Monday, October 12, 2015

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer - Rick Riordan



After books about Greek mythology came the books about Egyptian mythology  then the books about Greek and Roman mythology, now Riordan tells the story of Norse mythology. 

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. 

One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. 

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. 

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. 

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . . 


Little spoiler alert: Magnus Chase is Annabeth Chase (from Percy Jackson and The Olympian series)' cousin.  Annabeth herself made an appearance in the book. 

For me it's quite hard to remember all the "new" names. I was more familiar with Greek and Roman mythology. Even Egyptian mythology a little bit easier than Norse mythology. 

Compare to The Olympian or Kane Chronicles (like it or not, you'll compare The Gods of Asgard with those two), Magnus already 16 years old. And he's dead. 

According to Dito, he already finished reading the book first, Valhalla reminded him of Hogwarts. I can see why he thinks that, with all the magic and the wonder. Magnus Chase' world is completely different than the Kanes or the Olympian (or the Roman). 

In his adventures, Magnus is not alone. He had help from his friends. Sam, a Valkyrie, she's an Arab and wears hijab and can kicked-ass. Blitz, a dwarf with interesting parentage and highly sense of fashion. Hearthstone, a deaf elf who choose to study magic instead of...well something else. 

These four work together to delay Ragnarok, and in doing so they also have to "help" other Gods (buying a pair of earring, find a missing hammer that wasn't missing, find a replacement rope made of paradoxes, and prevent Thor from drowning)

We also meets some Gods. Freya, who has cats, and listening to Taylor Swift; Thor who love to watch television series (he mention League of Assassins from Arrow!!); Ran, who likes to collect things, anything. 

Don't forget sword that can talk, goats that also can talk, be killed, eaten, and then live again. Bar tools that have history. Giant squirrel that can trash-talk. 

And nine ducks which apparently a door to another world. 

I love this books because it's funny, Magnus remind me a little bit of Percy even if he's not as sassy as Percy. And like Percy, he's ready to sacrifice himself for his friend. This book is full of action, noble deeds, sacrifice, love, friendship, and acceptance. 

At some point in the story, some how my mind compare it to Harry Potter. Maybe it's because of the missing nose. I really don't know why I'm thinking about Harry Potter, because when the bad guy start monologing, it's not different from The Olympian, about what he's done, why he's doing it, bla bla bla. 

But near the end, it really reminded me of Harry Potter, especially the part where Dumbledore begin to give final house point. In this book there aren't any house point, but the way...ehm...that man praising Blitz, Sam, Hearthstone and Magnus, and then gave them prizes, for me it's like what Dumbledore did at the end of the school term. 

Worth to buy, even worth more to read. Especially if you enjoy The Olympian and Kane Chronicles. 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

IKEA


Happy New Year 2015!!!

Di hari pertama tahun 2015 ini....gue mencoba untuk menulis blog, berhubung pengalaman hari ini lumayan menarik untuk gue bagikan ke banyak orang hahaha....

Tahun 2014 merupakan tahun yang "menyedihkan" untuk blog ini karena sedikitnya posting...semoga tahun 2015, bisa kembali aktif.  Amin!!

So...mari kita mulai!

Dikarenakan satu dan lain hal, maka pada tanggal 1 Januari 2015 ini, gue sekeluarga (yang berarti mom and dad and li' sis) pergi jalan-jalan bersama.  Ide my mom untuk pergi ke IKEA yang mana memang udah dari sejak buka di Jakarta, pingin banget dikunjungi.

Menurut sumber yang ada, IKEA Indonesia buka 15 Oktober 2014 kemaren.  Gue tau soal IKEA cuma dari novel-novel yang gue baca dan cerita teman gue yang sempet mengunjungi toko IKEA di China dan di Singapore.  Jadi gue cuma tau sedikit soal IKEA.

Dan akhirnya gue ke sana.  RUAME BANGET!!!! Entah karena hari libur besar, atau memang setiap Sabtu/Minggu/hari libur keramaian yang terjadi memang seperti tadi yang gue alami.  

Yang pasti sih, tadi gue dateng sekitar setengah 1-an....itu parkiran udah penuh...dan semakin sore...semakin tidak terkontrol mobil-mobil yang datang hahaha...

Oke....sebelum gue memberikan semacam "bagaimana berbelanja di IKEA", gue mau cerita dulu soal IKEA ini.

Dari soal harga....well...jujur, tidak bisa gue bilang murah, karena toh harga-harga dia, meskipun ada beberapa yang dibawah 50rb, lebih banyak yang diatas 100-200rb.  

Design yang ditawarkan IKEA harus gue akui, memang unik dan menarik.  Konsep IKEA adalah bagaimana ada memaksimalisasikan ruangan yang ada.  Jadi banyak sekali tempat-tempat penyimpanan, atau laci dan lemari yang kecil.

Yang menarik adalah, di IKEA terdapat display isi rumah, dengan 3 ukuran rumah; 55m2, 35m2, dan 25m2.  Jadi pengunjung bisa mendapatkan ide, barang-barang apa yang bisa ditempatkan atau bagaimana memposisikan barang-barang tersebut.




Dan tentu tidak hanya display rumah saja, nyaris di tiap bagian, akan terdapat display sehingga pengunjung bisa melihat bagaimana hasil akhir sebuah perabotan jika telah disusun.


Dikarenakan tadi itu suasananya sangat padat, dan gue juga masih agak terkesima dengan IKEA, jadi foto itu sangat sedikit sekali.

Jika ingin info atau lihat seperti apa isi dalem IKEA, silakan mampir ke blog anakjajan.com, yang isinya dilengkapi foto, termasuk harga makanan di cafetaria.  Tadi kami tidak mampir, karena antrian yang sangat panjang.


Oke...sekarang soal "Hal-hal yang perlu diperhatikan".  Yang harus segera diingat adalah konsep belanja IKEA adalah SELF-SERVICE yang berarti layanan-sendiri.

Tidak ada tukang parkir di IKEA.
Jika anda menggunakan mobil pribadi, ingat bahwa tidak ada tukang parkir di area parkir IKEA.  Ada petugas keamanan, tapi bukan tukang parkir.  Jadi perhatikan baik-baik dimana anda parkir dan jika kendaraan anda terhalang kendaraan lain, maka anda sendiri yang harus mendorong mobil yang menghalangi mobil anda.  (Tadi gue kudu mendorong 2 innova dan 1 jazz hahahaha)

Baca tata cara berbelanja di IKEA
Mungkin terkesan konyol, tapi ini adalah hal yang penting.  Pada saat anda masuk, memang langsung terdapat bagian informasi, tapi juga banyak terdapat petunjuk arah.

Pada saat anda tiba di area belanja, ada akan bertemu dengan dua hal di bawah ini. 

  
Gambar di atas adalah info tentang bagaimana anda berbelanja di IKEA.  Silakan ambil lembar yang biru, lembar yang putih, pensil, dan penggaris kertas.  Tersedia juga buku katalog IKEA, yang boleh anda ambil dan anda bawa pulang.  Semuanya gratis anda bawa pulang, kecuali pensil yang harus anda kembalikan pada waktu anda tiba di kasir.

Sekali lagi ingat, SELF-SERVICE.



Di samping papan info tentang bagaimana berbelanja di IKEA, terdapat peta direktori tata letak barang-barang IKEA.  Jika anda seperti saya (kami) yang baru pertama kali ke IKEA, mungkin peta ini tidak terlalu penting.  Meskipun begitu, cukup perlu juga dibaca setidaknya untuk lebih tau, seperti apa tanda petunjuk yang tersedia.

Kenapa harus mengambil dua lembar (biru dan putih) serta pensil dan penggaris? Karena semua itu anda butuhkan jika anda hendak berbelanja.  

Pada saat anda hendak membeli meja, atau kursi, atau lemari, yang perlu anda lihat, bukan saja harga barang tersebut, tapi juga kode barang, dan dimana barang tersebut diletakkan. Jadi, jika anda hendak membeli meja, meskipun di sana terdapat banyak meja, anda tidak bisa langsung mengambil meja tersebut.  Anda harus mencatat kode barang atau posisi dimana barang tersebut diletakkan, baru kemudian anda pergi menuju "gudang" untuk mengambil barang tersebut.

 

Foto di atas adalah "gudang" tempat anda mengambil barang yang telah anda pilih.  Itulah gunanya lembar putih dan biru. (Lembar putih sepertinya hanya petunjuk cara berbelanja, sementara lembar biru yang bisa dipakai untuk mencatat).

Dan di sinilah letak SELF-SERVICE-nya.  Karena anda harus mengambil sendiri barang yang telah anda pilih (ya minta tolong diambilkan gue rasa boleh sih...apalagi kalo gak nyampe hahaha), dan rakit sendiri semua barang yang dibeli.

IKEA juga tidak menyediakan kantong belanja.  Jadi, anda harus menyiapkan kantong belanja sendiri, atau membawa trolley hingga tempat yang telah disediakan....gue masih ragu apakah boleh dibawa ke tempat parkir atau tidak. 

Yang satu lagi cukup menarik dari IKEA adalah display boleh digunakan.  Jadi, kalau melihat meja, kursi, tempat tidur, itu boleh anda duduki dan tiduri hahaha...serius.  Jadi buat yang membawa anak-anak...bakal seneng banget untuk ke IKEA.  Berbeda dengan toko furniture lainnya yang cenderung melarang pengunjung untuk duduk di bagian display, IKEA justru mempersilakan pengunjung untuk memanfaatkan display yang ada.  Yah...yang penting tau diri aja...jangan kemudian juga malah pecicilan.

Jalur di IKEA itu ONE WAY. Well...ini menurut gue gak penting sih hahaha....tapi memang kayaknya jalurnya tuh satu arah...kita balik ke tempat sebelumnya boleh aja sih, tapi karena tadi padat banget, jadi agak susah untuk 'jalan mundur' hahaha...

Apalagi ya...oh ya...parkir gratis di IKEA.  Mungkin karena self-service itu kali ya? Yang pasti sih tadi emang enggak ada gardu untuk ambil tiket karcis.

Buat gue sih...seru ke IKEA, meskipun mungkin yang bisa dibeli cuma yang murah-murah, tapi tetep menarik untuk dikunjungi.  Paling tidak, kita belajar untuk jadi lebih mandiri.  Mandiri dalam berbelanja dan juga mandiri dalam memperhatikan lingkungan sekitar.  Belajar membaca rambu-rambu.

Next time ke IKEA lagi, pasti bakal foto lebih banyak...dan hopefully enggak serame tadi hahaha.


 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Journey of A Girl with A Camera Tatoo - A Blog


The picture above is a snapshot of my beloved friend's blog.  The blog itself is quite new, but the girl who made it is one of my old friends.

Her name is Lisa.  She's a photographer.  Right now, she's working as a wedding photographer, in Edward Suhadi Production.  

I knew Lisa while we're at Tarumanaga University ages ago, we met in our University Choir.  Both of us are Altos, but she has better voice than me hahaha...  Our singing time together has long gone.  I don't even singing in a choir anymore, but Lisa until a few years ago still do.  Until her work almost take over her life - hyperbola mode on.

I don't think I realize her talent in photography, maybe because at that time, owning a digital camera was a luxury.  Even mobile phone was still a new thing back then.  

Later, after every one of my friends has their own life and work, I began to see her talent. And I must say, she's good.

Back in June 2014, both of us went to Bali, to attend another of my (our) friend get married.  Because it was a small wedding, almost every person that come to the wedding has a job to do.  But not Lisa.  She's purely come as a guess.  (Well some are also come as a guess, but mostly were come because they has a job to do).  Nowadays, digital camera is a common thing. And Lisa, as a photographer, hardly leaves without her camera.  The moment the bride arrived at the church, she's already taking pictures.  Maybe not as much as when she's working, but still...she's taking pictures.  




My friend, Dito and I, quite jealous of her hahaha...because we want to have eyes like her (and Eric, another friend of ours).  We want to be able to see the beauty and capture it.  I think the ability to capture it was the important part.
Her works nowadays is not just for wedding, although maybe mostly are from wedding, but I know she also works for family pictures, even for clothing lines and beauty lines too.
She's really talented, and yet still eager to learn new things.
So...if you please go to her website lisamargaret you can see some of her works and her journey.

I'm so proud to call her my friend.

(proof that I really know her hahahaha)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Broadway ke Java 2014






On August 2014, on behalf of Bibie's request, some of us gathered for lunch.  I think it was on Eid al-Fitr holiday.  Anyway, before I go to the place where we're going to have lunch, I decided to go to Starbucks on Skyline Building first, to meet Lisa.  Lisa was already there  when I finally arrived.  She apparently wasn't alone, she was with her friend. After a standard introduction, we got to talk, and I simply forgot what we talked about at first, but we suddenly talked about Broadway Musical.  He, Lisa's friend was a he, he said that there will be a performance that will show some snippets from Broadway musical on September.  As we said goodbye later, I said to him, as he wasn't coming with us, that I will be waiting for the invitation.

August went away then come September.  I keep remembering the information that tucked on the back of my mind.  I keep waiting for the invitation.  When I was planning on texting Lisa, she texted me first and voila...she asked me to accompany her to Broadway ke Java.

Broadway ke Java [Broadway goes to Java] was held from 26-28 September 2014 at Ice Palace, Lotte Shopping Avenue.  If you can see the picture, you'll see that on Saturday and Sunday, they have 2 shows; matinee or 12 o'clock show and afternoon show.  Lisa asked me to choose. After talked to her back, about her schedule, we decided to watch the show on the Saturday at 7 pm.

There was some misinformed on Lisa's part, so we're late to attend the show.  We arrived at the door at 7.45 pm, thinking that the show was started at 8pm, so we're late. But, since we arrive precisely at the end of one number, we're allowed to enter, but can't get to our seat.  So we stand near the door, right by the stage, and watch the show from there.  What we saw? A song from The Producers, "Keep It Gay".  Love it!! I really can feel my eyes got bigger, my smile got wider, and try to listen the words carefully.

Brodway ke Java have 2 Act and each act consist of 8 songs or numbers.  

Act 1

  • The New World (Songs For A New World)
  • Live In Living Color (Catch Me If You Can)
  • You Don't Know (Next To Normal)
  • The Song That Goes Like This (Spamalot)
  • With You (Ghost)
  • Keep It Gay (The Producers)
  • One Night Only (Dreamgirls)
  • LaVie Boheme (Rent)
Act 1
  • Biggest Blame Fool (Seussical The Musical)
  • Omigod You Guys (Legally Blonde The Musical)
  • Heart (Damn Yankees)
  • Love Is My Legs (Dirty Rotten Scoundrel)
  • My Stronger Suit (Aida)
  • If Only (The Little Mermaid)
  • One Day More (Les Miserables)
  • Evolution Of Broadway
From 16 numbers, I only familiar with The Producers, Dreamgirls, Rent, Aida, and Les Miserables. But surprisingly I kinda like "Heart" from Damn Yankees.  The song was catchy.  And I like the tenor hahaha.  If Only from The Little Mermaid was also good.

The show was played by JPAC, Jakarta Performing Arts Community, which started out as a group of friends who just love to perform, loves theater in all form, acting dancing singing.  Broadway ke Java was JPAC wasy to convey that Broadway appeals to everyone, can appeals to everyone.  (Taken from the book program :D)

I think, since it's "only" a community, I don't expect elaborate costume and props.  Their props was only a big screen and 2 large blocks that can be used as a small stage or a bench to seat.  That's it. The music was minus one, I think.  But the singing was real hahaha.  And they CAN sing.  At least to my ear I don't hear any bad tone.  Some mic having a little trouble, or when four people singing together one voice is stronger than the other.  A little bit annoying but I can tolerate it.

And also, I think, since it's "only" a community, the performers were not a professional performers.  So I don't expect great dancers, although I do expect that they at least can carry a tune (they can). 

After every two songs, the have some kind of "intermission" that kinda explain a little about the next number. This little intermission was like a little comedy sketch.  At first I'm a little confuse about this intermission.  Then Lisa explained, that that was a little intermission.  I think it gives the performer to catch a breath or get ready for the next number.  But near the end, the audience was getting bored with the intermissions, because it felt like they don't have anything fresh or not even funny.  Some even groan when the intermissions happening.  I don't know if they really dislike it, or they just teased them.  

Overall...I really enjoy the performance.  I don't really care about the props or the costume, as long as they can sing, then it's ok on my book.  Beside, the number that were performed don't have lots of dancing number, although...I find it quite annoying when there's a dancing number but you don't dance seriously.

But I do wish that before they sing the song, at least they played or perform some act that lead to the story, because not everyone knows the story. And...instead of little intermission, I would rather have someone explained a little about the play or about the performance, make it look like a Tony award hahaha...

On December, they were planning on performing "A Nightmare Before Christmas" for children.  Let see if I can ask Ingrid to see those.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J. Maas



The Assassin's Blade is a prequel of The Throne of Glass series, which I just found out will consist of 6 books #facepalmed#. The face palmed is not because I don't like the book, but because I enjoyed it so much that I don't think I have the patient to wait for 6 books. After Harry Potter, I don't think I have the patient anymore hahahaha. 

(Why do I always bring HP to the conversation??)

Anyway, even though The Assassin's Blade is the prequel, the book itself was released in 2014, after the release of The Throne of Glass in 2012 and Crown of Midnight, the second book of The Throne of Glass series, in 2013. So I feel lucky that I haven't read TOG and COM, so I can really enjoy TAB more. 

I don't know what made me like the book. Maybe I like the title, Throne of Glass, or maybe I like the synopsis, about an assassin, a young girl assassin. No matter what, I felt that I like the book (series) instantly. 

And TAB doesn't dissapoint me. TAB is a novella, which I found out that it mean was consist of some short stories. The setting in TAB happened before the story in TOG begin. 


Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

When Celaena's scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes—and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches—and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives . . .

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling—and deadly—world.

Included in this volume:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

If you have read TOG then you know what will happen to Celaena and you know that this story won't end in happy ending. Knowing me, it should make me dislike this book, but since the story is so good, I really enjoyed it. 

I like Celaena. I like her ability, her confidence, her pride, even though sometimes I think she's a little too proud, too arrogant, but I think she's all that because she's so sure about her ability. 

I also like her relationship with Sam. Although for me, it's a little too fast.  I mean, at the beginning Celaena was described as a girl who doesn't like Sam. There were some kind of rivalry between them. Even though Sam was a year older than Celaena, she's always better than Sam and she's chosen to be the protege and heir of Arobynn Hamel instead of Sam. When Hamel sent Celaena and Sam on a mission together, Celaena start to see Sam in a different way, a little bit, especially after what happened in the pirate island. 

Story number 2 & 3 found Celaena on an away mission from Hamel, this is where Celaena really start to see and think of Sam in a really different way and it concluded at story number 4, continued to the end. 

Since it's only a backstory so I think I understand why the story between Sam and Celaena was quite fast, and still I enjoy it. 

And about the mission itself, well sometimes I hated when Celaena just do what Hamel told her to do. I wished she do some recon or at least investigate deeply the person she's supposed to kill. But then I rethink again. She's an assassin, I don't think assassins really do much investigation. I mean even if the person she's supposed to kill was a nice person, I think she still has to kill them. But I can't help feel that Celaena should be smarter than just do what she's told. On the other hand, that was she trained to do. 

When I read the last story, even though I kinda know how it will end, I still cried when it happened. I can feel Celaena pain, her despair, and her broken heart. And also when she finally decided to live, not to be broken, I also feel it. 

Now...I don't know if I can begin to read Throne of Glass. Because if I start to read it, then I will read Crown of Midnight and I  don't think I can wait for Heir of Fire which will be released on September. It still 5 more months! Not to mention book 4-6! 

I think, other than Harry Potter books, the other series that I read the minute the book was released was Percy Jackson series and Kane Chronicles. Other than that, either the first three books already released (The Mortal Instruments) or I wait for the whole books to partially complete. 

But overall, I really enjoy this Assassin's Blade. You've got action, fantasy, intrigue, and romance in one book.  And I'm sure Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight will have more of those. 



Please e-mail me directly if you have any question about things that I wrote in this blog at celotehze@yahoo.com