For an explanation of what menjelang means, check out my first Menjelang Favorites post from last month. For the break down of everything I've been into the past month-ish, look no further. I don't know what it is but I feel like I go through music phases. In the winter time, I'm really in to indie and alt music. In the summer time, especially nearing my birthday (August 12th, hit your Leo girl up!!!), I get really in to hip-hop and R&B hype music. It's like my inner Insta Baddie shines through as it gets closer to my birthday. Not really, I think it's just my inner extra Leo shining through.
Enough about my zodiac sign. Here are some really cool things you should check out because I like them. Hope you find something new. Or at least just something to distract yourself with so you can forget the fact that we're all slaves to capitalism and social constructs for a while. Cool.
Marcel The Shell with Shoes On - Created by Jenny Slate and her (ex?) husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp, Marcel The Shell with Shoes On is a web series + kid's story book (I think). Marcel is a tiny shell and he goes around the house he lives, showing an unseen interviewer his life. It's adorable, it's incredibly witty, and oddly calming. It's so Pure.
The Incredible Jessica James (2017) - Got Netflix? Stream it. Don't got Netflix? Putlocker it. Jessica James is an incredible role model and I am constantly telling myself to emulate her. She's honest and she's beautiful and she's struggling in the way everyone struggles and she's an awesome writer so get with it.
Your Name (2016) - To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Japanese movies/TV shows. I've tried, but I Just Don't Get It. Plus, cis women are so hyper sexualized in Japanese culture that the characters in animation always sound super breathy and it's just weird and it makes me uncomfortable. But, if you can get passed that and you're looking for something beautifully illustrated and a crazy plot that makes you go ?!?!?!?!?! then Your Name is perfect. It's about love and space and time and it's kind of nuts but I like it, and the cheesiness of the love story.
Her (2013)- This movie was great and weird and intriguing and beautiful. Love is such a wild human concept in itself so to pair that up with technology is like double thinking for me and I love thinking about societal concepts and the protagonists challenges just that. Coolio. I cried, if that makes it any more convincing.
Health documentaries on food (What The Health + That Sugar Film.) - These documentaries were so eye-opening. The food industry has been a hot topic on my mind for the last month because it's crazy. Yet another thing that the government has manipulated in the name of capitalism and we as members of the market are so blind that we sit there like zombies while we are literally trashing our bodies. To make matters worst, consumerism has been ingrained so deeply into our culture that it's unnatural to go vegan or to cut out refined sugar. Even the products that are marketed to be healthy/low fat/sugar-free are damaging!! Not to mention the ecological impact the food industry has. We really need to get educated on this and real fast too so we can stop romanticizing the foods that are essentially hurting us.
Youtube Videos -
Viners truly do suck but Enya is hilarious and her little rant is so entertaining, especially since everything she spews out is the literal truth.
Just watch it. You'll get it.
PRETTYMUCH - (Gossip Girl voice) New Boyband Alert! Word on the street Simon Cowell's got a new group of talented boys to fill the void One Direction left. Okay, back to Sel voice now. Not to be dramatic but I'm in love. Kidding. Not really. They've got major talent and they dance. With hip hop and R&B influences, It Boy hypeskater styles, and the fact that they're 3/5 POC will probably take them to the top. Also the fact that I can't seem to choose a fav to stan is really concerning. Anyways, their new single called Would You Mind is a consensual bop!
Billie Eilish - This girl. Hoooooooo my god, where do I even start?? I love teenage girls who make music with simple lyrics, deep themes, and dark undertones. Eilish talks about self-love (or lack thereof) in idontwanttobeyouanymore, romantic love (and lack thereof) in Party Favor, murdering her friends and her lover (which is probably a metaphor for violently cutting them out of her life) in Bellyache. She recently released her EP, Dont Smile at Me, and it's a freaking masterpiece. Listen to it. I love her.
MY PLAYLIST VIDEO!!! IS LIT!!! WATCH & LISTEN TO IT!!! -
Meet Me in The Cosmos by Jack Cheng - It's middle-grade Lit and I've only gotten a few pages in but it's already made me actually giggle out loud more than the other stuff I read. Told in transcripts of voice recordings eleven year old Alex makes, Cheng explores life on Earth through his protagonist who is very passionate about outer space and rockets.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas explores the current racial climate in America. Starr, the protagonist, witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend (done by a cop). Thomas also explores the two worlds Starr has to manoeuvre between as she goes to a fancy prep school but lives in a poor neighbourhood.
Spiderman: Homecoming fanfiction - Don't shame fanfiction. It's just as much art as mainstream literature. My favorite's Leyla's (spidereyhes on Tumblr) Skyline. There's so much on Tumblr and Archives of Our Own. My favorite AU is Stark!Reader x Peter Parker for obvious reasons.
Solid colors - I'm always in black. Always. I wore what I used to think was the ugliest greenest shirt I own. I ended up liking it. A mission of mine is to now be more in to colors. (Also I think I'm just succumbing to the current It Alt Artsy Skater Girl trend).
Fishnet socks - The fishnet tights trend is cute and all but let's be real here, sitting on a chair and having your butt press up against netting the whole day isn't cute. The socks are an easier alternative. They're not uncomfortable but still present themselves just to add a little edgy pizzazz. Yes, I just said the word pizzazz. Well, typed.
Cauliflower rice - My parents have been doing the Keto diet so they've been trying to find rice substitutes. My mom ended up making this cauliflower rice and it turned out sooooo good. It's a vegan substitute, too! Here's the recipe she used since I love you and I want to include you in this cool meal.
Vegan Cookie Dough - Cookie dough is amazing. Vegan cookie dough is even more amazing. If you live in the Jakarta/Tangerang area, @kookie.do is on Instagram and they've got the best vegan cookie dough that you definitely need to try out.
The second I saw that Luce Besson's Fantasy/Sci Fi, Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets, was playing in theatres, I immediately convinced my entire family to watch it with me out of pure excitement. Prior to watching the movie, I had only seen the trailer and hadn't read any reviews. I vaguely remember the plot of the movie from the trailer—something about a human named Valerian who lives in outer space and needs to save the galaxy, or something. I thought it was just my horrible memory. After watching the movie, I realize that the plot was just weak in general
Menjelang is an Indonesian word with a few English translations, including 'approaching', 'towards', and 'near'. It gives a sense of almost, with an underlying promise that it will be. I always scribble my favorites down on random scraps of papers and notebooks midway through the end and the beginning of two different months. Most of the time my favorites are things that are still very new to my life (songs with lyrics I still need to memorize, books I still need to finish), but that's because discovering excites me. It is my favorite thing. This combined with the fact that I think I am utterly uninteresting, these lists are usually disregarded quickly. But I'm learning how to have enough confidence to share.
Before 99 Days, it had been a while since I picked up a book and read more than a few pages. Prior to this 366-paged read, I was buried in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Catcher in The Rye, which was 6 months ago. Cotugno’s straightforward read eased me right into that world of living another life through words on bound paper. Don’t be fooled, although it is an easy read, it’s no where near simple. Without spoiling anything, the story is about Molly Barlow, who comes home for her pre-college summer after finishing senior year at a boarding school. She sent herself away after her town finds out about her affair with her ex boyfriend’s brother all because her mother wrote a book and explicitly said in People’s magazine that it was inspired by her daughter, Molly. The people of Molly’s small town found out and hasn’t stopped hating her ever since.
Here, I visually present the internet with yet another Pro of being a pilot's daughter: spontaneous short trips to a lil pretty nook (just kidding, I literally entered another country) in the vast world. I learned a lot during this trip. Like, for example, although grunge chic, my denim jacket (featured in my travel vlog) is very heavy and thus a pain in the shoulders to wear/carry. Also, I get sea sick. The more I know.
I feel like I’m rarely vulnerable on this blog, which is funny because before I put my blogging on blast, I would treat this social media platform like a paraded diary for strangers on the internet to read. So, as an attempt to be more ~open~, I give you the tale of my little three-day self-love roller coaster which took place on Valentine's Day.
As a professional moody lady and cookie lover, I think it's a must for me to blog about these delicious home-made Moody Cookies. If you're in the look out for a little snack that will cure your sweet tooth and fill you up at the same time, or perhaps a lovely edible gift for your Valentine, Google no further. I'm willing to bet that no Moody Cookie will disappoint.
I've just been really obsessed with Fathia Izzati and her band's latest single. Enjoy, if you wanna.
Speaking up on the privilege to grow in our society.
Rupi Kaur has been a writer that I've constantly looked to during troubling times. Many of her poems that discuss growth as a result of pain truly resonate with me, "to the reader" in particular (read below). As an able bodied, heterosexual, cisgendered, and fortunate person in society, I must constantly check my privilege. Even when it comes to growth. How ridiculous is it that our society and its leaders turn growth, a human process of evolution, into a privilege?
Beauty Priced Right. Beauty for a Cause. Beauty by & for Locals.
Ever since I dipped my toes in the world of local Indonesian products, I sat in anticipation with one wide-opened eye, on the look out for a new local brand I could try. Mad For Makeup caught my eye during a giveaway they were holding for inspiring women so that they could get their new Better Oval Brushes reviewed. Unfortunately, I did not win the giveaway. Although, they were kind enough to reach out and told me that they would still value my honest opinion, if/when I post them. So, here's what I've got to say about these brushes:
After turning up to junior prom looking like a champagne fairy (slightly embarrassing throwback pic below), I thought I’d try the opposite side of the spectrum for my senior prom. Before going dress hunting, I knew that my ~aesthetique~ was going to be vampiress-esque, like the embodiment of Prom Queen!Marceline The Vampire Queen fanart. Living in Jakarta, where formal dresses are commercialised for our sub-culture of socialites who go to weddings, cocktail parties, Sweet 17 Birthday Bashes, and “kondangan” of the likes instead of prom, finding the right store is not an easy process.
While on my mini yogi-vegan retreat that I had with my dad (read about it here!), I visited the most talked about vegan/organic/vegetarian restaurants and cafes near my hotel. Out of all coconut-based, vegetables, and shoeless restaurants and cafes I visited, I curated a yummy and healthy 3-meal vegan plan for you if you're ever visiting Ubud:
The retreat of your yogi dreams.
On a supposedly peaceful Thursday (17th of November) morning, my dad woke me up and asked me to go to Ubud with him on a 3 day long yoga retreat. Naturally, I said no since I was on the last few days of my 10 day break before my two final IB papers for Business Management. He was persistent, though. He kept going in and out of my room, entering with a new angle of persuasion, but to no avail. That is until I went on Snapchat and saw Cosmopolitan's new horoscopes for the week. Now, I'm quite difficult to convince, and although I have quirky little rituals I do to convince myself of certain things, I'm always conscious that they're only superstitions that calm my anxiety. However, Cosmpolitan's horoscopes had been correct 3 weeks in a row prior to this one. So, when I saw Cosmpolitan suggest that I do some spiritual activities, actually stating "like yoga", I was game. I barged in to my dad's room explaining that my horoscope told me to go and my dad called my mom to get the tickets right after laughing at her somewhat ridiculous daughter.
Skin care is something that I feel very passionate about. I've had acne-prone skin since I hit puberty and I've been struggling with moisturising without going overboard ever since. Luckily, after a few years, I finally feel like I've curated a skin care routine that does the job for my skin aka fights it until it finally allows me to be happy. Sure, I still have bad days, but these products make them a little less horrendous.
It is Sunday, the day before my afternoon Bahasa Indonesia exams. I will have three of my physics and two math studies paper for the rest of next week. I am struggling, to say the least. I am mentally and physically exhausted from my Taekwondo exams, but that's a story for another blog post.
My IB background story and anxieties for finals
November 1st, 2016
If you didn't know, in Indonesian, the H is "hari yang ditentukan", or the due date. Which means, H-1 is basically like saying "one day until the due date". The due date, of course, being the start of my IB exams. I thought it would be interesting to document what I can during this flurry that is otherwise known as the month which will determine the rest of my educational career. Maybe this will help any of you who are/will/have gone through the IB DP or just high school curriculum, really. Maybe this will only be functional for me, as something I can look back at once I'm much older and hopefully more prepared to face daunting things such as final exams. I better be. Seriously, Future Sel, I expect a lot more from you.
A guide to loving your natural fuzz—or bush—or forest—or jungle. You get the picture.
I’m mostly Indonesian and Dutch, but I am part Arab from my maternal grandfather. In case you didn’t know what state Arab’s body hair is in: it’s “a lot”. I’ve got hair on my knuckles, my arms, the back of my neck, my back, my arm pit, my legs, my face (cheeks, moustache, between the brows, below the brows, temples, forehead, above the brows, chin, jaw), i’ve even got extended sideburns. Yeah, I get thick brows, hair, and long eyelashes, but I’ve got hair in every place society says I shouldn’t.
My sense of self and confidence as a student (and lack thereof)
7th August 2016.
I write to you, Reader, in a snazzy baby blue (almost periwinkle) ¾ number from Zara that I got for my birthday, next to a cup of tea that is getting colder by the second, and wearing faded sparkling eyeshadow from my new Nude Dude palette by The Balm Cosmetics (I am in looooove).