just take five

i am working away in starbucks while waiting for the traffic to wind down, and they have some jazz music in the background. suddenly ‘just take five’ piece come to play and just like that i miss brisbane.

one of my close friends in brisbane loves this song so much. when i was in brisbane she lived only three blocks away and we often met for a drink (or three, or five, depends on how bad the week was) every wednesday in this neighborhood bar called gertie’s. it was a laid back place with scrumptious finger food and strong cocktails, perfect to wind down on a hump day. we liked to sit in the corner spot by the windows, which were usually opened, watching the world went by.

i miss this kind of neighborhood bar.

some place you could walk to within minutes, where the bartender greeted you by name (we stood out as ‘the asian girls who can drink’) and always got your order pronto (the drinks always came in less than 10 minutes), where the waiter knew your favorite and always piled on nice extras.

some place where you could just laugh at whatever shits happen to you that week, knowing that when you went to bed that night you could sleep soundly, cause thursday always got better.

 

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if i were

couple weeks ago, during doha-jakarta flight, i was watching a movie titled “limitless”. it was about a certain drug that enabled its user to use 100% of his/her brain. hence he/she can be a ‘super’ human with a mind as clear and crisp as crystal, which allow him/her to expedite overall learning process required for ultimate level of mastery.

ha! don’t we all want such drug to exist?

while we indulge on this wish, here are the things i would do if i were ever in the position to have access to such drug:

  • learn to play piano, guitar, and cello
  • master french / spanish / italian, german / dutch, swedish / danish / finnish, chinese / korean / japanese
  • teach myself how to excel in cooking
  • read as many books as possible – philosophy, history, science, psychology,  literature, economy and business, everything!
  • train for triathlon
  • write a novel, or two
  • design an entire collection of a fashion line
  • learn to dance ballet and tango

… all in less than one year.

 

always full-ass

about three months ago, with great dismay, i looked at piles of receipts of my expenditures since i returned to indonesia in november 2014. those receipts were neatly stored in ziploc bags and there were twenty one ziploc bags in total: one for each ‘category’ of expenditures. i had been meaning to properly filed them in excel so i could track my expenditures in each category and have an overall picture of my spending habit, but i had never managed to do so.

that i day i decided that i had it enough. what followed suit was seventeen hours of building an excel template and filing every single receipt of my expenditures since november 2014. and since i went all in, i built an excel template that not only allowed me to track cumulative and monthly average expenditures in each category, but also enabled me to pinpoint the store i spent most in each category (foodhall for grocery shopping, union for weekend brunch, starbucks for in-between meetings, kinokuniya for books, pacific place for clothes and shoes) and the time i tended to shop, ahem, a little more than ‘normal’ (the last friday or saturday of the month).

i started at 7am in the morning, i took a break at 5-6pm, and i finished at 1am the next day. my neck was stiff and i literally collapsed to bed afterward, but man, that was worth it. nowadays i just update the spreadsheet every two weeks and it has been a breeze.

one of my close friends asked me, “WHY BOTHER?”

well, because i like to keep my expenditures in check.

looking at the summary of my spreadsheet i can tell that up to this point my biggest five expenditures are on various investments. also, of total expenditures up to date: grocery shopping takes up 1.99%, eating out and going for drinks takes up 1.43%, laundry and dry clean takes up 0.27% (i HATE  ironing, hence money well spent on this!), health and fitness care takes up 1.53%, wellness and pampering takes up 1.95%, books, movies and concerts takes up 2.19%, and vacation takes up 4.21%.

how many people can say the same thing with such degree of accuracy?

if you want to go down and dirty, don’t do it half-ass, ha.