Archive | July 2005

Cannonball

Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
Still a little hard to say what’s going on

Still a little bit of your ghost, your weakness
Still a little bit of your face I haven’t kissed
You step a little closer each day
I can’t say what’s going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love, taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it’s not hard to fall
When you float like a cannonball

Still a little bit of your song in my ear
Still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can’t see what’s going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love, taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it’s not hard to fall
When you float like a cannon..
Stones taught me to fly
Love, taught me to cry
So come on courage
Teach me to be shy
‘Cause it’s not hard to fall
And I don’t wanna scare her
It’s not hard to fall
And I don’t wanna lose
It’s not hard to grow
When you know that you just don’t know

[as sung by Damien Rice]

Let’s Get On With It

Sometimes I am so amazed on how theraputic friendships can be. Even if you’re not talking or consulting with a friend, their mere presence and attention can soothe and alleviate any sort of trouble of pain coursing through yourself. Even when the mind and body resists to acknowledge, the words “You’ll be OK” may resound in your heart for days after, and give the spirit a boost to just get on with everything else. Even if the friend is not sure if you’ll be OK or not, at least the attention helps.
The path that has led me through the couple of weeks has been very, very trying indeed. Explosions of joy and sadness can go on the same page which is the day, and never, ever balanced; and due to my nature, always heavy to one side. Sometimes it’s just good to meet up with a friend and vent out all that anger and frustration, all the worries, and also all those happy highlights. Perhaps, now, the time has come to do a little more evaluating, rather than contemplating.
Let’s find out if the journey just past, and where the path will lead me next, is truly worth it or not. Today, I set down my pride, and I will accept if I turn out to be wrong, if indeed I am, and I will continue along the path, but with a guerilla’s caution and tactics.

A Short Story

A posh but secluded cafe not far off from a main road, Sunday afternoon in Jakarta. It’s November, so the light is a bit shady from the occasional raincloud that still strays in the way of the sun, and the weather is not too hot. Inside the cafe, the air-conditioning is going full-blast, freezing the air in contrast with the the environment outside, better for the patrons who visit the place.
At a small table with two chairs near the window, sit two friends, just arrived, and already lugging out their laptops and the assorted artillery that go with it, to take advantage of the cafe’s internet connection. Joe, an avid patron of this cafe, gets out a stack of paperwork he’s supposed to work on, and tries to make the layout of the table work, considering Fay’s laptop is also on it. Even though past those feelings, Joe still occasionally eyes Fay’s laptop with envy, a 12-inch Powerbook, and always running the same question of when-will-I-get-one-of-those inside his head, and looking at his own beat-up Acer laptop. Well, at least I still have a laptop of my own, he says.
Joe is a medium-build man with boyish looks, with ample fat around his body to exaggerate the fact; up to the point that a lot of people still think he’s in school. Being thought younger than you look is of course a blessing, but for Joe, it’s an occupational hazard, as when you do a lot of marketing work, you have to be convincing, and people tend not to believe a little boy trying to sell the something. He unconsiously adjusts his collar of his polo shirt (bought on discount), and tries to find a good resting place for his feet in his always-beat up sneakers.
Fay is already thumbing through her files on her laptop, preparing her work for that day and trying out the internet connection after connecting the network cable. As an art director for a reknowned advertising agency, her work often spills over to the weekends, as like today. Her red hair sticks out like a sore thumb anywhere she goes, but she loves it, as it goes with her J-Pop clothes. She is of slighter build than Joe, so she can move about her chair to find the most comfortable position, where Joe is just stuck as he is.
After Joe and Fay are satisfied with their respective connections, and ready to start working, they call for a waiter. A tall, beautiful dark-skinned waitress with exotic eyes comes along and brings them menus. Now, one of the reasons that Joe frequents this place is he always had a crush on that certain waitress, but of benign interest, so being the hapless romantic that he is, he never got her name, let alone her number. His heart jumps just a bit when she comes by to take their order.
Considering that they might be there for some time, Joe and Fay order some appetizers; french fries standard and some calamari, ice tea for Joe and some juice for Fay. Suddenly, Joe thinks… what the hey, let’s ask her name… finally…
“Hey, hi. What’s your name?”
“I’m sorry, sir?”
“He he… yeah, what’s your name?”
“Euis”
Pause.
“Oh, so you’re Sundanese?”
[Note from Editor: Euis is most obviously a Sundanese name.]
Euis giggles and says “Yes”
Joe gets the stupid why-did-I-have-to-say-that look on his face, and Fay is embarrased that she ever had a stupid friend like this. After Euis leaves with their orders, Fay mock-scolds Joe for his stupid remark. “You’re too obvious, Joe..”
“Well, at least I went through with it. I hardly ever come up to girls and introduce myself.”
“Oh well. Let’s hope you didn’t embarass yourself too much, eh?”
“Right on.”
The afternoon continues to night, and they do not mention a word about it again. But secretly, Joe hails a small triumph inside his heart, that he already knows her name. Now what? he thinks.

If You’re Not The One

If you’re not the one then why does my soul feel glad today?
If you’re not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way?
If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call
If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all

I’ll never know whatthe future brings
But I know you’re here with me now
We’ll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with

I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

If I don’t need you then why am I crying on my bed?
If I don’t need you then why does your name resound in my head?
If you’re not for me then why does this distance maim my life?
If you’re not for me then why do I dream of you as my wife?

I don’t know why you’re so far away
But I know that this much is true
We’ll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with
And I wish that you could be the one I die with
And I pray in you’re the one I build my home with
I hope I love you all my life

I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

‘Cause I miss you, body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away
And I breathe you into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today
‘Cause I love you, whether it’s wrong or right
And though I can’t be with you tonight
You know my heart is by your side

I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I could stay in your arms

[sorry… must be a bit cheesy… but this song, sung by Daniel Bedingfield, somehow fits]

Closer

I had postponed watching this movie for quite some time, either from merely borrowing it from someone, to postponing buying it, to postponing watching it after I actually bought the DVD last week. All I could tell that it was a movie about relationships, with a playboy character, played by Jude Law, at the centre.
I finally had time to watch it this morning. The movie features the song The Blower’s Daughter, by Damien Rice, which is one of the current songs in the rage by a lot of people. The song itself, has much, much more to offer than most of it’s pop counterparts, somehow slipping in between all lines of genre but not quite uncategorizable as well, and giving everybody something that obviously a lot of people can relate to: loving someone until it hurts. The song, although liked by almost everybody I know, cannot be dismissed as just a pop phenomenon, where most decidedly self-proclaimed “music lovers” can hate it because of its popularity. Something transcends it all and makes it a song for all to share, and leaving everybody contemplating on the simplicity of the song and how it collerates with their lives.
The movie itself, sort of offers something for everyone, where the story revolves around 4 characters and how the connections and relationships move about between them; at some points incomprehensible, at others stunningly real with many parallels with real life. The story does not offer you a hero or anti-hero to follow, all the characters are either likable or not. Some people hate the movie, some people love the movie, but the cast definitely has to be given a thumbs-up for their performances, engulfing us in their frustration, love, pain, reluctance, and undecidedness. The miracle of the movie is, you are pulled into the movie without actually liking or cheering on one of the characters; thus at the end of the movie, you are left with a small shock that you were pulled into the movie anyway.
The movie made me… miss being in love. Oh how I miss those days so.

War Of The Worlds

The famous book by H.G. Wells that reached more fame when developed into a radio show, has numerous times been adapted to various movies, TV series and even comics, has received another toast. Steven Spielberg decided to give the decidedly popular story another treatment, with Tom Cruise as the frontman in a role which does not depict him as a hero in the ususal Hollywood-style sense, well, at least, in comparison to most of his previous movies.
Tom Cruise plays a divorcee given the kids for the weekend while the mother and her new husband go to Boston; just in time to catch a live show of the aliens attacking and annihilating all humans in sight. The plot follows not the hero, or the military, or whatever scientific whiz that usually is part of the resistance towards alien invasion, but it follows Tom Cruise’s character during attacks (and sometimes oh-so-too-lucky escapes from alien encounters) and travelling, hiding as refugees from the aliens. The movie, light M. Night Shaymalan’s Signs starring Mel Gibson, takes the story of alien invasion as a background to the drama that unfolds in the movie. In that sense, the movie is more to a story of how humans are pushed to their limits of sanity and energy while handling a disaster, which in this movie happens to be alien invasion. We see the breakdown of mental guard, layer by layer, as things deteriorate; we see the human energy level, physical and mental, deplete and refresh in the character’s eyes, and we see the ultimate grief and desparation of normally sane men and woman in any other circumstance.
Steven Spielberg’s spin on the legendary story offers us something different from the wars and explosions galore of latest movies, and provides us with a human drama and thriller all at once, without giving the aliens the larger spotlight like in other movies.
Of course, this movie is a disappointment for those who expected an action-packed adventure movie, with Tom Cruise as the lead no less.

Batman Begins

Batman Begins, the fifth movie installment of the Batman movie franchise, gives Batman fans something to be proud about again. Batman and Batman Returns were works of art, helmed by Tim Burton, were breakthrough, offering a study of the dark side of Batman, as it has been with more recent Batman comics (compared to the lollipop Batman TV series of the sixties). The third and fourth installments, Batman & Robin and Batman Forever (I even forgot which came first), helmed by Joel Schumacher, were more marketing vessels to push merchandise, games and the like, thus offering more to see than to dwell upon.
Batman Begins, helmed by Christopher Nolan (Insomnia, Memento), takes a look at how Bruce Wayne became Batman, and to his credit, he used a lot of Frank Miller’s material (The Dark Knight Returns) to base the movie on. Gotham is not pictured as a vast gothic cityscape as in Tim Burton’s films, nor as extended Hollywood-cum-New York-esque metropolis as in Joel Schumacer’s renditions; but it is, actually, a quite believable city, one that we could imagine existing 20 years ago, and also today (as the movie takes us from Bruce Wayne’s childhood to his first steps as the Batman). The movie does not dwell on the stylistic visions of previous directors, but rather stresses on realism in a comic-book world. The hero can injure himself, the hero can make mistakes, and ultimately, the hero has very human drives that create him into the Batman persona feared by the villains of Gotham.
The movie itself takes us through the steps on how Bruce Wayne became Batman, but without any of the heroic undertones that may have flowed through the previous movies. Bruce Wayne is human, a good human being in fact, but still human, prone to pain, frustration, revenge, and other moral dillemas. The story is somehow true to the general legend of Batman, but also offers new insights to the situations, even to the career of then-Seargant Gordon (played by Gary Oldman). Other than a solid storyline that truly pulls you in, the theatrics, the cinematography, and the action itself gives a lot to the audience also, without overplaying it with your standard big explosions and such.
A recommended watch, as a movie in itself, which just happens to be about Batman.

Madagascar

Madagascar. A Dreamworks SKG movie, CGI animation of a couple of city-domesticated zoo animals who are suddenly introduced to the wild. Featuring a self-involved lion who loves stakes more than live game, a hypocondriac giraffe, a hippo with a homegirl attitude, a pack of psycothically miliraty penguins, and the main character, a day-dreaming zebra.
The cartoon actually has it’s moments of really funny stuff, and always managed to slip some adult joke (=read: jokes that most kids wouldn’t understand) but has a lot of slapstick for the kids to enjoy (although with a rather morbid moral undertone). All in all. an entertaining flick to watch, but I don’t think it will be remembered well by most.

Sunday Noon Thoughts

Two of my close friends are going through one I must say one of the most happiest moments you could ever have as a human being. I feel envious (not to mention a bit jealous to one of them) that they are going through this, with apparent ease so far, but also I must remind myself that before these moments, they had gone through apparent hell, also. Well… right now I might still be in that hell… I’m struggling out, but sometimes you just a need a hand to get moving.

The magic of a quiet day at home, mulling about in front of the computer trying to better myself with work, just simply sinks in thoughts that have never had the time to fly by and perch on the windowsill of my otherwise busy mind. Leading 2 or more lives in the space of one tends to drain you, but eventually these lives will meld into one someday, hopefully for the better. The most important thing is not decieving myself, and keeping to a tight schedule so I can do exactly what I need or want to do at the desired time. If necessary, block time away from the other lives to regroup and reorganize. Thus, for leading triplicate lives, instant communication tools are needed. That’s why I’m so obsessed with mobile phones, mobile internet and the new toy, Wi-Fi, that comes with the new laptop from the office. Three cheers for Wi-Fi, I actually did faster work through the quick wireless internet connection compared to my internet connection at home.

But of course, as I have always held steadfast, life is not only for work, although work takes up a lot of life. Why do you work? So you can continue living, living comfortably, living conveniently, and give back to the society. Some also work for self-actualization, to reach their ideals, and so on… for me… work is work. Life goes on. If you work properly, you can continue working. What’s more important to me, is human relations, and love. That, you have to work much harder on, and therefore it is much more precious to me. If it’s there, I cherish it, worship it, and tend to it so it can live forever… so when love is there, when love is present, I will fight for it.

May strength to fight be with us all, to fight for what is important to us.

Peer Therapy

Sometimes, the best way to solve, ponder or just contemplate your problems and your frustrations, is just to simply talk with one of your peers, and really really talk. When things are vague and oblivious, it sometimes helps when you know that somebody’s going through the same thing; as an assurance that you really aren’t that crazy, that the questions you pose are valid. On the other hand, this may not apply if your discussion partner is one who thinks alike and ultimately has the same ideals… but 2 people with totally different backgrounds come to the same ideals, conclusions and apprehensions? Come on, there’s got to be something more to it.
So I met up with an old friend last night, and I think it was actually 5 hours talk in the same place, and being internet freaks that we are, referring to material on the internet in the midst of our discussion (including our respective blogs). We weren’t that in the past, but always when I met this person, I always knew we’d get along; thus proven. The uncanny parallels of our lives ultimately obligated us to not just chat through SMS, emails or even our blog chatboards, and open up a live session of reveal the sordid truth.
So Saturday morning, we SMSed each other, and settled on a place with the following criteria: somewhere where the seats are comfy, the talk is free, the music is cosy, and the tears are hidden. We found that place, and we loved it, especially because nobody we know came there, thus adding to the urgency and anonimity of the night’s session.
The conversation was more or less one sharing stories and the other totally agreeing at certain plot twists, and often wondering on how strangely similar the stories are, although implicating totally different people, different conjectural points, and different lives and habits. We ended up high-fiving a lot at a loss of signifying our solidarity with anything else, but it was fun anyway. The anticipated held-back tears did not come, but more laughter and bewilderment came through, and proper venting of frustration. We laughed at each other’s plot points, questions, hypotheses, and sooo much more… that even if the night did not conclude with a solution, it certainly did us good therapy, seeing that our respective blogs have suddenly become more of a billboard of feelings that other people actually read rather than personal therapy. I have always been vague in my posts, but perhaps it’s time to be more vague, and let reality stay off the net.

Lastly, thanks. You, also made my day.