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July 29, 2003

needed diversions

i am so sick and tired of my project... been working and looking at the same thing for weeks! i need to do something else! a few little diversions will certainly come in handy. lucky for me, as mentioned in the previous entry, dailygfx conveniently provides such an outlet :)

in the past few days, i've submitted this (last week) and this (today) to dailygfx. both were recycled materials from my old stuff, but enough to give me the needed break before i start working again on my real project.

oh, and if you remember my entry yesterday about the random-story game in the car, me and a couple of friends, wendy and ono, decided to take it online and turn it into a collaborative writing project, where we basically take turns continuing each other's story by writing a paragraph or more everyday. so far, we already have 3 entries, one from each. check it out here, if you wanna see. it's really fun! what makes it exciting is that nobody can predict how the story's gonna fold, not even the authors ;)

July 28, 2003

last weekend

it was dini's farewell on friday night. sniff sniff... bye darling... good luck with everything! we'll miss you! :(

the next day i went with a bunch of people to maine for lobsters and some summer beach fun. along the drive to maine, we spent our time by random story-telling. so basically one person started a story with one sentence, and then each person took turns continuing the story with one or more sentences. our story started with an innocent fairytale about a chipmunk, but quickly turned into a family drama/murder story and ended with a black magic/bloody martial art battle. it was hilarious!

at the beach, we tried to simulate the cheesy version of baywatch's running-while-tossing-hair-in-the-wind poses. not very successful, because most of us (incl me) had very short hair that's impossible to toss around. but we made some cute pictures.

while randomly digging in the sand, we found a couple of creepy live sea worms with many legs. this attracted a lot of attention from the nearby kids, who later transported a sea worm from our hole to theirs. but then we kinda lost interest in digging holes, cuz who knows what other scary creature might turn up after that. so we decided to play a guessing game, where we took turns giving clues or re-enacting some scenes from a movie and the rest had to guess what the title of the movie was.

around 4 o'clock, we went to a lobster farm nearby for dinner. the lobsters and clams were very fresh and the meat was sweet... we ate them with sambel jempol. yummm... too bad we didn't bring rice. the farm wasn't a restaurant, so they didn't provide us with anything at all. they just steamed the food for us, but that's all. we ate outside on the long wooden tables by the parking area, making a lot of mess of ourselves. the farm only provided a garden hose for washing, and there was no soap, either. so we had to drive to the nearest civilization for public restrooms to clean ourselves. but oh man, the lobsters were fabulous! i only managed to eat one and a half, with a few clams. the others ate 2 or 3 each.

after_lobster.jpgafterwards, we went to hangout some more near the beach eating ice cream... by the time we finished, it was almost dark, so we decided to head back home. however, the way back was significantly shorter because there was no traffic. me and wendy felt like we didn't want to go home so soon yet. it was a saturday night, afterall. so we persuaded the rest of the people in the car to come with us for some live music in cambridge. we ended up going to the house of blues. it was a lot of fun, but i was very tired. didn't wake up the next day until 2 in the afternoon. :P

July 21, 2003

joao gilberto

last night i finally went to see joao gilberto, the father of bossa nova, at the wang theatre. i bought the ticket about 4 months ago, and almost went by myself, since most of my friends showed unenthusiastic response to my invitation at the time. in the end, i only succeeded in convincing one of them to go with me.

the concert was opened by two brazilian guys playing guitar and piano. judging from the loud cheering from the audience, they must be quite famous in the bossa nova world, even though i've never heard of them before. and boy, they were good! after several songs, they were joined by this woman who sang so magnificently, i was drowning in euphoria by the beauty of it all. yeah i know it sounds cheesy, but that was what i really felt at the moment.

gilberto played for 3 hours non-stop, without any intermission at all. and he's already over 70 years old! he wasn't playing with any band; it was just him, sitting on a chair on that big stage, singing softly to himself with his guitar.

listening to him play was almost like being in a secret, private place... maybe a bit like entering a patio of an old country house in a quiet evening in the fall, and found your grandfather sitting there by himself, humming along with his guitar.

he didn't play his well-known pieces until the very end, such as girl from ipanema, desafinado, and rosa morena. the audience loved him, nonetheless. after the final piece ended, people didn't stop applauding until he came back and played some more. and this happened not once, but twice! :)

ps: bjork is coming aug 31st... i should plan on getting the ticket soon, cuz i missed the last one here, and she doesn't really come here that often (i've never been to any of her shows yet). this time i know i'll definitely be going alone, since none of my friends here likes bjork :(

bonus link: check out, or better yet, join daily.gfx — visual seribu makna, a new outlet for your daily visual expression!

July 19, 2003

a day visualized...

this was supposed to be an event at godote's forum called 'a day in the life of a designer,' suggested by yours truly. the idea was that we're gonna bring a camera on a designated day (which was april 21) and take pictures of whatever we happen to come by during that one day. all pictures must be taken during those 24 hours, and no actual photo hunting was allowed. we couldn't go out of our way to places we didn't normally go to and take pictures of stuff we didn't normally see.

the event, however, never really kicked off, cuz i guess only a few actually took a camera with them that day. so far there's only H and me.

and being a true procrastinator, i didn't develop my films and scan the pics until 3 months later, which was today. shame... shame... H beat me to it by a few weeks. heheh... check out his pics here :)

april 21st was also the boston marathon day (as described here), along with kartini's birthday, of course. but the point is, it was definitely not a normal day. a ridiculous number of people were out on the street; running, cheering, or just walking aimlessly around smelling like beer.


July 15, 2003

animatrix, etc.

yaayy! my dvd is finally here from amazon. i'm gonna watch animatrix tonight! :) *jumping up & down with joy*

also got dr strangelove special edition on dvd for my kubrick collection. oh, i love this movie! it's one of the few movies that could still make me roll on the floor laughing even after watching it so many times!

oh, don't forget to check out the new redesign of we're here. whoa, did they always have the front page with all those other features? if i'm not mistaken, the beta launch 1 or 2 months ago just had the forum... right? am i going crazy, or did they just add all these other stuff recently?

July 11, 2003

xpsession: 02

the long-awaited second edition of xpsession artbook is finally launched!
[good job, everyone! yay mono!]

enjoy, and have a good weekend!

July 10, 2003

friday five childhood stories

1. What were your favorite childhood stories?
gosh, i have so many of them! i like all enid blyton's and astrid lindgren's books, trio detektif series (what's the english title?), tintin, asterix, tanguy & laverdure, and definitely the little house series (laura ingalls), e.b. white books such as charlotte web and the trumpet of the swan, and all of hans christian andersen stories, of course.

i also really liked the hercule poirot series (agatha christie), the little prince (antoine de saint exupery), the cricket in times square (george selden), and count of monte cristo (alexandre dumas). i would read all these books over and over again and never got bored of them. just remembering them makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

when i was in junior high, i switched from agatha christie to sidney sheldon, because after a while of reading agatha christie, i could begin to see the pattern of her mysteries and could pretty accurately guess who the killer was. my favorite sidney sheldon book was master of the game (ratu berlian, in indonesian). but then i quickly got bored with sidney sheldon after a few books, because there's always the same pattern of a woman protagonist and this huge conspiracy that just got old after a while.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?
all of the above, with the exception of sidney sheldon books because of the many sexual scenes in them.

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?
yes, i re-read the little prince a few years ago, and was surprised to find that it actually had a rather philosophical message in it. when i read it as a child, i just loved it because i thought it really cool to come from a planet that small and then making trips to neighboring planets like he did. it didn't matter to me that i didn't understand what the stories from those other planets meant, or why the fox did what it did. i liked it because it's different from other children books that i had at the time.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?
around 4 years old, i think.

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you?
i can't recall if it was the murder of roger ackroyd, murder on the orient express (both by agatha christie --which set me started on the entire collection of her mystery books) or count of monte cristo. i think i was on fifth grade at the time, which meant i was about 10 years old. these were my sister's books, which later on pretty much became mine. :P

July 09, 2003

another one of those days...

yeah, you know which ones i'm talking about... when you feel like you're about to collapse at any second, and you can hardly focus on doing anything, not even talking to people... can't even fall asleep cuz you're just so exhausted. all you want to do is lie down and close your eyes, and just lay still for a few hours.

i've been having more than 10-hour days at work these past couple of weeks. today was no exception. went straight from a meeting that ended at 5:45 to the first session of my drawing class (that started at 5:30). every summer i always like to take drawing classes like this. i find it very refreshing and relaxing to actually use my hands with paper and pencil, and not a mouse and a monitor screen, for a change. yes, the good old traditional way. being such a lazy person, i would never be able to set aside a few hours a week to draw like this, unless i take these classes.

today we're drawing things we're not familiar with, such as a car carburetor (i'd absolutely no idea how it looked like. heheh.. :P) and a portrait of a faraway family member that we hadn't seen for years. this way we could draw without the usual limitations of preconceived ideas of how these objects should look like. having no references gave us more room for imagination and less pressure from the lack of objectives.

after class, i went straight to some friends' farewell dinner, and didn't get home until 10:30. ah, how time flies. everybody's going home for good. maybe it'll be my turn a few years from now.

July 07, 2003

animated music videos

while aimlessly browsing around with nothing better to do, i stumbled upon this old favorite from last year. it never ceased to amaze me, even though i must've seen it like 20 times already. and so i started searching google for the directors' other works... oh, they're french, btw. their names are ludovic houplain and hervé de crécy. i found this article at shift, and this from res that explain a little bit about their backgrounds.

i also found this really nice clip for alex gopher's 'the child,' which consists entirely of typography(!!) and another one for royksopp's 'poor leno.' i can't, however, seem to find their site. anybody knows if they have a website?

July 04, 2003

4th of july

so it's 4th of july again... major streets near the river are closed and everywhere you can see street vendors selling fried doughs, hotdogs, ice cream and various other typical 4th of july snacks. i'll be going to my cousin's apt and see the fireworks from his balcony instead of going anywhere near the river. i've learned my lesson from last year. no more sitting under the blazing sun for hours on the grass with nothing to do while thousands other people cramping around me.

[a note after the event: it couldn't have been better. we got a great view of the fireworks from the apt, and we didn't have to be among the record-breaking crowd of 750,000 people at the esplanade! the crowd more than doubled this year, and a lot of people had been there since around noon to get good spots. the fireworks didn't even start until 10:30! crazy, huh?]

these past two weeks have been absolutely hectic. after days of being in a daze, i finally caught up on my sleep last night. i slept for almost 12 hours straight, which is a really good thing.

about my trip, well, actually i was in LA only for a couple days. on my 2nd day there, we drove to las vegas and stayed for 3 days. originally we wanted to stay at mandalay bay, so we could have access to their tropical sand beach (a beach in the middle of a desert! isn't it cool?), but we couldn't get a room. so we ended up at the luxor instead.

some people said that mandalay bay was owned by tommy soeharto. hmm... i wonder if it's true? the hotel's interior design were infused so much with balinese flavors that at times i couldn't help but felt i was back somewhere in indonesia. but the hotel was so luxurious that it would feel a bit obscene to exist in a country still recovering from crisis like indonesia. it had a rating of 4 diamonds, and no hotel in indonesia has a rating even of one diamond. if mandalay bay was really owned by tommy... where did he get all the money to build such an extravagant hotel? it made me a little sick in the stomach to think of the answer.

since i wasn't interested in gambling at all, i was kinda bored the whole time in vegas. mostly i just walked around to see the various hotels' attractions along the boulevard. one of them that was kinda cool was the dancing fountain at the bellagio, where every 15 minutes the water would come alive and dance along with the music (as seen in the movie ocean's eleven)... it's really beautiful!

i tried to get tickets to cirque du soleil's show at the bellagio, "O," but to much disappointment i was told that the circus was on vacation until the end of the month. sniff... :(

when i returned to the office on wednesday, harsh reality in the form of mounting piles of work and deadlines was already waiting for me. not having fully recovered from the westcoast trip, i had to go to new york for a church-related event over the weekend, and didn't get back to boston until 3 in the morning on monday, and then had to wake up to go to work a few hours afterward.

needless to say, i was more or less sleep-walking and operating solely on auto-pilot for the entire week, while my deadlines were moved to thursday (since it's a shorter week because of the 4th of july holiday). so not only i had to work more hours, i had to work faster as well, which was a pretty tricky thing to do. not to mention that i also have to juggle my bedtime with order of the phoenix these past few nights.

July 02, 2003

midnight randomness


the new and the old... :P

today's links: STC, an online, flash-based font browser that allows you to preview fonts on your system (kinda scary, huh?), beetleblue by vicki wong (my favorite is 'panorama, brooklyn') and the movie that i've been waiting for: kill bill. enjoy! :)