Happy New Year 2019!
May Nidhogg bless us with his unending [Akh Morn] filled with pure rage.

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I don’t think I will write anything in this blog this December until new year so here I am. It may still be in the middle of December but I can already make some predictions about the future of 2019: chaos. There will be national election and – of course – things will go awry. Political turmoil, racism and bigotry will envelop this already piss country and many more bad things to happen. I don’t pray for another Great Depression to come, but looking at the prospective, I won’t be surprised if it happens. We’ll see.

Last year’s prediction is mostly right. There is nothing interesting happens this year, gods bless me, though there are annoying ones but it is not as bad as previous years. Without further ado, let us see what I’ve written last year:

  • Still playing GBF. Lo and behold! I’m still playing, albeit my interest greatly dwindled after the flight of my crew’s danchou. But aye, I’m hyped about WMTSB Part3. However, the game feels like a chore when I hit High Level with no goal in mind. That is why I play lesser and lesser.
  • I want to draw a lot! Ah, how naive of me thinking I can do this! In 2018 I’ve tried to make a circle buddies who have interest in writing, just like Inklings of Oxford, but one person I respected said my draft was “empty”. It hurt. It fucking hurt. And the most painful of all was that I realized she was right. So I quit. I hated mine own writing, drawing, storytelling – everything. After suffered breakdown for several months, now I can finally accept it and say fuck you.
  • I want to finish Death Corps! Not so fast, butthead.
  • Stable income. For a major edit in last days before new year, I lost all respect to my “friends” here. Hearing they don’t acknowledge my 2yrs service here and easily send me off when I tested the water is just… godsdammit, it fucking hurts.
  • Join masfi’s YOKOTARO APPRECIATION artbook in the end of year. It’s delivered well despite not giving my all for it. I thank you guys for giving me an opportunity.

Earlier in 2018, I got to make new friends in workplace and I’m eternally thankful for their presence. My passion for J.R.R. Tolkien’s works reignited after meeting a friend with same interest. I looked back to the past and dreamed of a circle of friends sharing their same passion in written art like C.S. Lewis and Tolkien – just like back then in High School. Alas, the forgiving year turned sour after above point.

And aye, I had to swallow the bitter pill myself. I shared my draft once and was shot down right off the bat. It was true that my writing was shit and it was full of purple prose, but I thought, the critic didn’t have to be like that. I experienced mental breakdown and deleted the circle’s discord before shut myself in.

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I got a chance to visit Yogyakarta again last November with my coworkers. It was a weird vacation, to say the least, part of it was because we didn’t plan anything beforehand due to miscommunication. In the end we decided to go with the flow – it was a vacation, after all. Or so we thought.

We departed from Bandung by 8-hours-ride night train and arrived in Yogyakarta at around 3AM. Because we had the hotel room booked for three days including the day we arrived, we managed to rest our flattened butts immediately enough. For the first day, we decided to visit my friend’s aunt in Surakarta (Solo) and to Keraton Solo. Alas, we both forgot Keraton was closed in Fridays. At least, we managed to sightsee the city by rickshaws (they are expensive) and had nice sillaturahmi with my friends’ relatives.

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This was my first time in Solo. I always heard the city was amazing, many cultural festivals and “in a par with Yogyakarta” – only to be severely disappointed. There wasn’t anything worth seeing in Solo. The roads were small and the houses untidy; only near Government Office it felt fresher. Keraton Solo was really in a sorry shape. Since the museum was closed, I couldn’t say more, but the sultanate complex and its surrounding was in ruins. Abdi dalem (royal servants) houses looked abandoned and it was said they were sold to common people. The second keraton near Government Building was already flattened. It was totally a shame. I heard this sultanate didn’t have much power like Yogyakarta Sultanate, and that they had no more treasury to manage all the complex.

Surakartan also didn’t recommend their own city for tourists, which was real sad. The only thing we tourists could do was walking around in Kampung Batik, Wisata Batik, or going to Antique Market near Government Office. There were many things to see, from very old Majapahit coin found in the river, 1980s CRT television, a very old radio and gramaphone, and Dutch-East-Indies (VOC) emblems. The marketplace was big and well-done, but that was all. I couldn’t buy anything there since antiques were expensive.

Going back to Yogyakarta in the evening and rested our feet, we decided to go to Merapi and walk around Malioboro next morning.

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44664512667-cakaplah_xf7xs_22448Ritech EXPO was 2018’s biggest innovation and technology exhibition in Indonesia organized by Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. Held in Riau Province, it was also part of Hakteknas celebration day (Hari Kebangkitan Teknologi Nasional or National Technology and Innovation Day). The exhibition was opened to public from 9th August to 12th August 2018 in Government Office, from 2PM to 8PM.

…Long story short, my research center was invited to open a booth in Ritech Expo and hey, my friend said, why wouldn’t we take this opportunity to relax and chill in Riau? Personally, I haven’t ever gone to any Indonesian province outside Java island, so this will be my first time leaving for Sumatra. We planned we would only be sightseeing in Pekanbaru and Siak city.

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Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport

There was only one Bandung-Pekanbaru direct flight per day and it was 11AM Citilink. We arrived at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport approximately 1PM. I was quite surprised, the airport was modern and neat and tidy and super clean. After lunch at Melayu restaurant, we went straight to Dafam Hotel to drop our 53kg baggage.

Riau Province is divided by two areas: Riau Island and in Sumatra. Its people spoke Melayu (Malaysian language) and are Orang Melayu – perhaps – don’t really like being compared to Padang people. They may have similar traditional motives and architecture, but they don’t like spicy food, rather, their dish is similar to Sundanese in taste (a bit salty, sweet, and sour… they also have Kobokan!!). Riau is also famous for its Ikan Patin dish. The English name is… uh – heck, I don’t know. Google translator said it was catfish and wikipedia referred it as an endangered shark but I’m 9000% sure it is not.

Back to topic, in the first day, we wanted to experience dinner in the riverside of Siak River so off we went to Rumah Makan Tanah Longsor recommended by Hotel Manager. I was too excited about this first travel with everyone. Google map told us that we only had to walk for 21 minutes to that restaurant – it wasn’t that far so I suggested to go there on foot. Oh how I was so wrong.

It took us 1 hours walking there on foot, approximately 11,000 steps, and almost in complete darkness because there wasn’t any single streetlight there. The pretty and neat sidewalks were gone after we left Government Office area. The street food stalls took over the sidewalks and with regret I had to say it wasn’t different than Bandung’s messy streets. Even the motorbike drivers had no eyes.

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Pekanbaru at night

The disaster wasn’t only because of that. When we arrived at RM Tanah Longsor, it had been closed. The restaurant was closed at 4PM, that meant, the very hour the Hotel Manager told us about RM Tanah Longsor — Fff. Let me just write  about food instead.

RM HM Yunus is famous for its Ikan Patin Asam Manis and I can argue it is the best Ikan Patin dish I’ve ever eaten! The meat is fluff and its fat tastes great. It melts in your mouth, truly fabulous. Dendeng Lambok is my next favorite dish. “Lambok” meant “Lembek”, or simply “Soft and Wet”. Dendeng is usually cooked until it is hard and dry. But in Riau, the jerky is doused with coconut oil. The green chilli peppers aren’t spicy at all, it is sweet! By the way, the recipe is here. The Udang galah one? Yea, it’s super duper delicious. The size is comparable to lobster but the meat is as soft as shrimp.

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Bolu Kemojo from Riau

Traditional cookies are all about duren. This king of fruit is everywhere in Sumatra: dodol duren (durian rice cake), bolu kukus duren (durian steamed sponge cake), durian pancake, lengko duren… If you hate durian like me, you may want to search for another cookie. There are kue bangkit (sago cookie), kue satu, keripik nanas, kue kemojo, and various crackers made with odd ingredients (like dragon fruit cracker?, coffee cracker?, grape cracker?). Also, there are boxed rendang and sale (smoked catfish). Bolu kemojo original (not cheese or whatever) will remind you of traditional 80s pandan sponge cake. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to give it to your parents.

Below read more are photo and story in Siak.

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Happy New Year 2018!
Goodbye Mahira! Welcome Vajra!

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I’ve written this post in early December since I’m in the mood. Even though it’s still far from new year, I don’t feel there will be something grand in early 2018. Probably some students will flocking in and works piling up like crazy that secretary’s gone. Monotone life and usual anxiety, some usual drama and politics that my hometown will have new government body. Everything’s according to keikaku* – the rest of them, I don’t know – I hope my workplace doesn’t suddenly close when I’m still there. I don’t recall that many events happening this year, so – well, first let’s see what I’ve written last January. Looks like my life is summed up in the comments.

*note: keikaku means plan.

  • Repair relationship with God. Oh my Lord Lucifer, hahahaha. The candle light that is faith has long dead. Not because I deny existence of He who oversees everything, it is because I simply don’t care anymore. Eternal torture doesn’t sound so bad since living on earth is pretty much like hell already. Don’t worry, though, I still believe there is a god. Probably.
  • Continue making Tree of Savior Comic once per week. I was no longer able to log in to the game after big patch, not to mention I’ve quit MMORPG altogether after my drama with my former partner.
  • Finish the Death Corps comic. Did I mention I’ve had a drama with my former partner? I despise everything related to her now, including MMO, drawing, roleplay, and my original characters. I didn’t realize it’d made a traumatic blow until later. Now I had to struggle to patch myself up.
  • Continuing QUE? comic once per week. My ex-boss messaged a good luck in one of the post. I immediately ditch this project, delete his comment, and block him. Gotta be in-character, the grudge has to live on.
  • Starting Webtoon about something. This one, I swear, is the worst wish I’d ever written. I’d prefer starting some but not to gain any attention.
  • Have a job. Thank Bahamut I got a job this year. It’s not free from conflicts and drama, but I like it because 1) money, 2) have a private office, 3) no shitty boss, 4) I don’t give shit about bonding with people, 5) smaller depression. I no longer care about my future as long as I got all these things.
  • Watching Star Wars Episode VIII. We don’t talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s abomination and a disgrace to original LucasArt Film. 5/10.
  • Becoming pun master and the lord of shitposting. I’m surpassed by “Rajin Pangkal Pun-dai”s admin.

As you can see, my 2017 is bland but still shitty af. Depression came punching right after that incident with my roleplaying partner, the one I considered good friend. It lasted a whole year. I feel a bit better now, though. Why should I be the only one who feel miserable when she went on with her happy life and her new nakama after I left. She never cared about me in the first place after all. It’s a good riddance.

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my workplace

It was empty white room, strange machines lying still. Two PCs and two monitors, two air conditioners, several chairs. An empty shelf on the side and two other desks – a door led to storage. The room smells like operation room. It reeks of alcohol. It’s also rather cold to keep these machines function without the risk of overheating.

This thing is my new toy. This building is where I had dreamed working since it was first established. Even though our financial problem is still running high, I am proud being one of employees in the biggest nanocenter in this nation. That’s the only pride I can take.

This is where I choose to be.

I was blessed. I am here because my college friend got a job in other company so she had to leave the lab – also there was no one wanting to be an operator, let alone taking a job that gives you uncertain future. I took the job even though my knowledge of it was below zero. I didn’t get any training beforehand – I didn’t even know what kind of “good” is ‘good’. I just spoke my mind and commented anything about clients’ samples without having to be afraid what I spoke was wrong – it is indeed fun.

I quickly enjoy it. I will always be alone until my client comes. I can do anything I want if I’m not working for a client. I don’t have shitty boss. I know what I work on and I know what the result is. I have my own office where I can be alone and sleep on the table like a hobo (partly because the lab should be free from everything so I have nowhere to stay. They gave me a room). I put some novels on the rack there. In the morning while I’m waiting for clients, I can play games and draw to my heart content. Sometimes, the clients don’t have brains, but I can still manage – unlike back then in that company.

Profs came to me asking why I’m not getting my doctoral degree. I understand – I am really tempted to do it. But I need a stable job and money more than anything else now, and I don’t want to see my own (bleak) future, not until I’m fully recovered from the depression I got last year working for shitty boss. Until I feel that I’m worthy to go back studying, I’ll just become a trash operator in this beautiful building, and be helpful to everyone who accepts me.

Happy New Year 2017!
Let this year comes with many good blessings, new wishes, and hope! Pray it will be better than 2016 – we have all known there are rocky path in the following months so let us prepare well and survive together!

It felt the 2017 New Year celebration wasn’t as grand as 2016’s, perhaps because what had happened one year before. 2016 sucks; and we all know it. Starting from January to December, it seemed that there wasn’t any single happiness in it (although I believe there is, but didn’t give any viral impact since people prefer bringing up bad news rather than good one). As for me – you might have known that I also experienced the worst year in my life. Starting from working for passive aggressive narcissistic boss for half a year and spent all day either cursing, crying, or thinking about suicide… to half a year full of procrastination and depression being an unemployment which couldn’t stand seeking for a new job in fear of having to work under a boss with same characteristics. I honestly didn’t even remember if there was something good happening in previous year. It was all a mess – plus about the discrimination and religion drama happened in quarter end of 2016.

Let me throw back what I had written in 1 Jan 2016.
So… I was talking about going to hell for money and I have to laugh ironically that it was what exactly happened to me in the following days. The tone in my previous post last year was really apathetic and sounded like a bitch – the old me didn’t know that 2016 was much more worse than 2015. Perhaps 2017 won’t be any better, but let’s just see what God has in mind. Below was the list I made last year. Sadly there wasn’t any single wish granted to me.

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Warning: profanities turned on. I can’t stand being calm or pretending there’s nothing happened anymore. I need a place to write rants since it’s not only pissing me off, this has been gone on three days straight and I think I’m going crazy. Nobody in this country understands how it feels since they’re the ones who pressurizing me to do this thing called marriage.

For short background story, have you been an almost 30-years old who never experience dating, doesn’t want to date or have sex, being in strict old Chinese/Asian culture who worships parents and marriage – e.g. having spouse and giving birth are children duty while in the same time they condemn young generation being the worst human being on earth? That’s me. And you know what, I’m tired of this.

Read on your own risk.

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