Category Archives: Blog

Following His Lead


My soft lens arrived this morning on DHL :) Look at that cute hippo case I got for free!

Today, I woke up with a DHL delivery guy on my front door delivering my order from Honey Color. I love the complementary soft lens case :)

The best mother in the world also got me these three delightful pastries without me asking for them. I guess the brain-shaped one would keep me smart, the blank one filled with coconut flakes is a sign that she would never ever let me starve (my mother suffered from stomach ulcers for over twenty years), while the long one with cheese coated all over it would be purely for my guilty pleasure :) I’m grateful that these are more than enough, thanks to the best mother in the world, and that never for once in her life has she stopped thinking ahead of my needs.


I’m also grateful to have the opportunity to listen to a great leader who shared his wisdom today. He said that every true leader follows God’s lead rather than relying on their own conscience. They are disciples of God, not fans of God. Countless times I’ve been put into situations where nobody understands that I am clearly not God and I can’t do everything right according to their own perceptions of righteousness. No matter how hard I try, people tend to forget that I’m merely human. But letdowns have never stopped me from practicing my service to others with excellence, simply because I known I am nothing without sacrifice. Over the past few months, I learned that people-pleasing is different from being of service. I’m thankful that He’s led me up to this point in my life because I can only put my confidence in God, not anybody else, not even myself.

I’m always grateful for being with someone who have seen all of me – everything from my best, my worst, my so-so, my meh, my craziness, my unstability, my volatility, my vulnerability, and everything else there ever is but the built facade I hold up in front of everybody else, a superwoman that continues to protect me from being misunderstood.

I understand the very fact that every human being walking on earth is different in their own ways, and my beau feels the same depth of gratitude about my accepting all of his. We provide each other the full freedom to be our purest selves with each other, be it as a kid who needs attention or as a teacher who gives undivided attention, and that’s the kind of relationship, almost as agape-like as a parent-and-child relationship, that comes in your lifetime only once.

A wise person once said, women are not to be understood, but to be loved. I’m thankful my close-knit circle loves nothing else but the bare and naked soul of mine. This grace is infinitely larger than a lifetime of my self-sacrifice.

What are you grateful for today?





A joy-full memory filled in under sixty seconds:
Stace turned on the Flash button on her camera, a gift she received from 10 not long ago.
10: “We’re going to go blind, babe.”
Stace: “So close your eyes.”
Stace clicked on the camera.
10: “OK, I’m blind.”
Stace: “I told you to close your eyes! I closed mine!!”
10: “Who’s that little Chinese mei mei beside me?”


Today, I’m grateful for the simple, joyful, and memorable time I’ve shared with 10, even if it was just a few hours, and even if I can always choose to be complicated, sad, and forgotten. A wise man can make a year’s value within 24 hours compared to the foolish man who never realizes the great fortune of his own 24 hours. The wise man sitting by my side knows exactly how to make my belly laugh so hard, and takes great pleasure to do so, that three days is all it took for me to get a tight tummy.

I’m also grateful for some important lessons I’ve learned today from reading the next few chapters of Nigel Warburton’s little compendium, particularly the illustrative dialogue he presented that aptly summarizes the most important Aristotelian teachings:


What can we do to increase our chance of eudaimonia?

Aristotle: Develop the right kind of character.


True happiness, which I take is the very definition of human flourishing and therefore the meaning of success, has got very little to do with the everyday pleasures we feel. It is about, ultimately, deciding what the human being wants to do and be.

Unlike animals and plants, humans can investigate, research, and reason his way to achieve the state of betterment in the society – by doing the right things and being a virtuous character. It is never about personal development alone.

As Wendell Berry once said, “Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.” Daily, the world is giving us all the reasons to be sad, but I decide to be full of great moments that there’s no more room to be sad. Also, as far as I know, gratitude is the seat of every form of happiness there ever existed. The virtue is an outlook of life that assures you have more than you’ll ever need, and by always having more than enough, I am rest assured I can always give more to others than I’ll ever know I can.

That’s one giant bundle of hope I can give through my happiness, my great moment, my writing :)

What are you grateful for today?




Living the Socratic Method


Socrates have chosen self-sacrifice over the unexamined existence of his being.

I think so too, though that has often costed me to think too much.

Over two thousand years later, it’s still weird for a human being to walk around, asking people difficult questions like, “Why did you wear that? Are you really that which you are portraying your self to be?” or “How do you put your self together everyday? Are you real or do you only appear to be authentic?”

Obviously I can’t walk around asking those kind of questions, but most of the time I really can’t help asking. All these existential questions just keeping coming to my head, because the world has given me plenty of reasons to do so.

To that, I ruminate. A lot. Then act accordingly to my reasoning.

Socrates never stop probing reality and its appearances, and generations of philosophers admire him for his ceaseless inquisition. His soul was the star of Warburton’s first chapter in A Little History of Philosophy, a collection of over two millennia of Western thought as contributed by the most influential thinkers in history, including Hobbes, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzche, and even modern-day Sophist Peter Singer.

Today, I am grateful to have IDR 176,000 in my pocket to exchange for a lifetime peeking into some of the greatest minds in history, then do things in life with exercised judgments based on the things I’ve learned from these minds. Understanding how great people think is, for me, a priceless treasure because I can learn to think greatly like them. Because I believe human beings are what human beings think, thinking like the great minds of the tried-and-true past means becoming someone as great as them in the experimental today.

Like Socrates, I will never stop questioning the status quo. I know appearance and reality are two significantly different things – I’ve had firsthand experience on the subject. I found that most people today believe in shadows more than they believe in reality. They’re becoming like Plato’s cavesmen.

Then again, everybody’s reality is different.

It may look weird to ask around questions for no particular reason, but lovers of wisdom would go about in their lives with an open mind and constantly find potential truths. Do you know how far a journalist would go just to fill her curiosity, and/or to prove her self true? Using the written word, Nellie Bly toured around the world in 72 days, while others, like Socrates, used speech and dialogue instead to make history.

This knowledge is profound, and I can imagine you readers imagineering your lives into your very own versions of reality :)

What are you grateful for today?




New ‘do


9fhtdAt last … the all-new ‘do (well, it’s actually just a tiny trim), since I last chopped my head off into a bob in March 2011. That was the third and the last time ever I’m going to sport a bob. Ever.

Based on personal experience, hitting the salon when you’re out of your mind isn’t the best idea. Refrain yourself from getting a massive haircut when you’re going crazy with life, because you’re going to wait for a really, really long time to have your full crown (read: sanity) back on your head.

I made a promise to myself to never touch my hair with anything close to a pair of scissors until they grow as long as my chest, and I did wait that long (two and a half years) without having anything close to a snip, except for the bangs.

Why? Because after three bobs and three daunting experiences waiting for my long hair to come back, most hairdressers cut an average of about three inches off my scalp even when I stressed them not to make my tresses shorter. “I just want it tidied up,” I always say with a stern voice. “I’ve been growing them out for a long time since my bob.”

But I always end up with much shorter hair.

Every time that happens, it feels like you’ve just finished a full marathon in less than four hours (which is a great time for the average guy by the way), but for some reason the timer guy got your timing wrong. “Sorry buddy, we’ve experienced some technical problems,” he would say. And then he recorded you an hour late.

One full hour sweating is like three inches hair being cut off just like that. Yeap, that’s how emotional I can get with haircuts.

So I got my treat today – I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, and I’m just happy with the result.

Growing out my hair to be like the crown of actress Shin Min Ah

Growing out my hair to be like the crown of actress Shin Min Ah

My cluttered bunch is a super thick and dry one, as all the dressers I’ve ever been to have felt so. Considering I’ve grown it since my bob, the front sections on either sides were slightly longer than the rest. There were no shaggy layers, no angling waves, no nothing to tousle – just straight, blunt, and broom-like flatness with weighty split ends.

But now my tresses are neat as a pin. I’m no longer carrying around a broomstick on my head anymore.

Finally, I know where to make an appointment for a trim without having the hairdresser chopping three inches off my hair.

Perched in Pluit, RE:DO Korean Hair Boutique is a chic salon that truly prioritizes on service quality. I usually get frowns and what-do-you-want looks from old ladies in other salons within the neighborhood, but now I see why the hallyu effect is so pervasive throughout Indonesia. Staff are all friendly and approachable, and I learned that over the last five years it’s been established, most RE:DO frequenters have entrusted the pro colorists in the house to conceal their graying hairs with gusto, while the young repeaters keep coming back for the magic hair workers to make them look like Korean celebrities.

Like everyone else, I got to choose between local and South Korean hairstylists on my visit. The place is furnished with an impressive collection of imported Korean haircare products on its shelves, not that I needed any of those just for my little hair fix-up. But for those who aspire to copy hairdos of your favorite K-pop star, I have exciting news for you: RE:DO’s having a special month-long discount! For every haircare service done by the Korean stylists, you get 10% off the regular price. This includes cutting, coloring, and styling services – Korean style.

Though I’m not a nail art practitioner, I do enjoy pedicures now and then. Turns out that RE:DO is not just a nook for tending the hair. It also offers sleek mani-pedis that would be perfect to fill your daytime pampering session this month.



You ready to get all styled up? :)




A 6-week plan: It’s all a matter of hormones.


A Nest Egg


Last Thursday, I downed my first bottle of Gold Label Bak Foong Pill out of the six. I did my second bottle today.

I discussed a bit about the primary reason why I’m taking these pills. First and foremost it’s because my mother has always asked me to, due to my history of long bouts of absent periods and irregular ones, and also because I’m kind of worried if this goes on any longer I might not be able to, um, fertilize.

I went to two doctors from different continents and both said the same thing. One gave me a birth control pill while the other basically said I have to reduce stress, relax, and just enjoy life.

But I’m curious to know more about this disease.

Before we go on, let’s get my personal notes over with:


      1. Thursday, 13 June, 2013: Didn’t have enough sleep the other night probably because I ate too much sugared ginger and drank sugary instant drinks, namely hot chocolate and teh tarik, and a whole lot of chocolate bars and Medjooli dates. Even when I eat so much for the past few weeks, sleep less than I usually do, and workout so much less often than I used to, my weight is still declining at a rapid rate, of reasons I don’t know of. My head hurts like hell. I don’t feel productive.
      2. Thursday, 20 June, 2013: Didn’t get sufficient sleep the other night but have been feeling a little better than last Thursday. Weight is back to normal and head hurts much, much less. Feel a bit more productive. More temperate mood climate throughout the day, though still a lot of worrying, frowning, and unconsciously contracting my brows while scrutinizing facts.
      3. Thursday, 27 June, 2013: TBA
      4. Thursday, 4 July, 2013: TBA
      5. Thursday, 11 July, 2013: TBA
      6. Thursday, 18 July, 2013: TBA


After scrounging for an abundance of information on the subject, I learned that PCOS, an abbreviation for polycystic ovary syndrome, is the longword for a condition where your hormones are thrown out of whack. It can affect both women and men. For women in particular, symptoms may occur at any given reproductive age, from puberty to menopause.

PCOS Poster 6

The real cause of the syndrome is still a big, hairy mystery in the scientific literature, though some believe that it’s due to a large amount of weight gain. My mother never had PCOS, so it couldn’t be genetics.

Well, you can’t blame gaining 10kg when you relocate to the States, right? Every meal is a happy meal over there. At least now I’ve lost it all and turned back to the baseline weight I’ve always carried since I was in my teens.

Women diagnosed with PCOS are known to have grown cysts in their ovaries, the minute saclike structures that are not harmful per se, but are known to cause hormonal imbalances.

The growth of these fluid-filled sacs are just one of the many symptoms of PCOS. According to, these symptoms include:


    • Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
    • Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
    • Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes. Also called hirsutism
    • Cysts on the ovaries
    • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
    • Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
    • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
    • Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black
    • Skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
    • Pelvic pain
    • Anxiety or depression
    • Sleep apnea — when breathing stops for short periods of time while asleep


It really is a pain in the ass now that I’ll have to manage the symptoms all my life.

Just as the doctors have said, the only proven long-term treatment for PCOS is a lifestyle modification that suits me.

However it shall become, the potential for this syndrome to become worse is huge when its symptoms are not managed well. The medical community asserts that PCOS can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, heart diseases, and endometrial and uterine cancers. Ouch.






Well, I guess I’ll see what happens with my overall mood (or should I say it by its scientific term, my ability for emotional self-regulation?) during the following week, as I learn a bit more about what the Bak Foong Pill has long been used for.

Perhaps, if I trust this pill enough, it’ll probably have a placebo effect on me anyway. Hmmm.




- Image courtesy of Five Seasons HealingImplementing Designism / Methuen Public Schools


Dear future self, honestly …


Dear 99-year-old-and-9-month self:


- Image courtesy of Living by via Tumblr

Let me give you a bargain: I will reduce my original 100-year-old lifespan down by 3 months. In return, please, endow me with your utmost patience for today, for this moment, for being alive and not merely existing in the heyday of this lifetime.

I no longer care for the yesteryears, but I do care to progress. I am always aware that the internal clock keeps ticking, and life is not getting any easier. But I am also aware that every morning when I wake, a new hope is given freely to me. Thank God’s mercy. I’m sure you remember them – the rays of sunshine smiling at you and all, don’t you? Yea, if that’s not the case, you won’t look so youthful with the natural facelifts you’re known for giving yourself (and especially for others).

How the heck did you have such patience? Is it from marathoning?





… or did you succumb yourself to being a lab rat for a lifetime?

I know for sure that both you and I have committed to the written word once in exchange for not committing suicide when we were 21 years old. For all I know that’s the only thing we have in common: Commitment.

But once again, please, bestow upon me just a dash of your measureless patience to not sweat the small stuff.

I was extremely pissed when I subconsciously reacted to my situation earlier. My gym had lousy electric service and, for some reason, they’ve been leaving this problem unfixed for quite some time. Many times throughout my 7-month membership at the club, without any sort of warning, the whole row of treadmill machines  (except for the last two at the far right corner) abruptly stops running as the powers completely went off. I usually give these glitches a go, because they usually do whatever technical work they needed to do and I have always been able to restart my runs without further problems.

Today, though, was a biggie. It went off 4 times in total … within just one night! Before I finish my 5-minute warmup, it stopped. Then in my head, I changed my 35-minute workout for the night and shortened it to a 33. The machine started again, and it stopped yet again for after about 3 minutes. The next one, I thought I’d change my perspective to look at it as a blessing. These things happen so that my heart rate increase slowly, gradually, and effortlessly. It’ll be a very steady warmup toward a longer run, where I will be saving the most amount of energy to give out my all at the 35-minute mark. Yet tonight, my longest-running record was only around a 30-minute continuous run with a distance of, as I recall, 3.30-something kilometers – yes, the machine stopped again. It’s frustrating that I can’t recall the exact data. I don’t blame my memory because in this case, it doesn’t mean I have a lousy memory. I also love running and spacing out so much that I don’t really lock my eyes constantly on the running time as I run.

So what happened?

During my drive home, I had an epiphany – what if I simply decide not to blame anyone? After all, I do have a choice to not blame anyone. I don’t have to blame myself or the gym, the workers at the club, the electric service, the lifeless treadmill machines, or anyone, anything else related to my mini disaster today.

It’s not even a disaster. By blaming others or myself, I will be the disaster.

My first reaction was, does this gym really hold the quality it promises on its advertisements? Will my readers believe that I actually made that 30-minute mark, even without me getting the chance to take a picture of it?

But hey, 99-year-old self, you know better than I do. You know that responding is 180-degree different from reacting to life’s beloved little problems.

Sorry for taking your time, but I promise to use my lifetime wisely … now that 3 months are gone from my centenarian life. For everything else other than patience, thank you for just the amount of care and attention you always take to look after me. It’s unbelievable that compared to me, your 23-year-old self, one can describe you holding the kind of perseverance an ultra-marathoner would need to wear, because these long-distancers abode to plod far and long through life’s vicissitudes – they are almost always ready to cross great lengths (and transform mere miles into feats) along their way.

Once again, 99-year-old self, thank you for your time. You are, by far, the best listener I’ve ever met.

Yours faithfully,
& with much love,

25 March 2013


Who are you in the animal kingdom?


I’m always fascinated by personality tests, notably accurate ones.

A friend referred to me this website, Doubutsu Uranai (literally meaning “animal fortune-telling”), a very long time ago. I recently stumbled upon it again and recalled the self-reflection I went through the very first time I saw my results. I’ve got to say … 80% of it are true.



  • You are Gold Lion, who is rather serious and polite type of person.
  • You value personal relationships.
  • You suppress yourself and act to be a sociable person.
  • But you are really a person who doesn’t like to lose to anyone.
  • You dislike emotional atmosphere and vague attitude. (huh?)
  • You want to make everything clear-cut.
  • You like to stay in your own little world.
  • If you get in a situation where there are lots of people you can not express yourself and act as a perfect person.
  • You are not very subjective sort of person, unlike ordinary women, but unfortunately you lack soft and gentle atmosphere.
  • You tend to be too bold.
  • You cannot help but stretch your hand to those who are in need.
  • You are very kind person who helps the weak.
  • You are also weak on compliments, and will work enthusiastically after someone has given a compliment.
  • You will go about your duty steadily and loyally, and not get in a rush to achieve the objective. (I do take my own sweet time …)
  • You have perseverance, and will work effortlessly until you reach your objective.
  • Something that you have worked steadily for a long, long time, will turn out to be an asset to the world. (let’s hope for that!)
  • You are careful and rational, and therefore place value to steady life.
  • After getting married, you will be a devoted mother and a wife, but you are really a very dependent person, and prefer to keep your own little world. (hmmm …)


Backed by social and behavioral psychology studies, the Doubutsu Uranai personality assessment only requires you to include your date of birth to accurately determine who you are among the 12 different kinds of animals your unique traits and characteristics most closely resemble.



- Images courtesy of Doubutsu Uranai


Once you know which animal you resemble most, you are further classified into one of the colors on their file. If you are situation-oriented, or otherwise noted as belonging to the New Moon family or the Sun family, you are either a yellow, green, gold, or silver animal. If you’re a laser-sharp objective person, belonging to the Full Moon group or the Earth group, you’re either in red, blue, brown, orange, purple, or black. Stripped off the ‘gold’ label, of which the gold lion is described as “bold and sedate, but have inner sensitivity”, I zoomed out a bit and went back to what I basically resemble: The lion.



1. Lions love special treatment and praise.

2. Lions say things like “Awesome!” and “Definitely!”

3. Lions don’t complain and are hard on others

4. Lions are perfectionists

5. Lions are not good with numbers

6. Lions’ mortal enemies are lack of sleep and an empty stomach

7. Lions own expensive things

8. Lions love silly puns

9. Lions are actually spoiled kids

10. Lions are outwardly impressive; but their rooms are a shambles


… aaand all 10 of the above statements are true, as my fellow Lion friend Alex agreed too. *facepalm*


What about you? Which of the 12 animals do you resemble, and what color is your animal? Tell me your results on the comments section below :)




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