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“advice, anyone?” follow up February 20, 2009

Posted by altari in words.
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Some of you may remember that I once had a situation with someone.

Regarding my situation, well… I’m not sure whether it can now be categorized as better or not. What happens these days is, I only talk to this ‘person’ whenever necessary. Meaning, she (yup, it’s a she) talks to me first, and then I reply, and… that’s it, pretty much.

Sometimes I blame the old me for having a high expectation on her. I mean, in the past I wanted her to be kind to me and treated me the way she treated others. But the thing with ‘high expectation’ on people is… most of them just let you down in the end. Yes, I’m very much aware that nobody’s perfect (ugh, I actually don’t fancy clichés but they always embody a condition precisely. To me, clichés can be annoying yet effective at the same time.) Still, not that I expected a perfection in her treatment to me, just please be nice.

Anyhow, now my burden is very much lifted compared to the last time. I thank and appreciate friends who spare their time to share their views through this blog and e-mail.

This person and I don’t communicate much with each other anymore, which is a good thing, because that way I can keep my mind clear from negative thoughts about and the irritated feelings from her. I see her more like a mere passerby, so I don’t feel obliged anymore to care that much about her, which is again a good thing.

You know what guys, somehow I read a signal from her that she actually was aware about my change of attitude towards her recently. I found that sometimes she tried to have a longer conversation with me and she made the attempt obvious. But then again, I remained the passive side. And I don’t see what’s wrong with that as long as I stay polite. I still need more time to be normal with her.

So, even though at the beginning of this post I sounded uncertain about my situation being better or not, now I’m finally able to conclude that yes, in relation to my feelings, it’s much better =)



iNeed… February 19, 2009

Posted by altari in humor, questions.
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a Dobberman, better be a huge and fierce one,

a hacker friend,

a lawyer friend,

a miracle.

P.S. Warning: This is seriously a joke which is jokingly serious.

B.F.F. February 18, 2009

Posted by altari in the circle, words.
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My fact number one: I’m not young anymore.

My fact number two: (No intention to brag…) One of my talents since I was a kid is easily make friends with people I newly meet.

My fact number three: I’m not sure what the relation between fact number one and two is, but I insist on keeping fact number one above (hee hee…)

My fact number four: I have lotsa of them, everywhere across our beautiful globe.

My fact number five: I’m not good at keeping in touch, but they’re not leaving me yet (or it could be my wishful thinking, hihihih…)

My fact number six: I don’t make best friends easily.

Yeah, kinda sad. And sometimes I can feel awful too. There were times when I found out that some people just put me on their speed-dial lists, while they’re not on mine. They usually press their cell phones on my salary day. Naah… just kidding (while looking cautiously at some dudes.)

Okay, here goes fact number seven: My best friends are less than ten people.

So, what does it take to become someone’s best friend?

Do you even remember the very first meeting with your long-time best friend?

How did you feel about him/her at that time?

Actually, some of my best friends were the people I hated at first. They might have given me the worst impressions ever. But people do change (surprisingly, when you least expect them to.) They changed, I changed, and suddenly we all meet at the same level of comfort without even remembering how we used to be so different before.

Now let me remember how my best friends and I got to that level…

Ah yes, compromising. Must be that. Compromise is a point where a person puts his/her being selfish aside for certain conditions. He/she doesn’t have to accept the condition, just not against it. No, the previous sentence is not a definition. It’s simply a conclusion I learn by not-always-but-at-least-giving-it-a-try doing it.

I find that compromising involves respect and appreciation. So, if it feels good when someone pays you a respect and appreciates you, why don’t you do the same to others?

Anyways, the title ‘best friend’ is not a bonus. To me, it’s an achievement through loyalty, trustworthy and sincerity.

So, don’t listen to your friend’s personal story just because you’re curious, but because you do care. And if you say “I’ll always be there for you”, sometimes it doesn’t have to mean you’re physically there or always provide time for your best friends. Just make them feel that they’re not alone, especially when they’re pouring their personal stories to you. Don’t respond a sad story with “Oh, that kind of thing never happens to me!” otherwise they’ll thank you for making them feel lonelier. Sometimes a little “uh-huh” or a small nod works.

However, if your sad friend demands you to listen to him/her all the time, while you’ve actually got something else not less important to do, yet he/she just doesn’t wanna understand that, then perhaps he/she is not the one.

stolen January 30, 2009

Posted by altari in lyrics.
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Dashboard Confessional (Album: Dusk and Summer.)

dusk & summer album cover

We watch the season pull up its own stakes
And catch the last weekend of the last week
Before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced
Another sun soaked season fades away

You have stolen my heart
You have stolen my heart

Invitation only grant farewells
Crash the best one of the best ones
Clear liquor and cloudy eyed
Too early to say goodnight

You have stolen my heart
You have stolen my heart

And from the ball room floor, we are in celebration
One good stretch before our hibernation
Our dreams assured and we all will sleep well

Sleep Well
Sleep Well
Sleep Well
Sleep Well

You have stolen
You have stolen
You have stolen my heart

I watch you spin around in your highest heels
You are the best one of the best ones

You have stolen my
You have stolen my
You have stolen my heart

if there were words, ever…. January 12, 2009

Posted by altari in the circle.
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dawnWe’ll all die, eventually.

Heard that. Known that.

Until death touches someone dear, in fact perhaps dearest to your heart… that’s when everything matters more. That’s when no such thing as perfect words can be said in such reality.

To a dear friend of my heart,

Yes, I know there is nothing I can say to put back together your shattered feelings. Nothing I feel can equate the broken heart. Nothing I give can compete what you accepted before.

But here I am, a soul and a prayer, for you. For him.

In memoriam of Oom Budi Setiawan (January 4, 2009.)

the ‘E’ virus got me at last! January 4, 2009

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Every time I went into a book store, any book store for the last few months, my eyes always caught Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and New Moon books. But never did my hands reach for them. My heart simply weren’t moved either. The same thing went whenever I flip through my newspaper pages and accidentally saw the Twilight cinema schedule there. There was just no desire to see it whatsoever.

Not until I saw Paramore’s Decode video clip on MTV and realized that something was different with this movie soundtrack. Of course, it’s all because Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen was there, with his deep see-through golden eyes, flickering in front of me (…jaw completely dropped.)


January 2, 2009

I went to the book store nearby and grabbed those two books. I meant to grab Eclipse as well but hubby reminded me that I’d better grab just the first two series in case I didn’t like the story. Well, I kinda doubted that considering that if Twilight wasn’t that good, the movie wouldn’t stay that long in cinemas and no second or third book. Right?

My mistake was… reading them while imagining exactly Robert Pattinson as Edward. Wow…! A huge mistake, I’m telling you, um, girls (I suppose…?) Coz what happened was, I read it non-stop from 11 pm to 4 am, and then continued with New Moon around the same hour on the next night, ended up craving for more!

January 3, 2009

In the morning with Edward waltzing between my brain synapses, I texted Ika, one of my bestest friends, who also collects Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. She’s known for her extreme criteria in selecting crushes, i.e. superlatively handsome, stunning and gorgeous (yep, all physical, at least the last time I checked 😛 ) In relation with Edward Cullen, I so have a huge expectation that she’ll understand my ‘fever’ the most.

Me: bla bla bla Edward bla bla bla Edward bla bla bla Edward bla bla bla….

Ika: OMG, Al! What… how… 😯

Me: I knoooww (feeling helpless)

Ika: You sound like you’ve just been bitten by a vampire.

Me: Hm, good guess. Oh, Edward… Edward Cullen… will you be my son in law?

No more replies from Ika.

January 4, 2009 morning

I screamed to hubby,”Ika just texted me, she actually has the Twilight book, but the cover is the movie picture!”

Hubby was chasing my tot around and I could catch him rolling his eyes.

“And it’s got pictures bonus in it! I hate her! Iii haaate heerr! I’ve gotta have one too!!” I said, panicky. Don’t worry, I didn’t pull out my hair and roll on the floor. Maybe later, when the spunk ransom really shows up in front of my door (…fingers crossed!)

“What are you, high school student?” Hubby grumbled. “It would be much cooler though if Mandra was the title cover.”

What he said almost made me believe that he has officially signed up the Edward-Cullen-hater-hubbies club. Because below is Edward (or Robert, or Edward, or… hm, dizzy)


And apart from his wonderful works in Indonesian movies and TV dramas, this… is… Mandra…


PS: Hubby and I were actually planning to see Twilight the movie this afternoon, until a sad news broke…

a love letter January 3, 2009

Posted by altari in humor, likes.
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advice, anyone? December 28, 2008

Posted by altari in questions.

I’ve been wondering for a couple of years… how can I make myself like a person, whom I don’t like? Well, I know this sounds meany. But I’m not gonna defend myself for not liking a person. I have my own reasons.

So, all I’m saying is… I’m not asking much. I just don’t want the situation where I’m in now is getting worse and worse and suddenly… the time bomb explodes. Again, I’m not asking much. I don’t have to love this person. I don’t even wish to adore this person. I just don’t want to hate this person.

Please anyone who reads this be kindly to share your advice with me. That’ll be precious.

I thank you beforehand.

Because today, I officially lost my respect for this person.

grandpa is just next door December 25, 2008

Posted by altari in home, mi familia.
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Betawi, is the native tribe of Jakarta. They are of course not less unique than the other thousands of tribes in Indonesia. From what I read in Kampung Betawi (in Bahasa Indonesia) website, they’re pretty much into details when organizing every aspect in their lives, including their houses.

For instance, how they build their houses. A traditional Betawi house is required to have Arabic calligraphies on its walls. Not to mention the terrace, designed in a way that when the rain drops, the water will go right into the inlet on the canopy attaching to a small drain, which will send it to the drain on the street. In their yard, a Betawi family usually plants fruit trees and herbal plants.

What’s even more interesting, a Betawi family used to bury their deceased family members in their yard. The graves were usually located on the right side of the yard, just next to the house. This tradition took place before public burial grounds were provided. So, imagine, doing daily activities like cooking and taking a bath just a few meters away from the grave 🙂

I’m not quite sure whether there is a philosophy behind burying their relatives nearby or not, but it sure is somewhat practical when they want to visit the grave. Almost zero energy consumption coz you don’t have to travel far to get there, and definitely costless.

Can you see how detailed and handy the way they build their houses? More amazingly, every inch of the house is meant to be useful. Check out the plants they have in the yard. If this idea is applied to every house in Jakarta, people will be able to save a lot of money rather than buying fruits or medicines in the store, which is of course more expensive. Nonetheless, I’m posting here not to discuss about the house in particular, but about something else. Something that is meant to be light. Besides that, a house that kind is far and few between these days.

whereallivesThe neighborhood I’m living in now is mostly inhabited by Betawi families, other than Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, and many more. It’s in the outer side of East Jakarta. The air and water quality is still clean, and not really congested. It’s a good place to live, especially if you have kids.

Nowadays, most houses dwelled by Betawi families in my neighborhood are modern-built. In other words, you can’t tell any longer whether there’s a grave or not in their yards. And the structure of the house is no longer like the picture above. You can also find deserted graves here. They are just lying on vacant lands, which might be owned by a Betawi family before the land is bought by somebody else, who still leaves it unoccupied. There are many vacant lands here, and usually there are no house buildings anymore on the lands.

My family and I have been living here for almost two years, and am very well aware of the seven gravestones in the vacant land, right behind my house. Do I feel comfortable about the fact that I sleep just meters away from those dead bodies? Oh yes, I’m used to it by now. At many times I just forget about them 🙂

Anyway, here comes the fun part. One day, our gardener was mowing the grass in the backyard. Close to the wall separating us from the vacant land, he found a snake. Alive. Since he’s not a snake tamer, he left it as was. Judging from the way he left his jackknife behind, using ‘not a snake tamer’ as an excuse when he told me about his leaving was… well… oh c’mon, he left his jackknife behind!

So the snake stayed there for the next couple of days. We were advised to call a snake tamer to catch it and throw it faraway, and also to hold a small ritual where we all pray together. Do you know how much I have to pay the man who can do it all? Rp. 250,000. Why all the hassles? Apparently, a snake is believed to bring bad luck. Not just to the house where it’s staying in, but also to the neighborhood. Suppose there was a child who fell ill, if we didn’t do anything about the snake, the blame would be on us. Funny, hey? We didn’t invite the snake in, but for the sake of practicality people just prefer to blame us. As for the praying, it was meant to get rid of bad luck.

The news about a snake lying around in our backyard spread pretty quickly. Suddenly, everybody in the neighborhood came to my backyard. Me? I was hiding in my bedroom, which has got a direct view to the backyard. So I got to calculate how many people there were, multiplied them by two thousand Rupiahs, equaled to forty thousand Rupiahs. That’s the amount of money I could get if only I sold tickets to them for trespassing my family’s land, hmph! Hang on, come to think again, Rp. 40,000 is still million light years far from Rp. 250,000, isn’t it?

Now, you must be wondering, what is the relation between those graves in the vacant land and the snake? Well, one day someone came, his name was Mr. Sobil. He was involved in the building process of our house and he heard the news about the snake. Moreover, he can ‘communicate’ with… you know… the ‘other’ side.

He then talked to the snake. Again, I was hiding in the bedroom. Creepy world is exciting? Hah! Not for me. I can make myself become the least curious person in the world when it comes to that kind of thing.

After all that “whatsitsname” was done, he brought me that news. The snake was actually a bangle, owned by one of the grave owners in the vacant land back there. By grave owners I mean the corpses buried there.  Who were they? Or, are…?

Mr. Sobil said those guys have been wandering around in the neighborhood for hundreds of years. Whoa… And guess what? They’d like to be called Mbah, or Grandpa/Grandma. Whadda…??!

So why did they put the ‘bangle’ in my backyard? Mr. Sobil said that Mbah Genji (oh, ‘they’ do have names) was trying to warn our gardener, whom he disliked. He said our gardener was rude. He also demanded us to pray more. Well, well… I was quite speechless.

Anyhow, the snake was finally thrown away. We also paid someone to do the praying, the ‘noticeable’ one, so that everyone in the neighborhood was aware that a praying had been done. And the guys are probably floating around me right now while I’m typing this post. Looks like my family just got new companions.

Well, as long as we don’t bother each other…

Still, the part that they ask to be called Gramps… 😆

…207 pages more. December 23, 2008

Posted by altari in home.
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Rome wasn’t built in one night, so was my kitchen. It’s 2×2 meters and used to be a total mess when it had no cabinets. Cans, plates, cutleries, pans, everything was piling up on top of the kitchen table. Every time I walked in, I would go as far as the fridge only. Don’t even ask where my sense of belonging was.  When my mom who visited me asked where the knife was, I could only say,”It’s there. It’s not lost. It’s still in the kitchen,” trying to sound encouraging, without moving from where I was sitting 😉


Until hubby asked me several months ago,”What do you want for birthday?”

“A kitchen set.” I replied.

“Well, there will be one condition…”


“Delicious meals.”

“Oh, I’ll make them even extravagant!”

I heard a snort as a reply. By ignoring the temptation to punch, I tried to throw a bargain,”Weekends only, yes? Still extravagant, I promise you.”



And then, with the help of my big brother in law who’s an interior designer, the renovation began. Every decision was given to me-love that, it was gonna be my kitchen after all-starting from the colors to the position of the cabinet handles. I chose cova calvados as the theme color, minimalist style for the cabinet-no handle for the lower cabinet, black galaxy for the granite, and of course, mosaic for the wall. I wanted my kitchen to be simple and warm, just a nice little space to cook for my family and friends.

After those heating debates with hubby about every simple-yet-appeared-to-be-a-bigger-deal thing… and those exhausting searches for the sink and water tap… not to mention the despair that the stove had to travel from afar… all that was finally paid for. I finally got my kitchen ready, and shiny (please ignore my narcistic-personality disorder.) Yattaaa!


I love it!

I love every angle of it.

You know what? I don’t even mind polishing every single inch of it in the middle of the night. Nope, I don’t have Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. Or maybe I do, when it comes to that little kitchen of mine.

And then came the time to perform (please read: cook.) Here’s what I’ve got to say about cooking. I’m not good at it, but I like doing it, yet I don’t take critics for it whatsoever (hah!)

I picked Chinese menu from the cooking book my mom gave me. It was gonna be Apple Dumpling, followed by Egg Flower Soup (this was called flower coz the egg gives the flower-shape effect when it’s poured into the soup) and Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce.

How long do you think, for an amateur who shamelessly sees herself as a chef and thinks she knows it all, to cook from appetizer to desert?


That’s the answer if you wanna pick a fight with me 👿

A day?

Okay, not that long, thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, it took me 4 hours. Don’t ask me how many “Are you done yet?” questions I received during those sweaty hours. And finally…  voila!

Smelled good, looked good, or so I thought. And the comment for the Apple Dumpling was,”Can’t taste the apple.”

I got “Yuumm…” for the Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce.

And “Weird…” for the Egg Flower Soup.

“I said, I’m not asking for critics.” I said.

“It was for your own good.” Looks like I wasn’t being listened to. And then I asked,”Anyway, what’s my score?”

“Seven out of ten.”

“Come on. Eight will make me happy. Your stomach is fine after all, right?”

“Alright, alright. I give you… seven.”

Inhaled… exhaled… until I finally said,”That’s okay. And congratulation, you’re gonna get to taste 207 pages more from the book.”

“….” 😯

The day passed, and there have been around three serious cookings so far. I touched down in Chicken Teriyaki (well, who wouldn’t?) but almost killed myself when pulling Cheese Cake from the oven. Last but not least, my Lasagna made it to be my Mom’s favorite. Yaayyy!