Friday, 31 December 2010

The typical year-end post: recap...and more on omens

Hi. This the last entry in the year 2010. The 25th, to round up. The year 2010 was ok - I lost some passions this year, broke up with a boyfriend (I was the dumper, not the dumpee, so everything was fine), unexpectedly have stayed in the same job (if by February 2011 I'm still at Lessons I'll have worked there a year - a record for a full-time job thus far!) - but overall it was better than 2009. 2009 was crap. A year I don't want to remember. I'm hoping 2011 will be more than just ok. Hope it will be rocking!

And omens. Yes. A chick I went to secondary, high school and diploma with, Tika, has just passed away (those who speak Indonesian: the obituary, which is not really an obituary, but well...). The moment I heard about her passing, I remember I haven't added her back on Facebook (I have soo many friend requests, I can get up to more than ten a day), so I added her right away to check if the news was true. I didn't even have to look at the many condolences on her wall. Right after I added her, first on the list of "people you might know" (friends in common with the newly added friend) was Sanny Sanura, a high school friend who passed away ten years ago of drowning in a river (of course Sanny's Facebook account was made by someone else as a memorial). Anyway, coming across Sanny's account right after adding Tika was like a sign that Tika really had joined him up there.

Sunday, 12 December 2010


I believe in omens. Six years ago, as I was finishing my English language vocational degree at UI, I was planning to get my bachelor's degree overseas but I had no idea exactly where I was going. Around March 2004, I came across a forum about The Whale Rider. The Whale Rider is a critically-acclaimed New Zealand movie whose leading actress, then 14-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes, was nominated for Best Actress in Academy Awards. The forum mentioned that Keisha was half Maori and half Pakeha. I had no friend from New Zealand, I often forgot the country existed, but right then and there I knew what "Pakeha" was. It's Maori for "caucasian". I wasn't so sure it was an omen that I'd move to New Zealand, but I did feel that somehow the country was waiting for me.

One year and four months later, I packed my bags and moved to Auckland, the biggest city in The Land of The Long White Cloud. The Whale Rider, by the way, never screened in Indonesian cinemas.

At home, we have a set of antique Italian-made picture frames. The set consists of one big frame, filled with a picture of Mum and Dad taken circa 1985, and two smaller ones filled with pictures of my brother and me respectively, taken circa 1987. The pictures have hung on the wall of my dad's study since 2001 (after ten years of being hidden somewhere, since we moved from our old house.) Just recently I took the frames off the wall and saw the backsides. On the back of the big frame there's an engraved writing that reads, "A souvenir from Poerwani, Ningsih, Mini and Wasti. Jakarta, 12/1/1983." On the back of my brother's frame is a painting of some 18th century European royalty I can't recognize, and guess what's on the back of my frame...A famous painting of Marie Antoinette! Even if you're not a long-time follower of my blog, you can tell right away I'm a Marie Antoinette fan from the Marie Antoinette and Marie Antoinette the movie badges in my fanlisting columns. This is also an omen. That Marie Antoinette painting has sat behind my picture for about 23 years. I first heard about the ill-fated Austrian princess-turned-French queen when I was 12, in 1995.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

In remembrance of happier times...

A friend that used to follow my old blog asked me why I didn't blog as often I did.

Ok, here's why. Again.

I keep to myself a lot lately. I have so many thoughts that I simply don't feel like sharing with the world. For one, my aspirations are changing and I haven't even come to terms with it. I guess the world has had enough of my coming-of-age stories, they need to know no more.

Those were the happy days, yeah. Now that I'm back to school and have (sort of, for now) decided to stick to my teaching gig because at least I don't have to think a lot while postgrad has given me so much to think already and the money is good, I should be able to whip out entries about how unique my students are, how Terrorism Studies postgrad is driving me crazy, how blessed I am to have my friends at Terrorism. And there's this, two...But I just don't have the vigour anymore. I'm still wondering why a lot of things have changed, yet I feel nothing has changed. Explanation is impossible.

Oh, and I've given up my dream of becoming a writer. So stop expecting a best seller from yours truly.

But there's no way I'll really stop blogging. That being said, expect your name, or at least your initial, to surface again. Hahaha. Consider that a warning.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

To a (supposedly) former arch enemy and one I can't name...

Someone who was almost my arch enemy back in high school is turning 27 today. To wish her a happy birthday or not? I'm dying to bury the hatchet. I have a feeling so is she. It's been ten years, we're not teenagers anymore and the whereabouts of the guy we fought over are unknown - I don't think we still care about him. But experience has proven that, arch enemy or not, annoying traits do stay.

So yeah, happy 27th birthday CKR. May your life be joyful in the year to come.

Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you follow my blog (like I tried to follow your LJ but I couldn't because it was private, followed your MSN blog for a while and now your Twitter - all in secret, of course.) I want to see us exchaning friendly hello's for the first time in nine years.

And to ... (I'm afraid to even type your initial), I'm sorry our long-standing friendship, which we brought to a new level in 2008, had to end. I meant well. You've always had a soft spot in my heart, no matter what you've done. But I have a feeling that this is temporary. You, my love, are taken by my real personality and before long you'll change your mind and we can be friends again!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Oh, to try to hang on to your real self in La La Land...

Whoa, what do we have here? Another troubled Disney star.

Hey guys. Been forever. Uni and work have been driving me loca these days. I breathe students, Realism, Liberalism, Salafi, Napoleon...

Bet all of you have heard what happened to one of Disney's remaining squeaky clean stars. Demi Lovato has just admitted herself to rehab on the issues of eating disorder and self mutilation attempts. While we give kudos to Demi for taking personal responsibility to seek help, one cannot help but recall her song about staying real in Hollywood that she released two years ago.

Staying yourself in the La La Land machine certainly has taken its toll...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A beauty pageant junkie?

A blend of Chinese, Samoan, German, English and French, it's not a wonder that singer/songwriter Zeisha Fremaux has ventured also into modelling and beauty pageants. Now it's interesting to take a look at her pageant stints. Let's see...Zeisha was in Miss Auckland 2006 and Miss Howick 2006 (she was second runner up and won Miss Friendship title in the latter.) Yes that's two pageants in a year. Next, she was in Miss Universe New Zealand 2007 in which she won Miss Friendship again, and Miss Universe New Zealand 2010 where she won Best Evening Wear Award. Whoa. That's the same pageant three years apart. What's next, maybe another stint at Miss Universe New Zealand next year or will she switch to Miss World New Zealand? Either way, if she decides to try for a better luck in a beauty pageant we're sure she'll capture the main title.

Oh, and she was with glamour model Vicky Lee Cox in Miss Howick 2006.

Here's Miss Fremaux performing "Every Little Thing", which she wrote about an ex boyfriend, on Balcony TV.

In the description of the video it says that it was shot in July. Man that's the peak of winter! How come Zeisha is only wearing a dress? Oh, I forgot she was raised in Takanini, I've never been there and if it's true that Auckland is the warmest place in New Zealand then should be no wonder. My boss, who was raised in Murchinson, once bragged that winter in Auckland was like summer in South Island.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

My celebrity crush...

Ruby Xiu is sooo cute! The media once described Cecilia Cheung as "candy floss cute" and I would put Ruby Xiu under the same description. I fell in love with Ruby soon after she launched her singing career in 2003 with the single "Beautiful Angel", video of which is below.

Oh yeah, during the early stage of her career, she went under the name Xiao Xiao.

Now how old do you think she was in this video? Many would have been fooled to think she was a teenager. With that candy floss cute face and baby voice, no one could go wrong. Ruby went on to release another single, "Daddy's Little Girl", and I remember reading an article on her in Asian Glitz magazine (RIP) about how her mother groomed her to be a model from a young age (she did start out as a model), how she missed her mother when she went on tour and how she always sought her mother's approval on boyfriend matters. Seriously, what 25-year-old would release singles with such titles as "Beautiful Angel" and "Daddy's Little Girl" and sing them in such a cutesy voice, and also talk about her mother's big impact on life which gave one an impression of a mama's girl?

Yep, Ruby Xiu was 25 at the start of her singing career. For a while her birtyear remained a mystery, and kudos to her management for creating such an image that no doubt appealed to a young audience (and older men with particular inclinations...)

Now nearing 32, Ruby Xiu is still a fresh-faced candy floss cutie. Just look up her official Facebook.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A Really Good Gift

On his 30th birthday nearly a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine got himself a haircut that was expensive and took an hour to be done but made him look so much younger. He tweeted that the haircut "makes me look like I'm in my teens." It was definitely worth the money and I think he made a good decision. What's a better birthday gift for yourself than one that seems to shave more than a decade off your actual chronological age?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

When you have no interview call...

Don't despair. It's probably not because of a glicth in your CV. Amongst the many possibilities, one is the company you apply to had a couple of employees who attended your university, these guys didn't perform to expectations and that caused said company to distrust your almamater. Well, that happens.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Oh how fun it is to stalk each other...

So. I used to think I tweeted for no particular audience, except my followers and non followers whose attention I grab once in a while with my tweets. Wrong. Someone's been following me closely in more or less the same fashion as that stalker from Auckland days. But I don't mind, just a little annoyed. Keep stalking me, love. You have no idea what you're in for.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

My boyfriend a potential pedophile?

My ex boyfriend liked to stare at a photo of me taken in 1991 when I was eight years old when he came over. He said my ponytailed, bangs-sporting self was exactly the picture of his ideal girl when he was a teenager. He was 15 when that picture was taken. To be honest, that kind of gave me shivers down my spine. If we'd met in 1991 when I was eight and he was 15, would he have pursued me too? And imagine a 32-year-old staring at a picture of yourself taken when you were a wee kid with some kind of sexual attraction to it...doesn't it give you a feeling that you're around a potential child molester?

Friday, 6 August 2010

Your third (and final) MTV installment.

Holly Grabarek, the winner of MTV VJ Hunt 2010, is gorgeous and it partially reminds me of Ketty Janur Sari, winner of the first MTV VJ Hunt in 1997 from Indonesia. Ketty was (still is, google her and check out her Facebook) utterly gorgeous and other than being crowned the new VJ Ketty also won "The Best Smile" title from the competition's sponsor, Close Up. Ketty's VJ-ing stint was very short-lived. The stunner, then 22, was given a three-month probation contract that was never extended. Many admitted that Ketty wasn't destined to be a VJ. I can recall very clearly watching her hosting MTV Land with Jamie Aditya, and with her the show obviously seemed to lose its usual crazy vibe, and I changed the channel within five minutes. Here's hoping that the same fate doesn't befall Holly...

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Stuck on MTV

So what's wrong with being 27 but still cares about MTV? My friend is nearly 30 and yet he tweeted about how he missed the old MTV.

Let's not forget that VJ Utt is 36 and, well, is still VJ-ing. I've no idea exactly how long he's been an MTV Asia VJ, all I remember was that I first noticed him in 1999, alongside old MTV Asia faces such as Sonia Couling, Sarah Sechan, Nadya Hutagalung and Jamie Aditya.

It goes without saying that all those afore-mentioned old MTV faces left the music channel long ago to pursue other careers.

Not so long ago at a party, some friends and I talked about yet another friend who couldn't attend the party due to a family matter (let's call her Stephanie.) A friend, let's call her Floriane, brought up that Steph had been a secretary for nearly seven years. Flo said Steph once wanted to try the music industry, but knew that Steph wasn't strong enough for that. Another friend, let's call him Oscar, said that stuck people were those who couldn't get out of their comfort zone, either because they really didn't want to or wanted to but lacked strong will. We all agreed that stuck people would hardly get anywhere in life. That reminded me of VJ Utt, the only remaining old face from the 1990s MTV. VJ's come and go, but not Utt. He stays put.

Utt's bio on the MTV Asia VJ Hunt website starts with, "Over the years, Utt has established himself as the face of MTV Asia..." Now that line sounds flattering. How can it not sound flattering. Thirty-somethings and their teenage nephews and nieces and three-year-old children can identify Utt with MTV Asia. But my typical Arts student mind sees a grim side underneath that statement. When three generations recognize you and link you to only one thing, be it a product or a company, you know something in dire need of change is going on.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Indonesians rule!

Singapore's Holly Grabarek has just been crowned the latest MTV Asia VJ. Well, rumor has it that her mother's actually Indonesian. If this is true, that would make three Indonesians in the 2010 MTV Asia VJ Hut finalist line-up. There are two finalists representing Indonesia, Alice Yu (who's originally from HK but was born and raised in Jakarta. Confused?) and Ali Agus Ardie (who's obviously Indonesian...kind of...except his mother is American and unless you don't know his name you'd think he's your avarage white guy.) Holly represented Singapore because she currently studies there (maybe grew up there as well.) Anyway, apart from the rumor, Indonesia has the most reps in this year's VJ Hunt line up, which consisted of five finalists, including Dawn Balagot from The Philippines and Kylie Chapman from Malaysia.

So, quoting Ali from his 'thank you for getting me into the top five' video, "Hiduplah Indonesia!" If Holly really does have an Indonesian mother, you might wanna shout, "Hiduplah Indonesia!" to her as well.

Hmmm. Wonder why I still care about this thing at all. I thought I was waaayyy past my MTV phase, just like any normal 27-year-old.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

God is the most creative teacher ever.

Hey! This is for Merdeka Adrai and Will Wiriawan who demanded more entries last night at Sari's party! Hahaha :)

Anyway, what to write...

Ah, how about this experience.

When I was working on this layout (by "working on", I mean modifying the ready-to-use layout to make it more personal), I wanted to put my Blogger followers under "followers." I designed the "followers" image on Photoshop on a PNG transparent background, as were with other images such as the ones for fanlistings and the search box. When I uploaded it, the transparent background of "followers" didn't blend with the background colour of the right hand bar, instead it appeared white. It was the first time this thing happened, as I always used PNG transparent backgrounds for right hand bar images. I uploaded other images and the transparent blended successfully. The "followers" was the only image whose background always appeared white against the bar background colour, no matter how many times I tried. Then I changed it to "friends", still on a PNG transparent background, and yes - you guessed it - it worked.

Since I can't be bothered to be witty or sarcastic about the whole experience, I can only be a cliche and say that God was teaching me to be down to earth. To be a likable personality when I eventually become famous. Not to treat those who might look up to me as a justification to feel like a goddess. That your "followers" are actually friends who help you get on top and keep your feet on the ground.

Aduh. My writing style now resembles Triwik Kurniasari's before I told her to browse other writers' works to learn from because her writing style was so stiff. Karma is indeed a bitch.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Been revamping my old Diaryland blog for the sake of giving the people checking my archive there a bit of an eye candy. Nearly ready, check it out here. Next, the front page of my Diaryland archive, then the "goodbye" page of my Pitas archive. Lots of work.

For those who haven't noticed the change in the "about Isyana" section, I've been accepted into The University of Indonesia's postgraduate studies in International Relations, where I'll focus on Terrorism. Sweet! I never really intend to go back to UI, I never really prayed for it (except when the entrance exam was about to begin.) Instead I kept on praying (still do, actually) to get that coveted job as an Administration and Research Officer at The Embassy of New Zealand, for which I've been interviewed twice, to qualify for a Master's degree at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore (one of their entry requirements is at least a year of experience in a field related to International Relations.) I guess this God's plan, and I'm a firm believer that God knows best.

Besides, Terrorism sounds pretty fun. S. Rajaratnam doesn't have this specialization. My NZ almamater, The University of Auckland, doesn't have it either. I think not many schools in the world have a Terrorism specialization and standing out from the crowd is still one of my strongest suits.

Friday, 23 July 2010


Love! It's been two years since your Europe trip. Hasn't been overseas again ever since, huh? Yeah same here. I told you we'll end up together.

See. Almost normal. The near future sees this blog contain random mutterings like its Pitas predecessor.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Pop songs...

I can see myself blogging properly again. Just like in the good old days of Auckland and its predecessors.

Speaking of pop music, Ellie Goulding is still unheard of in Indonesia, but I can totally see this song of hers become a hit in New Zealand. This just the kind of music that fits the taste of the Kiwi market.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

On work

Hey guys!

Finally got rid of that title box for my fanlisting section. I was just experimenting and voila, it's gone!

For those who are wondering about my employment status, well, I still teach...Adults (ranging from university students to senators) and teenagers now - not kids anymore thank God - somewhere in Thamrin, next to Hotel Nikko and the famous Wisma Nusantara. And while this gig might be the second best gig I've had so far after Student Aide at The University of Auckland, I'm still itching to leave. My students are cool, some of them actually dote on me (buying me lunch and stuff...), and the money is better, but I long for something more exciting.

I'm so jealous of those who don't have to go through a process of finding an employment that they can truly be content with. My best friend, for example, just had to sit there and a number of jobs (all of which are ones the avarage Janes and Joes would kill to get their hands on) are offered to her on a sterling silver tray.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

First entry in months...And it's bitchy.

Sippin hot ocha at sushi tei senci after I bought a pair of ultimate skinny jeans and a nice white top at topshop♥independent woman mode: on

LOL. Yes the old bitch is back. That's taken from someone's Twitter. Someone I know, a rich spoiled brat who's just started university. Independent woman? Gimme a break. That's your olds' money you spent on Sushi Tei, the jeans and the top from Topshop. Feel entitled to independence if it's your hard-earned money that you spend on stuff. If you think I'm jealous, please remember that I lived the rich spoiled brat life before I fully entered the work force after I came back from New Zealand. I just never felt independent for spending my olds' dosh on fancy restaurants pre-New Zealand and three Starbucks a day in New Zealand.

Ah well. I'm PMS-ing (yes that's an excuse that will never wear out for women, just like bad traffic jams are a time-tested excuse for Jakartans.)

Blogger doesn't allow their HTML boxes to go untitled now, which sucks. I can't put all my fanlistings together because if I put them under "Stuff" that wouldn't be pretty. So I decided to categorize the fanlistings (like the one for movies that you can see already on the right hand bar), but there's the annoying line that separates each HTML box (one HTML box for each fanlisting category - can't go any other way.) I tried to remove it on the HTML spread sheet, but still can't figure out how.

That's what happens when your webdesign skills never develop...

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The unconventional bride...

Out of all the looks I've created on Looklet, this one is my favourite, although no one has listed it as a fave. As already described, this look was inspired by a Cosmopolitan Indonesia bonus on budget weddings that was out sometime in early 2004. One of their tips on throwing an affordable yet memorable wedding was for the bride to source dresses and hair pieces from non bridal labels that still could pass for bridal outfits. They had amazing shots of models dressed as brides in dresses and hair pieces which obviously weren't released by bridal labels. If only I still had that magazine.

Now my own budget bride, as you can see, follows the rules of "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe." The "something old" is the dress although, being released by Vintage (yes that's a brand), it's actually new. The "something new" is the white wedges. Very modern looking huh. I hope there's a silver sixpence in one of them wedges. "Something blue" is the blue cupcake necklace from Aloha Mi Lajki, which symbolizes the sweet married life newlyweds always hope for. The head band is supposedly borrowed...

Well the idea of being a budget bride is new, especially in Indonesia. Imagine what those ladies would say when they see the bride walk down the altar in something that's not a proper wedding dress! But as long as the dress looks classy, why not? And believe me, I've seen worse budget brides in New Zealand. My friend got married in a simple dress that seemed to belong to her grandma, the white color had yellowed a little and the only hair piece she wore was a bead band that looked like something from Supre or Glassons. The only jewellery she wore was her wedding ring. Another friend said "I do" in a Bo Peep-inspired dress and the first wedding I attended in Auckland, the bride wore a shapeless bustier...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Da new shiznitz...

Hey gang! Check out my new toys!

My Twitter and my Looklet!

I've been on Twitter since July. I thought I had to keep my Tweets secret (but no purpose of bitching I swear! I know my long time readers are lurking out there...), but now I want more followers! Wouldn't help if I keep it in the dark so it's finally out in the open! Follow me! Or else!

Looklet is sooo damn addictive I can whip out up to three looks per day! You know your inner celebrity stylist is dying to burst out and grab all those designer stuff (albeit just in the virtual world), so do her a favor and sign up on Looklet. Don't forget to follow me when you're done!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Clooney movie's got the kooks...

I just saw Up in the Air on Sunday, and if I were to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 I'd go for 8. Really. Those below the age of, say, 20 might not appreciate the unique storyline and satirizations.

Anyway, one thing kind of bugs me in a way. You know Ryan Bingham, George Clooney's character, has to bring a cardboard cut picture of his baby sister Julie (NZ actress Melanie Lynskey) and her hubby-to-be Jim Miller on his company downsizing trips. Their older sister Cara asks him to help Julie by taking photos of the cardboard picture with tourism spots of the places he visits in the background, giving the impression that the couple are really there.

There's a scene in which Anna Kendrick's character, ambitious new recruit Natalie Keener, takes a picture of the cardboard couple held by Ryan and asks, "Why does your sister want fake photos?" to which Ryan replies, "You know she's kinda kooky." To me, the kookyness comes in the form of the cardboard cut picture. I mean, whatever happens to the wonders of Photoshop?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Spot the goof!

Hi! *waves hand in front of the camera, Natalie Tran-style* Long time no see.

I'm totally in love with Gee, a single by a Korean mega girl group (by "mega" I mean there are nine girls in the group!) called Girls' Generation. Not sure I like their other singles like Oh! and Chocolate Love, but of all the videos on my YouTube favorite list, this one receives the most plays...Yeah, I'm pampering my inner 13-year-old. Hahahah. These girls are so pretty in the "I want to have a daughter so beautiful just like that!" kind of way. Who cares if the girls really did have plastic surgeries, like most Korean stars are rumored to have.

Enough with the gushing. Now can you spot something wrong in the video? I'll tell you a clue. It's in the beginning.

Found it? Given up already? Ok...have a look at one mannequin that's not lined up yet, that of a girl (I've learned their names but still can't tell which is which!), at 0:03. Then pay attention when the guy is carrying the mannequin. When the girl is not carried yet, you get a close-up shot of her so you can observe that there are curls in her hair. When she's carried, you get a medium range shot where you can clearly see the girl's hair is totally straight. That's where the goof is! The "mannequin" in the close-up shot in the very beginning is a real girl. The "girl" the guy is carrying is a mannequin! Why couldn't the director of this video find a wig that was like the girl's hair and put it on the mannequin? If I were a movie or music vido director I'd pay painstaking attention to realness.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

First hi in 2010

Hey guys!
I have to delete the last post because it was too long and didn't look good on this blog. The last post was a sample article, I've decided sample articles (to be sent to such big name publications as The Jakarta Post) should belong to Facebook notes. The sample article on band reunions that I put here and then deleted was edited and put in its rightful place - the Facebook notes. Many of my other sample articles are there as well, for your enjoyment.
Simply comment and ask to be added if you want to be my "friend" on Facebook!
I've sent two different sample articles to Free! and Kompas thus far. Yes I'm serious about pursuing journalism as much as I'm serious about making Vintage Reading big!