Monday, October 29, 2012


My first pumpkin ever.
Spent two days on it.
Started to root sooner than I thought.
But it got appreciated as the most creative one.
Thank you for everyone who voted it!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Americans, huh? #1


That's a bit awkward at the first time. I mean, in Indonesia, we used to kiss older people's hand when we meet them, address them with "Sir" and "Ma'am", bow when we walked in front of them, offer others some food when we eat in front of them, etc.

In America, there's no such thing. You don't now when you walk on front of them. You sometimes called your teacher without any "Sir" and "ma'am" and it's fine. You sometimes don't bother your teacher.

It's not wrong, though. Basically, it's culture. And there's no right or wrong culture, right? It's just... A bit different. And different is good.


Like always, a hobby is always a hobby.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Night Hike

So, hi.
I had my another volunteer hours again by working with the Environmental Group in my community. They’re pretty awesome kids to hang with, and I’m glad I’m in it.
So, this night, we were supposedly helping the library to work with their Night Hike project, where you walk in the woods at night, try to find for traces of animal footprints and the other stuff. It’s pretty fun—from what I imagined.
We tried to walk through the trail first before they came to put all the clues and traces of footprints—because it would take ages to find the real one—and then coming back to the library. We saw a bunch group of young girls—around six or seven years old—and their mothers—and some fathers.
I was pretty much shocked and didn’t expect myself to see that whole lot of people to work with.
Basically, they’re all so cute and adorable, like your ideal of little six years old American girl in their scout group. The trail was so far so good because it’s pretty obvious and I still remembered.
Half and an hour passed. My flashlight was dimming (well it’s actually dimming for the whole walk), although I had some adorable girls that tried to cling to me and they had these super excellent working flashlights, so I tried to keep them near me. The trail started to get smaller, and I wasn’t sure whether I walked in the right path. And the girls started to ask questions like,
“What if we’re lost?”
“No, we won’t. Since you have me.”
“Yeah, but I was just wondering if we’re lost…”
And the other stuff. One of the mothers asked me how long it’s going to take more, and I wasn’t sure myself. I mean, it was pitch black, I wasn’t sure how long we’ve been walking, and I wasn’t sure where we were at that time.
I told her that probably we’re going to have another 15 minutes before we finish, and then she started to tell me that they didn’t know that it’s going to be that long since it passed their bedtime. When I asked them about the bedtime, all of the girls said they sleep at 8pm.
Well, probably you should just use my bedtime.
The road started to get confusing, and the distance between each clue started to get farther and farther, which made me a bit worried. I thought I was going to cry. What if we’re lost? What if they’re going to sue me since I’m not an American citizen and I know nothing about the park? What if they thought I’m a professional and when they know I am not, they’re gonna hate me?
Another What-If’s condition that I don’t really need to think about. Hem.
And finally,
We arrived. We’re finished.
All of the mothers were in hurry to go back to the library since it passed their bedtime—which they tried to walk in front of me, the leader, instead. We rushed back to the library. They were ahead over me and then made a circle to have some snacks. The lady that talked about the bedtime asked me whether I want to join their goldfish snack time, and I unwillinglypassed it. After that, I bid farewell to them, didn’t get a chance to say where I came from though, but I’m glad they’re happy.
And it seems that I got the biggest group ever—15 people or so!
Means I have the right to feel a bit nervous.
Man, hard night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Born To Die... Really

I stumbled upon some Youtube videos yesterday, terribly-accidentally stumbling Justin Bieber ft. Nicki Minaj new MV, well that’s the bad highlight of the search,
Well then I stumbled on Lana Del Rey’s song called Ride. It’s a pretty complicated song, not my type at all, and her MV was pretty… Bold. I guess.
Then I decided to google her, and I found out that her album is titled Born To Die. Hem… Pretty interesting.
That crossed my mind again. I mean, every human—no exception at all, since I’m not sure about vampires and alchemists—will eventually die. It might become your greatest fear, but again, you’ll eventually come to a stage in your life where you’d say, “I’ve had enough, I’m ready for the new world.”
But again, have you ever wondering, instead of living some hard-happy years and then die, why don’t we just die in the first place? Or, better yet, why we should be born in the first place.
Nice question, huh?
I’m not trying to educate people here, I’m just happened to love talking about my philosophical idea of living—moral perfection, as what we’ve learnt today from the English Class about Benjamin Franklin. Frankly speaking, it’s not about moral perfection at all, I just like saying it.
Then again, as I was saying, why didn’t we have that simplicity to go straight not living at all than enduring those horrible-happy years.
Simple answer. Because experiencing is much more important than dying itself. I think basically, the main reason why we need to go through the tough life before dying—which some people decided to die unnaturally by committing suicide since they’re not that happy—because it gave you different feelings about ending a journey. I mean, as simple as feeling it, that’s why it’s that important that we can’t actually skip the living process.
You’ll have certain fondness to certain memories, hatred to some stuff and people, passions for people and activities, story to be sent over as legacy for others—basically an entertainer. Is to make sure that we left with legacy, the one that’ll mark our journey, to be remembered, to give the certain pleased and proud feelings.
It’s as simple as enjoying a book by digesting the whole story of it rather than going straight to the last page—or even worse, the epilogue. Or Wikipedia.
As simple as the joy of beating the eggs, mixing the flour and butter, wait for it to be perfectly baked, rather than go straight to the market and buy a pretty nice looking cake.
That simple feelings that you can’t actually describe either by English or Bahasa, or any language in this world.
The complicated feeling that human craves for—basically, the feelings of experiencing and leaving trail.
We—humans—are pretty complicated, aren’t we?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Firm

I lost count.
Hp hip hurray! I finished another book again, and this time, I got a special time to read “The Firm” by John Grisham.
One thing about crime fictions is that you cannot guess the story pretty easy, like reenlist or romance serials. Especially John Grisham’s. There’s one time in your reading session where you think you’ve reached the limit of your excitement and then you can skip the end… Well it’s not going to happen for this book.
Briefly, the story told us about a young, passionate, and smart fresh graduate Harvard Law Student, Mitchell Y. McDeere that accepted a job offer in an unusual yet humble and prosper law firm called Bendini, Lambert & Locke.
Life seemed so good to be true for him and his wife, Abby, until he started to be approached by the FBI and strange accidents keep coming around. Later on, he finds out that the firm where he works at is a Mob-based firm that actually works for a big Mafia called Morolto, and the firm helps the mafia covers the laundered money and turn it to clean money.
Mitchell, or Mitch, later on tries to find a way to escape the circumstances where he doesn’t actually helped the FBI yet he’s not helping the firm also, since he made the firm turn in for their crime by the end of the story.
I’d recommend this book for anyone who has keen interest with laws, espionage, intellectual stories that won’t give you any hint about how things will turn out in the end. The only way to guess the end is to read it.
The feelings that you got as you want to read more, more, and more.
Well, this theory only works for those who like such genre.
I’m going to start collecting John Grisham’s.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nope, Not Lucky, Nor Talented

First thing first.
I got accepted to the “National Art Honor Society” in Western Guilford High School!
…No, it’s nothing really cool for some of you but probably one of my just-getting-started achievements and it’s really COOL for me, following my lifetime achievements even when I didn’t realize I’ve achieved them,
One funny thing is, my Art class is on 5th period, and my art teacher happened to ask the class about one of the Western’s teacher room, and that teacher is happened to be my sixth period teacher. Hem, what a coincidence. And I accidentally saw my name on a certificate-something. What a bummer for me, for not being able to get the hundred percent surprise. But I’m still grateful and happy. Alhamdulillah.
A very bright, yellow sunflower goes along with the certificate, and it’s my third flower of my life. Isn’t that lovely. First flower from Miss Jane, second one from Miss Judy, third one from Miss Gagnon.
I am happy, but that’s not what I’m trying to say here.
Some people think I’m so blessed, I’m so talented and nearly spotless—but I do have spots. Joking. Some people never see me as regular since they think I’m able to do stuff. Drawing, coloring, doing math (since I’m literally not good at doing physics), socialize, and other stuff. Some people think I should be more grateful with what I have now.
And sadly, they never heard about my story behind those chattering.
No, no, I’m not lucky. I am blessed with such a wonderful family, though. And I always think, you can make your own wonderful family. It’s not the job of your parents, you can actually be the butterfly of the family, to think that your family is wonderful.
No, I told you. I am not lucky. Nor talented.
I came to this stage of my life, where I’ve been way back before, even before you thought about starting a journey. No, I am not talented at drawing, I’m just happened to able to use what I had back then when I was in kindergarten, I’ve been through years learning of how to do it, failing and losing at competitions, only to get a set of crayons.
No, I am not talented at doing sport, I’m just happened to like doing it and I started to do it constantly. Become a habit. So it is not a talent. It’s something I’ve implemented way years ago.
No, I am not smart kid, I’m just happened to live in a circumstances where I have two siblings and they need a better attention from my parents rather than I do. And I hated losing. I hated feeling inferior, because it’s hard to get back on track. Although now, feeling inferior and losing are two different issue.
So I survive. Just like those black butterflies in the Industrial Revolution at England. They survive, by failing and dying for years. And it’s not yet the cherry of the cream.
But I do have efforts. And I don’t like to feel unsatisfied, because there’s no greater feeling than to have what you want to finish to be done.
Just like this writing.
So no, I am not lucky nor talented. I’m just happened to be an effortless and highly-passionate person that lives on Earth.
Happened to.

Monday, October 1, 2012


First of October, and it’s Monday, and it’s chill. I love the chill.
In fact, I started to love the breeze. Allergy is nothing compare to my excitement.
Although that’s not the point of this.
Some people said you only live your life once, you only become and exchange student once, and you only experienced the feelings of living on other’s land once—unless you decided to continue your college at that place. But anyway, once you felt it, that feeling will only come once. The feelings, not the events.
I mean, you can always be an exchange student no matter how old you are, right? You can always find ways to repeat the same events, but not the same feelings.
Some people, I presume, said that you have to appreciate that one year living in a total awkwardness that eventually becomes a familiar surroundings.
As if the other years of your life (as for mine, my other seventeen years) sound like they’re useless. Unmemorable. Unimportant. Not fun. Not okay. Not me.
Here’s one funny thing about human. We never see usual things special. Never. That’s how our mind is used to work. We always differentiate “usual” and “special”, as if those two things will never hang out with each other. Like your life, isn’t it?
The other seventeen years seems normal, like an usual human daily life, while the ‘special’ year seems so different. Glowing brightly by itself among the common stars.
I may sound very philosophical, and yes, I am proud of it. I may not realized how I can always treasure my life no matter where I am, but I do now.
By any means, life every year of your life as if you’re in a total different situation. Put yourself as if there’s no tomorrow to repeat the same things again. Come back to your country and make everyday worth living, like how you appreciate your every second while you’re away. Have new feelings everyday no matter where you are, whom you’re with.
And sometimes, it doesn’t require your “I am an exchange student” badge to realize those beautiful feelings that we mostly passed since we’re looking to the shiny diamond among the rocks, not trying to see any diamonds within the rocks themselves.
See, life is daring, beautiful, and fun in every way, if you know how to see through it. Appreciate it. Make an effort to put the special spices on every occasion, not only the limited occasion. You don’t need a repeated event to have the same feelings. You only need to feel grateful to make another great feelings.
As life is not a repetition, but it’s growing.
Dina P. Sari
5.30 PM GMT-7