Socially awkward

Hi, all!

I went to a talkshow organized by Creative Mornings Jakarta on Saturday. We had Kemasacil as the guest speaker, to talk about how he became an illustrator and how ‘fantasy’ helps him pour his imagination into something real.

Also, last Sunday was my best friend’s wedding reception. It was beautiful! And the bride was also pretty beyond words; man, I still have a hard time believing my best friend is now someone’s wife hahaha! Our parents are friends and colleagues at work, while we went to the same high school in Grade 12. That’s why, we have a lot of mutual connection.

My best friend’s Balinese wedding reception

One thing I realized, having attended 2 social events in a row: I’m awkward as hell.

I attended the talkshow because I had nothing to do on a Saturday morning, plus my family were in different places doing their own stuff. Plus, it’s been a really long time since I last went to such event and I thought to myself “hey, this is a networking opp!”.

Turns out that no. I came lightheaded because I only had tea as my breakfast. I came with a lot of things on my hands, wearing high heels, because I just came straight from Bandung, which is a 2.5-hour trip from Jakarta (I didn’t drive but I took a shuttle; heck, I still felt tired). They served breakfast before talkshow and I managed to have coffee and eat brownies, before sitting down and listening.

I won’t talk about what Kemasacil said because it has no relevance to this post’s topic. Maybe in another post :/

So, after the talk, it was free event. I panicked here, because the MC said that “you can have breakfast, you can come to us (Creative Morning staff) to ask us about Creative Mornings.. You can also meet up close with Kemasacil to discuss some things. Or, you can do your own networking and get to know the people here”.

I was like, “damn, what am I supposed to do?!”.

Photo from Snog Tees
Photo from Snorg Tees

I decided to take out my phone and download this transportation app (kind of like Uber) to order a bike to take me home. All the while, I tried to get the girl sitting 3 seats beside me to talk and we had small talk but then she went to the bathroom and I was left there alone. So I returned to my phone, not knowing what to do, because I don’t know what to ask about Creative Mornings (I’ve read of them) or Kemasacil (he had a lot of people around him), until someone said hi to me and we had a brief small talk before parting ways.

It’s different with the wedding on Sunday. There were a lot of acquiantances, too many of them, that I had to shift from group to group. But when I saw these groups form on their own, already in a conversation without me, I was gripped with this “will I interrupt?” “will they accept me?” type of fear. So, at the wedding, I bounced from one group to another, eating the food served. I would occassionally join my family or a few friends, but most of the time I was either clinging to one person who was also alone, or shifting from one table to another to eat, before initiating conversations with these old friends.

It’s funny when I think about it because I saw the side of me I haven’t seen in such a long time: social awkwardness.

I thought I had overcome it because I had been shifting from one new social situation to another, all with the fear of “will they accept me?” “will they see me as weird?” “will I act weird?” lurking around. However, I somehow managed to overcome those fears, which is why I was sure that I would be okay and smoother (?) when initiating a conversation with new people.

Turned out that no, I still struggle when trying to socially interact with people. Maybe the problem is that all the people (around 70 in the talkshow’s case) are people I don’t know and I felt alone in this strange new world. So my defense was, of course, be glued to my chair and search for a way back home. But in the wedding, I knew a lot of them. They all already had their own groups, which made me reluctant to join. So my response was either search a friend who was equally alone, or bounce from table to table to try out the food.

I think I should up my social interaction game. It might come in handy in the future. But being socially awkward isn’t a sin either. It’s ok to be socially awkward ūüôā

 

xx

PS: Today is my dad’s 54th birthday ūüėÄ

Sparks of Inspiration

Hi, all! ūüôā

I recently had a change of playlist.

At the start of last week, I was still into electronic dance, K-Pop, pop rock, and other mainstream music. This playlist lasted for several months, counting back since either September or October. It was my feel good, positive-vibe playlist as I was quite in my ‘down’ mood.

On the middle of last week, I forgot if it was Wednesday or Thursday, I went to my Youtube channel and watched the videos I made during my college years. The music I usually used was the instrumental type of music, ranging from sweet symphonies to contemporary folk acoustics.

That sparked my interest and I ransacked my music library. I made a new playlist. The songs in said playlist brought me back memories to when I was still active writing a novel or drawing characters. Those songs reminded me of sleepless nights I spent back in middle school to draw comics (which, in the end, weren’t that good so I threw them all away).

My current favorites:

  1. Gundam Unicorn OST – Unicorn Theme
    Recently started watching Gundam Unicorn though I’ve always wanted to watch it since… 2012?¬†The music is amazing and has “EPIC” (in capital letters) written all over it.
  2. Frozen OST – Vuelie + Frozen Heart
    The combination of Vuelie and Frozen Heart was what captivated me when watching Frozen. I almost cried during the beginning scenes, though honestly it took a downhill ride afterwards, towards the end of the movie. Frozen Heart is, in my opinion, the exceptional Disney song out of the songs featured in Frozen.
  3. Attack on Titan OST – Attack on Titan
    Yes, Hiroyuki Sawano again. This piece is amazing. Especially when played on piano.
  4. Princess Mononoke OST – Ashitaka Sekki Ending
    Joe Hisaishi is one of the best composers in the world. This is an epic piece which captures the feel of the overall movie.
  5. Lindsey Stirling & Pentatonix – Radioactive (cover)
    Best Radioactive cover I’ve listened ever. The instrumental bits, especially the violin-cello combination, creates a different feel from other covers. And it’s Pentatonix!
  6. Paperman OST – Paperman Theme
    This is a sweet theme that, in my opinion, is also able to capture a modern, urban love story. It’s impossible to not smile while listening to this.
  7. Tangled OST – Kingdom Dance
    One of the best Disney songs ever! This lyricless (?) piece is perfect for the whole atmosphere of the movie.¬†And if you watch the scene, it’s¬†exquisite ‚̧
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe OST – Evacuating London
    It’s not just the strings, but the soft piano that builds up until the end. This piece lifts my mood during sad times but can make me cry during good times.
  9. The Secret World of Arrietty OST – Sho’s Lament
    I can imagine Sho through this song. The song feels sad, yet hopeful at the same time. The harp play sounds sweet to the ears.
  10. Pacific Rim OST – Main Theme
    I mean, come on. Pacific Rim is one of the most epic mainstream Hollywood movies ever made. The soundtrack features the epicness, majestic feels of the giant robots. I really do hope a second movie will come out soon!

I can’t include Joe Hisaishi’s works for Studio Ghibli’s films here (save the Mononoke OST because it’s a real inspiration!) or Two Steps from Hell (they have a special place in my heart), but these are my current instrumental favorites.

With this playlist, I’m starting to write a plot for a new story, draw new characters, and even get pumped up to do office work. It’s amazing how¬†music can affect our lives ūüôā

 

xx

About changing yourself

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At many points in your life, you will be faced with the decision to change yourself. Change is good, but change is scary. You never know how your life might turn out to be after the change.

But when you feel mistreated, miserable, and unhappy, then it is definitely time to change yourself. And it has to be¬†you to make the change. It can’t by anyone or anything. If you’re forced to change, you’ll only feel uncomfortable and then return to your old self, the one who’s making you unhappy.

Change is good. You need to move on from one phase of your life to another. You learned a lot, though it cost you a lot, mentally. But the knowledge is worth the pain. You get to know yourself better and understand life from your own perspective. Events that trigger a change to happen will cement your perspective on life and make you more mature than ever.

If there is still something, or someone, refraining you from moving on, then ask yourself, do you really want to change? Are you living the life you want? Are you content with the direction your life is taking?

People will always judge one another. There will be people who will dislike your change.

But in the end, what matters most to your heart is what you feel.

Only then will you truly be content, and only then will people see the beautiful you.

 

xx

Bri Lee, on women and writing

Hello, world!

I recently returned from a week-trip, which will be covered in Nomad Bananas (a travelling blog co-created by me and Fifi) soon, so excuse the lack of weekly posts :’) I returned with a really bad cough and I also lost my voice, which I think would be because I was exposed to too much wind there.

Before the trip, right on upload day, I got to attend an event organized by Co&Co Space, Bandung. It was a talkshow presented by Co&Co Space and Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2016, featuring aspiring Australian author Bri Lee, known for her work Hot Chick with Big Brains.

During the session, Bri Lee talked about how she got into writing and how she got interested in feminism, after witnessing, on several occasions, mistreatment towards women in many ways.

Having worked as a judge’s associate, she quit her legal career to fully focus on her writings. She founded Hot Chicks with Big Brains, a series of interviews with women, documenting their experience at work or in general life and¬†the sexist remarks/acts that had been done towards them.

Hot Chicks with Big Brains’ first edition is now available for purchase, while its second edition will be launched¬†in early 2017.

I enjoyed the discussion on feminism and how she was trying to convey that feminism and “we hate men and men should die” are two different movements. Feminism is all about being respected as a woman and treated equally as our male counterparts. The essence of this movement is to counter what is ingrained in our society for centuries: that women are inferior to men.

And it was interesting to hear about how this occurs not only in developing/under-developed countries with patriarchal societies, but it also occurs in developed countries with (supposedly, mainly) more liberal views and promotion towards equal rights.

What is important is how we educate society to accept woman as an equal human being with equal rights, which hopefully will decrease the number of mistreatment that women suffer every day.

I got to ask a couple of questions regarding if Lee would stretch the geographic boundaries of her interviews to¬†cover different stories from women of different countries, tradition, and culture (which, yes, she is interested; and she has done a few of them, which will be included in the second edition of Hot Chicks with Big Brains), and if she owns a journal and how it shapes her writing habit (surprisingly, she doesn’t! But she blogs (/blogged) before, and I guess that can count as keeping a journal).

As one of the persons to ask questions, I got this totebag from Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2016 (been using it¬†daily) and an anthology of literary works by Indonesian writers present at the festival. Too bad I left the book at my parents’ house; I’ll be sure to finish the book later.

I’m getting back to my good old habit of reading books.¬†And, unlike in the past, I’m now gearing more towards non-fiction books.

Regards.

Fashion inspiration from the runway

Hi, all!

Last week had been quite hectic and, to top it off, I left my laptop charger at my parents’ house, so I had to have my brother send it over to where I live. My laptop’s battery condition is at “poor” level, with “critical” being the next level. Hence, I’ve been using it for far lighter activities and no more 3D rendering. I mean, at this time of the year, I wouldn’t want it to suddenly die ūüė¶

Fashion weeks have passed far long but that doesn’t deter me from posting my favorite looks from the runway. For the next spring season, I collected inspiration from the runway which, I think, reflects my personal style, my personal taste, as well as the possibility to¬†be part of my capsule collection. Think basic colors, basic forms that compliment the body shape!

So, here goes:

Kate Spade
Kate Spade

I love Kate Spade for their playful colors and patterns! Their runway was full of blossoming and cute forms and splashes of colors, but these 3 would be my favorite looks. They look formal enough to be worn in the office, yet sassy enough to be worn when hanging out ‚̧

Issey Miyake
Issey Miyake

This season’s collection from Issey Miyake shows volumes of deformed shapes. It doesn’t accentuate your body shape, but gives this sense of edginess that will surely make heads turn. They can easily be mixed and matched with other types of outfits, looking gorgeous yet unique! And yes,¬†it’s possible to wear them both in the office or when hanging out.

Hermes
Hermes

I love Hermes! I love that they always go for the classic looks, yet with the modern touch. I’m all into tops that don’t define or accentuate the body type, so it’s easy to say Hermes’ pieces are my new favorites. And that high waist skirt with a front slit looks¬†sexy yet modest ‚̧

A collection of the pieces that make up my favorites. Chloe’s culottes look amazing and I’m sure buying something similar soon. It’s easy to mix and match with the tops I already own. I like Blumarine’s top for its modesty, Isabel Marant’s top for a young and edgy look, and Stella McCartney’s culottes for the same reaso as Chloe’s.

hangingout

And, exclusively for hanging out,¬†I chose these 3 dresses from Chloe, Kate Spade, and Bally. They seem to be the key pieces for looking your best effortlessly. Well, the Chloe dress should go with¬†a nice hairdo because, if I were to wear that dress with a bed head, I’d look¬†sick and tired.

Valentino
Valentino

Valentino’s designs are like dresses from a fairy tale come true. Being 23, I’m starting to receive wedding invitation from my friends, so taking inspiration from Valentino for the dresses I’ll wear to attend the weddings seem to be the best idea!

Oh, not to mention that my dream wedding dress is a Valentino dress from the 2013 resort collection.

I¬†know they’re all black, but black makes the perfect formal dress and black… well, black is just perfect to wear, hahaha! I love Paul Smith’s graphics on the jumpsuit, the innocence of Chloe’s dress, the bohemian vibes from Kate Spade’s dress, and the rock star look from Christian Dior. To me, these 4 pieces will rock any evening parties to attend!

And so, that ends today’s report on fashion inspiration. I won’t be able to update the blog with how I progress with the capsule wardrobe; I guess, expect a capsule wardrobe post in 2017. I’ll be going on a vacation next week and, with Christmas and New Year coming up, I might need to design greeting cards. Until the capsule wardrobe post, I’ll update this blog with non-fashion related stuff.

‘Til next week ūüôā

Movie review: The Cat Funeral

Hi, all!

I promised to post¬†my favorite¬†runway picks last week, but work suddenly got hectic and I couldn’t post. Sorry ūüė¶ I’m now back, not with my runway picks (I have to re-arrange my favorites) but with a movie review.

The Cat Funeral (Í≥†žĖĎžĚī žě•Ž°ÄžčĚ)

Year: 2015

Running time: 107 minutes

Main cast: Kang In, Park Se-Young

How did I find this movie? I was¬†randomly browsing the cast of a few K-dramas I’d been following and stumbled upon Park Se-Young’s profile. I saw “The Cat Funeral” in her filmography list, and the title intrigued me. I decided to search for it and got the movie.

It’s the story of a former couple who reunite for their cat’s funeral. The cat, Gureum, is the axis of the whole story. She was adopted by the couple back when they lived together. Kang In plays Dong Hoon, an indie musician, while Park Se-Young plays Jae Hee, an illustrator/graphic designer.

The couple wanted to bury Gureum’s ashes somewhere far, a place they both visited when they were still in a relationship,¬†so they took a trip together.¬†It was full of “are you still into me?” “didn’t you dump me?”,¬†so it was humorous yet¬†sad at the same time.

The film goes back and forth, between¬†the past and the present. As viewers, we were guided through their story: how they first met, how they got into a relationship, how the relationship started to fall part, and how, in the end, the relationship ended. We¬†also see how their¬†reunion was awkward and that both were uncomfortable, yet comfortable, with each other’s presence.

Dong Hoon & Jae Hee's first meeting after a year apart.
Dong Hoon & Jae Hee’s first meeting after a year apart.
Gureum, on which the plot is centered.
Gureum, on which the plot is centered.

The¬†movie takes the viewers on a ride through a relationship. We all are guided through what started as a loving relationship, and how things eventually didn’t work out for the couple. It’s a movie featuring a perspective on why relationships don’t work, on why relationships end.

And, in the center of this, was Gureum, a lovely cat who bonded Dong Hoon and Jae Hee together. Both of them bonded over caring for stray cats, so it was normal that they would take in a stray cat when one found its way to their house.

Gureum's ashes and her personal belongings. This scene made me cry a river.
Gureum’s ashes and her personal belongings. This scene made me cry a river.

The film used minimal music to convey the emotions. When music played, however, it featured acoustic guitar strings conveying a sense of happiness and sadness. The songs were all bittersweet. The tone and rhythm sounded happy, yet it sent a sad feeling.

In a way, the film might seem like it lacks emotion, but I somehow sensed strong emotions. The emotionless states the¬†couple¬†showed to each other looked like an obvious defense. It was a “You think I wouldn’t survive with you?”-type of thing. An obvious contrast to the scenes featuring the couple when they were still in a relationship.

This powerful scene showed the phase where the little family was at their utmost loving.
This powerful scene showed the phase where the little family was at their utmost loving.
Them parting hit the heart quite hard
Them parting hit the heart quite hard.

One thing I realized was that all this happened in autumn. Autumn is the season of transition, the season of change. They¬†ended their relationship in autumn and went on with their lives. A year later, they meet again to bury their cat. Does autumn represent the change they’re¬†experiencing in their lives?

Overall, this was a beautiful movie.¬†I would imagine that some people would consider it as blunt, but I like blunt movies. They convey the strongest emotions/feelings that are more relatable to real life. In today’s language, they send you¬†the feels.

I wouldn’t recommend it if you search for happy¬†endings. This isn’t the cheesy lovey-dovey love story about falling back in love. Rather, it is discovering why you fell out of love with someone. And since it’s a film about searching and discovering, when you reach the conclusion, it wouldn’t be a grand one. It would be some kind of “Oh.. yeah.. that’s true”. It gives you the feeling of wanting to cry but you aren’t sad enough to cry but you aren’t happy enough to be happy.

Loves!

Fashion Inspiration: Gretta James

Hi, everyone!

Fashion weeks have been going on to showcase the Spring 2017 trend. I don’t usually follow the trend, because it’s tiring to have to update your wardrobe every 6 months or so. Moreover, I live in a tropical country, so the only wardrobe change that occurs is from super light jacket during the dry season to rainy coats during the we season.

Also,¬†although I don’t follow¬†much of the trend, in the end I’ll be following the trend (and so do people around me; including you, dear reader).¬†In store, clothes’ designs follow the trend.¬†So, we somehow buy what’s in and not buy what’s out, and that’s due to what’s¬†available in store. However, classics are always sold in many stores; and, getting older (and having to budget my spending because I now work and I don’t ask money from my parents anymore), I now tend to choose classic pieces rather than the trendiest ones.

So, one of my favorite blogs, A Pair & A Spare, launched a new series on Wardrobe Rehab. which is very interesting considering how badly I need a wardrobe rehab. I mean, I just found out I own 10 white tops, 5 of them in a so-so to bad condition. I also helped a friend do a wardrobe update and got to look at wardrobe essential lists in Pinterest. Aaaand, I found this article recently, about building a capsule wardrobe, which is useful for me!

Having a capsule wardrobe will force me to not buy new, unnecessary clothes every time sale season comes along. Among many articles on building the wardrobe, I found that the first steps involve finding your own style.

I would consider my style as trousers + some smart looking top. I like trousers that aren’t long, something that floats just above the ankle, or above. And dresses, of course.

Next would be finding the inspiration, so I want to talk about this particular inspiration in this post.

Keira Knightley in "Begin Again"
Keira Knightley in “Begin Again”

Keira Knightley, in my opinion, is an amazing actress. I’ve seen her in “Pride & Prejudice”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Never Let Me Go”, and “Begin Again”, among other films. I watched “Begin Again” in 2013 and was immediately drawn to her simple, no-fuss style.¬†Building my first¬†capsule wardrobe, I’ll definitely take her as my style inspiration. Her style can be worn in the office, hanging out with friends, to family gatherings… I just love it.

01

Wide trousers with folded hems and loafers are the best combination, in my opinion, as they are stylish yet comfortable. I’ve been wearing this type of trousers to office for some time now,¬†using oxford shoes instead of loafers. I haven’t found the exact style of loafers that look good on me (OK, I did, but they didn’t have my size ūüė¶ ).

02

What I also like in this movie were the tops that she wore. The simple, comfortable, yet chic. Tucked in to create a more sophisticated look, out loose to create a more casual look. The versatility of these tops would do well to my capsule collection!

03

And it doesn’t have to be wide trousers… Like, boyfriend jeans or slim trousers can do the trick, as long as the hem is folded. Considering I already have the trousers, collecting new items such as tops and loafers wouldn’t be that much of a burden.

I mean, I do have those kind of tops, but most are long-sleeved and most are more than 2 years old, with the threads going out, creating this “furry” look on¬†a smooth surface. No, it doesn’t look good. It basically screams “you need to throw me!”.

04

Aaand the dresses! Her dresses are flowy, not too short but not too long; not too revealing but not too closed, and says a lot about her confidence. Yes yes yes ‚̧

There’s something about crop tops and high waist trousers that just appeals to me. Or tucked in over-sized shirts. I’ll be building my wardrobe collection around this theme, with Gretta as my inspiration.

Next week, I’ll talk about¬†my favorite looks from the runways ūüôā

Love! ‚̧