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Words fail me. But without words, what am I?

Birthday Note of a Boring Pacifist

Birthday Note of a Boring Pacifist

All my life, I strive to be the two words above: boring and pacifist.

I hardly indulge on exciting worldly satisfaction, despite the temptation often comes with profession.
I try my hardest to oppose what I feel as unnecessary acts violence, or even hardship put unto others.
Alright, I even force myself to be neutral all the time, not siding to any definite position in any situation.

Whenever possible, however much I can, whatever circumstances.

The cost of doing so?
You are robbed the joy of life.

Because to be boring and pacifist at the same time require tremendous perfection that not only tiptoeing making mistakes, but not making mistakes at all.
In the famous words of 1960s crime caper TV series: Mission Impossible.

But I make mistakes all the time.
I make mistakes without knowing I make one all the time.
I make people hurt from the mistakes, that hurt me in return.
I often disagree with other people in many circumstances.
I have to come with unpopular decision in numerous occasions, just to get things going.

In short, you cannot be boring pacifist.

You can only be yourself, because in the end, you are the one who is only able to save yourself.

I’ve lost people in great emotional distance in the past year. I’ve discovered unpleasant sides that have been covered and clouded over years.

But in return, I find myself again.

That it’s okay to lose a few, because you will gain many.
That it’s okay to be hurt, because over time you will be strong.
That it’s okay to not have, because you actually already have.
That it’s okay to live, because that’s the one thing that matters.

I love boring things, that’s what Andy Warhol said once. I agree.
I just don’t have to be one.
Because we are never one.

This is my birthday note this year.

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2018 in English, Personal

 

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Checking, Testing, Believing

Checking, Testing, Believing

You know how I feel about you.
I know how you feel about me.
You know how you feel about me.
I know how I feel about you.
So why aren’t we together?
Because I make a worse ex.
Worse than …?
… than being a good partner.
As in when the paradise of the relationship ends …
… then the nightmare of being a bad ex from yours truly begins.
What if I promise you will never be my ex?
What if you only promise what you can keep?
What’s wrong with trying?
What’s right about being honest to oneself for a start?
You think with your mind.
You feel with your heart.
How can we be together?
Maybe.
How can we be apart?
Never.
Ah. Ah.

 
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Posted by on 12/13/2017 in English, Personal

 

Keep ‘Em Coming

Keep ‘Em Coming

“So.”
“So.”
“How was it?”

“How was what?”
“Was it good?”

“What do you think?”
“Was I good?”

“How do you want me to answer that?”
“What about you?”

“What is about me?”
“How do you feel?”

“Why don’t you tell me?”
“Are you okay?”

“Are you okay?”
“Is it okay then to say that we are okay?”

“Is there a “we” now?”
“Do you want to file a motion against that?”

“Is it something worth doing?”
“What is worth doing to you then?”

“Why don’t you find out?”
“Is that an invitation?”

“Why don’t you just accept?”
“What is the risk?”

“What is life without taking a risk of not knowing anything ahead?”
“Is that how you describe this whole thing?”

“What whole thing?”
“What do you think has happened?”

“Why the questions are getting longer and more complicated?”
“Why do you keep answering my questions with questions?”

“Why do you still continue doing that?”
“Why do you think I keep up with you?”

“Why do you think I keep up with you?”
“So.”

“So.”

 
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Posted by on 08/23/2017 in Blog

 

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Exceptionally Exceptions

Exceptionally Exceptions

Have you been considered exceptional?
Or do you think you are an exception?

There’s always an exception in everything. Especially in every big picture of a society.

I am always intrigued by certain findings in polls or surveys. There have been numerous “researches” that indicate, for example, people of my age in the country I live in:
• hardly walk
• hardly read books
• hardly exercise.

Meanwhile, as I look around, or perhaps as I stumble across social media feeds of people I know, I see them running (be it for “status updates”), reading (be it for “status updates”), and exercising (be it for “status updates”, but why wasting sweat for just as such?) in various locations.

Of course it is easy to say that I do walk, read, exercise and not being asked in surveys. But if the surveys and polls indicate that they present great pictures of how a society is and does, then we shall wonder on who were surveyed? How these surveyed people represent people at large? And if we do not see ourselves in the surveys, are we all exceptional exceptions?

Sometimes, I could not help wondering about these ‘anomalies’.
We often tend to see a whole society from these big-picture perception. Or, labels.

I used to think, unfairly, that majority of Colombians must be involved in illegal drug business. I fail to zoom in possibility that there must be artists, literary thespians, professors in the country, and definitely religious professionals not involved in dirty politics.

People often think that Indonesians are not well-versed in literature. I am often amused to see number of books stacked in bookstores in Indonesian, and writers keep coming up to prominence every year.

I used to think that all people in Western countries are sophisticated. That is until I realize that wherever in the world, richness and poverty go together, literacy and illiteracy go together, different choices of life and in life do happen.

Sometimes I also wonder, there must be a fellow cinephile in Zimbabwe, or a fellow avid reader of English books in Papua New Guinea. I have not met them yet.

My wondering sometimes extends to the possibility if these exceptions to the ‘presumptive big picture’ has to live based on the ordinary norm of their present surrounding. Maybe that’s the case here, and everywhere else.

We can only wonder and ponder.

 
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Posted by on 08/11/2017 in English, Personal

 

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Every Holiday Belongs to Everyone

Every nation and place on earth has their own annual homecoming holiday for us to celebrate. Or to come home to. Be it Eid, Christmas, Thanksgiving, any kind of New Year, we make excuses to celebrate these holidays with our loved ones.

More often than not, it involves coming home, or simply being with family members, either the nuclear or larger ones.

Every year, these holiday seasons become moments to look forward to for those wanting to celebrate, and to anticipate for everyone. We allocate our leave days for those specific dates. We save up so that we can share and spend greatly in preparation for and during the holidays. We book tickets in advance.

We prepare everything in advance.

And yet, there are those who spend the holidays differently.

There are those medical staff, policemen, 24-hour convenience store attendants, delivery clerks, cab drivers, waiters and waitresses, who still work around the clock serving families and people who celebrate the holidays.

There are those whose religions differ, and there are those not opting to have any religions.

There are those who have no house to come home to.

There are those whose freedom is taken away.

There are those enjoying the brief quiet moment of big cities temporarily vacated by its migrant residents.

There are those with broken hearts that leave no place for forgiveness yet.

There are those in solitary solitude.

And for these people, the holiday is also theirs to celebrate.

Each holiday is meant for everyone, regardless any differences. Each one of us takes the holiday’s spirit, and carries it accordingly, as much as we can only take and accept.

For those who bask in the festive atmosphere, this is your holiday.
For those who choose to whisper the celebration in the quietness of the heart, this is your holiday.

And in this holiday season, we may just need to acknowledge the differences to understand each other.

Because only when we realize that we cannot live without each other, we can start to forgive and forget sincerely.

Happy holiday.

 
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Posted by on 06/25/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Let’s talk about investment, shall we?

Ah, yes. I can see you groaning, your yawn and disinterested look you are trying so hard to conceal right now.

What puts you off? The word ‘investment’ itself? Count me in. I did not even fake interest when I heard the word for the first time being shoved on to me. Really. I just left the word immediately, and never wanted to return. Until now.

Now when I feel at least half of my life has passed. Come to think of it. We have lived in the world more than half of our possible lifetime in the world, right? Or maybe not half yet. But we are definitely inching closer to that half-point mark.

And at times like these, I could not help wondering, what have I invested?

If you ask if I questioned ourselves about financial-related investment, the answer is both “yes” and “no”.

“Yes”, because what and how much we save is always more important than what and how much we earn in life.

“No”, because investment also applies to how we live our life.

Do we invest our time in doing the work that makes us happy?
Do we invest our expenses in what we need, rather than what we want?
Do we invest our brain to knowledge, instead of aimless pleasure?
Do we invest our tastebud to culinary, and not snacking?
Do we invest our love to the right people?
Do we invest our life to the right causes?

Do we invest our time well?

Well, who knows?

I cannot answer that for you. And that sucks. It does. You don’t feel pleasant whenever you are forced to look back at the past, only to realize so much, or too much has gone to waste, leaving you at whatever state you are in right now.

I have gained. I have lost. I have earned. I have lost. I have loved. I have lost. I have lived. And will do so until the luxury is taken away from me.

It does not hurt to spare so you can make investment. I cannot say it in a more subdued or subtle manner. Put aside extra time, money, effort, attention, what have you, to invest. See how your investments grow over time.

Or maybe by the time they grow, you won’t be able to see. That’s okay. Others will see, leaving memory of your presence intact. See, investment is preserving yourself. To be immortal. To be lived and remembered forever.

Be afraid not of making bad investments. For you can always do over.

And that’s my birthday note this year to you, dear.

Let’s put some imagination in our investment, shall we?

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Brief Chance

Brief Chance

“I am sorry.”

I put my head down.

“For everything.”

I only nod quietly.

“I truly do.”

I smile.

“Uh … Am.”

“What?”

“I truly am. You said “I truly do”, while it’s supposed to be “I truly am”, because earlier you had said “I am so…rry”, which were you exact words, so …”

A chuckle follows. “You’re still a grammar police after all these years.”

A polite small laughter ensues. “Old habit dies hard.”

“I can see that.”

“What can you see? The way I dress? Well, this is kind of emergency and may not be to your liking …”

“No, no. I don’t mean that. Please.”

“… but I am only kidding.”

“Ha! Yeah. You got me there.”

“Well. Yeah. I got you. There.”

How can a second of awkward silence feels like a century of a lifetime?

“I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I was on my way …”

“Oh, that direction?”

“Yeah. You headed to the other side?”

“Yes. They’re waiting for me by now.”

“Oh, if you must go then, I …”

“I think I must.”

And to think how many times I play possible scenarios of how we will meet again, in a different time, in a different place, in different clothes, in different shoes, in different hair, and in different manners. Where’s the angry glance? Where’s the cynical smirk? Where are the tears waiting to fall?

“Yeap. That announcement is my cue.”

“So. Goodbye for now?”

“Yes. Bye.”

We wave. We turn our back. We walk.

I hold my breath. I let it out. I put both hands on my jacket.

Should I turn around? Should I run again? Should I chase just to say everything I’ve wanted to say but I couldn’t?

I keep on walking. I keep on thinking. I reach my phone.

I stop walking. I look ahead.

“Thank you. For everything.”

I smile.

 
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Posted by on 01/17/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

Goodbye, Because You’re Good

So this is how it feels like.
To see your dearest one has left the world.
For good.

So this is how you choose to leave.
A quick exit, a giant step.
You don’t give any chance for us to breathe and to realize.

That you’ve gone.
For good.

All you leave us with is memory.
And you made sure you leave aplenty.

Be it your over-the-top acts when you’re passionate about something,
Be it your wide smile, so wide it often took over larger part of your face,
Be it your sharp words, much more like ranting, when anyone or anything got in your way,
Be it your over abundance of attention when you fall for someone,
Be it your writing, ever so sincere you crafted from the heart.

Be it your books.
Be it your walk.
Be it your photographs.
Be it your presence.
The ones that you choose not to carry with you up there.

Instead, you generously put them down here, in our hearts.

See?
You’re still doing good, even as you say goodbye.

So good, that we can do nothing but to wipe the tears that start falling.

Goodbye.
You did good in this life.

 
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Posted by on 08/07/2016 in Personal

 

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In Silence, There is Forgiveness

In Silence, There is Forgiveness

It is never easy to forgive. It is never easy to apologize.

More often than we’d like to acknowledge , our pride gets in the way. Be it as a victim or as a doer, we find it hard to admit defeat.
It is in our nature to be wanting to stand above others. It is in our nature to be seen as being brave and strong.
But most of the time, we wish to be able to forgive. We wish to be able to apologize.
We can only say the wish to ourselves in whisper, in silence. The words we do not say, but we can only feel between mouth and heart.

The words that often culminate in the saying, “if only …”
As much as apologizing and forgiving do liberate oneself, it is never easy to commit. You can never hold grudge again. You can never go back.
But if it is only in silence you can, then you do.

No one and nothing shall get in between you and your apology. Not even air.

Nothing shall hold you back from forgiving. Not even air.
And those wanting to seek words of apology and forgiveness from others, look no further.
The silence does that.

 
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Posted by on 07/06/2016 in Personal

 

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Another Birthday Note Again

Another Birthday Note Again

If only we knew all along that getting older is fun. Especially if we realized many benefits that come with ageing. And until now, I still find it hard to believe.

One of those many benefits lies in forgiving. Or could it be ignorance?

Things that seem to bother us in the past, they do not seem to matter anymore at present time. Certainly not in the future.

Things that bug us so much until we lose sleep over them, they do not bug us anymore right now. Hopefully not in the future.

Things that disturb our peace in the past, we already make peace with them.

IMG_2452

As we grow older, we only grow kinder with time. We accept the fact that time has been kind to us. 

Time finally allows us to look back with smile, that whatever happened in the past, they only make us able to live well in the moment, at the present time. And that is the greatest gift our advancing age has ever taught us.

Heartbreaks will be forgotten, heartbreakers will be forgiven.

Love will be rekindled, repeated, or revealed in any ways to keep us alive.

On each birthday, we may not realize that we keep adding the list of things and people that we secretly forgive and forget, because the issues they used to bring, those do not matter anymore.

Thus, I look forward to birthdays.

Because you get to celebrate yourself in overcoming the odds.

Have a happy one.

 

IMG_2451

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2016 in English, Personal

 

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How Do You Deal With Death?

The answer to the question in the title is probably the same as the opposite: how do you deal with living?
You don’t deal with it.
You just do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 03/27/2016 in Blog, English, Personal, Uncategorized

 

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Guess the Oscar! (Like You Know and Watch All the Nominated Films!) – 2016

It’s that time of the year again.

The film equivalent of Super Bowl, Championship League, or other annual events in different field, but carries similar traits. The one where its fans follow and obsess very closely. The one that attracts worldwide attention. The one where, for non fans alike, they pretend to know.

Even for fans outside the US or other major film markets in the world, where most nominated films are properly screened on respective cinemas, we are not immune to the hype.

Every year, we follow news around Oscar closely. If the films are not screened in cinemas, we flock to nearby pirated DVD seller. Or do illegal download.
Thanks, or no thanks, to the availability of Oscar screeners easily copied, within minutes those screeners are ready within minutes worldwide.

But this year, controversy aside, the small-screen force-viewing could be minimized. Unless you really choose to do so.

Three out of 8 Best Picture nominees were released before November last year. One strong contender was even a blockbuster hit last summer. Four nominees have already hit big screen since a few weeks ago, and will likely continue doing so. At least for the next few days after the big party.

This year, I managed to watch 7 out of 8 Best Picture nominees on big screen, before the Oscar week, without having to travel to year-end film festivals to do that. It’s a personal record, I admit.

And it’s true that the window between big screen and small screen is getting smaller. Probably soon there will be no window at all for every film, as it is already happening now in some.

So, if you could watch Oscar nominees on big screen, consider yourself having a treat. It soon may be a thing of nostalgic memory that no longer exists.

That also makes your journey of following Oscar hype as a something special.

On to the predictions now:

– Best Picture: Spotlight
(but if you want to make a good return out of your bet, go for The Revenant. I’m just sticking to the film that hits, moves, and touches me the most, right in the heart.)
– Best Director: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

– Lead Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
– Lead Actress: Brie Larson – Room
– Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone – Creed
– Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

– Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short – screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
– Original Screenplay: Spotlight – screenplay by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer

Ave Maria

Ave Maria

– Cinematography: John Seale – Mad Max: Fury Road
– Costum Design: Jeanny Beavan – Mad Max: Fury Road

– Production Design: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson – Mad Max: Fury Road
– Editing: Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road

– Original Score: Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
– Original Song: “Til It Happens to You” (from The Hunting Ground, music & lyrics by Lady Gaga, Diane Warren)

– Sound Editing: Mark A. Mangini and David White – Mad Max: Fury Road
– Sound Mixing: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo – Mad Max: Fury Road

– Make Up & Hair Styling: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin – Mad Max: Fury Road
– Visual Effects: Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Body Team 12

Body Team 12

– Animated Feature: Inside Out
– Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul (Hungary)
– Documentary Feature: Amy

And here comes the annual shameless plug:
You can watch 2 of the Oscar nominated short films in the upcoming XXI Short Film Festival!
And why not?
It’s free, and it’s on big screen. Only in Epicentrum XXI on March 16-20, 2016.
You know the drill: just follow Twitter @21shortfilm for more information.
I’ll be there, and I’ll be more than happy to guide you through the rest of the festival.
Alright, before the plugging goes deeper, I mean, further:

– Animated Short: World of Tomorrow
– Documentary Short: Body Team 12
– Live Action Short: Ave Maria

Alright, less than a day away to the Oscar!

Mad Max: The Fury Road

Mad Max: The Fury Road

 
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Posted by on 02/28/2016 in Uncategorized

 

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On a Cold Rainy Night

“Are you ready?”

“Ready?”

“This is how it goes …”

“Wait. Ready for what?”

“This. This is what will happen. We meet. Meet cute, maybe. But we meet. We exchange names. We invent nicknames for each other. We text each other every day. We look forward to each of our “morning” and “nitey nite” greetings. We make time to type those messages. We ask each other what we have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, and all meals in between. We ask each other what we do, where we go, what we read, what we watch, what we listen to. Then we finally meet. We see eye to eye. Over lunch. Followed by coffee. Over dinner. Followed by movie. The first lunch. The first coffee. The first movie together. Then comes the night when we part. We have to part. We live in our own house. We say good night. In the next few hours, we say good morning. We make plans. We plan our getaway. Our holiday. We cannot get enough of each other. We are crazy about each other. We think of each other every time. We think of ways to seek help from each other. We think of ways to make each other feel needed and wanted. We try and try … Until we’re tired. We start getting bored of each other. We start questioning our decision to meet and like each other. We make excuses not to meet. We prioritise our work and other activities above each other. We start skipping the greetings. No more “morning” or “nitey nite”. We start asking each other, why you have not asked me things I do. Food I eat. Music I listen to. We take each other for granted. We take each other as a routine. Then strangers come to our lives. Strangers that tickle our excitement. Strangers who ask us the questions we used to ask to each other. Strangers we cannot get enough of. Strangers we wish to spend our time with, instead of being with each other. Strangers, that make us … strangers for each other.”

“Are you done?”

“I’m not. Because I want to ask you, if you’re ever ready …”

“I’m taken.”

“… ready to invite this stranger to try?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

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Posted by on 01/31/2016 in English, Personal

 

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You Say Goodbye To What You Love The Most

We do say goodbye to things we love the most, don’t we?

No matter how long we have been attached to things we love the most, eventually they’ll be taken away from us in one way or another … Right?

I am struggling to convince myself over the above statements today. I am struggling to believe that you only part with the physicality of things.
You never say goodbye to memories they bring.

Last night, my iPod Classic died. For good.
Attempts of resurrection showed no signs of success. At all.
Even if we could replace the hard disk inside the iPod with a new one, it’ll be a new, blank, clean, empty hard disk. The old dying one, that caused the hardware to stop functioning, cannot be brought back to life.

After 8 years, my companion is no longer able to accompany me anymore.

Yes.
This iPod of mine is a life companion.

Inside the 120gb disk space are not only songs, videos and photos accumulated over years. But more than that, those songs, videos and photos mark special milestones in my life.

3292_ipodclassic_black_image5_20080909

Songs are compiled into playlists for running, so I can endure the exercise.
Songs I listen to whenever I have a crush on someone, when relationships end, and when romance starts to blossoms, are compiled into playlists.
There are playlists for wedding of friends, relatives, rainy days, holidays, and sometimes moments I need to celebrate quietly.

I always brought my iPod wherever I go. Be it to office, to gym, traveling overseas, other cities in the country, there was always my iPod present. In short, it never left out of sight everyday in the past 8 years.

When you have something with you for considerable amount of time, your subconsciousness forms a sort of attachment. So I read somewhere.
I never understand that, until now.

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People have different ways to claim ownership or attach themselves over other people and things. Some form undying attention to their pets, others dot on their children. Some become too protective, some can be carefree.
I spent most of life on my own. The past 8 years saw a fair share of some romantic relationships, but for the largest bulk of time, I’m on my own. Thus, to fill the emptiness of dead air, I listen to music. I pay attention to them. My mind wanders as I press the button, click the wheel, put songs on shuffle, and let whatever songs played to fill the mood of the moment.
From what is a usual “press play” activity, it further develops as the extension of your feeling.

It may sound too much. That’s fine. After all, each one of us is wired differently.
When I lament the passing of this iPod to my friends, some immediately offer their consolation in understanding. Some went through the same. Some offer their confusion, to my absolute and definite understanding, as they don’t form similar attachment the way I do. And that’s fine by me.

After all, music speaks differently to each and everyone of us.

Soon enough, I’ll get a new portable music player. Or I may just get a new hard disk to be installed in the old iPod. I have not decided which route I’ll take.
Regardless, they mean the same thing. I may get majority of old songs and albums back, thanks to iTunes store and other outlets. I may be able to create similar playlists to the old ones.
But I never get the old memory back. I will never be able to recreate the exact mood while making the playlists.

apple_ipod_classic_6th_generation_black_mc297qba_raw

Consider this is goodbye. Consider this is a farewell letter to the past 8 years of my life as marked on songs of life.
I often smile in tears upon realizing how we mark moments in our life by songs. Songs we listen to while we think of someone with love. How we are angry at the same person weeks or months or years later. Songs we listen to when we graduate. Songs we listen to as we travel in foreign lands.

I used to be able just to switch on the old iPod, scroll through playlists to figure out the songs that mark those special moments. Now, I won’t be able to do that anymore. I may remember all of a sudden whenever I hear the same songs in mall, as I stroll along foreign lands I am yet to visit, or in any given occasions later.

I will remember, because memory never escapes and fails us.

We say goodbye to things.
But we will remember the historic memory they lovingly create.

Here’s to new memories ahead.

 
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Posted by on 01/05/2016 in English, Personal

 

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Top 10 TV Shows of 2015

Welcome to, not just golden age, but the platinum age of scripted American TV programs. Gone are the days of accusation that watching too much TV is not good for our well being. The concern instead is that there are too many good TV shows that one is impossible to watch the all. Thus, you may find some other critically-acclaimed shows are not listed here, because 1) this is a personal list, and 2) I have no time yet to watch those shows yet.
Mind you, there are other shows that do not make the cut in the top 10 list below, yet I still watch them because you cannot just watch 10 TV shows in a year. There are simply too many good TV programs out there. But thank you, TV! You show us that good story and good storytelling are found in TV these days.

Alright, the list, in alphabetical order, starts with:

1. THE AFFAIR

The Affair

The Affair

I started watching the entire first season earlier this year, and boy, was I hooked from the start. The series takes a hardly original approach of telling an illicit extra marital affair from both he-said and she-said perspectives, but what unravels in further episodes take us by surprise. Noah Solloway may be the most complex, despicable and well-written family man character in television right now, yet we can not just say otherwise to Alison Lockhart with her doe eyed soulful persona. It is possible to have a series that leaves you devastated week after week.

2. THE AMERICANS

The Americans

The Americans

Not many series get better each season, but The Americans does get better, if not more thrilling. Each season brings the tension closer and more gripping, and season 3 of The Americans may be its best yet. Paige finally learns the true profession of her parents. This brings many opportunities of future developments, as the storyline progresses to the peak of Cold War in mid 1980s. The terror is getting more subdued, and feels real. It’s a crime that the series is still overlooked by the Emmys so far.

3. BLACK-ISH

Black-ish

Black-ish

I put it simply: it is possible for a TV show to laugh at itself (and its presumably core audience), be genuinely funny, and be heartwarming in almost every week. What an achievement, indeed.

4. CATASTROPHE

Catastrophe

Catastrophe

The set-up wins: an American guy impregnates a British girl during their one night stand. What follows is nothing but hilarity that ranges from chaos to madness. I cannot get enough of the short season, as it packs more rom-com moments than any other series attempting the same.

5. EMPIRE

Empire

Empire

Anywhere you turn, you can never escape the Lyons, especially the cracking wits of Cookie Lyon, played with feisty persona by the great Taraji P. Henson. The show grows its audience week after week until it becomes a cultural phenomenon. It has been described as Dynasty for R&B and hip-hop millenials, which worries me the most for being excessive in style in future seasons. But as long as Cookie’s in the house, the matriarch shall balance the entire kingdom. Bring the kidnaps, murders, and music then.

6. DAREDEVIL

Daredevil

Daredevil

Perhaps the series has the most serious treatment among other superhero series right now. In fact, I am torn between choosing this over other noteworthy entries, i.e. Agent Carter and The Flash. Yet, for what it is worth, Daredevil gives us, pun intended, justice. The series equals straight-forward action scenes with multi layered characters and muted, often heavy dramatic moments that bring the entire serious feel almost like a work of art. For real. The last four episodes of the season will put you on the edge of your couch.

7. MAD MEN

Mad Men

Mad Men

We say goodbye to Don Draper and co., with the last scene that easily goes down as one of the finest in TV history. But if you watch carefully, it is the women of Mad Men that soar in this last season. Joan Harris, Peggy Olsen, Betty Francis, and even Sally Draper, each one of them are given prominence in their roles that we can only daydream how great it will be if there’s a spin-off among them. As the show stops before the feminism era, we imagine that their imaginary prominence will play pivotal role should there be a continuation. Alas, the show ends on a high note, and as a fan, I cannot be more satisfied than that.

8. UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I dare you not singing, or at least humming, its theme song after binge-ing the series even for just after 3 episodes. The theme song is indeed addictive, and so is Titus Andromeda’s Pinot Noir. Don’t Google or Youtube that. Oh, you just did? Well then. Good luck!

9. UNREAL

Unreal

Unreal

The most surprising new drama of last year airs in Lifetime channel, associated with its female-centric tearjerker shows. UnReal is still female-centric, but tearjerker it ain’t. It offers a fictionalized behind-the-scene look of a reality program a la The Bachelor, where dramatic moments are unfold as staged by the deceptive, manipulative, ruthless characters played with excellence by both Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. You can feel the female bromance between the two against their love-hate bantering and wits. You root for them each week as they keep showing their flaws, and still hold their heads high among the seas of men as their objects of frustration. Perhaps it is the most daring program of last season, and no one notices yet.

10. VEEP

Veep

Veep

I have no idea how they do it. How can a show get more hilarious every season? Just when I thought the season 3 is the funniest yet, the presidential campaign in season 4 pushes the funny envelope further, with a welcome addition from Hugh Laurie and his surprisingly acute comic timing. Julia Louis-Dreyfus could not be funnier than in this season. As we anxiously await the result of the presidential election in the series, here’s a cheers for Armando Ianucci as the creator of the series. Thank you for the wonderful 4 seasons you have helmed. Even without your presence as the show-runner in subsequent seasons, we always have the entire wacky, incapable team of Susan Meyer to humor us. The Emmy for Best Comedy Series is justified.

 
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Posted by on 12/22/2015 in Blog, English

 

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