Tuesday, December 30, 2008

...i get amnesia when i'm standing next to yo-o-ou...

Currently listening to: Amnesia - Britney Spears

Southbank, Melbourne, Nov 8 2009

Please try to ignore the disproportionate and uneven mess that is the above image. *tugs at hair*
Gotta admit I had tried my best to at least, if at all, improve the quality of the picture just a little bit, and of course I'd try again if I wasn't already too consumed by my own sense of bitterness to continue.

Epic fail.
Let's just say that possessing incomparable photography skills isn't what The Big Guy had in mind for yours truly when He decided to create this being *points at self* out of thin air.

And speaking of Melbourne, picture-wise, that reminds me: I finally watched "Australia" today.

And let's just say that I disagree with a lot of movie critics out there, on various grounds.

Yes, the plot is draggy, even tedious and awfully boring at times. Hell yeah the movie is bloody long: I gotta tell you that enduring two hours and forty-five minutes of sitting inside a cold-as-fuck theater watching cattles get scurried here and there isn't exactly all happy and joy, obviously. Most of the romantic scenes are cheesy, typical of a major Hollywood movie. A bit too much kissing as well, if I may add. And a lot of things remain unexplained after the conclusion of the story, like what the Drover's actual name was, or what the future of Faraway Downs was going to be like, and so on.
But other than that, I can assure you, the movie is absolutely beautiful.

The scenery is just breathtaking. The dialogues are strong and meaningful. The chemistry present between the actors also adds to the movie's charm. And the strong, influential presence of a cultural background that frames the story beautifully. All in all, I think "Australia" is an amazing movie, worthy of praise and respect. After all, this is the biggest movie ever made in Australia, done by Australians, nonetheless.

And the fact that the movie brings up the issue of the Stolen Generation adds to my fascination. I coincidentally chose this issue as the topic of my major essay for BHS1712 last semester, so at least I have a decent prior understanding of the matter at hand. Watching the movie gave me an accurate and detailed depiction of the actual happenings that took place during that period of pain and frantic, when Anglo-Australians took half-White, half-Aborigine children away from their families by force and transferred them into training facilities where they would be trained as slaves and servants for the Whites. But no, I shall not get into discussing that issue. Let's just keep it all safe, PG-13, for now. *grins*

Bottom line? "Australia" is a must-watch.
Oh, and I particularly like the quote said by The Drover's Aborigine friend - I forgot who his name was - to The Drover when they were discussing about the love that The Drover had for Lady Ashley. "You don't have love in your heart, you got nothing." And that was the point when The Drover realized that he had to come back to Lady Ashley and tell her how he felt before it was too late. I found that quote specifically meaningful. *grins*

Enough of the crappy movie review.

The date is set. I'm flying back Down Under on February 14 first thing in the morning.
No love for me next year, I guess. Unless I find myself sitting beside a total hottie with perfect hair and innocent puppy eyes on board SQ 217 or something.
Well probably not. But a guy can only hope. *winks*

So that leaves me with about 48 days to spend here at home, but who's counting? I know I'm not. I have never enjoyed living at home this much in my entire life. Never.
When it's time, it's time. I don't wanna rush it.

But hey, come to think of it, this year really flew by in a flash. Didn't it?
In about one day and a few hours, 2008 will be history. And 2009 is already knocking on our doors, ecxited to be let in.
On a more personal level, that means I've got only two more semesters to go in uni, and in about a month's time I'm going to turn twenty! *passes out*

Wow. I'm getting old. For real.
Ah, whatever. We'll talk about this later.

'll have my slice of toast now, if you like. Hell with the no-food-after-6PM rule I singlehandedly ordered myself to obey. I need my calories.

Have a fabulous New Year's Eve, people!
Please watch your alcohol intake and try to NOT get drunk, if possible? *laughs*

You know you love me,

*insert sounds of people throwing up on the background*

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...about a grown-up christmas reflection...

Currently listening to: Grown-Up Christmas List - Kelly Clarkson

Main Atrium, Mall Ciputra, Dec 19 2008

I think of Christmas as more of a season than an occasion.

A season of happiness. Of giving thanks. Of sharing the joy we have with others. A season of being grateful. A season of loving, and being loved. A season of forgiving, and being forgiven.

I know some cynics view Christmas as another commercialized holiday season, one whose hype and festivity is amplified and exaggerated as such that people can be persuaded and lured into buying presents, decorations, cards, and other Christmas-related stuff which aren't necessarily important in the first place.

And yes, I do agree that sometimes things get out of control.
Christmas big sale here, Christmas special offers there. Lookie here, come to this shopping mall and you can experience (fake) snow, though the gigantic Christmas tree is no longer there. Visit that shopping arcade and you can get a chance to go into Santa's house and take pictures with the big, fat, red-costumed, white-bearded bloke. Shop at this department store and you can win lots 'n lots of prizes! And oh, don't forget that once-iconic, now-slowly-fading shopping mall in South Jakarta that boasts its pirate-themed Christmas decorations. The list never ends.

Yes, it's true. Sometimes people get so overwhelmed with the commercial side of the season that they forget just what Christmas is all about.

In essence, Christmas is NOT about decorations, or presents, or discounts and sales and special offers whatsoever. And it's not an outright religious occasion black and white as well, at least to me personally it's not. I'm never one to emphasize the importance of rituals and formality, 'cuz I just don't think that they're as important as what's below the surface. Rituals won't have any meaning, or significance, if they're practiced and done without any form of sincerity and understanding of Christmas's true values. Instead of going all hardcore with the rituals and ceremonies, why not just stay simple, and share the happiness and joy imprinted in your hearts with others in need? That would have so much more meaning and relevance to what Christmas actually is about.

Christmas should be joyful, festive, and colorful as it is. But aside from all the festivity, it should also be used as a time to love, share, and forgive. A time to be with our most loved ones. A time to be thankful of everything we've experienced this year. A time to be aware of, and grateful for, the fact that it was on this day that our Savior was born to the world and delivered salvation for us all.

Of course, Christmas should also be used as a time to reflect on what we've all done during the past year, good or bad, and to decide what we're gonna do next. What we've done well, and what we can do to perform even better in those fields. What we haven't done correctly, and what we can do to improve them next time.

To be honest, I personally think of Christmas as a chance to be perfectly happy, full-stop. No fine print. And I've got plenty of reasons to be happy about!

To state the awfully obvious, I'm home, with my family and loved ones, so that means I'm spending this year's festive season with them! I'm a grown-up now, so I'm able to understand the real meaning of Christmas underneath it all. And most importantly of all, Christmas is the only one season in which my childishness is approved and suitably justified! *laughs* So, yeah.

After all, Christmas is the very best time of the year, without a doubt. Frills and all.
And it only comes around every twelve months, so make sure to get the best out of the season while it's still here. Shall we? *winks*

Merry Christmas, guys. Sincerely. Have a good one. =)


...No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,
And time would heal our hearts...

And everyone would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end...

This is my grown-up Christmas list,
This is my only lifelong wish,
This is my grown-up Christmas list...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...'cause the ground is breaking, i can feel it shaking...

Currently listening to: Quicksand - Britney Spears

Main Atrium, Mal Taman Anggrek, 2008

So, ladies and gentlemen, THAT *points at the two images above* is what MTA managed to pull together for its Christmas-themed decorations this year.

And I really can't say I'm impressed, honestly. 'Cuz I'm not.
I mean, seriously. Something's not right. Whatever happened to its signature giant tree, extravagant decorations, and authentic Christmas feel?
Tell me what you think. *sighs*


In case you're wondering, life's been good to me lately, despite the lack of a decent home Internet connection -- which is going to change in one week's time, by the way -- and the predictable strikes of boredom happening every now and then. Nothing new, really. I'm just trying to enjoy my time off as much as I can while it lasts.
I take this as some sort of a personal sabbatical, or something along those lines. And though holidays can be dull and boring at times, it's always good to know that at least I can still get the chance to take some time off and let off some steam. So, yeah. *grins*

I've also been frolicking across town visiting all the new shopping centers and trying out various new stuff. No guilt-trips now, since my time isn't limited.
Shopping? Checked. Mall-hopping? Checked. Going to the movies? Checked. Visiting Bandung? Checked. Collecting stamps for this year's Starbucks Planner? Checked, and nearly done with it as we speak *laughs*. Hanging out at Starbucks Puri? Checked, checked, checked.

And here's my list of things to do during the next fourteen days:
1. Go to Smukie's Christmas celebration this Friday;
2. Raid Glodok and Mangga Dua for DVDs and PC-Game CDs *grins*;
3. Be done with the stamps and collect my Planner, preferably at Starbucks Puri;
4. Finish tasks from Dad TODAY;
5. Wait for confirmation for broadband Internet installation, finally;
6. Visit FX! Omigod this is so long overdue. LOL.

It's totally not my fault that I'm feeling fab at the mo'. Being lazy has never felt better.

Christmas is near!
Ah. Sweet. I want a kiss under the mistletoe. *grins*

Have a good day everybody! =)

Oh, and on a sidenote...
I just don't understand why people are, like, so obsessed with Edward Cullen a.k.a. Robert Pattinson a.k.a that pale, sharp-eyed, swooning guy from Twilight.

I mean, yeah he's good-looking and all, true. Yet after seeing an array of friends exclaiming their so-called 'Cullen addiction' in their profiles and adding 'Cullen' or 'Pattinson' as their nicknames or even surnames on Facebook and such, I'm beginning to think that this is all so overrated.
Geez. Get over it, people. Trust me, you don't wanna fall in love with a vampire. I mean, look at what happened to Bella Swan! *laughs*

No offense to all Robert Pattinson fans out there, of course.
Lates! =)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

...about nothing in particular...

It's been, what, ten days now? I dunno. I lost count.
My days here have been meaningless and useless. Nothing to do, nowhere to go to, with nobody to go with anyway.

I'm starting to wonder why I'm here.
Can't imagine going through another eight painful, vacant weeks like this. I really hope I won't have to. And my internship doesn't start till the beginning of next year. That gives me a full two weeks of nothingness and more nothingness. But hey, whatever. I guess I'll have to get by.

I'll write again in a day or two. My battery's dying and I'm not at home.
Somebody give me a decent Internet connection at home. Please? *sighs*

I miss Melbourne. Even more than I'd thought I would.


PS: This year's Christmas decorations at Mall Taman Anggrek SUCKS, big time. I'm utterly disappointed. *shakes head*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

...suddenly i see, what you mean to me...

Currently listening to: Love is All Around - Ricki-Lee Coulter

Changi Airport, Terminal 2, Nov 25 2008

The Semester 2 results are out, and I PASSED ALL FOUR UNITS!!
*jumps around*

Take that, MKC2210. You thought I was gonna go down, did you? But I didn't. And yeah, who's the winner now? *raises eyebrows*
Hahahaha. I should stop this. But I'm happy! =)

Thank you, Lord.

*kneels down and prays*

On a totally different note...

I know it’s only been three days, but I miss Melbourne already. *sighs*

Was skimming through my always-overcrowded photos archive folder just now trying to look for an accompanying image for this post, and soon enough I ended up looking at random pictures of me and my Melbourne friends doing our usual stupid and ridiculous *cough cough* stuff together.

Truth be told, I kinda miss them. I miss all the fun stuff I do in Melbourne. And I actually miss interacting with people outside my family.

Never thought I’d ever say this, but I kinda miss socializing. Really.

Ever since I got here three days ago, I’d been continuously resting, lazing around, tagging along random family members for mini-reunion sessions, and eating together with my parents. I’ve been dragged around by my parents doing a whole bunch of activities I don’t even enjoy. And I do know that they mean well by that, but after only three days back home I’m already starting to feel suppressed by their constant presence and control over what I do, or what I eat, or where I go and such.

Oh well. Just like old times. *sighs*

Sometimes I wonder why it’s very hard for them to try and accept the fact that this very guy right here *points at self* is just days away to turning twenty and thus is no longer the innocent, helpless boy they often still think he is. But hey, I supposed they’ve just been missing me. I should shut up, be touched, bar with it, and get by.

But anyway. I still love having them around. God knows how much I’ve missed my parents, especially my mom. It’s good to have her around within hugging distance. *grins* I love my mom.`=)

And I’m trying to get used to the life in the Jakartan suburbia once again, so to speak. Getting used to living at home again. Getting used to home. *smiles*

That means waking up in the morning to the sound of the noisy fruit mixer coming from downstairs. Ambling my way down the stairs to see Mom pouring bowls of various fruits into the mixing blender. Giving her a sloppy morning hug and picking up a few leftover fruits as I go. Seeing my maid, the second mom of the house, take off to the morning market near the house. Proceeding to the so-called “pet area” of the house to serve breakfast to my hamsters, paying attention to the direction of my barely-coordinated walking so as not to accidentally slip into the koi pond. Going back to sit on the living room sofa, waiting for Mom to come over and feed the kois. Drinking the fruit juice Mom just made. Then going back upstairs to wake up Dad, then laze around a bit more, or go online for a while, or do some light exercise in the home-gym, or watch TV, or take a shower. The rest of the day will fly by after this “compulsory” morning routine is all played out.

So far I’ve been a stay-at-home goodie. For all the reasons stated above, plus another one that I can't disclose right here. A very important one, that prohibits me from getting out of the house at least for a few days. But I swear I’m gonna go out tomorrow. Staying at home for too long a time can kill me. Boredom is the new cool in my current state of mind. I’ve been so bored that I even took the initiative to clean up my old bookshelf just to get busy over something. I haven’t unpacked yet, though; let me spare that for later. I’ve got plenty of time. *shrugs*

And the heat! Oh. My. Gosh. The heat is just unbearable. I’m conflicted between saving energy to fight global warming and turning on all the aircons, full-force, in my house 24/7 to escape the blistering hot weather. If only it would rain right about now. I could use a bit of a cool-off, and so could the rest of the town’s population. Oh my. Tropical weather, you certainly haven’t been missed. *fans self*

So yeah. Bottom line? I’m dying to get the hell out of the house.

I wanna raid the malls! Especially all the new ones. And I gotta start collecting the stamps for the 2009 Starbucks Planner, since I’m quite late already. Makes me feel anxious and out-of-date. This is one of those rare ocassions of me being a late adopter of anything Starbucks-related.

Whew, JJ, snobbish much? Sorry. *grins bashfully*

Too bad the socializing thingy will have to wait just a little longer.
Most of my old friends here, if not all of them, are still busy with their own uni stuff, since their holidays don’t start until at least another month or so. Christmas still feels so awfully far away here. My friends who’re back in town from overseas just aren’t available for various reasons, and I don’t wanna push them. After all, I’ve still got two months, maybe more, to spend frolicking across this town, so I guess a little extra idle time won’t hurt. *raises eyebrows*

For now, let me continue being whiny. There are some things that an overheated brain can do, but mustering an appropriate form of self-control is obviously not one of them. So please bear with me.

Oh! Guess what, I managed to persuade Dad to convert the Internet connection in our house to FastNet! No more delays and super-sucky connection, yeah! I’m so excited to try the baby out. It’s coming soon, probably tomorrow. *winks*

See you guys! =)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

...about the time spent in between terminals...

Hey y'all.
It's precisely 6.30 AM local time and I'm dead tired. *rubs eyes*

Here I am, sitting on a secluded couch at a corner of T2 Changi's Starbucks Coffee outlet. Yawning. Shamelessly Facebooking, and blogging, as you can see *winks*. And absently sipping on my ninth or tenth cup of coffee within the last twelve hours - I gave up counting after my fifth during the flight to ease up the guilt a little.
Now I'm on a caffeine high but who cares. Still sleepy as hell, though, and I've still got about an hour and a half until my next flight departs. So why not slack off and rest a little?

Thank heavens for Wireless@SG. *yawns*
This is why I love Singapore's amazing Changi Airport.

The seven-and-a-half-hour flight from Melbourne was fairly harmless and smooth. The food was decent, the journey was comfortable, and the new-and-improved KrisWorld was so addictive it kept me awake all throughout the flight. The landing in itself was particularly impressive, with not even the slightest amount of turbulence during the touchdown. It was as if the plane was light as a feather, or something.
Oooh. Awkward phrase. Please pretend you didn't just read that. *sighs*

I know its probably far too early to say this, but I'm missing Melbourne already. Big time. And I haven't even reached Jakarta yet.
I really don't have even the slightest idea of what my holiday in J-Town will be like. It's all still in a blur. And as inevitable as it is, I'm already finding it hard to re-adjust to the tropical climate after 11 months of enduring the four-seasons-in-a-day phenomenon that is dear ol' Melbourne. I'm sweating right now, even though I'm indoors. It's gonna take some getting used to.

And just now I checked the weather forecast for Jakarta, and it seems like a bad week, weather-wise, is expecting me. *raises eyebrows*

Oh whatever. I'm still glad I'm going home.

Gotta get going now. Still got some books to hunt before I hop on my next flight!
I'll be in touch when I'm home. Which will be anytime soon. *grins*

See you, Melbourne.
Hello Jakarta! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

...you are the ending, beginning, of each and everyday...

Currently listening to: Home - Katharine McPhee

Starbucks Bourke St, Melbourne CBD, 2008

Exactly THREE DAYS to Jakarta. Plus a couple of hours, to be precise.
Let the countdown begin, then. *sighs*

I don't know why I suddenly feel all reluctant to go home for some reason.
My luggage is lying open at one corner of my room, already half-full with goodies and other stuff, and I've finally begun to take care of my laundry little by little, but other than that, I have done exactly nothing to prepare for my leaving. At all.

*tugs at hair desperately*

I know I should just be happy that I can still go home. For at least TWO WHOLE MONTHS. I'll spend Christmas back home, with all my loved ones. I'll probably go on vacation with them too, but this is still undecided as of now. And oh, I'll also be flying home with with the amazing SIA. On board the all-new SQ218 nonetheless.
Ideally, what more can I possibly ask for?

Well, I dunno. And it's not my fault that I'm feeling all sappy about this. Hopefully I'll get excited when the time finally comes. Can't wait for Monday night! *grins*

There are some exciting things to look forward to when I'm in J-Town, anyway.
Firstly, I'm really curious about how this year's Christmas decorations at Taman Anggrek Mall will look like. Whoever is behind this decoration thingy must be racking his or her brain right about now trying to come up with an idea to top last year's design:

And this is exactly why I love spending Christmas in J-Town. Dreamy, enchanting.
Can't wait to see what they're gonna do this year.

I'm also gonna go and visit all the new malls in town.
I'm gonna raid ZARA and shop till I drop, so to speak.
I'll make sure that I eat all my favorite dishes for Christmas. *grins*

And of course, I'll definitely start collecting stamps for the super-irresistible 2009 Starbucks Planner straight away!
Omigosh. Exciting, much?

...Oh well. I guess going back home's not that bad after all.
Though the packing part is such a stubborn pain in the ass.

*stares at luggage and stacks of laundry hopelessly*

So now I have three more sleeps to go, as Karin would put in.
Damn. I miss my Melbourne friends who are already back in their respective hometowns. And I'm gonna miss the ones who'll still be here for Summer.

Alrighty. Better get back to tidying up.
Catch y'guys later! =)

PS: A warm welcome goes out to Jeffta for recently joining the blogosphere! Check out his page by clicking HERE, if you like. He's an amusing person by nature and hopefully his blogposts will be equally interesting to read. Welcome! *grins*

Saturday, November 15, 2008

...lollipop, must mistake me for a sucker...

Southbank, 2008

I find it amusing when people mistake me for an American.

Yeah, shocking, I know. *raises eyebrows*
Figuring out where I’m from should be a no-brainer, yeah? Slanty eyes, brown skin, fobbish hair; full-on Asian, much?
But apparently the strangers that happen to cross paths with yours truly every now and then just don’t seem to agree.

The thing is, this didn’t happen to me once. Or twice. Or even a couple of times at the most. I’m not sure if it’s just pure coincidence, but this is starting to become a regular occurrence for me, even more so lately. Everywhere I go, this baseless assumption regarding my country of origin always seems to follow suit. And as much as I want to feel flattered about it, it also makes me feel patronized, for some reason.

It all started a couple years ago when I was on holiday in Hawaii. I was about fourteen at the time, and my family and I went to Hawaii to start off our Christmas vacation that year. FYI, I’ve got an aunt (who’s a Chinese Indonesian through and through, by the way) who lives in Hawaii, and her European husband was the very first person to point out that I sounded like an American (a Californian, to be exact), when I speak in English. He thought so because I talked fast and used a lot of “like”s and “so”s and “yeah”s in my sentences.

At that time, I just laughed it off, thinking that he was just saying that to compliment me or something. The topic was simply dismissed. Up to that point I had never thought about how my English had sounded like, and what accent I had adopted into my lingo. But since then, the more fluent I become in speaking and writing in English, and the more frequently I use it to communicate, the more people seem to doubt my fobbishness and assume that I’m an American of some sort. *shrugs*

Moving to Australia does nothing to make the mis-assumptions stop. If anything, it only becomes worse.
And it’s probably because the Aussies get confused when they hear me speaking, or something. They probably think, Omigosh, how can an Asian guy who looks like a fob and wasn’t born Down Under speak fluent English with an American accent?

You see, Australians (esp. Melburnians in this case) have their own stereotypical perception regarding overseas-born Asians here. Aussies view fob Asians as eccentric, unlikeable, cheap, and having very limited English proficiency. And hey, I really can’t blame them for thinking that way, since most fobs that I see and interact with everyday seem to live up to the stereotype. But I’m a fob too, technically. I wasn’t born in a Western country, English is not my first language, and I was raised as a true Asian, so to speak. I just happen to be a little bit different from the rest of the crowd, no pun intended. So when Aussies talk to me, they get confused. Yeah? *shrugs*

Take yesterday as an example.

This happened inside one clothing outlet in Melbourne Central. I was just about to pay for the items that I wanted to buy at the counter, and this very friendly Aussie girl was helping me with those items. Knowing that Australians tend to be chatty, it came as no surprise when soon enough she started a conversation with me. So she asked me where I’d been, what I’d bought, when my exam had ended, stuff like that, and I politely responded to her questions, playing along. Then she asked me about my plans for Summer, and I told her that I’d be flying home for Christmas. Upon hearing that, she was like, “Oh, bummer! It’s gonna be cold up there in the States, isn’t it?” and I was like, oh geez, here we go again. *laughs*

As expected, of course, I had to go through the pain of explaining to her that I wasn’t from the States, and that she wasn’t the first person to have thought of that, yadda yadda yadda. The highlight of the conversation happened when, after I told her I was actually from Jakarta, she yelled out “No effin’ way!” and started laughing.

Thank God she didn’t ask me questions about Obama and the US elections. Now that would’ve been awkward. *grins*

I can go all day telling you guys stories related to this issue. My tutor thought I was American once and asked me about "The Star-Spangled Banner". A barista in my favorite coffee shop asked me about how I celebrate Thanksgiving *winces*. Random waiters in Western restaurants doubt my Asian-ness all the time when I order my food. And even my favorite hairdresser’s new assistant insisted that I was shamelessly lying to her when I told her I was an Indonesian.

Funny, huh?
I’ll just leave you guys at that. Hahaha.

And FYI, now I don’t really bother using my American accent when speaking to my Asian friends anymore. I try to be as subtle and as ordinary as possible when I talk to them. It’s much easier that way, enabling me to, like, “blend in” with the crowd. It gets hard to do sometimes, but I’ll get by.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to brag or anything, really. And I’m not trying to renounce my Indonesian-ness or something, not at all. I just needed to get this off my chest. So please bear with me.

Should I play along next time this happens? *grins*

I’m a fob. I’m not from the States. Deal with it. people.
But thanks heaps for the “compliment”. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...i can't explain, what's the glue that holds us in...

Currently listening to: Put Your Arms Around Me - Natasha Bedingfield

Queens Rd, St. Kilda, 2008

Ooooyeah. Freedom at last.
*jumps around*

Honestly speaking, the last exam was far from glamorous, to say the least. I knew I shouldn't have underestimated the enigmatic mystery that is MKC2210, and now I've had to pay the price for actually giving in to my insecurity and losing confidence during the torturous two-hour guilt trip yesterday. *sighs*
Yeah. Whatever. I don't wanna think about it. Not now anyways. There'll be plenty of time to mourn.

So now I have exactly thirteen days of Summer to be spent frolicking across dear ol' Melbourne before flying home on the eve of November 25th. Sunnies out, flip-flops on, shorties worn, let the fun begin, y'all!

A couple of things to do:
1. Get a haircut, a redye, and a thorough treatment. Got a 1pm appointment with the ever-reliable Jacob tomorrow, YAY!
2. Arrange a get-together with the remaining members of Genk Nyamuk before people either fly home or start their Summer classes.
3. Shop till drops. DFO, anyone? *wink wink*
4. Start looking for souvenirs and the like. Probably not this week, though.
5. Confirm enrolment for 2009.

And oh yeah, I won't forget to have FUN. Don't worry. *laughs*

I really can't say I'm excited about the idea of going home, though, now that the date's drawing closer. My life's all good 'n jolly down here and I can't imagine having to adjust again to the bustling lifestyle back home. I do miss J-Town, true, yet a part of me doesn't really wanna go back there for some reason. But yeah, you know me, whiny as can be. The excitement's gonna start growing up on me soon enough, I hope. *grins*

Oh. It's 32 degrees outside. Looks like the sun is in a jolly good mood today. Thank heavens for reliable sun-shades and air-conditioner. *grins* I'd planned to go to Borders Chadstone earlier to spend the evening there relaxing and stuff, but the heat really turned me off, so I decided to stay home and do something productive.

And guess what? I cleaned up!
*insert sound of people clapping in the background here*

For the first time in quite a while, I actually managed to clear up the mounting pile of junk that's been lying around the back corner of my room for like, I dunno, a couple of months? I dusted my furnitures, vacuumed my carpeted floor, took care of my laundry, and re-arranged my shelves. I also took the time to organize my uni stuff, putting them together into a pile and put them on a separate shelf. It took me about two hours to do all those things, and now my room's almost as good as new. *grins*

Cleaning up has never been one of the most enjoyable chores to do for me personally, but I gotta admit that it does give me a sense of pride, and achievement, and satisfaction.
Knowing that I'm a lazy-ass procrastinator by nature, I realize that I really have to push myself hard to start taking better care of my possessions. Or my dwelling space, in this case. After all, my room's already comfortable in itself, so why not preserve the comfort and keep it clean?

I dunno. Something that I gotta work on in the future, I guess.

And no, this isn't the end of it all.
For the last couple of days my landlord has been sending borderline-hostile messages to me and my housemates, warning us to keep the common areas downstairs clean and tidy at all times. Those messages start from the most subtle to the most threatening, the latter having been received just a couple of seconds ago. *sighs*

Owh noeyh. Bugger.
Okay that was a terribly lame imitation of a bogan Australian accent but whatever.

Catch you guys later!
And oh yeah, Summer holiday's finally here. Bring it on, baby!

Take care!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

...i need to rest in arms...

Currently listening to: Better Man - Robbie Williams

Monash University Bus Interchange, Clayton, Oct 21 2008

Two down, one to go.
*breathes out a sigh of relief*

I really can't assure myself, let alone others for that matter, that I'm gonna pass MGC2120 and MKC3220 with flying colors. But I'm gonna take my time and worry about them later. The ultimate torture by the name of MKC2210 *winces* is waiting to slaughter me next Tuesday, and I gotta be ready to fight and hopefully emerge out of it alive.

Pardon the apparent drama-queen-like thoughts that just emerged right then 'n there.

Now I'm taking a day off from studying, and it feels really, really GOOD, to say the least.
I finally had eight hours of sleep last night, and this morning woke up with no worrying, or suicidal at the extreme, thoughts at all. The weather's got some sort of, like, a cheerful aura with it today or something, with the blue sky all nice and clear, and I'm gonna be heading to Chaddy later to get a new pair of iPod earphones, since my old one just broke yesterday. *frowns* JB Hi-fi, anyone?

But hey, all is good. I'm in a terribly good mood right now, and I'm enjoying every single second of it while it lasts. Maybe it's the nicely-brewed morning coffee I'm drinking. Or the comforting breeze gently blowing out my curtains. Or the fact that I can actually enjoy a lazy-ass day without feeling the slightest tinge of guilt. I know I deserve this. *winks*


Been wanting to put up this picture for days but I hadn't had a chance to really do it till now.

Long story short?
A couple of days ago, I found writings by an emo broken-hearted soul scribbled all over the bus schedule signs in the Monash Clayton Bus Loop. Those public "letters" (or reckless bits of vandalism, depends on how you look at 'em), were dedicated to some mysterious subject by the name of "darker lemon", who apparently just dumped this guy or something. And the guy took his broken-hearted mournings to a whole new level, by letting the whole of Monash Clayton know about his sadness through incomprehensible writings on each and every bus stop sign around the Bus Loop.

That one *points a picture above* is just one out of many.
As of now, I think some have been wiped off, but some are left intact, probably as an artifact sign of a memorable occurrence, or something. I dunno.
And people do reply to them, you know. Some sympathize, but most people are just plain mean. Reading them while waiting for buses to come is a really amusing form of entertainment. *laughs*

So, yeah.
Hey darker lemon lover, whoever you are. Rejoice, 'cuz you just made history.
And don't kill yourself, please. That would be horrific.

It's fascinating, really, how creative and unique some people can be.
I just hope that this doesn't inspire any other broken-hearted souls out there to, like, come along and do the same thing.

We bus-travellers would like our bus-schedule signs all plain and clean as they were, thank you very much. Those scribbles were amusing for a while, true. But they make the schedules unreadable and blotchy. And that's not cool, not cool at all.
Next time, try the shelters. *wink wink*

Have a nice day everyone!
And oh, good luck for those few people, including myself, who still have exams coming up!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

...a superhuman heart beats in me...

Currently listening to: Superhuman - Chris Brown ft. Keri Hilson

St. Kilda Rd, Tram Stop 29, Sept 5 2008

First off, a big, proud smile goes out to Agnes for graduating today.
Congratulations! *claps*
So our favorite Samurai Girl is now officially a Bachelor of Business graduate, fresh from the tertiary education oven, so to speak. *laughs*

Yeah I know that was cheesy but you get my point.
Once again, congrats! =)

Moving on to a less festive issue...

Reality check: It's just a few days away from November 3 and I am so not ready for exams.
*runs around screaming*

Long story short?
Revision hasn't been going so well. I've only got like four days left before my first exam and my revision notes aren't even done! Not to mention attempting to do past exam questions; how the heck am I supposed to start writing answers if I haven't even finished reviewing all the examinable materials?

Well, at least today I was quite productive, finishing one huge topic about FDIs plus two other subtopics before I got really sick of the intimidating silence in the library and set off to go home. I even managed to attend Agnes's graduation in between breaks!
's never been my forte, so it's not my fault that now I'm gloating over it. *laughs*

And for some reason I can't help but feel that my hard work today was rewarded by an unspeakable event that happened this evening. Not gonna go into details about that, but yeah, let's just say that unspeakable event made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Oooo-yeah. Talk about self-pride. *winks*

There's something that I wanna share to you guys here.

For you who don't know, back in high school I used to work as a freelance journalist at a local newspaper in Jakarta named Warta Kota. I was part of an all-high-school team of writers who were in charge of writing the teenage section of the weekend papers. I worked there for about a year and a half, including a one-month hiatus during my year 12 final exams, and only resigned because I was moving to Melbourne.

The job was really fun and challenging at the same time, and I wasn't there for the money at all since the pay was nothing compared to the experiences I gained during my active period of employment. I had a chance to learn about the nuts and bolts of commercial journalism from some of the best journalists in Indonesia, and got the pleasure of working with a bunch of talented, passionate writers. Oh, and since I was mainly in charge of the entertainment section of the column, I also got the chance to talk to, interview, and even meet a number of celebrities! *laughs*

The co-workers were cool, and fun, and nice, and all hardworking. The so-called "big boss" was adorable and funny, but respectable nonetheless. The actual weekend columns were like little poles of achievement. And it was so much more than just a freelance job. I took it as a valuable learning process.

the original 2006-2007 team, with the "big boss" on the far left of the first row

Ah, good times.
*stares dreamily into space*

And this is where the story comes into perspective.
A couple of days ago I received messages from two long-lost colleagues on Friendster. Both of them were in the original lineup of the team as well, being two of the most talented ones in the original group, but one of them dropped out halfway through due to health reasons.

Yeah. So they messaged me, asking me how I'd been. And I can't say that I wasn't surprised when I saw those messages 'cuz I didn't think that they would still remember me after all these years! Being the good-mannered boy that I am *wink wink*, I replied, and the rest was history.

A few days after that, another long-lost colleague messaged me, this time to my cell-phone. She was one of the few people from the team who actually have my Australian mobile number, and we do still keep in touch every now and then, so I wasn't surprised when she messaged me. We started to talk, nothing too special. I dismissed this fact as ordinary and moved on.

Then this afternoon, as I was busily jotting down points from the textbook in the library, another two people from the team messaged me!

*raises eyebrows*
Okay call this random, but this is far too freaky to be a coincidence.
I know it's my fault that I've failed to do my part and stay in contact with most of them. I miss them, true, but somehow I just can't find the time to be in touch with them. This is probably a reminder for me that they're still there, and that I should begin to, like, keep in touch, or something.

And upon that sudden strike of realization, I decided to start messaging some of the other members of the team, in the hopes of getting them to respond. I'm thinking that there should be like a reunion for us, or something, so everybody can meet up once again and just chill out together, and the end of this year. That would be sweet. *grins*

Being a part of the Warta Kota Muda team was one of the best highlights of my life, and I treasure my every moment with them.
Can't wait to see them again soon!

Oh, if any of you guys from WartaMuda happen to be reading my blog, please by any means respond to this post.

Gosh. All this reminiscing just made me miss my high school years even more.
No time for being mellow. I gotta focus.

*looks at the stack of MKC3220 lecture slides on the left-hand-side of the laptop*

Oh well.
First thing first.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

...sipping my guilt under a willow tree...

Currently listening to: Twisted - Brian McFadden

Monash University Bus Interchange, Clayton, Nov 22 2008

I just had a warm glass of milk and am feeling sleepy all of a sudden. *yawns*

Been studying at Caulfield all day. The library was packed as hell, full of people doing revisions and cramming and such. No pun intended, but today I got a confirmation for the well-known stereotype that in the Caulfield campus, Australians are far outnumbered by Asians. The yellows outnumber the whites, so to speak. And I know this probably won't come as a shock, but most of those Asians are fobs, excluding those handful few born Down Under.

While I was there, I felt as though I wasn't studying inside the library of a respected Australian university. It strangely felt like I was in, like, a university library in Hong Kong, or something. And don't get me wrong. I really don't hate Hong Kong and all, and I think there's nothing wrong with seeing a lot of Asians at Caulfield, not at all.

It's just that it bugs me to see that some Asian people just don't know how to behave in public . This is not a generalization, and as an Asian person myself, this really bothers me.

I mean, some of them just don't know when to be quiet and when to make noises!
It somehow seems like, whenever you see a group of Asians nearby, you can almost always expect to see a parade of colorful clothes, hear a lot of incomprehensible chatters, and an get attacked by an almost-intolerable amount of noise. *sighs*

For instance, there was this Chinese girl sitting near me in one of the quiet study area at Level 4. At one time, she was talking to somebody on the phone with such an annoyingly loud voice right in the middle of the quiet area, so loud and screechy that she made me want to, like, go up to her and strangle her with her fake LV handbag or something. And the conversation went on for like 20 minutes, fgs! *shakes head*

And oh, there was also this really noisy group of Asian guys gathering around a computer in the computer area on Level 3, chattering away. I happened to be sitting nearby, and apparently they were all laughing over some silly video on YouTube or something. They were all speaking in a strange tongue I couldn't understand, and I don't wanna be judgmental and all, but please, have some respect, and show some tolerance toward others while you're in public!

Oh well. *shakes head*
Perhaps I should stop this rant before things get out of hand and I end up insulting my own kind.

While I was there, after a couple hours of studying - stretching - yawning - Facebook-ing - and hand-cramping, I kinda received some sort of a - I dunno if this is the right term for it - a reality check, or something.
Well I dunno, but constantly seeing people cramming and panicking right in front of my eyes slowly made me start squirming with uneasiness. And I realized that this was really happening. Exams. Freaking exams.

It's once again that time of the year. The time of frantic, of panic, and sleepless nights, and countless cups of coffee. The time when people will finally start camping in libraries, spend some time to get to know their lecture slides and summaries better, skip lunches and dinners and get hooked up on all forms of caffeine, from the smooth to the deadly, and even sleeping at night will be a luxury for many.

Ah, good times. Can't say I'm looking forward to it, though. *grins*
Thank God my exams don't start till November 3rd. At the very least, I can sort of space out my revision sessions and slack a little bit more. But I gotta put a lot more effort into preparing for the exams if I wanna see great results coming through. Oh well.

Just another month to go, and then I'll be spending my Summer back home!
*smiles earnestly at the thought*

For the time being, I gotta keep my level of motivation as high as possible. Eat well, sleep well, revise well. And of course, stay healthy.

Good luck for y'all whose exams have started!
We can get through this. Yes we can! *grins*


Sunday, October 19, 2008

...you're in and you're out, you're up and you're down...

Currently listening to: Hot 'N Cold - Katy Perry

Oh, I'm such a dork.

Technically, I didn't do anything productive this weekend. Other than doing some more room redecoration in the form of assembling IKEA shelf units and putting up noticeboards and changing bedsheets and quilt covers and such, all I've done so far is being extremely mopey around the house. Though actually there's nothing to get mopey about. Life's doing pretty damn good at the mo'. I just wanted to find a decent excuse to be lazy and avoid the heat yesterday. *laughs*

But hey, thank heavens for the breezy weather today. Partly cloudy skies mean less UV intervention, and less sun exposure means less heat! *grins*
I guess Melbourne's just trying to live up to its iconic "four seasons in a day" reputation, as always. I dunno. I should just shut up and be happy that today's gonna be a good day. Well at least in my opinion, that is.

And now, introducing the newest member of JJ's Room Assembly, the beautifully-designed IKEA shelf unit!

Please ignore the pile of unspeakables and you-know-whats stacked at the far right corner of the picture. *laughs*

For the record, the shelf's still half-empty because I haven't really put any effort in rearranging my stuff. But the lowest stack will be filled with uni stuff, and as you can see, the second level of the shelf is already full of my perfumes, creams, and perfume-related stuff. Geez, how metro can I go? But yeah, there you have it. *winks*

I'll get to work and continue filling up the stacks of the shelf as I go.
My old shelf unit is already jam-packed and overflowing with stuff now and I really have to rearrange my stuff. Badly.

Alright, time for a shower now I guess.
*stretches hands out in the air*

I love breezy Sundays.
The air's fresh, the winds are nice, and all this makes me happy. *smiles*

No more classes starting tomorrow! And technically there will be no more uni for me 'till March 3 next year. It sounds liberating in a way, yes. Yet it pains me to think that exams are just round the corner. I'll survive this, I know I will.

I really can't wait to fly home!
December 1 is not far. No, not too far away.
I won't bother counting down the days 'cuz that would make it even harder for me to wait.

For the time being,
Have a great Sunday everyone! *waves*

Thursday, October 16, 2008

...make up break up can't take this madness...

Currently listening to: I Stay in Love - Mariah Carey

Alexander Theater lawn, Monash University, Oct 14 2008

Can't believe it's almost weekend again.
This week flew by so quickly. Revision after revision, with returned assignments coming one after another. Can't say I'm disappointed with them, though. It's good to feel that all my hard work had been paid off. *grins*

But now I kinda have a reason to celebrate.
I'm officially done with every last piece of non-exam assessment for this semester.
Does that spell happiness, in bold? Well, more like relief. But I'm glad it's over and done with, thank God. Now I can take some time off before going crazy over exam revision.

Got a call from Singapore Airlines the other day, informing me that my Singapore-Jakarta flight had been confirmed for November 25. And I was like, oh okay that's sweet, but what the hell's gonna happen to my Melbourne-Singapore one? Apparently I'm still waitlisted for that one, but hey, no pressure. If anything goes wrong, I still have another flight confirmed on December 1. *winks*
Just thought it would be more fab if I could fly home sooner, straight into the waiting arms of my beloved hometown. Sorta.

Oh well. *yawns*
It's still 10pm-ish and i'm lazy as hell.
My room looks like the ruins of a freaking hurricane-wrecked area. I'll probably do some cleaning after this, if my mood permits me. I just had my second cup of coffee for the day a couple of minutes ago and am still waiting for the cheerful caffeine effect to kick in.

I was actually planning to write something more structured and educated than this waffling piece of crap. Something related to hyperreality and post-modernism and what-have-yous. Blame this morning's BHS1712 test to have successfully aroused the dormant philosopher in me. But oh whatever. My brain's not being cooperative right now so I think I'll pass.

I miss Europe, big time. *sighs*
Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Paris, London, Monte Carlo. And the always-irresistible French Riviera with its dazzling beaches, of course. It's been like more than two years, since my last visit, and I'm dying to go back there. I need a blue sky holiday, to quote Daniel Powter.

Was going through my picture folder just now when I realized that I'd left all my Europe holiday pictures at home back in J-Town. Too bad. *tugs at hair*
I'll probably go look for some old pictures in my old cellphones later and post any good ones here. Given that I'm able to actually find those cellphones in the first place, that is.

For the time being, let me stretch out my hands wide in the air, take some time to let out a huge yawn of relief, and scream Thank God It's Friday! at the top of my lungs.
Better yet, I'm going to IKEA tomorrow! *grins*

Have a great weekend, guys!


And I keep on telling myself that you'll come back around
And I try to front like "Oh well" each time you let me down
See I can't get over you now no matter what I do
Baby baby, I stay in love with you...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

...boy don't try to front i-i know just-just what you are-are-are...

Currently listening to: Womanizer - Britney Spears

My room, Clayton, Oct 1 2008

. The end of Week 12. That spells total freedom for me, with caps.
*heaves out a sigh of relief*

This whole week has been full of ups-and-downs.
Started off with a couple of lazy days before moving on straight to a full-on sequence of panic attacks and sleepless nights because the demented MKC2210 (yep, you didn't see it wrong, that was still the code of the same annoying subject I freaking hate) presentation wasn't finished yet. Then things got a bit out of hand the night after everything was done, because I was so exhausted and overworked that my stomach acids acted out and I got awful stomach cramps that hurt like hell. So I took some medicine and rested well; probably a bit too well since I couldn't get up early enough to catch the morning tute the day after. *sighs*

But yeah, I'm fine now. And finally, every last piece of assessment before exams has been totally over and done with as of right now. YAY!
*dances around like a retard*

Anyway. *clears throat*

Just now I was absently browsing through yesterday's edition of The Age, and since Saturday papers are usually delivered in two plastic-wrapped, rolled-up bundles, flipping through crumpled pages and smoothing out curled edges can sometimes be a pain in the ass, but that's completely besides the point. So after spending a couple of minutes wrestling with stubborn curls and what-have-yous, I came across this fascinating article about literacy in Australia.
Wait for it. This is gonna be interesting. *grins*

Apparently research has shown that one-fifth of Australians, meaning one out of every five people in Australia, has difficulties in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and sentence construction. Surprise, surprise. You'd think that in a country with English as its de facto national language, which surely means that the language is widely-spoken amongst its people, various problems regarding its proper usage should be completely out of the question. Yet apparently this assumption isn't evident in reality.

The article states that a majority of Australians can't differentiate between simple homophones and often spell them wrongly. Common mistakes include "you're" and "your", "its" and "it's", or "there" and "their". In addition to that, structuring good, comprehensible sentences is another issue, since often written sentences contain ambiguous meanings due to misplacements or words and such if not structured properly.

What's worse, these mistakes and so-called "glitches" continue far well into adulthood, with job applicants and even university graduates not being able to phrase their CVs and application forms well enough. One confident girl, for example, as stated in the article, wrote in her CV that she possessed "five key strengths" that would make her suitable for the job she was applying for, and one of those strengths was "attention to detale".

Ironic, much?
Well, I don't know what exactly is wrong with the system in this country to have allowed for such "glitches" to happen, and perhaps nothing is actually wrong to begin with.

Being born as a true-blue ESL-speaker, I have never been exposed to the process of learning English as a first language, to state the obvious. Even though I was introduced to the language at a very young age, I familiarized myself with it as a second language from the very beginning, and that gave me a wholly different perception towards the language and its usage. I really learned how to use the language properly, along with its properties as well as its complicated forms of usage variation, tenses, gerund, idioms, vocabulary construction, and such. I'm a fast-learner, too, that's a plus so I learned stuff pretty quickly as a kid.

And even now, although that I can confidently state that I am exceptionally fluent in English, even more so than most of my Chindo counterparts *wink wink* I must say, it is not my mother tongue. Never was, never will be. Because of that, I use English differently, and my perception towards the language will greatly differ when compared to that of a native speaker's. A typical Australian's, for instance.
Oh, and probably the fact that I was heavily exposed to American English also has any contribution in my lingo construction or something. I dunno. Dang, of course it has; those of you who know me in person should know that under normal circumstances I have a slight SoCal tone in my speech, yet I know too well that the accent is slipping away from me. *sighs*

So, yeah. I really don't understand what exactly is going on here. I've had my share of evidence to have been able to confirm that this issue persists in the society I'm currently living in. Maybe they just do things differently here and teach English in schools with a different approach. Or perhaps people take using proper English for granted because they're already too used to the more-casual and supposedly less-structured form of English used in the society? *shrugs*

Whatever. Just thought this issue would be interesting to talk about.
I should probably head to bed now. *yawns*

Week 13 starting tomorrow YAY!

Apparently Spring ends early this year, and Summer's just round the corner. Jackets in, tank-tops out. Time to grab my summery flip-flops, SPF+30 sunscreen lotion, and aviator shades, and head to the beach!
Strange, coming from somebody who hates the sun and prefers scarfs over shorts. But hey, sometimes you gotta give in and mingle with the crowd. So be it. *laughs*

And I swear, guys, "Womanizer" is so damn catchy. Now I really can't get it outta my head, and that's totally not my fault. I haven't been able to stop myself from humming the repetitive "womanizer woman-womanizer you're a womanizer oh" part under my breath like some crazy-ass retard or something, and it's been going on for a couple of days now. Not to mention the fact that the music video for the song is super hot.
Man, this song is gonna be HUGE. *grins*

See you all around! =]