The Body Combat Affair

While women start their problems by involving their hearts, men start theirs by involving their ego. I have been a gym member for more than 3 years now, and all those time I always rely on Personal Trainers. Most of my workout regime falls under weight training, although my PT will throw Muay Thai exercise for variations. But it’s always the Smith machine, the dumbells, or the TRX suspension. Now, I am never interested in “group exercises”. Well, I joined hot yoga a couple of times, and that’s it, no interest to keep doing it. Partly perhaps because I am naturally a ‘loner’ workout person (I enjoy working out alone, with a PT’s company at most), but partly also because I think group exercises are for….women. I had this impression that only women and pansy-asses do aerobic or yoga. “Real men” lifts weights – with the images of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger flexing their muscles with barbells. So when my girlfriend challenged me to join her in Body Combat class, I cringed. Isn’t that a class for chicks? No, she said, there are guys in it also. Fine. And she also said that she wanted to see whether I have the ability to endure it. Excuse me? Like I said, nothing makes men do stupid things faster than their tickled ego. “Fine, I’ll do it!” So yesterday, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I dragged my ass to the […]

Read More →

Not A ‘Planet Of The Apes’, Could Be Worse

Watched Rise of The Planet Of The Apes yesterday. Excellent movie: great plot, great special effects, and a thought-provoking story. How some “lab test apes” acquire higher intelligence through human’s experiments, and the beginning of their rule over earth. (This is actually the prequel for ‘Planet of The Apes’. Watch for the astronaut hint in the movie :)) The movie shows how chimpanzees become test subjects, living in a pitiful cages, exposed to harmful chemicals. Because we don’t want to harm humans, hence we turn to them to try out our ‘inventions’. Hey, if they die, they are just chimps, right? It just happens that I just finished a book titled ‘The Third Chimpanzee” by Jared Diamond. The book is about human evolution in general, but it mentions something interesting about our relationship with chimpanzee. Chimpanzee is indeed the closest ‘cousin’ to humans, as we emerge from the same ancestor, and it shows in our genetic profile. Despite our obviously different looks, we share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees (which also explains why they make good experiment subjects for human drugs). But here is a disturbing question raised by Diamond’s. Now that we know we are SO CLOSE genetically to chimps, shouldn’t that knowledge disturb you that we experiment on them? Not only by exposing them to often harmful chemicals, but also kidnap them from their natural habitat, put them in cages, and disregard their fears, pain, and anxiety? […]

Read More →

Garuda di Timelineku!

“Jadi sekarang elu suka bola, Ring?” Beberapa kali gw dapet pertanyaan itu di Twitter, secara gw jadi sering nonton Timnas dan meramaikan timeline, padahal gw pernah bilang bahwa gw gak suka sepak bola (90 menit nonton 22 LAKI2 ngejer2 bola? Mending gw nonton K-Pop…) Well, kenyataannya, gw masih gak suka bola sih. Tapi pengecualian buat Timnas. Analisa atas diri sendiri gw sih simple aja. Gw banyak kecewa dengan negera ini, dari presiden, menteri, wakil rakyat, penegak hukum, dll, gak ada yang bener ngerjain tugasnya. Biarpun gw gak suka bola, tapi kalo TimNas tanding, apalagi sampe menang, rasanya seperti pelarian sesaat dari carut-marut pemerintahan. Tetapi selain untuk mengobati kekecewaan, TimNas juga punya ‘magic’ lain, yaitu mempersatukan kita, baik di dunia nyata maupun di dunia online. Ambil Twitter contohnya, yang sehari-hari isinya sering nyinyir atau berdebat satu sama lain, dari yang politik (partai ngehe vs. partai sompret), penyanyi (tim Geisha vs. tim Vierra – eh ini ciptaan gw doang ya? :p), yang pro dan kontra LDR (pacaran jarak jauh itu loh), sampe urusan gadget (Apple vs. Blackberry vs. Stroberi kali…) Apa juga bisa diperdebatkan, dan menciptakan kubu-kubu. Tetapi kalo TimNas lagi beraksi, tiba-tiba semua menjadi satu, mendoakan, dan bersorak-sorai buat para “local heroes” kita. Semua perbedaan dihentikan untuk 90 menit, dan semua mengutuki siapapun yang jadi lawan kita. Jadi benar kata orang, kehadiran musuh bersama (common enemy) itu mempersatukan. Kalau musuh bersamanya hilang, byar bubar semua, berantem lagi sendiri-sendiri. Begitu gak ada TimNas, para […]

Read More →

Kapan Kawin? – Sebuah Tinjauan Filosofis, Psikologis, dan Bisnis

Jadi hari ini Twitter sempet rame dengan becandaan “Kapan kawin?” Fenomena pertanyaan ‘Kapan kawin?’ adalah fenomena umum saat pertemuan-pertemuan keluarga ataupun reuni dengan teman. Dan menjelang Lebaran yang penuh dengan silaturahmi, pertanyaan menyebalkan ini biasanya muncul. Which is cukup ironis kalo urutan ngomongnya “Minal Aidin Wal Faidzin ya jeeeung” *cipika cipiki* “Kapan kawin??” (BARU MINTA MAAF UDAH LANGSUNG BIKIN DOSA!! TAMPAR AJA! TAMPAR!) Pertanyaan ini begitu jamaknya sampai kita mungkin sudah take it for granted, selain ngebecandain dan menyiapkan balasan yang lucu2 (the best balasan buat gw so far: “Kapan kawin? ” “Kapan mati?”) Tapi gw pengen sok menganalisa fenomena ini lebih dalam, dari berbagai aspek. Analisa: SANG PENANYA “Kapan kawin?” justru bisa dianalisa dari sisi sang penanya. Latar-belakang dan motivasi penanya bisa memberikan berbagai interpretasi. Contoh: Jika sang penanya sudah menikah, dan pernikahannya bahagia, arti “Kapan kawin?” adalah: Gua ternyata happy banget menikah, dan gw sayang elu, dan pengen elu bisa ikutan happy…. Tapi kalau sang penanya sudah menikah dan menderita, artinya adalah: Yuk cepetan bergabung dengan penderitaan gw….. Kalau sang penanya belum menikah, maka maknanya bisa jadi kompetitif: Apa elu belum ada calon? Semoga gw duluan! Najis banget gw disalip sama elu…. Kalau sang penanya belum menikah, jomblo, berjenis kelamin sama dengan yang ditanya, dan kenal dengan pasangan yang ditanya, maka maknanya: WOOHOO! GW MASIH ADA KESEMPATAN DENGAN COWOK/CEWEK ELU! Kalau sang penanya masih keluarga/teman dekat dengan yang ditanya, dan yang ditanya sebenarnya SUDAH kawin, maka maknanya menjadi: Gua […]

Read More →

Ngobrol Dengan Air Traffic Controller

Thanks to Twitter, gw jadi ketemu dengan berbagai orang dari profesi yang mungkin gak akan gw temui di kehidupan sehari-hari. Contohnya dengan Afin Hananiyah (Twitter ID @afin18) yang ternyata berprofesi sebagai ATC (Air Traffic Controller) di Bandara Tanjung Pinang, Riau. Kalo pada nggak tau apa itu ATC, mereka adalah orang-orang di belakang layar yang memastikan kelancaran pesawat terbang datang dan […]

Read More →

Let There Be “Oops”!

It started as a joke. I was listening to a colleague who was explaining that science knows what happened milliseconds after The Big Bang, but not few seconds before. I spontaneously joked, “What happened a few seconds before The Big Bang? God said ‘Oops’!” The idea that The Universe was an unintended mistake by the Omnipotent and Omniscient God is very funny. Well, at least, to me. But from a joke, it turned into a philosophical question to me. What if you were given God-like quality that you will never make a mistake again in your life. In short, no more “oops”? Would life still be interesting? Some people say that we learn better from mistakes. Because mistakes, by definition, result in unpleasant consequences. And people really don’t like unpleasant situations. Hence the learning. And becoming better afterwards – hopefully. Of course, there are some Oops that can be prevented by common sense. If you decide to ride a bike without helmet, that falls under downright idiotic Oops. And if you fall and crack your head, well, you had it coming. But I’m talking about the non-lethal Oops. The ones with consequences that vary from minor embarrassment (think of wearing different pair of shoes, burping in-front of your in-laws), to medium consequences (making a mistake at school or work), to probably more serious one (end of relationship, bankruptcy.) For every Oops moments like these, there is an opportunity to reflect […]

Read More →

Betapa Sayangnya “Sayang”

“Cowok itu ganteng sih, baik pula, sayang penampilannya nggak banget” “Dia pintar dan cantik, sayang ngerokok” “Sebenernya  dia udah suka sama gw, siap nikah pula, sayang dia kalo ngomong agak gagap” Pasti udah sering deh denger kalimat di atas, dalam berbagai variasinya, iya kan? Formulanya biasanya: (Sederet sifat baik yang menjadikan seseorang potensial jadi pacar/suami/istri) + sayang + (satu dua sifat jelek yang membuyarkan segalanya) Posting ini terinspirasi twitter @louisajhe tadi pagi: “Just found out that handsome-elevator-dude is an active smoker :’(“ Jadi rupanya ada cowok kecengan yang selama ini di-ilerin di lift, jadi buyar karena ketauan merokok (Hi Jessica, kalo elu baca ini, maaf gw quote tanpa ijin :p) Kayaknya inilah kodrat manusia, yang selalu mencari pasangan sempurna, sayang pencarian ini sering rontok karena ada ‘sayang’ dalam menilai seseorang 😀 Tentunya gw bukannya tidak setuju bahwa seseorang harus punya kriteria dalam memilih pasangan, apalagi kalau sudah menjelang serius. Kita semua berhak mendapatkan seseorang berkualitas, dan yang cocok dengan kita. Mungkin masalahnya adalah ketika daftar kriteria kita tidak membedakan mana yang sifatnya “wajib” (must have), dan mana yang bisa dikompromikan (nice to have). Soalnya kalau nguber Mr.  dan Ms. Perfect yang memenuhi semua kriteria yang diinginkan, agak susah ya probabilitanya, apalagi kalo kriterianya semakin spesifik (“Gw hanya mau cowok yang bisa bikin 1000 candi dalam semalem”, misalnya) Ya bisa aja sih ketemu in real life, tapi seberapa besar peluangnya? Gw pernah baca di buku “The Paradox of Choice” oleh Barry […]

Read More →

Everybody is a dancer. With uncertainties!

Where would you be 10 years from now? Yeah, I briefly mentioned about this question in the last post. But I think I want to write some more about its significance. Of course, I was half-joking about the stupidity of the question. The question can be stupid or HALF-stupid depending on the intent. If the intent is to predict where I will be in 10 year time, that would classify as a “full stupid” question. Because anyone’s prediction is as good as a monkey’s, which I will come back to this later. But if the question is about my ambition, then the question is “half stupid”. A plan consists of a big part our plan plus our effort. BUT the other bigger part is external forces beyond our control. That’s why people say “Insya Allah”, “God Willing”, or “If circumstances allow…” (whatever your belief is :D), to acknowledge the uncertainty elements that can ruin, or catapult us to great success, overnight. But let’s get back to prediction. One of the most important, life-changing personal enlightenments of mine is the notion of “prediction.” I used to believe in experts, analysts, futurolog, their analytical skill and their ability to forecast, predict the future, based on their knowledge. Surely they are different from fortune-tellers, tarot card readers, and astrology because they are “scientific”? But then I stumbled across two great books about uncertainty, “Fooled by Randomness” and “The Black Swan”, both by Nicolas […]

Read More →

Curahan Hati Si Eligible Bachelor

HAH! BEGITU JUDULNYA DANGDUT, AGAK-AGAK “O MAMA O PAPA” BEGITU LANGSUNG KAN KALIAN BACA? DASAR!! 😀 Jadi pegimana gw bisa nyangkut di acara beauty pageant ini? Awalnya adalah text  message teman, “Eh elu ikutan dong Most Eligible Bachelor CLEO. Cuma modal e-mail + foto JPEG doang” “He? Gw eligible bachelor? Elu gak salah? Umur gw gimana?” “Ah ga papa, masih masuk kok….Tapi nanti harus diseleksi dulu ya” Kalo ada kebiasaan jelek gw yang berbahaya, yaitu suka gampang tertarik sama ide-ide iseng kayak gini. Apalagi kalo gak pake repot. Lah, cuma nulis e-mail tentang data diri, attach foto terakhir. Udah. Gak rempong, gak bayar, so why not? (bagian “gak bayar”nya penting banget, hihihi). Habis dikirim, maka menunggulah gw untuk panggilan pemotretan. Jadi prosedurnya adalah kandidat harus difoto + diwawancarai, terus nanti redaksi CLEO akan memilih 50 Most Eligible Bachelor yang akan dipajang, eh, ditampilkan di majalah. Pembaca dan khalayak ramai boleh ikutan memvoting untuk menentukan si Miss Universe, um, Cleo Bachelor 2011. Akhirnya gw dipanggil untuk difoto di unit contoh apartemen di daerah Casablanca. Gw diwawancara oleh Rara, seorang wanita muda berkacamata yang murah senyum. Interviewnya agak standar sih, pekerjaan, hobi, de el el. Tentunya gw mengeluarkan jurus-jurus sepik gw yang yahud sebagai pencitraan :D. Tetapi pertanyaan terakhir cukup membuat gw tertohok. “Where do you want to be 10 years from now?” Gw bengong, karena baru beberapa hari sebelumnya, gw baru ngebahas di Twitter betapa gw benci banget pertanyaan ini di job interview. […]

Read More →

Van Gogh, And Beauty Through Insanity

Yesterday I had the chance to attend Van Gogh Alive! exhibition at ArtScience Museum in Singapore. I was quite lucky because it is the world premier tour of the exhibition. It is unique because instead of the usual painting exhibition, the paintings are projected as slide shows into giant walls, interspersed with old photos of Europe in Van Gogh’s time, […]

Read More →