Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#767 - The Amazing Race 15

note: this entry will only be written in English as now I'm quite lazy to write bilingual, hehe

This week,
the fifteenth cycle of The Amazing Race was premiered with a special 2 hours first episode. TAR has always been one of my most favorite reality show and it really rocks!!

There were 12 teams this season, and a new twist was introduced: One of the twelve team wouldn't even pass the starting line as there were tickets available for 11 teams to get to their first destination, Tokyo, Japan. Eric & Lisa were the unfortunate team as they got eliminated after losing the first challenge, finding correct Shinigawa license plate.

::: TAR 15 all 12 teams

I think, the new twist was surprising BUT really unnecessary and over the top. Well, I think, the twist has no major effect to the race itself. Usually, the first few eliminated teams will be forgotten quite easily as the show airs. Because of that, why should they add the number of early-eliminated team, even before they left the US? People will forget about them more easily now as we don't watch much of them. We don't even know not get their personality and style. Plus, unfortunately for Eric & Lisa, they had applied for the race, finally beat thousands (I guess?) of applicants to make it to the top 12, but in the end, their dream of racing crushed as they didn't even leave the US. I think they have become somewhat unnecessary "extras" in the show itself.

Anyway, the first leg was also a bit disappointing as there weren't many tasks in Tokyo. They just went to a TV studio, played a game, lead a group of Japanese women to find a shrine, and pitstop. That's it? Hmm, I think that's too short for a "LEG" in TAR.

Even so, the rest of the premier was so GREAT!! I think the race was still really exciting and entertaining, especially the second leg in Vietnam (lucky it was a 2 legs episode, as if it had been only 1 leg premier, it would have been super boring and might have lost some viewers :) ). I like the drama especially around Maria & Tiffany, how they lied about their job (professional poker players). The tasks in Vietnam were also pretty cool to watch.

For now, based on the first two legs, I have three most favorite teams and two potential favorite teams.

1. Megan & Cheyne (dating)

::: Megan & Cheyne. I like the color of their outfits tho, hehehe

I think based on the first two legs, they are the most competitive team this season. They are fit, strategic, and I think they have what it takes to stay long enough in the race. I like the way how they supported each other, that really makes them a good team.

2. Maria & Tiffany (professional poker players)

::: Maria & Tiffany, two professional poker players.

As I said, I think this team is really smart and strategic, and I always like smart and strategic team. That factor could make them a bit devilish at time, and every show needs a villain, right? As their lie (about their jobs as they said the worked for a non-profit organization in LA which helped homeless kids, quite "far" from professional poker players, LOL) had been revealed, some other teams might have plotted them as enemy, that's interesting. I hope they stayed long, hehe.

3. Mika & Canaan (newly dating)

::: Mika & Canaan. Apparently Mika is a singer and Canaan is a song-writer.

I think this team is interesting, plus they will (probably) be the bickering team of the season. However, based on the first two episodes, it seems that they weren't that strong and might got eliminated quite soon tho, hmmm... .

Two potential favorite teams:

1. Brian & Ericka (married)

::: Brian & Ericka.

Ericka is a former Miss USA. It's always be interesting to see how beauty queens handle TAR(A). Would she be like the super competitive Dustin & Kandice (TAR 10, TAR 11), or be like the quite spoiled Natalie Glebova (TARA 3)? Plus, on the second leg, it's quite interesting to see some little fights between her and her husband. It's not that I like seeing couple fighting, no, but it's interesting to see how the effect of the fight interferes their placings on TAR.

2. Sam & Dan (brothers)

::: Sam & Dan

I think they are quite interesting, as they developed what might be a good friendship with Maria & Tifanny. We will see...

The rest of the teams haven't made quite an impression on me, but hey, it has just been one episode, still many to come and they might change my mind!

Anyway, TAR rocks!! hehe

Saturday, September 26, 2009

#766 - Friday and Saturday


Well, nothing much I can write down here since my week has been ordinary. It's just that I hang out with my friends this afternoon, haha, apparently it's better to go out than to just stay at home, even though when it's really crowded and there are traffic jams everywhere out there. Anyway, I think the traffic jam in Yogyakarta this year wasn't as bad as it was last year tho. I dunno it's because of the better traffic management or the number of people visiting Yogyakarta simply goes down, hmmm...

Well, today was fun as my friend was really funny. I mean, it was a bit more "clumsy and silly" funny tho (*sorry if you read this, but it means no offense to you really, hehe*). He ate really much today as my other friend and I were just "stunned" with that, LOL. But today was really fun!!

::: home-made old fashioned steak

::: bakso I had yesterday

::: African Lamb Satai I had as dinner today


Yah, ga banyak sih yang bisa ditulis kali ini karena minggu ini ya biasa saja. Cuma aku tadi siang jalan2 sama temen2ku karena ternyata memang jalan2 tuh lebih baik daripada di rumah saja, walau ketika di luar tuh sangat ramai dan kemacetan terjadi dimana-mana. Oya, aku koq merasa tingkat kemacetan Yogyakarta tahun ini tidak separah tahun lalu yah. Entah ini karena pengaturan lalu lintas yang lebih baik atau memang jumlah orang yang pergi ke Yogyakarta berkurang, hmmm... .

Yah, hari ini asik sih soalnya temenku lucu. Kelucuannya itu lebih ke kelucuan "ceroboh dan konyol" sih (*maaf jika orangnya membaca, tapi aku tidak bermaksud buruk koq, hehe*). Dia makannya buanyak banget sampe aku dan temenku yang lain "terpana" karenanya, LOL. Tapi hari ini asik dah!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

#765 - Plain Holiday


Well, Lebaran holiday is never my favorite holiday of the year. It's because the atmosphere is not enjoyable for me. Why? Well, there are several reasons for that. First of all, there is no maid in my house, haha. Second, Yogyakarta is so full of people and the traffic is insanely jammed almost everywhere. Third, usually most public places are full of people hanging out. Sure crowded public place is better than "dying" public place with no people, but if there are just too many people in there, it's just not that enjoyable anymore (and again, it means the higher risk for crime to occur). Fourth, if some places are overly full, some other are close(d). The traffic, overly crowded places, and not-operating places make me lazy to go out during the holiday, especially the traffic tho because sometimes it drives me crazy, haha... . Therefore, so far until now, I haven't gone anywhere T^T

Anyway, forgetting those damn things, yesterday I just read a news that apparently, Justine Henin, one of world's greatest female tennis player this era, has decided to comeback next year, starting on the first grandslam, 2010 Australian Open. Well, I always think that her early retirement, just at the age of 25, when she was ranked world no.1 and the reigning French Open champion, was too early. Maybe she was fueled up by the victory of her countrywoman Kim Clijsters at this year's US Open, just at her third tournament after her comeback. That might light up the competitiveness fire inside her which might have been away for months, haha... . Anyway, her comeback surely will add more spices to the women tennis after the unstable competition after her retirement. I think it's gonnabe interesting to watch. Anyway, welcome back Justine Henin!! hehe

::: Justine Henin

note: picture taken from Wikipedia


Yah, liburan Lebaran tuh bukan liburan favoritku dalam setahun deh. Ya karena atmosfernya memang kurang menyenangkan untuk aku. Mengapa? Ada beberapa alasan yang melatar-belakanginya. Pertama-tama, lebaran berarti tidak ada pembantu di rumah, haha. Yanf kedua, jalanan di Yogyakarta (dan kota2 lain di Indonesia) sangat penuh dan gila2an macetnya. Ketiga, banyak tempat-tempat umum terlalu ramai dikunjungi orang. Bener sih tempat yang rame memang asik yah, cuma kalau sudah terlalu ramai kan juga malah jadi tidak menyenangkan juga toh? Belum lagi risiko tindakan kejahatan yang jadi naik. Keempat, kalo beberapa tempat jadi terlalu ramai, beberapa tempat yang lain malah (di)tutup, zzz. Lalulintas, tempat terlalu ramai, dan tempat yang (di)tutup itulah terutama yang membuat aku malas untuk pergi kemana-mana di liburan kali ini, terutama macetnya itu sih karena benar2 bisa bikin emosi, haha... . Makanya sejauh ini sih aku belum pergi kemana-mana nih T^T

Ngomong2, lupakan deh masalah di atas, kemarin aku baru membaca berita dan ternyata, Justine Henan, salah satu petenis wanita terbaik era ini, sudah memutuskan untuk akan kembali bermain tahun depan, dimulai dengan granfslam pertama, Australian Open 2010.Wah, aku sih selalu merasa keputusannya untuk pensiun dini tahun lalu, ketika ia baru berusia 25 tahun, berperingkat no.1 dunia dan sedang memegang gelar juara French Open, memang terlalu awal koq. Mungkin dia termotivasi oleh kemenangan rekan senegaranya Kim Clijsters padaUS Open tahun ini mungkin yah, yang hanya pada turnamen ketiganya setelah kembali bermain. Kemenangan itu mungkin menyalakan kembali api persaingan yang mungkin sudah lama padam, haha... . Yah, pokoknya sih yang jelas kembalinya Justine Henin jelas akan menambah bumbu pada persaingan tenis putri saat ini, yang menjadi tak stabil setelah ia pensiun. Aku rasa akan menjadi menarik nih. Pokoknya, selamat datang kembali Justine Henin!! hehe

Monday, September 21, 2009

#764 - Homecoming and Happy Lebaran


First of all, I'd like to say:


to all people who celebrate it this year :) Please forgive me if I did something wrong.

As the Indonesian tradition every Lebaran, I of course went back home to Jogja, haha. Well, I bought my homecoming tickets at this time and I still thought the price was kinda unreasonable :(.

Anyway, last Saturday I went back to Jogja catching Turangga Express which departed at 7 PM from Bandung Railway Station. Well, I was kinda lucky to get seat at couch no. 7 as starting from couch no.8, they used the older couches (I got a new couch), haha. The trip was just okay. There was no free meal (I read that the train corp. has apparently decided to erase the free meal service).

Of course, as predicted, it was super late. Turangga was scheduled to arrive at 3 AM, which the schedule itself has been "extended" since about a year ago, they scheduled Turangga to arrive at Jogja at about 2.15 AM, both with the same departure time. Well, my Turangga last Saturday arrived at 3.45 AM, 45 mins behind schedule!! Wew, train really needs to work this out. I mean, if they rise the price that high, they should serve better, one of the better service would be punctuality. They shouldn't rise the price, just focusing on getting as much profit as possible during Lebaran holiday and forgetting punctuality, rite?

::: my meal at Hokben as dinner last Saturday.

::: Inside Turangga Express which brought me back to Jogja.

::: Bakso Malang Cak Gondhol I had just as I arrived at home, haha


Pertama2, aku mau mengucapkan:


bagi semua yang merayakan :) Mohon maaf apabila aku pernah berbuat salah.

Yah, sesuai dengan tradisi orang Indonesia kalo Lebaran kan, tentu saja aku pulang ke Jogja dong, haha. Aku sudah beli tiket pada waktu ini dan aku masih merasa harganya terlalu mahal :(.

Ngomong2, Sabtu kemarin aku pulang ke Jogja naik Kereta Turangga yang berangkat jam 7 malam dari Stasiun Bandung. Yah, aku beruntung sih dapet kursi di gerbong no. 7 karena mulai gerbong no. 8, mereka pakai gerbong yang lama (aku sih dapat gerbong yang baru), haha. Perjalananya biasa saja sih. Tidak ada makanan gratis lagi (ternyata kereta membuat kebijakan untuk menghapus pemberian makanan gratis di atas kereta).

Tentu saja, seperti yang sudah diduga, perjalanannya super terlambat. Turangga dijadwalkan tiba jam 3 pagi, yang mana jadwalnya sendiri sudah "dipanjangkan" karena tahun lalu mereka menjadwalkan Turangga tiba jam 2.15 pagi lho di Jogja, keduanya dengan jam keberangkatan yang sama. Yah, Turanggaku kemarin Sabtu tiba jam 3.45 pagi, 45 menit terlambat!! Wew, kereta api harus benar2 memperbaiki hal ini nih. Maksudku, kalau mereka menaikkan harga setinggi itu, seharusnya mereka memberikan pelayanan yang lebih dong, salah satunya ya ketepatan waktu, ya kan? Mereka ga boleh hanya naikin harga aja, mengincar untuk meraup keuntungan sebesar-besarnya mumpung lagi momen Lebaran, tetapi tidak memperhatikan ketepatan waktu, ya nggak?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

#763 - 2009 US Open

note: being currently lazy writing bilingual, this entry will only be written in English :)

The 2009 US Open was concluded earlier this week and this grandslam was really the most exciting grandslam this year. There were so many surprises (good ones, bad ones) which really wowed everyone. After the infamous Serena Williams' Outburst on her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters, two more surprises happened on the final.

O yea, before writing about the surprises, eventually Serena Williams and Venus Williams won the women doubles!! So, this year they have won three grandslam titles!! They beat Cara Black and Liezel Huber, the world no.1s in women doubles and also US Open's defending champion in women doubles, plus their record also stands still as they have never been defeated in any grandslam finals.

::: Liezel Huber, Cara Black, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams (after the final ceremony of the women doubles final)

The first one was the victory of Kim Clijsters against Caroline Wozniacki on the women singles. Well, honestly, looking at the quarterfinal draw, I was sure the champion would be from the bottom half, since the only seeded player in the top half was Wozniacki, ranked 9. Of course Wozniacki was favorited to be in the final, which would be her first grandslam final. From the bottom row, only two players were most likely to be in the final, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters. Evethough it was Kim Clijsters' only third tournament after her comeback (after Cincinnati and Rogers Cup, both were Premier 5 Tournaments), she had been strong and consistent. No wonder, she is still 25 and when she decided to retire 2 years ago, she was ranked 3rd. Also, she played well on her exhibition match against Steffi Graf earlier this May. However, between Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, at first I thought Serena Williams would easily get through. Apparently, Kim Clijsters could tackle Serena Williams and advanced to the final!!

Between Wozniacki and Clijsters, my guess was Clijsters would win. Simply because Clijsters had more experiences on the tennis world, it wasn't her first grandslam title. While on Wozniacki's side, it was her first grandslam final. Even Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina (and also Venus Williams about 10 years ago) failed to win grandslam title on their first grandslam finals. My guess was right, Kim Clijsters won!! WOW!! Being not-ranked, she was able to win a grandslam!! That's a superb accomplishment!! Plus, the really sweet thing was her being devoted to her family, hehe...

::: Kim Clijsters and family

The second surprise was Juan Martin del Potro's victory over Roger Federer. Well, looking at the quarterfinals draw week back, I had a feeling the final would be del Potro vs Federer. It was kinda easy to guess since from the top half group, of course Federer would "easily" win the matches to get to the final. His only big obstacle would be Djokovic, but I believed he would still overcome Djokovic. From the bottom half, after the early loss of Andy Murray, only Rafael Nadal and del Potro who were the strong candidates to be in the final. Well, analyzing based on Nadal and del Potro's current condition, it was kinda obvious that del Potro was slightly in a better form than Nadal. Nadal had just got over from his knees injury which prevented him to defend his French Open and Wimbledon titles, and del Potro had been really strong in some US Open warming up tournaments, winning Washington and nearly Montreal. And yeah, my guess was right (hahaha)! However, from the del Potro vs Federer scenario, I was pretty sure Federer would win. Why? Because Federer was no stranger to grandslam final and US Open (he won the titles 5 years back to back), while it was del Potro's first grandslam final. Just like Wozniacki, I predicted he would struggle with his nevers, plus, he had never won from Federer before.

Apparently, after five gruelling sets, del Potro WON!! I was so surprised to find this news!! Well, the past few months, people had been talking about Federer-Nadal-Murray-Djokovic and the possibility of Murray's first grandslam title. They didn't really talk much about del Potro. And in the end, it was del Potro (not Murray) to win a grandslam this year!! Hmmm, it must be really great for him. However, I still think del Potro needs to prove himself tho. He hasn't been really consistent the whole year (compared to Murray or Federer). But if he can work this out, he will rise to the top. He's still young (at my age!!) and he still have plenty of times ahead!

::: Juan Martin del Potro with his US Open trophy

So, congratulations Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro for creating sweet world histories!! :)

note: all photos taken from the official site of US Open (link above)

Monday, September 14, 2009

#762 - Serena's Outburst


By now, the fourth grandslam tournament of the year, the
2009 US Open, is nearly completed. The only two finals which haven't been played are men singles final, which meets defending champion and world no. 1, Roger Federer, vs Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro, and the women doubles final, which meets defending champions and world no.1s in doubles, Cara Black and Liezel Huber vs team that never lost in any grandslam final, Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

Anyway, there were many interesting and exciting things that happened during this year's US Open, making it (probably), the most "exiciting" grandslam of the year. One of the hottest might be
Serena Williams' outburst during her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters. Williams, the defending champion, was serving at 15-30 in the 12th game in which Serena lost the first set 4-6 and now the position of the second set was 5-6. She was called by lineswoman for a foot fault, meaning Williams' foot were judged to be over the baseline. Williams' didn't think it was the right call, and she suddenly reached her boiling point saying to the lineswoman:

"I swear to God I'm F___ going to take this F___ ball and shove it down your F___ throat, you hear that? I swear to God"

The lineswoman found that threatening (no wonder) and reported it to the chair umpire, who later decided it was another code of violation (after Serena got one after her losing the first set and bashed her racket out of frustration). This caused the point was rewarded to Clijsters, who was already leading 40-15, which eventually gace her the game, and further the match!! What a timing!! Should it happened on another previous point, Clijsters would only "get" one point, not one match (according to the rule, a match was given to the opponent after four codes of violation). It was "only" the second code of violation but it led to giving the match away for Serena Williams. This shows how crucial the point was, and how "bad" the "timing" was for Serena Williams.

Well, tho it's not really a nice thing to do, especially being done by Serena Williams, one of the best female tennis player playing in the world tour today, I still understand the situation. I mean, the pressure was really high. She lost the first set, she was serving in the second set while Clijsters was pretty close to her match point, plus being frustrated for being dominated (and didn't play her best) against Clijsters. It's true that she was supposed to be able to handle her emotion, but she is a human also, where people make mistakes some times. It's true that the behaviour was not professional at all and Serena should get consequence for what she did. She is already fined $10,000 for what she did plus another $500 (source:
here), and according to the rule it was already the MAXIMUM number of fine to apply to a player at that stage of a tournament. Beside, there's a chance that she will not be eligible to receive $350,000 for her achievement in this year's US Open singles.

It's a good thing that the tournament chose to decide against the decision to ban her from the women doubles final, since I think that's a bit too "far" and largely not fair for Venus Williams, her doubles partner, who did nothing. Beside, banning her from the doubles competition is also not fair for Serena, as there would not be enough time to review the incident and investigate what really happened, objectively, rite?

If I were the one who was in the comittee to decide what consequence Serena should suffer, well, probably the lifting of $350,000 as her prize for her achievement in 2009 US Open (plus the $10,000 + $500 fine) is enough and it might be the furthest the consequence should be. I have read some comments saying Serena should be banned from all tournaments toward the end of this year, plus, she should be evaluated for playing next year. I was like: "What?", it shouldn't be that far. I mean, if Serena was banned from playing, the women tour will "lose" another great and consistent player. It would be such a shame that Serena was banned while Clijsters just returned to the sport. She also doesn't need to be banned from 2010 Australian Open, in where she will be the defending champion. I think, it's just too far. She has already been punished for what she did, lost that match in such a way, she regretted what she did, and I think that's enough. People should move on, not to forget this incident, but to just keep it in the past and remember it as a good lesson (as for other players too).

But we will see :D

Anyway, I just read an official statement from Serena Williams regarding to this incident:

Serena Williams Statement, September 14, 2009

“I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible - I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. I'm a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I'm wrong. I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it's not the way to act -- win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner.

I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.”

::: outbursting Serena Williams

note : photo taken from Yahoo Sports.


Saat ini, turnamen grandslam keempat tahun ini,
2009 US Open, sudah hampir selesai. Dua final yang belum dimainkan tinggal final tunggal putra, yang mempertemukan juara bertahan dan peringkat 1 dunia, Roger Federer, melawan Juan Martin del Potro dari Argentina dan final ganda putri yang mempertemukan juara bertahan dan peringkat 1 dunia di ganda, Cara Black dan Liezel Huber melawan tim yang tidak pernah kalah di final grandslam mana pun, Venus Williams dan Serena Williams.

Ngomong2, ada buanyak hal menarik sekali yang terjadi sepanjang turnamen US Open ini, membuatnya mungkin menjadi grandslam paling "menarik" tahun ini. Yang paling seru mungkin adalah
ledakan emosi Serena Williams pada pertandingan semifinal-nya melawan Kim Clijsters. Williams, juara bertahan, sedang memegang serve pada posisi 15-30 di game ke-12 dimana Serena kehilangan babak pertama 4-6 dan saat itu ia sedang tertinggal 5-6. Dia dikatakan melakukan foot fault oleh penjaga garis, berarti kaki Williams dikatakan melewati garis belakang. Williams tidak merasa itu adalah keputusan yang benar, dan tiba2 ia mencapai titik mendidihnya dan berkata seperti ini ke penjaga garis:

"I swear to God I'm F___ going to take this F___ ball and shove it down your F___ throat, you hear that? I swear to God"

Penjaga garis merasa terancam (tidak heran) dengan kata-kata itu dan melaporkannya ke wasit pertandingan, yang akhirnya memutuskan itu adalah pelanggaran aturan lain (setelah Serena mendapat satu peringatan saat ia membanting raket karena frustrasi setelah kalah di babak pertama). Ini mengakibatkan poin dihadiahkan kepada Clijsters, yang sudah memimpin 40-15, yang akhirnya membuatnya memenangkan game, dan artinya memenangkan pertandingan!! Bener2 waktu yang bisa 'pas'!! Misal hal ini terjadi di poin lain sebelumnya, Clijsters "hanya" akan mendapat satu poin, bukan satu pertanginan (karena menurut aturan, pertandingan diberikan ke lawan apabila telah dijatuhkan empat kode pelanggaran). Waktu itu, itu "baru" kode kedua yang diterima Serena Williams tetapi kode itu membuatnya kehilangan seluruh pertandingan. Ini menunjukkan bagaimana pentingnya poin itu, dan waktu yang "buruk" bagi Serena Williams.

Hmm, walau itu bukan hal baik untuk dilakukan, apalagi dilakukan oleh seorang Serena Williams, salah satu petenis wanita terbaik di tur dunia saat ini, aku sih masih memahami situasinya. Maksudnya, tekanannya tinggi sekali. Dia kehilangan babak pertama, ia sedang memegang serve di babak kedua ketika Clijsters berada dekat dengan match point, ditambah lagi frustrasi karena permainannya didominasi oleh Clijsters (dan tidak tampil pada kondisi prima). Memang benar kalau seharusnya ia mampu menahan emosinya, tetapi dia kan manusia, dimana manusia itu melakukan kesalahan. Benar kalau tindakannya itu tidak profesional dan Serena harus mendapat konsekuensi atas perbuatannya. Ia sudah dikenai sanksi $10.000 untuk apa yang ia lakukan ditambah $500 (sumber:
disini), dan menurut aturan itu kan sudah jumlah sanksi MAKSIMUM yang dapat diberikan untuk tingkat itu dalam suatu turnamen. Di samping itu, masih ada kemungkinan juga kan ia tidak akan menerima hadiah $350.000 atas prestasinya di tungal US Open tahun ini.

Bagus sih turnamennya memutuskan untuk tidak melarang ia bermain di final ganda putri, selain karena aku rasa itu agak terlalu "jauh", itu juga sangat tidak adil bagi Venus Williams, partner ganda-nya, yang tidak salah apa-apa. Di samping itu, melarangnya bermain di ganda juga kurang adil bagi Serena karena itu berarti tidak akan ada cukup waktu untuk melihat kembali insiden itu dan menginvestigasinya dengan objektif, ya ga?

Kalau aku ada di posisi dimana aku perlu memutuskan konsekuensi apa yang harus Serena terima, hmm, aku rasa sih pencabutan hak hadiah $350.000 sebagai hadiahnya di tunggal putri US Open 2009 (ditambah sanksi $10.000 + $500) udah cukup banget tuh dan mungkin memang itu yang paling jauh yang bisa dilakukan. Aku baca beberapa komentar yang menyatakan Serena perlu dilarang main di semua turnamen sepanjang tahun ini dan dievaluasi untuk main di tahun depan. Komentarku: "Apa?", rasanya tak perlu sejauh itu deh. Maksudnya, kalau memang Serena akan dilarang bermain, tur wanita akan kehilangan lagi seorang pemain yang hebat dan konsisten. Lucu aja gitu ya melihat Serena dilarang main ketika Clijsters baru kembali ke tenis. Dia juga tidak perlu lah dilarang bermain di Australian Open 2010 dimana ia adalah juara bertahannya. Itu juga terlalu jauh menurutku. Dia sudah dihukum atas perlakuannya, kalah suatu pertandingan dengan cara seperti itu, dia juga sudah menyesali perbuatannya, rasanya cukup tuh. Semua sekarang perlu melanjutkan hidup deh, bukan berarti melupakan insiden ini, tapi mengingatnya sebagai pelajaran yang baik (untuk pemain lain juga).

Tapi kita akan lihat :)

Ngomong2, baru aja aku membaca pernyataan resmi dari Serena Williams mengenai insiden ini:

Serena Williams Statement, September 14, 2009

“I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible - I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. I'm a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I'm wrong. I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it's not the way to act -- win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner.

I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

#761 - Star Trek (2009 Film)


I have been waiting to get a chance to watch this movie since
this time, when I watched Angels & Demons. I have been patiently waiting for about four months (as of now) when finally I get the chance to watch it!! haha... :) (I was complaining about 21's slowness in airing it while I was in Yogyakarta this time).

=== Spoiler Alert ===

Well, I am not afraid of writing a quick synopsis of this film here since it was premiered more than four months ago (not a big deal to spill the story a bit here now, hehe).

Note : this story happened in an alternate timeline, not the same timeline in other Star Trek series

The story began when USS Kelvin went on a mission to investigate an anomaly in space, which was the lightning storm, which actually was the place where a Romulan mining ship, the Narada, captained by Nero, arrived from the future, 154 years ahead of the timeline. The Narada destroyed USS Kelvin, along with one of its commander, George Kirk, the father of future-to-be Captain James T. Kirk. James T. Kirk was born on a fleeing shuttlecraft from USS Kelvin to escape the destruction.

The story jumped 25 years later showcasing the rebelious young James T. Kirk which eventually was convinced by Capt. Christopher Pike to join Starfleet. After getting accused for cheating during the "Kobayashi Maru" test, James Kirk was brought into a court where he encountered Spock. During the court, a distress signal was received from Vulcan and all cadets were ordered to help the ship crews on orbit.

Kirk recognized that the signal was a trap and warned Capt. Pike but they were too late as all other ships had been destroyed, and the Narada had almost drilled the planet Vulcan completely to its core. Kirk and Sulu were sent to stop the drill but when they did, they had been late as Nero launched the "red matter" to the hole to create a blackhole which would suck the entire planet. Spock went on a rescue mission but failed to save his mom. The Narada then headed to Earth to also destroy it.

Acting as captain (as Captain Pike was hostaged by Nero), Spock had an argument with Kirk about their next step and Spock dumped Kirk to a Delta Vega planet. Coincidentally, Kirk found the older Spock, who also came from the future, and they did mind-meld. Kirk then knew the whole story. About 129 years in the future, a supernova occured and threatened planet Romulus. Spock was on a mission to create a blackhole to suck the supernova but was late as the supernova had already destroyed Remulus as he was on mission. Nero blamed Spock for the destroy of his planet and attempted to kill him. During the fight, both ships were pulled by the blackhole and got sent back to the past, with the Narada was pulled first and arrived 25 years before Spock arrived (this was when the Narada encountered USS Kelvin).

Then the older Spock sent Kirk and Montgomerry Scott to Enterprise as it was moving on warp-speed. Kirk convinced Spock that he was emotionally compromised and forfeiting his command and passing it to Kirk. Kirk sent Enterprise to the earth and made a rescue plan. The plan then worked as the Narada was destroyed and sucked into a blackhole, also with Nero along.

In the end, Kirk was promoted into Starfleet Captain, commanding USS Enterprise.

=== Spoiler Ends ===

Well, watching the movie, of course it's not flawless. I hate the first thirty minutes of the movie when it showed Kirk's life when he was on earth (prior to his enrollment to Starfleet). Well, for me, it's SO not Star Trek: a bar fight, trouble-maker kid. Well, it was like not watching Star Trek (for me) and NOT enjoyable to watch. But then, it all changed after Kirk enrolled the academy, especially after the "Kobayashi Maru" incident, where he met Spock (and engaged in a held argument) for the first time.

Of course after that there were some unnecessary scenes, for example Uhura kissing Spock so many times (but at first Spock didn't kiss back but later he did). C'Mon, it's not that necessary. The purpose of the scenes might be highlighting Spock's humanity side, but to me, that purpose wasn't achieved. I didn't see that side from this scene. That side was more showcased in some other scenes.

The other one was Kirk being chased by two alien on Delta Vega (C'Mon, those hungry aliens weren't that necessary right? It's Star Trek guys!!). But apart from those scenes, it was SO cool!!

Of course the movie also emphasized on the action side, which was really cool and might attract more people to watch, and as a result the story was not really "deep" as some Star Trek episodes, in fact it could be categorized as "light", because it's not full with philosophy, haha. . However, I am okay with that. If the movie was a bit "deeper", it might have been more boring. Beside, even though it was in the parallel universe, it still has connectivities with the main universe on the Star Trek timeline, including Captain Archer (from Star Trek: Enterprise). Those connections are really cool, for me.

The most important question is probably: "Did I enjoy watching it?", and the answer is: "Absouletly YES". If I gave Angels and Demons 4.5 out of 5, I gotta give this movie 4.9 out of 5!! Apart from the first thirty minutes and those unnecessary scenes, it was so cool and enjoyable!! Very recommended!! hehe... :) IT MIGHT BE THE BESTEST MOVIE THIS YEAR!!

This movie is even one of very FEW movies I will be more than willing to watch more than once!!

Now I'm waiting for its sequel tho, Star Trek II which will be launched in 2011. (Anyway, why do film producers tend to focus on USS Enterprise (Original Series: James Kirk or TNG : Jean-Luc Picard), and not USS Voyager (Janeway) for the movie?? Hmmm....)

::: Zachary Quinto as Spock (left) and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk (right)

::: old and new

::: USS Enterprise NCC-1701

::: one scene at Star Trek XI


Aku sudah menunggu untuk mendapat kesempatan menonton film ini semenjak
waktu ini, ketika aku nonton Angels & Demons dan dapat tanggal premier-nya Star Trek (kalo niat nontonnya uda dari sejak pertama kali denger). Aku sudah dengan bersabar ria menunggu selama empat bulan (sampe sekarang) ketika akhirnya aku dapat kesempatan nonton!! haha... :) (aku bahkan juga komplain kan akan keleletan 21 Jogja nayangin Star Trek pada waktu ini).

=== Awas Spoiler ===

Catatan : cerita ini berlaku di waktu paralel, yaitu alur waktu yang berbeda dengan alur waktu utama di seri Star Trek.

Yah, sekarang sih ga takut yah nulis sinopsisnya soalnya udah ditayangin sejak empat bulan yang lalu lebih (ga masalah lah nulis ceritanya disini, hehe).

Cerita diawali dengan USS Kelvin yang sedang dalam misi untuk menginvestigasi anomali di luar angkasa, yaitu awan kilat, yang ternyata merupakan tempat munculnya kapal penambang Romulan, Narada, yang datang dari masa depan, 154 tahun dari masa itu. Narada menghancurkan USS Kelvin termasuk salah satu komandannya, George Kirk, yang merupakan ayah dari Kapten James T. Kirk. Waktu itu James T. Kirk dilahirkan di sekoci penyelamat untuk menyelamatkan diri dari hancurnya USS Kelvin.

Cerita lompat 25 tahun kemudian dimana James T. Kirk muda yang berjiwa berandalan diyakinkan Kapten Christopher Pike untuk bergabung dengan Starfleet. Setelah dituduh curang dalam tes "Kobayashi Maru", James Kirk dibawa ke sebuah sidang dimana ia bertemu dengan Spock untuk pertama kalinya dimana mereka terlibat argumen yang tergantung, karena mereka mendapat sinyal darurat dari Vulcan sehingga semua perwira harus siap siaga di posisi mereka untuk membantu di luar angkasa.

Kirk menyadari kalo sinyal itu jebakan dan memperingatkan Kapten Pike tetapi mereka terlambat karena semua kapal lain telah dihancurkan, dan Narada sudah hampir selesai mengebor planet Vulcan sampai ke pusatnya. Kirk dan Sulu dikirim untuk menghentikan pengeboran tetapi ketika mereka berhasil, semua sudah terlambat. Nero melepaskan "materi-merah" ke dalam pusat planet untuk membentuk lubang hitam yang akan menyedot keseluruhan planet. Spock turun ke Vulcan dalam misi penyelamatan tetapi gagal menyelamatkan ibunya. Narada kemudian mengarah ke Bumi untuk menghancurkannya.

Berlaku sebagai kapten (Kapten Pike disandera Nero), Spock bertengkar dengan Kirk mengenai langkah mereka selanjutnya dan kemudian Spock menelantarkan Kirk di planet Delta Vega. Kebetulan, Kirk bertemu Spock tua, yang datang dari masa depan juga, dan mereka melakukan mind-meld. Kirk kemudian tahu semuanya. Sekitar 129 tahun di masa depan, terjadi sebuah supernova dan mengancam keberadaan planet Romulus. Spock berada dalam misi untuk menciptakan black-hole untuk menyedot supernova itu tetapi terlambat karena planet Romulus uda hancur duluan. Nero menyalahkan Spock atas kehancuran planetnya dan mau balas dendam. Di tengah pertarungan, dua kapal mereka tersedot lubang hitam dengan kapal Nero tersedot duluan dan sampai di masa lalu 25 tahun lebih dulu daripada Spock, itulah saat Narada bertemu dengan USS Kelvin.

Trus, Spock tua mengirim Kirk dan Montgomerry Scott ke Enterprise ketika sedang bergerak dengan kecepatan warp. Kirk meyakinkan Spock bahwa ia tidak stabil secara emosional dan melepaskan jabatannya kemudian menyerahkannya pada Kirk. Kirk mengarahkan Enterprise ke Bumi untuk melakukan misi penyelamatan. Rencana berhasil dan Narada hancur dan tersedot lubang hitam, beserta Nero.

Akhirnya, Kirk dipromosikan menjadi Kapten Starfleet, mengomandani USS Enterprise.

=== Spoiler Selesai ===

Yah, setelah nonton, tentu saja filmnya tidak sempurna. Aku ga suka tiga puluh menit pertama dari filmnya yang menunjukkan kehidupan Kirk ketika ia ada di Bumi (sebelum bergabung dengan Starfleet). Untuk aku, bener2 NGGAK Star-Trek banget lah: perkelahian di bar, anak kecil bermasalah. Kaya gak nonton Star Trek (untuk aku) dan NGGAK asik untuk dilihat lah. Tapi kemudian semua berubah setelah Kirk bergabung di akademi, terutama setelah insiden "Kobayashi Maru", dimana ia bertemu dengan Spock (dan berargumen tak selesai) untuk pertama kalinya.

Tentu saja ada beberapa adegan gak penting lainnya, misalnya Uhura mencium Spock beberapa kali (awalnya Spock tidak membalas tapi akhirnya ia membalas). Gak penting banget deh adegan ini. Mungkin memang adegan ini ingin menunjukkan sisi kemanusiaan Spock, tapi menurutku tujuan itu gagal karena aku tidak melihat sisi itu dari adegan ini. Sisi kemanusiaannya jauh lebih menonjol pada adegan2 lain.

Adegan lain adalah Kirk dikejar-kejar dua alien gak penting di planet Delta Vega (ayolah, alien lapar itu gak banget deh, ini Star Trek Pak, Bu!!). Tapi selain adegan2 kaya gitu, KEREN banget deh!!

Tentu saja filmnya juga menekankan pada sisi aksi, yang sangat keren dan mungkin dapat menarik perhatian lebih banyak orang untuk menonton, yang sebagai akibatnya ceritanya tidak "dalam-dalam" amat kata cerita Star Trek lainnya. Bahkan mungkin bisa dikatakan sebagai "ringan" lho. Tapi aku gpp sih dengan semua itu, mungkin kalau lebih "berat" bisa jadi lebih membosankan dan lebih dikit orang yang nonton. Di samping itu, yang keren lagi adalah walau terjadi di waktu paralel dengan cerita utama, masih ada lho hubungan dengan tokoh2 atau cerita di cerita utama, termasuk bahkan Kapten Archer (dari Star Trek: Enterprise). Hubungan2 kaya gitu menurutku sih keren.

Pertanyaan paling penting mungkin adalah: "Apakah aku menikmatinya?", dan jawabannya adalah "Tentu saja IYA". Jika aku memberi nilai 4,5 dari 5 untuk Angels and Demons, aku harus kasi nilai 4,9 dari 5 untuk film ini!! Di samping tiga puluh menit pertama dan beberapa adegan gak penting, filmnya keren dan sangat menarik!! Sangat disarankan untuk ditonton!! hehe... :) MUNGKIN INI ADALAH SATU FILM TERBAIK TAHUN INI!! :)

Film ini bahkan menjadi satu dari SANGAT SEDIKIT film yang aku mau untuk tonton lebih dari sekali dengan senang hati!!

Sekarang aku nunggu sekuel-nya nih, Star Trek II yang akau main tahun 2011. (Ngomong2, kenapa ya koq produser film cenderung fokus pada awak USS Enterprise (Original Series: James Kirk or TNG : Jean-Luc Picard), dan bukan USS Voyager (Janeway) untuk dibuat film?? Hmmm....)

Monday, September 07, 2009

#760 - Turning 21


Well, today, 7 September 2009, I officially turn 21. Yeah, today is my birthday, so:



A lot of thing happened today and I'm gonna keep them for my next entry since I'm really tired now. This time, it might be one of the bestest birthday I have ever had, haha... :)

Anyway, this is my FIFTH time I celebrate my birthday in this blog. The first one was
this time, the second time was this time, the third one was this time, and the forth one was this time. Wew, it has been pretty long then since I blogged, hehe :)


Yah, hari ini, 7 September 2009, secara resmi aku berumur 21 tahun. Jadi, hari ini adalah ulang tahun saya, jadi:



Banyak hal nih yang terjadi hari ini dan kayanya aku tulis buat nanti saja deh ya karena sekarang capek banget nih. Kali ini, mungkin adalah ulangtahun terbaik yang pernah aku dapatkan lho, haha... :)

Ngomong2, kali ini adalah kali KELIMA lho aku merayakan ulang tahun di blog ini. Pertama kali adalah
waktu ini, yang kedua waktu ini, yang ketiga waktu ini, dan yang keempat waktu ini. Wew, udah lama juga ya aku ngeblog, hehe :)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

#759 - Early September


Damn, it has been another while since I last posted. I dunno what happens, but hopefully my desire and spirit to blog will be fully charged soon, haha.

Now we are all in early September. Since my last post, I have been through some things, LOL. Last Thursday my friends and I watched a movie at Blitz Megaplex. Well, apparently it had been quite awhile since I last watched movie. The last time I watched movie was in late May, when I watched Terminator : Salvation (well, Evangelion 1.0 didn't count since now I don't consider it as a "movie" movie, LOL).

Anyway, last Thursday we watched
The Proposal, a comedy-drama movie starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. The movie was about a tough Canadian executive editor-in-chief of a book publishing company, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), who forced her assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), to marry her to avoid being deported back to Canada. In the end they fell in love. Well, I am not really in to "drama" genre but I like "comedy", so I really enjoyed this movie, especially on MANY comedic scenes it had!! I think this movie is recommended tho for those who want to be mind-refreshed, haha...

Today, for the fourth time, I attended (and helped) National Mathematics Seminar in my campus. Just like last year it took all day long. However, one special thing was different this year, we all got treated for a PAN of pizza EACH, garlic bread, and orange juice! wkwkwkw... .

::: fried duck at BVJ

::: duck uduk rice

::: free pizza and orange juice

::: a scene at The Proposal where Margaret Tate (was forced to) "proposed" Andrew Paxton in the middle of New York street.

::: another scene at The Proposal.


Sial, udah lumayan lama juga ya sejak posting terakhir. Gatau kenapa nih yah, tapi mudah2an aja semangatku buat ngeblog akan kembali terisi penuh segera, haha.

Sekarang kita berada di awal bulan September. Sejak posting terakhir ada banyak hal yang terjadi jelas, LOL. Kamis kemarin aku dan teman2ku nnton film. Yah, ternyata udah lama juga lho sejak terakhir aku nonton film. Terakhir aku nonton tuh akhir bulan Mei, waktu nonton Terminator: Salvtion (Evangelion 1.0 ga dihitung deh soalnya untuk aku tuh film bukan film "beneran", LOL).

Ngomong2, Kamis kemarin kami nonton
The Proposal, film drama-komedi yang dibintangi oleh Sandra Bullock dan Ryan Reynolds. Filmnya tentang seorang wanita Kanada, seorang eksekutif editor sebuah perusahaan penerbitan buku yang keras hati, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), yang memaksa asistennya, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) untuk menikahinya agar ia terbebas dari ancaman dideportasi ke Kanada. Akhirnya mereka jatuh cinta. Nah, aku sih ga terlalu in sama genre "drama" yah tapi genre "komedi" dari film ini nih yang menarik perhatianku. Aku benar2 menikmati film ini, terutama di BANYAK bagian komedinya!! Aku rasa film ini sih recommended lah ya buat yang mau menyegarkan otak, haha......

Hari ini, untuk keempat kalinya, di kampus aku menghadiri (dan bantu2) acara Seminar Nasional Matematika. Kaya taun2 sebelumnya, acaranya berlangsung seharian. Bedanya, kali ini kami ditraktir pizza loh, seorang satu LOYANG, dapat juga garlic bread dan jus jeruk! wkwkwkw... .