My Monday notes: Because no one is problem-free and why we (maybe) need to have a cellphone-diet

“The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric; and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will compromised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, make your life yours. And everything-everything-will be on it!” – John Green

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Well! Life without cellphone is somehow so much better. At least I am studying more, and see awesome lecturer videos. Until I saw this awesome John Green video for one crashcourse video. Well, John Green… I think it is always easy for us to like this kind of person. He is one of my favorite (you should check him out if you haven’t know about what he done and even who is he 🙂 ).

As I told you yesterday, I just started my “Cellphone Diet”. Because this small awesome smart phone really convenient and make me addicted… and keep staring on it… and then stressed myself because it is easily accessed any social media and similar… and I keep comparing myself with other people because I felt like “WOW! Why other people is nothing but so much better than me?!” While… maybe not!

So, pfffttt…. enough. I love you my cellphone but sorry… maybe mmmm we need to make a clear distance now.

Yes! I think everyone are also struggling by their own matters, their own “test”, but somehow our “new world” is insist us to always look okay! Look cool! Look “hey, I am more than you!”. If A is success, so I need to show I do better…. if B is having a bad day, so I need to show I am worse. Wait! Oh this is crazy. Life itself, at least for me, is not a competition. Because we have different problems, different starting point, and maybe different finish line. We are just different… our task is to be nice and kind to any other people, support between each other, not goin’ crazy to compare between each other. Huffft! THAT’S TIRING!

So, stop it. And I want to stop it…. I want to quit from this crazy society game, because it becomes more like a psychological games and it feels like Jigsaw asked me “Do you want to play a game?” of course no… not kind of this “game”.

So, I challenge myself that at least within this week, when I go outside my home, I WILL NOT bring my cellphone. But I will always bring my tiny pocket camera to take pics about what I saw. Also, I will write the update every day on this blog.

So, what I got without my cellphone today.
Surprisingly, many things… and it was fun!

The sky is good, some clouds… but today was so hot and it might be one of the highest temperature during this month. Tokyo was 34C and Tsukuba was 32C. But remember, humidity! Pfffttttt…. Japan is very humid during summer and I wonder at least it is one of the main problem of all Japanese during summer. So, the real feel of the temperature were in 35-39C. That’s crazy.

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Indonesia is hot, but when the humidity is high but, at least in my hometown, rainfall also very high. So, it is not really killing. Closer to equator area… of course it is also hot but it is more like “Grilling” you than “steaming” you like in Japan. So, Indonesian are still survive even if they don’t have air conditioner in their house. Mmmm… beside almost all of us also can’t afford the price hehehehe. But, it might be something you not really notice right about Indonesia. Yeah! Come to visit then.

Then, I started to wondering what’s wrong with me… why my productivity is decreased recently!?! WHY! Then I notice that one problem is MY DESK IS SO MESSY
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This is important actually… if you think you become lazier recently, you should check your desk and your home first. If they are messy, it will reduce your mood to do your work.
“But, I always messy… so it might be no problem for me”
Trust me, it is one psychology research. Well… while it is not bad to make everything tidy.
Yes, put your phone for a while and do your desk.

The result, I made up my homework from my Sensei (although I haven’t finish all yet),
I learn about agricultural economics,
I learn about R programming,
Well… that’s not really bad for today.
I wrote a letter for my penpal.

On the lunch break, I took my bicycle and go around. It has been a long time since I am not hunting photos around. I am curious how to take a good photo using a low-end pocket camera. So, let’s get it on!
I took this photo today….
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I think that’s one is so beautiful… I really love it.
I love the bee, the color of the flower.
So many beautiful things around, and it feels like I didn’t notice it before.

Are you feel tired to compare yourself with any other people?
You also welcome to join my diet 😀 hehehe…
I think it will be okay for the world waiting for our text reply a bit longer.

My no cellphone Sunday: good day, good book, good food

So, I decide to stop staring on my cellphone at least start from this week.
I don’t want to depend on my cellphone forever, but I think we agree it makes us addicted. I want to stop for a while, and enjoy my day. I just brought my mini pocket camera, and from now on I will take photo everyday.

I left my cellphone at my home, while I went to Saitama to practice Koto (it kinds of traditional Japanese string instrument). My teacher offered me to start my first concert next April 🙂 finger crossed, and wish me luck. I am so happy, because beside of my research life, I have another artsy life! And well… that’s not really bad I think.

Back to my place, Tsukuba. I decided to  take a walk… and enjoy my Sunday afternoon.
I saw some youth are playing Stand-Up Electric Scooter. It looks so fun! I want one hahahahhaa. But already have one cute bicycle.

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And I realized that Tsukuba center is so beautiful with greens everywhere. I love the scenery.

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I also realized hibiscus are already fully blossomed. You should see them!
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And hmmm… take a bit selfie also not a bad idea! So this is my Sunday afternoon face 😀 hahahhaa
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Why some people are so good in taking selfie?! I couldn’t! And it is sad because I always tried to take a very good photo for others but I can’t to take a good selfie.

Btw, because it was cloudy… I want to 100 yen shop and bought a super bright umbrella with just 200 yen (around 2 USD), but tadaaaaa…. the rain delayed their schedule hahahhahaa. Oh come on! I already have so many umbrella now.
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But I love the color hahahhha… neon color seems rare in Japan.

Good! No rain… so I could ride my bicycle. I parked it in a free bicycle parking, no wonder everyone just park their bicycle here. Almost had no idea where is mine hahhahaha.

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Well, with my ride with me… I will teach you how to explore Japan a bit 🙂

If you are a student with tight budget, but you really love fashion, you can go second hand shop! Second had shop in Japan is veryyyyy gooood. They already clean all the stuff, and grade them based on the quality, brand, and the age of the stuff. So, you can find something cute by match it with your budget. One of the nice place to find second hand fashion stuff in Japan is 2nd Street: Jumble Store. You can find it anywhere around Japan.
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And I was so happy because they also held summer discount! Voila!
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I will show you my choice within this week, I would like to clean them up first and I will show you when I finished 🙂

After shopping, you might hungry, and I really want to eat unagi (うなぎ) or Japanese eel. It is in season now, so I should eat them! And I really love them! So, without thinking I just went to a family restaurant and ordered my favorite unagi! While waiting,  I finished read another Michael Pollan books titled  In Defence of Foods. I think this is the second best book from Pollan after Omnivore Dilemma. I really love Michael Pollan.
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Pollan is someone who really bright and objective when talking about foods. He not forced us to be a vegetarian or become a super loyal consumer of one very very super specific products. He is not! He is a very nice writer and teacher for his reader. He just give us some tips to choose good foods. Something like:
1. Pay more, eat less–> because some high quality foods are a bit more expensive
2. Eat meals
3. Do all your eating at a table
4. Try not to eat alone
5. Eat slowly
6. cook, if you can, plant a garden

and so on… and so on… I will not reveal everything to make you curious 🙂 But really, it is very good book to real and feed your brain 😀

Well! Living without cellphone is not really bad! Don’t you think so? 😀

BookVoyage review: Traveling the world by books

While now I am living a little bit distance from the central Tokyo, and it is very expensive to go out of the town. It takes about 25 USD (3000 yen) for round trip between my town to Tokyo. While I really love books, and I feel depressed if I am not reading books (and it will be very bad because I have lots of deadline to catch, no time to get depressed, stress, or whatever is that name). So, I tried to subscribe book subscription boxes. I already have some which provide non-fiction books to feed my brain hunger. But I also need some fiction books, to entertain my soul. I don’t really like YA genre… so it is also a little bit challenging for me.

One of the most interesting book subscription box I tried is book voyage.
What is this? Here, their short description…

“BookVoyage is a monthly subscription box for avid readers and global citizens. Each box is country-themed and contains a foreign book written by a critically-acclaimed local author and translated into English, tea or coffee from that country, as well as a sweet or savoury treat to go with the hot drink, giving you what we like to call a truly global immersive reading experience.”

So, yes! Every month you will get a book from different country. And for me, it is very exciting! Last month I got Lebanon box… and of their coffee was awesome (can’t forget that).

This month, they give me German stuff. I made a little unboxing video for this one. You can check this out if you have time.

So here is the full spoiler for this month box.
The hanuta is awesome, the coffee also good but still I prefer the Lebanese coffee…
and the book? They always make a good choice. It is a classing fiction “No Way Back” by Germany writer Theodore Fontane. However, the story is also taken place in Copehangen, Denmark. Well… but Germany and Denmark are neighbor country.

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Like any classical story, it is a romance with lots of conflict and well… I think quite tragic. I haven’t finish read all of this while I should concern to my research this time. But my first impression, it is beautifully written, with classic poems, letters… a combination between historical fiction, classic, and romance.

I always excited with how book voyage will surprise me every month. I review this, because I hope their business can be survive, and they will always be able to surprise us.

 

 

A story behind the foods: Mom’s love

Recently I interested in foods sustainability, and if you follow my instagram account, I also do a little campaign about sustainable meal which become one of FAO campaign this year. I also share my hobby in gardening.  I also share some books and literature about which books you can read if you interested by local foods. People said that you haven’t officially learn about food science if you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s books, so I complete my library collection with all of his books.

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I even cook! And share the photo to my friend on instagram. I just hate facebook and other social media, so I choose instagram as my fave media. I don’t really like cooking but I am living far away from everywhere! so, I cook. And I challenge myself to use local ingredients around me, and I make a small garden for several vegetables and herbs in order to boost my organic and low carbon veggies. And… I love it!

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If you already friend with me for quite a long time, you will know that I do a research about agriculture. I also food lover… one thing that I really hate is people who leave their foods… and sayin’ “Owch I am on diet” ARGHHHHHHHHHHH…..
you should know that on farm work is nothing but very complicated and tiring works.

From all the books, I learn how to find and choose the best ingredient…
I find how to reduce food waste…
I learn how to cook everything in a good well…
My cooking skill, not to be big headed, is increasing.
But no matter how good the ingredients, no matter how much my progress in cooking, I never be able to duplicate my mom’s foods. You can replicate every recipe, but never your mom’s love.

Every time I cook something, and eat them… enjoy them…. I wondering about what my mom already done for me and a whole family. Choosing the best nutritional intake for her child. She should make sure it is both sufficient both in quantity and quality. Choosing is easy if you have everything, but if we are in lower-middle income condition then we will face financial constraint. So, I wondering… my mom (and I believe, our mom) is not only a good chef, but also a potential financial planner and manager.

Then for me, talking about food now is more philosophical than before. It is not only about the hard work of the farmers, not only about the emission path,not only about how far the foods were transported until reach our dining table, not about awesome research written by Pollan and any other awesome writer and researcher, but also about how great our mom is, how great she is to provide the best thing for us.
Food is another tiny yet precious story about the struggle of a mother.

I wondering, if I never have a good mom like my mom… maybe there will be no today’s me. I remember, when my mom got sick, I become easily to get sick. I have a little problem with my liver and it was because I have no idea how to cook well when my mom was in the hospital. I will become nothing without her.

People said, never tell about your dreams to other people. But well, may I share a bit? Far away from home make me miss my mom so much, and I promise I will cook for her every time I am back home. Later, when I am lucky enough to have my own child… I also will cook for them, and that’s because some love no needs any words.

Time to learn from the trees: A little review of “The Hidden Life of Trees”

I am sick with all of my social media, so I uninstall some except my instagram (because I love photography), twitter (because it just short and and Linkedn (because some news and information are great there), and I also leave my cellphone off since this week. I want to detox my life from any kind of negativity and hoax! I am not sure whether I am not good with human or I just sociopath. But, seriously… I am tired and what I really want to do is refresh my mind with positive vibes around.

Then I got a very beautiful book: The Hidden Life of Trees
My first impression when I open this book is it is like “Pocahontas” soundtrack

“But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name”
– Color of the wind-

Yes… now we can sure than even tree also has a life, spirit, and name at least after you read the book.

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From this book, we can learn how the tree can cooperate each other, for example the have a specific and special root system and network to “holding” each other in such steep land in order to protect each other from landslide.

They also have their specific mechanism to protect their body and seed from any kind of weather and harsh condition. The way they adapt with the environment also always impressive. We also will notice how they communicate each other and also how the way they nurture their “kids”.

In my opinion, Peter (the writer of this book), deliver some simple and basic information and knowledge about tree in such a philosophical way. For me, it makes me to be a better person after I read this one. I mean, if tree can communicate well each other, help each other, taking care of each other, than by logic we…. human beings can do better!

It is sad for me while we human, sometimes, rather than taking care our environment we broke it… broke it and over-utilize it… and have no time to learn from it. Then, because of lack of contemplation we even hurt between each other. Oh come on! How can trees beat us in character.

Every time I read books about nature and environment, I am thinking of my self… do I really already do a good thing and right thing to my surrounding. My tongue! Oh sometimes it has its specific “venom” and I might hurt between each other.
As an “environmentalist”, I sometimes get crazy by my own research.
While outside there, even trees and plants are try their best to run their role as one of God’s great creatures.

Well! I will take care of you planet! for sure 🙂

Book review: The Sustainability Secret: Rethinking our Diet to Transform the World (and a little bit review about Willoughby Book club) 

So it is my first time trying subscription box and my first try is book subscription box.

To be honest it was very hard for me to find a nice book subscription box which fits my reading taste 😦 majority are only provide fiction books and to be specific: young adult genre. Unfortunately, I am too old for young adult books (although I really love kids books hahhahha).

So, last time I tried Willoughby Book Club. To be honest I just try randomly at first 😋 because they offer “Natural History” shelf. As you know I am now doing research related to environment, so it will suit me very much. While I am an avid reader of non-fiction books, I keep wondering what else can surprise me? Oh Marissa you are so big-headed 🤓

But really, even my best friends rarely buy books for me although they know I really love reading “You are nothing but so picky, Marissa.” That’s what they said on me.

So, hahhahha… Okay let’s see what kind of new books the “curator” will send me 😎

A little bit about Willoughby Book Club

As what they said in their website (Oh you are such a lazy reviewer, Marissa 😛). I use my cellphone to type this so I am a bit tired to type too long *could it become an excuse*

Based on information provided by you, we’ll deliver a new, hand selected book once a month to a gift recipient of your choice. Beautifully wrapped with a personal message and tailored to their reading tastes by our team of literary experts, our book subscription box makes the perfect gift for any book worm – young or old!

We offer a range of book subscription box gifts for a variety of ages and interests – from picture books for babies and children, to books for young adults, fiction lovers, budding chefs and even couples – all available in 3, 6 or 12 month packages.

Well if you are like me, your main concern must be the price HAHHAHAHAHA! Below, I will share you the price for 3 months subscription (it is minimum period if you decide to do subscription).

As I am counted as international buyer, I should pay more for delivery fee. But if you are in UK it will be free postage.


And while the first book I got is originally priced USD 24,95, assuming all of my books will be in the same price, then it was a quite good deal I think.

Unboxing The Incoming Package

Last week, finally their package arrived. It was wrapped beautifully and super simple package IMO. You got your book, a tiny pin, a simple bookmark, a sticker, and a welcome card.

They need to choose hi-quality book, otherwise they can’t beat other “book subscription box” which are usually more “fancy”. But well, whose care about being fancy! We need to read the book!


So, are you ready for unboxing time? It is always one of the most interesting part of opening your package.

Tadaaaaaaaa and this month book for me is: The Sustainability Secret: Rethinking our Diet to Transform the World 


And this is amazing! Lucky me I almost bought this one, but leave it because I still have some books un-readed.

I am so happy! It is my first time other people choose a book for me and I really like the theme 🤗

The Book Review: Great Opinion, but I am not Interested to be a Vegetarian, Vegan, or something similar 

If you ever watch a documentary movie tittle “Cowspiracy” and you can enjoy it, then you can continue to read this book to get more details information.

The first chapter is quite similiar with what I watched in cowspiracy. But after you turn the pages you will got further information about what really happened inside the farm. You will got an information about how much a farmer should spend just to take care their farm. How long and tough the journey of a cattle from being a cattle until they become a hamburger patty and ready on your dining table. How much the methan emission. And if you interested to learn about cruelty inside the farm, then this book is also recommended for you.

However, as a researcher… and an omnivore… I know it is really sad about what happened in some farm, but I think this book try to persuade the reader to be a vegan or vegetarian to reduce the demand of meat and livestock products and at last reduce industrialization of livestock. mmmm…cool,  I am not really agree for that.

I believe that there always a reason why God design us as omnivore, some animals as carnivore, and some animals as herbivore. Somehow, this planet should be in equilibrium, and to do so everyone needs to keep on track of their role.

If we all become a vegan it will also bad for our herbivore friends, because the demand of agriculture and plants will be increase and getting higher. There will be a high soil exploitation, and trust me it is not good because it will reduce the productivity of the soil. Not only us will face the trouble, but also all of the herbivore friends.

Make all human being become a vegan is as bad as make all human being become a carnivore.

I am not saying it is bad if you are a vegan. No way, that’s really cool and healthy. But everything that “too much” always not really good. I just can’t agree if human should totally become a vegan to be a better person. So, if you are a vegan… go on track and good luck. And if you are an omnivore like me, let’s become a wise omnivore.

We should consume both meat and vegetables in reasonable amount. Not eat meat too much and if possible find meat with “no-cruelty” label (including if you cosmetic geek, I suggest you to try organic or at least cruelty free cosmetic). Start to plant some herbs and vegetables by yourself.

Remember that in this planet, we have a right to enjoy and consume edible stuff in this planet, but as a human with brain and heart, we all have a responsibility to take care this planet. Yes! It is our big mission, don’t you think so?

Ssssttt…as a little treat for you, here you got a greeting from my babbies. Yes, I do love gardening, eat vegetables and fruits, and still a meat lover 😘

Home sweet home stuff: Meeting my guitar again!

There is no place as beautiful as home. I thought a week went to Tokyo and enjoy my school life will be a good idea. In fact? Pfffffttt… I can’t endure crowd anymore. So many people… pollution…I still love the train and some beautiful shops I can’t find in Tsukuba. But to be honest, Tokyo made my condition worsen. I think get more stress here. It is weird, because I was living in Tokyo for 2 years.

I really miss home, I really want to back to Tsukuba. And it was a great relieve when I arrived home. Tsukuba is not as convenient as Tokyo, but it is so quiet and full with great park and open space. And for me that’s very beautiful.

Moreover, my friend realize I am a bit force my self too much recently and voluntary visited me. She really  surprised looking at my home was super messy “Marissa-san, this is not you!” Oh I know, and with her help we tidy up my beautiful home. I feel bad because she help me so much, so I ask her what should I do to “entertain” her. I mean, helping to tidy up my home is not such an entertaining activity you can do on Sunday.

ギターを弾いて… そして、歌を歌う” (please play guitar, then sing a song)
“Oh no… I never play it for such a long time”
聞きたい!” (I want to hear that)
“Oh… fine”

It is funny because in Tsukuba, my friends from the office are usually talking in Japanese but I answer them using English. I should stop my Passive Japanese Ability.

I really miss playing guitar, I was a vocalist for a band when I was sooo young hahahaha. But something happened I “retire” so early. I am not really good in guitar or any other musical instruments, but I know the basic of those.

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We record my performance this year, I don’t know it is nice enough or not… but kindly enjoy it 🙂

” I never gonna stop the rain by complaining….” << my quote of the month 😀 hahhaa

Enjoying the china town …

To be honest, I always love China town…
It is like you can find everything in China town 😀

I have an intensive class in Suzukakedai area which is very far from my house in Tsukuba. So I took a week days off from my office and decide to stay in Yokohama. What a great decision, while I really love Yokohama so much.

Yokohama always makes my camera gives its big smile. Yesterday, I spent my night to go around the Yokohama China town. I really love the light of China town on the night

Also the artsy building


Oh Gosh! I really really love it… I think it is really refresh my mind, and remind me with my hometown in Bogor, where we also have “Suryakencana”as our China town.However, Chinatown in Japan (maybe) different from any other chinatown in another country. It is very clean and tidy and I guess not as crowded and noisy as any other Chinatown in your country.

I also love to found lots of unique shop around 😀


Hahaha…it is fun, but mmm… maybe as a person who always love cute stuff, it is considered not healthy enough for my wallet hahaaha.

My short trip this weekend: Sagamiko Illumination

I don’t want to write lots of thing today. My head is full with lots of things. This Saturday, I went to Sagamiko because I want to refresh my mind and see one of the biggest illumination in Japan. And well… it is so beautiful.
I will give you a look 🙂 it is a hill full with LED light.
If you want to see more, you can visit my instagram account: @emonikova
If you need lots more, better come here 🙂
Enjoy 🙂

My New Book log: A book diary for every bibliophile

I really love books, but while life getting more serious and busier, I can’t read as much as I want. Of course I am still reading, but reading academic journal, country’s data, my program syntax. That’s fun at first, but I get bored sometimes by that academic stuff.

So now, I utilize my 5-10 minutes to read every day whether in the morning or before sleep. The problem is, that time is too limited for me, because I am kind a person who love to make notes from every books I read. I love to leave some notes there to remind me which are the interesting or important part of the books.

Know that I really love books and making notes about it, my secretary in my office recommend me to have a “wanna do diary”. I know Japan really love diary and stuff, but “book’s diary”? it was my another “huh?” here. This book log is only sold in Japan Loft shop. And it is AWESOME at least for me hehe. So here is my new book log.

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I wonder it still not really famous outside Japan or between the foreigner, so mainly the content is in Japanese. But google translate will give some help :p
Inside you can write your short synopsis, interesting parts (and from which page), photo space,and you can make your own spider web so you can easily score your book. I love it! It will ease me to recommend books to my friends who love books (or give up to find a suit books for them from my book shelves).

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I will not talk too much today 🙂 I feel so excited to try my new book log 😀
So excited. While I also should prepare my day for working tomorrow.

Happy reading!
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