Books I've Read These Past Months

27 Jun 2014

Last year, I failed my 2013 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I set my goal to read 15 books, planning to read one book per month plus three books to be read at a slower pace. I ended up finishing eight books; only half of what I had planned. Due to that failure, I set fewer books as my goal for this year's reading challenge. I set only 10 books and promised myself that this time, I would try my hardest to complete it. One or two months ago, Goodreads told me that I was two books behind schedule to finish the challenge. But then I sped up and now I'm two books ahead. Yay, me!

For the past few months, I have read If I Lie, Eleanor & Park, Confessions of a Murder Suspect, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, and just last night, I've finished reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. (I'm intending to write a review for each one, so just wait around.) I must say that I owe Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner big time because I love her reviews and recommendations. In fact, I read If I Lie and Amy & Roger's Epic Detour because of her. I have added more books into my to-read list based on her recommendations and now I'm off on my quest to hunt them all.

I also decided to join a book club held by Kristin from My Life as a Tea Cup called NovelTea (see a badge on my sidebar?). Starting July the 1st, we are going to read Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Psst... I actually cheat and have read the first 20 pages this afternoon because the cover is just too cute that I can't keep my hands off of my tablet and I ended up reading it >_<. I am now confident that I will complete my 2014 Reading Challenge. I can't wait to read all the books!

What books have you read this year?

Mata Ilmu's Annual Gathering

24 Jun 2014

Mata Ilmu has been operating for almost two years now. It started as a small group of friends teaching private courses to several students, and now we've grown to having twenty-ish teachers and fifteen-ish students. To celebrate this, we held our very first annual gathering on Sunday. Sadly, there were only several teachers who could come. We took pictures together, had a meeting talking about our progress so far and our plans for the next academic year, and then we had lunch. The gathering was actually a sort of picnic under a palm tree. There was also a stray cat joining us for the lunch!

So It's World Cup Season...

20 Jun 2014

And unlike four years ago, I'm not really into football anymore right now. My team (which is Netherland, by the way) played two matches nicely but I didn't watch them. They will go on to the next round after sending both Spain and Australia home. This round of World Cup has been surprising as for today. Spain, Portugal, and England have all gone home. I'm waiting for other surprises.

And I found this gem on 9GAG:

Goodbye, Luna.

17 Jun 2014

I want to believe that pet heaven does exist. After losing Bill & Lily in November last year, I vowed to myself that I would take better care of Luna and Molly. But today, I had to lose Luna. She had been constantly sick for the past four months but always managed to get healthy after being sick for about a week. Eight days after her birthday, she once again got sick. I took her to a clinic on Sunday morning. The vet told me that she needed to be hospitalised, so she stayed there that night. I visited her on Monday morning. At that time, I thought she was getting better because she could move her legs. I came back in the evening, hoping that she was already strong enough to be taken back home. But it turned out that she still didn't want to eat, so she still needed to stay. I told her then that she would come home the next day (=today). This morning, however, I got called by her nurse, telling me that she was no longer with us. I cried all the way to the clinic. I held her in my arms for an hour before finally letting her go to be prepared for the funeral. We took her and buried her in my aunt's backyard.

I miss her so much, but perhaps it's for the best that she left us. She had been in a lot of pain for months. If pet heaven exists, maybe she is now once again playing hide and seek with her siblings. Just like the old time.

Luna's Birthday

9 Jun 2014

It was Luna's birthday on Friday. We actually tried to celebrate it with cake donut and candle, but she didn't seem to enjoy the party at all. She kept trying to get back on her feet whenever I took her for a hug and she kept running away whenever I tried to take her picture with the donut. The kitty had some grown up things to do, I guess. My sister managed to take a few pictures of us, though. So here it is...

Happy birthday, Luna. The family loves you.


4 Jun 2014

I've always been drawn by the idea of telling stories from the point of view of the bad guy. I remember reading a Harry Potter fanfic told from the point of view of Draco Malfoy and it was so stunning. Since then, I've been wondering about how stories would've turned out if the bad guy was the main character. When I first heard about Maleficent, I knew that it would be interesting. And the character would be played by Angelina Jolie!

After waiting for months, I had to wait for five more days to see this movie since it's just premiered today in my country. I must admit that I should've known that if a story is told through the bad guy's point of view, we will easily fall in love with them. This is what happened to me when I watched this. Maleficent is just a poor girl who is mistreated by a man she loves who betrays her for power and throne. He takes away her wings and leaves her. She shuts herself and turns the beautiful kingdom of Moors into a dark forest surrounded by high thorny plants. A few years later (or months? I didn't really pay attention.), the man--who is now king--and the queen have a daughter named Aurora. The king and queen throw a christening party at the castle, but Maleficent is not invited. Together with her new alley, Diaval the raven, she comes anyway. The famous scene in which Maleficent puts her curse on Aurora happens and then she flees, leaving the whole castle in horror. The story then goes as it was told in Sleeping Beauty: the king destroys all the spinning wheels in the kingdom and sends his daughter away for her protection. Maleficent and Diaval continue monitoring Aurora and keeping her alive so the curse can be fullfilled.

However, problems arise as Maleficent finds herself grow more and more fond of Aurora. The girl thinks that Maleficent is her fairy godmother, knowing that she's always been there since she was little. The relationship goes deeper and deeper that one day Maleficent tries to take back the curse but fails. Then Aurora's 16th birthday comes and the curse is fullfilled, leaving Maleficent devastated.

Compared to the films I've seen lately, Maleficent is very short. It's only about 90 minutes (or 97 according to Wikipedia). It leaves several things unexplained, like what really happens at the castle in the end or the thing that's bugging my mind: "Doesn't Aurora feel sad about the death of the father she's only known for a day (or two)?" But the question put aside, I think Maleficent is good. It resembles Frozen in which the phrase 'true love' isn't interpreted as romance. Maybe Disney wants to change the perception that's been planted by a lot of fairy tales that in order to get a 'happy ever after', a girl needs a boy who can save her from desperation? I don't know. But they've surely done good things with these two movies.

Also, let's talk about these cheekbones. Irene Adler could cut herself slapping Maleficent's face (and then get her own sleeping curse.)

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