30-Day Blogging Challenge, Day 30: A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.


February 2012


It’s the end of February and the end of this blogging challenge.

First of all, I apologize that I cannot have any photos today because my phone Internet got cut off 3 days ago. The unusual thing is that T-Mobile doesn’t even exactly know what’s going on with my account, and they kept asking me to wait. First they told me to wait 24 hours, then 2 hours, then 72 hours. I called about 6-7 different customer service representatives. Some of them hang up on me, others say my BlackBerry is not registered and that’s what causing the problem (I actually have been using T-mobile with this phone for 3 years already), and the ones who asked me to wait just told me that they’ve reported the problem to their supervisor so they can “update” my account details “as quickly as possible”.

Anyway, I’m f***ed up. I got so fed up I went to a T-mobile store yesterday. In the end, I spent more than an hour there. The people there don’t know what’s going on with my phone. They’ve never seen a problem like this before. So I spent an hour there just to 1) know they’re not doing anything to my phone and so I stare at the blank spaces around the walls, 2) call the customer service through their phone lines.

Well, the last representative I got in line with told me that the last thing I can do is change my phone to a T-mobile phone.

Actually I can change this number anytime I want. It’s just that there’s $160 in my phone, and $160 is a lot of money! (Russell Peters accent). If this doesn’t connect to the Internet by Friday (because they told me to wait so I wait and wait and WAIT), I’m changing my carrier.

Heck with it.

Anyway, I had to let it all out because I was really so fed up throughout yesterday. It’s been in my mind in the morning, the whole afternoon, and at night after school, before I continued working on my homework, I called the customer service once again. Doesn’t work either.


So, as you see, I can’t send pictures from my phone to the Web as of right now. Here’s an old picture though:

And those arms. Yikes. I miss being fit and buff. Okay, so I did not make up my 15-times-a-month of going to the gym, although I did make it to the gym today. In fact, I was just back. It’s a fairly simple workout that made me realize I’ve gotten so much weaker. So much for the cryings and wailings during these difficult times. 5 classes. Sighs. Anyway, a 10-minute warmup on the stairmaster, then a 20-minute workout on the treadmill. Every 2 minutes I go from 5.5 mph to 4 mph. Then twice during the workout, at minute 15 and minute 19, I walked for 2 minutes at 3.1 mph with an incline of 3%. After that I lifted some free weights for arm workouts with all moves an average of 20 reps. It feels great. I got a 3-hour sleep last night. But a workout wasn’t a bad decision after all. I bet tonight I’ll sleep soundly since a looong time.

Because most important thing right now is to keep up with my studies.

I know I can make time to hit the gym. I think I will make that time. I will not be aiming for as much as 15 times in March then. I hit the gym 11 times in January, which was practically a holiday month for me. If I can’t hit it 15 times during the holidays, then I can’t possibly prioritize exercising into my routine right now. 5 classes. 5 classes! I know it’s possible, but to me, sleeping is actually more important than exercising.

Sorry, if you ask how much art students sleep, you won’t get big numbers.

Following this blogging challenge, these are the 3 good things that happened in the last 30 days:

1) My birthday

2) Last night, my room mate cooked me a really nice meal. I have a great room mate – responsible, nice, and fun to play video games with.

3) The cute Korean guy in the bus earlier who stared at me while talking to his friend and when I caught him in the eye, he smiled.


Well, there’s actually a number of good things that happened, of course. But it’s not everyday that I get that with my life here in San Francisco. It’s like a luxurious prison, you know? I bet you don’t get it till you see this:



Pictures from Moonbattery



And that’s pictures of a Swedish prison. End of challenge, it was a fun one; on to the next! (I’ll have to think of one before I say something. Keep watching me…)






30-Day Blogging Challenge, Day 29: Something you could never get tired of doing.


February 2012


Two things: Living a fulfilling life, then write about it.

Creating make-beliefs, then write it down.

Well, not two things, as it turns out.

Imagining characters, observe people around me, borrow their traits, then write them all down.

Reading the paper everyday, finding a pattern, then digest them all through writing.

Obviously, it’s writing, the thing I never get tired of doing. Duh. I get tired of reading at some point, but never writing, as long as the dictionary and thesaurus are by my side (or in open tabs).





30-Day Blogging Challenge, Day 28: Your favorite movie


February 2012


The Notebook. The Lion King – almost all the Disney classics but definitely all the Pixar movies. I used to watch The Matrix trilogy a lot on DVD, I was glued to the screen when watching LOTR Extended versions on DVD, I have played Spider-Man 1 and 2 countless times, and I enjoy the slightly vulgar rom-coms like The Ugly Truth but also enjoy the light-hearted ones like When Harry Met Sally. I love Madagascar 1 and especially 2, and Kungfu Panda too. I also love dramas like The Illusionist and Catch Me If You Can. And all the Christopher Nolan movies and all of Hollywood’s superhero movies. I also like Bruce Almighty because it’s so funny it made me cry so much I fell down from my seat when I was watching in the theatre. I don’t have a particular favorite movie – there are plenty of movie buffs like me too, I’m pretty sure, perhaps even buffer than me. But I hate thriller and horror movies.

Anyway, let’s get back to reality. I’ve just reposted an old note I wrote on Facebook here on this blog. I learned that I’ve been a hypocrite, not just this instance, though; of course, there are so many times that I realized that. It just never really turned out to matter a lot for me until I read back this Note entry on Facebook.

There’s a whole conventional current that people rode off on the mainstream, water rushing like a blue streak, claiming that they’re happy in this over-scrutinized, over-publicized, and constantly trying to please everyone except themselves in this life, but if they’re so happy, why do they have the blues all the time? 

If you haven’t familiarize yourself with my blog, you’re going to learn that I’ve been depressed for some time now, for a couple of years at least. I realized that most of the time, especially in work settings, other people’s opinions are more important to me than my own. And I’m in blue all the time. As time goes by, I feel more inferior to others and less able to speak up. Maybe it’s the effect of growing up: You learn to go with the conventional current and accept their opinions as your own, then you self-compromise and you learned that you can’t change your own philosophy and then you torment yourself with this struggle to believe what others believe – until the end, when you don’t know what to believe anymore.


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. - Oscar Wilde



I am already tired of the pretensions I have to put up all the time; I don’t enjoy drawing as much as I like to write. If I have to do an artwork, I’ll plan every step like I write concrete images into descriptive words, and then I get too perfectionistic and fall in love with the details that I don’t have time to finish the piece in due time. And then the artwork becomes labor for me. Unlike words, illustrating narrative lines involves not the compromise you have to do for others; it’s in fact the total expression of your soul, so you fight for what you believe in in a laborious effort to produce something beautiful. Words, however, is a form of craft. You take pieces here and there, you lead using a single paragraph just below the heading line, you tweak the pieces into another language of your own, and you  get a piece of article that connects the writer’s thoughts to the reader’s emotions. You create the same opinion, you join souls into one community, and you rejoice in that universal truth you’re speaking through that piece.

Now, years passed, and I compromised too much about myself because I listened to many different beliefs, and many different truths that are somewhat or really different from mine. I long to find the just, the eternal, the enduring. I know that I’m still a picky person and I recently regretted ever cultivating that trait of mine that’s now becoming a permanent characteristic. I lowered my standards in myself and in everything else, because I realized my standards was too high before and that’s how I brought myself down to the depression era I had. Then I saw that I concluded the Facebook Note on perfectionism with this:

And there’s actually nothing wrong about being picky, as long as you don’t lie to yourself about having something with a heart of 50% and enduring the feeling for the rest of your life, knowing that there’s something else out there, and instead fly solo and be everything you want to be and live the life you already have to the fullest! Because being picky always bring the best (and worst) out of ya…

And the truth is, I’ve been lying to myself for about 5-6 years now. Yes, I enjoy making art, but not as my career. I claimed I wanted to work for huge companies in the Bay Area but I didn’t have that passion. I have passions for other things, like becoming an author or a novelist, or an entrepreneur owning a publishing house, or working as a staff writer for a national magazine, or volunteer to perform readings for children and write my experience about it while taking note (pictures) about their cuteness. The truth is, I am having  a Bachelor’s degree in art with a heart of 50% and enduring the feeling the rest of my life, except that after graduation I will turn that path into the road not taken. Throughout my college life, I thought I was just a lazy person who never go to the free drawing workshops and all the fun extracurricular activities involving drawing. I thought that I study people’s faces and drawing things under observations ever since I was a kid because I intrinsically like drawing. But no – given various writing assignments for the last couple of years, incidentally during my junior and senior years now in college, I realized that I’m a friggin’ hardworking person. It doesn’t matter if I get the extra credit or not, but I did it anyway. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mid-term paper, but I learned a lot from writing out the blues in “The Blue In Black And White“. I don’t do it for the credits but for the assignments itself, which I enjoy doing. It’s a like a quest of your own to discover for yourself, which I’m guessing it’s why the English word for it is called a ‘quest-ion’. I’m such a hypocrite that I tell people don’t do things half-heartedly that I am precisely doing it right now.

“I don’t understand how we’ve got writing assignments from school already and you’re still seeking to answer essay questions for a hobby,” my brother once told me. Exactly. It’s like I can’t understand how these people keep getting their sketchbooks out and just start drawing, and keep on drawing for long hours with such a spirited face. That’s what I see everyday, going to school, feeling so left out, feeling so f***ed up, all because I realized I’m living a lie.

It is only in drawing half-heartedly and not remain a perfectionist that I can finish my big drawing assignments on time while at the same time committing to writing 100% all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is only through finishing my last few classes through graduation that I can finally break free from the prison I set up 5 years ago for the sole purpose of impressing others other than myself. Private college tuitions for as long as 5+ years was the price I had to pay for doing something untrue to my authentic self, and I don’t want that to happen to others who are pursuing their dreams.

And if somebody had to make a movie of your life, I’d better be the best actor there ever was for my role starting from today. Because if it’s adapted into a movie, it must be a pretty damn good story.

I just don’t want to be a hypocrite anymore.




30-Day Blogging Challenge, Day 27: Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs.


February 2012


…Didn’t do it on my iPod. It’s on my iTunes. The first track, I just scroll up and down and clicked on something. This is it:



1. “Put Your Head on My Shoulders” – Michael Buble


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diMfFrjPyTo]


2. “StabSound” – Filo & Peri


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwGI09gL9-Y]


3. “Can’t Help But Wait” – Trey Songz


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE7uc9Q7GE8]


4. “Beautiful Things” – Andain


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS6_WhvyoHs]


5. “Love Story” – Taylor Swift


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xg3vE8Ie_E]


6. “You Never Said” (Dash Berlin Remix) – Cerf, Mitiska and Jaren


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyvG0EcxFkI]


7. “Pandangan Pertama” – Ran


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy3t71m7FcY]


8. “Nu Er Hong” – Jay Chou


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj-6hBcImgA]


9. “Vitamin” – SNSD


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GNur2jRUOM]




10. “Unforgivable” – Armin van Buuren feat. Jaren


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyUfJVqMtO0]






Enjoy, people. I quite like this playlist. I might want to start doing random shuffles and recommend some awesome songs here.






30-Day Blogging Challenge, Day 26: Think back to how you were 5 years ago. How have you changed since then?


February 2012





5 years ago, I’m a lot like now. The story behind the changes I’ve been through is in-between these 5 years, but let’s not get much into that. It’ll probably take a memoir to say.

5 years ago, I started attending Academy of Art University. Back in the first half of 2007, I was still in West Lafayette. I just broke up with my first boyfriend. I spent USD$2000 on long-distance phone calls, for hours of fighting and never really talking. I broke up then because I realized it was my fault to accept a guy I don’t really love in the first place. It was an impulsive reply and I didn’t think much of it. I just never had a boyfriend, so I wanted to know what it’s like, plus he’s a great guy, you can’t find great guys on a daily basis. Maybe if we’re together I can learn to love him. But I didn’t. So we broke up. Then I learned I cannot be in a relationship with someone I don’t love, especially when I don’t really know what love is.

Not long after I broke up I met my second boyfriend, the last relationship before my current. It didn’t work out either probably because I hadn’t learn my lesson from the previous. Everyone keeps saying that timing is a huge factor in long-term relationship, now I get what they mean. You need to really be ready to settle down so that you know you’re going to be fine with that someone. Anyway, there’s the 4-year singlehood that I chose, because I need to find out who I am, especially in America, where you get the freedom to express your individuality. So I played around a lot, started drinking and partying, pulled up all-nighters for school and just fooled around, pretty much. I met way more guys during this time, none of which I really consider seriously.

Well, there are the great ones too, but I guess I grew even more scared of my next relationship, which I wanted to be my last. I wanted to take as much time as possible to think about guys. For some reason once I got close with a great guy, I backed out. I’m sensitive about intimacy and scared to commit, I’ve built a really strong wall so that they don’t crumble.

My second relationship changed me in one particularly notable way. I don’t exactly want to believe in the made-for-each-other theory anymore. I don’t really believe in that there is that one person for you in this world. I used to, but after that, I don’t want to touch on it. Deep down I still think it’s like that, but as we grow up, we learn that relationships mean compromising, takes working out and a lot more sacrifices to make it work. Even if soul mates met and they don’t work it out, they still won’t be together. The normal mates work it out and then they discover they’re made for each because they make things happen for each other.

With my current boyfriend, honestly, it didn’t take that long for me to decide. Through these 5 years I’ve grown to become a very picky person and I think it has become permanent. I’m very hard with everyone, including myself. So whenever I let myself down, it’s very hard to forgive myself, so I’m disappointed and there goes the depression. But I’ve learned to embrace the wisdom of “f*** it” too. It helps you keep going. It helps you to forgive easier and to accept more things.

So during late 2006 it was the first time I cut my hair into a short bob, like Victoria Beckham’s. I’ve always had long hair all my life, didn’t know short hair brought me such huge impact. I grew it long and it increased my self-esteem. I cut it short again two years ago and now all I want is for it to grow back. At first it’s just for convenience’s sake to have it short. But now, I’ll compromise with the long hair.

Everything takes sacrifice.

5 years ago I was also 5 kg lighter. Ha!

Don’t think I’m a lot like 5 years ago anymore. As stubborn, not really, in fact more stubborn; more persistent, definitely, but most of all, more tolerant with a lot more stuff. You just grow from all those things you learn to tolerate. You become stronger from tolerating them until you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not that picky, because in the end, you’re still a nobody until you’re a somebody who does your own thing. When you do that, you accept yourself for who you are, and beyond that, hopefully you’ll never try to compromise yourself anymore.

You hurt many along the way by being picky, and you hurt yourself even more out of that.

I also think there must be a reason that I’ve only been in long-distance relationships. And that reason must be because I’m not meant to be here. I don’t belong here. I belong some place else near my home.





30-Day Blogging Challenge, Day 25: Something that you miss.


February 2012




Cheap massage and reflexology (you can get $2 worth of  90-minute reflexology near my place), cheap and good food, not-so-cheap good food, expensive good food, really expensive good food, cheap movie tickets (for equal price with regular movie tickets in the States we get to watch premiere seats, provided: blankets, in-seat food orders, reclining sofabeds), cheap everything; ahhh… the good life, rupiahs, kopiko and nano nano candies, severe traffic jam, air pollution, humidity, political corruption, well, this one not so much. But all of the above… missing!