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Weekly Photo Challenge: “Scale”

Hey ho! It’s me again 🙂

Another post for weekly photo challenge, this time for the theme of “Scale”! I decided to use picture of Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy, which was taken from a hill next to the port. From above, we can see colorful buildings and boats which look small and cute (it might not be the right word, but anyway). It’s amazing how some things could be perceived differently, depending from which angle you are looking at it. Hope you like this picture as much as I do!

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TV Series Review: “Stranger Things” (Season 1)

Release year: 2016
Creators: The Duffer brothers (Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer)
Status: Season 1 (2016), Season 2 (2017), Season 3 (premiere 2018)
Cast: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown

Yes, I am late by a year to watch this great TV series, but as people said, better late then never 😛

Stranger Things is a Netflix original series which released on July 2016. Taking a set in fictional rural town of Hawkins during 1980s, the first season of this series was focusing on the investigation and searching of a missing boy, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). It was a regular day for Will and his friends: Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo). The four boys had been playing Dungeons and Dragons (got to find out what game this is about!) at Mike’s house for 10 hours straight before being told to go home since it was already late. In his way back, Will encountered something which prevented him to reach home that night.

The absence of Will only realized in the following day when his mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder), was about to wake him up in the morning. Joyce then frantically requested investigation to Jim Hopper (David Harbour), the chief of police department in Hawkins. While the investigation process ongoing, the other boys decided to find Will by themselves. That’s when they encountered a little girl with shaved head, lost and frightened because she’s being chased by bad guys. Little did the boys know that she will be the key to all mysteries which would come later in the story.

I just finished watching Season 1 marathon yesterday and my  very first thought was: give me back Eleven! I fell in love to this character so much, not only because she has the power (girrrlll powerrrr…. yeah!!), but because she is growing beautifully as a child and as a person. Millie Bobby Brown portrayed this character so well, I ended up believing Eleven since the very first time of her appearance.

ElevenImage
Badass Eleven – love her!

There are couple of things that I enjoyed from this series:

  • The plot: I simply love it. When I first read the brief synopsis of this series, I was thinking that it sounded quite familiar and not entirely new. It reminded me a bit to X-files, so I was not sure what to expect. The Duffer brothers offered me more: it had the flavor of X-files and ET without copying any aspect of both movies. I was infatuated and could not stop watching the episodes, wondering where the direction will go
  • The setup: Rural areas in the 1980s became the perfect set for this series. If I recall, it was also the time when movies about science fiction and supernatural stuffs were booming, particularly in US.
  • The characters: It’s kind of funny, but somehow I like most of the characters in this series. Obviously, Eleven and the boys are the ones I like the most. They were what you expected from a group of curious teenagers with very normal friendship (lots of arguments yet ready to support each other whenever required). Hopper stole my attention once he became himself and did things with his ways. I even like Steve (boyfriend of Nancy, Mike’s older sister) because he was honest and nice, even though sometimes he acted stupidly (lol).
  • The cast: I really love Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour in this series. I think they did a very good job since the first episode and I expect they will do the same in the second season
  • The sound and music: It has enough spookiness without making you jump from your chair every time the monster appears in the screen

Kudos for the Duffer brothers who have successfully written and directed this series. They prepared a great start for this story and I am looking forward to what they will offer next. Overall, I can say that this is one of the best TV series I have watched so far (to be fair, I have not watched many TV series in the last two years). I will start  the second-season-marathon shortly and post my review afterward.

My rate: 4 out of 5 stars

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Weekly Photo Challenge: “Temporary”

Sometimes I want to cry looking at my blog which I imagined to be updated regularly, but in the end becoming semi-hiatus because of my laziness (I tempted to defend myself that I was totally busy with work in the beginning). Since I am still thinking what to write in my next post, I will start with my favorite entry: weekly photo challenge! 😛

Referring to the theme of Temporary, I immediately remember on beautiful Sakura which I (luckily) witnessed during my trip to Japan. Only bloomed in spring, it is one of those natural events that (I think) everyone should consider if she/he gets the chance.

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Hello Again, Life Plan!

Few weeks ago I finally met my dear friend who just moved back to Indonesia. We worked together in the same function when he was still in the company. In the beginning I had difficulty to understand him and, well, I was a bit afraid of him. He was (and has been) a very straightforward, perfectionist and really demanding person. Though it was quite overwhelming in the beginning, eventually he and I became good friends, and he often gave me some advices especially related to work.

When I thought that our reunion would be a nice, kind of funny meeting since we will remember our colleagues who already moved or retired, he (of course) turned the table around to me. Demandingly, he asked me about my Life Plan and how it progressed.

I was stunned. Honestly, even though I wrote few posts about revisiting my life plan, what I did really just considering a small part of the plan and included it in my to-do-list. Somehow I forgot that Life Plan is not as simple as a plan to buy new mobile phone or to go traveling during holiday break. I need to spend some time and put my energy in finalizing the plan because in the end, this Life Plan will help me to achieve my goals in life.

And that’s the key word: my goal in life. My Life Goal.

What is actually things that I want to achieve?

What is my passion?

Am I living it now?

If I am not living with my passion now, do I plan something that will ensure I will be doing it in the future?

These questions popped out in my head when I opened again my “dusty” Life Plan, and oh man, I was really nervous. I created that file three yours ago with the help of this friend of mine and it was with assumptions that I will achieve some of my milestones in one or two years. Means I should have achieved something in 2015 and 2016….which were in the past.

In short, I kind of wasting my two and half years’ time, letting myself carried away by the flow of life. I was a bit disappointed, but not too much, because I personally think the two years difference is still somehow okay-ish. Sure, I need to change my goals now and maybe speed up my efforts to still achieve some of my mid-term goals, but somehow I think that is still reasonable. Better late than never, that’s what I keep telling myself.

So now, I have a big homework. Not only I have to revisit my Life Plan and fine-tune it based on my current condition, I need to also work with my hubby to have joint Life Plan since both of us are an item now. I am glad that Rendy (my hubby) got a chance to meet my friend and got some short induction about the concept of Life Plan. I think both of us agree that Life Plan is indeed important, and that we need to prepare one for our family moving forward.

Wish us luck! 🙂

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In Love with Akdong Musician (AKMU)

Lately I have been infected by Korean wave or generally called hallyu. It began when I started watching I Can See Your Voice (see more about it in my previous post), and since then I just cannot stop browsing for some Korean stuffs, especially K-pop songs. This time I will share one of my “bias” (I think this is how K-fan naming their main interest?): Akdong Musician a.k.a AKMU. 

I first realized this group when I accidentally found their video when they were auditioning for Kpopstar. If I recall correctly, Kpopstar is some kind of Korean singing competition show where the winner will be part of the talent agency (for better information you might check via google 😋). Anyway, this siblings left quite an impression in my mind because they were so cute and had some talent to compose a nice song. See the video here:

I did not explore further their other songs afterward, but not so long ago I saw their videos being reacted to by Reacttothek, one of youtube channel which shows reaction of classical musicians to Korean songs (they are very entertaining by the way, you should check it out 😁). I fell in love instantly to their songs, 200% and Give Love. Compared to other K-pop songs which I’ve ever listened to, their music is very simple yet very engaging. It is easy listening and cheers you up in a very happy way. My favorite so far is 200% that I could listen maybe hundred times in a day. 

AKMU consists of Lee Chan Hyuk (brother) and Lee Soo Hyun (sister). After they won Kpopstar season 2 in 2014 (I wish I had known it before!), they signed a contract with YG entertainment and released three albums, Play (2014), Spring (2016) and Winter (2017). Their latest single album is Summer Episode (2017) which was launched only last July with two tracks inside: Dinosaur and My Darling. 

What I love from AKMU is their simplicity and creativity in creating music. Most of their songs tell stories which are relatable and easy to digest. How People Move, for example. This happy and bouncy song tells us about how amazing it is to be alive as human being. It is amazing to be able to breathe and move around with your feet and do lot of things with your hands, which is true, right? Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be born as human. I remember when I was younger, I asked myself what would happen if I had been born as a chair. How devastated would it have been for me not being able to do anything I like? I am quite happy that this same feeling was also captured in their lyrics:

It’s a relief that I’m a human out of all the countless living creatures
If I were born a toy
I wouldn’t be able to move on my own, it’s frightening to even think about it
Then how is my heart bounce bouncing

If you are looking at this video, you would not think that the lyrics will be quite deep in the meaning, and that is what I like about it 😁


Another song which I really like lately is Dinosaur. This newest song of AKMU is actually their first experiment with EDM (honestly I did not know what EDM is until I googled it and found out that it is Electronic Dance Music! Lol). In the beginning I was surprised and did not really get the feel of it, but after listening to it several times, I found myself more and more engaged to this song. I love how light the song is and not heavily ‘EDM’-ed. It still showcases Soo Hyun’s amazing voice and their beautiful harmonization. 

The video tells us stories about bullied Chan Hyuk and lonely Soo Hyun who created their own world inside their dream. In that world they could enjoy their freedom, however there is one thing that they were afraid of, which was the dinosaur. Though in the beginning they looked like running away from it, in the end they decided to face their fear. This was reflected in the lyric:  

You broke down our window
You roared at my family
If I see you again
Then
I’m gonna shout louder than you
Dinosaur

There is a good review about this video in seoulbeats that I think very good and relevant (I honestly did not realize that it linked to Spielberg and series of Stranger Things!). I am impressed how thoroughful this video was made, and completely aligned with their story of Dinosaur

In conclusion, I am totally in love with AKMU and looking forward for their next projects. Hopefully I could get a chance to see their live concert because from what I found in youtube, they always perform amazingly in their live performances! “They ate their own CD.”, has been always everyone’s comment when people see their live performance. They are simply amazing 😍

AKMU, hwaiting! 😄💪🏻