Happy (belated) New Year

Well, I’ve been having some sort of writer’s block for a while, that and I was (and still) extremely busy with my job -___-“. There are so may things I wanted to write about but I can’t seem to get the words out of my head. This was proven when I had some copy writing to do for On! Project‘s media kit (I’ve been meaning to talk about this for ages).But, I decided I had to force it out since, I really miss blogging T-T.

So what have I been up to for the last few weeks? Well…

  • I’ve been working with On! Project, which is a new idol group, a their manager and stuff. They performed in Nihon no Matsuri in Jakarta International Expo (the largest expo hall in Indo), 2 day performance in Mekarsari Amazing Tourism Park with the likes of Pinkan Mambo and J-rocks, and 3 days in IMMG’s Japanese Animation Festival in The Plaza Semanggi.
  • Joining in the pubescent frenzy of Twilight XD For me who loves vampires, this is the flick to see. I got to admit that there were some “Eh?” moments in the movie, but I was okay. Seeing a vampire family of 6 was worth it. If you’re a movie buff, don’t get your hopes up, just expect a teen flick with a twist, then you wouldn’t end up complaining about the movie like some of the people I know. Now I’m waiting for my New Moon and Eclipse to arrive.
  • Having a quiet new year’s eve gathering with Aike and Frida. First me and Aike spent the day eating out in Bogor with Vaz and then after Vaz had gone home me and Aike went to see Twilight (3rd time for me and 8th time for her, coz she is that crazy). I love the soundtrack XD
  • Meeting a friend from childhood, Thomas, which turned out to be fun. I hadn’t met him in like 10 years, so it was good to see him again.
  • Watch HOUSE season 5! It’s the best season yet!
  • Organizing JICA seminars in Surabaya and Batam, which means I got to travel XD I’m planning on going to Singapore via Batam with my friend Vro and Brigitta. But on a heavier note, this is going to be tiring. On the 19th I’ll be out of town except on the weekends. YOSH! GAMBARE!

So, here are my 2009 resolutions:

1. Work harder in a job that I like.

2. Stick to my saving plan for L’Arc concert in 2011.

3. Keep healthy, work out more.

4. Maybe _try_ and find love.

5. Graduate -_-”

In retrospect 2008 was, so far, the greatest year I have ever had (with the L’Arc concert in Shanghai and stuff) and it would be a challenge to make 2009 as exciting as 2008.

PS. I FREAKING MISS L’Arc~en~Ciel!!! So far, no signs of any activities in 2009 T-T. Ken focusing on his solo single, album, and tour -the whole nine yards-, which is great because I love Ken’s music (Speed WAS AWESOME!), I heard news of a VAMPS album… err no comment on this (-__________-“). I’m glad that they’re still producing music but…

I FREAKING MISS THEM!!!

The Wonder of Theater of KISS

08.11.24 I haven’t blog in a very long time. I’ve had so many things to do lately. So I decided to pull up my old PDA to help me blog while I’m commuting. Seeing that I wrote this on the road, I could share interesting things I see when I’m commuting. Like today I see a bunch of the new no-smoking squad that roams public areas like stations and bus stops to bust people who smoke in public. I think this is good but like any other regulation in Indonesia this act will only last a couple of months.

teather of kissEnough about that, let’s get you caught up. Last month, I bought a couple of L’Arc related stuff, but what I need to really talk about is the wonder that is Theater of Kiss. Initially I wanted to go to this live so bad, because I think just the name of it signfies something really wonderful. It reminded me of L’Arc’s tour names in the past. But… regretablyI couldn’t get tickets for this tour. When I watch this the DVD I was kicking myself because this live was superb.

They have this concept of Alice in Wonderland, obviously. The bunnies, Madhatter, huge air balloons in the shape of limbs popping out from sides of the stage, and crew members dressing up as blonde girls in dresses with white aprons, yeah you get the picture. I love the Hi-Def screen graphics very much! They fit with the song and seemed to put the song sequence as a whole and into a story. What really bugged me was the video graphic of Umibe. I mean the mermaid looks as if she was flying not swimming. They must have shot the video with the girl strap to a wire rather than in a tank filled with water and that bugged me because instead of enjoying this solemn song, my thoughts are distracted on why don’t they do something with the hair to make it look as she is under water. See what I mean, all that talk for a faulty shoot XD

The band played superbly in this live. hyde and tetsu even dressed for the occasion. The tracklist was amazing! I like that they include and She Said but somehow I feel that it’s lacking something. I feel that the band has outgrew the song in a sense that L’Arc has a lot of energy in store for a live and I expect something exciting and exhilarating from their lives. So even though I’m very happy that they perform old songs like and She Said, the song itself only serves a nostalgic purpose. Please don’t get me wrong on this XD I love the medley, especially how they start Driver’s High in the most unexpected way. I was like, “Hey, what was that?”.

The other thing that got really got me frozen in front of my TV was the sequence of -for me- the heart wrenching ALONE EN LA VIDASunadokeiUmibe. When these songs appeared I just sat there, in tears, hugging my pillow really tight XD

The P’UNK performance was very fun. ken looked really tired after Natsu no Yuutsu XD hyde’s MC before Hurry Xmas was so sweet. All in all it was a great live DVD. I like the off shot scene very much especially when they had to take influenza shots XD I love tetsu’s expression when he got injected. So adorable XD

I’ve been intoxicated by  L’Arc this couple of weeks. I’m filled with love every time I think of them recently. I’m currently waiting for my Hurry Xmas to arrive. Hope it arrives before Christmas XD They’re also going to release Chronicle 4. Hayai naa~ Next year they’re going to release the documentary of L’7, I can only hope that I can see a glimpse of me and niceey there. Shikano san, give the video you shot of us to the editing team XD

It has already been 7 months since the L’7 concert in Shanghai and me and Niceey are going to celebrate with a bunch of our friends on the 28th which happens to be ken’s birthday XD We’re also celebrating yukihiro’s birthday XD

PS. I’m really hoping that L’Arc will release a few singles next year. I miss them already T.T

You should listen to Gackt’s Jesus!!!

gackt-tour I haven’t been a decent any of Gackt’s activity since his released Love Letter but I’m really drawn to Jesus.  Jesus is an all round COOL rock song! I already downloaded the PV! It is AMAZING!!! It has a lot of energy and the actor is really good too. Thinking of buying the single. The Dears only limited edition CD+DVD will be out on Nov 26 *why!?*, while the regular version will be out on Dec 3.

Check out the full PV here on youtube. If you think the sound and Gackt’s costume and the setting are reminiscent of Rebirth, the Requiem et Reminiscence era. Well, that’s because he will relive it!!! He’s doing 52 gigs in 43 cities. Check the details here on his official page.

My favorite era of Gackt has always been the Rebirth era. I’m looking forward to this Я+R II tour!

Ken’s Speed, earphones, and a cozy place named RAN

I’m so in love with Ken’s Speed single right now. Back then I didn’t give it a good listen because I was to busy listening to FAITH. I like every song there. I am most impressed with the guitar rendition of The Shadow of Your Smile *melts*. The man is awesomely talented XD I can only wonder how does he come up with melodies like that XD Anyway, I know most of you probably know this already but Ken has his own myspace and the cool thing about it is the comment feature is activated XD I hope everybody acts polite on it XD

So, my Philips earphone is not working >_< I have to buy a new one >_< honestly finding a good earphone is hard for me. I listen to my Walkman (the blackand durable NW-HD5) almost around the clock. When I take a shower I plug it to speakers (yes, I arranged having them in the bathroom XD), on my commute and at lunch time through my earphones until I go to sleep and I plug it to another set of speakers in my room. Now, not having a good pair of working earphones breaks that peaceful set of rituals. Before, when the original earphones that came with the NW-HD5 was crushed by a the wheels of a steel gate when I was trying to close it, I found the perfect replacement for that earphome. That was the Sony MDR-NE2, which is awesome because it fits my ear perfectly and, as you can see in the picture, it has a neck strap so I can carry around my Walkman without any hassle. Seeing how I used the thing, it’s pretty durable it lasted around two years. After it went dead on me, I tried to find the same type in all of the Sony Centers in Jakarta, but I couldn’t find it. So I changed it to the Philips SHE970, which has an almost perfect sound quality and really high detailed but it’s not really durable, after only 6 months of usage, only one of the earbuds is actually functioning. And from this product I learn that I can’t stand in-ear earphones. Since I wear them when I’m on the go, I can hear echoes of my footsteps and such, which kinda adds unwanted noise to the music. The Philips SHE970 is good for listening music when you are at a still position, but personally, it’s not great for me. So, I’m now looking to buy another earphone within the price range of $25. I’m thinking of getting another Sony, but I really can’t figure out what type to get. I really wish they have tester earphones at the Sony Center, since I wanna make sure that they have good sound quality as well as being ultra comfortable to wear for a long period of time.

What else? What else? There was this place in Jakarta that, when after starting my first day at this job; walking a terrible great distance with a pair of black high heels -one size to small-, my boss took me to this very home-y Japanese restaurant in the 4th floor of the Skyline building called RAN 蘭 (orchid). Unlike most Japanese restaurants that I’ve ever been to, the place has a sense of nostalgia to it. Although the decor is what would you expect from a Japanese restaurant that has tatami and Japanese decorations everywhere, this place is very subtle. It has wooded floor, rattan chairs, a bar, and a section for floor seating with several of Japanese kokeshi dolls and some Golgo 13 comics near the windows.

When I browsed through the menu, all I can see were regular list of food consisting of set menu. The place is in fact, a kare and coffee shop. Menu’s consist of Ebi Furai, Omuraisu, Hamburg Steak, different kare served with chicken katsu or hamburg steak, noodles, spaghetti. The first time around I tried the Hamburg Kare and it was sooo delicious. That’s when I came to respect that good food is not always about the flashy decor. Since then I’ve only eaten in that restaurant about 4-5 times. Even though it’s cheap for the Japanese expats, it’s really not a wise thing to do to spend US$7 on lunch alone.

When I was busy with the seminar a few weeks ago, I ordered Hamburg set which was very delicious. They serve the steak on a hot plate with spaghetti, fries and veggies along with a very delicious cup of carrot and onion consomme, a slice of rolled cabagge, a bowl of rice and 2 slices of melon and a choice of either ice coffee or hot coffe or vanilla ice cream for dessert. I think for a price of $7.5 it’s a deal seeing that the set menu is very fulfilling. I like the consomme in particular because it’s very simple and yet full of taste. It was like when I was a kid and tasted my first chicken soup that had a little pepper in it. When I said that the consomme was delicious, the owner said, “oishii deshou? deshou?” with pride. The steak sauce was delicious. Everything was perfect. So every time I went there I ordered steak all the time.

So, early August, my boss told me that the place was going to close, and I was shocked! I asked, “how did you know?”, apparently the news was on the front page of the Jakarta Shimbun, apparently the place was there since 31 years ago. They owner Ishiya-san (77 – which is a very sweet old guy) said that he and his wife decided to close the place seeing that it’s the right time, since this year is the commemoration of 50 years of Indo-Japan friendship.

And so, the restaurant closed last August on the 15th. Before it was closed my boss took me there for a “final lunch” at RAN, so to speak. We arrived there at 11.30 and found that the place was still empty, but on 12.00 it was crowded!!! When I looked around they still had all of their kokeshi dolls in place but the Golgo 13 books weren’t there anymore. I overheard the people around me talking saying that they will eat here until the last day and saying how they will miss this place and they had to find other place for good and cheap Japanese home cooking.

So, on that afternoon in that same day, I went there with Shaki, Niceey and Vero, Shaki and Niceey had only heard about the place from me and how the food there was simple yet excellent. While we were there waiting for our order we looked at some potraits of old Jakarta that were hanging on the wall. Then the owner asked us in perfect Indonesian, “sedang lihat apa?” (what are you looking at?). Then he started to give us a tour of the photos he has up on the wall. He even has photos of the first Indonesian president, and other photos. He was very friendly and came over to our table a few times to show photographs of Japanese people living in Indonesia before and after the war.

That day I was planning to bring my camera, but I was stupid enough to forget to bring the memory card. So we cannot take pictures with Ishiya-san T-T. We were only to take pictures with Shaki and Niceey’s camera phone but the results weren’t good. Ishiya-san said, come again before the store closes, we’ll take another good picture with your camera. So, I planned to go there again with Vero on the last day with my camera ready. But when we got there after work… IT WAS ALREADY CLOSED!!! I felt sad all of the sudden because I had promised Ishiya-san to go back there one more time >_< Now, it’s closed!I don’t think I will ever have another good Hamburg Steak >_<.

Ladies and Gentlemen and Freaks Alike… The Dark Knight

This is something I rarely do, watching the same movie over and over again in the theater, but I just can’t get enough with the new batman movie. The crown jewel of the movie is of course the glorified final performance of Heath Ledger. The Joker still freaks me out. it’s not really the big thing he does like the disappearing pencil act, which pretty much sold me to believe that this joker is a sadistic raving maniac, but the small attention to details that really made me shiver. It’s his small gestures, like the way he wiggle his fingers, the way he kinda stumble upon every word and the way he’s changes his voice from a squeamish tone to a chilling hoarse groan, the way he walks (the hospital scene, in particular), the way he moves his eyes. Every dialogue was well written, it’s humorous and chilling at the same time.  I think the academy should SERIOUSLY consider the possibility of a posthumous Oscar nomination for him.

Christian Bale also did an amazing job on Batman. My faith on the character is restored. Since the disaster that is Batman & Robin, I thought that I can never mention Batman without ever thinking about the over used neon colors and bad puns. But Bale did a very sleek performance. Bruce Wayne is hotter than he had ever been, the guy looks good in a suit XD What _kinda_ bugs me was Batman emphysema-ridden voice. Apart from that, he really made me believe in Batman again.

Speaking of belief, it took me a while to believe in Harvey Dent. All of those viral advertising was just too much (www.IBelieveInHarveyDent.com, www.IBelieveInHarveyDentToo.com *block the text until you reach the bottom of the page, dismiss every H and A and you’ll see a message*, www.RorysDeathKiss.com and the most fun one to visit www.WhySoSerious.com). But Aaron Eckhart played the character well. I really wasn’t expecting that Two Face would turn out as realistic as it did.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is not the prettiest actress who played the role of the hero’s love interest, but she certainly did not bug me. I like her work in various indie movies. Performance wise I think she’s a better Rachel Dawes than Katie Holmes. The casting crew made a good -not great- choice of changing the cast, seeing that Katie Holmes would have made the balance a little off.

Another character that I really like is Commissioner James Gordon. Gary Oldman really put the Commissioner into life. He’s like the Commissioner I’ve always pictured in my head. Michael Caine as the faithful Alfred throws a strong performance too.Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox completes the cast.

After the fourth time watching this movie I gotta tell you that it does get a bit boring. But every time The Joker appears… he didn’t disappoint XD He really lights up the scene. I can’t get enough of his little gestures. Now that Heath Ledger is gone it’ll be hard to find somebody to fill in his shoes >_< There’s a rumor that Johnny Depp is asked to play The Riddler in the next Batman movie XD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!! And Phillip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin. I like Hoffman but The Penguin? The Penguin is my least favorite villain and plus The Penguin is better left at the Tim Burton’s spin on Batman. But I would love to see Christopher Nolan prove me wrong XD But I think it’s best to bring back Catwoman. The feline fiend needs to get her name cleaned after that shambolic Halle Berry movie >_<. Anyway, I found a good site for those who are not too familiar with the DC Universe, like me.

Ohisashiburi no Oishii Chokoreto
My former boss just went back from Japan. Even though I don’t work for him anymore, he (and his wife) still brings me present from Japan. He gave me a box of Prafeuille Chocolat Hachimitsu (which basically is dark chocolate thins with honey inside, YUMMY!). I like it dark chocolate & I prefer chocolate thins to a chocolate bar XD You can see the official page for the chocolate here.

WHY SO SERIOUS? *chills*

Yesterday I went and see The Dark Knight with my mom in Bogor. When we got to the ticket box we see that the seats are almost filled up. SO, in order not to be seated in the very front row my mom took separate seats. I sat in the row in front of her. Unfortunately, I was stuck between a mom and her toddler and 2 girls that don’t really get the movie and don’t know when to shut up. I see a lot of kids in the theater, last time I checked this was a PG-13 movie, and there I was sitting beside a toddler with her mom saying, “hey, that’s the clown, that’s the clown.” How twisted is that. These kids are scarred for life.

The movie was beyond awesome! *Batman could use a cough drop still* Particularly the part of Joker that was played by the late Heath Ledger. The Joker was creepy and chilling in all sorts of levels but was really cool at the same time. I was really taken in by Heath’s performance. The way he handled the knife was utterly creepy. And the way he made that pencil disappear *shivers*. HE IS THE JOKER!

I like Heath’s Joker which is more realistic. Although I can’t say which is better Nicholson’s Joker or Ledger’s. The both rocked, but Nicholson’s IMO was more surreal in an artistic sense. The 1989 Batman was indeed the work of Tim Burton, so no lack in twisted artistic flair in that. But The Joker in the 1989 Batman movie lack that sadistic nature, he kinda came across as a twisted bastard. Ledger’s JOKER, on the other hand, FUCKING RULED! It was so realistic, I mean, I don’t think that today’s villains should be applying symmetrical make up, tailored costumes and having a handful of weird gimmicks. So in today’s standard I’d say that Ledger’s is better. Oh wow,I’m having chills just writing this down. I’m gonna go and watch that movie again sometime this week.

SO, now I’m off to make preparations for tomorrow’s seminar. There are stormy waters ahead, I’m sure >_<

excuse me for being so random.

Before I say anything, I would like to say sorry to my friends for not being able to keep in touch this past few weeks >_< I MISS YOU GUYS! I haven’t update since a long time due to the seminar my office is holding >_< Next Wednesday will be the last day of the seminar. God, let it be over soon, I’m so tired >_< I’m staying over at Vro’s kos (rented room) in Grogol, West Jakarta. It’s a 30 minute cab ride from Sari Pan Pacific, the transport fee is somewhat more expensive than going back and forth from Bogor. I’m handling the seminar one day at a time, I can’t say that it’s all good. The participants had a hard time understanding the English of the Japanese speakers >_< let me just say that their comprehension of the English language is not as good as they think. I had to handle complaints from the participants >_< handling with people is not that easy T-T I guess, I’m mentally tired rather than physically >_< The good thing about it was the food HAHA XD me and Vro got to take the left-overs home and eat it for dinner. This way we can save money XD

First week of the seminar was intended for aircraft accident investigators but somehow there are some miscommunication from our counterpart organization and they ended up inviting all sorts of people from flight operators >_< Most of the people were somewhat nice and some of them tend to look down upon the speakers because of their English speaking & comprehension skills. Some of them gave good advices like giving me contact numbers of cheap interpreters from language school students. But, my boss decided that the seminar don’t need one. So, yeah, I know Japanese but I’m most definitely not interpreter material. So the vicious cycle goes like this:

1. The Indonesian participants, with their limited English skills (not poor, only limited) asked question (1 out of 10 was just to “test the knowledge” of the Japanese and these sort of questions is usually initiated with the sentence “In my experience of working on -enter something prestigiously pretentious or pretentiously prestigious here-…” )

2. At first the speakers might mistook the question and starts rambling with wrong answers and being looked down by the participants. That’s where I come in, me with limited Japanese trying to explain the question to them in Japanese (and most of the time… failed miserably since most of the questions are pretentiously engineering related) and I ended up explaining the question in simpler English, which is kinda… -_-” yeah.

3. The Japanese speaker answers the question.

The second week I was not the interpreter anymore since the material is not as wide as they first seminar and the participant are university students. So the week was divided in a 2 day – 2 day – 1 day style. The last day being (I think) the novelty part of the seminar. But I gotta say I was impressed by the second part of the seminar. Since their university was a sort of semi military school they got to the hotel an hour earlier than schedule and we’re forced to open the seminar earlier since they were fixed on their seats XD

So enough about the seminar. The things in between are a pain but I’ll leave it out of this entry >_<. Seriously, I’m hoping a big fat bonus for this >_<

Sooooo… I just finished watching Zettai Kareshi. I was first aware of the dorama through Sakai Ayana’s blog, since she said that she was in a few episodes of it. But what I wasn’t aware was the whole cast ^^;; which included Hayami Mocomichi and Mizushima Hiro (NYAAAAN). It was enjoyable at first but as you progress to the end it gets better. I was kinda choking on the last episode T-T. If you have a chance you should see it. This kind of dorama is only valid if it came from Japan anywhere else it would be SUPER CHEESY XD But seriously this kind of dorama should be kept away from girls like me, since we’ll end up wanting a robot like Night XD Seriously, boys in real life should really step up on their game *shrugs*

On VAMPS, I gotta say that I have to agree with GO from JrockNYC. LOVE ADDICT is so HYDE and TIME GOES BY is just good. It’s GOOD but not that GREAT. I enjoyed it but I really wish the lyrics were more in Japanese. I know, I know, don’t attack me, they want to go global with VAMPS creating overseas fanclub (WHICH IS GOOD). But the single, for me, of course, fades in comparison with L’Arc~en~Ciel’s NEXUS 4 (I only heard the radio rip, BUT I AM LOVING IT ALREADY!) I really wish I could get on the VAMPS bandwagon but I really need to hear something better from them ^^ GAMBARE XD

Movies I watched while I was away

1. KungFu Panda… twice.! I think it’s very funny and the fight sequence looked kinda real XD I didn’t realize the monkey’s voice was Jackie Chan until the end credits. I haven’t laughed so hard in a theater since a very long time XD

2. The Incredible Hulk. It was good, the CG was awesome, if I can get over the all of the muscles >_< The story was awesome. I love the Brazil village in the valley scene in particular. I can’t get enough of Stan Lee whoring himself in these Marvel movies, I say MORE! XD Robert Downey appearing at the end of the movie ensuing that there was going to be The Avenger movie was a BONUS *thrills*. I’m not a big superhero buff but I like where Marvel Studios is heading with their independent projects ^^. If you can see here in wikipedia they have prepared quite a list on their upcoming projects XD

Oh wow XD I’m so random today XD