My Monday Reading Booster: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein

My Monday Reading Booster: A British Spy Captured in Enemy Territory When Her Plane Crashes in Nazi-occupied France.

What kind of book I’ve read in the last couple of months? Well, it is actually a super hard question for me to answer. Before, it was a piece of cake to answer what kind of book I’ve been reading but now, just finding a time to read a book is like finding a time to meet Pak Jokowi. Yes, that hard. Perhaps I need to re-manage my reading time management because when it comes to work and my role as a mother, those won’t end. If I need to wait until I finish my work or find a spare time without my daughter, I’m sure I will have time to read in… like… wait I need to count first… ahhh yes… in 20 years later.

I have been searching for some reading boosters (red: interesting books) to start boosting my mood of reading and I was surprised that Rick Riordan, my favorite history teacher and writer, has been published several new series that I should put on my reading list.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
It was super lucky that I could finish reading the first book of this series The Sword of Summer when I was still pregnant. After that, The Hammer of Thor and The Ship of the Dead should wait a little longer.
The Trials of Apollo
Oh my God, I love this serial but then I just could finish the first book, The Hidden Oracle, but then it is getting harder to find time to read the second, The Dark Prophecy and third, The Burning Maze.

The problem with my reading habit now, though if I could steal time to read but it is impossible to read the printed book because my lovely daughter will snatch it from my hand faster than the lightning thief. So, I have to depend on e-book which in some ways is not as appealing as reading the printed books. But my daughter is growing up and getting smarter now; I just need to wait a couple of years before I could smell the aromatic printed books again.

I have plan to continue reading one of the books from the two serials mentioned above but then one book steals my attention, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein. From the Goodreads page, the book is a serial and it is the first book from the serial. The novel is about British spy captured in an enemy territory. Wow, sounds amazing like but surprisingly this novel is in the YA category, which is interesting and has a lot of positive reviews.

What do you think? Should I read it?

Happy Monday ^^


No Transport Money Needed

I woke up with a big question in my head this morning? How much money people spent just for transport from home to office or their work place?

Me? None!

I have been dealing with monthly report of the Satgas Amour Project in these few days but then I got bored. Well, I am currently working in a plantation company but my focus is in the conservation project. It is a completely new job for me and totally different type of job from the previous one. Honestly, all jobs I have are different but there is one thing that is the same; whatever my job was I don’t need to use any public or personal transport to do that so if I could keep the transport money just because I don’t need it like anybody else, I could be a millionaire (probably). Anyway, this is the history of my job which not required any transport money.

My First Job – Website Content Writer
I got this job for the first time in 2009 which I’m still doing until today. It is a part-time job which you could do from wherever you are as long as you have internet access. So, my first office is my boarding house room. Yes, what I need to make money is just moving my lazy ass from my bed to my desk.

My Second Job – Personal Assistant in Plantation Company
Aside from being a part-timer, being personal assistant in one of the prestigious Oil Palm Plantation Company is probably my first real job. However, can you guess how far I should go to attend office?
When I first joined this company, the permanent office have not finished yet, so all the staffs are living in a ‘ruko’ a two stories building commonly found in Indonesia. So, to attend office, I just need to crawl down to down stair because my bedroom is in the second floor while the office is in the first floor.
Even after the permanent office is ready to use, the Long House (staff mess) is located in the same complex with the office. I just need to open my bedroom door and then walk less than 5 minutes to reach office. Not only that, the view is quite great especially in the morning because both Long House and the office located in the top of the hill.

My Third Job – Satgas Amour Coordinator for Orangutan Conservation Project
And then I got my third job. I resigned from my second job because though both office and Long House are in the same complex, but that complex is located in the middle of nowhere. You need to spend like 5 hours road trip from the nearest big city to reach the plantation. Anyway, I join another group of Oil Palm Plantation Company but my job is focusing on the orangutan conservation project. Could you guess how far I should attend office this time?
Actually, the present office I am working now is located in the same street with my house. So, in other words, I just need to walk like less than 5 minutes to reach the office. No transport money needed.

And then, the next question popped up in my head, what if I could count the money I should spent for transport money in my almost 10 years working experience like anybody else, how much money I could save now?

How about you? How much money you should spend just for transport in daily basis?

Probably, I am just lucky and because of that I’m so grateful.

Happy ‘almost’ Long Weekend…


Lockwood & Co #4 - The Creepeing Shadows

The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co., #4)The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As usual another 5 stars for Mr. Stroud.

I almost forget that September means the book 4 of Lockwood & Co. because of the new title I’ve earned as mother of a beautiful baby girl. So, yeah it is kind of difficult to find the ‘me’ time but since I have to breastfeed my baby girl every two hours so I kind of finding the ‘reading’ time I’ve been looking for because what else you could do since the option is limited to watching Korea Drama, reading book or daydreaming. However finding the ‘writing review’ time is a bit tricky. I finished reading the book two days ago and just find the time to write the review now.

So, let’s jump to the review before my beautiful baby girl is craving for another session of breastfeeding.

Just like what we’re all already know Lucy decided to leave Lockwood & Co. because she afraid that one day she will put Lockwood in danger because of her Talent. That’s the real reason and not because of Holly. As I mentioned in my review of the previous book that the present of Holly in the end is totally make sense.

Anyway, since then Lucy is a freelancer and with her talent is not difficult to find agency who wants to hire her. However, even Lucy should admit that there is no team that could equal the competence of Lockwood & Co. team no matter how reckless George is or how crazy Lockwood sometimes is, and even the perfectionist attitude of Holly is less irritating compared to what she should face. With other agency, she should deal with the long SOP, irritating supervisor and incompetence fellow agents. That’s why sometimes she should improvise and finish the ghost herself while teamwork is the most important in dealing with ghost.

However, one day, about three months after her leaving, she was woken up by the knocks on the door. Surprise, Lockwood is the one who’s knocking the door. By bringing a proposal offered by Penelope Fittes, he offers Lucy a job. So, Lockwood & Co. plus Lucy is back to action and ready to fight.

Back to the review I’ve written for book 2, ghost is not the only problem they should face but sometimes the biggest enemy is human themselves. It is actually what is becoming clearer in this book 4, Skull has been kidnapped or stolen (since you cannot kidnap a ghost even the one who is so obnoxious and locked in the jar) and and during the process to get the Skull back, three men were sent to kill Lucy because she found the dirty work conducted by Rotwell’s agency that related to some Sources have been sold in black market. Though she’s not dead but she is injured and the only option available is coming back to Portland Row to Lockwood, George and Holly.

The chance to investigate is coming when there is a request from Aldbury Castle, a village that has been in a terror for three month due to appearance of the Creeping Shadow. Lockwood & Co. finally found that the appearance of Creeping Shadow is related to whatever experiment conducted by Rotwell’s agency which its research center is nearby Aldbury Castle. Well, as usual once Lockwood & Co. has started an investigation, they will do it all out including blowing out the research center and perhaps ‘kill’ Steve Rotwell in the process. With the status quo in Rotwell agency, Penelope Fittes is the only one who could prevent the agency from being collapse.

Well, once again, the book is ended in cliffhanger. The Skull is successfully retrieved by Lucy in the end and what the Skull said about Penelope Fittes when she’s is visiting Portland Low is kind of giving me headache in these two days. What is it? Well, why don’t you read it yourself?

Nb: I know it is kind of out of the topic but do you notice there’s sometime weird between Lockwood and Lucy even the skull is kind of jealous with Lockwood while he is also not that really fond to Lucy either. I mean, what is the meaning of all the touching, hand holding, hand on shoulder and all the blushing in Lucy part and even the awkward comment made by George is showing something that there is something ‘awkward’ between Lucy and Lockwood. I know this book is too awesome for the cheesy romance but still reading Lucy and Lockwood is kind of making my toe wrinkled, that’s a good sign, isn’t it?


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Investing on Jakarta Apartment for Rent or Sale

Looking for a place to live is a big challenge and moving to a place which is entirely new with no family or friends to ask for the help is another different story. You have a plan to move to Jakarta and you don’t know where you should start to look for a place to live permanently. However, it is not an impossible task as long as you know what you want and then find out what to do.

What You Want
Speaking of what kind of place you want to live, you have to be wise to decide whether it is must to have or just nice to have. Perhaps you want a comfortable and safe place to live with complete and the best facilities but determining which facilities that you really need could save a lot of money from your current budget. One example, which one is better for you, looking for Jakarta apartment for rent or apartment for sale? If you are already in safe stage financially, purchasing apartment is a good investment, however if you are just starting a new life, rent an apartment is a much better idea to avoid a long term credit.

What to Do
Once you have determined what you want, now it is time to find out what to do. The first thing to do is spare some time to do some researches and the hunt. It is important, so you have enough time to compare places, facilities and the prices whether they meet your need and budget or not. Looking for an assistance from an expert is a good idea too but don’t just trust them entirely, you should actively participating in the apartment hunting to make sure you get what you really want and need.

Why apartment? Well, the trend of property in Jakarta is moving rapidly in the recent years. Renting an apartment in Jakarta is as easier as looking for Jakarta apartment for sale. In other words, investing your money in property field like apartment in Jakarta is highly recommended because it is not difficult to monetize your property right now because the demand is progressively increasing year by year. 

My 2015 Closed with Sad and Happy Ending

Happy New Year 2016...!

Speaking of new year and then the next thing in topic line is resolution. I used to have a lot of resolution, most of them somethings I haven’t done before. In other words, they just like a dream I want to reach. Well, I almost reach 30 so life is no longer an adventure but somethings I should have planned really well, besides my 2015 is closed with sad and happy ending. After I decided to resign from my job in order to do pregnancy program, 3 days before my last day, God decided to give me the best gift ever, I am pregnant for 4 weeks. However, two days after that my husband called that my grandmother passed away. Sad and happy ending at the same time, God knows what a good timing is, with this pregnancy news, at least my parents could deal with my grandmother funeral with a bit hope that next year, they will have a little grandchild they’ve been waiting for all these years.

Anyway, so what’s my resolution/plan for this year? Just like I said, instead of dreaming, I decided to do somethings I always do and add some plans in it.
1.       Reading 100 books
I have read 117 books last year though I was a full time worker, so with my own time to manage right now, reaching this target is not impossible.
2.       Learning English again.
Well, perhaps it is the time for me to use my knowledge I’ve gained during my 6 years in college of learning English. To spend my free time, I think teaching English is not a bad idea either.
3.       Learning Math again.
Some of my friends ask me this question; why math? Well, from what I’ve read, what you’re doing during pregnancy is what will your baby do too inside your belly. It means, if I am accustomed myself with math and then my baby’s brain is also accustomed to it too. Just like if you eat a lot of vegetables during pregnancy, and then when your baby born, their tendency to love vegetables is higher.
4.       Sleep Early.
This is the most important thing off all the resolutions I have. Why? Because I only have less then 8 months to enjoy this luxury because instead of hiring baby sitter, I decided to do all the nursery business myself.

So, those are the plans, what yours?


Resignation: Not a Decadent but an Improvement

You would never know where you will be ended one day or even tomorrow. I used to be a student and then I worked as website content writer slash SEO specialist, currently I’m working as a personal assistant for a plantation company. The unique thing of those career paths of mine, nothing is really related, I mean could you imagine an English Language and Literature student could ended up as a SEO specialist and then dealing with crop and fertilizer application? Well, me as the subject here, never in the million years expected that, but here I am, writing to you in my blog about my remarkable jobs.

However, there is one common thread from those career paths; it is English. Well, as an English Language and Literature student, I was eligible to work as a website content writer and then learned a bit here and there about SEO and as an English Active Speaker, I was also recruited to work in a Sri Lanka Plantation Company, though in the beginning I don’t have any single experience of working in a plantation but with all the hard work and willingness of learning new things, so far I’m fine because as a website content writer, I read, learn and write new things every day, and as a personal assistant, I also read and learn new things every day.

Perhaps some conversations or emails I used to deal with could tell you how different my jobs are from one to another:

This is the email I’ve sent this morning to ICT Team due to some errors found in my JDE:

I used to have access to input PR for code OH, OR and ON for PT BMS - GMO (10401011). However, now I could input PR for code OR only in item Purchase Requisition Processing. While for OH and ON the options are not available.
Besides, I cannot access the waiting approval in item Order Approval for PR with code OR, OH and ON at all.

Do you understand that? Well, it is full of technical term which only ICT Team and JDE user would understand.

Weird conversation about Crop Budget might make your forehead wrinkled.

Finance Guy       : How could you break down the year budget into monthwise?
Me                      : I’m using yearly trend to see the actual production of crop every month in every estate.
Finance Guy       : Well, that’s possible but how about block harvested which is not yet full harvested in a year.
Me                       : That’s could be a problem, perhaps we could take the majority block only. Because I’ve tried to do the next year crop budget by month, instead of by year, but the result is surprisingly too high.
Finance Guy       : Would you please do the month trend first and I’ll see what I can do.
Me                       : Sure…

When I was still in university:

Friend A               : Have you done the report for Western Philosophy class?
Me                         : Still don’t get it how Plato’s cave theory related to The Matrix. I just love watching Neo and Trinity in that movie. I don’t want to know at all about Plato and his cave.
Friend B               : Could you guys stop talking about that philosophy class, it gives me headache. We have important problem here. Book Report class. What’s book we should read this month? I’ve done with all those classic Shakespearean novels. I’m not even a romantic.
Me                         : Haha… how about David Copperfield, you could learn a lot about industry revolution in that novel as well as autobiography of Charles Dickens.
Friend B               : Nah… too depress.
Friend A               : I’ve been reading To Kill A Mockingbird.
Me                         : I love that book. You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes.
Friend B               : The one with slavery history in America?
Friend A               : Yup. But reading history from Scout Finch’s point of view won’t make you fall asleep. Instead, you will enter her little world and enjoy her adventures and as a bonus, learn a lot about the history itself.
Me                         : Just like Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series. He is practically my Greek Mythology teacher. Sometimes, learning history could be fun.
Friend A               : Yeah, as long as you know which book you should read.

Some people once asked me a lot about what SEO or Search Engine Optimization is and how I could make money from Search Engine.

Me                         : I believe you’re using Google as your search engine.
Friend                   : Yup. The only search engine I know.
Me                         : Just imagine you have an online store selling handcraft. You might using social medias to advertise your products, however to look more professional you need a website or a blog. It could improve trust from your customers and at the same time widen your target market.
Friend                   : But the competition will be hard.
Me                         : That’s why you need me as your SEO specialist. I have methods to make your website or blog listed in the top 10 of Google rank.

Well well well, those are all the career paths I have crossed. This December will be my last day to be a personal assistant in this plantation company.

I’ve decided to move on since I have more priorities than before. Since my husband decided to be a teacher in a remote place, instead of becoming a CSR Assistant in the same company where I’m working right now, the ‘us’ time is becoming lesser and lesser. That’s why, resigning from my position right now is the best thing I could do because sometimes life is not only about making money but much more about making more high quality time with the ones you love.

So, what I’m going to do after this? Should I be worry because I will become unemployment again? Surprisingly, I don’t worry about that. Why? Because I always believe, that we were born to do more than just go to work, pay bills and die. Besides, there is always a way when you have a will.


Sophie Kinsella: Finding Audrey - A Story of A Girl in Her Dark Glasses and Her Depressive Episodes

Finding Audrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow... being a parent is not a picnic. It makes me rewinding back my memory, did I that obnoxious when I was a teenager?

Well, I like this book so much. So much educations in one short, fun and hilarious story about Audrey in her dark glasses and her depressive episodes.

One thing to emphasize, bullying is a serious matter. This books makes me realize that there was one time, back in my elementary school, a senior tried to bully me (thought I didn't think that as a bullying activity until recently I read a lot about school bullies), not really serious ( I guess ), she and bunches of her friends were surrounding me and asking some stupid questions that I couldn't answer, and then they were just laughing in my face like their superior and better than me. Well, as an only kid in my family, I was accustomed to just mind my own matter and just sway away matters that I don't really care or like. See, I think it is one of the best thing of being the only kid in a family, I could be very independent, like 'I don't need you, I could do it myself', though it could be really lonely sometimes and trust me, I was a selfish and obnoxious one at that time, which is not good at all. Because of that, I tell you, if somehow you have an idea to only raise one child, please throw away that idea if you can because being an only child is no fun at all. Trust me, I am one, so I know what I'm talking about.

Gosh, I just reveal one of my dark side haha... aside from that, once again school bullying is a very serious subject that each education professional should realize how dangerous it is. The problem is, sometimes people just don't care or, as in Audrey case, consider her as an attention seeker, when the fact is there's a serious damage in Audrey's psychology because of that. People just don't get it sometime, but this book is really helping you understand that in the simplest way you could think of.

Anyway, this book is just one example that reading book about mental health, children education, children psychology and parenting method could be really fun. That's why I love Sophie Kinsella. Good job.

This book is recommended for both parents and their teenagers. Read it together could be really fun, both kids and parents could shout 'See, I told you so!' or 'Gosh, it is so you!'.


I Remember... Do You Remember?

I remember…

There was the time when I was still a geek. Yeah… I still a geek now but less geeky than the last time I remember when I hid behind Lord of the Rings books and learned Legolas’ language, which is super geeky, because what’s the point? It’s not like you could put your ability in speaking fiery language to your CV:

Language capability:
Bahasa  Indonesia                 : Excellent
English                                  : Excellent
Fiery                                      : Excellent

Anyway, speaking of Lord of the Ring, I remember when I was still an English Lat student, I learned about Beowulf. I mean not the Beowulf the movie with Angelina Jolie, the original manuscript of Beowulf, who once upon a time was almost burnt to ashes because it is considered to be misled by church. However, somehow (I forget the complete history since I’m less geeky now) the manuscript found by J.R.R. Tolkien and some inspirations of characters were coming from that manuscript.

Well, enough of history lesson today. I’ve got more actual event to write in my other blog about this smog phenomenon in some countries around Indonesia.

Nb: just found out that word ‘smog’ is actually type of fog which mixed by smoke. Gosh… I love English.


Just Me Being Thankful

It’s weekend and I’ve been reading books like crazy.

Well, one thing I’ve been learning since I was in university and took English Language and Literature as my major is you could learn a lot of things from literature. I remember, when I was in high school, I got a good grade in Japan history exam not because I studied like a nerd but because I love Ruruoni Kenshin so much and it is comic books which happened to be written based on history of Meiji.  And then, I learned better about Industry Revolution from Charles Dickens’ books.  Besides, I don’t do traveling, I love it but I cannot do it, but through books, I could be anywhere I want and learn about a country or a place even better than anyone who has been there. I know it’s kind of sad, but what can I do, you’re living this world once, you have to find a way to make yourself happy and books are not just a good escape for me but source of information where I could learn a lot of things without making myself miserable just because I live in the middle of nowhere.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot about student’s lives out there, especially in America. It is not like me judging or something but I’m just curious. I realize that the current economic situation kinds of messy right now, because I’m working in foreign company so I’ve seen the effect from the front row. However, back to the monetary crisis in 1998, I found how desperate a country like America is when it comes to crisis like this, suicide cases increased significantly at that year but I remembered really well that back home, my parents were just fine at that time. They even bought a new set of chairs for our living room at the very year. Economic crisis is so out of the picture.

When I was working as website content writer, I read a lot of websites which offered student loan. So, in some literatures or novels I’ve been reading recently about American and European students, they’re struggling with their studies but even after graduations they have mountains of student loans to deal with first before they could really live their lives. Well, now I understand why I didn’t see the direct effect of economic crisis around me, until now. It is because, here in Indonesia (well at least in the city where I live), we’re so accustomed to live like ‘what you have is what you get’ and I don’t even have credit card. That’s why, after graduation, there is no student loan to worry about, even my parents don’t have house credit to deal with because they bought the land in cash and built the house bit by bit based on their current financial situation, all paid in advance. Even now, when I already married, the only credit my husband and I have is a small land we bought with a river view but it’s not even reach 30% of our salaries (as suggested by financial planner as maximum credit you could pay per month), and it’s only for two years, not like mostly properties which reach 30 years to be paid off.

Yeah, I know, this topic is kind of heavy for a weekend post in my personal blog but I like sharing my thought and sometimes it is not that simple but why you should choose the harder way if you have a simple way. Though perhaps, the harder way will give you all the happiness you want, like with all of the credits you have, you will have more money you could do anything with but don’t you ever think to find happiness in the simplicity and just simply being thankful about that? Because it is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.

I’m just saying ^^

Happy Weekend everyone…



Classic to be Read: To Kill A Mockingbird Sequel - Go Set A Watchman

You know what, I really don’t care when the last time I wrote in this blog but right now I just feel like writing because I got big news today. Have you ever imagined there is going to be a sequel for To Kill a Mockingbird? Well, I would never have that kind of thought, it’s like Harry Potter has book 8; you should know what I mean.

However, nothing impossible in this world because once again we found a miracle in the form of To Kill A Mockingbird sequel entitled Go Set A Watchman. I know, sometimes I could be so exaggerate but whoever has read To Kill A Mockingbird would like the book. I used to read classic because I had to (since I was an English Literature student and everything) but even years after that, I really enjoy reading To Kill A Mockingbird, not because I had to read it but just simply because the book is amazing.

Well, as a sequel you will find some characters from To Kill A Mockingbird. Yay, once again we will step into Scout’s shoes but the setting would be on some twenty years later. Just a fascinating thought to know the grown up Scout because even as a kid she’s already lovable and smart, just imagine when she became a grown up woman. Gosh, just can’t wait to meet Scout’s return to home in Maycomb, Alabama to visit her father and share her story.

Interesting trivia of the manuscript of Go Set A Watchman is the manuscript was assumed to have been lost but then it was discovered in the late 2014. Thanks God for whoever that has found the manuscript because it would make this world a little better. Besides, not every day classic story written in mid of 1950s and will be published in modern time. Imagine, it is your mother’s favorite book when she was little and then right now you could read the sequel together with her without her bragging that she has read the book before you. I’m just saying.

Ah, but we should wait until July 14th, 2015 to read the book. So, don’t forget to place your pre-order in your favorite bookstore people! Yay.