"

Dan sesi foto-foto malam itu selesai juga (secara terpaksa), karena si model mau bobok dulu. Met bobok ya, Rashad Sayang. Jangan lupa baca doa, dan mimpi indah.








Monday, March 26, 2007

May day! Financial crunch at bay!

You reap what you sow. In my case, I should say it's me who reap what I sow. For some time I have been wanting for a digital camera. I thought I wouldn't get a hold on one, not until I managed to keep some money first. But the story has taken into a turn.

On March 11, a friend sent an SMS, asking if I wanted to go to the Photography Exhibition at JCC. I figured I could check out the latest model of digital cameras, so I said okay to the invitation. I was supposed to meet her in Plaza Senayan (PS) before we continued our trip to JCC.

Alas, on the way to PS, I had an "accident". As I went out from the bus I'd been taking, my jeans skirt was ripped. I did not realize it until I went to the rest room at PS, so I walked up the crossing bridge in front of Ratu Plaza all the way to PS with my skirt torn about 15 cm or so. Thank goodness I found out about it although I wish I had known it a lot sooner. I tried to make the skirt more decent to wear by putting safety pins here and there. However, I decided I had to get into another dress because I could be so reckless when walking hence get my skirt torn even more apart.

The story continued with an unintentional shopping of a pair of black trousers. I hadn't even got to the exhibition and I already made a purchase. Considering the previous day's shopping for my Dad's birthday present had cost me quite a fortune, this purchase made my financial condition look worse. And it was only March 11.

But the story has not ended there. Having seen so many digital cameras put on the display, I couldn't resist the temptation and there, I bought one 7 mp camera. Yes, I used my credit card for the purchase, but I knew eventually I would have to pay for it.

Now, on the 26th day of the month of March, I entered into a so called "financial doom" situation. I've been taking food from home for lunch, taking the bus to the office, and all things that I could do to keep me "safe". I have the camera that I've wanted, but it comes with a price. A handsome price. Had I really reaped what I sowed... :P


Thursday, March 01, 2007

White day

I'm not talking about that White Day celebrated by the Japanese. I'm talking about last Friday, when several colleagues and I happened to wear white shirt that day. Even my boss wore white, although it was rather creamish.



Seeing this picture in the future will definitely bring my memory back to the days of laughter down in MCL. March is here, but we haven't got the tiniest idea about our fate in MCL. It all depends on you, Mr. President.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

To be a PhD student or not to be, that's the question

I've been thinking on taking PhD degree. After browsing this website, I find these comic strips best picture the life of a PhD student - which make me requestion my wish to pursue the degree...