adieu 2008

So, it's 15 to midnight and the 2008 is about to end (well, according to GMT +7, Jakarta time). I'm at my desk, having the fifth cup of Tong Tji jasmine green tea (don't ask!!), writing this entry (which is my last entry for the year) at home. I just finished watching (again!!) Cloverfield (the last movie I watch in 2008. Aren't you just glad it wasn't Bridget Jones part i and ii?), without any doubt is my favorite movie of the year.

Anyway, 2008 was quite a messy year for me. I don't know, maybe it's a leap year, or maybe it's me having bad lucks, I found the year quite ... messy. I planned so well early this year and somehow, I didn't get to do so many of them. I failed to return to CCF, I failed to travel (the idea which I was so excited about before) and I failed the katekisasi class in my church (I mean, seriously, how can a person fail such thing, you asked? I KNOW!!!). The thing that bothers me the most is how I got emotional and moody. Sometimes it affected many other things, like works, friends and family, maybe.

The other day as I went through facebook, I checked many of my old friends' profiles. Some of them were married, having babies or going aboard to work or study. I felt that I've been gone for so long that I wasn't there to celebrate with them (well, I did receive an invitation or two .. HAHAHA, SORRY, I KNOW!). I started to realize that I wasn't really a good friend. I believe it's something I have to work on next year. (fingers crossed!)

(5 minutes to midnight) I guess it's only fair to mention good things as well. There were weddings (Marsella's, Sandra's), babies (Shirley's and Suster Wati's, yay!), new friends (yay!) and Mammamia! the movie! (HAHAHAHA).

I hope next year will be a better year and I will be a better person. I definitely would like to go back to school, be much healthier (working out, eating healthier), travelling and be wise in spending money.

So, to all of you, happy new year 2009! Blessings.

old chang kee

Old Chang Kee sells mostly fried snacks. My favorite will be Squid Balls and Crabmeat Wrap on Stick. If you check their website, they seem to have a lot of choices, unfortunately, the one in Taman Anggrek (which is the only Old Chang Kee stall that I know so far) does not provide all the choices listed in their website. (Darn, I want those Crabclaw on Stick!!! Groks).


So last week, I went to Gunung Geulis for an office gathering for 2 days (18-19 December 2008). Although It was a difficult night for me, since I was disconnected from the world. I must admit it's quite interesting and fun. I took a lot of photos. Not so good, I shall say.


Merry Christmas 2008!

one art

One Art is a poem written by Elizabeth Bishop, an American poet. She lost both of her parents at a very young age. I first knew this poem from Curtis Hanson's movie, In Her Shoes. I really like this poem and I hope you do too.
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love)
I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

my version of the 20 saddest break-up songs

There is a legend saying that Gloomy Sunday, a song written in 1930s, inspired hundreds of people to kill themselves. Come to this point, we all might have to agree music does have the ability to evoke our emotions (or it really depends on the listener?).

A couple of weeks ago, Yahoo!Music published the 20 most heart-breaking songs of all time. Since I'm not familiar with most of the songs that made to the list, I decided to make my own list. I haven't really yet finished it, the 20 most saddest break-up songs. If you have any suggestion, I would appreciate it.

Nothing Compares 2 U: Sinead O'Connor, 1990
Singing about a fresh break-up ("7 hours and 15 days"), the inability to move on , her self-destruction ("go out every night and sleep all day") and how everything reminds her of her lover. Written by Prince, O'Connor sang her (unfortunately) only hit that makes the world believes she just lost the love of her life.

Walk Away: Ben Harper, 1994
He sang how another day without that person and how much it hurts that he has to be with someone else. Say no more, Harper's just trying to kill us.

Still Reminds Me: Anggun, 2000
She cut her hair, she painted her room, she got a cat and a new lover, still everything reminds her of her lover. Anggun sang "Still Reminds Me" and put us all in one gloomy mood.

We Belong Together: Mariah Carey, 2005
Taken from her come-back album, The Emancipation of Mimi, "We Belong Together" suggests how Bobby Womack and Babyface remind her only of her ex-lover. Maybe its overplay has made the song not so destructively sad, still Mimi manages to make us cry a tear or two.

breakfast, anyone?!

At one of the pick-up points, my office provided to its staff, there is this couple who sells what we Indonesians, called KETUPAT. Not really something I like (it's too gravy for me), but I do order it now and then. It's not bad, really, but honestly for breakfast, it feels like eating for two .. too much that is.

egg rolls

Okay, so it was Thursday morning. Some of colleagues did not come to work that day. I was helping out with some of their works and I actually enjoyed it. Then, a friend shared tiny square snacks, called egg-roll.

Okay, I will not try to exaggerate it in any way, but I can tell you this. I felt that I had a piece of heaven. It is that good. I swear, I could have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and between meals. That tiny little snacks did bring light to that busy Thursday.

Tiny little egg-rolls.

the morning after

I woke up. I prepared myself to go to work. I went out of my house and looked up at the sky. I saw the moon and I took a photo. That tiny white dot is the moon. A change is something that we, as men, are equipped to deal with. Like anyone with an optimistic mind would say, "it would be a beautiful beginning of a different chapter."

And it will be.

a letter for a friend

Dear friend,

By the time you receive this email, you might not be in Jakarta anymore, but I do hope that you get it. This morning, as I prepared myself to work, I was thinking about saying good-bye, complete with my puffy eyes.

As I mentioned before, can a BYE be good? I totally don't understand this. No matter how, when, where we say it, for me, it will never be good. But to call it a BAD BYE will make it worse.

First of all, I want to say that I'm sorry for all the bumps. They're not really that fun, are they? I'm glad that you still want to put up with me after all said and done. I know it wasn't easy to cope with my silliness. Thank you for being so patient and kind.

I also want to thank you for being there. I know most of the time we're together, I was the whiny one. You have no idea how much I enjoyed complaining things to you because not only you're not judgmental, you always give the best opinions. You know exactly how to say things without patronizing me.

But despite the craziness, we did have fun, didn't we? Weren't we wild at Samudera Suki then (never judge a man by his figure, I do eat a lot)? And come to think of it, I wish we met more often. There were plans that we never really had the chance to do. Didn't we always want to go to Bandung for those cheap fake Ed Hardys (HAHAHAHA)? Or Cruising around Kelapa Gading area for the thing we love the most, food?

I will miss you. I will miss those days. I will miss those three-four hours calls. I will think of you everytime I pass the street of Pangeran Jayakarta or when I'm in Pacific Place.I also think you're very brave to go out there. I think of you as an inspiration. I think I've learned so many things from you. Your bravery, your kindness, your patience and your endless support, I think you're one good man.

Last, I wish I could tie you down and ask you not to go. I hate when they use "kalau ada sumur di ladang" to describe a farewell, but truly if we ever meet again, even for a very short amount of time, I will definitely go for it.

Good luck, my friend, my dearest, not that you need it. You will do well as you did when you're here.


hujan di kala sendu

Hari Jum'at seharusnya menyenangkan, mengingat itu adalah hari terakhir setelah sepekan bekerja keras. Tetapi tidak dengan Jum'at kemarin. Jum'at kemarin adalah hari yang buruk (gue bahkan tidak percaya kalau hari yang buruk itu ada, kalau dipikir-pikir, sebenarnya semua hari itu baik, karena setelah hari itu berakhir, kita masih hidup).

Gue memilih untuk pulang dengan bis dan sendiri dan HUJAN! (dan gue sempat-sempatnya mengeluarkan kamera murahan gue dan foto-foto). Benar-benar buruk! Ipod gue tidak berhenti-henti memutarkan lagu-lagu miris, seperti Bee Gee's I Started a Joke (catatan untuk diri sendiri: format iPOD!). HAHAHAHA.

Minggu ini, ada teman yang akan pergi jauh untuk waktu yang lama. Mungkin hanya kebodohan sesaat, tetapi ada beberapa hal yang sulit untuk gue hadapi, seperti: perpisahan, pergi ke rumah sakit, jarum suntik dan beberapa hal lagi yang rasanya terlalu memalukan untuk disingkapkan di sini. Sembari menghitung hari-hari yang ada, gue mencoba untuk menjadi teman yang baik. 

Tidak memudahkan gue, pekerjaan gue di hari Jum'at benar-benar acak-acakan. Ada kegiatan di kantor di mana gue terlibat dan hasilnya tampaknya buruk sekali. Tak heran, beberapa rekan kerja gue sempat memberikan tatapan tak enak sepanjang hari itu. HAHAHA.

Yah, gue mengerti, tidak mungkin setiap hari itu cerah. Bahkan di Arab Saudi saja hujan. Mungkin hari Jum'at kemarin adalah salah satu dari beberapa hari yang kurang menyenangkan dalam tahun ini. 

Dan untuk teman yang akan pergi jauh: je ne sais pas que je peux te parler. Je te marque beaucoup, mon ami.

the other blog

I had another blog, which I created like a year ago. I actually like it, but unfortunately I never updated it much. Please click on the image to visit my other blog or just click here. Thanks.

in vain

One of my favorite phrases comes from an author named Paulo Coelho. In his book, The Fifth Mountain, Coelho interpreted (or I shall say, humanized) the story of Elijah, one of the most famous Biblical characters for being faithful.

Anyway, Elijah as he ran from Gilead, in Coelho's book, said at one time, "It's like waging battle in vain" to the chief of the village, Zarepath once the chief agreed to war although he knew they're going to lose and they lost.

I came to realise in many times of my life, I was like the chief. I waged battles in vain and in the end, I suffered.


I felt a bit lazy today, maybe it had been raining since last night and it didn't help that I was almost late to work and my computer was broken last night when I really needed to use it. I really like rain, but not in the morning when I'm on my way to work and especially when I had a rough night. HAHAHA. I know, it's a bit dramatic, isn't it?

The video above is not the official video of David Gray's January Rain, but it does show a bit how I felt this morning. It's not even 8:00 yet (2 minutes to go), so I hope it could be better later.

lighthouse family, lost in space

"But it's alright, I know you're out there. Doing what you've gotta do. You are my soul satellite, I'd be lost in space without you." - Lighthouse Family, Lost in Space.

HS, The 18th of November 2008 will be one sad day.

movie night

After spending the day with my girl friends, I went to see movies with Yuska. It was raining when I left my house to Senayan City. We planned to watch two movies, Eagle Eye and The House Bunny, and we did manage to do that.

Movie: Eagle Eye
Directed by: DJ Caruso
Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Michelle Monaghan
Score: 3.0 of 5.0

Basically it's about a system that control one nation went wrong. It planned, chose the right people and execute the steps to kill the government. Anyway, like many Hollywood action movies, Eagle Eye offers big blow-outs, car-chasing and totally ass-kicking actions. I guess that's why it doesn't really stand out that much.

The director of the movie, Caruso said that Spielberg pitched the idea of the movie in the 80s and failed to have the studio to produced it, because at that time, they thought it was too advanced. Many technologies that appeared in the movie not yet invented back then, but now, Eagle Eye seems possible to happen (in a slightest chance), and somehow that made the movie seem common.

I enjoyed this common action-packed movie, least to say.

Movie: The House Bunny
Directed by: Fred Wolf
Starring: Anna Faris
Score: 2.5 of 5.0

The House Bunny is about Playboy bunny who got dumped and had to find a new place to stay. In her search for a new home, she found desperate new friends, sorority sisters. Why desperate? Well, they really needed new pledges to keep the house. Against all odds, a bunny became this fairy god mother who turn 7 awkward students to beautiful princesses.

And like many made-by-Hollywood fairy tales, it all ended happily ever after.

What I like about the movie is definitely Anna Faris. She is hilarious. Those tiny little gestures she did in the movie make her unforgettable, like when she met new people and had them introduce themselves, she would say their name in a demonic sound, which actually funny.

The supporting casts are surprisingly not disappointed. The movie might be offering the simple and the most cliché advice one big old Hollywood movie could give, but it's surely entertaining.

I felt good when I left the cinema. Isn't it all that matter?

going downtown

In the 60s, Petula Clark sang about traffic, neon signs, little places that never close. In Jakarta, I would assume such place is the area famously called as KOTA. That's exactly where me and my friends, Ida, Natasha and Lian were heading to, last Saturday, 25 October 2008.

Stasiun Kota (known as Beos for some) was our initial place of meeting. I was 20 minutes late (as usual, nobody really arrives on time in this city, trust me. It's a tradition). There were Ida and Lian. We chatted a bit and then a sms sent to Ida's phone, saying Tasha would meet us at the place we had dim-sum. On our way, I saw this clay-made kitty-bank. I just had to purchase the money box, which cost me 10.000,- rupiahs. Yay!

Located in one of the oldest hotel in Jakarta, Metropole Hotel (around 15 minutes walk from Beos), there was the dim-sum restaurant. We ordered quite a lot of these tiny snacks. For 4 people (that eat a lot), we spent around 130.000 rupiahs, including tax and service charge. The chinese tea is killing. The interior of the restaurant and hotel is a bit old, but hey, we're there for the food. Personally, my favorites are the siomay and the fried shrimp lumpia (yummy!).

From Metropole, we're heading to Pasar Baru. Again, another historical area in Jakarta. We checked out some stores and basically purchased nothing. HAHAHA. Time went by so fast and it's noon again. I remembered someone once told me about this place, Sui Sen, who serves one of the best noodles in Jakarta. This is the first time, we went there and we asked a lot of people to get there and some of them gave the wrong directions. Totally bummer! Once we got there, and had the first slurp of our orange juice, we forgot all the troubles.

Sui Sen Restaurant is located at the backside of the parking building of Metro Pasar Baru (I think so). Well, if it's too difficult to find the place, just go to Gereja Ayam and it's way much easier to find it from there. The famous food is of course, the noodles with grilled pork and sweekiaw (sort of like steamed dumplings). I'm not a fan of the sweekiaw, but I have to say that the noodless is delicious.

We left Pasar Baru and headed to Historical Museum of Jakarta for the Batavia Art Festival. The festival wasn't really that festive (maybe because we arrived quite late), but the scenes of old buildings in that part of Jakarta are just fantastic and we were taking photos like pros. HAHAHA. It was fun really.

If you're wondering how far we would go to pose. I hope the photo above did explain a bit. HEHEHE. Lian, Ida and Natasha climbed onto the window for a shot. I just had to post the photo, I think it's very cute and lovely. Unfortunately, I had to leave at 3, because I had another appointment that day. It was really super-fun and rewarding.

pride and prejudice

Insult me for loving this movie so much, I don't really care. Actually, I love all the movies that were based on Jane Austen's movie. Freaky, eh? I guess I just have this thing for anything from the 18th century. I mean the idea that dancing indicates attractions - holding hands equals romance is just romantic (I must be drunk while writing this).

Anyway, Pride and Prejudice tells a story about a young woman named Elizabeth Bennett, the second one of a 5 daughters family. With her very obnoxious mother and a careless doting father, she lived in time where the most important thing for women is to get married to a wealthy man. Then came Mr. Darcy, a snobbish handsome wealthy man. The battle of sexes between Elizabeth and Darcy began, which soon turned into a mutual attraction.

Critics praised the movie. Keira Knightley were nominated for Oscar for being Elizabeth Bennett and Maythew McFayden just shines! (On the TV version of Pride and Prejudice, Colin Firth was Mark Darcy and he became famous for it, soon after McFayden got the role of Darcy, I cannot think of anyone who fit for the role, but him).

What surprised me about the DVD is you can watch the movie in French both language and subtitle. The soundtrack of the movie was conducted by my favorite, Dario Marianelli. His music is perfect.

If you haven't watched the movie and you're up for something from 18th century, which is witty, funny, and romantic, must not miss this one, Pride and Prejudice.

shirley bassey, never never never

Yes, it's corny and I have to admit that I love it. Check out the lyric. For more of Shirley Bassey, click here.

the tree

I've been passing by this tree almost every morning on my way to work. One day, I decided to stop and took some photos.

the little things

It was Wednesday, I guess and I was cleaning up my desk at work. The photos you see below are the little things that make my desk "my desk".

On the right side of my desk was this name board, with my full name on it, Alex Tho.

The mother cat and its babies. I bought this wood-made cat from Book Store. It's very cute, isn't it? It reminds me of my best friend, Yuska, who really loves cats.

I think my boss gave me this sticker. She has a lot of cute things in her office. II have a strong belief it's from her. It's on the bottom part of my computer monitor.

le premier

Yes, I made another blog. I'm not sure how long this one will be. My last blog lasted about one year. It's quite a record for someone who's easily bored like me. I guess I'm just going to share everything that happens in my life. What I see, what I eat, what I drink, whoever I'm talking to, what book I read, etc.

I don't think any introduction needed. So, please please please be a good friend and visit often. HAHAHA. Blessings.