How to live a better life

1. Sit and reflect in total silence for at least 10 minutes everyday

2. Don’t sleep too late in the night

3. Live with three Es: Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

4. Read more books from year to year

5. Spend a lot of time with people above 70 and below 6

6. Drink a lot of water

7. Make at least three people laugh everyday

8. Clean up the mess in your house, car, desk and let a new energy flow into your life

9. Don’t waste your precious time for gossips, reminiscing the past, negative-thinking or other things you could not control. Rather, invest your time for this day with a positive outlook

10. Life is too short to be spent hating others

11. Don’t treat yourself too seriously

12. You don’t have to win every argument; you could always agree to disagree and vice versa

13. Make peace with your past so that it won’t ruin your present

14. Don’t compare your life with others’. You don’t even know what their life journey looks like

15. Nobody else could be held responsible for your happiness other than yourself

16. What others think about you is none of your business

17. No matter how bad or good a thing looks, it will change

18. Your job doesn’t take care of you when you’re ill. Friends are the one who could. Keep in touch with your friends always

19. Envy and greed will only waste your time. You’ve already had everything you need

20. Remember that you’re already blessed, hence you don’t deserve to freak yourself out


Enjoy this journey of life. Remember that this is not the world of Disney and indeed you don’t want to let it pass quickly. It happens only once, thus live well.


An eldritch switch

The following text is originally lifted from

  • The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
  • The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.
  • An adult giraffe's kick is so powerful that it can decapitate a lion.
  • Turtles can breathe through their butts
  • Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
  • A snail can sleep for three years.
  • Every year about 7 people gets killed by sharp objects in the dishwasher.
  • You lose 60 hairs a day.
  • You can't kill yourself by holding your breath.
  • Pancreaticoduodenostomy is the longest word with all six vowels in order.
  • A human can not kiss his elbow with his lips. Also 96 % of people who reads this information are compelled to try this.
  • More than $1 billion is spent each year on neck ties in the United States.
  • The average length of an orgasm for a pig is 30 minutes.
  • The largest number of children born to one woman, who was a Russian peasant is 69.
  • TYPEWRITER, is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard.
  • Chocolate can kill dogs; it directly affects their heart and nervous system.
  • The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.
  • Giraffes and rats can last longer without water than camels.
  • Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln are born on the very same day of 12 Feb 1809.
  • When Titanic sank it had 3000 tonnes of ham onboard.
  • More people are killed by falling coconuts every year than sharks attack.
  • Thomas Edison created the English word, 'Hello'.
  • If decapitated, a chicken will die from blood loss before heart failure.
  • Pilot and co-pilot of a flight never have lunch (or dinner) at the same place. In case of one of the pilot feeling sick, the co-pilot can replace him.
  • You are more likely to get strike by lightning than win the state lottery
  • "Bookkeeper" is the only word in the english language that has 3 letters that consecutively repeat.
  • Forty percent of Americans iron their clothes while wearing their underwear or being completely naked.
  • There are more pigs than humans in Denmark.
  • The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
  • An ostrich's eye is larger than it's brain.
  • One thousand words make up 90% of common speech.
  • The only word in English with three consecutive S's is "godessship".


25 books you must read before you die

Here’s a list I found from a bookaholic magazine in Indonesia… They provided 50 actually, but since half of them are Indonesian titles (which is of little relevance in this blog), I’ve decided to jot down the 25 western books only.

The ones in bold are those I have read.

  1. Totto-chan: The little girl by the window – Tetsuyo Kuroyanagi
  2. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  3. Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran
  4. Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
  7. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – J.K.Rowling
  8. Wind Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
  9. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  10. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
  11. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  12. Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
  13. Ulysses – James Joyce
  14. And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
  15. The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
  16. One Hundred Years Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  17. Confession of A Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella
  18. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  19. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
  20. Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
  21. Slaughter House-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  22. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  23. Fight Club – Chick Palahniuk
  24. Bridget Jones Diary – Helen Fielding
  25. Moby Dick – Herman Melville


Ceased and extended

So I’ve finally came to the end of my 14-week-long French intensive lessons which I attended everyday, and no longer do I have the obligation to wake up at 6 in the morning every Monday to Friday.

Ah, I could finally enjoy waking up late again!

The French test DELF would fall on 17 June (which is going to be the day after the birthday of Zee’s sister) hence if there are any celebrations to be made, I just hope I don’t have to study anything more on the 16th.

As there would be one month plus before my (hopefully) grand departure, I extended my CCF library membership for merely Rp40,000 (a bit less than 3 euros). And it’s valid till June 2010.

Not a bad deal, considering that the library’s membership allows me to borrow any French-related items such as the latest release of books, audio CDs, or even their latest box office movies.


A stewardess?

Her mom was talking about her future when she finally said, “So what about Zee becoming a stewardess?”

“Hmm…that’s a kinda good idea. What do you think, Zee?” I added.

“Euhh..probably” she didn’t seem to have much idea about it yet.

So I turned to her mom, “Thinking about it, she could straightaway become a stewardess as soon as she graduated from high school!”

“And moreover, when T finally goes back from America with the flight Zee is in, she could give you a free cocktail!”, her mom grinned.

Zee and I let out a big ‘zwt’.

“But nah Tante, I think it’d be best if she graduates with a college degree first before pursuing her career..”


He might be gay

The discussion then switched into her little brother, who is currently still studying in high school.

“So…what about your bro? Is he dating any girl right now?”

“Geez, he’s so not into guys, T. He spends more time playing online games instead of socialising with girls. Gosh he might be gay”, Debs sighed.

“That’s your fault then” I sneered at her.

“But now that I think again, he’s got some porn collections in his room.”

I laughed.

“Good for him then”


Indo-lyric: Dengarkan Curhatku (Vierra)

English translation:

Listen to my story

Listen to my story
about her
how weird
all her attitudes are

Be honest with me be honest with me
You do you do have a feeling
Say it to me say it to me
That feeling that feeling is love

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Dengarkan curhatku
Tentang dirinya
Betapa anehnya
Tingkah lakunya

Jujurlah padaku jujurlah padaku
Kau menyimpan rasa kau menyimpan rasa cinta
Nyatakan padaku nyatakan padaku
Perasaan itu perasaan itu cinta


on the commenting option in this blog

For the last two months I have been wondering why hasn't anyone left a single comment on my blog despite it having more than 80 unique visitors a day (the last comment here was left on 6th of April, by myself).

So I checked my commenting box and voila! There I found that the "embedded comment" option is not compatible with this current layout. You could click on the commenting option yet there was not found any blank box to type into.

The solution was very simple: I switched back to the traditional pop-up commenting option and for now, everything is fine.

You could comment on "Foreign Prophecies" from now onwards.


Predictions that were way off

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Sunday, 13 April 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" - H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
  • "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
  • "The Beatles? They're on the wane." - The Duke of Edinburgh in Canada, 1965. They went on to produce a string of No.1 hits.
  • "That rainbow song's no good. Take it out" - MGM memo after first showing of The Wizard of Oz.
  • "You'd better learn secretarial skills or else get married." - Modelling agency, rejecting Marilyn Monroe in 1944.
  • "You ought to go back to driving a truck." - Concert manager, firing Elvis Presley in 1954.
  • "Forget it. No Civil War picture ever made a nickel." - MGM executive, advising against investing in Gone With The Wind.
  • "I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper." - Gary Cooper, after turning down the lead role in Gone With The Wind.
  • "Can't act. Can't sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." - A film company's verdict on Fred Astaire's 1928 screen test.
  • "I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to." - Elvis Presley.
  • It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow. - Robert Goddard (1882-1945)
  • Jerome Rodale, who founded The Rodale Press publishing house, was taping an interview on the Dick Cavett Talk Show. He was bragging about how he was so healthy he'd live to be 100 when he slumped over, dead from a heart attack. The show was never broadcast to the public.
  • Jim Fixx, who wrote The Complete Book of Running and lectured about how running and a healthy diet would promote longevity, dropped dead from a heart attack while running. An autopsy revealed he had three massively blocked heart arteries.
  • The person who wrote the famous song Keep the Home Fires Burning burned to death when their home caught fire.
  • In 1970, television newsman Chris Hubbock announced, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in gore and guts in living colour, you're about to see another first - an attempted suicide". Then she pulled a gun and fatally shot herself in the head.
  • The French playwright Molière became sick and died while playing the role of a hypochondriac in his play The Imaginary Invalid.
  • A few months before he was killed in a car accident, James Dean made a driver's safety TV ad in which he said, "Drive safely; the life you save may be mine."
  • Playwright Tennessee Williams died after choking on the cap of eye drops. He was a habitual pill-taker and drunk, and in an impaired state he put the cap in his mouth, mistaking it for another pill, and choked to death.
  • Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is the first person to have their ashes put aboard a rocket and "buried" in space.
  • Hugh Hefner worked as circulation manager at the Children's Activities magazine while he was raising money to launch Playboy.
  • Buster Keaton was billed as "The Human Mop" when he joined his family's comic acrobatic vaudeville act at age 3.
  • Cheryl Tiegs went to New York to launch her modeling career in 1966, after winning the Miss Rocket Tower beauty contest in California.
  • Elvis and Charles Schultz were the no.1 and no.2 money earning dead people in 2002. Elvis made US$31 million, Schultz made US$9 million


Ascension's Day

A thoroughly pleasant Ascension's Day yesterday (21/5).

Started off with the morning mass where I meet the Ciputat folks (Uncle R's bunch and Aunt I's family). After the mass I met Pak Juven and Pak Heri who are still teaching on my primary school (to my pleasure, they remembered me by name! How I love it when people still remember me after years of not meeting them). Then the folks came over by my house where the adults had some chats and the kids played card games.

Zee asked me out to have the wi-fi at McD, which I agreed to. As she hasn't brought her laptop yet, so off to her place we went.

There, she took her laptop which I think is unproportional to the owner, considering the normal size of 14 inches... She should've bought a lighter one, geez.

During our way there, she asked my opinion on her not-so-new haircut.

It had been cut so short that it doesn't even reach her shoulder.

"Hmmm.... I think I like your long one better"

"Really? Haha you share the same opinion with most of my other guy friends"

"Yep, most of us do like it better to keep it long", I smiled," Why on earth did you cut it anyway?"

"Hairfall. Yeaa...I used the wrong conditioner", she grinned.

Around 3 or 4 we arrived at the venue. Aunt I and Zee's sister Moi only dropped us there to pick up her Oma in Bintaro.

In McD, nobody seemed to notice that we haven't purchased any food (yet both of us sat idly there in a dark corner, maliciously hoping to get a free wi-fi).

But alas, it required a password.

So she bought fries while I took spicy chicken. Thank God I didn't purchase Sundae, because both of us did catch cold under the minimum temperature of the air-con.

Still under that dark gelid corner where we could find a power outlet to charge our respective laptops, we sat side-by-side. She was kinda busy with her messenger while I worked on my blog. Exchanging some interesting websites and sharing the fries she bought, it felt great to be at one of the comfiest places to go online (in direct comparison to my French's CCF building).

I iDescribed her on Facebook, from which she protested "why don't you describe me as athletic?".

So I took a slightly condescending-yet-joking look at her meager posture, and suppressed a laugh. I told her that I've never seen her doing athletic or running anyways.

And we laughed.

My girls are mostly skinny and I wonder why (with the exception of Debs, whom I think is hot).

She teased me, "what should I describe you as...T.... hmmm.... you're definitely not religious, of course not.."

"Well I go to church every Sunday", I quickly objected. And mockingly I peeked at her laptop.

"Ah cmon, don't peek T" she threw a glare at me.

"Geez, I'll be seeing it on my news feed soon anyways"

Just around 6, her mom (Aunt I) came over to pick us up. Oma was already inside, so I snugged just beside Zee in the car.

During our way for dinner in Bintaro Plaza, Zee and I listened to Rihanna and Mraz on my iPod. We chatted about my ex- Dins and my best friend Debs while we were changing tunes.

She told me how she still loves that "I'm Yours" song very much. Ah, so it has been on her fave list for that long.

The whole family originally intended to have dinner in EsTeler, yet after second thought we decided for Solaria instead. There everyone except Moi (who had Kway Teow) ordered fried rice.

Well Zee and her mom had half a plate each actually, since they shared the same repast.

Zee asked for pictures -loads of them- for the both of us (and some with the addition of her sister Moi). Moi couldn't take a picture without blurring any of them, so Aunt I offered to be the photographer instead.

It really is nice to have pictures with someone as narcissistic as I do.

After an hour or so there, Moi intended to go to Gramedia yet Aunt I said it could be well too late since Zee was supposed to go to school and I had my French lessons in the morning.

So we accompanied Aunt I to BreadTalk.

From the Plaza, the five of us went back to her place. During our way back we chatted again, this time about our childhood together. How I was surprised how much she still could recall from those days. I didn't even recall anything worth mentioning from that one time when she came to Bali and visited my place in Sanur.

When we reached her home, it was a quiet night as usual.

After changing to her nightgown, she asked me to help with her homework upstairs. On her living room we discussed some stuff about each of our future, what she intended to study in the university and where.

She could very well come over with me (and my family) to the States if her mom could finally have the work permit there, so may God help us all. Their only barrier is their English.

At 9, my Mom came over to pick me up. Zee and I then agreed to hang out again sometime around the next two or three weeks, arranging a vacation together before I depart for the States.


When he uses his middle finger

"Madam, what kind of ring is that you're wearing... Can I borrow for a sec?" my classmate Dave asked the English teacher.

"Sure", she replied, taking off the ring and handing it to him. It was not her wedding ring, so it was just fine for her to hand it over.

I saw Dave putting on the ring on his finger, and I exclaimed out of thin air, "Omg Madam... Dave's using his middle finger!"

Half the class, who don't get my pun, gasped.

But Madam simply continued working with her papers without hardly giving me a notice... Unlike half the class, she realised that the phrase "using his middle finger" may sound similar to "pointing his middle finger", though both are hardly synonymous.


Chrome as the second preference and my botched Live Writer

Whenever I'm bored of browsing with Firefox, I make use of a second browser which used to be Safari (putatively the fastest browser there is).

Now, I've uninstalled Safari due to its frequent crashes on my XP. I still don't get why, and I don't care anyway, nor did I bother to look for explanations by Uncle Google.

The substitute would be the newbie Chrome (who also belongs to Uncle Google). Its display is quite eye-friendly, very much alike to Safari... And I don't think that I'd ever need Safari back on my desktop.

Despite many people's liking towards Opera, I still haven't got used to it. Opera is Melody's fave browser where she keeps all her bookmarks and cookies and web history untouched, so I suppose I'll just let it belong exclusively to her.

On Live Writer, I'm still using the 2007 edition and haven't updated it ever since.

The 2009 update edition is all muffed, trust me. I've recently installed the 2009 edition of Live Writer on Mom's laptop and to my disappointment, all the paragraphs are jumbled up here and there, what with all those HTML mess and other whatnots.


Indo-lyric: Wanita Terindah (Drive)

English translation:

The most beautiful lady

I feel crazy just by looking at you
let alone getting in touch with your heart
feels ecstatic that I fly to the air
without you ever realising
you make my heart stop beating

You're the most beautiful lady
whom I've ever met
you melt my heart you paralysed me
whenever I look into your face

Just by one smile of yours
I'm happy
You'll always be perfect
and I could only admire

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Dengan menatapmu saja aku merasa gila
Apalagi nanti ku dapat menyentuh hatimu
Melayang aku melambung tinggi
Tanpa pernah kau sadari
Kau buat jantungku berhenti

Kau adalah wanita terindah
Yang pernah kutemui
Kau luluhkan kau lumpuhkan aku
Saat menatap wajahmu

Cukup dengan satu senyumanmu
Aku bahagia
Kau 'kan selalu sempurna
Ku hanya mengagumi saja


on speaking English to Malays

Almost ALL Indonesians think that Malay is a funny language.

Because they speak a more ancient form of Indonesian language (very much like the way Latin is to Italians), we tend to see Malay language rather condescendingly.

That one I get.

The one I don't get is when the Malays avenge us (meaning: they return those condescending stares toward us).

Why should they, really? There is nothing in them which is more advanced than what we Indonesians have.

Which is why, whenever I meet a Malay, I prefer speaking English. There is nothing in their cultural feature that I'd ever want to respect, let alone glorify.


Quotable utterings of the famous (Part 5)

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • "Pray, v. : To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy" - Ambrose Bierce.
  • "Every normal men must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats" - Henry Louis Mencken.
  • "Now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies" - Voltaire, on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.
  • "Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run" - Rudyard Kipling.
  • "He would make a lovely corpse" - Charles Dickens.
  • "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial" - Irvin S. Cobb.
  • "I worship the quick sand he walks in" - Art Buchwald.
  • "Wagner's music is better than it sounds" - Mark Twain.
  • "A poem is never finished, only abandoned" - Paul Valery.
  • "We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction" - General Douglas MacArthur.
  • "If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1,024 chickens?" - Seymour Cray, father of super-computing.
  • "Interesting - I use a Mac to help me design the next Cray" - Seymour Cray when he was told that Apple Inc. had recently bought a Cray supercomputer to help them design the next Mac.
  • "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis" - Pierre Laplace, to Napoleon on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
  • "I choose a block a marble and chop off whatever I don't need" - Francois-Auguste Rodin, when asked how he managed to make his remarkable statues.
  • "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them" - Mark Twain.
  • "The truth is more important than the facts" - Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing" - Wernher Von Braun.
  • "There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it" - Oscar Wilde.
  • "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle" - Albert Einstein.


Law of attraction

These days I've started thinking that the "Law of Attraction" stuff they say in The Secret is true, because the universe does have a conspiration (forgive my limited vocabulary) for me. They're conspiring to make all things come true, and though everything don't come exactly as I've intended it to be, at least they tried.

Sometimes I just couldn't believe it myself that this is all so true. Well for the moment I'll just sit and relax on the couch and see what other plans the universe has for me.


An unctuous update for May

First of all we start with a bad news here.

My phone is (temporarily) dead, and I hope it could be resuscitated ever again because otherwise I'll be having no GSM with me for the next few days/weeks/months to come.

Gee I'm pissed, I'd rather not elaborate on my phone now, so that's it then.

For those of you who wish to reach me, feel free to dial my Jakartan CDMA number.

Now for the entrée.

So the truth is out, I've pretty much gotten most wishes I've wanted...for the next two months, at least.

For those wondering, the time is nigh that I'll be leaving the place soon. Though a newer update for the exact whereabouts and such would have to wait later.

As for now, I'm still studying French till the end of this month. By the time I end this class, I'm seeing myself poring over some abridged French novels and preparing my mental being so that I'll be ready to depart from the country (hint intended). By mid-June I'll be having DELF, which is used to certify a certain mastery in French. I reckon I'll take A2 level, though my teacher has suggested that I'm capable for B1.

Well...we'll see.

On the blog layout change, how do you like it? I had thought this was one of the best layouts I've ever implemented for this blog until a friend commented on the contrary. So I did change the header and the background colour....

But all in all, the linkbar remains there. I love the top linkbar!

Meanwhile, I love Dashboard Confessional and Paramore and seems that I'm gonna love them even more. Their tunes could always lighten up my day.

As long as I don't listen to Guns n' Roses in the morning, I always know that my day would turn out just fine. Listening to them early in the day is akin to getting on the wrong side of the bed.


When I forgot to switch off my handphone during a flight

That time (July 2004) I was moving back from Denpasar to the city where I had been raised for nigh a decade. It was a Jakarta-bound flight, on a Garuda.

Where is my handphone, I asked myself.

Then it came to me...Gosh it was inside the trunk!

There I was in a flight, feeling hopeless and mortified because my handphone was still on, and there was nothing I could do about it because it was inside a trunk in the plane luggage.

Was it going to be the end of our life yet? Was this plane going to crash? If yes, then I were to be held responsible for all our deaths!

I considered informing the flight attendants for a while, but decided not to because it could have created a considerable amount of panic for other passengers.

It may seem ridiculous when I recall all my fears back then, but it did have a possible consequence. The plane's communication could very well get narked if an SMS or a phone call happen to reach my phone's signal, and this could create a chain of effects that could attribute to....well, what else?

A plane crash.

But luckily it didn't. The plane landed safe and sound.

There was no SMS when I finally checked my handphone, and I thanked God for that.


Crossing the streets of Ho Chi Minh City

It was January 2005 when I visited this city in Vietnam with my class for a study tour.

Such an unfortunate thing that I do not have any pictures to back my stories, but feel free to Google/ask people around.

All in all, I could say that crossing a street in Ho Chi Minh city was one of the most adrenaline-rushing experiences that I've ever had. It's not that I've done any other before (apart from water-skiing and scuba-diving), but I daresay that Ho Chi Minh's streets are some of the most dangerous.

Bicycles, motorcycles, tricycles, cars, buses, trucks, you name it. Any vehicles are merged into a unison.

And don't forget the pedestrians too, with those wide distance between two opposite pavements, you've got all the right ingredients to create frequent road hazards.

Trust me, I've lived in Jakarta almost all my life. Jakarta's traffic is horrible in terms of pollution and floods and all, but when it's road safety we're talking about, I'd prefer not to glorify those Vietnamese streets.


Indo-lyric: Dibalas dengan dusta (Audy)

English translation:

Repaid with lies

It was that easy for you to say
the word 'sorry', my love
after you repeat
the same old mistakes

What do you actually feel
when you repeat the same old mistakes
is this your means
to repay all the love I've given you


It hurts if my love
is repaid with lies
but I'll never regret loving you
bcoz I'm the one who has chosen you

Original lyric in Indonesian:

semudah itu kau ucapkan
kata maaf kekasihku
setelah kau lakukan lagi
kesalahan yang sama

Di mana perasaanmu
saat kau melakukan salah yang sama
inikah cara dirimu
membalas tulus cinta yang tlah kuberi


menyakitkan bila cintaku
dibalas dengan dusta
namun mencintamu takkan kusesali
karna aku yang memilihmu


Questioning the concept of heaven

Some people believe when they finally go to the Paradise, they will join a chorus singing praises to the Lord everyday.

(How much more boring could that be?)

Some others believe that they will become the Deity when they enter heaven.

(Uh huh... So they mean that there will be millions, or possibly billions of Gods and Goddesses in Heaven?)

Some also choose to believe that they will be entitled to several virgins in heaven.

(Yeah right. Why would we be interested in having sex in Paradise anyway? Aren't such earthly desires supposed to be left behind when we die?)

Now here is what heaven looks like...

I believe in God, I assure you.

I also believe in the concept of heaven and hell.

But I don't necessarily ascribe to any specific description of what heaven seems to be, especially when mouthed by those who only focus themselves on what their holy books say.

I still think that heaven looks exactly like what our inner hearts wish it to be, because if I were to follow those three views aforementioned....

Gee, I'd rather stay on earth forever.

The first view above is too boring, the second one is too haughty, and the third is too promiscuous.


A miscellany of successful lives

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Attila the Hun was suspected of suffocating from a bloody nose after passing out from alcohol at his bachelor party.
  • The biography of Thomas Crapper, the British sanitary engineer who invented the modern flush toilet in 1878, was called Flushed with Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper.
  • After being killed during the celebrated Battle of Trafalgar, British Admiral Horatio Nelson was put into a large barrel of brandy to preserve his body during the voyage back to England. When the ship arrived back home Lord Nelson was removed from the barrel and the crew celebrated his achievements by drinking the remaining brandy.
  • Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.
  • Albert Einstein said of nuclear bombs: "If I had known, I would have become a watchmaker."
  • Albert Einstein's last words were not understood because his nurse did not speak German.
  • After the death of Albert Einstein, his brain was removed by a pathologist and put in jar for future study.
  • Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never telephoned his wife or mother because they were both deaf.
  • Alexander Graham Bell refused to have a phone in his study - the ringing drove him nuts.
  • Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the Eiffel Tower, also designed the inner structure of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name was "Moon". Buzz was the second man to step onto the Moon in 1969.
  • Sigmund Freud had a morbid fear of ferns.
  • Napoleon constructed his battle plans in a sandbox.
  • Ivan the Terrible began earning his bad reputation in 1540 as a 10-year-old by throwing puppies off the Kremlin walls.
  • Karl Marx's socialist writer's last words were: "Last words are for fools who haven't said enough."
  • Four million prisoners died mining for gold in Stalin's Kolyma forced labour camp.
  • Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano published the laws of chance governing card and dice games. But he became most famous for his accurate horoscope predictions. He even predicted his own death in 1576 - even down to the exact hour. When the time came he was still healthy, so he killed himself rather than being proved wrong.


Don't use the words "good" and "bad"

My former English teacher at school once advised me against using those oversimplified words of "good" and "bad". Too elementary, she said.

In retrospect, I concur.

Those two words are created only to help those beginners in English.

Why would anyone want to use the word "good" or "bad" anyway? I don't mean to promote verbosity here but hey, if you happen to have learned English for years (or decades for some) and still use those two elementary words consistently, I am sorry to tell you that those years of yours have been wasted.

In place of "good", you could use any positive-sounding words such as adorable, beautiful, kind, or benevolent.

And you could substitute "bad" with any negative connotations such as malicious, evil, or disappointing.


When one no longer tunes in to the news, one gets a peace of mind

That holds true, especially for me.

I find it peaceful that I no longer subscribe to Jakarta Post, no longer flick intermittently between BBC, Al-Jazeera and MetroTV (I've never really had any keen interest in CNN, which is too biased in terms of heaving support for the West).

I only found out the news about swine flu just recently.

What do I think of it?

Nah, this is merely one of those trends. People now frantically foresee the doom of everything, what with the WHO putting the disease on Stage 5, Stage 6, or whatever consequent levels they would like to sum up to.

However, I find it terribly amusing that you, and the guy next door, and your relatives are worried sick of consuming porks (unless your religious obligations does not allow it in the first place) and meeting Mexicans (plus Americans too).

Here are two reasons why:

1. Not a single pig today has been found with swine flu (H1N1).
2. Chances are higher that you die of regular flu than the swine flu. There has so far been less than 2,000 deaths worldwide of swine flu. On the other hand, regular flu has killed more than 13,000 since January 2009... It would take a little while longer before the pandemic or whatever-tags-you-would-attach-to-it reaches you (and kill you).


Take precautionary measures is OK, but don't fall into the paranoia. Let's accept the Mexicans with a hearty warmth again.


On Manohara Pinot's life... let me see.

She was rich, he was richer, what do we lack here?

Oh yes, he's an abusive hubby. Apparently a Cinderella-type of fairy tale only exists in storybooks.

Moreover, she was not in rags like Cinderella; so I guess it is a lesson for us all.


Why are the kissing scenes still censored on Indonesian TV?

Indonesians are too holy indeed.

I still wonder why they still censor kissing scenes on screen, while bloodbath and tortures remain there.

Does it mean that we condone murder yet we disallow acts of love?

Why should the act of kissing always be associated with pornography?

It is exactly those porno-minded people who always look for something to fulfil their inner carnal delights whenever they see a man and a woman parting with a goodbye kiss on that airport scene.

So tell me, World. Whenever you witness two people kissing on screen, does it always incite sexual arousal like the Indonesians do?


How snobbish this friend of mine was

I used to have this old friend of mine who was so snobbish that whenever his savings sum up less than SG$1000, he deems himself as broke.

There was that day when he asked people around to borrow money, "Dude, you have some $50? Can you lend me?"

When we asked him for what purpose, he answered "I'm broke, Man. I cannot have my bank account savings number less than $1000"

What the hell, I say.

He talked like that as if he earned the money himself, Gah!

That is one freaking $1000 given by his parents, in case he has not realised. If he happened to be born to one of the less fortunate families, he would not even be able to purchase those blackberries and laptops that he always parade around.

What a snob.


Indo-lyric: Surat Cinta (Vina Panduwinata)

English translation:

Love letter

Today I'm so happy
feels like hanging in the air
the postman brought a news
from the one I admire

A sweet sheet of envelope
with a colour of rose red
as if the first present ever
I opened it hastily


One two and three
I started reading
my first love letter

made my heartbeat rush
like a harmonious melody
his sweet loving words

repeat reff

to me...

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Hari ini kugembira
Melangkah di udara
Pak pos membawa berita
Dari yang kudamba

Sepucuk surat yang manis
Warnanya pun merah hati
Bagai bingkisan pertama
Tak sabar kubuka


Satu dua dan tiga
Kumulai membaca
Surat cintaku yang pertama

Membikin hatiku berlomba
Seperti melodi yang indah
Kata-kata cintanya

ulangi Reff



Why the French hate speaking English

The French people are stereotyped in the world for their snob, what with all those pretense of being unable to speak English and all. One quite well-known historical incident quite was a couple of years back when, during a speech conducted in English in a UN assembly, the entire French delegation decided to leave.

But after some thought, I think the French does have a reason to dislike the English language.

When you eat "French fries", do you know that it actually originates from Belgium?

When you say "French kiss", do you know that the French people has another term, baiser amoureux (lit. "lovely kiss")?

And when we utter obscenities, we have a perfect phrasal verb to excuse ourselves:

Pardon my French.

If it were "Pardon my Hebrew" or "Pardon my Russian", it would have turned into a racial slur. But nah, the French have been quite tolerant of us English-speakers... We have insulted them too much, haven't we?


Quotable utterings of the famous (Part 4)

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • "Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives" - Abba Eban.
  • "A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually" - Abba Eban.
  • "To sit alone with my conscience will be judgement enough for me" - Charles William Stubbs.
  • "Sanity is a madness put to good uses" - George Santayana.
  • "Imitation is the sincerest form of television" - Fred Allen.
  • "Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest" - Mark Twain.
  • "In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take" - Adlai Stevenson.
  • "Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research" - Wilson Mizner.
  • "Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers" - T.S. Eliot.
  • "Criticism is prejudice made plausible" - Henry Louis Mencken.
  • "It is better to be quotable than to be honest" - Tom Stoppard.
  • "Opportunities multiply as they are seized" - Sun Tzu.
  • "The best way to predict the future is to invent it" - Alan Kay.
  • "Never mistake motion for action" - Ernest Hemingway.
  • "Hell is paved with good Samaritans" - William Holden.
  • "The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time" - George Bernard Shaw.
  • "Well done is better than well said" - Benjamin Franklin.
  • "The average person thinks he isn't" - Father Larry Lorenzoni.
  • "Heav'n hath no rage like love to hatred turn'd. Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn'd" - William Congreve.
  • "A husband is what is left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted" - Helen Rowland.
  • "Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century" - Lewis Perelman.
  • "Dogma is the sacrifice of wisdom to consistency" - Lewis Perelman.
  • "Sometimes it is not enough to do our best; we must do what is required" - Sir Winston Churchill.
  • "The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till the other is ready" - Henry David Thoreau.
  • "There is a country in Europe where multiple-choice tests are illegal" - Sigfried Hulzer.
  • "Ask her to wait a moment - I am almost done" - Carl Gauss while working, when informed that his wife is dying.
  • "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty" - Sir Winston Churchill.
  • "I think it would be a good idea" - Mahatma Gandhi when asked what he thought of Western civilisation.
  • "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edward Burke.
  • "I'm not a member of any organised party, I'm a Democrat" - Will Rogers.
  • "If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?" - Will Rogers.
  • "The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy" - Von Clausewitz.
  • "Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions - it only guarantees equality of opportunity" - Irving Kristol.
  • "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt" - Mark Twain.
  • "A pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood" - General George S. Patton.
  • "After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one" - Cato the Elder aka. Marcus Porcius Cato.
  • "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know" - Abraham Lincoln.
  • "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something" - last words of Pancho Villa.
  • "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins" - Oliver Wendell Holmes.
  • "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense" - Tom Clancy.
  • "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" - Mark Twain.
  • "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot have both" - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.
  • "Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame" - Benjamin Franklin.
  • "The President has kept all of the promises he intended to keep" - Clinton aide George Stephanopolous speaking on Larry King Live.
  • "Half this game is 99% mental" - Yogi Berra.
  • "There is only one nature - the division into science and engineering is a human imposition, not a natural one. Indeed, the division is a human failure; it reflects our limited capacity to comprehend the whole" - Bill Wulf.
  • "There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher" - Flannery O'Connor.
  • "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire" - Sir Winston Churchill.
  • "I criticise by creation - not by finding fault" - Cicero.
  • "Love is friendship set on fire" - Jeremy Taylor.
  • "God gave men both a penis and brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time" - Robin Williams, commenting on the Clinton/Lewinsky affair.
  • "My occupation now, I suppose, is jail inmate" - Unibomber Theodore Kaczynski, when asked what his current profession was.
  • "Woman was God's second mistake" - Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • "This isn't right, this isn't even wrong" - Wolfgang Pauli, upon reading a young physicist's paper.
  • "For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the not-worth-knowing" - Henry Louis Mencken.


What's with the irregularity of verbs?

If the past participle of "fly" is "flew", why the past participle of "fry" is "fried" and not "frew"?

Such a sad buffoonery of the English tongue.


Dropped communion bread...should you intake it?

For those of you who do not know, "communion bread" is an unleavened (=tasteless) bread which Catholic churchgoers intake during a holy mass. You should have seen one during a sacrament called Communion during those Christmas broadcasts from Vatican.

Or, if you still haven't seen any, just picture a piece of flattened Mentos (the freshmaker)...but without the mint (or any other fruity taste). That should get the thing in your head.

I noticed this on two ocassions: the "accident" of dropping communion bread during a Mass. Yes, a piece of communion bread dropped onto the floor.

On the first case, it was the deacon who dropped it. Some of those queuing held a withdrawn gasp when, to our surprise, the deacon calmly took that communion bread from the floor and put it back on the chalice, hence nobody knows who could have been so unlucky to have that piece.

It could have been me, I don't know. I pray to God it wasn't.

On the second case, it was the guy given the communion bread himself who dropped the bread and instantly inserted it onto his mouth. Perhaps he has used that "belum 5 menit"belief (lit. "it has not been 5 minutes", in Indonesia people believe that any kind of food dropped into the floor/ground has not been contaminated with any bacteria as long as you instantly pick it up and eat it).

Whoa... if it is unintentional, can it be considered sacrilege? Should one dispose of the bread or should one let the faithful intake it?

Because apparently for the first case, the deacon thinks that disposing off the communion bread could amount to sacrilege, hence he prefered to risk the gastronomical reaction of the unlucky faithful who got that unlucky piece.

But enough of that. It's the body of the Lord anyway.


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