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Decisions, Decisions…


Ajahn Brahm (You can Google him up if you want, he’s a cool Theravada monk from Perth, Australia) once said in one of his teaching sessions that there’s no such things as bad decisions or wrong decisions. A Buddhist (or at least people who believe in reincarnation like yours truly) can be born again, so you can get your decision right in your next life. That is simple, why worry about making bad decisions. Later in that very session, he said something similar to this, “A decision is never wrong when it’s made out of a well mind”.

I was editing my photos on my second to last night in Bangkok in a dorm shared with 4 other females (one of them was an Australian which I had dinner with). I was somewhat frustrated to the quality of the Floating Market photos that I took earlier that day. And bang, suddenly that very Ajahn Brahm’s teaching about how to make a decision appeared in my mind, right down to his Australian/British accents

Bridge 045 editted.

The Bangkok trip was planned 35 hours before the ETD. Despite what my girlfriends and fiance told me (not to go), I walked down to the ATM to pay my plane ticket (expensive despite using the budget airline mind you), paid the daily tour packages with my paypal, and told my fiance and girlfriends to go some place else and mind anyone’s business but mine. (Oh usually as a very-well-planned-traveler-it-annoys-my-fiance-and-my-family-so-much I book ticket and hotels way ahead of the travel date and I have a not-so-firm itinerary so I can wander around the village/the city I’m in)

Was I in my well mind? No. I was not. I was mad and I was upset and I had not slept for days and all I could think of was whether or not I had a photo assignment, I had to travel. Then Bangkok came to mind. Why Bangkok, you asked? No idea. I had no idea why I decided to fly to Bangkok (but maybe the cheap living cost there was the main idea).

Before flying to Bangkok there were lots of yelling to friends and fiance (see above). I told them I wanted an adventure hence the back-packing with a very heavy Nikon camera and 2 lenses. Out of his worry, the fiance booked me a room in a 4-star hotel. That also produced another series of screaming (especially from HIS SIDE after buying the room for 3 nights for me and knowing that I stayed in Bangkok for way more than 3 nights). One of the girlfriends offered to accompany me in Bangkok several days after my arrival, but I didn’t want to have any of that.

I flew to Bangkok, alone. Traveling with little cash and a debit card (I didn’t want to shop I just wanted to take photos anyways, right?) and a pledge not to spend more than USD 12 per day for meal. I promised those 3 people that I would keep in touch, so I had no choice but spending almost 500 THB for phone and Blackberry Service.

I didn’t say it’s not fun. It’s totally the opposite of not fun. The trip had 91% fun and 9% un-coolness (and thank God, I got a photo assignment once I was there). But that very night in my hostel room when suddenly Ajahn Bhram’s voice appeared in my head, I knew the decision of traveling to Bangkok was not a good decision. It was an impulsive decision that has led me to an adventure (just like what I had expected before), but not a safe one.

Next time (at least later when I’m born again), I’ll make better adventures and better decisions.

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Quotes from How I Met Your Mother Season 1


Future Ted: Kids, I’m going to tell you an incredible story. The story of how I met your mother
(Pilot, S01e01)

Future Ted: Because that, kids, is the true story, of how I met your Aunt Robin.
Son: Aunt Robin?
Daughter: I thought this was about how you met mom!
Future Ted: Will you relax? I’m getting to it. Like I said it’s a long story
(Pilot, S01e01)

Marshall: Alright, we threw two parties. Everybody had fun. Everybody wanged, everybody chunged. Now the kid has got to get to work, and the kid is not to be disturbed. Repeat after me, “I will not have sex with Marshall”.
Lily & Ted: I will not have sex with Marshall
(Purple Giraffe, S01e02)

Barney: I bet nobody in history has ever licked the Liberty Bell. If someone were to pull that off, I daresay it would be – what’s the word? LEGENDARY
(Sweet Taste of Liberty, S01e03)

Robin: So, I’m not going to jeopardize my promotion by saying “booger” for 50 bucks.
Barney: Of course not. Because now you’re saying “nipple”, and it’s a hundred. [motions with finger] Step into my web.
(Return of the Shirt, S01e04)

Marshall: Dude, what’s Krav Maga ?
Ted: I have no idea. Some kind of yoga ?
(Return of the Shirt, S01e04)

Future Ted: Turns out Krav Maga is not a kind of yoga. It’s a form of gorilla street fighting developed by the Israeli army.
(Return of the Shirt, S01e04)

Robin: Because tonight, I am getting us all into “Okay”.
Barney: “Okay” !? Awesome !!
Ted: What’s going on, did I just have a stroke ?
Barney: “Okay” is the name of a club. Yeah, it’s supposed to be incredibly exclusive. This friend of mine once waited outside for two hours, he couldn’t get in.
Ted: A friend of yours named you ?
Barney: No… a friend of mine named, shut up.
(Okay Awesome, S01e05)

Ted: What ? What happened to that, uh, cutlet you were grinding with ?
Barney: That was my cousin, Leslie.
Ted: (laughs) What ?!
Barney: No, no, no… we are not laughing about this, Ted. This is not going to be some funny story that we’ll be telling in a couple months. It’s not gonna be like, “Hey, remember that time when you were grinding with… NO ! And you know why ? Because, italics, this night did not happen. And you promise me that you will never, ever, ever tell another soul what transpired here tonight. You promise. Promise
(Okay Awesome, S01e05)

Ted: I was at this Halloween party up on the roof of our building. I’m about to call it an early night when out of nowhere appeared this girl in the sexiest pumpkin costume.
Robin: Wait, how can a pumpkin costume be sexy?
Ted: It was carved in strategic places.
Ted: So, uh, we’re at the bar and I see her mix kahlua…
Lily: Kahlua and root beer
Marshall: A cocktail she invented herself.
Ted: And she…
Barney: And she called it the Tootsie Roll.
Lily, Marshall, Barney: Because it tastes like an alcoholic Tootsie Roll.
Ted: Hey, can I please tell this story? So we had this instant connection. She gave me her number, but then something…
Marshall, Lily, Barney: Something went terribly wrong.
Ted: Guys! Something went terribly wrong.
(S01e06 Slutty Pumpkin)

Robin: How do you do this, Ted? How do you sit out here all night on the roof in the cold and still have faith your pumpkin’s gonna show up.
Ted: Well, I’m pretty drunk. Look, I know that odds are the love of my life isn’t going to magically walk through that door in a pumpkin costume at 2:43 in the morning but it seems as nice a spot as any to just, you know, sit and wait.
(S01e06 Slutty Pumpkin)

Robin: So what was it, a cockroach or a mouse?
Lily: It was a cockamouse!
Robin: What?
Lily: It’s some sort of mutant combination of the two. It’s as if a cockroach and a mouse, you know…
Barney: Did the horizontal, ten-legged, interspecies cha-cha?
(S01e07 Matchmaker)

Ellen: You I can work with. You give me three days and I will find the woman you will marry.
Ted: Ah, no thanks. I don’t need an algorithm to meet women. It’s New York City. You know, plenty of fish in the sea.

Ellen: Plenty of fish in the sea. Yes, there’s 9 million people in New York, 4.5 million women. Of course you wanna meet someone roughly your own age, let’s say, plus minus 5 years. So if we take into account the most recent census data, that leaves us with 482,000. But, uh, wait, 48% of those are already in relationships and then you have to eliminate half for intelligence, sense of humor and compatibility and then you have to take out the ex-girlfriends and the relatives and oh, we can’t forget those lesbians and then that leaves us with 8 women.
Ted: That can’t be right. Eight? Really, eight?
Ellen: There are 8 fish in that big, blue ocean, Ted. And if you feel confident that you can reel one into your boat without me, there’s the door.
Ted: Do you take credit cards?
(S01e07 Matchmaker)

Barney: I realized what the world of dating needs. Ready? A lemon law.
Robin: A lemon law, like for cars.
Barney: Exactly. From the moment the date begins you have five minutes to decide whether you’re going to commit to an entire evening. And if you don’t, it’s no hard feelings just good night, thanks for playing, see you never. Huh? Huh? The lemon law, it’s gonna be a thing, possibly starting right now.
(S01e08 The Duel)

Lily: On Monday I’m gonna have to tell my kindergarten class, who I teach not to run with scissors, that my fiance ran me through with a freakin’ broadsword!
Marshall: Well, just to be fair, it didn’t go all the way through.
Lily: I’m sorry, is this a discussion about the degree to which you stabbed me?
(S01e08 The Duel)

Robin: I am Canadian. Remember? We celebrate Thanksgiving in October.
Ted: Oh right I forgot. You guys are weird and you pronounce the word ‘out’, ‘oot’.
Robin: You guys are the world’s leader in hand gun violence; your health care system is bankrupt and your country is deeply divided on almost every important issue.
Ted: [pause] Your cops are called ‘mounties’
(S01e09 Belly full of Turkey)

Barney: No, no, that’s a great idea. That’s the whole point of getting drunk. You do things you would never do in a million years if you were sober.
Lily: Says every girl you’ve ever slept with
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Lily: There’s a girl in there.
Ted: I know.
Marshall: And a pineapple.
Ted: I know.
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Ted: And who’s the girl in my bed?
(Barney looks at Lily and Marshall and Ted, stumbles over to Ted’s room and peeks in, closes door and stumbles back to living room) Barney: There’s a girl in your bed.
Marshall: And a pineapple. Am I the only one who’s curious about the pineapple?
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Ted: Why do they call it karaoke anyhow? Was it invented by a woman named Carrie Okie? These are the kinds of things I think about
(S01e10 Pineapple Incident)

Marshall: Look at us, riding around in a limo, eating hot dogs… It’s like we’re the president.
(S01e11 The Limo)

Barney: You don’t bring a date to a wedding. That’s like bringing a deer carcass on a hunting trip
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Barney: What I don’t get is, why is Claudia marrying Stuart? She’s way hotter than him. How way? Way way.
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Ted: Tell Claudia I’m sorry. Did she seem pissed at me?
Lily: She said if there’s no wedding tomorrow, you owe her father $400,000.
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Lily: Claudia is getting married tomorrow and so help me God, if I catch you even so much as breathing the same air as her, I will take those peanuts you try to pass off as testicles and I will squeeze them so hard your eyes pop out and then I’ll feed them to you like grapes.
Barney: Wait, my eyes or my testicles?
(S01e12 The Wedding)

Lily: OK, let’s not lose hope. We’ll call the hotel, maybe she was staying there. We’ll have them check the registry for anyone named Victoria. Or maybe she goes by Vicky or Tori…
Marshall: Or Ictor. Probably doesn’t go by Ictor.
(S01e13 Drumroll, please)

Ted: I don’t feel so good. t’s like my testicles mixed pop rocks and soda.
(S01e14 Zip, zip, zip)

Barney: The only reason to wait a month for sex is if the girl is 17 years, 11 months old.
(S01e14 Zip, zip, zip)

Victoria: I’ve only had two boyfriends before, Ted.
Robin: Prude alert!
Victoria: Well, two serious ones. I’ve dated others in between.
Robin: Slut alert!
(S01e15 Game Night)

Barney: Um, are you coloring in your butt?
Marshall: I have a big interview coming up, and my suit has holes in it. I can’t sew, I don’t own Navy boxers, so, yeah, I’m coloring in my butt
(S01e16 Cupcake)

Lily: Oh, my gosh, it’s perfect! Oh! This dress is totally going to get me laid on my wedding night.
(S01e16 Cupcake)

Bilson: Ok, Eriksen, let’s get to work. It’s 2am and its raining outside, ding dong what? The Doorbell? Oh, hello, Jessica Alba in a trenchcoat and nothing else, but wait, knock knock, somebody is at the back door.
Marshall: I don’t have a back door.
Bilson: Oh my gosh, Jessica Simpson, what a surprise. Two Jessicas, you gotta pick one, what do you do? Go!
Marshall: Right, well, I’m engaged.
Office Jerk: Fiancee is out of town, what do you do? Go!
Marshall: We’re still engaged.
Bilson: Ok, fiancée is dead, hit by a bus, what do you do, GO!
(S01e17 Life Among the Gorillas)

Future Ted: But here’s the real question: It’s 2:00 a.m. Your friends are still out singing karaoke, but you’re home early ’cause you’re expecting a call from your girlfriend in Germany, who was supposed to call four hours ago. And then the phone rings.
Ted: Hello.
Robin: Hi, Ted. It’s Robin. Um, listen, I know it’s late, but, uh, do you want to come over?
Future Ted: What do you do? Go.
(S01e17 Life Among the Gorillas)

Marshall: Do you remember the huge secret that you told me that you weren’t supposed to but you did? The thing… about Robin?
Barney: Oh, you mean how Robin’s in love with Ted?
Marshall & Lily: What?
Barney: Yeah, she told me already. Go on.
Marshall: Wait. So I’m the only one that she didn’t tell? She told you and not me?
Barney: Well, I guess I’m just better friends with her than you are.
Marshall: Well, I’m better friends with Ted than you are.
Barney: That is a lie!
Marshall: It is not a lie.
Barney: Okay, that’s it! You and me! I’m not afraid of you!
Marshall: I’ll show you things you never seen before! I used to box in the Army!
(S01e18 Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.)

Barney : But if you’re not interested, fine, I’m out 500 bucks. Whatever.
Ted: 500 bucks?
Barney: Ted, you’re my cabron. You think I’m gonna stick you with some toothless tranny from the Port Authority?
(S01e19 Mary the Paralegal)

Ted: Mary, I’m not going to have sex with a prostitute.
Mary: No Ted, I’m a paralegal.
Ted: You’re a hooker.
Mary: No, I’m a paralegal.
Ted: No, you’re a hooker.
Mary: No, I’m a paralegal.
Ted: [pause] You’re a paralegal.
(S01e19 Mary the Paralegal)

Marshall: Come on, if you don’t laugh, it just seems mean.
(S01e19 Mary the Paralegal)

Barney : Now, ladies, slut up!
(S01e20 Best Prom Ever)

Lily: Okay, yes, it’s a mistake. I know it’s a mistake. But there are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake but you don’t really know it’s a mistake because the only way to really know it’s a mistake is to make the mistake, and look back, and say, “Yep. That was a mistake.” So, really, the bigger mistake would be to not make the mistake, because then you go your whole life not really knowing if something is a mistake or not. And, damn it, I’ve made no mistakes! I’ve done all of this– my life, my relationship, my career– mistake-free. Does any of this make sense to you?
Ted: I don’t know. You said “mistake” a lot. Lily, don’t do this.
(S01e21 Milk)

Ted: I don’t want perfect. I want Robin.
Marshall: Oh, God, not this again. Ted, it’s a mistake.
Ted: Maybe. But it’s a mistake I have to make.
(S01e21 Milk)

Ted: Hey, Penelope, have you, uh, have you ever actually seen a rain dance performed?
Penelope: No.
Ted: No?
Penelope: I’ve read extensively on the subject: firsthand accounts, theoretical criticism, the anthropological…
Ted: Have you ever seen a rain dance?
Penelope: I’ve seen a film strip.
Ted: Terrific. Uh, look, I should run. I’m getting brain surgery from some guy who’s seen a couple episodes of E.R. I can’t believe this. We’ve been up here for the past hour making complete asses of ourselves.
Barney: What do you mean “we,” white man?
(S01e22 Come On)

Barney: Well, then why are you doing this?
Ted: Because I love her. I love her! I told her that the first night we went out, and here it is, eight months later, and nothing’s changed. So yes, I know this isn’t gonna work. But it has to work! You hear me, universe? This is Ted Mosby talking! Give me some rain! Come on! Come on! Come on…!
(Rain starts falling down)
Barney: Oh, come on!
(S01e22 Come On)

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Dailies

 

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#3 My soon to be missed architect guy


Note : the series #1-#7 is the introduction to stories about the best friends I met during my high school years. They decorate my life so beautifully and they deserve their own category in this blog

You must know the drill, right? #3 is younger than #2, hence #3.

He’s also a good friend of #1. I met him the first time on that first Sunday in my freshman year in that dark and dreary classroom of the Photography club. He’s so tall and quiet, he gave me the impression of a quirky mysterious guy. He’s a great photographer, he knew all about the basic composition one-third rule, depth of field and all the basic photography theories, I told myself that he actually taught us better than the official photography tutor did.

Surprisingly, I am encountering problem in continuing this article. I thought we were really close during our freshman and junior years but I guess we started to bond during my senior year in high school. He sat behind me throughout that year -there was even a time when we sat side by side for a full week. From that moment, I learned that the first impression was all wrong. He’s not that quirky, not that mysterious. He’s an intriguing guy, a bit vicious in fact (but in a good term, go figure), and we shared loads of laugh since then.

He mentioned swing, Ella, Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick and Dizzy Gillespie. For a 17 year old girl, those are new names and had to be explored. I might have listened to lots of jazzy music in my younger years, but #3 is one who inspired me to really listen and enjoying jazz. He’s one to blame for my jazzy life. Not only we share the same taste in music, we also share the same opinion in TV series and films. During our college years, though miles (and 3 hour drive) apart, we sat quietly in front of our TV to watch Friends (on Sundays) and Ally McBeal (on Mondays). Episodes were discussed over text messages afterward.

A visit to his college city always filled with a private architecture tour in his jeep. Architect is his major passion and it’s one of my most favorite things to be photographed. Over the ride, the conversation was flowing from jazz to TV series, from chicks he liked to guys I flirted with. When staying over at his place, #7 would always interview us late at night (or very early morning) to get some inside scoops about things I can’t write here. My first impression about this guy was once proven right (mysterious quirky guy) when he drove a more than four hour drive from his college to our origin city just to spend a good 2 hour with me before taking me to see my date that Saturday night. Sometimes there are things best to leave unexplained.

He has become the hottest architect in town, and soon to be the hottest one in the region, I have no doubt about it.
I still have millions of things to write here but one has to stop writing when tears are hanging in the corner of one’s eyes.
For some beyond words reasons, he’s the guy I’m going to miss so much very soon.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Le Cirque

 

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Predicting my future when I was 21


Life is pretty different than one I'd predicted when I was 21.

The future

For starter, I never thought that I would still have problems with acne, like I was still 15. It had never entered my mind, that I would still have to go to dermatologist twice a week to treat my skin.

Then my marital status, ten years ago I thought that I'd be married to someone when I turned 26 or 27. A complete Javanese wedding rituals would have taken place in the house followed by a medium big wedding reception. A wedding for a Javanese princess, exactly what my mom had once told me.

Ten years ago I never really thought so much about where I would be working. But I'm pretty sure that working in my current position had never entered my mind.

Not all my predictions have gone wrong though. I knew that my friendship with my best friends will be as strong as what we have right now. It has lasted for more than 15 years and the bond can't get any better than this.

In the last ten years I may have a few regrets, but then again, it's too few to mention. My life may not work as what I predicted, but life's still awesome and I'm thankful for that.

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Dailies

 

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#2 My Best Guy Friend/Tutor


note : The series #1-#7 act as introduction to stories about the best friends I met during my high school years. They decorate my life so beautifully and they deserve their own category in this blog

He’s younger than #1, so naturally we call him #2. Like #1, we’ve never been acted as classmates through high school. What makes it even absurd he was not in the photography club.
I knew him through #1, #4, and #6. But the degree of that kind of friendship was a hi and bye degree. Not worth to be a #2. Then came senior year, the year book year. Nah, he was also NOT in the yearbook committee, but he was dating the girl who’s in charge of the yearbook. That’s how we became friends.
Until today, I always regard him as my best-est best friend. I know him so well as he knows me SO well. To him, I’m like his guy friend. And to me, he’s like one of my girl friends. Go figure if you can.

Despite the distance between us (he’s in Australia), he still teaches me lots of things. One of the most important things is that it is very normal to experience ‘things’ beyond our control. Voices in the head and the non-stop premonitions? He teaches me how to deal with them. Whether I want to embrace it or ignore it, it’s my own prerogative. Yes, people have those abilities and no, having abilities like these doesn’t make us special. Be humble. If you’re comfortable with that, and if you want to, go help others with that.

He also teaches me that distance is an illusion people create. And it is very possible to keep a long lasting relationship despite this illusion. When we fill our BBm with long conversations, we fill it with love and laughter. And when we do that, Australia is not another country. It’s just a word.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Le Cirque

 

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#1 My camera-mate / dermatologist


note : The series #1-#7 act as introduction to stories about the best friends I met during my high school years. They decorate my life so beautifully and they deserve their own category in this blog

Age wise, he’s the second oldest (after me) in the gang, so let’s call him #1.
I am not pretty sure when the first time I met this guy. We were not in the same class in the 10th grade. He wasn’t even in any of my class during my high school years. I do remember seeing him on that Sunday in the old ugly classroom. Yes, we were one of the very few members of the photography club.

In my high school, joining this club didn’t mean you had to have your own SLR camera. I didn’t have one and enjoyed my time pretty well until came the hunting time. #1 knew this and generous as he is ever, he shrugged off and non-chalantly said, “Use my camera. We’ll use it together”. So that’s what we did, his were the films with odd numbers, mine were ones with even numbers. We ended up screwing the odd/even numbers arrangement but we had soo much fun. Later, when I published my first photography book, #1 would surely be mentioned.

He’s kind and generous aaand kinda cute that I used to have a tiny crush on him. Tiny maybe, but a crush still. (Un)fortunately (?), the timing was never right though. Whenever I had a boyfriend, he was single, and when he was dating some chicks, I was single. We’re just not meant to be. He knew it, I knew it, every body knew it, we just laughed it all.

He always wanted to be a doctor (he comes from a family of doctors) and he becomes one now! An advantage for us, a bunch of hypochondriac people.
I still see him twice a month for he’s now my dermatologist. And we enjoyed the 1 hour treatment time, where he can talk about anything in this world and me listening, in pain.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Le Cirque

 

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2011 Surprises : I’m not ready For This


At the end of 2010, I plan to do great things in 2011. I know they will come in my way as I know that the-not-so-good things will be waiting around the corner as well. I hope for the best and always prepare for the worse. Or so I thought but then the unexpected thing happens and I learn that I have never prepared for this.

You see, I am now in a position where I really despise my friend. He is not just any friend. He’s one of my really good friends and we’ve known each other for 12 years. I always look up to him for he’s a great guy (I know I really have to list his good qualities here but I’m already close to tears now).

Anyways, we’ve been through a lot. We both love yoga and meditation and have an ongoing debate on how to do a proper surya namashkar type 2 and do the proper sudarshan kriya. I learn a lot from him, he always has a profound understanding of spiritual things as well on the earthly things. And I introduced him to my other interest: photography.

Over time, he criticizes me on my pictures and at last on my Nikon D40 camera.

This Nikon D40 means a lot to me. This is my 28th birthday present from my (die-hard Canon camera lover) fiancé (he was still my boyfriend at that time) and this is my first DSLR camera. It took me almost a year and more than 5 trips to the camera shop to get it on the right setting. It becomes MY camera and I take a lot of great pictures with it.

Last February my friend looked at my camera in disgust and suggested that I should have my camera professionally cleaned. And despite my wish to only want to have the camera body cleaned, he ordered the technician (and not even a Nikon technician) to clean it inside out. That was the last time I saw my camera in one piece. The technician in that service place did something and my D40 just wouldn’t turn on. When finally they took my camera to Nikon authorized centre, the service charge cost more than a new Nikon camera.

If a shrink sits before me, he’ll ask me how I feel.

I’ll say that I’m sad, upset, and angry. I can’t tell you though if I’m feeling all that because of losing a camera or because I’m saying good bye for a 12 year long friendship.

Some lessons are learned, though.

I should never expect other people to know me and I learn that no matter how you think you’ve prepared for bad news, you can never be ready to part with something you really treasure. I know I’m not.

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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Dailies

 

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