High Style in Wall Street

"Shia LaBeouf is a bike-riding hot-shot broker in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." This one line alone can give a high-voltage electrical jolt to any fashion stylist working in Hollywood. This is definitely a wet dream comes true. To dress the adorable LaBeouf in a mix of sleek suit and leather jacket, and a combination of energetic youth and fresh new bucks to spell capitalism in all capitals.

LaBeouf's fashion in the movie is all about his character, and he carries them flawlessly. Brimming with ambition, he carries the suit and the tie, and a pair of Kenneth Cole Reaction Note Pad Slip-On shoes. The biker's jacket serves as his second skin. At more fragile times, he pulls off a gray cardigan, matched with IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Watch.

Dear Fashion Editors, if you happen to know the complete fashion credits of this frames, please help me filling the blanks. Thank you!

Posted at 17:34 by VE HANDOJO

My New Sound of Music

I was revisiting the Von Trapp's mansion once again in The Sound of Music when it struck me; how the older generation from Soeharto regime in Indonesia was inspired by this movie ... to have such kind of exaggerating luxury as their own. We are talking about a movie so popular at such a period of time in Indonesia where cronies prospered in the name of gold and glory. The immediate effect was obvious in the then booming houses with Roman columns, and crystal chandeliers, and all other things European. These dudes then learned ballroom dancing, enjoyed classical music, and sent their children to music schools. They were living their dreams by climbing ev'ry mountain.

Shall we ever be able to sing "So Long, Farewell" to such level of comfort zone in the name of patriotism?

Or, did they? Have they ever climbed a single mountain of success, or simply rent a helicopter to get them there to the peak of 1980's lifestyle?

As I followed the story of Georg Von Trapp once again 'till the end, another revelation came quite clear. These 1980's cronies living in their ugly "mansions" guarded by steel gates and statuettes of angels to portray a mirage of innocence had never been as great as the Captain Von Trapp. They had never said "So Long, Farewell" to those comfort in the name of patriotism. They had never care to sing "Bless my homeland forever." The Captain stood by his idealism, and left his comfort zone to really climb ev'ry highest mountains in good shape. These cronies? They grew fat, they generated spoiled brats, and they inherit Indonesia with the corruption culture.

I may not live inside a mansion, but each one of us has a comfort zone. Even our seemingly inadequate monthly salary is a comfort zone to some level. Our failing relationship may have been a comfort zone. My insecurity is made comfortable behind those mental strong high gates made of steel. They are too strong to break, but they can be opened from the inside, and I could chose to bid adieu.

The next time you show your children, or nephews The Sound of Music, make sure you remind them the important ending - how all of us, at some point of our lives, could be challenged to leave our ultra luxurious comfort zone. Do we have a heart as strong as Georg Von Trapp?

Posted at 12:40 by VE HANDOJO


Antisocial (adj.): 1. Averse to the society of others. 2. Many proclaim themselves so in Twitter ... to gain friends.

Avatar (n.): 1. The iconography of a Twitter account. 2. Misleading much.

Blog (n.): 1. Web-log, or web-based journal. 2. Abandoned after the invention of mini-blog, a.k.a. Twitter. 2. Not that much.

Buzz Agent (n.): 1. Hired to promote a product or event in Twitter. 2. First step of selling his/her soul.

Client (n.): 1. Those who pay you to do what you can't do. 2. Reason why your Twitter account is locked.

Coelho Girls (n.): 1. Ladies who are on Twitter to ReTweet @paulocoelho. 2. Falls for wrong men. 3. Desperate.

Detik.com (n.): 1. A portal with funny headlines. 2. Gets news from Twitter, then spread them there. 3. Mistaken as news portal.

Direct Message (n.): A booty call.

Ethics (n.): 1. To be applied and practiced by Indonesian Twitter users. 2. Sponsored by Tifatul Sembiring. 3. FUCK THAT!

Facebook (n.): 1. Forgotten past life of great Twitter users. 2. What is that again?

Fail Whale (n.): 1. Annoying creature that comes up when Twitter is down. 2. @gandrasta

Farh*t Abbas (n.): 1. A popular object of mockery in Twitterland. 2. Often mistaken as a human being.

Flood (n.): 1. Unstoppable serial tweets by a person. 2. Best comes with a hashtag. 3. Like this one.

to follow back (v.): 1. To stay humble, and follow back your followers. 2. Now, who came up with this idea?!

Foursquare (n.): 1. An application to help you tweet your recent location. 2. Popularity-wise; a parasite to Twitter.

Gandrasta Bangko (n.): The person behind @gandrasta; so racist, homo, and offensive, u should follow him before he's banned.

Gays (n.): 1. Follow other people's husbands. 2. Calculate their Followers all the time.

Grammar Nazi (n.): 1. One who corrects English grammar of our tweets. 2. Possibly Cinta Laura's dancers.

Hoax (n.): Fake news, easily spread in Twitter, e.g. "F*rhat Abbas has a brain."

Humanity (n.): The thing we fight together for, and tweet in one accord, using hashtags like #BubarkanFPI

Insecurity Syndrome (n.): A condition where someone asks "What's wrong with me?" every time s/he loses a follower.

Justin Bieber (n.): 1. A girl who once ruled Trending Topics for weeks. 2. Please don't ReTweet this.

Livetweet (n.): Tweets to report an event or occasion in real time, that can be as creative as "Goaaalll!" during #worldcup

Meeting (n.): 1. The activity you boast in Twitter to make you look busy and important. 2. Perfect time to tweet.

Moralist (n.): 1. Trying to keep Twitter free from bad influence. 2. Trying to make Olga Syahputra straight.

MyLoc (n.): 1. Short for "My Location", a link in Twitter to inform your recent location. 2. Designed exclusively for Osama.

+1 RT @VeHandojo: #tweetionary Narcissism (n.): 1. Excessive admiration of oneself. 2. ReTweets him/herself. (/via @VeHandojo)

Pedophilia (n.): 1. One who likes underage boys / girls. 2. Friendster users trying to be in Twitter.

Please RT  (phrase.): 1. Irritating plea by the end of a tweet to spread the contained message; be it moral or dumb. 2. Please RT.

Pseudo Politician (n.): 1. One who tweets his/her angst towards the country. 2. Synonim to "Lonesomeness".

Quotes (n.): 1. Words deemed wise enough to tweet, or retweet. 2. Show that you're deep. 3. Or, vulnerable. 4. Meh.

RT (n.): 1. Short for ReTweet, an act to duplicate a tweet, to spread a message, or a joke. 2. Mostly lame jokes.

RT Abuser (n.): 1. Those who use ReTweet instead of Reply to talk about mundane stuff. 2. Not you if you RT this tweet.

Real People (n.): 1. Human beings beyond Twitterland. 2. What you need only when Twitter is down.

Sarcasm (n.): 1. Easiest way to gain popularity in Twitter. 2. Easiest way to lose friends in real life.

Serial Tweets (n.): 1. Insightful and elaborate sharing of knowledge on a certain topic. 2. Often mistaken as Show Off 2.0

Sex (n.): The result of Following, ReTweeting, and getting the Direct Message.

Slactivist (n.): 1. Slacking activist. 2. People who think they can change the world only by Tweeting. 3. Seriously.

Social Media Entrepreneur (n.): 1. A person whose tweets depend on their clients. 2. Jobless Buzz Agent.

Timeline (n.): 1. Update of what's happening in Twitter. 2. Synopsis of #Inception. 3. Helps you survive a meeting.

Trending Topics (n.): 1. Most talked about issues in Twitter. 2. Confused as 'People Power' by many "slactivists".

Tweetionary (n.): 1. A certain someone's not-so-funny attempt to gain more followers. 2. Kthxbye.

Twitlonger (n.): 1. @UberTwitter's feature to help those who are so used to write long Facebook status lines they cannot put what they have in mind in 140 characters. 2. Annoying, isn't it?

Twitter Chat (n.): 1. Conversation in Twitter mostly around daily topics. 2. Free SMS.

Twitter Newbie (n.): 1. New in Twitter. 2. Ask "Fol back pls!" 3. [to be confirmed] @fitrop's father.

Twitter Police (n.): 1. Pretend authority who complains about RT abuse, Buzz Agents, etc. 2. Have too much free time.

to unfollow (v.): 1. Discreet act to stop following a Twitter account. 2. If you announce it, you're Indonesian.

Wikipedia (n.): An efficient tool to build your "smart" reputation on Twitter.

Writer (n.): A person who does research, surveys, self-marketing, and promotes his/her works in Twitter.

Posted at 20:05 by VE HANDOJO

The Passing of My Father

On July 3, 08.27 am, Jakarta time, my father passed away. During the time of grief, I had been shedding no tears. My initial reaction upon receiving the news was a relief that he had been given a chance to rest eternally in peace. I prepared myself in no rush to join the rest of my family in the funeral house to start a four-nights period of wake.

That Saturday morning was almost as another day to me - I took time for shower, made my own simple breakfast consisting of whole wheat bread with apricot and boysenberry jam, had my vegetable and fruit juice, then ran to the closest Starbucks to get my first cup of the day.

All the time that morning, I couldn't stop questioning myself why did I not feel any natural grief. I have never been, and never will be the kind of guy who preserves my emotions - I dare to shout in anger, to display my affection in a crowded shopping mall, and to shed my tears in public. But that morning, there was this serene feeling of peace.

Yes, I questioned why my father was taken after the successful heart surgery. Yes, I questioned why did my family had to see him suffering for almost three weeks in the hospital after the heart attack. Yes, I also questioned why death, at least for my father, couldn't be more effortless, simple, and less painful.

But I let the questions unanswered. There was no point in finding all the "why"s. This should be the best for me and my family, and somehow we actually deserve it.

I arrived at the funeral house when the body of my father was about to get the formalin treatment. I dared myself to witness the process, and saw the naked body of my deceased father being stuffed gently and efficiently by a doctor. It was around 2 pm, and I was there with my elder brother. We were in complete silence throughout the process. A subtle smell invaded our nose, but we ignored it.

Next, three nurses cleansed my father's body. We went to another room, and witnessed the whole process. My brother and I took a little part in showering our deceased father with running water, and scrubbed him gently with the soap, then pour some alcohol to relax his already stiffed muscles.

The process was continued with dressing our father. The three nurses put on the underwear, shirt, trousers, and jacket. My brother helped putting a pair of socks and brand new shoes on father's feet. I got what I personally think the most honorable part: to knot a tie around my father's neck. A nice Double Windsor with a perfect triangle knot was my chosen style for him.

Throughout the process, I prepared myself for a sudden burst of emotion. But, I was never been more peaceful. Along the process, there were two lines that kept repeating inside me; "When it's time, it's time," and, "I now have two fathers in Heaven." **

My father had completed his journey, and I believe that it is also part of the completion of my own journey.

Christian faith believes that when we die, we will go the Heaven, and one day all of us will be reunited there, in the Kingdom of God. When I recalled this during the wake of my father's passing, I wonder what made me believe in such "fairy tale"? But, now I understand, that the day when we all are reunited in the Kingdom of God is not the day we all die.

What is the Kingdom of God? It's "righteousness, peace, and joy (in the Holy Ghost)". When we are righteous, we will be at peace with our own conscience, and we will receive the joy. The day we experience the Kingdom of God is the day we all are united as one - dead, or alive on Earth.

On the late afternoon of Saturday, July 3, 2010, my father's body was already dressed up completely. At the same time, I aligned myself with the completion of his journey in God's plan. That way, he was, and is, and will always be my father. That way, I could see myself having two fathers in Heaven.

** The main concept of Christianity is to call God as our Father. This is the luxury one could only obtain by believing in Jesus, and living in the Holy Spirit.

Posted at 01:31 by VE HANDOJO

The Boy and the Stars

I once met a boy, seven, whose magic hands could pick a star from the sky. One night he took the brightest one, put it in his pencil case, and brought it to his school. His peers looked in awe at the cotton-like, glittering star. He was soon known as The Boy with a Star in His Pencil Case, and gained many friends. But, the star stayed bright for seven days only. Soon it faded away. As the light was dimming, so were his friends leaving. With no bright star in his pencil case, the boy was left alone.

He grew up, and learned more.

At fourteen, the boy caught another star. It was bigger and brighter than the first one. He put it inside a clear glass, locked it, and hung it by the window of his bedroom. The star shone bright, and made his home look so special. Soon, he was known as The Boy with a Star by the Window of His Bedroom. Neighbors flocked in awe, and wondering who the boy was. But, the star stayed bright only for seven months. Soon it faded away, and soon he was left alone again. Everybody forgot who he was.

He grew up, and learned much more.

At twenty one, he built himself a big air balloon. The carriage was good for two, with some extra space. One night, as the sky was the brightest, and all the stars in the universe were shining, he prepared the air balloon to take off. He made an announcement to the people in his town.

"When I was young, I kept the love in a pencil case. I was brokenhearted soon. As I grew up, I tried to share it with many. Still, I was not good enough to do it. Tonight, I want to fly up there, and live among the stars. It might sound crazy, and but this air balloon that I built is good for two. If you believe in me, come and join me. We may not live long up there, and but we'll be among the stars."

Illustration by Kathy Mackey, GettyImages.com

Posted at 02:33 by VE HANDOJO

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This is a personal journal of Ve Handojo. All rights reserved. Quoting without permission is prohibited.



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Maxmillian Hartandi
The fondest memory I forever cherish.

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