Monday, October 31, 2005

keeping the resolution tight

watched dvd: Der Untergang

Here is one of the scribbles that I had resoluted to do. I wrote it this morning as I waited for the call to the visa room.

Dear fellas in Indonesia,

We are now again six hours apart. Please take notice on that. It wont rackle our communication, right? It just means that I have to wake up earlier to catch you on your lunch break or waiting-for-the-traffic-to-be-better after hours.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

fear factor friendster frikkin' fresh feature

Gasp! My biggest (exaggerated) fear came true today as Friendster introduced its new feature. Look closely in this snapshot.

[before anyone commenting anything.. yes.. I know that we can still "explore" anonimously..]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

resolutions: eventhough it's not the time

Current books read: supposed to be Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella, but I left it in my friend's. :(

New chapter resolution. Effective as Ramadhan ends..

  • Study right.

  • Eat right ummm better.

  • Swim regularly. (but don't pursue the quality of Geegee's bf. His is way beyond your league. And you're way too hairy. Huahahhaa..)

  • Go to the kitchen more often.

and this is the most important thing

  • write something at least once a day. Don't always use the xda to take notes, don't always save some info in your handy, but use your hand to write at least once a day. Look what you've done to your handwriting.

Now.. this feels like a "real" journal. :p

Monday, October 24, 2005


Current books read: Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella

Ouch.. I just made a stupid, bad, irrational and destructive call. All I can say now is ouch, and let's see.. Gotta buck up, and put every part of what's left together.

False hope sucks.

Gosh.. it's only false alarm.. False hope sucks, false alarm sucks even more. :p

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, great.. They're drawing the lines now.. Are you in? Or are you out? If you're out... You're missing Al and Lynn and Alex and Uchenna and Joyce blogging, and Jon hosting the internet talk show. If you're in.. You're up to one of the most boring amazing race ever.

So, are you in, or are you out?? We don't have all day, here..

what the ... ?

... hell happened with ImageCave? Humm.. must upload the pics somewhere out there other than ImageCave, then. I can't even log in to the site??

Hmm, OK, meanwhile, enjoy my lovely blog fully decorated by ImageCave File Not Found. Consider it as Helloween deco. :p

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Let's give 'em something to talk about

Current books read: Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale. enjoying every letters, dots, comma, and other characters of it. - expected TV program: Desperate Housewives on torrent ... NOT

Hrrrrgggghhh... I really want to talk one particular subject now. I think it's the escalation of me watching The Opposite of Sex some weeks ago, which made me think somewhat seriously. Then I read one entry on Dan Renzi's blog eventhough it's under the pile there somewhere now. Then I encountered a quirky advertising campaign from H&M in Mönckebergstrasse. Then I found Tiara Lestari's blog. Then I read Hermawan Kertajaya's blog.

Now it's all culminating and making me want to talk about SEX. There is only one problem. I'm fasting now. And I think tonight I will already lose the mood to talk about it again. So just wait and see tonight.

And unfortunately, during a hot information exchange session in my break-fasting yesterday night, sex is one of the topic that was just not been brought up. Schade.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Survivor: Guatemala, first five weeks

Current watched DVD: Big Fish - Terrriffficccc!!!

Survivor: Guatemala opened with a surprise for me. The surprise was, out of the 16 contestants, 5 of their names are started with B. The first twist is the re-introduction of two former contestants, and one of them has a name that started with B. So now they have six, with four of them started with Br----.

I didn't really know whether it is a coincidence or not, but the 5th episode opened my eyes and gave me the logic between the B-parade thingie: so that the producers can get this shot of Danni.

Shortly after the show started, the first twist of the season. The return of Bobby Jon and Stephenie, both alumni from Survivor: Palau, exactly a season before. There are thousands of people that asked out of a group of former survivors, why were these two chosen to compete again? No one really knows until now.

For me, both of them are actually two of the brawniest players in Survivor. Are they the best player? Nope. Bobby Jon couldn't get a grip of what Survivor is all about in his first season. Stephenie, can be the strongest woman to ever play Survivor, but clearly she's not a good team player. My take is both of them survive until the merge, and booted off as soon as the other realized that they should get rid of those two.

Former Survivors are already saying that this Survivor is a bit spoiled version of the others, eventhough the show doctor (named Adrian, called Ado. Huahahahhaa.. Not so foreign, eh?) called it as the toughest one to date.

One of the reason why the contestants were spoiled is that they already had had a food reward challenge. And the most current reward is a pool, WITH AN UMBRELLA, margaritas, with a LOUNGE CHAIR!! Sounds like Big Brother, eh? And what are they talking when they took dip around it? As Brian said, "Blake, what is your absolute best drunk story?" Are you for real?

And still, 3 of the contestants have identical twin siblings. Will there be a twin twist? What?? You're kidding, right..

But despite all of the weirdness in the making, including Jeff Probst's haircut and funny looking hat, I'm gonna watch this season of Survivor.

Go Brandon! Eventhough he may be in the hot seat next week.

Current books read: Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale - expected TV program: Wer wird Millionär? Friday

Previously on.. Wer wird Millionär?

To everyone's surprise, a mother and a son competed for a place on the hot seat.

They called, were being called back, and processed separately.

Still surprisingly, the son's Greek teacher, also one of the 10 wanting to sit on the hot seat.

The first round goes to the Greek teacher, when he went home with 125,000 Euro.

Knowing that the second round would be the last chance to sit on the hot seat, everyone gave their best when Wer wird Millionär visited the Oscars.

[I was secretly rooting for the son or the mom..]

The studio [and me] cheered loudly when the son got through!!

Tonight: Can the footsteps of the teacher be followed by the pupil?

and when it turns out that the quarter million euro question was invalid, the teacher will be called back to compete again fairly..

10 people ... uncountable days ... ONE! Millionär!

Sorry Jeff Probst, can't hold the temptation. :D

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Current books read: Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale LOVE IT!!! - watched dvd: The West Wing season 4 episode 1-3

A rewritten of one of my late conversation.

Me: Hey. So, it turns out that I've figured out what Dancing with the Stars is all about.

Not Me: You have?

M: Yep. Watched 2 Australian version and 1 american. And I just realized that Ballroom dance has many types. I thought it was just "Ballroom Dance". It turns out, there is Jive, Quicksteps, Waltz, ...

NM: ... Foxtrot, Salsa..

M: Yeah.. and my favorite: Rumba!

NM: Have you ever been to ballroom-dance school?

M: You know what? No, but surprisingly, I have performed dancing. I didn't know what urged me to say yes at that time. And I didn't know as well how klutzy I looked up there. Some said I was good, actually. Eventhough it may only be lip service. Hehehe..

NM: What dance? Traditional Indonesian?

M: Oh, no.. It was.. Umm.. I can't be sure actually. I did twist, turns, steps, guess it is a watered down version of Jive then. Well, it's complicated to explain. The numbers were choreographed late 90s to 2000s, but it was numbers from 20s to the 90s.

NM: My grandmother once urged me to take ballroom classes, because she really likes dancing, but never had a partner. I absolutely said no.

M: My friend's son (it's Mbak Sri's son, for those of you who knows Mbak Sri) took one as well. But seriously, I didn't know why I said yes to perform dancing. Not that I regret it, though. It was still, one of the best highlights of my life.

... conversation was continued to an irrelevant subject.

Some small points.
  • I love the Australian version much more. The "stars" have much much better attitude than the US.
  • Love Rumba so much. But I don't think that I have the hips.
  • Eventhough Ballroom looks really nice, I think I'd still prefer the "dance to the music thingy". Like the Routine. Y'know? What it won't hurt to try, or?

Leeeett's get readyyy to Rumbaaaaaaa!!

Ah, look what I've rambled on.. Night night..

Update: You can see one of the dances performed in the show here. This is from season 2 (if I'm not mistaken). Showing the star Tom Williams, and the pro-dancer Kym Johnson.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wahahahhaa.. I knew I misspell camaraderie or comradery some days ago, I just didn't know how to spell the correct one. Well, now I know.. But now I wonder whether it was the correct word for the sentence. Hmmm...

Monday, October 10, 2005

If you are Edie Britt, do you have your Susan Mayer? Do you know what am I talking about? Do you have someone in your life that you really want to like? But however hard you tried, they keep doing, saying, making things that bug you, or even sometimes offend you.

I think I have my Susan Mayer if I'm Edie Britt. I mean, I know that I am not a mean guy. I know I'm snappish and short-tempered like my dad, but basically I don't like not liking someone. But there is this one particular person that whatever I did, however nice I behave towards them, they just keep getting on your nerves..

Gosh.. Maybe I should count to ten twice take a deep breath twice and think of happy thoughts twice and do it all at the same time to get over them. But in the mean time, maybe I should just not talk to them. Heheheehh..

Have a great new week.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

early look on the amazing race: family edition

Current books read: Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale

Yes, I am aware that thanks to an ungrateful friend, I am possibly spoiled for this show. But I'd written the concept for this entry before that darn spoiling occasion happened.

"Carissa, we need wheels outta you, girl."
- Bill Gaghan

I looked at The Amazing Race: Family Edition (will be noted furthermore as "the race") with one eye closed, seeing a half-empty glass. Because a lot of reports said that the race is only done in northern america, traveling roughly half miles of the previous races. From the first episode, Phil Keoghan the host said that airfare and gasoline do not have to be paid by the contestants. I guess they will drive a lot. And seeing the contestants, I doubt that if the Linz family doesn't easily fly to finish line. Duh?

Race Elements

The producers will really need to create a detour and roadblock which will benefit some families that already have strength disadvantages. It is shown in the first episode. Detour Buggy Itwas definitely not meant to be done by strong and heavy team. It's the perfect choice for Gaghan and Black family. Gaghan did it, but Black did not. On the other side, most of the family did the right choice by doing Build It. Including the Weavers when they chose to change their detours.

However, on the second episode, the detour didn't created as good as the first episode. I think both of the detour would hurt families will small children. And the roadblock is simply weird.. I think they wanted to reenact old spying game. But it's just weird. It's not meant for the children because the area is too big, and it's too silly to be done by the adults. One bad point for race element.

Show Element and Issues

OK. The producers has the right to say that interaction between family members are one of the most interesting things to see on the show. And I agree to that. I never never get bored watching family dynamics. First of all, it's super interesting to see motivations for each families to be on this race. The Gaghan for example. I have a feeling that they enter the race with a side mission to teach the kids about competitiveness. The Paolos are in there to win, but probably chosen because they kept bickering. The Weavers needed something to hold them together as they lost their head of family. The Rogers tried to prove that southerners are not that slow. And so on.

On the first two episodes, dynamics of the families are really shown successfully. How Danny Rogers tried to lead the family all along (and hurt his son, on the run). How the Bransen daughters started to think, maybe it's time that we take care of Dad. How Bill Gaghan kept being motivator for their kids, saying things like the one I quoted up there, resulting to the one of the sweetest scene in reality TV: 9 year-old Carissa Gaghan outrun one adult and two teenagers to the pit stop.

Favorite racers

Yes, every family is unique and has reason to be the favorites. But I kept choosing early favorites based on smart racers. For me, they are the Weavers and then the Gaghans.

Weaver family did a great job of a responsibility distribution. Rebecca, the oldest daughter is the driver. Linda, the mother is the navigator and decision maker. Rolly, the youngest is the main physical and speed strength of the family. Rachel.. humm.. I still trying to figure out what Rachel is all about. But keep this distribution and did no mistake, I hope the Weavers can go all the way..

The Gaghans come into the race with a very competitive attitide and strategy. One of the most distinct strategy is how their backpack is packed. Carissa didn't carry one. Billy had a small and light one. Smart. Compare this to the Black family who had backpack on each member's back. However, seeing the navigation and choices in the detours, the Gaghans needed still to think about their advantage and disadvantages.

Another family needs to be reckoned is the Linz family. They are strong, smart, and solid. Most decisions are made correctly, and it has three alpha-male. They bicker brotherly, and that's why sometimes the sister seemed like outsider of the group. For me, they are good racers, but not special enough because they don't do something remarkable in the race. But one thing for sure. If this family wins the race, the editors have to work very hard to make everything looks interesting, if not, it's going to be the most boring amazing race since the first one.

Personal Likes and Dislikes

The family dynamics are really really interesting to watch. No, we may not watch another heart-wrenching testimonial from teary-eyed Lynn as he and his boyfriend Alex were eliminated at the last season. But look at the second elimination where Brock Rogers said a typical male last child. Go, Brock! Or how the Paolos kept communicating. That's family dynamics I'm talking about.

One other thing. The mothers of the family is really the mediator of them all. Char Schroeder profile is already stating that she's the mediator. Linda Weaver said, "But I'm not and we're fine.." after her girls were so afraid of being orphan after an accident with the buggy, in the first detour. Tammy Gaghan said, "She's trying, honey." when Billy accused Carissa of not doing anything in the super tyring second detour. "I'm the glue that'll hold us together.." said Renee Rogers after they were eliminated, and sensed that there are tense between the males of the family. That's why I am confused to see Marion Paolo handled things.

In the family full of characters of adventurous individuals like the Linzes or the Godlewskis, I read somewhat disappointment across their faces seeing that the first two legs of the race was only roaming around the east coast. You know the disappointment like, "Awww.. I thought we're going to see the world.." And seeing that in a racer, make me feel not watching the race.

Also, I don't like how the producers created the show. For me, it is way too american. And I got easily squishy seeing something too american. Because of this, I may not continue watching the show.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Legendary Fall

Current books read: Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale - watched dvd: The Good Girl, Finding Nemo - study reading: Environmental Economics. Pussinggg..


Fall, as a season has definitely gotten into my soft side. Eventhough I don't like it. Somehow, every fall seems like a brand new start, or a milestone or just the time to say, "Yes, fall is coming! I'm a have a lotta fun!"

For a start. I came to Germany in fall. I joined my gamelan (traditional Indonesian music) group in fall. I started blogging in fall. One of my favorite movie is Legends of the Fall.

When it comes to something that I like to do, fall has a lot to offer as well. I used to remember, for 5 years when fall came (yes, Indonesia has no fall season, but I mean when fall comes to the northern hemisphere) I got so excited because it is time to watch good movie. By good I meant movies which will win primary and/or movie awards with the peak of the season in the annual Academy Awards, or Oscar. You know how americanized those things are.

Yes. Fall to me was so special. In the past years, fall meant the return of TV series that I like to watch. Friends, Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, Sex and the City, and so on, and so on. This year, it's the return of Wer Wird Millionär, Wetten Dass...?, Dittsche, and so on, and so on. So it's clear that fall deserves a headliner post.

Part 1 - Yea! It's fall!

Fall always makes me blue. Because I love love love the sun. I am not afraid of getting dark or very dark unlike other Indonesians. In fall, the sun becomes a bit more shameful to show its face on earth. It just appear shorter, and I hate that.

fall treesIn Hamburg, when fall comes, it means prepare yourself without streaming sunlight at all but only cloudy sky and rain, or light rain (what's it called?). The whole day. Or Week. It makes me cold, weak, and crappy, and really works as a reminder, that winter is coming.

Fall also means the end of the green pasture and healthy trees and blossoming flowers and cheap vegetables. Pastures will become soil colored soon enough. Trees will gradually changed into yellow, brown, or red. Yes, the view of them is breathtakingly awesome. But be quick and enjoy them while you can! Within a week all of them will be gone leaving us with leaveless tree. Sigh. Because the leaves are falling, no pun intended.

As I came to Germany in fall, the weather is cold enough for an Indonesian, but it turns out that it was not cold enough for my too-thick jacket. That time the sun went down "normally", the leaves were falling one by one as breeze came, and I was told to prepare to buy an umbrella to block the rain and wind.

Part 2 - Falling in with the Movies

I was a sucker for fall movies. When almost all people are watching almost all summer blockbusters, for me fall movies are the one to be hunted and kept alive. I mean come on, yes Titanic was a summer blockbuster, but do you realize what really happened in fall?

Awarding season kicks of with National Board Review. After that critics of three cities: Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Then come the guilds. Then come the globes. Then come the academies, british one, and then american one. With awards after awards if you really love movies, then it's hard to ignore or not want to watch those movies.

awards and actors

There is something exciting about trying to catch those movies. Especially when you're in Indonesia. And then talk about them for a coffee (there never was a coffee on my table, though), and just preparing having a head-to-head argument or disagreement about your or your friend's trump. Gosh. I miss those good old days. Again, I had to say, I quit it last year. Quit hunting it for two years, though. And definitely won't join the hunting season this year.

The exciting thing about catching fall movies in Indonesia, is that because Indonesian distributor can not risk their money for something not so mainstream. For example: I watched Shakespeare in Love in theatres after it won Best Picture in Oscar 1998, sometimes in February. There's nothing fall about February; movies like Far From Heaven did not made it to the movies; I watched the Hours before Oscar, but the theatre was less than 50% full. During Kinotag. So, Indonesians (or in this case my movie circle) are expected to be more creative in order to watch these movies before Oscar in order to be able to argue clearly why they think their trump's gonna win. Eventhough not every person tried that hard, and jumped right in into conversation even before they watched the movie.

For me, it is still interesting though to see who will win what just to catch up with ol' time favorites.

Part 3- Fall-tering to the Hooks of TV Series

I surrender easily to the hands of TV series. Nowadays, I like watching them even more than I like watching movies. It's the sense of exploration of new characters that will last weeks that always tempts me. See, I'm not really a strong person for not being able to hold that kind of temptation.

Anyways, out of the series that I liked to watch are most of the times series with competitions in it. In Indonesia, I like (eventhough I hate to admit it) to watch all TV-quizzes and competition.
From the highly praised

  • Siapa Berani,
  • Cerdas Cermat (elementary school children answering questions that are most likely to be asked at school),
  • Kuis Keluarga Lifebuoy (family quiz, mixture of some games),
  • Asia Bagus (singing competition between south east asian countries plus Japan),

to the deep down in a barrel like

  • Asah Asih Asuh (quiz from homemakers when mostly they are being asked to answer or demonstrate homemaking 101),
  • Gosip atau Fakta (quiz all about Indonesian celebrities' gossip or fact),
  • Apa Ini Apa Itu (I don't even really know what this quiz it's all about),
  • Tebak Gambar or what's-that-quiz-with-David-Chalik-as-host? (It's a super stupid quiz, and most of the time I like watching it to see how the host and contestants react of the stupidity of the question. Or the answer.)
  • or Kuis Dangdut.

That is why, I really like watching competitive reality TV on any TV out there. Eventhough now I have to be more selective as I don't have 50 hours a day to watch competitve reality TV shows. So what's a better way to start fall rather than selecting the reality shows?

So far, I am only interested in three of them. The Amazing Race: Family Edition, Survivor: Guatemala, and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, in the order of decreasing interest. The next post will be my early take on these series, and decision on whether I'll watch them or not.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Watched dvd: Love, Actually

The joy of watching your favorite comedy series can actually be elevated when you happened to watch the bloopers of the show. That's why I loved watching Super Bloopers and Practical Jokes, hosted by Ed Macmahon [sp?] and Dick Clark.

That's why I got so excited to see Will and Grace's LIVE 8th season premiere. Well, it's not live that I'm watching, but still it's LIVE-ly TiVo'd. And good Lord.. The laugh-a-thon which was delivered by both Debra Messing and Sean Hayes, as they were having their act, is enough of giving me stomach cramp.

Anyway, the commeradery of Will and Grace had a ton of bravery on their back for performing LIVE. However, I'm not so impressed, while Indonesian comedy group did it almost every week (LIVE-ly taped) and there is as well Schillerstrasse here in Sat1.

It's Sat1, right?

By the way, deepest condolences to all other victims of cowardly terror in Bali. Chin up, stay strong, my heart goes with you all. We can make it through it all.