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Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Share an image of your happy place, a secret spot you love, or a faraway location you return to again and again.

I must say Japan will be that special place which I’d love to visit again and again. I’ve been there three times and still I plan to go there next year ūüėā

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Review: Black Panther

Black Panther

Title: Black Panther
Year: 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writers: Ryan Coogler,  Joe Robert Cole
Stars: Chadwick Boseman,¬† Michael B. Jordan,¬† Lupita Nyong’o, Forrest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke

Black Panther was opened with introduction¬†about Wakanda, a country and nation established by five African tribes, led by the very first “Black Panther”, a warrior who got superhuman power from “heart-shaped herb”. The Wakandans got held of the strongest metal in the world, vibranium, and used it to¬†develop advanced technology while¬†isolating themselves from the world by posing as a Third World country.

In the present day, after King T’Chaka passed away, his son¬†T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku (Winston Duke) challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and convinces him to give up and take care of his tribe rather than die during the ritual. After T’Challa officially crowned as King of Wakanda, T’Challa’s friend,¬†W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), requested him to find and bring to Wakanda¬†Klaue, a robber who managed to get into Wakanda years ago and stole some vibranium for trading. T’Challa, Okoye (the leader of the Dora Milaje¬†regiment, played by Danai Gurira) and Nakia (T’Challa’s ex-lover, played by Lupita Nyong’o) eventually go to Busan, following information that Klaue will sell a stolen Wakandan artifact to¬†his buyer there. To his surprise, T’Challa meets CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) who apparently acts as the buyer for Klaue. A firefight takes place and Klaue is arrested under CIA watch, however he is rescued by his team, led by Erik Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), a former US black operation soldier. During the chaos, Ross is severely injured when protecting Nakia. Feeling responsible, T’Challa takes Ross back to Wakanda where their technology can save him.

While Ross is being healed, T’Challa interrogates Zuri (Forest Whitaker), a Wakandan elder and “heart-shaped herb” caretaker, about N’Jobu, his uncle. He saw Erik wearing a ring that only a Wakandan has and wondering if somehow he is related to N’Jobu. Zuri explains that in the past,¬†N’Jobu planned to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them defeat the dictators.¬†While T’Chaka¬†arrested N’Jobu and about to take him back to Wakanda, N’Jobu attacked Zuri, forcing T’Chaka to kill him. T’Chaka ordered Zuri to lie that N’Jobu had disappeared and left behind N’Jobu’s American son, Erik, in order to maintain the lie. Erik, filled with hatred, plans to have his revenge by taking over King of Wakanda’s throne and continue N’Jobu’s vision. It’s now up to T’Challa to prevent other world wars happen with vibranium being distributed freely to many countries.

I like this movie. I think it gives a different vibe of Marvel’s superhero story. The background narrative of African nation and culture provides different touch, and I really enjoy it. However,¬†I could not help myself to think a little bit further about it. I had an impression that the reaction from other audiences in the theatre was not as “hyped” as mine for some scenes that I found quite hilarious. I could be wrong of course, since I did not pay attention to my surrounding all the time, but it made me think. Do people really think and react¬†differently about this movie because it tells us story about African people? Do people unconsciously compare it with other superhero movies which usually have white male or female protagonists? Or was it only me, who might be¬†a racist without realizing it? In the end,¬†this movie somehow becomes a soft reminder to me to revisit again my actions so far:¬†have I been acting fair to everyone around me?¬†Have I been judgmental to people without consciously aware about it? It is refreshing to know that a movie can bring such an impact to us and makes us think to be a better person moving forward.

Other than that “aha” moment, I found the story is a bit unclear for me, especially story about Erik. I find it difficult to believe that by only listening to some stories told by his father when he was a kid, Erik could know so much about Wakanda, i.e.¬†its isolated location (I mean, they have invisible barrier around the country and he easily enters¬†it without getting lost. Really?), its culture, its vibranium treasure and so much more. I mean, he was a teenager when N’Jobu was murdered, and prior to that, N’Jobu was busy with his espionage and rebellion works. I am not sure he had enough time to explain everything about Wakanda in details to Erik, or at least it was not shown sufficiently in the movie. This fact makes the movie’s climax becoming anti-climax since the emotion is not fully captured there. At least I can’t feel it (sorry Erik!).

Overall, I am quite satisfied with this movie. I am giving 4 out of 5 stars for my rating. Another Marvel’s superhero movie which is enjoyable to watch.

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I’m Back (Again)!

I just realized that I have been neglecting my blog for the last two months. Ugh. I promised myself to write more regularly but seems I still could not keep my promise. I guess it is my homework to somehow make it works; maybe having a writing schedule will help since I will be forced to write. Let’s see!

The last two months have been quite challenging for me, though it’s getting calmer nowadays. I have been considering a major decision I might take in my life, and in the end I have committed to do it, but unfortunately, I haven’t got the opportunity to do it yet. Now I am waiting for the opportunity to come, hopefully in the near future. I am just afraid as time goes by, I will lose my sight on this target, and get carried away with current life flow. Being in comfort zone could be as bad as not doing anything in your life. You get so used to it, you don’t even want to think if there is something wrong or need to be changed in order to achieve bigger target or objective in your life. It’s a bit shame, but just couple of months before, I did not think about leaving¬†comfort zone at all. I loved it, in fact, I was so afraid on what could happen if I dared to take the risk, regardless of what I might get if I take it instead.

Comfort Zone Quotes - A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but n

After revisited my life plan in January, I understand that I cannot stay longer in my comfort zone. Of course, I cannot just blindly change and leave the comfort zone without a plan. I still need to review properly things that I want to do and risks associated with it. As per today, I notice that my plan didn’t go smoothly as I expected. Therefore I need to think about another scenario which will be applicable for me. Still some homework needs to be done, but I am excited and nervous at the same time. Hopefully everything can go¬†well as per planned. Wish me luck ūüôā

That’s all for now. Will post review on Black Panther and Dilan 1990 in the next few days. Until then!

 

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Welcome 2018!

Happy New Year, folks!

It’s amazing that 2018 is already here! Somehow New Year could make people excited, either due to¬†its celebration, or¬†resolution¬†on whatever target(s) they want to achieve. New Year sometimes acts as a motivation booster for people to be better, either as a personal or professional. With the same spirit, I think it’s good to¬†welcome¬†this brand¬†new year by reading¬†some quotes to boost our mood moving forward.

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The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. Melody Beattie

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. Helen Keller

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I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever. Neil Gaiman

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one. Brad Paisley

Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year‚ÄĒthe words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer. Peggy Toney Horton

You can never make this New Year as your best year because your best year is always the year you were born! When the fireworks start, be thankful for your existence and for everything which made this possible! Mehmet Murat ildan

 

 

 

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2017: A Short Reflection

It’s somehow unbelievable how fast 2017 went for me. It has been an interesting year with different feelings embedded into it. I can say 2017 is (also) one of the¬†most memorable years for me with some important milestones that not only change my life but also mindset.

I will start with the most life-changing milestone for me: (of course) entering a marriage life¬†ūüôā This year I finally agreed to share my life with my significant one, Rendy. After a complicated relationship and the on-off communication for four years, we were finally in the same page and made a commitment to walk together in the same path to reach our happiness as one family. As per today we have been married happily for a good eight months, and for sure, we have so many things to learn. I am glad¬†that I’ve entered this new chapter of life with Rendy,¬†as I believe he will guide, support, protect and take care of me (and our children) with all his love and power.

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Right after I got married, I got relocated to¬†my home town, Surabaya. It was a pleasant surprise since Rendy works there, hence we do not need to do a¬†long distance relationship (LDR) like we had planned to do. Though I don’t really hate Jakarta, I must say I am really glad that I moved back to my home town. It’s not as crowded as Jakarta and the traffic is not too bad (though it is actually worse compared to five years ago). I also like people in Surabaya because I think they are nicer and also warmer to others compared to those in Jakarta (no offense :)).

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Related to work and career, I finally got some insight on what I really want to do. It’s not really a change of heart, but¬†merely revisiting my previous plan and target which were¬†casted aside due to my own ignorance. I think that’s what always happened if you got “sucked” into the routines. Maybe it’s not a bad thing for some people, but for those who had prepared a life plan or goal, this could dangerously prevent them in achieving it. Look at me. I made my life plan three years ago, and none of them achieved as per today ūüė¶

Even though I am a bit sad, I am not giving up. As people said, “Better late than never.”¬† Thanks to my old friend who slapped me¬†in the face and reminded me to update my life plan (he helped me to build my¬†first life plan in¬†2014), I realized that those goals are still relevant and I do want to achieve it. I know those things will make me happy,¬†regardless how difficult the situation could be. I am nervous yet excited to pursue my revamped life plan. Wish me luck!

I also learnt that good friends are not that easy to get and keep. I am very grateful to have few good friends who will support me no matter what. I hope our relationship will get stronger and remain forever in our life.

Last but not least, I think I am learning to be a more humble person. I am lucky that Rendy is teaching me day by day about life, to see everything from a different perspective. I know I am not there yet, but hopefully I could be a better person gradually and bring happiness to people around me.

Cheers to wonderful 2017 and to hopeful 2018!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: “Scale”

Hey ho! It’s me again ūüôā

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 ūüėõ

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.

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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