Siska's rants.. and some other things

A lot of new things happen in my life and surround I decide to write everything comes up in my mind, to remind me again of all the silly and interesting bits and pieces...

Saturday, September 01, 2007


This is the picture that I posted in the hub, not chosen, tough.
I took the picture on Jun 2007.
Trattoria is an italian restaurant in Bali, The meaning of the word itself is "eating house". We ordered an italian-red wine named "primitivo"(which was very good) and they served a basket of bread as a complimentary. The dim light made the picture better, altough I shot it using an "auto" set-camera.


Little miss sunshine is Huge fun to watch

Tagline: Where's Olive? / A family on the verge of a breakdown / Everyone just pretend to be normal / Welcome to Hell

This is the review of the movie from
"In Albuquerque, the housewife Sheryl Hoover brings her suicidal brother Frank to the breast of her dysfunctional and bankrupted family. Frank is homosexual and expert in Proust, and tried to commit suicide when he was rejected by his boyfriend and his great competitor became renowned and recognized as number one in the field of Proust. Sheryl's husband Richard is unsuccessfully trying to sell his self-help and self-improvement technique using nine steps to reach success, but he is actually a complete loser. Her son Dwayne has taken a vow of silence as a follower of Nietzsche and aims to be a jet pilot. Dwayne's grandfather Edwin was sent away from the institution for elders Sunset Manor and is addicted in heroin. When her seven years old daughter Olive has a chance to dispute the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, the whole family travels together in their old Volkswagen Type 2 (Kombi), in a funny journey of hope of winning the talent contest and make a dream come true."
One of the excerpt of the dialog:

Olive: Why were you unhappy?
Frank: I fell in love with someone... [interrupted by Grandpa blowing his nose]
Frank: ... who didn't love me back.
Olive: Who?
Frank: One of my grad students. I was very much in love with him.
Olive: *Him*? You fell in love with a boy?
Frank: Very much so.
Olive: That's silly.
Grandpa: [under his breath] That's another word for it...
I was speechles after finishing this movie.. not just because this move is really fit into my sense of humor, not only because this movie looks so ordinary yet so extraordinary.
Because this movie has a very deep value... not like what appears in the surface only.. with all uniqueness of each characters and the events happening... so my tears were bursting on the scene where all family members joined Olive on the stage....

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Love actually is everywhere...

Tagline: Love actually is all around
I have a guilty pleasure, is that watching one film, over and over again, and indulge myself with mellow feeling and even, practically crying on a same an certain scenes. This film is Love Actually. That there are some times that I felt I have to re-watched it again and again, like a battery charger.
This is about several stories involves several people (which also linked to each other) and happen from 5 weeks before Christmas in London.
The overall story, the combination between the scenes, dialog, music and Christmas air in London describes this film very beautifully. And, not forget to mention, the thick English accent of the actors.
I have several favorites’ scenes:
1. During Joanna’s (Sam’s mother funeral), the goodbye song that she chosen by herself was a happy-fast beat song from The Beatles “Bye.. bye baby” following the slides of Joanna’s old pictures.
2. Peter and Juliet’s wedding, where the band players came out among the wedding guests in the church, singing “All you need is love”, again, Beatles song. The singer and choir then appeared from the upstairs.
3. The ironic, satirical, funny (in weird way) things in a lot of Hugh-Grant’s dialog as the Prime Minister.
4. The Prime Minister was dancing (as he thought that nobody watching) and at the end he was embarrassed to realize that one of his hose-staff was standing speechlessly watching him. This was hilarious.
5. The not-proper joke blurted out by the old pop-singer, Billy Mac has caused the hosts Ant and Dec awkwardly stop the show for an advertisement session.
6. All scenes about Jamie, the writer and the Portuguese maid in France’s house was great, especially when both of them jumped to the muddy pond, and also when they are conversing in weird way, one speaking English and the other speaking Portuguese, but somehow they’re connected (of course, this only happened in a film).
7. When Sam’s father was worried if Sam’s problem was about drug..”you never know if he injected heroin to his eye-balls”
8. When Mark was trying to get rid of Juliet from finding the wedding video tape and finally Juliet realized that Mark likes her, Mark then walked out from his apartment, confused what to do, with Dido’s song “white flag”.
9. Sarah’s relationship-to grow with Karl didn’t work out because her not-so-well brother. Their last scene was when Pete greeted Sarah, merry Christmas and Sarah answer blandly.
10. When Karen realized that the is other woman whom his husband has given to Christmas present to, she hides in their bed room, with Joni Mitchell’s song “other side of the story” playing and she tried to bear the bursting tear.
11. Finally Karen confronted his husband, saying” Would you wait around to find out if it's just a necklace, or if it's sex and a necklace, or if worst of all it's a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?”
12. When Mark showed up in Juliet & Peter’s apartment, pretending to be a christmas carol, just to be honest that he likes her by showing some cards.
13. "All I want for Christmas is You" song performed by Olivia Olson in the christmas concert
14. Prime Minister and Natalie showed up accidentally in the Christmas concert, they were kissing when the stage revealed them. Prior to that, Karen met them and hug her brother so tight, trying to express her confusion of what she found about her husband’s affair.
15. The best scene was the last scene at the Heathrow Airport, when all of them re-united with their lover in various ways and continued with other real passenger’s expressions while meeting their loved one.

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I heart Bali

Finally I made it to Bali.. after a long time suffering and embarassment, since looks like that I was the only human being on earth (oh, maybe not even limited to only human being) who never went to Bali. We took an Air Asia flight and reached Ngurah Rai airport on Monday-18 June 2007 afternoon.

Day-1: Monday

A nice, sunny weather, finally: This is Bali!. I called the guy for the car rental (We have book the car rental in advance through internet). The guy met us in the parking lot, with the silver toyota avanza and, the most important thing is the map. After several minutes, talk and talk, signed the contract. We jumped inside the car and headed towards the town. The airport itself is not that big, but pretty modern and looks new. After several times stranded, finally we are used to with the map and within the count of minutes, we reached Kuta area. The streets are narrow and crowded with the people (which I am quite sure 99.9% of them are tourist, just like us). With a lot of small shops and (looks) nice eating houses or proper restaurants. Something in Bali that you will recognize the difference. Dunno, either it is a relaxing air, vacation-feeling, or people summer attires. But you just feel refreshed and free.A lot of temple shaped ornaments and building are decorating the streets, in several places in front of the shops they put a small box made of coconut leaves containing flowers, fragrant rice and sometimes some food for the prayer. We reached our hotel in All Season Legian, quite close by the beach. The hotel looks new, decorated with modern art and quite eye-catching. We checked in and went to the room. The room itself is not that luxurious type, and for me, the price is not that worthed.. but what the heck, This is Bali.. and things like this is easily forgiven in return for a lot of nice other stuffs. No no matter of time we went out to find something to eat, since it was already too late for lunch and therefore we were starving. Of course we have compile the list of niceplaces to eat, and firts choice went to a restaurant called Mama's. It is a western style restaurant and has some seat in the porch, with very fresh afternoon breeze. We looked up the menu and decided to order a baby back ribs and draught beer. They gave us a plate of peanuts as complimetary. The ribs was sssooooo great, and combined with the beer even made it better. After a deliciou slate meal, we decided to stroll along Legian street and watching the people and enter several shops for a seight seeing. This place is very much a holiday places with tourist walking by in their beach costume, braided hair, tanned skin, sandals and sun glasses. Some of them even ride a rented motorbike. We came back to the car and park the car in the place nearer to the beach. Within proximity to Hard Rock Hotel. This street is onesided street, which are filled with hotels and cafes, whereas other side of the street is the famous Kuta Beach. Took some pictures (as what normal tourist does) and notice that the public bus is quite funny with the colorful paint all over its cabin. The street is again full of people walk by, some domestics and noticed that even more foreigners. We approached the beach and found out that the water is started to be cold, since the sun is nearly set and the light grew dimmer. So, we took off and decided to see what Kudeta like, said that it is now is one of the hippest place in town, is enought to attract the first-timer like us. The place is wother what it was said about it. The posh yet cozy place, devided into 2 parts, the proper dining room, under the roof with dim light (just perfect for a romantic candle-light dinner) and severals beach sofa located in front of the beach, with the music is playing, big lamps pointing the beach and no restriction of time. This is the place where, the seat and music is worthed. Moreover until we see the bill, almost 20 USD for a glass of juice and 1 glass of beer and 1 plate of fried calamari (hello.. am I still somewhere in Indonesia? when the rupiah vs USD is still high?) Can't imagine the price we have to pay for a proper dinner (by proper it means completed with the fine wine). I checked the toilet (my own pleasure, everytime I visit some place nice). Because we're a bit tired, so after a while we decided to took off and went back to the hotel. And that was the end of the first day.

Day-2: Tuesday

Wake up on the 2nd day, our main plan for today is heading up to the nortest place of our travelling plan, which is Batur Mountain and Lake. We went out from the hotel and trying to finding somethin, which is not very stuffy to eat. And the choices went to Warung Made, near Kuta, with a western style combined by an antiques traditional art, this warung looks very nice and comfy. Not to mention that it has a wonderful taste of club sandwich (hmmm.... can't stop my saliva thinking about the taste of its crispy bread). At this hour, the warung is still empty. What I can notice, in Bali, there are a lot of small minimarkets selling a basic daily necessities for tourist as water, snacks, toilettries. No big supermarkets around the town center. After finishing the food, we took of and directed to Denpasar, which is the way to the lake. The journey to Denpasa didn't take too long, only around 1 hour and we already reached the capital of Bali. The direction was also quite easy and clear to follow. Denpasar is bigger and more crowded city and the tourist place is not that seen in this city. Though, the temples, statues and traditional stuffs are visible in several parts of the city. We stopped by and looked for a place to eat pork satay which was recommended by a friend. After lost and went to a wrong restaurant, we reached the place by coincidence, seeing a thick smoke out of a small warung, as a sign that somebody is roasting something, and when we were walking nearer, we saw that the small basket of prayer was containing a satay instead of a cake or rice as other that we have seen before. So we headed in and was still curious whether we were in the right place, since my friend convinced me that I could never found the place without any guidance from local. One of the hint he gave me was that the owner was a bit bitchy and frowny. And I directly texted me friend after I saw the owner, which very much matched his description:D. However, the satay is fabulous. the size was small but they served it with a fresh and hot chili sauce. We ordered a bown of beef meatball as well. The price was sooo cheap, compare to other western type of food that we have taken before. Soon, we went out and continue the journey, with me as the navigator with my face dipped in the map almost all the time of the journey. I didn't pass Ubud, and took another way. Along the way, the breeze was sooooo fresh. I even open the window and didn't turn the AC. Wave my hand out of the window and feel the air. Take a very deep breath, so refreshing. I never felt so fresh like that since a very long time. The streets was narrower as we went outside the town and passing small villages with plantation and traditional village temples along the way. We stopped in some place to buy big oranges by the street side (and turned that they taste was not that interesting as what it was seen). We could see the mountain from far away but seemed that we never reached it. Finally we came closer and took the village path, which turned out that nobody took this path before us and we got stranded in the sand-mining location, wrecked road and village area (wrong map interpretation). We passed sand-miners and was started to be afraid if we ended to nowhere. The road was well built, hilly with mountain rocks scattered everywhere and the vegetation looks like a sabana with tall thin grasses and short bushes. The sun shined very brightly but the air and wind was blowing so if felt very fresh. In the middle of the trip, we faced with a damaged-uphill road and there several village men helped us by pushing the car up. It was quite a terrifying situation, when I tought that the car wouldn't made it to top, finally it was over, altough they robbed us as a rewards for doing the favour. We reached the lake, and actually it was much better if we see it from upfar.. since the shore was not as good as it seemed with mud and people's houses. We went up and stopped in a restaurant at the hill, sat down in the porch overlooking the mountain and lake. Ordered a cold beer and hot chocolate.. yummy...

We decided to go to see Besakih Temple, what was called the Mother of Temple, since this is the biggest temple in Bali. The road to the temple was quite simple and the rain nearly stopped. We went out, had to buy a beach scarf to cover the legs and pestered by a guide who insist that he has to accompany and guide us around the temple. The temple itself was nice and interesting, located in a higher surface, consisting of a main complex surrounded by several smaller temples. Very nice spot to take pictures. Arrived back to the hotel, it was quite late in the afternoon..and we decide to have dinner first, the choice was eat out at "Porchetta" an pizza/italian restaurant, only to find out that they don't sell pizza... hmmm out dated information from the internet I guessed:). We ordered 2 dishes, a seafood-fried-covered with flour. Finished the dinner, we decided to take a walk around Legian - Kuta. Main Legian street was crowded with people, who started the night.. a lot of cloths, souvenirs and accesories shops along the street. We enter a lane to find out the famous "Poppies Bar" and found out that in those areas, a lot of house turned to backpakers inn with a very reasonable price of lodging and food, with a lot of tourist, just hanging around, walking, or lay-back with some reading and music. Took a peek to the bar and it looked nice, but we didn't have a chance to come back there. Went to the airport and pick up my sister, then we directly returned to the hotel as the eyes were very heavy to keep still.

On the right is a monument to remember the victims of Bali bombing

Day-3: Wednesday

This day was started with a heavy rain and didn't stop for hours. We picked a somewhat-alike-spanish restaurant and have an australian breakfast:). The interior was quite cozy but a bit filthy, with a short table and we sat on the pillow on the floor. The breakfast was actually a simple bacon-eggs-toast type. The plan today was to go to Tanah Lot temple and visit the big statue - Garuda Wisnu Kencana. The rain was so persisten and we were thankful that we have the car for our own. We dropped by and visit the big statue on the top of the hill describing Wisnu/Hindu's God, but we gave up due to the heavy rain and we went to Nusa Dua. Finally the rain stopped and we took sometime to swim in Nusa Dua beach. We parked the car just beside club med-beach. Nusa Dua is a coastal area, but more up scale compare to Legian + Kuta, with a lot of luxurious hotels along the beach. The water was blue and so cold. We swam for sometime and sit down, sipping hot chocolate (becoming the must drink beverage due to cold wheater and rain) and beer. We deciced to find the place who claimed that it sells the best pork knuckle, located in Sanur, so we drove there just to find out that the place was closed (until now, there is a affected party due to this closed restaurant-thus an unachieved pork knucle, who persistently reminding me about the unfulfilling promise..) So, we pick the restaurant sells a balinese style roasted pig, and turned out that this food is not included in our tastebud's favourite as the spice was too heavy and the pig smell was too strong. But obviously not many people thinks as what we thinks since the restaurant was full with people, even I notice that an old couple was very enthusiastic with the food, guessed that they were living in Indonesia before and now having some nostalgia.
We continue the trip back to Tanah Lot Temple (If you have been to Bali, you would admire how many kilometers that we have gone this day). There are a lot of monkeys in this area. We were walking around waiting for the Kecak-Dance show, which was started around 6:00 pm. The view was great, since this temple located at the edge of a cliff. There are some spots which are really at the tip and you actually can feel to the gorge down below. The ocean was superb, with dark blue water and high-strong white-tides hammering the cliffs. According to the guide, nobody can do water sport around temple area since this is a holy place. The show began and turned out that it was n interesting show. Kecak dance is a Bali's traditional dance, with around 100 of man, wearing a chokered sarong enchanting a repeating words that resembles the instrument from their mouth, so actually no instrumet was used at all. The main story was the epic of Rama and Shinta, with the evil-Rahwana. Soon the seat was full with tourist which more than 95% more were foreign tourist. The theatre was open air, with the circled seats located higher than the stage. The climax of the show was when Hanuman - the monkey god was angry and kick fire-balls (literally) with his foot.

The show finished sometime after the sunset and the stage was a bit chilly with the wind blowing so strong. We left the seat with a satisfied feeling with the show. Went back north to Kuta and stopped at Garuda Wisnu Kencana on the way. This is a huge statue resembles Wisnu up to his chin only. We were the only visior there, located on top of hill, it was quite dark at that time and nobody around, increase the spooky feeling that make the eyes looks alive and sparkling. We stopped at Dememedi restaurant, located just below the statue. This restaurant is very nice,e specially at night, where you can actually see the light from the city far away. The decoration is perferct, with dim light and natural interior. Even they have a good spot for wedding ceremonial, which is a gate at the edge of the cliff and up-grounded with the pool, full of lotus flower. (An in fact, when I search for this restaurant in the internet, I found a site for global wedding site containing this place). I post an excerpt from one site that better-describes this place:
"Located at the hilltops of Uluwatu is DeMemedi Restaurant, one of Bali 's premium dining outlets. It is situated within GWK Cultural Park , a man-made extraordinaire that resembles the ancient ruins. The landscape on the way into the park is a magnificent marvel. A large structure stands near the entrance. It might look like an industrial area at first sight, but upon closer inspection it all becomes clearer. What you get up close is a monumental building that replicates that of the ancient ruins of Indonesia ."
We sat at the porch and have (as it goes without saying) a cup of hot chocolate and a cold beer:), took some pictures and went back since it was a bit late at night and the hotel still far away. Reached the town, we went to a chain fast food restaurant called "Bubba Gump" inspired by Forrest Gump the movie.. it was told that Forrest opened a restaurant for his friend who died in the war. This place serves several type of seafood dishes and we took 2 kind of food. The taste and the concept is not bad, but it is abit overpriced for a fast food standard. The restaurant interior is full of Forrest Gump ornaments, and I got a shrimp doll which later on I called him Ngurah. (I will name each of the dolls I got based on the place where they are from. Now I have Winnie (-the pooh), Hershey (from chocolate) and Vijay - teddy bear from HRC Mumbai). We reached the hotel, exhausted and sleepy and directly went to bed.

Day-4: Thursday

Today's plan is Ubud. After yesterday's dissapointment with the wheather, fortunately we were a bit lucky today, that the rain was not that mean to us. We drove directly to Denpasar to catch the yummy pork satay. We continue to Ubud, the cloud start to come and made the wheather a bit chilly and rained exactly when we reached Ubud. We passed Ubud art market, crowded with tourists and many more people. We search a place to take a leak and have something hot to fill the stomach. The choice fell to a restaurant exactly at the end of Ubud bridge. We took a strategic seat, facing the bridge and deep down the sea with the greenish raven. The rain stopped and the sun started to come and gave a nice rays on the water. We order pepes ikan mas and fried banana topped with shredded coconut and cheese.. of course, hot chocolate and cold beer came without saying. Taking some pictures, then we wandered around the Ubud's market. The wheather was quite friendly, with some clouds after the rain. We parked the car and wlaked back to the market, along the road we took some nice pictures of the village's temple and a cultural garden. Near the market, we came to a street full of restaurant and bustling people. The famous roasted pork "Ibu Oka" is here. We didn't really interested to try, although the logic of many people =either good food or cheap stuffs. Moreover the balinese roasted pork smell is a bit too strong for our nostril. We walked around and roaming around the market and the streets nearby, very hard to bear not to shop here, since we planned to shop at Sukawati. Later on the urge for shopping just can't be stopped and we went to Sukawati... the biggest temptation while travelling is to buy for people back home.. a bunch of rubish in the form of souvenirs... but just can't help it. Finished with Sukawati we headed to the west to go to Tampak Siring Temple. We took a leak in Pizza Hut and bought some chicken wings and garlic bread to nibble along the way. A temple area loacted in the cliffs. This temple is more scenic than Uluwatu, but both have their own uniqueness and breath taking ness. This temple is wellknown as the big snake temple, with a sacred snake lives under the cliffs. It has 2 main temple, one big part and another small temple on top of the other cliffs. Best spot to take some sunset shots. We were quite lucky at that time, the sun appeared, although only for a while. The separated cliff is connected to the mainland since the tide was low. We spent some time there until teh sun set and it was nearly dark, then we travelled back to the town. Along the way it was still rural area with several villagers houses and rice fields. Caught some nice view of terasiring, a system of agriculture where it was created in steps in different levels of ground, so that the irigation can reach the whole field started from top to bottom. We reached back to the town and decided to eat in Rumors, a new-hip restaurant, from a friend's recommendation. Ordered tenderloin steak, and 2 dishes pasta, accompanied by an Australian red wine which is on promo - total dinner costed us less than 30USD for 3 person.. which is quite cheap for this kind of food with the wine. Went back to the hotel and sleep soundly:)

Day-5: Friday

This is the last day in Bali, we woke up early to set my sister off at teh airport, then we went back to the hotel, decided just to stroll along the beach, looking for anything interesting for breakfast. And there we were, stumble to a middle aged lady who sells nasi kuning - (literally yellow rice) - rice cooked in coconut milk and colored yellow with turmeric, accomppanied with delicious sambal (chili paste) and some fried tofu and soyabean cakes. We headed to the beach, and bought water plus wet tissue in along the way. Arriving to the beach we just sat on a bench and enjoy our breakfast, not difficult to tell shortly later on that this breakfast is the best breakfast that we've had in Bali!. We spent the day playing, sleeping and just laying lazy on the beach.. don't care although I felt that my skin burnt.. I can't help to sleep and being sleepy. Later on, we decided to rent a body board and jump to the cold water.. It was such a nice experiance, especially for a first timer like myself. The water tasted a bit too salty that I can't bear it any longer, since it entered my throat and stuck there no matter I tried to spit it out again. Around lunch, we decided to stop and refreshed back in the hotel and also checked out. We looked for a fresh seafood for lunch. It was a bit hard to find the seafood type that we want during day time... so we went to a restaurant on the beach (forgot the name, starting with "Z"), and order a seafood soup. It was the food for 2 person, containing fresh snappers, clamps, squids, prawns and hot broth. Not exactly the type of food that we'd like, but that was not bad either.

We spent the afternoon just walking around Kuta shops and bought some green tea frapucinno from Starbuck. The dusk came and we headed for another course of meal to Trattoria, a small but crowded Italian restaurant located in Seminyak. We ordered pizza and salad, accompanied by a good italian wine "Primitivo".

Then we must say good bye to Bali and all about it, headed to the Airport and waiting, sleepily, exhausted for the plane back to Jakarta.

For sure this will not be the last time I come to Bali!


Fine Creation from The Almighty*)

*) The title of my posting here is refering to the creator of this TV series..
*) another meaning is referring to the beautiful God's creation below.. (Thanks God, you really bless our days)

The picture on the left. (that I spent some time on the precious-luxurios internet connection - guess people who ever worked in Minas Office-very well know what I am talking about the internet line).

The name is Jensen Ackles, I am falling in love with him after watching (the complete 2 seasons of) Supernatural. It is a TV series about 2 brothers doing a ghost hunting thing.

Something that cracked me was when my friend called me to ask my opinion about this series,"is it good?" and I answered it so anthusiasticly " yes, it is very very much cute".. that is, referring to the actor.

The main story is about the Winchester boys, Dean and Sam, who lost their mother in early age to a demon. Their father raised them and tought them how to fight "the darkside" and find the demon who killed their mother. At the end of season-1 they lost their father too.

I even practically browsed to find the synopsises of each episodes and enter their site in CW and IMDB.

Just when I tought that I don't have much fun here, eh? :D


Today's Quote

Never explain yourself to any one.
Because the person who likes you doesn't need it, and the person who dislikes you won't believe it.


Life sucks

uActually what I really.. really want to write is " Life is wonderful" as what actually I contemplate and think deeper.. but at this moment if I take a snap shot, it is very easy to say the other side, which sucks.

Life sucks, because I feel that I am very moody and feel like to kill somebody and bitching every person tried to be nice to me?
Life sucks because last night I drank (a bit) too much wine and feel uneasy in the next day?
Life suskc because I hate that my sister keep falling sick and thus, useless?
Life sucks because my pimples keep coming and go, never got a good complexion
Life sucks because I always feel that I am an outkast wherever I go and whoever I mingle with
Life sucks because I can't keep my tone friendly enough when I felt furious, even if it is just a joke.
Life sucks because I am the only one who has to call first?
Life sucks because I ate too much this morning?
Life sucks because I feel that i have to move more than what I do now?
Life sucks because there is no certainty about the change that I've been expecting since a very long time ago.

Well.. suddenly I feel that it is not that sucks...