The English Teacher (2013)

Director: Craig Zisk
Writer: Dan Charlton & Stacy Charlton
Casts: Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Michael Angarano

The English Teacher is a 2013 comedy movie. It's a story about Linda Sinclair (Moore), a forty-year-old unmarried english teacher in the small town of Kingston, Pennsylvania. Linda is a book   freak. She loves book since she was a little girl. While her friends busy playing basketball or doing sport, she would just sat there with her book. Even after she was in her college time instead of having a boy friend like her other friends did, she still there all alone accompanied by her book.

She is really into english literature. She is so caught up with the characters, the plot and the ending of the books she read therefore she already imagines her prince to be and it seems so difficult to get in the real life.  But that's fine with her. She enjoys her life. She is a passionate teacher and popular among her students. 

Linda also tries several time to have a date with many different characters of men but it never works. It's so funny when she describes her date, how she feels about the man will be simply told by a narrator. I think this narrator (Fiona Shaw) has a very important role in the movie since the comment are so very smart and funny. Since Linda is a teacher, she will judge the man such as  his attitude, his character, etc and finally she will give score, it could be a C or a D, haha..

Linda's simple life is changed when her former student Jason Sherwood (Angarano) returns to Kingston after failing to succeed as a playwright. Linda then convinces him to produce his play at school while Jason's father actually asks him to choose law school instead. 

This is a simple story but combined with original comedy, a touching drama, good plot that make the movie perfectly excellent. I enjoy it a lot. So many screens to laugh about since the script is quite smart and funny. 

The Jacatra Secret

Title: The Jacatra Secret
Author: Rizki Ridyasmara
Publisher: Penerbit Bentang
Publication Date: July 2013
Pages: 438

Batavia dibangun VOC menurut cetak biru Freemasonry Hindia Belanda. Kelompok persaudaraan okultis ini menyisipkan aneka simbol Masonik-nya di berbagai tata ruang kota, arsitektur gedung dan monumen, prasasti makam, dan lain-lain, yang masih bisa disaksikan hingga sekarang.

I got familiar with the terms Freemasonry, Kaballah, holy grail, secret society and the like when I finished reading Da Vinci Code, one of controversial book written by Dan Brown. Back to my school days then, I have already been into history, but learning about symbol is a new thing to me and I got to admit that it's interesting.

Reading this debut book of Rizki Ridyasmara brought back my memories of Da Vinci Code. I found several similarities such as: the characters, the theme, the plot etc but one thing that makes this book special is the setting. The author uses Jakarta as the setting completed with its historical buildings such as Monas, Fatahillah Museum, Bappenas Building, and also symbols, secret tunnel, and last but not least the shocking facts related to history of Indonesia. When I read this book, I feel like experiencing several scenes myself since all the setting used are familiar places such as Sarinah Thamrin, Istiqlal Mosque, Pasar Festival Kuningan, etc. We pass those roads many times. We know the building. Soon after we finish reading it, we will obtain a new insight about our country, Indonesia. It leaves us with several important things to ponder. Quite Interesting. If you like a fast-moving-thriller story, this book is the one.

The Jacatra Secret was once published independently in 2011. Soon it became a trending topic among people and very difficult to get. It's sold out every where. On July 2013 Penerbit Bentang published it and its sequel, the Blood Gold will be released soon. Can't hardly wait.    


Title: Murjangkung, Cinta yang Dungu dan Hantu-hantu
Author: A.S. Laksana
Publisher: GagasMedia, 2013
Pages: 214

I enjoy reading literature although sometimes after finishing the book I get more headache than enjoyment.. haha.. but still I read it once in a while to balance my reading experience.  A.S Laksana, the author of Murjangkung is one of my favorite among other literature authors.  I started to enjoy his works during 1990s when I still studied at my college and at that time De Tik Tabloid was considered as a mandatory read for almost all of the college students until it was revoked by General Soeharto regime together with Tempo magazine and Editor magazine on June 21, 1994.  I remember every time I got De Tik edition, I always read a column written by  A.S. Laksana first  before I continued with the headline news. I think I was kind of addicted with his  writing which is simple yet deep.

Murjangkung is A.S. Laksana's second short stories compilation after Bidadari yang Mengembara, the best literature in 2004 as stated by Tempo magazine. Murjangkung tells about 20 short stories. 20 differrent flavors of short stories that will take readers' mind somewhere, far far away, beyond our imagination. Read each story slowly, enjoy the strong characters, smart dialog, rich description and details and of course unpredictable endings. 

Although it's a literature but the author not using any poetic words that will make the reader tired or confused on the contrary he delivers the stories by using the power of storytelling. He uses complex yet clear sentences. Those power makes this book unputdownable. You just can't stop until it's finished.   

There's No Such Place Like School...

I always impatiently wait for Friday. It's the day when I have no class to teach. It's nothing but fun. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching but when you have a very tight teaching schedule from Monday till Thursday sometimes you just need to escape from all of them. Friday is just the right time. The day when I can not only take Najla and Zea to school but also to pick them up. And tell you what, my girls' school is one of the nicest place that I adore. It's not a modern-sophisticated building or something, in fact it's just an ordinary school  building with warm and homey feeling inside. The good parts are the kind-hearted teachers, the big fields, the green grass, the playgrounds with the swing, monkey bar, sliding, etc., the canteen with its simple but yummy food but what I love most is the big green trees, especially the rambutan trees during the harvest time, they look quite tempting.

I always enjoy my time sitting under rambutan trees (and pray one of two rambutan fall over me, haha) and feel the breeze on my body while waiting for Najla and Zea's school to end. Just before their mom falls asleep, the  girls will show up with a big smile and a bear hug, those simple things mean a lot for a mother. It means the world. Yes, mother is actually easy to please as long as you know how :))

Weekend, Crepes & Planes

Last weekend Najla asked us to take her watching Planes the movie. Realizing how crowded the movie theater during weekend is, my hubby and I finally chose Kemang Village with the hope that the place was still friendly enough even on Sunday afternoon. Our prediction was precise, there's no queuing in the movie theater, we still could choose the seats, one row for four persons.

Before the movie began, we browsed around the mall and found this Japanese crepes restaurant, Momi & Toy's. The place's cozy. The ambience's peaceful with Japanese simple style. The taste of the crepes and the beverages're also quite good. We enjoyed all, the food, the view, the design and everything. A perfect place for spending your lazy weekend.      

One of the Best Things in Life

Najla and Zea on the way to their classroom at school
My little sister and I have five years of age difference. Since the gap of age is too far therefore we didn't interact well. When I was in elementary school, she just the 2-year-old annoying little girl. All she could do were crying and  ruining my things. Therefore during my childhood I always envied my friends who had almost same age sisters. I thought it would be so much fun if we had friend to play with at home.  But the older we got the stronger relationship we had.  Especially when we already got married and had children. We always share everything, baby's stuffs, info about nannies, good pediatrician, and many more.

My girls, Najla and Zea only have less than two years of age difference, to be exact is 1 year and 10 months. They are inseparable. Especially now they share almost everything together. They never run out of topic to be discussed. They talk to each other everywhere, e.g. in the bedroom, in the bathroom, on the way to school, during piano lesson, etc. In fact they talk since they open their eyes in the morning until they go to bed. Gosh. Sometimes they get too involved in the conversation and it seems that they can't hear other people's talk. True they have their own world. 

Of course there's also some frictions between them, some fighting over certain disagreement but usually they make peace shortly. I don't know the reasons behind the fast settlement, either they don't have any friend at home if they keep fighting or perhaps they are afraid that mom will even get angrier to know about their fighting (yep, I might be a mean mother sometimes, haha). All in all I am grateful to see them grow up together and share many important moments. Sister is one of the best things in life.  

Surat Panjang tentang Jarak Kita yang Jutaan Tahun Cahaya

Author: Dewi Kharisma Michellia
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication Date: June 2013
Pages: 240

Waktu terus bergerak, tetapi ujung usia kebanyakan manusia tak pernah melebihi dua ratus tahun--tak sampai menyentuh hitungan satu tahun cahaya. Tak peduli alat tercanggih dari negeri manapun yang kita gunakan untuk menempuh jarak itu, kau dan aku--dalam jarak sejauh itu--sudah barang tentu tak akan mungkin lagi bertemu secara fisik. Maka bila surat-suratku ini kelak diberikan judul, aku mungkin akan dengan jail menamainya "Surat Panjang tentang Jarak Kita yang Jutaan Tahun Cahaya".

I think unrequited love is one of the saddest  things in the world. Keep all your feeling inside with no likelihood of it being returned by the recipient, what could be more sorrowful than that? In this great book, the author, Dewi Kharisma Michellia delivered her story about a 40-year-old woman who lives all alone in her apartment and keeps dreaming about her one-sided love.  

The book is unique, it has a quite long title, the story's told using 37 letters written drown by a 40-year-old woman to Mr. Alien, her forever love, and there are  no name mentioned even for the lead characters. The letter is started at the time the 40-year-old woman receives a wedding invitation from Mr. Alien, his childhood friend. She is so shocked and thinks that her world turns upside down. But being a solitaire, she has no one to talk to therefore she finally decides to deliver her feeling through her regular letters. By reading the letter, we will find out about the woman's life, her unhappy childhood, her emptiness, her cynics through life, and the like.

I salute the writer's deep research and how she maintained to write the letter little by little until we finally enter the life of the lead character, trapped in there and instead out trying to find a way out, we get too curious to know the ending. How interesting. No wonder if the book is acclaimed as the finalist of novel writing competition hold by Dewan Kesenian Jakarta 2012, she delivers new thing to literature with her writing style, choice of words, diction and many more. I can't get this story out of my mind. It just likes a horror movie that keeps haunting me for several days. I feel so involved with what happens to the lead character there. Only a good author might do such thing. Highly recommended book. Worth to read.