Why did I not ask for that?

These previous weeks, I had the spare time to read a book given to me by my mentor-who-went-away-to-England-and-never-contact-me-anymore-since-then titled “Too Busy Not to Pray” by Bill Hybels. There is an interesting point in a section of that book, which addresses one cause one does not ask for a particular thing in one’s prayer; one’s disbelief on the ability of the wish grantor. He shared his story of how he had never asked his father to bring peace on earth, because of his knowledge that his father has no power to do so.

It points out an interesting question for me; is it the same  with me? I do not think I have ever prayed for world peace or things like that. I did pray for hunger relief in the past, but that was in a mass prayer which the person on stage urged us to. Am I questioning God’s ability in those grand matters? I wonder.

March Loot: Kamei Eri Surprise Package

One of the reasons I am not quitting my current job is that my job provides me with means to purchase things I could not ask from my parents; like idol goods.

Late Christmas present?

I bought a surprise package from a fellow Indonesian fan of Morning Musume.  It was a Kamei Eri package and it is understandable if you never heard of her. She was a member of “old” Morning Musume, entering at the same time with Sayumi, and graduated on 2010. Now let’s take a look at the contents:

Birthday Card

 

Concert Name Tag? From 10 years ago!

 

Morning Musume Card; is she supposed to be the queen card? Or joker?

 

Plushy Key Chain

 

Her photo wearing cowboy hat 

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Hmm… I wonder from which single or concert was this one from? I think it came from the Platinum Era.

Her polaroid photo with her writing

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I wonder what she wrote. I really like this one since it gives off custom-made limited product impression with her marker handwriting, not-so-professional photo shoot, and “not for sale” note on the bottom; not like a mass-produced product.

 

Idol Hachimaki

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For that moment when I ever feel like going full-wota mode. But it is outdated -_-

 

“If you spend your time thinking “I want to become happy, I want to become happy…“
You’ll spend the rest of your days just thinking about how you want to become happy.
But if you think “ah, I’m so happy“? You’ll always be happy.”

-Kamei Eri

 

05-12-2016

 

8th-anniv

Wow, this virtual rambling site is eight years old! When I got the notification, I could not contain myself to just jump back to it and write a post. Possibly just a short post haha

Btw, Negicco has released another MV for their single!

What a cute song! And the MV is totally Negicco-like: wacky, sweet, cute!

I was so excited about it that I decided to do another subbing project. I contacted Tomomi and she was also enthusiastic about it. So please wait a bit and I will post my new sub!

Thank you!

 

 

 

Life Lesson From Nichijou Chapter 161

There are times when 2D art product like manga gives a wonderful lesson to us. And one of them comes from an absurd comedy made by Arawi Keiichi titled Nichijou, which roughly translates to “ordinary day”, especially chapter 161 that I will post in this occasion.

Long story short (the story is actually short, duh), Mio (the girl with twin short pigtails) found an interesting vending machine and…

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Well, she started with small investment or effort to acquire what she wanted, until she realized it did not pay off and she increased her ante…and still..nothing.

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She is not a gambler, she just got into it without realizing and she was broke afterward.

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After some banging (a lot, actually) at the machine out of her desperation, the machine paid out the prize…but it was not exactly the kind of prize she expected… Poor Mio!

This short story, however, in my opinion, sounds a lot like human life. We want something. We work to get it. We work hard and harder as time goes by since the effort needed to achieve our goal apparently outstripped our initial expectation, but we sacrificed so much already that backing down is not an option we would like to consider. We finally got what we want. Not exactly. We got what we thought we want and we realized afterward it is not as expected. A bummer.

Fortunately, life does not stop there (hopefully). In chapter 164, we found out that..

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Yeah, the Lord works in mysterious ways after all.

 

 

Comic Frontier 2016

Another backlog post (☉౪ ⊙)

Comic Frontier (or Comifuro), a visual art market event where local artists and consumers meet (think Comiket). What makes it interesting? For me, it is the “market” atmosphere. Imagine a large mildly air-conditioned (which means quite hot) and mildly decorated room with a lot of artists and large mass of consumers. Each of those artists is given the same desk (as big as school desk) and chairs, which the artist has to decorate (or not), and that is it; not even a booth. Walking around a bit and you can find a lot of comical decorations, made creatively with dirt cheap materials (ex: elementary grade picture drawn with color pencil on an A4 paper). And the participating artists are there personally, with no corporate PR involved. What will you encounter? A lot of doujins, posters, key chain, pins, and home-made games. Oh, and cute artists too 😛

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SMESCO UKM building complex. The venue was actually on the right side and not shown in this picture, but you can see the crowd haha
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Hideo Kojima made a surprise appearance at Comifuro 2016!!!
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Entry stamp. It is supposed to be a girl face. Oh well..

I personally think that Comic Frontier contains some interesting symbolism. First of all is the fact they are using SMESCO UKM building (maybe they will move to other venue next year, I do not know). At one side it symbolizes that doujin-making (and similar visual art making) is more than just a mere hobby, it can also become a source of income with significant demand in the market, and at the other side, by choosing a modest venue (and with UKM title), it also emphasizes that the popular visual art market is not dominated by big profit-hungry corporations, as the grassroots producers, the artists themselves, who create to express their aspiration, are still a considerable force in the market (*cough, not like AF#). Second, the rise of fujoshi and public showing of risqué visual arts. You can say that those are the signs of decadence, but I would like to look it in another light. They signify the progressive transformation of Indonesian people into an open-minded society where everybody may express their creativity without fear of persecution. Do you not remember the sign of Italian cultural renaissance? Naked statue (it is a joke).

To sum it all up, I recommend Comic Frontier for people who want to get in touch directly with local aspiring visual art creators with “market” atmosphere. There is very little amount of third-party meddling here, so you can be sure that your purchase goes straight to the creators (or their friends who tend the stall), which makes the whole experience less like “purchasing” and more like “appreciating”.

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My loot from Comifuro 2016
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I also won an SSR (Super Star Rare) Lancer pin (Fate series) from a gatcha event.

Ennichisai 2016 Coverage

This is one of the backlog post piling up in my draft folder. (シ_ _)シ Gomen! Gomen!

Ennichisai, an event that aims to simulate festival in Japan for Indonesian crowd, was held again this year in Blok M, a place touted as Jakarta’s Little Tokyo. This festival displays a wide range of cultural products: culinary, traditional dance, portable shrine parade, taiko and shamisen performance, pop song concert, handicraft, etc. Beside those, you can expect to meet a lot of native Japanese not only as visitors but also as stall clerks. Oh, do not forget about festival games! They are so much fun. Always try for the games every time you go to Japanese festival.

Let me share my experience!

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I came early enough in the morning (around 10 AM, probably) and was able to witness the ramen eating competition. There were only a little crowd in front of the stage, the slot for competition was opened for five persons, no registration needed, no fee required to enter, and you only had to raise your hand to join. I did not expect that. Had I known about it beforehand, I would have prepared myself and join. I did not even have to win, it was a free breakfast.

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As the day went by, the crowd got multiplied. To get the mood “Japan Festival”-ish, we rented a pair of Yukata (a casual version of kimono) from a local Yukata enthusiast community (I cannot remember the name of their booth >.<). It was around IDR 50,000 for two hours, but the clerks were so nice they did not keep tab on the time and we practically could wear them as long as we wanted.

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Yosakoi performance by Indonesian students. Yosakoi is a choreographed dances from Japan performed by large group of people. When I say large, I really mean it. They occupied almost the whole road all the way from the entrance area to the stage. In case you wonder, the orange instrument held by these students are called naruko, or bird rattle, and it…rattles (how else should I describe it).

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That is a Danjiri, are large wooden carts in the shape of a shrine or temple with taiko (traditional Japanese war drum) and other instruments on board. It was followed by Mikoshi (a portable shrine) and there were multitudes of them, marching in rhyme with the drums.

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A glimpse of a Mikoshi. It was quite hard to take photos in the crowd.

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The pop culture stage! A small stage with various performers each day. Too bad each one of them only performed one or two songs. I was only able to watch Faint Star (in the photo) and only some minute before they finished .·´¯`(>_<)´¯`·. Why? The main reason was because the distance between the main cultural stage (and pretty much all the stalls and attractions) was quite far from the pop culture stage, plus the population density ensured traffic congestion even for pedestrians. So whenever I enjoyed something around the main stage, I would not be able to relocate quick enough to attend the performance at the pop stage (have not finished my teleportation training). Thus, my planned itinerary for that day was thrown into chaos.

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The performers in this picture showcased a kind of martial dance. My guess is they are Kajimaai, an Eisa (traditional Okinawan dance) group who also combines Kobudo (traditional Okinawan martial art using various weapon, including staff) in their performance.

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After some hours, I was really tired with all the walking and standing. I am not a strong traveler as far as I know. So I went over to my friend’s restaurant called Sate (a Yakitori stall, actually) at Blok M, not in the Ennichisai venue, but close by. It was my first experience visiting his stall and I love his food. His Yakitori is made with love and passion; he wastes no expense to serve the best he can. Don’t believe me? Drop by at his stall at Food Fighters and take a bite!

Now, loot exhibition!

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Top: Furoshiki and Sushi fridge magnet I bought from a Japanese. Middle left: water ballon or water yo yo I won from a traditional festival game called Yo Yo Tsuri, where player has to get the yo-yo balloons set floating in a tub of water using a hook which has tissue or paper handle. All key-chains: bought from multiple stalls. Lawson Ponta card and Biskies were given free by Ponta stall.

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Ponta fan, Ennichisai fan, UHA candy: freebies from stalls. Ennichisai shirt: bought from information booth for IDR 80,000. MametchiHello Kitty festival mask: I won it at a shooting game. Sanada Yukimura festival mask (red mask with antler): a festival mask I bought from a group of Japanese who touted that this is a Japan product made with great quality material, but after I purchased it, I knew it is an overpriced (IDR 200K) cheap plastic (PVC) masks made in China by looking at the backside.

I guess that is all my story.

By the way, my Japanese friend told me that it is odd that they named it Ennichisai, not Matsuri or Bunkasai. Ennichisai has a more religious tone, an event where people go to the shrine or temple to ask for fortune from the deity because that day is important for the deity, while Matsuri and Bunkasai are a lot closer in meaning to Japanese cultural festival.

What am I Doing with My Life?

I wonder how my peers already set their life goal and putting strategy to achieve it. Some of them even lectured me on how to be a successful person. Am I the only one left behind here? Ask me what I want to be. The answer is I know not.

Some of them are traveling the world. Some earned their master degree. Some are climbing the career ladder. Some are starting up their own business. And I am just…

Trying to make home made natto with Youtube instruction video...and failed.
trying to make home-made natto with Youtube instruction video…and failed

 

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visiting JKT48 Theatre, spending 100K to watch young girls performs

 

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drinking my bitter Chinese medicine to ease my stomach ache. Recently the frequency of my stomach ache is increasing and I have to take more of this medicine. Now I know how Dumbledore must have felt to get that locket.

Where will my life take me to? Das weiß ich nicht.