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Giving gifts is both satisfying and tricky. Satisfying when the recipient likes what we give and tricky when the recipient cringes and smiles politely when opening it. I consider myself a great gift-er (yes, I made that word up) yet I continuously get lousy gifts. It's not that I'm complaining, but no one really succeeded on giving me something that are all sentimental, useful and considerably me. As you all know, Valentine's Day is near and I'm here to give you the ultimate guide on gift-ing!

First, I wanna talk about the most frequent gifts people often give. No matter the occasions, either birthday, anniversary even wedding, these gifts never fail to show up. Here they are :



1. Flower Bouquet. This type of gifts are everywhere during anniversaries, mother's day, valentine's day and graduation day. This is the type of gifts that rarely fail, because it is beautiful no matter what, people know that it is not cheap and although lacking of usefulness, drying them out is considerably timeless. First thing to point out is always do your best to give fresh flowers. Artificial is good in terms of durability, but it is lacking on sentimentality. The latest trend of paper flowers is also cute, but come on ... why on earth would you give origami-like flowers to people. Another thing to point out is that you can never go wrong with roses, as only very few people dislike it. Of course there are people with flower preferences, like tulips, carnations even lilies. Asking someone what is his/her favorite flowers is easy. You can just ask blatantly out of nowhere, trust me. It is like asking what their favorite color is. Another thing to add is style preferences. There are many styles nowadays, from elegant to rustic. It is your job to find out what style belongs to the person you're giving flowers to. It is super easy! If they are glamorous, red roses with gold/black wrapper and a little pearls here and there never fails. If they are outgoing, sunflowers with brown paper wrapping is a go to. If they are simple, down-to-earth, rustic style arrangement might just be the answer. Furthermore, always mind the wrapper and the embellishment like ribbon, additional flowers like baby's breath or leaves. You can always leave it to the florist to arrange it for you, but a little sentimentality like yellow ribbon to symbolize friendship is very thoughtful. Last but not least, the color. It is very important to know what color to choose for the flowers. It can be based on the meaning (like red rose means love and desire, etc) or it can be based on that person's preferences. Again, do your best to find out what color they like.


2. Chocolate. This type of gifts may not be given just as it is, except on Valentine's Day. Giving chocolate is easy. You only need to differentiate the flavors. For instance, if someone dislikes sweets and you always see them order iced coffee, dark chocolate is your answer. For the brand, you can always choose the popular ones, like Lindt's or Godiva. The embellishment is also very easy, just wrap it with ribbon and you are good to go. However, always keep in mind if the recipient has diabetes or dislikes sweets in general. 


3. Cake. This type of gifts is usually accompanied with other gifts, especially on birthdays. Cake may come in lots of variety but you can never go wrong with it. Chocolate cake, opera cake and strawberry shortcake are your safest option, although you can always go for others. If you want to be more thoughtful, you can find out the specific flavors your recipient likes, for instance carrot cake, cheese cake, etc. The sweetness and nutritions contained in the cake can also be customized, depending on how your recipient likes it, especially when your recipient has allergies or special needs. 6 inches whole cake is preferable, but you can always go big or go less, depending on the occasion. Lastly, be thoughtful with the garnish and/ fondant. For instance, you can order a custom car-like cake if the recipient likes car or bag-like cake if the recipient likes bag. Cupcakes and macarons are your other options, but you can never go wrong with a cake.


4. Jewelry. This type of gifts is both easy and tricky. Easy when you simply buy a type of jewelries that looks beautiful and give it to someone. If they don't like it, they can always sell it or custom it. Tricky when you want it to be sentimental and meaningful, like for anniversaries. How thoughtful? Well, you have to mind if the recipient prefers silver gold, gold or rose gold. Do they prefer diamonds or stones or nothing at all? You also have to think about the cut (for diamond), the style (also for diamond) and the consistency. You then have to weight the value and the types : does the recipient prefer ring or necklace or earrings? Does the recipient prefer specific brands like Cartier or Tiffany? Lastly, the size. It is mostly applicable for ring, although bracelets might have sizes too. Finding out ring size is hard. You can not just measure their finger or borrow their ring for sizing. Well, I can't give you tips on how to get a ring size of your significant other. You have to find that out by yourself. Hahaha.


5. Watch. This type of gift is very easy but expensive. They differ only in straps, mechanics, styles and brands. I am sure your recipient has a watch. My tip is to buy something similar like what they own. For instance, if he likes an automatic chrono with black leather straps, you can always buy an automatic chromo with dark brown leather straps. For the brand, try to go with another brand which lies on the same price range. Last but not least, you can always engrave a message or initials on the back of the watch.


6. Tech. This type of gift is the easiest of bunch but really expensive. You can always give the latest iPhone and your recipient will cheer for it. Always keep in mind about their need; if your recipient needs a camera, buy a camera. Needs a laptop? Buy a laptop. The personalization is the lowest in here, only colors. Fortunately, you can never go wrong with black and silver. 


7. Shoes. This type of gift is tricky, especially for guys. You will have to find out the size, the preferred brand (this is important, because some feet are comfortable in certain brands), the style and the level of comfort it offers. Finding out the size is easy, you can always jokingly say about how big or small his/her feet are or take a peek under their shoes. You can always buy the same style of shoes with different colors or materials, or if you are very thoughtful or happen to know what shoes he/she wants or does not have, you can always buy them. Last but not least, the brand. It is easy to find out the brand, just ask where they usually shop for shoes.


8. Books. This type of gift can be very thoughtful if executed well. There are a lot of aspects you need to keep in mind, from what genre is preferred to which edition. Buying a first edition of someone's favorite book is the ultimate gift, but it can be really expensive for some. The trick is to find out what kind of books he/she usually reads, then browse Goodreads/Barnes&Noble/Amazon for the best-selling ones in the genre, but you have to make sure he/she does not already own it.


9. Toys. This type of gift is easy, because a lot of people tend to tell about what toys they are eyeing on or based on what characters are their most-wanted toys. If all else fails, you can always shop for the best-selling ones. 


10. Bag & Wallet. This type of gift is tricky. First, you have to know the style and color the recipient prefers. Eventhough you can find out by looking at the bag/wallet he/she usually wears, you have to know the size. The difficulty in size lies on whether particular size is needed in their collection and fits for their usual use. Next, you have to mind the durability, especially when it is not a high quality fabric/leather and is not hand-stitched. Lastly, some people prefer certain brands and if you don't have a budget, it will be nice to give them their favorite brand.


11. Clothes. This is the trickiest gift of all, because fashion is always evolving and not all style looks good on everyone. First, you will need to know their style and favorite colors. You can easily judge by their everyday clothing, but with dresses and suits, there are lesser clues. Then you will have to find out their size and fit, and it is extremely tricky, considering every brands do not follow the same size. The easiest for women will be tops, especially the less fitted ones. For men, shirt is your go to, as most men shirts carry the same sizes and fits in every brands. My tip is to buy their usual brands because the size will be the same, buy the most basic colors like black and white and always keep the tag on, in case they need to return it. My advice for you is not to buy clothes unless you are the bestfriend or the significant other and know where they usually shop and what size and style they usually pick in that very store.


12. Gift card. This type of gift is considered a life saver, especially for the clueless. Your friend is a frequent shopper at Sephora? Buy a Sephora gift card! It is versatile, as they can shop what they want, what suits them and what they need. However, you have to really consider the appropriate value you are giving in that very gift card so that it will not offend the recipient. 

After we've been through those twelve above, let's get to the list of gifts that I find .... inconsiderate and lazy. Here they are :

1. Doll. Unless the recipient is under 12 years old, do not wrap a fucking teddy bear. A special character doll, like Monster Inc.'s Sully might be thoughtful if the recipient likes Sully, but ... it is just useless. Unless they specifically ask for it, do not buy dolls for heaven's sake.

2. Hampers. It may look expensive, but not everything in that hamper is usable or needed. For instance, you buy a baby hamper for a baby shower, with towels and stuffs that the recipient already owns. USELESS. 

3. Ballpoint. I might be bias here, because some people may appreciate a Mont Blanc with their name engraved on it .. but come on.


Although the most important part on giving gifts is the intention, it would not hurt to supply the occasion and the interest of the recipient. For example, if the recipient is a chef, a set of expensive knives will be thoughtful, elegant and useful. If you are giving a wedding gifts, always ALWAYS stick to the register. Another thing to add, always pay attention to the wrapping, embellishment and notes, because that's where you can get personal. Happy gifting!

_________________________________________________________________________________

(this part is strictly requested by a dear friend of mine only for fun)

MY ULTIMATE GIFT LIST :

Flower
   - 13 sunflowers with little leaves, brown wrapping paper, brown string
   - white peonies with little leaves, brown wrapping rustic cloth, brown string
   - white tulips with little leaves, brown wrapping paper, brown string
   - white carnation with little leaves, brown wrapping paper, brown string

Chocolate
Lindt's swiss thin extra dark chocolate

Cake
a classic 6 inches round coffee cake with dark chocolate fondant and filling, less sugar,
     non fat milk

Jewelry
nah

Watch
 You want to buy me IWC? Of course not.

Tech
nah

Shoes
   -US Size 11, preferably velvet, black, strappy heels/strappy gladiators/pumps/flats

Books
   -fiction-dystopian/romance, US edition, preferably Hachette, Bloomsburry, HarperCollins,
     Scholastic and of course Penguin

Toys
nah

Bag & Wallet
nah

Clothes
nah

Gift Card
Amazon, JUST AMAZON

YOUR ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE

January 15, 2017


- WARNING! This is a sensitive content. Any materials used and written in this article is without the intention of hurting and/ offending any beliefs, religions or any principles. -

Conscience is an acting guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior whereas faith is an embodiment and a doctrine for that. Our chosen religion acts as a developer of our conscience, but what happens when religion crosses our own conscience? Do we choose something that we are told to believe over something that is already within us?

I happened to stumble upon a youtube video of a 911 dispatch call coming from inside the twin tower when 9/11 occurred. I was only 6 when the tragedy striked and knew nothing about it at that time. This video of Kevin Cosgrove calling from the 105th floor of the South Tower shook me beyond belief. The recording of Cosgrove's 911 call was disturbing, especially at the end, when his shouting cry "Oh God! Oh!" accompanied the downfall of the tower. The silence after was unbearable. It got me into thinking; if conscience were to present, this tragedy would not even occurred in the first place. 

Scientists believe that a baby is born with a conscience and sets of moral values, which then to be developed by the surrounding people, customs and eventually religion. Faith, in this matter, teaches us how to operate better with our conscience. The purpose of religion stands on how the calling and the movement in our heart is to be steered and sharpen with the knowledge and faith over the religion's embodiment. It is critical that every individual's interpretation of what is good and what is wrong is guided by the teaching and a subject that knows better. 

Every religions teach their followers good. Every faith leads us to better understanding to what is right and what is not. However, there come times when faith-conscience wins over the self-conscience. It is when one's nature and one's behavior are guided solely on what they believe and whatever good and bad that comes with it. They forgot what they are born with. It is fortunate if those faith are well-interpreted, but what happen when it isn't? It is when killing, terror and anarchy are justified. It is when the line of compassion, empathy and basic understanding is blurred and will eventually dissolve. It is when people justify their wrongness in the name of faith. It is when their self-conscience no longer works. It is when they finally lose their humanity.

Faith, religion and conscience work side by side. They support and lift each other. Even when one portion of them fails, there must always be the self-conscience left, the very thing that makes us HUMAN. Thus saying, a good faith should improve one's conscience, not destroy it.

CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND CONSCIENCE

January 4, 2017


The cycle of studying begins when a baby learns to blink to when a student receives his degree. A baby may just receive a scribble of milestones in his mother's notebook but when a student graduates, there is only one indicator left to prove his worth : his academic scores, or GPA as people mostly call it. The journey of getting the word "Cum Laude" plastered on that degree is no joke at all. Tears and 4-hours of sleep are every students' daily consumptions. After all, this very GPA is the result of their years of efforts and the one determination of what their future might be. Or is it?

It is absolutely true that scores are the fairest measure to value one's work. However, are scores the fairest measure to value one's capabilities? Some will say that throughout the course of one's academic years, scores are proven result of the use of his intelligence. Another will say that there are contributing factors that might divert scores' objectivity, such as motivation and time. While scores are inevitably factual and measurable, a lot of contributing factors like mentioned before hold much bigger portion than what is actually done and achieved. The sense of objectivity in these scores is becoming less and less factual but more and more judgemental. It is no longer about the Straight A's students being placed in the most prestigious and highest paying jobs but more to those students whose capabilities are beyond measurement, whose capabilities are out of the textbook and whose capabilities are beyond whatever it is the school are testing them with.

I have gone throughout fifteen years of studying to be well aware of how academic scores are wrongly deceitful and are a big misunderstanding. No offense, but I have encountered countless of students whose scores are sky high yet have the faintest idea of the basic knowledge. I have also encountered many students who are bad on paper but are some of the brightest people I have ever known. The rarest comes from those who are both good on paper and paradigm, and as the word represents, they are rare.

In conclusion, scores often do no represent someone's capabilities or the ideas that make them worthy. It is the way they absorb, process and deliver their thoughts and opinions that makes them worth beyond their academic scores, and that's what counts.

THE FALSE REPRESENTATION OF ACADEMIC SCORES

December 3, 2016


I have been driving for almost 2 years now, a newbie. I was taught by my father whom I considered to be a very polite driver (not a single scratch on his 5-year-old car!). I have experienced quite a few episodes on road as well as plenty of road rages and cursing, mainly because of the staggering amount of rude and inconsiderate drivers, either of cars and/ motorcycles. Based on those very 'observations', I've concluded plenty of driving etiquette all people with common sense and common courtesy should understand then implement in real life. Here we go.

1. Always, ALWAYS use the turn signal. You want to change lane? Use the turn signal. You want to turn? Use the turn signal, hence the name. You see something blocking your way ahead and you want to avoid it? Use the turn signal, mainly to notify the cars behind. You want to overtake the car(s) in front of you by swerving to the side/opposite lane? Use the turn signal to notify the cars ahead and the cars behind. DO NOT turn your signal on AFTER you had successfully changed lane/turned to your chosen direction; you are stupid if you do that.

2. Do no tailgate. It is rude and it is dangerous, especially when you can't maintain your pace. You are also exposed to a higher risk if the car in front of you suddenly brake.

3. You're in the fast lane? Go fast.

4. ALWAYS use your rearview mirror before you make any decision, either turning, stopping, changing lane, ANY DECISION.

5. If you are turning, make it as narrow as possible; do not take up too much lane, especially the lane that is not yours.

6. Do not slam on your brake. If you are going to stop unexpectedly, always make time to turn the hazard light on.

7. In 4-way intersections, if you are going straight, use your hazard light and always stop on the middle, not left nor right. Do not block the intersections.

8. If someone honks/flashes his/her headlights, it means s/he is ASKING for a way, not GIVING you a way. 

9. Do not overtake at the junction. Do not overtake then slow down. If you want to overtake, go fast, do not drive at the same pace as the car you are taking over. When a car wants to overtake you and you are on their way, move to the side a little. Do not speed up when you are being passed.

10. Do not text and drive slow. You are blocking everyone's way.

11. Do not drive so close to the car on the lane besides you. You don't know whether or not they are good at controlling their wheels.

12. Do not daydream when the light has already turned green.

13. Do not do this : on an intersection, the car ahead of you is still quite far away yet you don't go in, but when the car is closing in, you go in. Fck you.

14. Give way. The car on the opposite lane is asking for a way to turn and cars are already forming a queue behind it? Give way. The car ahead of you got stuck or took a wrong lane and is forcing to get in your lane? Give way.

15. Do not cut right in front of the car closing in behind you; they may not be able to brake on time if anything happens. Always close in to the car ahead, so if anything fails, you are in control of your own vehicle, not others. 

16. If you are searching for some places and is forced to go slow, use turn signal/hazard light. Do not slow down abruptly. 

17. There is a red light ahead. Do not brake too quickly, otherwise you are forced to brake simultaneously, therefore making it hard for the cars behind you on deciding whether or not you are actually braking. Do not cut the queue up front; it's fucking dangerous and you are also blocking the way. 

18. You want to make a turn and the intersection is still far ahead and you need to change lane? There's still plenty of time to do that! Cut your way in slowly, not abruptly. Do not cut 3 lines in a swift.

19. You want to make a turn and there are cars driving in line. The best way to cut in is to wait until the line is diminished. Don't be ridiculous by cutting the last car when you know there won't be any car following it. 

20. Do not make left turn from the right lane and vice versa. Choose your lane wisely. If you can't make it, you can always use the u-turn.

21. Do not make a complete stop before making a turn when there is plenty of space ahead. 

22. You can't see a thing beyond? Honk.

23. Do not change lane in slow moving traffic. If a car wants to cut in in slow moving traffic, give way. Don't be an idiot.

24. Do not stop at the end of the ramp/cramping the red light. Merge with the flow. There will always be plenty of lane left ahead for you to cut in/merge in.

25. If you want to cut in, wait until the traffic is moving then slowly go in. Do not stop and block cars from your original lane.

26. Cars stay on the lanes reserved for cars. So do motorcycles. So do bicycles.

27. Be wise on honking and flashing your headlights.

28. When parking, do not take more than one space. Park straight. Do not park so close to the car beside you when there's plenty of space left on your side. Stay on the reserved parking line. 

So there you go. Please, any of you, under any circumstances, do not do any of those following. Be smart, be thoughtful, be safe, have manner, respect others.

DRIVING ETIQUETTE : HOW NOT TO BE AN A-HOLES BEHIND THE WHEEL

October 21, 2016


Two thousand and sixteenth's working class is currently dominated by Generation Y and soon enough will be taken over by the more-advanced and tech-savvy Generation Z. Most of the Generation X has condemned the Generation Y to be one of the most regrettable recruitees, judged solely by the generation they grew up in. The very same thing also felt by the early-born of Generation Y, whose opinions are now unison; 90s kids are the worst. This whole post is dedicated to answer the "Why?" you are currently placing at the tip of your tongue.

I am one of the late-born Generation Y, born in 1995, so close to the Generation Z that I could be as tech-savvy as they are but too far from the early-born Generation Y to understand their concern. Unfortunately, I do understand. Some of my friends told me that I look 21 but I sound 31, thus resulting in me having a lot of early-born Generation Y friends. I have had few talks with them, most of them are already settled in their chosen careers, and suprsingly enough, they agreed on one simple problem : people at my age are a pain in the ass. Why, you must ask. I've summarised enough for those at my age to learn and those early-born Generation Y employers to nod in agreement.

The key problems to be discussed here are that (some) 90s generation kids are lacking in manner, integrity and common sense. Note when I said that only SOME of these 90s generations kids are just that. From what I have gathered, here are 10 key points that need to be disclosed even further :

1. 90s kids act like they are the boss. Even act beyond their own boss. My friend, an entrepreneur herself, told me that one of her subs, born in the year 1993, gave her a year-worth timetable with proposed dates as to mark her future leave of absence. The days off, which under the company regulation are supposed to worth 14 working days, are exceeded by 10 days. How bold!

2. Their boss is a joke for them. Especially if their boss is tech-blind. Once again, lack of common sense over the fact that their boss did not born in the age of technology or at least when the technology was still at its early stage. 

3. For those bosses out there, do no try to befriend your subs, especially these 90s generation subs. Their respect is only derived from when you are acting authoritative. They are no longer able to differentiate between fear or respect in their mind, thus having them as your friends will only lower your position in the organisational structure, especially when you are still young yourself.

4. Their personal matter, judgement and decision are far more important than their bosses'. Thus, the saying that "Treat your boss as your king," is no longer applicable for this decaying generation.

5. They often neglect the simplest manners there are, such as coming in before the boss do, the etiquette of emailing to their boss, etc.

6. They are very persistent that their social life and social acknowledgement are above everything. This, of course, affects their commitment to their jobs, even worse if they are representing their company's image. They would not even think to put a hold on their social life, but they would go unnoticed if they are needed at work. 

7. The common understanding of more technicality and more difficulty equal better salary is drifting in their mind, until it becomes more work equals more salary, thus being a staff should get paid more than the boss. How incredibly funny.

8. Sweet-talk are no longer from the subs to their bosses, but the contrary. One of my friends even said, "It's like comforting a kid." How ironic.

9. They often can not work under pressure and with difficult people, thus resulting in higher rate on employee turnover. And the scrambled resume of one's own. 

10. They treat their company like it is their house. Not home. House. A house where they could come and go as they please, dress the way the want to dress, think that everyone ought to understand them. 

Last but not least, I am not saying that all of 90s kids are just that. Some are actually pretty capable of what they are doing and are fantastic in their jobs. Some may not actually realise that they do some of the things mentioned above. Here is a reminder : your boss, I don't care if s/he is dumber than you are or even annoying as hell, just do what you are told to do, as long as it fits your job description, fits your capabilities and fits you sanity. Salary may follow afterwards.

Cheers from the old soul!

HOW (SOME) 90S KIDS ARE A-HOLES IN THE OFFICE

October 13, 2016


This is not a rhetorical question, but how does one expresses their interest without any given sentences to explain it, even just the simplest caption to garnish the entire thing? Words are considered to be the best option to express your feelings. The simplest "I love you" could sum up your entire feelings towards someone. The simplest "Good bye" could shatter even the fondest memories resided in someone's mind. Words are a power held by every one of us. Words could fail you, but words could also make you live. 

Words are one thing, but writing is the entire thing. I always admire those who have the ability to write. I've been writing on this platform for about 7 years now and I can tell you that it is not an easy thing to do. Writers don't just throw words that may tangle from one to another; they compile what I would like to call a coherent beauty. It is not as simple as making an introduction-body-conclusion, it is not also about making it work and it is certainly not as simple as throwing ideas so people could understand. Writing is a compassion held within sentences, an expression of mind formed in paragraphs. A good writer must deliver the intended information, but his/her writings need to make people 'tick'. The beauty of writing relies not only in its structured grammar but also in the crispness of its style.

Writing takes quite amount of effort and headache, thousands of fluttery feelings and one gigantic satisfaction. Writers usually go through different phases, most likely to begin with one particular idea that surfaced, lead to an emotion and knowledge built up, then came the pause, all to be finished in one celebrated period. It could take hours, days, event months to compile one good writing. The beauty of writing came simply from how a writer expresses his/her style of writing, either for its structure, its choice of vocabulary, or even its approach. Every writers are different and that's what makes each and every one of them interesting.

Little that everyone knows, writing could also help you expressing your interest(s). Through writing, you get to deliver much broader scope of your interest, inviting those to stand in your shoes, see what you see and feel what you feel. It's not as simple as telling everyone you like sport, but more to why and how you like it. Think of it as explaining a thing to a 5-year-old, with much complex sentences and deliberated words. 

I considered myself to be one of those non-specific writer/blogger. I write pretty much about anything that goes in my mind. So to take you on further to what I just elaborated to you, I brought to you much anticipated contributors with vast amount of experience on writing for one particular interest and I am gonna give you my opinion on what makes their writing 'tick'.

-- I am not gonna give you their backgrounds nor achievements, you are gonna have to head to their sites to find out --


"I write about food the way I do now because I want to pull the audience to the frontier of food appreciation. That there's more to it than delicious. That there's more to it than calories. To make that happen, I experimented with tons of approach. One of my favorite ways is to actually not write about the food. One of my article titled "Sarugaku Coffee Daikanyama : Tokyo's Best Kept Secret" begins with a quote from John Mayer. What does it have to do with a cup of coffee? As it turns out, a lot. Because if a cup of caffeine can take me to a particular segment in my memories about a song, then it can take you too to places you've been or you've never been. Food has that power. It is the single entity (other than sex) that can get into your body voluntarily.  So, when you're eating, you're choosing to take yourself on an orgasmic level or not. I want people to realize that through the writing."

I've known Ruby for few years now. I discovered him through his blog, a damn good food blog. I am not gonna talk about his extraordinary skill on food photography, but I am gonna talk about how his writing makes your mind wander and how every sentences he built will rattle your hunger

1. He usually includes a follow-up to his post title, to hook people up. For example, one of his post  is titled "Kashiwa Little Tokyo : Trip Down Memory Lane"; it begs us for questions like what does this particular restaurant remind him of? What kind of memory he had in his mind while dining there? Sure you can find the answer by reading the article.

2. He uses references, either a famous saying, a song, any stuffs like that. It not only takes you on to a different level, but also give a relation to what's food gotta do with every other aspects in life. It makes you think far beyond what foods represent, not only as a fulfilment for your hunger, but for your hungry mind as well.

3. He puts you behind his lenses and take you down on a trip in his shoes. He gives you detailed view of the restaurant's ambience and some of his opinion about it.

4. He often relates his writing to what we usually call an 'event amplification'. For example, he wrote "We took turns trying the granola bowl; and while the presentation was delightful, we came to an agreement that it was supposed to be chewier and less runny. Nonetheless, a granola bowl is supposed to be refreshing, and it did exactly just that for me," on one of his post. He gave us a minor hint on what he were doing there and related it to his dish, in such manner that it is not much of an annoyance.

5. A killer introduction and a strong conclusion. Always, always mind this one.

6. He sometimes throws a knowledge or two about the topic. He wrote "On top of that, Rubiaceae is the name of the familia of flowering plants that include coffee. Flowers are delicate and feminine, two traits that traditionally define women. So, all-female crews and flowers. Plus their coffee cup has cute red-stripes on it. Is Rubiaceae all about traditional femininity?" He entitled to his opinion, but he twisted it in such way to make us think, to make us believe, even just to say, "I think so too." This, my dear reader, is how you influence people through your writing.

7. He would not only comment on the food, but he will also give you a minor hint and warning, to approach his reader better. This is very important, because readers are also entitled to their own perspectives, so it is up to you to make them see yours.

There are a lot of food bloggers wannabe out there with enough materials and platform to become an acclaimed one, but they failed on delivering the beauty of the foods itself. I've read some of them and I just went meh. To be honest, I only visit few of them to know where some restaurants are located and their price point. I simply don't trust their opinion because -no offense- any people could write such thing.


"Filmmaking begins with words and sentences. A humble screenplay could breed a life-changing masterpiece. A scrap of ideas could be the beginning of a grand adventure, full of incredible visuals and performances. My criticism journal also starts with words and sentences. I could perfectly put all my emotions and thoughts about movies I've watched in its simplest form, waiting to be unpacked and felt by the mind of my readers."

No one speaks of movie like this man does. I personally know his incomparable love towards movie and filmmaking, but you too can feel his passion through his writing. It's insane.

1. His writing is very well structured, easy to digest, with choices of vocabulary that won't confuse you yet still build the crispness I talked about earlier. He usually begins his review with a synopsis, then the background like the movie's prequel, or the infamous work the director directed in the past, stuffs like that. Then he would comment on the movie, from its plot, its characters, its world building, its script, etc. He would tell what's good and what's not, then end it with a strong yet brief conclusion.

2. His style of writing is very journalistic like. What's this 'journalistic-like' style of writing? It's when you could fit as many information as possible in a paragraph without making it sounding too crowded. In short, brief yet informative. 

3. He uses proper Bahasa Indonesia without losing the fun part. It is a very hard thing to do, because in Bahasa Indonesia, there is a tendency to appear stiff and uncoordinated, not like English. Fortunately, he manages to prove it wrong.

4. He is a movie genius but he doesn't appear cocky in his writing. I am pretty sure you have read plenty of movie reviews with tons of information that you can't even digest because you are a 'commoner'. His writing doesn't show any of that. He does throw some tidbits, but only the necessary ones.

5. Movie review is usually a long article, but he manages to capture all the points in enough amount of paragraphs. This is important because in reading a movie review, people would normally scroll to the end to see only the verdict and rate, but seeing his brief explanation, it'll approach his reader to even bother to read.

I did a couple of movie review myself, but I can't write like he does. Those 4 aspects (eliminate the point number 3) he possesses are far beyond my ability. It is hard to write a movie review, because you are not just presenting your opinion on the movie, but you will have to present significant amount of information that will back your opinion up, otherwise yours will just be a stupid comment away.

In conclusion, you are not only have to excell on your writing, but you also have to express your personality through it. People will appreciate a good writing and a good amount of information, but they will make themselves a regular reader if they find your writing, not only interesting, but also alive. 

I actually approached more contributors, but these two definitely striked on their writing. I promise to give you another contributors to give an appreciation to, on the next post. So you definitely need to stay tuned for that.

(FEATURED POST) HOW WRITING EXPRESSES MY INTEREST

August 31, 2016

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