Monday, March 30, 2009

Books and Books

I do not have a book shelf. This is why since the last time I cleaned up my room, I just put my books in piles, here and there. There are two different set of piles, though: books I generally enjoy to see laying in my room, and those that I don’t. On the left is the towering pile of the first category, and basically the attention grabber on my desk.

It turns out that putting your book in a pile has its own disadvantages: just two days ago, the whole pile crumbled down. No casualties, though. And afterwards, I put it back again in a towering pile, now seen on the left pic. Only this time I made sure that heaviest books is in the bottom of the tier: hence the Almanac etc.

But every book--or item--has a story. Bottom up: The Time Almanac, plaque from adjudicating ITB expo, Pandu's DVD: Cosmos by Carl Sagan, Arthur Phillips-Egyptologist, The Dilbert Principle, Tom Clancy-Sum of all Fears, Michael Frayn-Spies, Shakespeare-Much Ado About Nothing, Lindqvist-Let the Right One In, Richard Morgan-Altered Carbon, Pramoedya-Rumah Kaca, Budiman Hakim-Ngobrolin Iklan Yuk, Stephen Fry-Revenge, Kumpulan Cerpen Kompas 2007, Arswendo-Dewi Kawi, YB Mangunwijaya-Pohon Sesawi, Norman's Stiglitz-Globalization and Its Discontent, ARRR Robert-The Va Dinci Cod,Trust By Danone Notebook, Dino Patti Djalal-Harus Bisa, Michael Crichton-State of Fear, Swofford-Jarhead. The movie ticket was tickets for Valkyrie, when SEF ITB contingent watch it during NEO.

The almanac was bought in reading light, heavily discounted: only IDR 50.000, as I bought it in 2007, while it was actually a 2005 almanac. But it has proven time and again useful, particularly in Worlds (see the token on the right side?) and NEO.

Egyptologist, Jarhead, Let the Right One in, were bought in Reading Light, though I feel the most impressive ones is Egyptologist: It's tedious, but when you persevere, you will be rewarded at the end of the plot. Kinda like Musashi, but with less pages. I finished it just days before Ateneo Australs, and during my stay in Manila, I indulge myself in book shopping spree: Frayn, Fry, Morgan, and 4 more.

Personally, I like Revenge the most out of all books that I bought. The story was so powerful that it left me pondering for days after. I also find myself replaying scenes after scenes from the book in my head in the next couples of days. Which is surprising, because I have read the Count of Monte Cristo before, and Revenge is basically an adaptation of it. I most definitely recommend it, that's five stars out of five possible for you.

Of all the books, I haven't finished the Clancy book and Lidqvist one. But if any of you want to borrow any of the book, be my guest. On second thought, not the Stiglitz one, that one is not mine and I should've returned it a long time ago. Sorry, Norm. Hopefully more book review coming along soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Weekends away from Bandung

Apology for the lack of update [1]. But only now I have proof that there's only so many travelling human body--my body--can take. During the last month or so, I have spent a significant time on the road, with only last weekend I actually spend my weekends in Bandung.

The weekend before that, I was a substitute debater, joining a team with Dito, but not this Dito[2], to go to Binus for National-wide English Olympics (NEO). The fact that Binus has more than one campus successfully confused us in the first day. But the long daily commute for 4 days was definitely paid off: 2nd runner up, all only with minimum practice (twice). I get to be in a grand final again, although the other team from ITB proved their superiority [3]. At least I am enjoying my own speech in the final. Too bad there wasn’t any grand final best speaker award to feed my ego. I think I should write more about this in an official avenue.

The week before NEO, i barely spend some time in Bandung, as by Wednesday I already packed my bag to Jakarta, and in Friday I flew to Jogja for Trust by Danone Country final. This was a bit surprising; as I actually enjoy working together with my teammates without having to exert any authority at all. We ended up being the 1st runner up, and went home with mixed feelings, as if only we got through during the judges deliberation, the prize of being country champion is to go to international final at Paris. But considering even without Paris my thesis is abandoned, I don't think that Paris is such a good idea after all.

What's fun after Trust (aside from the complimentary massage in Melia Purosani) is that I get to go home before I go to Bandung, not really expecting anything and get a little get together with Danti-Cindy-Arry in--where else?--Amplaz Jogja. Got a bright orange polo shirt, too. Heheh. And burnt my tongue trying to swallow a takoyaki wholly.

The week before Trust country final, I was away from Bandung since Wednesday also, to adjudicate at 2nd Festival Ekonomi Syariah at JCC. Who knew that Jakarta can be so cold? The blasting air conditioner in the halls, lounges, chambers, and corridors were simply devilish. ITB team only got 3rd runner up, which was rather disappointing. But on Saturday evening after the event were concluded I was able to run--not literally--to Hotel Borobudur. I did miss the session with Dian Sastro for Workshop II Youth Leadership Indonesia [4]. But from the biased review of some that I heard, all of them--girls, perhaps out of feeling of inadequacy, heheh--feels that the session with the guy from BRR--what's his name--was far more inspiring. I can't agree more (that the session with the guy from BRR is truly inspiring, not necessarily the Dian Sastro part, mind you).

The weekend before FES-McKinsey's workshop, I also spent my weekend in Jakarta, for Trust Day. A week after Trust Day, every time somebody asked/reminded/cheered me for the result, I always get a painful and throbbing headache. So I guess that was the price of a novel experience, participating in a business game. But as you've read two paragraphs above, my team was in the top 6 and we get to the country final.

The weekend before trust day, I spent my time exhausted at Klaten after a week long IVED. I actually had been in Klaten and been going back and forth Klaten-UMY since January 17th, so that gives you another 2 weekends away from Bandung. Actually, make it 3 weekends, as the week before I believe I had meetings in Citos with other members of IVED A-core. IVED itself was bittersweet, as Tirza puts it appropriately. It was off with an ill start--my ranting on the issues, is of course mostly happened in private with SEF ITB gossipmongers--went better a couple of days after: ITB team broke quite high, and ITB was granted the right to host next year's IVED--and reach the anticlimax; ITB was defeated at octo, Semifinal was awful, and Grand final was dim and sloppy--in more than one sense. But it was my first time going inside Vredeburg, so it was still something.

So there you have it, 7 back to back to back to back weekends away from Bandung. The result was that during my time at NEO, I feel constant nausea, and had to run to the bathroom for feeling really sick in more than one occasion. So I guess the moral of the story is aside that most of the travels are fun, hanging out with different crowds week after week, I don’t really know what the moral is.

Oh wait: there is one; I think I need to break my grand final jinx: four grand finals and no win? Something is just not right. And I should be writing my thesis now.

[1] Now that I have four readers[*] I surely am able to justify my illusion of having audience for this mundane blog. Ha!
[2] They has a same template, though. Same high school alma mater, even. And a number of facial similarities. Unlike yours truly.
[3] I'll admit, mixed feeling here. Not to mention feeling really-really old.
[4] Yes, I know, judging from the name it's not exactly the event you thought I'd attend, no? But how can I resist free buffet meals? And the breakfast was simply put, satisfactory. Mmmm, blueberry yogurts..
[*] Please do not mind the gender confusion.