Don't you know that you have a fetish?

an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion
(Merriam Webster)

Yes, you do have a fetish.

I find it amusing that we (and I'm talking about the entire humanity here) share this same fetish. It looks childish to most of us who are grown adults, but we never really grow out of it.

Be forewarned: This picture may awaken the inner child in you. Don't get so agitated, now.

As a matter of fact, the entire humanity loves it. You may be a four-year-old boy from Bangladesh or a 35-year-old bank manager from Sweden, but you still love popping bubble-wraps anyway.

The only difference would be the fact that the bank manager prefers to pop them in secret...when nobody else is watching.

Don't you just love to pop her? Oops.
I mean, her dress.

For further unleashing of your fetish, click here.


Toshi's wrap up of Year 2009

I described last year as "bittersweet" and "unproductive".

For this year, I'd say that it is a Year of Change. It may not necessarily a change of who I am inside, but it does change some ways I think about things.

Right from the beginning of the year, I start to see my life as one ironic comedy.

Because what you think were the good stuff were actually one chain of mistakes commited one way or another by the people around you, including yourself.

And that the bad events that cause you miserable at first are actually there so that you can dig up what was actually pleasant underneath it all.

July 2009 was hard on me, especially with the change and moving and adaptation and all, but once you actually get over it, it is not as bad as it once looked.

November 2009 was the nastiest month ever, it was filled with a lot of incidents for me.

But in retrospect, if I were given a chance to go back in time, would I knowingly let those incidents happen?


Because as I've seen, if those incidents hadn't happened in the first place, I would not be in such a good shape as I am today.

They were meant to happen, so that my December would not be the worst month of the year.

And as someone once said, "Perhaps this is one form of mercy God is granting us".

Indeed they are.

Whatever softwares God has taken away from me, He has returned in some other updated versions.

Not necessarily an exact replica, but at least they are more virus resistant now...

~post'script Despite the many changes, one thing stays the same though. You're still the same person for me, and I don't exactly know why it has not changed yet. Even the years and the distance and other person(s) involved don't necessarily change the way I think about you. There is something about you that is so unique that I can't let go of you, and I wonder why... Is it kismet?


Song of The Year 2009

I pick "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus as the song of the year 2009.

Other than the obvious fact that I like Miley, its lyric is also significant to what I'm having this year and it is also the favourite song of two of my special friends.

So be it (^_^)


A blessing

May you always have enough happiness to keep you sweet,
enough trials to keep you strong,
enough success to keep you eager,
enough faith to give you courage,
and enough determination to make
each day a good day.



on Borrowing (and renting) DVDs

I've gotten used to borrowing DVDs from the library these days. They are free, and the libraries here have a large supply of movies, ranging from the classics to animes and sometimes, new releases too.

And they have TV series too. Right now I'm rewatching some of the episodes of Xena:The Warrior Princess which reminds me of my childhood...I just love it.

But how unfortunate, the library doesn't have that many supply of the newly released movies. So there is this new movie rental that I start to frequent, and it only costs $1 to rent two regular DVDs for five nights (and $1 per DVDs for the most popular titles).

Which is a good price, really. Even better, new members of the rental can borrow them for half the price for the first month.

So on average, I only pay $0.25 to borrow a DVD for five nights! Not bad at all.

The good thing about the rental is that I only need to show my ID card and give my cellphone number, and that's it, I automatically become a member! No membership fees whatsoever.

I've rented some titles such as Casanova, Burn After Reading, The Pianist, Smart People, and The Devil wears Prada. The Pianist is a very highly recommended movie, really.

I would like to get some horror movies to watch too, as they have some interesting titles such as Freddy vs Jason or The Autopsy...but too bad I live by myself at my apartment. Now I understand fully well how it gets pretty creepy when you live on your own.

Probably I'll watch them after I get a new roommate, haha.


How gloomy or cheerful are you?

I found this interesting psychology test one day. It asks you to fill in the blank below:

COFF_ _ ; SK _ LL ; GR _ VE

What do you fill those blanks with?

Answer key in yellow font (Try not to cheat before you answer!):

If you fill it with Coffin, Skull, and Grave, it shows how pessimistic and gloomy you are. If you fill in those spaces with Coffee, Skill, and Grove, that means you are an optimistic and cheerful person.


Free drinking water

One of the best things about living in a first-world country is that you can have drinking water for free, whether from the tap or a cooler.

That saves a lot of our money.


on Taylor Swift

A lot of Indonesian youngsters do not really have much penchant towards American country music, but I guess Taylor Swift is an anomaly. A lot of Indonesian youngsters like her.

I am not a big fan of country either, but I like Taylor Swift.



Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference

After one bloody month of battle, what was the answer?

My manager Rachel called me the other day.



"I'm afraid I have some bad news for you"

I nodded slightly.

She continued, "The..other store is currently not accepting new transfers."

I took the news for two seconds, and I shrugged nonchalantly, "Oh. Okay"

"Strange, you don't look that disappointed..I thought you really wanted the transfer?"

I only smiled.

I already have another reason why I should stay in this store, and I think it is worth it. (^_^)


on Being suicidal

"Guess what...", as I slammed her silver Matrix door shut. She had been waiting for the car to warm up.


"I just bought a Häagen-Dazs cuup!!" I grinned.

"Are you fucking kidding me? It's 20 degrees [-7 degrees Celcius] outside.. You're suicidal!" she snapped me in the head, complaining.

"Haha... I know. But who cares? Nobody really cares anyway"

"I do"

"You do?"

"Mm-hmm", she nodded.

"So you wanna keep this piece of ice cream for yourself, then?"

"No way, I ain't crazy like you. Just promise me you won't get sick okay?"

"Okay duude", I smiled.


on My personal favourite

You're not the sweetest girl on earth.

But somehow I'm surprised myself to find you still there, occupying a rather...uhm awkward position in my life.

It is not rekindling of anything, nor it is the way I look into an adopted sister like me and Sis R.

And also unlike getting all occasionally hot with my "friends with benefit" Linda (who coincidentally happens to be my childhood crush).

No wonder it was to a great distress of mine when I was inquired to put a certain "distance" between you and me.

Ah, what the hell.

I haven't had anything on you for quite a while, and I can personally attest that fact to everyone with certainty. Because once I've been over heels with somebody, I know what it feels like when those stuff are gone.

Anyway, no matter how pissing off you might be, how nonchalant your attitudes usually are towards stuff, one thing stays the same... I still favour you.

For a reason that I don't even know.

I'm not even being possessive of you. You can have a crush on anyone and I don't care.

I may even date somebody else totally new someday, and still find you as someone special whom I put in such a favourable light.

An adopted sister?

I don't think so. That somehow betrays some of the ideals I have now.

But when that time comes, I just have to be careful as not to make a large-scale drama out of it. Your presence in my life has to be kept in a low profile, as I usually do..

'post~script yes, this post is originally intended to coincide with the special occasion. I know I have made it a policy for this blog not to glorify any anniversaries, but I guess you have seen one anyway.


on The security camera

After working here for three full months, I finally realised that Sparta actually have a security camera.

Amidst making sandwiches, I asked my manager, "Rachel, I'm wondering if the store have any security cameras? Because I haven't seen any"

"Well yes there is. See the one over there?" and she pointed out to a tiny alarm-like device that is attached at the centre of the customer service department.

"We only have one?" I gave her a puzzled look.

"No,there is another one in the back, but that's only to keep an eye on the employees. So that nobody would be sneaking any food items behind, you know"



"But it's so small... It's not supposed to be able to see what we're doing in detail for the entire store, right?"

"Oh yes it can Toshi. You know, the other day I went and see the camera TV room and it is quite advanced that you can actually see the entire store, 360-degrees, and zoom in right onto the little holes on your nose. It can see every single thing on the store, unless you're hiding behind the aisle shelves, of course"

"Ow great", I uttered.

She chuckled, understanding some of my favourite 'sins'.

So the camera had actually seen me munching some dough nuts, texting on my cellphone at the back of the deli, and gulping mashed potatoes, all caught within a distance of 50 metres away. I should stop doing that then.

Thank God those watching the camera video aren't actually aware of anything, haha.


Winter solstice

In exactly a week from today is the Winter Solstice, which is the "official" start of Winter season for Northern countries.

I wish I could escape to Okinawa, but what the hell. Limited on coffers.

Anyway, am I ready for winter?


Firstly, food.

I have purchased over $100 worth of food in over the course of less than a week, filling my refrigerator and cupboard to its fullest. Mostly pasta (ranging from Rotini to Rigatoni and Vermicelli) and noodles though.

Hence, I will still have a food supply for one full month even if (God forbids) I get stuck in my apartment for a whole day, being unable to get out due to a blizzard.

Secondly, medicines and vitamins.

Since I still live without a roommate, it dawned upon me one day that I'll be a dead meat if one morning I wake up and find myself having a high fever.

So now in my cabinet I can find every single medication that may be necessary for any kind of fever, cough, asthmatic symptom, flu, allergic reaction, or wounds and scrapes.

I also take some multivitamin to help me get thru the day, and occasional sleeping pills whenever I find myself back home at 3 a.m. in the morning and have trouble to go to sleep (Though our body is tired, human mind usually remains active at those ungodly hours, which is a damned ironic thing)


Can't stop working



"How can you stand working three jobs?" I asked her, "I offence here, but you don't seem like you have a good physique to stretch yourself that hard.."

Apart from being a part-timer as my coworker, she also babysits during the morning and work as a shoe company saleswoman on certain days. But one thing that me and some folks knew is that she does not have that much of a good health: she has a heart problem and a weakened kneecap.

"That's the irony, T... I just can't stop moving unless I fall asleep. If I stop working, I'll be in pain for being still"


"Uh-huh", she nodded, "That's what my doctor told me"

Wow. I never know that there exists such a medical condition.


To thee I protest, dear Fatma

I was on my ride to work when I noticed that there was flag in front of an apartment complex at the Florence suburbs.


It was a simple, trivial thing, but of large significance to me howsoever.

Unless when I am on the phone with my Indonesian folks, I haven't spoken a single Indonesian word for months. I don't speak a word at all, not even in vulgarities, because all my profanities are almost always in English.

In multicultural cities like Chicago or Phoenix or New York, the chances to have some gado-gado are almost the same as having the Scottish Haggis.

But in a mid-sized Midwest town of 25,000 people in Northern of Kentucky? Almost zero.

So was the mirth to find that there might be somebody else who also shares the love for tempe bacem in town?


Now let me share a bit of history first.

They have two theories for how the Indonesian flag.

First, it came from a torn Dutch flag, which has red-white-blue stripes on the order from top to bottom. The Sulawesian nationalists torn the blue stripe, and proclaims the new flag as an Indonesian one.

The second theory is that Fatmawati, one of Soekarno's most beloved wife, had sewn it.

Both theories are truthful in a certain way, though some people believe more in one than the other. I tend to believe that Fatmawati had sewn it, and after the red-and-white flag was established, then the Sulawesian nationalists made it famous by their tearing of the Dutch flag.

But oh my dear Fatma, if only you have learned Geography more.

Because after second thought, it dawned upon me that the red-and-white flag I saw that day might have been the flag of Monaco.


Look, I know I have written on the different dimensions on both flags last year, but when the flag is hanging on the pole, how can you measure the size of the flag?

So the apartment complex I saw might have been an Indonesian complex, or a Monegasque one. I guess I'm going to come find out someday.


You always know a dumb blonde when you see one

"Can I help you, ma'am?"

She was a blonde lady in her early 30s in a white outfit, high heels, and deep red lipsticks. One would say that she's well-dressed, if not for the way she talks.

"Umm...lemme see...I wanna order chicken"

"Do you want to have an 8-piece fried chicken or barbecued?"

Frowning, she said in a serious tone, "I don't know...I don't know anything about chicken. Just take whatever seems nice"

Then she giggled.


After I got her order done, I asked, "anything else?"

"Yes...salads. I like salads!"

She continued, "But...I don't know anything about salads"

And she giggled again.

"Hmm...perhaps you would like a potato salad, or cole slaw?"

"Alright, cole slaw looks great!"

Another giggle.

After getting one pound container of salads for her, I asked, "what else would you like to order"

"No, thanks. Byeeee!" she showed her sparkling teeth as she walked away from the deli counter.


After the lady left, Taylor approached me from behind.

"Taylor...that lady.."

"I know"

"You're thinking what I'm thinking?" I asked her.

"If I were to get 10 customers like her in a day, I'd soon get a brain damage"

And we laughed.



"Taylor", I called my pal after the Spartan's radio advertisement featuring Santa Claus.

Cleaning the fryer, she glanced at me, "Hmm?"

"That Santa's 'ho-ho-ho''s not a very good phrase to teach to the kids, ain't it?"

"Depends on whom you direct it onto", she laughed.


Accidental friends

One of the best things in America (which is rare in most of other countries) is that you don't have to approach strangers in order to make friends.

Strangers approach you.

Sometimes I just talk and banter lightly with them, but sometimes we exchange phone numbers too.

Now that's what I call "accidental friends". A smile a day, kicks the loneliness away...


on Drinking

Now in retrospect, I found myself a totally different person I become when I start intaking alcoholic beverages.

I turn into somebody else with the potent to destroy and do the most malevolent thing I could ever terrifying it was!

So I decided that from last month onwards, I'm not gonna drink anymore.

Well perhaps I'll drink in a social context with the guys, but not with the intention to get an escape from life's problems.



Mark told me about this funny poem the other day that he found when he was taking a shit in a department store toilet cubicle.

Here I am down and broken-hearted
I cannot shit and yet I farted


on The hot Russian ass


My first thanksgiving

"Dude, do you know how Thanksgiving first started?"

"'s the sharing of food between the Europeans and the native Americans, right?"

"Yep. Actually it's only the native Americans who share their food. Those Europeans killed them after that", Mark, a white American himself, remarked.

"Such ungrateful bastards", I teased, and we laughed it off.

So it came last week. The days before Thanksgiving are not very pleasant for those working in the food industry actually, because those days are the busiest with all customers ordering Turkey dinners (though they do provide massive revenues for our bosses up there).

I went to Kerry's, and had some food till my belly was about to explode. And a lot of the American adults asked me whether I also celebrate Thanksgiving in Indonesia, to which I answer, "As a matter of fact, there are only two countries in the world that celebrate Thanksgiving, which are USA and Canada".

Turkey. Home-made macaroni. Lasagna. Mashed potatoes. Mousse. Pumpkin pies.

All in all, more than I could ever eat during the last two months.

And somehow, the Thanksgiving dinner had a side effect that still lasts till this day: I have an enlargened belly that made me unable to stop eating. Which is a weird thing, since I'm past my puberty period of teenagehood already.

Hence, my insatiable appetite. I may even think that I'm pregnant.


The birth of Toshi's French-language blog

This comes from an idea that had been hanging on the back of my mind for quite a time. I firstly thought of making a French-language post every once a week, but that would betray my pure ideals of having nearly 100% of my posts in English.

Moreover, writing in French could potentially discourage some of you my loyal readers from reading or subscribing to this main blog any further, since a non-English post would be unfamiliar to the general audience in Peru or Philippines.

So the solution...voilà! A brand new French-language blog was created.

Now the blog title per se has quite of a story to it.

When the consideration of title first came to mind, I was determined that the initials has to be SS. Not the SS that stands for Schutzstaffel of Nazi, but something that can really stick to people's minds.

In other words, they have to be catchy!

Because to be honest with you, using Foreign Prophecies as the title of this blog has been one of the greatest regrets in my life. I cannot change it, because that requires a huge task of asking numerous people to change my link in their blogrolls, especially those that are already fixed (such as the ones where I translated President Obama's biography).

It is not catchy at all, and to non-native speakers of English, oftentimes I have to spell the "P-R-O-P-H-E-C-I-E-S" and still get a blank stare.... What the hell does Prophecies mean?, they ask me.

Hence learning from my experience, I decided that my French blog has to be catchy in people's ears. And for that, I went to great lengths into opening a humongous Oxford dictionary of French in the library, and scouring for every single adjective and a noun that begins in S that can match when paired.

A sign of OCD? Indeed.

I took notes of some of them which are quite descriptive, poetic, or simply have a nice ring to them, such as sabre (sword), sonate (sonata), satisfaisant (satisfactory), saisonnier (seasonal), or stance (stanza).

My first pick was Serein Soleil (Serene Sunlight). It was not until later on that I remembered that I was supposed to put the noun in front as Soleil Serein instead.

And what on earth does Serene Sunlight mean anyway? It has a highly poetic touch to it, but does not really mean only shows how stupid the blog author is.

So I looked for another.

I decided that my second pick has to be musical-themed. Second Sonata would be nice, but too bad it's in English. In French, it turns into Deuxième Sonate, which is not a very good idea because:

  1. Its initial is not SS
  2. The French word Sonate would rhyme with the Indonesian word SUNAT (circumcise)
Thus, it's another No.

For my third pick (which I hoped was the last one), I decided that the SS had to represent me or my writings in some way.

Then I stumbled upon the word Scorpion. And hey, I'm a Scorpio!

So be it, I fixed my noun on Scorpio.

What would be the adjective then? Sain is a good adjective, but it's weak. Healthy Scorpio doesn't really mean anything.

Scorpion Saisonnier is highly poetical at first ring, but if you ponder the sounds as if I'm a piece of durian. Seasonal Scorpio? Come on Toshi, you can find a better one.

What about Scorpion Subtil (Subtle Scorpio)? This almost become my final pick for the title, before I decided that it's kinda hard to pronounce.

Scorpion Suave (Suave Scorpio) also came into consideration, but it was too self-laudatory and would scare away the audience who may think that its content is nothing but narcissistic remarks on the author himself.

Then I came across Sceptique. Hyaw!

That pretty much describes me. I'm the type of person who can give my trust to anybody, but sometimes I verify with outside sources...just in case.

You can be my buddy, my mother, or even my wife, but if I feel that something is amiss or out-of-place, I would do everything to tear your walls down and verify your words with a third party, even if I have to seduce your own confidant into becoming my personal detective or hack into your school ID account (I've done both of them several times in my life and I'm not kidding you, hahaha).

I trust, but I verify.

So Scorpion Sceptique it is.

And what a pretty coincidence, both have Sc in front of them!

~post'script Just thank God it's not Scorpion Scatologique.


No more cash

These days I no longer carry a single cent on my wallet. Kerry told me it was too dangerous, because having cash means making yourself a prone target for those lurking in the darks of night. Especially with me having to ride a bike home for six kilometres almost every night.

So for every paychecks I receive, I deposited them all into my account. I am firstly not used to using debit cards for every purchases I made, but it is just a matter of getting used to it.

And it helps me save money too. Because with no cash, I can restrain myself from having to use my money for vending machines.

Ah, vending machines. What a way to promote frugality.


Indo-lyric: Coba katakan (Maliq&D'Essentials)

English translation:

Please tell me

Please please tell me that we're walking towards one reason
Don't you say that we never had a purpose

I don't wanna sit still, staring at hopes
Lured by the sweetness of love and end with despair
I don't wanna wait anything that's uncertain
It's better for us to cry and be wounded today..

Please please tell me if we really are going there,
Prove me and make me believe that we can form happiness..

Ohh.. Oh.. I don't know what else to stay..
I've expressed every single thing that I felt..
Now I only want a happy ending.. hoo..

All I want..
A purpose
One reality
Not a dream
Not a hope
Not a reason
A certainty

Please tell me.. 4x

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Coba coba katakan kepadaku bahwa kita sedang berjalan menuju satu alasan
Janganlah kau katakan bila kita memang tak ada tujuan dari apa yang dijalankan

Aku tak ingin terus terdiam memandangi harapan
Terlena akan manis cinta dan berujung kecewa
Aku tak ingin terus menunggu sesuatu yang tak pasti
Lebih baik kita menangis dan terluka hari ini..

Coba coba katakan kepadaku sekali lagi bila kita memang benar akan kesana,
Buktikan dan buat aku percaya bahwa kita bisa mewujudkan bahagia..

Ohh.. Oh.. Habis sudah semua rangkai kata..
Telah terungkap semua yang kurasa..
Yang kuingin akhir yang bahagia.. hoo..

Yang ku inginkan
Satu tujuan
Sebuah kenyataan
Bukan impian
Bukan harapan
Bukan alasan
Satu kepastian

Coba katakan... 4x


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