Sunday, July 3, 2011

Date a Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico

No comments:

Date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads.

You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street.

If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads.

Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close.

When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it.

You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

By: Rosemarie Urquico

You Should Date An Illiterate Girl by Charles Warnke

No comments:
Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the cafĂ©, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you

Charles Warnke

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Describing My Feelings in NSM

1 comment:
"I wanted something good to happen to me
I know now: this thing will not happen to me
I feel bad because of this"

note: NSM (Natural Semantic Metalanguage) is developed by Anna Wierzbicka.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Alasan Saya Ingin Menjadi Penulis

No comments:
Jika dihadapkan pada pertanyaan ini, saya dapat memberikan jawaban yang berbeda-beda, tergantung pada niat saya ketika membuat sebuah karya. akan tetapi, bila ditarik sampai ke akar, saya dapat menjawab demikian: saya ingin memuaskan imajinasi saya.

Sejak kecil, saya suka berimajinasi, bila saja saya masuk ke dalam "dunia" yang telah disuguhkan oleh orang lain. Beberapa contohnya adalah "dunia" dalam komik Doraemon dan film Power Rangers. Setelah saya mulai suka membaca (novel), saya menemukan bahwa ternyata cerita dalam bentuk tulisan pun juga menarik. Saya mulai berimajinasi lagi dan membuat cerita atau, dengan kata lain, menuangkan imajinasi saya ke dalam bentuk yang sama--tulisan. Ternyata, menulis apa yang saya khayalkan memberi kepuasan lebih daripada duduk berkhayal sepanjang hari.

In Memoriam of Asep Sambodja

No comments:
It was about 100 days ago when I heard the worst news in my life. My undergraduate academic supervisor, Mas Asep Sambodja, had just passed away. I felt nothing back then, for maybe the news wasn't unexpected and, paradoxically, deep in my heart I didn't believe it. Mas Asep had been sick for over one and a half year. He suffered intestines cancer--an inheritance from his days as a journalist (that's why I WON'T be a journalist EVER). I also had heard that a doctor had said there had been no hope for him, that he had been only biding his time.

But for a while in 2009, he had recovered from his illness. He had had a difficult surgery in Jakarta, but he had survived. He had regained some weight and had gone to the university again, finishing his research--of which I helped him translating into English. Thus, when Mas Asep got very sick again, I always believed that such miracle would happen again, that I would see him again, healthy and full of life. And for the first few days of his death, I still thought that he were just away looking for a cure to his illness in other cities, I still believed that he would come back.

Mas Asep was my lecturer, my teacher, my friend, and the closest person to a father to me. He's the one who was always proud of me, always believed that I could be everything, always thought that I was a terrific writer even though I was sure I was horrible instead. Now I still have to spend three or four years ahead studying in the university, and it's hard for me to think that he wouldn't be around, that I wouldn't be able to tell him about what I'm going to do this semester and the next, that he wouldn't be there to tell me what he's doing for Indonesian literature.

Of all the things I regret having not told him about is thank you, I'm so grateful that you were there. However, the greatest thing about being left by a writer and a poet is I have many pieces of him in form of books, poems, and online notes that I can read whenever I miss him. Even his wife, Mba Yuni, still go online with his Facebook dan Yahoo! account every now and then so I can always pretend that he's still there. But now I know that I have to accept the fact that he's gone and I have to pray for his well-being in the afterlife. And the fact that it's time to say good bye.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cerpen: Hari Terakhir di Apartemen

No comments:
(Cerpen ini kutulis setelah membaca sebuah berita.)
Sore itu aku pulang dengan semangat menggebu-gebu. Kutinggalkan sopir dan mobil keluarga kami di depan menara ketiga tempat kami menjadi penghuninya di lantai sebelas. Matahari yang mungkin terik tak sempat menyengatku karena penyejuk ruangan langsung menyambutku, meniup-niup poniku yang tipis.

Ditemani petugas keamanan yang sudah hafal wajah setiap anak penghuni apartemen ini, aku menunggu lift turun sambil mengetuk-ngetukkan sepatu ketsku ke marmer yang mengilat. Kutempelkan pipiku kepada dinding yang dilapisi marmer yang sama. Dingin. Aku serap dingin itu, membayangkan segarnya dingin air kolam renang di lantai delapan.


life (37) hobby (22) movie (21) review (20) GRE (16) poem (12) study (12) work (11) game (8) social (8) translation (7) business (6) dream (6) economy (6) novel (6) music (5) Facebook (3) friendship (3) linguistics (3) manga (3) marketing (3) self-actualization (3) IELTS (2) language (2) money (2) culture (1) gender (1) leadership (1) literature (1) name (1) peace (1)