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Alun-alun diambil dari istilah Jawa yang artinya lapangan luas tempat masyarakat berkumpul. Siapa sangka kalau jaman sekarang alun-alun itu tak lagi harus berada di lapangan luas, seperti alun-alun Yogyakarta. Sekarang alun-alun adanya di gedung bertingkat and ber-AC. Kita tidak perlu lagi kipas-kipas, ngelap keringat atau mengusir lalat yang berusaha hinggap di jajanan yang sedang kita makan.

Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, sebuah mall yang terletak di Jl. MH. Thamrin, punya alun-alun sendiri. Terletak di lantai 3 bagian West Mall, Alun Alun Indonesia mewarnai Grand Indonesia dengan sentuhan budaya Indonesia. Toko-tokonya menjual batik dengan berbagai macam gaya busana dan banyak juga dijual buah tangan tradisional  Indonesia. Tak hanya itu, makanan yang dijual pun makanan khas Indonesia.

Warung Kopi contohnya, menjual makanan khas Indonesia yang bukan hanya Indonesia banget tetapi juga enak, walaupun memang harganya bukan untuk semua orang.

Sabtu lalu, 7 Agustus 2010, saya sekeluarga pergi makan di Warung Kopi. Makanan yang kita pesan lumayan banyak, diantaranya, otak-otak, gerontol jagung, kue rangi, tahu guling, nasi uduk komplit, tauge goreng, dan nasi bebek goreng kering.

Pesanan saya pada waktu itu nasi uduk komplit. Nasi uduknya gurih yang dilengkapi dengan ayam goreng, tahu dan tempe goreng, dan telur dadar. Anda bisa memilih bagian ayam mana yang ingin dihidangkan. Kalau saya lebih suka paha dibandingkan dada. Tetapi dari semua lauk-pauk di atas, favorit saya justru tempe gorengnya. Tidak seperti tempe goreng yang biasa saya makan di tempat lain, tempe goreng di Warung Kopi dipotong agak tebal dan dalamnya tidak terlalu kering walaupun luarnya benar-benar kering dan gurih.

Di luar nasi uduk , saya juga sangat menikmati otak-otaknya. Walaupun rasanya tidak nomor satu, tetapi saya sangat suka dengan ukurannya yang kecil dan penampilan yang cantik. Jumlah otak-otak yang dihidangkan pun cukup “manusiawi” sehingga saya bisa menikmati hidangan ini sebagai appetizer.

Untuk minumnya, seperti biasa saya pesan es teh manis. Tetapi kali ini es teh manisnya spesial karena Warung Kopi menggunakan Teh Prendjak. Teh ini enak sekali dengan aroma campuran mawar dan pandan. Aromanya membuat tubuh menjadi relax dan yang pasti rasanya suegerrr.

Kesimpulannya Warung Kopi adalah tempat yang tepat untuk menikmati makanan khas Indonesia. Walaupun Warung Kopi bukan yang pertama dan yang pasti bukan “rajanya” masakan khas Indonesia, tetapi tempat ini patut dikunjungi. Silahkan dicoba nasi uduk komplit, otak-otak, dan es teh manisnya.

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I can’t believe I’m leaving the country in less than a week. It is scary. I won’t say that I am Americanize and all that-I don’t even like bread, if you know what I mean-but going back home after four years living in the United States is overwhelming.

I did some packing this afternoon and I have to be honest that I was a little sad to leave. As much as I miss Indonesia, I like United States too. It is the place where I met lots and lots of interesting people. It is also the place where I could watch lots and lots of AWESOME TV series. Plus, it is where I realize geeky and nerdy boys are so much cuter than macho men. Love, love, love, Matthew Gray Gubler, Michael Cera, Paul Iacono, Jesse Eisenberg and Zachary Levi, just saying.

I just felt like I’m not ready to go home yet. I haven’t been to some cool parts of United States. I mean, how many streets in New York City that I haven’t been to? How many Broadway shows that I haven’t seen? How many landmarks that I haven’t taken pictures of? And of course, how many interesting and unique people I haven’t met and known?

Those things make me want to just cancel the flight…but, I want to go home too. Aaaarrrrgghhh! This feeling sucks!

What would I do without the Criminal Minds, the Hard Times of RJ Berger, etc. Well, I probably can watch them on cable. But still…it sucks to leave this place.

I guess I’m gonna miss this country so bad that I’ll save up some money to come back next year or something.

taken from 27.media.tumblr.com

Have you ever had a passion for something but you do not always have the chance or ability to fulfill that passion? Well, I have. I have a huge passion for seeing and learning more about Broadway musicals. I do not want to be an actress because I’m completely aware I do not have the talent, but seeing Broadway musicals has always been one of my loves. Unfortunately, I do not have the financial ability and the time to see as many shows as I wanted.

Finally, after a really long time, on a Friday night, I went to see Green Day’s American Idiot the musical at St. James Theatre.

The music for the play was by Green Day and the book was written by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer. This Hair-meets-2010 play revolved around different paths taken by three best friends and how they dealt with their new lives. With less marijuana and more heroin involved in the play, the lost-for-direction theme seemed typical, but the energy was definitely not typical. This play was all about head banging from the start until the end.

Corresponding to its title, the play started of with “American Idiot” to set the mood. Seeing the casts ran from one corner to another, jumped from one property to another (from a couch to a bed), hung on a chain more than 20 feet above the ground, surely set the guests’ mood on fire. There was not much conversation but people got it. It was not much of a story either, but people kept their focus on the stage and they gave lots and lots of applause between songs.

Among unplanned pregnancy, drug addiction, inter-racial relationships and all other f-ed up stuff, my favorite was the story about a guy named Tunny (Stark Sands). All parts of the show about him were exceptionally energetic.  Played as a lieutenant in Generation Kill and as a Marine in Flags of Our Fathers, Sands played one hell of a naive army in American Idiot.

Ended the play with “Whatsername,” all the casts sang the song each one with a guitar.

Lovely.

For full cast visit St. James Theatre’s web site.

Yesterday was my last day of internship at AARP The Magazine (Yes, I finally wrote that forbidden word and before I publish this post, I’m going to put AARP as one of the tag).

Owh, most of you probably do not know why AARP is such a forbidden word on my blog. The reason is because I used to be one of their interns and we, and when I say we that means all employees, contractors, etc., are not supposed to mention (almost) anything about the company on our personal blog. They have this alert that will tell them everything that says AARP. It’s not something uncommon in a big company like AARP. So, I should I understand that. But, because I’m so out of there right now, I can say whatever I want. And I guarantee you, I’ll be honest here. Ready??

***

I LOVE my internship.There is nothing not to love about being an intern at AARP The Magazine. I know, you probably think, “So, you like working with old people?” or “Do you write about your grandma and grandpa?” Well, it’s not that bad to research on topics that appeal to that age group. I wouldn’t know that you could actually improve you eyesight just by believing that you could see better, if I didn’t research on deteriorating vision .

But, what I like most about this internship are the staff. Especially, my supervisor. I know most of you are familiar with one of those supervisors who thinks that you are JUST an intern. But not my supervisor. He is the sweetest supervisor EVER. He doesn’t talk down to me, he said thank you all the time, and of course, he always said please when he asked me a favor.

I kind of have different expectations when I entered The Magazine, but I can’t always get what I want right? I mean, how could I expect five bylines if I can’t even think of the word “minutiae” instantly and always use the word “detail” instead.

Anyways, I met the nicest people during my internship. The editors always have their door opened for questions and ideas. They also treated me like I’m smarter than I actually am. They talked to me like I was born American. They really did treat me nicely and never looked down on me (see! I can’t think of another expression for “look down”). LOL. OK. Let’s put it this way, they treated me like, uhm… let’s say reliable adult??

So, yeah, I think the most valuable thing about my internship is the fact that I could meet and work with these awesome people. I can learn about where to put commas by reading a writing manual. I can do research in an instant on Google. But, I can’t meet these people if I went somewhere else for the internship.

Everyone was very helpful. There’s one day when I really need help with the archive and this lady (whose name I’m not going to mention) helped me find all the stuff that I was looking for and she actually stopped what she’s doing and showed me all the things that I needed. She didn’t look like she was in a hurry at all. I could tell that she was VERY VERY OK with helping me.

Also, as an intern, I was included in many of their stuff. At my previous intern site, interns were not part of meetings AT ALL. Here, at AARP The Magazine, interns are always going to be invited for regular meetings. So, interns learn the process of publishing an issue. I mean, at least interns know enough about the publication. Which intern wants to be clueless all the time? EXACTLY. Not here.

And you know what else I like? My supervisor never referred me as an intern on the phone. My supervisor always said, “Awis here will transfer you to the right person,” or “Awis will send you the issues.” I think it’s really cool because I felt like I was treated equally with the rest of the people in there. It’s a great feeling.

Bottom line… no one should be worried about what I’m going to say here in the first place. There’s zero negative thing to blab about here. Cool??

It’s nice that I don’t have to commute from Towson, MD to Washington, DC during rush hour ever again. But, it’s sad that I won’t be seeing these good people anymore. On my last day, when I said good bye to them, I literally had to hold a little bit of tears. I’m glad that I’m done but I just couldn’t believe that it’s over. =(

But, I’ll make sure to stay in touch with them. Maybe one day I’ll come back to America. Or maybe, one of them will travel to Indonesia. Who knows?

I made a trip to National Aquarium in Baltimore with a few friends yesterday. It was quiet a “fishy” day. Because, we ate at Bertha’s Mussels afterward and each of us left with a stomach full of sea creatures – cooked of course! I took some pictures with my lame camera (planning to get a good one soon though). And this morning when I woke up, I made these…

Spring 2010 Trend from Style.com - Louise Gray

Spring 2010 Trend from Style.com - Alexander McQueen

Spring 2010 Trend from Style.com - Fendi

Runway photos were taken from Style.com. Others were taken by moi.

When I woke up this morning, the snow in front of my apartment has reached almost 26 inches. When I stepped on it, half of my legs were buried – note that I’m a very short person. So I thought, “This got to be a very hard day for me and other dog owners.”

But, because of my huge love for my puppy, Muttley, the blizzard (yes, blizzard, I said) would not be a reason for me not to take Muttley out. So, just like any other day, I put on my winter jacket, a really warm sweatpants and a pair of snow boots. And for the first time in my life I walked around outside DURING a blizzard. It was not a bad thing at all because when I think about it again, I am lucky for having to experience one of the snow-related histories in the United States. According to forecasters, this could be the heaviest snowfalls that Washington and the surrounding states have seen.

However, despite my optimistic and grateful attitude, this heavy snowfall has caused several weather-related accident in some places already, such as, Wythe County and Maryland.

“This extremely dangerous storm is expected to produce record snowfall for the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas,” the National Weather Service said. (Taken from CNN.com)

When I was little, I never dreamed of going to any country with four seasons. Let alone experiencing a blizzard. Today, I sat in my room, next to the window and I saw huge snowflakes falling down from the sky. It’s beautiful.

It is unbelievable when I think about the now-and-then of my life. I never thought I could experience anything more than the sand on the beach. But now, I live in the middle of a historical snowfall. I’m not on a vacation. I live here. I live in an apartment, NOT A HOTEL! I’m not leaving anytime soon either, I’ll be here watching the snow melts in spring. And that would be another experience.

Danur and I took Muttley for a walk.

Towson, Maryland

On October 10, 2009, George Mason University‘ Filipino Cultural Association and Asian Pacific American Coalition held a music and dance event called Makinig at Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. The event was a great success with talented artists participating at the event.

I’m glad that I got the chance to come and to see all the performers. This event definitely showed how proud they are to be Filipinos and showed how much they are willing to help the typhoon victims. I think it is a great way to help the typhoon victims by doing this kind of event because younger generations would be attracted to help.

So, my favorites are, Jay Legaspi, AJ Rafael, JR Aquino and Passion. However, I think all the performers did a great job last night. To be honest, I didn’t know all the performers before, but I’m glad that I came because now I know there are artists like Kat Badar and Melissa Polimar who sing soooo beautifully.

Well, all and all… kudos to all performers and the committee members! Thanks for making Makinig II happened.

Photo courtesy: Stephanie Juwita Liman

Photo courtesy: Stephanie Juwita Liman