Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best of 2007

Fave Film:

The Host. I saw it a few nights ago. Slapstick horror, you're never sure whether you should giggle or wince.





Fave Albums:

I love my dodgy RnB and I'm passionate about pop, Amy Winehouse's Back in Black is a record that doesn't make me feel all that embarrassed about that :)




I didn't think Pete Doherty had another good record in him, but Babyshambles' Shotter's Nation is a very good one. Surely his lawyers shouldn't have allowed him sing about the murder case he was involved in??




According to Last FM my most listened to album was Kings of Leon's Because of the Times, but that doesn't take into account what I was listening to on my iPod.

Because of the Times was a good album, but Willy Mason's If The Ocean Gets Rough is a really lovable record. I never really fell for Because of the Times.




Plan B's Paint It Blacker album, is the best rap album I've heard since JayZ's heyday, even if it has that chainsaw serial killer song on it, set to bloody Leonard Cohen. Fuck, that's a song you don't wanna walk down a dark street listening to - then again Plan B is a big fan of Necrophilia (the rapper).




Steve and CoconutTreez is excellent, Melly's Mind n Soul is hit and miss (but I love her to bits), Iwan Fals in Love is v dodgy in places (at times Iwan sounded like an early 90s Italian rock star mimicking acoustic Bon Jovi).




Dizzy Rascal's Maths and English is a stone cold classic.




My sis had been telling me about Jamie T for over a year (I always thought he was Jamie Theakston reincarnate -- like Marilyn Manson is the Milhouse guy from the Wonder Years) stupidly I only caught on when he sold lots of records.




If I have to choose a best album of the year its Plan B's Paint it Blacker! Or maybe, Willy Mason's If The Ocean Gets Rough - too close to call :)


Fave Song:

Jamie T & Lily Allen - Rawhide




[Notable mentions: Lily Allen & Common - Driven Me Wild; Dizzee Rascal & Lily Allen - Wanna Be; Amy Winehouse - Love Is a Loosing Game]


Fave Book:

Jung Chang's Wild Swans. As my Chinese pal Wu Fan told me, Wild Swans was written for Westerners; Mao The Untold Story was written for Chinese. Wild Swans is one of those books that brings you on an emotional roller coaster ride from the comfort of your own life.


Fave Piece of News:

Paris Hilton is losing her inheritance


Fave Blog:

Indcoup's. What the hell happened to it?? Looks like the bloggers left will have to try doubly hard to compensate :)


Fave Purchase:

My Nikon D40 + 18-200 Nikkor Lens. Thing is, I gotta practice more.


Fave Picture:




Fave Blog Post:

Summer of Love :)


Fave Place:

Semarang


Fave Bit of Work:

Independently figuring out that volatility smiles are bullshit :) [not bad for someone that hasn't studied too much finance (yet!)]


OK, that's it. I reckon if I made a record or a film, they'd be my faves too :):)

New Year's Resolution: listen to more DIFFERENT types of NEW music and less of the same old CRAP! Suggestions are welcome!! (especially new Indonesian stuff :))

Happy New Year!

Linux is Cute!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hell

Malaysia Does it Again!

Malaysia has some balls, in an act of bravado that rivals a heist of Pink Panther proportions, they've claimed that the word Allah (R) is for Muslims only.

While Indonesians fumigate over the litany of cultural bits and bobs Malaysia has pickpocketed recently, non-Muslims in Malaysia have had the word Allah (R) filched from their throats!

Nice one Malaysia, yet again you've proved yourself to be the "dumbest country on the planet" (Trademark). The Homer Simpson of countries perhaps?

[Etymology of Allah (R) is here]

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Yearly Church Visit

I went to our church (well my parent's) on Christmas Eve. Midnight candlelit service. Beautiful old church that's right out of the DaVinci code.

Thing was, the sermon was about the Koran (!). It was great, all about how Islam respects Christianity and how Christians should also respect Islam.

Me, I'm an atheist, but I'm a fan of religion. For example, I prefer to go to mosques in Indonesia than pubs, prefer to go to Confuscian temples than malls.

That sermon was another example of why I am a fan of religion -- it's essentially such a /human/ thing, and at it's best it's so welcoming and inclusive.

Anyway that was a good start to my Christmas, happy Christmas everyone!! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What is Indonesian?

A pal fumes over Malaysia stealing Indonesia's culture.

Here's a tough question though: tell me one thing that's 100% Indonesian?

Charles Munger on Economics

One to print out - insightful and enjoyable.

Indonesian Police are Most Corrupt

Transparency International Indonesia says the police force are the most corrupt institution in Indonesia.

No surprise. As the mantra goes: whatever happens don't call the cops!

What is a little surprising is that the Indonesian police are now hunting down Transparency International Indonesia after publishing the report.

Nice to know Indonesian cops are in no doubt who the bad guys are!! (themselves ;))

Bush Administration and Torture

Excellent op ed piece here.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saudi Arabia is EVIL

It seems to me that Saudi Arabia now ranks among Apartheid South Africa, Mugabe Zimbabwe and North Korea.

Saudi Arabia is evil.

[Obviously I am referring to the "state" of Saudi Arabia, and not its people. I deeply pity its people, especially Saudi Arabian women]

Chinese Hangover (?)

You wake up one morning and you realise that you aren't half as wealthy as you thought you were (well in fact 40% less wealthy).

To me it kinda sounds like Indonesia 10 years ago...

RAME ING GAWE; SEPI ING PAMRIH

It's kind of edifying when you have some vague idea in your head and then someone comes along and articulates it very succinctly.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Birthday



Looooong week at work capped by meal with family at local Italian place. Just nice.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Present

Dear Lazyweb,

Is there any hassle free way to order and send a toy to a kid in and around Semerang? (without having to write a letter to Santa Claus :))

Specifically, I've been thinking about some Lego (perhaps the Airport which I had as a kid, or the Castle which I always longed for...).

Hope someone can help!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Flattened Forests

Disheartening video from Papua.

Paranoia Indonesia

On my last visit to Indonesia it suddenly dawned on me, Indonesians are a thoroughly paranoid bunch.

According to the Indonesians I've met, most of their fellow citizens are pickpockets, thugs (who, by the way, love to use public transport -- interestingly over here thugs love BMWs!) and policemen

For example, last summer I wanted to update my 5 year old brick-like-Nokia with an N95, but I was warned not to venture near Roxy cos it's a haunt for hypnotist pickpockets (Indonesia's answers to David Blaine). So I ended up not getting an N95 and keeping my Spectrum-esque phone.

[In fact during a dehydrated swoon at the Jakarta fair I was worried that I had encountered one of these pickpocket illusionists when a random guy shook my hand, but my wallet was left intact -- random friendliness, shock horror!]

I don't doubt that there are bad people in Indonesia, but whenever this pale skinny bespectacled guy gets lost on travels around Indonesia, people have gone out of their way to put me on the right track.

To a person the expats I've met haven't had much to say about their experiences of crime in Indonesia. The general opinion has been that crime is either lower or on a par with western countries. Indonesia isn't special, every country has it's own fair share of scheisters and lunatics.

My own theory for all this paranoia is that Indonesians aren't yet used to a press that isn't cowered into reporting good news all the time. Shit happens Indonesia, get used to it!! :):)

Visit Indonesia!



Via Ecky!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Desmond Tutu

Just heard a documentary with Desmond Tutu.

He's an astounding guy, wish there were more like him.

Saturday, December 01, 2007