What happened other than gaining weight and lost all my angpao for gambling?

This is one of those moments when I write a post without any purpose. I just feel like writing everything. On the contrary of my previous post, this would be a non-serious anything goes writing as I like. Hmm, where should I start?

Other than gaining probably 2 or 3 kilos from my CNY pigging out week and lost all my angpao money gambling at my Boss’ open house CNY party, nothing is really worth the sweat to complain about. I should’ve learned from the past two years of my Chinese New Year gambling record that I never win at gambling, but it was worth the fun anyway. In Singapore, there’s this tradition to gamble every CNY because they said our luck is doubled up during this period. But if that’s the case, doesn’t it mean everyone’s lucks are leveled anyway? Duh!

I had so much fun at my house back in Jakarta, which rarely happens and that’s probably why lately I’ve been feeling so lively and happy and grateful even of simple things. I know my family is not the most tragic of all but I can say it’s one of them, so when we had a nice time together last CNY, I sent a little prayer to thank and did some high five with the universe. This brings so much joy for me.

The kindness of my blogger friends

I got a tiny enlightenment if I didn’t want to call it a-ha moment when I read comments from my blogger friends for the previous post about Bandi missing the flight back to Singapore. I don’t want to explain too much regarding the thing on this post because I don’t want to make this post to be another serious post, but I’m so glad I received many kind comments and even an honest comment from Arman that slapped my face. I hope this is a good news for anyone who knows me and cares about Bandi and me.

The Candy Crush Craze

You probably get annoyed by friends who post their Candy Crush Saga achievement on their facebook, but please don’t hate them, they are innocent. They are just infected by the Candy Crush Craze like me and the facebook post is automatic if they reach certain level.

And yeah, I’m infected too. I’m ashamed to admit this but I know I’m sick when I walked on the pavement and I saw these leaves and suddenly had the urge to swipe one of the leaf to line them up. (WTF, Brain!?)

I know I'm sick.

I know I’m sick.

The game is basically about matching 3 (and more) types of candy, but it’s not like the regular Bejeweled game, my friend! This game needs strategy as you are only given limited moves. Every level also has different types of mission and task, such as clearing the jelly or bringing down ingredients.

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I think the key of Candy Crush success is that they synchronize the game with facebook and you are allowed to see where your friends are and because I’m very competitive, this is so much fun for me.

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This game is also not the pushy kind of game, you know like those sim games that require you to open the game every certain hours to check whether you burn your food or your plants are withered. But trust me, once you get the fun of Candy Crush, you can’t stop. And it would probably effect your blog posts which I believe happened to Dian for her lack of posting. LOL.

So, happy sugar-crushing!

The Snapseed Magic and Photonia Euphoria

I read Bebe’s recommendation for photo editing app and tried Snapseed (which is the only app I haven’t tried mentioned) and MAN! Is there anything more awesome than this? This app doesn’t give you ONLY filter effect like instagram, which is kinda boring and is meant for lazy people, when you add vintage effect on yourself holding ipad (what an irony). Snapseed gives you full control of what you want your photo to be. Do you want it to be brighter, smoother, sharper? You can also add contrast as you like, straighten up crooked photo and this is the best, you can edit only certain part of the photo! It’s like mini photoshop on your phone! And, and, and… you can add drama! Oh how I love this app! Here’s a proof why I didn’t exaggerate…

Snapseed Magic with a touch of drama.

Snapseed Magic with a touch of drama.

You see that the area of my and Bandi’s face has more light because there is a tool of adding details at the area you choose. Snapseed is free on Apple Store and Android (I think) but costs $19.90 if you install it to your laptop.

After you edit your photo with the Snapseed magic, it’s time to collage your photos with the gorgeous Photonia. At first I didn’t understand how to use this app so I just used the default settings and frames but once you learn the full control of scrapbook-ing your photos with this app, it’s going to be fun!

Photonia Euphoria!

Photonia Euphoria!

The unfortunate thing about this app is that they only give you limited free frame and and background. You must purchase for more and that’s a bummer. =(

The Lovey-Dovey Valentine

I’m not that kind of girls who must celebrate Valentine’s day but somehow I feel this year’s Valentine is the sweetest Valentine for me. Actually there are no amazing gifts or excessive dinner whatsoever but I feel that this year, I have a content heart (could also happened after the missing flight a-ha moment).

I was on a break with Bandi on our first year of Valentine and I was having too much fun with my single girlfriends. (You know how “too much fun” definition equals to swearing over happy couples and jerk guys for one night, right?)

The second year was ended up with fight.

The third and fourth year were in a long distance relationship.

The fifth year, he surprised me with his one-way ticket from Texas and moving in for good to Singapore. Then we spent the whole Valentine’s day in Sentosa Island. It was pretty awesome. =)

The sixth year was the first growing up Valentine’s day ever with him sending a bouquet of flowers to my office and took me out on a cute date to a cafe called “Vanilla” with a vanilla smell all over it. I love Vanilla smell. =) We were also eating the weirdest (yet delicious) cake we’ve ever eaten called The Dirt Cake.

The Dirt Cake! It feels like eating a dirt, unless it's delicious!

The Dirt Cake! It feels like eating a dirt, unless it’s delicious!

The seventh year was last week, with no dinner, no spending money, just us having the house for ourselves (because my other roommates were still in Indonesia for their CNY holiday). I remembered a day before we went back to Jakarta, I asked him whether we had to prepare anything for Valentine’s day and he said no. I thought it’s because we’re in a long term relationship and it was the time for us to stop being lovey dovey on Valentine’s day.

But however I bought him a card and a watch because I just couldn’t help it. I’m a helpless romantic, even hundred years from now I can still think of way making my loved ones happy and give surprises for them.

Photonia 2

Pardon my cheesyness, this was made with Photonia too!

He, out of my expectation, brought me a stalk of rose and chocolate. Take note that Bandi is the kind of guy who always meant what he said. If he didn’t prepare anything, it means he really didn’t. Then I asked him why he decided to give me things. He said he didn’t want to erase the tradition of giving me flowers on Valentine’s Day. He also gave a card and I always love cards. He said we should never stop giving cards to each other even when we turned eighty and couldn’t even read properly. I would probably ask my grand daughter to accompany me to gift shop and help me browse. =)

We had this for dinner anyway and it was the best McDonald I’ve ever tasted. The reason why it felt so perfect is because I had no expectation at all. You know that high expectation leads to disappointment so when you don’t expect at all, everything feels so great.

Mc Donald's for Valentine's Dinner

Mc Donald’s for Valentine’s Dinner

Anyhow, the “missing the flight” moment turned out to have a silver lining that leads to my own a-ha moment. =)

The Back-To-Work Zombie

After one week of having fun, I finally came back to work yesterday. I guess my brain forgot how to function properly and I pushed it to actually think. You know what happened after work? I fell asleep as if I was dead.

The first day in Jakarta, I had too many things to chat about and I was literally 24 hours awake. I was hanging out with my friend until 4 in the morning and fetched Bandi to airport straightaway for his 6 am flight. Then the next morning was CNY first day so I couldn’t wake up too late otherwise my mom would kill me. The the next night I was going for a road trip with my two best friend to Bandung and we had too many things to update to each other, we didn’t stop talking. My friend who was driving almost hit the road barrier! And this is weird, we didn’t even take one photo of us!! Guess we forgot because of too much talking.

The bottom line is, I didn’t have enough sleep and I didn’t use my brain so much anyway during the holiday so on my first day of working, I was like a zombie. Well, it’s not interesting. So, just skip this part, I understand.

The Europe Funds

Beside our personal saving account for our Europe funds, Bandi and I have a gentong of saving for us to pay the hostel, train/local plane tickets and pre-purchased Museum tickets. (It is literally a gentong bottle we bought in Boracay. We managed to smuggle this bottle to Singapore! Haha.) We would just throw in $10 once in a while and $100 every month. We also sell unused things on ebay such as jump rope, old mp3 players, my crappy camera and even the new hair dryer we got from Company D&D lucky draw.

ebay funds

It was the total of our unused stuffs sold on ebay until last week, and guess what, we just sold Bandi’s old Samsung phone yesterday and got hard cash of $240.00! It added the ebay money for total $416!!! We went to Roxy at Jakarta to sell the phone and no one wanted to buy it because the phone was purchased outside Indonesia, can you believe it? I thought international purchase would be an advantage in Indonesia but I was wrong. So we brought the Samsung phone back to Singapore and advertise it on ebay and the next day it was sold! yeah baby! So we technically get additional cash of $416 for selling things we don’t need.

Eight months to our European adventure and I’m getting more and more excited. Bandi asked me to re-plan my route soon and make up my mind for either Prague or Lucern but I’m just too confused and too lazy to think. (Gee what a problem, May!)

The IKEA fever

After finding out that my IKEA member’s points are accumulated for the new lifetime member card (The FAMILY card), I got excited to shop at Ikea. It turns out I still have free $20 voucher that hasn’t been claimed and guess what, it’s lifetime membership now so I don’t need to shop unnecessary things in order to fill my one year quota etc.

Because of Snapseed, my photos transformed to be professional look photos and could be proudly framed on my bedroom wall, so yeah I used the Ikea’s member points excuse to buy a frame and it looks great, isn’t it?

This is the third time you see this photo on this post LOL. Please don't unfollow me!

This is the third time you see this photo on this post LOL. Please don’t unfollow me!

And I found a great standing lamp to create a luminosity effect on my tiny dressing space so it’ll feel like a walking closet (even though it’s not even close) LOL.

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You know how much it cost? Freaking $9.90! Isn’t Ikea the best or what? I know Ikea doesn’t provide the best quality for furniture but hey, that explains the cheap dollars your paid for and they provide at least 5 years warranty so that gives us excuse to do furniture shopping and rearrange your space every five years. Am I smaaart?
=(

The letter from my mom

My mom replied my letter. She gave me the letter on the day I was going back to Singapore. However the letter was packed on my big yellow luggage and it was left on Jakarta with Bandi so I could only read the letter the next day (even though I couldn’t wait to read!)

She didn’t talk much about what happened then but more for what will happen next. She said I shouldn’t be afraid to get married if I really want to. She asked me to do more prayer and strengthen my belief. She mentioned about happiness too that being happy is a state of mind. Indeed. Other than that, she wrote about usual stuff.

The letter is very personal and I don’t let anybody including Bandi to read it. It’s like the thing that bond me and my mom together. And that’s pretty cool.

Whoa, what a post! See what happens if I let myself writing without plot or purpose? I’ll just write and write non-stop and probably finish my free quota from wordpress. (Gee! Drama queen!)

To close this post, let me show you the cute CNY cupcake! Do you know what they said about usually pretty things are not good on the inside, well they’re right. This cupcake tastes weird. But cute so it’s forgiven, aye?

CNY Cake

Cheers,

May, who seriously needs to stop obsessing Candy Crush.

How I inherit my artsy talent and my neurotic mind

If there was an oscar for the best mom, my mom won’t won it. Yeah, she’s not the best mom ever or anything, but I’d still write something for her. I never write anything about my family before simply because you don’t find tragic family problems are fascinating enough to share to millions of strangers. Anyhow, I always try to write positive and optimistic things in my blog.

But heeeeeeeeeeeey, aren’t all families tragic? It’s just the matter of acceptance and again, how we see it. Right?

Since today is Indonesian Mother’s Day, I want to talk about my mom.

When I was a kid, I was pretty sure that I was adopted. I looked nothing like my mom and my dad. My mom was a very cool independent woman, drove her own car, sewed her own dresses which is always fabulous, and she had this rocking body. She’s a very strong and smart woman and was very modern by that time. If only she was educated, she could climb that corporate ladder. However my dad’s business went blackout when he got heart attack. My mom took care of him and she stopped wearing fabulous dresses. Reality was biting her. My parent sold our other house, our other car and the other things I didn’t know. My mom started to spend more time at home, and I was happy. My dad started to work for people, he wasn’t his own boss anymore, which didn’t effect me anything cause I didn’t spend so many times with him anyway. I didn’t get to spend more time with Mom though because she was busy with either my sister or my brother. The two of them seemed to get more attention than me and I was okay. I read more books and drew more crappy comics.

My mom is neurotic, but she’s kind. Her bad temper and stubbornness made an ugly combo for her mind and soul. But she had her own reasons, which I never understood. She might be unreasonable sometimes though. But one thing I am VERY SURE about my mom is, she is a very strong woman.

After so many tragedy in our family, she decided to move from Jakarta, the only place I knew to the other city called Bogor. She was excited, I could tell, partly because she, herself, loved traveling. She likes adventures. I was fifteen and didn’t have any friends in the new city. She was my only friend, because my dad was living in Jakarta during week days.

Our kitchen in the new house was big, so she started to cook more and I loved her cooking. Once, I ultimately messed her kitchen because I was making a Valentine’s chocolate for my friend, guy friend. She came back home seeing the kitchen like hell, I was so afraid she would scream at me but she didn’t. She asked what happened and I showed her my chocolate. She said it was so cool I made that football club’s logo chocolate. (It was intermilan logo, ok?) She asked whom it is for and I told her this guy’s name. She laughed. It was cool, Mom. =)

My relationship with her wasn’t developed so well though because she was so occupied with my brother’s problem, until she couldn’t take it and send him to China, using (supposed to be) my college funds. I personally asked her, how did you get the money to send him to China, and she said there’s this funds she kept for my college and she said she borrowed it first. I knew the money would be gone forever and I was angry. Again, I never told her I was angry. I just wrote more poems instead.

One time, there was a blood drive in my high school, I didn’t manage to do it because I wasn’t healthy enough but I managed to find out my blood type after 15 years. I rushed back to home and I told my mom. “Mom, I found out my blood type today.” She asked what was it? I said O. She asked, “Is it possible to have an O kid from me and your dad?” I lied to her I said no. She wasn’t shocked, she said, “That’s okay dear, as long as you have lived with me, it means you’re my kid.” I shouted, NO! IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE AN O KID. I AM YOUR KID, RIGHT? And she laughed.

However I got to spend more times with her now that she was only mine. We went to market together, went to pray together, she cooked me more food and talked to me more stuffs. She found out how I was so into football and knew my favorite team is Parma and bought me Parma clock. It was so damn cool.

Then my brother insisted to come back, and she agreed so he was back again. It was time for college application though and I didn’t apply any of them because I knew I didn’t have money to pay anyway if I was accepted. I overheard my mom talking on the phone with her brother saying she would just ask me to study language to China. I swear I wanted to suicide. I hated China so much and I was 17 years old and I was depressed. I told her the next day, I didn’t want to go to China. She asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted to go to college and she sighed. I told her I’ll figure it out myself. And guess what, I got scholarship. Not full scholarship though, but I got accepted without tests only paying enrollment fee without all the crappy other fees. My mom was so happy and she said she was proud of me.

She bragged to all of her relatives about my acceptance in Unpar, the famous college that a lot of people was dying to get into. I let her brag, and I was happy seeing her bragging. It was cool, Mom.

My mom has OCD, she managed to pack almost all my clothes and my other Parma things to only two suitcases. We were going to the bus terminal very early in the morning and off to Bandung, a city 3 hours from Jakarta, where I spent the next 5 years of my life. She sterilized my dorm by washing every single things inside my dorm room. She washed the curtains and let it drip the whole night. She asked whether she should stay with me on the first night. I said I don’t know. She said, “I don’t think it’s necessary. You’re a big girl now. You must take care of yourself and be independent from now on.” I said ok. She left, taking the next bus home. I was crying the whole night. Again, I was in a foreign place, and it was freaking cold (Bandung was cold). I remember she said I would have a lot of fun here and I decided to believe her and pushed myself to sleep.

She was right. I had the time of my life for my four years in college. And I met the love of my life, but it’s another story.

It was my 21st birthday when I got the most awesome surprise party anyone could ever had. AND MY MOM CAME! Yeah, my friends threw me a surprise party and they asked my mom to come. She came and she partied with us. It was cool, Mom.

I spent the most amazing four years in my life, finished my thesis and graduated. While other kids have their full team family cheering for their graduation, I only had my mom. She told me, she never even dreamed to see me graduate university. It was like a dream come true for her. She shed a tear you know. And the coolest thing was, she made my graduating dress. It was really cool, mom.

I worked in Bandung as a teacher after graduated and the pay was not so good. My mom was kinda disappointed because she hoped that I could carry the financial responsibility after finished uni, and I chose to be a teacher. She kept saying it was an honorable job though but it won’t get me anywhere. After one and half year working as a teacher, I must resign and move back to my mom’s because she was having mental breakdown. Apparently my brother went to jail, and my mom went crazy, crazier than she already was. So I moved back home and everything was chaotic. I had the worst two years in my life. I fought with her almost all the time. Apparently after living by my own for five years, I couldn’t handle the pressure of being told what to do by anyone, including my mom. I was accepted as a journalist in one of the biggest magazine chain in Indonesia and my mom was so proud of me. Again, she bragged about me to everyone she knew, and again, I liked to see that. However I resigned three months later, going back to teaching again, this time with the touch of reality. I gave tutors with high pay. And it worked. I saved money and moved to Singapore.

My mom hugged me when she sent me off to Singapore. She rarely hugged me. She said I’m gonna make it, she said she knew it, I just need to have faith.

Again, she was right. Three days after I set my foot in Singapore, I already got a job, while other people probably needs three months. I took my risk and it worked. You know who is the first person I called? Not Bandi. My mom. I called my mom first. I told her she’s right. She said I’m a blessed woman. That’s very very cool Mom.

I had a big fight with her once, when I came back to Jakarta last year. We didn’t talk for about 6 months. Sometimes I still cry when the thought suddenly came to mind. But anyway, it’s the whole another story.

It’s been eight years since I really lived by my own. I never thought everything would be this easy if it wasn’t because of everything she had taught me. She taught me how to cook, how to hang your clothes so it won’t wrinkle, how to dress (obviously), but most importantly she taught me how to be an independent woman, since I was five years old. She did everything by herself. I saw that, and in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to be that. She probably never passed me the value of life and she never prep talked me, but she passed me the strength to live life fearlessly and that turns to be very important for me.

After 26 years of wondering whether I am adopted, now I’m very sure that I’m the child of my parents, especially my mom. I have her OCD, her addiction of caffeine, her passion of traveling, her neurotic unstable mind, her romantic side, her bookworm trait and her writing talent.

My mom isn’t the best mom in the world, but hey, she’s one hell of cool mom.

me and mom

I am writing a letter for her now. =)

Cheers,

May.