When a Yogi Falls Sick…

English: Praveen Gurukkal from Kalarickal Ayur...
English: Praveen Gurukkal from Kalarickal Ayurveda shows the use of Yoga in Kalari practise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…Everyone would think one of these:

1. “Look at him. In spite of being thin, he would never listen to me. Eat a lot, for God’s sake! What is going through his mind? Does starving himself really pay? So eccentricly addicted to healthy life style. What’s the point of that? Now he’s sick and ..oh…poor wretched petite bony boy.”

2. “What is wrong with him? He’s been so fit so far and just as suddenly he declares he gets sick. That must have to do with the changing seasons.”

3. “If yoga can heal people, he should be able to cure himself. Well, he is supposed to be… Let him be.”

4. “He must have bent too much, twisted his body too often. ”

5. “He’s a human. That happens. It’s not like he gets sick every week or month. His sickness is once in an entire year. Why worry?”

6. “If that usually healthy and agile man can fall sick, how about me?? With all these abundant daily consumption of fried foods, sugary bread, greasy carnivore diets… Ah, leave it to God, and my insurance company. The world keeps spinning.”

7. “He needs bear hugs and intimate chats, I suppose. Let see if I can be of help.”

8. “He must’ve cheated on the diet plan too often.”

9. “His chakras may be clogged. He needs to fix them all.”

10. “He ought to a physician nearby.  He can heal on his own with Ayurveda but that’ll take much longer time. ”


12 Facts You May Not Know about Energy Consumption

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Clearing House Indonesia or EECCHI not only held the public awards event yesterday (6/10/2012) but they also gave some interesting kits away. A set of  playing cards is part of the giveaways and there I found these interesting facts, which I just think not everyone of us is aware of.

Fact 1: It is estimated that Indonesia energy consumption increases by 7% annually. Unless new energy sources are found soon, the country is predicted to run out of fossil fuel in 2034.(source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources)

Fact 2: Every 1 degree centigrade increase of air conditioner temperature saves us power bill up to 10% and cuts down carbon emission.(source: New South Wales Government, Australia)

Fact 3: To absorb the entire carbon dioxide emission produced by human beings, we need 176 trillion hectares of jungle. It equals to 421 billion soccer fields! (Source: Global Carbon Project)

Fact 4: Around 56% of total energy produced in the US gets wasted owing to energy inefficient designs, technologies, and energy production. (Source: The New York Times)

Fact 5: If all people in Jakarta Greater Area (Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) do not unplug their cell phone charger cable from power socket for 24 hours, the wasted energy may reach up to 96,000 kWh, which is the amount of energy enough for 755 households. (source: EECCHI)

Fact 6: By setting the air conditioner temperature at 25 degrees centigrade, productivity is improved at the same time and Rp 20,000/ person is saved every single hour.(source: Cornell University)

Fact 7: If the government subsidy for energy sector in 2010 was allocated to foods sector, farmers would receive 5 billion paddy seeds. (source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources)

Fact 8: Around 8% of energy wasting activities belong to humans. The rest falls into the technical category. (source: EECCHI)

Fact 9: Carbon dioxide emission volume produced in Indonesia annually equals to throwing 9 billion soccer fields into the atmosphere. (source: EECCHI)

Fact 10: In the United Kingdon, around Rp 1.8 trillion gets wasted every single year thanks to the lights people forgot switching off. (source: Energy Savings Trust)

Fact 11: 96% of total energy in Indonesia comes from fossil fuels which someday will run out. (Source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources)

Fact 12: Around 84% of household rubbish can be recycled. (source: Lance Armstrong Foundation)

Snapshots of #Jakarta (Taken from My Instagram Collection)

That disgraceful moustache : It was printed on the wall calendar hung in the nearby mosque I frequent.

Despite the shameless rampant  racist black campaign, the incumbent lost to the new younger challenger Mr. Joko Widodo and Basuki Purnama a.k.a. Ahok, as indicated by some quick count results:
1. Quick Count LSI-TV One: Jokowi-Ahok 53,68%, Foke-Nara 46,32%.
2. Indo Barometer-Metro TV: Jokowi-Ahok 54,11%, Foke-Nara 45,89%.
3. LSI-SCTV: Jokowi-Ahok: 53,81%, Foke-Nara 46,19%.
4. Kompas: Jokowi-Ahok: 52,97 %, Foke-Nara 47,03%
5. MNC Media-SMRC: Jokowi-Ahok 52,63, Foke-Nara 47,37%.


After the incumbent, will the new administration be the next scapegoat of the traffic jam?
Some don’t even give it a damn, sadly.
What they call “development” is actually “demolition”. I still remember the government promised to move or replant the trees from these areas before the flyover project began. Can they tell me where those trees are now? Oh I forget how busy they are all with these political craps.
Not a slave,not yet a boss: You are most likely to find the middle class faces in Sudirman Central Business District in #jakarta . They are caught somewhere between the bottom of the food chain in the ecosystem (e.g. construction, manual workers) and the jetset. They might afford to buy an iPhone 5 in cash but need to save first before purchase.
Modern slavery: Construction workers in #jakarta start working. These men are mostly peasants in various rural poverty-ridden areas around Java. Once the project they work for is done, they go home and plant the paddy fields as the rainy season approaches in the end of year.


2 days before the gubernatorial election in #Jakarta


Approaching the gubernatorial election in #jakarta, I get so dumbfounded by all the debates, arguments and psywars. I am no Jakartan before the law so I have no right to cast a vote. But if I really have to vote, i will vote for both. Just for the sake of balance. and everyone’s happy.
Monas: The 51-year-old monument was officiated in 1975. It took 14 years to erect the 132 meter high landmark of Jakarta. Frederich Silaban and R. M. Soedarsono are the architects in charge of its one-of-a-kind design,which resembles a torch and flame. The golden flame at the top symbolizes the struggle of the opressed nation against the Dutch Colonial Regime. #landmarked


It is estimated that #Jakarta will have thousands more new inhabitants every year after Idul Fitri. These new comers are mostly those without adequate skills and knowledge, not to mention their lack of educational background. A trusted friend of mine recently went back from her hometown and told me some of the people she knew at home went to the capital to find jobs. And they are not alone. Each of these job seekers brings his own motorbike as well. Why am i not surprised to find these streets are always not wide enough to hold the maddening traffic???


“Toko Merah” (Red Store): A culturally preserved old building in #KotaTua #jakarta ,erected in 1730 in the initiative of General Governor of VOC 1743-1750, Gustaaf Willem Baron van Imhoff.




5 Types of Yogis/Yoginis You Need To Know

Devi Asmarani, a yoga practitioner I look up to, wrote this piece titled “The Changing Path” on her blog containing her journey stories in India. In her mind, the yoga arena (especially outside of the classical Indian scene) is a packed one with practitioners who can be divided into these major groups:

1. The blind followers of gurus or traditions, who – like in the movie “The Guru” – would drink tea from the neti pot poured through the nostrils of their teachers, or would continue to do extremely deep poses even when their bodies have been broken (meaning injured) in many different places, or who would blame themselves instead of seeking accountability when the teachers’ strong adjustments cause them injuries.

2. The trendy bourgeois bohemians and the urban warrior(esses) type with their lithe, super flexible bodies; their cute Lulus outfits that accentuate strong arms toned by the thousands of chaturanga they’ve executed; and their strings of yoga jewelries.

3. The fitness buff gym yogis who glorify handstands and arm balances.

4. A combination of any two or more of the above.

5.  The recovering yogis who love yoga, believe wholly in its physical and mental benefits, and can’t live without it, but who feel a little out of place in the scene.

Into which category do I fall?

Umm, that’s hard. Assessing oneself objectively  is not easy. But if I had to pick one, I’d choose none of the 5 mentioned above. I’m a poser. I love pleasing my constantly hungry ego. I feed it continually by going deeper in the backbend asanas I practice. I even once admitted, “I’m no yogi. I’m a gymnast. I fold and bend, yet it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a yogi”.


Why Not Drinking Cow Milk DOES Help the Planet and Your Body

This is why you have to start leaving cow milk as staple drink. To satisfy our cow milk needs, the earth is suffering more and more.

I don’t hate cow milk, in the first place. It’s without doubt much better and more nutritious than the pricey liquour or any soft drinks you might find on the shelves of retailer stores. But there’re reasons why cow milk isn’t for humans’ regular consumption and why you can protect the earth more while not drinking any bovine milk.

I used to think milk is the best source of calcium and vitamins, and minerals and any other nutritious substances. It’s perfect, it’s flawless as the surrogate of nutritious foods. Experts and doctors always extol the magnificence of milk, how easily it can be absorbed by the body. All this leads to a new habit of regular milk drinking all over the world. And people mistake this as a legitimate ground to allow themselves consume more milk when they eat less balanced diet. I, as someone having trouble with weight gain, also used to consider milk the greatest shortcut to pack some more pounds.

I’ve recently found these assumptions wrong. There are, in fact, some hidden potential benefits we humans may enjoy if only we drink less milk in the future. Ok, kindly raise your hand if you’re not convinced on hearing what I said or typed. In the meantime, keep on reading.

Why not consuming cow milk helps the planet

The earth will suffer less if we drink cow milk less. Based on the detailed infographic above, you can imagine the massive scale of the destruction done by the world population that adopts milk consumption as the daily routine. It is estimated that each of us consumes 15,000 pints of milk throughout our life. That’s a huge number of cow milk you can drench yourself in!

Sadly most of us think only automotives and industrial plants are killing the earth by emitting more and more carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Meanwhile, we tend to forget how lethal and evil methane can be to our environment as well. And methane, one of the greenhouse gases that eventually heats the earth, is produced by cattles’ digestion system (as explained on Environmental Protection Agency site) .

According to EPA, all over the globe, cattles generate around 80 million metric tons of methane every year. That contributes to 28% of the whole methane emissions from human-related activites only! Let’s assume an adult cow emits only 80-110 kgs of methane each year in their dung. With more than 1 billion (and counting) cattles raised on earth, the concern is growing higher.

So my point is by reducing our cow milk (and other meat and dairy products) consumption rate, there is less demand of cow milk, meat and the other dairy products. With lower demand of all these, there’re fewer investors and business people getting interested in this sector, leading to fewer number of cattles raised thoughout the world. That translates to the higher likelihood of cutting down the greenhouse gas emission especially methane emission caused by cows. It may sound foolish and futile but as consumers, we have equally strong decisive power compared to industries to determine the direction of the world market, and of course, the survival and future of the civilization in the future.

Why not consuming cow milk helps the body

Before we proceed, let me tell you that there is no  adult species consuming cow milk known on this planet  other than homo sapiens, a.k.a. human beings.  Even adult cows don’t seep their own milk. Cow milk is obviously good and absorbable for calves but not naturally designed for adult ones’ nutritional daily needs, or more ridiculously, for human adults. Dewi Lestari, a well-known female artist and author of many books, kidded, “We are for sure the one and only mammals on earth campaigning the importance of breastfeeding of the same species (human mothers, not cows!)”. We are in the days when we have to trust more what nature provides us, it seems.

“You can’t stay healthy while going against the nature,” Hiromi Shinya, M. D. states in his book “The Miracle of Enzyme”. And as a mature human with  the proper level of sanity and logical thinking, we are challenged to weigh this widespread modern assumption once again: “Is cow milk really safe to human body, and even if it is, does it give us more health benefits or not? ”

In his book, Shinya (a professor of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA) claims that cow milk and human milk are considered similar and therefore cow milk may be consumed interchangeably. This is clearly wrong as  it is found that quality and nutrition amount is significantly different.

The difference, as Shinya puts it, lies in the main protein element found in cow milk called casein. This is not found in human milk. Human digestion system seems to be not perfectly designed to digest casein, making cow milk containing casein hard to absorb in human intestines. Some may argue the benefit of lactoferin in cow milk but Shinya says lactoferin in cow milk is only 0.01%, compared to the higher percentage of it in human milk (0.15%). This explains why cow milk, either fresh or specifically treated/ processed (homogenized or pasteurized) , cannot serve as the perfect drink for any humans at any age. Cow milk is for calves, and human milk is for babies and infants. Period.

In a nutshell…

There’re a lot of reasons why filling our stomach with more plants and less meat is great for the body and creates more balanced an environment. And I always think cooking vegetables or plant-based meals are easier and more energy-efficient as it requires shorter time to cook them all than all kinds of meat. One can cook or stew veggies within minutes but must use up more energy to boil the meat to get the edible texture. So what to do if you want to eat meat still? Try to turn to fish.

Shifting our tendency of daily diets proves to be one of the possible solutions to energy efficiency and conservation, either directly or indirectly. I am not saying the entire human race must go totally vegan / vegetarian to save the world but at the very least, there’re more and more people aware of the depth of the impact created by their choice of meals and drinks so that they’re encouraged to gradually alter their dietary habits on their own free will. Let’s be a (n occasional) vegan!

The Religious Dilemma (Position among the Stars- Part 3)

I wrote the draft of this post in the Jakarta-Bogor commuter line train. Great experience to write! Writers must love trains! And the notebook -one with paper not running on battery- is the most loyal and easy-to-use tool to document every train of thoughts.

It’s always nice to see how people live side by side despite being different. Being different at times separates us apart. I’m not like you. You’re not like me. Thus we should never be agreed on any things. But life keeps a zillion mysteries.

I haven’t watched the previous installment (a friend of mine said this is the third of a trilogy) but I thought there is something missing before this. And I was right.

In the previous trilogy, , it is told that the son has converted himself to Islam. The old lady wasn’t really pleased to learn this but she eventually came to terms with it.

After converting to Islam to his own will, the son didn’t seem to be fervent enough to learn his new faith he just declared to embrace.

In one early Sunday morning, the old lady who was a Catholic had to go to church to attend the Sunday morning sevice. She needed company but Tari was still asleep. The old lady continually woke her up yet in vain. Then came the uncle. He wanted Tari to accompany the old lady attending the service. “Come on, there’re only a flock of old women at the church!” Tari tousled her hair, still yawning and unwilling to leave the bed. It was early in the morning, for God’s sake! Yet it didn’t stop him to drag her out of the bed. Feeling upset, Tari asked her uncle in a bitter, flat tone, “Why don’t you accompany her instead?” “But I’m a moslem. How come a moslem goes to church??” the uncle got even more irritated. “You’re a moslem but we’ve never ever seen you praying (: shalat, Ind),” Tari protested. “Uhm, well… ,” he muttered, followed with a considerably long pause, unable to supply a logical argument. “Chekmate!” said the old lady, giggling. ” “That is absolutely true!” she found it particularly hilarious. Anda she continued giggling. Few moments later, the mother and mildly insulted son were seen on a motorbike, heading to the church. The church turned out to be less than majestic (don’t even think of a towering, classic-styled one like the cathedral downtown Jakarta). Nothing looked churchlike about it, except the congregation.

That’s the hard cold fact that any Christian or Catholic must deal with in several parts of this Moslem-dominated country. Once I overheard a Catholic priest talking with the you-know-who most prominent entrepreneurship evangelist in the country. He said, as far as I’m concerned, an opinion which would sound more or less like this: “(Indonesian) moslems are generally irritated when the neighborhood they’re living in shows a huge cross.” The cross or the symbol of Christianity seemes too either unbecoming or improper. One shouldn’t do it no matter what. It is intolerance, which the state and the laws have no approval of but the rest of the nation always clings to. It is natural, in fact. Human beings are selfish by nature. Once you’re considered a threat for their ego, you’ll be eliminated. That simple!

Tari was actually torn between these two older adults: her grandmom and her uncle.  She found it quite enigmatic to see two faiths embraced in the family. It was no easier for her at school. She was a moslem by law and school regarded her so. Nonetheless, deep down inside her conscience, Tari or Theresia loved Jesus (as written stealthily on the door of the rented house the family lived in). After all, Theresia sounded like a baptist name given after the shower ritual (excuse my inapt description, I myself am a moslem). My hunch is, thus, she was baptized early by the parents or grandmother.

And then another scene showed Tari and the grandmom went to a place looking a lot like a school auditorium. It was spacious, much bigger than a classroom. There were a lot of students in uniform. I don’t knw exactly what it was but what happened there was she, along with several other students who freshly graduated, was interviewed by a teacher. Perhaps it was an interview of scholarship application. Tari was asked whether she knew the 5 pillars of Islam. Tari cast a blank stare and kept silent, while the teacher passed the question to another student. The student being asked answered in an effortless manner, “Syahadat (pledge), salat (pray), zakat (alms),  puasa (fasting, and haji (hajj- pilgrimage trip to Madina and Mecca).”

There was nothing that Tari could do but leave the room with her last shred of dignity. But before she could flee, another humiliation was awaiting. The teacher- wearing veil- mumbled that Tari only wanted the money (scholarship fund) but didn’t even give a damn about the most basic questions of all. She looked uneasy, ashamed, guilty (maybe because she felt like she wouldn’t make it), as she  kept on scratching her head during the interview.

As Tari went out of the auditorium, her grand mother asked how the interview test was going. Tari was silenced by the question. She nodded weakly, only making sure the grandmother wouldn’t notice her troubled heart. She clearly wasn’t fully recovered from the great humiliation she just experienced. That was hard on the teenage girl. But the grandmom wouldn’t  find out that anyhow Tari was still conflicting against the other self inside. What doubt? I guess it has something to do with the question: “Is she supposed to be a Catholic or a Moslem?”

P. S. : Read the previous related posts:

The Amazingly Mixed-up Indonesia

The Anger and Disappointment 


Arab boy (7)

Frantically I searched for his name, that God-damn reporter name. his name sounds like a star constellation. I’d called him for like a thousand times but what I could talk with was his coworker, “Where’s he? What? Just go get him, knock on the rest room’s door if necessary. NOW!!!” The elderly pundit seemed restless, while I kept trying to get connected with this guy. “Why the hell is he is so long???”

The pundit had been whining since yesterday, as if he would’ve died once the reporter didn’t get the instruction he wanted to give. I don’t know why, he really insisted calling and talking to himself on his own.  This tiny young man is a pain in the ass, what’s taking him so long?

My cell phone vibrated, I felt it and immediately viewed the message. It was from him, saying he was away for a while for afternoon prayer. Afternoon prayer that took him 45 minutes? What kind of prayer was that? He must’ve asked lots of things with that much time.

I without delay dialed the phone. He answered the phone, I was relieved very much, “Hello, what was it that made you call me??”

I gave the phone to the pundit. He charismatically addressed the reporter at the age of his grandkids, “What’s his name?” he asked me. “Aldebaran, sir” I responded. He turned to the phone and drew it closer to the mouth,“ Hi Aldebaran, how you doing? Your name sounds like Arabic, are you one?” I could hear nothing but as far as I know, he’s not an Arab at all. Clean shaven, short, tiny with a bony facial structure, not much flesh , thin hair. An Arab should at least have sideburns, or a line of facial hair, but this is definitely nearly hairless.

“Arabic is usually shrewd,” he went on the ice-breaking part of the chat. Great to start a warm, heart-to-heart conversation. The next chat flow sounded blurred, he mumbled some words I could barely understand. With his fatherly tone, he began addressing the issue, “Why weren’t you coming yesterday?”

Poor man, he wasn’t invited. “How come you had no idea? I had invited your boss. There is no excuse you didn’t make it. The email was sent earlier. Ah, I know you’re in the bottom of this food chain.  Almost no one cared about you. But hey I still think they’re obliged to pass this on to you.”

A Flag Worshipper Kid (A True Story of Mine)

I, if my memory served right, worshipped Indonesian flags  very much as a kid. I didn’t remember since when I fell in love with this glorious red-and-white flag. Yet every time I saw that flag, my heart jumped in utter joy. Nothing could beat the enjoyment of watching flags blown so hard by the gusting wind.

It might be my late grand father (of my mom’s side) who introduced me  to the grandeur of “Sang Saka Merah Putih”. He was a retired military official (purnawirawan) at the time, which was why he named me after the title (‘purna’ in Indonesian pronunciaton-> ‘purno” in Javanese -> ‘purnomo’), He was once serving as a local legislator as well.

I mostly spent my childhood with my grand father. You know what a grand father will normally do with his first grand son. That’s why almost all my childhood memory revolved around him. I loved him but never did the cigarettes he stuck in his mouth every single day. Oddly enough, he taught me to hate smoking by being a heavy smoker.

Back to the topic, I still remember when I was ‘abandoned’ in offices. Yes, my childhood was all about one office to another. My grand father quite often brought me with him while he paid a visit to Pepabri office in Kudus (FYI, I don’t know what Pepabri actually stands for). As my grad father mingled and had a warm chat with his friends, reminiscing their past and sharing current life details mostly related to health issues (no wonder, at such age), I was all alone and found the flag placed in the front yard of the office sexy enough to gaze.  Then my mother, a teacher of an elementary school nearby, was busily writing math problems with the chalk on the wooden blackboard while I collected all the tiny red-white flags placed in every teacher’s desk at school and ran to and fro just to see them wave in the air. Or I’d rather go outside, at the yard, staring at the tip of flag pole. The waving graceful movement of flag lured me into standing there. I just stared like a statue, couldn’t care less about anything around me. My dad, who was back then a principal of an elementary school, pretty much did the same thing to me.

Sarah Lacy’s Story: “Stop Worrying. It’ll Turn Out OK”

SarahLacy.com | Welcome to a day in the life of a (Silicon) Valley girl.

Just read Mrs. Lacy’s career journey. Found it quite inspirational, to me.

A few weeks ago someone asked me if I could go back in time and give my 12 year old self advice, what it would be. The only thing I could come up with is: “Stop worrying. It’ll all turn out OK.”

And I keep thinking how true that actually is. Like most kids, I used to agonize in those (very) awkward years (and later) over whether I’d ever find someone to marry and what on earth I’d do for a living. And somehow, it did all turn out OK. Better than OK.

This is the happiest I’ve ever been in a full time job, I’ve been lucky enough to spend two years traveling the world, I’ve written two books, I’m married to the best person I’ve ever met, expecting a healthy baby boy in eleven weeks and somehow on a writer’s salary we’ve managed to buy a house in San Francisco. I can’t really imagine what more I could want. I even get along great with my in-laws. 

I owe a lot of people for that. My parents, of course. A bunch of teachers. And my awesome husband for marrying me and solving that whole soul mate dilemma.

When it comes to my career– the unbelievable fact that I get paid to write about some of the most fascinating people in the world– there are also a lot of people to thank. But chief among them is a man named Barney DuBois. A lot of people have been hugely pivotal during my reporting career, but without Barney it may never have even begun. 

Barney was the founder and publisher of the Memphis Business Journal, but I knew him first as the father of a girl I went to high school with. My senior year I was the editor of the high school paper. I know in retrospect that sounds like I always knew I’d do this, but believe it or not, I had no interest in going into journalism. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me. Back then I associated being a journalist with daily newspapers and writing stilted AP style pieces about school board meetings. That didn’t sound too enticing. (Probably didn’t help that Memphis didn’t have the world’s greatest daily paper.) 

 At any rate, as editor I inherited a huge deficit. We were still publishing the paper by moving print and it was expensive. We only had enough money to produce six four-page issues for the year. Lame. I decided to get someone in the community to “underwrite” the paper, and picked Barney as my target. He was the only person remotely in the journalism world I knew. 

So I nervously went to his office downtown and pitched him on an offer he couldn’t possibly refuse: Help us move our paper over to computers, send your staff to train my team how to use the programs, let us use your scanners, and let us piggyback on your print run. And throw in a redesign. In exchange I offered our paltry budget and a line in the staff box that said we were underwritten by the Memphis Business Journal. He accepted, clearly out of a mix of pity, amusement and obligation since his daughter went to my school. The Business Journal underwrote my highschool paper until they were sold to American City Business Journals years later, totally changing what the students were able to produce. 

Over that summer and my senior year of high school, we put out more papers than the school ever had, with longer page counts, vastly improved photos and graphics and still ended with a surplus. Every month around midnight, I’d finish wrapping up each issue in the school’s computer lab. (My family didn’t have a computer.) I’d go drop off the floppy disks and the photos at Barney’s house. He’d open the door– sometimes in a bathrobe, usually holding a glass of scotch, still working late on his own paper. And every month he’d say the same thing: “You’re going to be a reporter. It’s in your blood.” 

Every month I told him he was wrong. 

Fast-forward three years and I was taking a semester off college and utterly disillusioned with other careers I thought I’d go into. A summer working for Memphis City Council convinced me politics wasn’t for me and an internship at a law firm dissuaded me against law school. My parents were teachers, but I didn’t think that was quite for me either. Someone suggested I go into PR. Or pharmaceutical sales. You know, the vague careers for outgoing girls with liberal arts degrees. Yeah….I didn’t have to do an internship to know neither of those were for me.

Then I ran into Barney’s wife, who edited two of the MBJ’s smaller publications. She asked what I was up to, and I asked if I could have an internship. I remembered what he’d said and how much I’d enjoyed editing my paper in highschool. I still didn’t think I’d go into journalism, but thought it could look nice on a resume and could be fun. She said sure. And within the summer, I fell in love with the paper the two had created and began an all-consuming life-long career of business reporting. A few years later, the editor of the Business Journal came to my desk and asked me if Memphis had any venture capitalists– a chance conversation that ended with me moving to Silicon Valley in 1999. You know the rest.

For the Memphis Business community, Barney and his wife Debbie created something that was every bit as powerful as TechCrunch is for the Silicon Valley business community. It dug out fascinating stories of very private business moguls the world might not have ever read about, covered the large public companies based in Memphis better than anyone else, and championed the small business man.

It was the place where I learned the basics of how to report, where I learned never to be intimidated by any CEO, where I learned to camp out in someone’s office until they gave me an interview, where I first felt the rush of knowing something that no one else knew and splashing it across the front page.

Playing on the Memphis Business Journal softball team also gave my husband– who played on an opposing team– the opportunity to court me. Never mind my boss heckled him for taking too many pitches. It’s never embarrassing when you are 22 and your Ed Asner-like boss yells at the guy you like, “SWING AT THE BALL, BOY!” 

Mr. Lacy and I were driving around last Saturday talking about all of this. How weird it was that we’d fallen into such a great life, just by following a chance path that so easily could have not happened at all. Specifically how crazy it was that except for one person telling me I’d definitely be a reporter every month of my senior year of highschool, I might have never have even gone into an industry that has been such a perfect fit for me and consumed most of my waking thoughts since then. Not thirty minutes later we got an email from Memphis with the news that Barney DuBois had died. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. 

I read all the tributes to him in the Memphis area papers about what a great journalist he was, about the paper he created, about the wealth he amassed when he sold the paper and everything he’d been doing in recent years for Memphis businesses. But what was missing in that coverage were tiny stories like mine of people whose lives Barney changed just by intersecting with them for a year or so and giving them a little bit of his time for no ROI-driven reason. 

I’m going back to Memphis in a week. I’m doing a book event organized by the Memphis Leadership Academy that’s semi-ridiculous. FedEx CIO Rob Carter– who really I should be the one interviewing– is interviewing me about entrepreneurship and the Mayor is introducing the whole thing. It’s all a big honor for me, and I’m happy my parents who are celebrating their 50th anniversary that weekend will be there.

But I can’t help but think fondly of the last book event I did in Memphis, which was much more casual and low-frills. The one where the Barney introduced me, told embarrassing stories about what a freak I was in highschool and reluctantly took credit for unleashing me on the business world. I’m glad I got the chance to tell him how much he’d changed my life before it was too late. 


I don’t know but some lines are so…indescribable. Especially this.

I still didn’t think I’d go into journalism, but thought it could look nice on a resume and could be fun.”

If a girl as outgoing and carefree as her might not consider journalism as her career path, then what about me? A silent, anti-social guy, and a crowd hater? Above all, I hate writing with deadline looming in my head.

And this….

And every month he’d say the same thing: “You’re going to be a reporter. It’s in your blood.” 

Every month I told him he was wrong.

No one told me I’d be a reporter, or a translator, or a writer. They keep telling me I’d be a teacher or lecturer. I am not, in a full-time sense, but still am a teacher though. Life’s weird. It IS.

And why does Lacy tell this, too?

My parents were teachers, but I didn’t think that was quite for me either.”

I can feel it, too. I never thought teaching would be my lifetime career. And I figured out why. Because I have this in my mind: One can educate others without being a teacher, either formally or informally. A teacher is merely a title but educator is NOT. Being a teacher requires me to observe a set of rules I can’t stand, getting along with the bureau-crazy that twists my mind. Besides, I’m not really skillful at dealing with not-so-well-behaved students, subjectivity,vested interests, and imperfection.

So what will I be? A reporter, translator, teacher, or….I have no idea but like she said: “Stop worrying. It’ll all turn out OK.”

We’ll never know what the future holds for us :))

How to Work Out in Ramadan without Leaving Us Dead Tired

Marine of the United States Marine Corps runs ...
Afraid of dehydration while fasting? Running in a creek like this marine guy may suit you. No, I'm joking! (Image via Wikipedia)

As a disclosure, I should declare that this post is (again) based on what @erikarlebang tweeted. What I did is rearranging the whole tweets and makes this a nice-to-read blog post for you.

As for me, I know folks who think fasting is a perfect excuse NOT to work out or exercise in Ramadan. But that sounds pitifully misleading an assumption because in my opinion, a decent amount of physical workout when timed and done appropriately can help revitalize the overly-clogged system over 11 months.

When it comes to exercising in Ramadan, Erikar said it’s all about adapting to the changes. This especially holds true for those who don’t make money or earn a living as a professional athlete. Indeed, you don’t have to make yourself dying of hunger or thirst even before reaching the end of the day.

Why still work out in Ramadan?

With an apt method, fasting month is the best time for the body to detox itself. In terms of detoxification, lymphatic glands play a key role. Lymphatic glands resemble blood vessels, but it has no ‘generator’ (a group of muscles to pump the fluid just like the heart muscles) so it heavily depends on how active we move throughout the day. Physical workout really helps the performance of lymphatic glands so the detoxification occurs way better.

So here’s the DOs and DON’Ts list.


  1. Work out 1-2 hours prior to eating iftar. You don’t have to suffer from dehydration for too long a time. As soon as you’re done with the exercise, you can drink.
  2. As the sun sets (maghrib comes), end the workput and slowly take a sip of one or two glasses of room-temp water (Erikar said ‘cool’ -sejuk- but I guess he refers to a type of fresh, previously boiled water that is neither cold nor hot).
  3. Eat easily digested foods.
  4. If you want to resume your workout after that, please do but try to add some natural honey to your water.


  1. Morning workout is just NOT a wise idea. Rather, it ‘kills’ us. Dehydration or fatigue risk is, I suppose, the best, most logical explanation. Instead of draining your energy (calories) and most importantly your water supply in the beginning of the day, try move your workout to afternoon hours.
  2. Drinking high-caffeine beverages dehydrates you. Coffee or tea may be your favorite early breakfast drink but you’ll soon find yourself urinating quite a lot, because caffeine provides dieuretic effect to the urinary system. In other words, it drains your water supply. Unlike tea or coffee or alcoholic drinks, fresh water can do us good.

That’s all folks! 🙂

Apparently the US,too, is Struggling against Plastics

Seated from left to right: Agnes Stafford, Michelle de Pass, the moderator whose name I don't even know (As I missed the half of the show), and A. Ruwindrijarto (founder of telapak.org)It’s always tickling me to find out  how American and European rivers can stay (or at least look) pristine.  So I thought they have applied a very effective system to treat plastic garbage.

Thanks to my curiosity, I shamelessly asked this question to Michelle de Pass, a representative of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For your information, the first time I heard this abbreviation was when I watched “The Simpsons: The Movie” (miss watching it!).

Ms. de Pass admitted that the US itself is making its best efforts to tackle this plastic  ‘monster’. Did she say something about “a  mousetrap”?

Ciputra in “Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit from Global Chaos”

To look a lot cockier, the 'cocky' book should be in red. Just saying...

To date, the United States of America may be considered the hub of entrepreneurship in the world. We, however, almost forget how dynamic the world economy has become and that there are developing economies throughout the globe that keep catching us off-guard.

Sarah Lacy brings us a series of novel insights on the ever-changing entrepreneurial constellation in developing countries. And Indonesia is one of the eleven countries Lacy has visited and written about in “Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky”. While dedicating the whole of chapter 9 titled “The Emerging World’s Big Secret” to Indonesian entrepreneurs, she divides it into 3 subchapters, each of which focuses on three different facets of Indonesian entrepreneurs. These three are property, beauty care, and the IT startups.

Ciputra represents the first facet, i.e. the male-dominated  kingdom of property. Here Lacy highlights when Ciputra started to dream big by sending a letter to Walt Disney. Disney disapproved of his proposal. As we all may have learned, this later encouraged the young and ambitious Ciputra to work on a project in the notoriously ‘unpromising’ Northern coast of Jakarta, Ancol. But as an entrepreneur, Ciputra saw Ancol in a much different way and managed to prove Disney wrong.

The story goes on when Lacy tells us why Ciputra thinks Indonesia is likened to a sleeping giant whose growth was held down for centuries largely owing to the Dutch colonialization:


Indonesia is a giant that’s economically still asleep. Pick your favorite reason why: Indonesia has been one of the most dominated, unstable, tragedy-stricken countries of the 20th century.

[…] Indonesians may be the only people who envy 20th-century China. “They were only held down by communism for 50 years,” Ciputra says. “We were held down for 350 years.” (BCC,  p 184-185)


The diverse experience that Ciputra has amassed from the Dutch colonial days to the current administration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono led the 80-year-old entrepreneur to a new, more massive undertaking than building affordable housings or luxurious townships in Indonesia or abroad. What Ciputra is now trying so hard to achieve, along with the entire nation, is transforming the opressed mentality to the liberating and empowering entrepreneurial one.

Despite the hard cold fact that changing such a mentality is a daunting task to complete, Ciputra relentlessly does anything he could to realize his dream. He without hesitation invested $ 10 million in Universitas Ciputra Entrepreneurship Center (UCEC) located in Surabaya, East Java.  Another enterprise to stimulate the nationwide growth of new entrepreneurs figure is called Training of Trainers (ToT), in which more than 2,000 teachers from 350 universities across the country are trained (BCC, p. 189).

In his ambitious project, Ciputra does not overlook the significant role of Indonesian government. As he argues:

“Ciputra rejects the U. S. view that all a government needs to do to spur innovation is get out of the way. “We have to involve the government because we are trying to change the nation entirely,”he says.” (BCC, p 190)


In order to combat poverty which often is the root of evil such as radicalism and crime, there is nothing that can compare to entrepreneurship. While it certainly improves the nation’s public welfare, entrepreneurship might help Indonesia create a new face of moslems and Islam, as Dino Patti Djalal (the Indonesian ambassador to the States) puts it. Djalal’s statement , which represents the SBY administration, is simply in line with Ciputra’s grand ambition. (This post is previously published on HERE)

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