Sunday, March 30, 2008

...hands on me...

Here goes tomatoes, fellows. (Nakula, A., 2008)

TWO major surprises
fell down from nowhere and greeted me good morning today.

Surprise ONE: My first ever copy of The Sunday Age arrived on my doorstep.

And it apparently brought along one of its stack-mates with it, since there were two disheveled rolls of identical editions lying down next to each other just near the edge of my front door. Two, instead of one.

BONUS? Don't think so.
Or maybe this is just the newspaper-guy's way of saying sorry for not delivering weekend papers for the past, I dunno, four weeks? *grins* But I guess I can always use some spare papers in times of need.

Alright. One item scratched.
As I was saying...

As cold and shivery and ridiculously-still-sunny a morning as this day's early hours could be, I thought it was just gonna be the beginning of another ordinarily windy Autumn sunday, one in which I happened to be rostered a singer in the afternoon service.

That would mean waking up at like 9.30-ish in the morning to avoid being late to the music practice, giving me some time to enjoy a cuppa coffee with no rush, and of course browse the day's weather forecast as I always do to help decide on what crazy outfit to wear. *laughs*

Then I would drowsily amble my way to the shower, yawn a little, stretch a little, rub eyes a little, scratch head a little, you know, the usual lousy stuff a guy does before morning shower. Finishing touch would be grabbing my always-trustworthy green towel from its stand on the way, and once the shower room door is locked behind me, the rest is history.

But then something really shocking disrupted my too-good-too-be-true peaceful Sunday morning routine.
A massive thunderbolt, talking the voice of MelMel, got through my cellphone and reminded me that Daylight Saving Time wasn't on today.

And I was like, WHAT?!

That would mean that the big ol' TEN displayed on my cellphone screen was actually a painful ONE and ONE. Eleven something would mean music practice. And music practice at eleven something would mean lateness.

Upon that sudden realization, this following equation immediately came to mind:

Extreme lateness to music practice + Haven't memorized the assigned songs = Merciless murder by Teguh

Oh NO. *gasps*

So I gulped down the remaining lot of my coffee, grabbed up my towel, rushed to heat up my supposedly-prepared-in-advance breakfast, then ran into the shower.
The rest was again history, though not as good as my expected picture perfect of a lazy Sunday morning.

The remaining parts of the day were fabulous, though.
So I guess the morning shock paid off with a BANG. *winks*

And that marks the official end of this too-awfully-short Easter Break.
Classes commence tomorrow. Campus life is so back on. And the weather's been great. I guess Summer's now officially gone for another year.

*rummages through wardrobe for Autumn clothes*

G'nite, guys. *hugs*

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

...about rainy days...

Currently listening to: Lover You Should've Come Over - Jamie Cullum

Jalan Gadjah Mada, Central Jakarta, December 2007

Bunderan H.I, Jalan M.H Thamrin, Central Jakarta, May 2007

I know I had just spent a bit too much time looking for an appropriate picture or two to go along with this post. Some five to ten minutes of unproductive, shivery silence, I might as well call it. And in the end I just lost my focus and strayed too far away from the main topic I originally wanted to bring up here. *sighs*

Yet I'd have to admit that flicking through countless folders of old pictures and continuously scrolling down rows of icons searching for memory fragments can be somewhat fun, doing so in a strangely motivated way. It feels like rewinding long-gone days, and as I click on a picture and wait for it to pop up full-size into my screen, I always take some time to remember the setting, the moment, the background story of the picture, knowing that if the moment captured in that picture hadn't been that significant I wouldn't have captured it and stored it in my archive folder in the first place.

Whoa. Big sentence alert. *blushes*

But yeah. After all, rainy days always bring me the blues. Just like today, when the air is freezing and the temperature just dropped, welcoming the presence of a beautiful afternoon shower. And as always, when I'm feeling blue I tend to urge myself to think back, and reminisce.

This kind of a me-myself-and-I moment in the middle of a rainy day has been desolately rare for me to enjoy ever since I lived in Melbourne, since down here rainy days are somewhat minimal. It takes some getting used to, yes, and now I'm too used to not seeing that much rain fall upon me even during the supposedly wettest months of the year, so I guess my expectations have been subconsciously lowered. Perhaps.

That's why for me today such a great day; it is like a unique opportunity to finally get in touch with my inner rain-loving remnants of a poet.
Whatever. *laughs*

But then again I could just keep a smile and conclude that this has been a particularly great day. The familiar scent of a rainy day is now seeping through my windows, perfuming my room with its soft sweet smell. The birds are chirping, the winds are blowing, the rain's still pouring, with jazzy tunes serenely playing...

Geez. I can't be any happier than this. *smiles*

Well aside from this persistent sore throat that just won't go away. But I guess there's always tomorrow to complain and get grumpy.
For now, I'll just stay quiet for a while, and keep the light from fading. As I slowly drift away and enjoy the sweet lingering presence of the rain breezing past upon me.

Don't you just love it when it rains?
...I do. =]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

...when you cross my mind...

Currently listening to: I'm Feeling You - Michelle Branch & Carlos Santana


And sorry for not being in touch for quite a while.
My mind and body are still lagging from the exhaustion and euphoria.

Easter Camp was AWESOME! I feel grateful, and thoroughly blessed. It was a great experience, too; meeting new people from Sydney and Auckland, working together as a team, singing at the top of our lungs, jumping around, praying, worshiping, just having fun together...

And yeah. Bottom line, I guess now Facebook is gonna be overflowed by pictures of this camp very soon. Talk about sudden camera attack overnight. *laughs*

So now I'm enjoying some well-deserved slack-off time as Easter Break is just beginning. The weather's been nice, with occasional rain, cool breezes, and of course moderately calm day temperatures. Though I know I've got quite a bunch of work to do during this one-week break, I think I'm gonna give it a rest for now. Catching up on sleep and lazy times has never been this fulfilling. *grins*

Alright alright. I should be signing off for now. Got stuff to do. Got places to go to. Got work to start on. Got new songs to compile. Got pictures to tag *winks*.

Have a pleasant holiday guys! =D

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

...hold your breath now...

Edina's house, Oakleigh, 18 March 2008

YAY for the sudden weather cooldown. *smiles earnestly*

I guess I'm gonna need to go to bed much earlier tonight, to make up for my mediocre three-hour sleep last night.

Was wandering around Monash Bookshop with Jacelyn this morning in search for a temporary air-conditioned hang-out-spot due to the still kinda-hot weather outside, when I came across this interesting book lying on a table at one corner near the Culture Studies and Languages stack.

Yes, it's for Indonesian Studies. Yes, it's a textbook. Yes, it's expensive. And yes, it's published by Curtin University of Technology, which is actually based in Perth, a not-exactly-neighboring city at the far west corner of Australia.

So I was curiously flipping through the pages of the book right, trying to think like a foreigner who knows nothing about the Indonesian languange, when I found a chapter discussing about Bahasa Gaul. *insert some funny sound-effect tunes here*

I was like, ooooooooooookay. This is kinda strange.
The book's actually trying, desperately, to explain the whole concept of why young Jakartans speak a wholly different Indonesian language than the rest of the population in the archipelago, how they came to use this supposedly modern-slang counterpart of the language, and exactly where it initially originated from. The word "bokap" is there; the book does quite a detailed explanation about the origin of this word, along with some other common Jakartan slangs I don't even want to discuss here. Spare me the laughs. And the amazement. Not to mention the strange gut-wrenching feeling of wanting to speak the slangs again, just like the old days.

I never knew my language could be such a great interest to foreigners. Especially for Aussies here. *laughs* I should be proud. And I am, sincerely.
So there you go. Another day, another drama, as Miss Britney Spears puts in. *bows*

And speaking of the devil...

My uni workload this week has been overwhelming.
I've been finding it quite hard to squeeze in some leisure time during which I can actually socialize. Or, on better terms, during which I can do more exciting things other than scribbling away studying and summarizing and reading and nerdy-ing. *sobs*

So for now I reckon I'll have to resort to brief, impersonal, often-rushed "Hey how's it going" greetings during accidental meetings in random alleyways and the complexly-intersecting campus pathways. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to meet up with some of my old friends in one of those expected encounters. If not, well then it's just too bad. *sighs*

Not even the upcoming Easter Break is able to cheer me up, yet; I hope it'll come around soon. I could use the extra lift-up-my-spirit boost to be able to get by. It's not like I'm suicidal or all stressed out or anything; I know this might sound terribly creepy coming from me, but I actually do enjoy doing some constant academic progress for once. *winks*

Alright I should go now. A good night sleep won't hurt.
Have a nice breezy early-Autumn night, people! =)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

...the things that you do...

I woke up with a slight headache this morning. The sunrays coming from the outside world beyond my protective blinds was seeping through the layers of my window curtains, falling upon my face.
ANNOYING. With caps. *frowns*

And now it's official: HEATWAVE attack across the southern parts of Australia.

It was in the papers yesterday, I think. For instance, Adelaide is now experiencing an eleven-day heatwave strike; that is, eleven consecutive days of above-thirty-degrees day temperatures. Inland Victoria is also intensely overheated. Not to mention the rural parts of South Australia as well as Victoria's uppermost areas just near NSW.

Well, same thing applies to dear ol' Melbourne, I suppose; this heatwave thingy has been going on for six or seven days, at least. And my body's protesting already. Keep this going for like three more days and I'll be severely dehydrated. Seriously. And I thought after living almost my entire life in one of the most tropical countries in the world, I could be able to like withstand the heat for a couple more extra days. *sighs*

Okay okay I should stop whining now.

Anyway. I was reading this awesomely captivating travel book titled "The Cities Book" at Borders yesterday, and I realized with pride that I have been to like almost every top twenty city listed in the book at least once. *grins from ear to ear*

Here's the cover of the book, image taken using my mediocre camera-phone.

The VERY very best, first-ranked city in the book, unsurprisingly, is Paris. Like, d-dduuuhh. *rolls eyes*
New York came second, if I remember correctly. Then London, then something else, then Sydney. The list goes on and on and on and ON, making my eyes glint with excitement as I continue reading.

And as I flipped through the pages of the book, with mixed feelings of amazement and longing, I found Melbourne! *jumps around*

The book says that Melbourne boasts its cafe culture, classy architecture, friendly people, multicultural social environment, great coffee, and countless festivals. It is, after all, the art and culture capital of Australia. So, yeah. That pretty much sums it all doesn't it? *laughs*

I guess ranked eleventh in the never-ending 200-something list is not bad. Not bad at all! Especially when you're competing with like hundreds and hundreds of beautiful cities around the globe. And being a semi-permanent temporary resident [whatever the hell that means] of this town, I can't help feeling somehow proud.

Aren't you proud, fellow Melbournians?
Heatwave and wacky weather aside, this city is indeed lovable. And I don't regret my decision in choosing to live here, down under. *winks*

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!! =D

Thursday, March 13, 2008

...'cause she says no...

Currently listening to: Happily Ever After - Nicole Scherzinger

Gloria Jean's Coffees, Borders Chadstone, 12 March 2008

Talk about striving to be the world's biggest nerd.

I have privately promised myself that I'm gonna work my ass off this semester. With no exceptions. Well maybe not during Easter Break, but otherwise I sincerely vow to be good. With my course still in semi-disarray and my assignments all jumbled up, I somehow feel like I'm doing myself no good these past few weeks. And I'm gonna turn things around. *bows*

Was doing a little bit of academic work with Edina at Borders Chadstone's infamously-supercozy Gloria Jean's Coffees corner all evening yesterday when suddenly my ears curiously perked up, paying attention to one of the usually-random jazz/lounge tunes playing on the PA. I noticed some familiar lines from the song, particularly the catchy chorus hooks, as well as the melody, yet the arrangement and the voice didn't exactly ring any bells. Interesting.

I almost got carried away by the mysterious singer's ever-soothing voice, as if there was something eerie in the tune that was trying to like spark up my curiosity even further and urge me to do something about it. After exchanging some clueless stares, eyebrow-scrunching motions, and a few seconds of intently listening together with the piano maestro herself (a.k.a Edina), racking up our overworked brains in a desperate attempt to at least give this song an appropriate something to relate to, we finally came into our senses in revelation and yelled out, "Toxic!"

...Shocking, I know.

Agitated as we were, still lagging from the euphoria, I ran straight away to the info desk at the other side of the store and eagerly asked the poor officer there for more details regarding the song. Some silly laughs, unnecessary comments, and a few Aussie-style "Gday mate"s later, I strutted my way back to Edina's waiting arms *insert the image of me being shamelessly slapped here* with a name.

Yael Naim.

I personally think that this brilliant singer has just brought cover versions of successful songs to a whole new level. There's no trace of Britney in her version of Toxic. It's so original it can almost pass up as being a new song. Almost. Since after all, Toxic is like one of the best pop songs of all time, arguably, so unfamiliarity is clearly out of the picture. To not have heard this song at least once, you must be living in like a cave or something. *smirks*

So, yeah. Give it a try and kindly click on the link above.
C'mon, I know you want to. *winks*

And speaking of the former Princess of Pop...

I personally think that Britney's new video for "Break The Ice" is a major turn-off. I mean, the animation was nicely-done and all, and I have to admit that the video did provide me with something new from her. Yet I had previously been expecting some real action from the star herself, if you know what I mean. Thing is, I've been reading the news about her doing daily dance practices and stuff, so forgive me if I'd kept my hopes up too high for a moment.

Haven't seen the video yet? Please consult the ever-reliable YouTube. *laughs*
But yeah, after all, all animations aside, the song is still very good, though. It's already in my iPod's favorite tracks playlist now, as always. Guilty pleasure alert! Hahaha. =D

Alright alright. Almost done for the day.
With thirty-eight degrees outside and extremely tanned skin, I think I will refrain from going outdoors without an extra layer of protection for the rest of the day now. Sadly, I have to brave the big bad world out there. And I have to be well-occupied.

Dear Mother Nature, if you hear me...
Please show some mercy and give Australia its first glimpses of Autumn. With all do respect. Please. Before we the helpless people all surrender to our fate and literally melt under the sun.

Really. It's about damn time.

Monday, March 10, 2008 the floor now...

Currently listening to: The Hook Up - Britney Spears

Today hasn't been particularly great for me.
I've been grumpy, and touchy, and lonely. Not to mention feeling a bit betrayed, somehow. By everything that was just going all WRONG around me.

The weather was crappy, as in HOT. I've been feeling consistently thirsty the whole day, an obvious sign of dehydration. And I had to apply an extra layer of sunscreen lotion all over my hands and legs halfway through the day just to practically avoid getting sunburned, for real. Gash. I don't even wanna think about how the rest of this week is gonna turn out to be like. *gasps in horror*

So much for the end of Summer. *sighs*
I hope Winter will be able to bring peace to my skin and restore my complexion to its original Asian color. *shakes head*

Oh well. I shouldn't let Monday blues get to me. Especially not during Labor Day. Though the celebration means little, if not nothing at all, to me, since classes still commenced today, underneath the extreme hotness that is the annoyingly persistent Summer sunshine. And yeah you may think that I probably whine too much, but hey. Who cares.

I need some peace. Some soothing breeze. With a nice, well-deserved serving of ice-cream. And a little bit of chocolate to top it all. *drools*

Somebody please switch the global aircon or something. Quick.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

...blinfold your eyes...

Currently listening to: I'll Be Your Love - Nicole Scherzinger

Shoot. Just realized that I forgot to apply my sunscreen lotion today. And I have been out and about all afternoon, surrendering myself under the scorching sun. That explains the newly-formed ugly tan line that's currently bordering itself around my right wrist, at the exact spot where my favorite pair of black-and-white rubber wristbands usually reside.

That's just about what's left of my previously far paler complexion. Well, not that I wasn't naturally dark in the first place, growing up in a tropical country where constant sunlight stays almost all year round. I was... yellow-skinned, to say the least. Tanned from too many hours of swimming during my younger days, but otherwise I was more of your average chubby not-too-Indo not-too-Chinese guy with nerdy specs, loud laughs, and lopsided smiles.

Well that was history. Although the pigment density of my skin hasn't actually intensified THAT much, I am indeed darker now. Brownier than ever, in lack of a better color-descriptive word. *snickers*
And during times like this I feel betrayed by my own mixture of social backgrounds; it somehow feels as if my skin color overrides my heritage.

Here we go again with stereotyping and the like. The old-fashioned, generalized view that all Chinese people are supposed to be small-eyed, thin-lipped, dark-haired, light-skinned, and excessively smiley.
Conformity has never been much of an issue for me, yet now that I'm considerably darker than I used to be, people are starting to question the authenticity of my otherwise-believable I'm-Chinese-Indonesian-descended claim. *laughs*

Ah, the hell with that. This way I have better chance of looking irresistibly exotic. *winks*
Right? Right??

*sounds of people throwing up on the background*

But yeah. Summer kills, literally; skin cells and young pigments among many. I've learned my lesson and will pay more attention to skin protection from now on. Apparently all this time I've been exposing too many body parts to the merciless, UV-powered sunlight. Not gonna do it again.

And oh, blame the kangaroos for the ever-thinning ozone layer above Australia.
Yeah. Blame 'em hopping creatures. 'Cuz they jump. 'Cuz they're smart. 'Cuz they're the ones who are most responsible for abusing natural resources, and for polluting the planet with all kinds of unnecessary chemicals, destructive substances, and excess waste. Not the world. Not Aussies. Not the global population. Not us.

Pardon me if you guys don't quite catch the sarcasm. I know I'm just being bastardly rude. *laughs* Slap me please.

..Alright alright. Enough for the aimless jabber, I think I'll have my dinner now. Empty stomach alert; no wonder I've been ranting.
Tomorrow's my day off, and I'm excited to catch up with my rest. YAY! *snaps fingers together*

Take care everyone! =D

PS: Just for your info... I have also signed up for the tertiary education publishing program thingy that's been causing long queues in front of Coffee HQ in the Campus Center these past two weeks. I decided to subscribe for daily newspaper copies of The Age (the subscription is valid for 40 academic weeks) for only A$20. Can you imagine that people? A$20 for fourty weeks?? *blinks* So now I will be even more news-updated! I guess... if I don't get tired of queueing to get my copy everyday and just stop coming over altogether. *laughs* Cheers!

Monday, March 03, 2008

..i'm sure you'd remind me..

Currently listening to: Comfortable - John Mayer

Right, first of all...


*throws confetti around*

My dear housemate slash uni-buddy slash iCare-colleague slash best-friend slash partner-in-crime slash anything-else-a-best-friend-can-serve-as turns NINETEEN today. And boy did his birthday started with a bang last night.
For details, please click HERE. *laughs*

I'm so tired right now. Like, REALLY tired. Remind me not to play badminton at night-time during transition periods from Summer to Autumn ever again.
It's as if right now I'm feeling twice, oh no let's make it thrice, the exhaustion. Blame the weather, and the strong winds, and the dry air, and my not-so-fit immune system.

All exhaustion aside... My uni life's been... good, so far. To say the most.
Being a sophomore is unarguably hard, yet enjoyable at the same time. I still find it hard to perceive just how heavy all the independent academic workload is gonna be throughout the semester. And it gets heavier when I immerse myself in the thought that from now on, I have to work on my own.

I love my campus. I love my surroundings. I love my subjects. I love the Hargrave Andrew Library cafe. I love Coffee HQ. I love the green green grass.

Strangely enough, I even love seeing the unusually dense crowd of people from different races, skin colors, languages, and backgrounds consistently overpopulating each and every one of the hang-out spots on campus all day and night, their disorganized and extra-noisy existence seeming almost permanent evident from the constant high level of density that surrounds me whenever I go. Though often they can be somewhat annoying and tactless and ignorant as they can be with their surroundings, I can actually tolerate that, since their constant presence all around me can consistently remind me of just how fun and random Australian uni life can be.

Here's a snapshot of a typically crowded, pre-lunch-break afternoon around the Campus Center area and The Robert Menzies building. Can you imagine how congested the scene would look like during lunch-break peak hours?

Talk about serious commotion, people.
Damn. It's good being a true-blue Monash Clayton inhabitant. *winks*

Alright alright enough of the jabber.
Have a good night, guys! *hugs*