Day 33 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful that Vincent was alright after the nasty fight last night at the African party."

I don't know why, every time I thought I was finally enjoying a party, it always ended bad.

Last night was the White Party - an annual event held by the owner of Animale clothing line. Someone said that this was always such a great jet set party in Bali that you must simply come when invited. Vincent was invited since lately he's become friends with a new poker group; and the whole member of this poker group was invited.

So we went there after hours looking for "nicer" white outfits for both Vincent and me. We both have A LOT OF white clothes as we both love white. But every white thing we have is so Bali-style. Nothing fancy about them. So we were looking for the better looking white clothes after my rendezvous with Michelle.

Again, it was full of French. But this time it was totally different. This group of French somehow speaks more English than French; perhaps because half of the invitees are of different nationalities or perhaps because the wife of the host is Indonesian. So I really enjoyed it.

This one particular woman who speaks excellent English (perhaps better than Indonesian) was very interesting and we clicked in everything we discussed. Her previous husband was English and she found so many different experience when she finally settled down with a Frenchman. Somehow, I could relate to that. :-)

And guess who I met there and in every party I attended? AYU! My ex workmate at IALF. The party animal 4 years back and still. I met her at La Plancha party the week before and there she was again at the White Party. When I asked her which one of the host who invited her, she said, "Oh, my girl friend is friends with the wife of the host; I'm just tagging along." Hehehe... I can't remember the last time I came to a party whose host I didn't know. Well, I didn't know this one either; but I came as the capacity of Vincent's spouse. Anyway, it was good that Ayu was there because it kept me from feeling misplaced. And she brought a camera which she and her friends kept snapping. This is one she tagged me on Facebook.
(I wonder why I always write so much before the real subject of the blog)
Anyway, by midnight I got bored, and so was this sweet girl called Tini. No, she's not Indonesian. So after the empty promises her boyfriend and MY boyfriend had given that we would leave very soon (NOT), Tini and I took off on our own to the African Party at Batu Belig beach. I had a wonderful time the first 30 minutes I got there with Tiny. But after that I had a physical breakdown since I was up so early in the morning as usual and kept moving until then (around 1 o'clock). I went upstairs and fell asleep under the open sky. YEAH, only Carla can sleep at parties surrounded by LOUD music and strong sea winds!!!

Vincent and his boys didn't arrive until about 2.30. And that was because one of the boys was beaten up by some drunk Aussies. So they came as quickly as they could to give support. Only 15 minutes after he found me, there was another fight going on (apparently there were 2 other fights before that perhaps happening when I was asleep). So I was saying to Vincent who was standing next to me, "Boys are so stupid. Why...."

Apparently he was no longer beside me!!! I was looking around and found him IN THE MIDDLE of the fight with Anael! How could he move so fast?!?!

But my concern that he was there changed to worry when someone broke a beer bottle and hit someone else's head. It seemed to me that Vincent was trying to stop the fight. But really, for drunk jackasses (both from the Australian group and the French group), how could you really see that? Especially with the uniform clothes the French's are wearing after the white party, it was so easy to locate enemies, right? Even if you meant to stop it. Then I saw someone grab a beach chair and throw it to someone else. I was terrified.

The rest involved many bottle beers flying about, white clothes stained red from blood, wounded heads full of blood... I didn't care about everyone else. My eyes were locked to Vincent.

In the end, he fortunately didn't get wounded. Not even a stain of other people's blood. But I stomped when I could finally express my feeling and I insisted to go home immediately. Anael came to me and apologized it happened (I didn't even understand why he apologized) and he tried to defend Vincent for being there. He said that he just wanted to stop it and not join the fight. Bladibladibla.... But I just wanted him to be safely home. Vincent kept saying that he was not fighting and obviously I didn't understand where he was coming from.

Guess what, he was right. I don't care where he was coming from but I do care when he's hurt! Even if he constantly fought when he was young, it is a different case now that I'm with him. I want nothing to happen to him ever and he'd better listen to me!

Day 32 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful to meet Michelle again."

Michelle is in Bali!!!

She's my almost-7-year-old niece. She just got her annual school report yesterday and scores that make any mother proud of her! She almost failed in Javanese language subject, but that was never very important in our family. And now she is in Bali to spend the school holiday here.

We met at Café Moka to have brunch. Despite her long 12-hour bus journey from Surabaya to Denpasar, she seemed like she was still full of energy. She ordered a cute chocolate cupcake and was very happy to pose with it. :D
Michelle with her cupcake
And here is Ita and Michelle - mother and child, who meet several times in a year only. They seem to get along much more than before because every time they spend away from each other actually grows their love more.

Yeah, it was a nice family reunion. I'm looking forward to better time spent with my niece in the next 3 weeks.
Day 31 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for having attended La Fete de la Musique held by Alliance Française."

Vincent was not going because there were only girls from his office going to this event. But I'm going anyway because I promised Audrey I would.

But apparently Antida was so far away from Kerobokan! Took me about an hour to get there. Anyway it was nice. It seemed like a reunion for me. I met my classmates, Vincent's workmates, the wives of Vincent's workmates and my funny teacher Monsieur Putu. The music, however, was not really for me. Most featured rock or heavy metal, which Balinese seemed to really, really love. I actually think the best performance was the contemporary style of Kecak Dance. It was super funny and entertaining, with most dancers clap on their bodies to make the sounds. There was hardly any instrument used but that body-clapping, though at the end there were some bamboos that were hit on the floor consistently that produced such beautiful sounds together with the body clapping and the tongue clapping. I wish I had the video camera with me. But here is the picture I took of them.
The coolest Kecak Dance I've ever seen
Later that night, children started to get tired from running everywhere. And this particular cute young lady was falling asleep on her brother's knee.
Day 30 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for not going anywhere tonight."

It's been a busy week. A busy month, even. I go out more often than usual for lunches, dinners, alcoholic hangouts, girls gossiping moments, etc. So I decided to stay at home tonight.

I went to Gourmet Café in Seminyak Square and bought some veggies and meat for dinner tonight. I saw radishes and I remembered that Vincent said that he loved them, so I bought a pack. If your spouse tells you one specific vegetable that he likes when he doesn't normally like vegetables, remember it and buy it the soonest you've got the chance. :P

At home I prepared this Red Onion Confit with Grilled Pork Chops and Coriander and Radishes Salad. It was a hit! Vincent didn't leave any single thing on his plate. He disliked the coriander leaves, but he still had to eat them while I was there. :) I guess I'll have to post the recipe in my food blog that I haven't updated for a while. In the mean time, here's the photo of the dinner.
Grilled Pork Chop with Red Onion Confit and Coriander and Radish Salad
Day 29 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for the nice dinner in Ubud."

Yes, that's rather far to have merely dinner. But it was still a good change from the usual dinner at home or dinner around Seminyak area.

Vincent and I left home at about 6 and we met with his other friends and got in the same car to Ubud. Of course they had to stop at Circle K and buy chips and beers; beers to be drunk along the way. :P I don't understand why people like drinking beer in a car. Vincent doesn't understand why people like drinking beer at all. But they can do what they want. :)

We arrived in Ubud about 1.5 hours later, at Marie's house. She prepared the most delicious guacamole (or perhaps she bought it) and I couldn't stop eating it! Well, that's also because it was already 8 o'clock and I didn't have lunch today and dinner won't happen until about 9 or 9.30. One thing I can never get used to when being with a group of Frenchs.

Then we went to Café des Artistes in downtown Ubud, which is said to be great on their grilled dishes. Eleonore wasn't happy since she was a vegetarian. Well, not a strict one, since she still ordered this meaty dish despite a small list of vegetarian foods. :P
Vegetarian Eleonore and her meaty dish
Sandrine with her baked cheese broccoli.
Nice ambience at Café des Artistes
Afterwards we went for drinks and dance around Ubud, which apparently was hard to find. First we went to this new Boom Boom place, which was not really happening, either perhaps because it was weekdays or it was just not that hip. And then we moved to a more crowded place near Boom Boom, whose name I can't remember. But it has this cozy and warm feeling inside the bar. So cozy and warm that I actually fell asleep despite the loud music!

However, it was a nice night. Yes, I wish I were smarter to wear warmer clothes instead of knee-length skirt. The weather has been very, very cool lately in Kerobokan; and even more in Ubud. But in a wrap, it was still a very good night.
Day 28 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful that the ad print project is finally finalized and that all of us are happy with the results."

We went out last night to celebrate it and I had such a great time!!! So great I came home totally drunk and for the first time in such a long time, I did what drunk people do. Erghhh...

Anyway, here are the ad print designs that will go on Bali guide book, French version in August 2011.

Full page design

Half page design
Day 27 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for finally opening an account with Tumblr and getting one step closer to being a real socialista."

OK, that doesn't make sense. Tumblr doesn't make anyone a socialista, but then everyone has it and everyone in Twitter posts some Tumblr link. So it must be something? I suppose it's like a blog like this one, but shorter. I'm just going to put my quote pictures there. Or daily pictures as a matter of fact. Perhaps it'll encourage me to take more pictures than now?

Anyway, here's the link.
Day 26 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for a Sweet Girls Sunday Time."

Pam almost begged me to come to IALF Open Day, where she would participate in the Acehnese dance. She said that it would be at 3ish in the afternoon. I SMSed my sister and asked if she would join, and she said yes because she was curious to see how Pam danced.

Well I came a bit late... at 3.15 or something, and we missed the show. But then Pam performed earlier, too, so even if we came on time at 3 we would have still missed it. When we confronted Pam about it, she was happy we didn't see her performance. She said it was a total mess. Now we really wished we had seen it!

So, since the reason why we came wasn't there anymore, we were looking for some food stalls at the bazaar. But there was really.... hardly any food! How come a bazaar doesn't have food but roasted corns??? Most of the stalls sold clothes - and not very interesting ones, I must say - and fertilizers. :P Weird for an English course bazaar. So we went back just before the stage (the music was great) and I met with my old workmates and socialized for half an hour.
Ita in front of a wall with green palm prints.

From left to right: Some girl, Pam and Ita

This kid loves dangdut!
And the way she dances with the pole reminds me of a pro dancer.
So no food, not even coffee, we are leaving. I took my sister to the nearest Dunkin Donut near Simpang Enam, and had a great coffee rendezvous there. Pam joined us an hour later and conversations got even funnier.
Hot cappuccino and chocolate filling donut for me

I bought half a dozen donuts for Vincent who is waiting at home. :)
Day 25 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for a busy Saturday like this."

I know that most people want relaxing Saturday after working 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday. But I like a busy weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. This Saturday, however, I am not busy working on projects. I'm busy with my personal life.

Vincent and I almost always have a badminton exercise every Saturday afternoon. Just before we go, I normally make some weekend snacks so that we have a little bit of energy before wasting it out at the court. Like the lumpia below.
But then, when we arrive home from badminton, I'm always too tired to prepare anything. So we would call Mc Donald's or Burger King for dinner, which actually nulls the whole running and jumping exercise during badminton with its super greasy food. :P Anyhoo, we still enjoy being pumped up from it.

Not long after I arrive from badminton, I get a message from Audrey inviting me to go out with her to see her friend's concert in Kuta tonight. When I told Vincent about it, he said, "It's funny because Jerome just invited me to play pool tonight." Cool! So I'll be having a girls night and him boys night.

I'm getting ready for Audrey to come pick me up at 8. Now you know why I love my busy weekends!
Day 24 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for having had a nice hair spa at W Salon this afternoon."

Nothing beats the me time as I take my own free time and pamper myself having or doing the things I like. Hair treatment is one of them. It leaves me totally fresh on the head afterwards and my shoulders will be very relaxed as well! If I could do it every week, I would. But too much chemical is not good either, so I'll just be happy with once a month. :)

If you ask me which is better; the full body massage or hair spa, I'd go with hair spa. First of all my hair becomes absolutely great, it feels light and glowing and at the same time my body relaxes a lot thanks to the shoulders, arms and back massage. A full body massage is of course also great. It's only that I'm a sucker when my legs are being massaged. A masseuse can't put the same pressure intensity on my back and on my legs because the latter is way more sensitive. Often I will find bruises on my skin because of the strong massage. The hair spa, on the other hand, focuses on the health of the head scalp, which helps a lot for someone who works (and plays) almost all the time in front of the computer like me. It releases a lot of tension on the areas around my eyes.

So.... now that I feel pretty, I'm ready to party! There's a party at La Plancha, Seminyak tonight and I intend to come. Vincent already announced that he would have a poker night tonight, so it's perfect for me to have a dancing night tonight. :)
Day 23 of 365 Grateful Days Project:

"I'm grateful for having Mouche back home from the sex operation."

I thought I would sleep well that Mouche wasn't here. But I was wrong. I kept getting worried about what she was thinking, what she was feeling... She must have been so confused why Vincent and I let the vet take her away in a cage. She was never put in a cage before. She never left with a stranger before. She never gets acquainted to my maid who comes cleaning the house twice a week and always hides when she's there. Every time the bell rings, she jumps to her safe haven on the first floor ceiling where nobody can reach her.
Mouche and her bandaged stitch
Luckily the operation didn't take very long. The vet came to pick her up in the evening and he already returned her in the morning. Mouche was still deep in anaesthesia when she arrived and it lasted the whole day. However, I'm glad she's home. Though I can't stop being worried since she's hardly awake. It's too quiet compared to yesterday. But Vincent says it's normal.
She could hardly open her eyes the whole day
I suppose he's right. He's the cat expert here.

Similar story to this is in ourkittyblog.
Day 22 or 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for having a quiet night that Mouche is staying the night at the vet's."

These past two days have been like hell for us. The normally quiet kitty suddenly gets crazy loud. See the detail here. So we called a vet and our guess appeared to be correct. Mouche has come to a puberty age. It's funny how I really can't see the difference in her size. She doesn't look like a teenage cat at all. Her head is still small and she still acts like a child.

However, she must be terrified now at the vet's clinic. We decide to have her desexed to avoid unattended baby cats and loud desperate cat-mating yell every mating season. But we hope for the best for her sex operation.
Now I can sleep soundly after 2 days hardly any sleep.
Day 21 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for having found this quote: 'Everybody dies, but not everybody lives. (Drake)"

I dug my old collection of photos and thought the flying bird could represent the living.
I'm gonna live my life as I always have, and so should you.
Day 20 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for feeling good to party again."

After last year, my view of parties and alcohol got very ugly. I saw how aggressive an excessive abuse of alcohol was and how it could lead to stupidities that were not necessarily a part of someone's real personality. No, I'm not talking about myself. I ALWAYS know when to stop if I want to stop. But many people don't.

But I'm still not against having fun at parties. Alcohol is great when consumed within limits and not very often. But it is especially bad when drunk to run away from reality. Tonight, however, nobody was running away from reality. We were having a good time. And though a clash did happen at the end between Vincent, David and Laurence and I got just slightly upset because for a moment I thought nothing changed at all, overall it was still a nice outing. The music was great and I danced so much like I never did for a long time.

I didn't even expect to have a party tonight. I went to the ad print meeting and I thought I went just for that. But it appeared that the office was celebrating Sandrine's birthday. Since I was there, I was handed a glass of champagne and a piece of chocolate cake. It didn't stop there. After the apéro, we went for dinner at Warung Made. Vincent was already tipsy from the apéro, yet he ordered more and more vodka (and this is the same guy who said that he hated vodka the first time I knew him). So he got really drunk.

You could tell that Vincent was drunk only by his nod on dancing. And not any dance, a Tango.

Of course it wasn't a real tango, but Vincent's drunk mouth claimed that he could do Tango dance very easily. He danced first with Sandrine and then with me - yes, far from how you described how Tango should have been.

there's no such clapping on Tango dance, but this is Vincent's style

When I got back to my seat, his friends said: "Wow, you were so brave!!! Embarrassing yourself like that."
Marie drinking from flamed glass


After that we went to Bahiana when I danced happily with Laurence, Marie and Sandrine (and Vincent and David). But as usual, my eyes couldn't stay open that long. I'm a morning person and I wake up at 6 AM no matter how late I started sleeping. So I retreated when it was almost three o'clock. I knew as usual the boys wanted to go on and on at La Vida Loca (they really never know when to stop) but this time I wouldn't care. It's really too tiring to argue about it every time we go to the bars.

So I said good night to everybody, left Vincent to argue with David and Laurence, and went home.
Day 19 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful for the time spent with the IALF girls this afternoon."

Nupi suggested us to meet at Luthu Café in the afternoon. Her Chinese restaurant - called Fortune Cookie - just got a three star from a review from the trip advisor website - a disgrace for her excellent 5 star reviews before. In Sanur area, apparently this Luthu Café was the first in popularity so that's why she wanted to check it out.

I've been to Luthu Café before, and I liked it because of its coffee. I think the barista won a Capuccino designing competition in South East Asia (or something like that) and he always made me really cute stuff from the pouring milk. Like this one below.
The topic of the day was around cicak (English: house gecko). How Nupi hated it because she found a dead cicak in her honey jar once and ate the same honey without her knowledge that it was the same one where the cicak was drown in. Then I told them my experience with one when I accidentally drank the cicak's poop in my coffee.

It was great, as usual. We are four girls who think alike, though very, very, very different in personality. We threw jokes to each other and we LOVE gossiping about men. :) So here are the other girls.
Dian - very pregnant, due in a month
Nupi - very funky and tomboy, owner of Fortune Cookie, a nice Chinese Restaurant
Pam - you know her... one of the very weird people I know. :)
Day 18 of 365 grateful days project.

"I'm grateful to be able to play The Sims 3 again."

Due to my broken nail from the Menjangan trip, I couldn't play badminton today as usual. I like playing badminton, though I suck at it (and perhaps that's why I like the sport), but it is also nice to have a break from it once in a while. Vincent was still going to the practice, while I was busy playing The Sims 3 on his new CPU.

The Sims 3The said CPU was bought without consulting me first. :P But judging from the performance, I couldn't object much about it. It's fast, it's got super graphic card that enables us to play any game we want without experiencing any lag time.

So yes, it's a pity that I don't go to the badminton exercise today, but it's great to relaxingly play The Sims 3 again. :)
Day 17 of 365 grateful days project.

"I'm grateful that the client likes the 4 designs I've made."

So I woke up at 4.30 AM to be able to catch my flight this morning, which was at 6.10. I was supposed to have the meeting in the afternoon. However, the meeting got cancelled because the Client needed to be somewhere else, but I still sent the work I've done via email. - I wish I knew that the meeting was cancelled before though. Then I could have spent more days with my family in Surabaya.

Anyhoo, I'm super happy they like them! Now it's only the editing process that we have to go through. But that's more relaxing than coming up with concepts.

Day 16 of 365 grateful days project.

"I"m grateful for having a new design project to do from now to a couple of weeks later."

I've just got the news that my proposal to the ad print design for a PMA company in Bali is accepted. I'm terribly, terribly excited to do that! I like to work on anything visual; so photography and graphic designing are two of the things I love to do the most. Make it a business and earn from the creativity that I enjoy every second making, that's even better.

The downside of that news is that I have to go back to Bali earlier than I would have preferred. First meeting will be tomorrow on Friday (I know, such a tight schedule). Luckily, I have prepared some designs even before the proposal was agreed. But I need to do some polishing with some of them.

My mother was pouting, grumbling that she still missed me and that my trip was too short. So I had to promise that I'd come back soon. I do have to come back sooner than the last time I visited Surabaya (about a year ago). This trip didn't make up for it as I only spent my time with my mom and my family. Next visit will be slightly longer and I'll try to make some time to meet some friends.

Life is good.
Day 15 of 365 grateful days project.

"I'm grateful for the great, successful Mum's birthday celebration."

She woke up at 4 AM and insisted that I should not be falling asleep again. She talked and talked and talked for hours and how happy she was that I was there. It was her birthday so I tried my best to be awake at that weird hour.

Later that day, after Michelle came back from school (she had her final examination so she returned home earlier than usual), I made her my sous chef. We made macaroni schotel for starter, roasted chicken and potato wedges for the main course, and chocolate chip cookies for the dessert. I think there was never a time in my family's life to have three courses in a row. But this time we do. All baked with my Mum's brand new oven. :) 

Michelle, especially, was so excited that she was allowed to help. My mother never allows children to be around her in the kitchen when she cooks. She's afraid that something will happen to the kid: knife cutting the finger, or too close to the fire that they get burned. That's why I never knew how to cook until I was 27. For me, children should be acquainted to cooking in the kitchen from the early age. The more they are used to it and the danger of several things, the more they are aware of these. And they can develop their cooking skill from then on. And I mean how can you resist to smile to see this happy face of hers while she cooks?

And my mum was super happy because there was a change in the dishes consumed on her birthday this year. She'd been having pecel for her past birthdays.