Monday, January 26, 2009 respect to the festive season...

Mall of Indonesia, Jan 2009

We're all still halfway through the festive season, and the photos from last night's Chinese New Year Eve dinner are still being processed as we speak, but in respect to the festive season, let me just drop a line or two and shout this out and loud:


Let's hope that the year of the Ox will bring luck, joy, peace, and prosperity for us all.

Be safe. Be healthy. Eat what you want, do what you like, for the festivity's not here to stay.
As with the chronology of yesterday's dinner and today's CNY gathering, I'll keep you guys posted. Don't worry.

Gotta get back to getting ready for today's hunt for hong baos!
I'll make the best out of today, that's for sure.

Take care! *waves*

And oh, of course, HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY too! *grins*

Monday, January 19, 2009

...the one after the candles were blown...

Another year older, another year wiser.

January 18 went out without a bang this year. No surprises, no parties. Just a humble cake with two candles, a simple get-together with family, and a movie. Couldn’t have asked for more, honestly. I finally had what I had always wanted: a quiet, modest, peaceful birthday. And I’m happy. *grins*

Honestly, birthdays used to NOT mean that much to me. So I do get a bit older each year, yeah? Great. Fabulous. It’s just a matter of numbers, dude. Does it really matter?

Well, apparently, it does now that I’ve known better.

I’ve gotten over the childhood euphoria of expecting to see streamers and balloons and toys all over the house, to get all hyped up blowing candles on top of fancy sugarcoated cakes, and to receive a stack of birthday presents from other kids whenever January 18 came around. It was always either at home or at a nearby fast-food restaurant. Being the naïve, stupid kid that I was, I used to think that apart from Christmas, January 18 was the happiest day of the year, because I could finally have company during my birthdays. I got others to play with, to share moments with, to keep me happy and safe, after a whole year of being an only child. Those birthday parties were cute, and the presents were fab, though I gotta tell you most of them ended up in donation bags and charity giveaways anyway.

I grew up a little, and I sort of learned to appreciate the way adolescents during the late 90s celebrate birthdays. Very after-school special, with malicious tricks, water balloons full of paint, a whole bunch of splashing and running, and an awful lot of nasty, smelly, sticky liquid mixtures you don’t even wanna know about. Kids at that age, with their newfound freedom and developing sense of wicked creativity, sure knew how to make a piss out of somebody. It was fun, true, but was terribly disgusting at the same time. I took part in it. I victimized people. I became a victim. But I survived, barely. *laughs*

Then came the raging hormones. The conflicts. The groupings. The labelling. The prejudice, and the social struggles. Inner drama kings and queens began to reign in the hearts of teenagers, me included. And us drama kings and queens preferred to celebrate birthdays our way, dramas ‘n all. The element of surprise was still there in general. The hopeless romantics brought flowers and thoughtful presents for their loved ones, and sent their birthday wishes through the air via school radios and PA announcements. The popular ones hosted parties and get-togethers, from fancy restaurants and hotels to bars and clubs, and received sweet surprises from their peers. The geeks and losers just passed through unnoticed, simply forgotten. Why? Because in high school that’s the way things are supposed to be. You either shine and get yourselves noticed, or waddle in the absolute ignorance of others. Most of us spent our entire adolescent years struggling between the two extremes without actually getting anywhere in the end.

Did I manage to place myself somewhere decent after all? Dunno. But that doesn’t really matter anymore now does it?

Once upon a time, there was a boy. Twenty years, three big social steps later, here I am. I didn’t win the Science Olympics, didn’t earn myself a Grammy, and obviously didn’t invent the cure to AIDS or something. But I grew out of my own ignorant, childish, pathetic, foolish, full-of-crap self and managed to get real.

I learned not to be too aware of my social standing. I learned to be thankful of what I have. I learned to love selflessly, not selfishly. I learned not to pay too much attention to other people’s shallow judgments about me and my life. I learned to try. I learned to fight. I learned to forgive, and forget. I rose, I fell, I bounced back and stood again on my own two feet.

I found comfort. I found solace. I found my way back. I found love.

And that is why to me, turning twenty is a big deal.
I mean, twenty fucking years? Come on, that’s gotta count for something, no?
I hope I’d made that clear earlier on.

I’m now just this much closer to becoming a twentysomething. Imagine that.
Another twelve months, then I’m gonna have to wave goodbye to the falling leaves of my salad days, when I was green in judgment, to quote Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”. Twelve months left before I stop sucking up to my parents, graduate, get real, freak out like a madhatter in distress, and oh, wait for it, face the big bad world out there, at last.

Am I ready? Not in a thousand years. But a guy has to start somewhere.

‘Cuz to me, the age of twenty is a turning point. No more playing around. No more dreaming. It’s time to actually do something, to move forward, to go ahead and take chances. Just like what Shaun said to Zach in “Shelter”, “you’ll never get what you want unless you take it”. Nobody’s gonna say that it’s always gonna be rainbows and butterflies, because we’re not living in some made-up utopia. Fuck-ups are inevitable, and difficulties lay ahead, sure, but that’s how life goes, right? Bumps on the road are bumps on the road because we think of them as such. They can be either the one thing that makes you fall apart or the stepping stone that will lead you to whatever you want to achieve.

Truth be told, I’m a freaking coward when it comes to ageing and growing old. I’m scared of the indefinite and uncertain. I don’t know where my life’s gonna take me. Yet I know I’m not gonna go anywhere just sitting here feeling sorry for myself, ‘cuz life is short, too short to be wasted upon doing things that aren’t right.

Millions of thanks to you guys for your sweet, encouraging birthday wishes.
I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t because of you all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

So here I am, standing nears the gates of adulthood, not knowing when to knock.
I’ve survived through twenty years of my God-knows-how-long period of existence. And so far, it has been a helluva ride. Where will it take me next?

That’s for me to find out myself. *winks*

Be blessed. Be safe. And be good. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

...bridges are burning, baby i'm learning a new way of thinking now...

Currently listening to: Unusual You - Britney Spears

Tosari stop, Transjakarta Busway Corridor 1, 2009

Rumor has it that "If U Seek Amy" will be the third single from Circus. Which is probably a good thing, seeing as the song is awesome and all. I was kinda hoping her camp would choose to release a ballad as the third single to represent the softer, less-edgy side of the album, but I guess "If U Seek Amy" will potentially fare better, commercially-speaking.

But this is where the actual dispute lies. Even before the song is officially released, some people are already questioning the appropriateness of the song. Apparently they feel that the lyrics of the song is too blatant, too provocative, and full of direct sexual references which may not be suitable for the younger crowd in particular.

And you know what I think? Screw that.

I mean, think about it. The public thinks it's okay for Leona to bleed love, for Katy to kiss girls and like 'em, for Mariah to beg guys to touch her body and "throw her on the bed", and for Christina to refer to herself as a freaking super-bitch. Enough with the teasing and subtle eroticism. It's time to take things up a notch, don't you think? *laughs*

I know. Sorry. Couldn't help it.

Oh, by the way, hi.

Work's been sweet. Working full-time sure is different from being a temp. No more long lunches, no more going in and out of the office as I please, no more lazing around. And I gotta admit that going corporate sure is fun, at least for the time being.
Thank heavens Dad likes to keep things casual and allows all his subs to NOT wear business suits to work. And that includes me, the newbie. Still no jeans, sure, but I decided to screw it and wear 'em anyway. Like my dad would ever notice. *wink wink*

This is what my cubicle looks like.

I have no freaking idea why the screen looks eerily reddish in color. Overexposure, perhaps. I sit near the windows, so that probably explains the overexposure part. *shrugs*

Yeah. As it turns out, I'm gonna have my Thursdays off. That partly explains why I even bother writing this post at like 10 in the morning TODAY! Yay for no work. LOL.

It's still raining cats and dogs right now, by the way. Been raining non-stop since the day before last, and if the gray skies and the sounds of thunder are any indication, I'm guessing the rain's still here to stay for a while.
I guess Mother Nature's in a pissy mood, or something. I hope Jakarta won't drown if this keeps up for another couple of days. *mind flashes back to the 2007 flood*

Alrighty. Better hop in the shower now.
I still have to make my bed, change the wood bedding in my hamsters' cage, feed the perpetually-hungry Kois, and take a shower. Oh that reminds me, I also have to look for some song lyrics and print them out for practice this arvo. Didn't I mention I have a singing gig this Friday? *winks*

So,. yeah. That's about it. *looks at watch*
I'm gonna dash at around 2 after Dad gets home. So that leaves me with, like, four hours to go?

Okie-dokie. Catch y'all later!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

...the smell of your skin lingers on me now...

Currently listening to: Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie

Jalan Thamrin, Jakarta, 2009

I hate that plane for taking you away.

A part of me is still convinced I'll see you walk through that door anytime. A part of me still wants to see you smile. To take in your captivating smell. To hear you laugh, and say my name ever so playfully.
But I know I gotta persuade my conscience to think otherwise, if only to stand this and get by. I know I will. And I'm thankful. For everything.

*insert sounds of people crying here*

Ah. Enough with the semi-masochistic talk.
This is not the time to go all sappy and mellow.

...By the way.

You know what I hate?

I hate waking up with a headache, and realizing that the air-con had been switched off while I was still frolicking across La-la-land in my sleep. Blame my ever-efficient mom for this little habit she puts into action everytime I'm around. Partly my fault for making her believe that switching off the air-con and leaving the door wide open is the most effective way to successfully force this lazy bum *points at self* out of his slumber.

I hate being thirsty in the morning. That's why most of the time I always keep an extra bottle of water in my room ready, since I really can't be bothered going downstairs just to get something to drink in the morning. Yet this morning when I woke up, there was no water around within half-asleep-scrambling distance, so I had to do the walk of shame all way downstairs.*sighs*

I hate people who type in stickycaps. You know, PpL wHo tYPe Lyk diS aLL d fReAKin9 tyMe.
No offense, but I pay too much attention to aesthetics and proper sentence construction, and reading blocks of texts that are written in such jumbled-up letters and spelling can really piss off a guy sometimes. And no, I don't hate you guys who actually type this way. I just bloody hate stickycaps. Enough said. Do you mind?

I hate being shooed away from my laptop. Hey, I don't complain about your daily morning habits, do I? So please, with all do respect, stay out of my morning routine, 'cos I know my limits and will stay the bloody hell out of yours at all times. Thank you very much.

And oh, pardon me, but I hate Indonesian novels that are written in two languages all mixed up together. As in, Indonesian novels written in both Indonesian and English, and in which Indonesian and English sentences interlace each other all the time. Add to that the fact that -- again, no offense -- some Indonesian writers just don't know how to express their ideas and English let alone write with good grammar and proficiency. As a result, awkward phrases and mistakes are everywhere. I repeat, everywhere.
Seriously, it's one thing to think that writing stories and proses in English is hip and sophisticated. I know for a fact that some people actually think that way. But it's another thing to overestimate your own abilities, go ahead with it anyway, and embarrass yourself when the actual published result is not as hip and sophisticated as you have previously imagined it would ideally be, on a commercial level nonetheless.

I'm currently reading an Indonesian novel written by a young, seemingly-talented Metropop writer, and so far I think she knows her stuff pretty darn well as far as Metropop novels go. I'm just seriously turned off by the fact that she slips English sentences in between every two or three Indonesian phrases, and that apparently her English proficiency isn't even good enough to begin with. Classic mistakes: missing plural forms, messed-up tenses, awkward phrases aplenty. Good thing her material is actually pretty sweet, so I guess I should just let this go. *raises eyebrows*

Yeah. Bottom line: I'm touchy. Get away from me.

Definitely not a good way to start off a Sunday with. I need my coffee.
*shakes head*

I don't even wanna think about the fact that I'm gonna be working all week, Monday to Friday, 8 to 5, starting tomorrow. But that's tomorrow's problem. I gotta get over this nagging feeling and cheer the fuck up.

Corporate world, here I come.

"The smell of your skin lingers on me now...
You're probably on your flight back to your home town
I need some shelter of my own protection baby
To be with myself and center,
Peace, serenity

-- Big Girls Don't Cry, Fergie

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

...but i'm irresponsibly mad for you...

So I got tagged, by good friend and fellow blogger Elizabeth a.k.a Bebeth.

And now, after getting tagged a number of times by various people, I'm seriously starting to wonder about one thing: who exactly started all these silly tagging game thingies in the first place?

This "trend", in lack of a better word, has been floating around in the online universe for quite some time lately. Facebook, Friendster (which is no longer cool I might add), and Blogger, to name some out of many. During the past month or so, I've been tagged numerous times by people, and so far I've only complied to four of them, since at most times I really couldn't be fucked passing on the chain to other people. I mean, they're a bit fun 'n all, and I'm not complaining about getting tagged, not at all. It's just that, really, I'm dead curious about who exactly is responsible for spreading this so-called "online tagging" trend.
If anything, gimme a heads-up. *grins*

This time, I'm gonna go ahead and do this thing anyway, 'cuz Bebeth is a good friend of mine and I find this tag-game slightly interesting, so why not?

Alright. Here we go.


The rules are simple.
Use Google Image to search the answers to the questions below.
Then you must choose a picture in the first page of results, and post it as your answer.
After that tag 7 People.

Okay, start from NOW!!

1. The age of my next birthday;

Can't make it any more obvious than that, ladies and gentleman.

On a sidenote, Google Image gave me utterly ridiculous results for this search. I mean, twenty eggs, the year 2020, twenty percent off, and even size 20 models? I mean, seriously. *sighs*

Moving on.

2. A place (or places) I'd like to travel to;

Whoa. Got loads of answers for this.
For the purpose of narrowing down the list, I'm just gonna include the ones I've never been to.

First: South Africa!

Second: Czech Republic, particularly Prague.

And third: Egypt.

3. A favorite place;

Again, to state the very obvious:

I tried looking for a picture of Starbucks Puri Indah on the web and since I couldn't find one I was really tempted to cheat and upload one of my personal photos for replacement but after second thoughts, no, I'm gonna play nice. *winks*


4. A favorite food;

Check this baby out, guys.

*stares at image, glassy-eyed*

Okay. Let's proceed before I drool all over my laptop.
*clears throat*

5. Favorite things;

Hmmmm. Tough choice.

First: my ever-reliable black iPod Nano!

Second: my Toshiba laptop.

And third: my slick, uber-cool MotoRAZR2 V9!

6. A favorite color;

Now that's what I'm talking about. Fiery red!
Sorry about the size.

7. Where I was born;

Heavenly Jakarta!

Yeah, I know. The picture is ANCIENT. It's still got the old Hotel Indonesia in there, on the right, if you've noticed. *laughs*

8. A city I've lived in;

Well, dear ol' Melbourne, of course.
I already miss this town. Can't wait to be back there!

9. A nickname I have;

This is the most decent image I could find, so shut it. *laughs*
Oh, and it's JJ, by the way. Nothing subliminal, really.

10. College major;

I'm enrolled as a student in the Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University Clayton, doing the Bachelor of Commerce course with majors in Marketing and Behavioral Studies as well as a minor in Management.

Whew. That's a mouthful. But the actual course isn't as complicated as its name, I can assure you that. Let's just hope it's gonna lead me to a successful career in the future. Amen to that. *laughs*

11. Hobby;

I sing for life.
Enough said.

12. A bad habit;

I bite my nails on a daily basis. I bite 'em whenever I'm bored, or agitated, or nervous, or too excited. Well, basically I do that all the freaking time. And as a result, the hygiene as well as aesthetics of my nails are at stake.

And I know it's disgusting, but I can't stop.
Anybody knows how one can quit this habit? That'd be helpful.

13. Name of my love;

I don't take this too seriously, mind you.

Can I say, Michael Buble?

Or perhaps, Andrea Corr?

Nah. Mentioning names just isn't my thing.
I just love my family. My friends. And YOU, you know who you are.

And finally, last but not least...

14. Wishlist;

I wanna live in London, dammit!

And I really, really, REALLY wanna watch The Circus Starring: Britney Spears. I hope she visits Melbourne, soon. North America is too far away for yours truly to travel to, at least for the time being. No funds and no time being the two determining factors for my inability to do so.

...And so that's it!
The tag-game's done. Thank God. *sighs*

Rainprince, ReRe, Ndlew, Droo, K, Jeffta, and Unee... NOW'S YOUR TURN!

*insert evil laugh here*

'Till next time, peeps.

Friday, January 02, 2009

...another year has gone by...

The classic countdown was done. The trumpets were blown. The crowd cheered. The fireworks were set off and colored the skies with beautiful sparks.
And, just like that, 2008 went out with a bang.

2008 was terribly fun and full of surprises. It was tough. And yes, it was certainly nothing short of eventful.
Indeed, so much has happened during the past three hundred and sixty five days.

Obama won the election. Beijing Olympics became a great success surrounded by fakes and intrigues. Leona Lewis bled love all over the music charts worldwide. The Bali bombers were finally executed. Rudd generated controversy by apologizing to the Stolen Generations. Vampires suddenly became the world's number one teenage obsession after Edward Cullen stole the show *shakes head*. Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it. Rihanna earned herself a Grammy for a song she didn't even write and in which she barely sang. BlackBerry phones became the hottest thing in town. Britney Spears bounced back and reclaimed her pop princess throne, sorta. Bush got shoes thrown at him. Wikipedia became a reliable source for finding the answer to all life's questions. Joker finally had more news coverage than Batman for the very first time in superhero history. People flocked to YouTube and turned it into a new form of television. More recently, our favorite famewhore Paris Hilton was criticized about spending $4000 while shopping on Chapel St (yes, the one in Melbourne, peoples!). And oh, last but not least, a severe economic crisis invaded the world and scared everyone off.

If 2008 has taught us anything at all, I'd say it has definitely reminded us that the one thing that is thoroughly certain in this world is uncertainty. That chaos always coexists with order, and that no matter how established, well-regulated, and advanced a civilization structure is, destruction is always lurking in the shadow, waiting for a chance to strike. After all, it is what helps the Grand Design stay in balance. America gave us a good example of that.

So, yeah. What a year.
I think that basically covers it. *sighs*

For me personally, 2008 also witnessed some of my most personal moments worthy of remembering.

I slowly grew out of my childishness and was able to see the world from a different, more mature perspective. I saw things, I heard things, I said things, I experienced things, and I made a lesson out of them. I fell in love with Melbourne. I made amazing friends. I expressed my honesty. I lowered my guard down and found acceptance. I found my share of freedom. 2008 saw me trying to get out of my own comfort zone to strive for independence. It saw me rise. It saw me fall. And I had earned a lot from every single day that passed in 2008.

The year had been great, for me, on a personal level. It made me realize just how blessed I really was. I still am, have always been, and will always be so, too.
So, in turn, I won't ask for anything more. Everything is just right, nothing more, nothing less. I'm right where I should be. I've got everything I need. I've got freedom, happiness, and love. What more can I possibly ask for, then? *smiles*

After all, we humans may be anything, but selfless is never what we are, by nature.
If we don't start learning to be thankful for each and everything that we have, I can assure you, nothing is ever gonna be enough, for real. It has to start from ourselves first.

I'm never one to envy the pointless. I'm never gonna fall into the same loophole ever again. I've known better this time, to realize that there is much more to life than all the superficial and meaningless mumbo-jumbo the world may offer. I'm tired of being part of the crowd. I'm sick of being lost in a blur of unnamed faces. It's time to rise up, to be different, to aim high and reach for the sky. My future starts here, right here, and I ain't gonna blow it by doing anything stupid. Promise. *bows*

But hey, I'm gonna have time to be all grown-up and boring later.
In the meantime, I'm welcoming 2009 with my hands open wide. I'm excited to see what this new year is gonna bring me, and where it will lead me to. It's a year of struggle, and changes too. But we're all hardy by nature, no? I'm sure we'll all get through it just fine.

I'm up for the challenge. I'm ready for the ride. And I do hope it's gonna be a rewarding one!

Welcome 2009! =)