Tetap Lezat Walau Minim Minyak

Author: Threes Emir
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication Date: June 2012
Pages: 95

Cooking is not my thing but eating is, haha...Thank God, I have mbak Yoyoh, our domestic helper, who cooks for us. Mbak Yoyoh's food is okay for me and also for the whole family members but one thing I notice, she loves frying everything. Everyday there is always one oily dish in our menu. I provide her with some cooking books to add her recipe collections but still the oily food is there, whoaaa...

One day I came across this book in Gramedia bookshop, I guess this book is just what I am looking for. The author told the reason why she wrote this book was due to her medical check up result that shows her cholesterol was a bit high. She thought that the best way to normalize her cholesterol was by reducing fried food. At first she thought it was going to be very limited food but after she opened many  recipes books and watched cooking programs on cable TV, finally she could collect some interesting recipes and by doing some modification, she found out that the taste of the dishes were as good as the dishes that using oil.

The book is divided into seven section, first for Aneka Nasi then, Aneka Sup, Aneka Sayuran, Daging, Ayam, Ikan and Tahu Tempe. Since they use very minimal oil in their dishes therefore most of the dishes are steamed or grilled. I ..well.. I mean mbak Yoyoh tried some recipes and the taste were quite yummy. Simple but healthy food. According to the author, by consuming this kind of food, we can reduce our cholesterol and weight. The author has proved it. Now it's our turn.

Kisah Lainnya

Author: Ariel-Uki-Lukman-Reza-David
Publisher: KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia)
Publication Date: August 2012
Pages: 228
Jangan berkecil hati. Manusia diciptakan di dunia ini memang untuk bikin kesalahan, lalu memperbaiki diri. Kalau semua orang sudah tidak bikin kesalahan lagi, maka semua ini akan dimatikan oleh Tuhan, karena tidak ada lagi tujuan kehidupan.
(said Abu Bakar Ba'asyir to Ariel at Bareskrim detention center, page 18 of Kisah Lainnya).

I am not a big fan of Ariel or Peterpan band, therefore at the time this book was released, I wasn't interested to buy it. Until one day a friend of mine recommended me to read it. 

The book is written down in a simple way. We see what happened to the band from their point of view. Before, on and after Ariel's case. I finished reading their stories within a short time. But tell you what, the minute I finished reading it, I feel a different feeling about this band. I suddenly feel so close to them and know how special the relationship among each of the band members.

The story was started on May 2010, Peterpan was having a meeting to prepare their new album  launching. Until that shocking news spread and finally on January 31, 2011, Ariel was sentenced by Bandung district court for three years six months. It's just like a thunder hit all of them. Lots of plans for Peterpan had to be postponed. But here we see how strong their friendship is. They survive. 

The story then flashed back about when and how Peterpan members could get together and form the band. After lots of working hard, changing of many personnel, trying a bit this and that, finally Peterpan became a new star in Indonesian music. As other bands, they also experienced the ups and downs of their music, relationship, and all. But there is always a blessing in disguise, just like Ariel's legal case that already changed everything. It's true, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. They comeback. They started with instrumental album Suara Lainnya (packed as a bonus of this book) and now with their new band name, Noah, I'm sure they will again fascinate their fans, Sahabat Noah.            

The Not-So-Amazing Life of @aMrazing

Author: Alexander Thian
Publisher: GagasMedia
Year of Publication: 2012
Pages: 220

Human is one of the most interesting object to learn. Alexander Thian writes his observation about human and all their behavior in this book. No, it's not a scientific book. In fact it's a light book. As a cell phone shopkeeper  in one mall, he deals with all kind of human there. From a normal one until a unique one. Here it is a compilation of all different kinds of customers that Alex met there.

Alex tells his stories in a simple yet witty way. Actually no new things here. Some of the stories told seems familiar to me since it's everyday life stories. I've read them somewhere or even experienced them myself. But we will be still entertained and smile for some stories since Alex is quite good in delivering them. Alex doesn't only tell about funny things, he also puts some touching stuff and sends his message, such as about not judging somebody from his/her look in Don't Judge the Heart by the Look or the price of honesty in  Jujur Itu Mahal!.  

There are fourteen stories here. If you need a simple book to cheer you up a little bit, perhaps this is the one.


By: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage Books London
Year of Publication: 2003
Pages: 309

The date is Monday 20 March, 1995. It is a beautiful clear spring morning. There is still a brisk breeze and people are bundled up in coats. Yesterday was Sunday, tomorrow is the Spring equinox, a national holiday. Sandwiched right in the middle of what should have been a long weekend, you're probably thinking "I wish I didn't have to work today." No such luck. You get up at the normal time, wash, dress, breakfast, and head for the subway station. You board the train, crowded as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary. It promises to be a perfectly run-of-the-mill day. Until five men in disguise poke at the floor of the carriage with the sharpened tips of their umbrellas, puncturing some plastic bags filled with a strange liquid... 

This is a true story behind an act of terrorism that turned an average Monday morning into a national disaster. The novelist Haruki Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish precisely what happened on the subway that day. He also interview members and ex-members of the doomsday cult responsible, Aum Shinrikyo, in the hope that they might be able to explain the reason for the attack and how it was that their guru, Shoko Asahara, instilled such devotion in his followers. 

Murakami hoped that through these interviews, he could capture aside of the attacks which the Japanese media had ignored, the way it had affected average citizens. The interviews were conducted over nearly a year, from January 1996 and ending on December 1996. Sixty victims of the attacks and descriptions of how the attack were carried out along with Murakami's essay Blind Nightmare: Where are We Japanese Going? and the interviews with eight members of Aum are packed in this book.

This big disaster once appeared on many Japanese newspapers. Instead of telling about the condition of the victims, they focus more on blaming the cult. This Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious after-effects. Murakami tells more. The disaster doesn't stop there. Some people  suffer of little harm, some lose their memories, others have to face post traumatic stress disorders and  also some are still undergoing therapy for serious health problems. These conditions make some of them lose their jobs and permanent handicap. 

These interviews bring many thoughts. First I admire the Japanese, even when the subway workers announced that there had been a released of poison gas, there was no general panic and many people seemed to have been thinking much more about getting to work rather than worrying about their personal health. They're really hard workers. Perhaps this situation also related to Japan as a very safe country, not the sort of place where terrorist attacks happen.

To see the situation from both sides, Murakami also interviewed the Aum members and attended several trials of the defendants. He wanted to come to some of understanding of who they were and what they were thinking now.  

The point is we never know what will happen to us. Even in such a beautiful day like that Monday, 20 March, 1995, a horrible thing might happen. Instead of blaming the cult members or their guru and feeling confused how on earth such educated people could devote themselves in that cult, we'd better look at ourselves. Let's just contemplate for a moment. Everyone has his/her reason. Everything happens for a reason. 

For the Old Time Sake...

It seems like yesterday, the good days at campus. The days that were full of laugh, tears, dreams, friendship, goals, ideas, love, hang out, disappointment, betrayal, confidence, relationship, happiness and many more. The days that brings mixed feeling. Still those days were one of the best days of my life. 

Last Saturday I was invited to join a big reunion. It's the 20th years of commemoration. 20 years? Really? Time does fly. After 20 years we finally got back to campus. We got together in a gathering. We sat side by side beside the peaceful  UI lake. Remembering the old time. Sharing the moments. Life is rich. We won't stop here. We carry on.  

Batik Najlazea: The New Address Label

The former address label design
The latest address label design

Just found some spare time couple weeks a go and the idea to design something came up. I checked some stuff from my online batik business such as, the clothing label, the price tag and the address label. After thinking it over, I decided to redesign the address label. I usually put the address label at the batik package that is ready to be delivered. I write the customer's address there. You can say, it's like our package signature. Actually there're no major changes. The basic design is still there. I still use my favorite animal, the butterfly, I just change the font into something simpler and the dominant color, it's not pink anymore but blue. I find blue might refresh our mood. Don't you think so? 

Dongeng Sepanjang Masa

Recently our book-freak girl, Zea, is crazy about Dongeng Sepanjang Masa.What's so special about it? The book is published by Bhuana Ilmu Populer (Gramedia Group). It's designed beautifully with eye-catching hard cover, although the book is a bit thick but the size is handy so it's easy to bring and read it everywhere just like Zea does.  

There are several edition of the book. So far Zea has three books, Dongeng Dunia, Dongeng untuk Puteri Tersayang and Dongeng Charles Dickens. One thick book consists of 10-14 stories written down by legendary authors such as Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Dickens, Brothers Grimm, etc. Of course this is not an original version of the book since this book is targeted for children. All those greatest stories are merely retold  by other authors and enriched by engaging illustrations. 

Yesterday when we visited Gramedia bookstore, we found the new series of the collection that are Dongeng Charles Dickens and Dongeng Grimm Bersaudara. After thinking back and forth, Zea finally chose Dongeng Charles Dickens. There are five best stories of Dickens, Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield. As a-five-year-old girl perhaps the stories are a bit difficult to be absorbed by Zea but knowing her big love through books, I am sure she's going to love all those classic stories. You'll find many great things and experience great moments with all those classic stuff, Zea. Promise.       


65 (Lanjutan Blues Merbabu)
Author:  Gitanyali
Publisher: KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia)
Publication Date: May 2012
Pages: 204

Akal sehat dan daya hidup tidak begitu saja bisa dilumpuhkan.

("65", Gitanyali

Due to 1965 tragedy, Gitanyali had to live separately from other members of the family. He had to leave his happy life into a poor life. He changes his name many times. He makes many definitions of 'freedom' as he needs. Until one day his relatives asked him to move to Jakarta. Farewell to his life at that small city near Merbabu mount including his wild romance with many girls there.

A new chapter begins. As a communist's son, he knows he can't have a career in formal sector. Instead he chooses media, studying cinema and freelancing as a journalist. he continues his adventures with several women he meets. This wild romances go on and on. Until one day he meets Emma, a beautiful woman who owns an art gallery in Bangkok, this is one big leap in Gitanyali's life. Before meeting Emma, he has some anxiety concerning married life and keeps hopping from one woman to another. But Emma changes everything. He's proposing her and they finally get married.

1965 and PKI are one chapter in Indonesia's history. There are many version of the stories. There are also many 'dark' stories we heard about it. But Gitanyali refused to drown in his  sadness or alienation. He chose his path. He tells his story in a very different way. Instead of feeling blue about his story, he entertains us. He said, "Berhubungan dengan stigma, aku merasa biasa saja. tak terbebani apa-apa. yang kurasa perlu dikasihani masyarakatku, bukan aku." 

An alternative memoir that shares the valuable insights into the life of a man whose identity was denied by his state and society but instead of getting angry with that condition, this man is busy with his own life. He lives his life to the fullest. He tells stories from his completely different point of view.  He gives us new things to ponder.

Blues Merbabu

Author:  Gitanyali
Publisher: KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia)
Publication Date: February 2011
Pages: 186

Benar kita hanya bisa memelihara kenangan, tapi tidak menghidupinya
("Blues Merbabu", Gitanyali)

Autobiography is your own story. You can make it on your own way. Gitanyali (the pen name of Kompas journalist, Bre Redana) chooses to write his memoir in a light, witty yet deep way.

It's all begun in a small village near Merbabu mount in Central Java. Gitanyali once lived a good life with her family in one big house. Until year 1965, his father as one of the respected leader in Communist Party known as PKI was taken by apparatus without any news, he just disappeared like what happened to many people there. His mother was also taken by the apparatus and put into jail but luckily she survived and finally released. Since then Gitanyali's life had been changed  upside down.

This is a story about a boy who lost his father to the Communist purges at age 10. Gitanyali recalls the traumatic experience from his father's position as a respected leader of the community to an enemy of the state and ultimately, a victim of its brutality.
But don't worry, there are no tears here. This is not a mellow memoir. Gitanyali shares his life merely with witty things. He learns how to survive. He tries to enjoy his life including his wild adventures with lots of girls in his small city. He chooses to hang on without the 'real' fighting. Enjoy the flow of the story and all its absurdity.

Friday, We're in Love

We had a visit to Taman Safari Cisarua last Friday. It was a sudden decision. We thought that some people were still at the office, others were still busy with mudik stuff, so we hope that the place wouldn't  be so crowded.

Leaving home at 7.30 am, the traffic was very friendly and at 9.00 am we're already there and ready to explore the park. We started by buying some fresh carrots that were offered by some street seller. Later on we would give the carrots to the herbivore as their breakfast.  

It's really a fabulous moment. We enjoyed all, the animals themselves, the animal shows, the animal zoo, the playground, the water park and all. What we love about this park is the fresh surrounding. The sun was actually there but it's not hot. The mountain air was everywhere. Although we spent almost the whole day there but we didn't feel tired. It's really a relaxing getaway. No wonder that most people consider this place as one of their favorite holiday spots.