Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them


American | 2016 | 132 minutes | Director: David Yates

Yay, it's another JK Rowling's book made into the big screen. This movie is a prequel to Harry Potter series, and is planned to consist of five movies (four more movies, be still my heart).

Set in New York's Roaring Twenties (1926, to be precise), the film tells about the adventure of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magical beast enthusiast of British nationality, who initially plans to repatriate Thunderbird, one of the beasts he found to its natural habitat in Arizona, but ends up having to recapture other beasts escaping from his suitcase. He gets help from aspiring baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), and two spell-caster siblings Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol).

The incident of escaping magical beasts could not take a much better timing during the tension between wizarding community and No-Maj (No-Magic, the American term for Muggle) due to evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald, and the anti Salem movement led by Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton) is on the rise.

At first, the disgraced Auror Tina tries to turn Scamander in to Magical Congress of USA, or MACUSA for short, for violating the Statute of Secrecy. But a twist of events changes her mind and she takes both Scamander and Kowalski to spend the night at her place. Tina's sister, Queenie, who happens to be a Legilimens and loves baking, takes a liking on Kowalski and invites both gentlemen to a magical supper.

While Scamander and Kowalski work hand-in-hand to gather the escaping beasts (Erumphent, Niffler, Demiguise and Occamy), MACUSA's top Auror Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) approaches Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) to help him track Obscurus, a sort of magical force that is in the shape of a wizard child.

There are at least two strong themes found in Rowling's Harry Potter series: (1) unity in diversity, and (2) love wins. Such themes are also recurring in Fantastic Beasts, especially with Scamander and his spirit to protect the weak and the misunderstood. 

Long-time Harry Potter fans will also find ties to the HP series through a photo of Leta Lestrange (Scamander's former love interest and a connection to the Lestrange family?) and Scamander's plan to write a book titled Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, which will be one of Hogwarts students' reading materials.

I must say that the beasts steal the show from their human co-stars. Niffler is just too cute, but I also love Swooping Evil. I can't wait to see the next installment of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Doctor Strange



American | 2016 | 130 minutes | Director: Scott Derrickson

The movie opens with lots of action, buildings that turn and twist, people throwing circles of lights to each others and then...it switches to the talented, successful and arrogant neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) talking to his former flame Christine Palmer (Rachel MacAdams).

Strange's arrogance soon gone after the fateful car crash that takes away his hands' nimble flexibility. Physically and emotionally broken, Strange seeks solution to traditional healing following a series of failed reconstructive operations. He chooses to go to Nepal to meet The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) after getting the tip off from another patient (Benjamin Bratt) who got better there despite having much worse condition. 

However, upon arriving at the designated place, which is a kind of school of wizardry, Strange finds an other-worldly healing art that can not be explained logically. At first, it is difficult for Strange, a person who has been receiving modern education, to open his mind and accept that there are things beyond the world he lives in.

The ever arrogant Strange refuses to let anything stopping him, so he stays in the premise and learns his way up although very, very slowly with the guide of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and support from librarian Wong (Benedict Wong).

As expected from any superhero movies, Strange manages to catch up with other fellows and even opens The Eye of Agamotto. This is the cue for Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) and the gang, aka the villains who already made an appearance in the movie opening, to ruin the day.

It's a superhero movie, so of course the good people wins. Expect some humour throughout the movie.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Something Happened On The Way To Office

Yesterday I took a TransJakarta free bus to my office and fell asleep. When the bus stopped at the final stop, I woke up, collected my stuffs and headed to the bus door. That's when a man, who had been sitting in front of me, approached and asked for my phone number. The conversation went like this:

Man On The Bus : "Can I have your phone number?"
Me                       : "Huh? Sorry, no. I can't give it to you."
MOTB                 : "Can I have your name card?"
Me                       : "Sorry, no."
MOTB                 : "Where do you work? Where do you live?"
Me                       : "..."
MOTB                 : "I like you."
Me                       : "Errr...okay. Thank you. Bye."

I'm not the kind of girl who gives the best first impression, and I don't warm up quickly to people I just meet. The guys I secretly have crush on (because I'm too shy to make le premier pas) are usually people I meet regularly, either at school, workspace, or courses, and never a stranger. This is Jakarta, there are a lot of crazy people (me included, ha!) and I don't want to take chances. 

Fortunately, he didn't follow me to my building. Otherwise, I would have to ask the security for help. It is scary to get asked personal information by people I don't know. I like persistence, when it's well-presented. Guys, if you want to approach a girls you like, don't ask for their number, but give them your number.

I don't think such  occurrence is a common thing in Jakarta, I mean it's a first for me. Most Jakartan males don't approach me. So the first thing I did was checking my wardrobe and the whole appearance to see whether I put on something that encouraged him to make such advances. Was it my red lipstick, perhaps too red? Or because I wore red skirt? 

But seriously, what would you do if you were in my position?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Men And Menstruation

Fu Yuan Hui, the Chinese swimmer who breaks the taboo on menstruation during the 2016 Olympics
Found here

While men are so clueless about menstruation, sometimes they act like they understand what happens during the bloody week. Here is some conversations that prove otherwise.

The Size Of Tampons
Situation: NPS (a female colleague) and I were chatting about our period, what we used (tampon or sanitary pad) and the likes. DAP was in the vicinity, definitely eavesdropping.
NPS: Oh I have to use tampons during menstruation. The winged pads just would not do.
Me: I prefer pads, but I've heard about moon cup and am curious to try.
NPS: Moon cup? What is that? DAP, could you please google that moon cup? 
(As pale as he could be, DAP googled that up. We hovered behind his back to check the search result)
NPS: Hmm, I think I still prefer tampons, because the moon cup looks bigger than the tampons
DAP: How big is the tampon? Isn't it as big as a cucumber?
(NPS and I looked at each other, looked at DAP and laughed)
NPS: It's about this big (showing her pinky finger, which was not big, definitely, duh)
Me: Dude, if the tampon is as big as a cucumber, we'd be waddling like ducks

The Dos And Don'ts During Period
Situation: I was chatting with WM, a male friend
WM: Hey, how are you?
Me: Today is my first day of period. Oh wait, is it too much information?
WM: Hahaha. First ever? Ouch? I'm sorry to hear but relieved? I'm sorry.. They don't ever teach you what to say in these circumstances..Hope you'll feel better soon..
Me: In a few days, I'll feel better. Now it's all hormonal rush
WM: Besides the hormonal rush, you ok though?
Me: Yeah, just a bit of cramp, I jog this morning.
WM: You jog? During cramps???
Me: I know my body. I can jog anytime. Chill. Why so panic? Oh men.
WM: Panic? Lol... Yeah, we men would never jog if we're bleeding.. unless the planet needed saving.. that is also maybe..

Anyway, just wondering, to all ladies reading this, do you share your period with the male community around you? And to all gentlemen reading this, how do you take the information?

I'm asking this because a male friend who comes from a traditional culture said,"In my very traditional and outdated beliefs that if a woman shares this (information on menstruation) with you, she likes you."

What do you think?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Blessing And Burden

If you have a big house, it is a Blessing. 
But you have to clean it up, it becomes a Burden.

If you have a baby, it is a Blessing.
But you have to wake up in the middle of the night to feed the baby, it becomes a Burden.

If you earn degree in higher education, it is a Blessing.
But you have to work hard to earn it, it becomes a Burden.

If you are healthy, it is a Blessing.
But you have to maintain your health carefully, it becomes a Burden.

Blessing & Burden comes in a package.
We cannot just ask for a Blessing without a Burden.

If we only focus on Burden, we will never feel His Blessings.
But if we focus on the Blessings, we will feel at ease to carry the Burden.

Always remember that the Burden we carry will not exceed our power.

Therefore, enjoy your life everyday because each day is a Blessing.

-- Found the text circulating via Whatsapp, I thought I'd keep it here as a self-reminder note

Friday, October 28, 2016

Jakarta Fashion Week 2016

I haven't posted about fashion in a long time, and since Jakarta Fashion Week 2016 has just concluded, let's bring it on. Here are some of the runway photos with the kind of silhouettes/details I'm loving.

Dian Pelangi

Abineri Ang feat Canisseri

Rani Hatta

S.O.E

Ria Miranda

Eridani

Najua Yanti

All photos are taken from here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Child-Friendly Office Environment

Back in the 1980s-1990s, day care was an alien idea to most Indonesians (even in the capital city) and I was still a kid, so there were times M&D took me to their office. D worked at a family-owned publishing company and M worked at a foreign bank.

Of course, I would prefer D's office to M's office everytime opportunity arised. I could sit next to D, talk or ask him any questions read books on the floor, and have a long intimate lunch date with him at the nearby food stall. Sometimes D would ask me to edit a draft of a book, that was how I developed the love of letters and all things bookish. Things would not be the same at M's office: I had to sit in the praying room or the kitchen and be as quiet as a mice. It was so boring and I kept glancing on the clock.

When I worked in the media, the colleagues who had babies and toddlers sometimes brought their little ones to the office. The parents would put the babies on a mattress, or gave coloring books the toddlers. While things would get quite tense approaching the deadline, the little ones could still enjoy moments with their parents.

Now that I work in a non-profit organization, the office environment is even more child-friendly and family-oriented. We have 20 days of annual leave, and we can use it one full day at a time or even take a half day. Most colleagues' kids are already in primary school, so the kids can be told to sit still. Nevertheless, kids are kids, they would eventually run around and make noise. Fortunately, the big boss in this office is a gentle elderly Briton and a family man.

Not all boss are like my boss, but at least the nature of a non-profit organization is more relaxed than that of private companies. The pay and benefits may be not as much as the latter does, but I prefer the child-friendly office environment. And I'm not even a mother (yet), hahaha.