Blog Archive

Ibu Yang Berduka


"Mother in Mourning" (www.granzstudios.com)

bertanya aku, ke leher jenjangmukah bakal
kuroncekan melati, seperti mimpi setiap kanak-kanak
di kojarsena-nya dulu?
pernah kau sebimbang ini, disebabkan api berpesta
di ladang tebu kita? maka dengan setangan leher,
kanak-kanak hanya mampu meronce air-matanya.
satu-satu.

kulihatibupertiwisedangbersusahhatiairmatanyaberlinang…

-Tulus Raharjo, "O, Ibu Yang Menangis"

Kucing Tabung

Maksud saya kira-kira semacam bayi tabung, walau tepatnya sih klon kucing. Berita yang sedang marak hari ini, di samping persiapan Natal yang gila-gilaan, adalah seekor anak kucing hasil kloning berumur 9 minggu yang diberi nama Little Nicky, mengikuti nama "induk"-nya Nicky. Little Nicky diserahkan kepada Julie, seorang wanita asal Texas, yang membayar USD 50 ribu untuk biaya "pembuatan"-nya. Julie memang pemilik Nicky yang asli, yang mati waktu berumur 17 tahun, dan rupanya wanita itu sukar mengatasi rasa kehilangannya.

Coba lihat Little Nicky. Isn't she cute?



Menurut saya sih, lebih cantik Little Nicky dari induknya. (Di mana-mana memang kucing kecil lebih lucu dari kucing dewasa).



Hm, uang mungkin bisa membeli dan menghidupkan kenangan. Namun prospek mengkloning mahkluk dari sel epitel almarhum binatang peliharaan kita buat saya agak menggetarkan. Saya teringat fiksi-horror "Pet Sematary", dan saya kira kesedihan yang mendalam memang bisa mendorong orang tua (atau dalam kasus ini, pemilik) melakukan apa saja untuk memperoleh kembali anak (dan peliharaan) kesayangannya.

Ilmu pengetahuan barangkali dapat membawa kembali sosok fisik hewan, atau satu saat kelak -- bila Tuhan mengijinkan - manusia, yang kita inginkan. Tapi saya tidak tahu apakah dengan demikian kita dapat memperoleh kebahagiaan lagi. Katakanlah dalam 10-20 tahun mendatang kita boleh dan bisa melakukan proses kloning manusia, mungkin anak kita. Siapa dapat menjamin bahwa hasil kloning itu dapat memberikan kesenangan pada kita, setara dengan yang dapat dari sosok aslinya?

Prospek yang lebih menyeramkan buat saya adalah kemungkinan kita men-Tuhankan diri sendiri. Bukan saya sok religius. Saya membayangkan bahwa kalau kita, manusia, sudah berhasil mengklon manusia, kita akan kurang menghargai nyawa sesama kita. Dan itu membuat kita sama sakitnya dengan para pembunuh berantai.

My sofa and I

Sofas have always been an important part of my relaxing times. To be exact, of my whole family's. In fact, back in Jakarta there had always been fights among family members over occupancy of the couch and/or the loveseat . I often argued with my sister on who would inherit that particular oh-so-cozy couch in the living room. Gladly, though my sister got married first, she didn't get a chance to take it. It is so strategically located in front of TV, so one can imagine the comfort it provides when you lay your tired body on it, with the remote control in your hand. I think it has some possession power, because despite having TVs in their own bedrooms, my parents and my sister kept going back to THAT TV. (I'm the one who usually had to move out if I wanted to see other program).

Finally, I have my own couch. My very own couch. It's big, brown (nicely coordinated with my apartment's colors), and very, very comfy.



Getting this sofa is another story. I bought it in IKEA, the furniture brand I can afford. I didn't know that buying furniture in an IKEA store is like doing your grocery shopping. You get a cart and bring the item to the cash register. When I pushed the cart with my sofa on it, I cracked up. I thought it was so funny.

Now, back to this lovely couch. Although it officially belongs to me, the only times I could claim full ownership on it are, like, from 10 pm-7 am. Yup, while everyone else is already dreaming. So I sleep on the couch more than I do on my bed.




Selamat Menyongsong Natal




Walaupun masih dua minggu menjelang hari Natal, saya rasa tidak ada salahnya menyampaikan ucapan "selamat menyongsong Natal" kepada teman-teman yang merayakannya (termasuk pada diri saya sendiri, hehehe...). Soalnya mungkin saja justru waktu Natal saya tidak akan sempat menuliskan apa-apa di blog ini, karena waktu dan pikiran tersita pada hal-hal lain.

Ada satu lagu Natal yang tidak terlalu populer, tapi selalu saya sukai. Saya dengar pertama kali dari pita milik orang tua, dengan kotak kaset yang bagian belakangnya masih berwarna hitam. (Kebayang kan jadulnya???). Sampai Natal 2003, kaset itu masih sering kami putar, walau usianya lebih tua dari keponakan saya yang terbesar, yang sudah diwisuda tahun lalu. Selain melodinya, ada sebagian syairnya yang menjadi favorit saya,

... For the real meaning of Christmas
Is the giving of love everywhere...

Mustinya ditambah lagi dengan "everytime", "for everyone", untuk menyempurnakan arti Natal.

Pada waktu Natal, ucapan yang kerap terdengar di mana-mana, dalam berbagai khotbah pendeta, pastur, patriarkh, adalah: "damai di bumi." Karena terlalu sering, ucapan itu jadi seperti berita kriminal: mendebarkan, tapi tidak membekas, dan cepat terlupakan, kecuali kalau kita sendiri yang menjadi korban kejahatan. Anak-anak kecil yang berperan sebagai malaikat pun mungkin hanya ingat kalimat itu setahun sekali, menjelang pertunjukan drama Natal.

Padahal dalam situasi sekarang kalimat itu harusnya sangat relevan. Perang terbuka. "Either you are with us, or you are against us." Keyakinan bahwa pembunuhan terang-terangan merupakan pernyataan dan kewajiban religius. Columbine. Ketakutan yang terus, dan sengaja, dipupuk.

Seandainya -- seperti di film-film sci-fi -- makhluk luar bumi memang bermaksud menaklukkan planet ini, mereka tidak butuh senjata canggih. Tunggu saja beberapa tahun lagi (mungkin bagi mereka beberapa tahun sama dengan beberapa hari, atau jam!), pastikan bahwa semua usaha meredakan perselisihan gagal, manusia akan musnah sendiri. Tapi terus terang, saya pribadi meragukan apa mereka masih menginginkan bumi yang praktis sudah habis terjarah, hehehehe...

Wah, saya makin ngawur. Yo wis, pokoke: Selamat Menyongsong Natal. Damai di bumi deh!

Christmas.. without Christ?

I found this article in Washington Times very interesting, so I decided to put it in my blog. This blog is not for commercial purpose, anyway...

------------

U.S. communities fail to keep 'Christ' in Christmas
By Jennifer Harper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


Published December 9, 2004

Is America ready for C-----mas?

Christmas has been sanitized in schools and public squares, in malls and parades where Santa's OK, Jesus Christ is not. "Jingle Bells" rocks, but forget about "Silent Night." Some hope to assure the nation that it's all right to say "Merry Christmas." Champions of creches, live Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, greeting cards and salutations offer compelling evidence that December 25 is still a religious holiday -- not a violation of separation of church and state.

They are ready to rumble.

"Those who think that the censoring of Christmas is a blue-state phenomenon need to consider what happened today in the Wichita [Kansas] Eagle," said William Donahue of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

The Kansas newspaper ran a correction, he said, for mistakenly referring to a "Christmas Tree" rather than a "Community Tree" at the Wichita Winterfest celebration. "It's time practicing Christians demanded to know from these speech-code fascists precisely who it is they think they are protecting from dropping the dreaded 'C-word' " Mr. Donahue said yesterday.

Some are particularly irked by public bans on Christmas carols. "The fact is, 96 percent of us celebrate Christmas. For a small minority to force their way and their will on the public majority is unconscionable," said Greg Scott of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). "People are tired of efforts to sanitize religious expression. This policy against even instrumental Christmas music in schools violates common sense and is neither necessary nor constitutional," Mr. Scott added.

Sworn to protect "religious liberty," the ADF has issued a seven-point legal primer citing court decisions made from 1963 to 2004 that neutralize the notion that the U.S. Constitution requires government officials to eliminate public mention of Christmas. They've sent their findings to more than 5,000 schools nationwide and enlisted about 800 pro-Christian lawyers to stand by, should lawsuits emerge.

"The bottom line: It's okay to say 'Merry Christmas,' regardless of the legal threats from the American Civil Liberties Union and its allies," the ADF states. The Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, which also advocates religious freedom, issued a step-by-step guide to help the public understand the legalities of Christmas.

"Whether through ignorance or fear, Americans are painfully misguided about the recognition of religious holidays," said John W. Whitehead, the group's president. "There is an irrational bias against anything remotely religious unless it's sanitized and secularized, and unfortunately, far too many parents, students and teachers erroneously believe they cannot do anything."

Much has annoyed defenders of Christmas in the past two weeks.

Denver, for example, refused to allow a Christian church float in the city's holiday parade, because "direct religious themes" were not allowed. Homosexual American Indians, Chinese lion dancers and German folk dancers, however, were welcome.

The mayor of Somerville, Mass., issued a formal apology this week to anyone offended by a press release "mistakenly" issued from his office that called the town "holiday party" a "Christmas party."

School districts in Florida and New Jersey have banned Christmas carols altogether, and an "all-inclusive" holiday song program at a Chicago-area elementary school included Jewish and Jamaican songs, but no Christmas carols.

Meanwhile, a Kirkland, Wash., high-school principal nixed a production of "A Christmas Carol" because of Tiny Tim's prayer, "God bless us everyone," while neighboring libraries banned Christmas trees.

Ken Schramm, a commentator with an ABC television affiliate in Seattle, dismissed it all as "P.C. smothering" yesterday.

Down in Kentucky, local officials rejected the offer of Grace Baptist Church to stage a live Nativity scene in a public square.

Such actions have not fazed the Chicago-based God Squad, a group of carpenters and volunteers who have built a giant Nativity scene at Daley Center Plaza in downtown Chicago every year since 1987, despite outcries from the ACLU, the American Jewish Congress and American Atheists.

"Our Founding Fathers didn't intend to take religion out of the state. They took state out of religion," organizer Jim Finnegan told reporters when this year's construction began shortly after Thanksgiving.

The Nativity is still there.

Copyright © 2004 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

------------------------------------

I am still trying to figure out the connection between the revival of "moral values" that are said to have helped Bush won the election and the reluctance to all religious expressions.

... thinking.... thinking... thinking....

Note of a Redliner

Istilah "redliner" muncul dalam benak saya pagi ini waktu saya melamun di metro dalam perjalanan ke kantor. Sistem metro Washington DC terdiri atas lima jalur yang menghubungkan beberapa titik di DC dengan kota-kota lain di sekitarnya. Masing-masing jalur ditandai dengan warna merah, hijau, biru, kuning dan jingga. Karena rumah dan kantor saya berada pada jalur merah, saya membaptis diri saya sendiri sebagai seorang "redliner".



Metro sangat penting bagi para commuter di area DC dan dua negara bagian yang mengapitnya, Virginia dan Maryland, karena tidak semua orang mampu memiliki mobil. "Mampu memiliki" di sini tidak sekedar merujuk pada daya beli barang itu per se, tapi mencakup aspek-aspek lainnya: ongkos pemeliharaan sesudahnya (termasuk asuransi yang minimal seribuan dollar setahun, belum lagi ongkos perbengkelan yang bisa membuat kita sakit hati dan terkenang-kenang pada tanah air), penyewaan garasi atau lahan parkir mobil kalau kebetulan kita tinggal di apartemen, dan tagihan parkir di tempat-tempat umum yang sebaiknya tidak diberitahukan kepada para tukang parkir di Jakarta, karena sejamnya bisa mencapai 27 dollar! Memang, ongkos parkir ini bervariasi, karena ada juga yang "hanya" mencapai sedollar sejam, tapi itu hanya bila:
1. Atas berkat Tuhan Yang Maha Kuasa.
2. Akhir minggu dan hari libur.
3. Berada nun jauh di pinggiran kota.

Kemarin, waktu saya bercakap-cakap dengan teman-teman kantor, beberapa mengeluhkan kerusakan-kerusakan yang kerap terjadi pada metro akhir-akhir ini. Terutama pada jalur merah, yang akhir-akhir ini sering terhambat karena masalah teknis (saya sendiri pernah mengalaminya). Hal ini cukup meresahkan, karena jalur merah adalah jalur yang paling panjang dan ramai, dan merupakan satu-satunya jalur yang melewati Dupont Circle, pusat bisnis dan kawasan tempat banyak kedutaan besar berada.

Saya tidak tahu apakah metro dapat menjadi isu nasional. Mungkin saja, kalau sewaktu-waktu ada orang merusak jalur biru yang melewati Pentagon dan Foggy Bottom (tempat State Department), atau sekaligus jalur biru dan jalur merah. Nah, itu baru berita. Tapi saya tidak mendorong loh.

Rumah Yang Manis, Rumah Yang Manis...

... Damai, damailah di dalamnyaaaaa...
Aku inginkan kehangatanmuuuu...
Aku ingin ketenanganmuuuuuu....

Ingat lagu yang diciptakan Elsa Sigar waktu dia masih berumur 12 tahun ini? Sehingga kala itu dia menjadi peserta termuda yang masuk final... sebentar.. festival apa lah, Lomba Cipta Lagu Nasional atau apa... awal '80-an.

Saya ingat lagu itu ketika untuk pertama kalinya saya benar-benar memasuki "rumah" saya sendiri. Bukan rumah orang tua, saudara, apalagi teman. Biarpun statusnya menyewa, luasnya cuma 900 kaki persegi (cuma lebih sedikitlah dari tipe 21), tanpa taman pula, di tingkat 10 (berarti kalau ada kebakaran bakal pegal lari-lari ke bawah, dan ada kemungkinan tersandung, jatuh, lecet, terkilir), tapi - sekali lagi - rumah SAYA.

Yang lebih menyenangkan adalah bahwa setelah tiga puluh tahun lebih hidup di dunia, akhirnya saya bisa mengambil alih peran orang tua sebagai pencari nafkah keluarga, walaupun mungkin untuk beberapa bulan saja. Buat saya membanggakan. Biarpun bermilyar orang lain sudah melakukan hal serupa. Termasuk teman-teman dekat saya.

Permisi, saya mau menikmati dulu kebanggaan saya....

Thank You

Thank You, Lord, for giving me a beautiful life, a loving family and caring friends.

Thank You, Lord, for protecting me wherever I am.

Thank You Lord, because I don't deserve them all, but You graciously grant me all those.

And thank You, Lord, because I am not a turkey, who has to suffer for people's thankgiving celebration. Bless these turkeys...


Run, turkey! Run!

Nama Blog Baru

Bukan, saya bukan akan pindah domain. Saya cuma ingin mengganti tagline "Catatan Seorang Keparat Pemerintah" dengan sesuatu yang baru. Biarpun masih tetap seorang keparat pemerintah, boleh dong saya memperlihatkan kenorakan saya melalui tagline blog yang menyiratkan tempat bermukim baru saya, ehm...

Bisa jadi kalau dalam beberapa hari saya malu sendiri melihatnya, atau saya pikir ada tagline lain yang lebih "eye-catching" saya akan menggantinya lagi.

Colin, move over for Condi!



Setelah Colin Powell resmi mengajukan permohonan mundur dari administrasi Bush, tampaknya Ibu Condoleeza Rice yang punya kans besar jadi calon menlu AS berikutnya. Sebagai seorang hawkish, ibu ini akan memberikan sumbangan yang sangat berarti bagi kepemimpinan Bush. Dalam arti Bush akan memperoleh menlu yang tidak memusingkannya, karena sudah berada dalam alur pemikiran yang sama. Selamat tinggal PBB. Selamat datang unilateralisme.

Tapi saya pikir-pikir pengunduran diri Colin Powell ada hikmahnya juga. Paling tidak buat saya. Saya punya kesempatan mengambil gambar saya dengan dia, hehehehe... Akan saya gunakan itu untuk membisikkannya beberapa agenda baru: kandidasi kepresidenan, dan mungkin perancangan strategi pengambilalihan kekuasaan secara paksa.

Bayangkanlah Amerika Serikat dengan seorang presiden kulit hitam yang memperoleh kekuasaannya dari kudeta.

Selamat Jalan dari Teman-teman

Sebentar lagi saya akan meninggalkan kota ini, gedung tempat saya - ceritanya - mencari nafkah, kenangan-kenangan, sekaligus kesempatan-kesempatan untuk bertemu figur-figur yang sudah saya akrabi, baik yang di Jakarta maupun Surabaya. Untuk beberapa tahun. Karena itu waktu melakukan pertemuan dengan para kamerad ini saya lebih suka bilang "sampai bertemu lagi".

Walau banyak kata maupun barang mungil yang diberikan pada saya, saya paling terkesan dengan tanda perpisahan (sementara) dari teman-teman kantor, orang-orang yang bersama dengan saya sedikitnya 8 jam sehari, 5 hari seminggu.



Barang ini mungkin sederhana, tapi kata-kata yang menyisip di bawahnya menghibur sekaligus mengkhawatirkan saya, karena mencakup pujian dan harapan, sebagaimana biasanya ucapan yang ditujukan pada orang yang akan pergi. Yang saya cemaskan tentunya harapan itu. Soalnya saya tidak terlalu yakin pada kemampuan saya... hehehehe....



Kirim doa bagi saya agar saya bisa memenuhinya.

Dear Ai and Popay....

Dear Ai and Popay...

how are you gals doing? Getting accustomed to the situation around you, the people you work with? I see your smiling pictures, read your long emails describing your current situation, chat with you almost every night... and yet somehow our so-called emotional binding hit me while I'm actually taking your paths now.

I went out with the "kantin dingin" team last night, celebrating our last togetherness prior to my departure. We had lots of good laughs, took pictures (eeewww....*winks*), saw our "Caraka Muda" photos, and laughed again. We practically joked about everything.. and everyone.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

When we waved, shared hugs, greeted "minal aidin wal faidzin" and "see you again, take care", as well as "don't forget June next year I'll call you guys to send your contribution!", I was engulfed in sadness and blue. The feeling that had actually started in the afternoon, when I closed all my BNI accounts. Funny, isn't it, feeling doleful for not going to use the ATM card that has been with me for several years?

Now I understand why you cried at the airport, Pop. And I got what you really meant when you, Ai, asked me what I'd miss most of Jakarta.

It is not only that we would not be able to see Jamaica Cafe or other acapella groups performing every Sunday nights.

It is not only the regret that we haven't been to Sunda Kelapa or explored other parts of Kota.

It is not only leaving things we're familiar with, places we're comfortable at.

It is the memories, the sad and happy moments, the pressures and reliefs, the laughter and bitterness... the faces of those who sincerely care for us, be with us during our lowest points, put their arms around us when we need a shoulder to cry on, support us, guffaw with us for the silliest jokes.

Megaria, The Matrix, sweated for the aircon didn't work.

Spent Friday night in different places, and ended up at McDonald's Thamrin early in the morning as we didn't have more ideas where to go.

Club hoppings. Lounge relaxing. And fried rice on Jalan Sabang, or Menteng. And once Muara Karang, right after a wedding party!

Driving before classes. Plaza Senayan, almost 5 times a week, almost a year. (We should've been granted membership!). And Mustopo, checking out the optimistic youngsters.

It will be three years from now, but I'm looking forward to seeing you all again. Time will change, we might change. You remain, however, close in my heart. And in my mind, we will always be the high-spirited, "innocent"(??!!) young people we were 4 years ago.


Love you.




Quotes Concerning Death of Yasser Arafat



from: AFP

Reactions to the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat:

---
"The death of Yasser Arafat is a significant moment in Palestinian history. We express our condolences to the Palestinian people. For the Palestinian people, we hope that the future will bring peace and the fulfillment of their aspirations for an independent, democratic Palestine that is at peace with its neighbors." - President Bush
---
"However others viewed him, the Palestinians saw him as the father of their nation." - former President Clinton
---
"President Arafat was one of those few leaders who could be instantly recognized by people in any walk of life all around the world. For nearly four decades, he expressed and symbolized in his person the national aspirations of the Palestinian people." - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
---
"There is no doubt that with the death of Yasser Arafat an era has ended ... for good or bad." - Shimon Peres, former Israeli prime minister
---
"He left for God but he is still among this great people." - Tayeb Abdel Rahim, senior Arafat aide.
---
"It is one of the tragedies of the world that he didn't understand that the terror that began here would spread to the entire world." - Yosef Lapid, Israeli justice minister
---
"His passing has to be a positive sign for future Middle East peace prospects, because under his leadership things could not have been worse." - Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles
---
"Yasir Arafat's legacy is one of terrorism and failed leadership. Instead of building a state for the Palestinian people, he focused on ways to destroy the Jewish state of Israel." - Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League
---
"President Arafat came to symbolize the Palestinian national movement."
"He led his people to an historic acceptance and the need for a two-state solution." - British Prime Minister Tony Blair
---
"With him disappears the man of courage and conviction who, for 40 years, has incarnated the Palestinians' combat for recognition of their national rights." - French President Jacques Chirac
---
"He was indeed a pioneer who had laid out the foundation for the establishment of a Palestinian state." - Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
---
"He is actually the balancing power of Middle East, and - therefore - the world. Only people hardly knew it. They will soon, after they discover that his death even inflicts more unrests." -
Caranita, blogger, future foreign minister :P

Mengampuni: wujud kasih yang paling sukar dilakukan

Menurut saya, salah satu perintah Tuhan yang paling sukar dipenuhi adalah mengampuni. Untuk hal-hal yang relatif kecil seperti senggolan, makian, ejekan, mungkin kita bisa memaafkan orang atau kelompok yang melakukannya terhadap kita. Tapi bagaimana kalau kita menyaksikan anak kita diperkosa, atau - sebagai perempuan - kita diperkosa? Bisakah kita mengampuni sang pelaku? Bagaimana kalau orang tua kita dibunuh di depan kita? Bisakah kita mendoakan agar pembunuh itu diberi kesempatan bertobat?

Sekian ribu tahun lampau, Nabi Yunus menghadapi problema serupa ketika ia diperintahkan Tuhan untuk mempertobatkan bangsa Niniwe, bangsa yang memporak-porandakan Israel. Karena tahu bahwa Tuhan pasti mengampuni orang Niniwe kalau mereka betul-betul bertobat, Yunus enggan melakukannya. Dia malah coba-coba melarikan diri dari Tuhan. (Bodoh ya, lah wong mata Tuhan di mana-mana. Sebagai nabi mustinya Yunus tahu dong). Pendek kata, akhirnya Yunus toh menyaksikan bangsa Niniwe yang bertobat, dan Tuhan yang tidak jadi memusnahkan bangsa itu. Yunus langsung melancarkan aksi ngambek ke Tuhan. Apa kata Tuhan? "Engkau sayang kepada pohon jarak itu, yang untuknya sedikit pun engkau tidak berjerih payah dan yang tidak engkau tumbuhkan, yang tumbuh dalam satu malam dan binasa dalam satu malam pula. Bagaimana tidak Aku akan sayang kepada Niniwe, kota yang besar itu, yang berpenduduk lebih dari seratus dua puluh ribu orang, yang semuanya tidak tahu membedakan tangan kanan dari tangan kiri, dengan ternaknya yang banyak?" Berkata demikian, bukan berarti Tuhan matre loh. Maksud Tuhan: Aku saja yang menciptakan manusia masih memberi ampunan, kok kamu yang sama, se-spesies dengan mereka mau sok-sok menghakimi?

Saya jadi ingat kisah Yesus dan wanita yang terpergok berzinah, yang kemudian dibawa kepada-Nya. Waktu melihat Yesus diam saja, tidak mengatakan apa-apa dan tidak melakukan apa-apa, kawanan yang menggiring wanita itu mendesak Dia, mengingatkan hukum Taurat yang menyebutkan bahwa perzinahan harus dirajam. Yesus berkata: "Barangsiapa di antara kamu yang tidak berdosa, hendaklah ia yang pertama melemparkan batu kepada perempuan itu." Kalau saya menangkap maksud Tuhan: sebelum kamu menuduh orang lain tidak benar, tidak melakukan perintah Tuhan, periksa diri sendiri dulu.

Bukan berarti kita tidak boleh menghukum. Menghukum adalah salah satu upaya mendorong orang itu untuk melakukan perbuatan yang benar. Susahnya, memang, sebagai manusia kita punya definisi yang berbeda-beda mengenai apa yang benar itu. Kebenaran religi pun punya nuansa beragam, dan masing-masing mengklaim diri sebagai "yang paling benar". Tapi setidaknya ada benang merah, misalnya: dilarang membunuh, dilarang mencuri, berbuat baiklah pada sesama. Dengan demikian, hukuman juga didasarkan atau disesuaikan pada definisi yang universal itu.

Memang, ini kok seperti simplifikasi. Terus terang saya juga akan bingung kalau harus membuat turunan pernyataan itu. Misalnya: apakah pemberian hukuman hanya berdasarkan pada "tidak boleh membunuh" dan "tidak boleh mencuri"? Lalu bagaimana dengan pelanggaran peraturan lain yang tidak terkait dengan dua hal itu, misalnya: tidak menggunakan sabuk pengaman, membuang sampah sembarangan, melanggar lampu merah, menggosipkan orang? Nah, contoh-contoh tadi ada kaitannya dengan prinsip universal yang lain, yaitu "berbuat baik pada orang lain", atau bisa juga diartikan dengan "tidak merugikan orang lain". Mungkin sulit mencari hubungan tidak menggunakan sabuk pengaman dengan merugikan orang lain, apalagi kalau kita menyetir mobil sendiri. Tapi barangkali bisa lebih jauh dijabarkan demikian: tidak memakai sabuk pengaman = tidak berhati-hati memelihara tubuh yang sudah dipercayakan Tuhan kepada kita. Atau sama saja dengan bunuh diri. Memang pengertian demikian masih dan pasti bakal diperdebatkan lagi. Tapi karena yang membaca blog ini juga tidak banyak, jadi tidak bakal menimbulkan polemik, hehehehe....

Kembali ke soal mengampuni. Seperti saya sebutkan di atas, mengampuni adalah salah satu wujud kasih yang paling sukar dilakukan, terutama kalau menyangkut perbuatan yang benar-benar merugikan kita, dan menghancurkan diri kita pribadi. Sekiranya kita menyaksikan orang yang membunuh anak kita masih hidup, meski tinggal di penjara, dan pada saat yang sama kita berkutat dengan kesedihan dan rasa kehilangan, serta penyesalan bahwa anak kita tidak bisa lebih lama menikmati hidupnya, kita akan merasa bahwa dunia ini tidak adil. Tapi membunuh seorang pembunuh membuat kita sama saja dengan dia. Kalau sudah begini, terasa sekali betapa perlunya kita memasrahkan diri pada Tuhan, karena hanya Tuhan yang bisa menguatkan kita.

Terus terang lagi, saya sendiri tidak tahu apakah kemanusiaan saya akan sanggup memberikan pengampunan sebagaimana yang panjang lebar saya uraikan tadi, sekiranya saya mengalami hal itu. Menuliskan kalimat ini pun saya agak khawatir.


PPM

Di kantor saya ada Direktorat Perdagangan dan Perindustrian Multilateral, biasa disingkat PPM. Menangani isu-isu WTO, UNIDO, UNCTAD, dan hal-hal lain yang berkaitan dengan skema perdagangan dan kerjasama perindustrian internasional. (Yaaaa... siapa tau ada blogger atau orang iseng yang mampir di sini yang perlu tau?)

Tapi di samping PPM resmi, ada juga PPM lain yang sifatnya informal, tak berstruktur, dan anggotanya bisa tidak saling kenal. Mungkin juga anggotanya tidak sadar kalau dia bagian kelompok itu.

Perkumpulan Penggemar Marty.

Anggota PPM sebenarnya tidak terbatas di instansi saya saja. Seorang teman yang bekerja di CSIS bercerita, para perempuan (termasuk peneliti) di sana langsung histeris dan sibuk berdandan kalau Marty kebetulan berada tempat itu untuk seminar atau hal-hal lain. Kalau Marty sedang menggelar konperensi pers, para wartawati adalah yang paling awal mengerumuninya.

Perilaku anggota PPM cukup menarik perhatian saya. Apalagi seorang kawan dekat juga tergolong PPM. Fotonya bersama Marty menjadi latar monitor komputernya. Cetakan foto yang sama menghias meja di samping tempat tidurnya. (Kalau saja foto itu tidak terlalu besar, saya rasa dia akan menentengnya ke mana-mana).

Walaupun bukan PPM, saya cukup mengagumi bapak itu. Dia tidak ganteng, tapi cukup enak dilihat. Dia brilian dan tidak merasa perlu memamerkan kecanggihan otaknya. "Rendah hati" adalah nama tengahnya. Tapi yang bisa saya garisbawahi adalah perhatiannya yang besar pada teman-teman kerjanya, termasuk para bawahannya. Sekali waktu saya sedikit terkejut saat dia memanggil saya dengan nama kecil saya, padahal saya tidak bekerja dengan dia. Ketika ayah seorang teman saya, anak buahnya, meninggal dunia, Marty membatalkan semua janji pertemuan dan acara lainnya hari itu untuk pergi melayat ke Bogor. Tindakan yang tidak biasa untuk seorang eselon I di Indonesia.

Saya berharap satu saat bisa selengkap dia.



Percakapan Dua Terpidana Teknologi


Terpidana 1: udah sampai rumah??

Terpidana 2: udah dong mas

Terpidana 1: kira-kira berapa jam dalam sehari kamu _tidak_ ulang tidak on line?? tidur 5 jam plus di mobil berangkat kantor k.l. 3 jam. diluar itu kamu on line.. jadi kira-kira kamu onli k.l 15-16 jam perhari bener nggak?

Terpidana 2: huehehehhe... bener... hehehe...

Terpidana 2: baru nyadar!

Terpidana 1: ya tambahlah makan, ke kamar kecil dll 3 jam. jadi 12 jam sehari on line. woow maniak

Terpidana 2: padahal kalo online di kantor tuh gak mesti ngobrol...

Terpidana 2: ya sambil kerja

Terpidana 2: temen chat nya suka ditinggal

Terpidana 1: hmmmm alasan aja sih..

Terpidana 1: chatting ambil kerja.. kerja yang sambilan emang aku gak tahu.. ntar kalau udah kepepet deadline baru blingsatan

Terpidana 2: huahahahahaha...

Terpidana 2: masih inget aja..

Terpidana 1: tapi setelah aku chatting.. baru ngerasin juga ya asyiknya.. tapi aku belum berani pakai web-web segala kayak kamu

Terpidana 2: tapi benernya aku udah rada bosen chatting... sekarang lagi tergila2 sama blogging hehehe...

Terpidana 1: kita akhirnya terbelenggu oleh teknologi

Terpidana 1: aku ama wiwik ini kalau internet di rumah mati.. udah dua-duanya rungsin kayak dunia mau runtuh.. padahal dulu 10 tahun lalu orang gak ada internet gak apa-apa ya.. belom ada email, chatting, blogging dll

Terpidana 1: mungkin bukan cuma terbelenggu tapi sudah diperbudak. di kantor on line terus chat, email, internet sambil kerja. dirumah juga masih nyambung. sampai rumah yang dilakukan duduk di meja komputer

Terpidana 2: iya ya...

Terpidana 2: harusnya sih kita melakukan kegiatan di luar

Terpidana 1: aku kadang rindu masa mahasiswaku dulu. No email, no chat, no sms, no hp, no internet.. manusia masih memiliki karakter'

Terpidana 2: kalo boleh cari excuse.. benernya tuh salah satu penyebabnya adalah kota yang makin tidak nyaman

Terpidana 2: lalu lintas yg makin macet... membuat kita jadi males ngider2...

Terpidana 2: dan.. ya.. emang teknologi yg membuat kita manja...

Terpidana 2: kalo gak ada kegiatan lain di rumah, sementara acara tv jelek2 (dulu kan cuma ada TVRI), kita cenderung lebih kreatif mencari dan membuat kegiatan.

Terpidana 1: kita sekarang khan 24 jam harus bisa dihubungi, on call basis.. kadang kita perlu waktu privat barang 20-30 menit aja gak bisa. sms berdering terus. HP dll. HP aja satu kurang ada 2 belom PDA. Komputer di kantor desktop 1 , laptop 1. Ini sudah gila kayaknya kita

Terpidana 2: you know, i really hadn't put a thought about it.. but now that you mention it...

Terpidana 1: bener gak.. kita diperbudak niihh.. gak ada privacy

Terpidana 2: emang iya...

Terpidana 1: juga dari segi mentalitas dan kultur kerja..

Terpidana 2: apa yg digambarkan di film "The Net" ya udah jadi kenyataan...

Terpidana 2: padahal film itu dibuat waktu teknologi informasi belum secanggih dan semerata sekarang

Terpidana 1: hampir ya.. bentar lagi. kalau di sweden sudah sangat dekat kesitu. semua warganegara ada datanya di net pemerintah dan dg no penduduk bisa dilacak lagi ngapain, beli apa, kena denda apa, transaksi apa

Terpidana 1: aku bilang ke orang swedia: jadilah kalian ini sekedar nomor (9 digit aja) saat ini

Terpidana 2: hehehehehe...

Terpidana 2: kalo gitu, di samping menjadi budak teknologi, manusia juga menjadi "narapidana" teknologi...

Terpidana 1: Orang Indon donk masih unik, kreatif '

Terpidana 2: kita bukan cuma kehilangan karakter, tapi juga identitas

Terpidana 1: thats what I was saying..

Terpidana 1: iya khan bagus khan.. orang Indon masih bisa malsu ID dll. disini gak bisa.. udahlah negara tahu lagi ngapain kita, sejarah pendidikan, kesehatan, keluarga, ngutang apa.. dll dll.. punya rumah berapa.. jumlah berapa.. mungkin sampai punya selingkuhan juga ketahuan hahahahah

Terpidana 2: huahahahahaha....

Terpidana 1: ok ya udah ya.. uneg2ku sudah selesai.. thank bye

Terpidana 2: loh

Terpidana 2: mo ke mana???

Terpidana 1: gak ada sih cuma mau jalan-jalan bentar ke luar ruangan.. udah capek mata dari jam 9 pagi tadi (6jam) lihat layar komputer terus. ini akibat terpÄidana teknologi juga

Terpidana 2: kekekekekek.. ya udah...

Terpidana 2: aku masih mo melakukan kegiatan terpidana lainnya soalnya hihihihi...

-- akhir percakapan--


Saya orang paling ceroboh di kantor (dan rumah). Dompet, handphone, uang, kerap tercecer di berbagai tempat. Empat kali saya terpaksa mengganti nomor handphone, karena barang itu hilang. Walaupun terganggu, tapi waktu-waktu antara kehilangan handphone dan membeli yang baru (kecuali terakhir kali, karena Terpidana 1 yang terhormat berkenan menghibahkan handphone-nya ke saya waktu beliau dimutasikan) merupakan saat yang nyaman untuk saya, karena tidak terganggu dering maupun SMS. Tidak membawa handphone atau alat komunikasi lainnya juga merupakan alasan yang tepat untuk menghindari orang-orang tertentu, atau menjelajah tempat lain tanpa kewajiban melapor rumah. Internet yang tidak berfungsi memang kerap mengesalkan pada awalnya, tapi toh setelah sekian lama terasa bahwa life without internet still goes on...

Kisah Cinta Baru

Pria tinggi besar itu merupakan pengunjung tetap gereja saya. Tidak selalu hadir pada jam kebaktian yang sama dengan saya, tapi kedatangannya jarang terlewatkan pandang. Alasan pertama adalah sosoknya yang menonjol di tengah-tengah kerumunan jemaat yang rata-rata paling-paling 170 cm. (Saya rasa dia mencapai 180 cm-an).

Alasan kedua adalah keromantisannya.

Kira-kira tiga tahun lalu, saya dan adik saya kerap melihatnya datang dengan seorang wanita cantik, tinggi, ramping. Pasangan serasi. (Membuat kami waktu itu mengomentari: "Memang ada orang yang betul-betul beruntung memperoleh padanan yang sesuai!"). Kebaktian di gereja kami selalu diawali dengan menyalami sesama anggota jemaat yang duduk di sekitar kami. Nah, pada waktu-waktu itu, mas Tinggi Besar -- atau untuk singkatnya kita sebut saja mas TB karena saya tidak tahu namanya -- dan pacarnya akan saling mencium tangan.

Saya tidak tahu apakah anggota jemaat yang lain cukup awas -- atau cukup ingin tahu -- untuk memperhatikan mereka. Keduanya juga tampak selalu duduk merapat. (Imajinasi saya berkata bahwa sepanjang kebaktian mereka akan saling menautkan jari). Sesekali mas TB menoleh ke pacarnya dengan ekspresi yang meluluhkan hati. Ya jelas, hati pacarnya dong. Cuma sayangnya saya tidak ingat apakah wanita cantik itu juga suka melemparkan pandangan mesra ke mas TB!

OK, kembali ke cerita kemesraan sepanjang kebaktian itu.

Setelah beberapa lama, adik saya dan saya mulai melihat mas TB datang sendirian ke gereja. Atau bersama orang tuanya. Atau teman/saudara/adiknya. Pendek kata, wanita cantik-tinggi-ramping itu sudah tidak kelihatan lagi.

Saya, dan adik saya, mulai membuat spekulasi-spekulasi. Biasa, kurang kerjaan. Terkaan pertama sudah pasti: mereka putus.

Namun, karena ingin memantapkan pola berpikir positif, terkaan kami berikutnya adalah: wanita itu sudah pindah kota. Mungkin ke luar negeri, sekolah lagi. Atau ditempatkan kantornya di sana. Atau apalah.

Mungkin karena kemampuan berkhayal kami semakin menurun seiring pertambahan usia, dan karena toh kami tidak kenal mas TB, tebakan-tebakan kami berakhir di sana. Kami lebih tertarik memperbincangkan siapa artis yang duduk di depan kami, atau kenapa rambut pak pendeta semakin panjang, atau betapa sumbangnya paduan suara ibu-ibu Minggu itu, dan hal-hal tidak penting lainnya.

Sampai hari Minggu ini (Yak! Betul! Minggu ini!) ketika kami melihat mas TB masuk diiringi seorang wanita cantik-mungil. Walaupun sudah menduga bahwa wanita cantik-mungil ini, yang tingginya hanya mencapai lengan mas TB, adalah orang istimewa buat mas TB, perkiraan kami itu baru dikuatkan setelah -- yup, you guessed -- keduanya saling mencium tangan pasangannya....

Wajah mas TB tampak dipenuhi seri yang tidak biasa. Berkali-kali ia melirik wanita di sampingnya, seolah-olah merasa tidak cukup mensyukuri kesempatan yang diberikan Tuhan sekali lagi untuk memiliki tempat berbagi.

Selamat bahagia deh untuk mas TB. Moga-moga sekali ini kisah itu bisa berlanjut ke tahap berikutnya, karena tampaknya buat mas TB memiliki pasangan merupakan hal yang cukup penting. (Saya menulis demikian, karena buat banyak orang itu bukan soal penting!)




Dari Dalam Taksi: Jakarta

Saya memandang jalan raya di samping kiri saya lewat jendela sebuah taksi. Di luar panas, berdebu, panas, panas, panas. Saya berusaha menahan kantuk, karena sekali saya membiarkan mata saya terkatup, saya akan tertidur sepanjang perjalanan menuju kantor. Akhir-akhir ini matahari Jakarta sebelum tengah hari sudah terasa terik menyengat kulit. Bahkan kulit yang berada di balik kaca berpelapis, dan terlindungi SPF 15 ditutup secarik kain. Membaca buku atau main game di ponsel cuma membuat pusing kepala. Hujan yang diharapkan menyusul kemudian ternyata hanya sekali-sekali muncul.

Dengan kondisi yang semakin tidak nyaman, sebenarnya saya juga semakin tidak suka naik taksi. Mengendarai mobil sendiri, walaupun capek, lebih bisa diterima. Keharusan berkonsentrasi - atau membagi konsentrasi antara menyetir, menyanyi, mendengarkan radio, dan menerima telepon - membuat perhatian saya teralih dari kesemrawutan yang menyesakkan. Naik bis? Pemalas seperti saya yang harus beberapa kali berganti angkutan umum untuk mencapai kantor sudah tentu memilih naik taksi. KRL? Bisa sih. Tapi itu berarti saya harus bersalin pakaian di kantor, memakai kembali wewangian, menyisir rambut... ribet! Hidup sudah cukup susah tanpa harus ditambah keruwetan yang tidak perlu seperti itu.

Jadi saya kembali pada taksi. Walau dengan seperempat hati. (Kurang dari setengah!)

Untuk berjaga, saya berusaha memperhatikan bangunan-bangunan yang kami lewati, yang sering tidak saya perhatikan kalau sedang menyetir sendiri. Wah, saya baru tau kalau di dekat pojokan itu ada kafe kecil yang lucu. Di sebelah sana ada penjahit yang tampaknya cukup rapi jahitannya. Ada juga toko di ujung Mampang yang menjual perabot-perabot dekorasi rumah. Hm... ruko baru lagi. Bakal ada yang menyewa ruangannyakah? Atau nasibnya akan berakhir seperti banyak bangunan serupa, yang terlantar karena pembangunnya tidak sanggup merawatnya lagi, sedangkan penyewa tak kunjung datang?

Jakarta bertambah sumpek. Tapi, herannya, terus dikerubungi. Seperti seorang setengah baya yang semakin lusuh, semakin berusaha berdandan, dan karena kaya bisa menarik pengagum, baik karena yang tulus menyukai maupun karena yang berharap memperoleh sesuatu. Kalau laki-laki: Jakarta adalah om-om yang semakin keriput, berkeringat, muka berminyak, tapi suka mengenakan baju ketat tanpa melihat perutnya yang membuncit, membuka dua kancing baju teratas memperlihatkan dada dan leher yang dihiasi kalung emas manyala. Jari-jari om Jakarta dihiasi cincin bermata besar-besar, dan yang paling dibanggakannya adalah akik selebar alas cangkir. Kalau perempuan: Jakarta adalah tante-tante dengan rambut menipis yang dicat merah dan disasak tinggi-tinggi, leher dan muka berkerut yang dicoba ditutupi dengan bedak tebal-tebal, sering terlalu putih sehingga kontras dengan warna asli kulit yang tampak di lengannya, perhiasan berlian menghiasi kuping-leher-pergelangan tangan dan kaki-jari, tas desainer yang tidak perlu cocok dengan baju atau acara yang dihadiri namun harus kelihatan mahal.

Pendek kata: norak. Jakarta kampungan? Iya. Kota kebanggaan saya, Surabaya, pernah dijuluki: "The big city with kampung mentality". Dulu saya sebel mendengarnya. Sekarang? Enggak ada apa-apanya dibanding Jakarta, karena orang Surabaya tidak pernah menganggap kotanya kosmopolit walaupun tetap punya kebanggaan diri yang berlebihan. (Iyalah! Arek Suroboyo, cuk!)

Jakarta jadi kelihatan kampungan karena segala hal kemewahan itu ditempel sana-sini tanpa melihat estetika, dan diselang-seling kekumuhan.

Tapi saya toh bertahan di Jakarta. (Untungnya saya punya pilihan!)




Kabinet dan Instansi Tiga Huruf

Gara-gara presiden baru kita dipopulerkan dengan nama SBY, penghubung kantor saya dengan beliau juga dipanggil dengan singkatan DPD (hanya berlaku di kantor saya. Di luar beliau biasa dipanggil dengan namanya, dan langsung diasosiasikan dengan seorang muda yang enak dilihat dan terkenal pintar, serta pernah punya hubungan dengan seorang pelantun lagu dangdut wanita).

Saya dan teman-teman berpikir, alangkah baiknya kalau penyingkatan itu bisa diaplikasikan ke semua lini. Jadi Boss Besar kantor saya akan dijuluki NHW (ngomong-ngomong, huruf "N" itu pun hampir tidak pernah dipanjangkan oleh yang punya nama). Boss Kecil, alias direktur saya, "beruntung" punya nama lengkap yang bisa langsung disingkat DTD. Demikian juga kepala subdit saya, seorang wanita menarik-tinggi-langsing-pintar (lulusan Columbia, dengan beasiswa), berinisial SNM.

Karena nama yang tertera di akte saya hanya dua (sudah termasuk marga!), saya akan memilih "ELT".

Para Korban Rampok/Copet/Maling/Kejahatan Lain2 Seluruh Indonesia, Bersatulah!

Kompas hari ini (Sabtu, 9 Oktober 2004) memberitakan seorang ibu yang "nekat" mengejar kawanan perampok, yang telah merampas tas kerjanya. Kendati para perampok tersebut sudah menusuk ban mobilnya (modus operandi para penjahat bersepeda motor), sang ibu menyusul gerombolan tersebut, dan menabrak kendaraan salah satu perampok sampai pengendaranya jatuh, dan temannya berusaha melarikan diri. Kedua orang itu berhasil diringkus masyarakat sekitar setelah Ibu Binahati berteriak-teriak, "Rampok! Rampok!".

Kejadian ini mengingatkan saya pada peristiwa lain (yang dimuat di Kompas juga) ketika beberapa gadis remaja melawan seorang penodong di dalam angkot yang sedang mereka tumpangi. Penodong itu memaksa hendak merampas perhiasan (atau handphone? Gak inget!). Mungkin tersentuh dengan usaha gadis-gadis tersebut, para penumpang lain ikut memberikan perlawanan, dan penodong itu akhirnya dapat diserahkan ke polisi.

Juga seorang teman saya yang mengejar pencopet yang menilap dompetnya, memaksanya mengaku dan akhirnya menyerahkan dompet itu kembali padanya.

Setelah selama bertahun-tahun kawanan serigala kota menteror masyarakat dengan aksi perampokan, penodongan, perampasan, dan sebagainya, rakyat yang telah mencapai titik jenuh memberikan reaksi. Terlebih karena aparat yang diharapkan memberikan perlindungan malah lebih asyik mencari-cari celah peraturan guna menambah lembaran-lembaran rupiah masuk ke dalam kantong mereka. Bagi saya, dan saya rasa bagi banyak orang juga, permakluman bahwa penghasilan mereka terlalu kecil untuk menopang kehidupan mereka tidak bisa diterima, dan lebih merupakan legitimasi bagi: 1) menyuburnya premanisme, baik yang "swasta" maupun yang disokong "oknum aparat"; 2) keacuhan para pengambil keputusan untuk mencari solusi permasalahan ini.

(Jangan-jangan membiarkan praktek-praktek ini diam-diam dipandang kelompok terakhir tersebut sebagai "solusi sementara". Pemecahan yang paling mendasar bisa dipikirkan kapan-kapan. :P)

Oleh sebab itu sukar untuk menyalahkan tindak "main hakim sendiri" yang kerap sampai mencabut nyawa ini, sebab naluri paling purba manusia adalah membela diri di samping reproduksi tentunya, hehehehe.... (Jangan-jangan juga, yang paling ramai mempersoalkan tindak main hakim adalah mereka yang dirugikan olehnya! Mungkin karena kehilangan penghasilan tambahan? Atau karena terpaksa memutar otak mencari "solusi sementara" yang lain?)

Sambil menunggu bagaimana pemerintah baru akan menangani berbagai masalah dan penyakit sosial yang sudah akut ini, kita tidak bisa tinggal diam. Harus ada gerakan perlawanan rakyat terhadap premanisme dan teror dari saudara-saudara kita sendiri. Dan harus ada yang jadi motor penggeraknya. Dan omong-omong, para pria harusnya malu, karena wanita yang dalam struktur sosial masyarakat kita masih dianggap kelas dua dan diragukan kemampuan fisiknya ternyata justru yang menjadi pelawan utama teror. Mungkin lebih baik kita punya Panglima TNI dan Kapolri wanita. Presiden bolehlah pria, toh dia tidak akan terjun langsung menangani berbagai tindak kriminal, kecuali kalau ada implikasi politiknya.

Cobaan untuk Bangsaku...dan Kantorku

Entah kenapa, kayaknya kok menjelang detik-detik terakhir kabinet ini cobaan datang bertubi-tubi ya, terutama untuk kantorku. Mulai dari penyanderaan kedua saudara kita di Irak (yang, Puji Tuhan, akhirnya dibebaskan juga -- lumayan buat Ibu Mega, bisa take credit :P), peristiwa yang masih harus diverifikasi dan diinvestigasi lebih lanjut, dan sekarang.. pemboman di Paris. Menurut cerita temen yang tugas di sana, korban yang diidentifikasi sebagai staf kantor kami itu adalah satpam yang emang tinggal di basement bersama anak istrinya. Untung (kalau masih bisa dibilang untung) mereka tidak luka parah.

Kasihan bangsaku.
Kasihan pimpinanku.
Kasihan aku dan teman-temanku.











10 Ways to Marry the Wrong Person

Another good picks from my friendster's bulletin

10 WAYS TO MARRY THE WRONG PERSON

by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.


#1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change afteryou're married.

The classic mistake. Never marry potential. The golden rule is, if you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it, "You actually can expect people to change after they're married... for the worst!".

So when it comes to the other person's spirituality, character, personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure you can live with these as they are now.

#2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than on character.

Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keeps it burning. Beware of the "I'm in love" syndrome. "I'm in love" often means, "I'm in lust."Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked out this person'scharacter? Here are four character traits to definitely check for:

Humility: Does this person believe that "doing the right thing" is more important than personal comfort?

Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't have to be nice to? Does s/he do volunteerwork? Give to charity?

Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what s/he says s/he's going to do?

Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he enjoy life? Is s/heemotionally stable?

Ask yourself: Do I want to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?

#3. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn't understand what a woman needs most.

Men and women have unique emotional needs, and more often than not, it is the man who just doesn't "get it." Jewish tradition places the onus on the man to understand the emotional needs of a woman and to satisfy them. The unique need of a woman is to be loved -- to feel that she is the most important person in her husband's life. The husband needs to give herc onsistent, quality attention.

This is most apparent in Judaism's approach to sexual intimacy. The Torah obligates the husband to meet the sexual needs of his wife. Sexual intimacy is always on the woman's terms. Men are goal-oriented, especially when it comes to this area. As a wise woman once pointed out, "Men have two speeds:on and off." Women are experience-oriented. When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented, he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing things happen.

#4. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common life goaland priorities.

There are three basic ways we connect with another person:
1. Chemistry and compatibility.
2. Share common interests.
3. Share common life goal. Make sure you share the deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide. After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart. To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you're "living for,"while you're single -- and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion as you. This is the true definition of a "soul mate." A soul mate is a goal mate two people who ultimately share the priorities, values and goals.

#5. You choose the wrong person because you get involved sexually too quickly.

Sexual involvement before the commitment of marriage can be a big problem because it often precludes a fully honest exploration of important issues. Sexual involvement tends to cloud one's mind. And a clouded mind is notinclined to make good decisions. It is not necessary to take a "test drive" in order to find out if a couple is sexually compatible. If you do your homework and make sure you are intellectually and emotionally compatible, you don't have to worry aboutsexual compatibility. Of all the studies done on divorce, sexual incompatibility is never cited as a main reason why people divorce.

#6. You pick the wrong person because you do not have a deeper emotional connection with this person.

To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional connection or not, ask: "Do I respect and admire this person?" This does not mean, "Am I impressed by this person?" We are impressed by a Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. You should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty, determination, etc.

Also ask: "Do I trust this person?" This also means, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on him/her?"

#7. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom you don't feel emotionally safe.

Ask yourself the following questions: Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxedwith this person? Can I fully be myself and express myself with this person? Does this person make me feel good about myself? Do you have a really closefriend who does make you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way! "... Do I want to be more like this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her? ..."

Are you afraid of this person in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you're afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there's a problem with the relationship. Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don't feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you. There's a big difference between"controlling" and "making suggestions." A suggestion is made for your benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit.

#8. You pick the wrong person because you don't put everything on the table.

Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way to evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise.

You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you? Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with this person. If you can't be vulnerable, then you can't be intimate. The two go hand in hand.

#9. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness.

If you are unhappy and single, you'll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them. If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You'll feel better, and your future spouse will thank you.

#10. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a triangle.

To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop another relationship. A person who hasn't separated from his or her parents is the classic example of triangulation. People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money. Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in the triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You will not be their number one priority. And that's no basis for a marriage.


Strong Women

Bataks women are well-known for their strength and determination. Back in huta (Bataks for "village" or "home"), Bataks women are used to carrying loads of woodchops, or working in the rice fields while their husbands and male companions spent mornings in lapos. Amid the severity of Jakarta, inangs manage to survive, and in many cases they are the breadwinner. And in my own family, I've witnessed the similar degree of courage, though in varying ways. (I have to admit that the males are quite weak, sadly).

When my father was little, my grandma tried to make ends meet (since my grandpa was only an elementary teacher) by merchandizing. She woke up at dawn, went to the market to sell anything she could sell, or some things she'd made (like rattan mats), came home to prepare lunch for the whole family (herself, my grandpa, and their nine boys), did some household things, prepared dinner and took the children to bed ("forced the children" is more like it, actually). After everyone was asleep, she'd still do some things. Her daily routine usually finished after midnight.

No wonder, she was usually healthy and strong. She died of cancer 13 years ago, at the age of 91. But until she was, like, 80 something, she didn't have any domestic helper. Taking care of my grandpa (who was lucky to die in his sleep, at the age of 94), keeping an old, big house, clean by herself, it was only a few years prior to her death that she agreed to get "assistance".

We, the grandchildren, have always remembered her as tenacious, strict, thrifty if not stingy, yet actually very loving. She never demonstratively showed her affection, but somehow we could feel it. Knowing that I love to read, when I was a little girl she usually gave me books on birthdays and Christmas days. When I stayed in her house during school holidays (I spent my childhoond outside Jakarta), she'd take me to bookstores and allowed me to pick any book. Or she'd simply give me some money (that was the best part, hehehehe...).

Several female members of my extended female have had trouble with their marriages. Instead of rushing to the court filing for divorce like many are doing recently, they pulled any efforts to handle things. I am a strong supporter of women's rights and a bit of a feminist myself. But when it comes to marriages, I stick to the principle of "till death do us part". Divorce is a no-no for me, though for some particular cases (domestic violence, for example) I can accept separation, with a view to getting back together again one day (God will help!). When we have our wedding at church, we vow our commitment to GOD. Marriage is therefore not only between the husband and wife, but it involves God as well. We promise "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness". It is so saddening that many forget this part. The unfaithfulness of the other party is by no means a justification for being unfaithful. I should therefore like to reiterate my highest admiration to these female relatives of mine.

My younger sister has also been very tough and bullheaded. When we were children we fought a lot. Both of us got similar "portion" of pinches, but she never, ever cried. Instead she would just flash a hostile look to my mom (er... I sobbed *blushes*). As a grown up, she once crashed with her big boss. She would not stand back, convinced that she was right (and she was). This boss tried to sack her, but she managed to stay. Fortunately, in the end she and the boss got along well. Her current job requires her to travel a lot, many times she has to drive 200 km back and forth, and deal with annoying people in a men's world. And she did it.

She makes a lot of mistakes. Though she's intelligent, fast, and committed to whatever she's doing, she has difficulty in controlling her sharp tongue. This alone had caused her into troubles, not only in her work, but also in her marriage. And this time, it is BIG trouble. It is something that would not only affect her and her husband, but also the whole family, and - even worse - our two clans. This may sound exaggerated, but one should be a Bataks or possess a proper amount of knowledge about Batak tradition to comprehend the situation.

She knew it. And she is willing to fix it, though it would hurt her and her pride. It is a bit too late to do something, the damage is already done.

I looked at her yesterday, sleeping on the couch, her face thin and tired. I had just bombarded her with harsh words for what she had done. It was hard for me not to cry.









Dosa Itu Manis, Jenderal!!!!

Karena dosa itu manis, hangat, memabukkan, menghibur, menenggelamkan
Kita mengira bahwa kita muksa dengan cara yang menyenangkan

Tapi sebenarnya kenapa kesucian harus identik dengan ketidaknikmatan karena penahanan diri?



Indonesia Claims a Permanent Seat on UN Security Council


PRESS RELEASE
No.5/PHM/VIII/04

Indonesia Claims a Permanent Seat on the Security Council

Amid the debate on the enlargement of membership of the UN Security Council, Indonesia claims a permanent seat on the Council. “As the world’s third largest pluralistic democracy, the fourth most populous country, the world’s largest Muslim nation, a country of tremendous cultural diversity and a member with a track record of serving in various peace initiatives of the UN, Indonesia has an important global constituency on the Council,” said Dr. Hassan Wirajuda, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, before the 59th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Monday morning, 27 September 2004.

Dr. Wirajuda continued by adding the reasons why Indonesia deserves a seat on the Council. Indonesia has served in more than 30 peacekeeping missions, starting in 1957 in the Middle East. And today, Indonesian troops and military observers are deployed in peacekeeping missions in Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Georgia. Indonesia is well known as a founding member and active player of the Non-aligned Movement, G-77, G-15, D-8 and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In the Southeast Asian region, Indonesia has made key contributions to the peaceful solution of conflicts—notably in Cambodia and southern Philippines. It continues to build peace and stability in the region, with its ASEAN partners and beyond.

Reform of the United Nations including the Security Council must be done comprehensively, by making it more democratic in terms of procedure and representation in order to reflect today’s geopolitical realities. Indonesia would represent the voice of a developing world striving not only for economic development but also for democratization. Indonesia would also represent the voice of moderate Islam.

Indonesia’s claim was made only one week after the country held its first ever direct presidential election on 20 September, involving some 125 million voters and 575,000 polling stations spreading across some 6,000 inhabited islands. It was the third national political exercise that Indonesia carried out in a period of six months, the previous two being the parliamentary election and the first round of the presidential election. International observers hailed them as peaceful, fair, and democratic.

Indonesia’s success in holding those elections is the climax of a transition from authoritarian rule to a full-fledged democracy. And it put to rest the debate on whether Islam and democracy can ever mix.

On terrorism, despite the latest attack in Jakarta on 9 September, Indonesia remains firm in its commitment to fight against it. Indonesia also remains firm in its faith that the fight against terror can be won. “But the global coalition to defeat terrorism must be inclusive; it must be multilateral and democratic; it must empower the moderates of the world; and it must address the root causes of terrorism,” said the Indonesian Foreign Minister.

Dr. Wirajuda also maintained that no democracy is safe without assurance of a democratic environment at the global level. That environment cannot be created by unilateral action. On the contrary, democracy at the global level can only be promoted by democratic means—through multilateral institutions like the United Nations. Hence, there is an urgent need to empower the United Nations to serve as the effective tool of multilateralism.

The UN itself needs support at the regional level. In this regard, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is striving to develop a robust partnership with the UN. This partnership will prosper as ASEAN evolves into a true Community by 2020. As a Security Community, ASEAN will assume full responsibility for its security and political stability. As an Economic and Sociocultural Community, ASEAN will be a stronger force for development and social integration of the Asia-Pacific region.

ASEAN is networking in all directions: with its counterparts in the rest of the Asia-Pacific, in Latin America, and in Europe. Also, a new strategic partnership between Asia and Africa is in the making—as Indonesia will host a Summit of Asia and African nations in April 2005. The Summit will pay tribute to a watershed event in the cause of equitable international relations—the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung.Indonesia does envision that this network of regional organizations, in partnership with the UN, will be the ultimate form of multilateralism.
New York, 27 September 2004


Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations

Frustrated

As much as I was excited last week, today I'm kinda frustrated. Visas for the whole family would be ready this Thursday, and I still can't confirm a single ticket. The people in DC know that I should be there September. What would my boss say? Hicks.. the capital of the biggest economy in the world, as well as the sole superpower, and only a few airlines fly there directly.

HICKS!!!!

Please send your prayer for me...

Salute to Koes Plus/Bersaudara

Posting ini boleh dianggap promosi bagi kerja Erwin Gutawa untuk album "Salute to Koes Plus/Bersaudara". Saya kira saya beruntung karena waktu kecil masih sempat mendengar musik mereka (generasi baru yang lahir setelah dekade 80-an mungkin hanya kebagian "membaca nama mereka").

Tapi bukan karena hasrat bernostalgia saya lalu beli CD "Salute" ini. Tadinya saya cuma ingin menikmati lagi tafsiran ulang Rio Febrian untuk "Why Do You Love Me". In the end, I fell in love with the whole album. Pemilihan Erwin Gutawa untuk pembawa lagu, lengkap dengan aransemen yang berbeda sesuai karakter pembawanya, buat saya sudah mendekati sempurna. Mulai dari nama-nama yang sudah dikenal pecinta musik negeri ini seperti Rio Febrian dan Ruth Sahanaya, sampai yang hanya diketahui komunitas terbatas (Jamaican Cafe), bahkan yang namanya baru "terdengar" (Swara 17).

Walaupun rata-rata para penyanyi dan pemusik (untuk aransemen instrumentalia) menembangkan masing-masing lagu dengan sangat baik, tapi saya justru merasa paling tersentuh waktu menyimak Duta Sheila on 7 dalam "Bunga di Tepi Jalan".

Suatu kali kutemukan
bunga di tepi jalan
Siapa yang menanamnya
tak seorangpun mengira

Bunga di tepi jalan
alangkah indahnya
Oh kasihan
Kan kupetik sebelum layu

Di sekitar belukar
dan rumput gersang
Seorangpun takkan
mau memperhatikan

Biarlah kan kuambil
penghias rumahku
Oh kasihan
Kan kupetik sebelum layu

Cara Duta (bukan Cara Nita, hehehehe...) menyanyikannya benar-benar membuat saya membayangkan melihat sekuntum bunga di tepi jalan yang kering dan berdebu. Orang-orang yang lalu lalang tidak memperhatikan kecantikan mungil yang diciptakan Tuhan itu. (Masing-masing terlalu sibuk bergegas mengejar berbagai kepentingan, mana ada waktu untuk melirik benda-benda kecil yang tidak bisa memberikan keuntungan baginya?). Bunga itu sendirian, dan kesepian. Batangnya yang kurus tidak cukup tegak menopangnya dan daun yang hanya tumbuh satu-dua helai. Warnanya bercampur semburat kuning kecoklatan karena debu dan waktu.

Mungkin ketika tangan yang iba menyentuh dan mengangkatnya, ia sudah pasrah. Ia tahu bahwa sebagaimana ciptaan lain yang tidak diberi kehendak sendiri oleh Sang Pemilik Kehidupan, hari-harinya sudah mendekati akhir. Setidaknya ia tidak

Ia tidak mengira bahwa tangan itu memperpanjang waktu hidup dan keindahannya. Saat batangnya dicelupkan ke air dan jari-jemari dengan kasih sayang membersihkan dan memercikkan air ke arahnya, ketika ia dikumpulkan dengan bunga dan daun-daun lain, bersama-sama membentuk keelokan yang baru, ia tahu bahwa ia tidak sendirian lagi. Keriangannya lalu memancar dari kelopak-kelopaknya yang mekar, lebih dari saat kuntumnya membuka.

*Duh, susah banget jadi puitis dan romantis. Maap ya, kalo jadinya malah gombal!




How much does fame cost? (Case of a new Idol)

My sister and her friend was in Bandung for business, and happened to stay at the same hotel with the Indonesian Idols. A few chat with Delon and Michael, and she already judged that the cute Indonesian Idol runner-up is a snob. Apparently he wasn't very chummy, and - worse is - he didn't put an effort to look like he was.

Perhaps she was right. Delon wasn't really prepared for his instant fame and he lost his charm and innocence that attracted people (mostly females) at the first place. He became a jerk.

Or perhaps Delon was just being a quiet, calm person he had always been (given that he's like that).

Either one, Delon must learn to adjust himself with popularity. Being a public figure nonetheless means you will lose your privacy, and -to certain extent- yourself. Many famous persons claim that they retain their personality. Bullshit. If you're naturally stubborn, messy, jerky, etc., you would have to be kindest person in the world to your fans, especially when you are just about to be famous. Wait for a while to ensure that you have your place in the Indonesian celebrity community, and you can screw everyone :)

... of Love and Everything

A close friend and I just had a two-hour conversation over coffee (and its companies, like cheesecake, etc., anything nicely fattening:D), and we spent most of it on the most talked-about issue: love.

It started when I told him about our other friend who's considering breaking off with his girlfriend. Main reason? Boredom. We exchanged views on this friend's situation, how best to handle it, what he should say to this soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend, etc. And somehow our confabulation drew to relationships in general, and - like mentioned above - love.

My friend, a seemingly happily married man, thought that one had better find true love "out there" to make his/her world more colorful (quoting Daniel Sahuleka, hehehehe...). Sparkles and new desires, the fact that it is forbidden, make it even more exciting. Marrying a true love, on the contrary, would only lead to plainness and dullness.

I read and heard similar thing (though in differing wordings) revealed by my guy friends, and by many men. These blokes argue that some additional "flavor(s)" to marriage would spice up the boring companionship. (They would never admit that being a better husband, while having an affair, is reflection of guilty feeling, and wives anywhere in the world KNOW that!)

What is true love, anyway? I feel people just say too much shit about this thing without even be able to define what "love" is. Perhaps they simply refuse to try to. Life is already too depressing to waste your valuable spare time to some useless activities.

But of course, lazy civil servants like my friends and I always manage to allocate some time and make excuses to discuss garbage (including those so-called perspectives on statehood... yuck..)

So I challenged him: "How would you know it is true love [that you find out there]? Only because you want her so bad? That's lust! Don't you think it's true love when you feel comfortable around her, and you can take her just the way she is? Isn't it true love if you can do your own things yet are still bond together?"

"Yeah.. you can say that, but love between a couple needs passion as well."

"So if you lose that passion, you're not in love anymore?"

Bravo! The million dollar question. How many times have we heard men complaining about not having sex as much as they would like to, blaming their frigid wives/girlfriends/partners for their cheating? Of course, as every creature on earth understands, that is only to justify their poligamy tendency (which is actually shared by women, but men won't admit it, because they can't stand competition!).

The civil servants of the Republic of Indonesia concluded this meaningful conversation with questions unanswered. Let them be.





Farewell with Tears...

Hari ini kebaktian et kumpul2 keluarga untuk perpisahanku.

Seperti biasa, pagi hari ketika kami mengadakan ibadah kecil keluarga, ibuku mendoakan kelancaran program kami hari itu. Juga agar semua proses pemberangkatanku dan yang lain-lain (termasuk keponakanku, Samantha, yang akan ikut ke sana) dipermudah. Permintaan visa tinggal di AS pada saat2 ini pasti sulit. Tapi bagi Tuhan tidak ada yang mustahil.

Hal lain yang didoakan ibuku tentulah pergumulan lain keluarga kami, seperti masalah pribadi adikku.

Seusai doa, aku melihat adikku menangis (walau coba ditutupinya). Kukira karena dia teringat bebannya.

Ternyata beberapa waktu setelah acara berlangsung, aku memergokinya masih mengusap mata. Belakangan dia mengaku, kesedihannya muncul karena membayangkan harus berpisah denganku waktu yang cukup lama, tiga setengah tahun.

Aku teringat waktu dia menikah dulu. Setelah acara adat berakhir, dan kami sedang berdua saja di kamar ganti, dia memelukku erat2. Hal yang jarang dia lakukan karena kesibukannya bergaul. Tapi kala itu akulah yang dilanda rasa pilu karena harus melepasnya bersama suaminya. Kami bukan sekedar kakak-adik. Kami adalah kawan karib. (Cukup mengherankan bahwa setelah dewasa kami bisa demikian erat, mengingat ketika kami masih anak2, tiada hari kami lewati tanpa bertengkar dan berkelahi!).

Rupanya dia sempat mencurahkan kesedihannya pada beberapa saudara sepupuku, dan menularkan rasa itu ke mereka.

Benarkah ada orang yang bisa sesedih itu karena berpisah denganku?

Kemarin Poppy menangis di telepon, sebelum dia memasuki pesawat yang akan membawanya ke Mexico City, beribu mil jauhnya dari teman-teman terdekatnya, termasuk aku.

Satu hari seorang temanku merangkulku beberapa kali dan berulang-ulang mengungkapkan kekuatirannya akan sergapan rasa sepi setelah aku berangkat nanti.

Dalam percakapan virtual kami, seorang teman chattingku mengirimkan pesan: "seandainya kamu pergi.. aku rasa bukan temen kamu aja yg kehilangan.. aku juga..."

Teman chattingku yang lain pernah beberapa kali menyatakan sesalnya karena rencana penempatanku: "mbak ellen jauh sekali..."

Bisakah kita merasa kehilangan karena kepergian seseorang yang bahkan belum pernah kita lihat secara fisik???

Namun di atas semua pertanyaan-pertanyaan itu, yang paling mengherankanku adalah ternyata masih ada orang yang (bakal) merindukanku, setidaknya begitulah kata mereka. Apa yang istimewa dariku?



Another Bombing (Hiks!)

Another bomb explosion in Jakarta. In front of the Australian Embassy in Kuningan.

9 people died.

182 badly injured.

Though still not yet proven, there is high suspicion that those behind this heinous act are the same ones who designed the Bali & Marriott bombing.

A rather peculiar thing came across my mind. The very morning, at around 10 o'clock - or just half an hour before the explosion - I was at Kuningan. I wasn't feeling very well that morning, so my dad drove me to the office. (Yeah, yeah, I was very late. I had even thought that I'd call on sick, but, remembering that I had works to do, I decided to move on).

Usually, during those hours, Mampang and Kuningan are quite crowded. And it would take at least an hour to go to Pejambon. I spent almost all time in the car sleeping (I was dizzy). But I remember waking up in the middle, right when we arrived at Kuningan, and I was slightly surprised that Kuningan was way quieter. In only 40 minutes since we had left my house, my dad dropped me at Pejambon.

When I put on my hand bag on my desk, my colleague asked me: "Are you alright? I just got an SMS from my wife, saying that there was a bombing in Kuningan."

What? I didn't hear anything.

Things got clear while Metro TV broke this terrible news 5 minutes later.

What is this??? What is the message the perpetrators are sending by killing innocent people????

If it is true that they did it on somewhat religious motif, well, they have mispercieved Indonesian people.

Given the circumstance that I mentioned above, some might suggest a "conspiracy" theory. But this is a case of suicidal bombing. Unless it is for a very strong reason, no human being would commit suicide, and kill others. Or, we're talking about some lunatics out there.

I wish to extend my deep condolences to the victims and their families and friends.









About Me! (Narcissist? Nope!!!!)

A friend of mine sent the following questions to the bulletin board. I found them interesting, so I decided to put them in this journal, with my answers for sure:

1. what kind of first impression do you think you give people?
BIG!

2. what things you like to do alone?
anything related to internet using, singing in karaoke, sleeping... and some other kinky stuff
not for public :D

3. are you a giver or a taker?
more like a giver

4. what have you stolen before?
people's heart --> PD!

5. how many drinks before you're tips?
like, 4-5 shots of tequila :P

6. do you ever have to beg?
yeah, sometimes...

7. what kind of books do you like to read?
thriller, witty

8. do you think you're cute?
never had a doubt about it :D

9. do you have a problem changing clothes in front of your friends?
girls? no! men? definitely!

10. whats the most painful experience you've ever had?
when I saw my parents crying...

11. favorite communication method?
chatting (on- and off- line)

12. do you care for your admirers/suitors?
not quite

13. what is your most prized piece of your music collection?
all of them are priceless for me

14. what is the geekiest part of your music collection?
I don't listen to geeky music :)

15. what do you eat when you raid the fridge at night?
most of the time, i find nothing. but in those rare moments, I'm sometime lucky to find
chocolate bars or cake tape :P

16. what is your favorite movie?
Silence of the Lambs, Legally Blonde.. and Garfield the Movie

17. if you could have plastic surgery, what would you have done?
got rid of my fat!

18. what is a physical habit that gives away?
dunno...

19. are you famous?
to certain groups :D

20. describe your bed
messy with books

21. spontaneous or planned
mostly spontaneous

22. do you know how to play poker?
nope :(

23. what do you carry with you at all times?
cellphone, wallet, wristwatch

24. what do you miss most about being little?
no responsibility, my playground and my childhood friends back in Manado

25. are you happy with your given name?
yup

26. how much would it take to give up the internet for 1 year?
nothing unless it's something sacred, or a matter of life and death :P

27. what color is your bedroom?
cream

28. have you ever been in a play?
not really...

29. do you like yourself and believe inyourself?
yes! but more than that.. I love and believe in God

30. do transient, homeless, or starving people sometimes annoy you?
yes, and what annoys me more is that there's not much I've done to help them...

Horeeee...!!!!!

Setelah turun langsung ke Dit. Konsuler, akhirnya Nota itu beserta lampirannya ditemukan juga!!!

HOREEEEE!!!!

Aku serahkan copy Nota itu dan lampirannya ke tim BPK yang terhormat.

Puji Tuhan!!!!

Dan hari ini, dengan tandatangan terakhir yang diperlukan, telah tertera pada surat pemagangan, resmi aku telah menempuh orientasi. Ditandai dengan pemberian sertifikat orientasi.

PUJI TUHAN!!!

Tinggal urus2 yang lain.. terus... BERANGKAT!!!!



Hari Merdeka!!!

Tujuh belas Agustus tahun empat lima
Itulah hari kemerdekaan kita
Hari merdeka, nusa dan bangsa
Hari lahirnya bangsa Indonesia

MERDEKA...!!!!

S'kali merdeka tetap merdeka
Selama hayat masih dikandung badan
Kita tetap setia, tetap sedia
Mempertahankan Indonesia
Kita tetap setia, tetap sedia
Membela negara kita!!!


DIRGAHAYU INDONESIA!!!!!

A Night of Lustful Adventures

My three colleagues and I went out Thursday night. At first we thought of going to Jamz to enjoy some nice, relaxing jazz. It turned out that on Thursdays the band plays "golden memories" songs, so we decided to hop in somewhere else. My boss came up with the idea of going to a dangdut cafe, because she heard that it is superfun. None of us has ever been to one, but then I suddenly remember that some of my guy friends were avid visitors to "De Leila", an Arabian-like cafe, which often presents dangdut bands. So there we went.

From the very moment we stepped into the smokey bar with only blue spotlight illuminating the whole area, we knew we were, to say the least, out of place. There were practically no other visitors -- even those sitting on the couches did not seem like one! -- and the girls dancing heartily were undoubtedly hookers. But anyway, we were already there, and we were eager to know what would be next. A band came ahead, dangdut overture started, and the singer appeared, surprisingly wearing a full-clad outfit.

It took only half an hour before we decided we had enough (that already included asking the waitress how we should "conclude a business" with the hookers), and that we needed to look for something else. Some ideas were suggested, including going to Ancol for a good peeping to the "shaking cars", or to some clubs in Kota. Kota won. We couldn't find "Stadium", passed by "1001", then we proceeded to "Tanamur" in Tanah Abang. As no cars were seen parked around (which definitely means no crowds!), we had to find another place.

My boss turned to the only male in our little group. "I'd like to go to a gay bar. Do you know one?"

My friend hesitated a bit before mentioning two names: Prego and Two Face, which are not really specifically for gays, but are programming gay night on Thursdays. We went to Two Face, nicely situated behind Menara Imperium.

I had never been in a gay bar before, and I was so thrilled when we got there. It has a great ambiance, and the bunch were predominantly, well, gays. A few girls were also there, and I was relieved that the people didn't look at us as if we were spies. Instead, they were totally indifferent and busy with their own thing. I must've looked like a hillbilly, staring at male couples kissing and cuddling.

But the most exciting part was when the Go-Go Boys emerged. These are gay-version of erotic dancers, putting on mask on their faces, G-string covering only their private parts, and a see-through cloth used for ... well, I'm not so sure now, because it seemed to me it was only to accessorize these men. The men swayed their bodies in rhythm to the played song sensuously, and some girls cried out their excitement. (Now that I think of it, it was kinda funny. After all, it was GAY night, why weren't the gays yelling????). One or two of them moved closer to some customers, and did some dirty dancing, letting their bodies be explored. And I saw with my own, naked eyes, how this customer grabbed and stroked the dancer's crotch for a few minutes. I think my jaw dropped that time.

Anyway, all in all it was fun. When I told about this lustful adventure the next day, my friends were amazed and started talking with each other on when they are going to do it!

You never know your friends ... or acquiantances...

Some people might remember the article in Kompas one or two days ago about a girl murdered by her friend, who - when she disappeared - pretended to search for her with her other friends and family. I found out later that the poor girl (Amanda) and the alleged perpetrator (Ronald) were both friendsters (thanks to Victor for putting the message on my bulletin board).

Let's see what HIS friends tell about him (testimonials, testimonials):

Leonie, 07/23/2004:
Ronald=lutuuu banget n tak terlupakan...hehehehehe


Dessi, 05/21/2004:
THE JUMBO SANTA...eh tapi sekarang udah gak terlalu jumbo yaa?! But definetely he’s a santa!! Kadang2 keliatan serem tapi kalo udah kenal...yuhuuu...asik berat...enak diajak ngobrol,enak buat curhat, selalu siap sedia nolongin orang...hehehe,kok baek semua ya?! Once upon a time, dia ini pernah jadi admirer temen kos gw, tiap malem nyambangin sajiono 15 u/ m’dptk’ pujaan hatinya...buset,pantang menyerah bo! Yah, ingatlah masa2 bsm KPK&PSK (weekend, camproh, survey ini itu, jualan jagung bakar, dll,dll) miss u dude...kapan2 jalan yuks...


Kyra, 04/13/2004:
pertama kali ngeliat 'bapak penjaga workshop' ini tadinya gw sangka dia senior,eh ternyata pindahan n satu angkatan sama gw.....ronald itu baik, helpful,hardworker, partner yang ok dalam segala acara kepanitiaan (btw thanx nald , you're really really did the great job), tapi kadang2 suka gangguin gw juga.......but in short, he's nice .....btw thanx ya testinya !


Herman, 04/24/2004:
Mantan orang ndutz, baik hati, organisatoris sejati. Pernah bikin kisruh pas pemilu ketua OSIS (kenapa tidak pemilu legislatif sekalian).


And Amanda happened to be one of the first people who gave him their appreciative testimonials. She said:

Amanda, 04/02/2004:
Kesan pertama baru kenal dia sih serem.. pas udah kenal ternyata serem banget!!! apalagi kalo 1 mobil brg dia trus d depan ada metromini ngetem. tanpa malu2 dia langsung buka kaca mobil terus ngegedor2 mobil sambil teriak2 dengan bahasa leluhurnya "Hei, minggir kau!" langsung jiper gw... tapi kalo gak ketemu metromini ngetem dia sih orangnya baik.. mau nolongin orang.. diajak serius bisa,diajak gokil bisa.. cuma satu jeleknya: biang telat!! haram hukumnya buat ronald berangkat k kampus sebelum matahari nongol. bukan begitu bukan?? ;)



Of course, we will have to wait for a while until this guy is proven guilty (up to now, no news yet on supporting evidences). I am not establishing an opinion here, nor am I character-assassinating. I am trying to say that we never know our friends and acquiantances. Amanda's testimonial gave the impression that she trusted him, though perhaps there were times when she thought of him as less then a patient person. Whatever reason had driven him , it is so sad that a guy who seemed bright and faithful and possessing the companion of loads of mates, could've fallen into this. He lost everything: his future, and his friends' confidence. Most importantly, he has lost himself...

Mercy

Mercy namanya. Umurnya berkisar 25-26 tahun, cantik-menarik, tinggi-langsing, cerdas, ceriwis, bersuara indah ditunjang oleh tehnik vokal yang memadai hasil tempaan pelatih paduan suara ternama di negeri ini. Setelah lulus dari Atmajaya, dia memilih berkarir di jalur hiburan: menjadi MC, menjadi penyanyi kafe (kau dapat menemuinya di Kafe Satu Lagi, KTS, tiap hari Sabtu), dan lain-lain yang dipandangnya sejalan dengan kecintaannya terhadap dunia seni pertunjukan.

Setelah beberapa kali menyaksikan penampilannya di kafe yang mungil namun artistik tersebut, baru pada pergantian hari tadi kami sempat bercakap-cakap. Melihat kemampuannya berinteraksi dengan para pengunjung, kami - aku dan adikku - tertarik untuk menggunakan jasanya pada beberapa kesempatan yang sedang kami rencanakan. Di antara hal-hal umum dalam pembicaraan kami, seperti standar upah, konsep acara, dan sebagainya, Mercy menceritakan beberapa hal tentang dirinya, tentang perjuangannya menapaki pilihannya ini.

"Kalau kalian lihat CV saya, pasti kalian ngakak-ngakak," katanya dengan air muka serius. "Isinya mulai dari ng-MC, nyanyi... sampai jadi usher."

"Usher?" adikku menyahut, spontan tertawa geli.

"Iya, waktu acara.. (apa tepatnya, aku lupa)".

Selanjutnya ia membeberkan bahwa di antara beberapa tawaran yang diterimanya, salah satunya adalah menjadi MC pertandingan bola tingkat SMP.

"Sekarang saya kan 'menjual' diri, karena saya tidak ada yang 'menjualkan'. Saya merasa sekarang ini saya belum perlu manajer, toh saya masih bisa menangani sendiri semuanya. Saya juga merasa belum perlu menetapkan standar tertentu. Saya lihat-lihat dulu acaranya apa, lokasinya di mana. Kalau untuk keperluan gereja saya tidak menerima bayaran."

Dia bercerita bagaimana dia dan rekannya pernah 'salah' menerima tawaran, yang diketahui belakangan digelar di kawasan Cipinang, sementara ia dan rekannya tidak menguasai musik dangdut. "Karena itu sekarang saya selalu menanyakan kepada pemilik acara, konsepnya apa, tempatnya di mana."

Wajah manisnya yang putih, dengan alis tergambar rapi, menunjukkan ketegaran dan tekad mengatasi berbagai rintangan yang mungkin dihadapinya dalam menempuh jalan yang telah dipilihnya ini, namun bukan tanpa keikhlasan. "Buat saya sekarang ini jumlah (bayaran) tidak harus paling penting, karena saya pikir saya bisa membangun networking melalui tawaran-tawaran yang saya terima. Tapi ya... tentunya saya harus lihat-lihat dulu. Kalau si pemilik acara bilang acara ini untuk panti asuhan, tapi digelar di hotel Mulia, bagaimana ya..." "Saya juga pernah di-'ganjar' sepuluh kotak nasi bungkus".

Kami berpisah dini hari itu setelah saling bertukar nomor telepon. Dia harus cepat-cepat pulang, karena harus mengisi acara pada pukul 8 pagi.

Di tengah-tengah langkahku menuju tempat parkir, aku membatin dengan rasa hormat yang setinggi-tingginya pada Mercy, dan orang-orang lain yang berjuang untuk apa yang mereka inginkan, tak peduli semuda apapun usia mereka. Tengah malam menandai usiaku yang memasuki 32, namun aku tak ingat pencapaian yang telah kucatat, atau perjuangan yang telah kulakukan. Apa yang kuperoleh selama ini seolah-olah muncul begitu saja, tanpa aku perlu terlalu berusaha. Sudah saatnya aku berpikir untuk menata ulang kembali hidupku.

Selamat ulang tahun untuk diriku sendiri. Selamat berjuang pada diriku sendiri.

Selesai! Lega!

Lega banget!!!!! Pertemuan udah selesai!!! SELESAI!!! Bisa siap2 buat my next posting!!!!

Hibernation... or Hiatus?

It's been ages since my last posting, and the longer it gets, the further I am from even trying to put something in this blog. I am a last-minute person, always think that everything can be done right away, but usually fail to meet my deadline. In short, I'm LAZY.

As such, I don't have any idea on what I should write at all. Here I am, writing nothing. NOTHING. Geeze.

I'd promised myself (and some people who happened to read my blogs) that I would elaborate a notion on marriage. Hit me! I'm lost! But, anyway, I will NOT write that stuff down unless I can put on something insightful (I know, I know, it doesn't sound really humble.. so????)

Well, it's a good start! Luckily I can blame my lack-of-blogposting on my lack-of-blog-inspiration!