You Think You’re So Open-minded

I’m nowhere near being open-minded.

If anything, I’m fairly close-minded most of the time. I read things about topics I’m only interested in, I only listen to the music that’s been on my library for years, and I only watch films and series which premises seem like to support my pre-existing ideas. I do challenge myself from time to time, like trying to keep up with world politics from various sources, or listening to some pop albums on its entirety without skipping a single track, or even finishing a 40-episodes-long Taiwanese drama although it sucks and I hate how annoying Mandarin sounds (I really did, once). But not on daily basis. I’m not even sure if it’s weekly. A few times every month, probably. Roughly once or twice a month on average.

To complete all that, I mainly surround myself with people who, more or less, are on the same wavelength as me.

But I’m very self-aware. I’m aware of all that, I even openly embrace that part of me. Granted, it doesn’t eliminate my close-mindedness right away but, ah, it does prevent me from making an occasional dangerous slip to the Bigot Valley.

And by the way, realistically speaking, there’s just no way you can truly be an “open-minded” person. Your brain just naturally isn’t cut out for it. I know because I didn’t waste my four years studying human’s mind and behaviour for nothing, you see.

We all favour comfort above all, and there’s no comfort in it when we’re faced with something that contradicts or different from our preconceived notions. There’s this uneasy feeling we get instead, so uneasy we’d much rather avoid it if we can. You probably wouldn’t want to sit yourself through a 90-minutes symphony if you’re only into current popular music. You probably would’ve dismissed the idea of reading articles that doesn’t hold your interest. And I know you wouldn’t want to sit through some Korean dramas for hours if you’re usually into dark, intelligent, mind-boggling Western series. Oh, I know for sure.

It’s just how your brain works. Why suffer through unfamiliar settings every single time when you can take the easy way out? Yes. Your brain actually is just as lazy as you are.

So I couldn’t help but scoff every time I spot those people on the internet who proudly describe themselves as being open-minded.

This would be the same people who refuse to watch any Asian dramas because they think Asian dramas are all sappy, stupid, and unintelligent. This would also be the same people who refuse to read any shoujo mangas, or any young adult novels, for the exact same reason. This would be the classical music snobs (or any specific-unpopular-genre snobs) who refuse to even listen to any current pop music because they think pop music are absolute garbage.

This would be the same people who act as if racism, sexism, and social justice are the only thing matters today, and that it should be. The kind of people who think that those problems are universal on all levels, that it should be everyone’s primary concern, no matter who they are or where they come from or what kind of life they’ve been living. The kind of people who accuse everyone who voted for Trump as deplorable and unfriend them on Facebook right away. The kind of people who hold a black-and-white way of thinking, like thinking that an indifference to racism is still racism.

This would be the same people who, apparently, wouldn’t get that there are some other people who are just too desperate to feed themselves or have a place to live in, to be able to pay attention to those things.

This would be the same people who surround themselves only with like-minded folks, listening to opinions that are no different from their own. This would be the same people who’ve been living their lives in an echo chamber.

This would be you.

So, open-minded?

Get off your high horse. You know damn well that you’re not.

A Joke Played Out Too Soon

“If people have essence, I would think that mine is of similar elements to hers.”


I get her.

Wait, how did I first know her again? Oh, right, someone mentioned her name just because I came out as a nonbeliever to them, since I was young and foolish and feeling too enthusiastic about my newfound identity back then.

But, yes, knowing her has once got me thinking, “Ah, we’re alike.”

“Ah, I get her.”


And so she’s become one of the few people with whom I can talk to without feeling guarded.

“If people have essence, I would think that mine is of similar elements to hers.”

But then I’m still as distant and detached. If people ask me do I know her well I can only answer, “I wonder… Probably a bit? A wee chunk here and there?”

Yes, I’ve known her for four years, give and take a few months. We’re even in the same peer group, if that of any helps. And yet, I still think we weren’t so close. Quite, but not so close.

But I still get her then. Sometimes I would think that I can sense how her train of thoughts goes. I get where she comes from. I get her reasoning.

I get why she succumbs to social standards. I get why she doesn’t even try to fight it. I get why she’s been crazily, desperately trying to lose weights. I can’t explain how, but I get her. Hence, I didn’t even attempt to stop her.

It would feel too hypocritical.

“If people have essence, I would think that mine is of similar elements to hers.”

Only she’s a lot more pretentious than I am. So proudly pretentious. That’s her game, anyway. I couldn’t possibly beat her at her own game. And she could be so gruesomely evil at people. Every so often, I might add.

You: “Was she sweet?”

Me: You’re asking the question I just answered.

“If people have essence, I would think that mine is of similar elements to hers.”

Only she got a few strange features mixed in.

I didn’t consider those strange features to take full effect.

And so it goes.

I woke up to the news that she was already in coma, with platelet count hitting an all-time low at 400. I woke up to that news, and yet still I think so conveniently like a moron, “The doctor will do something about it.”

“What, can’t they transfuse some?”

I was so caught up minding my own business that day. I had deadline to destroy, translation quota to be filled up. So when I finally had the time to check on my phone, I was dumbfounded.

[”Sasa passed away.”]

I could only think, “What the fuck.”

And for a few seconds more I still couldn’t elaborate, “What the fuck. What—Fuck, what? WTF?”

Only after then, while still trying to finish translating stuffs, could I come up with the real question. Somewhat perplexed, somewhat stunned. Nothing resembled tears or sadness.

“What has she done to herself?”

“What the hell has she brought upon herself?”

“What the fuck, Sasa, what kind of shite have you done?”

Another moment passed, and new questions surfaced.

“Will I grieve?”

“She’s someone close, right? Will I grieve like everyone else? Or am I already grieving by being not sad at all?”

Because, me being me, I feel like I’m already somewhat seeing her all freezed up as a distant memory. One that I know will be momentarily forgotten for some time, one that I know will suddenly resurface while I was, I don’t know, grocery shopping, probably.

I hope it’ll hit me for real by then.

In memoriam: Sasa

“If people have essence, I would think that mine is of similar elements to hers.”

I get her. I never asked if she gets me as well, though. But at least she could tell you immediately what is the brand of my favorite soap, a fun-fact kind of knowledge that she seemed so pleased about.

A year ago, to be fair.



Pengakuan dosa: Saya nggak ngerti gimana cara main sudoku.


Saya memang payah.

Ngerti sih cuman naroh-naroh angka 1-9 doang, tapi saya kan nggak se-gullible itu. Saya yakin, main Sudoku pasti melibatkan sesuatu yang saya nggak tahu apa, dan pastinya saya nggak ahli. Kalo iya, pasti saya udah jago.

Sejujurnya saya nggak ngerti gimana cara main Sudoku sebab tiap kali saya mencoba, saya merasa seperti orang bego yang nebak-nebak doang tanpa pake strategi berarti. Brute force maxima. “Ah kayaknya 9 nih. Lah bukan. Apus deh, mungkin 4. Eh. Ehhh. Hih. Monyet.”

Saya nggak suka merasa bego. Pride saya ini terlalu rapuh untuk merasa bego. Ngapain saya mainin teka-teki yang membuat saya merasa bego? Saya kan inginnya divalidasi kalau saya ini memang pandai dan sangat hebat, huh. Kalau ada game yang malah bikin saya jengkel karena saya nggak ngerti-ngerti mainnya gimana, mending saya berlagak pura-pura nggak tertarik dari awal aja. No, I obviously am not looking at Sudoku.

Makanya pas saya nemu ada teka-teki angka lain bernama Kakuro, dan menemukan bahwa Kakuro jaaauh lebih mudah dimengerti, saya bersorak gembira. Wuooohh! Akhirnya!! Suatu teka-teki angka yang bisa membuat saya berlagak snob sok logical Sherlock gadungan aku-orangnya-emang-logika-banget sangat matematis dan semacamnya. Y e s.

Dan yang paling oke dari segalanya: Kakuro punya flow. Unlike those stupid Sudokus that like to keep me in the dark. Yuck.

Kayak di puzzle yang saya foto ini, yang di sebelah kiri itu. Mungkin nggak terlalu kelihatan karena saya kalo tulis tangan emang suka terlalu halus, apalagi pake pensil, But anyway, karena bentuk puzzlenya yang kayak tangga itu, ngerjainnya jadi asyik banget. Kalo satu clue udah kelar, bisa jadi start buat clue lain juga. Ini pas saya ngerjainnya kebetulan dari atas ke bawah gitu, jadi pas udah ngisi buat clue yang paling atas, ngerjain ke bawahnya udah berasa kayak main perosotan.

Sebuah perasaan yang menyenangkan dan membuat saya merasa sangat tervalidasi.

Trims, Kakuro.

Hal-hal (Penting) yang Sedang Ingin Saya Utarakan

  • Corinne Bailey Rae mau rilis album baru.

Artist yang saya ikutin karir bermusiknya itu cuma ada sejumput nama. CBR ini salah satunya.  Saya orangnya super pemilih sih. Udah gitu musik kesukaan saya biasanya yang indie-indie hipster yang ga banyak orang yang tau gitu *hidung kembang-kempis*. Taulah. Yang musiman. Yang biasanya cuma nelurin satu album trus susah banget dicari donlotannya, cuma bisa denger online lewat Spotify. Jadi pas kemarin saya scroll newsfeed Facebook dan menemukan bahwa CBR ngepost teaser album baru, saya histeris dong.

Bahagia banget saya pokoknya pas denger teasernya. Saya seneng musik-musiknya CBR ini kayak punya anuannya sendiri. Kalo udah lamaaaaa banget nggak dengerin trus dia rilis lagu baru gitu, tetep noticable zing-nya (???). Rasanya kayak menemukan kembali cinta yang sudah lama terpendam…literally.

Kan The Sea keluarnya udah 6 tahun lalu….

Intinya: *motivasi hidup nambah sebiji*Read More »

An ode to laptop

you fucking fuckface

you posture destroyer

wrist strainer

you’re no friend to the human race

and yet people keep saying you’re “CONVENIENT!”

fucking bollocks

convenient my aaaaaaarrrssssse

look at what you’ve done to my wrist!

poor bloke had to rest on your hard surface

which by the way can get quite tad a lil bit hot on the right side

and not to mention the stiff pain you send to my lower arms everytime I’d done typing my essays!

jesus christ

and my neck dear lord my frigging neck

It’s fucking exhausted of having to look down to your monitor

who the fuck thinks it’s a great idea to attach the monitor and keyboard together by the way?

who the fuck thinks it’s a great idea to invent a PC-you-can-bring-anywhere anyway?

fucking donkey


should I start fuming about my back too?

just so you know, yeah

my back is fucking pissed off

“I just can’t not slouch can I???!” what the furious fella told me

see? you see???

I had to be that terrible human being who plays favourite toward their own body

If I want to save my wrist, I have to forget about my neck and my back

If I want to to save my neck and my back, I have to forget about my wrist

all because you’re so bloody convenient,

you fucking fuckface

Kenapa Saya Pengen Bikin Teenlit

1. Saya ga pernah bikin teenlit seumur hidup saya.

Bahkan ketika saya SMP, di mana orang-orang umur segitu kan kalo bikin cerita pasti bikinnya yang teenlit-teenlit sampah macam itu kan. Cerita pertama saya adalah novel-novelan yang saya bikin pas kelas 6 SD yang mana ceritanya, kalo kata temen saya, lebih ke yang macam Lima Sekawan gitu-gitu. Meski saya nggak pernah baca Lima Sekawan. Tentu saja, ini jadi menyelamatkan saya dari masa-lalu-suram di mana saya nggak perlu malu-malu amat kalo lagi gali-gali tulisan zaman dulu. Alih-alih malu, saya malah jadi smug-smug merasa bangga dengan diri sendiri gitu, “Wah saya dari dulu udah hipster nulisnya misteri.” meski tetep aja sebenernya malu. Terus setelah nulis novel-novelan, saya masuk SMP. Pas SMP saya lebih sering bikin cerpen, yang saya ingat betul ngga ada satu pun cerpen yang saya bikin yang isi ceritanya ala-ala teenlit itu. Agak-agak depresif malah, karena kebanyakan cerpen yang saya bikin ke-aku-an gitu. Alias saya hobi pake sudut pandang pertama. Selepas cerpen-cerpen depresif, saya mengenal IH. Yha ngapain saya bikin cerita ala-ala teenlit di IH.

Jadi begitulah. Saya ga pernah bikin teenlit seumur hidup saya. Sekarang memasuki masa di mana saya merasa semakin tua, saya jadi semacam memiliki keinginan untuk memiliki sesuatu yang kalo saya liat ulang, saya bakal ngakak. Self-entertainment gitu deh.

2. Di satu titik dalam hidup saya, teenlit pernah sangat memengaruhi semacam world view saya.

Meski saya ga pernah bikin teenlit, saya pernah kok baca teenlit. Lumayan banyak juga kalo gak salah, saya inget ada 4 judul yang saya baca zaman-zaman saya SMP/SMA gitu. 2 judul novel lokal, 2 judul lagi serial terjemahan. Itu pun yang saya inget. Saya yakin sebenernya ada lebih banyak dari 4 judul yang saya baca. Kayak sekarang saya mencoba mengingat-ingat apakah saya pernah baca Princess Diaries-nya Meg Cabot atau nggak, atau buku Meg Cabot apa pun. Saya yakin saya pernah skimming sebentar kayaknya, tapi ga pernah baca sampai habis.  Meski memang nggak semuanya ‘pernah sangat memengaruhi semacam world view’ saya, tapi ada kok. Si serial terjemahan itu.

Jessica Darling adalah teenlit terjemahan yang saya sedih saya ga tau bukunya ada di mana sekarang. Ini bukan teenlit pertama saya sih, dan saya juga ga inget dulu saya ambil judul ini dari puluhan judul teenlit lain yang ada kenapa, mungkin karena judulnya bahasa Inggris, dan waktu itu saya punya kepercayaan tolol bahwa teenlit terjemahan akan lebih berkualitas dan jauh lebih bearable ketimbang teenlit lokal yang kebanyakan bahasanya lo-gue. Saya antipati banget sama penggunaan bahasa lo-gue di tulisan apa pun. Sepanjang sejarah cerpen-cerpen yang pernah saya bikin, saya nggak pernah pakai lo-gue, saking jijiknya.

Jadi saya ambil Sloppy First, buku pertamanya, lalu saya menemukan diri saya terkejut karena ternyata…lumayan juga. Saya bahkan sempat obsesi sama tokoh cowoknya, Marcus Flutie, sebagaimana orang-orang sempat obsesi sama Edward Cullen. Atau yang lebih hip sekarang, Christian Grey. Tapi saya punya pembelaan! Marcus Flutie is nothing like Edward Cullen nor Christian Grey! #yha #mulaidefensif. But seriously, though, meski labelnya teenlit, first impression saya terhadap Jessica Darling versi terjemahan ini kelewat positif, sampai saya bilang ‘pernah sangat memengaruhi semacam world view saya’. Here’s why.

Karakternya Jessica ini adalah tipikal trope I’m Surrounded By Idiots. Si Jenius Kelas/straight A’s student, ekskulnya cross country alih-alih cheers, tapi peergroupnya anak cheers semua, tipikal ciwi-ciwi dandan yang pas jam makan siang sibuk ngekritik/muji model-model di majalah trus banding-bandingin ama badan sendiri trus ngeluh-ngeluh soal calories intake. Berteman dengan mereka kemudian membuat karakter Jessica kita menjadi somewhat snarky. Yha. Karakter-karakter snarky adalah soft spot saya memang. Tapi bukan itu yang bikin serial ini menjadi ‘pernah sangat memengaruhi semacam world view saya’.

This is where Marcus Flutie comes in, the guy with the manwhore/drugs-addict persona who turns out to be that poet/hidden genius. Dinamika hubungan Jessica dan Marcuslah yang kemudian ‘pernah sangat memengaruhi semacam world view saya’. Satu: I learn that no matter what you do, you can’t control what people think of you. Agak-agak no shit gitu ya, tapi entah kenapa impactnya gede gitu di saya. Mungkin inilah yang membuat saya jadi relatif ga mikirin apa kata orang tentang saya. “If that’s what you think of me, well then that’s probably true for you, which is fine, and I’m not going to confirm or deny it anyway” gitu. Memfoster pribadi nonkonformis abis.

Dua: I LEARN, ABOVE ALL THINGS, ABOVE EVERY OTHER THINGS, to accept and let go, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE. Atau seenggaknya ini yang saya pahami setelah baca buku ketiganya, yang ada quote begini: “Strangers become friends. Friends become lovers. Lovers become strangers. Strangers become friends once more, and over and over.” Waktu itu buat saya, quote ini inspiratif sekali. Di saat cerita lain menekankan “forever”/“kisah cinta abadi”/“aku dan kau akan selalu bersama”, ini teenlit membantu saya untuk mengembrace kenyataan bahwa no there’s no such thing as forever, everything is a phase blablabla. Klise yha, tapi kalau dihayati ngefeknya oke. Berguna banget. Hidup berasa jadi less drama gitu karena saya jadi tidak berekspektasi apa-apa.

Begitulah. Saya sempat meworship Jessica dan Marcus di satu fase di hidup saya.

3. Ini adalah misi mulia saya untuk mengedukasi cewek bego-begoan generasi muda yang sekrup otaknya perlu dikencengin dikit

Kenapa banyak perempuan-perempuan nganu berkeliaran dengan pemikiran nganu mereka mengenai konsep ideal suatu hubungan? Tentu saja karena bacaannya pada nganu. Karena saya merasa high and mighty, saya merasa sudah sehendaknya saya berkontribusi untuk memperbaiki kenganuan ciwi-ciwi begitu. Bagaimana caranya? Tentu saja masuk dari platform yang aksesibel buat mereka: frreaking teenlit. Nah, kurang mulia apa saya.

4. Tetralogi empat musim cetak ulang dengan cover baru. Cover barunya cakepan.

Saya dengki.

Karena alasan-alasan tersebut, akhirnya beberapa waktu lalu saya bikin plotboard, untuk menunjukkan bahwa saya serius dengan ide-pengen-bikin-teenlit-yang-kemudian-saya-jadikan-personal-project-of-the-year ini. Plotboardnya seperti ini:

Oke kan ya. Yang di ujung kanan itu endingnya, trus post-it itu ceritanya plot si tokoh utama dengan karakter lain, color coded #niat.

Kalau soal mulai ngetiknya, saya baru nyampe…