Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Situation like this makes me feel rather insecure. It's like this... you stumble upon something. It can be anything--a song, a book, a particular food. Supposing you dislike one of them. Intensely. And then you find out that others--many people to be exact, happen to like that particular thing. Will you doubt your taste? Your preference?

I know, I know, we can't argue when it comes to taste. I love salty food while my Quisalas prefer sweet ones. Why? I wouldn't know. Maybe the answer lies in conditioning, habit. Or perhaps you were just born with it. When I was a baby I loved chicken, prunes, apricots. I didn't like liver, for instance. Did my parents fed me those, forcefully, so I grew to like it? I don't think so. They made me taste many things before they (and myself, of course) found out that I liked and disliked particular things. I loved Classical music then. Now I still do.

I'm rambling again. Back to the topic. When it comes to taste, people tend to think with their ego. I like this one, so my taste is excellent. Is it? If so, how can you judge one's taste? Does it mean that, if many people happen to like it, you have a good taste?

My partner reminded me of Tom Reamy just now. He's one of my favorite writers. My good friend Nengti gave a book of his short stories while I was in high school.

Tom Reamy wrote superbly. He wrote fantasy stories. Well, incredible, sci-fi things. And he made them so believable, in spite of their inordinariness. He wrote that he hated one story of his--can't remember the title. He thought it was really bad. But many people loved that story. When I read that piece, I was stunned. I mean, come on! This one was excellent! I wish I had his skill and ideas so I could weave a fantastic story like that. Yet he detested it.

Now I begin to understand. What if, I publish many stories of mine? I might hate one or two. However, what if, many people love those stories? How would you feel? The ones that you think are terrible gain so much success! If you think like I do, you might feel insecure. At least, troubled.

I feel it coming... what did Shakespeare say? Something wicked this way comes? Something like that.

Regarding New Year

Many people believe that they should make New Year's resolutions. Even though they know, they'll end up breaking them. I used to make several resolutions in my teenage years, foolishly trying to keep them. After a year or two I realized, what was the use? If you make a resolution and then share it with somebody, you'll feel content. You think, "Well! I have done something!" And you'll feel extremely proud of yourself. Then you start to forget.

Resolutions can be made any time of the year. But in my opinion, new year's ones are the worst. Based from my experience, most likely they'll fail. Well who knows, maybe for others it's not the same.

And some people like to make caleidoscopes of the previous year. A silly habit. Because, unless you have a very vivid and photographic memory (keeping a journal will help immensely, of course), you might as well forget it. You might not remember what happened in a month, or two, or more. Actually this habit can be helpful. 'Cause you can evaluate yourself. You can set up some new goals for yourself, like I used to do. (since I'm a forgetful person, I often forget them. Having plenty of journals doesn't really help 'cause I tend to locate the journals where I cannot find 'em)

Let's see. 2003 has been a rich year for me. I got engaged then married this year. I dealt with crooks masquerading as benevolent people. I acquired several new friends, good ones. I won a couple of awards. I wrote like hell, more vigorous than before. I could finally forgive myself for the things I've done in the past. I rejoiced and mourned for some kittens born and then killed. My shin yu gave birth to twin boys, Shota Angkasa and Kohei Samudra, and I got to be their godmother! (lucky me!) Oh--so many things, I laugh and cry remembering them. Lord has indeed been kind to me. True, I encountered plenty of obstacles, but the rewards were great.

And now, it's time to rest...

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Highlight of the Day

Finished one story. Hooray! Finally! A sense of accomplishment! Now I can rest, hehe.

So What's Cookin'?

(literally) I sauteed some vegs, beancurd, and chicken. Suits my taste very much though
I am aware that to others it might be too salty. Steamed chicken's breast for him.

Plan to spend New Year's Eve at my parents'. Won't do anything much, prolly watch TV
and perhaps cook something nice. Maybe rissotto. With tomato juice, mushroom, chunks
of chicken and perhaps sausages. Am dying to make quiche. Have to buy filo pastry
or puff pastry dough and cream first.

Oh, talking about food always makes me hungry. I'm off for lunch.

Monday, December 29, 2003


I wonder. It seems that I talk more and more about food each day, hahah! Ohkay, about muffins first. Baked apple muffins (my favorite! yum!) and chocolate muffins two days ago. I still have one apple muffin left. At this moment I am looking at it with mixed feelings--should I eat it now? Or maybe I should wait until I'm very, very hungry so I'd really appreciate it?

Muffin Apel ala Primadonna Angela

- 2 telur ayam
- 225 gram gula pasir
(bisa ditambah atau dikurangi, sesuai selera)
- 2 apel (Granny Smith atau apel malang. Parut kasar. Campurkan dengan air perasan
jeruk nipis.)
- 75 ml minyak makan
- 300 gram terigu campur dengan:
- 1 sendok teh baking powder
- 1 sdt soda kue
- 1 sendok makan kayu manis bubuk
- 2 sendok makan gula pasir, campur dengan 1 sdt kayu manis bubuk, untuk taburan.

Cara Membuat:
- Siapkan loyang muffin. Letakkan mangkuk kertas khusus di atasnya. (dapat dibeli di
pasar tradisional atau swalayan yang menjual perlengkapan membuat kue)
- Kocok telur dengan gula menggunakan mixer sampai warnanya agak putih.
- Campurkan terigu, apel, dan minyak sedikit demi sedikit sampai semua adonan
tercampur. Aduk sampai rata.
- Masukkan adonan ke dalam mangkuk kertas hingga mengisi kurang lebih 3/4-nya.
- Taburi dengan campuran gula dan kayu manis.
- Panggang selama kurang lebih 30-40 menit dalam oven bersuhu 160 derajat Celcius.

I got the original recipe from my favorite mag, Femina. I made slight changes in the recipe according to my liking.

Friday, December 26, 2003

My Question of the Day

If you happen to live in Indonesia like I do, maybe you also notice this stale sentence from crappy, sappy movies or sinetrons. In Indonesian, it is, "Buktikan cintamu padaku." Or in English, "Give me a proof, if you really love me." Something like that.

My question is, how could you prove to someone else that you love him or her? I mean, the moment the sentence is uttered, to me it sounds like a ghastly omen. It seems that no matter what you do, how hard you try, the other person could just say, "Well, that's not enough!"

I am perplexed with this silly sentence. Does love need to be proven? If so, can you give any proofs?

Maybe the person saying it has something in her or his mind. Such as, "Ohkay, if this guy buys me diamonds and pearls, then indeed, he loves me very much." Or, "If this girl is willing to give up her virginity for me, then I know, she does love me."

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Tarot and Crystals

It has been a while. Yesterday I did some readings using my Zen Tarot deck and my roze quartz pendulum. I asked several questions and received answers that amazed me. One yes/no question was answered "yes", but today I found out that the answer's "no". The first time that the crystal failed to give the accurate answer. Oh well, maybe I should cleanse my crystals. After all, it's been--what, almost a year?--since I last bathed them in salty water, moonlight, and sunlight. Maybe it is time. Or maybe my biorhythm was disturbed. Perhaps it was only natural. Could it be my faith is waning? Hmmmm.

I have delved in cartomancy (read: Tarot) since I was in high school. I bought my first deck, the Zen version, either in 1991 or 1992. My Dad got me a standard version in 1993. Ten years later, October 2003, he bought me a smaller version, to be carried anywhere. I also have tea-leaf cards; and though I find them to be reliable, I seldom use them. (the cards' shape is circular. Not very practical.)

Some people say that you have to have "the gift" to be able to read Tarot. I believe anyone can read Tarot. It's fairly easy. As long as you're willing to learn, willing to open your boundaries and embrace new concepts. Of course, what I 'read' in one session might differ to what somebody else 'reads'. That's what makes it so interesting.
Indonesians... or Klingons?

Some years ago while my youngest bro was still in high school, he and I decided to chat in a chatroom. We were not familiar with mIRC and such, in fact we didn't even know that it existed. We couldn't even use ICQ and the like 'cause there was a firewall. So we chose a site where people could chat, and we chatted. We were too lazy to chat privately, since we chose to be in a room that was empty, anyway. There were only the two of us. And we talked and talked, merrily writing messages in our mother tongue, Indonesian.

After a while, someone appeared on the screen, commenting, "Hey, Klingons should be in the Trekkie room!" Then (s)he left before we were able to say anything to her or him.

Ha, to some people, perhaps Indonesian language is as exotic and foreign as Klingon's...

Made me curious to learn Klingonian.

However, since:
1. I'm not a Trekkie
2. I'm not that interested
3. I'm too lazy to find out where I can learn in
I just left it as that, heheheh.

One day, perhaps, I can proudly say, "I'm an Indonesian, but maybe also a Klingonian. You decide."

It's Christmas... C'est Noel

Merry Christmas, everybody!
May your days be more beautiful and meaningful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

*continuing the song*
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree...

Oh, how I adore Christmas! I usually trade gifts and wishes--though I'm not a Christian myself. For this Christmas, I really want to meet my best friend, Nyachan... I miss her very much.

Maybe I'll bake some apple muffins this Christmas. Yum! I wish my twin brother could be here to eat the muffins with me. I miss you, Ndi.

I'm sure Quisalas would appreciate some muffins. Though afterwards he might grumpily ask how many calories one muffin contains, heheh. *evil thought* Maybe, just maybe, I should bake chocolate chip cookies or another fruit cake especially for him... What do you think, Love?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Chupa Chups--Strawberry & Cream Flavor

Gosh! It has been a while. The price is much lower now than before. The taste is--well, can't really tell the difference, anyhow. It's... yummy!

To think that two days ago I couldn't even digest something delicious like this...

It is a wonderful thing, when illness starts to leave you.

Hey, maybe you should try to heal yourself with crystals. At least it worked for me... get well soon, dear.
Got sick two days ago. Lost my appetite. Dizziness
assailed me, causing my thoughts to be numb. So I
turned to the basic, prayers and my favorite piece
of crystal. Maybe it was the power of suggestion or
even, self-hypnosys. Whatever that was, the crystal
seemed to alleviate my illness.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

My Question of the Day

I wonder why?

Why is it, when couple walk, they seem to take eternity to take a single step?
And they seem to take all the space they want. I'm complaining because I never do things like that. I walk quickly. With a partner or not. It just seems like a shame, you know, spending your time on the road, instead of having fun at your destination. Well maybe that's just me.

More about this later.

Friday, December 19, 2003

My brother SMS-ed me just now, saying that Spotty is dying. I can't wait to go to my parents' house to find out why. If it's the dreaded huge tomcat again, I swear I'm gonna shoot him, though fond of cats, I am!

Will be off to my parents' any minute now.

Sean, let me know when you're in town, okay? Maybe we can meet. I'll even bake or cook you something, if you wish. You tell me. *hugs*

Do be patient my dear Ins, I'll reply your mail some time next week, 'kay.

Love you both.
Regarding Cats

I love cats. I love hearing them purr and having them around my ankles. I love combing them for fleas and then squashing them flat on the floor (the fleas, not the cats). I love tickling their back till they turn their heads and lick the ticklish part. I love caressing their fur, pinching their cheeks, and holding them close to me.

I have had many close relationships with cats.

When I was in elementary school, I had Kitty. She has three colors--faded and muted here and there, and strangely, a short tail. I thought it was because of an accident, but she was born that way. I knew when she gave birth to Hirun. Hirun also had short tail and similar coloring. Here in Indonesia three-colored male cats are supposed to be extremely rare. I am proud to say I had one as a companion.

Hirun failed to go home one day. There were many speculations regarding this. My father thought a biawak (a big lizard, well like comodo but not that gigantic) or a python swallowed him. My mother thought the Public Health department poisoned him. My brothers thought somebody else took him as a pet. I believed it was because my father did something to his limbs. He was fond of doing that, my father. Doing something to one's limbs, causing the person (or in this case, animal) to feel electric jolts in her/his/its limbs. I knew this because I was there, when he did something to Hirun's limbs.

Then there was Manja (Indonesian: adj. spoiled). Manja was black all over, chubby, and well, like the name said, very spoiled. She demanded attention most of the time. An American girl, my neighbor (who later would become my student, but that's another story) once saw Manja near my house.

Poor girl, she ran to her house, panting, exclaiming to her mother, "Mom! I saw a witch's house! There's a big, black cat there near a broomstick. And you know what? Even the tomatoes there grow to be black!"

She didn't saw any tomato plants in my house, 'cause we didn't have any. What she saw was actually eggplants. And the color should be dark purple instead of black.

Rebecca Helm dear, I hope you can read this. It's been many years since we contact each other. I miss you so much. I'm sure you've grown into a beautiful woman, where ever you are. ^_^

Back to cats. After Manja we have Kubul--although I prefer to call him Chang Pu Cie after my favorite Chinese hero on TV (also known as Thio Bu Kie). Kubul means 'kucing bule' (bule--slang for a caucasian, kucing--cat). He was such a beauty. He was an albino, you see. So his fur was white with faint yellow stripes. And his eyes--they were deep blue, so lovely.

One day he returned, looking sick. He didn't want to eat. I was shocked to feel his ribs--they seem to break somehow. Alarmed, I asked my father to drive us to the vet right away.

The vet said that Kubul was ran over by a car, probably two or three days ago. He was beyond help. She tried injecting things but to no avail. The ribs were broken. The lymph glands broke. It was clear that Kubul was dying. The vet said Kubul should be dead yesterday but it seemed he was so determined to get home and say goodbye.

I held him close, gently, afraid of hurting him. He looked at me as if he understood. I cried, God, how I cried that day, shouting and lamenting loudly. I am crying now, remembering that. He looked at me, purring his last purr. I exclaimed a lot, "No, don't!" I could feel his life slipping away. Gently then his soul was taken through his head. I could feel the energy leaving him.

I was so heartbroken that I vowed not to love a cat again, ever.

I kept that promise for several years. Until Takamiya Teppei came into my life. He came, sneaking young little thing, attempting to steal a fish or two from my pond. I threw a pebble at him. It got him. Surprisingly he came again and again, this time not to steal the fish. I began giving him leftover food. He was so lovable. Within days I could pet and hug him. His fur was longish, like a persian cat. The color was, how could I describe it? If you read the manga (Japanese comic) What's Michael I can say Teppei looks like Nyazira's mate, Taisuke, or was it Oosuke? I named him Teppei because he liked to accompany me in the house while I was watching this anime, Masami Kurumada's B'T X. (the main's character's name is Takamiya Teppei) He would sit there near me, licking his fur, eyes straying here and there to TV everytime the word "teppei" was mentioned. (He recognized his own name! I swear he really did!)

He was a tough cat. Once he got injured after a fight. Another cat bit him on his body, causing a big gash of wound. It was ghastly. We took him to the vet but he couldn't stitch the wound. He recommended another vet. We went there and waited for an hour but he never came. So we took him home and treated him on our own. We poured honey and some herbs to the wound. He got better after some days, with no apparent side-effects. And no stitches!

I haven't seen him for two years--he should be dead by now.

Then came Minerva McGonagall. Yes, I was that hooked to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter that time. She seemed to have this huge crush on Teppei, following him around with mystified eyes. She became the mother, and even a grandmother of many kittens. Most left my home after they reached their adulthood. Some are still there. Let's see. Nyazira, Sylvester, Mulan, Ginger, Puning, and Little Syl. Those are Miner's children... err, or should I say kittens? Bondel and Spotty, her grandkitten, sons of Nyazira.

Last year another stray kitten came to my house. He was so thin and dirty. He got angry looking at other cats. He even arched his back and growled seeing his own reflection. He is essentially white with some black marks. His face looks like a fox's, so I named him Foxy and called him Popox. He is my family's darling boy. I believe he was Marilyn Monroe in his earlier incarnation. He has a similar spot near his mouth, like Monroe.

He is one of the cutest cats in the world! (though he tends to disagree, saying I must have an acute delusion)

Will figure out a way to post his picture here later on.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Reading this makes me remember an incident when I went to Singapore a couple of years ago.

I saw many people queueing ever so quietly and orderly. I was curious--I mean, what are they queueing for? They looked so serious and glum. So I peeked closely at the counter, blinking my eyes in confusion.

4D (4 Digits--gambling).

Oh My God.

So like robots they were, even when queueing for 4D tickets.

While here, they associate gambling with riots and uproars.

I wish, in this case, we could be like Singaporeans.

More about Gypsy Folklore--on Love and Marriage
(also taken from the same book)

A scarf given by a man, worn constantly by the woman is a sign that she loves him, too. He might propose to the woman right away.
--> How come you never give me a scarf?

Your marriage will be more prosperous if you marry when the moon is waxing rather than waning. Best choice: marry during a full moon!
--> Gosh. I thought I got married when the moon was waxing, but, well... have to check it again later, then. Oh, wait a minute! The marriage ceremony was held during the day! Does it matter?

It's unlucky to receive knives or other sharp instruments as a wedding present. You can counter this bad luck by giving a coin to the person who gives you the particular gift.
--> Yikes. Got a set of knives as a wedding present.

During the ceremony, it's also bad luck if the bridegroom looks over his shoulder when his bride approaches.
--> He didn't need to look over his shoulder. He stared at me intently, blatantly, causing me to blush at that time (if such things are possible).

Romanies believe in breaking bread over the couple's heads will bring love, luck, health, and prosperity. The bread is made of flour, fresh or dried fruits, with a bit blood taken from the ring fingers of the couple.
--> Whaaa~at! No blood, please!

It is unlucky to marry in Lent:
Marry in Lent and you will live to repent.

Monday for wealth,
Tuesday for health,
Wednesday the best of all,
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
And Saturday, no luck at all.
--> Ohkay, so the marriage was on Saturday...

It is an ill omen if the surnames of the couple begin with the same initial.
"If you change the name but not the letter, you marry for worse and not for better."
--> What if we don't have surnames?

The first person to sleep on the wedding night will be the first to die.
--> If this is true, then you will die first! Hohohooooo~ooo!
Why am I laughing?
It's no laughing matter... boo hooooo... :(

Well, I am glad that I wasn't born as a Gypsy!
I am not one yet I believe some of their myths and folklores.
Good thing is, I can choose which one(s) to believe...

Anyway, speaking of horseshoes, found several interesting superstitions regarding horses on a book called "The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Superstitions" (interesting how they put 'little' and 'giant' next to each other).

1. To cure whooping cough, inhale horse breath, especially that of a piebald horse.
--> Don't know how a piebald horse looks like, but I'm pretty sure the breath stinks. Or maybe the stink is supposed to cure you. Wouldn't know. Anybody care to find out?

2. To cure goiter, eat the hair from a horse's tail.
--> Yikes. I think it must be quite tough... good luck in chewing it, then.

3. To alleviate fever, use horses' hooves.
--> Maybe we should stick to the regular pills. At least they're much easier to find.

4. To counter nightmares, use horses' teeth.
--> Cool. If only they're sold openly at the markets.

5. To get rid of worms, eat a single horse hair with bread and butter.
--> Ugh.

6. To treat chilblains, use horses' teeth.
--> Aiyaa.

7. To cure sore throats, drink the juice of live crabs mixed with horse saliva.
--> Eeew. I'd rather drink the mixture of lemon juice and honey blended well in warm water. At least I know they taste good!
The time should be right by now...
it's better be!
Did I get the time and date right?
Hope so...
I did! How amazing! And I didn't even have to ask anybody else to help me!
Wowwweeee! This calls for a celebration!

Quisalas, if you read this, can I have Ramly's corn ice? Pretty please?
*winning smiles and twinkling eyes*

According to the Romanies...
(taken from a book by Gillian Kemp)

Sneeze on a MONDAY you'll escape danger,
Sneeze on a TUESDAY a kiss from a stranger.
Sneeze on a WEDNESDAY a good news letter,
Sneeze on a THURSDAY a gift which is better.
Sneeze on a FRIDAY news will cause sorrow,
Sneeze on a SATURDAY you'll travel tomorrow.
Sneeze on a SUNDAY ask God to bless you
All the week, your health to keep.

Alright. I sneezed at least five times today. Does it mean I'll receive five gifts? Gifts which are better... than what?

Sounds silly but at times I (want to) believe in folklores and myths.

Reminds me of my girlhood. I was so fond of standing and especially sitting in front of doors. Any doors. If you ask me why, I did it because it was fun. You'd know who were coming and going. It seemed important to me at that time.

However, many people nagged me for this. My grandmother scolded me for several reasons.

1. "It's a forbidden thing to do," she said, "it'd make your soulmate run away. You'll get married very late in life."
2. "You're blocking the way!"
3. "It's so unladylike."
4. "Haven't you got anything better to do than hanging in front of doors?"

My dearest grandma was not the only one. Many people, some much older, some my age, some even younger than I was, told me essentially the same things.

It's a superstition--if you're a girl, you're not supposed to do that. As for boys, well, even if they do that, they won't get much nagging or scolding.

Sounds very unfair to me. So I persisted. I deliberately spent more and more time sitting and standing in front of doors.

Some commented that was the reason why my ex cheated on me. He and I were together for several years (many years, to me, or so it seems) and then, boom! I 'accidentally' found out that he had at least two affairs. We parted, then.

Some said that it would take many years for me to find my true soulmate.

They were wrong.

Now I have a partner in life. A real one. In my previous relationship, it wasn't a partnership. It was a standard woman-to-man, man-to-woman relationship. Where assumptions and resentments ruled, spiced with lovely moments, garnished with emotions.

Now I am married.

I'm still fond of sitting and standing in front of doors. Nobody scolded me for it now.
Aa even encouraged me to do so. For, if the superstition is true, it'd take a long, long time for me to get married... again. Maybe he was hoping... well, maybe if I stand and sit in front of doors often, I won't even get married again, ever. :)

Insya Allah.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

So productive I am. Sitting here in front of my Tanthalas,
writing this. Myriad voices tell me to get up and do
something else. Like, wearing a jacket. Sipping hot tea
with exotic spices to banish the chill. Curling up in my
bed, wrapped in a warm coccoon called blanket.

Alright, I'm wearing a jacket now. What else?

Didn't make much progress--oh well I only added less than 1,000
words today for my story. So much for daily goals.

Maybe I'll read some Asterix comics again.

Match Up
Match each word in the left column with its synonym on the right. When finished, click Answer to see the results. Good luck!