Thursday, February 28, 2013

Illustrations, Me Like

Following the sketching post yesterday, here are several Indonesian illustrators I like. Wow, there are so many talented people out there.

Jakarta-based illustrator

Jakarta-based illustrator

  Melbourne-based Indonesian artist who takes inspiration from stories and fungus. I personally like her wildlife illustration series

 Updated: Oops, I forgot to include Pinot Ichwandardi (here and here), an Indonesian illustrator who currently resides in Kuwait with his wife and three kids

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Runway Sketches

“I always sketch at fashion shows. Drawings jog my memory more than any photograph… My system at the shows is to draw, sketch, put down everything, every single outfit, and worry later whether I liked it or not.”
- excerpted from Grace: A Memoir, by Grace Coddington (text and gif found at Ann Street Studio)

It reminds me of this post. Let's get our hands and brain to work:).
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Backyard Crawlers

I only live a few hundreds meter away from Jakarta, but this Bekasi resident often stumbles with the wildlife most people don't even know exist in the area.  

Squirrels running along the electricity cables may be a common sight for you. How about a luwak (civet) doing the acrobatic on the very same cable? The one I saw has long bushy tail, short feet and a long snout profile. I knew it's a luwak because it emitted the fragrant pandan smell as it moved. 

We could start a kopi luwak factory if we could catch the animal. Hahaha, naah, I prefer to see it roaming in the wild.
Burung gereja (sparrows) are common birds in the area, but I once saw a green-chested little bird eating the caterpillar in my backyard. Oblivious to my presence, the little bird continued on its hunt for green caterpillars. Too bad I don't know much about birds and too bad I didn't have my camera with me at the moment.

Since this year is the Year of the Water Snake, I can't help but remember the snakes I've seen in my home. Our move to Bekasi some 20 years ago has allowed me to see many snakes, from the black ones to black with yellow rings, because the land where my old home was built used to be swamps. The scariest snake discovery was the one curling up like a Baygon mosquito incense under the bed.

There was a myth that if one kill a snake, there would be more snakes coming because they are looking for their sibling. Well, we killed a snake and indeed, more snakes did come. 

When we moved in to the new home two years ago, we thought it would be the end of the snake encounter. Wrong. The neighbor next door has many trees, which make nice homes for snakes. And so we got a visit from a small black snake with the triangular shaped head.  It curled around the telephone cable and I mentioned it casually to M,"It looks like a snake over there, M."

As M ran to wake D (so that he could kill it), I looked at the snake and said,"Hey cute little snake, if you're a good and kind creature, I'm telling you to leave now to where you come from because my dad would be here soon and he would kill you." Boy, I've been reading Harry Potter series too often, I'm imagining myself as a parsel tongue. Anyway, the snake winked its eyes (or maybe I was only imagining it) and then it slithered through the air ventilation. The next morning, D closed all air ventilation with mosquito net.

Morals from the story:
1) Avoid killing the wildlife creatures when possible
2) Always carry a camera to photograph the said creatures

Below are several backyard crawlers that I managed to photo.

Recently my backyard was invaded with the caterpillars. They look ugly now, but wait a few weeks later when they turn into butterflies and you'll love them:).

Unfortunately, not all caterpillars can survive. RIP dear caterpillar.

One night, as I  went to the kitchen, I saw this slithering creature on the floor.

Sorry for the blur, I took the photos quickly.

It looked like a shell-less snail, but I suspected that it was a leech. So I reported it to M, who was on the verge of sleeping, about the possibility of a shell-less snail. 

"It can't be a shell-less snail, it must be a leech. We found one leech this afternoon. Just toss it to the fish pond," M said, sleepily.

So I did what most obedient daughters would do: woke up D so he could toss the leech to the pond :P.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pieces Of My Weekend

Hello, kind people!

How was your weekend? While you may be filling up the weekend by eating and doing healthy stuffs, I do the opposite. Saturday morning found me eating the newest flavor of Indomie instant noodle: Indomie Goreng Cabe Ijo (green chili fried noodle).

I haven't eaten any instant noodle this year, so I guess it's okay to eat one last Saturday. Whatever, it's my guilty pleasure:). Anyway, the product's tagline says "Ijo, Hot, Mantap" (green, hot and... umm not really sure which word to describe mantap in this case, but maybe...strong?), so when I saw the final result I was a bit disappointed.

It's not as green as I expected and not spicy enough (ha! I'm a chili snob :P). Indomie should at least make the noodle green, with organic color agent of course.  M likes spicy foods, so she falls for this one.

Next week, I'll try the other flavor. Stay tuned for further adventure in the land of instant noodle. Oh, and this is not a sponsored post :D.

On Sunday, we went to the polling booth to cast our votes in the West Java gubernatorial election. I didn't even know there was an election last Sunday! So when I reached the polling booth, the first thing I did was to take a look at the candidates.

Oh wow, there were three celebrities fighting for the West Java's top seat. Famous they may be, I was not familiar with their vision-mission. I still exercised my political rights though.

After casting the vote, I went to Gramedia bookstore to buy few things. Then I saw crowds along Jatinegara market and it dawned on me: it's Cap Go Meh (the 15th day of Lunar Year) festivities!

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Films And Wedding Expos

Manimal: Pedestrians walk past a mural depicting graft convicts as half-man, half-animal creatures awaiting execution by guillotine. The murals, which adorn an overpass in Simprug, South Jakarta, are part a street project against corruption. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama, link)

Hello, Friday!

Let's move on from the depressing thoughts (and posts) and have a fun activity this weekend! What do we have this weekend? Well, there is a monthly movie screening at Erasmus Huis, featuring Doodslag, while IFI Salemba will screen Les Choristes at 5 p.m. If you are planning a wedding this year, you may want to check out the wedding expos at Hotel Century Park and Hotel Indonesia Kempinski only this weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Thought That Came After Reading This Comic Strip

From gocomics

While I've never tutored anyone to be successful as Rose did, I have my share of "What am I doing with my life?" face/moment.
A few days ago I attended an event, which was organized by an former journo fellow. Since she doesn't have to work every day, she now lives in the suburb, where she can see Mount Salak, ride bicycle around a lake and sit under the shades of rambutan trees. What's not to envy? That's career-wise.

On family-wise, three cousins will hold their weddings this year, while other five cousins already have cute children. Me? I am playing parent for my parents, who can be both cute and annoying, especially when they pester me to get married. Of course I'll get married... if a decent man proposes.

Then there is the education factor, as I persist on the seemingly hopeless efforts of scholarship hunt, while many friends leave the country to pursuit higher education abroad with the support of their workplace. Enough said.

All these factors lead to that question above. Here I am, having just celebrated my existence in this world for 33 years, and now I wonder if I've done everything right. Just call it third life crisis (not mid life crisis...yet).

Then I read the comments on that comic strip (just click on the source link and then scroll down) and I feel a bit at peace. After all, we are only parts of this universe and each person has his/her own role to play, so let's play it right. 

Wishing you a terrific Thursday, my friends. If you think that your life is not perfect, remember that there is "perfect" in imperfect :).  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cat Nap

For me, looking at cat photos is a good way to de-stress. Especially if the cats in question are sleeping :). Above are stray cats that have taken refugee at my home, except the ginger cat that is lounging at the nearby warung (food stall).

Happy catnapping:).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When You Think That You've Got 99 Problems...

...86 of them are completely made up scenarios in your head that you’re stressing about for absolutely no logical reason. Stop. Have hope in Allah SWT.

Text and photo found at Islamic Thinking 

The good news is my boss is finally taking a two-week holiday! Yay!

Monday, February 18, 2013

World Press Photo Winner

The World Press Photo of the year by Paul Hansen shows two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad who were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad's brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher in Gaza City (AP Photo/Paul Hansen, Dagens Nyheter, link)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Have A Lovely Weekend:)

From National Geographic

What's your plans this weekend? Here are some events this weekend that may interest you:
-- Evernote Indonesia Meet Up, Feb. 17, 11 a.m. -1 p.m. at @america, Pacific Place, link.
-- Cinema IFI Jakarta: Un balcon sur la mer, Feb. 16, 1 p.m. at IFI Salemba, link
-- Brightspot Market, Feb. 14- 17, Grand Indonesia, West Mall, 5th floor, link

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Work Hours

Hi lovelies, what's your work hour like?  Before working in this new division, I used to have a very flexible work hour, meaning that I can start the day as early as 5 a.m. and finish at 10 p.m. In the past, I sometimes had to work on weekends or national holidays and then make up for the days later. Seriously.

Now that I work in this non-hardnews division, I have 8-hour work days, which is an ultimate blessing if you ever work as a journo. There are nine people in the division: BEE, me, Fith, SW, Png, Lfr (the new girl who replaced Fem), WW and NI (both work for the teenager magazine, which is also placed under the division) and Budbut, the graphic designer and layouter.

Unless we have an appointment, most of us reach the office at 10 a.m., but Budbut only turns on his computer after 2 p.m. Inline with the 8-hour rule, we should leave at 6 p.m. But in reality, we would linger until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.

The following are some conversations we use to have about the work hour:
#1. Leaving The Office Early Causes Social Jealousy
Situation: It's 8 p.m. and we're still on our desk for various reasons, either writing a last-minute work or avoiding the post-rain horrendous traffic jam.
Budbut: I'm going home now. See you tomorrow.
Me : What?! This is unbelievable. You only came at 2 p.m.
Budbut: I've finished most of my works at home and only come here to submit them.
Fith: You can actually leave without bidding farewell. You do it on purpose *narrowing her eyes*
Budbut: Of course *evil grins*

Situation: It's 3 p.m. and Budbut has just arrived. Then I passed by his cubicle with my bag.
Budbut: Whoa, wait a minute. Where are you going?
Me: Going home.
Budbut: This is not right!
Me: Hahaha. Naaah, I'm going to an event...
Budbut: Ohhh.
Me: ...And then I'll go home.
Budbut: -_-

#2. I'll Come To The Office First
Situation: I was supposed to attend an event the next day at 4 p.m.
BEE: Don't forget to finish all your work for tomorrow, because you'll be outside of the office the whole day.
Me: The event starts at 4 p.m. I'll come to office first *showing him the invitation*
BEE: Oh.
Me: You don't seem happy to learn that.
BEE: I should have said 'darn', shouldn't I? Hahaha.

#3. Working More Than 8-Hour Is Not Good For Your Health
Situation: BEE works from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (sometimes even longer), sometimes works on Saturdays and never takes leave.
Me: Would you like to read this article? *showing him an article in Forbes on "Why Working More Than 8 Hours A Day Can Kill You"* (Read the online version here)
BEE: Oh thanks, I'll have a look.
Me: I'll try to find another one on "Why 14-Day Holiday Is Good For You"
BEE: -_-

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Cleansing Of Journalistic Equipment

Cleansing: Items of journalistic equipment such as tape recorders, bags, ID cards and cameras are assembled for a jamasan (purification) ritual at Gandok Seni Tingal building in Magelang, Central Java last Saturday. The ritual was part of National Press Day celebration. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took part in the National Press Day celebrations in Manado on Monday. (Antara/Efizudin, link)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Forever Friends

Last week, I went to a launching event of the House of Forever Friends in Miniapolis, Plaza Indonesia, and boy, I was hooked. The registered brand shop of UK-based brand Forever Friends not only sells teddy bears and greeting cards, the two main items of Forever Friends, but has also expands its lines of products to shoes, home decor and offers a photo session with the soft and plushy (and expensive) teddy bears. 

With such high prices, I won't be buying anything from the shop, but I will certainly stop by every time I go there. It's my new happy place :).

All photos from House of Forever Friends

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ways To Record An Interview

In the spirit of the National Press Day that takes place every Feb. 9, I'd like to post on the gadgets that most journalists use in the line of their work and how it changes during the course of time.

When I entered journalism nine years ago, M&D bought me a tape recorder. They gave that recorder because I had yet to have any money to buy it. They didn't like seeing me working in journalism (they still don't) and we don't always agree on everything, but they have tried to be supportive and I couldn't thank them enough for that.

I found them when I cleaned up my room the other day. I wonder if anyone still use these recorders
I used the tape to interview many people, who later become the state's prominent figure. I brought the recorder to interview then Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Marty Natalegawa (who is now our Foreign Minister), then Foreign Ministry's Director of North and Middle America Asia Dino Patti Djalal (now Indonesian Ambassador for the U.S.) and then a businesswoman in Shanghai Mari Elka Pangestu (now Tourism and Creative Economics Minister).

I used the recorder for about three years before it gave up on me. Then I got myself a smaller tape recorder, which only lasted for about one year. The audio recording machines have become smaller, lighter and digital since then.

I now have a digital recorder, but I still stick to my pen and notes. I remembered an advice a colleague gave me that no matter how sophisticated the recorder we had, we should always jot down the points during the interview.

"Writing down the points not only keeps parts of the interview in the notebooks, but also helps the brain memorize it longer. Gadgets can break down, notes can disappear, but your brain will stay with you," he said.

With journo friends in Ende, Flores. Taken by my friend Dheni.

Of course, a recorder will help my brain a lot if I interview an expat who speaks with an accent:).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Glimpses Of Earth From The Space

 An island made for running laps. Off the coast of Indonesia. (Photo by Chris Hadfield/Twitter)

Rivers in Papua New Guinea

Above Africa

If you like to see the photos of places on Planet Earth taken from the space, you may like to check the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's Twitter account (@Cmdr_Hadfield). Looking at the photos makes me feel so small and powerless.

And the events for this week are...

-- Screening: Tsai Ming Liang films. Feb. 8-9. Check the web here for the schedule.

-- Photo Exhibition: Jakarta Berkacalah, Jakarta Journalist Fest 2013. Until Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Galeri Cipta II, Taman Ismail Marzuki. Free and open for public.

-- Theater: Si Bakhil, by Moliere. Feb. 8-9 at 7:30 p.m. Teater Kecil, Taman Ismail Marzuki. Ticket: Rp 50,000

Happy weekend, everyone. And if you're celebrating the Lunar New Year, Happy New Spring!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why Women Have So Many Bags

I'm not the most fashionable person, but still I need several bags for different purposes. I have small bags to meet up with friends or when work loads are not much, medium-sized bags for days when I go to several places and big bags for God-knows-what-will-happen-that-day.

#1. What the big bag is good for
Situation: I had two interviews in one day and needed to take photographs. Hence, the big bag made its appearance.
BEE: Oh, that's a lovely bag you got there.
Me: Oh thanks. Yeah, it's big. I like it because I can stuff many things in it, such as my cameras and notebooks.
BEE: It's so big you can fill it with little children.
Me: -_-

#2. Why women carry a bag
Situation: I was on my way to an interview appointment with Can, one of the male colleagues. I had my medium-sized bag with me, while he carried his notes in his hands.
Can: Why do women carry a big bag? It's such a fuss you know.
Me: I have a lot of things to carry. I've tried to reduce the items, but it's hard.
Can: May I deposit my stuffs in your bag? (without waiting for reply, he proceeded to place his notes, cellphones, car keys and namecard holders into my bag)
Me: Now, you know why women carry a big bag, don't you? To assist the men carrying their stuffs, because they don't carry a bag themselves :D

#3. Why I would never just carry one small bag
Situation: in the morning, on the way to office
Me: I'm leaving for office.
M: Wait, don't you bring the lunch box?
Me: No, M, I'm carrying a small bag today, there is no room for the lunch box.
M: You can carry the lunch box with this small bag (producing another small bag from a drawer)
Me: I carry a small bag with the intention to carry less items, not to carry the same items in two small bags.
M: So you don't want to bring the lunch box? (almost on the verge of tantrum outburst)
Me: Argh, ok, give me that small bag.

Somehow, most of my bags are in the same color hue (brown).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

For Those Who Dislike Rain...

...there are two hadiths about it.

Narrated Sahel Ibn Sa’ad radhi Allahu anhu: that the Messenger of Allah Salallahu ‘alaihi wassallam said: ‘Two will not be rejected, Supplication when the Adhan (call of prayer) is being called, and at the time of the rain’.[Al-Hakim 2: 114, and Abu Dawud #2540, ibn Majah]

Narrated Aisha radhi Allahu anhu: Whenever Allah’s Apostle  Salallahu ‘alaihi wassallam saw the rain, he used to say, “O Allah! Let it be a strong fruitful rain.” [ Bukhari, Book 17, Number 142 ]

Photo and text source from here

Monday, February 4, 2013

Photos Don't Lie

M&D have just decided to renew their passports. The last time they made passports was in 2005, before going on umrah. The following conversation took place after they had a photo session at the Immigration office. 

D: Oh dear, I look so old and thin in the photo.
Me: Well, maybe it's because you are old and thin now.
M: But our previous passport photos are not like these.
Me: Perhaps because they were taken in 2005? Which is eight years ago, when you were in your mid 50s. Now you're already in your 60s.
M&D: No way, the camera must be broken.

A few weeks later, they went to a neighborhood photo booth to have another photo session. They came home even more disappointed.

M: The photos taken at the neighborhood photo booth even come out worse than the one from the Immigration office.
Me: The conclusion?
M: The camera is also broken.

So I guess denial works for 60-something people who dislike their photos. Now, excuse me while I kiss the sky bang my head to the wall.