Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cinta (Tidak Harus) Mati – a book by Henry Manampiring

Honestly, I never thought that I would find this book, because I couldn’t find it in my usual bookstore. However, I found it unexpectedly when I was looking for another book. When I read the first chapter, I instantly loved it 😀

The first thing I noticed about the book is how colorful it is! With the shades or red, green, orange, and purple, this book managed to mask its seriousness with fun colors. The first two chapters are the results of the two surveys that @newsplatter did previously on Twitter: Survei Jomblo Nasional and Survei Gebet Nasional. @newsplatter, also known as Om Piring, also gave analysis and comments on the results, which makes the book very fun to read. At first.

When you read the remaining chapters, they are all opinions (or, in his words: “reflections”) about love, life, and self-discoveries, and most of them are already published on his blog. What’s interesting about those chapters, is that it doesn’t only contain his opinions, but also interesting facts and previous research about the issue! For me, it’s like reading a social science journal, only funner 😀

Unfortunately, there are some things that I regret about the book. First, about the “quotes” that started each chapter. For quotes, it’s not memorable enough. They are only bits that started a sentence, and not the best part about the chapter.

And lastly, about the length of each chapter. I like Om Piring’s writing style, and how he can convey his opinions, and add some facts with it. However, some of his chapters are not long enough! In some chapters I feel like he can explore more about the issue, but then he just stopped unexpectedly. I mean, come on 😦

In conclusion, do I think this book is worth buying? Definitely. This book can make you laugh, and make you think about your surroundings. If you want a book that can entertain and educate you at the same time, this is the book for you.

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About Death

If there’s anything that I hate the most, is death. All in all, I hate goodbyes, and death is that inevitable goodbye that couldn’t be undone. This is why I hate funerals, obituaries, or even the simplest goodbye like taking someone to the airport. I hate the idea of seeing someone for the last time and not meet them again ever, because deep down you know that death is always lurking and hit you when you least expect it.

I don’t consider myself to be a devout Catholic, but I believe that God created us for a reason. We live for that reason, and as long as we haven’t finish it, we’re “stuck” here on earth. Some people live for 100 years for that, and some die in a matter of minutes. I think their life span means something, sometimes even they don’t know what it is, and it’s up to us to understand what it means.

I believe in the saying “only the good die young”. I believe that if someone is so good, or even angel-like, she/he won’t live long, because God doesn’t want them to be contaminated with sins. So far, friends my age that have died has always been good people. They were all kind-hearted, impossible to hate, and loved my many. Their death has always been very sudden, and all died a peaceful death, surrounded by their family and close friends, who cried their heart out.

If there’s any good thing about death, it’s a reminder about time.

It reminds us that us humans don’t live long, and that sooner or later we will perish under any circumstances.

It reminds us that moments with our family and friends will not last forever, because they, too, will pass away, and become mere memories.

It reminds us of what we’ve done so far in our lives, whether we’ve been good or bad to those around us.

But lastly, and most importantly, it’s a reminder of what we have in our lives, and if we’ve been taking it for granted. We never know what we have in our lives until they’re gone, and in the end death will remind us in the cruelest way possible: by taking them away from us.

And you know what, even after all that “reminder” things above, I still don’t consider death “a beautiful thing”. Not even for a bit.

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Owl City – The Midsummer Station (Acoustic EP) Album Review

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Less than a week ago, Owl City released a new extended play (EP) entitled The Midsummer Station Acoustic. By now, you must’ve known that I’m a fan of Adam, so when the EP came out, I just had to have it, and I did.

As you can see, the cover of the EP looks “dark”, but the EP itself is actually a mini version of The Midsummer Station (TMS) (which I’ve already reviewed here). However, because this is just an EP, Adam only made three acoustic versions of Good Time, Shooting Star, and Gold from TMS album. That, and two additional songs entitled Hey Anna and I Hope You Think of Me.

Acoustic Versions of Good Time, Shooting Star, and Gold
Although Adam called this an acoustic EP, it doesn’t literally means “acoustic” as in only vocal and acoustic guitar, but “acoustic”, Adam Young style: with chamber strings, upright piano, mellotron, organic loops, and laid-back synth pads. The results? Well for me the acoustics versions are the lullaby version of the three upbeat songs from TMS. The acoustic version is a good reimagination of the three predecessor songs. Quite interesting, really. I might even say that the “acoustic” versions are better.

Hey Anna
Definitely my favorite song from the EP. I can’t just listen to this song once. I have to repeat it at least three times in one listening before I feel I have enough. The lyrics might be boring over time because it’s a repetition, but the melody covers it all up and make this a very addictive song to listen to. This song really remind of what Adam is capable of.

I Hope You Think of Me
I first listen to this song via YouTube when Owl City performed in Oklahoma City, not long after All Things Bright and Beautiful album came out (click here to see my review). At that time, I didn’t really pay attention to the song because I thought Adam will include the song in the TMS album, which he didn’t. When I REALLY listen to the track, I just thought, “Meh.” Personally I blame Hey Anna for raising the bar too high, making this track sounded dull then. But over time, I’m starting to like this track. Yet another example of a reminder of what Adam is capable of.

All in all, I love this EP. I love the fact that it’s very easy-listening. However, for some Owl City fans, this EP might be too boring and “soft”. To that, I say, “Move on from Ocean Eyes, dudes, it’s been four years since then.” If there’s anything I hate from the EP, is that there are only five tracks in it. I want more!

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Modus Anomali (2012)

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A man is on a holiday in the woods with his wife and two kids when they are surprised by the arrival of an uninvited guest. Suddenly, he experiences a time lapse. Before he understands what’s going on, he finds himself separated from his family. And when he starts finding several alarm clocks that seem to have been planted throughout the woods, he knows he has to race with time if he wants to see his family alive.

Basically that was sort of the synopsis of the movie from Rotten Tomatoes, and to be honest, I can’t tell you further or I’ll spoil the story. I’m guessing this review might not be spoiler-free too for some people, even though I WILL NOT reveal the ending here.

Last year I’d been waiting for this movie to be released in cinemas, because, well, I love Joko Anwar’s works (his movie “Pintu Terlarang” was good too, by the way, so make sure you check it out too). Unfortunately, when this movie came out, I was in Malaysia for a student exchange, so I couldn’t enjoy the cinematic experience. Thankfully, the DVD version of the movie came out, so I could still (sort of) enjoy it at home.

First of all, for a 86-minute-thriller, this movie is quite slow, so be patient. I was quite bored the first 30 minutes, but good things come to those who wait, and trust me, it was WORTH IT. There are many things to highlight about this movie, and I couldn’t list which one is the most important, so I’ll just list it in order of “appearance”.

1. The language. I know this is an Indonesian movie, but the movie is in English. Literally. I don’t know why, but somehow we have this understanding that if the movie is Indonesian, then the title and the language used in the movie must be Indonesian. Well not Modus Anomali. The title might be very Indonesian, but the language used is full-on English. Some might get annoyed with the Indonesian-accent or the English used in the movie (and all the props inside), but not me. I’m really happy with it.

2. The main actor, Rio Dewanto. His expressions throughout the movie really made the movie, and really made you question the clues you gather along the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I’ve seen his act on “Arisan 2” (where he acted as a gay guy, and trust me, he looked really gay then), and also on “?” (Tanda Tanya), and he is really, really good.

3. The make-ups and props. There’s nothing more satisfying than a thriller/gore movie with a decent and beliavable blood, scar, or wound, and Modus Anomali scored with flying colors.

4. The story. Most thriller movie ends with every questions and mysteries answered in the end, and you get out of the cinema with a certain satisfaction of knowing about it. For me, this doesn’t happen with Modus Anomali. You finish the movie with questions and doubts; you doubt whether the movie is good or not; whether your guess about the plot is the right one or not; or whether the clues you picked up along the way are real. In a way, this movie forces you to discuss it with people who watch it with you, and when you finally understand about the premise of the movie, you’ll actually think, “Damn, this is genius.”

I might be exageratting, but that’s what I felt after watching the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I watched The Conjuring, but I’m not satisfied with it. Sure, it’s quite scary, but in the end, it’s not that good compared to other horror movies I’ve watched. With Modus Anomali, I was not sure the movie was good or not, and I started having questions But after I found the answers, I was really satisfied, and understood what Joko Anwar want. This is a good movie.

But, if there’s any similarities between Modus Anomali with The Conjuring, is I wish it can go at least a step further. It can be better, this is why I give Modus Anomali 9 out of 10.

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