Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tiny Piece of Shit

When shits come, my body temperature instantly raises! I was boiling for a whole day today and I was like, "what happened to me?". But my logic brain said, "no, nothing. It's just natural phase when you're surrounded by annoying culture." Then, I can conclude---I'm getting crazy... I just talked to myself all alone! Whoa...

I remember last week, when I was brainstorming with my editor. She said many times she saw adult guys played in game center, looking so serious. "Maybe that's their way to release stress," she told me. Could be right, I guess.

And just today, I got the chance to prove it. Note that currently it's rainy season and I have a big backyard. Why? The problem continues at home. Cockroaches. They came up from the river, sneaked into my house through the pipe at the backyard. D'oh! Usually, I go crazy with the 'magic spray'---like spraying one roach till dead...till the can is empty. Yes, one can 'magic spray' for one alive-but-soon-to-die roach. It makes me feel awesome!

I wish I can just my dad's gun to shoot. Sadly, he'd sold it long time ago.

Back to... Today! I'm so excited to tell you that I just released some stress in my head by killing one. Somebody in the house might have sprayed it until the body was upside down, left it that way near the garden by thinking it might be dead already. It's not! I was passing by and the feet moved. As I couldn't find the spray, I grabbed the liquid hand soap from the bathroom. Strawberry flavor. Fed the roach with a few drops, but I, accidentally, pushed too much...

The feet moved even quicker. Until it stopped moving and died tragically. I just knew that over-dropping liquid hand soap (it could be the strawberry flavor that kills) could make a dramatic effect to dying roaches. Too bad, they don't like strawberry.

One thing shocked me was...on few days ago. There were lots of roaches at the backyard due to higher water level as it rained a lot. One roach died. I didn't know how. I realized there was a dead roach when I saw another roach, alive, stood still. I was about to get into the backyard and it ran away, leaving the view of a dead one below its body. Before I made noise, the roach just stood there, didn't move a little. But I noticed that it looked like there were two roaches. I thought they were mating. After I knew that the other one was dead, I was like... "OMG! A roach can be necrophilia?!" Oh yes, nature can be so shockingly surprising.

... what happens in my bedroom, stays in my bedroom...

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Going Down, I'm Yelling TINDER!

Yes, TINDER! With an 'n' in the middle. And I'll make the night you won't remember, but I'll be the one you won't forget. Ever.

Once, I told my boss that I wouldn't want to get married. I prefer stay single. I said, "I can't be with anyone, I love being alone. I enjoy loneliness."

He, then, told me what he thought of me, "I don't think you're a kind of person who can be alone. From what I see, you're probably not that independent."

I said, "I'm not, but I'm trying."

Confused to wait, or...?

Everything involving me is complicated, indeed. I enjoy being along, but sometimes loneliness, I have to admit, sucks. Before talking about getting a date or simple a guy, I recall the time I've been thinking to have a dog but then giving up, I decide not to. At least, for now. For the best. I don't have the time to be with my dog. Whenever I got home, I'd probably continue working. Same thing goes on weekends. I can't be ready whenever my dog needs me.

So, you know what happen if I have a boyfriend. I would only neglect him and focus on my work. Why? Yes, I have responsibility and life mission. Therefore, I have to prioritize my career life.

Ok, let's break down. I don't want a marriage. But I don't mind to have someone to love me or for me to love back. I don't mind dating. Yet, it turns out the old question coming back, "do I have the time to?" Then it develops to..."is it worth it?" I hope it's clear enough.

I declared to my family that I don't want a marriage in my life since grade 6. They say, "Wait until you're in high school, you'll regret it." When I was finally in high school, they say, "Wait until you're in college...". And so on! Until I have all my reasons to sum up, my mom finally understands. Though, she's worried whenever she knows I'm going somewhere for doing something like cooking class, watching a movie, going to library or book store... alone. She's really worried of why I'm doing it all alone. I admit to her I have so many friends, but I end up going by myself and nobody is there to accompany me. My family is surely questioning things like this.

Things get twisted many times. After three years in magazine, I didn't go for a date at all. But a few weeks after I resumed work at the new place, I met someone sweet and nice at... Tinder! We met and all. It went well, breaking the curse. At least, as usual, things between us get twisted again along the way. Here I am... as single as ever.

My Tinder was still on for a few weeks after me and the sweet guy stopped contacting each other. Then I met a guy and made a mistake. Thankfully, I didn't meet him in person or else, I don't know what will happen. I deleted the app.

There are times where I feel lonely at the most ever since. Not that I miss him or my exes. Suddenly, I don't know what to do when I'm alone and lose my mood for everything. Tinder thing on again, off again and on again. Unfortunately or fortunately I can't find anyone. It's just hard. It's the matter that I'm too picky or I'm not that attractive. From 100 of guys, I swipe left only 1. Go figure!

I used to laugh at the idea of getting an account at online dating services or even the traditional one in newspaper. I don't know why now I getting crazy with this Tinder thing. C'mon, Bree! A guy like Christian Grey wouldn't have Tinder, and not even Jamie Dornan! 

Got to admit that I'm stuck with Fifty Shades thing and Mr. Grey. It made it difficult for me to find someone.

It is hard for me to open up. Harder to let people in. Something I'd probably had forgot how. Now, I don't know where and how to start. I think I'm ready for a relationship, but I'm not. I recall again... only a superguy that has lots of patience who keeps up with me. I'm complicated. If you say, women are complicated creature, I'm way worse than those women you've ever seen.

Another reason I pull it back is... because I think it's selfish to open up (read: trap) a guy to like me or even to love me. I'm screwed up. He has a bunch of homework to deal with when it comes about me and getting together. Sometimes, I wish I can finish this shit on my own. Without letting it becomes a burden for my future boyfriend. Again, I don't know how and what to decide. Maybe, I need to rekindle the love I used to have with my loneliness.

Who knows...Tinder can help. Some say it's just for sex, some say it's not.
Just say, 'maybe'.

... what happens in my bedroom, stays in my bedroom...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Latest Published Work (November 2014 - GH)

Yay! Forgot to post about this, and it made me happy again today!

After I resigned, I went to US for... many things. Have I ever written about this before in one of my last posts? I never remember what I've posted here. Well, Disneyworld in Florida was one of the plans. Months after back at home, I sold the article on a different angle about that large and lovely theme park. Yes, childhood revives in Disneyworld!

You can read the whole article on Good Housekeeping Indonesia - November 2014 issue. You can always buy the back issue directly to their office (Distribution dept., of course).

Some other pictures I took at Disneyworld can be seen in my Instagram. So if you're planning to go there, you know what you'll find and see there, plan what you're gonna do there, too. And if you have, you could have a little nostalgia.

The fireworks of Epcot seen from my penthouse's balcony.

The one and only... Cinderella's Castle. (That doesn't mean I'm Cinderella's fan, I'm totally not!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pannacotta Lesson at LadyBake, Kemang

I believe we all need something new to try. It makes us alive.

My family can now officially laugh at me because I used to hate cooking or baking as I saw it as girl's stuff. And at the time, I didn't wanna do anything girly. I was such a tomboy. I still am. That's what makes me unique, though. Yet, I didn't lie when I said I loved watching cooking shows besides Doraemon or any other children's TV shows. Maybe, it's an inner calling I retrieved during high school years.

Let's Conquer the World with Food!
*Ignore the tissue paper XD*

I found peace and awesomeness in cooking and baking, besides the things I mainly do in my life, like writing and photography. Oh yes, also doing this blog...I feel awesome for every post I publish. Whenever I reached home, tired, I never feel that bored or shitty any longer when I'm able to touch my cooking utensils and start creating my meal.

I've been watching cooking channels on YouTube, read cooking books, recipe booklets on magazine...and that's why my Good Housekeeping Indonesia days were freaking great! There are many excellent recipes I can try at home, as well as other versions of GH from all over the world I could freely access to read when I was working there. But this time, I try baking class on my own. Not reporting. At LadyBake, Kemang!

Marie Antoinette touch. I want this for my kitchen!
Super hand drawing at LadyBake!

A friend of mine shared the cooking class ad on Path. It happens to be...this friend of mine is the aunt of the cooking teacher, a sweetly talented Putri. Psst...she's even one year younger than I am!

Last Saturday, we learned something light to make which was Matcha Pannacotta with Citrus Glaze. This was my first time using gelatin. So, a night before, I watched a YouTube video on Pannacotta making so I would not be the dumbest of all in the class. Ha!

My first time Pannacotta ready to strike the fridge!

It was quite easy, but as you might have known... cooking or baking has crucial steps you wouldn't want to skip or the magic just won't come true. The leaning process was fun and casual. We get to know more about baking, of course, like tips you won't find anywhere. We had talks on many things, well some of the participants knew each other already from previous classes and all. As the pannacotta needs to be in the fridge for few hours to set, we had lunch from some restaurants nearby while waiting, delivery order as it was very close. My mood was perfect and the weather was rainy, too.

That day was also my first time trying to use matcha powder. Never make anything green tea before but it turned out awesome. Will try make something else with green tea flavor soon. Another first was....lemon and lime zest. Now...(gosh, you can laugh at me that I just knew about it), I know how citrus fruit zests are for. Putri said, if you want it more fragrant without making it taste more sour of lemon and lime, just use the zest. There I go! Note that the white part of the skin tastes real bitter.

Proud student with her successful pannacotta. Yay!

Me and Putri =)
You don't need to bring anything for the cooking class, but the fee. Hehehe... Everything is provided. When the class finished, you can even bring the result home. Putri provided us with a pretty box. So, there I am, trying the last cup of my first pannacotta ever!

I will surely make another pannacotta! This one is very smooth and rich in texture. Next time, I'll try to make it more creamy with an improvement, such as putting a cherry on top!

Putri is the cooking teacher and the owner of LadyBake. She's a college student majoring Graphic Design. Her store sells excellent cookies, pastry and croissant. On Saturday, the store closes but it's available for cooking class. You'll love the place, not only for the food. Lots of artsy touch in there. It's just my fave!

Awesome place, awesome day, awesome people. I will definitely join the baking class again. If you're interested, you can check LadyBake's instagram @ladybakedesserts for more info.

Jalan Kemang Selatan VIII no. 64/b1
Precisely the opposite of Prima Freshmart.

Rain on my parade home ^^ Nice Saturday it was, folks!

Suicidal Thoughts

I have kept this for months. I just got the chance to write it down here. Not because I didn’t have the guts to. It’s just the time to blog seems to be impossible to happen lately.

I thought by not getting myself into ‘Metropolitan desk’ in media, I won’t deal with anything scary or terrible stuff. You name it, from observing dead bodies to digging information during postmortem phase. (Silly me!) Little did I know, fate apparently can be very tricky. Well, when life throws curveballs at you, you’ll just go wherever it takes you. That’s what has happened. Who would have guessed that today I will sit in corporate work chair before computer screen for hours in pencil skirt?

Around three months after I went back to Jakarta---dizzy with jetlag and being tearjerker with full regrets---, I was promoted to fixed employment in the current company I am working as a PRgirl. On that very foggy brain day, I was on my way to meeting room after lunch, before out of a sudden I got a call from my boss. “Somebody just fell,” she said. I was numb for a few seconds. Then, she continued, “I think he or she instantly dead on the spot.”

She was 8 months pregnant; I couldn’t let her be there. So I said to her, “Ok, just lemme get down there and check.” Yet, she went down with me in the end.

I put myself together and rushed to ‘crime scene’. Yes, in a blink, the main lobby became a crime scene. With body parts scattered in random spots, circled with chalk line. There were so many people there, I was confused where to look, where to go and what to do. Then, I saw the body, its hidden under an emergency tent. The doctor came. I noticed a car wrecked.

Shout burst from outside the lobby area heard. Journos. They were trying to climb in and get the pictures of the body, or any body parts visible. Many people from the building stood at the edge, guarding the most outer area of the lobby. I couldn’t pay attention really well who and who, too many of them and I was a complete new kid on the block. But, I still had what I call as reporter instinct. Prove? I instantly knew there was something, media, from the noisy area. I rushed to the site until someone yelled at me to stay away. Funny! I’m a PRgirl and I was supposed to deal with those peeps. But they didn’t let me. So how?

The ‘instant’ journos were barking like hungry dogs and the stranger in yellow uniform was also acting like one. Potential fight detected.

Call it magic, things got settled.

From where I stood, I could see body parts around my feet. Less than an inch. As for the body, it was just a few feet away.

It was a man. He committed suicide. For (weird) unknown reason. He threw himself off from heights, landed for a second to canopy and damaged the side, and then he landed on a car that was about heading to the main lobby. Cops are still investigating. I think they’re still on the go. I sensed something strange happen. CCTV record and witnesses wouldn’t be enough to explain ‘why he did it’.

Maybe I didn’t show how much I was stricken by the incident. I remained calm but failed to hide my furious emotion that I wasn’t let to talk to the journo by one moron who didn’t even understand when I shouted, “I’m the PR person!” Unlike my other colleagues, they showed how ruined their day turned into.

Even though it was pretty bad, we still manage to go home on time. In calm moment, I gave it a thought. The situation, the conflict and damage control. What was the real problem in case shit like this happen?

Anyway, more than that... my mind landed to similar moments I had many times long before I was 18. Suicidal thoughts. There were phases in life that I sort of forgetting it. But the incident reminded me again and allowed me to think from the other side.

Based on investigative reporting experience I used to get, observer of the case will come up with questions, like “is it something wrong with his job, family, marriage?”, “Is there anyone threatening him?” Personally, reading the media coverage on his family’s reaction made me think and projecting how they would really feel and what they might suspect.

Well, shortly, what if the guy was me?                                            

I can’t imagine to die with the mess I left for many people. Including the trauma for the witnesses, or anyone related, like me.

Weeks after the incident, I found it hard to sleep or to breathe in peace, and to be alone. What’s gotten into me seemed like I was one of the witnesses, in fact I wasn’t.  Simply saying, those days were hard for me to move on. People started asking me about it and I had to repeating all the chronicles.

What if the guy was me? What if I was succeeded to commit suicide years ago? Or not?

That day, I won’t see suicide the same way again.

Unless, I would like to liberate myself into something unseen and untouchable. Again. One day...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Blank Pages

Around a month ago, I went to French Film Festival in Jakarta. That event had successfully brought me to a place called Metropole (previously known as Megaria), where I had never set my feet although I’m familiar with the area. I watched two movies marathon, La Bete et La Belle and Clouds of Sils Maria.

I also got the chance to meet my friend, Dimas, who worked for the French cultural centre. Finally. After years.

We talked a little bit before and in the middle of the two movies break. When Sils Maria finished, my headache returned. Walking out fishy, I met him again, and this time, for longer conversation.
“Where are you working now?”

That question still strikes me, until now.

“What are you doing there?”, “What do you wanna do?” and all.

I was like, speechless. Maybe because the headache. Maybe not. “Well, yeah, I don’t really know what’s next,” I said to him.

“C’mon, let’s go outside, talk more and I wanna smoke.”

I’m not a smoker and I even had bronchitis. I always avoid smoke but for this one, I think I might stay a little. I haven’t seen him for really a while. Besides, I seriously needed a deep conversation on things. And I sensed this was going to be a great talk, even though I couldn't answer that much due to headache and smoke. My brain was obviously slow that day.

“Why you quit?” he asked.

I started mumbling about everything, then letting out on choosing the wrong path years ago, fearing of failure to meet my parents’ expectations and being lost. I needed a conversation, but I didn’t know what to say. As if words betrayed me. Until Dimas admitted something I didn’t know about him before and, somehow, kinda waking me up, breaking through the smoke in my head.

“You know what, lucky you, I didn’t even graduate from uni,” he said, while lighting up a stranger visitor’s cigarette. “At first, again it’s all about why and what you’re gonna do...bla bla bla.”

When I said why and how he could make such decision. He answered, “I just couldn’t get the idea of being educated by someone who is dumber than I am.” Nice! I laughed.

We both are no Zuckerberg or Gates. But he managed to live up his dreams, even though it might not seem like we think it is. “Most of the things I do outside IFI are mostly spending, instead of earning. What’s the problem with that? I love it!”

The interesting part was when he shared his POV. The way things around sometimes are always better. “It’s just the same when someone spends money to go to salon or do hobbies. This is my hobby. Why can’t I do it?”

He admitted that “people like us would be considered crazy by others”. We both agree, who cares?
Dimas has experiences in film industry and his works have been trusted by filmmakers. He got the conclusion that probably brings back my faith when I said that I've been trying to live the days without plan after getting back from US. “I got faith on what I’m doing. And what happen? Mostly, I’m always back in here, getting the chance to do what I like. You have to have the faith.”

Now, I know where the problem is. Yeah, I have lost my faith without realizing it. Later he shared his annoyance on people who look down or question his choice in filming, without any degree gained. “I can do films without any proper degree. I can do that. What I don’t understand is...when someone with Medical degree ended up becoming a director, then, people would appreciate that more. It’s the way people think that I don’t get.”

There said, I think the invisible thing called faith will get me back on track. Gotta find it back. Keep on writing, on this blog, even though there’s no one reading it. Or on somewhere else...
That day, I got many things to process. The movies I watched, the conversation, and the fight in me. So maybe I have to put things differently in order to be happy.

Separately since few weeks ago, I got three notebooks. New ones, with blank pages ready and fresh. I got the green notebook with a Christmas card as well, sent by my editor.
I do believe that there are things designed as not just coincidence. These blank pages meant something. The senders probably didn't have certain intention on this, but it’s just how the universe works. Blank pages. I need to write more.

Months ago I met a psychiatric and went under counseling. She searched for any trauma that I have been through that makes me so hard to keep on walking forward in peace. “Forgive everything and start a new life, moving on,” she later closed our session. I wasn’t fully ready.

Happy New Year! Happy Moving On!

Now, this could be the sign. I’ll do what makes me happy, no matter what it takes. Black swirl on ink is about to dance.

... what happens in my bedroom, stays in my bedroom...

Revenge Revival to Blank Pages

People make assumptions. Always. They make more each day, which misled them about us and everything eventually. On the other hand, it drives me crazy when it comes about me or anything that I do, some time I can’t get enough strength to ignore. Well, who won’t get crazy, anyway?

I'm allergic to shitty assumptions!

Like writing, for example. Most people will have writing in their mind as a solitude working moment goes on like enlightening reflection or felt like a soothing yoga as seen in movies.

But hey, it's (half) true!

Yet, there is still one big misconception about writing somehow. Writing isn't like when words by words come into your head, narrated to your mind and then your fingers just help to let it slip out---whether you write by hand on a paper or simply typing it on a computer, whatever how you do it. Please, keep that in mind! In some lucky on-fire chances, it can be true, though.

In fact, writing takes hours of wondering and wandering around, brain juggling in a search of great idea to write about. Then, followed by another hours just to start finding the first right and perfect sentence to come… which means you’re gonna staring at the blank page during those stressful phase. So, from my brief experience, I can conclude, writing isn’t that easy you see in films. It’s not a robotic work like you’re doing mathematics.

I have been writing non-professionally and professionally since 15 years old. Before that, writing is seen as a shitty task that made me feel doomed at school. Magic not-so-magic happened.... coz I wrote a poem. Then it all started from there. A day later, I edited it. Within a month, I started writing my first novel which has never been published. In two years, I published my first article in a campus magazine and another one year later, in a real newspaper, and magazine shortly after that...and it lasted for almost three years of my life.

I can make a conclusion from these experiences I’ve been through. What's next once you got the first sentence(s)? Re-reading it and deleting it all over and re-writing it... again and again. Hours to complete the whole piece, hours to find the perfect words, style and soul.

Hours. Worse, it could take days. So, it won't be quick and easy.

Nothing is ever easy. Quick, only for cheap stuff. Got that memorized!

I didn’t think that it was a big deal, a very big deal to land my future in journalism. All I know, it’s something big and awesome. I didn’t think the ‘deal’ I had to settle. No one told me. My family is far from anything that they called ‘risky job’. Most of them are entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants, architects and all. Safe jobs, they call it. They push me to be one of them. Not myself.

They really had no idea of writing things work and they only know journalists means people who are running here and there, chasing people with questions, making rumours on celebrities or going to war zone. This was my first ‘deal’. With them. I have to explain that I would not do those things, as I planned to work on lifestyle section. Still, it was hard. They could text me asking if this ‘x’ street was under shitty traffic or not. ‘I’m not even a traffic reporter!

But, there I was for three years. Standing tall in heels, trying to ‘crying in the inside like a winner’ as Carly Witten in The Other Woman would suggest you. Stay to look fabulous with eye-bag on your face and clumsy work wear everyday, being pushed to improve your skill and persona with no-cost as what you get (sorry!) won’t be enough for what you are needed to be. Journalist, here in Indonesia, aren’t respected as in excellent countries. Yes, excellent and amazing countries respect their journalists and journalism! There again, my fam were (are) getting disapproved of this job as I could go home late, staying up until almost morning just to get my job done right on time, and seriously looked stressed out.

It’s a sad fact. Journalism isn’t an easy job. I can tell you all the worst stories.

Somehow, it feels like you are married to a guy and this guy keeps cheating on you and beating to black and blue...but you choose to stay. Waiting for a change. Or you think by staying things can change. It’s not.

(Note that I’m being a masochist. I enjoyed it. Very much. More than I can tell you.)

It took some years for me to see it and see my blank pages ahead of me. Writing is something I cherish the most. More than a one million dollar trip, more than a lottery jackpot, more than me being this too overreacting. So then, I dived deep down and come out alive to the dock. Running away from the wave that chased me, teasing me the pleasure to go back drowning. Lost.

Yeah, writing made me stay longer than ever.

When you call it as ‘writing’, most people who are not from that same world would say, “oh that’s awesome, I would never be able to do that”. Sadly and questionably, they would see it as something that could be done by a blink, or some random mathematical work like you can just ask an App in your cellphone to do it. Sorry, you can get cheap price for a piece of dress, but not my writing. If you can’t do it, then it’s not something easy-bitsy, bitch!

Translating has almost the same fate with writing, Once I was asked, “Why do you need to read it deeply and googled anything related about it? You can just simply read it and go on translating the words, right?” No, it’s not like that. Why are there super expensive translators? Because they’re not robot who works like Google Translate, not to forget their overload experience.

Translating doesn't mean changing the words between languages, it is more to changing phrases. Some words cannot be literally translated in other language as the other language we translate might have another way to express the intended meaning. You can speak the language fluently, but it doesn't mean you can just be a translator. This is also something I have dealt so far. Small things but annoying.

Misconceptions are fatal. What’s even more fatal? They ignore to look closer. This has brought me to stand on the other side of my previous life. I might call it quit for a bit. I don’t know, though, if I will go back. The dream of being Lois Lane is still alive in me. I’m still Lois Lane, trying to be my own Superman.

... what happens in my bedroom, stays in my bedroom...