Le Miserables

Director: Tom Hooper
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
Casts: Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway
But remember this, my brother. See in this some higher plan. You must use this precious silver to become an honest man. By the witness of the martyrs, by the passion and the blood, God has brought you out of darkness. I have brought your soul for God.
I am really into books, movies and music. When I watched Les Miserables, I got two of them a good movie combined with great music. This latest version of Les Miserables is a British musical drama film which is adapted from a Broadway great musical. It's definitely a spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo's epic tale.  

I watched several version of Les Miserables and I love all of them. This latest movie is also awesome. I enjoy all, to name some, such as the acting is amazing, the sets are incredible and of course the music is beyond words. Many people are stunned when Anne Hathaway sings her version of I Dreamed a Dream. Honestly I waited this epic moment and when the scene was there, I was speechless. Time seems to stop at the moment Hathaway sings the song with her very touching voice.

Les Miserables tells a story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), an ex convict who becomes a mayor of a town in France. Soon exposed Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of dying Fantine (Anne Hathaway), but as a fugitive he must also avoid being captured again by obsessed police inspector Javert (Russel Crowe).  The film is set against the backdrop of 19th century, a moment when political turmoil culminates in the June Rebellion of France. One of the best epic ever.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Last Sunday morning, Najla and Zea were invited to their friend's birthday. As usual there is always a drama every time my girls get an invitation. I realize that our two girls have a different point of view toward the invitation. Najla is completely happy while Zea on the other hand will show no enthusiasm at all. The bigger they are, the clearer it is shown that Najla enjoys being with people while Zea prefers her solitude (as long as she has her books). It also happened that Sunday morning, Najla was busy choosing her birthday dress and the accessories while Zea seemed preoccupied. When Najla asked her sister, "Zea, kok nggak siap-siap pakai baju bagus?", Zea answered in a calm tone, "Lho...aku kan nggak ikut ke ulang tahun. Nanti aku tunggu di luar saja sama Mama." And she proved it, at the birthday party she just entered the room to congratulate the birthday boy and then left the place and sat quietly next to me outside the party venue. What a girl!

Back to the birthday party itself, it's actually just an ordinary birthday party which was celebrated in one of fast food restaurant. But one special thing that I noticed was the goody bag, yes it still had snack, rice chicken and everything but one thing that attracted my attention was the cute cactus with a pink handling. I read the hanging note at the pink handling, it explains about how to take care of the cactus. It turns out to be quite simple. I guess this is one small step in supporting our kids to start loving the plants. If they enjoy the process, hope they will love dealing with flowers, trees and the like in order to preserve our green earth. Even a very tiny 'green' thing will never be wasted.   


Author: Leila S. Chudori
Publisher: KPG: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia
Publication Date: December 2012
Pages: 464

Pulang is the latest novel written down by Leila S. Chudori, a Tempo journalist.This is another novel with historical background, the 30th September 1965 tragedy. Up until now there are still lots of unexplained facts, loopholes, mysteries and the like about that tragedy therefore everything about it will be interesting. It took six years for Leila to finish this novel. She visited Paris twice in order to interview the ex-political prisoners who established the Indonesian restaurant in Paris and got the books and other materials to support the writing process of this novel.

Pulang is a family drama, friendship, love and betrayal using the setting of three important historical moments, Indonesia on 30th September 1965, France on May 1968, and Indonesia on May 1998. The central character here is Dimas Suryo, an ex-political prisoner who happens to be outside Indonesia when the 30th September 1965 tragedy breaks out. Dimas and his three best friends are suspected by the new regime government (without any legal trail) to have relation with the people behind the tragedy. Their passports are revoked. They are not allowed to return to Indonesia. The government does not stop there. They chase their families. Interviewing them. Even many of them are put in jail.

This is the start before Dimas and their friends become stateless. Without any legal status, they go to different part of the globes, from Havana to Santiago to Peking and finally landed in Europe. A place to stay. They open an Indonesian restaurant in Paris in order to survive. Soon Dimas got married with a France woman, Vivienne, and they have one beautiful daughter, Lintang Utara.

The story will continue from Lintang Utara's point of view, back in Jakarta on May 1998. This is another tragedy. Human's life will never be far from tragedy. Although been living in Europe for ages, Dimas always misses Indonesia. He wants to be buried in Jakarta. He wants to return to his root. Everybody needs a place where he can go home. A home is where a heart is.

Another historical novel but wrapped in a simple prose. If you think history is not your cup of tea, you still can enjoy this novel.     

Five Years of Blogging

High technology, latest gadget, and the like are not my cup of tea. Having a blog would never cross my mind. How could I manage it? Thank God, when I still worked at my previous office, I once had close relationship with a guy who loved to deal with gadgets and all high-tech stuffs, he's the one who introduced and assisted me with my early blog. 

Since I love writing, having a blog is surely a heaven to me while the guy who helped me with my blog has stopped posting in his blog ages ago since like other 'resigned' bloggers are more interested in involving in social media, such as FaceBook and Twitter instead of managing blogs.  

Been 5 years now of having my own blog. Instead of getting bored, I even feel more love towards it. My resolution for this 5th anniversary of blogging is to keep posting more often with various kind of topics. I will try my best although sometimes all the postings are still in my head since lately it's so difficult to have a me-time for blogging, yep..another excuse of a person who fails to manage her time *sigh*.

So far, what do I get in five years of blogging? Lots of things of course. I can express my feeling, my opinion, my thoughts, my reflections, my everything, besides I also got several best blogger friends, although we have never met but the relationships grow more intense everyday. Perhaps, that's just one of the blogging power. I am sure there are still lots of them therefore I plan not to stop blogging. Not now. Not later. Never.

Being Forty is not a Sin*

To me-- old age is always ten years older than I am.

--John Burroughs

Yesterday I turned 40. The first birthday without my mom. Still I am grateful for all, I am still surrounded by lovely people. I have my healthy father, my beloved hubby and the girls, my brother, my sister, my in laws, and the whole nieces and nephew and last but not least, my best friends. There are lots to be grateful about. Instead of regretting what we don't have, it's better to focus upon what we have. God knows what the best for His mankind. Nothing to be doubted about.

Since Zea's birthday, 1st January was a holiday therefore we just celebrated her birthday at school yesterday.  I ordered several bentos for Zea's classmates. They turned out to be really cute. The yellow rice was set out as the Angry Bird's character. Thanks to Mbak Yanti for the bento. 

*Title is inspired by Golda Meir's quote, 'being seventy is not a sin'.

Top Ten Favorite Books in 2012

If in 2011 I could read until 60 books but unfortunately in 2012 I only finished 50 books. The tons of books are still there scattering all around the house, but lately it seems so hard to have a peaceful reading time *excuse*  or perhaps the problem is back to time management. Planning to do numerous different activities but failed to execute properly *sigh*

After checking my one year reading, here are my favorite:
1. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
2. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
4. Klub Film by David Gilmour
5. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
6.  How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill
7. Sepeda Merah 1 & 2 by Kim Dong Hwa
8. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
9. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
10. Amba by Laksmi Pamuntjak.

Hope there will be more awesome books in 2013 and I can finish all the books I have now (the all time similar praying). 

Na Willa

Title: Na Willa (Serial Catatan Kemarin)
Author: Reda Gaudiamo
Illustrator: Cecillia Hidayat
Publisher: aikon
Publication Date: September 2012
Pages: 109

Suatu hari, aku naik ke kursi, naik ke bufet, mencoba membuka bagian radio yang ada kainnya. Mak berteriak-teriak, "Astaganaga, Willa! Mau diapakan radio itu!" Waktu aku bilang mau melihat orang-orang kecil yang ada di dalam radio, yang selalu omong-omong dan menyanyi itu. Mak langsung menangkap tanganku. Aku ditarik turun dari kursi.

(radio#1, Na Willa, Reda Gaudiamo)
This little special book came from a dream. The author, Reda Gaudiamo,  had a dream to write a book that can be read by the whole family members, from kids until moms and dads. She planned to write the book in a simple language and packed with beautiful illustrations (that finally made by Cecillia Hidayat). 

That's how Na Willa's project was born. Reda first shared two stories through her Facebook and blog. It turned out that people love them and asked Reda to publish the stories in a book. Publishing a book will need (big) money, therefore Reda via this website asked the readers to give contribution in order to turn  Na Willa's stories into a book that can be widely read by many people.

Na Willa is a five-year-old  girl who lives with her mom, dad and maid (si mbok) at a small alley in  Surabaya during late 60s. A time when RRI radio station was the only entertainment they had, Lilis Suryani was a popular singer, orange crush was their favorite drink, etc. With her naive questions and clear eyesight, we will be taken to a very enjoyable journey, Na Willa's everyday life. There are 32 stories. All with different themes, about her friends, the games they played, the school, the occasions around her neighborhood, and the like. The more we read Na Willa's stories, the more we are going to love her. Can't wait for the next stories.              

Farewell Mama

In memory of our beloved Mom (September 26, 1942 - January 6, 2013)

Untuk segala sesuatu ada masanya,
untuk apapun di bumi langit ada waktunya

Amba, Laksmi Pamuntjak

Our New Year Baby is Turning 6

All the world is birthday cake
so take a piece, but not too much

--George Harrison