Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Year

At the very last day of 2006, we are still stranded at the heart of this good ol' Albuquerque. We started the day at 12 PM with quite lavish a lunch at a nearby Applebee's. Afterward, we went downtown to the Old Plaza area and did some shopping for handcrafted Indian jewelries. At around 5 PM, we went back to the hotel to plot what to do for the evening. Sushi and karaoke were at the top of the list. We looked at places nearby considering the fog and icy roads. I can safely add driving in snow and icy condition to my portfolio now.

We ended up doing some kind of a restaurant hopping, first at the sushi bar, second at a local Italian restaurant for desserts. By the end of the eating out, we didn't feel like going karaoke and headed back to the hotel. The rest of the evening were spent packing--no card playing tonight. Three of the five musketeerettes even fell asleep thirty minutes before the new year. I finished chatting with my mother.
"sudah dulu lah ya nak selamat tahun baru semoga dalam tahun ini kita sehat2 dan tercapai apa yang kita inginkan"
The two of us who were still alive ended up plotting a more complete look up on the return route. We will have to take the southbound route but had no chance to visit Marfa, since the town is about 70 miles off the I-10 which will add up a considerable amount of time and mileages to our already close to a 1000-mile trip back home. We will, however, stop by for lunch at Las Cruces, the southern part of NM. Time and mood permitting, there will be one last sightseeing object to visit, the Elephant Butte reservoir.

Fifteen minutes before the start of the new year were spent alone browsing and watching the ball drop in NYC and a Coca-cola toast, and a few minutes past 12, I received a nice Happy New Year call.

To the new year and to this journey of life, to all of us.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Xnow Day, Day 2

What I like about this land of the Pueblo is its abundance of natural parks and attractions. Tapi ini udah gak lucu, today is the second day of snow, which is not fine since our hotel is smacked dab in the middle of Albuquerque. All roads and portion of the interstates we needed to travel outbound are packed with snow and generally are not safe to use. No snow chain + minimum driving experience on iced, slushed,and snowed road = stranded at the hotel, again + eat at Owl's Cafe, again (this one is okay, we love the atmosphere of the place)+ what amounts to zillion card games. There are so many places to see and only two days left. We haven't even gone skiing.

I-25, which naturally spans North-South, is needed to travel up to Bandalier, a part of a scenic 100-mile trail of Indian ruins, waterfalls, and much more. To the south, there are the Las Cruces area, the sand dunes and more of the state parks and cultural attractions.

Passage to the west to Amarillo along I-40, which leads to our return route, is currently closed. That should not be a problem should it be still snowing next Monday. There is always the alternate route from southern NM thru I-10 via Marfa.

No snow. That's part what I like about Texas.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bienvenudos New Mexico

Arrived safe and sound today at 12:30 AM. 13 hours driving.
Went to Santa Fe today.
Downloading NY's Wifi driver from the convenience of Circuit City (snailian though) using a Mac with a giant 21 in display.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Quick Notes

The five of us are leaving on the NM roadtrip tomorrow, be back late on the 1st. I don't know when and if we will have internet. NY will bring her laptop but its wireless connection setting is messed up, so...Happy New Year, just in case.

We were just watching Pursuit of Happyness. At the end, the Chris Gardner character narrated "this part of my life is called happiness" while the scene shows how he went trying to control his emotion after finding out that he gets the coveted stock brocker job. I remember March 11 nine years back, I was trying to contain mine after finding out that I've won the 4.5 years all-paid scholarship here to the States. In that respect, all these years of my life since that day have been called happiness.

Out of worth to read materials, female publications (those mostly exploring vanities and what not) ranks the lowest on my list. I don't believe I'm buying into one of its featured articles. Paraphrasing: if you happen to find someone who loves you more than you love yourself, don't ever let him go. Is it too far fetched that not to deep inside a little part of me is wishing that you are going to be it?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Met Natal

Cinta ho ho ho ho CINTA

Buat yang lagi jatuh cinteeeee ato infatuated or whatever... :D (Ah...I miss that feeling)

Benernya amat sangat kurang cocok sih liriknya...tapi ini yang lagi kepikiran.

What do you get when you fall in love?
A guy with a pin to burst your bubble
That's what you get for all your trouble
I'll never fall in love again
I'll never fall in love again

What do you get when you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs to catch pneumonia
After you do, he'll never phone you
I'll never fall in love again
I'll never fall in love again

Don't tell me what is all about,
'Cause I've been there and I'm glad I'm out,
Out of those chains, those chains that bind you
That is why I'm here to remind you

What do you get when you fall in love?
You get enough tears to fill an ocean
That's what you get for your devotion
I'll never fall in love again
I'll never fall in love again

What do you get when you fall in love?
You only get lies and pain and sorrow.
So, for at least until tomorrow,
I'll never fall in love again!
I'll never fall in love again!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Remember Christmas

This person right here, it was just two days ago when she was all grumpy for having to work long hours. Under the usual circumstances, the long hours have been a habitual practice of the last five years, but not this time around, baby. It's almost Christmas and she had just passed her prelim, what she needs is a little break. On top of that, most of those samples she had been dutifully worked did not meet her expectation. Adding to the pressure, she had to give a talk at the last research group meeting of the semester while trying to catching up on a rapidly approaching deadline.

While working on the presentation, she came up with an idea to what caused the samples to fail. The next day, she quickly approached her boss and they discussed a possible quick fix. And it worked. She just needed to remeasure the samples.

So all day yesterday, she got that euphoria of working back. She is also catching up on her Christmas spirit listening to the O Antiphons and Christmas Novenas on YouTube. Yes, she needs more than gaudy Christmas decorations and secular songs about winter wonderland. She still loves this song, though.

Still at lab

Merry Christmas!!... Don't get too drunk

Don't threshold is pretty high
what is that piece of beauty?

it's my new baby...delivered Tuesday
damn Christmas holiday

switching to big cars now?

hihihi... I hid my
Greenpeace tree hugger card

apa sih? Landcruiser?

I can't afford a Landcruiser

Is it Japs?

Toyota Fortuner


poor man's

my friend bought a used H3
6-month old
damn it's hottt
also black
what is it with guys and black?

i dunno...kalo gue sih...sebenernya demen biru.... but they have discounts on 06 models...tapi cuman ada hitam

hahaha oh well

but i hear warna hitem is easier to sell goes with everything
it's not really economical gitu ya...Jkt kan macet?

yahhh...economical sih biasa aja...gak gede2 amat mesinnya (by American standards)
2.7 liter


tapi badannya itu...rada gendut
parkiran sempit...jalan2 sempit

ck ck ck... still got that Texan mentality huh?

ha ha ha
i miss walmart parking lots


lluaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssss banget

sampe RV aja bisa markir

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Udah mo Natal tapi semangatnya entah di mana, mai...

hhh....I hate my life!!!


udah Desember bukannya makin santai malah makin hectic udah 3 hari 3 malam ini di labbbbbb mulu
kapan gue bisa ngurus badan ya?

bentar lagi kan selese
disambil2 aja

gue bosen hidup kayak gini!!!!
oh well, back to CR

sabar bu
namanya jg PHD
abis ini bakal sangat nikmat hidup loe

huhuhuhu sangat nikmat apanya?

kalo udah kerja ntar

gue mo jadi ibu RT aja ah

waduh salah kuliah kl gitu

gue homeschool anak2 gue
trus jadi freelance writer di majalah teknologi gitu

ngga perlu sampe PHD
kayaknya kl jadi bu RT

perlu juga
siapa tau bosen jadi ibu RT
mo jadi wanita karir


Tuesday, December 19, 2006



During the two hours and twenty three minutes of watching a certain motion picture, in between the gory heartbeating actions and the greatest love of all, I was thinking about you.

Did your ancestors go through the same ordeal? You would say the Mayas and the Incas were of two totally different cultures, one of Mesomerica, the other of South America and that the latter came into its imperial existence at a much later period. I couldn't help to say that they all look the same to me. He he.

So, anyway, how's the break so far?

Penguins Dance


Eh, barusan dapet contekan dari FS...
Pak Dodol, met ultah ya. 31 kan? Live long and prosper and may the Force be with you (standar banget). Mamam-mamam (dan undangan lain)-nya ditunggu. Hehehehe...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yang tersisa dari Jum'at

Yang lulusan aja kayaknya nggak secentil dan seheboh yang nonton deh ya...hmm...

Maksudnya mo niru pose FS...

"Kak Yada Hon, orang keliatan kayak orang baik-baik ya di sini..."

PS: De, poto hookah mana, De?

Upcoming Roadtrip


Here is my idea for our route for the upcoming roadtrip. The purpose is to maximize our driving experience across this great state of Texas. The route generally covers the far west, the desert, the hill country, as well as the middle part. :P

To Albuquerque, NM:
We'll take the northbound route, which is CS-Waco-Amarillo-Albuquerque. Total mileage is around 800 miles. We can stop by the Cadillac ranch--that famous Route 66 attraction-- and some other places (sekalian streching gitu).

Back to CS:
We'll take the southbound route...Albuquerque, NM, Las Cruces, NM,-Marfa, TX-Austin-CS. Total ~1000 miles.
Marfa has a lot of neat installations of modern art and
architecture, which I really want to visit. :D

All route involve major highways. That should make it easier.

What do y'all think?


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Drama Queen Saturday

What I hate about myself is this tendency to romanticize and fantasize thing that has an equivalent meaning as speck of dust in the wind. And then to wasting much of the unnecessary time to dwell and to psychoanalyze it, all just to no avail. I just couldn't help it. For instance, for the better part of today, what I wanted was for you to treat me better than an alternative. That in itself is truly far fetched, even when pig finally can fly. I know you too well. Argh.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dietary Advice

Just gotta blog this. :p

saya kemaren malem dinner nya cereal
hari ini lunch nya cheese sandwich + yogurt
entah knp nggak pengen makanan yang laen
kali ya
i would say cleansing is more about veggies and fruits
not cheese

tapi kan biasanya yg fried
dan spicy
ini kan blend [<--Editor note: mushy my brain is?]

cleansing with milk


Wednesday, December 13, 2006


At the end of the day
She wonders
Why does it have to be...
A kind of circular reference

Monday, December 11, 2006

While Waiting

Disclaimer: Jeng ini, "pinjem" idenya ya.

50 Greatest Chick Flicks according to E!

Further administrative things:
a. I don't even watch the channel...
b. I don't even subscribe to the term "chick flick"
c. Pretty mediocre except for the purpose of inventory, you'd say, but fun nonetheless. Ha ha.
d.Categorized based on the Homeland Security's thread level code:
Red = Puffy heart it
Orange = Okay, I guess
Yellow = Triple hate it
Blue = Looking forward to
Green = Not in a million years

50. Sweet Home Alabama
49. Mystic Pizza
48. Mean Girls
47. Bring it On
46. 10 Things I Hate about You
45. Waiting to Exhale (Love the soundtracks)
44. Father of the Bride
43. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
42. Never Been Kissed
41. Chocolat
40. Splash
39. A League of Their Own
38. Moonstruck
37. The Bridges of Madison County
36. Untamed Heart
35. St. Elmo's Fire
34. Muriel's Wedding

33. Wedding Crasher
32. Pretty in Pink
31. Fried Green Tomatoes
30. Romeo & Juliet

29. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
28. First Wives Club
27. The Joy Luck Club
26. Notting Hill
25. The Wedding Planner (but also a guilty pleasure, ha ha!)
24. Clueless
23. Bodyguard
22. Sixteen Candles
21. Four Weddings and a Funeral
20. Pride and Prejudice

19. Working Girl
18. Love Actually
17. My Best Friend's Wedding
16. Jerry Maguire
15. Legally Blonde
14. Say Anything
13. The Way We Were
12. While You Were Sleeping
11. Bridget Jones' Diary
10. Thelma and Louise
9. The Notebook
8. Terms of Endearment
7. Ghost
6. Dirty Dancing
5. Sleepless in Seattle
4. When Harry Met Sally
3. Steel Magnolia
2. Pretty Women
1. Beaches

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Southern Comfort

  • Baby Red Mashed Potatoes
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Fried Chicken
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Feta Cheese with Green and Black Olives

And, psst...Bu Didi...over here.

Ade, Ika, KYH, beat the hell outta finals!

Think of me?

You know how you tend to micromanage your life. For instance, for me this last Friday, it was supposed to be like this: go home at five, be at the gym by 5:30, dine out at 7, followed by a one hour napping, and finally to have some kind of a night life --which usually ends up being catching the midnight show at the movie place. But then something unexpected came.

Five minutes to five, a knock at my office door.

"I'm still here..."

"Ah, you are still here. When are you leaving?"


"Hm..six weeks, huh? I wouldn't know what to do if I have all of those time in Indonesia."

"You're not used to too much fun and actually missing working?"

"Yeah, I guess...ha ha ha."

"Well...I'll be working too, a little bit, sometime during those six weeks."

And that was the start of a nice long talk, well, not really long, about an hour or so. The conversation couldn't be easier, everything flew naturally, and that we sort of finished each other's thoughts.

I guess I am falling into the idea of sharing stuff with someone who knows what I am really talking about, and I mean not just about school or work stuff, but also something beyond. A good conversationalist makes you comfortable revealing things you don't actually say to others. And this person, he's just like that.

Towards the end, he said he needed to go already, twice, but there was always something that pulled us back. The last part was how the religion of the majority of the masses turns into a cultural thing and in time is being taken for granted.

"Do you celebrate Christmas?"

"Yeah, I am a Catholic. Don't you? I mean people from your country are predominantly Catholic, no?"

"I don't know what I am. I don't really go anywhere or do anything."

"Hm. But you are baptized, right?"

"Twice...I didn't remember the first one. But I got pictures of the second one. They tilted my head like that and poured the water over."

"Ha ha that a cultural thing there, to get baptized twice?"

"I don't know. I asked, they never gave any good explanation... Well, I really need to go now. Merry Christmas. I'll see you next year."

"Merry Christmas. Yeah, I'll see you next year too. Have fun!"

Ah, six weeks, huh. I wonder if we will be thrown into this kind of nice conversation then, just innocently getting to know him. But knowing my luck...

Think of me
Think of me fondly
When we've said goodbye
Remember me
Once in a while
Please promise me
You'll try

When you find
That once again you long
To take your heart back
And be free

If you ever find a moment
Spare a thought for me...

--Think of Me from The Phantom of the Opera

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Stress can actually manifest itself physically, I didn't know that. OK, I knew, but this was different from what I usually experienced. Last night, preparing a midnight snack, I felt a sudden tense on my upper torso, my shoulders got into a shrugging position, and I felt like throwing up. Luckily, the episode ended there, I ate my yogurt, the half portion of mie goreng, and something else I forgot. Then, I went to bed. I actually got a good night sleep.

The presentation for the prelim was at 2 PM. But before, we had a research group meeting at 9:30 AM. At the end of this meeting, the advisor, who seemed to be chasing somekind of a deadline, asked me to make sure that I would not cross the 30 minute line for presentation. He also said that as soon as I am done with the exam, I should immediately start on the next project. Boy, do you know what I drew from those? That he guarenteed me a pass already, before I even take the exam.

Moving on to 2 o'clock. One professor, whom actually is a substitute for one of the committee member, was late. His office was just around the corner from the exam room. When I peeked into his office, he signaled an I'll-be-there-I-just-need-to-finish-talking-to-this-person. And then I found out that I forgot to bring the folder containing the paperwork they need to sign. I fetched for it back upstairs to my office and when I got back the door was closed with all the members inside. The advisor asked me to excuse them for a few minute since they needed to discuss something beforehand. Hmm...that's weird. What was the subject of the discussion? I can't even start to imagine. Is it a good sign or a bad one?

Btw, I fitted into my good old brown suit, from 1998. :D As for the shoes, I sticked to the navy blue square pumps, also an old pair. So where were we? OK, the presentation. I thought it was pretty good. The other day, I was just thinking about the fact that I am going to be inside a room before four male professors and just couldn't help to reduce it into a war of the genders. Will I be slain? Will I have enough confidence? Will I be resourceful enough? Will they think of me as just another stupid graduate student presenting another worthless research for the sake of finishing the degree so that she/he can just get out of the school already?

They behaved nicely during the presentation. Three were paying close attention to what I presented. One was falling asleep. And then came question time. They were not too terrible, some were really fundamental, some were too far down the road. The advisor asked me some stuff too, but mainly to support my respond to the other committee member's questions. These 30 minutes seemed forever, though.

In the end, they asked to be excused again meanwhile they were discussing the merit of my research. To kill time, I stopped by to the secretary to the graduate affair for a little chit chat. When I walked back to the room, the advisor called me from behind and shook my hand. "Congratulations, you have passed." One of the committee members that was walking with him congratulated me also. The remaining committee members managed to find me and two other rounds of congratulations were in order.

So yay, I passed. It didn't sink on me yet, not until I text messaged the parental units (at 5 AM their time) and got an immediate reply.

"Selamat lah ya nak. Mama berdoa utk anak2 semua. Sekali lg selamat ya in. Terimakasih pd Tuhan."

I was about to cry but I was in the middle of conversations with fellow students so I thought it would be best if the crying can be postponed to a later time.

As it happens, today is the holy day of obligation for Immaculate Conception. At the Mass, surprise-surprise, instead of the usual piano and guitar ensemble, we had a guy playing the pipe organ. What a beautiful Mass, indeed. It brought back the memory of the days of when I was one of the five organist at Santa Lusia. I regret that I did not do it wholeheartedly then. I probably can start practicing again here. Anyway, with the music and candles around, I couldn't help to let out a teardrop or two. The overwhelming emotion has to be released somehow, no?

The rest of the evening went smoothly. I went to the Rec, did a 15-min walking an incline, 15 -min running at the threadmill, and 15-min at the elliptical. I also did a couple of sets that cover most body parts with the weight machines. Not bad for a jumpstart.

All in all, what a great day, what a balance life!

Bonus... ;-) Ah, that Glenn.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


24 hours to prelim.

Stuff to do:
  • Check on paperwork
  • Check on laptop and projector
  • Send email reminder for all committee members to be there tommorrow
  • Peruse over materials (62 total slides, 22 hidden)
  • Think about more possible uncovered holes
  • Buy killer beverages, pastries, and fruits in attempt for decepting committee members (LOL)
  • Attend today's daily Mass
  • To not hyperventilate

14 hours to prelim.

duuhh...besok (kalo pass nih prelim-nya) ....gue langsung ke Rec! lari dan gymming....

sip sip sip
gut lak yah
prelim nya
pasti pass lah

trus langsung mulai cari kerja

dari gym langsung cari kerjaan

ya figuratif
maksudnya mulai minggu depannya gitu

Monday, December 04, 2006


Isn't it great to be able to say, "Aha, I just couldn't care more"? If only it didn't take that long to arrive to that kind of mentality.


Also on the news, Gates' confirmation hearing and St. Mary's pastoral team blog (ah, finally, something local).


Sometimes you meet this person whom you thought have no interest on what you're talking about. And then at times too many this person sweeps you up your feet with the uncanny, intellectual insights of the exact matter at hand (and funny ones too, with a straight face and all, just like that).

KIH, coba kamu nyanyiin "Chriiiist, the Lord". (It was the scrething high pitch ending part of O Come, All Ye Faithful)
Nggak bisa, Princy, kekenyangan....
Coba lah, sekalian latihan suara kamu.
"Chrisssttt...." *panting* Ah, nggak bisa.
Ayo lah, ini soalnya lagi ngebandingin suaranya si penyanyi ini dengan suara orang. Kok suara dia kayaknya jelek ya dan suara orang mirip dengan suara dia. Jadi orang mau dengar kalo kamu yang nyanyiin kayak mana. *we look at each other, cricket chirps*
Huhuhuhuhu...jadi ini buat konfirmasi kalo suara penyanyi itu dan suara kamu itu bagus ya. Sial...


I am so looking forward for after Thursday:
  1. To start planning for a holiday westbound roadtrip (possibly all girls), out to the desert (I want to visit Marfa, TX, too), New Mexico, and might be stretched as far as Colorado (for some skiing). I am so thrilled for the abundance of objects and places to be photographed. The thing is I would only have access to a manual 35 mm Olympus camera as my brother is bringing the Canon with him for his trip home. To think about the cost for films and developing and the fact there will be no instant gratification over the pictures.
  2. To pick up the exercise and healthy lifestyle routine once and again. This time, NY is joining the bandwagon.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


And thus, the beginning of the Advent...

Ellen de Generes' AMEX commercial. It's too...funny.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


ooh.. lah kamu?

tau lah...ini selese skolah aja dulu
ntar baru "fokus"

alah.. lu mah..
ayo... gak usah ketawa2 doang..
sapa sih... heheheeh

eh masih jojoba kok

kamu sih nggak pernah serius

serius gimana's a curse
I am simply...unlovable

ngaco kamu

ntar berguru deh ama situ

gue mah simpel...
cari di gereja.. hahaahaha
gak ada rahasia nya

ya iya lah masak di bar
ya udah, ntar sambil tanda salib aer sucinya aku ambil banyakan
buat nulis di jidat "single looking available" sambil kedip-kedip

ye, kamu ini diajakin ngomong serius

ye mo serius gimana lagi
kalo emang nggak ada ya nggak ada gitu
belom saatnya mungkin :)
udah ah, cabut dulu ya
sampe ketemu taun depan :D


Friday, December 01, 2006

D-6, pt. 2

The department hosted a late Thanksgiving dinner, buffet style, tonight in one of the classrooms on first floor of our building. I was sitting with two of our research group's newest group members and talking about our usual business when suddenly came Dr. Y claiming a seat next to me. I've known her all these years. Come to think of it, my brain started turning into a mushier mush sometime around my taking the first Chem E class during sophomore year, the one she taught eight years ago.

We never talk about anything more than classes and school and work in general. When we passed by each other in the elevator, in the hallway, it was always with the "Hi, how are you? I'm fine, thank you, how are you?" But tonight, the catching ups were beyond the usual.

We talked about our school branch in Q*a*t*a*r, how she spent a full year preparing class module and designing the accompanying lab. She actually got to teach one semester there. "It was a lot of hard work, but it didn't work out. I just gave up the idea to ever teach in there."

And then we talked about her home country.

"Say, Dr. Y, is the Blue Mosque in Turkey?"

"Ah, you must be watching the Pope visit."

"Yeah. Really the mosque is so beautiful. But the Pope, hm, sort of not very welcome there? I mean he didn't really smile or his body language, it looks like he does not belong there." (I had read a piece by a German journalist the other day, describing the less friendly atmosphere surrounding the visit)

"I too watch the program every night. The last Pope was more popular. He kissed the ground. This one, he didn't. The last one was also more charismatic, he smiled a lot. This one, not so much. So, maybe that's part of the problems." She elaborates.

Somehow the conversation sort of turn into more personal topics, both ways, if you must know. Here is just a part of it.

"Is your daughter still in med school? John Hopkins isn't it?"

"Yes, she is. And it's Cornell. She almost graduates, at least I know she already has enough to graduate. In their field it takes seven years to get a PhD."

"Oh, she is on the PhD side of med cool."

"And Cornell med school is actually in the middle of Manhattan. They have subsidized apartments right next door to the campus. That's where my daughter lives."

I was all wide-eyed by this story of a young woman, pursuing a PhD in a respected major in a top notch school, in the middle of Manhattan.

"Oh wow. What was her undergrad on?"

"She was a double major in UT in Cell and Molecular Biology and the other one was in Liberal Arts."

"Gosh, she's one well rounded person. That is one very interesting resume."

"I know. But sometime, you have to get in touch with reality, to graduate and to get a job. She can open a consulting business and start to make money. It seems that school is dragging her too long. I hear that in that major they have to take a Post Doc afterward. The money is a little bit better than being research assistant, but it is still not a real world, you know. Ah, I just don't want to think about it now."

"Hmm....she must be my age."

"How old are you?"


"Yes she is your age, and the same problem too."

"I know I should've gone straight instead of getting that master's first."

"Yes you should. It wouldn't take that long for engineering."
From these snippets of conversation, my point across is that profesor itu manusia juga. I used to think they are a breed of superior beings who always happen to achieve success without being emotional about it. It turns out they have simple aspirations, they weep over failures, and they too act like any normal parent.