Thursday, August 31, 2006

[Opening Theme] Voltus V

Utk Tenik & Antik, yg selalu nraktir nyewain video2 Voltus V setiap kali kami nginep di rumah mereka waktu SD dulu :)

MirrorMask - Close to You

One of my favourite scenes of the movie, sweet and creepy at the same time.

[Opening Theme] Rurouni Kenshin

Utk Sinta yg lagi getol2nya, dan utk Tiyas yg dulu ngajarin aku nyanyi theme song-nya sampe apal! Hahaha!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Farewell, Professor!

Friday afternoon, 14:50 Netherlands time. Motul sent me a pm: Prof. Sudjoko passed away. So sudden; no sign, nor preliminary news beforehand. I browsed rightaway the Alumni Seni Rupa ITB mailing list; there are three posts asking for confirmation of this rumor. Furthermore, Motul (who heard additional news from an 89 alumni) said that indeed nobody knew about it; he was found by his neighbours, already three days gone (therefore, at present, is being investigated by the police). How sad.

People might be familiar with his articles in Kompas, usually discussing the use of Indonesian language. There's humour in his article, however bitter. He was also very active in our mailing list, mostly 'pulling our ears' to see the other side of any news, which often roused controversies - even anger - from other members. He used to send emails to the editors of newspapers, such as de Volkskrant, to inquire terms in Dutch language he found in that paper that he's not familiar with. Old as he was, he never stopped learning.

He used to be our lecturer in the History of Asian Culture class, which started at 07:00 in the morning. Of course some of us came late and missed the attendant list; those he didn't hesitate to nag in front of the whole classroom - even in front of the whole students who happened to pass by the lecture building. He was famous, sure, for his style of being very rude and stern, although I was sure he meant that for something. I, by the way, hardly ever get nagged because I was among the nerds who were very discipline and turned in our assignments on time and all. But facing Prof. Sudjoko, one can either turned to disilke him, or to take a positive side of his rudeness, or both.

Anyhow, I'll continue this journal after I receive further and clearer news about his passing.
In the meantime, I just pray for his soul to have a good rest.

Saturday morning..

I checked Kompas online and found an orbituary page: Prof Dr Sudjoko Ditemukan Meninggal. Posts in mailing lists of ITB lecturers and Product Design alumni added to the information about a last salute in ITB and his burial. It's time to move on - still keeping in mind values that he actually taught us. The last e-mail I received from him (dated Aug 20, perhaps one day before he's gone) was about a Mozart concert in Beijing by Lang Lang (a pianist), that was broadcasted by Metro TV. His email, like many others, was sent to many people, contained images and midi files. He used to tirelessly remind us, alumnis of an art & design school, to include images in our email. He used to be very actively involved ITB choir and film community, all which only confirm his commitment to enrich our cultural insights.

What I'm going to write here is our contact during my stay in The Netherlands. Around the end of 2001, he mailed me, asking me to track down a long-lost friend of his: Sie Hauw Tjong (a fellow ITB art student, who departed to The Netherlands perhaps in the 50s). During the search, I found instead Thé Tjong-Khing, also a former ITB art student, who now resides in Haarlem and is a reknowned illustrator. Pak Khing informed us that Sie Hauw Tjong has passed away years before. Pak Khing, whom we also learn a lot from, lent me several old photographs from the days when he was studying in Bandung (see my journal about Pak Khing here and here). I scanned them and sent them to Prof. Sudjoko, who became very delighted and started telling about those days (also to Pak Khing, despite the fact that Pak Khing can no longer speak Indonesian as good as we do).

2002 was the year that VOC had its 400th anniversary. I went to the Scheepvaart museum in Amsterdam to gather some materials concerning the VOC commemoration for Prof. Sudjoko, for he's known to be very interested in history. I had my sister take these materials (booklet, poster, etc.) to Bandung, where a person (Prof. Sudjoko's acquintance) supposed to deliver the package to him. I didn't know wheter he ever received it.

Much later, he was still active in a couple of mailing lists. I just did a search in my mailbox using the keyword "Sudjoko", and there they are: emails of images, news, encouragement, etc. - mostly sounding out humanity, all in Sudjoko style. I'll end this entry by listing some lessons I learned from his lifestyle:
  • Write and read properly, in any language. Especially in Indonesian, because that's our national language (eventhough it's not everyone's mother tongue), and also in English, since it is, for now, an absolute access to information and international relationship.
  • Be humble. Never act as if you're higher than other people only because you're older, more fortunate, or have a higher academic degree. Express it in your gesture, body language, and acts.
  • Never stop learning, don't hesitate to ask questions, however simple, to improve your knowledge.
  • Keep a cool head in a heated discussion, while still being recourseful.
  • Never lose your sense of humour.

Farewell, Professor. I'm sure your spirit and good deeds will be continued by those who have known you.

- Pikiran Rakyat (Sat 26 Aug):
Budayawan Keras Itu Telah Berpulang
- (Sat 26 Aug): Profesor ITB Ditemukan Meninggal Setelah 4 Hari
- Kompas (Wed 6 Sept): Sudjoko yang Lurus dan Khas

Image: Map of Batavia from around 1642, graph of Mattheus du Chesne, KITLV - among the 400-year VOC commemmoration documents. Source:
VOC Kenniscentrum, KITLV

Copy of Prof. Sudjoko last email that I received (it was sent to several recipients):

-----Original Message-----
From: Sudjoko []
Sent: Mon 8/21/2006 8:42 AM
Subject: Di Forbidden City

(foto Lang Lang)
Lang Lang, pianowan

Siang ini, 21 Agustus 2006, jam 14.05
Siaran Ulang Metro-TV: MOZART DI BEIJING

Pokoknya SUPER deh!

Arek2 di Kompas mbok ya
bikin rekaman VCD-nya
(lebih cepat, minta salinannya dari METRO-TV)

mbak Sofia gimana? Bisa bikin VCD-nya?
lantas kirim sekeping kepada saya, hehehe!

Monday, August 21, 2006

[webcomic] Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell

I was first aware of this webcomic when it was mentioned by Neil Gaiman in his journal. I was rightaway fascinated, but had no time to explore the site thoroughly. I came accross it again when it was nominated for the Clickie Awards at Stripdagen Haarlem 2006, an event where I wasn't paying attention that it's Tom Siddell who went up the stage and - being the only nominated webcomic creator attending - received the award for the winner (photos from that event can be viewed here). I have also announced the URL of this webcomic to my contacts here, but only recently (finally!) found the time to sit and read the whole sequel.

The main character is Antimony, a girl who just entered Gunnerkrigg Court boarding school. Antimony has this cool, composed face (which will have more expressions in the later chapters), and nothing can really surprise her. She's always calm and is very polite to everyone. She befriended Kat, a genius classmate whose parents are science teachers at Gunnerkrigg Court and therefore (sort of) knows her way through Gunnerkrigg estate. Gunnerkrigg itself looks more like an abandoned giant factory in an industrial area than a boarding school, separated only by a very long bridge from a gloomy forest.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Since day one, Antimony has been faced with a strange event: a second shadow tagged her along. This first episode tells how Annie (Antimony's nickname) helped the shadow pursue its desire by using a self-assembled robot. The second chapter is about how Annie and Kat fulfilled their mythology class assignment with a surprising appearance of Basil, a misunderstood minotaur. Chapter 3 introduced Reynardine, who got wounded and fell on the roof right on top of Annie's bed. Annie's teacher Mr. Eglamore was also involved in this occurence. More about Reynardine in the later chapter; it didn't end here. The fourth episode is about a science fair, presenting two strange girls from another tower. One is always snarky, another very timid and quiet (I got a feeling that the snarky girl isn't a real person -- anything is possible at Gunnerkrigg Court!). The next episode has a unique setting; instead the usuall darkness, the panels are showered with lights and bright colors. This part expresses Annie's loss and her longing for her parents. Chapter Seven reveals the story of Annie's parents, told by Kat's parents and Mr. Eglamore. This episode also brings back the earlier characters: Reynardine, the shadow and the robot from the first chapter, who caused Annie to fall off the bridge outside Gunnerkrigg. The last chapter presents Annie's findings at the bottom of the cliff (she survived, thanks to Tic Toc birds). The story doesn't end here; there are more characters being introduced and most probably intertwined with stories of the past that we're not told yet.

I was fascinated all over again. The graphic is fresh, the atmosphere a bit dark yet somehow sweet. The story is interesting, especially for those who adore myths, mystery and fantasy, with bits of humor in the details - and it is presented in a way that I like: in short chapters. Not to mention that there is a bonus page at the end of each chapter, which tastes like a refreshing condiment. There is already a printed version of this series available (self-published) but, unfortunately, the European edition is said to be inferior and therefore is not recommended. Five stars for Gunnerkrigg Court, which is perhaps the only webcomic that I have enjoyed immensely!

The webcomic starts here, feel free to go there and read it yourself:

Sunday, August 20, 2006

[webcomic] Gunnerkrigg Court
A webcomic by Tom Sidell. Highly recommended. It's about a girl named Antimony who attends Gunnerkrigg Court boarding school. Her adventure onwards contains strange events and creatures!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Our boy is grown

Dhanu has been having his summer holiday for weeks, but we haven't taken him for any holiday treat or trips. He's been asking if he could go to Victor and Wouter's (his cousins) house, but he can't because they're away, having a holiday in Italy. He's also been asking if he could go to oma (in Roosendaal), which we could only fulfil last weekend. We planned to stay for one night (get there Saturday, back to Amsterdam Sunday), but apparently it's too short for Dhanu. For the record, we don't go to Roosendaal often; only on several occasions such as Christmas, Easter and birthdays. The kids always love it there, of course, because they can freely run and shout in the backyard (good weather or bad); something they're restricted from in our small apartment in Amsterdam.

On Saturday, when we're already at oma's house, Dhanu suddenly waved three fingers and said, "I want to stay for three nights here". I and Syb talked it over, and we thought this can be a good trial for Dhanu to stay over by himself. He has never done that before: staying overnight at someone else's place without his parent(s) around. We told Dhanu the consequences: that he will have to sleep by himself (but oma can sleep in the same room), he'll have to go to the toilet on time (he always pressed to the last second, especially when he's in the middle of building or constructing his LEGO or Meccano), he'll have to eat whatever oma prepares (he's getting picky nowadays) and of course he'll have to listen to oma. He's ready, he said. Fine, we decided to give him a try.

Saturday afternoon, we said bye to oma and left for the 16:19 train to Amsterdam. Dhanu was busy watching his Bionicle DVD he hardly waved at us. Instead, he only hushed us away with his hand gesture. Well, he's never been easy on saying goodbyes to anyone, so we're not surprised. We plan for me to pick him up on Wednesday..

Monday morning, Syb called from his office to oma, who said that "Dhanu is doing fine; he slept well and just had two boterhammen for breakfast". Oma replied my email, saying that Dhanu is playing a lot and making a lot of drawings (because oma told him about people having their birthdays soon) - to which Dhanu replied, "For the boys I make cool drawings, for the girls sweet drawings." He also told oma what to write so he could imitate oma's letters by his own, on the drawings. He's enjoying playing alone in the sandpit.
On Sunday, other family members came to oma (when we already left), to whom Dhanu proudly announced, "Ik ben hier zonder mijn papa" (I'm here without my papa). As oma was typing the email, Dhanu was busy with a world globe and Disney books ("Wonders of the World", "Wonders of Nature", etc.). When oma reminded him that he used to like the sound of her clock (a loud cuckoo clock, which he always wants it turned off everytime we're there), he said, "Dat weet ik wel maar toen was ik klein, nu ben ik gegroeid en mijn oren zijn groter geworden, daarom hoor ik nu veel beter en dan is het veel te veel lawaai" (I know it but then I was small, now I'm grown and my ears have become bigger, therefore I hear much better and that is too noisy).

Apparently, he's been having fun. So I and Syb tought that, if Dhanu likes, he can stay a bit longer. I told that to oma through email, who replied that Dhanu seems happy with the idea. He said, "En jij bent niet alleen, en ik hoef niet te luisteren, en ik zal mijn best doen" (And you are not alone, and I don't have to listen, and I shall do my best). Reading the mail, we had to laugh; Dhanu must have meant that he doesn't get the nag he is used to get like when he's at home!
When we called him this (Tuesday) evening, he talked with a made-up accent to his father. He does that everytime he's a bit nervous. We can only guess that he's afraid that we might change our mind, or maybe the other way around, that he might change his mind about staying longer. Whatever it was, he didn't speak up his thoughts. But anyway, this "being away from home 'by himself'" is a good first experience for him - and for us! Our boy is grown, and will still be growing.. and we're all just going to have to be ready for his every pace.

Photo: from Chica's collection

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

[buat iseng] Dear Internet consensus life coaching

Do you need help deciding whether your boyfriend is cheating on you or if you should eat that three day old pizza in your fridge? Well, we’re here for you. Join, vote, let us know what you think.

ps. It's still a beta program, so they need a lot of feedback