Tuesday, February 28, 2006

proverbial gymmious

Current music in ear: American Idol 5 top 24 performances - expected TV program: die Perfekte Dinner; RTL II; Mo. 19:00 - watched dvd: Absolutely Fabulous season 4. Jennifer Saunders is hot hot hot.

Look. Everyone knows this proverb, right? The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In german it will be like "Die Kirschen in Nachbars Garten schmecken immer ein bisschen süßer". Alles klar? Those may be applicable for a lot of things, but definitely not for my gym.

Last year, as I was living in Bremerhaven, I had to switch gym. And the gym sucked. I lifted much less that I used to as I came back to my original gym.

This week, I have to switch gym again, because it has to be closed due to a rennovation. And guess what, the gym that I attended to now is.. wake-me-up-out-of-this-dream- that-I-still-live-in-1980 kinda gym.

Personally, the gym was not terrible. The people were great, and I'll get back on this later, but all other things that bothered me.

First, you have to walk around 150 meters from the gym to the changing room. The changing room is located outside the main building. WTF???!!

Second, you know how soothing it is to take a hot shower after you work out? In this gym: hot shower? Hot shower my ass. It turns out, that it isn't always running, as I was being told by someone who wanted to take shower as I did my first training there. By the second time I was there, it wasn't even running. And I already covered in shampoo and soap.

Third, the free-weights are not increasing in an accustomed manner. I'm weak, and can't lift big and heavy weights. But I used different weights for my shoulders, biceps, triceps, and chest. Cuckooo.. And those numbers aren't there in the gym. So I have to improvise and change exercises which sometimes can be fun due to the trying of a new exercise, but sometimes troublesome because it takes more time to do the weight adjusting.

Fourth, you have to bring your own lock in order to lock your stuff in the changing room. They don't provide it. Your valuables can be locked in a tiny locker in between the rooms.

Fifth, there are two rooms for the equipments. Room 1 is for all electronic ones, and room 2 is for the free-weights. That means:

a. there are two clocks. For someone who has always been watch-less in the course of their lives and highly dependant on clocks, it is quite difficult to notice how long have you been resting and so on. Again, you have to improvise.
b. there are more front-and-back walk between the excercises, and even during the excercises. More time and cardio isn't exactly what I need.

Sixth, the policy of forbidding street-shoes to enter is weakly implemented.

Seventh, the swiss ball is dirty! And they have three but in one size! How inefficient is that..

Hah.. anyway, every cloud has a silver lining. Or Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein. The best thing about this gym is that the ones who usually train in it are the students of Univerity of Hamburg who study sport. Or biomechanism. Or sport science. Or something like that. So your fella trainers really know what you're doing.

As an engineering student who reads Men's Health for fun, it wouldn't hurt to overhear some discussion about some routines and how it helps them on what or where. You won't be estranged by the terms that they are using, and you can compare it with your own knowledge and experience.

The discussions on the gym between the gym buddies are really gymmy. I have never heard, "I hate Prof. XYZ because he gave me 3.0 for Mathe..." or "..it was explained that organic materials are responsible also for COD this morning.." until now.

But as for someone who works out only because he likes to be fit and not to be big like Arnold Schwarzenneger, sometimes the discussions can be a bit too far and non-related. I mean, who cares if dips is better because it hits 60% of the upper area of pectoralis major as compared to incline dumbell bench press?

You? You? I don't. I only care that dips are a compound routine because you train your triceps at the same time, and my kinda of incline are beneficial because you switch your palm position during the movement that you can't do during barbell press. And I did both. So I get both benefits. Hahahaha..

And I get a bit too far as well by saying the end justifies the means. Or der Zweck heiligt der Mittel.

Proverb-hour is over.

Friday, February 24, 2006

American Idol 5 Contestant of the Week

I am officially sad right now. Capital s, capital a, capital d. Man.. Actually, sad and discontented. Yeah, that's what I feel right now. And pissed off.

But to be honest, I'm having a good time watching all the top 24 performances. Between the Chippendales warming up sessions and those ghastly hotels and bars, I enjoyed both shows.

Enough about me. You know, Simon Cowell was right when he said that the young contestants were really great this year. He got that right. There are a lot of talented young contestants in that lot (eventhough it's not all of them *coughDavidRadford*). One of them, is actually our American Idol 5 Contestant of the Week.

Her name, is Lisa Tucker. She is 16 years old.

Lisa TuckerLisa was shown as early and far back as the first episode implying that we would see her in the top 24. I was actually saying, "Wow!" after her amazing rendition of 'One Moment in Time', and got really really surprised. Surprised in terms of that she sounds really great. Simon said she is the best 16 year old that they ever had through the entire series.

Hollywood week. Yes, she is a great singer. Vocally trained, good technique, flawless performances. But for me, she's to straight up to business and do my thing. She didn't flaunt, didn't showcase, didn't do a performance, just sang. That's why I felt she's a bit blunt.

When she said in the semi-finals that she was gonna be singing 'I am Changing' by Jennifer Holliday, I was like clutching my heart, finding a grip to not fall down from my chair, trying to pick up my dropped jaw, and blinking for some times to return my eyes to their size. That was one hell of a song to sing!

But you know what? She pulled it through. She did it gorgeously, so that I have a whole newly founded respect in her. She is just ... brave, great, and wow-y.

One problem only. She may be compared side by side with a 17-year-old Paris Bennett. And I think Paris is (though a bit whored up by the producers) better.

Oh, by the way, I think "poise" will be the new overused word for this season.

Update: Proof of the sadness can be judged by how messy my English was. Alert neons are not blinking.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

it is still some significant degrees below zero

Current books read: That Harry Potter Book; That Book About Piano - expected TV program: DSDS top 4; RTL; Samstag, 20:15

I am glad ...

... that I still can wear that Lederbekleidung*.

*to non-german-speaking readers, leder = leather. bekleidung = outfit, perhaps? :) LEO suggests garment.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

if a picture paints a thousand words ...

Current book read: Harry Potter and the Magic is Gone

... then I don't have to type anything for this entry.

I Wanna Live with Her Forever.

Her name's Lily, by the way.

We Will Have to Get Along Really Well.

Otherwise, you won't survive me learning how to spank you the correct way three times a week for the upcoming three months. Until you sound the way I want it.

But on a note from my teacher: Don't use your wrist too much. Ooops.. *grin*

FYI, I'm Not Coming.

I'm sooooo over those guys. Except if they magically appear in my front door singing Passera.

Best. Episode. Ever.

You read the title correctly, but sorry for the quality of the pic.

Conversation Over a Brunch Sort-Of.

Me: So, when can I treat you to Fischladen*?
Not me: Sometimes this week would be great..
Me: Weekend this week? No, I'm booked out.
Not me: No, I'm talking about during the week. You know that I will have some more free time when we start the walkout.
Me: *speechless*

Not me's a GdP, by the way. And his partner at work, a DPolG, had started to go on strike since last Friday. But if my broken german helped me once again, the trash will be gone by tomorrow. Or so to speak.

More on this topic.

*Fischladen is a code for us for Daniel Wischer, a fish restaurant. The best in town. By best, I mean BEST! Legendary, delicious, and vintage!

Monday, February 20, 2006

on the news

This morning, waking up, preparing things to bring to Uni, logging in, and reading my morning blogs. Pointing to Boingboing, and scream:

"There's a "research" saying what??!!!"

*getting my furious costume from my walk-in wardrobe and deciding to put it on all day long*

Reading some other blogs on the same topic, and deciding to change costume to semi-furious.

Ahhh.. society..

Don't let the article ruin your Monday, though.. If so, catch last week's series of FoxTrot. One of the best!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Reisen Hamburg 2006 part 2: the Sightseeing Experience

Current book read: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - music in ear: Debbie Gibson - expected TV program: die Sturmflut; RTL, heute und morgen, 20:15

A continuation of this post.

Reisen Hamburg is a big exhibition. By big I mean BIG. Huge. Humongous. Tiring. Exhausting. You know to visit all the things to see in there. There are like 12 halls to visit, you know. And 1 hall has like 121 things to see.

Structurally, the organizers categorize the stands based on geographical locations that the travel bureaus offer. For example, those who offer travel to Asia, were grouped in hall 12. To norhtern Europe in hall 7. And so on.

My favorite is actually hall 8. This is a more like "leave your kids here with us and go book your summer holiday in hall 12 with your hubby" hall. The hall was divided into two big sections, with one section for on earth activities like face paintings, and on the other section there is this seriously built-in jungle gymmy slash outdoorsy activities event.

You know, I wished I had aged twenty something years younger, and can get it to the jumping castle. Those thing hadn't been found as I was a kid, you know.

Me and my companion's favorite place is actually where they showed caravans and mobile homes. Those things are actually one of the coolest thing on earth! It is so funny, because people who usually visited these halls are the older people who is ready to spend their retirement hours travelling around. Remember About Schmidt?

But we were like, "This one is cool.." or "That one is so bulky.." or "Great product. Functional and goes with you." Just like looking for a pair of jeans. The best thing about it was that the salespeople knew that we were there simply for looking around. Nobody offered us their products, and we didn't have to stutter to reject them politely in german. "Tut mir leid. Aber... ummm.. aber.. ummm. Nein, danke. Umm.."

There were also some things that I personally like to see. Like a stand which sold jacuzzi with two very lazy salesperson that what they did all day was lingering on the lounge chair. But to be fair, who wouldn't, when there were two lounge chairs around unused?

JacuzziAnd when one got bored and tired of bummeln (this is a german word that I can translate to indonesian, but not to english. it's ngeceng), you could always sit down in front of the stage and pretend that you were in Woodstock. Well, that may be quite a big fat stretch.

Two of the most memorable performances are the flamenco group, because it's just so beautiful and strong, and the swimsuit fashion show because it was shown four times a day for four days. The songs for the show, kept ringing in my ears for 2 days after. We all wondered how they kept the suits wearable after they did all those movement for four days. By wearable, I mean worn without nose plug. Hmm..?

Flamenco is such a very difficult dance. First the guitar playing is tremendously difficult. And then all the hits and kicks are like, "Whoa!". And then I don't know why, but they never lost their rhythm eventhough it was done not-so rhythmically. Whoa! Hello, who invited difficult to dance along?

Flamenco and Fashion ShowThe fashion show was hysterical. Instead of models coming out on and off the runway, they needed to fill the 30 minutes they were alotted to, so that they did a choreography for a whole song while the models are wearing the same line. There are five songs for four lines. The funny thing is that the choreography wasn't created based on things people would do in swimming suits.

You know, they should have choreographed it with lots of breast strokes, butterfly strokes, freestyle, opening mouth and closing it quickly to catch breath, diving from 3-meter board, opening and closing only legs in the air while busy moving hands underwater to keep yourself floating, instead of dancing around! You know the things people do in swimsuits.

Other worthy to remember moment is when a friend of mine dared herself to go on stage to win some prize from one of the sponsors: Oldie 95. It's a radio station which surprisingly has young casters. My friend (who listens to it everyday in his bathroom and in his patrol car) pointed this as a big surprise. "That young?" he said as I showed the pics. She won two tickets to Hamburg Dungeon by the way.

All and all, this kinda experience that kept me working with my group eventhough they sometimes bummed me here and there. It's like:

lunch: 5 EUR
buying new stuff to amuse self after being bummed: 20 EUR
experience gathered: Priceless

Ah well, you can't win 'em all, can yeh?

To close the end of the week post, here's for a giggle, so that our new week will be full of them. Hihihihihihihihihihihihi...

Friday, February 17, 2006

American Idol 5 Contestant of the Week

Michael Buckstein, What Have You Done?

But now! There's noooo where te hide,
since you push my lurve asi-eye-eye-de
Hay'm out o' ma 'ead,
an' I'm 'opelessly devo-daaayd to you hoo hoo hoo,
'opelessly devoded to you..

For me, this is the correct way of ever singing this song. Because this song oh-so very country so that other country songs feel like hip hop. That's why I got really excited hearing the renditions from Kellie Pickler and our second dum da dum dummmm! American Idol 5 Contestant of the Week!

Matthew Buckstein
His name is Matthew Buckstein. He sang this song complete with his cowboy hat, southern accent, going-to-the-rodeo tight jeans, slickly trimmed goatee, tight sleeveless top, buckle and boots. Added to it: wide opened legs, flirty attitude, and tapping heels alternatingly resembling line dancing. What's not to love?

Eventhough Ryan Seacrest kinda mocked him by saying, "Some were devoted a little bit more hopelessly [to the song] than others." before showing his performance, and we see the slick editing showing Simon Cowell looked agitated and hiding his laugh by covering his mouth with his right hand, I really like his performance.

I think, though, it is also because I have a soft side for country. Ssshhh don't say it out loud! I don't want him to hear me!

On group day, he was grouped with Gareth "What is he doing in Hollywood" Johnson. The other cowboy. And Michael Evans. They chose Boo Doo Wa Diddy to sing. They did what?? My God, Matthew..

Matthew in his group
The funny or maybe tragic part about group day is that the producers decided to make a shrine on this group: by editing stuff to compose a trailer titled Brokenote Mountain - Love is Tone-Deaf (Editing stuff to make new trailer is so hot nowadays). I wonder if BPJ did the narration.

Matthew and Gareth
Back to it, the performance was a trainwreck. He got cut. They all got cut. Later on, we witness how big his heart is by telling Gareth, "You didn't let me.. [choked a bit] you didn't let me down. Listen cowboy, you didn't let me down." after Gareth broke down to tears and said that he let them down and hugged the group mates. Matthew continued, "You go back to that ranch, you come back next year."

With a melancholy soundtrack in the background, who will be able to hold up their tears.

Gosh, cowboys really took a hard beating this year. But in a Mattthew Buckstein kind of words, "You can't keep a good cowboy down, man."

sorry for posting again..

But I just wanna say shortly that eventhough Hopelessly Devoted to You would have been superb as a country song, I love Deborah Gibson's (she's no longer Debbie, guys..) rendition on Grease - the Broadway Revival the most.

This is solely because Deborah (back then she was Debbie) is actually my childhood crush. Hehehee.. Shamelessly I admit it. But back then, I was rarely able to see the video clip of Electric Youth. That is why I am sooooo fuckin' grateful for the existence of You Tube.

Hmmm.. I know what I'll do this weekend, then. Learning how to do Electric Youth routine! and singing along like this:

electric youth!
feel now I see the energy
comin up, comin up to roll

the future rolling in mind
in future is take
and the future is

electric youth
it's true you can buy it
can buy it
the next generation

it's electric by it

Sounds weird? that's how a naive innocent 7-year-old indonesian boy with a broken english and a crush yet very cute sang it. Eventhough that boy has no longer the crush and had aged 21 19 years older [fuck, I can't do math anymore] yet still very cute, he still sings it that way.

From the top! Electric Youth! Paf!

Have a nice weekend people.

Update: Oh, OK what the hell. I'm doing the embedded thingie!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

now I know what I want for christmas or lebaran or birthday or anniversary or potluck events or just when you need to make me happier

Current book read: I can't believe I'm putting myself through this, but Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling. - music in ear: Dreamgirls in Concert

See? By the time I left Indonesia, good things kept coming out in the country. First there is this CiWalk thingie. And then, there is this Indonesian Idol thingie. And now, this.

A loose my kind of translation of the article as follows:

Saneem: ITB-made Shampoo
by Budi

It's been more than a month now that I'm using a shampoo called "Saneem". If you haven't heard of it ever, don't sweat. Saneem is an ITB*-made shampoo which apparently hasn't been distributed much.

The label states "Natural shampoo. To overcome dandruff and hair loss." [Zakky's note: because of two years living in Germany I'm not sure which is the correct one. Hairloss or hair loss.] Saneem is produced from seeds and leaves of Azadirachta Indica [sic] [Zakky's note: should't it be Azadirachta indica?] extract (nimba in Indonesian). Is it possible that "saneem" is actually an acronym of "sampo nimba"?

I don't know yet about hairloss, but I can say that this shampoo is the most effective anti-dandruff shampoo I have ever used! I have tried gajillion other shampoo, from those advertised on TV to ones that are sold in hair salons (expensive ones!). After using Saneem, dandruff is drastically gone! Before it was visible on my often-to-use black jacket. After using Saneem, dandruff is still there, but it isn't visible now [Zakky's note: I didn't really get the logic of this sentence even in Indonesian. Maybe the shampoo works to color the dandruff to black? Or giving them the ability of mimicry? Hmmm.. Logical explanation is there are still some dandruff on the head, but now they are so little so that they don't fall on the guy's jacket. Saneem adds stickiness? note to self: Stop it!].

In the middle of the confusion of how to use biodiversity resources in Indonesia, KPP Ilmu Hayati (umm.. KPP Life Science) [Zakky's note: After a discussion with NDC, we settle on Life Science instead of Biology to translate Ilmu Hayati] is able to produce a very good product. Now, it is up to how to spread the word because this product really helps people with dandruff. [Zakky's note: meeee! meee! me wantey! *raising index finger*]

Source: Yayasan Sumber Daya Hayati, Bandung. Or contact KPP Ilmu Hayati, LPPM ITB.
Translated from: Saneem: sampo buatan ITB by Budi

First things first:

1. As good as it may sound, I do believe that natural products are actually somewhat better than synthetic ones. But talking about grooming, it's all up to whether the product really fits you or not. It may fit the writer, but perhaps, just perhaps, it won't work for me. But no harm done for trying it out, actually.

2. There are some already nature-based shampoo or other haircare (again, haircare or hair care?) in Indonesia. Commonly, they smell terrible because no smell controlling agents were added to the process in order to ensure the naturality. This sometimes put people off of actually using it. And remember, everytime we choose a grooming product, one of the first things we do is smelling it. The second thing to do is saying. "Hmmm.." or "Smells good". It's like a reflex. The smell fact wasn't discussed, but I got a strong feeling that the smell is not that troublesome.

3. Dandruff is easy to treat actually. Wash hair regularly. If possible daily. The problem is, I look sucked with fresh washed hair. It is like space hair. My hair is outta this world. That is why I need a good product to control my dandruff, so that I won't have bad hair day in my entire life.

4. Your scalp is different with the other part of the skin. So having a dandruff doesn't mean that we have dandruff on our other hairy parts. I'm gonna stop it right there.

5. Having dandruff doesn't mean that you are dirty. You're not that lucky, mate. It takes a lot more to be dirty. It just means that you have problem on your scalp, just like some people having problems on their skin. It does mean that probably you haven't washed your hair for like two days, though. And for some people it's just gross.

6. Don't alienate people with dandruff. It's not contagious. It depends on talent.

7. Zakky is like bla bla bla bla bla. Bla bla bla bla bla bla. So, bla bla bla. Well, it's bla bla bla. That's what happened if you talk to him. I heard that few survived.

Updated: *ITB is an acronym from Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology) the university where I achieved my bachelor degree from.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


This blog is one of the coolest I-dont-know-who-the-writer(s)-is(are) blog there is! Had a gorge-fabul-ous time reading it. Reminds me of an old entry of mine..

Thanks NDC for the info..

a post to end dreadful weekend and monday

Current books read: Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella; Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote - music in ear: The Very Best of the Bee Gees - watched dvd: Will & Grace season 3 - wanted look: a pair or two Madras pants. Bottom line, that whole Santino's look by Kara!

Hrgh! I spent like one hour to write an entry and edit some pictures of our performance that ought to be put here only to find out, that blogger pic uploader was strangely not working. Duh?!

In a happier note, thank God I have like daily distractions to keep me positive facing up the dreadful four days. Dreadful? It was all lashed out on the not-yet published entry below.

On Friday night I finally got my Project Runway 2 episode. On Saturday night I chatted with and got a card from Aaron. On Sunday I got an again smile-inducing message from Peter (and I don't know where to link you, mate). Today I got tons of emails from friends here and there, and to end the day, I still have to watch Will & Grace due tomorrow.

Watching the last episode of season three brings us to my Indonesia-watch. Here goes.

A twelve-thirteen-year old boy entered Grace Adler Designs office and asked if Karen Walker was there. Karen Walker asked him suspiciously whether one of her step daughter sat on him or her driver hit him. The kid said no to both questions. And then Karen asked again, "Are you an employee at one of her husband's textile factories in Jakarta?".

Hehehee.. One of those is only 10 minutes from home, by the way. I wonder if it still runs. Luckily, it wasn't one of those coloring, bleaching, polluting-the-environment factories, but the one dealing only with construction.

It never fails to paste a smile on my face to find out that my country picked up by some creative minds who wrote some stories like Jumanji, The West Wing, Tintin, and now turned out also, Will & Grace. I know there are still some more out there, and I'll keep my ears and eyes open.

Ow, come on. Everybody in a New York theatre cheered when they were shown trailer from My Best Friend's Wedding featuring an actress saying, "She's from New York.." So it's fair enough for me to also cheer, right?

Good night everyone. End scene.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Reisen Hamburg 2006 part 1: the Musical Experience (as if!)

Current books read: Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella and Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter by Galadriel Waters

This post is an update of this post.

Surprise! Miscommunication happened, yet again. I'm starting to get tired and bored of it. Why can't people communicate better, more effective and more accurate? Is it because we're Indonesians? Hrgh!

Just think about this. You were only given in total of 30 minutes to perform 4 performances in total of 26 minutes. That means you only have two minutes to load and unload our instruments on the stage that weigh half a ton literally! Two minutes! We only have around one-tenth man-hours to do the job. One tenth! Moving half a ton. How crazy was that?

Seeing this problem, there was only one thing to do: Say a big fat NO to the organizers. It is that simple.

Anyway, this confusion lead to a very messy music performance, and I hope that the audience still doesn't understand our music (cue the grin), and ones who do, will take the problem as a consideration. Eventhough there shouldn't be any excuse.

On the other hand, the dancers are awesome as always. Pictured here on the right is one of the most basic dance for female dancers. The dance is so basic so that almost every female dancers in our group can do it. It is called "Peacock Dance".

The funny part is, I was once told that this dance actually based on peacock's mating rituals. If they are done with young adults to adult dancers, I will totally get it. But however, everytime the cuties do it, it isn't always believable for me, and in the end, I would just think that the birds were just playing with each other.

Sounds like a mating ritual for man to me. Whoops.

My personal favorite was when my teacher and a friend of mine were dancing a dance based on one of the oldest love story in the world: Ramayana. We were all giggling among the audience only because we felt so unrest of how romantic the dance was.

I haven't been briefed about this dance ever. But I thought it just shows Rama romancing Shinta on one of their encounters together. I don't think that it was the first time Rama met Shinta, or the last day they were together before Shinta was kidnapped.

I have to be honest. I am more familiar with western pop culture than indonesian traditional culture. So watching this dance, is like reliving the end of the silent movie of Don Juan which is performed in Singin' in the Rain. So it would have been superb, if they danced to "Would You?".

After the performance, as typical Indonesians, we gather around the backstage to take pictures with each other. So here is the rest of the picture that are quite good, but somehow doesn't fit the narration, or the narration is R-rated. :)

Lucky for us it was all over on a great note.

Friday, February 10, 2006

American Idol 5 Contestant of the Week

On this season, Simon said that he found an Irish girl who he thinks should be the next american idol. He named noone. Paula on the other hand said in an interview (if I'm not mistaken with MTV News) that there are great male talents in this season, and girls will go apes on them. She, unlike Simon named names, which are Ace and Patrick. No last names.

I sat through the dreadful audition episodes just to check these three names out. Simon's girl, as far as I observed, wasn't shown. Paula's Ace, was hyped not only during American Idol episodes, but also on the internet. But for me, he was below expectation. Just be real here, he sang Westlife for audition, for crying out loud. Paula's Patrick was never shown.

Enter Hollywood week first episode. First shown was the southern girl with all the klonk-a-donk like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Pickler. Hell, if she would be the next American Idol, the Japanese will got more and more confused. Second shown was our first American Idol 5 contestant of the week.

Patrick HallMeet Patrick Hall.

Is this the Paula's Patrick? I hope so. Because, I will put his performance in one sentence: I have never been almost broken down to tears after hearing a song that lasted for only 33 seconds.

That is how beautiful his rendition of "If" was.

(dreaming of) travelling around the world in hamburg

Current thing in ear: That Howard Stern interview with John Paulus - study reading: too many too much! argh!

First, I will write this real quick and short, and I will give updates in a day or two as the event is still going on.

Every year, Hamburg holds an event called Reisen Hamburg which actually is an exhibition of travel. I'm not a traveller traveller, but it's nice to see what comprise the world besides me, you, and the people that we know. Of course, due to the fact that this is a travelling exhibition business, you will only get to see the glamorous, far much better sides of the parts, then the real thing.

So if you got the time, go visit Messehallen (U1 Stephansplatz, U2 Messehallen, or S-Bahn Dammtor) to check this thing out. While at it, be sure not to miss the Show-Bühne on:

Saturday, 3 PM
Sunday, 12 PM
Sunday, 3 PM

as I will be performing with my group. Look to the left (viewer's) side of the stage and there will be me. It is possible though that my performance will cruelly be cancelled in return of some Indonesian dances will be on stage. In that case, try to find me among the audience who, like other asians, will be busy taking pictures.

Don't miss it. Because our performance is usually followed by a tacky fashion show from Triumph showing their collection of swimwear and beach outfit for 2006. What you'll see on stage, will complement the tackiness.

See you lot there!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

redesign ... exclamation mark

It's official. I am about to pass out doing all the CSS thingy.. :) Haven't checked it in other browsers of course.. But I hope they're alright.

There's still two things in the code that still annoy me .. Until now, I haven't been able to find the solution or the logic. Mann, mann, mann.. I missed my lunch because of it for gosh sakes!

But anyway.. will try to look at it again tomorrow afternoon, after the performance in the morning.

Good night.

By the way, for a friend of mine that I had promised to redesign her blog, I'm sorry I haven't done anything. It's because since I'm not an artist artist, I dealt mostly with only retouching pictures and positioning them. And you know I only got your pictures in your (allegedly) worst form, right? :)

So.. How about if I made you the layout, and you do the coding? :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

ex-potato, ex-broccoli, and an ex-cuse

Current books read: on the same time: Shopaholic and Sister, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Das Klavierhandbuch

Today I cooked for my friend. It's like the first time ever I let myself cook for someone. And he was willing .. so hopefully, no harm done. Yesterday was his birthday by the way, and I don't have a gift as I don't celebrate birthdays anyway..

The dish was one of the most basic things: Gratin. Potato Gratin. A la Bie. Hmm.. Somehow, that doesn't sound delicious... :-S

Cooking while someone is watching eventhough they are not judging is .. troublesome. Making me nervous. Especially when it is in his kitchen. *grin*. Eventhough this is not my first time cooking gratin, so that my "flow of work" was much better than the first time, I still got cold feet. Or is it the winter?

gratin ingredients
First, I cook the potato halfway to extract all the vitamins on the skin. While they were cooked I kept my eye on the clock and started shredding and cut the broccoli into some manageable pieces. Next was washing the broccoli.

After that, I started to minced the schalotten (red onions but not onions) and the garlic and the Lachzwiebeln. These two were used because I insisted to add a personality in the gratin. Because I'm a proud asian, I would sautee them in a fashion that every spices must be sauteed first in Indonesia.

Potatoes were ready, I switched to smaller pan, heated the oil, washed potatoes, put minced garlic to pan, started to fry them. After they were done, I turned the stove off, turned the oven on, poured milk, cream, Schmelzkäse, added salt and pepper into the pan.

gratin in process
Waiting for the potatoes to cool down a bit, I greased the Auflaufform. Shortly after, I peeled the potatoes (really hate peeling hot potatoes), cut them to thin slices (dünne Scheiben), and arranged them and the broccoli in the Auflaufform.

The cream mixtured was poured on, cover the Auflaufform with Alufolie, and Voila! The oven was ready, so I started baking.

I never cooked like this before. There always, "Oh, I forgot to grease the pan." Or .. "Oh, the oil is not hot enough." Or worse, "Oh, the oven wasn't turned on.." But you know how they say that "third time's a charm"? For me, my charm always works on the first time. This time it doesn't taste superb like the first one. Thank God, it is not Rachel's Shepherd's Pie.

gratin made!
Anyway, I want you to do something. First, start cooking for yourself. It's cheap, healthy, and a good way to channel your stress. Second, try to guess where in the steps that I mentioned above I actually steal some time to make those pictures.

And third, get a kleenex, and wipe that drool outta your face. Your boss is looking at you.

Update: Oh, my God, the pics are HUMONGOUS!! It's the after midnight syndrome, I think.. :-S

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Current books read: Technik des Klavierspiels. Ein Handbuch für Pianisten. by Bärenreiter (Jieeehhh)

So, surprise.. I finally ends the dreadful experience of reading Book That Shouldn't be Named*, you know.. For me, the book was dreadfully boring. I wished I had fallen asleep and been skipped for hundreds of pages from it, but the bad thing about books are they won't go on and leave you asleep.

The books
Anyway, I really have to cut some slack, methinks. Come on, let's be real here. The book is still wonderfully written as the words telling the story are flowing and the story was compelling. It's just that there is no element of keeping us side-tracked, when we were supposed to be.

In the first, there is this all anticipation of magic school to accompany us to get to the Philosopher's Stone. In the second, ... I quite forgot. :) In the third, the neverending hunt of Sirius was great before all secrets revealed. In the fourth, there is the Triwizard. In the fifth, there is .. politics. One of my most avoided subjects.

But I have to respect it still, right. I mean if Potter had to wait for five years to learn all of the secrets, it shouldn't hurt me waiting for about two weeks to know all those, right.

If Potter suffered for the loss of one of his beloved ones, that I shouldn't be jumping up and down after losing some of my beloved possessions, right? I'm talking about my time, by the way..

All and all, I can finally relate myself to Simon Cowell when he was commenting Nikko Smith in one of his performances. He commented, "You're doing this performances with this big notes in the end believing that we're not gonna hear the first part of the song. And honestly, for me, the first part of the song sounded out of tune."

That's how I feel about the book.

*only if you're wondering, it is actually titled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Oscar nominees

Current books read: Caution: Read Only Three Last Chapters of This the book previously known as Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix - expected TV program: Germany's Next Top Model, ProSieben, Mi. 20:15

Pretty blatant, heh? :D

First things first: I just found out that they are going to do only 3 song nominees. I am for Dolly Parton. Funny thing is, I always thought that this is the most totally OOT category of them all.

First funny things first: As I read the list, I was like, this is gonna win. He is. She is. It is. This one. Umm.. that one. Oh, I have to watch all the nominees to decide. Not interested in taking sides. That one. It's between this and that. :) Weird..

First surprising thing first: Memoirs of Geisha got some nods. Two things: it is surprising, or my ignorance of guild awards fruited this thing. :)

First stubborn thing first: Until I sat, watched, knew, experienced, enjoyed, cried to, laugh to, was touched by, was enriched by, or witnessed Brokeback Mountain, I wouldn't fully support it. But I think it deserves to sweep 'em all.

First jaw-dropping thing first: Wouldn't it be cool if Heath Ledger snatch it at the last minute just like Adrien Brody did? Cool..

First linguistic thing first: I know it's not out there. But before the Globes, I thought wunderkind was supposed to be pronounced woon-der-kin not won-der-kayn. Why didn't they pronounce kindergarten kayn-der-gar-ten, then?

Final things final: I am so behind this all Ho/uffman affair! Go you both!

Unrelated things: I wanna read TC Boyle's The Inner Circle!! Huwwaaa..

Sleep tight and don't let the frost bite.