Updates, updates, updates!

It’s been two weeks since I officially moved to my new website! If you have not yet taken a look, here are some of the story updates:

1. It’s that simple: not all women love chocolate

While everybody thinks that everybody else in the world loves chocolate, I am living in denial. Because I don’t.

2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises might be the epic conclusion we all have been waiting for, but it falls short of my expectation.

3. Which superhero will you date?

Contagious superhero fever is currently possessing the whole world. Girls, who will you choose as your date?

4. Unpaid internships – unethical exploitation or a necessary evil?

WE all want them, but are unpaid internships just a form of accepted exploitation? Marcella Purnama shares her thoughts.

5. Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother (Book Review)

Battle Hymn of Tiger Mother is a story of Chinese parenting towards the extreme. And yet, it rings a bell, and I was surprised on how true this is.

6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (book review)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is not your ordinary novel. Why? Because it’s written from the point of view of an Asperger’s.

Until next time!

cheers,

M.

Ps. Subscribe to my new website to keep you updated! You can also like me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @marcellapurnama.

I’ve moved!

To all my readers, I’ve moved! Yes, I have finally bought my own domain,www.marcellapurnama.com, and starting now I will be posting my random thoughts about life there. I’m so excited!

Only a handful of my posts from this blog is transferred to the new website, but do not fear, I will never delete this blog so you will be able to browse through my old posts anytime. But I wouldn’t post new stuffs in here, so just bear in mind that this blog would resemble a little bit of ghost town…

Remember, the website is now: www.marcellapurnama.com.

And if you’d like to, please subscribe to my new website by clicking this link (via email) or through RSS! I’m still trying to figure out how to transfer all the subscribers there, but so far it’s quite troublesome and I don’t want to be giving you any spam, so if you’d like to get in touch with me, don’t forget to subscribe, ok?

And if you haven’t, show some love and like my Facebook page! That way you can easily get up to date to what I’m publishing without really having to leave your Facebook chat!

It’s really an honour to be able to write, to entertain, and to be read by you all. I’ll be seeing you all in the new website real soon!

cheers,

M.

The 3 people I adore

Let’s play a game. Name the famous people you adore, they can be alive or dead, and they can’t be someone that you know in personal basis (friends, family, mentor, or colleagues). How many do you have?

I have three.

Curious to know who my heroes are?

Jeff Goins

photo by Ashley Goins, taken from goinswriter.com

A writer on goinswriter.com, Goins has influenced my writing a lot, as he shares his life journey. While coming to his blog accidentally, I end up browsing on his site for hours, downloading his first ebook, The Writer’s Manifesto, and buying his just published book, You are a writer (so start acting like one).

While there are countless of people who blog about writing and dropping hints and tips here and there, I haven’t found someone whose tips are simple, and yet able to stir something inside my heart. He’s the crazy one who tells me that I must believe that I am a writer, a term that I’m still uncomfortable with because deep down I still think that being a writer is not self-given, but it’s earned.

Mitch Albom

A die-hard fan of Mitch Albom, I have read all his novels at least twice. While his novels are easy to read, the stories that are written are very sincere, and every holiday I crave to read at least one of his books again. Five People You Meet in Heaven is my personal favourite.

But not only a writer with best-seller novels, Mitch Albom is also a sport journalist, and he is actively involved in many charity projects.

Randy Pausch

Everyone who knows me must have heard me quoting Randy Pausch at least once. I mention his name a lot in this blog, as well as to many other people. I have always encouraged people to read his book – The Last Lecture, that I accidentally discovered while browsing in a deserted bookshop, and to watch his final lecture.

As a virtual reality professor in Carnegie Mellon, Randy Pausch has inspired many people about living. If I can have dinner with someone who has died, it would be him (not Walt Disney as I used to answer). While having lost his battle towards pancreatic cancer years ago, to this day I would still watch his lecture at least once every three months, and re-read his book regularly.

He is truly someone that I look up to.

Do you have any famous people that you adore?

Ps. Dear readers, I’m currently migrating my site to: www.marcellapurnama.com. Look out for the official web-warming invitation in the next week!

Tuesday’s Tale: For all the times

Today’s video is about one of the greatest persons in our lives: our mother. I believe we don’t need to wait for another Mother’s day to thank her for all the things she has done.

This short film is dedicated to the amazing women in our lives whom we call mom. This Mother’s Day, we want to remind you of the countless sacrifices she made for you.

– Jubilee Project

The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

mp’s rating: 6.8 /10

It’s so hard to rate this movie and to decide if whether I like it or not. Why? Because with all due respect, this film is a ‘remake’.

Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Written by Nicky Mitchell

So you see, I have a problem here. I love Tobey Maguire’s representation of Spiderman in its first trilogy. I feel Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane is perfect with Peter Parker.

I am already loyal to them.

Of course, I like Emma Stone way more than Kirsten Dunst. Andrew Garfield also plays the role well. But “Spiderman” has just lost its spideyness, for me.

He’s no longer a timid, nerdy boy who fought for survival and love his uncle dearly. He’s a teenager who instantly got the power.

I have always loved Spiderman. It’s one of my favourite superheroes, second after The Dark Night. What I like about Spiderman is that he’s human. And he makes mistakes. He’s vulnerable, and yet takes responsibility and becomes strong. He has humble beginning.

He’s not just a hero. He’s more than that.

With this movie, I didn’t really see all those characters. It’s all about Peter Parker who pities himself of having no parents and be teenager-ish. While it’s good movie, somehow it just wrecks my concept of Spiderman.

You see, I’m loyal to whatever that’s original. A nuisance, but true.

The effects and graphics are quite good, and it’s definitely one of those blockbuster movies. So go to the cinema and tell me what you think.

 

The Flowers of War (2011)

mp’s rating: 8.2/10
plot: 8.5
acting: 8
effects: 8

Having been a fan of war movies for as long as I can remember, The Flowers of War is an impeccable story, full of brutality that scars whoever who watches it, yet hopeful enough to remind us the things worth fighting for. If not forever, at least, people would remember that for the two hours of the movie.

In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John (Christian Bale) arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor. Written by msmith5484

“I want to make you a promise,” John (Christian Bale) said to one of the prostitutes. First captured by her beauty, and later by her warm heart, John looked at her earnestly.

“When this war’s all over. I’ll come find you. I’ll bring you home,” he said.

The prostitute, named Yu Mo, forced a smile. “After tonight, my body is not mine anymore,” she let down a tear. “Bring me home today.”

(The quotes might not be the exact words said, as it is written from my memory.)

The Flowers of War is cruel, brutal, and yet beautiful. Your heart would cry. Bleed. When children see pain that’s reserved for a lifetime. When one readies to die not for one’s country, but for another life. When she smiled while supposed to cry. When seeing what one can do for love, honour, and dignity…

If I did not think on how I would look if my make up is smudged, I would have cried a river. Spending half of the movie biting your lips and holding on your tears was not an easy feat.

And let there be no more war.

“We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.”

All Quiet On The Western Front, Ch. 5 by Erich Maria Remarque

The second-last exam I have ever needed to take

This is the story of how I died.

No, it’s not as bizarre as it sounds, and it’s just the tale of how my bones were buried in the exam hall, collected, and resurrected after walking out of the sacred gate of every-student’s-nightmare.

No, I haven’t graduated. But next semester I only have one exam, which officially made this the second-last time I have ever had to sit down on a pain-striking experience that destroyed every mental barrier I have ever built in my twenty years of studying career.

June 16th, 2012. The comatose experience.

It was Saturday. Such a wrong day to be having a coma. While the others went to the cinema, had brunch with some friends, or went to the zoo, I woke up at 8.30am, realising that I only had two days to live.

Panicked, I took a long shower, and went to a journalism training at 10. I would feel guilty if I didn’t go. Even though I only had two days to live.

Two days.

I was agitated for the next two and a half hours, trying to console my mind for the fact that I still have two days to live. I hadn’t finished studying, heck, I hadn’t even finished 20 per cent of it.

Halfway through the training, I took my leave. Went to the city to have brunch. Wrong choice.

Drinking my too hot cup of latte made me stressed, and I totally forgot the fact that I hate excessive cheese – it made me wanted to puke. My toasted flatbread with mozzarella and meatball came. I tried hard to finish it during the next 30 minutes. Then, I desperately wanted to go home from what it seemed like food poisoning.

At about 2, I had an emotional breakdown. Instead of studying, I was on the phone with someone who desperately trying to calm my nerves. At 3, I lied when saying I wanted to go to bed, and finished reading a novel instead.

I waited.

Waited for the last minute panic to kick in and shove some sense down my throat. I needed to study. I really needed to study. And yet my brain refused to become sponge-like to absorb the lessons.

Turned on the music. Put the iPod on speaker. Maximum volume.

I spent the next 30 minutes yelling some songs and doing the crazy dance. At 4, I was desperate. I took a long shower and decluttered my study table. I gulped down Vitamin C.

65 per cent. I told to myself. I just need 65 percent to do well in this subject. I pleaded. 65.

At 5.30, I started to study. Flicked through my notes and tried to gulp a series of alien language. Nothing was retained. I made a cup of hot green tea, and tried to calm myself down again. It was 6. I tried to do the multiple choice questions, and everytime I only managed to get four rights out of 10. Totally going to be a long night.

My sister came home. Youtubed some songs. Became crazy – me from my studies and her from her work. Sang some classic songs and shook the apartment for the next three hours. Now, it was 12.

I raised a white flag and went to bed.

June 17th. The last attempt.

Woke up at 8. Went to church. Went home. Had lunch. Attempted to study. Failed. Attempted to study some more. Ended up throwing my rage at some poor friends. Attempted to study. Took a nap instead. Attempted to study. Managed to cover 40 per cent of the subject.

Took a long shower. Studied. Had dinner. Studied. Distracted by some friends who played the role of a devil. Turned on some loud music. Yelled the songs. Did some crazy dance.

At 11, I gave up, and pathetically received my destiny of dying tomorrow.

June 18th. The day I died.

I woke up as late as I could in order to not feel guilty on how I spent my last day. I washed the dishes, listened to a podcast, and did a last minute one-hour scanning of some of the subject materials.

Never in my whole life I was this unprepared for an exam. Never in my whole life I accepted defeat against studying.

I took a long shower, and began the long journey to the sacred exam hall.

Death marks. Suffocating air. Crazy winter weather. Perfect day to die.

I prayed that the professors would remember that I did my best; I prayed that all the students would know that I was in their shoes. I prayed for future exam-takers to respect my bones lying right there.

Reading time. Panic. Then, the last two hours of my life. Air was depleting; life was fading.

I fought to the last drop of my blood, answering the questions that I knew, guessing to the very best of my ability for the ones that I didn’t.

The last five minutes. I closed my eyes.

Zombie-like, I left my seats. I knew I have died together with the finished exam paper. I speedwalked through the resurrection gate, and was granted a new life.

Farewell, my brave second-last-exam-taker self. I would forever remember you as a noble companion.