Tag Archives: writing

Gojag Gajeg

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Bulan Mei datang sebentar lagi… dan setelah menimbang-nimbang selama beberapa jam, saya memutuskan untuk mengembalikan blog ini ke Bahasa Indonesia. Apa hubungannya antara bulan Mei yang akan datang sebentar lagi dan keputusan saya untuk mengembalikan blog ini ke Bahasa Indonesia?

Tidak ada.

Sebenarnya saya agak gojag-gajeg juga mau kembali menggunakan bahasa Indonesia di Superbyq. Sudah lima tahun lebih berbahasa Inggris di sini, rasanya agak wagu. Tapi, saya rasa memang ini sudah saatnya Superbyq kembali menjadi blog berbahasa Indonesia…

Dulu awalnya saya ingin menggunakan Superbyq untuk membantu saya mengasah kemampuan saya menulis dalam Bahasa Inggris. Saya ingin mengembangkan kosa kata saya, supaya thesis saya tidak terlihat seperti tulisan anak baru lulus SD. Dan, saya rasa tujuan tersebut sudah tercapai, dan mungkin sudah saatnya saya membuat tujuan baru untuk Superbyq.

Mungkin kali ini, untuk mengasah kemampuan saya berbahasa Indonesia lagi?

Bukan hal yang aneh, lho.

Saya rasa saya tidak sendirian dalam hal ini. Saya mendengar beberapa kasus di mana seseorang yang lama meninggalkan kampung halamannya, dan tidak menggunakan bahasa ibunya, mulai sedikit demi sedikit kehilangan kosa kata. Mungkin tidak sepenuhnya lupa, karena tidak demikian cara kerja otak.

Tapi ada saat di mana saya lupa bahwa sweet potato itu adalah ubi.

Nggak lucu.

Tahu bahwa sweet potato adalah ubi adalah satu hal, tapi beneran lupa saat mau menggunakannya dalam percakapan itu seperti sebuah peringatan bahwa saya mungkin suatu hari nanti akan merasa asing menggunakan bahasa ibu saya sendiri.

Setiap kali saya pulang kampung, di Solo saya jarang berbahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar. Kebanyakan bahasa Indonesia saya tercampur dengan bahasa Jawa, atau bahkan Sunda. Saya sudah jarang mampir di Jakarta. Ditambah lagi, saya tidak ada partner berbicara bahasa Indonesia di sini, di Norwich. Hampir tidak ada alasan bagi saya untuk menggunakan bahasa Indonesia sama sekali.

Mungkin saya paranoid.

Tapi saya takut suatu hari nanti saya akan kesulitan untuk menulis blog dalam bahasa Indonesia.

Sekarang saja, misalnya… entah sudah berapa kali saya menekan tombol backspace karena kalimat saya terlihat/terdengar/terbaca aneh. Sudah berapa kali saya mengedit entry hari ini, hanya untuk membuat postingan ini tidak terlalu wagu untuk dibaca.

Jadi… begitulah ceritanya kenapa saya mengembalikan blog ini ke bahasa Indonesia. Saya masih belum tahu apakah saya akan seterusnya menulis dengan gaya seperti ini — jujur saja rasanya kagok. Atau, apakah saya akan kembali ke jaman saya ngeblog di blogspot — yang kalau saya baca sekarang kok rasanya agak kurang cocok sama umur.

Sudah dulu hari ini… Sampai nanti 😀

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Another Year on Superbyq

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I think it is just about time for me to make a little come back. I have to admit that I have let myself down by not keeping up with this blog. I want to say that it is not my fault, but really… whose fault is it then?

Sometimes I blame the situation I am in, and my mental state or well being. Sometimes I blame the stress of life, or just things that came up in my way — stopping me from writing. Sometimes I just excuse myself from not writing merely because I didn’t have any muse. But of course, the biggest names in literary world don’t have muse everyday, do they? But they write.

Just like one of my friends posted in her facebook page once: “Writer writes”.

I mean, isn’t that obvious?

If you want to make writing as your profession, isn’t it just obvious that you have to do it professionally? And by being professional, it means you don’t just skip writing and go to ALDI, on the hours you actually allocate for writing, or playing Tsumtsum the whole day while hoping for the muse to come to find you. No…

Obviously, I have to start doing this properly.

As usual, Superbyq’s birthdays always renew my writing spirit, much more than new years. This year Superbyq is 7 years old. It is frustrating to admit that I haven’t gone as far as I wish I have. Of course I have developed since then, and that I have achieved few things in life. However, I feel that it is not enough…

So, yeah… Like every year before, I am hopeful about this year. Hopefully I could write more, write better, and of probably make something out of it.

Right… enough for now.

Thank you for keeping up with me. I will see you again very very soon…

Prost!

A Year to Reflect?

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The New Year has gotten me thinking.

It started after Mr. Fix-it’s holiday started few weeks ago, and we had so much time watching TV and doing virtually nothing. One of the show on the telly was this series “It was alright in…”. There were three of them — 1990, 1980, and 1970. Get it? So there were three episodes of them, each represents the decade, and what was acceptable in that decade which is no longer or slightly dubious nowadays.

Some celebrities, coming from different generations and age groups, were invited to make comments on what they saw on the screen — whether it was how news were presented, the comedy show, the unPC comments on talk shows, or even the (lack of) fashion sense. And, it was meant to be a light hearted, and was supposed to be in the comedy side.

I did found some of them quite funny, or even embarrassingly hilarious.  The ones from 1980s and 1990s that is. But when we were watching the one from 1970, things got slightly disturbing — even for me.

Things have changed, haven’t they?

It wasn’t as far as the Elizabethan time, Victorian time, or even the world wars time. It was only forty years ago, and look how far we have moved on. How much we have changed, as a society. And even it does make me excited, enthusiastic, and hopeful, it does make me feel scared too.

It made me think of myself, in thirty to forty years from now, where would this blog be? Would my ideas, and ideology still be relevant? Would I be in the right side of history?

I would like to think that I am doing the right thing, but I am sure that there were so many people in the 70s thinking that they were one of the most forward thinking and open minded people too. And they were not. What if in decades from now I would be the bigoted one?

You know what?

I think I should start this year by apologise in advance. For me and for people in the future. If this blog is still around by then, and if the world has changed so much and this blog has become offensive, and no longer relevant to the current sociopolitical correctness then — I apologise.

This blog is not perfect, but today, in this time period, I am trying to do what is right according to our sociopolitical situation today. If there are any wrongdoing, offence, etc. it wouldn’t be intentional. It is just what is acceptable today.

We have different questions, different priorities, and different cultural movements compared to the world in the 1970s. I believe things would be different too in 2050s or 2080s.

So, apart from apology, I would also use this blog to reflect, review, and retrospect, or even retract. Things have changed, and it will keep changing, and the only way I could be relevant is by knowing the changes.

That’s for today. See you again soon 🙂

Happy New Year 2017

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Another year has passed. Although I couldn’t say that 2016 was a good year for me and (probably) the rest of humanity, I am still glad we have gone through it — alive.

Well, I am not going to talk about the past today, because I think new year is the best time to talk about the future. And for the very near future, a.k.a year of 2017, this is my resolutions:

  1. Since I managed to lose a bit of weight in 2016, why don’t I make it a promise to myself to be a better groomed person. I will take care of myself better — not necessarily full on make up everyday but.. hey, I am getting older. I don’t think it is a bad idea at all to take care of my physical appearance.
  2. I will read more. I will keep the target of 20 books I didn’t get to achieve last year. That was silly of me, but I think reading books would help keeping my brain sharp. I will have to spare more time to read.
  3. Blog entries? I will make it 200. I have at least two active blogs, and I managed to write 150+ blog posts this year, and… since blogging is the only way I could keep practising my writing skill, I should think of raising my game a bit. 200 blog entries in a year? I think that’s not too ambitious, is it?
  4. My German is getting better, and I was okay in trying to practise it everyday. BUT, it seems like I couldn’t be discipline when I am trying to learn other languages. Right now, I have Welsh, French, Hungarian, and Spanish on my list. I have to make up my mind and choose one instead of learning a little bit of everything. Let’s see how I can improve my language skill this year.
  5. Expanding my social circle. I find this the most difficult thing to do. My husband does have friends who are nice, and we get along alright… but unfortunately we have a complete different interests — in hobbies, political opinion, socio-cultural interests, etc. And, I can’t spend too much time with mums because somehow they would start talking about their kids, and it is sooo difficult to pretend that I care.

There… Wish me luck, and I wish you the best with your resolutions — if you do have one, and wish you a wonderful year ahead — even if you don’t have any. I will see you soon, and hopefully more regularly this time.

Prost!

The 2016 End of Year Recap

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Golly! Is this that time of the year again? Time to recap the year and list of what I have achieved this year…

Okay. From the resolution, these are what I achieved:

  1. Mein Deutsch wurde besser. Ich kann manche sätze machen, obwohl es ziemlich lange dauert. Yes… It took a while to compose that sentence. In fact, it always takes a long time for me to make a sensible sentence. But it’s getting there. All I need to do is to get more learning sources so I could expand — as Duolingo is now a little bit predictable.
  2. I haven’t reached my book challenge, nor Nanowrimo. So both just didn’t work.
  3. I definitely reached the blog post goal, although it is not posted in this site.

Other thing that I have achieved:

  1. I have lost around 11kg since Chinese New Year. The reason why I didn’t lose too much after mid year assessment is because we went to Indonesia for a holiday, and since I have lost a lot the weight loss gets a little bit trickier.
  2. I get my visa extended, so it will be okay for the next three years. Wohoo!!
  3. I am doing well with handcrafting, and gardening — until I went to Indonesia again for my sister’s wedding in November and came back to the UK with a nervous breakdown.
  4. Mr. Fix-It and I travelled a bit, although it was our usual trip to Indonesia during Summer, and Wales for Christmas.

I really wish I could achieve more though… But I can’t complain too much… this year wasn’t a good one for me. Let’s just hope that next year would be much better than this — with less pressure from immigration, and new plan laid ahead, I think there would be some progress to be done next year.

But until then, let’s enjoy the last day of 2016.

See you next year 🙂

 

2016 — Not Looking Back In Anger

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To be honest… 2016 was probably not the best year you want to remember, wasn’t it? I mean… really…

Just when you think that the death of Lemmy in the end of last year was the end of the count, you heard about David Bowie, and Alan Rickman within a week. And, when in the end of the month I told Mr. Fix-it that Terry Wogan was gone as well, he asked me to stop updating him with these distressing news.

But really… the big names were not the only ones going. The humanitarian issues from Syrian refugees, to the Rohingyas in Myanmar. The bombings both in the Middle East, and in Europe, and the terrorist attacks like those in Nice and in Berlin were just few of the examples. One that was much much closer to heart was the death of Jo Cox, obviously… The Labour MP who was murdered by someone who was and is still not worth mentioned or remembered. No… seriously, that ‘someone’ is so pathetic, that I refuse to mention his name in this blog — and after all that guy has already found guilty and I am glad with the decision.

When we mentioned Jo Cox, we would also remember Brexit, and when we talk about Brexit we also remember the 2016 US Presidential Election. Both were shocking for some people, and surprising for the others. I can mention some people who are still not able to move on from both events.

Oh yes…

2016 hasn’t finished with us really…

Both in the UK and in Indonesia, the rise of bigotry and intolerance increased with the rate I have never seen before. Seems like one side is fuelling the other with hatred… Same hatred, different side of the fence. It is getting both tiring and worrying, but not as worrying as MY own problem– my visa extension application.

It was done in the end, but… it was quite traumatic (if you want to know about the details, I would talk specifically about it later — but not now, because we are not talking about it now…), but gee… It is not as traumatic as finding a dead cat in our host’s house when we were visiting in laws in Wales for Christmas (yes… I know…).

So… there you go, 2016. It is almost the end of the year, and I do really hope that all those would make a good excuse for not posting for the last month. YES!!

All these effort to write an elaborate post just to excuse myself for slacking from writing. Apologies. I will try to do better next year…

Prost!

 

Spring is Coming

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Well… it is been here for a while, but I was too busy enjoying it, and forgot that I have this responsibility to write. Write. Yes. I do feel a little bit (or a lot) embarrassed that I haven’t been able to write properly lately.

Writer’s write.

If I want to be a writer one day, I should stop doing other thing and start writing again.

As a token of a good faith, here I am today, writing again. Only a bit of an update though, not quite like what I usually do. But I suppose it would be enough to break down the writer’s block. So, bear with me 🙂

Since Rae posted about her exercise and weight loss routine on her blog some times ago, I have been thinking about it. I am 30 this year, and I wouldn’t be 30 for long. Not much has changed in my life and I know I would have to start making some changes. So Rae and I have been in contact to talk about this weight loss thing about a month ago.

She sent me an example of what should be done. And it does seem like a torture.

But this is the difference between Rae and I, that I noticed when we were talking about this weight loss plan. Rae seems to be an active person, she likes what she is doing and inspired and challenged by this thing. I don’t. If I do it the way she does it, I know I will stop before I start, so I decided I have to do it differently than what she does.

I don’t dedicate exercise time. I tried to be more active, walking more, and actually quite enjoyed what I did in the city. Cleaned the house more than usual, and even do some gardening. It does take energy and I found myself feel better doing it.

And, I don’t believe in clean eating. I like the idea of it, and I love eating fresh fruits and vegetables. But, to be honest with you, I don’t think clean eating is sustainable. I don’t believe in depriving myself from KFC hot wings, or big gulp of ice cold Carling, while munching potato crisps. What I did instead is start logging and counting the calories intake. I do invest in a digital scale for this.

Almost a month now, and I have lost 2 kg just for doing this. It also means I have lost a total of 5 kg since I have stopped taking contraception pills. I have a good feeling about this. Who knows by the end of this year I would be able to shed another 8 kgs.

Prost!

Book Review: A Spot of Bother

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Title: A Spot of Bother
Author: Mark Haddon
Language: English
Format: Hardcover

Review:
I am being very honest that when I picked this book from the shelves, it is because of “The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time“. That was one incredibly wonderful book — see how I used an adverb and and adjective just to make sure you know how I like that book. However, I also have learned from experiences, that one should never, never ever, hold their expectation about a book based on one’s previous encounter with books from a particular author.

Yes.

So, I read A Spot of Bother with a totally open mind. And I am glad that I did.

I have to say that I quite enjoyed the book. It is definitely different from Curious Incident, so if you were thinking of reading this one, don’t bother to try to find similarities. You wouldn’t find one, and if you do it must be a bit of a stretch.

For example I could say that it is about a family, but many stories are about families. So, I will stop talking about the other book, and would talk about this one as an individual book.

Right.

Like I said before, the story was around a family. A father, mother, a son, and a daughter. Every one of them has their own problem. I am not going to tell you about their problems as it is basically the plot of the book, and I don’t want to be the spoiler.

Maybe it is my personal thing, but I kind of like the male characters more than the female ones. In fact, I found the mother character as incredibly annoying. I really don’t like her. I am not sure whether the author meant her to be the bad guy in the story or what, but I do feel that way about her.

The story was incredible. I have seen some other reviews, that people don’t like this because this is too “soapey” — which I could not disagree due to the amount of drama involved. But what is a story without a drama in it? Some said that there is no originality in the drama itself, that there are plenty stories with similar premise… but seriously there are hundreds of stories with similar premise. My argument is how to make it stand out.

I think Mark Haddon nailed it. Yes true, in a glance I could see why it is just another family drama, but his dark humour, bitter sarcastic jokes, and psychological break down…. suddenly, you could see why he was so successful with the previous work.

I will rate this book 4/5, and would recommend people to read it. It would definitely be a great summer reading, or a company for your travel 🙂

Book Review: Red Dog

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TitleRed Dog
Author: Louise de Bernières
Language: English
Format: Paperback

Review:

I know Louis de Bernières from his other book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and love that book so much. It was probably one of the best book I have ever read. That is why I don’t have any hesitation to start reading this book — when I found it in my husband’s bookshelves. One thing I was not happy with — why didn’t my husband gave me this book much earlier?

This book is thin. Very. Especially if it is compared to Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Not only that it is thin, but also incredibly light and easy to read too. I think it is just a perfect summer reading — unfortunately I did not know it and finished it before the summer has even started.

The main protagonist is the Red Dog. Yes. A dog. Definitely a plus point from me. The human characters — although they’re basically the supporting character in the story, they are well described and definitely play an important role in shaping the story.

It is funny, and heartwarming. I can’t remember the last time I used that word — heart warming. I found it really difficult not to tear up a little in the last few chapters. Somehow I missed Chika.

Anyway I definitely will recommend this book, especially to those who like dogs. Yes, you can call me bias or something but from me, it is 5 out of 5.

Book Review: Saving Grace

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Title: Saving Grace
Author: Ciara Geraghty
Language: English
Format: Paperback

Review:

This book has been sitting for ages in my “to read” section, and finally I finished it. I have to say that finishing this book is quite a chore. Yes. A chore. And here is why.

First of all, it is not a bad book. I just found that the beginning of this book is a little bit draggy, and if I couldn’t get passed the first two chapter, I might not be able to go anywhere with this book. It is classic– if it is not cliché, story about a woman who is described as far-from-perfect-borderline-self-destructive kind of protagonist trying to survive a trauma by finding the Mr. Right.

Not that there’s a problem with that in general. I just don’t quite like both the sentiment and the message sent by the story. So, before I rant further and start spilling the beans, I will move on to other things.

The characters. Well… I don’t like the main character. I don’t find the protagonist inspiring at all. I couldn’t remember most of the other characters in the book either — they seemed like being thrown in just to patch the lack of the story the main character could give to the reader. Most of them don’t add anything to the story really…

I believe that the author would like to insert a dry humour in the story. Well… some worked, some just completely… dry. I do like the Irish touch in the story, and wish there is more about the Irish culture, or places, or whatever that could distinct this story from other chick-lits. It didn’t happen.

However in the last few chapters I started to feel a little bit emotional reading this book. Although I suspected that it is probably because the story hit too close to home. And, for that I give this book more brownie points.

In the end, this is still a chick lits. If you like chick lits in general, you will like this one. It is much deeper than most that I have ever read before. Better written too (especially because apparently this is a debut book). I would rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.