Thursday, 30 April 2015

Mix It Up a Notch: Retro Moth Shirt

There was a phase in my life when I used to browse through Etsy in search for a goldmine of vintage goodness. One day, in my search for a local German seller or affordable American ones - because they usually know what's good -, I found this small store called The Capricious Traveler. It was having a clearance sale because it was closing down and one of the items was this adorable, one-of-a-kind butterfly print shirt. When I first stumbled upon it, I thought it was batik because from afar it looks quite similar to our traditional motif. But, upon closer inspection, it turns out to be more retro than ethnical. Ever since it arrived at my door, it has become my go-to shirt for a subtle vintage look. The first thing which attracted me was the peter pan collar, of course. But then the colour, the pattern, the buttons; they all spoke to me. Though the listing says butterfly print, I can't help but to see moths whenever I look at it. Plus, I think moth is perfect because it's often misunderstood and referred to as ugly compared to butterflies. (Click on the photos to see the posts!)

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Sasya's Tokubetsu Special Day

April was the month of meeting up with friends and hanging out with them. Last Sunday was the last weekend day of the month and what a finale! Saturday was Sasya's birthday - if you don't know who she is, you can see her here - and she invited us and some of her friends to a Japanese curry party at Coco Ichiban-ya and karaoke at our favourite place. It was like all the fangirls united. The curry was super delicious! I ordered the limited edition menu: Cheesy Hamburger. So it's a hamburger filled with cheese and when you cut it, the cheese oozes out and it was so good! The best part of the day is the fact that I could hang out with the full team of best friends again and I couldn't be more excited - well, maybe if Firu suddenly burst through the door. I was super wrapped up in the fun and excitement that I forgot to take some photos to immortalise the moment. There's no group photos of all of us from the night at all! A little bit disappointed in myself about that but it was one hell of a night. Afterwards, Cindy, Gina, Uli and myself hung out at a convenient market for "dinner" and some good ol' laughter - did I mention we all live relatively nearby to one another? It was the best. The next day, Uli came by to my place and hauled tons of books from my collection. Enjoy, Lai!

C&A Kitty hat // vintage shirt + outerwear // May&June skirt // Primark socks (gifted) // MKS ankle boots

I feel like I overdressed for a casual day of lunch and karaoke. This look just makes me feel all academic, maybe how I would look like if I continued on my previous major. I would be such a scholar, talking about Titian and chiaroscuro, traipsing through an art museum maybe like The Met or something. I planned a completely different look from this before but, with all the weight gain I've had as of late, none of the pieces I had in mind fit me anymore. Ugh, I'm super pissed by all the fat I gained! I mean, yes, basically it's all my own fault since I'm not even counting how many calories I'd been eating the past few months. But still. I'd really like to go back to slim now - I mean, I wasn't even like especially skinny but it would still be better than now. On another note, my hair seems to growing out nicely and I keep catching my own reflection in the mirror, surprised by how awesome it looks even though I haven't combed it at all that day. Yeah, yin and yang I guess.

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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Metafiction in the Form of Incidental Comics

There are many ways to celebrate the world of literature. More often than not, only literature knows how to celebrate literature. Only other books or drama would call reference to other works. It's almost like the devil's circle, except in a good way. Such is the case with Incidental Comics by Grant Snider. He actually started out in September 2007 but it was very different from the comics we can see today, that kind started out in 2010. I happened to stumble into it in 2013 through his Facebook page and, since then on, I always feel like his comics ring true to everything that an author or anyone in creative fields feel from time to time, whether we're comfortable with talking about them or not.

In September 2014, Snider himself revealed to Eyezine on how he transforms everyday moments into an epiphany. "I try to capture small moments in my sketchbook in rough, loose scribbles. Later, if the moment suggests a larger narrative, I’ll try to build it into a full-page comic. It’s increasingly hard to identify which scribbles should be given the attention and time that a finished comic page requires," he admitted. His whimsical way of putting all his dilemmas or conflicts together in one page is relieving - at least for me, if not for anyone else. It's always so nice to know that someone else is going through what you're going through and it turns out to be quite a normal occurrence.

For over 4 years now Snider has continued to upload a comic page every week, portraying his ideas and thoughts in the form of a lyric. Sometimes he even talks about ideas themselves, which is a paradox in itself. Personally, I feel that his works are as close as it gets to an illustrative literature. It seems to speak as one ought to expect from a dramatic work but with the visual aid of a graphic novel. The metafiction quality is one that is hard to shrug off. Grant Snider now resides in Wichita, Kansas with his family, practicing orthodontia and webcomic-artistry.

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Congratulations, self, you've just crossed the line to being a completely lazy blogger! I mean, some bloggers who take photos in bed probably actually do their hair and make up first before taking photos. But since I never do anyway, I see no reason why I should put extra effort to try to look like I "woke up like this" (as in perfect with winged eyeliner and blow-dried hair). I'd like to say that you've seen it all with this post but, sadly, no, I've been in worse states than this before. So, first, let me walk you through my morning: I usually start the morning with turning off my alarm clock - don't we all? - unless I beat it to the punch, drink my medicine, then scroll through my social media and play the game I'm currently playing for around 10-20 minutes. And then, still in my pyjamas or night gown, I will go outside to sunbath for at least 30 minutes - since that's mandatory for my disease - just around the neighbourhood. Afterwards, I will have breakfast and a glass of milk. I know, not very exciting. I don't have any skincare morning routine - or day or night, for that matter - but I just try to eat and sleep well and, thankfully, it's been working so far.

Sorry, I just recently found the pyjama so I don't know where it's from

Now, for the rest of the day, I usually sport the same look as the night before unless I'm going out or worked out in the morning - swimming or aerobics - and shower not long afterwards. But if I'm staying at home working or just...godknowswhat, you'll be sure to catch me still wearing the same thing by lunchtime. This pyjama in particular was gifted to me by my Grandma but it then got lost somewhere and I only recently found it again. It's really baggy, which is very helpful for my current state because most of my clothes can't fit me anymore, safe for the t-shirts and elasticated bottoms. When I was little I wore pyjamas all the time. I even used to buy matching sets with my sister. But somewhere along the line I just abandoned them completely because night gowns are much less fussy to put on and, usually, more breathable and breezy. And, believe me, in this climate that is essential. But, I've got to admit, pyjamas have a cutesy quality so I went back to it. Thank God, this one's breathable. Maybe I'll make a matching pyjama set for Firu someday.

P.S: I know I don't have the prettiest of feet, please be kind!

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

3 Things: You Look For in a Good Book

Welcome back, dear readers, to this blog's newest feature: 3 things! If you're new to the blog, 3 things is a monthly feature, where I ask a group of people from different professions (and interests) the three things involving their area of expertise. The idea is to connect more well-known people with their fans or public and get to know them a little better. Because, we all know how renowned people can seem quite out of reach at times. But, hopefully, by reading this feature, you will learn that they're actually human beings just like us, with comfortable habits and obstacles in their lives and we might actually get inspired by their answers. So since this month is literary month, I thought I'd round up a few of my favourite bookworms I know and ask them this:

Kathy Noto-Rillorta of My Peach Days
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  • A good plot. I don't judge a book by its cover but I do get my first impression on the plot summary at the back of the book. It's always nice to know what you're getting yourself into. 
  • Witty characters. That always lead to witty and engaging dialogues, which are not only entertaining, but are also extremely quotable. I love characters who have a strong sense of humor or, sometimes, even notoriously sarcastic. They make you pause and do a double take on that line so you can savor every word. 
  • Romance. I am a huge romance novel junkie and not ashamed of saying so. I think a lot of people don't like admitting they love romance novels just because they're not "intellectual" reads. Well, a lot of them are. I am particularly fascinated with 19th century historical/regency romance reads. The courtships are interesting and so unlike our generation of smart phones and instant messages. The romance sizzles and you can always count authors like Lisa Kleypas or Judith McNaught to give your heart an ache when the characters go through tough times.

Grotesque humor - I'm a big fan of humor, even more so if it's mixed with mutilated body parts and dangling organs. I guess a good example of this would be "John Dies at The End" by David Wong
Depressing Tones - I mean the ones that make you rethink everything about life. I want a book that could depress you to the point of catatonia. A story that ends happily with the oblivious hero taking the train into the looming dark cloud of nothingness because that's all there ever was. NOTHING. Plus points if it has happy/humorous scenes mixed in. (ex. Amerika [Der Verschollene] by Franz Kafka) I loved this book so much I wrote a thesis about it!
The Strange - Anything mysterious that leaves the reader wondering. (A slipper found in your closet that's not yours, the shadow of a strange man smoking on your rooftop, a reflection that suddenly blinks at you and you're not sure if you were hallucinating or..?) Better if the answer is something paranormal/magical. Something close to real life except it's not. It's too strange. Too magical. But in a setting so mundane, it's unbelievable. (ex. honestly can't think of one at the moment)

Muhammad Irfan Perdana
Linguistics Student at Bangor University
1) Good characterization. The characters have to be well-rounded and multidimensional, not boring, flat characters with a one-note personality.
2) Well-crafted language. Good wordplay is vital, whether it be for comedy, for scaring readers, for arousing them, etc.
3) Clear aesthetics and themes. A good book, above all else, has to know the feel it's going for and what it wants to do to get there. That's the factor that unifies every other aspect of the book.

So what do you look for in a good book?

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Between the Lines

There's not much to say in this post, I'm afraid. Aside from getting my nerd on and trying to read every book on the planet - or my house, for starters - and working on mini series at the moment, there's not much more interesting happening in my life. I went to the doctor to renew my prescription last week and, instead of losing the 2kg my doctor asked me to, I gained five more. Super! My diet has since changed a little, in which I scratch boba tea from my weekly treats and rice cakes from my daily treats. Uh huh, now you know how I eat. Other than that, I've only been struggling so hard to meet my deadline which is in 2-3 days. When I'm in such a mode, you should know, that I'm probably wearing nothing but jammies or night gowns - none of which looks half as luxurious as they sound. Speaking of which, I rummaged through my old wardrobe a little and found three adorable new items - two of which are sleep wear - and I can't wait to show them to you on the blog real soon, as soon as I lose some weight to actually fit into all of them. My boring week aside, how has yours been? Do tell!

H&M dress (worn as top) // unbranded black dress // thrifted hat // Primark socks (gifted) // Converse sneakers

This was what I wore when I went out with my parents to watch Guru Bangsa Tjokroaminoto, which just came out and I absolutely loved it! I love learning history, especially our own. Dad and Stepmom went into an immediate discussion afterwards about everyone involved and the irony of the turnout in reality afterwards, which is no secret to an Indonesian. The film was longer than I thought but it gripped me so much that it sailed by without notice. This attire is much too thin to be worn in a cinema, though. It's probably more suited for a day in the park with some friends. But we Jakartans don't have many parks to begin with - and if there are parks, their number pales in comparison to all the sky scrapers and malls. God, the damn malls. Also, it's probably non-advisable for me to wear horizontal stripes as they tend to make people look fatter or flabbier and I've already gained 17kg in less than a year. But, you have to admit, they look good in this ensemble. Plus, the majority of black in the look kind of balances everything out.

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